Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

10 Totally Predictable Offseason Storylines For The Dallas Cowboys

RJ Ochoa

Published

on

Ezekiel Elliott

Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!

https://bumpers.fm/e/b2iktc8a610002t1fc50

When football season ends we find ourselves in a “what do I do now?” sort of space. In mid-February football-hungry folks are resorting to getting stoked for some NFL Combine action while counting down the days until – and dreaming up all sorts of hypotheticals in regards to – NFL Free Agency starts.

It’s a song-and-dance that we put into practice annually, and it’s always accompanied by three simple words, “I miss football.” The offseason is a ritual unlike any other that we partake in as a necessary stretch of time to fill the gaps between respective kickoffs. The funny thing about the offseason though, is that beyond the structures of it things have a way of repeating themselves.

The offseason is built for narratives. It’s hot take season out there and the temperature is only climbing. This is the time of year where every NFL team thinks they’re in contention, and Team A is only one piece away while Team B is completely rebuilding.

The stories stay the same, the lone line of change being the team logo that they bare. The same can be said of each individual team with its core nucleus of players, as storylines are regurgitated as the tradition rolls on.

These are those storylines, you know the ones I’m talking about. We’re seven months away from the 2017 Dallas Cowboys season officially starting, and between now and then we’re going to hear all of these ad nauseam. You can see them coming from a mile – or an offseason – away.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“Jaylon Smith Is Feeling Better Than He Did Pre-Injury”

Jaylon Smith

Despite the NFL Draft not taking place until late April, the Dallas Cowboys already have one of this season’s most talented “rookies” on their roster – 2016’s 34th Overall Pick, Jaylon Smith.

Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager – and recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee – Jerry Jones has always been one for the theatrics, but when it comes to Jaylon Smith he’s always anxious to say something new. At some point this offseason we’re going to hear all about how Jaylon has healed (which will be great), and how he’s at an even higher level of athleticism than he was when he was hurt during the Fiesta Bowl back in January of 2016.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“The Cowboys Have A Tougher Road In 2017 Than They Did In 2016”

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

Thanks to the NFL’s rotating schedule, 14 of any given team’s 16 opponents in a season are known from now until the end of time. This rotating wheel of wonder handed the 2016 Dallas Cowboys the NFC North, AFC North, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, and of course their NFC East rivals.

2016 was a fourth-place schedule, which is what the Dallas Cowboys were in their division in 2015. This time around they’ve earned themselves a first-place schedule – you can view the 2017 Dallas Cowboys Opponents right here – that includes the NFC West, AFC West, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, and division rivals.

As far as the calendar is concerned we’ve turned past Valentine’s Day and we’ve already seen some talking heads from the national media succumb to this storyline. More will come. Save the chocolates for those dark days.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

 “The Cowboys Could Explore The Read Option More In 2017”

Dak Prescott

For the first time in a decade the Cowboys are entering the offseason with total and complete plans for a starting quarterback that is not named Tony RomoDak Prescott. Young Dakota made a whole lot out of the situation that unfolded before him in 2016, but could Scott Linehan take a page out of Joseph Randle’s playbook and go for some more meat off the bone?

Many people have called for the Dak-led Cowboys to utilize the read option more in their offensive play-calling. Prescott certainly has the athleticism to run the option, and his best pal running back Ezekiel Elliott is probably down for anything as long as he’s wearing a football uniform.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“Free Agent X Wants To Play With Dak And Zeke”

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott

Thursday, March 9th will mark the beginning of Free Agency in the NFL, and it’s going to be a day that requires us to set alerts for Adam Schefter’s Twitter Timeline. There is no spectacle like football players looking for new places/teams to call home, and if you buy into the narrative then a lot of them could be looking at Dallas.

What narrative is that, exactly? You see, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are pretty charming young players in today’s NFL. They’re the darlings of football, they play for the Dallas Cowboys, and they’re two of the best players in the game. It’s widely believed that other players – seeing this phenomenon – will gravitate towards them in hopes of calling Dak and Zeke teammates.

We’ve already seen projected number one overall pick Myles Garrett make a plea to join the Cowboys, and he even mentioned Dak by name. At some point or another, the same will be said about some arbitrary free agent that the Cowboys can’t afford.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“The Cowboys Are Better Off Without (Insert Free Agent That Leaves)”

Jason Garrett

There are a few things true of a majority of football fans, sports fans in general really. We’re loyal to our team, we always think we have a shot, and we always try to spin things in a positive direction.

The truth of the Free Agency era in the NFL is that you’re going to lose someone you like in it. Someone is going to leave whether it’s for more money, a better opportunity, or just because they’re leaving. When this happens to the Dallas Cowboys with one of their current free agents this season, members of Cowboys Nation and narratives near and far will all talk about how we’re suddenly better off without that player and his services.

Let’s remember that, shall we?

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“The Lack Of Back Issues This Season Will Make Dan Bailey Even Better”

Dan Bailey

In the aftermath of the Cowboys Divisional Playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, a shocking detail about Dan Bailey’s 2016 season came to light – he played, and kicked, since Week 4 with a herniated disc in his back.

Bailey finished 2016 27 of 32 on field goal attempts, still making him one of the top kickers in the National Football League. If we’re being honest though, there was an obvious disconnect in his game and that piece of information solved that puzzle.

With an offseason to rest up and get the body right, it’s easy to assume that Dan Bailey will be even more dynamite – Dan-o-mite? – this upcoming season. That assumption will be made near and far, but however far it is Dan could still make a field goal from there.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“Jason Witten Is Focused On 2017 And Nothing More”

Jason Witten

Earlier this week Jason Witten won an Ocho on a special Valentine’s Edition of OchoLive. While I would understand if it was, I doubt that is going to be the peak of his offseason activities over the next few months.

No, perhaps Jason and the family will take a vacation and have a new experience. Whatever the case we know that “Gold Jacket Witt” is nearing the end of his playing time in the NFL, but he will definitely be back in action this upcoming season.

It really is insane that the clock is ticking so loudly on Jason Witten’s career already, but he has remained focused that he is playing this season and unsure of anything beyond that. This idea will circle back quite a few times until September football begins. Witten will take the route of another Jason and handle things day by day.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“Charles Tapper Looks Like A Star Pass Rusher In Workouts”

Charles Tapper

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Maliek Collins, Anthony Brown, and the prospect of Jaylon Smith should be enough for folks to be happy with a draft class, but nope not Cowboys Nation. The people demand more and the people demand Charles Tapper!

Amazingly the Cowboys drafted two players in the first 101 picks of the 2016 NFL Draft on the defensive side of the ball that didn’t see a lick of regular season action – Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper. We know all about Jaylon Smith’s progress thanks to all his Twitter videos, but what of Defensive End Charles Tapper?

The Cowboys need some serious rushmen if they’re going to make it any further than the Divisional Round of the Playoffs and a man charged with some of that responsibility is indeed Tapper. At some point or another he’s going to have a great workout and it’ll send us all into a tizzy. Just steer into the ice, folks.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“La’el Collins’ Return Will Take The Cowboys Offense To A New Level”

Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, La'el Collins

Somebody who missed a majority of the 2016 Dallas Cowboys party was La’el Collins. The third-year Guard from LSU has had a really interesting career so far in the NFL, beginning with the unpredictable circumstances that affected his draft stock.

When La’el originally signed with the Cowboys three years ago he made it known that Dallas was assembling one of the greatest offensive lines this game has ever seen. His rookie campaign saw the type of player that would back that statement up across the course of his career, but an injury early in 2016 gave Ron Leary the chance to shine in La’el’s spot.

Leary will very likely be on a new team in a month, leaving the Cowboys to “settle” for a healthy La’el Collins. He is essentially a first-round player on an offensive line that features three of them and that blocks for another in their running back. The possibilities make one foam at the mouth which is why it’ll be all over the headlines.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

“We’re In A New Era Of Dallas Cowboys Football”

Jerry Jones

There’s a ton that has changed regarding America’s Team over the last 365 days or so. A new rookie-of-the-year-winning franchise quarterback has arrived, the next great running back is here (and led the league in rushing), there is a Coach-of-the-Year-winning caliber man leading the organization, and Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager Jerry Jones is a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

These aren’t your father’s Dallas Cowboys, heck they’re hardly your Dallas Cowboys. The most renowned organization in professional sports underwent a pretty serious makeover across the life of the 2016 season, and that included some changes with some serious ripple effects.

These will certainly always be the Dallas Cowboys, but they’ve indeed changed. They’re better, smarter, wiser, faster, and carved by a Hall of Fame hand. A new era is upon us, and it’s hard not to get lost in it.

Tell us what you think about “10 Totally Predictable Offseason Storylines For The Dallas Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

ADVERTISEMENT

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Advertisement
Advertisement
Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending