Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

2008 Position Grades

Published

on


This weekend we get the great pleasure of watching our Cowboys other teams play their playoff games. Any chance Romo and the gang are still sulking over the loss to the Eagles? Judging by the attitude of these guys one would have to assume their NOT! While some of them probably are, I am quite sure some of them are partying it up elsewhere! I saw this morning where one player has decided to stay at home and type on his computer? check it out here.

Anyway let's start our offseason by going through each position and grade out this past years team!

The Quarterback position is always the one that gets the first look, but I am still just too disgusted with that position to be able to accurately look at it, so we will save that one for a later time.

I have decided to start off with the Defensive line. What a year this group had. In the beginning this group was average at best. They would show signs of being dominant but only in spurts through the first 3 games, and other times they looked no better than the local High school team. This group immediately followed that lackluster beginning with some of the most disgusting play ever seen, through the next 3-4 games. Then it all came together against Tampa Bay, when not only the D-Line but the entire defense seemed to final get what they were supposed to be doing. That was the first game in which the D-line was getting consistent pressure up the middle, and able to stop the run too. I thought after that game that they would get better every week, but then they went to New York and laid a huge egg to Jacobs and company, giving up 200 yards on the ground. I must put an asterisks beside that game though because those guys were on the field the entire night, due to the pitiful quarterback play! The next five weeks this group played like we all hoped they would all year. In that 5 game stretch they faced five (Skins,49ers,hawks,Steelers,Giants) of the better running teams in consecutive weeks. In five weeks the Boys gave up a combined 340 yards rushing for an average of 68 yards per game. In that same span the Cowboys went 4-1 the lone loss in Pittsburgh (had the lead with less than 7 minutes to go, Thanks Romo). The Cowboy defense was officially back and all of Cowboy nation was in love with them again. Then with their playoff lives on the line against the Ravens in the final game EVER at Texas Stadium the D-line played their butts off again. Doing everything in their power to hold down the powerful rushing attack of the Ravens, and doing an excellent job of it through 3 7/8 quarters.Then IT HAPPENED!!!!! In two plays the Dallas defense gave up 153 yards on two plays, and like a plane with no wings it all came crashing down. The D-line was simply worn out, unable to muster another burst, the one strong point of the Cowboys was done. Then the debacle that was Philly took place. Once again with their playoff lives on the line, No one showed up!

In the end this unit I thought played very well. Lets be honest I, like you would love to have a guy like Haynesworth in the middle destroying centers and wreaking havoc in the opposing teams backfield. That however is not going to happen, and besides that we have a pretty bad A** player in that position already in Jay Rat! This unit could have been better, and they must become more consistent. However I liked what I saw from this group this year.

Defensive Line   B

Jason Hatcher  C-   (Only played in 9 games compiling 17 tackles and 1 sack, just shows how much the starters had to play. Is their an upgrade available here?)

Stephen Bowen  D    (Only played in 10 games compiling 17 tackles, Cowboys must upgrade here!)

Marcus Spears  B-     (Started off slow, but came on strong by far his best year as a Cowboy. was in on 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery. Is Marcus finally getting it?)

Chris Canty  B    (another one that started slow but seemed to pull it all together. was in on 37 tackles, 3 sacks, and 5 pass deflections. I believe he has earned himself the contract he was hoping for last year, great team guy too. Lord knows we need more of those!)

Jay Ratliff  A+    (What a beast this guy is! their is no one else in the league I would rather have in the middle (besides Haynesworth) was in on 51 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 pass deflections. This guy is only going to get better too!)

Defensive Line MVP = Jay Ratliff   (No Question)



Advertisement
Click to comment

Dallas Cowboys

How Cowboys Could Benefit From Randy Gregory’s Suspension

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory Withdraws Suspension Appeal, Cannot Return Until Week 15

Randy Gregory is back! His suspension is officially over and he will be able to join the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California when training camp gets underway less than a week from now.

Speculation has already started as to what this could mean for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, and shockingly expectations are rather high for a player who hasn't stepped foot on the field in over a year. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to focus on Gregory's mess of a contract, because it is rather interesting.

Randy Gregory was signed to a four-year contract after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rookie deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season, but his multiple suspensions have now changed that expiration date.

You see, Gregory has only played in a total of 14 games in his career, 12 as a rookie and two in Year 2. His third year in the NFL was completely wiped out due to his year-long suspension. If you were to add that all up, it equates to just one accured season in the NFL. Remember that, because it could have a huge impact on his contract down the road.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

What all of this means is that the Cowboys can pretty much stretch out Gregory's contract now that they are three years in on the deal and have only gotten one accured season out of the agreement. That basically means they can push his contract back a year, meaning his 2017 salary ($731,813) gets pushed back to 2018, his 2018 salary ($955,217) gets pushed to 2019. That would essentially make him a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2020.

Or does it?

Depending on how the Dallas Cowboys handled paying Randy Gregory during his suspension could actually make him an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (EFA). This is a similar situation in which David Irving found himself in after the 2017 season. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on him in order to secure his services for another season, albeit at a $2.91 million price tag.

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys pretty much hold all the cards when it comes to Randy Gregory's contract situation. It's all a little confusing, but that's what makes it such a unique and interesting situation.

Of course, the Cowboys could decide to extend Gregory early if he completely dominates upon his return this season. It's highly doubtful though considering his past suspensions, but still technically a possibility. If it does happen, you can go ahead and ignore everything I've written previously.



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Earl Thomas: Age is Just a Number Part II

John Williams

Published

on

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de Earl Thomas, la NFL Sigue Equivocándose
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Yesterday, I wrote a piece attempting to assuage the fears that many in Cowboys Nation have about handing a contract extension out to Earl Thomas, who is 29 years old as we enter the 2018 NFL season.

In the comment section, a reader posed a very good question that is the basis for the rest of this article:

Earl Thomas Comparisons at age 29 and Beyond

It's a great question that certainly required some research, but Cowboys fans all across the world should be encouraged by my findings.

Just to refresh, here are the players we looked at as favorable comparisons to Earl Thomas at this point in his career. I searched Pro Football Reference for safeties who had at least three All-Pro First Team selections and at least six Pro Bowl appearances.

Considering an Earl Thomas Extension, Age is just a Number

The average age of the players listed at the time when they reached their third All-Pro was 31 years old. I'm removing Deion Sanders and Roger Wehrli from the equation as most of their work was done at cornerback.

Let's look at a chart that outlines what these guys careers looked like at age 29 and beyond to get a better picture. Remember, Earl Thomas already has three All-Pro selections and six Pro Bowls. Many of these guys didn't reach those kind of accolades until their 30s.

Earl Thomas Comparisons at age 29 and Beyond 1

Click image to view at full size.

The first thing I noticed as I looked into this question is that only two players had three or more All-Pro First Team selections prior to age 29, like Earl Thomas has. Those players were Rod Woodson and Ronnie Lott. Every other player on this list didn't hit their third All-Pro selection until age 29 or later.

Only one player reached his sixth Pro Bowl prior to his age 29 season, that player is Ronnie Lott, who many NFL Analysts consider to be the greatest safety of all-time. Most of the players didn't achieve their third All-Pro selection until their age 29 season or later. Earl Thomas reached his third All-Pro selection at age 25.

Here's a hot take for you: Earl Thomas, when it's all said and done could be considered the greatest safety of all-time.  I'll just leave that there to marinate and if a trade does happen, we'll come back to that.

Back to the chart.

Another thing I want to point out is that none of these players were 100% healthy. Such is the life in the NFL, especially as you get older, but they were available for at least 14 games a majority of their seasons aged 29 or later. Health is an unpredictable animal in the NFL, but the safety position allows for much more longevity than many other positions. And as the chart depicts, it's a position that ages well.

So, as you can see in the chart, players who were highly productive prior to their age 29 season were also highly productive for several seasons after. These players went onto average almost seven more years in the league from their age 29 seasons.

Most players continued to average a healthy amount of interceptions. The player that saw the biggest decline from the early part of his career to the post-29 part of his career was Brian Dawkins. The former Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos safety went from three interceptions per season prior to 29 to 1.9 interceptions per season 29 and after.

When it comes to the safety position, the elite seem to be able to get the most of their bodies and their abilities and can prolong their prime. The position relies as much on intelligence and awareness as it does quickness and athleticism. Earl Thomas has the mental capacity to play the game for many more years and there's been zero evidence to suggest that he is experiencing any physical decline.

At the rate of his career that he's on, Earl Thomas is destined for the Hall of Fame. He's one of the faces of the Legion of Boom defense that propelled the Seattle Seahawks into the elite category of teams in the early part of this decade.

If and when an Earl Thomas trade does occur, don't sweat an extension for Thomas.

Thomas' credentials put him in an elite group of players who played the game for a very long time and there's no reason to believe he won't continue to do so.

The Dallas Cowboys aren't that far off from having a Super Bowl contending defense built in the image of the Seattle Seahawks. Going to get the All-Pro, future Hall of Fame safety is the final piece to the to the Dallas Cowboys completing construction on "Doomsday III." 

Everything else is there for the Dallas Cowboys, now all they have to do is: Go. Get. Earl!



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Noah Brown Takes to Twitter to Call Out ESPN

John Williams

Published

on

A Fully Focused Ezekiel Elliott can Carry the Cowboys into 2018 Playoffs 2
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has long been considered "The Worldwide Leader in Sports," and for a long time that title was justified. If you wanted your national sports news, where did you turn to but the cable sports channel to watch that day's episode of SportsCenter. But over the last few years, it's become more and more clear that it's "The Worldwide Leader" in name only.

The ratings are dropping and the network has had to make a lot of business decisions as it relates to much of their on-air talent over the last several years. With their latest under 25 starting 22 -- ahem, troll job -- they seem to have finally come to terms that they are basically First Take.

Noah Brown put it best in his reaction to the ESPN "Insider" voting that led to Saquon Barkley being named to the starting 22 ahead of Ezekiel Elliott. Brown, Elliott's teammate when both were at Ohio State University, came to his defense upon seeing the list.

Noah Brown Takes to Twitter to Call Out ESPNAnd here is the ESPN list:

SportsCenter on Twitter

43 of our NFL Insiders voted. Here's their best starting roster under the age of 25.

I'm sure there could be debates about different positions on the squad. Personally, quarterback is one where an argument could be made for Carson Wentz or Dak Prescott over DeShaun Watson, but that's for another time.

But to have a rookie, who has never played a down in the NFL ahead of the NFL's league leader in rushing for 2016, Ezekiel Elliott, is laughable.

Ridiculous.

Shameful even.

The fact that they had 43, again I use the quotations, "Insiders" vote on this and Ezekiel Elliott wasn't listed as one of the two running backs just shows you how far they've come as a network.

Let's remember that Ezekiel Elliott has averaged a touchdown a game -- receiving and rushing -- in his 25-game career. No running back has more rushing yards than Elliott does over the last two years, including 2017 league rushing leader, Kareem Hunt. No running back has more rushing touchdowns than Elliott's 22 rushing TDs.

Ezekiel Elliott's yards per carry is a healthy 4.63. Todd Gurley sits at 3.93. No player with more than 1,800 rushing yards over the last two years has a better yards per attempt than Ezekiel Elliott.

I get that you'd vote Todd Gurley in there, but to not have Ezekiel Elliott, arguably the game's best running back on your Under 25 starting 22 just makes you look like Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith. Not a sports journalism entity worthy of people throwing money at for "Insider" access.

I won't say that I never or will never watch ESPN, because where else am I gonna go for Monday Night Football, Todd Archer, or the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships? When I'm at my father-in-law's, I'll watch SportsCenter first thing in the morning, because it will be on and you don't change another man's television.

"The Worldwide Leader," however, loses credibility when they promote a list like this that has such a glaring omission.

Perhaps, maybe the goal wasn't to put out an accurate list. Maybe the goal was to get us talking about their list, just like when NFL Network releases their Top 100 players list. Like they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

This troll job from ESPN has certainly gotten them some publicity, or should I say, notoriety.



Continue Reading



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