Connect with us

Star Blog

2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: CB Deji Olatoye

Sean Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: CB Deji Olatoye

For years, the Dallas Cowboys' secondary has been an area of concern. With the likes of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr struggling to live up to potential, the unit has been an overall weak spot for the Cowboys defense.

Despite Claiborne coming together to play his best season as a Cowboy in 2015, the free agent defensive back's future is still up in the air. The same can be said about Brandon Carr in his cap situation.

However, help may be on the way in the secondary. Rookie Byron Jones appears to have solidified the free safety position while the team will also welcome back Orlando Scandrick next season.

Also on the roster to start training camp will be Deji Olatoye, who was signed from the practice squad for the final seven games of the season. He saw 138 snaps in the Cowboys secondary in total, most of which came in his two starts in weeks 16 and 17. This upcoming will now be his contract year.

While Olatoye wasn't a superstar by any means, he looked solid at the position. The 24-year-old corner out of North Carolina A&T played solid in coverage, and more importantly, was a very strong tackler.

With depth being so important in today's passing-dominated league, let's take a look at what Olatoye must do to earn a future with the Cowboys past 2016.

#29 Deji Olatoye

As mentioned, Olatoye is a solid tackler who recorded five solo tackles in both his starts. He also recorded his first career interception in the end zone against the Bills in week 16. The Cowboys are thin at the safety position, with contract years coming for Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, so Olatoye can elevate his value by potentially taking some reps at safety.

As a cover corner, Olatoye will still need to prove himself at multiple positions in training camp. Going up against the likes of Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams on the outside, and Cole Beasley in the slot, he will certainly be tested day in and day out.

Currently on the depth chart, Olatoye is listed as the #3 right corner behind Claiborne and Terrance Mitchell. Mitchell was another player that joined the Cowboys late in the season and saw time across from Olatoye.

Should Claiborne move onto a new team for 2016, it would bump up Mitchell and Olatoye - who will likely both be fighting for one spot. That is, unless Olatoye can prove himself at safety or on special teams.

If Claiborne does not return, it also means that Brandon Carr will likely see another year as a starter across from Orlando Scandrick - stiffening the competition for both Mitchell and Olatoye.

It will be some time before we see this all play out, but the theme for the Cowboys 2015 training camp was competition - and it appears there will certainly be much more of that in the secondary this summer.

Tell us what you think about "2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: CB Deji Olatoye" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Advertisement
Comments

Star Blog

DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady

Published

on

DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.

The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.

After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.

So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.

What exactly is that role, though?

I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.

Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.

Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.

If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.

This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady

Published

on

New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.

Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

https://t.co/9H9xfApFqe

In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.

This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Davante Adams on Twitter

Go do ya thang 18. Can't thank u enough for guiding me through this thing and showing us all how to be a pro. Love u brudda I'm excited for your next chapter ✊🏾 #187

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb

Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.



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