It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive units in the entire NFL, but you probably wouldn't guess that if you are referencing back to what happened in 2015.
The offense struggled mightily last season and we all know why. Tony Romo's twice broken collarbone was more costly to the win column then anyone probably could have guessed and Dez Bryant struggling through a foot injury the majority of the year didn't help very much either.
Now, with everyone back to 100% on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys should get back to being one of the more potent units in the entire NFL.
We finally get to see the offense firing on all cylinders with Tony Romo will back at the helm playing behind perhaps the best offensive line in the league. Then, you throw in a healthy Dez Bryant, future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and let's not forget the team's new toy Ezekiel Elliott.
Are you getting at least a little excited yet?
There are certainly no shortage of weapons at Romo's disposal and that's not even counting what players like Bryce Butler and Lucky Whitehead might be able to contribute to the offense in their second year with the Cowboys. There are a lot of people expecting both players to be big contributors in 2016.
The point I'm trying to make here is that the Dallas Cowboys offense is better equipped the majority of teams in the NFL and should be able to pretty much impose their will on opposing defenses. At least, that's what I believe.
6I personally think the Cowboys offense can pretty much dominate at the drop of a hat, so it really got me thinking why they don't go for more 2-point conversions throughout the season.
Let me throw something out there so you can kind of get an idea of my train of thought and what's going on inside my head. Scary I know, but hang with me for just a little bit.
Okay, how imposing would it be to see the Dallas Cowboys spread the field with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, Rico Gathers, while having Zeke Elliott in the backfield for a 2-point conversion?
Yes, I understand that both Escobar and Gathers might not even make the final 53 man roster for the Cowboys, but this is just a hypothetical example of what the offense could do on a 2-point conversion.
Witten could use his veteran savvy to work the middle of the field. Bryant, Escobar, and Gathers could all be options for throwing the back shoulder fade or jump ball.Of course, you could just decide to keep things simple and give the ball to Elliott and let him work his magic behind the Cowboys offensive line.
Are you starting to see my train of thought?
As good as this sounds, head coach Jason Garrett is one of those coaches that doesn't like to take a lot of chances and it's understandable when you have a kicker like Dan Bailey, who is pretty much automatic.
Plus, if Garrett did decide to go for a 2-point conversion, the offense would probably be in a two tight end set to show the threat of running the ball. Then, you would probably see Dez Bryant with some combination of WRs on the field.
That seems to be the go to formation when the Cowboys get close to the goal line and I honestly can't find any fault in the way of thinking, but things can change right?
Unfortunately, as long as Jason Garrett is head coach of the Dallas Cowboys we will probably continue to see Dan Bailey sent on the field to kick the extra point, but that doesn't keep me from believing that they should go for more 2-point conversions more often in 2016.
What do you think?
Please use the comment section below to let me hear your feedback on this topic. I would love to hear all of your thoughts and opinions.
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
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