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2016 NFL Draft: Zeke Elliott Ticketed for the NFC East?

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - 2016 NFL Draft: Zeke Elliott Ticketed for the NFC East? 1

Yesterday here at Inside The Star, I outlined the future for the NFC East in this upcoming draft by framing the question "Can the Cowboys Still Afford to Take a Quarterback at #4?". With three of the division's four teams selecting in the top 10, it's now far more likely that Dallas brings in someone that will make an immediate impact instead of a QB - which is exactly what Philadelphia and New York will be doing with the 8th and 10th picks, respectively.

One name that I floated around was Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is far and away the top back in this class. While I have my doubts that this Cowboys front office values the position enough to spend a top 5 pick on it, Elliott could take this offense to an elite level as soon as his feet his the practice field.

Running behind the Cowboys' offensive line, Elliott would immediately put himself in the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year while providing a reliable option for Tony Romo throughout the end of his Cowboys career.

Again, while I think it is unlikely he winds up with a star on the side of his helmet, there may be one factor that forces the Cowboys to give slightly more consideration towards Elliott than they normally would.

The Giants and Eagles could both also use an explosive offensive weapon at the running back position, and he will likely be in play for their picks if Dallas passes on him.

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 NFL Draft: Zeke Elliott Ticketed for the NFC East?

No defensive coordinator wants to scheme against Elliott twice a season. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News) 

The Giants running game has been a revolving door for years, but it is no secret that this team is at it's best when they can pound the football on offense. While Eli Manning had a great 2015, he has 4 years remaining in New York and 2016 will be the first with new Head Coach Ben McAdoo. If the Giants want to quickly get back to their winning ways with Manning one more time, Ezekiel Elliott should be their pick at #10 overall.

Of course, for Zeke to get there, he would have to make it past the Eagles at #8. Philadelphia's 2015 running game was supposed to thrive with Chip Kelly's offense being powered by DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews, and Darren Sproles.

Now, the Kelly Experiment is over, Murray has moved on to Tennessee, and new HC Doug Pederson - who will bring this offense back to a more traditional west coast offense - is left with Matthews and Sproles on the depth chart.

While these two backs, along with burner Kenjon Barner, don't make the position an immediate need for the Eagles, they do have uncertainty at the quarterback position. Sam Braford is clearly not the long-term answer, but giving him a workhorse back like Elliott to pair with a revamped Eagles defense could lead to this team taking some big steps in the right direction next season.

I don't see Elliott being selected in the top 3 of this draft, but I do see him going off the board within the top 10. This means that, of the 7 picks Elliott is in play for within the top 10, three of them are controlled by the NFC East.

The odds are pretty good that Ezekiel Elliott will play out his career in the Cowboys division, whether it be with a star or not.

Do you want to see Elliott in the silver and blue? Worried about him joining the Giants or Eagles? Leave a comment below this article, and be sure to catch me on tomorrow from 1-4 ET for Upon Further Review - featuring more NFL Draft discussion!

Tell us what you think about "2016 NFL Draft: Zeke Elliott Ticketed for the NFC East?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Nathan martin

    I think Ezekiel Elliot would fit great in BIG D we need an explosive back with power.This would help the offense tremendously and the defense as well!! We can't afford to let our NFC East foes grad him either especially the Giants,truth be told they are only a good back away from winning the division.

  • Sean Martin

    Can't draft a guy at four just to block him from a rival team though, gotta be committed to him topping the draft board.

    • Bryson Treece

      Unless, of course, you're the 2015, Chip Kelly led Eagles haha

  • Sean Martin

    Chip Kelly: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

  • Jeff Marion9

    Here is your chance at the brass ring Dallas, I've been a fan for 46 years, but losing faith, draft Zeke Elliott!!!! Please, finally, I don't want to watch another draft where after another bad pick, we have to listen about it all season……or two.

  • Jeff Marion9

    Here is your chance at the brass ring Dallas, I've been a fan for 46 years, but losing faith, draft Zeke Elliott!!!! Please, finally, I don't want to watch another draft where after another bad pick, we have to listen about it all season……or two.

    • Jess Haynie

      Byron Jones, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick… we've been doing pretty good lately.

Star Blog

Upgrading the Offensive Line Cowboys Top Offseason Priority?

Brian Martin



Upgrading Offensive Line Cowboys Top Offseason Priority?

Despite the displeasure by the majority of fans, the Dallas Cowboys continue to hold things close to the vest with their approach to free agency. It's definitely not the most popular approach and tends to drive fans crazy, but things could start heating up now that the free-agent market is starting to settle.

Looking from the outside in, we can only speculate as to which positions the Dallas Cowboys may prioritize in free agency and in the draft that matter. Earl Thomas and the safety position has been the most popular topic of discussion throughout the free agency process, but it looks as if the Cowboys are narrowing their focus on upgrading and adding depth to their offensive line.

Marcus Martin

Free-agent C/OG Marcus Martin

This is just speculation of course, but it's based on the fact that the Cowboys are rumored to be bringing in free-agent offensive lineman Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming. And on top of that, it was announced that two of the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors are also offensive lineman, Will Hernandez, who is popular among Cowboys fans already, and offensive tackle Kolton Miller.

I don't know about you, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys are certainly focused in on upgrading the offensive line. This absolutely makes sense after what they went through last season with the carousel at the left guard position and Tyron Smith's struggles to stay healthy.

More than anything, the Cowboys need OL depth heading into the 2018 season. There is only really one spot up for grabs at left guard, but the depth across the OL is absolutely depleted unless you want to rely on Chaz Green again.

This is where Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming make a lot of sense. Marcus Martin has the versatility to play center and guard, and has done so already in his NFL career. He could compete for the starting LG position, but if nothing else, could replace Joe Looney as the backup C/OG.

Cameron Fleming could be the more important of the two free agents the Cowboys are rumored to be interested in. At the worst, Fleming would be an upgrade as the swing tackle, something he's done with the New England Patriots throughout his career. But, he could compete to become the starting right tackle, which would kick La'el Collins back inside to left guard.

That's all speculation right now, but the Dallas Cowboys would do what's best for the entire team in order to get the right starting five offensive lineman on the field.

Kolton Miller

Cowboys Rookie prospect OT Kolton Miller

The same can be said about rookies Will Hernandez and Kolton Miller. Hernandez would likely be a plug-and-play left guard if he ended up being the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick. That would keep the offensive line from shuffling and hopefully solidify the unit for years to come.

Kolton Miller on the other hand would be a lot like the Cameron Fleming situation mentioned above. He can probably tackle on the left or right side the NFL, although some draft analysts believe he will struggle as a LT at the next level.

Of course, there is no way of knowing how much interest the Dallas Cowboys have any of these players right now. But to me, it looks as if upgrading the offensive line is certainly one of their top priorities this offseason.

Is upgrading the OL the Dallas Cowboys top offseason priority?

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Star Blog

Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension

For die-hard NFL fans, the free agency period is as fun as any other week in the regular season. It's always a fun experience knowing what team is interested in which player and who's visiting who. Heck, there are websites with "free agents trackers" for people who don't want to miss a single thing.

Seeing the huge contracts some players get and discussing whether it's well-deserved money or an overpaid salary provides football fans all around the league with fun football conversations in the middle of March.

This is a period in which, despite not being on the field, every NFL team is doing the same thing. Trying to get better. Which is exactly why most Dallas Cowboys fans are frustrated with how things have gone for their favorite team in this 2018 NFL offseason.

Right now, less than a week after the free agency period officially began, they're the only team left in the NFL that hasn't signed a single free agent.

Surprising? Not at all.

Whether we like it or not, we know how this team likes to operate. A quiet free agency isn't out of the ordinary for the Cowboys. For many years, the NFL Draft has been the priority for them, and they've done a good job at it.

At the end of the day, waiting for the first wave of free agents to pass is smart unless you're looking for a QB or have a huge amount of cap space. When you look at what players are getting, you realize most of them are overpaid. Sammy Watkins got a $48M three-year deal, when he hasn't really proved to be worth it.

I don't think Cowboys Nation would've liked to see the Jones family bring Watkins for that kind of money. Personally, I don't mind the Cowboys' front office letting those first expensive signings occur without them participating in them.

I mean, they've already made a splash, when you think about it. DeMarcus Lawrence was the biggest non-QB free agent of the year and they managed to keep him for at least next season. It's not exactly a free agent signing, but they are paying one of the NFL's best pass rushers more than $17M to wear the Star one more year.

Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension 1

Former Arizona Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu

Yes, the Cowboys' team-building philosophy is comprehensible. But when do fans like you and me stop understanding their offseason approach and get bothered by it? To me, that frustration came in the form of Tyrann Mathieu signing with the other NFL team in Texas.

If the Honey Badger had signed a super expensive contract, I'd be fine with the Cowboys passing on him. But Houston was able to get him for just seven million dollars on a one-year prove-it deal.

Mathieu is one of the best defensive talents in the league and will be just 26 years old when next season begins. Why didn't the Cowboys tried to land him, if safety is a position of need? I mean, we've been talking about a potential trade for Earl Thomas all year!

Were they hesitant just because the Honey Badger isn't your traditional safety? Are they so conservative that their reason to not go after him was he wasn't a scheme fit? When you're talking about a talent like his, I think you make things work to see him thrive along young and promising cornerbacks like Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie.

The Cowboys can still look at Tier-2 free agents such as TE Eric Ebron or S Kenny Vaccaro over the following days. It could end up working for them, or it could end up just like Nolan Carroll's horrendous game versus the Broncos in week 2 of the 2017 NFL season and his $2M in dead money for this year.

When it comes to the Cowboys' approach to free agency, there's a very thin line between comprehension and frustration. Maybe, just maybe, they make us understand next season when we see results on the field.

For now though, it's tough to stay in the "comprehending" side of things.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

En una agencia libre muy callada de parte de los Dallas Cowboys, como es costumbre, lo más interesante hasta ahora se revuelve alrededor de un talento increíble en la línea defensiva: David Irving. El joven de la línea defensiva de Dallas recibió un tender de segunda ronda (con un costo de casi tres millones de dólares) de parte de los Cowboys, lo cual significa que vestirá la Estrella Solitaria un año más... ¿o no?

No, no es tan sencillo.

A diferencia de la etiqueta franquicia que recibió DeMarcus Lawrence hace unas semanas, un tender permite a un jugador recibir ofertas de otros equipos. Si Irving llega a recibir una oferta externa, sin embargo, los Cowboys tienen la oportunidad de igualarla.

Pero no sólo eso, sino que si no quieren igualar la oferta, pueden dejar ir al jugador y en cambio, el otro equipo tiene que compensar a los Cowboys con una selección de segunda ronda. Así como el tender de segunda ronda que se le otorgó a David Irving, hay tender de primera ronda o tender de "selección original."

Sin embargo, Irving no fue seleccionado en el NFL Draft, así que esta última opción hubiera tenido poco sentido.

David Irving, Redskins

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving

Ahora, pensando en el 2018 y una temporada ya incierta, nos sentamos preguntando: ¿No valía la pena cubrir a Irving con un tender de primera ronda? Al final de cuentas, sólo hay aproximadamente un millón de diferencia entre ambos. Irving es un jugador lleno de talento, y podría llegar a estar entre los mejores en su posición próximamente.

Sin embargo, si somos honestos, es una buena decisión de la administración. Irving ha tenido sus cuantos problemas y quizá este tender ayude a definir su valor en el mercado. Si ningún equipo alrededor de la liga se atreve a ofrecerle un contrato, los Cowboys mejoran su posición en las negociaciones y quien sabe, quizá consigan un acuerdo más amigable para el equipo.

Además, si un equipo decide llevárselo... ¿qué tan malo sería?

Con el pick #19 en la primera ronda del Draft de la NFL, no están en una posición muy cómoda. Como bien algún jugador talentoso como el DT Vita Vea o el WR Calvin Ridley pueden caer a las manos de Stephen Jones, Will McClay y compañía, bien puede estar vacía la tabla.

Con jugadores como el S de Florida State Derwin James o el LB de Georgia Roquan Smith, deberían considerar realizar un trade para subir algunas selecciones y llevarse a uno de estos talentos que no estarán disponibles en el #19.

Con las selecciones globales 19, 50 y una segunda ronda extra que conseguirían por Irving, es fácil visualizar a este equipo dispuesto a hacer un movimiento así el día del Draft.

A pesar de una mala temporada en el 2017, los Dallas Cowboys son un equipo que están cerca de ser contendientes.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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