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3 Current Starters Cowboys Fans Love To Hate, But Shouldn’t

Brian Martin

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Could Jeff Heath Be The Starting Safety Next Byron Jones In 2017?

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most recognizable sports franchises in not only the United States, but the entire world. As such, global Cowboys' fans love to show their support for their favorite players, but they can also be relentless in their hatred for those who they deem unfit to wear the star.

It doesn't usually take very much for Cowboys' fans to put certain players on their "shit list", and once there it's nearly impossible to redeem one's self. Fair or not, that's just the way things go sometimes.

There is not much to dislike about how the Dallas Cowboys organization has gone about building their roster and the team that they will field in 2017. But, I believe there are 3 current starters Cowboys' fans hate, even though they shouldn't. These 3 players are expected to play a large role in 2017, so it might be time to let the past go and focus on what they can do now and in the future.

Jeff Heath#38 Jeff Heath, Safety

It's looking more and more as if Jeff Heath will be the starting safety opposite Byron Jones in 2017 after the departures of Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. This has a lot of Cowboys' fans in an uproar, because for some reason or another there has been an unwarranted hatred for #38 since joining the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Maybe this all started in 2013 when Jeff Heath was forced to start nine games as a rookie due to injuries. He had a few good moments, but for the most part he struggled, which probably left a bad taste in a lot of Cowboys' fans mouths. But, it's time to move on and rinse your mouths out if that is what it takes.

Heath has been a solid reserve safety and core special teams player, but he is expected to take on a much larger role in 2017. I for one am excited about his opportunity and believe that the Cowboys' defense won't miss Church or Wilcox at all. He is more than capable of starting at strong safety and his playmaking ability could be a welcomed addition.

Terrance Williams#83 Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver

Terrance Williams making this list shouldn't be much of a shocker. He is arguably the one player that Cowboys' fans love to hate the most, even though he really shouldn't be.

Williams is a frustrating player to watch at times, because he has a tendency to run hot and cold throughout the season. This in large part has led to the wrath that has been brought to down on him from Cowboys' fans. I myself have been frustrated at times with Williams, but when you look at the bigger picture, he is still an integral part of the offense.

Williams is never going to be a #1 wide receiver in the NFL, but he is a really solid #2 WR. Since joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, he has put up respectable numbers that would rival just about any #2 WR in the NFL. But, it's not all about his numbers. He also does a lot of the dirty work that he doesn't receive recognition for.

The Dallas Cowboys are fortunate to have Williams returning, especially after the hometown discount he gave Dallas in the off-season. #83 may never live up to a lot of our expectations, but that doesn't diminish his importance to the Cowboys' offense.

Byron Jones

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

#31 Byron Jones, Safety

This is one I don't really understand. I am a huge fan of Byron Jones and am baffled that there are Cowboys' fans out there who hate him. I think I would have to chalk this one up to fans not really understanding what Jones does for the backend of the Cowboys' defense.

Byron Jones, a former first-round draft pick in 2015, has really helped solidify the secondary for the Dallas Cowboys. He had a lot thrown at him in his rookie season and was forced to play several different positions in his first year in the NFL. But, he has finally found a home for himself at free safety and his future is looking bright.

Jones' versatility to play anywhere in the secondary is a huge asset, but it's his ability to match up with tight ends that has really helped the Cowboys' defense. I believe this makes him arguably one of the most important defensive players the Cowboys have on the roster.

The only reason I can think of that Cowboys' fans love to hate Byron Jones is his lack of turnovers. Jones' playmaking ability hasn't really shown up yet, but I think that will all change in 2017. This will be his second full season at free safety and he should be much more prepared to be the player we all thought he was when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the first round in 2015.

What Cowboys' players do you love to hate?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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2 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    I can understand Williams and Heath but Byron is killing me, he’s been solid, he can play every position. I think Williams and Heath are interchangeable, Cowboys fans know outside of Dez, its gonna be Beasley and Switzer. We forget about Williams and Butler sometimes. With Heath, we get caught up with certain games with him, he been solid…but a starter idk!!??We need a enforcer in the secondary like wilcox or church, i think Xavier Woods might be that guy But only time will tell

    • Brian Martin

      Travis, I don’t think the secondary really needs an enforcer. Church and Wilcox were both liabilities in coverage, but that’s where Heath is an upgrade. As for Xavier Woods, I don’t really think he’s an enforcer either. He’s more of a FS and is a little undersized. He has starting potential and I could see were both Heath and Woods are in a rotation next to Byron Jones at some point in 2017.

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Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Fortune favors the bold. It's a rough translation of an old Latin proverb and the mantra I believe the Dallas Cowboys should indoctrinate this offseason.

I think it's time the Dallas Cowboys start to make a few bold moves. I truly believe they are close to competing for a championship title and one or two offseason moves could increase those odds. One such move would be to sign restricted free agent (RFA) Shaquil Barrett to an offer sheet.

It's expected that the Denver Broncos will place a second-round tender on Barrett and I think the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to explore the possibility of signing him to a contract sheet. If Denver declines to match the offer, the Cowboys would then send them their second round draft pick as compensation.

You on board?

Probably not at this point, but let me try to explain why I believe this is a good move on the Cowboys part, even if it is an uncharacteristic one.

You see, the Cowboys could definitely use someone to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence and I think Shaquil Barrett could be the solution.

I know it sounds like a lot to give up a second round draft pick, but the Cowboys have been deplorable at drafting players in the second round the past decade. Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, and possibly Jaylon Smith have really been the only "hits" the Cowboys have found in the second round. That's simply unacceptable!

So, why not use that second rounder to acquire a player who is already a proven commodity in the NFL?

Shaquil Barrett

Denver Broncos OLB Shaq Barrett (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

I know the first thing a lot of you are going to do is to look up Shaquil Barrett's stats to see what he has accomplished in the NFL. But, stats don't always show the big picture.

You see, Barrett has been stuck behind some pretty talented pass rushers in Denver, so his statistics aren't going to jump off the paper. But, when given the opportunity he has proven he deserves a larger role. That's where the Dallas Cowboys come in.

The Broncos probably don't have the money to keep Shaquil Barrett if the Cowboys sign him to a contract sheet. It doesn't necessarily even have to be a big money contract offer. The Broncos simply don't have the salary cap to do much, especially considering they are still looking for a starting quarterback.

I honestly like the idea of the Cowboys going after Barrett. You may have forgotten, but he gave a healthy Tyron Smith fits last season.

With an injured Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett got the start against the Cowboys in 2017 and finished the game with two quarterback hits, six QB pressures, and five stops. No other player found that kind of success against Tyron Smith all season, even when he was banged up.

Unfortunately, when Shane Ray returned, Barrett's usage on defense declined. That's why you can't always judge a players productivity by statistics. You have to judge him more on a per-snap basis, and if you do that you will discover he was very effective as both a pass rusher and run stopper.

I believe Barrett is ready for a full-time role. Yes, he has been used as a standup 3-4 OLB with the Broncos, but he has the required traits to put his hand on the ground and maintain his effectiveness.

The downside to all of this is the Dallas Cowboys would have to give up their second-round draft pick, but draft picks are sometimes overvalued anyways. Shaquil Barrett is probably better than anybody the Cowboys could draft in the second round, so I say pull the trigger.

Should the Cowboys sign Shaquil Barrett to a contract sheet?


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Star Blog

Could a Former Division Rival be Cowboys’ LG Solution?

Brian Martin

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Could Former Division Rival be Cowboys' OG Solution?

When it comes to prioritizing the Dallas Cowboys offseason needs, offensive guard is definitely near the top of the list. Opinions will certainly vary, but for me, solidifying the offensive line with a new starting left guard is the top priority for the Cowboys.

I know many of you will disagree and believe the Dallas Cowboys need to continue to upgrade their defense. But, this teams success or failure will be determined by how their offensive line performs. That's just the way the Cowboys are built, which is why they have invested so heavily putting this unit together.

Four out of five of the Dallas Cowboys starting offensive line is set in stone, but there is currently no one on the roster to step into the vacant left guard position unless you want to see the coaching staff give Chaz Green another try.

No, I didn't think so.

With the start of the 2018 free agency just a few weeks away, the Dallas Cowboys have certainly narrowed down some of the potential free agents they would be interested in bringing aboard if the price is right. Remember, they have turned into "bargain shoppers".

There are a few intriguing free agent options who I believe could step in to upgrade the LG position for the Cowboys next season, and not break the bank. One such option is a former division rival of the New York Giants, Justin Pugh.

Justin Pugh

New York Giants OL Justin Pugh

The former 19th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft has spent five years in New York while playing out his rookie contract, but that time has come to an end. The Giants aren't likely to re-sign him, which means he will get his first taste of free agency.

Justin Pugh could step in and be an immediate upgrade over what the Dallas Cowboys employed at the left guard position in 2017. He has exceptional mobility. He reaches the second level with ease and plays with good body control and footwork. He is a perfect fit in a zone blocking scheme like the Cowboys employ.

Pugh is also versatile. He has played both right tackle and offensive guard for the Giants. He of course would be asked to play between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith at LG with the Cowboys, but versatility to play another position is never a bad thing.

Unfortunately, Pugh doesn't come without baggage. He has missed a total of 13 games over the last two seasons with the Giants, including eight last season due to a back injury. This is definitely a huge red flag, especially for the Cowboys after dealing with the same issue with Tyron Smith.

But, this is why Justin Pugh will likely be in the Cowboys price range. Sportrac currently estimates his contract at 4 years at $23,983,847, which equates to $5,995,968 annually. I personally think that's a little low for someone of Pugh's caliber and versatility, but it certainly understandable when you take into account his recent injury history.

I personally think this is a longshot to happen because  the Cowboys would prefer to go younger and cheaper, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Do you think Justin Pugh makes sense for the Cowboys?


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Star Blog

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Sadly, we can't wake up on Sundays to NFL football. The Dallas Cowboys are not on TV every week for us to watch them play. To make matters worse, we'll have to wait until September to get real football from our favorite team.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about until then! For the die-hard Cowboys fan, the offseason should be quite entertaining. Free agency will begin in March, and it should be an intense one for Dallas.

They need to handle a tight salary cap while trying to add a bit of help for this football team. Recently, Inside The Star Contributor John Williams wrote an in-depth piece about the Cowboys' cap situation and how they can manage to get things done, despite having little cap space right now.

Last season, I wrote a weekly Cowboys Wishlist about things I wanted to see for each game. Now there are no games, but I decided to write a special edition for this upcoming free agency.

Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving, DeMarcus Lawrence (Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

Wish #1: Keep The Rushmen

The front office will have one hell of a challenge trying to retain all of its free agents. The two most important ones may be their two defensive linemen. If they can keep them, DL won't be a top need heading to the Draft.

Lawrence is one of the biggest names in free agency this 2018, but the Cowboys should find a way to keep him from ever being available.

If they're able to franchise tag him, that'd be the way to go since he's only had one elite season in his four-year career and they may not want to sign him to a huge long-term deal and risk not seeing the same guy next season.

David Irving is a more polarizing player, with off-the-field issues. However, he's been a very disruptive guy and he has the chance to be a unique player. His talent is really out of this world. Keeping him and Irving would give this franchise a top defensive line for the first time in many years.

Anthony Hitchens 1

Dallas Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Wish #2: Pay Anthony Hitchens

When healthy, Sean Lee is one of the NFL's top linebackers. He is simply an outstanding player who's always around the ball and seems to know where the ball is going before the opposing coach even calls the play.

The problem is, he has a lot of trouble remaining available. Anthony Hitchens is a guy who's found the way to step up every time the General is out, and he's shown a great progression as a player year after year.

Lee will be 32 by the time the season starts, giving Dallas something to think about. Hitchens is a guy capable of starting and competing in the NFL. If the front office finds a way to keep him, they'll be getting closer to being less "Sean Lee-dependent."

Wish #3: Get Seattle Seahawks' Earl Thomas

When we talk about a potential big name addition to the Dallas Cowboys, we're usually a bit pessimistic. This team isn't one that makes splashes like this, but Earl Thomas to Dallas makes a ton of sense. Former Seahawks' defensive coordinator is now the Cowboys' defensive backs' coach.

With Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis (and maybe Byron Jones moving to CB), this team will have a promising secondary. Add Earl Thomas, and it will go from "promising" to "great" in a heartbeat.

The Cowboys could not only have a top DL, but a top secondary if they're able to get this veteran.

Let's hope the Cowboys listen to Thomas and they go get him.

A Case For Dez Bryant Remaining a Dallas Cowboy in 2018

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Wish #4: Get Dez Bryant to Take a Pay Cut

When I started writing this, I wanted to add a "get this wide receiver in FA"... but I won't. A few weeks ago, I wrote a case in favor and one against Dez Bryant remaining a Cowboy in 2018. Personally, I would be fine with him parting ways with the team.

However, I'm aware of how hard it can be finding a replacement for a guy like #88. The biggest issue with Dez is definitely his cap hit. He hasn't justified the money he's being paid on the field as he should be.

If they can get him to take a pay cut, it may end up being the ideal scenario for the Dallas Cowboys.

It'll be a very interesting offseason, and here at Inside The Star we'll continue to provide you with content about it all.

Tell me what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition" 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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