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.
#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.
#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.
#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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
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.
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."
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.
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.
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