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3 Dallas Cowboys Making Cases to be Cut

John Williams

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3 Dallas Cowboys Making Cases to be Cut

The other day, Staff Writer Jess Haynie gave you 3 Cowboys Making Cases for Roster Spots. It's right on the money and likely those players will make the roster. Today I'm going to bring you an opposite take. Let me apologize in advance if I mention your pet cat, but the reality is that the Dallas Cowboys have a long way to go before they make their 37 cuts on September 3rd.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Kellen Moore #17

Kellen Moore

With his poor play and the excellent play of Cooper Rush, Kellen Moore isn't giving Scott Linehan a lot to defend.

Linehan has been the biggest #KelMo proponent for as long as Moore has been in the league, yet there isn't a lot to go on in his NFL career.

He's 27 years old now and has only played in three games since coming into the league in 2012. All we have to go on is his preseason play, which has been average to below average.

With Cooper Rush playing well, it would not surprise me to see the front office move on for a younger quarterback to back up Dak Prescott. Similar to how the New England Patriots use the quarterback position.

When has Tom Brady ever had a veteran backup? Only after he took the job from Drew Bledsoe. Why do we feel the need for Dallas to have a veteran backup?

Byron Bell

With experience as a starter at tackle and guard, it was thought that Byron Bell could come in and compete with Jonathan Cooper or Chaz Green at either left guard or right tackle.

Now with the team 100% committed to La'el Collins at right tackle, that has left an open competition at left guard.

Byron Bell got the start on Saturday night, but failed to impress. On one drive alone he was called for two holding penalties. There were times as well that he struggled with movement to the outside on running plays.

Not a single player who has received snaps has really asserted themselves at left guard. At the moment, he still has a shot, but if he continues to play as poorly as he did against the Rams, it could be a short stint for Bell as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Robert Blanton

Signed in the offseason to be a veteran presence in the secondary and compete with Jeff Heath at strong safety, but Robert Blanton has been darn near invisible. He's been completely overshadowed by Heath who has started each game of the preseason along side Byron Jones and been outplayed by rookie Xavier Woods. Kavon Frazier has even been notable as an in-the-box safety and on special teams.

Once thought to be in the mix to start at strong safety, Blanton will now be fighting just to stay on the roster.

With the roster squeeze that is bound to happen by cut-down day, it's unlikely to me that the Dallas Cowboys will keep more than four safeties.


Little is decided after two preseason games, and these players have three more games to make their case for a roster spot. When it comes to the NFL and especially Jason Garrett's Dallas Cowboys, performance matters.

Moore, Bell, and Blanton will need to perform better if they want to keep a job.

What do you think? Any players you think have played their way off the roster?



Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. George_Johnson

    August 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    John Williams: Lets look at the facts regarding K Moore and Rush. First of all K Moore is getting the 2nd team reps in practice and 2nd team playing time in preseason games. Rush is getting the 3rd team reps in practice and 3rd team playing time. There is a significant difference especially in preseason games. K Moore is more likely to play against defensive players who will make the 53 man roster and Rush is more likely to play against defensive players that will be working in a hardware store in a month. So comparing their play in preseason games is difficult. K Moore as best I can tell has scored an “A” in training camp. As a little data point, I think Prescott has about seven interceptions and K Moore has one. I am not sure about Rush. The QB coach said he has looked really good in games and implied not as well in practice. K Moore for his first preseason game scored an “A” as best I can tell. He was outstanding, especially if the interception which could have gone either way and Brown didn’t seem to play it quite right, would have been a touchdown. Rush also looked really good. In the second preseason game, K Moore did not look good. However, I am not sure what the defense had to do with this. He seemed to check down all the time which means either a receiver further down field was not open or K Moore was afraid to throw it down field. There also seemed to be a lot of pressure coming especially from the left side of the Dallas line. I haven’t heard from the coaches as to what they thought of K Moore’s play. Rush looked really good again in the 2nd preseason game. Again you have to remember he is playing third team. K Moore may have been playing against 1st and 2nd team defenses and Rush primarily against 3rd and 4th team defenses. A significant difference. So it is difficult to compare. Another issue is K Moore is a veteran even though he hasn’t played much and knows a lot at this point. Rush is a rookie and is drinking from a fire hose at this point in terms of learning and adjusting. Big difference. Your comments indicated you don’t like K Moore. Probably because he does not look like an NFL QB and can’t run and doesn’t have a real strong arm. I will remind you what S Linehan, one of the top QB coaches in the world, has said (paraphrased): He said K Moore can play in the NFL. He said his arm is strong enough. Linehan has said K Moore compensates for his physical limitations with his outstanding pocket passing skills/abilities. He has also said he is very accurate and uses uncanny anticipation. Recently he called him a machine. He has said he knows his limitations and gets the job done in his own way. He said he is like having a veteran on the team because of his QB knowledge and knowing exactly what to do.

    • Russ_Te

      August 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      As it stands, I’d rather have to put Moore in a playoff game than Rush. Or McCown. Or Cassel…

      But Rush is one of the preseason standouts so far, and I hope to see that continue. He won’t get past waivers in that case, so you’d have to keep 3 QB’s. Hanna might be on the bubble with the emergence of Gathers, and I won’t be surprised if they roll dice there and just keep Witten, Gathers and Swaim. If they are going to more spread sets on long downs and using the WR talent, then TE is a place to pinch a roster spot.

    • John Williams

      John Williams

      August 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      I’m not sure how we can describe Kellen Moore as a veteran having only played in 3 NFL Games in his 5 year career.

      Please tell me you watched the Colts game last night. I hope you did. Because Moore looked lost.

      If he’s doing anything good in practice, he’s not showing it in games. Kellen Moore looks like a rookie playing his first football in several years.

      Rush looks poised, composed, gets the ball out of his hands quickly and is decisive in his reads.

      I don’t care what the quarterback looks like or what his tools are. Cooper Rush by all indications doesn’t have a strong arm as well, but he gets through his reads quickly, gets the ball out of his hands quickly, is decisive. He has good touch and accuracy. If Kellen Moore was effective with the tools that he had, I wouldn’t care what the tools are. Joe Montana wasn’t tall or didn’t have a strong arm, but he was able to get the job done with the tools that he had. For all the talk about Kellen’s intelligence, it doesn’t show sometimes.

      Kellen made a few decent throws, but he’s just not consistent enough. On the fumble, it looked like he had no idea what he was doing with the ball.

    • PaulnFortWorth

      August 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      George,
      It’s nice that Kellen M. has supporters. However, pro football is merit driven and Kellen hasn’t been producing in the preseason games. Cooper Rush has. Kellen has been around for several years but last year he broke a bone and was out for the season. It could be that he hasn’t fully recovered or he may never completely recover. Either way, the most important time is during a game with the available resources. He has to produce or his career in pro football is over.

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Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Won’t Be the Next Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator

John Williams

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It Is Time for the Dallas Cowboys to Move on From Tony Romo

The pipe dream has been going on since former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback-turned CBS Analyst Tony Romo hung up his cleats for the black blazer. Fans from all corners of Cowboys Nation have clamored for a return to the field or at worst the sideline as the Cowboys offensive coordinator.

Let me stop you right there. It's not happening.

First of all. He's never been a coach at any level of football, so to assume that he could leave the broadcast booth and step into coaching an NFL offense and doing so at a high level is a huge leap of faith in number 9. Sure, Jon Gruden left the Monday Night Football booth for his lucrative deal with the Oakland Raiders, but he had won a Super Bowl and had been an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL for years before joining the broadcasting ranks.

Tony Romo has an excellent understanding of football. He displays it on a regular basis during the CBS broadcasts. But doing from the broadcast view, seeing what the defense is trying to do, and calling the plays to counter what the defense is trying to do are very different things.

Secondly, the coaching job would be a major time commitment that at the moment he doesn't have. Even if he's working a 40 hour work week in preparation for his three-hour time slot, the demands on NFL coaches are easily twice that with many coaches putting in 100 hour work weeks in preparation for Sundays. Tony Romo has a family that even he's talked about as part of the reason that he went into broadcasting instead of looking to hop on with another NFL team.

Finally, the job would mean a significant pay cut from what Romo is already making. It's estimated that the former Cowboys quarterback is making anywhere from $5-10 million dollars a year with CBS. Jason Garrett is making $6 million per year as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, so even if the Jones family was willing to pay first-time NFL coach Tony Romo a ton of money to come out of the broadcast booth, there's zero chance they pay him what he's making as a broadcaster. To do so, would be to undercut the head coach. Jason Garrett is Jerry Jones' guy. The owner and general manager wants Garrett to be the guy that leads the Cowboys to Super Bowl success, so there's zero chance he'd pay a coordinator close to Garrett's money, which would lead to constant speculation about the head coach and his future with the organization.

I love Tony Romo. His jersey is one of only two Cowboys jerseys that I own -- along with Darren Woodson -- and I think he could make a good coach one day, but I'd be hard pressed to see him come out of the coaching booth to take a coordinator job and have immediate success. The guys that are offensive coordinators in the NFL have been grinding for years to earn their jobs. Most started as position coaches -- see Sean McVay as Redskins TE coach. The Dallas Cowboys will spend the next few days, and perhaps weeks, identifying their replacement for Scott Linehan, but let's put to bed the dream of Romo as offensive coordinator.

It's just not going to happen.



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Player News

Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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Dallas Cowboys

Breaking: Scott Linehan and Dallas Cowboys Part Ways

John Williams

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Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan have mutually agreed to part ways following a tumultuous season that saw the Dallas Cowboys offense finish outside the top 12 three out of his four seasons in Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Sources: The #Cowboys are firing OC Scott Linehan. Taking their offense in a new direction. An announcement is coming.

Scott Linehan was brought in prior to the 2015 season and saw his offenses finish 31st, fifth, 14th, and 22nd in his four years as the Cowboys play caller. The 2015 season can be excused as the Cowboys rolled out Kellen Moore, Matt Cassell, and Brandon Weeden for 13 starts after Tony Romo was injured twice during the season, but the team 2-11 in those 13 starts and the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs despite a strong performance on the defensive side of the football.

The Cowboys saw an offense that finished fifth in the NFL in points in 2016 decline each of the last two offseasons and Linehan has been continually criticized by analysts, fans, and players as well.

Many believe that the reason that Dez Bryant and Brice Butler weren't brought back in the offseason was because of the public criticism of the offense and the play caller instilling the offense and that criticism has carried over to this season when Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper acknowledged that the Philadelphia Eagles were sitting on the slant routes that they had run all game. Dak mentioned that he changed Amari's route to a go route, which led to a 75 yard touchdown that helped open up the offense.

Cole Beasley has been frustrated with his role for much of the season and deservedly so. He was often non-existent in the offensive game plan until the final five minutes of football games.

In the running game, the offense had become too predictable and reliant upon jumbo formations that led to Ezekiel Elliott having to run against eight in the box anywhere from 25-30% of the time. For perspective, Todd Gurley only ran against eight-man fronts around eight percent of the time. Scott Linehan never looked to attempt to take players out of the box, instead insisting on motioning more players into the box for the offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to run against. It's amazing when you think about it, that Ezekiel Elliott was able to win the rushing title when facing loaded fronts as often as he did.

This was a move that needed to happen and the Dallas Cowboys didn't need to waste anymore time to make it happen. The offense had become stale and frustrating for the players as well as the fans. While Jason Garrett started the offseason saying he "didn't expect any changes," this was a move that absolutely had to happen for the offense to take a step forward. Below, you can read Jason Garrett's announcement on the move.

Mike Garafolo on Twitter

Cowboys have fired Scott Linehan

Even after the move for Amari Cooper, the offense looked better, but it still struggled at times to move the football.

The Cowboys have a young team with especially young players on the offensive side of the football. They have a quarterback who can throw from the pocket, but has excellent movement skills and capabilities of throwing the ball on the run. He's an excellent runner on designed runs. Despite us knowing all that, Scott Linehan looked reluctant to use him on designed quarterback runs that weren't read options or speed options. What you saw on designed runs in the Seattle game is what this team should be doing five times a game.

Now the question becomes, who should the Cowboys next offensive coordinator be? Our own, Staff Writer Brian Martin, laid out 5 Options to be the Next Offensive Coordinator earlier this week. I suggest you give it a read.



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