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3 Reasons For Optimism About The Rest Of 2018

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Now at 3-4 after suffering a heartbreaking road loss in Washington, the Cowboys and their fans are enduring this bye week with a lot of doom and gloom.

To many the season feels lost, and even if the Cowboys do turn things around and play better football, it's hard to imagine they can compete with the Rams and Saints of the conference. While I remain objective in my analysis of this team, we do want to find some reasons for optimism around the Dallas Cowboys this season.

Here are 3 reasons why you should stay optimistic about the season and the Cowboys' chances at clinching an NFC East crown.

This Defense Is Legit Good

Everyone realizes this, right? Outside of the safety position (which has looked improved the last couple of games) the Cowboys have a rather deep and talented defensive unit. Sure they are not without their flaws, but any defense which employs the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones, Sean Lee, Chidobe Awuzie, Leighton Vander Esch, and Jaylon Smith is a good one.

The Cowboys are currently 12th in team defense DVOA (defensive-adjusted value over average), specifically 3rd against the run. Dallas is also 4th in team defense (yards against) in the NFL, and 9th in expected points added defensively.

They're good! And if the formula works even halfway correctly on the offense, this defense will give the Cowboys a chance to win each and every game.

Dallas Still Has A Top 3 Skill Player In The Division

So I get it, the popular take nowadays is that running backs don't matter. And as a self-proclaimed "analytics" guy, I'm typically inclined to side with this take.

With all of that being said, Ezekiel Elliott is really good. And when the offensive line plays even close to their perceived ability, Elliott has the chance to take over and win games for the Cowboys. In fact, we've sort of seen this happen already this season when Elliott dominated the Detroit Lions both on the ground and in the passing game when it mattered most.

The Cowboys are built to run the football, play "ball control" offense, and win these low scoring games they seem to play every week. They haven't been winning them, and the offense has been failing the defense, but having a stud player like Elliott definitely helps their outlook.

The NFC East Is Still Wide Open, And The Schedule Is Favorable

For all the points we can make about individual players or units, this is probably the most important point. The NFC East is wide open, and though the Redskins sit atop the Cowboys and currently hold the head-to-head tie breaker, they still have to come to Dallas later in November.

And, I mean, do you trust Washington to sweep Dallas and take control of the division?

Tied with the Cowboys currently are the 3-4 Eagles who look like a shell of their 2017-selves. While still talented, they are a little worse than a year ago basically everywhere, and their weak secondary is coming back to bite them. Philly also plays the toughest schedule of the three competing teams in the East, still traveling to New Orleans and Los Angeles to play the Rams this season. Plus Dallas gets to play Philadelphia twice, giving them two chances to bury the Eagles. You might not trust them to do it, but they'll have the chance to do so regardless.

The Cowboys own schedule isn't too daunting either. Yes they do play a Falcons team that looks like they've gotten it together a bit and the dangerous Saints as well, but they also get to finish the season against the tanking Giants, lowly Colts, and inconsistent Bucs.

This doesn't guarantee a single thing, but it does make the Cowboys outlook that much better as we sit here during the bye week.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb

Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.

A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.

Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.

Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.

Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.

Robert Quinn

¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?

Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.

Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.

Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.

Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.

Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady

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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.



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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady

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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.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

https://t.co/9H9xfApFqe

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.

https://twitter.com/tae15adams/status/1108158105957920770

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

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.



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