The Dallas Cowboys are facing maybe one of the toughest offseasons in recent memory. When you are a team that goes from a 12-4 record to a 4-12 record, well then you have many things that need to be fixed. From personal changes to free agency to drafting the right player. These are my 5 bold predictions for what's coming this offseason for the Dallas Cowboys.
1) Doug Free Will Be Released
With this move, you automatically save 2.5 million dollars in 2016 and 5 million in 2017. Let's face it, at least once a game you say to yourself, "come on Doug Free." I know I do and with that said, I have the most respect for Doug Free.
Free is like the older sibling to the offensive line, but Dallas could really use that money to spend on other players. Free turns 32 on the 16th of January and he isn't getting any younger. Who will replace Free? Easy answer, you spent a 3rd round pick on a tackle from Florida University. His name is Chaz Green and he is the future of this dynasty offensive line Dallas has.
2) Brandon Carr Will Be A Dallas Cowboy No More
This one brings a breath of fresh air to many of Cowboys Nation. This isn't just a money situation because possibly Jerry Jones asks Brandon Carr to take a pay cut. It is his play on the field and Carr is not playing up to the money or the number one corner status.
Releasing Carr would save the Cowboys 6.4 million in 2016 and 10 million in 2017. That is money Jerry Jones would love to have back. Brandon's last interception came in 2013 on Thanksgiving Day to seal the win against the Oakland Raiders. It just feels like Carr has gotten worse and can't do it anymore. With losing Brandon Carr though, you better hope Morris Claiborne comes back.
3) Dallas Cowboys Will Sign Trumaine Johnson
So far Brandon Carr has been released, according to my prediction, and I also believe Morris Claiborne will be back with the Cowboys next season. That leaves Claiborne at the number one corner position, but who is number two? Obviously Orlando Scandrick is the man who will play the slot and outside because he is our best cover guy. So the man opposite of Morris Claiborne is going to be a 26-year-old who played his college ball at Montana and currently is on the Rams roster, Trumaine Johnson.
Johnson was the 65th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the same year Claiborne was drafted. If you remember, the Cowboys traded up in the 2012 draft to the number 6 overall pick and with that pick they took Morris Claiborne. Anyway, Trumaine Johnson has 15 career interceptions for the Rams, but 7 of those interceptions happened this season. Johnson shouldn't be expensive and he causes turnovers and if you watched this Dallas secondary then you know we need more turnovers.
The Cowboys secondary will look better in 2016 with Morris Claiborne, Trumaine Johnson, and Orlando Scandrick as your starting corners. Along with Byron Jones and the guy in this next prediction at safety...
4) With the Fourth Overall Pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys Select Jalen Ramsey, FSU
Wait, but what about that quarterback everyone wants at number 4 overall? Sorry to burst your bubble, but Jared Goff was just drafted by the Cleveland Browns and I do not want Paxton Lynch. That leaves a player in Jalen Ramsey who will boost this secondary right away and give this team a chance at a Super Bowl ring in 2016. Don't worry, you still get your rookie quarterback, just in the second round and his name is Carson Wentz.
Ramsey was the first true freshman to start a game at the cornerback position for Florida State since Deion Sanders did it in 1985. Ramsey has played both cornerback and safety at Florida State, sound familiar? Byron Jones is what I see in Ramsey and what would be better than having those two be partners for a long time at the safety position in Dallas? I know and I'm sorry, but I am just tired of watching Barry Church and JJ Wilcox miss tackles. It's either they take bad angles or just miss a guy in the open field. That will change quickly with Jones and Ramsey in the secondary.
Ramsey is a physical back who can tackle and make the plays in the passing game. That is exactly what this team needs, a playmaker. Ramsey is going to be something special and he will make that secondary in Dallas special too. Below you are his best highlights. Notice how he can easily impact a ballgame.
5) Johnny Manziel Will Be Traded to the Dallas Cowboys
I said bold, right? Maybe this is crazy, but just sit down and think about this for a second.
Jerry Jones loved Johnny Manziel in the 2014 draft and he almost took Manziel. We all know Dallas made the right decision in taking Zack Martin instead, but everyone wonders what could have been. Jerry has always loved making splash moves, just look at the signing of Greg Hardy last season. Then you come back to reality and look at what Manziel is doing to the Browns right now.
Honestly, it makes me so mad because he has God given talent, but decided to waste it by partying or whatever Johnny Football does in his free time. He needs to get his life together because he has the skill set to possibly succeed in the NFL, but why would a team want to take a risk on him when in the end, all he does is make them look bad? The most recent rumor was he was in Las Vegas, does Jerry want to deal with that?
Ill tell you one thing though, if Dallas decides to trade for Manziel, I guarantee it will only be for a sixth round pick. The other thing I was thinking about was, do you really think Tony Romo will put up with Johnny Manziel? No he wont, but maybe that's what he needs. Maybe Manziel needs a mentor to guide him to being better off the field and on the field. Romo wouldn't deal with it that's for sure.
We all know Manziel went to rehab last offseason and I thought it would help. Here is my belief; Manziel needs help, that's obvious, but he needs a fresh, new start. The Dallas Cowboys will provide that and I hope Romo takes him under his wing to teach him not only the game of football, but help him mature.
|Dallas Cowboys Receive:||Cleveland Browns Receive:|
|Johnny Manziel||Dallas Cowboys 2016 6th round draft pick|
Johnny needs to grow up and grow up fast, Dallas will help him do just that.
What Are Realistic Expectations for Cowboys LB Sean Lee?
For many years, Linebacker Sean Lee has been the face of the Dallas Cowboys defense. However, that's quickly changing. The young duo consisting of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have taken over the linebacker position by dominating the field from sideline to sideline with their explosive talent. As a rookie, Vander Esch filled in for Lee at the weak linebacker position when the veteran went down injured and never gave the job back.
Currently, uncertainty surrounds Sean Lee, who took a pay cut earlier in the year to stay with the franchise he's played for since the beginning of his professional career in 2010. What will his role be in a young fueled defense in the upcoming season?
As we've all been able to see throughout his career, Sean Lee is one of the best in the game when he's healthy. Unfortunately, that's not very often. His injury proneness led him to a position change years ago, when he was moved from the MIKE (middle linebacker) to the WILL (weak side linebacker) position. Now, those two spots are taken care of.
Where does this leaves Lee? The main question is whether or not he'll move to the strong side. Many question if this would be the correct call, given that he could be at even more risk of suffering yet another injury in a position that leads to more contact. The other option would be for him to be Vander Esch's backup at WILL.
Lately, it seems like the Cowboys will indeed move him to the strong-side. After all, it only makes sense to have your best three players on the field at the same time. On minicamp, the Cowboys have been playing the veteran at SAM, letting him get reps and grow comfortable in what seems to be his new job.
But even if Sean Lee starts lining up on the strong side, what can we expect from him next season? The way the NFL offenses operate now leads to teams sending their nickel packages to the field more often than not. For the Cowboys 4-3 defense, that means three cornerbacks, two linebackers. When that's the case, it will be Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith who we see out there, not Lee.
Damien Wilson was the team's "starter" on the strong side, and he only managed to get 286 snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. That represents 28% of the team's total snaps. Even if Sean Lee becomes the starting strong side linebacker, we likely won't be seeing him as much.
Even still, I'd expect Sean Lee's experience to play a big factor when the team needs Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch to catch their breath. Lee could jump in and play a few snaps at any LB spot and do a good job at it.
After all, we can't forget that despite his injuries, Lee is a remarkable player on defense. He should still be one of the smartest linebackers with extraordinary instincts. There's a reason why, before Vander Esch arrived to America's Team, the defense crumbled without him. Last year, despite losing the starting gig, Lee still had 118 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and an interception. The longtime veteran can still play.
It will be odd for Cowboys Nation to watch Lee on a completely new role. It's also hard to put the finger on what his production will look like at the end of the year. If there's one thing we know though, is that the veteran will work hard every practice trying to get the most playing time he can. We should be excited about the team's top three linebackers.
Dak Prescott Impresses, Draws Compliments All Minicamp Long
Dak Prescott stood before the media Thursday in a Stetson Cowboy hat, answering questions about his upcoming contract extension.
“I’ve got my cowboy hat on, so I’m a Cowboy, we’ll say that.”
Prescott has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback of America's Team, and now it's time for the franchise to pay him like it. Set to earn roughly $34 million per year (according to recent rumors/reports), Prescott is going to be a very rich and comfortable man in the near future.
But, for now, he still plays under his fourth round rookie contract. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching him on the field, however. Though it was just minicamp, Prescott was impressive as ever over the last couple weeks of practice, earning praise from all levels within the organization.
Veteran Jason Witten complimented both Prescott's anticipation and accuracy, saying his throws have been "off the charts" at minicamp. Prescott himself said that this is the best he's felt since he's entered the league, and it certainly makes sense for this to be the case.
"Is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well.” - Prescott to DallasCowboys.com
If Prescott was ever going to be comfortable, hungry, and ready to go, this is likely the time that it would happen. He has three relatively successful seasons under his belt, and ended 2018 on the best stretch of his career. He is the unquestioned starting quarterback for this team, and has the backing of every key decision maker in the building.
Prescott now has an offensive coordinator who he has not only worked closely with (in some capacity) since he entered the league in 2016, but is also being lauded for his creativity as an offensive mastermind. His quarterbacks coach, Jon Kitna, has been receiving similar praise for how he can coach up Prescott and get his footwork consistent, to help him "throw it through a Fruit Loop."
The time is now for Dak Prescott, and it's encouraging to see how he is responding to this increased pressure and responsibility. Then again we should have no doubt that he will respond positively, as he as throughout his entire young career.
Whenever faced with adversity, Prescott has answered the bell. Now he has all the supporters he needs, and just needs to prove them right.
Does RB Ezekiel Elliott Have A Chance At NFL MVP?
Who is the Cowboys best player?
As a running back, it's quite possible that Elliott is both the best of that bunch and the least important to the team's overall success. NFL.com's Adam Schein disagrees with the latter statement, however, placing Ezekiel Elliott among his top ten contenders for 2019 NFL MVP.
"I think the Cowboys are going to challenge for the Super Bowl in 2019 -- and I think Zeke fuels this team. When Elliott runs for 95-plus yards, the Cowboys are 19-4; when he falls below that benchmark, they're 9-8." - Adam Schein
Schein's prediction will no doubt make Cowboys Nation swoon, but does Elliott really have the opportunity to compete for an MVP award?
For one, this would require the Cowboys be among the best teams in the league this season. It's quite possible, as they did win 10 regular season and 1 playoff game a year ago, but it will have to happen once again for Elliott to be considered.
Next, Ezekiel Elliott would have to put up incredible numbers. Well, it's safe to assume this will likely be the case if condition one is met. Elliott is going to get a lot of opportunities to touch the ball each game, and finding himself among the league's rushing leaders has never been an issue for the young running back. Especially if the team has a lead and is running the ball to kill clock.
Even if both these conditions prove true, though, Elliott will still have trouble getting himself in the real MVP discussion. These awards tend to go to certain positions, and running back is not among that list. If Dallas has such a successful 2019, and their offense is clicking, it's more likely Dak Prescott will be the one contending for that MVP honor.
I know to some it sounds crazy, but Prescott will likely need to be closer to MVP level than Elliott if the Cowboys are to contend in the way Adam Schein suggests in his article.
So, likely, Schein should have named Prescott among his top ten MVP contenders, not Elliott.
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