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.
Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.
Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.
With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.
Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.
Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.
As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.
On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.
The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.
Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1
After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.
Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.
With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.
All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.
A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.
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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next
Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.
The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.
However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.
As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.
Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.
The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.
The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.
The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.
Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.
If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.
Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.
Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.
Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.
I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.
In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.
Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.
Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.
In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.
If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.
If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.
What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?
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