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5 Bold Predictions: Dallas Cowboys Offseason

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Cowboys Blog - 5 Bold Predictions: Dallas Cowboys Offseason

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.

The future lies in the hands of Tyron Smith(25), La’el Collins(22), Travis Frederick(24), Zack Martin(22), and Chaz Green(23).

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.

Check out Ryan Ratty’s film review of North Dakota State quarterback, 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.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIGc2LooeFs

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.

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Dallas Cowboy fan just like you, only difference is I get to write about them. I am an award winning radio broadcaster, who finished 3rd in my state. That gave me chances like: PxP Broadcaster for ESPN 3. PxP Broadcaster for ESPN Radio. I attend Indiana State University. #CowboysNation Follow me on Twitter @WZIS_CoreyClark

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10 Comments
  • http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/5_bold_predictions_dallas_cowboys_offseason/s1_12779_20148361 JR Cowboy

    No Manziel! Period!

    • Corey Clark

      It's a Bold Prediction, this only happens if Jerry makes the decision.

  • Woody28

    RGIII instead of Manziel. Bold bc his confidence is shaky and nobody knows how his body will respond, but less baggage than Manziel.

    • https://insidethestar.com/5-bold-predictions-dallas-cowboys-offseason/ JR Cowboy

      Both are major busts. Move on!

  • JAY

    BOLD

  • Brian Arnold

    Ive been a cowboys fan since rodger staughbaugh but if they pick up man manzial im done with the cowboys. I am so tired of jones running this team into the ground cant do it no more

    • https://insidethestar.com/5-bold-predictions-dallas-cowboys-offseason/#comment-2451 JR Cowboy

      The 4-11 record for 2015 is the Cowboys' worst season since a 1-15 showing in 1989, the year Jerrah bought the team. The Cowboys have only had 3 seasons in their 56 years of football where they won fewer than 4 games – 1960, 1988, and 1989. Think about that for just a moment. That means this is the 4th worst season in Cowboys' history and all three of the seasons below it are the epitome of "rock bottom". The year the franchise was born, the year Tom Landry was shown the door, and the year Jimmy and Jerry took over and tried to clean everything out and start over This is why we need a good HC and GM..

  • LYGHTNING

    NO CLAYBORNE HE CAN'T COVER MY GRANDMA

    • Jay

      Clai over carr. Clai has shown flashes, albeit small but flashes

    • PK

      Claiborne….Couldn't cover an old person on a walker in a phone booth. Winston went at him in the Bucs game and tore him up. Claiborne's future in on the practice squad at minimum wage.

Star Blog

Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Can Rico Gathers Make Cowboys Offense More “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Rico Gathers, Rams

The Dallas Cowboys unfortunately face all kinds of questions heading into the 2018 offseason. Right now, there are no answers to those questions, which means we’ll just have to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach. But, one question that absolutely has to be answered is how to make the Cowboys offense more Dak Prescott friendly.

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys had an extremely disappointing year in 2017. Suspensions and injuries are the main culprits for the disappointment, but the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really changed things much in the scheme or personnel to help Dak Prescott succeed.

The sad truth is, the Dallas Cowboys are still operating as if Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. It’s pretty much the same personnel and scheme, but it really doesn’t suit Prescott.

It’s time for that to change. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

The Cowboys spent years putting together the personnel to help Romo. Just when they thought they had the missing piece — by drafting Ezekiel Elliott, Romo sustained a back injury, pretty much ending his career.

Anyway you look at it, the offensive personnel needs to improve in order to make this team more “Dak-friendly”.

Enter Tight End Rico Gathers.

Rico Gathers

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

The Dallas Cowboys have invested two years in Rico Gathers’ development, but with the exception of a few flashes in preseason, they haven’t benefited from the fruits of their labor. The 2018 season should be Gathers’ coming-out party.

We all witnessed what the Cowboys offense looks like when they are forced to rely on the passing game. Dak Prescott struggled to find any kind of consistency throwing the ball — with the options he had at his disposal in 2017 — while Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension.

Defenses decided to take Prescott’s favorite target out of the equation by bracketing Cole Beasley in coverage. Then, they also devoted extra attention Dez Bryant‘s way, making it difficult to get him the ball.

The only other option left really was Jason Witten on simple check downs.

And that is what the future Hall of Famer has been reduced to.

Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was. Yes, he is still a reliable target, but his age is starting to catch up to him, which has unfortunately robbed him of some of his athleticism. We will no longer see Witten stretch the field down the seam, or run many routes further than 10 yards.

That’s why I think Rico Gathers could be a difference maker in 2018, especially for Dak Prescott.

Prescott needs more than an outlet receiver at the TE position. No offense to Jason Witten, but that’s pretty much what he has become at this point in his career.

Rico Gathers on the other hand is not only different from Witten, but also provides a different skill set than any other TE on the Cowboys roster. He’s a big target with athleticism, who cannot only move the chains, but stretch the field and break tackles in the open field.

Gathers’ sheer size alone creates mismatch problems against smaller defensive backs and linebackers, but his athleticism should allow him to create separation, something which fits into what Prescott needs from his receivers.

There is no reason why the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff can’t find a way to incorporate Rico Gathers’ unique skill set into the offense. They may not truly trust him to be an every down player, but that’s not happening anyway, not with Jason Witten on the roster.

If it was me, I would have a few packages in the playbook specifically designed for Gathers. I not only think this will help him grow as a player, but help the Cowboys offense become more “Dak-friendly”.

Can Rico Gathers make the Cowboys offense more “Dak-friendly”?

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