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5 Free Agent DEs Cowboys Could Target To Improve Pass Rush

Brian Martin



5 Players The Dallas Cowboys Could Target To Improve Pass Rush
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The Dallas Cowboys are without a doubt in desperate need of upgrading their pass rush and that means the defensive end position might just be the top priority to address during the off-season.

Now, they can choose to roll the dice with an unproven rookie DE that they select the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft, or they could find a more proven player through free agency. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if they did both. That’s how much the DE position needs to be fixed.

It was just recently announced that DeMarcus Lawrence will undergo a second back surgery this off-season, which is bad news anyway try to spin it. To make matters worse, Randy Gregory will be serving a year-long suspension. Unfortunately, those are probably the Cowboys two most talented pass rushers.

The Dallas Cowboys had bodies to play the position in 2016, but the lack of talent finally caught up to them in the Divisional Round of the playoffs when they couldn’t put pressure on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

To improve as a team in 2017, the Cowboys have to add more talent on the defensive side of the ball. There probably isn’t a better place to start then at defensive end.

Follow the arrows provided to take a look at five free agent defensive ends that I think can probably help improve the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys for the 2017 season and beyond.

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Randy Martin

    I thought you would have a list of realistic options here. C’mon Brian you know not one guy on this list will even step foot in for a visit. All are way to expensive except Dion and surely we have learned something when we take high risk.

    • Brian Martin

      Randy, unfortunately those are the free agent options at the defensive end position. There are some lower tier players, but I’m not sure any of them are better than what the Cowboys already have.

      • Randy Martin

        Yeah well we are just going to have to disagree on this one. Yes I like these guys a lot with the exception of Jordan but just not in our price range and therefore just words in a page with little substance.

        That being said there are some excellent candidates that are more affordable such as Mario Addison, Charles Johnson, Jabaal Sheard, Calais Campbell, Chris Baker, Andre Branch and some DT’s that will be more affordable.

        These DE’s are going to be in the $5M to $8M range.

        • Brian Martin

          I agree there are some more affordable options, but the Cowboys have to start investing in the defensive side of the ball. They’ve tried patching things together with these low-cost free agents, but it hasn’t panned out.

          I’m not saying they’re going to invest in one of these higher-priced DE’s, but if they’re serious about improving the pass rush these are the guys that are the kinds of difference makers they need. With the exception of Dion Jordan of course.

          • Randy Martin

            Sorry but it will simply never happen. Especially in a year where they have no money to spend. You’re just barking at the moon.

          • Brian Martin

            It’s definitely wishful thinking on my part, but that’s the fun part of being a fan in the off-season.

          • Dan

            Why is it a year where we have no money to spend? It just takes restructuring a few contracts and we’ve got plenty with a positive long term outlook thanks to not having to pay Dak for awhile..

          • Randy Martin

            Yes I know we can restructure some contracts, trade or release Romo post June 1, so some cap magic but FO continually tells us and shows us they are not going to be big players in free agency. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see one or some of these guys but everything they show me in their approach to free agency says otherwise.

          • Brian Martin

            Randy, you’re right. The Cowboys have shown us over the past several offseasons that they would rather fill holes on the roster with more cost-effective free agents and then build the team through the draft. The only problem with that is that pass rushers coming out of college seem to take a few years to develop. We’re just going to have to wait and see if they can find a FA DE that can help with the pass rush.

          • Dan

            And was the lack of free agent signings choice or necessity? We couldn’t really have signed expensive free agents in the past few years even if we wanted. I think we know what Stephen thinks but what Jerry thinks is just as important.

          • Randy Martin

            I think if you have been paying attention you have seen that Dallas doesn’t venture too deeply into free agency. It is by choice. They are intent on building through the draft and I think that strategy bares itself out well across the league. Sure we like the big splash signings, but it just isn’t the Cowboys approach anymore.

          • Brian Martin

            Dan, restructuring contracts is one of the reasons why they don’t have any money to spend. That’s why the Cowboys have been choosing to fill holes in the roster with lower-priced free agents and instead trying to build through the draft. That’s likely the approach they take again this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they want after a DE if the price is right.

          • Dan

            I’m not talking a crazy free agency but one big free agent on the D-line isn’t out of the question, We signed Hardy for 11m or so did we? And we’re a lot better off in terms of cap space now.

          • Brian Martin

            I agree with you Dan.

          • Randy Martin

            As of today Dallas has -$5,000,000 in cap space. That is a negative number. Of course that will be manipulated but out of 32 teams they are 31st in next to the worst in cap space. Of they sign a big name I will be happy to come in here and say I was wrong but I don’t see it happening.

          • Dan

            The problem with this analysis is that it’s not an apples to apples comparison. There is a huge discrepancy between how Dallas structure contracts compared to say Kansas City.

            Our salary cap situation over the next five years is in pretty good shape, and that’s what matters, year to year is almost irrelevant, we can manipulate our money to spend just about anything we want…and that leads us to the grey area. What does our management team want to do? I think Jerry wants to spend while McClay and Stephen want to be frugal, I’m not sure who wins but Jerry can be persuasive.

          • Randy Martin

            Forget about the cap and just look at what they are actually doing. Their last high dollar free agent contract for players outside the building was Brandon Carr at 5 yrs/$50M in 2012. While he has been dependable and healthy I wouldn’t say and doubt you can find many that would agree he has been worth it. Greg Hardy’s signing doesn’t really count as there was little competition for his services and the contract was all incentive based. The guys being talked about as adds are high demand players that will drive up the price and Dallas simply will not play in that market. Jerry Jones says that, Stephen Jones says it, and Wil McClay says it. Those are the facts and you cannot argue with facts.

          • Dan

            Except it’s not a fact, not in the case of Jerry Jones.

            Jerry has said they’re “going to use resources, both draft and free agents on defense this season.”.

            I’m not saying it’s absolutely going to happen but to completely dismiss the idea of signing these players I think is wrong.

  • Angel Medel

    Well go after Perry with a 2yr contract and have the second yr as option, go sign Jordan to a 3 yr contract at price both are 26 resurgence or dine with healthy youth then offer Ingram 4yr deal with the back end loaded.
    Move Lawerance inside with Irving, Crawford, and the others. Then draft Jane B from Michigan and then trade our second to move up in the first round then get DBS and safety’s.

    • Brian Martin

      Angel, it sounds like you’ve got it all figured out. That’s a lot of moving pieces. We will see if it plays out that way.

    • Randy Martin

      Sorry Angel don’t know if you have it figured out. Perry may end up our of our price range but even if he is he would be coming back from 3-4 OLB to 4-3 DE and may not have that same level of production. Dion Jordan has had multiple suspensions from drugs and we already have enough guys that have had that problem. Ingram is going to cost over $12M per year so he is out of the picture. I assume you are talking about TE Jake Butt and not Jane B. so you are just all over the map. Brian was nice but no, none of that stuff is happening with possibly the risk move of drafting Butt because that is what we like to do in round 2.

  • Russ_Te

    JPP / pass. Skeptical how much he has left.

    Jordan – a dice roll if not a project. Not sure why Miami wouldn’t match an incentive-based offer. If he wants out and on to a contender, maybe he’ll take something affordable that pays if he plays.

    But yes any attempt to be aggressive in solving RDE is welcome. One F/A and one high draft pick. Then bring another project or 2 to camp. I just hope any plans to change out RT do not interfere with DE, especially on draft day.

    If a top CB falls down the draft I’m taking that of course. But RDE is the higher priority. QB pressure makes good CB’s better, no pressure makes good CB’s give up completions.

    • Brian Martin

      Russ, I don’t think I could have said it better myself. I think the Cowboys know they have to fix their pass rush, but good pass rushers are hard to come by in free agency. If they do happen to be there, it’s going to come at a high price tag. There is just no simple fix.

  • tx18wheels

    I’m not too keen on Dion Jordon. He was suspended twice in 2014 for a total of six games, then was
    suspended for a year, missing all of 2015. He was reinstated before this
    season, but knee surgeries kept him on the Non-Football Injury list for
    the season. But I get what you are saying, he’s worth noting simply for the fact that he will be available.

    I’d certainly take a flyer on Gordon or Perry. Dallas will be looking to restructure some contracts – kick the can down the road – to resign a few of their own as it is. I have the utmost faith in Will McClay to find a key piece or 3 while the Cowboys’ proverbial window is wide open. The fact that the window is wide open could be reason enough to pull the trigger on a proven end rushing veteran. Thanks for the list.

    • Brian Martin

      I’m not very high on Dion Jordan either. It could be one of those low risk high reward situations though. They definitely have to address the DE position. Hopefully they can somehow find a way to add one of the better free agents. Adding another rookie through the draft wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Star Blog

Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps

Mauricio Rodriguez



Ranking The Dallas Cowboys Rookies Through Week 8
Dustin Bradford / Getty Images

Right now, it’s pretty tough to predict how the 2018 Dallas Cowboys’ season will turn out. Even with Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli all returning for next season, there’s a lot of change going on in Dallas. The Cowboys will have to deal with a lot of new position coaches as they try to get back to the top after a 9-7 season in 2017.

Obviously, there are a lot of things that’ll impact the outcome of this season.

One of those questions hasn’t been discussed much. That question is: how will the 2017 rookie class fare in their sophomore seasons? 

In 2016 and 2017, rookies were very important for this franchise.

Two years ago, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the NFL by storm, ending the season with a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC. Anthony Brown looked to be the Cowboys’ future shutdown cornerback, and Maliek Collins looked very promising.

Last season, the Cowboys didn’t have rookie seasons as spectacular as Dak and Zeke had in 2016 (I don’t think we’ll see anything similar in the NFL for a long time), but the rookie class ended up being a very important one for sure.

After letting a lot of veteran players walk in free agency, the team went ahead and fixed the secondary by drafting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in consecutive rounds, and trading up to get Xavier Woods in the sixth.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

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

Jourdan Lewis made his presence felt early in the season, while we had to wait a bit to see Chidobe Awuzie in action. Both of them had surprising rookie seasons and they truly look like the future in Dallas’ secondary.

Both have shown what they’re capable of; we’ve seen them make plays and turn their heads to the ball… really, something we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Ryan Switzer didn’t get a chance to play as a wide receiver that much, but he was very impressive as a returner. He still has a long way to go, but I’m betting on Switzer to remain among the NFL’s best returners for a long time. After seeing him replace Cole Beasley in the season finale, I’ll be shocked if Dallas doesn’t give him more playing time on offense next year. He deserves a more important role.

Taco Charlton still has a lot to improve on, but surprisingly, he did a nice job during the final games of the season. It’s always premature to call a player a “bust” after a single season, and Taco’s been called a bust since the moment he was drafted. Let’s give him a chance.

For 2017, we set the bar high for the Cowboys’ sophomores.

We thought Dak Prescott would be among the best QBs in the league, that Ezekiel Elliott would pass the 2,000-yard mark, that Anthony Brown would be an ideal CB1, and that Maliek Collins could even lead the team in sacks as a defensive tackle.

There are a lot of reasons this team struggled in 2017, and some of those reasons still preoccupy us when thinking about next season.

The Cowboys will definitely need their 2017 rookies to continue playing quality football. It will be key if they want to leave a painful 9-7 season behind and get back to winning this year.

Here’s to hoping the Cowboys’ 2018 sophomores avoid the “inevitable slumps.” In a season filled with uncertainty, they’ll sure be needed.

Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?

Dez Bryant es ese jugador que incontables veces me hizo gritar y saltar de alegría con sus excepcionales recepciones y su manera de pelear el balón en el aire. Tantos momentos tan memorables con Tony Romo e incluso algunos con Dak Prescott lo han vuelto uno de mis jugadores favoritos…

Pero ahora, después de una difícil temporada de los Dallas Cowboys, los sentimientos están encontrados.

En muchos momentos, no parece que estamos viendo al Dez Bryant de antes. Claro, podemos decidir recordar esa recepción de touchdown que rompió el récord de la franquicia contra los Redskins, o esa escapada de 50 yardas en New York en la semana 14.

Pero Dez no ha sido el mismo las últimas tres temporadas. Y este 2017, todos los momentos de frustración culminaron en el partido que eliminó a los Cowboys de la temporada.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a los Seattle Seahawks, un fumble acompañado por un pase soltado de Dez que resultó en una intercepción, todos nos pusimos a pensar.

La cosa no es que Dez Bryant sea un mal receptor. El talento está ahí, y es fácil verlo en ciertas jugadas. A veces es visible cuando atropella a algún defensivo, a veces cuando busca el balón y consigue atraparlo de una manera impresionante.

Quizá el próximo año se sacuda la mala racha que ha tenido los últimos años y encuentre una manera de ser el jugador que alguna vez fue… el problema es la cantidad de dinero que se le paga.

Después de la temporada del 2014, cuando Bryant terminó el año con 16 touchdowns y más de 1,300 yardas, el receptor estrella firmó un contrato por $70M.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen frente a ellos una pregunta muy importante que resolver este offseason.


¿Deberían Deshacerse de Dez Bryant?

A pesar de tener una mala racha, la razón por la cual Dallas le diría adiós a Dez es su contrato. Dez está listo para cobrar $16.5M en el 2018 y otros 16 millones y medio en el 2019. De ser cortado, los Cowboys se ahorrarían ocho millones y medio la próxima temporada.

Suficiente dinero para firmar a un jugador que realmente haga impacto esta agencia libre.

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports)

Normalmente, cuando hablamos de jugadores como él, hay muchos conflictos para los aficionados. Vaya, yo mismo acabo de plantear que es uno de mis jugadores favoritos, pero quizá a veces el cambio es necesario.

Sí, la producción de Dez Bryant no ha sido la misma desde la última temporada que tuvo con Tony Romo. Pero ¿es eso excusa suficiente?

Basta pensar en jugadores como Larry Fitzgerald y DeAndre Hopkins para darse cuenta de que no. Aún con quarterbacks mediocres, ambos se mantienen como receptores de elite en la NFL.

Es cierto que Dak Prescott no es el mismo QB que Romo era, y no es un jugador que vaya a lanzar pases profundos tan frecuentemente como Tony lo hacía, pero eso tampoco significa que sea algo malo necesariamente.

Este equipo le construyó un equipo a su ex-mariscal para sacarle todo el provecho al #9. Es hora de hacer lo mismo por Dak Prescott.

Insisto en que los Cowboys tienen que buscar a un WR tan pronto como en la primera ronda del NFL Draft o incluso hasta en agencia libre.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen tantas cosas que hacer antes de la próxima temporada y decidir que hacer con uno de sus jugadores más emblemáticos de la actualidad, Dez Bryant, es una de ellas.

¿Les gustaría ver a Dez Bryant de vuelta en el 2018?

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Star Blog

Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

Brian Martin



Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

The Dallas Cowboys clearly had a specific role in mind for Ryan Switzer when they drafted him 133rd overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Come to find out, that role didn’t include being involved much on the offensive side of the ball, at least not as a rookie.

After watching the way the Cowboys utilized Ryan Switzer in 2017, it’s pretty obvious the sole purpose he was drafted was to improve the special-teams play in the return game.

They clearly didn’t envision him being a part of the game plan on offense, despite the continuous outcry from fans.

Like most rookies, Ryan Switzer didn’t really get off to a fast start, and took a while to get used to the speed of the NFL. But, once he calmed his nerves and regained his confidence, he proved to be an upgrade in the return game.

Switzer ended up ranking third in kickoff returns, averaging 25 yards per return in 2017 and 12th in punt returns with almost 9 yards per return.

He also became the first Dallas Cowboys player to return a punt for a touchdown since 2013. He accomplished this against the Washington Redskins, in Week 13 when he took an 83-yarder to the house.

Surprisingly enough, using Ryan Switzer solely as a return specialist wasn’t enough for a lot of Cowboys Nation. A lot of fans wanted to see his talents utilized more on the offensive side of the ball as well, but were only left disappointed.

Ryan Switzer

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer

Getting Switzer involved in the offensive game plan just wasn’t in the cards in 2017.

He only managed to catch six passes for 41 yards and rushed four times for 5 yards. This isn’t exactly what Cowboys fans envisioned after hearing Switzer was opening a lot eyes in training camp and organized team activities (OTAs). That was the main problem.

He was hyped up so much heading into the season that fans expected to see him involved much more on offense.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, had something else in mind, but I doubt that’s the case for the upcoming 2018 season.

I really think we’re going to see an increased role for Ryan Switzer next season.

The Cowboys coaching staff should have a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses now that he has a year in the system under his belt. And, they’ve seen firsthand how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands.

What the Cowboys coaching staff will have to determine this offseason is just how big of a role Switzer will have next year.

Should Switzer take Cole Beasley‘s job?

Cole Beasley, like the rest of the Cowboys receivers, had a down year in 2017. We shouldn’t assume that his job is safe, especially with someone like Ryan Switzer waiting in the wings. But, is Switzer ready to take over full-time?

Tough decisions will have to be made eventually, but such is life in the NFL.

Will Ryan Switzer see an increased offensive role in 2018?

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