The countdown for Thanksgiving is underway, and in case you didn't know or might have forgotten, the Dallas Cowboys play the Washington Redskins while the majority of us are sitting down to eat with our families.
I was thinking about Thanksgiving and some of the traditions that families share during this holiday, which led me to the idea of compiling a list of things I'm thankful for in regards to the Dallas Cowboys. Whether it is a good idea or not, has yet to be seen.
In all honesty, my family has never been one of those that go around the table and share what we are thankful for, but maybe yours is. It's always felt like it was a little bit forced to me.
I'm sure we can all agree that sending it 9-1 is something to be grateful for, but below are five other things I'm thankful for this season for the Dallas Cowboys. I hope you enjoy.
A dominant offensive line
The Dallas Cowboys have The Best offensive line in the entire NFL. That's not an opinion, that is a fact.
Jerry Jones had never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL Draft before drafting Tyron Smith, but I think we're all glad that particular trend ended.
Smith was the first, followed by Travis Frederick, and then Zack Martin. All three of these offensive lineman not only anchor the best unit in the league, but are arguably the best players at their positions.
This season they are responsible for opening up the running lanes for the league's leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, and have also had the privilege of giving rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott, all the time he needs to throw the ball.
Honestly, I don't know what more you could ask of this unit.
The 2016 draft class
Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but the Dallas Cowboys 2016 draft class is already shaping up to be one of the best the team has had in probably a decade.
Ezekiel Elliott is the league's leading rusher and has made just about everybody forget who the Cowboys could've drafted #4 overall instead.
It was pretty much pure luck the way things fell into place for Dak Prescott, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys have found their future signal caller for years to come, and in the fourth round surprisingly enough.
Cornerback Anthony Brown and defensive tackle Maliek Collins also look to be future starters for the Cowboys the way they have filled in and played so far this season.
These players alone would be reason enough to celebrate, but it looks as if Jaylon Smith is on the road to recovery. Smith probably would've been a top five pick in the draft if not for his knee injury.
Anything else they get from Charles Tapper or Kavon Frazier would be an added bonus.
Do you want to know why the Dallas Cowboys have been so good at putting together a competitive roster these past few seasons? Look no further than the man behind the scenes, Will McClay.
McClay might not hold the official title of general manager with the Cowboys, but he is the meticulously detailed person behind the scenes that makes sure the draft board and scouting department are on the same page when evaluating these potential prospects.
McClay's work has been noticed around the league and has already earned him job offers to become the general manager for several different organizations. Fortunately, he has turned those down to remain with the Dallas Cowboys.
It may just be a matter of time until he is offered a job he can't turn down, but you can bet that the Cowboys are thankful for the work he has put in.
Tony Romo might not have played in any of the regular-season games this season, but he is still a big reason why this team is 9-1.
Romo took on a mentor role with Dak Prescott while rehabbing from his back injury and I think Prescott will be the first to tell you how much it has helped with his preparation/development.
Romo is a team first guy and did everything in his power to help Prescott prepare week in and week out, but probably helped the organization the most by not becoming a distraction and stepping aside for the rookie QB.
I don't know about you, but I am thankful with the way Romo handled this entire situation. He could have handled this an entirely different way, but decided to swallow his pride and do what's best for the entire team.
You hate to see this be the way Tony Romo's time ends with the Cowboys, but unfortunately that's just the nature of the NFL.
Rod Marinelli might just be the unsung hero for the success the Dallas Cowboys are having so far this season.
Marinelli has pretty much taken a group of unknown players and turned them into a unit that has surpassed anyone expectations.
Sean Lee is the only Pro Bowl player on the defense for the Cowboys, but even he can't carry the team by himself.
To date, the Cowboys defense has yet to allow a 100 yard rusher and has only allowed one 100 yard receiver (Antonio Brown). That's an impressive feat for any defense in the NFL, especially for a group of guys that are not really household names.
I'm sure we can all be thankful for how Rod Marinelli has been able to get this defense to bend and not break so far this season. Let's just hope that he can continue getting these same kind of results from his players.
What are you thankful for?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share what you are thankful for so far this season in regards to the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
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