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6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5

Brian Martin

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- Auto Draft

The Dallas Cowboys have to be pretty happy with the way things have gone through the first five weeks of the 2016 season.

They are sitting atop the NFC East division with a 4-1 winning record and have done so despite the fact they are battling through numerous injuries to key players on both sides of the ball.

It's no secret that the Cowboys have a talented roster, but there have been some unexpected players that have stepped up and filled larger roles this year. This is been a big reason why they have gained national recognition and look to be a team to be reckoned with from here on out.

I thought it would be a good idea to identify some of the individuals that are responsible for helping the Dallas Cowboys get off to such a good start so far.

Below are six of the players that have unexpectedly become individually dominating members of the team so far in 2016.

Dak Prescott 

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5No one could've possibly predicted that Dak Prescott not only start the 2016 season as the  starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but perform as well as he has for the first five games of the year.

Prescott has unexpectedly led the Cowboys banged up offense to a 4-1 winning record and has done so in a dominating fashion.

#4 has yet to throw an interception and his loan turnover for the season was a fumble against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has thrown for 1,239 passing yards and four touchdowns, rushed for three touchdowns, and has an overall passer rating of 101.5.

Dak Prescott has performed so well in fact, that a lot of people are wondering whether or not he should remain the starting QB once Tony Romo is 100% healthy.

Who knew?

✭✭✭✭✭

Ezekiel Elliott

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5 1Okay, being the fourth overall draft pick and performing up to one's draft status might not fall into the category of being unexpected. But, who could have guessed Ezekiel Elliott completely dominate defenses like he has so far?

Elliott got out to a slow start, but as become more and more dominant with each game he plays.

To date, he is the leading rusher in the NFL with 546 rushing yards on 109 carries and has scored five TDs.

FEED THE MAN!

If he can keep up this pace he should shatter all kind of records for a rookie RB and help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs.

Who knew?

✭✭✭✭✭

Morris Claiborne

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5 2I can't tell you how ecstatic I am to see Morris Claiborne finally playing up to his potential. I was a big fan of the selection when the Dallas Cowboys traded up to draft him, but injuries have negatively impacted his career in the NFL.

Claiborne has been one of best cornerbacks in the NFL and has pretty much shut down any  wide receiver he has been asked to cover through the first five weeks of the 2016 season.

If Claiborne can remain healthy, he will not only help the backend of the Cowboys defense, but could possibly earn his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Who knew?

✭✭✭✭✭

Anthony Brown

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5 3A lot of you still might not really know who Anthony Brown is, but he has not only stepped in for an injured Orlando Scandrick, but done so without the defense missing a step.

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Brown in the sixth round of this year's draft. They have found a player that has unexpectedly had to step into a larger role than initially anticipated, and has been impressive doing so.

Brown has been asked to cover the opponents slot receiver and so far has been up to the task. He has done an excellent job at arguably one of the most difficult positions on defense.

I encourage you to watch #30 next time he's on the field. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Who knew?

✭✭✭✭✭

Terrell McClain

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5 4Before the season started not many people even thought that Terrell McClain would even be a member of the Dallas Cowboys when the 53 man roster was finalized, but I'm sure we are all glad that wasn't the case.

McClain has earned the right to start in the middle of the Cowboys defensive line over Cedric Thornton, who was the big-money free agent signing during the off-season.

He has arguably been the most dominating/consistent player the Dallas Cowboys have on that side of the ball and he is making plays in both the passing and running game.

Injuries have limited his playing time in Dallas, but if he can stay healthy this year, he can be an impact player.

Who knew?

✭✭✭✭✭

Cole Beasley

Cowboys Headlines - 6 Cowboys Players Unexpectedly Dominating Through Week 5 5If someone would've told you before the season started that Cole Beasley would be the best Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, what would you have said?

Upon learning that Dak Prescott would be the starting QB to start the season, I predicted that Beasley would benefit the most, but I never imagined how much.

Beasley has become Prescott's go to WR and he is on pace to double his catches and receiving yards from any of his previous seasons in the NFL.

#11 may be one of the smaller wide receivers in the league, but that doesn't mean his impact on the field isn't gigantic.

Who knew?

What do you think?

Let me hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below so that we can further discuss this topic.



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.

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

Brian Martin

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

According to Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys have a meeting scheduled to visit with Free Agent Safety Eric Berry Tuesday at The Star.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Source: Former #Chiefs S and new free agent Eric Berry is visiting the #Cowboys on Tuesday. His first visit. They have a need there...

Eric Berry has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs after they drafted him fifth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. After signing Earl Thomas last week, the Chiefs decided to part ways with their former All-Pro Safety.

Berry, 30 is an intriguing free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. When healthy, he is arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the field these last few seasons causing him to only start in only three games since 2016.

This is a move many of us expected to happen after the Cowboys decided not to get into a bidding war for Earl Thomas, a player linked to Dallas for over a year now. In Berry, Cowboys Nation would be getting a similar player with the same kind of red flags. Both Thomas and Berry have to be approached with caution due to their injury history the past few years.

Depending on his asking price, Eric Berry absolutely makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He would be an upgrade over Jeff Heath and would pair well with the Cowboys up-and-coming three-year safety Xavier Woods.

This is still just a visit, so we should probably get our hopes up that a signing is imminent. But, I think we can all agree Eric Berry is exactly the "right kind of guy" Jason Garrett is always preaching about. He's a cancer survivor, five-time Pro Bowler, and All-Pro player. What's not to like!?



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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

The Dallas Cowboys added more defensive line help today after signing former Detroit Lions Defensive End Kerry Hyder.

Kerry Hyder Jr. on Twitter

Going back to Texas! #CowboysNation

Kerry Hyder provides more depth at the defensive end position and as a chance to become the starter opposite DeMarcus Lawrence while Randy Gregory is out serving his suspension.

Hyder, 27 originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech with the New York Jets in 2014. He spent a year in New York before signing a future/reserve contract with the Detroit Lions in January 2015.

He had a breakout eight-sack year with the Lions in 2016, but tore his Achilles in 2017 causing him to miss the entire season. In 2018 he had just one quarterback sack after Detroit switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Overall, this is a good depth signing by the Dallas Cowboys. Kerry Hyder has starting potential, but shouldn't keep the Cowboys from upgrading the position further through either another free agent signing for the draft.



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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Jess Haynie

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Tavon Austin

It's been just a week since NFL free agents could begin negotiating with other teams, but it feels like a lifetime for anxious Cowboys fans. Dallas' seemingly passive approach to 2019 free agency has left many disappointed. Still, there are some moves to recap.

As has become their strategy in recent years, the Cowboys have focused on filling up their depth chart and trying to avoid any glaring holes prior to next month's draft. They've re-signed several backups and added at least one likely rotation player.

It's still far too early to judge Dallas' activity. Comparing the 2019 roster to last year will depend heavily on the draft, growth from current players, and other factors. But with the "second wave" of free agency upon us, it's a good time to look at who's come, gone, and stuck around so far.

New Arrivals

  • TE Jason Witten (unretired)
  • TE Codey McElroy (Rams)
  • DT Christian Covington (Texans)

The biggest addition so far this offseason wasn't even a free agent, at least not in the purest sense of the term. Jason Witten's surprising return from retirement helped shore up one of Dallas' biggest needs, though it may not preclude them from drafting a tight end high in April.

Also at tight end, Dallas signed developmental project Codey McElroy. His experience is in baseball and basketball, having played just one year of college football. But at 6'6'" and 255 lbs., and having spent last year working with the Rams, the Cowboys must see something they're intrigued by.

Last week Dallas signed Christian Covington, who had 3.5 sacks for Houston in 2018 playing as a 3-4 defensive end. He should move to DT in the Cowboys' scheme and should be a solid addition to their rotation.

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley, now with the Buffalo Bills. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Departures

  • WR Cole Beasley (Bills)
  • TE Geoff Swaim (Jaguars)
  • DL David Irving (shenanigans)
  • LB Damien Wilson (Chiefs)

Beasley is heading to Buffalo on a four-year, $29 million deal. It appeared the relationship soured between Cole and Dallas over his playing time last year, and clearly the Cowboys didn't fight hard to keep him.

Damien Wilson followed Anthony Hitchens to Kansas City to help round out their linebacker corps. Once it was announced that Dallas was hanging on to Sean Lee in 2019, it was fairly certain that Wilson wouldn't be back.

Also not expected back was TE Geoff Swaim, who signed with Jacksonville. Even before Witten came back, Dallas appeared likely to stick with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz for returning talent and then add an upgrade via free agency or the draft.

While still a free agent, nobody expects David Irving back in Dallas or even the NFL after recent activities. Irving appears focused on a Hollywood career and advocating for medical marijuana use at this point.

Keepers

  • FB Jamize Olawale
  • WR Tavon Austin
  • WR Allen Hurns (team option)
  • OT Cam Fleming
  • G/C Joe Looney (team option)
  • DE DeMarcus Lawrence (franchise tag)
  • DT Daniel Ross (ERFA)
  • LB Justin March-Lillard
  • S Darian Thompson

While Dallas put the franchise tag on prized pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, his return in 2019 is far from settled. Lawrence has previously sworn he wouldn't play under a second franchise tag this year, and last we heard the two sides are far apart on a long-term deal. Could a holdout be on the horizon?

The Cowboys doubled-down on WR depth by re-signing Tavon Austin and exercising their team option on Allen Hurns' contract. Both are able to play out of the slot, meaning we could see more of a rotation approach to replacing Cole Beasley next year.

Dallas also re-signed fullback Jamize Olawale, which was a surprise given his low usage rate last year. Perhaps the change to Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator was behind this one, hoping to take better advantage of Olawale's receiving skills going forward.

Joe Looney and Cam Fleming will also be back as valuable backups on the offensive line. Looney started 16 games last year at center and also helps at guard, while Fleming will be the swing tackle once again for his second season in Dallas.

On defense, Dallas kept Daniel Ross in their DT rotation after solid performance in 2018. Justin March-Lillard return at linebacker, particularly for his value on special teams. And Darian Thompson, a former third-round pick by the Giants, is back as an ongoing developmental player.

~ ~ ~

Today we're already seeing a flourish of free agent activity in Dallas. Reports this morning have them meeting with WR Randall Cobb and S Clayton Geathers, and we haven't even had lunch yet.

If this is any indication, next week's recap may have a lot more to discuss.



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