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A Big Picture View of Terrance Mitchell’s Move

I can’t think of any position group on any team that has received as much criticism and blame as the Dallas Cowboys secondary has over the past decade or so. Trust me, they’ve been easy to blame. The downfall of Terence Newman in 2011, the failed Alan Ball experiment in 2010, and even the (so far) disappointing career of Morris Claiborne are all examples which detractors will point to in order to prove the Cowboys secondary as inadequate. The thing is, the last couple of seasons, the Cowboys secondary hasn’t been bad whatsoever. Last year, they ranked fifth in pass yards against in both per game and overall categories.

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Terrance Mi

I can't think of any position group on any team that has received as much criticism and blame as the Dallas Cowboys secondary has over the past decade or so.

Trust me, they've been easy to blame.

The downfall of Terence Newman in 2011, the failed Alan Ball experiment in 2010, and even the (so far) disappointing career of Morris Claiborne are all examples which detractors will point to in order to prove the Cowboys secondary as inadequate.

The thing is, the last couple of seasons, the Cowboys secondary hasn't been bad whatsoever.

Last year, they ranked fifth in pass yards against in both per game and overall categories. Though the interceptions weren't there, you could argue that the unit improved as a whole.

And the signs are pointing towards them being even better in 2016.

One cog in the 2016 defensive backfield machine will be Terrance Mitchell, whom the Cowboys are giving a chance to move from his original cornerback position to safety during OTA's.

Mitchell failed to make the Cowboys 53-man roster in 2014 after an overall lackluster preseason performance, but found himself back on the team later in 2015.

Though he saw very limited time last season, Mitchell recorded the first interception by a Cowboys cornerback in almost a full calendar year when he finally saw game action week 15 against the New York Jets.

Cowboys Terrance Mitchell intercepts Jets Ryan Fitzpatrick

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As Sean Martin profiled here on Inside The Star, Mitchell has displayed the athleticism and versatility to play all over the field. He also plays well in space, and has shown the ability to make open field tackles, something the Cowboys current safeties have had a problem with.

//insidethestar.com/cowboys-secondary-dont-forget-about-these-two-corners/

Moving Mitchell to safety makes a ton of sense for the team.

JJ Wilcox has been average at best during his tenure at safety for the Cowboys, His contract is expiring soon, and Byron Jones has emerged as the next free safety.

Though the team drafted Central Michigan safety Kavon Frazier in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, there isn't a whole lot known about how Frazier will translate to the NFL. The team obviously likes Frazier, and wants to give him a shot, but you don't want to bet the future on a sixth round rookie just yet.

Barry Church is starting to age, and has performed inconsistently as a whole during his career in Dallas. For now, he is the strong safety, but this could very well change as soon as 2017.

All of this makes Terrance Mitchell's potential move even more important to the Cowboys future moves at the safety position.

If Terrance Mitchell can play safety consistently, chances for other cornerbacks may open up as well.

This could open the door for Purdue Boilermakers sixth round corner Anthony Brown, who I profiled for the film review series, and enjoyed watching play.

//insidethestar.com/draft-film-review-cowboys-cb-anthony-brown/

As I talked about in the film review, Brown has some redeeming NFL qualities, and I would like to see him make the 53-man roster.

The issue for Brown is the numbers game of an NFL roster, but if Mitchell moves to safety permanently, Brown will be able to find more reps at corner in practice and may have more chances to prove himself.

There is, of course, the possibility (or probability) of either Morris Claiborne or Brandon Carr not being on the 2017 roster, which would make Brown's position even more important.

Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com has been skeptical of the move, believing that in the end, Mitchell will return to corner. However there have been other reports of Mitchell looking good at safety when given the chance, so far.

We won't know the outcome of this move until training camp concludes this summer, but at the moment, Terrance Mitchell has a real chance to help this secondary as a safety and nickel corner immediately.


Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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5 Comments
  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    I like this. I go so back and forth in terms of the depth at corner, but I feel confident enough to let Terrance slide over. Great write up, Kev!

    Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

    • http://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      I guess we should have seen the move as a demotion! I still like our corner depth, though. Just have to hope they come through.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    And then, barely a day later, the Cowboys waive Mitchell. WTF? Gotta be something the team saw and kept very quiet. Can't remember, is Mitchell PS eligible still?

    • http://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      I haven't been able to find a definite answer to this yet. He was on the Bears PS until mid-October in 2014, and Dallas' PS for a couple weeks in December. Not sure if he's been active six games or not, though.

      • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

        According to his stats on NFL.com, he was active in 8 games in 2015, ruling him out for being added to the PS. http://prntscr.com/bfjvev

Player News

Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Planning

February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.

DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.

Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.

After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.

There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.

For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.

Jess Haynie on Twitter

In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys

What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?

First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.

It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.

It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?" 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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Player News

Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury

Sean Martin

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Should Cowboys Start Negotiating a Contract Extension With Rod Smith?

Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jaylon Smith did not just defy all odds and return to normalcy in 2017, starting as the Cowboys' middle linebacker for a full 16 games. He became one of the team's and NFL's brightest success stories, earning the right to celebrate everyday activities returning to his life - as football did this season.

https://twitter.com/thejaylonsmith/status/964606764619624453

This is exactly what Jaylon Smith did on Twitter Friday afternoon, posting a Snapchat video of himself bowling. The caption on Twitter adds that Smith was enjoying his time at the lanes for the first time in two years.

It was January 1st, 2016 when Jaylon Smith's injury in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame changed his outlook forever. In that moment, Smith went from a projected top ten pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to a LB that would need a team to take a chance on him - and be patient.

The Dallas Cowboys proved to be that team, using the 34th overall pick on the Notre Dame star and supporting his efforts to return to the field from day one. The entire Cowboys' organization was rewarded by Smith remarkably playing every game this season, inspired by his constant determination to do just that.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

So, a normal offseason for Jaylon Smith is anything but right now. Still battling the drop foot condition (one that is reportedly healing well and "fading") which limits his movement ability in the lower body, Smith is a normal Dallas Cowboys football player from this point forward.

He can say he's already defined all odds, can expect to take an even bigger stride forward in 2018, and Jaylon Smith can go bowling again. You can't help but be happy for #54.

Tell us what you think about "Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Player News

Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott

2017 was a season that left the Dallas Cowboys with a ton of questions to think about. Dez Bryant's contract, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith's availability, and the future of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving are some of those questions.

But there's another more pressing question for the Cowboys. How can they get the most out of Quarterback Dak Prescott and avoid another struggling year for him?

Also, what if he has another rough year? At what point does quarterback become a position that needs to be evaluated if he continues to struggle?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that will be the case. In fact, I have a lot of faith in Dak. I think he's shown a lot to be excited about and I definitely believe there's a "quarterback curve" in the NFL. Hopefully, #4 finds a way to get back on track in 2018.

A reason to be optimistic about Prescott's future is an impressive stat from NFL Next Gen Stats. Turns out, Dak Prescott ranked first in the NFL in "tight window throws" completion percentage with 45.8%.

According to Matt Harmon from NFL.com, a "tight window throw" is defined as a pass in which the intended receiver has less than a yard of separation from the defender.

Dak Prescott is far from a perfect quarterback and he's constantly bashed about his throwing accuracy. Just recently, he took part in a passing competition with David Carr before the NFL Honors and well... it's fair to say Carr completely beat him.

Cowboys Twitter was anything but forgiving for the young quarterback, but at the end of the day, I'm not sure a casual passing competition at an event like that one is the way you judge an NFL starting quarterback who has a 22-10 record in his career.

Dak has a long way to go before being considered an excellent quarterback in the league, but a bad season like 2017 doesn't mean it's the end of his career and that the Dallas Cowboys should start Cooper Rush over him.

It's not the first quarterback who struggles one year and he won't be the last one to bounce back from one. As of right now, Dak Prescott rightfully is the Dallas Cowboys QB1. Hopefully he has a better year next season.

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats" 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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