May is a weird time in the NFL.
It's beautiful in the sense that hope is as palpable as ever throughout the buildings of all 32 franchises, but it's weird in that players tend to make demands before everything gets seriously rolling on the season.
By now you surely know that Dallas Cowboys Offensive Guard Ronald Leary has requested to be traded to a team that doesn't have a Star on its helmet. I'm not a professional football player, shocking I know, but the idea that someone would want to play for anyone but the Cowboys befuddles me.
Ronald Leary is entitled to want what he wants, and he wants a new home. In all seriousness it's actually semi-understandable that Leary would want out. He's a starting caliber Guard, the Dallas Cowboys have the best Offensive Line in the NFL (the "Space Cowboys" as I've dubbed them), and that elite unit doesn't include Leary as a starter. Whoops.
Think what you want about Leary, we're not here today to discuss the behavioral details of him wanting a trade. The reason I've gathered the class together is actually for a history lesson, specifically on what happened the last time a disgruntled Dallas Cowboy wanted to swap uniforms like Leary does.
You see, situations like this are almost predictable in the NFL. Players like Leary typically want to be traded because new/young blood (La'el Collins in this case) has come in and replaced them, rendering them non-starters on their current team. Someone who experienced this very phenomenon while in blue and silver is cornerback Mike Jenkins.
Why Did Mike Jenkins Even Want To Be Traded?
There are two key dates in the "Mike Jenkins Requests A Trade From The Dallas Cowboys" saga.
March 14th, 2012: Dallas Cowboys sign CB Brandon Carr to a 5-year, $50.1M deal.
April 26th, 2012: Dallas Cowboys trade up to the 6th Overall Pick in the Draft and take CB Morris Claiborne out of LSU.
This was the writing on the wall for Mike Jenkins. Sure, he was only four years removed from being the 25th Overall Pick by the Cowboys, but he was also four years into a pretty mediocre career. He was also being outplayed by his rookie classmate Orlando Scandrick (who was taken 118 picks after Jenkins, mind you).
Entering the last year of his contract Mike Jenkins was suddenly the fourth most important corner on the Dallas Cowboys roster. Yikes! What's weird though is in his mind, he was the best one on the team. Weird how our brains create such alternate realities, isn't it?
The Cowboys began 2012 OTAs on Tuesday, May 22nd. Jenkins was absent from them as he was seeking a trade away from the organization. Almost four years to the day, Ronald Leary pulled the same move. Cool, huh?
I don't know if Jenkins thought that Dallas would note his absence, look at one another, and freak out in panic because how on earth could they overcome such an obstacle? I mean, it's a wonder that they didn't spend the whole offseason distraught over the move.
What Was The Response By The Front Office To Jenkins And His Trade Request?
Jerry Jones and Co. never blinked in the game of poker after Jenkins shuffled the cards. Mr. Jones had a methodology regarding the situation that we should all really soak in as it will likely be very pertinent to the Leary situation of the same variety.
"We know that we've got a situation where we can identify what we are on defense by having three corners in there a lot I see short-term and long-term with Jenkins. We've also got Scandrick, we got some room if somebody gets nicked not to have to adjust. We can come out there and spend some time really utilizing where we are at corner. The decision to bring Claiborne in was a big part of that. There's no interest on my part at all of trading Jenkins. None."
No interest on Jerry Jones' part, AT ALL, in regards to trading the player that wanted to be traded. Hmm. Interesting. (strokes goatee).
So you're telling me that the guy who thought he could call the shots lost to Jerry Jones and had to just put up with it, RJ?
Yea. That's the way the story goes. It's a tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast man.
What Happened To Mike Jenkins, Then?
Mike wised up and started to play the political game a little bit.
He played in 13 games for the Cowboys in 2012 and even started 2 of them. Yay, Mike Jenkins!
At the culmination of the 2012 season the Dallas Cowboys decided that the trio of Carr, Claiborne, and Scandrick gave them enough depth to move on from Mike Jenkins permanently. They chose not to re-sign him and Mike found a home with the Oakland Raiders (where he still lashed out against the Cowboys).
So even though 10 months before they ultimately waved goodbye to him the Cowboys could have gotten some kind of compensation for Mike Jenkins, they chose not to. They liked the depth that he provided at a position group that they, incorrectly for what it's worth, thought was solid.
Doesn't that sound a lot like the Leary situation these days? This O-Line is undoubtedly more solid than the 2012 Secondary, but Leary provides depth in the same light that Jenkins did then. Remember Jerry's quote when asked about Jenkins.
I like Ronald Leary. I really do. But if history is any indication his trade request is going to end just like Mike's. Just like Jenkins was in 2012, Leary is in the last year of his contract with the Cowboys. While that would logically provide motivation to deal him, the Cowboys didn't last time don't seem excited to this time either.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
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.
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