In 2016, the Dallas Cowboys selected Cornerback Anthony Brown in the sixth round out of Purdue. There were little to no expectations for him coming into the league, but as we all know, that doesn't seal your NFL fate. When an opportunity comes knocking you open the door.
Brown would quickly show he had more value than where he was drafted. In ten starts he totaled 51 tackles, 8 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and an interception. This set the stage for higher expectations going into the next season, but it didn't exactly work out that way.
Although the numbers will tell you he played as well if not better in 2017, the film shows something different. Brown clearly wasn't getting the same punch on receivers off the line like the year previous. Too many times he was seen running behind receivers for huge gains. These struggles would get him benched after a 28-6 loss to the Chargers in week 12, and he would never return to the starting lineup for the remainder of the season.
2018 was a return to form for Brown. He added another 10 starts to his resume, but more importantly, he showed the flashes of 2016 when he burst on to the scene. The physicality at the line of scrimmage and the awareness came back to his game. He finished with 44 tackles, 8 passes defended, a career-high 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and an interception. More so than the numbers you can bet there's newfound confidence flowing through his veins heading into the new season.
Anthony Brown is a nickel corner, which is a key position on defense when third downs come about. It is generally recognized as the toughest corner position to play. Slot receivers can attack the middle of the field easier considering the extra cushion they generally get off the line. Also, they can work the sidelines with a plethora of routes, this due to the fact that they are not as close to the out of bounds line as outside receivers. This makes guarding them extremely difficult, especially since most are smaller in stature. Brown being solid on the most crucial down there is will be huge going forward.
The competition has gotten a little tougher behind him with the addition of Michael Jackson via the draft in April. Yes, he is a rookie, so that means he is at a distinct disadvantage competing with Brown. However, he possesses the same skill set and a hunger to see the field early. Any slip up from Brown, be it poor play or injury, opens the door for Jackson. Also, Jourdan Lewis is waiting on the weeds for his opportunity to show and prove, and he's been waiting since 2017. These two contenders for the throne should definitely motivate Brown to keep his spot on the depth chart.
It's all about not being complacent with Anthony Brown. He has the leg up on his competition at the moment, but that doesn't stop the desire from said competition to take his role. Him playing well could put the Cowboys secondary on another level, a championship level at that. On the contrary, if he doesn't he could see his playing time diminish significantly if not altogether. Now, we wait and see where the chips fall.
Report: Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Ready for Start of Training Camp
With the Dallas Cowboys opening training camp with their first practice on Saturday, July 27th in Oxnard, California, a lot of information is coming out regarding who will be available when they report.
It was already reported that Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will be placed on the physically unable to practice (P.U.P.) list to start training camp. Now, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that Travis Frederick will avoid the Non-Football Injury list (NFI) and be ready to report for the starting of training camp.
Very good news for the #Cowboys: All-Pro C Travis Frederick, who dealt with Guillain-Barré syndrome last year, is expected to be active for the start of training camp. He avoids NFI and is ready to go.
Frederick has been out of action for a year after being diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome during last year's training camp. Guillen-Barre is a disorder that can affect the peripheral neurological system. Basically, the neurological system that doesn't consist of the brain and the spinal cord, which is the central nervous system.
There was talk that Frederick might have been ready to go for the playoffs at the end of last season, but the team continued to hold him out in order to get him back 100% for 2019. It looks like the time has come for Frederick to regain his spot as the leader and lynch-pin of the offensive line.
While Joe Looney was effective in 2018, there's no doubt the team suffered a drop off from All-Pro Travis Frederick to career backup Looney. Getting Frederick back in the middle of the offensive line is the most significant upgrade the Dallas Cowboys could have made this offseason on either side of the football.
Frederick is one of the smartest players on the team and does a lot for Dak Prescott and the offensive line in terms of setting protections. For Dak Prescott, he'll be able to have a little more faith that the front of his pocket will hold up if he needs to step up to make a throw. Frederick will also help Connor Williams as the two work combo blocks against opposing interior defenders. Frederick will immediately improve the Dallas Cowboys red zone offense as they'll be able to get more of a push on the interior.
It was almost expected that this would be the case, but hearing it for certain should give the Dallas Cowboys and their fans a lot of optimism for what's to come in 2019. Travis Frederick returning to the starting lineup is a huge addition for a Dallas Cowboys offense that looks ready to roll in 2019.
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence and CB Byron Jones to Start 2019 Camp on PUP
The Dallas Cowboys will be missing two of their defensive leaders when they open 2019 training camp this Saturday. Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will both start camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List as they recover from offseason surgeries.
Lawrence, who got a new five-year contract in April, immediately underwent shoulder surgery once his deal was finalized. DeMarcus reportedly was waiting for contract negotiations to be completed before he had the procedure.
Jones had hip surgery in late May. He is playing 2019 on the fifth-year option from his original contract, and is no doubt hoping for his own long-term extension sometime in the near future.
Sources: DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones will open Cowboys camp on PUP and won't practice in California https://t.co/jzWV5FjBO6 via @sportsdaydfw
Neither Lawrence or Jones, who are both coming of Pro Bowl seasons in 2018, are expected to be absent once the regular season starts in September. But either participating in this year's training camp is doubtful, and even preseason appearances are in question right now.
With DeMarcus out at DE, newcomers like Robert Quinn and Kerry Hyder will get plenty of chances to show their stuff. It's also a nice opportunity for Taco Charlton, assuming he's recovered from his own offseason surgery, to get some work against the first-team offensive line.
No Byron at CB will give Jourdan Lewis a nice opportunity to work with the starters as well. He was likely stuck at the 4th spot behind Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown but should now get more time on the field and against the best competition.
Breaking News: Allen Hurns Released
The Dallas Cowboys are releasing Wide Receiver Allen Hurns after just one season with the team according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Cowboys releasing WR Allen Hurns, per source.
Hurns was brought in as a possible replacement for Dez Bryant considering they had a similar skill set, but that never quite worked out. He only managed 20 receptions for 295 yards and 2 touchdowns in 7 starts. He's coming off a horrific leg injury suffered in the Cowboys playoff win against the Seahawks last season.
This saves the Cowboys 5 million in cap space putting them around 24 million overall heading into the 2019 season currently. This now opens up snaps for some of the younger receivers on the Cowboys roster.
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