Star Blog An Apology to Cowboys Nation Published 2 years ago on March 11, 2016 By Jess Haynie Share Tweet The frustration of Cowboys Nation has been obvious over the first few days of free agency. The Cowboys are taking a conservative approach that fans aren’t happy with after a 4-12 season. Unfortunately, I think the negativity has been exacerbated by guys like me. Despite projections, Tyron Smith‘s deal has yet to be restructured. In the time leading up to free agency you saw a lot of articles and blog posts from both mainstream media and “fanalysts” like me and my colleagues, most of us telling you how the Cowboys could finally go on the attack again with their cap spending. You heard how Dallas was down to less than $1 million in dead money, carrying over funds from last year, and could open up significantly more money by restructuring some deals and cutting others. Your expectations were not managed well by the writers you follow. But, to be fair, we are no less surprised by the Cowboys’ approach to free agency so far. We only wrote our own predictions and assumptions and are scratching our heads a bit just like you are. If there was one thing we expected Dallas to do it was that they’d add one of the premiere pass rushing defensive ends. In just a few days, gone are Olivier Vernon, Mario Williams, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Charles Johnson. Dallas has not scheduled visits with Robert Ayers or Chris Long, the last of the name-value options. Scarily, Greg Hardy is probably the best talent still unsigned. So far Dallas has signed just one mid-tier defensive lineman in Cedric Thornton. They are only officially linked to two other free agents; quarterback Matt Moore and cornerback Nolan Carroll. Moore would obviously be a backup and Carroll has been an on-and-off starter for the Eagles for the last few years. None of these moves leap off the page. The best thing I can tell you about understanding Dallas’ approach is to think about someone who’s lived for years with massive debt. They finally pay off the last of their credit cards and breathe a huge sigh of relief. Ideally, that person would be very careful about how they manage their finances going forward. The Cowboys had over $19 million in dead money (per Spotrac.com) last season. It was $27 million in 2014, $17 million in 2013, and $22 million the year before that. Heading into 2016 that number is down to just around $900K; comparatively debt-free to what they’ve dealt with previously. Stephen Jones’ influence is showing more and more in Cowboys management. When Dallas has had cap space in the past it’s been on a line of credit; borrowed money from future seasons. They’ve renegotiated some deals and cut others to free up the room, deferring those costs to the future. The Cowboys are adopting the philosophy of the New England Patriots, not overspending and focusing on the draft and bargain free agents to build. That sounds great when you hear it but can be frustrating to watch. In practice, that approach doesn’t have the “win now” urgency that gets fans excited. Try and think long term about this. We want a future without having to say goodbye to our favorite players, such as DeMarcus Ware two years ago. We want to keep this great offensive line together for a decade. We want for as many cap dollars as possible to be going toward helping this year’s team, and not paying the ghosts of the past. Dallas’ current strategy is how we get to, and stay in, that happy financial place. The Cowboys are the guy who finally paid off his credit cards and they are loathe to return. We, as in anyone who writes about the Cowboys, should’ve known better. Sorry for getting your hopes up about the last few days. Try and redirect that hope to the future. ADVERTISEMENT Related Topics:Brandon CarrCedric ThorntonGreg HardyMarion WilliamsMatt MooreNolan CarrollOlivier VernonStephen JonesTyron SmithTyrone Crawford Up Next 2016 NFL Draft: Zeke Elliott Ticketed for the NFC East? Don't Miss RJOShow Ep. 4: Peyton’s Rank, Super Bowl History, & All-NFC East Team Jess Haynie Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond! Advertisement You may like Cowboys Face Tough Decision with DL Tyrone Crawford Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL? What was the Biggest Disappointment for Cowboys in 2017? 5 Biggest Concerns for Cowboys Heading Into the Off-Season Dallas Cowboys Potential Salary Cap Casualties Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith on IR, Call Up OT Kadeem Edwards 3 Comments Randy Martin The alternative is to watch a team like the Giants, whose fans are probably foaming at the mouth. Today they are a team that will probably be written up as scoring in A+ in free agency but at the end of the 2016-17 season they will be graded as a D+. Slow and steady wins the race! Let's give it up for the Turtle! Jess Haynie How many years did we watch Washington get crowned as offseason champions, only to remain in the NFL basement? History has proven that it just doesn't work that often. charlie Jess, I was glad to see your apology, not that you really have anything to apologize for. you arer just writing articles .. glad to see though that you have changed your stance a bit. keep it up. PS.. just say NO to cap hell… we need some respite… Star Blog Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps Published 1 day ago on January 20, 2018 By Mauricio Rodriguez Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Right now, it’s pretty tough to predict how the 2018 Dallas Cowboys’ season will turn out. Even with Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli all returning for next season, there’s a lot of change going on in Dallas. The Cowboys will have to deal with a lot of new position coaches as they try to get back to the top after a 9-7 season in 2017. Obviously, there are a lot of things that’ll impact the outcome of this season. Will we see a better version of Dak Prescott after a year which seemed to be his learning curve? Will Dez Bryant even be here next season? Will the front office be able to keep DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving and Anthony Hitchens? One of those questions hasn’t been discussed much. That question is: how will the 2017 rookie class fare in their sophomore seasons? In 2016 and 2017, rookies were very important for this franchise. Two years ago, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the NFL by storm, ending the season with a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC. Anthony Brown looked to be the Cowboys’ future shutdown cornerback, and Maliek Collins looked very promising. Last season, the Cowboys didn’t have rookie seasons as spectacular as Dak and Zeke had in 2016 (I don’t think we’ll see anything similar in the NFL for a long time), but the rookie class ended up being a very important one for sure. After letting a lot of veteran players walk in free agency, the team went ahead and fixed the secondary by drafting Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in consecutive rounds, and trading up to get Xavier Woods in the sixth. Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins) Jourdan Lewis made his presence felt early in the season, while we had to wait a bit to see Chidobe Awuzie in action. Both of them had surprising rookie seasons and they truly look like the future in Dallas’ secondary. Both have shown what they’re capable of; we’ve seen them make plays and turn their heads to the ball… really, something we hadn’t seen in a long time. Ryan Switzer didn’t get a chance to play as a wide receiver that much, but he was very impressive as a returner. He still has a long way to go, but I’m betting on Switzer to remain among the NFL’s best returners for a long time. After seeing him replace Cole Beasley in the season finale, I’ll be shocked if Dallas doesn’t give him more playing time on offense next year. He deserves a more important role. Taco Charlton still has a lot to improve on, but surprisingly, he did a nice job during the final games of the season. It’s always premature to call a player a “bust” after a single season, and Taco’s been called a bust since the moment he was drafted. Let’s give him a chance. For 2017, we set the bar high for the Cowboys’ sophomores. We thought Dak Prescott would be among the best QBs in the league, that Ezekiel Elliott would pass the 2,000-yard mark, that Anthony Brown would be an ideal CB1, and that Maliek Collins could even lead the team in sacks as a defensive tackle. There are a lot of reasons this team struggled in 2017, and some of those reasons still preoccupy us when thinking about next season. The Cowboys will definitely need their 2017 rookies to continue playing quality football. It will be key if they want to leave a painful 9-7 season behind and get back to winning this year. Here’s to hoping the Cowboys’ 2018 sophomores avoid the “inevitable slumps.” In a season filled with uncertainty, they’ll sure be needed. Tell me what you think about “Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 Rookies Need to Avoid Sophomore Slumps” 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! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018? Published 2 days ago on January 19, 2018 By Mauricio Rodriguez Dez Bryant es ese jugador que incontables veces me hizo gritar y saltar de alegría con sus excepcionales recepciones y su manera de pelear el balón en el aire. Tantos momentos tan memorables con Tony Romo e incluso algunos con Dak Prescott lo han vuelto uno de mis jugadores favoritos… Pero ahora, después de una difícil temporada de los Dallas Cowboys, los sentimientos están encontrados. En muchos momentos, no parece que estamos viendo al Dez Bryant de antes. Claro, podemos decidir recordar esa recepción de touchdown que rompió el récord de la franquicia contra los Redskins, o esa escapada de 50 yardas en New York en la semana 14. Pero Dez no ha sido el mismo las últimas tres temporadas. Y este 2017, todos los momentos de frustración culminaron en el partido que eliminó a los Cowboys de la temporada. Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a los Seattle Seahawks, un fumble acompañado por un pase soltado de Dez que resultó en una intercepción, todos nos pusimos a pensar. La cosa no es que Dez Bryant sea un mal receptor. El talento está ahí, y es fácil verlo en ciertas jugadas. A veces es visible cuando atropella a algún defensivo, a veces cuando busca el balón y consigue atraparlo de una manera impresionante. Quizá el próximo año se sacuda la mala racha que ha tenido los últimos años y encuentre una manera de ser el jugador que alguna vez fue… el problema es la cantidad de dinero que se le paga. Después de la temporada del 2014, cuando Bryant terminó el año con 16 touchdowns y más de 1,300 yardas, el receptor estrella firmó un contrato por $70M. Los Dallas Cowboys tienen frente a ellos una pregunta muy importante que resolver este offseason. ¿Deberían Deshacerse de Dez Bryant? A pesar de tener una mala racha, la razón por la cual Dallas le diría adiós a Dez es su contrato. Dez está listo para cobrar $16.5M en el 2018 y otros 16 millones y medio en el 2019. De ser cortado, los Cowboys se ahorrarían ocho millones y medio la próxima temporada. Suficiente dinero para firmar a un jugador que realmente haga impacto esta agencia libre. Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports) Normalmente, cuando hablamos de jugadores como él, hay muchos conflictos para los aficionados. Vaya, yo mismo acabo de plantear que es uno de mis jugadores favoritos, pero quizá a veces el cambio es necesario. Sí, la producción de Dez Bryant no ha sido la misma desde la última temporada que tuvo con Tony Romo. Pero ¿es eso excusa suficiente? Basta pensar en jugadores como Larry Fitzgerald y DeAndre Hopkins para darse cuenta de que no. Aún con quarterbacks mediocres, ambos se mantienen como receptores de elite en la NFL. Es cierto que Dak Prescott no es el mismo QB que Romo era, y no es un jugador que vaya a lanzar pases profundos tan frecuentemente como Tony lo hacía, pero eso tampoco significa que sea algo malo necesariamente. Este equipo le construyó un equipo a su ex-mariscal para sacarle todo el provecho al #9. Es hora de hacer lo mismo por Dak Prescott. Insisto en que los Cowboys tienen que buscar a un WR tan pronto como en la primera ronda del NFL Draft o incluso hasta en agencia libre. Los Dallas Cowboys tienen tantas cosas que hacer antes de la próxima temporada y decidir que hacer con uno de sus jugadores más emblemáticos de la actualidad, Dez Bryant, es una de ellas. ¿Les gustaría ver a Dez Bryant de vuelta en el 2018? Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: ¿Estará Dez Bryant de Vuelta en el 2018?” 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! ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Star Blog Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018? Published 3 days ago on January 18, 2018 By Brian Martin The Dallas Cowboys clearly had a specific role in mind for Ryan Switzer when they drafted him 133rd overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Come to find out, that role didn’t include being involved much on the offensive side of the ball, at least not as a rookie. After watching the way the Cowboys utilized Ryan Switzer in 2017, it’s pretty obvious the sole purpose he was drafted was to improve the special-teams play in the return game. They clearly didn’t envision him being a part of the game plan on offense, despite the continuous outcry from fans. Like most rookies, Ryan Switzer didn’t really get off to a fast start, and took a while to get used to the speed of the NFL. But, once he calmed his nerves and regained his confidence, he proved to be an upgrade in the return game. Switzer ended up ranking third in kickoff returns, averaging 25 yards per return in 2017 and 12th in punt returns with almost 9 yards per return. He also became the first Dallas Cowboys player to return a punt for a touchdown since 2013. He accomplished this against the Washington Redskins, in Week 13 when he took an 83-yarder to the house. Surprisingly enough, using Ryan Switzer solely as a return specialist wasn’t enough for a lot of Cowboys Nation. A lot of fans wanted to see his talents utilized more on the offensive side of the ball as well, but were only left disappointed. Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer Getting Switzer involved in the offensive game plan just wasn’t in the cards in 2017. He only managed to catch six passes for 41 yards and rushed four times for 5 yards. This isn’t exactly what Cowboys fans envisioned after hearing Switzer was opening a lot eyes in training camp and organized team activities (OTAs). That was the main problem. He was hyped up so much heading into the season that fans expected to see him involved much more on offense. The Cowboys, on the other hand, had something else in mind, but I doubt that’s the case for the upcoming 2018 season. I really think we’re going to see an increased role for Ryan Switzer next season. The Cowboys coaching staff should have a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses now that he has a year in the system under his belt. And, they’ve seen firsthand how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands. What the Cowboys coaching staff will have to determine this offseason is just how big of a role Switzer will have next year. Should Switzer take Cole Beasley‘s job? Cole Beasley, like the rest of the Cowboys receivers, had a down year in 2017. We shouldn’t assume that his job is safe, especially with someone like Ryan Switzer waiting in the wings. But, is Switzer ready to take over full-time? Tough decisions will have to be made eventually, but such is life in the NFL. Will Ryan Switzer see an increased offensive role in 2018? ADVERTISEMENT Continue Reading Sportsbook odds for all Dallas Cowboys games Reader Survey Want to help make Inside The Star better? We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device. > Take the survey now Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.). 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