The Dallas Cowboys, much like other teams around the NFL have players that are more important to the organization than others. That is simply the sad truth of the National Football League.
I like to think of these players as being irreplaceable. These are the types of players that can pretty much ruin a season if they have to miss any length of time due to an injury.
Unfortunately, this is something that we as Cowboys fans have recently had to deal with and something that can hopefully be avoided in the upcoming 2016 season.
I recently compiled a list and wrote about 5 Cowboys players that are irreplaceable, but as hard as I tried I couldn't think of one defensive player that is irreplaceable.
I'm not saying that the Cowboys don't have players on the defensive side of the ball that wouldn't be missed if they were injured. I'm just saying that I couldn't think of one player that would dramatically hurt the defense if they were to miss time because of an injury.
There were several considerations, but ultimately no one that I thought qualified enough to be considered irreplaceable. I personally think it has a lot to do with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and how he is able to compensate when some of his players are injured.
In fact, Marinelli is perhaps the sole reason why Jerry Jones and Company haven't invested highly on the defensive side of the ball with high draft picks or money. They believe he is able to bring out the best in players and that is probably true to a certain extent, but also one of the reasons why I probably couldn't think of any one individual defensive player that is irreplaceable.
Here are a few of the Dallas Cowboys defensive players that I considered.
There is no denying that Sean Lee is arguably the best defensive player on the entire team, but during his time in the NFL and even dating back to college he has had a hard time staying healthy.
Unfortunately, this is why I couldn't justify putting him on the list as being irreplaceable.
We have already seen the Cowboys find ways to compensate for Lee's absence and that is one of the main reasons why linebacker Rolando McClain is on the team.
Lee is a difference maker when on the field and raises the playing level of the entire defense, but I couldn't in good conscience say that he's irreplaceable.
Rolando McClain is a frustrating player because when he's on his game he could be one the better middle linebackers in the entire NFL, but it's those other times where he seems to just disappear that makes them so unpredictable.
McClain was mainly considered because he does have to be game planned by opposing offensive coordinators and with perhaps the exception of Sean Lee, he is really the only true MLB on the Cowboys roster.
The majority the Cowboys linebackers seem to fit better as candidates to play on the weak side, but not #55.
The drop off from not having McClain in the lineup would be immense, of course this is considering Sean Lee remains on the weak side. Anthony's Hitchens has shown promise, but he's not the same caliber of player as Rolando McClain.
The reason I considered Crawford as irreplaceable was because I don't think there is another player on the Cowboys roster that can step in and play the 3-tech as well as #98.
Crawford wasn't quite as productive in 2015 because he was battling through a shoulder injury, but I'm expecting big things from him in 2016 playing next to Cedric Thorton.
Do you think any Dallas Cowboys defensive players are irreplaceable?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions so that we can discuss this topic further.
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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