The Dallas Cowboys have long been known as America's Team. This distinction is in large part due to the fact that the organization has one of the largest fan base in not only Northern America, but the world.
I always think it's really cool when I get a comment or even a tweet from a fan living in a different country. It really hits home just how far the Cowboys brand reaches and how popular the sport of football actually is.
One thing that I've noticed here recently is how optimistic the Cowboys fans are heading into the 2016 season. It's almost like they have completely forgotten that their starting quarterback (Tony Romo) and projected backup quarterback (Kellen Moore) are both out for an undetermined amount of time.
Don't get me wrong, but when your top two QBs are injured, it usually falls into the category of worst thing that can possibly happen to your team.
Now, I'm a glass half full type of person, but there are still a lot of unknowns in regards to the Cowboys roster and how certain players will perform heading into the Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants.
Optimism is always a great thing to have, but sometimes we have to come back down to earth and look at things realistically. As a Cowboys fan myself, I like to expect the best, while preparing myself for the worst.
Please bear with me while I try to share why we should all be cautious with our optimism heading into the 2016 season for the Dallas Cowboys.
Is Dak Prescott the real deal?
Dak Prescott has been just short of perfect in a Dallas Cowboys uniform as a rookie. His impressive performance alone is the reason why there is so much optimism heading into the season opener, despite Tony Romo's injury.
If Prescott can continue to play the way he has been so far, then the Dallas Cowboys and their fans should have nothing to worry about.
Part of me wants to believe that this is the real Dak Prescott, but there's another side of me that worries that what we have seen is just a flash in the pan.
There is no way of knowing for sure what he will look like once he squares off against a defense that has actually come up with a game plan for him and the Cowboys' offense. We will have to wait and see if he is the real deal or not.
Can he continue to impress when the pressure is on? I sure hope so.
Can Ezekiel Elliott live up to expectations?
There's probably not another player on the entire Cowboys roster that can help Dak Prescott more than Ezekiel Elliott.
I think we can all pretty much agree that a successful running game can help open up the entire offense, thus taking the pressure off the QB from having to carry the team on his shoulders.
Elliott is still just a rookie, but there have already been expectations placed on him that he will be one of the top running backs in the NFL. Can he live up to these expectations?
Well, if the small sample size we saw against the Seattle Seahawks is any indication of the type of RB he will be, then the Cowboys running game should once again be the driving force of the entire offense.
Still, like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott is still just a rookie and we should all be a little cautious with our expectations for him in 2016.
Will the pass rush come out of hiding?
Come out, come out, wherever you are. Is the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys playing hide and seek or what?
Okay, maybe it's not the entire defense because there has been pressure provided by the defensive tackles, but the Cowboys defensive ends has to be a major concern, especially if you have been paying attention to any of these preseason games.
I don't think anyone can say at this point who the starting defensive ends will be or even if the Cowboys actually know, but something needs to be done and pronto.
David Irving has shown promise, but his best position is at defensive tackle. Benson Mayowa has only played a few snaps against the Seahawks, so he's still a little bit of an unknown. Unfortunately, nobody else has really answered the call.
I guess the phone will just continue to ring until somebody finally answers. HELLO… Is anyone out there?
Are the young linebackers ready to step up?
With the exception of Sean Lee and to a certain extent Anthony Hitchens, the Dallas Cowboys linebackers are all pretty much young and unproven players.
I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the Cowboys added a veteran middle linebacker sometime soon. The majority of the LB's on the roster are more of the weak side type, so the team is thin at the MLB.
They tried to address this when they brought back Justin Durant, but he hasn't looked at all like the player he was the last time he wore a star on his helmet.
Of course, if Damien Wilson or Mark Nzeocha can step up and earn the coaching staff's trust, then all of this talk is for nothing.
Well, there you have it. Although I'm an optimist at heart and have a half glass full point of view on most things, I'm taking more of the cautious approach until some of my concerns can be answered.
I won't hold anything against you if you are one of the fans that are overly optimistic that everything will work out just fine (I wish I was), but if you share any of my concerns, you might want to curb your expectations just a little.
Do you agree or disagree with my concerns?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
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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