Every Cowboys fan is already chomping at the bit to watch America’s Team go back to work this Sunday, but before we discuss whether or not Dallas will come away with a win in Cam Newton’s sandbox, can we clear the air about a very noticeable absence on the roster? It's not the surprising release of Dez Bryant or tearful retirement of Jason Witten. The man we’re wringing our hands over is the recently released Dan Bailey, the most accurate kicker in Dallas Cowboys’ history.
We may not have been nearly as nostalgic after last season with Bailey battling injuries and whiffing on two extra points and five field goals during the year, but now it’s all shiny and new.
The sins of the past are forgiven, and we were looking forward to Bailey atoning for a career low 2017 season and returning to form. But professional football is a what have you done for me lately business and the man who was signed in the summer of 2013 to kick for Dallas in the preseason while Bailey nursed an injury, has re-emerged five years later after stints in the CFL, to supplant the seven-year starter.
Yes, get to know the name Brett Maher because Dallas’s collective hopes will be riding on his booming leg. Yet, don’t be surprised if somewhere down the road Dan Bailey trots out onto the field and drills a dagger into the hearts of Cowboys fans everywhere as a member of an opposing team.
Moving on to Carolina
A brief check of the NFL odds board tells us that the Dallas Cowboys are only 2 ½ point road underdogs to the Carolina Panthers. But let’s face facts folks, the Cowboys will have plenty of new faces and it may take time for everyone to get to know one another.
Dak Prescott never enjoyed the same chemistry with Dez Bryant as did his predecessor Tony Romo but that doesn’t mean Bryant won’t be missed, even if he’s not the elite receiver he was a few years ago.
Jason Witten may have been a shadow of his former self last season but he still managed five touchdown catches and was a respected, veteran locker room presence whose big shoes will be impossible to fill – at least for this year.
It’s tough to blame us Dallas fans for being a bit frustrated as our beloved Cowboys have notched at least a .500 record in six of the last seven seasons, yet only twice have the 'Boys earned a postseason berth. And it was just two seasons ago that Dallas registered the best record (13-3) in the NFC only to be bounced in the divisional round by the Packers.
This season Prescott will have Ezekiel Elliott, without the specter of a six-game suspension looming, chewing up yardage in the backfield, but his weapons on the wings are suspect, at best.
Allen Hurns has a fresh chance in Dallas to rekindle the magic of 2015 when he caught 10 TD passes and had 1,031-yards receiving as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his stablemates consist of Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and rookie Michael Gallup. Impressed? Meh – but the jury is still out.
This is a tough team for Dallas to open against as the Carolina Panthers have a quarterback who can take over a game when he’s inclined in Cam Newton and own a defense that could suffocate the Cowboys if all cylinders are not clicking. There are a great deal of ifs and buts involved in this game but the SBR NFL odds say this one will be pretty close.
Although our hearts are with the Cowboys, our wallets are on the Panthers -2 ½ this Sunday. Prove us wrong Dallas!
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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