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BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train 2

I can already feel you yelling at me based off of the title. Relax.

DeMarcus Ware was a great member of the Dallas Cowboys right up until the end when things just weren't working out. It was rough for Cowboys Nation loyalists to see D-Ware leave, but that's the business side of football and considering what Ware did five days ago I think he's good.

Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of the DeMarcus Ware Hype Train

Where DeMarcus might not be good is in fiscal books of the Denver Broncos and their 2016 season. 'Ol #94 has a $11,666,668 Cap Number (per OverTheCap.com) for the 2016 season. That's a lot of pennies to pay someone considering that the Broncos have a ton of free agency decisions to make this offseason - like re-signing Super Bowl 50 MVP, Von Miller.

All of this is pretty common sense so people are starting to connect the dots (sidebar: Dots are one of the worst candies out there) and some hypotheticals where Ware returns back home to Dallas have been tossed out.

D-Ware is coming off of one of the finer months that he's ever had in his career. His performance in the Playoffs is a big reason why every hand inside the Denver Broncos organization got that much heavier last Sunday evening out in Santa Clara. Naturally, if he is to become available, some people want him back.

People... stop it.

DeMarcus is one of the finer Dallas Cowboys to have played over the last 20 years (a period I recently, and sadly, examined on a deep level). He will also be 34 years old when the 2016 season kicks off. That's really young in terms of the schemes of life, but that's not the case in the National Football League.

Ware dominated the Super Bowl, but let's look at a larger sample size. Here are his numbers in terms of sacks and tackles (that's what you pay pass rushers to get) over the last three regular seasons, a 48-game span:


DeMarcus Ware (33 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 6 10 7.5 7.8
Tackles 28 37 17 27.3

Ware has only played in 40 of these games, averaging .59 sacks/game and 2.05 tackles/game. Let's see how he compares to to some other potential pass rushers that the Dallas Cowboys could bring in over the same span.

All of these numbers are pulled from Pro Football Reference. If you are unfamiliar with their Approximate Value (AV) metric, it is an attempt to put a single numerical value on a player's season. The greater the number, the greater that particular season for that player. Ware's 2013-2015 are the three lowest Approximate Values of his career excluding his rookie season.


Greg Hardy (27 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 15 1 6 7.3
Tackles 40 3 23 22

Re-signing Greg Hardy is an option that the Cowboys have this offseason. Consider that Hardy is averaging just a half sack per year less than Ware over the last three seasons despite only playing one game in 2014. Hardy played in 29 games over this stretch (out of a possible 29, so he hasn't missed any due to injury) and posted Ware-like numbers over the same sample. Factor in that Hardy is six years younger and you have to start thinking, don't you?

Hardy's AV for 2013 was the highest of his career and 2015 (which some would say was disappointing for him) matches his second best. 2014 is an obvious outlier given that he only played one game.


Olivier Vernon (25 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 11.5 6.5 7.5 8.5
Tackles 46 32 41 39.7

Now Olivier is likely going to command a nice chunk of change in free agency, and there's a reason that he should. While he might be more expensive than someone else, when you consider his youth you have to wonder if he's worth it. One of the bigger pieces of data that isn't stated above is that Vernon played all 48 of these games, so he's a pretty consistently healthy player.

It shouldn't be shocking that these three seasons are the three best Approximate Values of Olivier's four-year career.


Mario Williams (31 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 13 14.5 5 10.8
Tackles 28 36 15 26.3

Super Mario has only missed one game over these last three seasons, and he averages the most sacks per season. He had a down year in 2015 despite having Rex Ryan as a Head Coach, and while Rex is really dysfunctional in a lot of ways he definitely knows how to build a defense and rush the quarterback. Nevertheless, Mario merits some serious consideration given his resume over this span.

Mario's 2013 was at the time the best AV of his career until he topped it in 2014. His down 2015 is tied for the sixth best of his career.


So let's look at all four of these players in terms of their averages over the last three seasons against one another:

Scks/Season Tckls/Season Elig. Gms Missed
DeMarcus Ware 7.8 27.3 8
Greg Hardy 7.3 22 0
Olivier Vernon 8.5 39.7 0
Mario Williams 10.8 26.3 1

First of all, when looking at Greg Hardy's numbers remember that his 2014 season (where he only played in one game) is actually factored into these measurements. Even then, he's still narrowly behind Ware in terms of his averages per season. Olivier and Mario are clearly a cut above the rest when it comes to sacks/season, but the biggest number that jumps out to me is the 8 for Ware.

Of the 48 possible games he has missed 8 - that's 17%. Neither Hardy nor Vernon have missed a game where they were eligible to play, and Mario has only missed one (2%). So not only is Ware the oldest player, not only is Ware the one who barely averages more sacks and tackles per season than Hardy despite Hardy's absence in 2014, but Ware is also the most likely to miss time during the season... 17% of the time to be specific.

I get that DeMarcus Ware has a history in Dallas and that it would be really cool for him to come home and teach the young guys, I get it. It's a nice story.

Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train 1

But haven't we moved on from chasing stories? Wasn't that the whole point of not re-signing DeMarcus two years ago? It seems that we are allowing ourselves to be prisoners of the moment and ignore some indisputable facts.

The current regime of the Dallas Cowboys has made a commitment to building teams the right way - the smart way. If DeMarcus Ware is willing to sign for a lower amount of money then of course we should listen, but do you really think the guy who was 50% of the reason why his team just won the Super Bowl is about to reduce himself in any capacity? Would you?

It would be a great story if Ware came back to Dallas and we could put the whole thing together, but that's not who we are anymore. We're no longer the story chasers, we're the Championship Chasers. Let's remember that.


RJ Ochoa on Twitter's Periscope TV

What do you think after seeing all of this? If you could have one of these guys, who would you want? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars

El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.

Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?

De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.

Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin  más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.

Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.

Sean's Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory's Potential Impact on Cowboys Defense

Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.

A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.

Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.

Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.

Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y  ganando a la otra.

Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.

Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



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Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

Brian Martin

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Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.

I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.

As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.

I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.

Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.

Jamize Olawale

Dallas Cowboys FB Jamize Olawale

Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.

I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.

Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.

Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.

Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?

Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?



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Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars 1

What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.

Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.

It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.

Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.

Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.

We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.

Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.

Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1  WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.

Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?



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