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Brandon Carr, Cowboys Defensive Backs Out To Prove Everyone Wrong

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Corner Brandon Carr Donating $110,000 To Hometown Of Flint 1

For the past few seasons the Dallas Cowboys' "narrative" has been the same; elite talent on offense, but questionable personnel on defense. Even during last season, as the offense sputtered without Tony Romo and the defense looked like the stronger unit, the criticisms persisted.

Lack of turnovers, lack of sacks, and an overall lack of defensive big plays have plagued this defense recently, but so far in training camp they have been out to prove all the naysayers wrong.

Sometimes we forget that these players are human beings, and that they hear all the talk on sports television and radio about how weak they will be as a unit. The negative commentary has seemingly brought the defense some extra motivation, as was illustrated by cornerback Brandon Carr on Friday.

David Moore on Twitter

Does Dallas D have chip on shoulder? "It's bigger than a chip,'' CB Brandon Carr said. "It's a boulder.''

If anyone would be expected to have that "boulder" on his shoulder, it would be Brandon Carr. After signing a five year deal worth $50 million with the Cowboys in 2012, Carr's play has been erratic, as he has failed to live up to that contract. Fans have been loudly calling for Carr's release or demotion for the past couple years, and this offseason Carr re-negotiated his deal, in effect to take a pay cut. I do believe there were some signs of improvement and consistency in Carr's game in 2015, and hopefully he can build on that to be even better this season.

The Cowboys defensive backs are also well aware of their most glaring weakness, the lack of takeaways. Carr also spoke to that on Friday, emphasizing the importance of interceptions for both winning games, and for getting paid next offseason.

David Helman on Twitter

Brandon Carr, asked abt DAL CBs in contract yrs: "Get the ball, get this money." Says he's been losing sleep thinking abt getting turnovers.

Morris Claiborne is one of those defensive backs in a contract year. Like Carr, Claiborne joined the Cowboys in 2012 to much fanfare and hype, but so far his play has not merited that level of excitement. Claiborne had his best season in 2015, and is expected by many to take a big step forward towards his perceived potential this season. So far in camp, these expectations seem to be in-line with Claiborne's play.

Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant, who has gone 1-on-1 with Claiborne many times during practice, spoke to his toughness, aggressiveness, and competitiveness in camp thus far.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Dez Bryant on Morris Claiborne: "Mo looking damn good. I love his aggressiveness. ... making me have to come with everything I got.

The entire Cowboys' defense has been ridiculed and dismissed all offseason. Whether it be for lack of established talent, such as the defensive linemen, lack of depth, like the linebackers, or underperforming players in the secondary, this defense has been completely overlooked by those on the outside. While this dismissal may be completely justified, it is encouraging to see the defense look so crisp and play with such an edge during all practice periods.

Especially for those two corners added in 2012, who are out to show that they not only belong on this team, but can be just as good as any of us hoped they'd be.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Freddie

    Defense should not worry about all the negativity and jisst go out and play BEAST MODE in each game. It's time for them to Man-Up and prove everyone wrong

    • Kevin Brady

      Yes sir! Going to need some big plays out of that secondary this year.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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