The common thread which has tied all Cowboys haters together for the better part of the last 20 years has been the perceived incompetence of Jerry Jones.
Nobody wants to believe that the Owner and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys has any idea what he is doing when it comes to football decisions.
They point to failed experiments with players such as Adam "Pacman" Jones or, more recently, Greg Hardy to illustrate that Jerry and the Cowboys are simply reckless and "stupid."
Or, they point to the Cowboys lack of postseason success since 1995 as an indication that Jerry Jones is simply lost in this football world.
All of a sudden, these detractors are being clearly proven wrong.
Jerry's son and heir to the Cowboys Executive throne, Stephen Jones, has gradually taken the reigns of the franchise over the past few seasons. He, along with the help of Will McClay and Jason Garrett, have slowly but surely built a winner in the Cowboys from the inside-out.
There has been a clear culture change in Dallas which started with the firing of Wade Phillips. The Cowboys of the Wade-Era were a finesse team who relied on big plays through the air on offense, and tried to just squeak by with an average defense.
Phillips' training camps were described as "Cupcake Camps," for being softer than most around the league. The roster was also filled with guys who had questionable character and a "me-first" attitude which contributed to Dallas leading the league in penalties in 2008, and finishing in the top eight of that list during each of Wade's final three seasons.
The Cowboys hit rock bottom in 2010, but in hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened to them.
Now, with Jason Garrett pushing for his "RKGs" and smart football minds like Stephen Jones and Will McClay at the helm, the Cowboys are on the verge of greatness.
And other teams are taking notice.
Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report wrote a story last week about this very topic. In his piece, he quotes an NFC General Manager who says that for the first time since the early 1990's the Cowboys are starting to strike fear in him.
Freeman went on to elaborate on the quote, stating that even more scouts and personnel people in the league believe the Cowboys have a chance at a Super Bowl as soon as next season.
The personnel men I've spoken to over the past few days believe the Cowboys are neatly positioned to win the division and within a year or two—maybe even this season—make a strong Super Bowl run.
After years of ineptitude and disappointment it finally seems like the Cowboys have figured it all out. Nothing illustrates this change more than the infrastructure of the offensive line.
From the selection of Tyron Smith in 2010, to the so-called "reach" for Travis Frederick in 2013, and then to the passing up of Johnny Manziel for All-Pro Zack Martin in 2014, the Cowboys have built this team the right way.
They are young, they are physical, and they are eager to win right now.
The Cowboys only have four players on their roster over the age of 30; Doug Free, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and L.P. Ladouceur. Free may be on his way out, but Romo and Witten have been models of consistency for the Cowboys for years, and still have a few quality seasons left to play.
If Green starts, the starting OL's ages in wk 1 will be.. Smith: 25 Collins: 23 Frederick: 25 Martin: 25 Green: 24 https://t.co/JbNiqW8vPi
The fact that this offensive line is so young, yet so far ahead of almost every other line in the league is incredible. And, it points to this culture change which has occurred in Dallas.
The drafting of running back Ezekiel Elliott was the exclamation point to this philosophical shift in Dallas. They now not only have the mammoths to protect Tony Romo and create rushing lanes, they also have a young stud in the backfield who can run through them.
The Cowboys have been the butt of many jokes over the past decade. As fans, it has been hard to sit through the constant heartbreak and late season disappointments the Cowboys have endured lately.
But things are starting to change. Despite the 4-12 season a year ago, the Cowboys have made strides each year to make this team a winner. Of course they still have questions about personnel and holes to fill on the roster, but fans should be excited about the direction the Cowboys are headed.
The Cowboys are coming, and other teams should be worried.
Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving
En una agencia libre muy callada de parte de los Dallas Cowboys, como es costumbre, lo más interesante hasta ahora se revuelve alrededor de un talento increíble en la línea defensiva: David Irving. El joven de la línea defensiva de Dallas recibió un tender de segunda ronda (con un costo de casi tres millones de dólares) de parte de los Cowboys, lo cual significa que vestirá la Estrella Solitaria un año más... ¿o no?
No, no es tan sencillo.
A diferencia de la etiqueta franquicia que recibió DeMarcus Lawrence hace unas semanas, un tender permite a un jugador recibir ofertas de otros equipos. Si Irving llega a recibir una oferta externa, sin embargo, los Cowboys tienen la oportunidad de igualarla.
Pero no sólo eso, sino que si no quieren igualar la oferta, pueden dejar ir al jugador y en cambio, el otro equipo tiene que compensar a los Cowboys con una selección de segunda ronda. Así como el tender de segunda ronda que se le otorgó a David Irving, hay tender de primera ronda o tender de "selección original."
Sin embargo, Irving no fue seleccionado en el NFL Draft, así que esta última opción hubiera tenido poco sentido.
Ahora, pensando en el 2018 y una temporada ya incierta, nos sentamos preguntando: ¿No valía la pena cubrir a Irving con un tender de primera ronda? Al final de cuentas, sólo hay aproximadamente un millón de diferencia entre ambos. Irving es un jugador lleno de talento, y podría llegar a estar entre los mejores en su posición próximamente.
Sin embargo, si somos honestos, es una buena decisión de la administración. Irving ha tenido sus cuantos problemas y quizá este tender ayude a definir su valor en el mercado. Si ningún equipo alrededor de la liga se atreve a ofrecerle un contrato, los Cowboys mejoran su posición en las negociaciones y quien sabe, quizá consigan un acuerdo más amigable para el equipo.
Además, si un equipo decide llevárselo... ¿qué tan malo sería?
Con el pick #19 en la primera ronda del Draft de la NFL, no están en una posición muy cómoda. Como bien algún jugador talentoso como el DT Vita Vea o el WR Calvin Ridley pueden caer a las manos de Stephen Jones, Will McClay y compañía, bien puede estar vacía la tabla.
Con jugadores como el S de Florida State Derwin James o el LB de Georgia Roquan Smith, deberían considerar realizar un trade para subir algunas selecciones y llevarse a uno de estos talentos que no estarán disponibles en el #19.
Con las selecciones globales 19, 50 y una segunda ronda extra que conseguirían por Irving, es fácil visualizar a este equipo dispuesto a hacer un movimiento así el día del Draft.
A pesar de una mala temporada en el 2017, los Dallas Cowboys son un equipo que están cerca de ser contendientes.
Cowboys Free Agency: FB Keith Smith Signing with Raiders
The Cowboys have lost an important role player from the offense as fullback Keith Smith is reportedly signing with the Oakland Raiders.
The #Raiders and FB Keith Smith have agreed to terms on a 2-year worth $4.2million, source said.
Smith, who has been with Dallas for four seasons, was the team's fullback the last two seasons. He started as a linebacker after going undrafted in 2014.
Whether on offense or defense, Keith has been a regular part of the special teams units. The Cowboys' previous special teams coach, Rich Bisaccia, just left this offseason to join the coaching staff in Oakland. That is a likely cause for Smith heading to the Raiders.
Dallas elected not to give Smith a restricted free agent tender, which made sense given his position. Even the lowest tender of $1.9 million would have been too rich for a part-time player.
Even with Keith gone, Dallas may not need to sign a new fullback. Backup RB Rod Smith has experience in that role. They could also use tight ends James Hanna or Geoff Swaim.
Fullback is obviously not the position it used to be in the days of Daryl Johnston, but there are still times you need that lead blocker out of the backfield. Given their reliance on the run game and the success that Ezekiel Elliott had with Keith Smith, Dallas will have to find a solid replacement plan.
Will Another Team Snag David Irving Away From Cowboys?
It was somewhat surprising to learn that the Dallas Cowboys only placed a second-round tender on David Irving. A first-round tender would have likely dissuaded any other team from signing him to a contract and giving up a first-round draft pick, but signing Irving to a contract and giving up a second-draft pick is much more plausible.
I can almost guarantee there are teams around the league right now who are discussing the pros and cons of trying to acquire David Irving. The Dallas Cowboys likely know this which means one of two things:
- The Cowboys are hoping someone sets David Irving's market value with the hopes of matching.
- The Cowboys are willing to part ways with Irving for a second-round draft pick.
There are teams out there who have more salary-cap space than the Dallas Cowboys who could easily sign him to a contract the Cowboys can't match. And, giving up a second-round draft pick for a dominating, yet inconsistent, defensive tackle is probably better than anyone they can draft.
It's not completely out of the realm of possibility Cowboys fans have seen the last of David Irving with a star on his helmet. But, it seems like a risk Dallas is willing to take, whether fans agree or not.
In 2017, David Irving recorded 22 tackles, seven quarterback sacks, six passes defensed, and one forced fumble. He did this after missing the first four games of the season due to a suspension and the last four due to a concussion. That's pretty impressive!
There is no denying Irving's impact when he's on the field, but it's all the other stuff that makes Dallas hesitant to commit fully to the 24-year-old DT.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I know what kind of person David Irving is in the locker room or off the field, but his past behavior and inconsistencies are concerning. Yes, he has immense upside, but that doesn't look as if it's enough for the Dallas Cowboys, at least not yet.
I think this ultimately comes down to the Cowboys not fully trusting David Irving just yet. Placing the second-round tender on him is more of a "prove it" kind of deal, if another team doesn't sign him away. The Cowboys probably want to see he has his head on straight and more consistency before fully committing. It's completely understandable.
It just doesn't seem as if David Irving is in the long-term plans for the Dallas Cowboys right now. I think they would be perfectly content receiving a second-round draft pick, but that decision might not sit well with a lot of Cowboys fans.
There is really no way of knowing if another NFL team will snag David Irving away, but I think the possibility of that happening is pretty high.
Will David Irving remain in Dallas in 2018?
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