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Can Datone Jones Help Solve Cowboys’ DT Problems?

Brian Martin



Can DL Datone Jones be a Difference Maker in 2018?

The Dallas Cowboys are a team that aren't afraid to take a chance on players, especially when they are former first-round draft picks. What can I say, they seem to like reclamation projects.

A year ago at this time they signed former first-round offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper. It was a signing that ended up working out in their favor because Cooper eventually earned the starting left guard position. But, he wasn't the only former first-round player signed last season.

The Cowboys signed Datone Jones the day after Thanksgiving and he ended up playing in the final four games of the 2017 season, logging 117 defensive snaps. Jones, who was drafted five picks ahead of Travis Frederick, never quite lived up to his draft status with the Packers, which is why they probably decided not to pick up his fifth-year option. Now, he looks to resurrect his career in Dallas.

Datone Jones (6'5", 288) looks more like a prototypical 3-4 defensive end, but with the Cowboys he played more defensive tackle last season. Despite being undersized, he performed admirably and showed flashes of that first-round talent.

Luckily, the Dallas Cowboys have found success in the past with undersized defensive tackles and I believe Datone Jones could be the next. He has an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, but I don't think we should count him out just yet and I'll tell you why.

We all know that the Dallas Cowboys are currently thin at the defensive tackle position, especially with Maliek Collins out with a broken foot. Luckily, Datone Jones has the ability to not only provide depth, but possibly excel there despite being undersized.

The main problem with undersized DTs in a 4-3 defensive scheme is they typically struggle holding up at the point of attack in the run game. This is an area that I was concerned about Jones' fit with the Cowboys, but he proved last season he is more than capable of holding his own.

Datone Jones

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Jones gets the best of the center on this play and not only pushes him into the backfield, but makes the tackle for a loss. You may have also noticed that he does this from the one-technique, a position the Cowboys failed to upgrade this offseason.

Datone Jones

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In this clip we once again see Jones lined up at the one-technique putting the Philadelphia Eagles center on skates and disrupting the play. He doesn't make the tackle on this particular play, but he forces the running back to change his path, which allows someone else to make the play.

Datone Jones

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This is the kind of penetration Datone Jones can bring to the Cowboys defensive line, and again it's from the one-technique. He is already 3 yards in the backfield before Russell Wilson can even make the handoff. It's this kind of disruptive penetration I think could earn him a big role in 2018, quite possibly as a starter.

Of course, all of these video clips were of Jones playing against the run, where I had the most concerns about him as a 4-3 DT. But, he also has added value as a pass rusher.

Datone Jones

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This is more in line with the way I thought the Dallas Cowboys would use Datone Jones, as a situational pass rusher from the DT position when they go to their nickel defense. This could be his best chance to get on the field in 2018, but I still think he can be a complete player as a DT.

Like I said earlier though, Datone Jones has an uphill battle to make the roster, but at least he has some good film to help his case. This all could come down to how much the coaching staff values Jones' ability and how they feel about their current depth at the DT position.

I don't know about you, but I think Datone Jones could end up being a really good find for the Dallas Cowboys and can end up being a good rotational piece for them in 2018, with starter upside.

Do you think Datone Jones can help the Cowboys DT depth?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


Star Blog

Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release

Kevin Brady



Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.

We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.

1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants

I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?

The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.

This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.

2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving

We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.

Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking  that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.

Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?

3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December

This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.

It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Lawrence Extendido, ¿Sigue Prescott?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Warts And All, Dak Prescott Shows Why It's Not So Easy To Move On

La saga más importante en este offseason de los Dallas Cowboys llegó a su fin la semana pasada cuando DeMarcus Lawrence por fin firmó su extensión. Tras semanas de estar en un "punto muerto" en las negociaciones, se reportó que ambas partes habían retomado las pláticas el viernes pasado y el mismo día se anunció el trato.

El ala defensiva de 27 años consiguió un contrato de cinco años y 105 millones de dólares. Esto convierte a Lawrence en el tercer defensivo mejor pagado de la liga en promedio por año, detrás solo de Khalil Mack y Aaron Donald. Con 21 millones anuales, muchos no están de acuerdo con pagarle esta cantidad de dinero a un defensivo como D-Law.

Es entendible, dado que nunca es fácil hacer a un jugador uno de los mejores pagados en la liga. Sin embargo, DeMarcus Lawrence lo vale. Pidió dinero del calibre de Von Miller y otros defensivos elite porque ha producido a ese nivel.

DeMarcus Lawrence Has the Leverage in Cowboys Contract Talks

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

No sólo eso, sino que realmente se ha perfilado como el mejor en su posición contra el juego terrestre. El valor que aporta al equipo logra justificar lo que se le pagará. Además, la estructura del contrato realmente ata al equipo solo por tres años a Lawrence. Esto es una victoria para la administración de los Jones.

¿Quién Sigue? Dak Prescott.

Como bien sabemos, DeMarcus Lawrence no era el único jugador que necesitaba recibir una extensión. Pero ahora que está fuera de los quehaceres, Dak Prescott es el centro de atención en Dallas.

En sus primeros tres años en la NFL, los Cowboys han ganado dos veces el título de la NFC East. Ha demostrado ser un líder capaz de dirigir al equipo y ganar en los momentos importantes. De hecho, Prescott es el quarterback con más series ganadoras desde el 2016, cuando entró a la liga. Por si fuera poco, ningún mariscal de campo ha conseguido tantas series así en sus primeras tres temporadas.

NFL Research on Twitter

DallasCowboys QB Dak Prescott * Most game-winning drives (14) since 2016 * Most game-winning drives in first 3 seasons (14) of any QB since 1950 @dallascowboys @dak

Y no hay que confundirnos. La pregunta no es si lo van a extender o no. La pregunta es: ¿Cuánto le van a pagar al quarterback de 25 años? Sabemos que la administración confía plenamente en Dak para ser el futuro. Le van a pagar. Para darnos una idea, veamos los mejores pagados actualmente según Over The Cap (en promedio por año):

  • Aaron Rodgers - $33.5M
  • Matt Ryan - $30M
  • Kirk Cousins - $28M
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - $27.5M
  • Matt Stafford - $27M

Muchos ven a Dak como un jugador que merece menos de 25 millones al año, pero no es así como funciona el mercado. A mi parecer, el contrato no bajará de 25 y se acercará a los 30 al año. ¿Mucho? Quizá. Pero en esta liga, si te quieres quedar con un mariscal franquicia, tienes que pagarle bastante para evitar que llegue a la agencia libre.

Y sí, Prescott sigue bajo contrato en 2019 pero la extensión seguramente vendrá antes. El valor por un QB sube cada año al igual que todas las posiciones y con un jugador como Patrick Mahomes en la AFC, habrá un brinco considerable el próximo offseason.

Cuando Prescott firme una extensión, habrá mucha división entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Personalmente, veo a Dak como un jugador franquicia. Por ahora, estemos contentos porque Lawrence se queda en casa.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Lawrence Extendido, ¿Sigue Prescott?" 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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Star Blog

Cowboys Come Out In Full Force To Support Dirk Nowitzki In His Final Home Game

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Come Out In Full Force To Support Dirk Nowitzki In His Final Game

Last night was a major one in the NBA, with two legends and future Hall of Famers playing in their last respective home games. Of course, the legend which means the most to Dallas-area sports fans is Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki, who gave a teary-eyed farewell to the Dallas faithful on Tuesday night, finally admitting "it's time."

It's no secret that Nowitzki has been supportive of all DFW teams while apart of the Mavs organization, and last night the Cowboys returned the favor, showing up in full force to support Nowitzki in his final game.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Dallas Cowboys at tonight's Mavericks game: Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee, Connor Williams, Joe Looney, Jeff Heath, Travis Frederick, La'el Collins, Randall Cobb, Allen Hurns, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Tavon Austin

A collection of players, including Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Sean Lee joined head coach Jason Garrett in a luxury box to enjoy the game and show their support of the Mavs legend.

Dirk Nowitzki put up 30 points and 8 rebounds in the Mavericks 120-109 win, an excellent way for the future Hall of Famer and fan favorite to go out in front of his home fans.

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