To say the Dallas Cowboys have been fortunate as an organization to have had some of the best wide receivers to ever play the game would be an understatement. I could sit here and throw numerous names at you, but you pretty much know who they are. One name that probably isn't in that conversation yet is Dez Bryant, but should it be?
Now, I know opinions will vary as to whether or not Dez Bryant deserves to be mentioned in the same context as Michael Irvin, Drew Pearson, or Bob Hayes, but I'm of the opinion that it might start to be. Michael Irvin and Bob Hayes of course are Hall of Famer's and it can be argued that Drew Pearson belongs there as well, so it's understandable why Bryant isn't linked to them very often. The good news is though, Dez Bryant does share something in common with each one of these WRs.
Dez Bryant shares a connection with Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson by the number jersey he was awarded when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him, #88. It's a number that has been at the forefront of many big moments in Cowboys history and something Jerry Jones was hopeful Dez Bryant could continue during his tenure with the organization. Whether or not he has lived up to those expectations would be an interesting topic for discussion, but it's Bryant's connection with Bob Hayes I want to focus on.
Unfortunately, Bob Hayes' playing days were before my time, but I know all too well who he is and what he meant to the Cowboys organization. Hayes played for the Dallas Cowboys for nearly a decade (1965-1974), and during that time he set numerous records that still stand today. But, one of his records is in jeopardy of being broken by Dez Bryant after standing for nearly 50 years.
You would think Dez Bryant tying Bob Hayes for the most touchdown receptions (71) in Cowboys history would've garnered more attention last week, but it kind of slipped the cracks. I'm sure it was mentioned at the time, but I think everybody was so caught up in the dominant performance the Cowboys had put together against the 49ers, that it was quickly forgotten.
Well, I'm 100% positive that it will be a big storyline this week against the Washington Redskins. Dez Bryant has a chance to sit atop the TD reception list for the Dallas Cowboys if he can find himself in the end zone this Sunday against the Redskins. But, it probably isn't going to be an easy thing to accomplish.
You see, it's looking more and more as if Josh Norman will be back on the field when the Dallas Cowboys come to town. Norman has missed the last few weeks due to an injury, but you can bet he will not pass up the chance to battle Dez Bryant, even if he's not at 100%.
It's pretty much guaranteed it will be entertaining every time Dez Bryant and Josh Norman square off against one another. They are two of the more fiery competitors in the NFL and neither one of them wants to give an inch to the other. We have seen it in past ballgames and now in commercials. So, you can bet Norman will do his best to keep Bryant from breaking Bob Hayes record against him.
Now, I'm not going to bet against Dez Bryant though. If I was him, I think it would just add more fuel to the fire. What better way to break a record that has stood nearly 50 years for the Dallas Cowboys than to do it against someone you respect and despise at the same time? That is exactly what Josh Norman is to Bryant.
I know I'm biased, but I really hope Dez Bryant is able to score the 72nd touchdown of his career and surpassed "Bullet Bob" Hayes. Not only would it be amazing to do it against a competitor like Josh Norman, but it would prove beneficial to the chances of the Cowboys beating the Redskins. That is the bigger picture after all.
Do you think Dez Bryant can break Bob Hayes record against Washington?
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.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
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