The game of football is a physically demanding sport and this is especially true at the NFL level. NFL players are the best of the best and they train their bodies using the latest up-to-date scientific methods to prepare themselves to take on the abuse they will endure throughout any given season.
In today's NFL players are bigger, stronger, and faster than they were a decade ago and because of this there has been an importance placed on player safety to help prevent against injuries.
We all know that injuries are a part of the game, but it seems like some players are more prone to getting injured than others.
The Dallas Cowboys have a few of these types of players and unfortunately they both play on the defensive side of the ball.
It's no secret that linebacker Sean Lee has had his fair share of injuries dating back to his collegiate career, but when healthy he is one of the better linebackers in the entire NFL. Lee is a difference maker on defense when healthy, but really can't be relied upon to play an entire season.
Much like Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne has also had a difficult time remaining healthy for an entire season and it has really stunted his growth as a player.
Claiborne has yet to finish an entire season healthy and has really been a disappointment since being drafted by the Cowboys sixth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
By now you've probably heard numerous times that Claiborne was the Cowboys highest rated cornerback since Deion Sanders, but that now seems like a huge miscalculation on the scouting departments part.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Claiborne's, but it seems like every time he starts putting things together and gaining some momentum, he gets hurt and has to miss an extended period of time.
It's getting kinda monotonous to hear people asking when Claiborne will finally put things together and have a breakout season.
At this point in his career I'm still not quite sure if we have seen the best from Claiborne or or if this is just the type of player he actually is. I think this can mostly be contributed to his injury history.
Claiborne had his best season with the Cowboys as a rookie in 2012. He started 15 games and had 43 tackles, eight passes defensed, and one interception. Since then, it's been pretty disappointing production wise.
In 2013, Claiborne only started in seven games and only had 24 tackles, five passes defensed, and one interception.
The 2014 season was even more disappointing. He only started four games after going down with a serious knee injury early in the season. He accumulated five tackles, two passes defensed, and managed to come down with one interception.
He seemed to somewhat manage a rebound season in 2015 accumulating 30 tackles and seven passes defensed, but failed to record an interception. He also only managed to play in 11 games because once again his season was cut short because of an injury.
Because of Claiborne's well-documented history of injuries, I wasn't completely surprised that the Cowboys didn't pick up his fifth year option. I was however somewhat surprised that they decided to sign him to a one-year contract worth $3 million, but only $500,000 of that is fully guaranteed.
It was actually a pretty smart move on the Cowboys part because not only did it save them a lot of money, but they desperately needed depth at the cornerback position.
Claiborne's role on defense has yet to be defined with the return of Orlando Scandrick, but the most likely scenario is that Claiborne will play opposite Brandon Carr when the Cowboys defense is in their nickel package and Scandrick would slide down into the slot.
No matter how the chips may fall for Claiborne in the upcoming 2016 season, he has to find some way to put his past injuries behind him if he ever wants to find any kind of success in the NFL. Otherwise, he can never be truly relied upon to be a consistent contributor.
Do you think Morris Claiborne can finally put his injuries behind him and have a breakout season for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below so that we can further discuss this topic.
Terrance Williams Contract Creates 2018 Job Security
There's been a lot of talk about what the Dallas Cowboys will do at the receiver position this offseason. While there's a great divide on what the team should do with Dez Bryant, there's a fairly unanimous opinion that Dallas should find an upgrade over Terrance Williams. No matter where he ends up on the depth chart, though, Williams' contract should keep him on the roster in 2018.
Last offseason, Terrance signed a four-year, $17 million deal to stay in Dallas. Because we are now just in the second year of that deal, it is cost prohibitive against the salary cap to release or trade him.
Williams is scheduled to count $4.75 million against the 2018 cap. If Dallas were to cut him, it would accelerate his remaining guaranteed money and create $7.25 million in dead money this year. He would cost more against the cap off the roster than on it.
Even the June-1st provision doesn't help. Williams' dead money in 2018 drops to $4.75 million, which is a net zero against his existing cap hit. It would also push $2.5 million of dead money to 2019. There's no benefit there, and you lose an experienced player who knows your system.
If the Cowboys do like their WR depth enough to want to move on from Terrance, one option is to try to trade him. A trade would lower the cap penalty to $3.75 million and save $1 million. If he's traded after June 1st, it would save $3.5 million against this year's cap.
Of course, it takes two to tango in this scenario. Williams hasn't scored a touchdown since 2016 and has never proven he can take on a significant role in an offense. He was serviceable when Dez Bryant and Jason Witten commanded more attention, but he's a low-end WR2 at best and many teams likely wouldn't want him in their top 2-3 receivers.
Perhaps something could happen during training camps or preseason, when injuries may make other teams desperate. Then again, something could happen in Dallas that makes them less willing to part with Terrance.
As it stands, it seems unlikely that Terrance Williams won't be a Cowboy in 2018. And really, that's not bad thing.
Even if he gets pushed down the depth chart, Terrance would be a good insurance policy against injuries or any other issues that could happen between now and September. $4.75 million is more than you'd like to pay your fourth WR but it's a one-year problem.
If the Cowboys do add more WR talent this offseason, there is a trickle-down effect that strengthens the entire club. Williams, with his experience, is an upgrade over Brice Butler as the fourth receiver.
Therefore, unless circumstances both here and elsewhere allow Dallas to find a trade partner, Terrance Williams should be back next year.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
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