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Cedric Thornton: Wasted Money, but Nobody’s Fault

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Cedric Thornton: Wasted Money, but Nobody's Fault

Dallas did not have much cap space to work with last Spring but made a few moves to try and help the defense. Their single biggest signing was a four-year, $17 million contract for veteran lineman Cedric Thornton.

Going into the 2016 offseason, the Cowboys knew they needed an upgrade at defensive tackle. Nick Hayden had been a starter for three years and, while a hard worker and reliable, was not any kind of pass-rushing threat or all that great against the run. Dallas wanted a more threatening presence on the line next to Tyrone Crawford.

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Breakout Candidates: Cedric Thornton 1After five years with the Eagles, the last three as a starter, Cedric Thornton was not a glamorous free agent but a solid one. Having played both as a 4-3 tackle but also a 3-4 defensive end in Philadelphia, Thornton's versatility was intriguing to the Cowboys. They wanted a guy who could hold up against the run but also cause some disruption.

Six months later and Thornton isn't filling the role that was expected. He is the fourth man in the DT rotation, making starter money but not serving in that capacity. He is playing behind another veteran, Terrell McClain, and third-round rookie Maliek Collins.

That doesn't mean the Thornton signing was a mistake. It made perfect sense at the time.

Before this year Terrell McClain had chronic injury problems. He would have strong camps and preseasons but then wind up hobbled before September. Dallas couldn't count on him to finally come through as Nick Hayden's replacement.

Dallas didn't draft Maliek Collins until seven weeks after signing Thornton. They had no way of knowing that they'd come out of the draft with a rookie DT capable of playing significant reps, let alone being able to start.

Cowboys Headlines - Cedric Thornton: Wasted Money, but Nobody's Fault 1Thornton's slide to the bottom of the depth chart isn't a knock him. It's brought on by unforeseen circumstances. McClain is finally delivering on expectations and Collins is looking like a third-round steal. The result is the deepest DT rotation that the Cowboys have had in a long time.

Of course, you look at the money paid to Cedric Thornton and wish it had gone elsewhere. Dallas could have put those funds towards a pass rusher, perhaps combining it with the money paid to Benson Mayowa to bring in a player of real consequence.

Despite this 2016 issue, the Thornton signing could work out in the long run. Terrell McClain is an unrestricted free agent next year and will be 29-years-old. Despite his good play now, Dallas may not want to give him a long-term deal as he moves into his thirties. Thornton can move back into a larger role.

We've had plenty of times as Cowboys fans to look back on offseason moves and shake our heads. While this one may not have worked out the way everyone expected, you can't lay blame on anyone involved. It was the right move at the time.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T

The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.

During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.

After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.

This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.

Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!



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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie

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L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.



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