At this time of year the majority of the talk surrounding the NFL is about which teams have the best chance to make the playoffs and what scenarios have to play out for each organization to secure one of those coveted spots.
There was however some news that I thought was out of the ordinary for this time of the year and it had to do with one of the better young wide receivers in the NFL, Brandin Cooks.
There is a rumor going around that Cooks is unhappy with his role with the New Orleans Saints and could potentially be on the trade market this off-season.
Now, this could be nothing more than a rumor about a player that wants to be more involved in the game plan, but if he is on the trade block this off-season, there should be several teams highly interested in acquiring a player of his caliber.
Of course, when anyone as well known as Brandin Cooks is available via trade or on the open market, they are always somehow linked to the Dallas Cowboys.
So, I thought I would take a look and see if the Cowboys should be even remotely interested?
Why the Dallas Cowboys could be interested…
Brandin Cooks is an electrifying player who could join the team and instantly upgrade the passing game for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys will have to address the wide receiver position at some point during the off-season, either through the draft or free agency. Both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are in the last year of their contracts, but neither player has the game changing ability that Cooks possesses.
Cooks is that deep threat/big-play wide receiver that the Cowboys offense has not had in over a decade. Already this season he has had a 98 yard reception for a touchdown in Week 1 and an 87 yard TD in Week 6.
Having that kind of big-play WR would open up things for the entire offense for the Dallas Cowboys and give Dak Prescott yet another weapon at his disposal.
Also, defenses would finally have to devote extra attention to a wide receiver not named Dez Bryant. Can you imagine how dangerous #88 would be if he is single covered more?
Cooks would also help the Cowboys impressive running game. No longer would teams be able to play an extra defender in the box to try and contain Ezekiel Elliott.
So, you could see why the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in trading for Brandin Cooks.
Why the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be interested…
First off, the New Orleans Saints aren't just going to give Brandin Cooks away. They are going to try and get as much as they can in return from any team interested in acquiring the young WR.
I think the Saints will likely be looking for a second round draft pick at the very least, but it would likely take the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick in 2017 since they should be selecting later in the round.
That's a hefty asking price for a player the Cowboys would likely have to offer a long-term contract to since Cooks will be in the fourth and final year of his rookie deal.
The Cowboys already invested heavily in Dez Bryant and still have Zack Martin to lock up for the future. So, would they really be willing to spend more money on the offensive side of the ball?
Also, the Cowboys have really focused on building through the draft these past few years and it's worked out well for them. Spending big money on player seems to be a thing of the past, but you never know what they might do if Jerry Jones falls in love with someone?
Overall, I think the likelihood of Brandin Cooks joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2017 is a longshot. But, there is no denying that he could turn an already potent offense into an unstoppable force.
I guess we will all just have to wait and see if Cooks is indeed on the trade market this off-season and if there will be any interest by the Dallas Cowboys.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should be interested in Brandin Cooks?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions about the likelihood of Brandon Cooks wearing a star in 2017.
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
3 Dallas Cowboys Who Could Be Traded Before Week 1
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Former Redskins RB Rob Kelley Could Be Shrewd Signing for Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
5 Takeaways from Dallas Cowboys OTA’s
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Kasey Redfern, a Name Dallas Cowboys Fans Might Want to get to Know
Star Blog2 weeks ago
3 Reasons 2019 Will be Dak Prescott’s Best Season Yet
Star Blog2 weeks ago
How Concerned Should We Be About Ezekiel Elliott’s Situation?
Dallas Cowboys7 days ago
Could Amari Cooper Threaten Cowboys Receiving Records in 2019?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Will DE Taco Charlton “Break Out” In 2019?