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Cowboys Aren’t Hinged By T.O.

Bryson Treece

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With all the talk about Terrell Owens and whether he’ll be in a Cowboys uniform next year, the subject of whether or not we can sustain a potent passing game without him has been raised. It’s something that nobody has the answers on, but it makes me wonder, why don’t we?

What is it about Roy Williams that says he can’t handle the load without T.O. across the field? Perhaps the best argument against him is that he played for the Lions until last year, and I know this because I’ve seen it written in so many places, and by so many people. The popular opinion is that he sucks because he was with the Lions.

People like to throw out there that he’s only had one season over 1,000 yards, but what I don’t understand is why the same amount of logic isn’t placed on both sides of the discussion.

He played for the Lions … when is the last time the Lions did anything notable in their passing game? Even I had Mike Furrey on my fantasy team a couple of years ago, but that was also the same year in which Williams got his 1,000 yards, so something was obviously working better that year.

So he comes to Dallas, narrowly escaping a full claim to the worst season in NFL history, and he catches 19 passes for a couple hundred yards. The truth is that Williams, while he caught fewer passes than he could have, was only about 3 yards per catch behind Owens. That means that had our offense not collapsed from mid-season on, he could have ended up with more yards than Owens. Sure, it’s not likely since Owens is the number one wide out, but it’s possible that he could have without him doing anything different.

That has to make you wonder something, how can we be facing such trouble without Owens when Williams was producing at a similar level per catch? Now watch that, I said per catch. A lot went into why Williams had fewer catches, some of it was his fault, some of it wasn’t, so we can’t really make claim to the cause in either direction.

What we do know is, even after Jerry Jones so cryptically told the attending reporters at his press conference yesterday that they weren’t going to get the answer they wanted, that even if he does cut Owens loose, he wasn’t the only guy producing.

T.O. was the only player at a skill position playing in every game of the season.

T.O. did have a blow out game against his former team, nearly breaking his own career record for yards in a game.

None of that says that this team won’t produce over the top should he be gone in 7 months. And to say that we need to pick up another receiver either through the draft or free agency is just idiotic. Why would the Cowboys risk bringing in another player as a project from the draft when we still have Stanback, Austin, and Hurd who have yet to progress past that same status?

Why would we bring in another free agent receiver when we’ve got Williams not playing up to his ability last season; Owens the center of a bigger fuss than Bill Clinton, and the other free agent wide outs we’ve brought in during this decade that have quite literally flopped?

A lot of what’s being said centers around the attention that Owens gets, some off the field, and some on the field. Can this team be any good without Owens occupying double coverage? Well, tell me this, how did Michael Irvin do it all those years? He was never the fastest receiver; he was just a go-up-and-grab-it type of guy. For all accounts, Williams is that type of guy also, he’s just never had a QB worth $60 million throwing it to him.

Give it an off-season, a full training camp and preseason, and you’ll see that Owens is going to get more competition from his right than from the defensive backs facing him.

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Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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9 Comments
  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    At this point I fear the chances of that are equal to the chances of getting Irvin back in uniform. But it’s a nice though. Surely Garrett won’t feel like he can do anything less than make the needed changes. Even if he does it wrong, if he can’t adjust after the 2008 season, he won’t be around as an OC much longer.

  • Joe C

    Yeah I agree with you, like I have been saying give ALL of them time in the off season and training camp to come together and mesh together and everything should be ok, depending on if J Garrett can figure shit out, which I HOPE he can.

  • ALISON

    I THINK THE COWBOYS SHOULD OUST TERRELL OWENS QUICKLY. HE ISNT DOIN ANYTHING FOR THE TEAM ALWAYS DROPPIN THE BALLS AND THEN SOME. THEY NEED TO TAKE SOME OF THAT MONEY AND INVEST IN SOME OF THESE UP AND COMING RECEIVERS AND SOME GREAT RECEIVERS WILLING TO TRADE OFF. AS I WAS SAYIN BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS IT DOESNT ONLY TAKE ON MAN TO PLAY THE GAME BUT IT ALSO TAKES GREATNESS LIKE MICHAEL WAS ALONGSIDE ALVIN HARPER TO WIN GAMES. HE NEEDS A GREAT RECIEVER ALONG SIDE OF HIM. AND AS FOR JASON GARRET HE KNOWS WHAT HES DOING, I HAVE WATCHED HIM HELP OUT THEM WINNING COWBOYS BACK IN THE 90’S WHEN TROY WAS INJURED AND HE PLAYED GREAT. JERRY JONES NEED TO STOP TRYING TO BE THE DAMN COACH AND LET HIS COACHES WORK!

  • Joe C

    What money are you referring to Allison? If we cut Owens we take a huge hit on our cap and we already don’t have much to work with because we still have our free agents to worry about too. Besides we don’t need to spend money to get a better receiver, we already have 3 primed and ready. And I don’t know which game you were watching this past season, but Garrett def. didn’t know what to do with his receivers. Not sure if that’s why Romo was improvising and changing the plays from what Garrett had called or not, but that can be my only guess. He needs to figure his offense out and if not it’s just like Bryce has said, he will def. be gone for the 2010 season and will prolly not be pursued by any high paying decent teams next year after another piss poor performance. I can only hope that he figures shit out and gets on track with his receivers and the likes.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    With what you say though … Owens and Williams should both be drawing double coverage, which I believe will be as close to the case as possible next year. Of course team can’t always double two receivers, but they’re going to try. That should open up other things a lot.

    But Garrett is going to have to be careful with what he does, cause if you load up too much on one play, like Barber and Jones, Witten, T.O., and Williams, you’ll get a lot more man coverage and cover 2, which can be more dangerous if everyone isn’t on the same page.

    Good points though.

  • Shaun Wellman

    I dont know what kind of pitch and catch system they were running in Detroit after Mike Martz departed, but the offensive scheme in Dallas is very, very complicated.

    One guy not on the same page with the QB can bust an entire play.

    The biggest mistake made after Roy Williams arrived was giving him Patrick Craytons job in only his second game. That decision reduced P.C.’s role and production, and also played what I think is the biggest part of why the offense went to shit after Romo went down, and did’nt seem much better after he came back.

    P.C. was the starter for all of 07 until Glenn came back for the last game of the regular season and the playoff game against the Giants. Remember how disastrous that was? In 2008 P.C. came in to the mini camps and training camp and held on to his job with Hurd and Austin begining to emerge as viable replacements. You should always try your best to stick with the horse you rode in on.

    This offense has run like a machine when the recievers are schooled up in camp and know their role, but when you start messing with the chemistry that makes your team run like a cohesive unit during the season you can start expecting the worst. The incumbent “Z” receiver has lost his job to someone that was’nt part of minicamps and training camp twice in the last 2 seasons, and both times the results were season ending. The only difference is that there was a lot more season left to play in 08 than in 07.

    People saying that the trade for Roy was a bust, is bullshit. Roy is a stud reciever and will fit in much better next year when he truly knows the system. I’m looking forward to seeing him doing some heavy work over the middle and grabbing jump balls in the back of the end zone, and for now thats exactly why he was brought in. He’ll replace T.O. some day and we’ll all be glad he’s here, they just put too much on his plate last year.

    I’m also excited to see P.C. back in the slot after a full offseason of work there. He has the best hands on the team and should’nt be thought of only as the guy who dropped one. They all drop one from time to time, some alot more than others(T.O.), but P.C. is a player we should all be proud to have.

    Keep T.O. one maybe two more years at the X, Roy at the Z, P.C. in the slot, and Miles Austin coming in with that speed to take advantage of all the double teams Owens will get and we will see this offense come back to form in 09 and for years to come.

  • The Wizard

    Williams will be the number one receiver one day. But, I’m not sure that it is time for that day to come. The best scenario would be for Owens, Witten, Romo, and Garrett to sit down and straighten out whatever the problem is like men. I don’t think there is any argument to the fact that the Cowboys are a better team on the field with Owens. It would be nice to see everyone get on the same page and on the same common goal of winning a Super Bowl. It should be easy for Owens because he is not getting any younger and you have to believe that winning a championship is very important to him.

  • Frank Washington

    While I agree with this article, it should be pointed out that Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin was a Deep threat AND also would get that tough over the middle catch to move the chains. T.O. and R.Williams have’nt shown the ability to do that with any consistancy throughout their careers(Aligator arms, Dropped balls). The Cowboys current Wideouts can get the job done if Jason Garrett gets back to the drawing board, his Offense has been figured out by the rest of the league…..Jason, heres a start , put in some bunch formations. The first one is free!!………… you pay for the rest!!! GO COWBOYS!!

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    But Irvin was never that fast. He wasn’t slow … obviously … he was physical enough running his routes to get a step, and that usually translated into a deep pass taking advantage of that extra step. Owens has never been that way, and Williams hasn’t really either.

    I’m just hoping that Williams can step up and show us a few new tricks to his game in this offense. No doubt is this offense more explosive than the Lions’ over the past decade.

    Getting comfortable is going to be the key, even if Garrett doesn’t fix his end of things, Romo trusting Williams will not only help Williams get the ball, but it may start drawing double coverage away from Owens even. I’m optimistic about Williams.

Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin

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Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

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Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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