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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.


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

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Player News

Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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