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Cowboys Camp: 5 Bold Predictions to Start Training Camp

John Williams

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Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Is To Jaylon Smith What 2014 Was To Sean Lee

The Dallas Cowboys have welcomed their rookies to training camp which began July 19th, inside The Star in Frisco, Texas. This means we're not far off from opening ceremonies of training camp 2017 which starts on July 24th.

With the preseason nigh upon us, that means we can begin the "process" of predicting how the 2017 NFL Season is going to turn out.

With that, here are five bold predictions for the Dallas Cowboys 2017 training camp.

Could The Cowboys Keep Six Wide Receivers? 2

Ohio State Buckeyes Wide Receiver Noah Brown #80 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

1. Noah Brown is the WR Darling of Training Camp

Whether it was Andy Jones in 2016 or Devin Street in 2014 and 2015, the story is the same every year.

Some unknown wide receiver makes a lot of plays against second and third team players (who aren't going to be on the roster) and Twitter and Cowboys sites go ablaze predicting their future stardom.

You can read Sean Martin's post-draft scouting report on Noah Brown.

This year it's going to be Noah Brown. While Brown arguably has an outside shot to make the 53 man roster out of training camp, it's likely as the 6th wide receiver and will be more of a result of his blocking ability than his receiving ability. Cause let's be honest. Who on the depth chart is Brown going to displace?

Not Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, or Ryan Switzer. He might have a shot to knock Brice Butler off the roster, but it's likely that Dallas brought Butler back for quarterback Dak Prescott. Don't forget how important continuity is.

Brown has ability and can make plays. Just check the highlights from Ohio State's game against Oklahoma last year -- sad face. He was unreal. There was a reason, though, that he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has some things to work on.

Going against 2nd and 3rd team players are going to give Cowboys fans a lot of excitement.

2. Kellen Moore Silences His Critics

You may have noticed a trend here at Inside The Star. We don't like the Cowboys prospects if any meaningful games need to be played by Kellen Moore.

I really don't think a successful preseason will cement #KelMo's status as the career backup to Dak Prescott, but it will definitely silence people like me.

See what I wrote about Kellen Moore when I asked Who's Already Locked Up a Spot on the 53 Man Roster?

I don't think he's good enough to play in the NFL.

I've said as much several times.

That said, he will probably play well enough in the preseason against backups to maintain his hold on the depth chart. He'll get a chance to throw to Ryan Switzer, Brice Butler, and Noah Brown and behind a decent offensive line too.

If he is ever going to show that he belongs in the NFL, now is the time to do it. The Dallas Cowboys need to solidify their backup quarterback position and with Kellen's age, he can likely be that guy for the next decade.

Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players To Watch At Rookie Minicamp 4

Dallas Cowboys Tight End Rico Gathers #80 (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

3. Rico Gathers is Ready to Roll

Since the Cowboys made Rico Gathers their 6th round pick in 2016, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the former Baylor basketball standout.

With the size of a defensive end and the hands and athleticism to play tight end, Cowboys Nation has been eager and excited to see what the big man has to offer.

With depth at tight end a question mark, now is as good a time as any to realize that potential that has everyone dreaming of Rico in the red zone.

Blocking will be the biggest key to Gathers making the roster and having an impact during games. Now with a full offseason in the Dallas Cowboys program, and having spent much of last year working with Tony Romo on the scout team, Gathers should be ready to make an impact.

He isn't going to supplant Jason Witten on the depth chart. That just isn't going to happen, but he could provide the stability that has been lacking with injuries to James Hanna and Geoff Swaim.

Get ready, because this preseason will be the one we all look back on and say, "that's when Rico became Rico."

4. Jaylon Smith Starts Season on the PUP List

As excited as we all are about the prospects of former All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith making an impact on the defense, the reality is he's a valuable resource that the team shouldn't rush onto the field.

Brian Martin talked about the progress that Smith has made this offseason and the new brace that he's wearing.

Like Marcus Mosher--from Locked on Cowboys and Bleacher Report--tweeted the other day, there's no reason to rush him to the field if he isn't 100%. Let him continue to improve and get healthier before bringing him back.

Getting Jaylon at 100% come playoff time will be a huge lift to the defense.

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: RB #46 Alfred Morris 1

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Alfred Morris #46 (James D Smith via AP)

5. Alfred Morris is a Cut-Down Day Casualty

As excited as we all were about Alfred Morris' signing last offseason, it's been met with an equal amount of disappointment. Outside of the first game or two when Ezekiel Elliott seemed to be trying to find his NFL legs, Morris was pretty underwhelming in his first season in Dallas.

Every statistical category was a career low for Morris; carries, yards, touchdowns, and receptions were all disappointing. The category that is the most troubling, however, is his yards per carry. 3.1 represented a career low for the now six-year pro.

Behind what is considered, at the very least, a top-five offensive line in the NFL that featured the league leader in rushing yards, Morris should have been better.

If no suspension befalls Ezekiel Elliott, I could see the Cowboys going in a different direction with their third running back. Someone like Rod Smith offers more athleticism and versatility, while also playing special teams.

As much as we all wanted Morris to be the guy that ran for over 1,000 yards his rookie season, he just hasn't been that guy. To me the writing's on the wall.

Do you expect anything surprising from Dallas' preseason?



I didn't start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I've now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America's Team.

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9 Comments
  • Willie Rogers

    Hopefully nothing happens to Prescott because 2017 will be like 2015.K.Moore already showed he is garbage that need’s to be dumped out already, cowboys get real and get a #2 guy behind Prescott.

    • George_Johnson

      K Moore is not garbage. In 2015 it was his first time playing against 1st team defenses and he had limited reps/time to get ready to play. S Linehan who probably knows more about than you, said K Moore did a lot of good things but made too many mistakes. K Moore is a student of the game and is likely to improve his mistakes. He almost set a new NCAA record for fewest interceptions in a career (28) so the guy doesn’t have a reputation of throwing interceptions. You should at least wait until after the preseason to say K Moore is garbage. He is likely to play very well and may even play better than D Prescott. He should be very ready, know the offense/playbook intimately, knows exactly what Linehan wants in any situation, has the confidence of the team and knows the other offensive players well. K Moore is a master at pocket passing and it should show up in the preseason games.

      • Willie Rogers

        K.Moore is not the answer at backup qb, if the cowboys are to win the super bowl this year they will have to find a decent backup, Jason Garrett should know this all to well while he was riding the bench behind, Kosar,& Steve Buerlien.Get a legitimate backup and Luke McCown will definitely be a disaster.

  • George_Johnson

    Glad to see that you believe if K Moore plays well in preseason it will shut up his critics. I hope so also. I will be surprised if he doesn’t play well as he is an outstanding pocket passer. He does have physical limitations that can impact his play. He cannot make rocket throws across the field or down the field. S Linehan who should be one of the top QB experts in the world says he can play in the NFL. He says his arm is strong enough. He also says K Moore knows his limitation but is able to get the job done in his own way. Linehan also says he is very accurate, smart and uses uncanny anticipation to make the passes.

    • John Williams

      Like I’ve said before, I’m not so confident in Moore’s ability as a long term answer if Dak goes down, but if he has a solid preseason, he’ll keep his job for another year, as long as he doesn’t have to play in any meaningful games. Lol.

  • Daniel Helms

    I am not quick to jump on the Dak bandwagon. I actually believe Kellen needs to have a far shot to show what he can do and actually open the position of for competition. Considering Kellen’s opportunity was setup by first not even allowing him to practice the with the 1’s until the week after Cassel was benched. By the way they should have never assumed that Cassel would do better than Moore because of “experience.” They should have let Moore replace Weeden and so that the pressure to be the world beater from the get go would have been lessened give Moore time to adjust to the ramp up. Secondly, I believe that most of Moore Ints had little to do with arm strength but lack of practice for both and his receivers. On the same note, Dak received all the reps in practice last year since when Romo and Moore went down there was nobody else. Even fatter that, Dak had the advantage, most of his stats were either the same as Moore or worse. For example, Dak and Moore had relative good percentages of completions and almost the same average of yards per attempt and catch, on the other side Kellen had 30 more yards per and triple the ratio of 20 yard plays per game as Dak. Everybody keeps trying to highlight the 13-3 record, but in the three games Kellen played the defense was the problem. Kellen had no real WR threat. Zeke was probably the biggest difference. With Zeke, Dallas’ run production almost doubled from the year before. Let’s also forget that even with one of the easiest schedules in Dallas’ history they won most the games in very tight contest. Another issue I saw in Dak was that opponents started to figure out how to play against him half-way through the season. He had a spat 4 games of less than 200 yard games. Keep in mind that Moore’s numbers were never below 150 yards a game while played against much tougher defenses. Stats don’t lie.

    • George_Johnson

      I agree with much of what you said. However, Dak was still nothing but amazing last year, ESPECIALLY considering he was a rookie and learning from a fire hose. I think he is likely to come back down to earth this year some and could easily go through a sophomore slump or at least have less success even if he improves his play overall. I doubt K Moore will be able to displace D Prescott. D Prescott has a stronger arm, is way more athletic, has more of the prototypical size and can run like a deer. D Prescott also has some of the same skills/abilities that K Moore has such as accuracy, good game manager, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, plays smart, poised, etc. While K Moore may be ahead of D Prescott in just reps/experience/maturity/veteran/etc. he soon will not be as D Prescott gets more and more playing experience and the coaches add more to his plate.

      • Daniel Helms

        Stronger arm and still way few 20 yard plays ratio wise how is that even possible. Besides I would much rather have pure pocket passer over an option read or running QB anyday, especially as smart as Moore is. Moore to me has plenty of arm but a little accuracy we tries to force the issue. Like the pass to Wooten in the Wash game that he over threw. Once he practices more with the receivers I believe he can open up the field far more than Prescott who seems to be limited to the sidelines. This is because Moore is more familiar with being under center and not being exclusively relying on playaction or rollout plays. This maybe because Dak is still a little raw in the strict pro style system. It could also be that he has a limited accuracy problem when throwing in the middle of the field.

    • Jess Haynie

      Sorry man, but this is pure delusion.

      Dak’s completion percentage was 67.8% to just 58.7% for Kellen. He threw four picks in 16 games while Kellen threw six INTs in just three games. He had a passer rating of 104.9 to just 71.0 for Kellen.

      You were right about one thing, though. “Stats don’t lie.”

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: 3 Escenarios Para el Futuro de David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez

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- David Irving, #95

En la NFL, la falta de noticias en Junio generalmente significa buenas noticias. Los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys saben esto mejor que nadie y en caso de que lo hayan olvidado, David Irving se aseguró de recordarle a Cowboys Nation el porque de esta frase.

La semana pasada, se anunció que David Irving recibirá una suspensión de cuatro partidos por haber violado la política de abuso de substancias de la liga. Es la segunda suspensión que Irving recibe en años consecutivos y lógicamente, esto es preocupante para el equipo de los Dallas Cowboys.

Las últimas dos temporadas hemos visto a Irving convertirse en una pieza de suma importancia para la defensiva. El año pasado, Irving consiguió siete sacks (capturas) en sólo ocho juegos y se convirtió en un caza cabezas muy efectivo.

Demostrando ser uno de los jugadores más talentosos de su posición en la NFL, es difícil imaginar el futuro del #95 en la liga. Tras recibir un tender de segunda ronda hace unos meses (explico que es eso aquí), el futuro de Irving es muy incierto. Por eso, esta semana en Cowboys en Español, exploraremos tres escenarios posibles para el defensivo de 24 años.

#1 David Irving se va de Dallas prematuramente

Hace unos días, me dediqué a defender mi posición de que los Cowboys estarían cometiendo un error al cortar a David Irving. A pesar de que realmente despedirse de un defensivo como Irving parece muy poco probable, es un escenario que debemos discutir.

Irving ha sido un dolor de cabeza para el equipo en más de una ocasión. Dos suspensiones en años consecutivos no es una buena imagen para un jugador que busca un contrato jugoso al terminar el año.

Si Jason Garrett y la administración quieren "dar un mensaje" cortando a David Irving, ¿qué tanto serviría? Esta idea de enviar un mensaje, a la hora de pensarlo fríamente, parece una idea romántica de parte de nosotros los fans. Al final de cuentas, estamos hablando de un locker room lleno de jugadores adultos y profesionales, no de un grupo de niños.

Además, bien sabemos todos que Irving no es el único Cowboy que ha tenido problemas. ¿Será el hecho de que ha ocurrido dos años seguidos razón suficiente para dejarlo ir? Personalmente, no lo creo. Los Cowboys dejarían ir a un jugador muy bueno en una posición de necesidad.

Datone Jones, Jihad Ward y Maliek Collins podrán ser suficiente. Pero David Irving es especial en el campo. Mejor tenerlo por 12 juegos a tenerlo cero.

#2 Irving se queda para el 2018, pero no más allá

David Irving recibió un contrato de un año que le pagaba (antes de ser suspendido) 2.91 millones de dólares. Si hubiera demostrado que no era problemático y que podía mantenerse al 100% toda la temporada, probablemente hubiera recibido un gran contrato de los Cowboys o de otro equipo en la NFL.

Sin embargo, el dicho lo dice todo. "En la NFL, la disponibilidad es la mejor habilidad." Irving no se ha terminado de ganar la confianza necesaria para una gran extensión.

En este punto, Dallas puede esperar a que su tackle defensivo regrese de su suspensión, juegue doce juegos con ellos y les consiga un sack por juego por menos de tres millones de dólares. Después de eso, el equipo pude darse el lujo de dejarlo ir sin una extensión y verlo convertirse en un agente libre.

Does DT David Irving Have a Future With Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys DT David Irving (Albert Pena / CSM)

#3 Irving se queda por más de un año

En este caso, hay dos "sub-escenarios." Suponiendo que, efectivamente, Irving regresa y juega como sabemos que puede hacerlo, no será tan fácil dejarlo ir. Si llega a sorprender y demuestra que realmente es quien creemos que es y consigue diez capturas en sólo doce juegos, ¿realmente no le dará el equipo una oportunidad?

La primera opción sería asignarle la etiqueta franquicia y obligarlo a jugar un año más para un equipo que busca desesperadamente un Super Bowl.

Si se sienten cómodos dándole el salario de una etiqueta franquicia para evitar perderlo, ¿podríamos culparlos después de que les dio por ejemplo, diez capturas? Yo, personalmente, no podría hacerlo.

La otra opción, y una que podría ser la más realista, es más simple. La inmadurez y los problemas de Irving le costarán la confianza y el interés de otros equipos y es posible que en un punto, Dallas sea el único equipo que le pueda brindar seguridad de trabajo.

De esta manera, Dallas podría ofrecerle una extensión de dos, tres o más años a un precio mucho más barato que el de cualquier DT que consiga dos dígitos de sacks.

✭✭✭✭✭

David Irving sin duda tiene un futuro incierto delante de él. Realmente sería una sorpresa verlo fuera de Dallas en el 2018, pero más allá, quien sabe lo que pueda pasar. Por ahora, esperemos que una vez que vuelva de la suspensión, esté en forma para ir detrás de los quarterbacks oponentes.

Con un poco de suerte, quizá nos olvidaremos de esto en Noviembre.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: 3 Escenarios Para el Futuro de David Irving" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Is Kris Richard Actually Jason Garrett’s Replacement, Not Rod Marinelli’s?

Brian Martin

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Is Kris Richard Jason Garrett's Replacement, Not Rod Marinelli's?

Much has already been made about the Dallas Cowboys hiring of Kris Richard. He was brought in to be this year's defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, but it's a title I don't think he will hold for long.

It has already been speculated that Kris Richard will become Rod Marinelli's successor to become the Dallas Cowboys next defensive coordinator. Marinelli in fact contemplated retirement after the completion of the 2017 season, but decided to give it another go in 2018. But, anything beyond that is unknown at this point.

It isn't that hard to believe that Kris Richard will be the Dallas Cowboys next defensive coordinator. He already has a pretty good track record as a DC from his time with the Seattle Seahawks (2015-2017). During that time, the Seahawks had one of the better defenses in the league, which is why a lot of Cowboys fans are excited about what he can do in Dallas.

This was a terrific hire by the Dallas Cowboys. Richard is one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the league today and is highly respected around the league. For him to take a step back from defensive coordinator to become the DB coach/passing game coordinator in Dallas is a little confusing.

Why would he take a step back in his coaching career to come to the Dallas Cowboys?

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys DB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard

Before he agreed to come to Dallas, Richard interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts. To already be considered a head-coaching candidate tells you all you need to know about the trajectory of Richard's career. Again, why take a step back with the Cowboys?

We all know that Jerry Jones is a fantastic salesman. He must've been able to convince Richard that he has a chance at a big promotion sometime soon. But, would a promotion to defensive coordinator be enough for Richard? Does he have his eyes set on something bigger?

I know that I'm not alone, but Jason Garrett is on thin ice this season. If he doesn't at least get the Dallas Cowboys into the playoffs this year, he could be looking for a new job, which would create a vacancy at head coach. This could be the kind of opportunity Kris Richard is looking for.

I find it a little hard to believe that Kris Richard would be willingly to come coach in Dallas knowing that the entire coaching staff could be dismissed after the season if Jason Garrett isn't successful. That's not typically the kind of job security you look for, so something has to have been promised to him behind closed doors.

I know it's a lot of speculation right now, but I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility. Someone is going to have to replace Jason Garrett if he falters this season and Kris Richard is a logical choice. After all, it's kind of the way Garrett became the head coach of the Cowboys when he replaced Wade Phillips. Could history repeat itself?

Do you think Kris Richard is Jason Garrett's eventual replacement?



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NFC East Position Rankings: The Quarterbacks

Kevin Brady

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5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule 1
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The long NFL offseason is finally beginning to come to a close, with teams participating in mandatory mini-camps and training camps just a month away. Still, though, there is a lot of time left before the 2018 NFL season really begins.

With that time it's always fun to rank things and put together lists. I mean, who doesn't love a good article ranking players? Over the next few weeks I'll be ranking position groups in the NFC East to see which team comes out on top.

Today we begin with the NFC East quarterbacks, arguably the most scrutinized position group in all of sports.

4. New York Giants QB Eli Manning

Though he is the most accomplished quarterback in this division, Giants QB Eli Manning comes in last in our current rankings. Manning has seen his play decline throughout the years, even being benched in favor of Geno Smith late in 2017.

With a healthy cast of pass catchers and rookie running back Saquon Barkley surrounding him, however, Manning could be poised for improvement in 2018.

The Giants offense might be the best in the league if each game was a 7 on 7 tournament, so it will be interesting to see how Eli Manning performs this season.

3. Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith

The newest starting quarterback in the NFC East is Washington's Alex Smith, and he comes in third in our rankings. Smith has gotten the reputation as a check-down artist throughout his career thus far, but when surrounded by the right talent he can be very effective.

Smith had arguably his best season to date in 2017 with the Kansas City Chiefs, but I just don't see Washington's offense being nearly as dangerous as those Chiefs were a year ago.

To me, Smith is at best a marginal upgrade over former starter Kirk Cousins, and won't bring too much of a difference over the long haul in Washington.

2. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Second on our list is Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The now third year quarterback is coming off a bit of a "sophomore slump" to end his 2017 campaign, though his first season and a half warrant him our number two spot.

I expect Prescott to look like himself in 2018, especially with the improvements the Cowboys made to their offensive line. Ezekiel Elliott should be available for all 16 games, and the turnover in the receiver group gives some cause for optimism as well.

Prescott is the former Rookie of the Year and has had a good start to his career thus far, but sorry, Cowboys fans, we can all admit Dak Prescott doesn't deserve the top spot as of now.

1. Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz

The top quarterback in the NFC East right now is Eagles QB Carson Wentz. Wentz was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2017 prior to his injury, and once returning to full health Wentz should be able to impress once again.

The Eagles offense was downright dominant while Wentz was healthy, and though they did win the Super Bowl without him, Wentz brings their productivity to another level.

And with arguably the best supporting cast of the entire division, Carson Wentz is poised for success going forward.



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