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Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team?

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team?

This offseason is a pivotal one for the future of the Dallas Cowboys. The team has the ability to have a ton of cap space and they are picking in the top five of the NFL Draft. It also happens to be a time where they must determine what this team is.

Is it a team that is best fit to win under Tony Romo? Is it a team that is built to win under the future quarterback? Because this determination will influence what this team does in free agency and in the draft.

If they see this team as one that is built to win with their franchise quarterback then you can think back to when the Denver Broncos got Peyton Manning. Manning was reaching the end of his career and John Elway and the Broncos knew that when they signed him. In the offseasons following, the Broncos spent big in free agency and put together the team that has been to two Super Bowls under Manning.

If the Cowboys see this team as ready to win within Tony Romo's window, then they better spend in free agency. There will be some players that can really fit nicely in Dallas and they have the cap space if they choose to use it.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 2

Demarcus Lawrence looks like a foundation piece for the Cowboys. He is part of the youth movement of the team while seeming ready to break out in a big way

The NFL Draft will also vary depending on when they think they are built to win.

If they want to win under Tony Romo, they may be more willing to plug a short-term hole that they didn't fill through free agency. If they want to go long-term then they may take a better player at a position that they have less of a need in.

For example, Myles Jack wouldn't be the biggest need pick, but he's an ultra-talented player and can be a key component for the team for a long time. However, a player like Jalen Ramsey fits an immediate need and can make a major impact now and in the future.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 3

Myles Jack wouldn't really fit a major need but can be a tremendous player in this league

The biggest factor will be free agency. If the Cowboys want to take the true best player available fourth overall then they better fill in the many holes that they have through free agency. There are some major holes on the team and if they are not filled then you really handicap yourself in the draft hoping to fill those needs.

I personally think this team is geared for life after Tony Romo. This is a really young team that has a lot of growing to do. Can they win with Tony Romo? Absolutely they can, but the team as currently composed isn't ready.

If they can handle free agency and the draft well then they can get a team together that can be a serious threat under Romo and beyond if they hit on quarterback.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 1

27 September 2015: Byron Jones (31)
of the Dallas Cowboys during the Cowboys 39-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

I really think there is a potential dynasty brewing here and there are two things that need to happen for that to work out. They need to fill their many holes now if they want to win under Romo and they need to find their quarterback of the future if they want this talented roster to last.



I've been blogging about sports and music for almost eight years now. I also work in media relations for a New York sports team, so I understand the bridge between the outlets writing about a team and the team monitoring content. I hope to bring something new to Inside The Star, getting deep into draft work, breakdowns and I always come with a strong and passionate opinion. I'm very active on Twitter, so ask questions, comment on stuff, etc. and I will almost definitely respond to you in some sort of debate!

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3 Comments
  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com cowboysdude

    This team is neither long or short term and the reason they are in a 20 year slump. They have an organization that is such a mess that they are clueless. They continue believing that the 'HC' is a or someday will be a HC.. not going to happen. Even to the most casual fan you can see the man clearly doesn't have what it takes to win.

  • Charlie Moore

    I would love to see the Cowboys have a great team that makes it to the playoffs year in and year out. That's how I grew up. My Cowboys were in the playoffs from the time I was a kid until after I graduated from college. Hell, I thought it was my birth right for the Cowboys to be in the playoffs. It's been a generation now since we've had anything to get excited about save for the 2014 season. Even in the 80's when things went bad we had hope. The 90's brought us three rings and teams that will never be forgotten in the NFL. Since that last Super Bowl 20 years ago the Cowboys have had nothing. Last year was just God awful. I've lost faith. Not in the team. It's Jerry. He just infects everything with his ego.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    InsideTheStar.com UserThey continue believing that the 'HC' is a or someday will be a HC.. not going to happen. Even to the most casual fan you can see the man clearly doesn't have what it takes to win.

    You mean like that year he went 12-4 and won the division and a playoff game?

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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