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Cowboys en Español: 3 Preguntas Que Se Contestarán en Training Camp

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Projecting The Cowboys Starting Defense - Pre Training Camp 1

Estamos a menos de 10 días de que inicie el training camp de los Dallas Cowboys. Esto es, extremadamente emocionante para mí, y estoy seguro que para todo Cowboys Nation. Es la recta final de la larga y dolorosa espera para ver a los Cowboys jugar americano. Claro, ya vimos las famosas actividades organizadas por el equipo (OTAs por sus siglas en inglés) y el minicamp.

Pero Training Camp es mucho más especial.

La razón principal es que los jugadores se equipan por primera vez en el offseason. Hay contacto por primera vez en meses. En minicamp apenas y existe el contacto mínimo. No sólo eso, pero para muchos jugadores, es la última oportunidad de ganarse un puesto en el roster.

Los Dallas Cowboys son un equipo que a pesar de tener un futuro prometedor en el camino, también tienen grandes signos de interrogación en varios aspectos de su juego.

Aquí están tres preguntas que se contestarán una vez que el training camp tomé lugar.

Cowboys en Español: 3 Preguntas Que Se Contestarán en Training Camp

Jaylon Smith... ¿Está Listo?

Increíble pensar que han pasado 442 días desde que los Cowboys tomaron el riesgo de seleccionar a Jaylon Smith en la segunda ronda del NFL Draft 2016. El LB ha brindado una cantidad increíble de expectativas y anticipación para todos los fans y medios.

Smith puede ser la pieza que le de la vuelta a la defensiva de los Cowboys. El producto de Notre Dame no hubiera tardado más de cinco picks en ser seleccionado si no hubiera sido por la lesión que sufrió en su último partido de universidad. El problema que tuvo en el nervio de su rodilla fue bastante serio. Incluso era incierto si iba a poder llegar a tomar el campo por su condición.

Durante la gran temporada del 2016, se discutió la posibilidad de ver a Jaylon al final de la temporada. Todos nos volvimos locos al ver vídeos de él corriendo a máxima velocidad, y cuando finalmente lo vimos con un casco de Cowboys este offseason, ni se diga.

Smith participó sin problema en los OTAs y en minicamp, pero tiene un reto mucho más difícil en training camp. ¿Cómo responderá al contacto? Si puede participar al 100% y no sufre ninguna repercusión en su rodilla, Smith probablemente estará listo para la temporada. Si tiene problemas, habrá más preocupación en la posición de LB.

Por favor, que sea lo primero.

La'el Collins

¿Quiénes Serán las Nuevas Caras de la Línea Ofensiva?

La única duda del lado ofensivo para el equipo este año, es la línea ofensiva. Ha sido un tema que nos hemos cansado de discutir. Sin Doug Free como tackle derecho y sin Ron Leary como guardia izquierdo, habrá dos huecos que llenar en la línea ofensiva.

El nombre clave aquí es La'el Collins, que hizo un excelente trabajo como guardia izquierdo en el 2015. En el 2016, tuvo un mal inicio en los primeros juegos y finalmente sufrió una lesión que puso a Leary de nuevo en la formación.

Collins tiene un puesto asegurado como titular, y todo parece indicar que será como RT en vez de su posición original, guardia izquierdo. El cambio de posición no será una transición fácil para La'el. Muchos argumentarían, que este cambio es un error de parte de los Cowboys, muchos dirán que es lo mejor.

Pero en una posición que se trata de contacto físico en las trincheras jugada tras jugada, línea defensiva contra línea ofensiva, es justo discutir que puede que la decisión no sea final aún. El puesto que no tome Collins, seguramente será tomado por Jonathan Cooper, Byron Bell, o Emmett Cleary.

Aunque se diga que después de minicamp existe un favorito entre estos últimos, creo que no será seguro hasta verlos en training camp. El contacto lo es todo en esta posición del juego y sin duda la decisión de tomara cuando los jugadores estén totalmente equipados.

Viaje al Roster: ¿Logrará Entrar Rico Gathers?

Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players To Watch At Rookie Minicamp 4

Dallas Cowboys Rico Gathers (80) participates in a drill during rookie minicamp at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch in Irving on Saturday, May 7, 2016. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

Rico Gathers nunca había jugado football americano hasta que fue seleccionado por el equipo más renombrado en la historia de la NFL: los Dallas Cowboys. El increíble prospecto se quedó en la escuadra de práctica todo el 2016 para que completará su transición de estrella de basketball, a un tight end de NFL.

Durante este tiempo ha sido uno de los proyectos más interesantes de los Cowboys. Lo llegamos a ver en pretemporada y en varios videos de prácticas. Pero sigue siendo una incógnita si lo veremos en el roster este 2017, o si tendremos que esperar un poco más para ver al hombre de más de dos metros jugar.

El desarrollo de Rico tendrá que ser suficiente en Training Camp y en la pretemporada para ganarse un lugar en el roster de 53 jugadores. Con un Jason Witten que ya no es el mismo de antes, sería interesante ver a Gathers emerger como un arma para el futuro.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

La espera ha sido larga, y lo sigue siendo, pero una vez que el training camp llegue, las cosas serán más fáciles. Los Cowboys tienen con que competir este año, y si la respuesta a estas tres preguntas obtienen respuestas positivas, tendrán una mejor situación para la temporada.

¿Qué opinas de añadir a Zach Orr al equipo?

¡Haznos saber en los comentarios abajo, o búscame en Twitter @PepoR99 y hablemos de football! Si estás buscando un programa de los Dallas Cowboys en español no te pierdas Primero Cowboys en vivo.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: 3 Preguntas Que Se Contestarán en Training Camp" 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

Star Blog

Sean’s Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory’s Impact on Cowboys Defense

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory's Potential Impact on Cowboys Defense

The Dallas Cowboys report to training camp next week, and for the first time in a long time there may be more excitement for their defense compared to a largely reshuffled offense. This hype for Rod Marinelli's defense, bolstered by the addition of Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard, was elevated earlier in the week when the Cowboys learned Defensive End Randy Gregory would be reinstated.

Gregory's presence as a potential starting right defensive end is an uplifting one for the Cowboys as they depart for Oxnard. Above all else, this is a rare turn of fortunes for a player the NFL can now tote as a success story.

Once Gregory's focus shifts towards taking hold of that starting DE position for good and giving the Cowboys a pass rush of him and DeMarcus Lawrence off the edge, his impact could change the entire complexion of this defense.

After watching Gregory's last game for Dallas, a week 16 win in Philadelphia back in 2016, here is what I saw from the Cowboys "Christmas in July" addition to their defensive line.

Gregory3

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This first clip is probably Gregory's most memorable play through three seasons with the Cowboys. Two teams going in opposite directions since this game, the Cowboys have cycled through their rotation of pass rushers to play the weak side -- with nobody coming close to the athleticism and bend Gregory displays here.

Already planning on attacking the offensive tackle to the outside with his long arm approach, Gregory regains his balance avoiding the low block to get even with Carson Wentz and finish the play. This type of relentlessness is a signature of the Cowboys defense under Marinelli, now fielding a deep group of defensive ends around Gregory and Lawrence.

Gregory1

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Just how much Gregory comes off the field for the likes of Tyrone Crawford, rookie Dorance Armstrong, Charles Tapper, or Taco Charlton will be determined by his ability to hold up against the run. This was a strength for Gregory against the Eagles, as his cornering ability helped him chase down plays all over the field.

It's hard to understate just how important Gregory's speed and range from this RDE spot could mean to the Cowboys, especially given their changes at linebacker for the 2018 season.

This is a team that's also added plenty of range to the second level of their defense with rookie Leighton Vander Esch and another year of Jaylon Smith.

These linebacker's ability to shoot gaps and be disruptive in the backfield will be aided by the depth Gregory is capable of gaining with ease against left tackles.

Gregory2

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Gregory does have a tendency to play upright at times and offer a larger blocking area than needed. As you see above, this can help him as an all-around player, as chasing down the run to the outside comes easy for him.

The Cowboys won't be at full strength at defensive tackle to start the season, with David Irving suspended for the first four games again. Maliek Collins is also coming back from another broken foot, as him and Gregory will be important to watch progress through training camp.

The overall potential for a Cowboys defensive line featuring all three of these players, and the rotational pieces behind them, is incredibly high for a team just looking to get back to their roots this season.

For the Cowboys in 2018, this means running the ball effectively, limiting turnovers on offense, and protecting the lead on defense. Randy Gregory significantly helps the Cowboys do the latter here, improving an already fearsome pass rush in ways that few players are capable of.

This is ultimately why the first-round talent fell to the second round for the Cowboys, who took the risk on Gregory and are now on the long path back towards seeing this gamble pay off, something a very thankful Gregory must see through on the field.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory’s Impact on Cowboys Defense" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Star Blog

Why Patience Is Key In Evaluating Randy Gregory

Kevin Brady

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Cowboys were fully aware of the risks involved when they drafted prolific edge rusher Randy Gregory in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

They were also well aware of the potential rewards too.

Gregory has spent much of his NFL career away from the Dallas Cowboys, dealing with suspension after suspension and rarely playing actual football. Now, Randy Gregory has gained reinstatement into the league, and all signs point to positivity around his future.

As expected, both the Cowboys and their fan base are excited about the return of Gregory to the roster. And, of course, they should be. Gregory possesses all the traits necessary to be a top tier pass rusher in the NFL, even if we haven't seen it on full display thus far.

At his best Gregory is the prototypical RDE that Cowboys Nation has been yearning for. But it's probably unfair for him to reach that potential as early as this season. Pass rushers coming off suspensions, particularly lengthy suspensions, are rarely able to find their way quickly after returning.

And if you want proof of this, you only have to look across the way at DeMarcus Lawrence. After a strong 8 sack 2015 season, Lawrence was suspended the first four games of 2016. Once he returned, Lawrence battled injuries all season and only appeared in 9 games. Over those 9 games Lawrence tallied just 1 sack and made a minimal impact.

The next season, though? DeMarcus Lawrence was back to playing fully healthy and engaged, en route to a team leading 14.5 sacks and the best overall season of his career.

Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence are different players, and this is obviously a different situation, but the need for patience remains the same. To expect Gregory to be a dominant pass rusher in 2018 is more-than-lofty, as he deserves time to work back into playing shape and perfect his craft off the edge.

Unlike Lawrence, Gregory will have a full offseason and 16 game slate ahead of him. Plus, we haven't heard of any lingering injuries affecting Gregory going forward.

So while we may need to temper expectations at least a little bit, I still expect Randy Gregory to become the RDE we all hoped he could be with time.



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Star Blog

How Should The Cowboys, And The NFL, Value RBs?

Kevin Brady

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Will Cowboys' Offense Improve With Ezekiel Elliott's Return?
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There is no one, stand-alone "best" strategy for winning in the NFL. There are, of course, common themes and ideals which run true year in and year out among the top teams.

Strategy in the NFL is dynamic, or at least it should be. Running in place for too long under the same leadership often breeds mediocrity, and refusing to move with current trends can put you at a severe disadvantage.

Succumbing to those trends without fully analyzing the confounding factors your situation presents, however, can also ruin a team building exercise.

With that being said, should teams pay elite running backs top dollar? Or are those running backs expendable, replaceable, and often forgettable within the NFL machine?

To be honest these aren't very fair ways to pose legitimately interesting questions. You can acknowledge that a running back is important to your offense while also acknowledging that you don't want to break the bank for a position with such injury risk and high turnover year-to-year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently facing this dilemma, as their star running back Le'Veon Bell asks to be paid like an elite "weapon," not as a normal running back. And when you examine how the Steelers deploy Bell within their offense, he clearly has a point.

Bell is not your traditional "running back." He lines up on the boundary, in the slot, and is a passing threat out of the backfield as well. On top of all of this versatility, Bell is an excellent pass protector, something which is often lost among other "versatile" backs.

Bell can quite literally do it all for an offense, but the idea of paying that position elite-level money makes teams cringe. As The Athletic's Marcus Mosher pointed out on Twitter, teams like the New England Patriots have been able to replicate Bell's production by using multiple speciality backs rather than one workhorse.

In theory, this takes away the injury risk component to a certain extent. Rather than giving one player 350-400 touches per season, you spread those touches out and allow for players to do what they do best.

Lately, the NFL has seemed to agree that this is the most efficient way to play offense. But when you have a player like Bell or Ezekiel Elliott, in what way is taking the ball out of their hands "efficient" at all? In addition, how is using three players to mimic the skill set of one efficient?

Yes, the NFL is a passing league, but when you have a playmaker who is of the caliber of a Bell or an Elliott, it is up to the offense to deploy in him ways that maximize his value. Teams should be using the Bells and Elliotts of the world as pass catching threats and as weapons all over the field. Force the entire defense to account for your running back rather than just jamming him between the tackles like it's 1975.

The movement towards "running back by committee" rather than the traditional one-back system can also be credited to the lack of workhorse-worthy backs entering the league.

Ezekiel Elliotts don't grow on trees, they are rare and special players. And when you have one, especially when you spend a premium pick on him, you should get the most out of him that you can. Playing winning offense in the NFL is about more than just "do you run or do you pass," and it often hinges on creating splash plays of 15-20 yards.

If you can get those plays through the use of an elite running back, that player becomes intrinsically valuable to your team. No matter what "position" he is labeled as. Of course you want to be able create mismatches in the passing game all over the field, so when you are able to do this with a running back, shouldn't that be deemed as highly valuable?

We can't say just yet if the Cowboys should re-sign Ezekiel Elliott once he enters free agency. After all, five seasons (and a franchise tag year) where he touches the ball more than most players in the league will almost certainly bring about some wear and tear.

But with the way the Cowboys have chosen to play offense, and the way in which they've built their roster, a workhorse back like Elliott is necessary for success.

Once again, at least it is for now.



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