Cuando la ofensiva de los Dallas Cowboys tome el campo el 9 de Septiembre en Carolina, la ausencia de Jason Witten en la alineación será un golpe duro para los aficionados del Equipo de América. El retiro del legendario #82 se anunció hace meses, pero el hueco que dejará en el equipo no será fácil de sustituir.
En una ofensiva que de por sí verá muchísimos cambios en la posición de wide receiver esta próxima temporada, Dak Prescott tendrá que lanzarle el balón a un grupo de tight ends con muy poca experiencia.
Por más que Jason Witten pertenezca al Salón de la Fama debido a su histórica carrera en la NFL, no es un secreto que en sus últimos años, su producción fue en decline. Simple y sencillamente no era el mismo jugador que una vez fue, pero seguía siendo las manos más seguras en el equipo y seguía participando de una manera efectiva.
Incluso con dicho decline en su producción, el grupo de jóvenes que intentará llenar sus zapatos este año no será una mejora. La posición de TE es una de las posiciones más preocupantes en el roster de los Dallas Cowboys. Incluso se podría decir que es la más preocupante de todas.
Echemos un vistazo a los jugadores de esta posición que actualmente están buscando un puesto en el roster.
#87 Geoff Swaim
Es muy temprano para decir quien será el titular a lo largo de la temporada, pero hasta ahora es justo asumir que el ala cerrada en control será Geoff Swaim. De todos, es el que más experiencia tiene con 28 juegos en tres temporadas.
Detrás de Witten, Swaim sólo ha logrado conseguir nueve recepciones para 94 yardas. Swaim es bueno bloqueando y esa la razón clave por la cual podría ganarse la titularidad al inicio de la temporada. Igualmente, demostró consistencia como receptor en las pocas oportunidades que tuvo.
#86 Dalton Schultz
Producto de la universidad de Stanford, Schultz puede ser la selección más subestimada de los Cowboys este NFL Draft. Es difícil imaginar al novato de cuarta ronda ganarse el puesto para iniciar la temporada, pero sin duda puede contender por ella muy pronto.
Para la ofensiva de Dallas, bloquear es fundamental y Schultz es muy bueno haciéndolo. Pero además de eso, es bueno con sus manos. No me sorprendería ver a Schultz con un rol importante una vez comenzada la campaña.
#89 Blake Jarwin
Quizá el nombre menos conocido por los aficionados, pero uno que sin duda los coaches tienen muy en mente. Se sabe que el equipo de coaches le tiene cariño desde el año pasado, cuando estando en la escuadra de prácticas de Dallas, los Philadelphia Eagles se empezaron a interesar por el joven de 23 años.
Para evitar que el equipo rival se lo llevará, los Cowboys rápidamente lo promovieron al roster. Jarwin ha tenido un buen training camp y siendo que Swaim tiene experiencia y Schultz el potencial, creo que la pelea en la posición es entre Jarwin y Gathers... lo cual nos lleva al elefante en la habitación.
#80 Rico Gathers
Gathers es uno de los jugadores más controversiales en el equipo. Al momento de ser seleccionado, la esperanza es que fuera una historia épica de un jugador cuya primera experiencia de football americano sería en la NFL.
Su cuerpo y su atletismo prometían mucho pero después de dos años sin estar en el roster, la emoción ha muerto un poco. Gathers puede ser una amenaza en el juego aéreo, pero sus problemas al bloquear pueden ser más que suficiente para dejarlo fuera del equipo.
Como receptor, Gathers puede ser el mejor del grupo. La pregunta será si su desarrollo ha sido lo suficientemente bueno para ganarse un puesto en el roster. Tendrá que ganárselo.
Tanto Geoff Swaim como Dalton Schultz parecen tener los puestos más seguros en el equipo. Uno por su experiencia, otro por su potencial. Si los Cowboys deciden cargar con sólo tres tight ends, me parece que el jugador cortado será o Jarwin o Gathers.
También es posible, a pesar de que sería una sorpresa, que el equipo decida arriesgarse y cargar con los cuatro. Porque si Dallas intenta que Gathers termine en su escuadra de prácticas, lo más probable es que otro equipo en la liga se arriesgue llevándoselo a un roster.
Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?
What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.
Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.
It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.
Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.
If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.
We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.
Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.
Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1 WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.
Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?
How ‘Bout them Cowboys?! Dallas Set to Lasso Redskins in Week 7
Well, what do you think now of America’s Team? Anyone who foresaw Dallas’s evisceration of the league’s No. 1 defense hailing from Jacksonville is a downright soothsayer. In case you were in a coma this past weekend, the Cowboys obliterated the Jaguars’ vaunted defense to the tune of a 40-7 massacre in which Dak Prescott tossed for 183 yards, two passing touchdowns and ran one into the end zone for good measure. When the dust settled Prescott had chewed up 82 yards on the ground and Ezekiel Elliott surpassed the century mark in rushing with 106 yards and a touchdown of his own.
It was a glorious day to be a Cowboys fan and it’s safe to say that America’s Team is back!
Or are they?
Dallas is in a three-way logjam for the top spot in the NFC East with the Redskins and Eagles, but the way they made mincemeat of the Jacksonville defense gives us all hope that more good things are in the cards soon.
Seventh-year WR Cole Beasley blew the doors off of the Jags secondary by catching nine passes on 11 targets for a pair of touchdown receptions and 101 yards. It was a season-high for Beasley and the fact that Prescott has no real top-tier targets after the departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten makes it even more special.
This is a team that was not supposed to be able to move the ball through the air and, to be fair, hasn’t done much of it this season as evidenced by their 29th ranked passing game. But a little creative game planning by Head Coach Jason Garrett and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan paid dividends and the lingering specter of their heartbreaking overtime loss to the Texans in Week 5 was exorcised by the dominating victory.
What has gotten lost in the euphoria of Dallas’s week 6 win is their defense, as the Cowboys had three sacks, seven quarterback hits, and an interception by Jeff heath.
Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles was under siege and did not respond well to the pressure after establishing career highs in passing yards over the last two weeks leading up to this contest. But his opportunity to become the fifth NFL QB with three consecutive games of 375 passing yards or more evaporated in the heat of a blistering Dallas defense. Bortles ended the day with 149 yards, a TD and a pick.
As the Cowboys move on to Washington, we see that their success at home is only equaled by their struggles on the road. Dallas is now 3-0 at home and 0-3 on the highway. Buoyed off their stunning blitzkrieg of the Jags, we see that one of the most respected and trusted online sportsbooks in the industry, BetOnline has the Cowboys as 1 ½ point underdogs which is most likely a few points below what they would have been had they not won so convincingly last week.
Those who like to back up their football prognostications with cold, hard cash understand that Dallas is not only losing on the road but losing money for their backers in those contests. In those three losing games, Dallas is 0-2-1 against the spread but this week could be different. Against their divisional foes this week, Dallas is 4-0 straight up and 3-1 ATS versus Washington over the last two seasons.
The way this Cowboys defense is playing and the sudden explosion of Cole Beasley as a focal point of the passing attack, we could very easily see their first road win of the year.
Should the Dallas Cowboys Trade for These 2 Oakland Raiders?
The trade deadline on October 30th will be here faster than we know. It's the final opportunity that NFL teams will have an opportunity to make a significant upgrade to their roster. And if you're a frequent reader of the Dallas Cowboys, then you know that the Dallas Cowboys could use some help, especially on the offensive side of the football.
On Thursday, Marcus Mosher from The Raiders Wire on USA Today posed a hypothetical trade involving the Dallas Cowboys. In his scenario, he has the Dallas Cowboys trading for Wide Receiver Amari Cooper and thinks that Cooper could net the Raiders a top 75 draft selection.
Amari Cooper is a good wide receiver, but he's not a receiver I would trade a top-75 pick for. Cooper is a player that has a lot of talent, but has struggled with drops and inconsistency. Even now, with the Raiders he's having a hard time getting consistent opportunities.
Cooper's second on the team in targets, but third on the team in receptions behind a tight end and a running back. Cooper's also third on the team in yardage behind the two guys that I'd be way more interested in trading for; Tight End Jared Cook and Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson.
Yes, these guys are on the wrong side of 30, but they are guys that have been around a long time and can help your offense this season. Both would be upgrades at the position, even at their advanced NFL age.
Jared Cook - Tight End
You've heard the adage, "if you can't beat em, join em." Well, this is the reverse of that. "If he always beats you, acquire him."
That's what Oakland Raiders Tight End Jared Cook is to the Dallas Cowboys. Point of evidence.
Uploaded by Kafin Walker on 2017-01-16.
That remarkable catch by Jared Cook still haunts me and many of you in Cowboys Nation. It was a perfectly thrown ball by Aaron Rodgers and Cook made an incredible catch along the sidelines that led to Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.
Jared Cook's Oakland Raiders team isn't going anywhere this season. They're already four games back of the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC is looking deeper than it has in recent years. The Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts are the only teams in the NFC with less than two losses. That means there are 14 teams with better records than Jon Gruden's Oakland squad. This week the Raiders face a Seattle Seahawks team that beat the Dallas Cowboys and lost by only a couple of points to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams.
Cook has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL this season and would be a veteran presence that the Dallas Cowboys could add if they felt like they could make a run at the playoffs.
At 31, Cook is averaging six catches and 78 yards receiving per game. He'd give the Dallas Cowboys someone they could run on post, corner, and seam routes to challenge safeties deep. Something that they're lacking from the tight end position at the moment. Cook is leading the Oakland Raiders in targets, receptions, yards, and is second on the Raiders in touchdowns in 2018.
No offense to Geoff Swaim, who's been surprisingly good this year, but Jared Cook makes this offense better. He allows you to make Rico Gathers your TE3, which would allow Rico to continue learning the game without the responsibility of being a primary target on certain pass plays.
Jared Cook is in the last season of his deal, so you wouldn't have to be committed to him beyond 2018. The perfect rental who could step in and play pretty quickly.
Jordy Nelson - Wide Receiver
I know this team is allergic to adding veteran players, especially veterans over 30, but Jordy Nelson is another name that they should take a long look at.
At 33 years of age, Nelson leads the Raiders in receiving touchdowns and is second on the team with 15.9 yards per reception. He's also third in receptions and second in yards.
His numbers -- 20 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns -- would lead the Dallas Cowboys in all receiving categories.
Nelson's still got some juice left and he's always been a good route runner with good hands.
Here are some highlights from Jordy's week three performance against the Miami Dolphins.
Check out Jordy Nelson highlights, racking up 173 yards receiving! The Oakland Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins during Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season. Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Check out our other channels: NFL Vault http://www.youtube.com/nflvault NFL Network http://www.youtube.com/nflnetwork NFL Films http://www.youtube.com/nflfilms NFL Rush http://www.youtube.com/nflrush #NFL #Raiders #JordyNelson
Nelson doesn't have any guarantees left on the deal he signed this past offseason so if you cut him in the 2019 offseason, you'd get zero dead money added to your 2019 salary cap, but would get $7.2 million in savings.
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Because of their age and the fact that they'd likely be one-year rentals, I don't imagine that you'd have to give up much more than a fifth round pick for either of these guys. And while I don't think the Dallas Cowboys would take a look at trading for either veteran, it's something they should do if they have aspirations of making the playoffs in 2018.
The Dallas Cowboys offense could use a boost.
What's the most you'd be willing to offer for either Jordy Nelson or Jared Cook?
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