El minicamp de los Dallas Cowboys ha terminado y de nuevo, la espera por la NFL se vuelve aún más pesada. Hubo bastantes historias interesantes, como la de Jeff Heath consiguiendo dos intercepciones, pero esto ya llegó a su fin.
El Training Camp está a poco más de un mes de distancia y será la última vez que veremos a los Cowboys antes de la pretemporada.
Y justo antes de la pretemporada, quizá sea la última vez para discutir uno de los temas favoritos de todos los aficionados en la liga y uno de los temas más polémicos para todo aficionado de Cowboys: los agentes libres.
¿Deberían de contratar a un nuevo defensivo? ¿Vale la pena tomar a alguien con problemas disciplinarios y legales? (Véase: Randy Gregory, Rolando McClain y Greg Hardy)
Por bastantes días se ha discutido la posibilidad de conseguir a dos veteranos. Dos veteranos que Dallas debería evitar este 2017.
CB Darrelle Revis
La posición de cornerback para los Cowboys es una de las más inciertas para el equipo. Creo que realmente podría ser una posibilidad que Revis quiera un contrato con Dallas, pues al final de cuentas es un mercenario y Dallas un contendiente.
Pero Dallas realmente... ¿lo necesita?. Sabemos que Dez Bryant lo quiere en el equipo y por eso lo intentó reclutar por medio de Twitter. Pero ¿cómo encajaría en los Cowboys?
Veamos a los esquineros que es casi seguro que terminarán en el equipo:
- Anthony Brown
- Orlando Scandrick
- Jourdan Lewis
- Chidobe Awuzie
- Nolan Carroll
Se podría incluir a alguien como el novato de sexta ronda Marquez White en la lista, pero es justo asumir que tiene una batalla difícil para conseguir el trabajo así que por hoy, no lo tomaremos en cuenta.
El juego de Revis fue deficiente en el 2016 y ya no es el mismo jugador que ponía a un receptor en "la isla de Revis."
Si Revis quiere volver a tomar el campo, tendrá que acceder a un contrato de dinero mínimo para un veterano como él. No se dará el lujo de conseguir bastante dinero como lo hizo con los Jets.
No puedo negar, que por dinero mínimo, estoy intrigado de verlo en Dallas. Pero eso es todo, intrigado.
¿Qué si Revis podría ser un buen maestro para los CBs jóvenes? Para eso hay un entrenador de cornerbacks, y Revis siendo un jugador mercenario, un jugador para él mismo, no sé que tanto podría enseñarles que Carroll o Scandrick no puedan.
Si los Cowboys estuvieran realmente interesados en él lo habrían buscado desde antes. Pero no lo están.
Si Darrelle Revis fuera el Darrelle Revis de hace unos años, alguien en la NFL ya lo estaría buscando, pero no lo están.
Los Dallas Cowboys deberían de esperar. Ahorrar dinero, ver que tienen en sus prometedores novatos. Este año la temporada no será fácil. Pero un jugador como Revis no hará la diferencia, no el Darrelle Revis del 2017.
LB Daryl Washington
Me sorprende la cantidad de gente que quiere que los Cowboys vayan tras este LB. Daryl Washington no ha jugado en la NFL desde el 2013 y créanme, no es porque haya querido tomarse unas vacaciones.
Washington fue suspendido por tres años de la NFL. Tres años. Recientemente fue reincorporado a la liga y busca un equipo que darle una oportunidad.
Su suspensión fue por más de un motivo. Problemas relacionados con droga y con violencia doméstica lo mantuvieron fuera de la liga por tanto tiempo.
El jugador ha mencionado públicamente que quiere jugar con la Estrella Solitaria y ha insistido. Afortunadamente, los Cowboys no han entrado en contacto con él y no creo que lo hagan.
LB Daryl Washington tells me the #Cowboys have yet to reach out to him. https://t.co/YQVRNs5VOB
Washington no fue un mal jugador antes de sus suspensiones, e incluso en el 2012 consiguió nueve capturas y 108 tackles. Muy buenos números para un linebacker.
Si los Cowboys pensaran que LB es una necesidad, hubieran buscado uno en marzo o uno en el NFL Draft. Que no lo hayan hecho refleja su confianza en la salud de Jaylon Smith.
Creo que las heridas que Randy Gregory, Rolando McClain y Greg Hardy están muy frescas como para conseguir a otro jugador con problemas similares, más aún que la última vez que tomó el campo fue en el 2013.
Los Cowboys deberían confiar en sus linebackers. Son jóvenes y prometedores. Smith y Lee son competidores ejemplares y sin duda funcionarán mejor sin Daryl Washington.
¿Qué opinas de estos dos veteranos?
Should Cowboys Consider Trading for Disgruntled Packers S Josh Jones?
Despite their insistence that upgrading the safety position was a top offseason priority, the Dallas Cowboys haven't really done much to improve the backend of their secondary. They did sign former Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals Safety George Iloka as a free agent and drafted Donovan Wilson in the sixth-round in this year's NFL Draft, but neither player looks like a clear-cut upgrade at this point. Fortunately, there's still time to find Xavier Woods' counterpart for 2019.
Xavier Woods is the only clear-cut starter at safety currently on the Dallas Cowboys roster. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to who starts opposite him this season. With that in mind, the Cowboys should be keeping all of their options open, including acquiring players who get released or even making a trade for someone they like. The latter is what I want to talk about today.
A potential safety who could be put on the trade block that I'm kind of intrigued with is Josh Jones, who has reportedly requested a trade from the Green Bay Packers.
Packers safety Josh Jones is skipping the voluntary OTAs and working out in Florida because he's hoping to be traded, a source told ESPN. The source said the 2017 second-round pick believes it would be best for both parties if they parted ways. Story coming on ESPN shortly.
Josh Jones clearly sees where he stands with the Green Bay Packers after they signed Adrian Amos in free agency and drafted Darnell Savage Jr. 21st overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, thus his absence from OTA's and trade request. He understands the business and knows he's not going to see the field much behind those two, meaning his best chance for playing time would be in a different uniform.
It's not all that shocking Jones has requested a trade. Even before the Packers added Amos and Savage he wasn't receiving a lot of playing time. He's just never seemed to fit into what Green Bay was trying to do on the backend of their defense. It may be in the best interest of both parties to mutually part ways. This is where the Dallas Cowboys come in.
I believe Josh Jones is exactly the type of safety Kris Richard would like to pair Xavier Woods with on the backend of the Cowboys defense. He fits the criteria Richard likes in his defensive backs as far as size, length, and speed are concerned. And, he also has the kind of skill set/mindset to become that Kam Chancellor "enforcer" type of strong safety.
Josh Jones is at his best when he can play around the line of scrimmage, much like Chancellor was during his time with the Seahawks. But, Jones also has the ability to be a factor in coverage as well. The only real question here is whether or not he's an upgrade over the likes of Jeff Heath, George Iloka, and maybe even rookie Donovan Wilson?
In all honesty, I don't have the answer to that question. Josh Jones really hasn't received a fair opportunity to prove himself in his first two years in the NFL. I believe the skill set is there to start in the league, but there's not much there to back up that belief.
Personally, I'd be willing to part way with a late round pick if I were the Cowboys to acquire Josh Jones. I like the idea of bringing him in to work with Kris Richard and allowing him to compete for the starting job next to Xavier Woods. This is exactly the kind of low risk/high reward move Dallas likes to gamble on, and it could potentially pay off in a big way.
Where do you stand? Should the Cowboys consider trading for Josh Jones?
How Can The Cowboys Force More Turnovers In 2019?
2018 seemed like the beginning of a new era. A defensive era. For the first time in years the Cowboys were able to consistently lean on their defense during games, staying alive even as their offense sputtered and limped through stretches early in the season.
The defense was downright prolific some weeks. They carried the Cowboys to an inspiring home victory over the New Orleans Saints to put them in prime position to make the playoffs. They dominated the Wild Card game in key moments, making key stops and holding the Seahawks to just 22 points in the win. They featured one of the league's best individual pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence, an All Pro cornerback in Byron Jones, and one of the league's most exciting young linebacker duos.
For all of this success, this defense still lacked one thing. Takeaways.
The Cowboys forced only 9 interceptions in 2018, ranking 26th across the league. In fact, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was actually tied with Xavier Woods for the team lead in interceptions with just 2. When it comes to total takeaways the Cowboys' defense was a little better off, though, finishing 16th in the NFL.
Part of the "problem" seems to be their philosophy. The Cowboys have finished 26th, 24th, 27th, and 31st in interceptions dating back to 2015. They've also finished 9th, 25th, 18th, and 19th in team defense DVOA over that same stretch. Clearly there was an improvement in total defense in 2018, but neither their team defense nor ability to take the ball away has been strong since 2015.
The bigger problem, really, is a lack of luck. While this sounds like a cop-out, takeaways often do come down to just that. Of course putting yourself in the right place at the right time to benefit from a batted pass or overthrown ball matters, but those bounces finding the right hands is usually a matter of luck.
Turnovers are incredibly volatile year to year, and as much as you'd like your players to "make their own luck," randomness does play a part here.
You can certainly argue the Cowboys have done their best this offseason to increase their chances at takeaways, however. By trading for defensive end Robert Quinn, re-signing DeMarcus Lawrence, and adding talented players to the middle of their defensive line as well, Dallas has put an emphasis on getting after the quarterback and corralling the opposing running game. Putting pressure on quarterbacks can force them into quick decision making or bad throws, which could in turn breed interceptions.
This is far from guaranteed, though. Plus the Cowboys play against some of the league's top quarterbacks this year, which hurts their chances of taking the ball away further.
In the end the Cowboys will need both the skill of their pass rushers and defensive backs to put them in good positions, and luck to smile down on them, if they'd like to turn around their takeaway numbers in 2019. And after all, this demoralizing trend has to reverse itself at some point, doesn't it?
Will It Be The Cowboys, Or Another Team, Who Pays Byron Jones After 2019?
After having his fifth year option exercised for the 2019 season, cornerback Byron Jones enters a contract year this Fall.
Jones inarguably had the best year of his career in 2018: earning not only his first Pro Bowl selection but also Second Team All Pro honors for his performance. Doing it all without an impressive stat sheet, Jones was able to let his film speak for itself throughout most of the year, and he became the number one cornerback we'd all hoped he could be when the Cowboys decided to take the freakishly athletic defensive back in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
This contract year is quite unique for Byron Jones, however. Next offseason the Cowboys will be forced to re-sign and extend just about all of their key contributors on both sides of the ball. DeMarcus Lawrence already got his contract, but Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and others still await their deals. Deals which the front office has all-but explicitly promised will come.
This leaves Jones, the former first round pick and now former All Pro, generally considered to be the odd man out. So while 2019 is a contract year for Byron Jones, he may be earning himself a contract from a completely different team.
Jones has had an interesting road to this contract season. One which would be a shame for the Cowboys to waste. Moving between cornerback and safety during the first three years of his career, Jones fell out of the coaches' good graces while playing out of his most natural position. Under Kris Richard's new regime, though, Jones had his best season to date. He looked to finally be comfortable in his role, and was now playing for a coach who believed he could be a special player.
Now that Byron Jones has found his place in the Cowboys defense, and has earned his way into conversations with the league's top cornerbacks, he's likely priced himself out of the Cowboys' future plans.
It's funny how that works out. Of course, Jones should go get paid, and I'd never fault a guy for maximizing his value on the market. But there's a good chance the Cowboys make the mistake of allowing a premier cornerback to walk out of their building next offseason. But if they want to retain players like Elliott and Cooper, they may not have any other choice.
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