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Cowboys en Español: Necesidades de los Cowboys para el NFL Draft

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Necesidades de los Cowboys para el NFL Draft

¡Ahora puedes escuchar esta publicación como un Podcast en español!

Cowboys en Español: Necesidades de los Cowboys para el NFL Draft

Cowboys en Español: Necesidades de los Cowboys para el NFL Draft

En poco más de un mes, el NFL Draft se llevará a cabo. Cuando hablamos del Draft, hablamos de lo que mantiene a un equipo con vida en la NFL. Las selecciones o picks que se realizan definen el rumbo de las franquicias. Durante siete rondas, los 32 equipos buscan encontrar jugadores que puedan ayudar a su equipo a triunfar en el futuro.

Para los Dallas Cowboys, sabemos que toda su filosofía se basa en construir el equipo por medio del Draft. El año pasado, Dallas obtuvo a Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Anthony Brown, y Maliek Collins. Lo cual me lleva a un punto que es importante recordar antes del Draft, que es que a pesar de que lo más interesante es la primera ronda, las otras son igual de importantes e igual de necesarias. Si el equipo no atiende una necesidad en la primera ronda, habrá muchas más para hacerlo… no tengamos miedo.

El NFL Draft Indicado

Cada clase de prospectos es diferente. Un año el Draft puede tener una profundidad enorme en cierta posición, y muy pocos jugadores en otras. Esto es importante, pues afecta directamente el mercado de cada posición.

Afortunadamente, este año atiende perfectamente las necesidades más apremiantes de los Cowboys. La profundidad de Cornerbacks disponibles es la mejor que muchos hemos visto y los Defensive Ends no son pocos. Parece que el Draft se diseñó para el equipo, y no dudo que Jerry Jones y compañía lo aprovecharán.

Sin más, comencemos a ver tres de las necesidades más importantes de los Dallas Cowboys que deberían atender durante el NFL Draft de este año.

Cornerback

Mientras muchos aficionados se preocupan por las pérdidas que los Cowboys sufrieron en la secundaria de su defensiva, yo insisto en que no es razón de pánico. Claro, no es lo ideal, pero tampoco es tan malo como parece. Anthony Brown tuvo una temporada de novato excepcional, y demostró que puede jugar como un titular en la defensiva. Nolan Carroll es un remplazo justo para Brandon Carr. Morris Claiborne, apenas nos dio una buena demostración de lo que era capaz de hacer jugando sano, cuando se volvió a lesionar por media temporada. Orlando Scandrick ha demostrado ser un buen CB para el slot.

Si los Cowboys consiguen un Cornerback en algún punto de las primeras cien selecciones del Draft, este equipo deberá tener una secundaria sólida. Tomemos en cuenta que esta clase de prospectos viene muy cargada en esta posición específicamente. No me sorprendería si los Cowboys terminan con tres Defensive Backs novatos el primero de Mayo.

Defensive End

Durante los últimos años, ha sido una verdad que a los Cowboys les falta una línea defensiva que sea capaz de atacar y presionar a los QBs oponentes constantemente. El equipo ha buscado solucionar esta problemática durante mucho tiempo, y aunque han obtenido a jugadores buenos, no han conseguido a alguien indicado. DeMarcus Lawrence, Charles Tapper, Randy Gregory son tan sólo unos ejemplos de los jugadores que Dallas ha intentado desarrollar en un pass rusher efectivo.

Con una línea que incluye a jugadores como David Irving, Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford y Maliek Collins, lo que esta defensiva necesita es alguien que pueda presionar de una manera más constante, provocar marcajes dobles del otro equipo e intentar lograr que la producción de sus compañeros también incremente.

Tight End

Jason Witten, mi jugador favorito de los Dallas Cowboys, comenzará la temporada del 2017 con 35 años. Muy joven en la vida, pero lamentablemente, bastante viejo para la NFL. Puede que duela aceptarlo, pero Witten, quien ya ha hablado y considerado el retiro antes de decidir en contra, no le queda mucho tiempo de juego. Quizá se vaya después de esta temporada, quizá juegue más años, pero el final está muy cerca.

Puede que en algún punto de este Draft (algunos expertos han incluso sugerido a OJ Howard si está disponible cuando Dallas seleccioné con el pick #28) los Cowboys decidan atender esta necesidad, con el objetivo desarrollar a un jugador para el futuro. Esto evitaría tener la urgencia de encontrar un novato de impacto inmediato una vez que el grandioso Jason Witten cuelgue su jersey.

Los Cowboys deberían enfocarse a la defensiva

A excepción de Doug Free y de Ron Leary, la ofensiva de este año será prácticamente la misma a la del 2016. La’el Collins retomará su papel de titular en lugar de Leary, y no creo que un remplazo para Free sea tan difícil de conseguir.

En cambio, la defensiva tuvo muchas pérdidas que aunque no sean tan malas, se tienen que mejorar con mejores jugadores. No perdamos de vista que todos los jugadores que se fueron de la defensiva, son los mismos a los que les echamos la culpa cuando perdimos en Playoffs. El perder a tantos de estos jugadores, pero esto en realidad puede terminar siendo para el bien del equipo y no para mal.

¿Cuáles piensas que sean las necesidades más importantes de los Dallas Cowboys?

¡Haznos saber en los comentarios abajo, o búscame en Twitter @PepoR99 y hablemos de football! Si te gusta la NFL y estás buscando un show en español, no te pierdas mi 4 Downs Podcast semanal.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: Necesidades de los Cowboys para el NFL Draft” 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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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.

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship 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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Can Rico Gathers Make Cowboys Offense More “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Rico Gathers, Rams

The Dallas Cowboys unfortunately face all kinds of questions heading into the 2018 offseason. Right now, there are no answers to those questions, which means we’ll just have to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach. But, one question that absolutely has to be answered is how to make the Cowboys offense more Dak Prescott friendly.

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys had an extremely disappointing year in 2017. Suspensions and injuries are the main culprits for the disappointment, but the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really changed things much in the scheme or personnel to help Dak Prescott succeed.

The sad truth is, the Dallas Cowboys are still operating as if Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. It’s pretty much the same personnel and scheme, but it really doesn’t suit Prescott.

It’s time for that to change. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

The Cowboys spent years putting together the personnel to help Romo. Just when they thought they had the missing piece — by drafting Ezekiel Elliott, Romo sustained a back injury, pretty much ending his career.

Anyway you look at it, the offensive personnel needs to improve in order to make this team more “Dak-friendly”.

Enter Tight End Rico Gathers.

Rico Gathers

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

The Dallas Cowboys have invested two years in Rico Gathers’ development, but with the exception of a few flashes in preseason, they haven’t benefited from the fruits of their labor. The 2018 season should be Gathers’ coming-out party.

We all witnessed what the Cowboys offense looks like when they are forced to rely on the passing game. Dak Prescott struggled to find any kind of consistency throwing the ball — with the options he had at his disposal in 2017 — while Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension.

Defenses decided to take Prescott’s favorite target out of the equation by bracketing Cole Beasley in coverage. Then, they also devoted extra attention Dez Bryant‘s way, making it difficult to get him the ball.

The only other option left really was Jason Witten on simple check downs.

And that is what the future Hall of Famer has been reduced to.

Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was. Yes, he is still a reliable target, but his age is starting to catch up to him, which has unfortunately robbed him of some of his athleticism. We will no longer see Witten stretch the field down the seam, or run many routes further than 10 yards.

That’s why I think Rico Gathers could be a difference maker in 2018, especially for Dak Prescott.

Prescott needs more than an outlet receiver at the TE position. No offense to Jason Witten, but that’s pretty much what he has become at this point in his career.

Rico Gathers on the other hand is not only different from Witten, but also provides a different skill set than any other TE on the Cowboys roster. He’s a big target with athleticism, who cannot only move the chains, but stretch the field and break tackles in the open field.

Gathers’ sheer size alone creates mismatch problems against smaller defensive backs and linebackers, but his athleticism should allow him to create separation, something which fits into what Prescott needs from his receivers.

There is no reason why the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff can’t find a way to incorporate Rico Gathers’ unique skill set into the offense. They may not truly trust him to be an every down player, but that’s not happening anyway, not with Jason Witten on the roster.

If it was me, I would have a few packages in the playbook specifically designed for Gathers. I not only think this will help him grow as a player, but help the Cowboys offense become more “Dak-friendly”.

Can Rico Gathers make the Cowboys offense more “Dak-friendly”?

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