Por fin se acabó la pretemporada. Es hora de ver a los Dallas Cowboys y al resto de la NFL jugar partidos de verdad y enfrentamientos de impacto. Pero antes de eso, todos los equipos tienen que hacer una gran cantidad de recortes para llegar al número 53 de jugadores.
¿Quiénes se quedan? ¿Quiénes se van? Aquí mi proyección de como se verá el equipo este año:
- Dak Prescott
- Cooper Rush
- Mike White
A pesar de tener una muy mala pretemporada, no creo que este equipo esté listo para dejar ir a Cooper Rush. Sin embargo, Mike White hizo lo suficiente para meritar un puesto en el roster y no se irá a ninguna parte. Los Cowboys se quedarán con ambos.
Traer a alguien externo podría ser una opción pero si quieren a alguien que realmente pueda contribuir, tendrán que gastar bastante, lo cual es algo que no veo a esta administración haciendo. Creo que la posición de queda igual y siendo honesto, me parece una buena decisión.
Running Back (4)
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Rod Smith
- Bo Scarbrough
- Jamize Olawale (Fullback)
Ezekiel Eliott y Rod Smith tienen sus puestos aseguradísimos. Lo mismo puede decirse de Jamize Olawale ya que fungirá como el fullback del equipo. Sin embargo, la pelea por el tercer puesto de corredor tomó lugar entre el novato Bo Scarbrough y el joven Darius Jackson.
Jackson volvió a los Cowboys después de pasar un rato en Cleveland e inesperadamente, dio batalla a Scarbrough. Mi predicción es que Bo se queda. Jackson tuvo una buena pretemporada, pero no sé si lo suficiente para arrebatarle el puesto al novato, quien no tuvo un mal agosto.
Offensive Tackle (4)
- Tyron Smith
- La'el Collins
- Cameron Fleming
- Kadeem Edwards
Cambios: Chaz Green fuera, Kadeem Edwards dentro
Cameron Fleming es claramente el banca #1 de Tyron Smith y La'el Collins. En la edición pasada deje a Chaz Green por darle el beneficio de la duda. Al final de cuentas, en el 2016 no se vio tan mal como en el 2017. Pero después de verlo jugar esta pretemporada, sería una enorme sorpresa (y para nada grata) ver a Green en el equipo.
Offensive Guard / Center (5)
Cambios: Marcus Martin fuera, Parker Ehlinger dentro
Los Cowboys se llevan un golpe muy duro con la condición en la que Travis Frederick se encuentra. A pesar de que se teme la posibilidad de que Travis se pierda la temporada, el equipo podría no meterlo a la reserva de lesionados si sabe que puede volver pronto. El equipo seguirá adelante con Joe Looney como centro.
La novedad en el puesto de guardia es Parker Ehlinger, quien le brindará al equipo una profundidad que urgía. Lo mejor es que Parker vino a cambio del CB Charvarious Ward, quien probablemente no hubiera terminado en el roster de todas maneras.
Wide Receiver (6)
Cambios: Noah Brown y Cedrick Wilson fuera, Terrance Williams y Deonte Thompson dentro
Lo siento, Lance Lenoir. A pesar de tener un excelente training camp y una pretemporada decente, dudo que el receptor de 23 años se gane un puesto con los Cowboys. Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley y Michael Gallup serán los futuros titulares para Dak Prescott, seguidos de un cuerpo que podría considerarse una profundidad bastante decente con Williams, Thompson y Austin.
Otra ausencia notable es la de Noah Brown, quien creo que será designado a la reserva de lesionados.
Tight End (3)
- Geoff Swaim
- Blake Jarwin
- Dalton Schultz
Una vez más, mis disculpas a los aficionados de Rico Gathers. Mientras Swaim, Jarwin y Schultz progresaron y demostraron lo que tenían que demostrar, no creo que Gathers haya logrado lo que tenía que hacer. Para él, destellos de talento no serán suficientes.
Dudo muchísimo que en un esquema corredor como el de los Dallas Cowboys Gathers se salve del recorte. No todos los proyectos tienen que funcionar.
Defensive End (5)
Cambios: Kony Ealy fuera
Los Cowboys sabían con quien contarían en esta posición, pero no esperábamos que demostraran lo que hicieron. Gregory parece listo para ser titular y tanto Taco Charlton como Dorance Armstrong dieron de que hablar.
Tyrone Crawford verá el campo jugando en dos posiciones distintas y eso ayudará mucho a la línea.
Defensive Tackle (5)
- Maliek Collins
- Jihad Ward
- Datone Jones
- Brian Price
- Antwaun Woods
Cambios: Antwaun Woods dentro
Una de las sorpresas más grandes de la pretemporada fue el éxito de Antwaun Woods con los Cowboys. Parece que ha garantizado su puesto en el roster. Además de eso, Price, Ward, Jones y Collins serán excelentes piezas como DT.
Eso sin mencionar el retorno de David Irving en la semana 5... que línea defensiva.
- Sean Lee
- Jaylon Smith
- Leighton Vander Esch
- Damien Wilson
- Justin March-Lillard
- Joe Thomas
Joe Thomas demostró que tendrá un rol mucho más importante de lo que creíamos pero tampoco olvidemos el valor que él, Wilson y March-Lillard traerán en equipos especiales. Todos queremos ver más del novato Vander Esch y sin duda lo haremos pronto.
Pero el show en la posición de LB será Jaylon Smith. Este es su año.
- Chidobe Awuzie
- Byron Jones
- Jourdan Lewis
- Anthony Brown
- Marquez White
Cambios: Kam Kelly a safety
No veo cambios en esta posición. Si bien el desempeño de Anthony Brown y Jourdan Lewis ha sido preocupante, esperemos que los titulares se mantengan sanos para cubrirlos. Chidobe Awuzie y Byron Jones podrían llegar a ser un duo de cornerbacks sorpresa en la NFL. Awuzie se ve como un Pro Bowler.
- Jeff Heath
- Xavier Woods
- Kavon Frazier
- Kam Kelly
Con Woods lesionado y Frazier un poco tocado, Kam Kelly se gana un puesto en el roster. Su versatilidad lo hace saltar entre los demás. Con Ward fuera del equipo, Kelly tiene su puesto un poco más seguro, pero los Cowboys podrían optar por otro defensivo joven como él. Woods y Heath serán los titulares, y serán mejores de lo que se cree.
Equipos Especiales (3)
- Dan Bailey
- Chris Jones
- L.P. Ladouceur
Dan Bailey estará bien y Chris Jones es discretamente uno de los mejores punters en la liga. L.P. Ladouceur continuará con su racha de ningún mal centro.
Cowboys Twitter Tuesday: Addressing the 2019 53-Man Roster
For the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL, and the NFL fanbase, the waiting game for the start of training camp has begun. As Tom Petty says, "the waiting is the hardest part." The Dallas Cowboys go open training camp in about five weeks. The first preseason game is 53 days away and week one is less than three months away at this point. It's so close we can taste it.
Each week, I'll gather questions from you the Cowboys Nation community. Each week, we'll hone in on a specific topic based on your questions. So whether it's roster related, salary cap focused, or you have a fantasy football question, don't hesitate to send it to me on Twitter.
This week, we're going to take a look at the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster.
@john9williams Who contributed to last year's team that won't make this year's team?
The 53-man roster will be one of the more debated topics over the next couple of months as the Dallas Cowboys get ready for training camp and the preseason. Every year there are surprises and we should expect the same this year. The Dallas Cowboys have incredible depth through the roster and so there will be at least one name that doesn't make the final 53-man roster who had an impact in 2018.
To answer Jesus' question, I think the easy answer is one of the wide receivers be it Noah Brown, Allen Hurns, or Tavon Austin. This might be a hot take, but I'm going to go a different direction and say guard Xavier Su'a-Filo.
In 2018, Su'a-Filo started eight games for the Dallas Cowboys and though he started out strong for them midseason, his play tailed off before he was injured allowing Connor Williams to regain his starting spot at left guard. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff loves position flexibility, especially along the offensive line. Su'a-Filo, though he's a solid backup guard option, doesn't have the ability to play multiple positions along the line like his teammates.
Connor Williams can play guard and tackle. Connor McGovern will get snaps at guard and center, and to hear him talk, he can play tackle as well, though that's probably a bit of a stretch. Joe Looney, the Dallas Cowboys starting center for 2018, has the ability to flex out to guard if you need him to.
Because the Dallas Cowboys will have difficult decisions to make at wide receiver and defensive line, they can afford to go light along the offensive line because of the flexibility of players like Williams, Looney, and McGovern.
@john9williams #CowboysQuestions do we extend Dak before game #1? How many WRs on 53?
I'm gonna leave the Dak Prescott question for another day and address the wide receiver question as several people asked about that position group in particular.
The wide receiver group is a really deep group. With Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Allen Hurns, it features three guys who've had at least one 1,000 yard season in their career. Michael Gallup is an ascending player. Tavon Austin is a really nice punt returner and offensive puzzle piece that can take the top off the defense with his downfield speed. I think four of those five are locks to make the roster.
According to Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, the team really likes Allen Hurns and his ability to play inside and outside in the formation. He's solid veteran depth at a low cost.
Then if you include Noah Brown's ability as a receiver and as a blocker, I think you have a very versatile and dangerous group in the passing game. Though the coaches really like Brown's ability to block in the run game, if they don't use him in the passing game, it tips their hand to the defense that the team is going to run. If they're going to keep him on the roster, they have to use him. It's a waste otherwise.
Brown and Hurns to me are on the roster bubble at wide receiver. Talented players like Cedric Wilson, Devin Smith, Jon'vea Johnson, Jalen Guyton, and Reggie Davis have all stood out at one point in time or another during OTAs and minicamp and will make the decision difficult for the coaching staff.
In my most recent roster projection, I had the Dallas Cowboys keeping six wide receivers; Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Being a team on the verge of contending for a Super Bowl, I think they go with veterans who can help them win now.
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That'll do it for this week's edition. Make sure to get your questions in via Twitter, or you can leave them in the comment section for next week's post. Also, don't forget to check out Inside The Star's newest podcast, Cowboys Weekly featuring Managing Editor Bryson Treece and Senior Writer Jess Haynie.
Does Darius Jackson Have A “Puncher’s Chance” Of Landing On Final Roster?
Remember Darius Jackson?
The sixth round running back was an instant fan favorite of Cowboys Nation, as the fanbase hoped Dallas had found the explosive RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott they needed in the very same draft. Jackson, however, had an up-and-down preseason in 2016 and ended up being waived from the team to make room for Darren McFadden later in the year.
Jackson has bounced around the league a bit since then, joining both the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at different points. He's back with the Cowboys, however, looking to fight his way onto the team's final roster.
But does the fourth year running back have more than a puncher's chance to do so?
The Cowboys spent much of the 2019 NFL Draft rebuilding their running back depth. First, they drafted Memphis back Tony Pollard hoping to find a versatile and dynamic threat to compliment the workhorse that is Ezekiel Elliott. Then, in the seventh round, Dallas took another Ohio State running back in Mike Weber who fits more of the "traditional" running back form.
So with two new touted rookies behind the veteran Elliott, and fullback Jamize Olawale more than likely having a roster spot as well, there doesn't seem to be room for Darius Jackson on the Dallas Cowboys.
That didn't stop him from competing at OTAs, however. DallasCowboys.com named Darius Jackson one of their top ten "head turners" from the OTA practices, and considering that Mike Weber is banged up at the moment, Jackson will certainly have his opportunities to fight for that spot.
Still, the odds suggest that Darius Jackson will not be with the Cowboys come the Fall of 2019. Though he entered the league with some fanfare for a day three pick, his production has been more fitting of his draft grade than of his fan hype.
Jackson hasn't been the explosive player/receiving back that they're hoping Tony Pollard will be, nor has he been the every-down type backup runner that they seem to hope Mike Weber will be.
In the end, the Cowboys-Darius Jackson story is likely to close during this year's training camp.
Cowboys Camp: Strong Safety Battle One to Watch
When the Dallas Cowboys head to Oxnard, California for the start of training camp in late July, they'll have most of the roster settled. On paper, they're a team that doesn't have many holes on the depth chart.
They've added depth at every position and added playmakers on both sides of the football. On defense, there appears to be only one position where the starter heading into training camp may not be the starter come week one. Strong safety.
Veteran Safety Jeff Heath is currently running with the first team defense through the offseason portion of practices. George Iloka and Donovan Wilson were added to the strong safety depth chart featuring Heath and special teams ace Kavon Frazier.
While most teams would be excited about having a returning starter at the position, Heath's 2018 left a lot to be desired. Per Pro Football Focus, Heath missed 19 tackles on the season, which was second in the NFL. It seemed that Heath became more interested in attempting to strip the ball out of the ball carrier's hands than actually making the tackle, which became increasingly frustrating as he forced only a single fumble all season long. Though he had a lot of missed tackles, Heath did finish 15th in the NFL in Pro Football Focus' "stops," which are defined as a "play that results in a loss for the defense." Heath was third on the team in total tackles with 85 and tied with Jaylon Smith for third in tackles for loss with six.
The biggest competition for Heath at strong safety will be veteran George Iloka.
Signed to a one-year contract after spending time with the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings, Iloka comes to the Dallas Cowboys adding depth at free safety behind Xavier Woods. He also creates competition for Heath at strong safety, which should help Jeff Heath raise his game and get more consistent with his tackling. Iloka has experience and brings good size and length to the secondary, which should help them defend tight ends in the passing game.
Because of his injury, Kavon Frazier could see his playing time evaporate heading into 2019. If he's unable to get healthy and make an impression early, Frazier could miss out on the 53-man roster when the team makes their final roster cuts.
The player that stands to benefit the most from Kavon Frazier's injury, and the one I'm most interested in watching in the Dallas secondary the rest of the preseason is sixth-round draft pick, Donovan Wilson. The rookie from Texas A&M has made several plays in the secondary that stood out during OTAs. Here's what Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com had to say about Donovan Wilson during last week's minicamp.
"I haven’t written much about Donovan Wilson since rookie minicamp, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to mention a nice play he had during the two-minute drill. Kris Richard came with a blitz, which forced Cooper Rush to throw “hot” to Dalton Schultz. Wilson, from several yards away, saw Schultz look up and drove on the ball, arriving at the exact time it hit Schultz’s hands. With his left hand Wilson was able to drag the ball away, knocking it to the ground."
Bryan Broaddus - DallasCowboys.com
Wilson will be a player to watch in training camp. The Cowboys have had success finding defensive backs in the late rounds of the draft. Anthony Brown was a fifth-round pick in 2016 and Xavier Woods was a sixth-round selection in 2017. Now Wilson, with his aggressive and physical demeanor will have an opportunity -- this year or next -- to carve out some playing time in a secondary that needs more players who can create turnovers.
Strong safety is one of the few starting spots where there is actual competition for the incumbent starter. Pretty much every other position has returning starters locked into the starting lineup or, in Travis Frederick's and Robert Quinn's cases, a significant talent upgrade that makes them day-one starters.
The competition at strong safety should help everyone be better for the Cowboys in 2019. If Heath is able to hold off Iloka and Wilson to remain the starter, then he will have once again earned it. With the depth they have this season, including two guys who won't be liabilities in pass coverage, the Cowboys have options if Heath misses tackles in 2019 as he did in 2018.
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