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Cowboys Film Review: UDFA Center Jake Brendel

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Film Review: Cowboys Center Jake Brendel 1

Anyone with a basic knowledge of the happenings of the NFL understands one thing; the Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in football.

Maybe a team such as the Oakland Raiders could challenge for their spot, but I doubt it. It’s pretty clear to most how great this offensive line is in Dallas, with three All-Pro quality players and another one (La’el Collins) in the making.

However, as is the case with most teams, depth behind these five starters is a problem. I recently detailed the swing tackle problem which faces the Cowboys, but on the interior line it’s not much better.

Sure, guard Ronald Leary has proven to be a legitimate starter in this league, but being as disgruntled as he is about his current role it’s fair to ask if he is even willing to be just a backup. The odds are Leary wouldn’t even be active for regular season games as it is, due to his lack of position versatility and inability to play center.

The importance of a reliable and smart backup interior offensive lineman cannot be understated, and the Cowboys might have found just this in undrafted free agent Jake Brendel.

A four year starter at UCLA, Brendel is the all time leader in starts for the school with 52. Being a four year starter on the offensive line is damn-near unheard of as it is, but starting a total of 52 games over those four years is simply incredible.

Aside from one game in 2014 where he was forced to miss with a knee injury, Brendel started every single UCLA football game from 2012-2015. Brendel was also named team captain in 2013, and remained captain until graduation. That’s right, he was voted team captain as a sophomore, wow.

Brendel was also named first team Academic All-Conference, and second team All-Pac-12 during his junior and senior seasons.

Maybe I am overstating his reliability and leadership qualities, after all he is just an undrafted free agent. With all of these positive character qualities, you would expect teams to find any reasons they can to fit him into their draft board.

While this is true, most of Brendel’s on-field troubles come from a lack of lower body, functional strength. His average lower body movements lead to a loss of balance, and his lack of functional strength stops him from re-establishing position with his feet and hands. When all of this comes together, you end up with either a missed block or a holding penalty. In other words, it can be a big problem.

Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game

Make or find animated gifs like Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game on gifs.com

Here we see why that lack of strength is an issue. He is immediately stood up after snapping the ball, and is unable to get any type of movement on the down-lineman. Then, he loses his balance a bit and gets beat across his face. You can never get beat across your face.

What Brendel lacks in brute strength and power he was able to make up in quickness and hand placement while at UCLA. He may not be able to push those big 1-tecnhqiues a few yards off the ball, but he is quick and smart enough to be in the right position to occupy and shield the defender from the running back.

Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game

Make or find animated gifs like Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game on gifs.com

Here is that quickness I am referring to. Brendel gets off the ball with a purpose, gets the right positioning on the defensive lineman, and does just enough to clear a path for a touchdown. No, it isn’t a La’el Collins-esque pancake, but it is effective.

Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game

Make or find animated gifs like Jake Brendel – UCLA Football – C – 2015 BYU Game on gifs.com

These are the plays where his smarts come into play. He recognizes the blitzing linebacker and the stunting defensive lineman, remains patient, and makes the block.

He also served as an effective pulling center at times, showing me that he could transition to guard if needed.

The smarts, reliability, and toughness of a kid like Brendel are very appealing. Being named captain as a sophomore, we can assume he is a strong locker room presence, and the kind of player that Jason Garrett would adore.

With all that being said, I simply don’t know if Brendel can match up physically with NFL defensive lineman. While he can develop more strength and improve his power and punch, it is impossible to say if it will be enough to keep him in the league for any serious amount of time.

Regardless, Brendel is still a player you should keep an eye out for during training camp and preseason games.

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Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Headlines - Forget the Triplets: Cowboys Need The Underrated to Shine in 2016
Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News

For better or worse, the Cowboys don’t even need to play football to be all over national TV. I guess it’s just part of being the one and only America’s Team. For the second consecutive week, Fox Sports had a Dallas Cowboys’ player on set for Fox’s “Undisputed.”

Just a week ago, Brice Butler made waves with some controversial comments that failed to make him look like a “great teammate.”

This time, Fox’s guest was Cowboys’ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Unlike Butler, I really think we should give Scandrick credit for being a very good teammate, and acting like one on his TV appearance.

Throughout the segment, it feels as if Orlando is being tricked into saying something against his teammates. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe start bashing on Dez Bryant‘s performance and the fact that he should be replaced.

Of course, this is the kind of stuff fans in Cowboys Nation are thinking about. Heck, I really wouldn’t even mind if Dez isn’t wearing a star next season. However, I really disliked Butler’s comments when asked if he would’ve done a better job if given the same opportunities as Dez.

Scandrick’s responses were awesome though. When asked if he would defend Dez, he didn’t even hesitate.

“I don’t think he’s lost any confidence. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever been around. I think it can all be fixed. I think he just needs to get back to work and get back to the basics.” – Orlando Scandrick on Dez Bryant.

Scandrick also answered questions about what went wrong with the Cowboys this season by pointing out the fact they lost one of their best players because of a suspension, and some injuries. But he also said what’s been in our minds for a long time. When asked what was the biggest reason they struggled, he said some painful, yet truthful words: “We played some bad football against some very good teams.”

Later, he was asked about how Sean Lee’s absence affected the defense, he insisted they didn’t step up. At the end of the day, the NFL is a league in which you can’t be that dependent on a single player.

Sean Lee is an awesome player, but I think we’d all like to see this defense be a little less dependent on him.

Scandrick even had to defend Dak Prescott.

Dak was highly criticized after a sophomore season in which he struggled, alongside the entire team. But in the words of Orlando, we should “give him time.” Dak had a lot on his plate, but he made a lot of progress for the Cowboys.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Orlando Scandrick’s time in Dallas may be coming to an end, especially with young guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis taking over. He’s signed through 2019, so who knows; maybe we see him wearing the star for a bit longer.

“It’s always a possibility.” – Orlando Scandrick on potentially not returning to Dallas next season.

Even still, it’s nice to see him support his football team and his friends on a show which featured a non-starting Cowboys’ wide receiver taking shots against his team. Orlando Scandrick deserves an applause.

Tell me what you think about “Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports” 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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WR Brice Butler Makes Waves With Controversial Comments

Kevin Brady

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Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys: By the Numbers

Heading into this 2018 offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have to answer some critical questions about their wide receiver corps.

  • Is Dez Bryant still worthy of being labeled/targeted as a number one receiver?
  • Is Ryan Switzer ready to dethrone Cole Beasley as the team’s starting slot receiver?
  • What in the world do you do with Terrance Williams?
  • And, lastly, do you bring back last year’s WR4 Brice Butler?

Well, it appears that final question answered itself earlier this week.

Free agent wide out Brice Butler took to Fox Sports to voice his opinions on his future with the Cowboys, stating that if he isn’t going to be a starter, he isn’t going to come back at all.

“I think in this league, when you think about the business aspect, you’ve got to follow the money trail… Both of our starters made money. Terrance [Williams] just got paid last year. So there were times where I was like, ‘I’m making plays, aren’t we trying to win games? Why am I not on the field?’ But that’s the only thing that I can really think of.” -Brice Butler

Butler also made waves with a comment on Fox’s Undisputed, claiming that if given the same chances as Dez Bryant, he would have been more productive than Bryant was this season.

I am totally for a player getting the money he feels he deserves, and I wasn’t really “for” the Cowboys bringing back Butler anyway, but he probably sealed his fate In Dallas with his comments. This is the same team that cut Lucky Whitehead last offseason to send a message, and has tried to “clean up” their locker room with the “right kind of guys” lately, so it’d be hard to imagine them re-signing Butler now.

Even though I don’t think it’s that outlandish of a comment for him to make. I mean, why shouldn’t he want an opportunity to start somewhere? Unfortunately for Butler, I doubt that opportunity is in Dallas.

Plus, we all thought Butler should’ve gotten more chances during his time here, dating back to the disastrous season in 2015. And when he did get chances, Butler showed flashes of how valuable he can be.

Still, I think the Cowboys should draft a wide out to be their much-needed Z receiver, and signing Butler would just add to the log jam of pretty mediocre players at the position already.

Could Brice Butler have been more productive than Bryant? I guess we’ll never know. But it’s astounding how this rather average football team cannot help but make the news each and every day.

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Straight Outta Dallas: Cole Beasley Releases His First Rap Single

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Straight Outta Dallas: Cole Beasley Releases His First Rap Single
Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

During an offseason filled with concerns for Cowboys Nation, Cole Beasley sure helped fans take their minds off coaching changes, free agency and draft prospects for a moment. Bease took Twitter by storm when he tweeted a link to his first single as a rapper… yes, you read that right.

Cole Beasley: an NFL Wide Receiver by Day, Rapper by Night

Cole Beasley on Twitter

80 Stings – Single by Cole Beasley on Apple Music

Listen to songs from the album 80 Stings – Single, including “80 Stings”. Buy the album for $0.99. Songs start at $0.99. Free with Apple Music subscription.

“ColdNation Records” is the name of the company Beasley created alongside music producer Victor Clark, to release his first single. You can listen to “80 Stings” on iTunes, Spotify and just about every digital store, as the tweet above mentions.

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know what to expect. But when I turned the volume up and played the song for the first time, I was surprised. It’s awesome.

When Beasley caught that football behind his helmet versus the Giants back in week 1, I thought “man, that’s it. Beasley can’t surprise me anymore.” Well, he proved me wrong.

“80 Stings” isn’t only performed by him, but also written by him.

It turns out Cole Beasley has been writing since he was in college. And if you already listened to the single, you know he’s awesome at composing, and his flow is actually very quick.

The whole song is pretty entertaining, but it does have some verses that stick out more than others. We all know Beasley has been an underdog his entire football career, so it comes as no surprise that he introduces himself as “Mr. Slept On”, for instance.

Throughout the song, the 28-year-old receiver shouts out his wife and his children (and the fact he’s saving money for when they go to college, something we had already seen him proudly mentioning on Twitter.)

Jerry Jones and Dak Prescott both got their own name-drops on Beasley’s “80 Stings”, too.

“But Sunday, Jerry’s boss now,

I’m a dog when Dak get the ball out,

Pull the sauce out…”

– Cole Beasley on his first single, “80 Stings”

The rest of the album, according to “Killa Beasley”, will be released this Spring.

Cole Beasley insisted this is just a passion and that in no way will it affect his football career. So, really… don’t worry about it. Just enjoy this awesome thing he decided to share with his fans.

This time of the season can be sort of stressing for Cowboys Nation. A lot of changes in the coaching staff that may not be the desired ones, a lot of players Dallas needs to bring back, and just the aftermath of a disappointing 9-7 season.

It’s nice to have something like this to talk about, for a few days at least.

From all of Cowboys Nation, congratulations on this achievement, Mr. Slept On!

Tell me what you think about “Straight Outta Dallas: Cole Beasley Releases His First Rap Single” 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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