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Cowboys Free Agency Update: Coming & Goings of Week 1

Brian Leatherman

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Free Agency Update: Coming & Goings of Week 1

After the first week of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys have been in the headlines of the NFL world once again. But this time, it isn’t because of who they signed, but because of who they didn’t re-sign.

Let’s take a look at who has left the team, and then we will take a look at who the Cowboys have signed.

I’m going to get this one out-of-the-way quick. And mainly because it’s been covered inside and out, and if you don’t know about it, you must be living under a rock or you’re not a football fan.

DeMarco Murray to the Eagles.

A player I didn’t expect to see leave was Justin Durant. But, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons for 3 years, $10,800,000.00. Why the 'Boys let Durant go is beyond me. Yes he was hurt a lot during his two years with the Cowboys, but he was highly productive when he was on the field.

The team also lost linebacker Bruce Carter. He left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 4 years, $17,000,000.00 with over 4 million guaranteed. I predicted a couple of weeks ago he would get paid somewhere, it just wouldn’t be in Dallas. And that held true. I for one will miss my Tar Heel wearing the star.

Signing a contract along with Carter in Tampa was Henry Melton. Melton was a low risk high reward signing last season for the Cowboys and it just didn’t work out. Melton signed a 1 year deal worth $3,750,000.

Right Tackle Jermey Parnell cashed in with the Jacksonville Jaguars on the first day for 5 years at $32 million. Parnell was a back up for Doug Free during his time in Dallas. Parnell did play well when he was called upon, so getting a nice contract didn’t surprise me.

Wide Receiver Dwayne Harris left for the rival New York football Giants. The Giants paid him way more than the Cowboys were willing to pay him at 5 years for $17.5 million. Harris' talents will be missed, although he wasn’t used in the passing game very much, his special teams play and run blocking were top-notch. But in my opinion, the Giants over paid for a guy who won’t be starting.

With everyone paying attention to who was leaving the Cowboys, not much attention has been put on who the Cowboys brought in, so let’s take a look who the 'Boys have signed in the last few days.

With the team losing Durant and Carter, Keith Rivers and Jasper Brinkley were signed to contracts to help fill the void that was left at the linebacker position.

Both Rivers and Brinkley more than likely were brought in for their ability to play a couple of different linebacker positions as well as to add depth at the position. I don’t look for Rivers or Brinkley to push for starting jobs but I could be wrong.

A couple of fullbacks were also signed this past week; Jed Collins from the Saints and Ray Agnew III from the Browns.

And the biggest name that has been signed by the Cowboys so far this offseason is running back Darren McFadden. Check out the write-up on McFadden by our head honcho Bryson Treece.

For those that think the Cowboys haven’t been very active in free agency, let me remind you of the players the team re-signed.

The team put the franchise tag on Dez Bryant. Starting right tackle Doug Free and starting left guard Ronald Leary will both be coming back. "Mr. First Down" Cole Beasley signed another contract and will be wearing a star for the next four years. The underused Lance Dunbar and punter Chris Jones will be coming back, as will swing tackle Darrion Weems and linebacker Cameron Lawrence.

The free agency period is only a week old, so look for more moves by the 'Boys. Also, for those wondering, the team will not be signing defensive end Greg Hardy, reports Mike Fisher and Mark Lane from Cowboys HQ.



Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys.

Game Notes

Brett Maher’s 62-yard FG Gives Cowboys 6-0 Halftime Lead over Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Brett Maher
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Brett Maher drilled a 62-yard field goal, a new Dallas Cowboys record, to give his team a 6-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime.

A holding penalty by Tyron Smith seemingly took the team out of field goal range, but Maher bailed him out with the monster kick.

The lead could be bigger it not for some Dallas mistakes. Dak Prescott threw an interception on an otherwise strong drive, and Maher ended another drive with a missed field goal.

However, the Eagles have also struggled. A strip sack by Tyrone Crawford ended their last drive of the half. Randy Gregory also got a sack on Carson Wentz earlier in the game.

Overall, though, Philadelphia just isn't converting downs and being stifled by this exceptional Cowboys defense. They only have 70 total offensive yards at the half.

Ezekiel Elliott is putting together a big day, already with 72 rushing yards and another 20 yards receiving. Rod Smith also has 24 yards of offense, adding to the major production from the RB position.

Speaking of position production, the Cowboys tight ends have already accounted for six catches for 37 yards. Blake Jarwin has four of those receptions, which is a new career high.

The Eagles will get the ball to start the second half.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Vs Eagles Leads NFL in Playoff Leverage for Week 14

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Leaning on Elliott, Young Defense Earns Cowboys Win in Philly

The Dallas Cowboys are certainly playing like a playoff team as of late, but aren't in the clear yet when it comes to holding off Sunday's opponent -- nor the Washington Redskins -- in the NFC East. At 7-5, the Eagles and Redskins sit a game behind the Cowboys with identical 6-6 records.

The Cowboys going 5-0 from their first win at the Eagles in week 10 to their third divisional game of this stretch would go a very long way in cementing the Cowboys mid-season turnaround. As has always seemingly been the case in this division though, the same is said of the defending Super Bowl champs.

With a loss, the Cowboys stand just over a 50% chance at the postseason. A win would add 42 percentage points to this figure, setting up the Cowboys favorably through a December schedule that features the Colts, Buccaneers, and Giants.

Brian Burke on Twitter

NFL playoff leverage week 14

The only team with more at stake today is the visitors of AT&T Stadium. The Eagles gain 47 percentage points on their playoff hopes with a win, though even this marginally moves the needle over 50% for them. An Eagles loss all but ends their chances of repeating as NFC East winners.

Though the Redskins are reduced to their third quarterback in Mark Sanchez, their early kickoff at the 4-8 Giants provides hope that they'll remain in contention through the regular season. In a division that will be dictated by the moves made at the trade deadline, it sure feels like the Cowboys and Eagles are pulling away however - with Dallas in prime position to lap the competition starting Sunday.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

If the Cowboys and the Giants win today, Dallas would have to lose out, and the Redskins or Eagles would have to win out in order for the Cowboys to lose the division. In other words, Dallas and NYG winning today would mean one more victory and the Cowboys clinch the NFC East.

Wide Receiver Amari Cooper has made a bigger difference than Dallas could have ever hoped for. With the Eagles secondary banged up again for their meeting with the Cowboys, a home team with sights set on playoff football could begin to fine tune their offense to match a defense that set the tone against Philadelphia last time out.

National pundits may be forecasting a "classic" late season collapse for the Cowboys, but fans know better than this. It was in fact early season losses that dug the hole the Cowboys are viciously fighting out of. Asking for this opportunity against the Eagles is as good as it gets for Jason Garrett's young team, once 3-5 after eight weeks that feel like ages ago.

So does any dominant stretch of football from the Eagles, though the Cowboys shouldn't be quick to find out just how much Philly wants to play spoiler.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Vs Eagles Leads NFL in Playoff Leverage for Week 14" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Dak Prescott Exploits Eagles’ Secondary

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys "Dak-Friendly" Offense

It's rivalry weekend for the Dallas Cowboys as they get ready to host the Philadelphia Eagles. It will undoubtedly be a special game since the Eagles are practically playing to save their season this time around. Tables have turned for these two teams with now the Cowboys as home favorites for this fun matchup.

As always, here's this week's edition of Cowboys Wishlist. Enjoy!

Wish #1: Get Jourdan Lewis Playing Time

Cornerback Jourdan Lewis did a fantastic job versus the New Orleans Saints last week and I'm intrigued to see if the Cowboys will continue to find a job for him and get him on the field. Lewis had an interception and some other key plays in just eight snaps. Lewis has been an interesting narrative this year.

He's a good player and getting him more involved could result in good things for this team. We'll see if the Cowboys use him in this important divisional game.

2018 Rushing Title: Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley in Neck-and-Neck Race

Wish #2: Get The Early Big Lead, Rest Elliott

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott has done an amazing job for the Cowboys over the past four weeks. Both in the passing and running game, Zeke has been able to consistently move the chains as he's received a huge workload to carry the offense and control the time of possession. He currently leads the league in touches per game.

If the Cowboys are able to get a big lead early, I wish we get to see a lot of backup RB Rod Smith. As much as we all love to watch Zeke be fed, this time Cowboys Nation should appreciate seeing him on the sideline a bit more than usual. For that to happen, though, an early considerable lead is required.

Wish #3: Improve on Red Zone

So far, the Dallas Cowboys have been able to efficiently move the ball and get first downs. What they have struggled with though, is the red zone. Many times, we've seen the offense settle for three instead of getting seven.

This Saturday I argued why, if the Cowboys are able to improve on red zone, this could be a playoff caliber unit. This team shouldn't struggle as much in this area. With Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Amari Cooper lined up and a mobile QB, Scott Linehan's squad simply needs to do better.

Wish #4: Dak Prescott Gets 300 Yards

The Philadelphia Eagles have placed CB Jalen Mills on IR. With Ronald Darby out already, the Cowboys are about to face a very injured secondary. Philadelphia ranks 26th in passing defense. Dak Prescott's stats have greatly improved since week 7.

However, a big 300-yard performance has yet to occur. I wish he gets just that against the Eagles. For this, he'll certainly need help from his receivers, including Amari Cooper, who has been outstanding with a Star on his helmet.

What are your wishes for this week's matchup versus the Eagles?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Dak Prescott Exploits Eagles’ Secondary" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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