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Cowboys 2009 Free Agent Lineup

Bryson Treece

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Just in case anyone was missing info on who the free agents are this year, here's a list as taken from DC.com.

The Cowboys face some tough decisions with regards to each of these players, and considering the team has some solid needs at certain positions, look for the Cowboys to make some moves that most of us won't agree with.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

* OG Joe Berger
* QB Brooks Bollinger
* LB Kevin Burnett
* DE Chris Canty
* S Keith Davis
* DT Tank Johnson
* LB Carlos Polk
* LB Zach Thomas

* WR Miles Austin
* DE Stephen Bowen
* TE Tony Curtis
* WR Sam Hurd
* OL Cory Procter

* Number one in that category would probably be Cory Proctor. His abysmal play in 2008 cost us many things, but above all it taught us that Kosier was sorely missed, and then that Holland was almost as missed as Kosier was. Behind Kozier the Cowboys didn't lose this year, though that's not saying much since he only played in three regular season games.

Cory Proctor is the first backup at center behind Pro Bowler Andre Gurode, and for his ability to play at both positions, Proctor will likely be retained assuming his price doesn't climb too high. Something tells me teams won't be breaking the bank for this guy. Holland played much better than Proctor, but again, a backup center with experience is still needed even after Holland is resigned.

* Another one of the concerns is backup quarterback, and while Brad Johnson is not a free agent, it's almost safe to say that he will be sometime in the coming months after such miserable play. So that leaves Brooks Bollinger, a younger quarterback with backup written all over him. He too lacked any real production during Romo's three game sit, but he was better than Johnson. Bollinger managed to drive the team to a touchdown against the Giants in week 9, which was the only time he looked comfortable behind center.

There are a lot of quarterbacks available in free agency this year, and few available within reach in the draft, but the free agents are mostly guys looking for a chance to start, which is virtually impossible here given Romo's contract and performance. So I think the Cowboys are going to take a look at each available quarterback before the draft, and if another backup to go with Bollinger isn't found, they'll draft one in the later rounds. In either case, I believe the team will resign Bollinger since he did show some marked improvement once he got more practice snaps with the first team.

* Chris Canty has been an issue all off-season. Talks have been on-going throughout the past year between the Cowboys, Canty, and his agent, to work out a contract extension for him, but most of us are aware of his agent's words that he wants Tommy Kelly kind of money. It's no question that he contributed to the defense in 2008, just as it's no question that he isn't deserving of the kind of money he's looking for.

To make matters worse, he spoke publicly recently and said that he has always been and will always be a Parcels kind of guy, which seems to point toward Canty actively pursuing a spot with the Dolphins. No matter what though, given that the contract talks have basically stalled here, he will test the market to see what he can get.

* Keith Davis, who last year departed the Cowboys for the Dolphins in a similar situation to Canty's, returned to Dallas after losing out on the starting job in Miami. Upon his return he was immediately named a team captain and resumed his roles as the special teams leader and backup strong safety. Injuries thrust him into the starting line up by week 5, and he started all but three games after that. This includes the end of the year when he suffered a third degree sprain of his MCL without missing a full game from the injury.

His strength is as a role player, special teams ace and backup safety, and his abilities in both aspects warrant signing him to a long term deal. I expect him to test the market once more though before settling for his role in Dallas.

* Miles Austin is another concern for the club, but only because they have to wait and see who offers what for him. the Cowboys are expected to place a second round tender on Austin, giving them the right of first refusal should another team make him an offer, and if the Cowboys choose not to match the offer, they would receive a 2009 second round pick as compensation. His inability to stay healthy last year is an issue, but he will most likely be resigned. His upside is still substantial and he should make an impact and a bid for more playing time in 2009 as long as he can stay healthy.

* The only other real concern lies at the middle linebacker position since both Zach Thomas and Kevin Burnett are unrestricted free agents come February 27th. Thomas stated after the season ending loss to Philly that he didn't feel comfortable at his position, the Will linebacker, since he had played his entire career as a Mike linebacker, the spot currently held by should-be Pro Bowler Bradie James. Look for the aging Thomas to explore his options in free agency, though don't rule him out to return next year.


Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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