As we move into the 2018 NFL offseason, members of the Cowboys' front office are receiving calls and interview requests from other teams around the league. Specifically, Will McClay has reportedly been contacted by the Houston Texans to interview for their General Manager job.
Some of Cowboys Nation is obviously wondering why this would be a big deal, considering how disappointing the Cowboys have been two of the last three seasons. Yesterday, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com tweeted out a list of the top-10 most "homegrown teams," with the Dallas Cowboys landing at number five.
For those interested in homegrown players on a team the top 10 teams were 1. Packers 1. Bengals 3. Ravens 4,. Texans 5. Cowboys 6. Raiders 7. Steelers 8. Chiefs 9. Broncos 10. Patriots
Homegrown means that the player was drafted -- or signed as an undrafted free agent -- by a particular team and they remain a member of that team today.
Basically this shows that the Cowboys have placed their focus on building through the NFL Draft, rather than paying for free agents or negotiating trades with other teams.
This seems good, right?
Well I think it is "good," at least to a point.
It's important to practice smart team building, and finding talented players throughout each round of the draft (whether it's Zack Martin in the first or Xavier Woods in the sixth) is critical.
It is also important to not overpay during free agency, or give out contracts which will stop you from paying the good players you draft.
But at the same time, if you plan to sort of ignore free agency and only focus on the draft, you better hit on those picks. Particularly those picks in the first two rounds.
We all know how risky the Cowboys tend to be with those second round picks, and the selection of Taco Charlton in round one last year remains questionable.
An obvious issue with the Dallas Cowboys right now is their depth. They are a top-heavy roster with some of the best players in the league leading the way. However, as you get past the top 7-10 players, the roster does get a little shaky.
This isn't terribly different from anyone else around the league, but it is worth noting the absence of one linebacker can shake this run defense to the point they can't stop anyone. Or the absence of their left tackle, no matter how great he is, can render the entire offense ineffective for three straight weeks.
Of course, there will be a drop off from Tyron Smith and Sean Lee to their replacements, but the fact that the units fall apart without those players is troubling.
This all starts at the top.
In the front office, the Cowboys have avoided adding veteran depth to their roster. Sure, they signed guys like defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and cornerback Nolan Carroll, but neither of those guys were even on the roster for most of the 2017 season. And both were disappointing when they did get the chance to play.
Then there's the coaching staff.
The Cowboys' offense is clearly very personnel dependent. Their offense isn't anything too hard to prepare for, as Broncos head coach Vance Joseph alluded to back before week two, but it is hard to stop.
Or, at least it was.
When the Cowboys are healthy and have their stars available, they don't need to rely on strong schemes or "creative" play calling. They were simply better than most of the defenses they faced. They were able to line up and win. But when Tyron Smith is injured, Ezekiel Elliott is suspended, and Scott Linehan needs to prove himself further, the offense sputters.
So, while remaining homegrown and keeping continuity within your franchise sounds great, knowing when to look to the outside and make external moves is an important part of team building as well. Balancing these two effectively is hard to do, but is the mark of a great front office.
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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