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Cowboys Minicamp: Day-2 First Team OL Features J. Cooper at LG

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Minicamp: Day-2 First Team OL Features J. Cooper at LG 2

The Dallas Cowboys took a big step towards putting their perceived best five offensive linemen on the field at Wednesday's second day of minicamp, as 2016 free agent acquisition Jonathan Cooper was finally given the start at left guard.

The Cowboys are entering their first season since 2009 without Doug Free as their starting right tackle, which prompted them to move projected LG La'el Collins to Free's RT spot. This has left Chaz Green (once the leading candidate to replace Free and allow Collins to start again at guard), Joe Looney, OT Emmett Cleary, and Jonathan Cooper as Dallas' depth to find an answer at LG.

Jon Machota on Twitter

First-team offensive line on Day 2 of minicamp: LT-Tyron Smith, LG-Jonathan Cooper, C-Travis Frederick, RG-Zack Martin, RT-La'el Collins

Jonathan Cooper is by far the sexiest name on this list, as the former first round pick could resurrect his career by playing in between first round selections and Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick.

Cooper has obviously not lived up to his draft status as the Cardinals' seventh overall pick in 2013, breaking his fibula in his first preseason to start his NFL career. Injuries would be the story for Jonathan Cooper with the Cardinals before he was traded to the Patriots and later released.

Cowboys Minicamp: Day-2 First Team OL Features J. Cooper at LG

Most recently, Cooper was seen starting three games for the Browns in 2016 before being released in December and signed the next month by the Cowboys. Our Staff Writer Kevin Brady picked up with evaluating Cooper's tape in Cleveland and found plenty of positives.

There is little doubt that Dallas presents the best chance for Cooper to turn around his pro football career, re-signed this season initially for depth but now working as a starter - a move that feels long overdue at this point in the offseason for Cowboys Nation.

Cleary had his limited flashes at LT in 2016, and Green has reportedly looked solid at a brand new position inside, but Cooper is a natural scheme fit to block in space at LG and propel the Cowboys' running game to an entirely new level with Ezekiel Elliott in 2017.

Bryan Broaddus reviewed Jonathan Cooper in his first minicamp practice at LG - having previously seen him at center during OTAs - and had this to say:

"Jonathan Cooper took the majority of snaps at left guard with the first offense. I didn’t notice any major problems technique-wise..."

Since the Space Cowboys have come together as the consensus best offensive line in the NFL, this current offseason has likely brought the most uncertainty to the unit with changes at two positions. Assuming for a second the Cowboys feel certain about La'el Collins returning to his college position of tackle, Jonathan Cooper should get his shot to be a part of this special group as the Dallas Cowboys' starting left guard - a spot that now belongs to him as of the start of minicamp.

Cowboys Minicamp: Day-2 First Team OL Features J. Cooper at LG 1

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys offensive line coming out of this reshuffling as their best ever incarnation for this young and loaded offense to take advantage of? This is a very real possibility, and one that opposing defensive coordinators around the league should already be losing sleep over.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Minicamp: Day-2 First Team OL Features J. Cooper at LG" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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3 Comments
  • Kevin Black

    I have to be honest, I’m both thrilled and concerned about Cooper playing LG. There have been discussions about his injuries robbing him of his mobility. While playing guard doesn’t exactly give you visions of nimble athletes, Dallas likes to employ pulls with their line, especially their guards. If Cooper is unable to move well in space, something that WAS a part of his game when he was drafted, it will cause some creative work on Linehan’s part to solve his pulling game.

    I’ll be quite interested in watching Cooper play in the preseason to try and tell if he’s able to handle all the duties the Cowboys expect of him.

    • ThePsychodad69

      Hard to look through a window and know what’s going on inside, so far the scoutscoaches have done a hell of a job with what they have in front of them.
      Just like real life, piss in one hand and wish in the other, which one fills up first. And let’s all enjoy what we have not what we hope for.

      • ThePsychodad69

        Marinelli has been making silk purses out of sows ears since he got here, give him some silk and let’s see what he does with it.

        If Garrett built the Oline in his image in 3yrs what makes you think it’s going to stop, I’m a fan of the ‘RHG’ and it took a while, but when I finally saw the ‘Process in writing it made sense, 3yrs to 5yrs and can’t wait to see the next 10. Garrett could be Jerry’s fadora for another decade.

        All hail the red headed genius known as (‘RHG’) ftom here on.

        Saw him speak at Princeton his 1st year as Coach, he is a motivator. And his Process is working.

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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud 1

For the second straight week, the Dallas Cowboys will go into a game with a new look at the wide receiver position. Such a rotation was expected when the team moved on from Dez Bryant this offseason, who also found a job this week with the New Orleans Saints. Debuting Amari Cooper as their new star on the outside Monday night, the Cowboys will add Noah Brown and Lance Lenoir to their WR corps in Philadelphia on Sunday.

https://twitter.com/DMN_George/status/1060982854010761219

Brown began practicing with the team for the first time since training camp last week. The Cowboys had to make a decision within three weeks on his roster status for the rest of the season, choosing now to activate the second-year draft pick.

Brown is a trusted blocker on the outside that has a year in this offense under his belt. Though he wasn't used much as a rookie, it's clear that the Cowboys envision Brown being a part of their future, releasing this year's FA signing Deonte Thompson in favor of both him and Lance Lenoir.

Thompson caught just 14 passes in Dallas, injured against the Titans as he conceded the jet sweep role in the Cowboys offense to Cornerback Jourdan Lewis for the second straight week.

Lenoir earns his shot after a year with the Cowboys himself, albeit off the practice squad. The UDFA out of Western Illinois has been a fan-favorite since arriving in Oxnard and making plays. Lenoir's toughness as a receiver that can stretch the field and high point the ball against contact is something the Cowboys have had a need for all season, not finding a spot for Lance until now.

Treston Decoud is the other player cut from the Cowboys roster to make room for both receivers. The defensive back was active for his only game with the Cowboys against the Titans, signed to the practice squad in September.

Coming off a loss in which Cole Beasley was targeted just four times and Ezekiel Elliott carried 17 times, the Cowboys may need to focus on getting their established play makers more involved this week to have a chance on the road. This may limit the immediate impact that both Brown and Lenoir could make, but at 0-4 in road contests this season, the Cowboys are desperate for any signs of life in an NFC East that remains for-the-taking.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Activate WRs Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Release Thompson and Decoud" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss

Sean Martin

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Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss

The Dallas Cowboys 28-14 loss on Monday night to the Tennessee Titans at AT&T Stadium was crushing to their hopes of making the playoffs out of a weak NFC East this season. Remaining in the hunt with a 3-5 record may be the only thing stopping the Cowboys from making immediate changes in personnel or coaching. This season's struggles, mainly on offense, have also not changed the long-term outlook for the Cowboys at the most important position in sports -- quarterback.

Just as Jason Garrett frustratingly remains the guy at Head Coach, and Scott Linehan at Offensive Coordinator, Quarterback Dak Prescott is on track for an extension following the 2019 season according to his owner and GM Jerry Jones.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Dak is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, he's young and he's gonna get extended." - Jerry Jones on @1053thefan. Holy cow. The worst news of the year.

The Cowboys have yet to win on the road this season. With trips to Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Indianapolis still to come Dallas could play their way into a forced change at one of these three positions.

With so many new first-year coaches in the building, the Cowboys might not see a suitable replacement for Garrett and Linehan at The Star right now though. Without a first round pick, traded for Amari Cooper in favor of any 2019 receiver prospects, the same could also go for Prescott.

Extending Dak while remaining aggressive about upgrading at QB could be the smart choice for the Cowboys. Nothing about their current makeup points to this being the case, but a decision on Prescott's contract is not due until after next season.

Getting a passer that's accomplished more than Prescott on the team for next season is understandably difficult. The top free agent quarterbacks are likely Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown, who would both do little more than cash checks they don't deserve against the Cowboys cap.

Prescott can do the same thing for another year on his rookie deal, and beyond on a contract that pays him like the backup QB the Cowboys should be preparing for.

This lines up well with a crop of 2020 QB prospects that are already in the national spotlight, such as Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert. Of course, the Cowboys would have to struggle once again to pick high enough for either passer to be a possibility.

It also remains to be seen if Herbert will declare for this year's draft instead.

Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss 1

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

It's been quite the fall from grace for Dak Prescott, who managed nine wins in a season where Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was lost for six games just a year ago. Now, the Cowboys take Elliott out of games themselves with a game plan that relies on Prescott being someone he isn't.

The end result has been Prescott ending up on the losing end of too many games where he simply didn't do enough for the Cowboys, hardly an enviable position to be in at QB in today's high-scoring NFL.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

Jerry on Dak: "He's gonna get extended." @1053SS and @RJChoppy: *stunned silence* https://t.co/kSrCjB8QP5

Who Prescott is on a merely factual level is a fourth round pick that's not consistent enough from the pocket to win games. The entire Cowboys organization can't be blind to the fact that running out this same coaching staff with Prescott under center in 2019 is a punt on an entire season, a stark contrast from their win-now approach with Prescott in 2016 and most of 2017.

That 2017 season that yielded nine wins, which would require a 6-2 record for the Cowboys from this point on, did ultimately result in the firing of/changing of seven coaches below Garrett and his coordinators.

What Jerry Jones doesn't see is a viable option for the team to move forward without Prescott. At least as of Tuesday morning, off a Monday loss, and at the very least not before the end of next season. What Cowboys Nation sees is a quarterback that would hardly be viable elsewhere, especially in a Dallas organization that's literally proving why they aren't a fit for a QB like him while talking about a contract extension.

A coaching change would be the only thing the Cowboys can do to create some optimism for Prescott, giving their new coach a proven commodity at quarterback and allowing him to make a decision from there. Jones didn't sign off from 105.3 The Fan without further votes of confidence in his top coaches, but talks of extending them are silently in the distance.

A Dak Prescott extension should rightfully be the end of the coaches responsible for handing him the keys and steering him off path from 2016 Rookie of the Year to reeling 2018 starter still feeling the effects from how last season ended.

The Cowboys desperately need further change, and if it's not coming soon at quarterback it should be expected elsewhere.

Tell us what you think about "Jerry Jones Sees An Extension Coming for QB Dak Prescott, Despite Latest Loss" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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