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Cowboys Missing Out On LB Navorro Bowman A Good Thing?

Brian Martin

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A lot of Cowboys Nation were optimistic that the Dallas Cowboys would be able to bring in former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Navarro Bowman to help improve things on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately, as reported by Ian Rapoport, Bowman decided to stay in the Bay Area and sign a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Former #49ers LB NaVorro Bowman is signing a 1-year deal with the #Raiders, source says. That was fast.

Knowing the Oakland Raiders had the first crack to convince Navorro Bowman to sign with them meant it was a long shot he would ever make the Tuesday meeting with the Dallas Cowboys in the first place. And yet, Cowboys fans still held out hope the former star LB could be the saving grace for the run defense, because we all know Jerry Jones is a great salesman and rarely lets a free-agent getaway he really wants.

I don't know about you, but I'm personally not too upset the Dallas Cowboys weren't able to land Navorro Bowman. Now, before you all get upset with me, let me try to explain myself.

LB NaVorro Bowman

(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

First off, Navorro Bowman isn't nearly the same type of player he used to be earlier in his career. If that was the case, the San Francisco 49ers wouldn't have been willing to let him go, even if they do have a young promising prospect waiting in the wings behind him.

Bowman's age and injuries have caught up to him and as a result, affected his play. He is still pretty good defending against the run, something the Cowboys need help with, but has really started to struggle in pass coverage. That means he would probably be nothing more than a two down linebacker who came off the field passing situations. Those types of LBs aren't that difficult to find.

Secondly, the addition of Navorro Bowman would have likely been a progress stopper for Jaylon Smith. Smith has had his up-and-down's through the first five weeks of the season, but there has been more positives than negatives.

LB Jaylon Smith

LB Jaylon Smith

With Anthony Hitchens and Navorro Bowman on the team at MLB, it doesn't leave a lot of playing time for the Dallas Cowboys 2016 second round draft pick. And, Jaylon Smith needs as much playing time as he can get in order to learn and gain more confidence in his mental/physical abilities. He is after all a future cornerstone player on the Cowboys defense.

The Dallas Cowboys need to get Jaylon Smith up to speed as quickly as possible and unfortunately Bowman's addition would have set him back in his development. And let's be honest, Bowman probably wasn't going to have that much of an impact anyways. This defense needs more help than just one player can provide.

So as you can see, even though the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Navorro Bowman, it might actually end up being a good thing in the long run. Jaylon Smith is the future of this organization and the Cowboys should be doing everything in their power to help in his development, not hinder it.

Is missing out on Navorro Bowman actually a good thing?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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13 Comments
  • Les Matthews

    Smith needs playing time — like 20 snaps a game max. He’s been relied upon too heavily.

    • Brian Martin

      That’s my thinking as well. He still shows a lot of promise, but he needs time to adjust himself to the game. He’s not trusting what he’s seeing and isn’t reacting accordingly. I also don’t think he’s quite there physically yet either. He still needs his repetitions in order to develop, but he’s not ready to start.

  • Hobbes49

    I agree with you. I know we have been lacking depth at the LB position, but with everyone back we should finally be able to see the rotation the coaching staff envisioned for this season. Wondering if and how the addition of Justin March-Lillard will affect the rotation. I would like to see this group for the forseeable future to see what they can accomplish.

    • Brian Martin

      The Cowboys could certainly use more depth at the position, but I didn’t really think Bowman was the answer. If the starters (Lee, Hitchens, and Wilson) can stay healthy, then they are good at the position. Then you can work Smith in as needed to help boost his confidence and him develop more.

      • Hobbes49

        Agreed. I think a healty Lee and HItchens could help this group finally reach their expected stride for the rest of the season.

        • Brian Martin

          I’m certainly hoping so LOL

  • MLV

    This article makes no sense, you talk about Bowman not being the same player because of injury, well the Cowboys have the same problem, can’t keep players on the field because of injury, cutting into Smith’s playing time and development, the guy is being over worked and is clearly not 100%, he had the runner from GB in his sites in the hole and couldn’t make the play due to lack of explosiveness , you have players now who sub between pass and run situations , you improve your defense one player at a time!

    • Brian Martin

      The Dallas Cowboys do have the same problem, which is why I thought it was a good thing not to sign Bowman. Why sign another player who is in their decline and is limited to what they can do on the field. Better to stick with what you have and allow Smith to develop/progress. I don’t think Bowman would have been an improvement.

      • MLV

        Smith is the future,the way he is being overused especially when he’s not 100% is not helping his future, Bowman is as good against the run as anyone on this current roster, he is proven to be as good if not better than what we have, this is why we are getting run on by rookies and anyone else, what we have is not working!

        • Brian Martin

          Smith unfortunately wasn’t even supposed to be a regular contributor to start the year. Anthony Hitchens’ injury forced him on the field before he was ready, but there was flashes of the player he was in college. He just needs more time to develop and acclimate to the game once again. I think they will get better now that Hitchens is back and Sean Lee is healthy. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

  • Anthony Ceniccola

    totally agree with this. great write-up Brian, as usual! I think experience is such a huge benefit, and as i stated in another one of your articles I think experience is just what 54 needs now. Hitchens coming back is the best thing for the team and smith, it will take less responsibility from smith but allow him to grow.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks Anthony for the compliment. I completely agree with you about Hitchens and Smith. It takes the pressure off Smith from having to be the starter, while also giving him time to develop.

  • Russ_Te

    I don’t believe Smith has been used in the blitz packages yet, but as I posted before he does seem to have his straight-line speed back.

    Not against SF, but you can hold a card back where you just put him wide of the DE on a long down – like an old Bears 46 alignment – and send him after the passer. It’s probably good for some disruptions before that opponent adjusts. If Smith gets a big play, it’s what you’re looking for to give him a boost mentally.

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: DeMarcus Lawrence, ¿Etiqueta o Contrato?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Broncos

El pasado martes 20 de febrero, comenzó a lo que se le puede llamar una especie de "prólogo" a la agencia libre. Esa fecha marcó el primer día para que los equipos de la NFL designen jugadores franquicia o de transición. Alrededor de la liga, muchos nombres como el de Le'Veon Bell resaltan en esta conversación.

Y uno de los más grandes y conocidos, es el del defensive end de los Dallas Cowboys: DeMarcus Lawrence.

Hace unos días, se reportó que los Cowboys le darían la etiqueta franquicia a D-Law, algo que todos veíamos venir desde hace rato. Sin embargo, aún no se le otorga dicha etiqueta, sino que lo harán más cerca de la fecha límite para hacerlo, el 6 de Marzo.

En enero escribí un poco más a fondo sobre como funcionan las etiquetas franquicia en la NFL. 

Al inicio de su carrera, Lawrence fue un tanto decepcionante. No logró mantenerse sano, recibió una suspensión de cuatro juegos en el 2016 y antes de la última temporada, no había sido nada especial. Sin embargo, en el 2017 estuvo entre los mejores defensivos de la liga.

Lawrence logró capturar 14.5 veces a los quarterbacks contrarios (había conseguido sólo nueve en toda su carrera) y 35 tackles. No sólo mejoró increíblemente presionando el juego aéreo, sino que también se convirtió en una fuerza contra el juego terrestre.

Podemos hablar de estadísticas todo lo que queramos, pero creo que todos vimos lo que sucedió en el campo semana tras semana.

Un jugador que juegue de la manera que jugó DeMarcus este 2017, merece un gran, gran contrato. El problema es, que esta ha sido su única buena temporada. Y ahora la administración tiene que decidir que hacer respecto a este joven talento de sólo 25 años de edad.

¿Dejar que juegue en el 2018 bajo la etiqueta franquicia? ¿O darle un contrato a largo plazo, asegurando que use la Estrella por varios años?

Definitivamente no es una opción tan fácil como parece. Stephen y Jerry Jones han sido criticados por mucho los últimos años (bastantes veces erróneamente), y Lawrence es una oportunidad perfecta para lucirse... o quedar mal con su afición por muchos años.

Cowboys Planning

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

¿Qué si le dan una jugosa extensión de contrato y nunca volvemos a ver al mismo jugador que vimos dominar líneas ofensivas en el 2017? ¿Qué pasa si por alguna razón juega en otro equipo tras el 2018, y termina siendo uno de los mejores de la NFL?

Según reportes, Lawrence está pidiendo 17 millones por año, lo cuál lo pondría entre los mejores pagados de su posición actualmente. El DE de los Giants Olivier Vernon promedia esa cantidad, y sorpresa, sorpresa... ambos jugadores cuentan con el mismo agente.

Finalmente, por años hemos ansiado un caza cabezas para los Dallas Cowboys. Año tras año, hablamos de novatos como Joey Bosa o agentes libres como Dwight Freeney que podrían cambiar el rumbo de la defensiva de este equipo.

Pues ahora, los Cowboys cuentan con uno.

Sí, no se mantuvo sano durante los primeros tres años de su carrera, pero cuando lo estuvo demostró ser un jugador de mucha calidad. Quizá esta vez, si sea la ocasión para romper el cochinito y pagarle su merecido dinero a Lawrence.

Y con un poco de suerte, seguirá siendo el mismo que fue la temporada pasada y los Cowboys contarán con un excelente jugador en su línea defensiva.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: DeMarcus Lawrence, ¿Etiqueta o Contrato?" 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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Star Blog

Will Jeff Heath be a Starter or Backup in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys' Defense Silently Shined, Jeff Heath Saved The Season 1
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

There seems to be quite a bit of optimism surrounding the Dallas Cowboys secondary after the hiring of Kris Richard. A lot of Cowboys Nation is hoping that he can re-create the "Legion of Boom" here in Dallas, but do the Cowboys have the personnel to do it?

There's no denying the Cowboys have some very talented young defensive backs. Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Xavier Woods all had fantastic rookie seasons and they have only started to scratch the surface of their true potential. We could even throw Anthony Brown into that conversation as well, even though he struggled at times in 2017.

Kris Richard definitely has something to work with, at least at cornerback. But, the safety position for the Cowboys could probably use an upgrade.

I wouldn't be all that surprised if we see completely new faces starting at safety for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018. There have already been rumors Byron Jones might be moving back to cornerback. That would leave Jeff Heath as the only Cowboy safety with any kind of starting experience.

Unfortunately, Jeff Heath has been the favorite whipping boy for a lot of Cowboys fans. When there was blame to be placed in the secondary, it usually fell on Heath's shoulders whether it was warranted or not.

Jeff Heath

Dallas Cowboys S Jeff Heath

Kris Richard will probably have a pretty big input on who the Cowboy starting safeties will be next season. You can bet he has already evaluated every single one of his secondary players and already has a pretty good idea of how he wants to deploy them.

Right now, the biggest enigma in the Cowboy secondary has to be the safety position and more importantly what to do with Jeff Heath. Will he be a starter or backup in 2018?

Heath actually performed pretty well in 2017. He finished the season with 71 tackles, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions. That compares pretty favorably with the safety everybody wants to bring to Dallas, Earl Thomas, who finished last season with 88 tackles, one forced fumble, and two interceptions. But, we all know statistics don't show the big picture.

We all know Earl Thomas is the more talented of the two players, but that's not to say Jeff Heath isn't worthy of his starting job. I know some of you will disagree, but I believe he proved that last season.

What happens to Jeff Heath in 2018 will likely depend on what the Dallas Cowboys are able to do in free agency and through the draft. Adding another safety at some point is definitely an offseason priority, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will be an upgrade over Heath.

As things stand right now, Jeff Heath is still penciled in as one of the starting safeties heading into the 2018 season. The other starting safety spot is up for grabs. Who knows, maybe we'll see completely new faces at the safety position, much like we did at CB last year.

Do you think Jeff Heath remains the starting safety?


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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Sign This RFA to a Contract Sheet?

Fortune favors the bold. It's a rough translation of an old Latin proverb and the mantra I believe the Dallas Cowboys should indoctrinate this offseason.

I think it's time the Dallas Cowboys start to make a few bold moves. I truly believe they are close to competing for a championship title and one or two offseason moves could increase those odds. One such move would be to sign restricted free agent (RFA) Shaquil Barrett to an offer sheet.

It's expected that the Denver Broncos will place a second-round tender on Barrett and I think the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to explore the possibility of signing him to a contract sheet. If Denver declines to match the offer, the Cowboys would then send them their second round draft pick as compensation.

You on board?

Probably not at this point, but let me try to explain why I believe this is a good move on the Cowboys part, even if it is an uncharacteristic one.

You see, the Cowboys could definitely use someone to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence and I think Shaquil Barrett could be the solution.

I know it sounds like a lot to give up a second round draft pick, but the Cowboys have been deplorable at drafting players in the second round the past decade. Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence, and possibly Jaylon Smith have really been the only "hits" the Cowboys have found in the second round. That's simply unacceptable!

So, why not use that second rounder to acquire a player who is already a proven commodity in the NFL?

Shaquil Barrett

Denver Broncos OLB Shaq Barrett (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

I know the first thing a lot of you are going to do is to look up Shaquil Barrett's stats to see what he has accomplished in the NFL. But, stats don't always show the big picture.

You see, Barrett has been stuck behind some pretty talented pass rushers in Denver, so his statistics aren't going to jump off the paper. But, when given the opportunity he has proven he deserves a larger role. That's where the Dallas Cowboys come in.

The Broncos probably don't have the money to keep Shaquil Barrett if the Cowboys sign him to a contract sheet. It doesn't necessarily even have to be a big money contract offer. The Broncos simply don't have the salary cap to do much, especially considering they are still looking for a starting quarterback.

I honestly like the idea of the Cowboys going after Barrett. You may have forgotten, but he gave a healthy Tyron Smith fits last season.

With an injured Shane Ray, Shaquil Barrett got the start against the Cowboys in 2017 and finished the game with two quarterback hits, six QB pressures, and five stops. No other player found that kind of success against Tyron Smith all season, even when he was banged up.

Unfortunately, when Shane Ray returned, Barrett's usage on defense declined. That's why you can't always judge a players productivity by statistics. You have to judge him more on a per-snap basis, and if you do that you will discover he was very effective as both a pass rusher and run stopper.

I believe Barrett is ready for a full-time role. Yes, he has been used as a standup 3-4 OLB with the Broncos, but he has the required traits to put his hand on the ground and maintain his effectiveness.

The downside to all of this is the Dallas Cowboys would have to give up their second-round draft pick, but draft picks are sometimes overvalued anyways. Shaquil Barrett is probably better than anybody the Cowboys could draft in the second round, so I say pull the trigger.

Should the Cowboys sign Shaquil Barrett to a contract sheet?


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