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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 Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.

Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.

With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.

Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.

Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.

As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.

On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.

The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1

After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.

With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.

All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.

A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.

2014 NFL: Week 6 Cowboys vs. Seahawks highlights

Week 6 Own by nfl

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Star Blog

Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.

The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.

However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.

As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.

Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.

The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.

The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.

The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.

Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.

If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.



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Star Blog

Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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