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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

13 Comments

  1. Les Matthews

    October 17, 2017 at 7:34 am

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

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 17, 2017 at 9:26 am

      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.

  2. Hobbes49

    October 17, 2017 at 9:37 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 17, 2017 at 9:47 am

      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

        October 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

        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

          Brian Martin

          October 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

          I’m certainly hoping so LOL

  3. MLV

    October 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 17, 2017 at 10:47 am

      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

        October 18, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        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

          Brian Martin

          October 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm

          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.

  4. Anthony Ceniccola

    October 17, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    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

      Brian Martin

      October 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      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.

  5. Russ_Te

    October 18, 2017 at 10:19 am

    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.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.



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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.



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