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Cowboys Must Avoid Looking Ahead To Big NFC East Showdown

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Candid Dak Prescott Talks Cowboys Legends And 2016 Teammates In Panini Unwrapped

Despite 10 straight victories and the best record in all of football, the Cowboys are not yet in the clear in their own division, let alone the entire conference. Sure, logic would tell you that if they were to win the East at this point, the number one seed and home field advantage would also be locked up. But winning the NFC East is not a given at this point, and everyone knows it.

On December 11th the Cowboys will travel to New Jersey, to face the only team which has put a number in the right-hand column of the Cowboys record so far, the New York Giants. With 6 straight wins of their own and an 8-3 record, the Giants are breathing down the Cowboys' necks, waiting for their opportunity to jump ahead in the division.

The entire world knows what awaits the Cowboys in two weeks.

Unquestionably, the biggest game of the season to this point. But, Dallas has one more to go before they can start to think about that game.

As hard as it might be to not look ahead to that NFC East showdown, the Cowboys must remain focused on the task this week, the Minnesota Vikings. After suffering a devastating loss to the Detroit Lions, the Vikings cannot afford to drop another conference game if they hope to make a playoff run.

Technically, the Cowboys could "afford" the loss, but it would certainly make things a whole lot tougher down the stretch. Luckily for Dallas, the culture which head coach Jason Garrett has created puts them in perfect position to win their 11th straight. Cowboys Headlines - 10 Takeaways From The Cowboys Win Against The Ravens 7

Each day Garrett preaches about the importance of every snap, every practice rep, every meeting, every single minute of the workday. When asked on a Wednesday about the future of a certain player or coach, he always responds "we are just focused on today." While it annoys the hell out of the media, it is the exact right approach his Cowboys must take this week.

The Cowboys will open as favorites, despite being on the road for a Thursday night against a formidable opponent. They are now being crowned the best in the NFL by many "experts" as Seattle falls to Tampa Bay and the Patriots look average against the Jets. But this cannot get to their heads, it cannot affect their focus or their play.

Jason Garrett won't let that happen.

This game at Minnesota actually reminds me of a Thursday night game against a different NFC North team in 2014, the Chicago Bears. Dallas, after an important Thanksgiving game, had to travel to Chicago 10 days before going to Philadelphia to play for the division lead. Garrett kept the team focused, and they won both games in impressive fashion.

In order for the Cowboys to get to where we all want them to be, they need to come out with similar results.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Nathan Martin

    Garrett needs to keep the boys focused and they need that game by game approach…..

    • Kevin Brady

      Yes he does, and I have no doubt that he will. Thanks for reading, Nathan!

  • Ethan Chazin

    I have a novel idea. Why don’t we dispense with all these types of “Cowboys need to look out!” pieces and start writing how the OTHER team needs to be VERY concerned. Honestly, this team has met/overcome every challenge so they have EARNED to right to be the team that other teams need to be prepared for. Garrett’s very core ideology is to play in the now, not look ahead and take every day one day at a time. I am NOT concerned about this Vikings Team nor am I concerned about this Team’s lack of preparation.

    • Kevin Brady

      Ethan, nowhere did I say that the Cowboys need to “look out” for their opponents. I am simply saying that they can’t get caught looking ahead to that huge Giants game in two weeks like many of us fans are doing, because if they do, they will be in for a tough one with the Vikings. I expect them to beat both teams as well, they are better than both, but that doesn’t change the fact that humans tend to look ahead to bigger games.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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