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Cowboys’ Next Generation Has To Deliver

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Cowboys' Next Generation Has To Deliver 3

The Dallas Cowboys are transitioning into a new age following an exodus of the old guard that failed to end the club’s Super Bowl drought. Jason Garrett’s men boasted talent on their roster, featuring a potent offense led by Tony Romo. Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten was arguably the most consistent player at his position for a decade, while Dez Bryant was truly dominant on the outside and in the end zone.

However, the ability did not always match success on the field, with the club failing to progress beyond the Divisional Round of the post-season. The transition into the new era began when Dak Prescott shined in the absence of Romo, hastening his departure to the broadcast booth.

Bryant’s exit was not as harmonious, as he was released in April as his production displayed signs of decline in the 2017 season. Witten is expected to join Romo on television, with reports suggesting that he will join ESPN’s team for the 2018 campaign.

There is pressure on Prescott along with Ezekiel Elliott to bring success back to Dallas, although the NFC East will be more competitive than ever next season. The reigning Super Bowl champion, Philadelphia Eagles, aim to repeat as winners of the NFC East, with the Cowboys backed at 15/4 in the odds provided by Betway as of May 2nd.

There is a huge challenge ahead of Garrett and his new core of players to revive the fortunes of the franchise.

Cowboys' Next Generation Has To Deliver 1

Twitter.com/Zesty_Cowboys

Offense

The Cowboys struggled last season on the offensive side of the ball after being rocked by Elliott’s six-game suspension. The team was fresh off an impressive win over the Kansas City Chiefs before the ban was reinstated. Dallas was well positioned at 5-3 in their season but then lost three games on the bounce, losing ground to the Eagles. Although they posted a 9-7 record it was not good enough for a post-season berth due to the competitive nature of the NFC Conference.

Prescott was not able to elevate his performance in the absence of Elliott, while Bryant struggled to provide the separation needed to be a viable threat downfield. Even Witten was not quite on song, as his age finally began to tell on the field. Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams were not able to rise to the occasion, with the offense failing to find a rhythm without their star man.

Elliott will be back for the 2018 campaign and will be keen to re-establish his reputation as the elite back in the NFL. He will have company in the NFC East with Saquon Barkley’s arrival at the New York Giants. The 22-year-old will have ample motivation and he has the talent to lead the club back to the post-season. Prescott has to return to his 2016 form.

Allen Hurns could provide an upgrade over Bryant’s performance in 2017, but the 24-year-old is not working with the most talented receiving corp in the division. He will have to raise his standards to match those of Carson Wentz and the rest of the elite in the NFC Conference.

Cowboys' Next Generation Has To Deliver

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Defense

DeMarcus Lawrence made the leap into an elite pass-rusher last season, notching 14.5 sacks. He has to become a consistent 10-sack player to lead the Cowboys’ defense forward. DeMarcus Ware led the way for many years before his departure in 2014. Dallas selected Lawrence in the second round of the 2014 Draft in the hope that he could fill the void. Another fine campaign is required, which will convince Jerry Jones to hand the defensive end a lucrative long-term deal.

When healthy Sean Lee has been a standout in the middle of the Cowboys’ defense, Lee has been a tackling machine but he has not been as effective as he was earlier in his career.

Dallas made the move to select Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 Draft. Vander Esch could take the pressure off Lee and allow him to become more of a factor behind the line of scrimmage next season. In the long-term, he is Lee’s successor and appears to have the attributes needed to thrive in Rod Marinelli’s unit, with enough speed to cope in the passing game and the power necessary to take on blocks against the run.

The building blocks are there for Dallas for the next generation but there has to be the urgency to secure a title that has eluded the Cowboys since 1995.



This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ultimate GM

    May 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Perhaps proofreading stories is a good idea. Just who are you talking about in the last paragraph. Allen Hurns as your opening suggests or Dak Prescott who must try to compete with Carson Wence?
    It’s hard to read so many pieces with substandard English or a lack of proper structuring. Trust me this isn’t the only article that leaves me baffled and wondering if these reporters get paid for this as their English is amateurish.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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Star Blog

How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

Mauricio Rodriguez

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How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys

The 2018 season was a two-part tale for the Dallas Cowboys. The first is the story of a mediocre 3-5 team that couldn't get it going offensively. The second part is about a football team that turned its season around, made the playoffs, got a win in the postseason and ultimately lost to the team that ended up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams.

Surely, 2018 didn't go as planned. The storylines leading to last season are actually very different from the ones we're hearing today. Let's take a look at a few examples of how the tables have turned for the Dallas Cowboys.

The need for a true WR1

Last season, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys preached the philosophy of not needing a #1 wide receiver. While that could've sound encouraging at the time, once the season began the team was proven wrong. They did need a WR1. Fortunately, this season we won't have to worry about it. This year, Dez Bryant shouldn't be a discussion topic among Cowboys' fans.

Amari Cooper is in the house. And he's been pretty good since he started playing with a Star on his helmet. If we have conversations about the WR position, they will not be about who's the #1 guy. With Michael Gallup showing up late in the season, it probably won't be about who is #2 either.

How Cowboys Set up High-Stakes Division Meeting with Eagles at Home

Back on top of the NFC East

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were not really the favorites to win the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles had just made history by winning their first Super Bowl ever and it seemed like the Cowboys would have to get a wildcard spot to play in January. Now it's the Cowboys back on top after sweeping the Eagles and turning their once 3-5 season around.

That of course, means a tougher schedule next season. However, it's nice to be back on top of the division. These two teams will surely have an intense race for the division title next season. Maybe we even see them both in the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Sean Lee's uncertain future

I'm pretty sure no one expected Sean Lee to be considered a potential cap casualty for the 2019 season. Even if he was, it would've probably been anticipating an injury or something like that. No one would've imagined that Leighton Vander Esch would be so good to take Sean Lee's job.

The Cowboys' first round rookie truly earned the starting role as the defense's weak linebacker and he should keep it. With Sean Lee set to return to the field, I'm sure we didn't expect him to be a backup by now. We'll have to wait and see if the Cowboys decide to part ways with him. As a fan, it would certainly be painful. But we can't deny it would be a move that makes sense.

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It's a crazy franchise on a crazy league. Who knows how things will go from now on, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly look like a promising team heading into the 2019 offseason. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with the latest on your favorite NFL team.

Tell me what you think about "How The Tables Have Turned for 2019 Dallas Cowboys" 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

Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Done Pursuing FS Earl Thomas? 1

El año pasado, Earl Thomas fue uno de los temas de conversación más frecuentes para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys. Después de que los Seattle Seahawks no le dieran su deseada extensión de contrato, Thomas se convirtió en un candidato a ser intercambiado de su equipo. Entre los favoritos estaban los Cowboys, quienes tenían una necesidad en su defensiva secundaria. Ahora que la temporada 2018 llegó a su fin, la misma necesidad por un safety de calidad está presente en Dallas.

Sólo que en esta ocasión, Earl Thomas no está bajo contrato con ningún equipo. Su último momento con el uniforme de los Seahawks fue en un carro de lesiones, donde salía lesionado en dirección a su vestidor. Esto mientras se despedía de su equipo con el dedo de en medio extendido hacia sus entrenadores y compañeros. Así concluyó su temporada y su carrera en Seattle.

Ahora, listo para cumplir los 30 años en mayo, Earl Thomas probará la agencia libre cuando comience en marzo. Y sin lugar a dudas, uno de los equipos candidatos a firmarlo serán los Dallas Cowboys. Es un equipo que a pesar de tener una de las mejores defensivas la temporada pasada, se vería muy beneficiada con la llegada de un profundo del calibre de Thomas.

A pesar de su edad y las lesiones, Thomas continúa siendo uno de los mejores en la liga. Su talento es innegable y tendrá toda la disposición de demostrar lo que vale cuando tome el campo la próxima temporada. Cuando llegue el momento, podríamos ver una guerra de ofertas entre varios equipos de la NFL para llevarse al veterano a sus respectivas ciudades.

La pregunta es: ¿estarán los Dallas Cowboys en esa guerra de ofertas?

Los Cowboys tienen espacio en el tope salarial. Sin embargo, este no durará mucho considerando que DeMarcus Lawrence está esperando su merecida y cara extensión después de jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia en 2018. Además, jugadores que aún están bajo contrato también estarán buscando ofertas este offseason.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, y Byron Jones están en la lista de quehaceres de la administración. Eso sin mencionar a Cole Beasley, cuyo contrato ya expiró y podría llegar a la agencia libre en marzo.

A pesar de esta complicada situación, los Dallas Cowboys deberían buscar conseguir a Thomas. Siendo sinceros, la defensiva tiene mucho talento y podría mantener su nivel en 2019. Pero hace falta un jugador en la posición de safety para llevar a esta unidad a otro nivel. Un nivel realmente capaz de ganar en postemporada enfrentándose a cualquier tipo de ofensiva. Sin importar que tan explosiva sea. Y además de esto, un jugador que sea capaz de robar el balón y hacer jugadas de impacto constantemente.

Cuando los Cowboys se enfrentaron a Seahawks en temporada regular, Thomas dio un buen ejemplo de esto interceptando en dos ocasiones a la ofensiva de Dak Prescott.

A pasos de un equipo de campeonato, un movimiento agresivo para obtener a Earl Thomas sería algo genial para Dallas. Vimos como los Rams de Los Angeles fueron agresivos al construir su equipo y llegaron hasta el Super Bowl este febrero. Quizá es tiempo de que Jerry Jones y compañía sean igual de agresivos y vayan por ese safety elite que la afición lleva pidiendo desde el offseason del año pasado.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Volviendo a la Idea de Earl Thomas" 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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