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Cowboys RB Rod Smith Should Contend for 2017 Roster

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - 5 Offensive Players To Watch In Training Camp 4

While his brother Jaylon will command our attention this offseason, running back Rod Smith should not be ignored. After playing 17 games for Dallas over the last two seasons, Smith will return with an excellent opportunity to make the 2017 roster.

To my surprise, Rod Smith made last year's team at final cuts. He did not win the fullback job over Keith Smith but still emerged as one of the standout players on special teams. When he was released in November, Smith was one of the leaders in special teams tackles.

The Cowboys signed Smith to their practice squad after injuries at other positions forced Dallas to release him. He remained there until Dallas signed Rod to a two-year futures contract in January.

A few days ago, one reporter shared a small tidbit about Rod Smith's prospects for the upcoming season:

Justin A. Cohn on Twitter

Rod Smith tells me today he's now a running back, not a fullback, with the Dallas Cowboys.

It makes sense that Dallas would want Smith to compete at running back. Lance Dunbar has left in free agency, opening up a spot if the Cowboys wish to keep four players there again. Rod's special teams value could even make him a keeper over Alfred Morris, who has fallen down the depth chart and could be cut for $1.6 million in cap savings.

With Ezekiel Elliott's heavy workload and Darren McFadden back as the primary backup, any other running backs should either have special teams value or be developmental prospects. Rod Smith not only give gives you the special teams use but could also serve as an emergency fullback.

At over 230 pounds, Smith might even give the Cowboys a short-yardage option in case Elliott was fatigued or otherwise unavailable. Clearly, Rod offers versatility and we all know how much the Cowboys appreciate that.

Rod Smith

RB Rod Smith

It likely won't be as simple as beating Alfred Morris for a job. The Cowboys should be adding at least one more running back to the mix, likely with a late-round pick or from among the undrafted free agents. While still just 25 himself, Smith will have to fight off even younger legs in addition to the veteran above him.

Still, with 10 games in 2015 and seven games last year, Rod Smith has been able to keep the Cowboys interested for a while. With nothing certain after Elliott and McFadden on the RB depth chart, he has an excellent opportunity to once again make the team.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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6 Comments
  • TD4SPORTS

    It all goes back to a simple fact the front office lacks Scouting ability and an eye for talent. Sure they get lucky but to get a player that start right away is far and in between.

    • Jess Haynie

      Dude, I’m so glad you finally found a way off that island. A lot’s happened with the Cowboys since you were lost at sea. I’m sure you’re busy with other things, but I hope you can catch up soon.

      • TD4SPORTS

        What ? Are you smoking your own stash, don’t answer that…Dez, Dak, Zeke, Tyron, Fredricks, and Martin. Zeke was this year’s starter, they didn’t want Dak but they got Lucky he fell to them. Gregory and Collins was a given because of drug test and question about the murder of Collins ex girlfriend. Let’s stay there we got Lawrence and Gregory but they were suspended so how much did they help. Oh did I forget Williams the one when Dez went out couldn’t step up. I don’t get paid to write articles or interesting stories, I’m a True Cowboy Fan that follow my Boys !!!

        • Jess Haynie

          Byron Jones, Maliek Collins, Anthony Brown, David Irving….. I can list players, too.

          You guys really amaze me sometimes. The Cowboys are drafting better than they have in decades and winning more than ever, and yet you still want to hold on to these archaic notions about the front office.

          If that’s the definition of a “true fan,” then I don’t wanna be right.

          • TD4SPORTS

            Trust me You are Not Right and you Write the Articles, since the last Super bowl win please tell me how many winning seasons have we had. Better yet tell me how many winning seasons or playoff victories have we had with Romo. Your number will only Solidify my point that in that time JJ has been GM and like I said from my first comment they get lucky and a player that Starts Right Away is far and in between. I’m sure I named the ones that did because Malik, Brown nor Jones started right away and if you did your homework you would know Irving come off the Chiefs practice Squad. Yeah I’m a True Cowboy fan from Staubach, and Landry days and anyone that is know Jerry’s role as GM is our weakness. He is a Great Owner but the only problem he won’t separate the two because of his ego. We would be the first team with 10 Super bowl wins, look at the teams Jimmy had and look at the teams that won Super bowls in the Lasthe 10 years. Baltimore, Pittsburg, Giants, Seattle, Greenbay and the Patriots. J Johnson knew players, football and discipline, Our front Office and HC does Not but you believe what you want because I AM FOREVER A COWBOY4LIFE !!!

          • Jess Haynie

            You seem to be under the delusion that rookies start Week One all the time. This is hardly the case in the NFL. Do some research on that and get back to me.

            Also, I know perfectly well that David Irving came off the Chiefs practice squad. Why does that matter one bit? One of our scouts still had him on the radar and our general manager made the decision to acquire him when available. Talent evaluation and player acquisition doesn’t just happen for three days in April.

            Oh, and thanks for more drivel about Jimmy Johnson and the entirety of Jerry Jones’ tenure. We all know this stuff. He’s had plenty of problems and nobody denies that. However, things have taken a very positive turn since Jason Garrett came in and Stephen Jones and Will McClay have risen in their power and influence. Why not enjoy the present instead of living in the past?

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Sean Martin

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 1

The Dallas Cowboys best move of the offseason may very well be hiring Kris Richard as their new passing game coordinator. Despite not signing any free agents or drafting added talent for Richard to work with in the secondary, the Cowboys have plenty of reasons to feel great about their current starters - along with an intriguing class of UDFAs.

The prospects of Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Byron Jones, and Xavier Woods working with Richard to sharpen their skills with Seattle's "Legion of Boom" fabricator is as good as it gets. In a very short period of time, the cornerback position has turned into one of the hardest spots for fringe players to make the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Don't tell this to San Diego State's Kameron Kelly. Neither Richard or Kelly may be household names around the NFL, but San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Richard Sherman certainly is. Sherman also happens to be the player the Cowboys are looking for Kelly -- an undrafted free agent that didn't receive a single college offer from "power five" schools -- to emulate.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Dallas Cowboys Passing Game Cooridinator Kris Richard with Richard Sherman

Given all that Sherman meant to Richard's defenses since being drafted by his Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, these feel like impossible expectations for Kelly to live up to.

The 6015 (6' 1 5/8") defender didn't even play the same position as Sherman until his final collegiate season, slowly making the transition from WR to DB at SDSU by starting as a Sophomore and Junior at safety.

Now just another player in a blue jersey with white numbers at The Star, Kelly is looking to earn the star on a team that may look to remain young, deep, and most importantly versatile in the secondary by keeping one or more UDFAs.

That is, if any of these long shot players deserve a spot on the final 53-man roster. Kelly already has an edge on this field, blessed with the length and daunting frame that allows Richard and the Cowboys to dream of featuring their own Richard Sherman.

"I think he’s trying to turn me into his next Richard Sherman or something". - Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Kameron Kelly

Kris Richard is going to coach everybody he comes across hard. He knows no other way. Kam Kelly is already embracing this, seeing the Cowboys vision for him and not backing down from the challenge.

Turn on the tape for this "diamond in the rough" prospect, and you'll see a player that carries this same competitive toughness onto the field.

Mike Mayock on Twitter

Will a DB compete / tackle ? Top of screen- flat footed read on bubble- trusts eyes and goes ! Just checking boxes- I see you, kameron Kelly of SDSU.... https://t.co/fJM4s16Eq1

Kelly joins Charvarius Ward, Donovan Olumba, and Tyree Robinson as the Cowboys class of UDFAs at both cornerback and safety. An athletic DB out of Oregon, Robinson has made a strong initial impression with several plays on the ball in drills so far.

However, it was Kam Kelly that set up an interception for Jameill Showers in yesterday's practice by getting in the face of rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup.

Projecting anything that resembles a starting lineup for the Cowboys defense in the last week of May is silly. So too is realistically expecting Kelly, Ward, Olumba, or Robinson to ever crack this lineup.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 2

Dallas Cowboys CB Kameron Kelly

The Cowboys could find themselves without enough practice snaps to go around for starting caliber players like Awuzie, Lewis, Jones, Anthony Brown, and even Marquez White. This does not bode well for Kam Kelly, who is only going to continue generating buzz from fans and the Dallas media.

For now, Kelly is getting his chance though. The Cowboys are ever-so-slowly getting back into form for 2018 - doing so with many familiar faces no longer on the roster. This team is going to look different on both sides of the ball come September, and Cowboys Nation can only hope it's for the better given the impressive amount of depth all over the field.

Kam Kelly won't back down from the depth the Cowboys have at CB, expecting to impress his new coach Kris Richard in the mold of three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dallas Cowboys

WR Terrell Owens Featured As A Cowboy On Madden 2019 Cover

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Blog - Getcha Popcorn Ready: Terrell Owens Is Greatest 81 In Dallas Cowboys History

It's been a tumultuous few years for former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, to say the least. Based on his numbers Owens deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but due to his off field "antics" and poor relationships with voters, Owens was kept out of the Hall of Fame until this year.

Now that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Summer, Terrell Owens has earned another honor: cover athlete for EA Sports' upcoming Madden video game.

Madden has become a staple of football culture over the years, and being placed on the cover of their Hall of Fame edition is pretty special.

What came as a surprise, however, is that Terrell Owens is featured as a Dallas Cowboy on the cover of the game.

Bleacher Report on Twitter

@terrellowens will be on the cover of #Madden19 Hall of Fame edition

Terrell Owens played on a multitude of teams during his NFL career, spending 3 seasons with the Cowboys from 2006-2008. People tend to forget how great the Tony Romo-to-Terrell Owens connection was in Dallas, especially during their 13-3 2007 season.

That year, Owens caught 81 balls for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also earned First Team All Pro honors during the same season.

This is the first time the Cowboys uniform has ever graced the cover of a Madden game, and the second time Terrell Owens will be on the cover of a professional football video game. The first time came as an Eagle on the cover of ESPN NFL 2K5, ironically just one year before Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was the cover athlete for Madden 2006.

Terrell Owens then announced the news himself on Twitter, by tweeting out the following video.

Terrell Owens on Twitter

It's that time! I've made my decision to return to football. Madden 19 HOF #stayready https://t.co/pLL4lTAhD2

Terrell Owens is arguably the greatest (talent wise) receiver to ever play for the Cowboys, though he lacked the longevity to match any of the stat totals of guys like Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. It's a shame the 2007 season ended the way it did, and that 2008 was such an utter disaster.

Those Cowboys teams were really talented, hence why they won 11 games and another division crown after Owens' departure in 2009.


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Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott Is Taking Control Of The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys 2018 Preseason Schedule Released
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into 2018 there is no question that the Dallas Cowboys are Dak Prescott's team. While some of the Cowboys fan base is skeptical of just how good Prescott is/can be, the franchise had placed all of their eggs in the Prescott-basket over the last two offseasons.

They've begun to build the "Dak-friendly offense," attempting to recreate the circumstances which surrounded him during his highly successful rookie season. By drafting offensive lineman Connor Williams, wide receiver Michael Gallup, and signing wide out Allen Hurns the Cowboys have made a conscious effort to help their young quarterback in his development.

But what do his fellow teammates think about him? Well, thus far during OTAs, the respect they have for Dak Prescott as a quarterback and a leader is clear.

Members of Prescott's wide receiver corps have been incredibly vocal about the respect they have for Dak Prescott, including two of their newest additions. Hurns told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that Dak "runs things" around the locker room, and that the Cowboys will have no problems with leadership as long as Dak is at the helm.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Allen Hurns: "When I first got here, what surprised me a lot was Dak's leadership. He's only in his third year, but he's a very vocal guy. He runs things. I was very surprised by that. ... I don't think we'll have a problem with leadership.

Tavon Austin chimed in as well, telling Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News that while he expected Prescott to have "some juice" to him, meeting him in person allowed him to realize that his leadership is on a different level than even he expected.

Brandon George on Twitter

I asked Cowboys WR Tavon Austin on his impressions of Dak Prescott before his arrival in Dallas: "I always knew he had some juice to him, some swag to him and when I finally get here and meet him it's definitely a whole different ballgame because it was to even another level.

It's not only members of the offense which are showing their respect for Dak Prescott's leadership, however. Team sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence is noticing as well. This week Lawrence said that Dak is clearly taking control of the offense, and you can see it "every day in how he works."

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence: "Dak is taking a lot of control over that offense. He's trying to take his game to the next level and be one of the elite quarterbacks in this league. You can see it every day in how he works.

There is an argument that can be made that the release of Dez Bryant and retirement of Jason Witten have allowed Dak Prescott to take that control. The veterans on offense from the Tony Romo-era have begun to disappear, and Prescott is now making the Dallas Cowboys "his team."

Of course, Prescott still has to do it on the field. While much of his first two seasons have been impressive, the final few weeks of 2017 featured some shaky play from Dak Prescott. But, the moves which were made this offseason combined with the full time return of running back Ezekiel Elliott should allow Prescott to take another step forward in 2018.

And if the Cowboys plan on being competitive as a team, they'll need Prescott to make those strides.


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