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Did The Cowboys Rebuild Right Before Our Eyes?

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Has this team done the thing most people thought wasn't possible without bottoming out? Did the Cowboys rebuild right before our eyes?

The faces of the franchise, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant kind of mask the fact that a good majority of this roster has been turned over.

Gone are the aging veterans Miles Austin, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. Enter young bloods Devin Street, Henry Melton and DeMarcus Lawrence. This has gone from an aging roster to one of the youngest in the league seemingly overnight. It surprised me to learn that the Cowboys were the seventh youngest roster at the start of the 2013 season and they only got younger this past off-season.

On The Defense:

I feel the Cowboys' approach of having a plethora of defensive linemen - young defensive linemen at that - will prove to be a wise decision. Ben Bass and Tyrone Crawford will be back and with the additions of the new DeMarcus, Amobi Okoye, Ken Bishop and Ben Gardner, this unit should be much improved, which in turn should help out the defensive backfield. Keep an eye on Chris Whaley from Texas, he is almost literally cut from the same mold as Melton.

I'm a big fan of DeVonte Holloman, I think he has the chance to be pretty good and possibly compete for a starting position. Anthony Hitchens doesn't appear to be the greatest player ever drafted but, he is a tackling machine.

As for the secondary, I'm not ready to write off Morris Claiborne just yet. He was a bad man in college and I think he's just been hurt up to this point. His confidence is probably rattled because of that. I think J.J. Wilcox will prove that the Cowboys were right not to draft Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor with their first-rounder.

Offensively:

Zack Martin is a nasty dude and I can't wait to watch him play. He adds the newest piece to what was already a very good O-Line. Now it becomes one of the top lines in the league. Crazy to think that just two years ago it was garbage.

I refuse to write off the Gavin Escobar pick as a bad one. He showed flashes that make me think he will be the real deal. That touchdown against Philly in week 17 sticks in my mind.

Terrance Williams was very good last year; I expect him to take the next step up to the elite #2 receiver status this year. Devin Street looks like a very good pick.

I've been fascinated by Chris Boyd after reading this article on ESPN - Chris Boyd 'thankful' for chance with Dallas. This could turn out to be found-money for the Cowboys.

[pull_quote_center]“We got our arms around what his role is and how he perceived what his role is and how he feels about it now, and we felt comfortable that he was OK to bring in here and be a part of our football team,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “He seems like a good person who got caught up in a bad situation. He probably wasn't perfect in handling it, but I think he learned a lot from it and we feel comfortable with what kind of guy he is.” [/pull_quote_center]

There is talent on this team, young talent. It may not come to fruition next year, or under Garrett's tenure, but I'm bullish on a bright future for these Cowboys.



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13 Comments
  • WinnerDerek

    Kronos1723 CowboysNation they sure did and for the good of the team #2015superbowlCHAMPS

  • Kronos1723

    chrissifain Sounds Chris, looking forward to it. #DC4L

  • Scott Schuster

    Blair, I also refuse to write off Escobar, he is only in his second year and even though a majority of our fellow idiot cowboy nation is writing the guy off, i am not willing to write off quite yet. I saw Escobar coming up through the ranks, this guy has great speed, great hands, and a huge cock. I think he will surpass every accomplishment Witten has done in a cowboys uniform.

    Scott Schuster,

  • Bill Daley

    B Money – you really hit the nail on the hammer with this.  You can’t be writing off Escobar so quickly and I expect big things from him in the limited playing time behind a hall of fame tight end.  Please post some more pictures of yourself so Cowboy nation can really see what you have to offer. 

    Bests,
    Bill Daley

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Kronos17

    @Scott Schuster I agree with you. Escobar is very talented as a receiving T.E. but if he doesn’t learn to block better what good is he beyond a 2nd string end? Witten has come out recently saying that Escobar is improving in that area and, if so, then I like Escobar to fill Witten’s shoes more and more as he ages.

  • Steven Patrick Morrissey

    I agree with everything you said, I agree and think this team done the thing most people thought wasn’t possible without bottoming out? I agree that the Cowboys rebuilt right before our eyes?

    I agree that the faces of the franchise, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. I agree that gone are the aging veterans Miles Austin, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. I agree that enter young bloods Devin Street, Henry Melton and DeMarcus Lawrence. I agree that this has gone from an aging roster to one of the youngest in the league seemingly overnight. I agree that it surprised me to learn that the Cowboys were the seventh youngest roster at the start of the 2013 season and I agree that they only got younger this past off-season.

    On The Defense:
    I agree that I feel the Cowboys’ approach of having a plethora of defensive linemen I agree that this will prove to be a wise decision. I agree that Ben Bass and Tyrone Crawford will be back and with the additions of the new DeMarcus, Amobi Okoye, Ken Bishop and Ben Gardner, I agree that this unit should be much improved, I agree that this in turn should help out the defensive backfield. I agree that Chris Whaley is almost literally cut from the same mold as Melton.

    I agree that I’m a big fan of DeVonte Holloman, I agree that he has the chance to be pretty good and possibly compete for a starting position. I agree that Anthony Hitchens doesn’t appear to be the greatest player ever drafted but I agree that is a tackling machine.

    As for the secondary, I agree that I’m not ready to write off Morris Claiborne just yet. I agree that he was a bad man in college and I think he’s just been hurt up to this point. I agree that his confidence is probably rattled because of that. I agree that J.J. Wilcox will prove that the Cowboys were right not to draft Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor with their first-rounder.

    Offensively:
    I agree that Zack Martin is a nasty dude and I agree that I can’t wait to watch him play. I agree that he adds the newest piece to what was already a very good O-Line. I agree that now it becomes one of the top lines in the league. I agree that it is crazy to think that just two years ago it was garbage.

    I agree that I refuse to write off the Gavin Escobar pick as a bad one. I agree that he showed flashes that make me think he will be the real deal. I agree that that touchdown against Philly in week 17 sticks in my mind.

    I agree that Terrance Williams was very good last year; I agree that I expect him to take the next step up to the elite #2 receiver status this year. I agree that Devin Street looks like a very good pick.

    I agree that I’ve been fascinated by Chris Boyd after reading this article on ESPN – I agree that Chris Boyd ‘thankful’ for chance with Dallas. I agree that this could turn out to be found-money for the Cowboys.

  • Kronos1723

    chrissifain I wouldn’t call it devastating. Played a lot w/o him past 2yrs. Hoped for better tho.

  • chrissifain

    Kronos1723 I wouldn’t also. However, reading tweets and websites they try yo lead us to believe it is. I wouldn’t even put him in (1/2)

  • chrissifain

    Kronos1723 the top three important players injury wise. (2/2)

  • Kronos1723

    chrissifain Lee is a major factor when he’s on the field, but that hasn’t been the case so we’re not unprepared for this sort of thing

  • Jacob S Ladder

    Blair, you are the bill shakespeare of this site. most of the guys that write blogs on this site are complete pieces of shit- but you add some much needed credibility. i am very high on ken bishop, what a find late in the draft. i watched this guy in the mac last year and wouldn’t be surprised to see this guy on the team. he is a little short height wise but don’t write him off because of that. what should cowboy nation expect in your opinion out of hm?

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      Getting personal much there Jacob? Keep it clean because the difference between flaming and debating is pretty clear. Thanks for reading.

  • Robert Smith

    why don’t you write another article, you fucking asshole….

Star Blog

QB Dak Prescott Continues To Come Through In Clutch Situations

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott Continues To Be Money In Clutch Si

Dak Prescott is possibly the most criticized quarterback in all of football.

Of course, this comes with the territory of being the Cowboys starting quarterback, but each throw Prescott attempts is placed under an intense microscope, even by NFL standards. We analyze every snap of every game, looking to find where Dak was right or wrong with this reads.

There's no question, though, that Prescott has been inconsistent throughout his young career. Week to week, drive to drive, and even play to play, we seemingly have no gauge on just how Dak Prescott will perform.

One scenario where we can say with confidence he will come through, however, is when it matters most. Last Sunday, in yet another must-win game for the Dallas Cowboys, Prescott orchestrated a game winning drive to lead his team over the favored Atlanta Falcons.

The Cowboys offense was pedestrian for much of the afternoon, but when Prescott got the ball in a tied game, I felt confident he would give Brett Maher a chance to win the game. Even on the road, and even after the offense had struggled a bit through the air all day.

Prescott got the ball late in the fourth quarter, looking to answer former NFL MVP Matt Ryan's game tying touchdown strike to Julio Jones. Dak went for it all on the first play, looking for Michael Gallup deep down the sideline, but the ball fell incomplete. After that throw, Prescott went 4/5 for 45 yards, including a huge completion to Cole Beasley, putting Dallas in game winning field goal range.

This confidence in Dak Prescott is justified, as is shown by his numbers in late game situations. Prescott now has 12 game winning drives, tying him for the league lead over the last three seasons. For comparison sake, Eagles starter Carson Wentz has just 3 game winning drives over that same stretch.

Overall the box score shows a rather quiet day for Prescott, but it was exactly the kind of Sunday they need from him. He completed over 60% of his passes, ran for a touchdown, and avoided the key turnover which could have sung this close game.

He played efficient football, and gave the Cowboys a chance to win it late. Then, he did what he does best, making plays in clutch situations and coming through in the 2 minute drill.

For all of Dak Prescott's flaws, those end-of-half and end-of-game situations have been a clear strength for the young quarterback, and continued to be this week.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Entre los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, pocas cosas son criticadas tan frecuentemente como la administración de la franquicia que no ha ganado ningún Super Bowl en más de dos décadas. Se ha convertido en un equipo que, a pesar de ser el más valioso en el mundo deportivo, no ha sido nada relevante en el emparrillado. Lo que alguna vez fue una dinastía se ha convertido en una unidad que rompe frecuentemente los corazones de los fans.

Jerry Jones y Stephen Jones, siendo los operadores del ámbito deportivo del negocio familiar, son criticados semana tras semana y en gran parte por justa razón. Pero en gran parte, por cosas no muy válidas.

Cambios de Coach

A mi parecer, lo más criticable para la administración de este equipo viene cuando hablamos de los coaches. Muchos se burlan de los Cincinnati Bengals y de la manera en la que están atascados con el Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Con Jason Garrett al volante, la situación para los Cowboys no es nada diferente.

A mediados de la temporada 2018, no parece que esta narrativa vaya a cambiar. Una vez más, los Cowboys arrancaron de una manera muy inconsistente y ya no sabemos que esperar de ellos. Gran parte de las derrotas, la mayor parte, es el coacheo.

Sin duda el equipo no será exactamente el mismo en 2019, pero ¿serán suficientes los cambios como para decidir quedarse con el mismo capitán que no ha podido mantener el barco navegando por años?

El Draft

A diferencia de como se manejan muchos equipos en la liga, los Jones fungen como general managers de su propio equipo. Con la ayuda de Will McClay han logrado superar varios de los fracasos de los Jones de antaño, pero actualmente, siendo sinceros no han hecho un mal trabajo.

A pesar de las critícas de Abril, Leighton Vander Esch está probando haber valido más que la pena. Siendo objetivos, aparte de Taco Charlton en el 2017, todas las selecciones de primera ronda de los Cowboys han sido valiosas. La línea ofensiva, el corredor, un cornerback que por fin se está perfilando como uno de los mejores en la liga.

En cuanto a la segunda ronda, ha habido varias críticas, muchas con razón. Pero el mejor caza cabezas del equipo, DeMarcus Lawrence, el linebacker Jaylon Smith, Randy Gregory y más están teniendo un impacto muy fuerte en el equipo.

Decisiones difíciles

La administración se ha visto en la necesidad de tomar decisiones bastante difíciles después de una temporada de nueve victorias en 2017. El LB Anthony Hitchens fue liberado, Dan Bailey se fue inesperadamente, se confió en Byron Jones para tomar su opción de quinto año.

Hasta ahora, pura decisión digna de aplaudirse. Pero ninguna como la más reciente de todas: Amari Cooper.

Por más caro que haya salido, los Cowboys merecen bastante crédito por haber mejorado muchísimo su posición de WR. Si el equipo llega a tener una oportunidad esta temporada, será en gran parte por él.

No cabe ninguna duda en mi cabeza de que los Jones han cometido errores a lo largo de los años, el más evidente siendo la resistencia de dejar ir a Jason Garrett. Pero a pesar de esto, la administración ha tomado excelentes decisiones y ha realizado el draft muy bien. En ese aspecto en específico, les aplaudo.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Evaluando la Administración" 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

Sack Numbers Don’t Tell DeMarcus Lawrence’s 2018 Story

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Coming off of a career year in 2017, many fans expected DeMarcus Lawrence to continue his ridiculous sack production this season. After all, he is once again in a "contract year" due to the franchise tag, and fans are hoping the Cowboys can secure him longterm this offseason.

Through the first four games of 2018, Lawrence looked as ridiculous and unstoppable as ever. He had 5.5 sacks, tied for the league lead, and was dictating the pass protection schemes of every offense the Cowboys were facing.

Since that hot start, though, DeMarcus Lawrence has recorded just 1 sack, falling behind some of the league leaders he was once ahead of. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering if Lawrence's career year in 2017 was just that, a career year. One which he will never replicate again, and one which the Cowboys should factor out when talking contract extensions.

Here's why those people are wrong.

Let's first talk about what makes DeMarcus Lawrence so good, and then we'll get into the full context of the Cowboys defense and how that explains some of the drop in sacks.

Lawrence, unlike some of the league's other top pass rushers, is a complete 4-3 defensive end. He is one of, if not the best run defending defensive ends in football, as shown by his 12 tackles for loss on the season (only Aaron Donald and Danielle Hunter have more).

Much of the year, the Cowboys run defense has boiled down to Lawrence making splash plays, as we saw against the Washington Redskins. Adrian Peterson was gashing the Cowboys during that game, and the only one who did anything to stop him was DeMarcus Lawrence, as indicated by his 3 tackles for loss that Sunday.

There's also the point that 6.5 sacks through half the season is, well, good. It's really good! And when you couple his sack numbers with his solid pressure and QB hit stats, you can see that Lawrence is having a very good season.

Then there is the context of this entire Cowboys defense, specifically their defensive line and pass rush. To put it bluntly, DeMarcus Lawrence has been their only consistent rusher this season. Though we came into the year with high hopes for Randy Gregory, and cautious optimism about first round pick Taco Charlton, neither have been all that impressive this season.

Somebody, anybody, has to step up and become a threat opposite of Lawrence. David Irving could help matters with his interior pass rush ability, but he has been unavailable for basically the entire season.

Without another pass rusher for offense's to even think twice about, Lawrence is getting double teamed and/or chipped by a tight end or running back on just about every rush. It's becoming rare that Lawrence is in a true one-on-one pass rush situation.

Of course, if you are elite, offenses are going to shift protections to you in this way and you still have to find ways to be productive.

And thus far in 2018, DeMarcus Lawrence is doing just that.



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