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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

The Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle is Heating Up

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys WR Position Battle Heating Up 1

Earning a spot on the Dallas Cowboys final 53-man roster is going to be a lot tougher in 2018 then it has been in years past. There is no shortage of position battles taking place right now to earn one of those coveted openings, but it's the battle taking place at receiver that's gaining steam and starting to heat up.

The ultimate unknown right now is how many wide receivers the Dallas Cowboys choose to carry on their 53-man roster this season. Last year they decided to carry six, but they have been known to carry just five. Unfortunately, this means they will have to release some talented players and risk losing them to another team.

As things stand right now there may just be one, possibly two, roster spots up for grabs. I think the only thing we know for sure right now is Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin are the only WRs who can feel secure their jobs are safe for 2018. Everybody else is playing a game of Survivor, just hoping their name isn't the one written down and their torch isn't snuffed out.

Terrance Williams' flame may be safe due to his current contract. The Dallas Cowboys can't save anything by releasing him, but it doesn't cost them that much either. It's unlikely he has a future with the team, so if someone were to prove themselves more worthy, his flame could be extinguished.

Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Last season I thought Noah Brown was ready to unseat Williams, but that never really materialized. Unfortunately, Brown hasn't really shown up as much as I thought he would this offseason, and missing the game against the San Francisco 49ers last week didn't do him any favors either. This doesn't bode well for him moving forward.

Deonte Thompson was signed as a free agent to provide some veteran experience and speed to the passing game, but that in no way means his job is secure. He needs to do something to show up a little more because his age and salary means a younger up-and-coming WR could make him expendable.

Second-year WR Lance Lenoir Jr. might just be the receiver who has stirred things up the most. He has not only created a buzz for himself in offseason practices, but he was able to carry it over into the preseason last week against the 49ers. His arrow trajectory is definitely pointing upwards.

I'd definitely hate to be the one to decide who stays and who goes when final cuts are made. It's not going to be an easy decision to make, because the outcome will definitely have an impact on the team's success this year.

All of these players were brought into help Quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game reach new heights, so making the wrong move could be detrimental. The number of wide receivers and who the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep might be the most important decision they make before the season starts.

How would you predict the Dallas Cowboys WR position battle turning out?



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Star Blog

Any Concern About Dan Bailey Not Playing Against 49ers?

Brian Martin

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Decision not to Play Dan Bailey against the 49ers a Concern? 1

With all the excitement of the Dallas Cowboys finally playing in a game last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it may have escaped your attention that Dan Bailey remained on the sideline the entire time. He didn't attempt one field goal or kick off once last Thursday, which in my opinion is a little concerning.

Dan Bailey joined Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee on the sideline as a healthy scratch last week. The decision to sit both Zeke and Sean Lee makes sense due to the physical demands of their positions, but sitting Bailey was a bit of a head scratcher. After all, it's not like he plays a physically demanding position like the other two.

I know. I know. Dan Bailey is an integral part for the Cowboys success moving forward. I'm not arguing that he's not, but after sitting out the majority of the 2017 season with a groin injury and lingering concerns about his health this year, not playing him at all against the 49ers is a bit confusing.

I don't believe there is any kind of kicking competition between Dan Bailey and Brett Maher, who handled all of the kicking duties against the 49ers last Thursday. Bailey will be the Cowboys kicker when the 2018 season gets underway in just a few short weeks. But, the question remains… Why didn't he receive any playing time?

Dan Bailey

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey was never quite the same last season once he returned from his injury. Something was off and I don't know if it was more mental or physical, maybe a little of both. He just wasn't splitting the uprights like his normal self.

Unfortunately, we have seen this kind of thing happen in the past with one of the Cowboys kickers. Nick Folk went through a similar situation with an injury and never really bounced back. I'm just hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Obviously, the Dallas Cowboys know more about what's going on with Dan Bailey than I do. But, you would think they'd have allowed him to attempt a field goal or at least an extra point in a game situation to build up his confidence once again. It's what I would have done.

Hopefully I'm just being a little paranoid and I'm reading more into this than there actually is. But, the fact I haven't heard any reasoning as to why Dan Bailey was held out last week is sitting a little uneasy with me. I'm just hoping it was precautionary in order to keep him as healthy as possible for the upcoming season.

Should we be concerned Dan Bailey was a healthy scratch last week?



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Star Blog

Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

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Week 1 NFC East Predictions and Cowboys Season Outlook

Let me start this article with a strong opening statement: The Cowboys will be better in 2018 than they were in 2017. There's been a lot of talk about the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. But when we break it down, the current setup will most likely play out better for Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

The Dak Stats

Certain quarterbacks shine when they have that go-to playmaker. We're talking about guys like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, and Dez Bryant. But other QBs do better at reading the defense and quickly adapting to what is given. Dak Prescott is the latter breed of QB.

Let’s do a quick numbers exercise to prove this.

When Prescott is targeting 8 or more receivers throughout the game, his passer rating jumps from 86.1 (targeting less than 8) to 104.5. He passes for almost 50 yards more per game and his touchdown to interception ratio drastically improves from 21-13 to 24-4.

Most importantly, when he targets at least 8 different receivers, the Cowboys are 14-2. When he targets less than 8, the team is just .500 at 8-8.

Without a doubt, Prescott is much better at adjusting to what the defense is giving him. He just isn’t one of those guys who can successfully "force" the ball (like Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees). Not feeling the pressure of having to get the ball into the hands of the star playmaker will give this offense a new kind of depth in 2018.

Yes, losing Jason Witten hurts, much more so in my opinion than not having Dez.

Questions Still Loom

This is still the Cowboys' biggest concern on offense. There is some great depth. We have Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, and the young stud out of Stanford, Dalton Schultz. But between the three who have any NFL experience, there are only 9 catches between them. I must say that Dalton, with his 4.75 40-yard dash, has a legitimate shot at seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie campaign and could become an impact player with his size (6’5”, 244-lbs) and speed.

But despite the battle for TE being wide open, and debates about whether or not the team needs a No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys are still expected to give the Eagles a run for their money in the NFC East. Here are the odds on the defending NFC East champions and how (although early) it is expected to shake out:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles -167
  2. Dallas Cowboys +350
  3. New York Giants +650
  4. Washington Redskins +750

NFC East Week 1 Predictions

The Cowboys open the season in a difficult road game against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been listed as 2.5-point favorites (follow the Cowboys NFL Odds here all season long) which isn’t surprising considering they are a tough team playing at home. You might be thinking, "crap, we're opening up as underdogs?" Don’t worry too much; it actually bodes fairly well because the lines-makers generally give a 3-point advantage to the home team. This means that they actually handicap the Cowboys to be a half-point favorite on a neutral field and a 3.5-point favorite in Arlington.

The Redskins open their season in Arizona against the Cardinals. The line is set at a pick ‘em (meaning there is no point spread; it's anyone's game). But, looking at the 'Skins and Cardinals, I think Washington gets disappointed in Week 1 and starts their season with a loss.

The Giants get to test their new offensive line and see if they were right in continuing to place their faith in Eli Manning against the best defense in the league. The Jags are 3-point favorites at MetLife stadium. This means the Jags are actually 6-points better. I do think that the Giants will be vastly improved this season, but they are also going to open with a loss.

The Eagles don’t have it easy either, but they will probably pull out the win at home as 4-point favorites against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. Their defense is just too good. Atlanta's road offense scored just 21 points per game last year while Philly scores 28 on average at home. The Eagles' home defense has been downright nasty, only allowing 12 points per game in Philadelphia.

This will be a two-horse race for the division between the Eagles and Cowboys. And even if the Eagles win the East, the Cowboys will wildcard into the playoffs.



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