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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

13 Comments

  1. WinnerDerek

    May 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

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

  2. Kronos1723

    May 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    chrissifain Sounds Chris, looking forward to it. #DC4L

  3. Scott Schuster

    May 26, 2014 at 9:12 am

    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,

  4. Bill Daley

    May 26, 2014 at 10:00 am

    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

  5. Kronos17

    May 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    @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.

  6. Steven Patrick Morrissey

    May 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    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.

  7. Kronos1723

    May 27, 2014 at 5:56 pm

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

  8. chrissifain

    May 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    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)

  9. chrissifain

    May 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm

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

  10. Kronos1723

    May 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    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

  11. Jacob S Ladder

    May 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    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?

    • Bryson Treece

      June 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm

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

  12. Robert Smith

    June 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

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

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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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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