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Cowboys Reportedly Show Interest in Veteran, Troubled LB Daryl Washington

Sean Martin

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On the same day that 2016 second round pick Jaylon Smith strapped on a helmet and participated in the start of the Dallas Cowboys' OTAs - a massive step towards his return to football action after missing his full rookie season - the Cowboys also reportedly began to show some interest in another linebacker's services, those of veteran Daryl Washington.

While the 509 days that it has been since Jaylon Smith's last tackle seems like a lot, coming in the bowl game against Ezekiel Elliott's Ohio State Buckeyes that cost him draft positioning and this past season, it is nothing compared to the 1,242 days that Daryl Washington has gone without seeing NFL action.

Jason Cole on Twitter

Cowboys source said the team is also doing its homework on recently reinstated LB Daryl Washington

Washington was recently reinstated after serving a three-year suspension for separate issues, first drug related and later due to domestic violence. Daryl was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season - the last we saw of Washington - for his second violation of the NFL substance abuse policy.

The former Cardinals linebacker would bring plenty of baggage to his new team, which is an unwelcome sight to Cowboys fans coping with the pending loss of David Irving as the latest Dallas defender to land a season-starting four game suspension.

Cowboys Reportedly Show Interest in Veteran, Troubled LB Daryl Washington

"Doing their homework" on a player that was a 2010 second round pick (selected 47th overall, eight picks before Sean Lee) and 2012 Pro Bowler is hardly something the Cowboys will be alone in, as Washington - last we saw him in Arizona - was the perfect Rod Marinelli linebacker, flying around the field and stopping running backs in their tracks.

Just last summer around this time, we were talking about a very crowded depth chart for the Dallas Cowboys at LB. It may not have included Jaylon Smith, but there was Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, Sean Lee, Mark Nzeocha, and Kyle Wilber.

With Sean Lee's starting spot locked into stone, and the Cowboys playing dominantly with just two linebackers, it would appear that adding Smith at MIKE and allowing the rest of these names to compete for the lesser opportunities at SAM - a role that Damien Wilson has shown plenty of promise in - could be the way to go.

This hasn't stopped the Cowboys from leaving no stone untouched in adding, at the very least, an intriguing camp body at linebacker by considering Daryl Washington. At his best, Washington could be the perfect backup to Lee or Smith, and more realistically could thrive in the "Justin Durant" situational veteran LB role if signed.

Conversely, the Cowboys could also feel good about their young depth at LB as one of the best overall young and talented teams in the league.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Reportedly Show Interest in Veteran, Troubled LB Daryl Washington" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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2 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    Man I don’t know….a signing likes this makes me nervous for one reason. It feels and appears that Dallas is working on their team character. Shedding the Hardy’s and McLain’s although Gregory is on the roster. I will say though that Gregory is a different case, in that he seems to be a really good dude that just happens to need marijuana in his life to deal with life. There is documented history on this. Washington has a domestic abuse case in the past and multiple drug suspensions. At this point do we know how long he has been clean and how long he has been certified clean by the NFL. If it’s the full 3 years that says something about his commitment. However, a signing of a guy like him at this time flies in the face of what we are trying to do. From what I have seen and read and researched every one of our draft picks are high character guys, aside from this questionable matter with Jourdan Lewis which may or may not be a trumped up case. I don’t like the idea of tossing a potential rotten apple into the barrel and it also perpetuates the league reputation that Dallas is a haven for wayward souls

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Thanks for your thoughts Randy. All of this is fair, and I agree with where the direction of the team at least *should* be heading, but you’re about to enter another season with a suspended defensive player. As you’ve pointed out every case is different, but kicking the tires on Washington might not hurt – thanks to either his own efforts or those of the other linebackers that the Cowboys already feel good about.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts

Sean Martin

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Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts

For the first time since 2003, the Dallas Cowboys were shutout on Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts. Their five game winning streak snapped, the Cowboys also saw their chances at clinching the NFC East dashed before the late kickoffs. Needing both a Redskins and Eagles loss to win the division without the benefit of a win themselves, the Redskins kept their playoff hopes alive with a walk off field goal at the Jaguars.

Washington Quarterback Josh Johnson won his second start since 2013 with 151 yards and one touchdown. The Redskins aren't the only NFC East team playing with a backup QB, as the Eagles must once again rally around Nick Foles against the Rams to extend their shot at the playoffs on Sunday Night Football. 

The Cowboys certainly didn't deserve a celebration of any kind after their performance at the Colts. An emotional letdown after a win streak that featured triumphs over the Eagles twice, Redskins, and Saints, the Cowboys were slowed to a complete stop on offense while struggling fundamentally on defense.

Uncharacteristic missed tackles and lack of pressure on Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck allowed Indianapolis to turn a 10-0 halftime lead into an easy 23-0 win. Defending their home field, the Colts came out like a team still fighting for their playoff lives, while Dallas played like a team knowing two more chances at winning the division are still to come.

Instead of being able to watch and root against the Eagles tonight, the Cowboys can focus on not letting an embarrassing loss define a season that'll still end on a high note should they defeat the Buccaneers or Giants. A week 16 or 17 win automatically seals the division for the Cowboys, even with the Redskins improving to 7-7 moments before the Colts secured their shutout.

It was a masterful performance from Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus, preparing his team against Scott Linehan's offense to disrupt the momentum of one of the league's hottest teams.

Praising the Redskins for defeating a Jaguars team the Cowboys handled 40-7 much earlier in the season is hardly the situation Cowboys Nation wants to be in right now, but the team still has everything in front of them once Sunday's sixth loss is put behind them.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys NFC East Title Put on Hold with Redskins Win, Shutout Loss at Colts" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Game Notes

IND 23, DAL 0: Cowboys Get Shut Out, Embarrassed by Colts

Jess Haynie

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Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

The Dallas Cowboys must think they've already won the NFC East, because they looked like a team with nothing to play for today. The result was an embarrassing 23-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Cowboys were shut out for the first time since the 2003 season, which was Jason Witten's rookie year.

Dallas squandered a major time-of-possession advantage in the first half, finishing three drives with a blocked field goal, punt, and a failed 4th-and-1 play near the Colts' goal line. Indianapolis capitalized on their own drives and took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

The Colts got the ball back to start the third quarter and drove down for another touchdown. Down 17-0, Dallas responded with a weak drive and a punt. The game felt out of reach even then, with the Cowboys just looking flat from that point forward.

Ezekiel Elliott had 87 rushing yards 41 receiving for some empty production. Amari Cooper won't be winning any awards this week, held to just four catches for 32 yards.

Dak Prescott completed 62% of his passes for 206 yards. He was sacked three times and threw a late interception; an overthrown ball got tipped by the receiver and picked off on the team's final offensive series.

While the offense was especially bad today, the defense wasn't much better. Dallas surrendered 139 yards rushing yards and two touchdown to Colts RB Marlon Mack, who hadn't had a 100-yard game since October. Andrew Luck wasn't sacked and went virtually untouched the entire day.

The Cowboys could have taken the NFC East with a win, but they didn't come close. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call with the postseason only a few weeks away.

Other Notes

  • With the Redskins defeating the Jaguars today, Dallas will have to wait until next week to try to clinch the NFC East. The Cowboys needed losses by both Washington and Philadelphia if they didn't win themselves. The Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.
  • The Cowboys will get some softer competition to finish the year, hosting the Buccaneers next week and then going to play the Giants in Week 17.
  • With the Bears defeating the Packers today and moving to 10-4, they will likely stay the #3 seed in the playoffs. That means Dallas, assuming they do win the NFC East, will almost certainly be hosting the 5th-seeded Seahawks in the first round.
  • Jaylon Smith led the Cowboys with 11 tackles, but neither he or Leighton Vander Esch were making the big plays that we've grown accustomed to.
  • Xavier Woods had the highlight play on defense, delivering a perfect hit to dislodge the ball from Colts TE Eric Ebron and stop a potential big gain.
  • Blake Jarin and Dalton Schultz combined for seven catches for 68 yards; another week of increased TE production from what we've seen must of the year.
  • Fullback Jamize Olawale doesn't get many opportunities on offense, and he may not get more after dropping an open touchdown on the team's second drive of the day.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Can’t Finish Drives, Trailing Colts 10-0 at Halftime

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott

The Cowboys have had no trouble moving the ball today, but they've failed to finish drives with points. Dallas is thus trailing the Indianapolis Colts 10-0 at halftime.

Dallas has had possession for over 19 minutes compared to just 10 for the Colts. But their three drives have ended with a blocked field goal, a failed 4th-and-1 play near the endzone, and a punt.

Ezekiel Elliott has 64 rushing yards and 23 receiving so far today. Dak Prescott has completed 12-of-19 for 106 yards, but has been sacked twice.

The offensive line continues to suffer from health issues. With Zack Martin already out and Connor Williams starting at right guard, Xavier Su'a-Filo left the game with an eye injury during the second quarter and will not return. Backup Adam Redmond is now playing.

The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win in any of their final three games. They could also clinch today if the Redskins and Eagles lose. Washington is trailing 10-3 in Jacksonville at halftime, and the Eagles are visiting the Rams tonight.

Hopefully, Dallas will start showing up on the scoreboard in the second half.



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