Connect with us

Star Blog

Cowboys Set To Reload, Not Rebuild For 2017

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Martin's 5: Morris Claiborne Next In Line For Interception

The mass exodus of Cowboys defensive backs through free agency is now complete, and while the current defensive back depth chart looks thinner, it is no-less capable of playing winning football.

So while the internet burned on Thursday afternoon as Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne both signed with new, AFC teams, I can almost guarantee you that no one involved in the running of the Cowboys broke a sweat.

Don't get me wrong. Brandon Carr, Barry Church, JJ Wilcox, and Morris Claiborne have each been solid contributors to the Cowboys for a while now. Carr and Church the steady leaders, Wilcox and Claiborne the late bloomers, all four made key plays in 2016 en route to the 13-3 record.

And yet, it was still not enough.

As Aaron Rodgers shredded the Cowboys for 34 points and an early playoff exit, every one knew what time it was in Dallas. It was, and now is, time to make drastic changes on the defensive side of the ball.

And now, months later, the re-construction of the defensive roster is in progress. Like the old adage, the Cowboys are out with the old, and in with new. Out with the JAGs, and in with star-caliber defensive backs (we hope). Out with the overpaid or the injury plagued, and in with the youth and rookie contracts.

So, you can miss me with the "sky is falling" takes after the events of these past two weeks.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

cowboys found a starting outside corner in rd. 6 last year.

Of course, the Cowboys must now replace the departed players, primarily through the draft. This should not scare you, however, it should excite you.

Last year, the Cowboys found their number one cornerback in round six. Anthony Brown, the sixth round pick out of Purdue, has turned into a solid outside corner, and someone who should continue to develop through the years.

Brown started nine games last season, most of which came when the newly-signed New York Jet Morris Claiborne missed time due to injury.

This year, it won't take until the sixth round for a starting cornerback to be found. The 2017 NFL Draft is filled with quality corners, including guys like UCLA's Fabian Moreau and Florida's Teez Tabor, both of which would make the perfect outside cornerback in Dallas.

Since Will McClay took over the draft in 2014, the Cowboys have found two quality starting defensive backs in Anthony Brown and Byron Jones.

In 2017, they will find the third.

Sure, it sucks to see players who have been solid contributors for a few years leave your football team. Church, Carr, Claiborne, and even Wilcox will all be missed. But this is how the NFL works. The veterans play themselves out of their team's price range, and both sides move on.

Usually, the team who brings in the younger, fresher talent continues to win, while the older free agents tend to bust in their new situations. Of course, I don't wish that upon any of the departing Cowboys, but I certainly hope us fans can realize that the Cowboys are playing this the right way.

Remain patient, financially responsible, and draft well. That is the winning formula.

It's worked for the offense, now it's time to reload on defense.



  1. Travis Diggs

    March 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Why did it take for this playoff game to revamp the D ??? This defense has been bad for a LONG….. time, I personally as a fan wasn’t Hart broken from any losses from this defense in FA, we only have one All Pro caliber defender(Lee obvious) I like Byron and Brown but we need some help to make this run next season. I want them to get Obi from Uconn, It might take a 1 to get him but I trust Will. He pulled four starters out of last year’s draft class

    • leo thomas

      March 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Obi from UConn. would be great. Byron has been working out with him. I’m not heart broken from any of the FA we lost either. Time to change the DB field. Add de,linebacker,RB and OT.

      • Travis Diggs

        March 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        We should duplicate last year’s draft, same selections different order. Qb, Rb, Lb, De, Dt, Cb, S, but I like that OL pick too like u said. I would look at a Wr too

        • Kevin Black

          March 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

          Okay, I count just about every position on the team outside of TE, Kicker and Punter. Are we in rebuild mode and no one told me?

      • Kevin Black

        March 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

        Would you use your 1st round pick on him? Because he won’t fall to you at 60. If you do get him at 28, you will be passing on an awful lot of talent.

    • Kevin Black

      March 19, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Sometimes the players you need aren’t available when you draft. This is a draft with a lot of what Dallas needs on D, so it aligns up well. You don’t draft a DE in a weak DE draft and claim you got your savior. You have to have patience and let the players and game come to you, don’t force it.

  2. Terence Rendon

    March 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks Mr. Brady for doing your Homework and working Hard on the problem about Dallas Defends. I could only wish Dallas would had done this fews years ago. By releasing or started replacing players on defends side of the balls. That way we have better players in place. Instead replacing them all at once when Dallas don’t have that many drafts picks. They also need to pick up a great TE to replace soon to be Hall of Fame Witten. Dallas also need to stop handing out Mega Contracts and over paying players like they are the best that ever play the game. ( ROMO, Lee, Brant, OL, Witten, others) .

    • Kevin Black

      March 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Okay, I’m confused here. Romo was worth his contract. Witten is worth his, Bryant is arguably worth his contract and Lee is worth his. If any of them had hit the FA market when they got their last contract, other teams would have easily paid that much or more, so how are they overpaid? I’m still not sure how you think our OL is overpaid. Free would be the only one and he took a pay cut to bring him more in line with his skill, which I suggest he actually out-played the last two years. If you had mentioned Tyrone Crawford, I could have agreed with you there as injuries have taken his potential away. Although Lee has been injured, his contact accounts for that and he wanted that language in the contract. So, the only ‘overpaid’ player I know of is Brandon Carr and people are up in arms that he was allowed to sign for $6m a year in Baltimore. Carroll is almost a Carr clone, but with slightly better athleticism and for half the cost.

      As for getting players ahead of time to replace leaving players, Dallas actually does do that. Chaz Green for Doug Free… Anthony Brown for Morris Claiborne… Kavon Frazier for Barry Church… It’s actually something we track when projecting possible draft picks as Dallas has been pretty good at this. You could complain about Green, but only due to injury. His ability is not in question after his ability to play for Tyron for the first couple of games of 2016.

      Just remember, every team has holes. It’s all about trying to keep those holes to a minimum and mask the ones you do have. Teams across the NFL are now trying to copy the OL model of the Cowboys, but the ability of Dallas to identify and draft those players will be hard for other teams to match, especially this year when the tackle class is very weak. Teams will be reaching for players to try and duplicate the Great Wall and will get leaky copies at best.

      As for TE, we might actually already have his replacement if the voices at The Star can be believed. Rico Gathers was actually getting snaps with the first team at the end of last year. You have to earn that and the departing safeties both said that Romo and Gathers were wearing them out in practice.

      One last thing: Don’t reach for players. Let them come to you. You can’t get O.J. Howard, Fabian Moraeu and Jordan Willis in the first round. You only get one pick. Will McClay has proven the last few years that he knows what he’s doing. Thank the gods above that he keeps turning down GM interview offers. If we lose McClay, our drafting will start to suffer.

      • Terence Rendon

        March 19, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        Now you want to reply to my statements. If you don’t get it. You need to stop posting your articles on football and go back to college. You don’t see teams like Denver , New England , Baltimore, Atlanta, Seattle, Pittsburgh and the likes. Every year in salary cap problems. Why they don’t over pay there players.. Now let get real. How many teams pay there QB lie he is the king of the world. None of teams above over pay there players not even Tom Brady or Dree Breeze don’t even make half what Rome is making. Of all those team above only Denver and Pittsburgh pays there WR like Dallas does Bryant. All the rest of the teams in the league that does pay there WR a lot don’t see playoff. None of those teams above pay there TE as much as Dallas paying Witten either. Now for Lee. Look at his history of injury. Has he play more 5 back to back 16 games season in his NFL career. I don’t thinks he has. That mean he is well overpay. Most of those team would let every one of those players test the open market just to see what is the market is at for those players. Right now our OL is not over paid. I guarantee once they get in there 5th year of there rookie contract they will be. You can not look at how much a player is worth on a one to one bases, Look at how much it will cost you to replace them and how soon they can get there. Every player can be replace at one point or another and how much you want to pay them.
        Now on replacements players. Steven Jones came out this past week and said Chaz Green is not there yet to be able to replace Free. Same way for Kavon Frazier to be able to replace Church. Not just those 2 players was I talking about. I was talking about the placements players across the board on the roster. Were is Lee replacement. Then you talk about Wittens replacement. Was not even on the roster if you go by what I heard from Garrett when he was talking to people. But I wish Gathers can replace him in due time. I also loo at this might be Wittens last years his body can take the blows.
        I have no problem with this. I now every team does this. But some are better at it then other. Just remember, every team has holes. It’s all about trying to keep those holes to a minimum and mask the ones you do have. Teams across the NFL are now trying to copy the OL model of the Cowboys, but the ability of Dallas to identify and draft those players will be hard for other teams to match, especially this year when the tackle class is very weak. Teams will be reaching for players to try and duplicate the Great Wall and will get leaky copies at best.
        One last thing: Don’t reach for players. Let them come to you. You can’t get O.J. Howard, Fabian Moraeu and Jordan Willis in the first round. You only get one pick. Will McClay has proven the last few years that he knows what he’s doing. Thank the gods above that he keeps turning down GM interview offers. If we lose McClay, our drafting will start to suffer. Will McClay should had been shown the door many many years ago. He is not no GURO when it come to the NFL. At best this guy is very weak when it come down on judging players.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.

Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez



Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" 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!

Continue Reading

Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?



Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.

Continue Reading

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here