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Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers 1

As Cowboys fans anxiously await the Cowboys' 2016 training camp, getting underway from Oxnard, CA at the end of this month, we find ourselves in a familiar situation from the 4-win 2015 season this team just endured. The backup quarterback position behind Tony Romo is still mired in uncertainty. It's a glaring hole to remind the coaching staff how last season went so horribly wrong.

Doing his absolute best to help stabilize the backup QB position in Dallas is second-year player Jameill Showers. Still such an unknown when it comes to his NFL ability, Showers was signed out of UTEP as an undrafted free agent last season.

Immediately becoming a fan favorite player in the preseason thanks to his versatility to play on special teams, his passing statistics through those four games were as follows:

 

Wk Opp Comp Att Yds TDs INTs
1 @ San Diego Chargers 5 11 40 0 0
2 @San Francisco 49ers 8 17 80 1 1
3 vs. Minnesota Vikings 2 4 5 0 0
4 vs. Houston Texans 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL: 3 games 15 32 125 1 1

 

Obviously, there's room for improvement for any quarterback that completes less than 50% of his passes, but the Dallas Cowboys understood the long road that would await Showers when they brought him in. Jameill Showers was able to make himself valuable on the team's practice squad in 2015, but only in serving as an athletic body capable of playing multiple positions for the "scout team" while developing his passing skills.

Jameill Showers' most recent practice opportunities came during OTAs and mini-camp, where he made the most of them, focusing all of his efforts at QB. While Showers is a very long way from proving that he can keep the Cowboys' offense efficient without Tony Romo under center, the same could be said about his competitors on the roster - Kellen Moore and rookie Dak Prescott.

 

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers

 

With Prescott's roster spot secure as a rookie, the true training camp QB competition is going to be between Kellen Moore and Jameill Showers. This should turn out to be a battle that will last all the way through the preseason, and be one that we revisit multiple times.

For Showers to further his career with the Dallas Cowboys and replace Kellen Moore, he is going to have to quickly grasp as much of the mental aspects in Scott Linehan's offense as possible. This is one area that Kellen Moore has an advantage, although he struggles physically to actually execute these plays on the field.

Jameill Showers may have to face this uphill battle without the luxury of an abundance of preseason snaps, as the Cowboys could quickly determine that he is better fit to again join the practice squad. If this is the case, the Cowboys won't want to give other teams the confidence to sign Showers off of waivers before he can be added to Dallas' practice squad.

Where Jameill Showers has a chance to stand out is with his legs.

A quarterback that can create extra time for himself, similarly to Tony Romo, is incredibly valuable for an offense that features weapons like Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams. Jameill Showers has a chance to be this guy for the Cowboys, rushing for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns in his final collegiate season.

Jameill Showers will continue to receive plenty of support this summer from Cowboys Nation, but the support from the coaching staff is only going to come if he continues to take significant strides as a complete quarterback. If he can do so, enough to beat out Kellen Moore, then the team will have to feel a little bit better about their plans in place in the event of another Tony Romo injury.

What do you think the future holds for QB Jameill Showers?

Let us know! Comment below to start the conversation!

With this article, my "Cowboys Sophomores" series here on Inside The Star has come to an end. If you missed any player profiles, click here to browse the archivesShare your thoughts on the overall series by emailing me at sean.martin@insidethestar.com or tweeting to @ShoreSportsNJ

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers" 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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What Are Realistic Expectations for Cowboys LB Sean Lee?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

For many years, Linebacker Sean Lee has been the face of the Dallas Cowboys defense. However, that's quickly changing. The young duo consisting of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have taken over the linebacker position by dominating the field from sideline to sideline with their explosive talent. As a rookie, Vander Esch filled in for Lee at the weak linebacker position when the veteran went down injured and never gave the job back.

Currently, uncertainty surrounds Sean Lee, who took a pay cut earlier in the year to stay with the franchise he's played for since the beginning of his professional career in 2010. What will his role be in a young fueled defense in the upcoming season?

As we've all been able to see throughout his career, Sean Lee is one of the best in the game when he's healthy. Unfortunately, that's not very often. His injury proneness led him to a position change years ago, when he was moved from the MIKE (middle linebacker) to the WILL (weak side linebacker) position. Now, those two spots are taken care of.

Where does this leaves Lee? The main question is whether or not he'll move to the strong side. Many question if this would be the correct call, given that he could be at even more risk of suffering yet another injury in a position that leads to more contact. The other option would be for him to be Vander Esch's backup at WILL.

Wish List for Dallas Cowboys 1st Preseason Game

Dallas Cowboys LBs Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Sean Lee

Lately, it seems like the Cowboys will indeed move him to the strong-side. After all, it only makes sense to have your best three players on the field at the same time. On minicamp, the Cowboys have been playing the veteran at SAM, letting him get reps and grow comfortable in what seems to be his new job.

But even if Sean Lee starts lining up on the strong side, what can we expect from him next season? The way the NFL offenses operate now leads to teams sending their nickel packages to the field more often than not. For the Cowboys 4-3 defense, that means three cornerbacks, two linebackers. When that's the case, it will be Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith who we see out there, not Lee.

Damien Wilson was the team's "starter" on the strong side, and he only managed to get 286 snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. That represents 28% of the team's total snaps. Even if Sean Lee becomes the starting strong side linebacker, we likely won't be seeing him as much.

Even still, I'd expect Sean Lee's experience to play a big factor when the team needs Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch to catch their breath. Lee could jump in and play a few snaps at any LB spot and do a good job at it.

After all, we can't forget that despite his injuries, Lee is a remarkable player on defense. He should still be one of the smartest linebackers with extraordinary instincts. There's a reason why, before Vander Esch arrived to America's Team, the defense crumbled without him. Last year, despite losing the starting gig, Lee still had 118 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and an interception. The longtime veteran can still play.

It will be odd for Cowboys Nation to watch Lee on a completely new role. It's also hard to put the finger on what his production will look like at the end of the year. If there's one thing we know though, is that the veteran will work hard every practice trying to get the most playing time he can. We should be excited about the team's top three linebackers.

Tell me what you think about "What Are Realistic Expectations for Cowboys LB Sean Lee?" 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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Dak Prescott Impresses, Draws Compliments All Minicamp Long

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott and Coaches Both to Blame for Cowboys Offensive Woes
James D. Smith via AP

Dak Prescott stood before the media Thursday in a Stetson Cowboy hat, answering questions about his upcoming contract extension.

“I’ve got my cowboy hat on, so I’m a Cowboy, we’ll say that.”

Prescott has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback of America's Team, and now it's time for the franchise to pay him like it. Set to earn roughly $34 million per year (according to recent rumors/reports), Prescott is going to be a very rich and comfortable man in the near future.

But, for now, he still plays under his fourth round rookie contract. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching him on the field, however. Though it was just minicamp, Prescott was impressive as ever over the last couple weeks of practice, earning praise from all levels within the organization.

Veteran Jason Witten complimented both Prescott's anticipation and accuracy, saying his throws have been "off the charts" at minicamp. Prescott himself said that this is the best he's felt since he's entered the league, and it certainly makes sense for this to be the case.

"Is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well.” - Prescott to DallasCowboys.com

If Prescott was ever going to be comfortable, hungry, and ready to go, this is likely the time that it would happen. He has three relatively successful seasons under his belt, and ended 2018 on the best stretch of his career. He is the unquestioned starting quarterback for this team, and has the backing of every key decision maker in the building.

Prescott now has an offensive coordinator who he has not only worked closely with (in some capacity) since he entered the league in 2016, but is also being lauded for his creativity as an offensive mastermind. His quarterbacks coach, Jon Kitna, has been receiving similar praise for how he can coach up Prescott and get his footwork consistent, to help him "throw it through a Fruit Loop."

The time is now for Dak Prescott, and it's encouraging to see how he is responding to this increased pressure and responsibility. Then again we should have no doubt that he will respond positively, as he as throughout his entire young career.

Whenever faced with adversity, Prescott has answered the bell. Now he has all the supporters he needs, and just needs to prove them right.



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Does RB Ezekiel Elliott Have A Chance At NFL MVP?

Kevin Brady

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Ezekiel Elliott

Who is the Cowboys best player?

A question debated seemingly daily on social media, most fans seem to center their arguments around the same few names. Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Ezekiel Elliott.

As a running back, it's quite possible that Elliott is both the best of that bunch and the least important to the team's overall success. NFL.com's Adam Schein disagrees with the latter statement, however, placing Ezekiel Elliott among his top ten contenders for 2019 NFL MVP.

"I think the Cowboys are going to challenge for the Super Bowl in 2019 -- and I think Zeke fuels this team. When Elliott runs for 95-plus yards, the Cowboys are 19-4; when he falls below that benchmark, they're 9-8." - Adam Schein

Schein's prediction will no doubt make Cowboys Nation swoon, but does Elliott really have the opportunity to compete for an MVP award?

For one, this would require the Cowboys be among the best teams in the league this season. It's quite possible, as they did win 10 regular season and 1 playoff game a year ago, but it will have to happen once again for Elliott to be considered.

Next, Ezekiel Elliott would have to put up incredible numbers. Well, it's safe to assume this will likely be the case if condition one is met. Elliott is going to get a lot of opportunities to touch the ball each game, and finding himself among the league's rushing leaders has never been an issue for the young running back. Especially if the team has a lead and is running the ball to kill clock.

Even if both these conditions prove true, though, Elliott will still have trouble getting himself in the real MVP discussion. These awards tend to go to certain positions, and running back is not among that list. If Dallas has such a successful 2019, and their offense is clicking, it's more likely Dak Prescott will be the one contending for that MVP honor.

I know to some it sounds crazy, but Prescott will likely need to be closer to MVP level than Elliott if the Cowboys are to contend in the way Adam Schein suggests in his article.

So, likely, Schein should have named Prescott among his top ten MVP contenders, not Elliott.



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