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Should Cowboys Take A Chance On This Former 1st-Round Draft Pick?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Take A Chance On This Former 1st-Round Draft Pick?

The Dallas Cowboys top priority this off-season is to improve the defensive side of the ball, especially the talent/depth at the defensive end and cornerback positions. They should leave no stone unturned, which is why I think they should take a chance on former the 1st-round draft pick, Justin Gilbert.

Justin Gilbert was the eighth overall draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has already been tabbed with the dreaded “bust” label, but I think the Dallas Cowboys could show an interest in bringing him aboard regardless of any labels associated with the former standout CB from Oklahoma State.

With Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr’s possible departure in free agency this off-season, the Cowboys depth at CB is extremely thin. The position is so thin in fact, that Anthony Brown, Orlando Scandrick, and Leon McFadden would be the starter’s if the season were to start today.

As you can see, the CB position absolutely has to be addressed and taking a chance on Justin Gilbert can be one of those low risk high reward situations the Cowboys haven’t minded taking the past.

Now, Gilbert’s passion for the game and work ethic have been discussed at length as to the reasons why he hasn’t been able to live up to his draft status so far. But, at 6’0″, 202 and legitimate 4.3 speed, Gilbert is still an intriguing prospect at just 25 years old.

The Dallas Cowboys could be the perfect place for him to resurrect his career and if you continue reading I’ll tell you why I think that’s the case.

Was The Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line Better Than We Thought?Reason #1: The Rod Marinelli effect

I may be biased, but I don’t think there is another defensive coordinator in the NFL that gets more out of his players then what Rod Marinelli does.

Ever since joining Dallas Cowboys, Marinelli has continuously gotten his defense to out perform everyone’s expectations, despite the lackluster talent he has had to work with. If anybody can help Justin Gilbert reach his potential, it’s Marinelli.

Of course, Rod Marinelli shouldn’t be given all the credit. Cowboys cornerback coach, Joe Baker, also deserves to be recognized for the work he did with his CBs last year.

Baker did an outstanding job preparing his cornerbacks week after week despite the injuries that occurred throughout the season. Look no further than what he was able to do with rookie CB, Anthony Brown.

Brown had an outstanding rookie season, despite being the Cowboys sixth round draft pick.  His quick development will likely earn him a starting spot next season.

Just imagine what Rod Marinelli and Joe Baker can do with the talent like Justin Gilbert.

Should Cowboys Take A Chance On This Former 1st-Round Draft Pick? 1Reason #2: A return to The Lone Star State

What better way to rediscover your love for the game you’ve played nearly your entire life then to return to your home state and reignite the fire that drove you to want to become a professional football player in the first place?

That’s right, for those of you that didn’t know, Justin Gilbert is from the great state of Texas. He attended Huntsville High School, in Huntsville, Texas, where he was a quarterback and defensive back for the Huntsville Hornets football team.

Returning home to Texas could be the best thing that could possibly happen to Gilbert if he is serious about resurrecting his career. There is just no better feeling than to be surrounded by friends and family in a familiar setting.

After finishing his career at Oklahoma State, which by the way isn’t too far from Texas, having to move to Cleveland after being drafted by the Browns must have been a complete culture shock. Not only did Gilbert have to familiarize himself with a new state/city, he also ended up having to play for one of the worst teams in the NFL for the past several seasons.

I don’t know about you, but that would kind of make me question my passion for the game as well.

I honestly think that if Justin Gilbert was able to get back to his roots in the Lone Star State, he would rediscover why he fell in love with the game to begin with and start playing like the CB a lot of people thought he was coming out of Oklahoma State.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should take a chance on Justin Gilbert?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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6 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    You have to wonder though when he had a chance to resurrect his career in Pittsburgh, where some players have found new life. Joe Thomas, his former teammate at Cleveland had some disparaging remarks about Gilbert, basically implying he doesn’t want to play football. Sounds a little like RoMac, though for possibly different reasons. That being said it has certainly worth bringing him in and sitting down with him to find out where his head is at and work him out. If he passes the sniff test, he could be a cheap signing.

    • Brian Martin

      Randy, I agree with you. In Pittsburgh he didn’t really get a chance to get on the field on defense because he was buried on the depth chart. The only playing time he did receive was returning kicks. I think they cut him because they didn’t want to pay him the money he was making. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to re-sign him to a cheaper contract. I would take a chance on bringing him to camp and see if a return to his home state can reignite his passion for football. I know playing for arguably the worst team in the league (Browns) would kind of make it hard to want to come to work every day. It could be one of those low risk high reward situations.

  • Jason Waltner

    Bring him in. Vet minimum. See if he gets out of camp…

    • Brian Martin

      I agree, but it will depend on how much they invest in the position in the draft this week. I would definitely take a chance though.

      • Jason Waltner

        Do it anyway regardless of draft. Better competition, better players, better depth. We only have 3 CBs right now. If we drafted 2, that’s only 5. Need to bring in about 8-10 for camp

        • Brian Martin

          They definitely need more depth, but any rookie they bring in needs as many repetitions as possible to get up to speed. There are only so many practices to do that.

Star Blog

Is 3-3 Without Ezekiel Elliott A Win For Dallas?

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys 2017 Roster Projection: Preseason Week 2
Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s funny how quickly perception can change in the NFL.

A little over two weeks ago, the sky was falling on the Dallas Cowboys. They had just been blown out three straight times, twice at home and twice against direct NFC playoff competitors. Cowboys Nation wanted firings – whether that meant head coach Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Rod Marinelli, or all of the above.

Dak Prescott couldn’t survive without Ezekiel Elliott, and all of the change made to the defense was beginning to be called a failure by the masses.

Fast forward to this week. The Cowboys have now been the deliverers of butt-kickings the last two weeks, and now sit at 7-6 with an outside chance at a playoff spot. And while the team looked like a complete mess without Elliott previously, a win Sunday would put them at 3-3 over the course of the Pro Bowl running back’s suspension.

And is that really all that bad?

Heading into the suspension, most fans probably would’ve taken 3-3 without Elliott and 8-6 overall. Most fans would’ve though that would put the Cowboys right in the thick of the things in the NFC playoff hunt. And most would’ve assumed we’d be happy with an 8-6 Cowboys team.

Unfortunately, 8-6 most likely won’t be good enough in this year’s playoff race. Especially considering the return of Aaron Rodgers and previous losses to both the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Plus, the entire NFC South has been fantastic this season (besides Tampa Bay) and two teams from the West look legit as well.

So maybe this just isn’t the Cowboys’ year. But, the success of other teams in the conference shouldn’t cloud our perception of what the Cowboys have done this season if they were to win Sunday night. A win over the Raiders this week would qualify the team’s handling of the Elliott suspension as a “success” of sorts (in terms of on the field, at least) in my opinion.

They would have kept themselves alive in a deep NFC playoff race, discovered a legitimate offensive weapon in Rod Smith, maintained a solid rushing attack over the majority of the six games, and allowed for some real growth from their young quarterback Dak Prescott.

I know the first three games of the suspension were awful, and a team with the talent of the Cowboys shouldn’t be losing that way three times in a row, or three times in a season at all. But, something should be said about how the team has weathered that storm, and kept themselves above water in this competitive conference.

But, of course, the result Sunday night could change all of this if the Cowboys come out and lay an egg in Oakland, effectively ending their season before Zeke even gets back. In that case we will more vividly remember the three horrific losses in which the team was out-coached and embarrassed. But, still those games should be remembered regardless of Sunday’s outcome.

So maybe success is a bit of a strong word.

This week’s game is not only a huge one in terms of the 2017 playoff race, but also may be an important one for determining what the 2018 Cowboys will look like.

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Star Blog

Do We Know What The 2017 Dallas Cowboys Are Capable Of?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys 2017 Roster Projection: Training Camp Begins

For the Dallas Cowboys, the playoffs have begun a bit earlier. After putting themselves in a tough position, they need to win out in order to have a shot at playing in January… and even then, they need a ton of outside help to make it.

Less than a year ago, we saw the Cowboys become the #1 seed in the conference with a 13-3 record under rookie QB Dak Prescott. So naturally, it’s fair to say that the fact that after 14 weeks the record of this football team is 7-6 is very disappointing.

Some have even questioned, are they even worthy of being a playoffs team? 

Despite suffering from some key injuries and well… suspensions, the Cowboys shouldn’t be left off the hook. Players and coaches should be blamed. But even still, it’s hard to believe that Dallas wouldn’t have win at least one more game with Tyron Smith, Sean Lee or Ezekiel Elliott available.

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

I’m convinced that if Zeke hadn’t been suspended, the Cowboys would at least have one more win. If that were the case, we probably wouldn’t be suffering thinking about what combinations would get our favorite team in the postseason.

All of this makes me wonder… Do we know what this team is capable of? 

I think not. Let’s take a quick look at the games Dallas has lost this year.

  • @ DEN Broncos 
  • vs LA Rams (No Sean Lee, Cowboys’ defense allowed 35 points)
  • vs GB Packers (No Sean Lee, Cowboys’ defense allowed 28 points)
  • @ ATL Falcons (No Tyron Smith, no Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored seven points)
  • vs PHI Eagles (No Tyron Smith, no Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored nine points)
  • vs LA Chargers (No Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys scored six points)

I believe in the “next man up” mentality. But not when you’re talking about going from Tyron Smith, who is arguably the best LT in the league to Chaz Green and Byron Bell. Sure, the coaching staff should’ve made a change earlier when Green was getting Dak killed, but Bell wasn’t much better.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to make excuses for this football team at all. In fact, it’s the same thing when you take a look at wins. Through 14 weeks, the Cowboys have just been able to beat one NFL team with a winning record: The Kansas City Chiefs. The thing is, despite being 7-6, the Chiefs are 2-8 since week 6. I’m not sure I’d qualify that as a winning team.

We haven’t seen this team face a strong, winning opponent and actually beat them. The Cowboys have one more game to win without Zeke, and then they’ll be on to face the Seattle Seahawks. If Dallas gets to that game with an 8-6 record, the outcome of the Seattle game could define the Cowboys’ 2017 season.

With Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith all ready to go, it’d be the first time this year we see the Cowboys go against a quality opponent with all of their star players. Will this defining game come too late? Perhaps. It’s no secret that the Cowboys need a ton of outside help in order to get into the playoffs with 10-6 record.

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist At Denver Broncos 1

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten #82, QB Dak Prescott #4. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

But at least, it’d be nice to see our team at least doing the job they can control and winning out. Even if it’d be painful to see them go 10-6 and still miss the playoffs… as fans, we probably want to see them doing their job.

For now though, it’s all about the Oakland Raiders. One more week without Ezekiel Elliott. After surviving a trap game against the Giants, the Cowboys must do the same again as they prepare to face a football team that has also been disappointing this season but still has dangerous play-makers, such as Derek Carr.

And then, we might find out just how good the 2017 Dallas Cowboys really are.

Tell me what you think about “Do We Know What The 2017 Dallas Cowboys Are Capable Of?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott Long-Term?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Be Concerned About Ezekiel Elliott's Future?

It’s funny how quickly some players are able to establish themselves as professional athletes and grow their fan base. That is exactly what Ezekiel Elliott has done in just a little over a years time since becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, given his current situation, it’s that fan base that might be starting to turn on him a little and doubt his long-term future in the NFL.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware of the six-game suspension the NFL slapped Ezekiel Elliott with based on nothing more than accusations of possible domestic violence. Right or wrong, guilty or innocent, it happened and there is no taking it back. But unfortunately, because of the suspension Elliott will now have to walk the straight and narrow if he wants to have any kind of career in the NFL.

I honestly don’t think Ezekiel Elliott is a bad guy, but the slightest slip up will more than likely put his career in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter how big or small the infraction, the NFL has already decided they are going to make an example of him.

RB Ezekiel ElliottFrom here on out, Elliott is going to have to live like he is under a magnifying glass. Any kind of slip up, big or small, will likely cause the league to suspend him an entire season. This unfortunately has been weighing on the minds of a lot of Cowboys Nation and has to be at least a little bit concerning for the Cowboys organization.

You see, the Dallas Cowboys have Elliott under contract for at least three more years after this season. He has already proven how important he is to the offense and how much production dips without him in the lineup. They absolutely want him on the field because he makes them better. But, any kind of slip up would pretty much erase one of those three years. Look no further than what has happened with Randy Gregory.

I’ve heard many fans voicing their concerns about Ezekiel Elliott’s long-term availability with the Cowboys. They are afraid Elliott’s immaturity will end up getting the best of him and Zeke unfortunately has done nothing to ease those concerns so far.

I for one am not all that concerned about Zeke’s future in the NFL. I think his six-game suspension has served as an eye-opening experience and that he will do better from here on out to put himself in better situations and surround himself with better/more trustworthy people.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel ElliottYou can see anytime Zeke is on the field his passion for the game and how much he enjoys it. I don’t think he’s going to put something he cares so much about in jeopardy. But unfortunately, he already has a bull’s-eye on his back and can’t afford to take a misstep. That will without a doubt put his future career in jeopardy.

I personally can’t wait to see how #21 responds when he is able to suit up once again next week against the Seattle Seahawks. I think he is going to play with a chip on his shoulder and run angry. That is the best way he can stick it to the league for suspending him based on accusations and another reason why I’m not concerned about his future in the NFL.

I know if it was me, my mindset would be to turn myself into the best player possible and once again become one of the more popular athletes in the league. That is about the only way he can say “F U” to the league, and I think that’s exactly what he will do.

Are you concerned about Ezekiel Elliott long-term?

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