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Cowboys-Titans Trade Scenarios for Ron Leary

News broke yesterday that Cowboys offensive guard Ronald Leary, stuck in a backup role in Dallas, has requested a trade. In Tennessee, starting offensive lineman Byron Bell was lost for the season to a severe ankle injury. The two events have naturally brought the Cowboys and Titans into the same conversation. We have no idea if the Titans have any interest in Leary. Not only does he have the well-known degenerative issue in his knees but he may be viewed as a system product.

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys-Titans Trade Scenarios for Ron Leary

News broke yesterday that Cowboys offensive guard Ronald Leary, stuck in a backup role in Dallas, has requested a trade. In Tennessee, starting offensive lineman Byron Bell was lost for the season to a severe ankle injury. The two events have naturally brought the Cowboys and Titans into the same conversation.

Cowboys Headlines - The Cowboys' Moral Dilemma with Ronald Leary 1We have no idea if the Titans have any interest in Leary. Not only does he have the well-known degenerative issue in his knees but he may be viewed as a system product. Other teams may feel that Leary benefited from playing between Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick and wouldn't be the same player for them. There is plenty of logic behind that opinion.

However, necessity is the mother of invention. The Titans spent a first-round pick on Jack Conklin because they need offensive lineman. Losing Bell, who started all 16 games last year, is a big blow. With no dominant team in the AFC South right now the Titans have to be thinking about staying competitive. They could be motivated to make a deal.

If Dallas and Tennessee get into trade talks, what are some possible deals they might consider? Let's hypothesize.

Draft Picks

Dallas gave Leary the second-round Restricted Free Agent tender earlier this year, meaning another would've had to surrender their second-round pick if they signed Leary to a contract. Dallas would likely try to start there in any negotiation.

The Titans would likely counter that no team thought Leary was worth that high of a pick and try and get Dallas to back down. A third-round pick is far more easy to surrender for the Titans but still a very nice get for the Cowboys for a former undrafted free agent. That could be the sweet spot.

Defensive End Help

I've already seen some proposing that Dallas request pass rusher Brian Orakpo from the Titans. That won't happen, folks. Orakpo has three years left on a $31 million contract. Dallas isn't paying that for a guy who'd have to convert from a 3-4 outside linebacker to a defensive end and who turns 30 in July.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys-Titans Trade Scenarios for Ron Leary 1A guy who makes way more sense is veteran Karl Klug. He reminds me of Jeremy Mincey as a versatile player able to play the strongside end or some inside tackle. He's 28-year-old and has an expiring contract with a $2.25 million cap hit in 2016, about the same as Leary's one-year deal. That's about as even a trade as you could ask for.

Now, if Dallas really wanted to swing for the fences they could try and grab rookie Kevin Dodd. Tennessee used their second-round pick on the defensive end, just one pick before Dallas took linebacker Jaylon Smith. The Cowboys would likely have to give up a mid-round pick to pry Dodd away, but it's definitely worth an attempt.

Wide Receiver Help

The Titans top three receivers appear to be set with free agent addition Rishard Matthews, second-year prospect Dorial Green-Beckham, and veteran Kendall Wright. The odd man out is 25-year-old Justin Hunter, who could be an interesting addition to the Cowboys receiver corps.

Like Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, Hunter is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He was in their same 2013 draft class and was taken higher than either in the second round. At 6'4" and with 4.4 speed, Hunter has always been an intriguing physical prospect but has had consistency issues on the field.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys-Titans Trade Scenarios for Ron Leary 2It's worth nothing that Hunter is recovering from an ankle injury that ended his season last November. He has been limited in offseason workouts but was reportedly on pace to return for mini-camps and be fully ready for 2016.

A very interesting wrinkle here is that Cowboys wide receiver coach Derek Dooley was Hunter's head coach for all three of his season at the University of Tennessee. That could certainly push Hunter into the conversation for Dallas, but only if they feel he has a legitimate shot at beating out Williams or Butler for a starting job.

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There are certainly other Titans players and 30 other NFL teams we could talk trade possibilities about. Please comment below with your own ideas and thoughts about the proposals I've made.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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10 Comments
  • Marvin Gouch

    I’m thinking the Titans 3rd rounder next year

    • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Makes sense to me. I think that’s what it would take for Dallas to part with him.

  • Randy Martin

    I think a draft pick would be the most likely to occur from these scenarios but I’m intrigued with Krug. He’s a scrapper and would love to see a guy like that here but how would he fit in a 4-3 after playing in a 3-4? I don’t see them parting with Dodd but who knows. And no thanks to Hunter. He’s a JAG.

    • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      The Titans only switched to the 3-4 two years ago. Klug based the majority of his career as a 4-3 DE/DT.

  • https://bluesilverblogblog.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

    I think I would be good with swapping a third rounder for Leary at this point. If he doesn’t want to be here then why make a disgruntled player stay when you could get something valuable back for him. But I am starting to get a little worried about the backups on the o-line. After the great front five comes a lot of question marks. Hopefully Chaz Green can show us something.

    • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      I don't think it's a huge difference from where we've been. Looney is basically another Bernadeau and you have the same swing tackle in Charles Brown.

  • Kenneth Brown

    Hunter sounds a lot better than T will , but Dodd would be great acquisition but that’s wishful thinking.,

    • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Williams has probably shown more over the last three season than Hunter, but you never know what a new environment, coaches, and quarterback can do for a receiver. Just look at Laurent Robinson. I know the Dodd idea was more fantasy than possibility, but it's certainly something I'd at least ask about if I was calling Tennessee.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    I always wonder what trade value Ronald Leary honestly has.

    He's a good lineman, right? We've seen that. Then again, he was recognized as a good lineman the year he went undrafted. He went undrafted because of a degenerative knee problem where teams just weren't sure how long he would be able to play. Now, by my count, he's played three seasons on that knee so I would think any good will he's earned by being a good NFL lineman might be offset by the fact that the "biological clock" on that knee has ticked down about 1,095 days since everyone passed on him 7 times in the draft.

    Purely on ability, I think you want 3rd round value all day out of Leary. I'm just guessing the reason they didn't get him traded during the draft was because teams were offering up 6th or 7th rounders based on those same knee concerns.

  • Jack Tunney

    New Titans GM is a smart negotiator and has shown off his skills netting the Titans the best draft they've had in many years. He's rebuilding the team from top to bottom and early reviews on what he's done are very good. There is little chance he's going to trade anyone of value or a second rounder for an OG with a questionable knee.Third rounder or later is possible perhaps Justin Hunter has not shown much since he's been there but they don't have WR depth so that won't happen till they replace him. One other note here on Cowboys-Titans …the Titans have pieces to run with power so Cowboy fans will be likely be watching Murray return to form with Henry in relief to continue to punish defenders. That run game could be destructive!

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Hoping to Bring Scouting Combine to The Star in Frisco

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Hoping to Bring Scouting Combine to The Star 1

When the Dallas Cowboys opened their world-class headquarters in Frisco, affectionately named The Star, the possibilities were endless for the franchise that embraces football being bigger than life in a state where that's certainly the case.

Not only have the Cowboys hosted more football than ever with AT&T Stadium serving as their home and the Ford Center at The Star being a shared practice space with local high schools, but they became the first team to host the NFL Draft from their stadium in April.

Just as the draft has become a spectacle for fans and media alike, the all-important Scouting Combine that leads up to the draft each year is a fully televised event now. Held in Indianapolis since 1987, the Cowboys will have to prove they're well prepared to handle the burden of a Scouting Combine while disrupting the continuity that Lucas Oil Stadium has provided.

The biggest advantage that Indianapolis has held through years of the Combine's development is their stadium's proximity to local hospitals. Any scout or draft analyst will tell you that the most important thing draft prospects go through during the Combine is their medical checks, something they can now do at The Star without setback.

Across the street from The Star is now the Baylor, Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research center, a brand new medical facility that spans 300,000 square feet. The Cowboys will even have their time to work out the kinks of potentially hosting the Combine, with Indianapolis still under contract to host the event through 2020.

The Combine also serves as a key point in the NFL offseason where executives and coaches from every team are together, often leading to trade talks that impact the following draft. Imagination can run wild with the Cowboys hosting the Combine on campus at The Star, and rival head coaches meeting in a Sushi Marquee, Cow Tipping Creamery, or Luxe Eyewear.

Dallas Cowboys Hoping to Bring Scouting Combine to The Star

These are merely three of the hundreds of auxiliary features in place at The Star, ready to take the Combine to the next level, as Dallas already did with this year's NFL Draft.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and Left Guard Connor Williams became the first players to be drafted in the stadium they'll call home. Within a few years, prospects fortunate enough to get the call from America's Team may feel an even deeper connection to the Cowboys, going through their job interview that is the Combine at the team's headquarters.

Jerry Jones has stated that The Star was never designed with the thought of hosting a Combine in mind, but this does not mean preparations will not take place for the Cowboys to be ready following two more years in Indianapolis.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Hoping to Bring Scouting Combine to The Star in Frisco" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

How Did the Dallas Cowboys Fare in This Year’s NFL 100?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Ezekiel Elliott, Bears
Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

Every year, NFL Network releases a "Top 100" list of all the players in the league. What's special about this list is that the voters are actually fellow NFL players. We have tons of rankings from analysts and scouts all year long, so it's fun to see what the persons who actually put on shoulders and helmets week after week have to say about their peers.

However, that's precisely what makes it very controversial among fans. Year after year, we see players getting underrated and players getting ranked way ahead than they should.

Take Dak Prescott in 2017, for example. The young quarterback put on a show as a fourth-round rookie that no one could have expected from him. As impressive as he was, it's hard to defend him being ranked as the fourteenth best player in the NFL, which is how he was ranked in the NFL 100 last year.

This Monday, the 2018 Top 10 will be announced on NFL Network at 7 PM CT, but no Cowboys' name will be mentioned.

So, without getting frustrated about this year's results, let's take a look at how the Dallas Cowboys fared this time around.

What Does Zack Martin Have in Common With Larry Allen?

#71: RG Zack Martin

2017 Ranking: #58.

I'm pretty sure that Zack Martin doesn't even care about the NFL 100 list, especially after he became the highest-paid guard in NFL history just days ago. For the Cowboys, even with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick on the same offensive line, Zack Martin might be the best lineman on the roster. At the very least, there's an argument to be made.

It's not very surprising to see Martin all the way at #71. Offensive guard is a very overlooked position by many, so it does make a tiny bit of sense for him to be ranked where he is.

What is surprising though, is the fact that Pittsburgh Steeler David DeCastro is ranked at #44. Both players are great guards, but Martin is widely acknowledged as the best at his position. Maybe playoff success came into account?

#54: RB Ezekiel Elliott

2017 Ranking: 7.

Ezekiel Elliott stumbled quite a bit this year, which is completely understandable. First of all, the 2016 season was electric. The narrative of two rookies taking the league by storm and earning the #1 seed in the NFC was unique.

Things changed for the superstar running back in 2017, though. Elliott had to deal with tons of off-field drama while fighting a six-game suspension that ended up being upheld and Zeke had to miss some time.

This is undoubtedly what made Elliott, who is easily a top three running back in the NFL, fall all the way out of the top 50. Despite having had pretty good years, I can assure you that Kareem Hunt (ranked at 33) and Mark Ingram (43) are not even in the same tier as Zeke.

#39: LT Tyron Smith

2017 Ranking: 18.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not complaining about this one. Just like the rest of the offensive linemen, Tyron may be undervalued here. However, he is the best tackle on the list, so it's certainly tough to be mad about this.

Besides, don't forget Tyron didn't play the entire season after being out for three games. Not saying that makes him a worse player or anything, but it helps make sense of his spot on the list.

With former Cleveland Brown Joe Thomas enjoying retirement, it's easier to see Smith as the clear-cut best tackle in the NFL today. He's a beast. If he finds a way to play 16 games next season, I'm sure he will climb the rankings in 2019.

#34: DE DeMarcus Lawrence

2017 Ranking: Unranked. 

Last but not least is the Cowboys' breakout player of the year. Lawrence finally proved his worth getting to the opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times on the year. Not to mention, his game against the run was pretty remarkable and he helped take the defense to another level.

This was the first season in D-Law's career in which he remained completely healthy all along and it showed on the field. Thanks to his performance, the team handed him the franchise tag and hopefully he'll get a big, juicy contract once he continues dominating this year.

https://twitter.com/TankLawrence/status/1003853184782094336

Six defensive ends were ranked ahead of him, so we will have to wait and see if he keeps it up in 2018 after being named a second team All-Pro in 2017.

The Snub: C Travis Frederick

The one thing that is outrageous from this year's list is the absence of Travis Frederick. I understand there aren't any other centers on the list, but they should at least include the best at his position, right?

Frederick is undoubtedly one of the most valuable players on the Cowboys' roster and a player that through five years in the league, has been to the Pro Bowl four times. One of the NFL's finest, he definitely deserves to be on that list.

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But hey, as previously mentioned, this list is meant to be fun. It's cool to hear what the players (teammates and rivals) have to say about one another during this series. Instead of taking it as an official ranking or anything of the sort, it's better to see it as a fun piece of content by NFL Network.

Let me know what your thoughts on these rankings are on the comments section below or tweet me @PepoR99 to talk some football!

Tell me what you think about "How Did the Dallas Cowboys Fare in This Year’s NFL 100?" 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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5 Winners from Dallas Cowboys OTAs and Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: Caras Nuevas, ¿Tenemos Cornerbacks?, Adiós Ware
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have completed the offseason part of their practices and are now eyeing the start of training camp in Oxnard, California on July 26th. The offseason stuff doesn't necessarily show what a team thinks about a player near as much as training camp, so I won't look at any losers because these practices have varying personnel at times.

That being said, there certainly were some winners during the offseason.

1. Jaylon Smith, Linebacker

Every day removed from his injury in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl is another day closer to potentially seeing the All-American linebacker that would have been a top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

With the knee injury, there's always been some doubt about Jaylon returning to that level of play, but as offseason practices wore on it was becoming clear that he's much healthier and much more mobile than he was in 2017.

Both of those things are strong signs in the right direction for the third year pro.

After sitting out his rookie season to rehab and then having some good moments and some really bad moments in 2017, it sounds like he's making progress to be a difference maker in 2018.

During OTAs and minicamp sessions that were open to the media, Jaylon was seen running with the first-team defense every time they took the field. Now, some of that is due to the Cowboys limiting the snaps of veteran All-Pro Sean Lee and rookie first round pick Leighton Vander Esch, who came up with a sprained ankle, but the fact that Smith's snaps weren't limited should only be seen as a good sign.

We still have a long way to go until the Dallas Cowboys strap it on for their week one matchup with the Carolina Panthers, but Jaylon Smith is on an excellent trajectory.

Anyone with a Clear, Eye, View can see that.

2. Anthony Brown, Cornerback

One of the bigger surprises during the offseason practices so far has to be Anthony Brown, and not Jourdan Lewis, running with the first team nickel defense.

Jourdan Lewis proved he was a really good corner in his rookie year, both in the slot and on the outside, while Anthony Brown struggled at times. Knowing that new Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard prefers his corners to be tall, long, and strong has led to some speculation that Lewis may not be a fit in Richard's scheme.

That's certainly a possibility. The more realistic possibility is that Brown, with more seniority, was getting the opportunities first as is often the case with Jason Garrett coached teams during the offseason.

While Brown is a pretty good slot cornerback in his own right, this might only be temporary.

Understanding Cowboys Remaining Offseason "To-Do List"

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

3. Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver

As I read reports from OTAs and minicamp practices, one thing that stood out is that Michael Gallup was winning and winning a lot.

When asked in a mailbag who had been building the best rapport with Quarterback Dak Prescott, Bryan Broaddus from DallasCowboys.com had this to say:

"Bryan: That’s a great question. The guys that come to mind for this [sic] me are Michael Gallup and Blake Jarwin. Those guys have found ways to generate space and have been reliable catching the ball when it’s thrown in their direction."

Bryan Broaddus - DallasCowboys.com

Just a few days earlier Broaddus stated that Cole Beasley and Gallup were the only ones getting open with any consistency.

Now, it's still early and it's padless practice, but that's an encouraging sign for the third round pick out of Colorado State.

Typically it takes a year for wide receivers to adjust to the NFL game, especially with how much press coverage is played by NFL defensive backs. One of the byproducts of Kris Richard's existence as the defensive backs coach is that they're playing more press coverage. He's teaching his DB's to be more aggressive and more physical at the line of scrimmage.

For Gallup and the rest of the wide receiver group, that can only help them as they get ready to face opposing defenses. One way to disrupt timing-based routes or an offense that relies on separation and yards after the catch is to disrupt the receiver at the snap. Every practice, these guys are working to beat the press.

As a rookie wide receiver, this can only benefit Gallup -- in particular -- as that will be a big transition from college where defenses are playing off the line of scrimmage against the countless number of spread offenses that exist.

The fact that he's already winning reps during practices against some pretty good corners is a great sign for the Dallas Cowboys.

He may not be a starter in this offense right away, but I doubt it takes long before he's cemented himself in three and four wide receiver personnel groupings.

4. Chaz Green, Guard

I'm sure you aren't a fan of seeing Chaz Green's name anywhere near a "winners" list. As bad as the Atlanta Falcons game was for him, we can't ignore the fact that Green got a lot of first team repetitions during OTAs and minicamp while Zack Martin negotiated his contract extension.

Either that means the Dallas Cowboys haven't given up on their third round pick from 2015 or they're trying to get as many practice snaps out of him as possible to be able to make a clearer decision regarding his future with the team.

Getting to play with the ones is encouraging, but he still has a lot to prove during training camp to keep a spot on the roster. Green's going to get a long leash as a former premium draft pick. We'll see if he takes advantage of it.

5. Jihad Ward, Defensive Tackle

Maliek Collins hurt his foot -- again -- and David Irving was dealing with off the field stuff -- again -- leaving Jihad Ward with a lot of opportunities to play against the first team offensive line as the three-technique defensive tackle.

On June 4th, I asked Bryan Broaddus from DallasCowboys.com who his biggest surprises on offense and defense were during OTAs:

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Cedrick Wilson and Jihad Ward https://t.co/kgcgJkTj3U

If Broaddus is encouraged by Ward's progress, I am too.

He's going to have a lot of opportunity to get a strangle hold on the 3T defensive tackle spot with Maliek Collins not set to be back until late in training camp, and David Irving suspended the first four games of the 2018 season.

The Dallas Cowboys liked Ward coming out of college and had him just behind Maliek Collins on their 2016 NFL Draft Big Board.

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There's still a lot of practice reps that have yet to take place, but the Dallas Cowboys have gotten some encouraging contributions from these players. As we look to training camp, who will you be watching to see if the stand-out and can make the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster?



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