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Cowboys Trade For DT Jihad Ward Already Paying Off?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Trade For DT Jihad Ward Already Paying Off?
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys uncharacteristically made several offseason trades this year and it has yet to be seen how or if these players can be impactful in 2018. One such trade was met with quite a bit of skepticism and actually angered a lot of Cowboys fans. Sending wide receiver Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Jihad Ward was somewhat puzzling, but it looks as if the trade might already be paying off.

Unfortunately, one of the Dallas Cowboys best defensive players will once again have to sit out of the first four games of the 2018 season while serving his suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. David Irving was expected to pick up where he left off last season as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, but will have to wait until Week 5 to find out what he can do.

I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys suspected something like this would happen with Irving once again, but suddenly the trade for Jihad Ward is looking like a brilliant under the radar offseason move.

I know a lot of Cowboys fans were excited to see what Ryan Switzer could do for the offense this season, but the coaching staff never really had a plan in place for him or knew exactly how to use him. There is no question as to how the coaching staff will use Ward. He could end up being one of the better defensive lineman this season.

Jihad Ward

Dallas Cowboys DT Jihad Ward

Jihad Ward has already caught the attention of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff in organized team activities (OTA's) and mandatory minicamp. Coincidentally, he's been playing in place of David Irving at the under tackle position or the three-technique. It's a role he may not relinquish heading into the 2018 season, and quite possibly even when Irving returns from his suspension.

I know it's a little bit early to anoint Jihad Ward, but the fact that as a new addition he's already starting ahead of the likes of Tyrone Crawford and other 3-tech candidates is pretty telling, at least for me.

Once training camp opens up there will be several things I will be paying close attention to, and how Jihad Ward performs will be one of them. He was after all highly thought of by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli a few years ago in the 2016 NFL Draft. Maybe that infatuation will pay off.

I know it still stings a little that Ryan Switzer is no longer with the Cowboys, but Jihad Ward could prove to be the more impactful player this season and beyond.

Do you think the Jihad Ward trade is already paying off for the Cowboys?



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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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Stet Ross7777

    June 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Mr. Jihad Ward , Very Good Pick Up For Our Defensive Unit …… # Good Job # Keep It Up We Need More ……..

  2. David carter

    June 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    No. Could’ve drafted a better talent. Also giving up Switzer and then trading for a greasy fingered version of him was stupid. Kid had potential to be obe of the leagues best returners. Brutal trades! Of course mgmt says he’s standing out. They now cowboys nation is furious about the trades. That’s why they keep hyping about Austin too.

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      June 18, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      With both the coaching interviews & D. Irving own, ” I can’t speak on that at this time ” comments,
      It’s certain that all sides knew if his missing in-place criteria for the leagues substance abuse policies he’d missed
      &
      Chances are it was she to his daughters custody issues/court appearances, etc

      Which are understandable if so, but not to excuse him violating the very core if his own welfare that will & have affected his daughters mite too already

      I feel they got ahead this go round
      &
      By the way,,,, ,
      How soon we forget that Ryan Switzer fumbled away the LA Rams game,
      Bobbled several other handles returning kickoffs/punts, etc

      Heck, he just may be just as concerning as Austin
      But make no bones about it, Austin has produced far more as to where there’s no guessing about his NFL ability

      Plus we have other receivers that are also very capable return men also

      So far, so good

      • David carter

        June 19, 2018 at 12:53 am

        I’m not forgetting at all that switzer had one fumble all season. It’s perfectly natural for a rookie returner to go through some rough patches. He eventually learned to be a little less aggressive and call for a fair catch when warranted. His return avg was impressive. Austin fumbled 3 tines last year and he is a veteran. As for Irving. Of course they knew he missed these tests. All I’m saying is they gave up a promising return man for one with a consistent fumbling problem and a draft pick for a player that was a bust. We could’ve drafted a DT. The draft was loaded with good ones. Instead we gave up a pick for another teams trash. In fact we got two other teams garbage here. Perhaps marinelli can make something of this young man but then again this is probably coach’s last season so he’d better work fast.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          June 19, 2018 at 1:15 am

          Listen first off,
          I was not only surprised by the trade, I was pissed
          I loved the Lil Guys flip at the end if the TD punt return against the much hated Redskins
          & saved videos of his backward no hands flip & catch with both, then one handed catch display
          & I never said he fumbled away more than one, I said he also bobbled catches on punt returns

          (the same apparent potential as Austin)

          I also only said be MAY, (not that he did), end up having the exact same having issues as Austin has had
          However
          Ryan also never put up single-game 600 yards receiving, punt return & rushing in college nor has established himself yet as a pro either

          Plus, the main point was to the fact if Dallas having more depth at receiver than defensive interior line & me feeling Dallas having a strong sense of foreknowledge that a probable suspension loomed for Irvin leading to the most unfortunate trade

          This also includes the fact that Dallas’s receivers also double as return specialists too
          No Ryan Switzer’s but very capable

          Finally, coach Marinelli is most dynamic at excelling high round draft picks & greatly elevating mid to lower/undrafted cast offs

          I just agree with the trade via hindsight
          But still degree losing Switzer

  3. Daniel Bollman

    June 18, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Crawford has lost weight to play rde, he’s not going back to 3tech unless it’s on passing downs. Switzer had no chance to make this team with all the WR talent they brought in. Great move by front office, but they probably knew not to trust Irving

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      June 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      I love it when I comment prior to reading others comments

      Proves to myself that great minds think alike

      I need now not say that
      I agree

  4. Not your goat

    June 18, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    This was a brilliant move. Marinelli is the man for a guy like Ward and it was the best move the Cowboys could have made. The only other options were to trade up above TB and grab Vea which I would have loved but then we lose Williams and probably Gallup and the fortuitous draft to land both those guys as well as LVE and the other would have been taking Bryan at 19 still leaving a hole at LB. When Irving’s ex tweeted “wait till they hear about your failed drug test” i knew as well as any he wasn’t gonna be here for the start of the season, especially after he wasn’t here for mini-camp. You don’t just make something like that up and those tests are done months before they announce the suspension so it wasn’t odd he wasn’t suspended yet, in fact I’m actually expecting this to get worse because I think he failed 2 of them. Irving is a game wrecker but Collins is 1 season removed from a monster rookie season and Ward is a very talented player who could have just needed the right system and a coach to bring it out of him. We will see but like you said this trade is starting to look like a brilliant season saving move. Did you say something about Earl Thomas?

  5. Jonathan Young

    June 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I don’t see this as a trade for Ward for Switzer. It’s was that they saw a need for Irving and his possible suspension. I did not like it then and still hate it now. The Raiders wanted Ryan Switzer because of their new special teams coach, formally the Dallas Cowboys special teams coach. Rich Bisaccia wanted Switzer, Dallas should have asked for more than they got. Also in a few years will regret trading him away.

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Star Blog

Jason Garrett Can’t be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

Brian Martin

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Jason Garrett Can't be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

One of the few positives most of us were looking forward to after the Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams was the fact that Scott Linehan would no longer be the offensive coordinator for America's Team. Everything was pointing to his dismissal, but that may not be the case according to Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Jason Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return in 2019. "We don't anticipate any significant changes on our staff," Garrett said.

I can't say that I was happy upon learning Jason Garrett plans on retaining Scott Linehan as the Cowboys OC in 2019. In fact, my first thought was… Well, something better left unsaid. I'm sure many of you can kind of read my mind, because I'm pretty positive you had all that the same thoughts running through your head as well.

In all honesty, I didn't think there was a snowball chance in hell Scott Linehan would return to Dallas after the conclusion of the 2018 season. After all, the Cowboys nearly fired him during the bye week earlier this season, meaning his job security was already on thin ice. He didn't do anything to improve things in my opinion.

I know Jason Garrett has said Scott Linehan will return as the OC in 2019, but not for a second do I believe it. We are less than 72 hours hours removed from the Cowboys exit from the playoffs and I highly doubt any of Dallas' decision-makers has had the time to sit down and discuss who stays and who goes. In fact, I know they haven't.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Stephen Jones says they won't comment on anything with coaching staff but that they need to take a deep look at why they fell short. Says it a little early to speculate about players or coaches. They haven't had a meeting about it yet.

I think once the Cowboys brass sits down and reevaluates the 2018 season, they will come to the conclusion they can do better than Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator. There were just too many times throughout the season where the playcalling was a problem just. It's just time to move on, despite the vote of confidence by Jason Garrett.

Of course, this could just be me trying to read between the lines hoping and praying Scott Linehan is finally fired. Like many of you, I've grown way too tired of his predictable and dated playcalling. It's time to move on and find someone more innovative who can maximize the talent the Dallas Cowboys have on the roster, much like Kris Richard did with the defense.

You can either choose to believe Jason Garrett or not. I for one have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys staying status quo with their coaching staff, especially their offensive coordinator. But, only time will tell.

Do you think it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Scott Linehan?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

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Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

If you were to have clicked over to Sportsbook Review, you could have seen what all the premier online sportsbooks were dealing on the Cowboys/Rams game before kickoff. Sites like Bovada, which incidentally you can read a Bovada Review at Sportsbook Review as well, had the Rams favored in every quarter, in both halves, and installed LA as seven-point favorites over Dallas. As is often the case, the number was nearly spot on as the Rams bounced our 'Boys out of the postseason 30-22. It was a heart-wrenching loss for Dallas fans everywhere but for those who put their money where their mouths were, it was particularly painful in what turned out to be a one-point difference between losing and pushing.

Let’s look on the bright side, though. The Cowboys not only copped the division crown but the draft picks from April bore fruit this season. Linebacker and No. 19 overall pick Leighton Vander Esch is a certified stud while third-round pick Michael Gallup proved he is a bona fide NFL receiver. Second-round offensive lineman Connor Williams had difficulties at left guard, but at the very least, has a season under his belt at the next level and could turn into a legitimate bodyguard for Prescott in 2019.

And let’s not forget about the trade for Amari Cooper, which turned Dallas from a squad struggling to find its identity to an NFC East champ in winning seven of its last nine games since Cooper arrived. This year’s edition also bested a tough Seahawks team in the first-round of the playoffs.

Let’s face it, folks, no one expected the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl this season and what we got was about as much as we could have hoped with the current roster as it is presently constructed.

Dak Prescott has one more year on his rookie contract and will be looking to score a big payday at the end of next season, if not sooner. The Cowboys could enter negotiations and lock Prescott up for the foreseeable future, but it might be best for both parties to see what 2019 brings and go from there. Either way, Dallas will pay beaucoup bucks to keep Prescott in a Cowboys uniform so watching and waiting will most likely be the tact management takes with their star quarterback, with a franchise tag in 2020 as an option as well.

In the team’s immediate future will be signing their second-round pick in 2014, DeMarcus Lawrence. The talented defensive end provided the Cowboys with the edge rusher they needed for parts of this season and his combined 25 sacks over the last two seasons would be nearly impossible to replace. Dallas franchised him this season but will most likely put together a long-term deal for Lawrence in the offseason.

Ezekiel Elliott has also reportedly been hinting at his own contract extension even though he is contractually committed to the Cowboys for next season with a team option in '20.

Ironically, one of the strengths of the Dallas Cowboys in recent years was a relatively weak link this season. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and Pro Bowler Travis Frederick missed the entire season. But those wounds will heal for next season and the old gang will be back together again.

The Cowboys have loads of cap space but are without a first-round pick due to the trade for Amari Cooper. Nevertheless, the young blood on the team looks poised to contribute for many years and there will be money available to woo free agents to a club now viewed as a legitimate contender.

If you want to look at next season’s odds, make sure to educate yourself on which online sportsbooks are the most reputable, trusted, and reliable. Read the Bovada Review over at SBR and see what customers are saying about one of the industry’s top sportsbooks. Then, when the lines come out on next season’s division, conference, and Super Bowl winners, you can be informed and maybe throw a few bucks on the 'Boys from Dallas!



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Star Blog

Cowboys’ Window Depends On Maximizing, And Helping, Dak Prescott

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Future Hinges Heavily On Dak Prescott And Their Future Offensive Coordinator

Saturday night's Division Round loss was met with mixed reaction among Cowboys Nation.

Some fans, claiming they are the rational ones who hold the Cowboys to a higher standard, believe this might end up being their best chance at a Super Bowl for some time. The young players this roster is built around will only get older and more expensive as the years go by, and 2018 ends with yet another Jason Garrett-led playoff loss.

Other fans, claiming they are the rational ones, said that Dallas accomplished a lot this season, climbing back from a 3-5 start to win the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a competitive game to one of the league's best. This group believes that the Cowboys championship window is as open as it has been in years, with young talent galore on Dallas' roster.

Whether this is true, however, hinges on the shoulders of two individuals. One of which, ironically, hasn't even been named yet and the other a source of constant debate among those same segmented fans.

Those people, of course, are quarterback Dak Prescott and whoever ends up as the offensive coordinator in 2019.

Dak Prescott is a good quarterback.

Let's start there. I firmly believe that Dak Prescott did enough during his third season to earn the contract extension he will likely receive from the Cowboys within one of the next two offseasons. Especially once the Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Clearly, Prescott is far from "perfect" is a passer. He makes mistakes in decision making, he sails some throws, and he sometimes exhibits inconsistent footwork when the pocket breaks down. But we focus too much on his mistakes while simply glossing over his accomplishments, talents, and upside.

Not only is Dak Prescott someone that the team responds to and believes in, but he is also a good football player. Prescott finished the 2018 season 12th in total Expected Points Added, ahead of quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Baker Mayfield. He's also finished 3rd and 4th in raw QBR during his first two seasons in the NFL respectively. And, despite his slow start to 2018, Dak Prescott ended his third season on the best run of games in terms of QBR he has ever had.

Prescott is improving, and this is evident each week. He played more comfortably in the pocket over the last 6 games of the season, panicking less, taking fewer dumb sacks, and abandoning his technique fewer and fewer. And, while he doesn't run as often as many would like, the times Prescott does carry the ball often change drives and games.

And while I despise "QB Wins" as a determining statistic, the fact remains that bad quarterbacks don't win at the rate Dak Prescott does. Three straight winning seasons has been rare in Dallas over the last 15 years, and Prescott orchestrated this his first three seasons as a starter.

Passing Wins Championships.

Though very different than the old cliche, this appears more accurate by the season. The final four teams remaining in the NFL are each top 5 in passing DVOA, while not a single one has a top 10 defense by DVOA.

Neither the Chiefs nor the Rams have had a good run defense at all this season, but stopping the run doesn't matter as much as stopping the pass most weeks in today's NFL. I know this sounds absurd after the Cowboys run defense got abused by Los Angeles, but the numbers often bear this out.

The Cowboys have to do everything in their power to aid Dak Prescott and the passing offense this offseason. They need to draft another pass catcher, preferably with their second round pick. They need to continue to improve the chemistry between Prescott, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

And, maybe most importantly, they need to hire an offensive coordinator who can maximize this passing game.

Scott Linehan simply is not the answer. And if the Cowboys are going to make the most out of whatever title window they may have, the offensive play caller will be the most critical man in the building going forward.

Unfortunately, latest reports point to Linehan returning in 2019.



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