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Cowboys Under December Siege, Again

Bryson Treece



Here we are one game into the December schedule and already we’re one loss into our usual December performance. It’s not that losing is always a bad thing, I mean some games are just inevitably lost, but this game was a truly saddening one to lose.

Tony Romo was already under fire for his play in recent Decembers while the rest of the team seemed to be getting a reprieve from Cowboys fans – for some unknown reason. But now it’s just gone too damn far, and yes I said damn … damnit.

Tony Romo may not always say the right things, such as his answer to a question about how he’d get his team to the Super Bowl this year – “I don’t know, I’ve never been there.” Can we say Dufus!?!

And we all probably get tired of the same old line … “We just have to keep getting better and working hard …” blah, blah, blah. Everyone keeps pointing out he is good as far as stats go, but sucks in games – um, did I miss something? How can that be? Football is essentially just stats, I mean it’s not heart that wins football games, it’s points.

So yeah we headed into Giants Stadium with a black cloud hanging over us, so what? The Cowboys go out and shut down them Gnats in their house for the first quarter of play. Good job! The only problem was that they got just as many points – 0.

But throughout the game there were several points of interest that are worth noting here. I didn’t see nearly as many penalties for us during the game and that’s always a good thing to see a reduction in that stat. Of course there was that stupid, stupid penalty by Dum-Dum Adams against a very defenseless Justin Tuck to end the half. Real high class move there Adams.

Second, Romo seemed to be spreading the ball around pretty well, not perfectly but better than usual. I mean Williams, Crayton, Austin, Jones, Barber, Witten, and Bennett all caught at least a pass or two. That’s a big deal for this team, this year.

Of course Martellus Bennett was just as unspectacular as he has been all year. I guess he was too busy trying to remember all the people following him on Twitter to really make anything happen besides the catch itself, and he even missed that too.

Witten – he set a career high for yardage right? 156 yards for him on like 15 catches, just one short of his career high. Can’t be upset about that. Roy Williams not only caught a pass, but he caught two in the endzone, and believe me, that is a shocker. But he played better; I just wish he’d stop with the damn Longhorn pride when he scores a COWBOYS touchdown. Seems a bit of a traitor when he does that, doesn’t he?

The defense seemed to be chasing their tails all day though. I mean assume that’s why they let Brandon Jacobs go 70 something yards on a dump pass for a score. Either that or they wanted to see if he could run that far – who knows. What I do know is that absolutely horrible play caused by bad decisions on the field cost us a tie game.

And the same can be said for the punt return, and we’ve all heard by now just how rare it is for a team to return a punt against us for six, even when our special teams sucked so bad last year we still didn’t give that kind of crap away.

That play cost us the game. But Tony Romo played great.

Yeah, yeah, get it out of your system already. The Cowboys lost a game in December and Tony Romo wasn’t at all the reason. I can feel your stares …

The guy played good football. He had 3 touchdowns, didn’t throw any picks, didn’t fumble it, was only sacked twice, and had career high yards. You can’t expect your quarterback to help the defense and special teams do their jobs.

Though it is somewhat to very alarming that we can never get firing on all cylinders. Either the defense plays great and the offense sputters, or the offense blows the roof off and our defense sucks it back down. Maybe this is the December when we figure out how to all play well at the same time. Maybe.

Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space

Sean Martin



Travis Frederick

Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.

Jane Slater on Twitter

C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed

Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.

Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.

Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.

With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Cowboys Place 2nd Round RFA Tender on DL David Irving

Jess Haynie



David Irving

One of the more anticipated Cowboys free agency moves has finally happened. Defensive lineman David Irving has been given the 2nd-round Restricted Free Agent tender, which would result in a $2.91 million contract for 2018.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: the Cowboys have used a 2nd round tender on DT David Irving. The cost is $2.91 million.

If another team offers Irving a contract, that would have to send their 2018 second-round draft pick to the Cowboys.

There was no doubt that Dallas would extend an RFA tender to Irving, one of the bright young stars on their defense. The question was at what amount; they could have gone with the $4.1 million tender which raises the compensation to a first-round draft pick.

With a difference of only about $1 million, some might argue that the Cowboys went lower to entice other teams to try to sign Irving. Perhaps they don't foresee giving him a big long-term deal next year, so want to get something for him now.

It's a logical argument, and one that means there may be more to this story before the offseason ends. For now, though, David Irving's closer to remaining a Cowboy than he was yesterday.

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