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Cowboys Vs. 49ers – My Crystal Ball



In week 1, my crystal ball told me to expect an ugly showing against the Raiders and for the most part that assessment was fairly accurate.  Transversely, in week 2, my crystal ball told me to look for marked improvement among the ranks; once again, my crystal ball was spot on.  So here we are at week 3 and quite possibly the most important game of the preseason, being the dress rehearsal where the starters will likely play 3 quarters.  What does the crystal ball say?

The big story line out of the 49ers camp is Michael Crabtree, who from the look of things will sit out the 2009 season and reenter the draft to be up for grabs and likely will not see the 1st round again, dependent on the talent pool at WR.  In short, he feels he should have been drafted above Darrius Heywar-Bey, and therefore, should be paid more.  The 49ers obviously disagree.  As far as I'm concerned:  Kudos to both sides of this argument for sticking to their guns.

But even if Michael Crabtree was a part of this team, I'd still have a hard time being concerned about them.  They have good players, but it has been a long time since they have had all the right pieces at the same time.  Like the Titans, they will test our run defense.  But also like the Titans, they don't have much of a passing attack to scare the Cowboys into backing off their otherwise vaunted rush defense, which should likely end quite a few 49er offensive drives with 3 and outs.

Defensively, the 49ers lack identity and cohesion, Patrick Willis being a lone bright spot and Manny Lawson being a guy with all the physical tools and the mental capacity of a small rock.  Nevertheless, if the lights do ever come on for Manny, he could be a very dangerous linebacker.  Outside of those two, the 49ers have a blend of has-beens such as Dre Bly and Takeo Spikes, never-have-beens, Walt Harris, Allen Rossum, Mark Roman and could-be's such as Ricky Jean-Francois, Scott McKillop and Curtis Taylor.

Once again, the Cowboy's should be dominant.  But there is one caveat to that.  How do the 49ers treat the Cowboy's with out #1 WR Roy Williams, who was injured at practice last night (bad Scandrick, bad)?  Personally, I don't think Roy Williams is as crucial to the offense as he has been made out to be.  There is still quite a bit of talent to distribute the ball to, and our best receivers, even with Roy Williams on the field, are still in my mind our two top TE's Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett.   And then, of course, there is the RB core, which should still be able to keep the 49ers defense honest.   The Cowboys win 31 to the 49ers 6.

I am 35, married and a father of 2 boys. I have been a Cowboys fan since Jimmy Johnson took over; not because I had anything against Tom Landry, but because it just so happens I was old enough to start following and understanding football right as that new era began. Since then, I haven't missed games if I could help it.

  • chris

    Rock on crystal ball man . What do you think about dallas picking up crabtree?

  • Jonathan

    Chris – I absolutely hate the idea. Besides, I’d say Roy Williams is a better version of Crabtree, physically, skillfully, and mentally. What Crabtree is doing is ruining the game of football; hopefully the NFL committee recognizes the potential issues this may cause in the future and puts a set cap on rookie salaries. The crazy part of this whole situation, is of all times to pull a stunt like this, this is not the time. For all we know, there may not be football in 2011…he should be trying to get all the pay day’s he can while he can.

    The other side of this I don’t understand is if we are being honest, he is overrated. He is coming from a College offense that passes the ball over 85% of the time. In other words, any college receiver would put a big numbers in that offense; it’s not hard to do. If he thinks he’s even close to worth the money he’s asking for, he’s crazy.

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.

By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.

While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.

Byron Jones

The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.

Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.

Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.

Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.

Chaz Green

Okay, hear me out.

The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.

Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.

Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.

Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.

La'el Collins

It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.

Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.

Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.

Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.

If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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