Well, the 5 questions are back for a 3rd week in a row! This week we teamed up with James Satterberg over at SeaTown Sports enjoy! Be sure to head over to their site and leave some love!
A Cowboy Nation: How do Seahawks fans feel about Julius Jones in general? Do you think he will get booed in Dallas this week?
First off, last year, Seahawks fans were forced to endure the horror that was 30-year-old Shaun Alexander. The once great back lost more than a few steps and was arguably the worst back in the NFL due to his deadly combo of bad rushing, hands of stone, and totally incompetent blocking. His performance caused even some of his biggest fans to boo him at Qwest field, anything for the coaches to put in another back, which seldom occurred. Having gotten that out-of-the-way, Jones looks like Barry Sanders in comparison. I don't know what he was like last year in Dallas, but Julius Jones has really performed well in Seattle this year. He has been the most complete back we have seen in a long time, as everything that Shaun did poorly at last year Jones can do at a high level. I originally thought that Jones would simply be a complement at best to the criminally underused backup Maurice Morris, but he has proved to be much more. Easily the best back on the team, for what that's worth. Now whether he gets booed or not is not for me to decide.
A Cowboy Nation: What area of the Seahawks needs the biggest improvement in order for them to become a playoff team again?
The most pressing issues this year have been safety and quarterback. I'll talk about Hasselbeck later, but I should quickly mention that Brian Russell is by far the worst NFL defensive starter I have ever seen. Simply incompetent. Considering that Walter Jones is going to be 35 next year, I would really look for a tackle. Beyond that it would be nice to have depth/insurance at OLB, DT, DE, and OG.
A Cowboy Nation: I have noticed on a few Seahawks websites that there is a lot of doubt in the QB area of this team. Hasselbeck is coming off of a pretty good year last year, is there any reason to think he won't be the QB after this year?
Last year Matt Hasselbeck played better than ever before. Maybe not statistically, but considering all of the injuries and setbacks, he put up his best season ever. His play single handily moved the Seahawks offense, and thus, the team's record. However, he's a 33-year-old quarterback with an injury history. It was inevitable that he would begin his decline. It's just a shock to us that it actually happened. Anyway, he has been hurt really since before week one, and he has missed a couple of games. When Matt has played, he has looked awful, constantly making bad reads and under-thrown passes. It's not like the Seahawks have anybody waiting in the wings, as the closest thing we have to young QB talent is Charlie Frye, who played against Green Bay, and from what I saw, e clearly isn't the answer. No matter whether Matt Hasselbeck will rebound or not, injuries are a part of decline and the Seahawks should be looking for a prospect to groom for the role. However, I would be shocked if Matt didn't begin the season as the starter next year. The Seahawks are smart enough to know that putting a rookie quarterback onto the field is not a good idea. It is much better to have them wait a few years first, like, for example, Matt Hasselbeck did. Or Tony Romo, for that matter. Matt will keep his job next year regardless.
A Cowboy Nation: In your opinion what is the most intriguing match up this week against the Cowboys?
Tough question, because there isn't one real defining matchup I see, but I'm going to go with the Seahawks run defense against the Cowboys rushing attack. The Seahawks started out very well against Portis and the Redskins before kind of falling apart a little later. It will be interesting to see if they can hold it together against Marion Barber and however much of Felix Jones we see on offense. Of course any improvement in Hasselbeck is something to watch for in terms of the Seahawks' future.
A Cowboy Nation: How do you feel about the Seahawks/Patriots game being removed from the Dec. 7th Sunday Night Football spot and being replaced with the Redskins/Ravens game?
Whatever. Redskins vs. Ravens is a more interesting game. Besides, I don't like going to Sunday/Monday night games. It's too much trouble as a fan to be out that late with stuff to do in the morning.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019
In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.
Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.
The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?
Let's take a look.
As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.
Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.
As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.
Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.
Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.
There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.
Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.
While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.
Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.
In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.
Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.
With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.
Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka
As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with
The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.
It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.
The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.
Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.
Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.
Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.
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