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Cowboys Waive Darius Jackson And Promote Darren McFadden To 53-Man Roster

RJ Ochoa

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Darius Jackson

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of their first loss in over 90 days, but that doesn't mean they have time to sulk. Jason Garrett and his staff are preparing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and of course the playoffs, and that demands looking ahead.

Three weeks ago the Cowboys started a three-week clock when they removed Darren McFadden and Jaylon Smith from the NFI list. Tuesday was the day when the clock struck zero, and a move was in fact made. The Dallas Cowboys have released running back Darius Jackson to make room for Darren McFadden, who they are promoting to the 53-man roster.

David Helman on Twitter

Cowboys have moved Darren McFadden to their 53-man roster. Darius Jackson is the cut.

Jerry Jones said earlier this week that the Cowboys would be promoting McFadden, and as soon as that news dropped many members of Cowboys Nation began speculating who would be the odd man out in order for room to be made. Unfortunately for him, Darius Jackson is that odd man.

The Cowboys still carry quite an arsenal of depth when it comes to their number one objective - running the ball. They boast the NFL's leading rusher in Ezekiel Elliott, veteran Alfred Morris, the fun toy that is Lance Dunbar, and now Darren McFadden (who finished 4th in the NFL in rushing in 2015 in his first year with Dallas).

It'll be interesting to see how the Cowboys handle this depth on Sundays when it comes to the gameday 46-man actives and inactives. Many believe that Darren McFadden is a more serviceable primary backup to Zeke, but Alfred Morris has had some solid moments when given opportunities this season.

Darius Jackson, should he go unclaimed, is eligible for the Cowboys practice squad. Dallas took Jackson in the sixth round of April's draft, and they were obviously concerned about potentially losing him all season as they kept him on their 53. It appears they are now willing to take that gamble, and hopefully it all works out for the best. The only two running backs that the Cowboys have under contract beyond 2016 are Zeke and Morris.

What do you think of the latest roster move by the Dallas Cowboys? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Waive Darius Jackson And Promote Darren McFadden To 53-Man Roster" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    December 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Obviously they are in a better position to know than we are but I was hoping Dunbar would be the odd man out. He hasn’t really done anything for us this season and remains an injury liability. I was hoping to see a bit of Jackson in action at some point. Hopefully he will end up on the PS.

    • Jeff Cook

      December 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      I agree I was been hoping for Dunbar to get released and was really wanting Jackson to get some playing time but now we gotta hope no other team picks him up and we can get him to the PS. I feel Dunbar is useless since he can only handle 3 or 4 touches before he gets injured so maybe they should have let him touch the ball a couple more times last week and he would be on IR now and we could have kept Jackson

      • Russ_Te

        December 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm

        They may be holding on to Dunbar for the next time Whitehead is late to meetings… ;^)

  2. Russ_Te

    December 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    A check of Google News and Twitter right now shows nothing about another team picking up Jackson. As a rookie project RB, I doubt there is enough track record for a team to want him this late in the year, unless they are very thin and just need bodies.

    If the Cowboys wrap up games & HFA, Elliott is almost certainly going to get rest before the playoffs. We might actually get a duel between Morris & McFadden, with both getting a lot of
    carries the next few weeks. Been saying all year I’d like to see Elliott punish defenses for 3 quarters and then bring McFadden in fresh with the speed he has.

    I think you will also see a move to get them involved more in the passing game. Garrett may have been holding that card anyway for the playoffs. But if a defense is getting the WR’s and TE’s covered, it’s time to make them deal with Elliott & McF in the open field.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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