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Cowboys To Workout Former Baylor QB Seth Russell

Sean Martin

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Cowboys To Workout Baylor QB Seth Russell 1

One thing is abundantly clear as the Dallas Cowboys methodically build their roster heading into 2017’s training camp – the team is not content with simply handing Kellen Moore the backup QB position behind Dak Prescott. Under Head Coach Jason Garrett, the Cowboys have been built on competition, and Moore has seen Dallas sign journeyman Zac Dysert, retain UDFA QB Cooper Rush, and now schedule a workout with former Baylor starter Seth Russell all this offseason.

David Smoak on Twitter

Former #Baylor QB Seth Russell telling me via text he has a workout with the @dallascowboys on Monday. #NFL @S_Russell17

The lack of a solid backup quarterback was something that obviously plagued the Cowboys over Tony Romo‘s career, a spot they tried to ideally fix by drafting Prescott. With the Cowboys heading full speed into the future with Dak as the starter now – a young, healthy, and mobile QB – the time is now to consider all long-term options behind him.

Russell sat behind New York Jets QB Bryce Petty in 2013 and 2014, finally getting his shot in the Bears’ pass-happy attack in 2015.

Baylor’s system has not produced many NFL-ready passers (Petty has yet to get his shot with the Jets), and Russell was only able to start 17 games in his career there due to injuries. In just seven starts in 2015, Seth threw for 29 touchdowns to six interceptions.

A second straight season ending injury deflated Russell’s draft stock in 2016, as he left many more questions than answers on the field and ultimately went undrafted. Now, the Garland, Texas native has earned a shot with the Cowboys.

Russell’s fit with the Cowboys as a developmental backup makes sense, as a mobile quarterback that could come in and run some of the same offense Scott Linehan has designed for Dak Prescott. Russell may struggle with his overall accuracy, but shows off some nice touch and velocity from the pocket to allow his receivers to make plays.

Cowboys To Workout Baylor QB Seth Russell

In the traditional sense of the term, there will be no “quarterback competition” in Oxnard at the Cowboys’ training camp. The future has never been brighter in Dallas with Dak Prescott as the starter, but the QB2 spot has still left a lot to be desired. Should Russell impress at his Monday workout and sign, plenty of intriguing arms will now be fighting for this position.

Tell us what you think about “Cowboys To Workout Former Baylor QB Seth Russell” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we’re not how you think we are. Host of “Upon Further Review” on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

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1 Comment
  • George_Johnson

    Sean Martin: There is NO competition for the 2nd team QB position. Unless Kellen Moore gets hurt or really starts screwing up, K Moore is the 2nd team QB. K Moore is very unlikely to start screwing up. The Coaches are very aware that K Moore cannot make a throw that requires a cannon arm like Mathew Stafford has and don’t expect him to make these kind of throws. Not having competition at 2nd team is important to get K Moore ready to play via maximum reps and preseason playing time. One quick injury to D Prescott and the season and coaches jobs could be in K Moore’s hands. The competition for QB will be at 3rd and 4th team positions. K Moore will be the incumbent 2nd team QB because 1) he knows intimately the Dallas offense/playbook/games plans, 2) has S Linehan’s complete confidence, 3) has worked with S Linehan for long enough that he knows how S Linehan thinks and exactly what he wants, 4) K Moore makes the team better with his knowledge and mentoring of D Prescott and any other QBs, 5) S Linehan has said even though K Moore doesn’t have much experience he is like having a veteran QB because of his knowledge and maturity of play. S Linehan has recently said K Moore doesn’t need a lot of reps and is a great practice QB because he knows exactly what to do and how to do it and how to get the most out of the practice for everyone, 6) K Moore is a student of the game and he probably keeps improving. He already is an outstanding pocket passer and he will probably keep improving the finer details and nuances of being a pocket passer.

    K Moore knows his physical limitations and does not try to make throws that his limitations will not allow him to. He would just look to another receiver or throw the ball away. His physical limitations per S Linehan will not stop him from being able to play in the NFL. S Linehan has said his arm is strong enough and that he compensates for his physical limitations with his outstanding pocket passing skills/abilities. In my opinion he may be one of the best ever if not THE best at a combination of accuracy, uncanny anticipation, poise and QB smarts/instincts. His decision making, accuracy and anticipation will overcome a lot of weaknesses because of his physical limitations. A few receivers have said he almost has a sixth sense in knowing where the receiver will be. Receivers love to play with him because he spreads the ball around and if you can get open he can get you the ball right where you can catch it.

    One more thing, it wouldn’t surprise me if K Moore outplayed D Prescott in preseason play. This is because not only is K Moore good but this is his time to shine and maybe only time to play and D Prescott and the coaches are looking for Dak to work on some things, only try to get ready for the season games, not take a lot of risks of getting injured, etc.

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Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat

The Cowboys have just one more game to get through without their star running back Ezekiel Elliott, but Alfred Morris and Rod Smith deserve a ton of credit for the way they’ve been able to fill in out of the backfield for Zeke Elliott. Throughout the time Elliott has missed though, the Cowboys have lacked the explosive plays on offense that he can provide – until Rod Smith was given an opportunity last week at the Giants.

Smith complimented Morris exceptionally well, running with quickness and power to prove his case for more of a role on offense behind Elliott moving forward. It was the Ohio State product’s consecutive touchdowns of 81 yards through the air and 15 yards on the ground that sealed the game for the Cowboys in week 14.

Here is a closer look at Rod Smith’s performance from last week in this latest Sean’s Scout.

Smith3 – Streamable

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The Cowboys offensive line was dominant as always against a tough New York defensive front, and this first play is a great look at their execution in space and on the move. Rod Smith’s decisiveness when hitting the hole with speed and balance was the first thing I noticed on the game tape.

The best thing Smith does on this play comes at the second level, where running backs can truly make a difference in Dallas. As RG Zack Martin rides his man out of the play entirely, he gets in front of Smith who is seeing the play develop straight ahead. With his long strides, Smith is able to smoothly get through traffic and continue accelerating up field through arm tackles for a big gain.

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These same traits are seen with Rod Smith as a pass catcher – something he does effortlessly to also help fill the void left by Elliott. Watch how quickly Smith commits to his angle up the field after catching this dump pass from Dak Prescott, attacking a defender that has the angle on him after the catch.

Rod subtly leans to the right just enough to make the defender hesitate long enough to allow his burst to evade him and gain extra yards falling forward.

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Smith essentially does the same thing without the ball in his hands here, on his 81 yard catch and run for a touchdown. Setting up the safety out of the slot to be beat across his face, Smith separates from him at the stem and then does a great job getting depth on his route into the vacated middle of the field. With blockers to help him reach the end zone, Smith turns this busted coverage by the Giants into the game’s biggest play.

Smith1 – Streamable

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This last play I chose to show is probably the least well-blocked attempt for Smith out of the ones in this Sean’s Scout, but there is still a lot to like about what Rod does here with the ball in his hands.

The Giants might be a two-win football team, but they still have marquee players up front, particularly DE Olivier Vernon. Smith does well here to keep his feet moving as he cuts this play to the backside. Vernon does well to limit the potential gain on this play by staying away from the block of Jason Witten, as Smith is taken down by Darian Thompson.

The numbers the Giants had to commit to stopping the run was still a huge reason why Prescott had a career day throwing the football, and Rod Smith’s readiness to step in at RB was a deciding factor in getting Dallas to 7-6.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Proving to be one of the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players, considering his cost (under contract through 2018), and ability to contribute on special teams and offense, Rod Smith is the perfect RB3 for this team.

Smith is not elite in any one area, and is not a prototypical RB from a physical standpoint, but his contributions as a runner, pass catcher, and blocker could remain critical to the Cowboys’ hopes of reaching the playoffs behind this offense – even when Ezekiel Elliott is back in the fold.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: RB Rod Smith Proving Valuable Offensive Threat” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who’s The Cowboys Real RB1?

Brian Martin

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Rod Smith Vs Alfred Morris: Who's Cowboys' Real RB1?

The Dallas Cowboys are less than a week away from welcoming back their talented Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott, but until then they still have a game to play against the Oakland Raiders. That means we will have one more week of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith handling the workload, but which RB is sitting at the top of the Cowboys depth chart?

Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of decision that can end up winning or losing a game. Both Alfred Morris and Rod Smith have had their moments during Ezekiel Elliott’s absence, but neither one of them have really distanced themselves from the other. So, should Rod Smith or Alfred Morris receive the majority of the workload against the Raiders Sunday?

A Case for Rod Smith

RB Rod Smith and QB Dak PrescottRod Smith might just have had is coming out party last week against the New York Giants. Against their divisional rival, in what was a must win game for the Cowboys, Smith rushed for 47 yards on six carries and added another 113 yards through the air on five catches. He also found himself in the end zone twice, once on a rushing touchdown and the other on a receiving touchdown.

You may or may not agree, but I believe that “Lightning” Rod Smith was largely responsible for igniting the Cowboys offense and helping them pull away from the Giants last Sunday. He accounted for over 160 total yards and two touchdowns by himself and didn’t receive the majority of his playing time until later in the game.

Rod Smith certainly has traits that make him a more desirable RB over Alfred Morris. First off, he is a more complete back. He is better in pass protection and at catching the ball out of the backfield. But, he is also starting to show up in the running game and is averaging 4.5 yards a carry this season. His size (6’3″, 235) also makes him a better short yardage back, although I wish he would deliver more of a blow at the end of his runs.

A Case for Alfred Morris

RB Alfred MorrisAlthough there’s nothing particularly special that stands out about Alfred Morris, he has proven time and time again he is more than capable of carrying the workload. He has received the majority of the workload during Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and has performed pretty well. In fact, he is averaging 5 yards a carry this season, which is better than any other RB on the Cowboys roster, including Elliott.

Alfred Morris has looked pretty good this season and is playing with more of a spring in his step than I have seen from him in probably his entire career. Last Sunday against the Giants he received the the majority of the workload and finished the game with 19 carries for 62 yards. Not particularly spectacular, but the week prior he did rush for 127 yards on 27 carries in the victory over the Washington Redskins.

Like I mentioned earlier, Morris is a tried-and-true RB in the NFL and is at his best when he can continue to pound the rock and wear down opposing defenses. That is what he did against the Redskins, but he has his limitations as well. Despite his years in the league, he still struggles in pass protection and is limited in what he can do in the passing game. But, he does seem to have the trust of the Cowboys coaching staff.

✭✭✭✭✭

Personally, I would like to see more of Rod Smith this coming Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. I really like what I’ve seen from him in both the running game and in the passing game. I just think he is a more dangerous and versatile weapon then Alfred Morris. His presence on the field really opens up what the Cowboys can do offensively.

I don’t mean any disrespect to Alfred Morris at all. I just think that Rod Smith has proven he is a more dangerous offensive weapon of the two. I don’t know if the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff will agree or not, but I truly believe Rod Smith could once again be the X factor against the Oakland Raiders.

Of course, both Rod Smith and Alfred Morris will have to take the back seat once Ezekiel Elliott returns. So, this discussion really only has any credibility for this week in yet another must win situation against the Oakland Raiders.

Who do you like better… Rod Smith or Alfred Morris?

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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