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Cowboys WR Group Has Potential To Be Special In 2017

Brian Martin

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Cowboys WR Group Has Potential To Be Special In 2017

The Dallas Cowboys could possibly be without one of their best offensive weapons when the 2017 season kicks off if the NFL does indeed suspend Ezekiel Elliott. That has a lot of Cowboys Nation at least a little bit concerned the offense won't be as good as it was in 2016, but I think they possibly could be underestimating how special the Cowboys WR group could be this season.

On paper, the Dallas Cowboys are as deep at the wide receiver position talent wise as they have ever been, which is good news for second-year QB Dak Prescott and the passing game. The Cowboys WR position is so deep in fact, it will make it difficult for the coaching staff to figure out how many receivers they will keep on their 53-man roster.

It still really early in the process, but as of right now I have the Cowboys carrying six wide receivers: Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Brice Butler, Ryan Switzer, and Noah Brown. I personally believe that every single WR has something different to offer to the team, and as a whole I think the group has the potential to be special in 2017.

Cowboys wide receiversUnfortunately, Dez Bryant has struggled with reoccurring injuries these last few seasons, which has really limited his effectiveness on the field. But, his playmaking ability was put on display the last half of the 2016 season and I fully expect him to pick up where he left off when the 2017 season gets underway.

Cole Beasley has developed into arguably the best slot receiver in the NFL and is a mismatch problem for anybody who tries to cover him. Both Beasley and rookie WR Ryan Switzer can help Prescott by allowing him to get the ball out quickly in the passing game. Beasley and Switzer could also be an extension of the running game.

If Ezekiel Elliott does have to miss a few games to start the season, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan could utilize Beasley and Switzer in the short passing game to help move the chains. It would be a lot similar to what the New England Patriots do with their WRs. Get it in their hands and let them pick up yards after the catch.

Cowboys wide receiversTerrance Williams and Brice Butler probably won't be focal points in the offense anytime soon, but they do play a valuable role regardless. They just need to make enough plays to keep pressure off of Bryant and help Prescott out when he does look their way.

Rookie WR Noah Brown probably won't be heavily involved on offense his first year in the NFL, but he can be a core special teamers and be utilized several different ways offensively if need to be. I really think he can play the H-back/TE role because of his blocking ability, but could also be a red zone threat because of his size and catching radius.

The Cowboys WR group really has the potential to make the passing game much more potent in 2017, especially if QB Dak Prescott takes the next step in his development. Anyway you slice it, this is really good news. Especially, if the running game struggles or if Ezekiel Elliott does indeed get slapped with some kind of suspension.

Do you think the Cowboys WR group can be special in 2017?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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8 Comments
  • Kevin Black

    Gotta suck to be a free agent WR this year. I don’t see any way one makes it on the team, injuries not included.

    • Brian Martin

      It’s really a testament to how well the Cowboys have built this team and continue to add playmakers through the draft.

  • Ethan Chazin

    AND…we’re talking about losing Zeke for a few games AND…our back-up’s are Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris plus the UDFA Thomas. AND our #2 & #3 TEs who were injured last season seem to be healthy. Not too shabby

    • Brian Martin

      Exactly! Things don’t look all that bleak if Ezekiel Elliott slapped with a suspension. The Cowboys offense will still be really good

  • Russ_Te

    The 6 WR’s might hinge on keeping 2 QB’s. You can roll the dice on that this year, since Dak is young & has good size to take the punishment. Odds are pretty low he gets knocked out. It can happen, but it’s the exact opposite of what we had with Romo.

    I have to see stuff from Switzer and Brown before I buy in.

    The interesting thing is whether we will see the spread sets more. Not more passing, but mostly runs and then – deal with the 4 wide. It conceivably helps Witten to be fresh down the stretch of the season. And this group IMO can look similar to that ’99 Rams team that killed opponents with those formations. Somebody WILL get open, Dak will either have time or buy time, and there’s little defenses can do to stop big gainers in that case.

    • Brian Martin

      Russ, that’s pretty much my line of thinking as well.

  • John Williams

    I agree. This is a good, diverse group of players that do bring a lot to the table.

    I think that we might be overlooking Switzer a bit as well. Yes he does have the Beasley size and quicks, but he is also able to get downfield and win that way as well.

    I think 6 WRs is more and more likely all the time especially with Brown. They really tried to use Vince Mayle last season, even though it didn’t work out very well. Brown’s blocking gives them a lot of personnel options.

  • John Williams

    What the Switzer addition allows them to do is use Witten or a running back less when they go five wide receivers.

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Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars

El mejor juego de los Dallas Cowboys en 2018 vino la semana pasada, cuando recibieron a los Jacksonville Jaguars y los vencieron 40-7. Un resultado que tomó a todos por sorpresa demostró la mejor cara en el año de este equipo que apenas tiene un récord de 3-3.

Por más dominantes que se vieron en el emparrillado el domingo pasado, esa actuación no termina de reflejar lo que realmente son los Cowboys. Son un equipo con potencial en la ofensiva y con una defensiva bastante fuerte, pero ¿pueden ganar constantemente como lo hicieron contra Jaguars?

De entrada, la respuesta a esta pregunta parece ser no. Aún en esa victoria, se vieron problemas evidentes en la ofensiva. Para empezar, la falta de ejecución en la segunda mitad en series ofensivas que incluso llegaron a iniciar en territorio enemigo. De gol de campo en gol de campo se juntan puntos, sin duda, pero en partidos cerrados eso termina costando victorias. Hace falta que Dak Prescott y compañía puedan mover el balón una vez en rango de gol de campo y convertir esas oportunidades a touchdowns.

Otra preocupación que no podemos subestimar es que el juego aéreo sigue sin funcionar apropiadamente. Cole Beasley dominó con nueve atrapadas para 101 yardas y dos touchdowns, pero el resto de los receptores se fueron sin  más de una recepción por cabeza. El único jugador que logró más de una fue el TE Geoff Swaim, quien se llevo dos en todo el juego.

Si bien Beasley tuvo uno de los mejores juegos en su carrera, más receptores tienen que involucrarse para llevar la ofensiva al siguiente nivel. La buena noticia es que en esta ocasión se enfrentaron contra una de las mejores secundarias en la NFL. Los números son malos, pero tienen la oportunidad de demostrar mucho más contra otras defensivas.

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que repartir más la bola y seguir buscando maneras creativas de utilizar a su RB Ezekiel Elliott. Pases pantallas en tercera y largo no es ser creativo. Lo vemos funcionar dos o tres veces al año pero mandan esta jugada semanalmente. En cuanto a Dak Prescott, hay mucho donde mejorar. Deberíamos estar viendo pases más arriesgados, al centro del campo y mucho mejor posicionados.

Sean's Scout: Measuring Randy Gregory's Potential Impact on Cowboys Defense

Para la defensiva, las cosas se ven muy bien. Puede que veamos la mejor versión de esta unidad esta semana, cuando viajen a Washington. Maliek Collins, Sean Lee, David Irving, y Randy Gregory estarán jugando mucho más sanos y preparados. Este es un frente defensivo lleno de talento que intimidará constantemente a Alex Smith este domingo.

A pesar de que los Redskins no tienen una ofensiva muy explosiva, el área de oportunidad principal para la defensiva de Cowboys está en la profundidad defensiva. Tanto Jeff Heath como Xavier Woods han hecho un trabajo decente, pero tienen sus momentos en los que no logran asegurar una tackleada y permiten jugadas largas.

Hace unos meses no esperábamos que fuera la defensiva y no la ofensiva la que cargaría a este equipo a muchas victorias, pero ese ha sido el caso en las tres victorias de esta temporada. Y en las tres derrotas, la defensiva fue la que mantuvo a los Cowboys en el juego.

Sin duda alguna, lo que tiene que mejorar es la ofensiva. Los receptores tienen que desmarcarse, Prescott debe ser más preciso y tener una mejor conciencia en la bolsa de protección.

Pero sobre todo, es la inconsistencia del equipo. Esto se comienza a sentir como la temporada del año pasado, cuando los Cowboys se fueron 9-7 y nunca terminaron de establecerse como contendientes a los playoffs. Aún en una NFC East donde todos los equipos tienen récords similares y débiles, no pueden continuar perdiendo una semana y  ganando a la otra.

Ganarle a los Redskins sería la primera victoria de Dallas jugando de visita. También sería la primera vez en el año en la que tendrían victorias consecutivas. Por esto y muchas otras razones, incluyendo el potencial liderato de la división, este juego es de suma importancia.

Si ganan, podría ser el momento en el que los Cowboys terminen de darle la vuelta a la página y si pierden, podría ser un indicador de que esta temporada será igual que la del 2017.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Dónde Tiene Que Mejorar Dallas?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

Brian Martin

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Time to get FB Jamize Olawale More Involved Offensively?

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off arguably their best and most complete offensive performance of the season after playing the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but there is still quite a bit of improvement that can be made. The need to get more playmakers involved is apparent, which is why I think it's time to utilize Fullback Jamize Olawale's unique skill set.

I know many of you will argue that getting Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup going is a higher priority, and you wouldn't be wrong, but Jamize Olawale's playmaking ability could be a huge asset for Quarterback Dak Prescott and the offense. I know it sounds a little strange, but hang in there with me for little bit.

As things stand right now, Olawale has only played 38 offensive snaps (10%) in 2018. That's the exact amount of offensive plays Wide Receiver Terrance Williams has played this year and he's missed the majority of the season. It's not exactly the kind of production I was expecting when the Cowboys decided to bring him aboard via trade with the Oakland Raiders earlier this offseason.

I don't know about you, but I was expecting Olawale to be more involved in the offensive game plan. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield and isn't too shabby as a runner either. But, we haven't seen him utilized in either fashion this season and I think that's an injustice that needs to be corrected.

Now, I fully understand there are other offensive weapons ahead of him in the pecking order who need to see more targets, but I also really think he can make a difference maker, especially in the passing game. That is where his strengths lie, not as a lead blocking fullback.

Jamize Olawale

Dallas Cowboys FB Jamize Olawale

Olawale was a bit of a Swiss Army knife during his time with the Oakland Raiders. He played a little running back, fullback, tight end, and even a little slot receiver. I really thought the Cowboys would take advantage of his versatility in the passing game, but as of yet they have failed to do so.

I'd like to see the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan utilize Jamize Olawale's unique playmaking ability a little bit more on offense. I think they should try to utilize him like the San Francisco 49ers use their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. He's much more involved and has played a total of 263 offensive snaps (63.68%) this year.

Juszczyk is a better lead blocking FB then Olawale, but that's not where he makes the most difference in the 49ers offense. He does it as a receiver and has already caught 17 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown. That's some pretty solid production from a position that is being phased out in the NFL.

Now, just imagine the Cowboys offense getting similar production from Olawale and how that would help open up things for everybody else. It's not out of the realm of possibility because the 49ers offense and the Cowboys isn't all that dissimilar.

Unfortunately, I think Jamize Olawale is pretty much an afterthought in the Cowboys offense right now. It's truly unfortunate because I think he can be a difference maker if given the opportunity. And with a division foe like the Washington Redskins next on the schedule, what better time to unleash a new and unseen element of the offense?

Do you think Jamize Olawale needs to be more involved offensively?



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Cole Beasley Key to Cowboys Passing Game Productivity?

Brian Martin

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Cowboys Against Jaguars 1

What most of us already knew was confirmed last Sunday afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is the Dallas Cowboys best receiver and is the key to the passing game productivity. He is not only the most productive, but the most consistent.

Cole Beasley isn't the tallest or the fastest and definitely doesn't look like a prototypical NFL receiver, but he showed last week against the Jaguars why opposing defenses have to account for him on every single play. He torched Jacksonville's top-ranked passing defense for 101 yards on nine catches and added two touchdowns, and it's that production that could help open up the entire passing game for the Cowboys.

It's painfully obvious Cole Beasley has been Dak Prescott's favorite target in the passing game since he took over the starting duties in 2016. Once opposing defenses figured that out they started to make things extremely difficult by bracketing Beasley in coverage and the passing game hasn't been the same since. But, that could be changing if the Jaguars game was an indication of what we might see moving forward.

Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan did a much better job of moving Beasley around to create favorable matchups against the Jaguars. I think we will see much more of that moving forward, but that likely means opposing defenses will once again try to take away Prescott's favorite target. That actually could end up helping the Cowboys passing game though.

Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

If opposing defenses indeed try to contain Cole Beasley like they've done in the past, it should help provide more opportunities for Dallas' other pass catchers. Spreading the ball around to several different receivers would not only help Prescott and the passing game, but also open up the entire offense.

We haven't really seen much of Allen Hurns or Michael Gallup this season, but both are more than capable of being more productive if they are seeing single coverage more often. That's what's likely to happen if defenses bracket Beasley in coverage once again. Both WRs need to be more involved anyway and Beasley's recent spike in production could help do just that.

Now, if defenses decide to try and cover Beasley one-on-one like the Jaguars did quite a bit of last Sunday, the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of that mismatch. He simply can't be covered by a single defensive back because of his precise route running ability. He is that good.

Regardless of how opposing defenses try to handle/contain Cole Beasley, he is without a doubt key to the Dallas Cowboys passing game productivity. Just the threat of him on the field changes a defenses approach, which is why he is Dallas' #1  WR in my book. He absolutely has to be more involved moving forward, even if it is as a decoy.

Do you think Cole Beasley is the key to the Cowboys passing game productivity?



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