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Dallas Badly Needs Kyle Wilber to Emerge



Drop The Gloves: "At Least" 2 Cowboys Kicked Out Of Sunday's Practice

So is it Kyle Wilbur, or Kyle Wilber?  Perhaps Willber?  Wilburrer?  Can you use it in a sentence?  Part of speech, please?

Half the meth-heads in Philly can spell Heisenberg, but some of the most staunch Cowboys faithful aren't yet familiar enough with this 3-year vet to spell his surname with certainty.

Such is common in Football Purgatory, where Wilber found himself most of last year's disastrous defensive campaign.  Often hurt and seldom noticed, he was a sizable hole in an ongoing Swiss-cheese defensive horror show that we watched through our fingers in the fetal position.

Fourth round bust, carve it in stone.  Yep, that's what we had here, a career hanging by a Nike thread.  Forgettable at linebacker in the 3-4, and a mere pothole at defensive end in the 4-3.  That was Wilber, one foot already in that nowhere known as NFL Journeymanland, ducking the Turk in the hallways at Valley Ranch.

Then came a late afternoon in New Jersey.  Wilber materialized from thin air at outside linebacker against the Giants, and suddenly, he looked like an NFL player.  It felt like a midseason draft pick.

Whatever the reason - ongoing failures, mounting injuries to the team, panic and desperation, or all of the above - the coaches' relegation worked, and Wilber's light bulb caught a flicker.   Confidence and pace are unmistakable when a player finds his feet, and that day the hesitancy seemed to fade away.

Not enough to quell the mystery, mind you.  The Demon Deacon remains a puzzle wrapped in an enigma to most fans, including the one penning this read, and I'm not sure if he arrived or if he just stood out among the vagrants passing through.  I really, really, really hope it was the former.  And I think it might be.

This team needs a Dixon Edwards or Mike Hegman to lock down a spot in quietude.  I so much want to take Wilber for granted like I did those guys in their day.  Good teams rely on steady supporting casts, even more so than flash and dash.  You know the kind.

Still, idle fan and media chatter seldom finds Wilber.  It invariably frequents the likes of Lee and Carter and McClain and Durant.  Even Holloman and the rookies are getting blind pub for plays not yet made.  Little is made of Wilber, though he's bucking for a starting nod as much as anyone.  The coaches know better, thankfully.

That's gotta happen - Wilber locking down a starting job - for this defense to re-legitimize.  He needs to fully arrive, not as a hopeful, but as a sturdy presence that Dallas can count on, so it can cast its worries elsewhere.  There just aren't enough of those known cats on defense, especially at linebacker.

There's already a battle in the middle left by yet another injury to Sean Lee.  Marinelli's pet cat (in case you're reading, Jerry) seems to be rebuilding Bruce Carter into what he was, before he wasn't.  This corps begs for a steady hand at one of the three stations, and my hopes are with Wilber.  I just don't get the warm-and-fuzzies over Justin Durant playing there.

So it's Wilber, with an "e".  Lest we have good reason not to forget it.

  • Tarheel Paul

    Dude. I love the style of your writing. So great job.

    I’m one of those weird football nerds that is completely fired up about the battle for the SLB. Between Wilber (did I spell write) and Holloman I think the competition is going to be stout.

    The only part that I disagree with is the part about Holloman receiving blind praise for plays not made yet. He made lots of plays in the preseason last year and had 2 terrific games towards the end of the year. Especially against Philly.

    But I completely agree with your overall view that he is the forgotten guy. Rarely do you hear his named mentioned until you rattle through the names of Durant, Carter, Holloman, and even Hitchens.

    • Erod

      Thanks, Paul. I think Holloman will be in the mix at MLB if McClain doesn’t take it by the throat. Dallas needs Wilber, Holloman, as well as Hitchins and Smith, to add much to this group.

  • Draft Cowboys™

    Well written. I guess I am of the rare breed that I am counting on Wilber to do something for this team. And I project him to start. My pet cat so to speak is Devonte Holloman and I am hoping for an intense battle at SAM.

    • Erod

      Let’s hope both take a big step forward.

    • Bryson Treece

      Am I the only one who sees middle LB as a toss-up this year? I’m sure camp will yield a stand-out or two, and there are a few good candidates for it. Definitely some favorites among DCN that seem to be Holloman, Carter and Wilber. But the position is still at the mercy of largely unknown entities. Even the vet Spencer is unknown coming off his injury.

      Can’t wait for camp to get some of these questions settled a bit. Great write-up, Erod.

      • Draft Cowboys™

        Justin Durant seems to be the front runner in that regard but personally I don’t feel that he should be. Durant is great sideline to sideline stopping the run but he is lacking in the passing game. Of course as I mentioned my pet cat Holloman should get a look there. The dark horse could be the rookie Hitchens. They drafted him for depth but when all is said and done he could be the saving grace.

        Then there is the wild card Rolando McClain. Does he or doesn’t he want to play football? Man is younger than Sean Lee and has retired..twice. He wants to play then this can be a good thing for Dallas. I know he can hit, just ask Jason Witten’s spleen.

        • Erod

          In a perfect scenario, it will be McClain. That dude was a ferocious college linebacker, and he’s only 24. He was an excellent student in college, so his issues aren’t of that capacity; in fact, he’s said to get furious with teammates who don’t know their assignments. His is an inability to control his temper, and a group of family and friends that “Tyron’d” him when he turned pro. The word is he cut ties with those folks, but time will tell.

          • bleatherman2011

            Another great write up E. Unless he is sever bipolar, it looks as if McClain has possibly grown up some. If he has, and we can get him caught up with the D. We have a steal my friend, and one very intriguing problem going into next season at MLB with Lee and McClain. (future write up for someone)
            But to the strongside linebacker position. In my opinion, you cant keep Holloman off the field. He is always around the ball. I heard it was second or third day of tc and he was playing MLB and picked off a Romo pass. I don’t care where he play’s he just needs to be on the field. He played extremely well for a rookie last season that never played MLB before.

Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Contract Creates 2018 Job Security

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Headlines - Breaking Down Terrance Williams' Game-Ending Decision 1
Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News

There's been a lot of talk about what the Dallas Cowboys will do at the receiver position this offseason. While there's a great divide on what the team should do with Dez Bryant, there's a fairly unanimous opinion that Dallas should find an upgrade over Terrance Williams. No matter where he ends up on the depth chart, though, Williams' contract should keep him on the roster in 2018.

Last offseason, Terrance signed a four-year, $17 million deal to stay in Dallas. Because we are now just in the second year of that deal, it is cost prohibitive against the salary cap to release or trade him.

Williams is scheduled to count $4.75 million against the 2018 cap. If Dallas were to cut him, it would accelerate his remaining guaranteed money and create $7.25 million in dead money this year. He would cost more against the cap off the roster than on it.

Even the June-1st provision doesn't help. Williams' dead money in 2018 drops to $4.75 million, which is a net zero against his existing cap hit. It would also push $2.5 million of dead money to 2019. There's no benefit there, and you lose an experienced player who knows your system.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

If the Cowboys do like their WR depth enough to want to move on from Terrance, one option is to try to trade him. A trade would lower the cap penalty to $3.75 million and save $1 million. If he's traded after June 1st, it would save $3.5 million against this year's cap.

Of course, it takes two to tango in this scenario. Williams hasn't scored a touchdown since 2016 and has never proven he can take on a significant role in an offense. He was serviceable when Dez Bryant and Jason Witten commanded more attention, but he's a low-end WR2 at best and many teams likely wouldn't want him in their top 2-3 receivers.

Perhaps something could happen during training camps or preseason, when injuries may make other teams desperate. Then again, something could happen in Dallas that makes them less willing to part with Terrance.

As it stands, it seems unlikely that Terrance Williams won't be a Cowboy in 2018. And really, that's not bad thing.

Even if he gets pushed down the depth chart, Terrance would be a good insurance policy against injuries or any other issues that could happen between now and September. $4.75 million is more than you'd like to pay your fourth WR but it's a one-year problem.

If the Cowboys do add more WR talent this offseason, there is a trickle-down effect that strengthens the entire club. Williams, with his experience, is an upgrade over Brice Butler as the fourth receiver.

Therefore, unless circumstances both here and elsewhere allow Dallas to find a trade partner, Terrance Williams should be back next year.

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Player News

Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders

Jess Haynie



Jamize Olawale, Raiders

Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.

To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.

In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.

Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.

Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.

Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.

Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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