If you're anything like me... the recent bad news surrounding the Dallas Cowboys has you somewhat bummed about the 2016 season. The Cowboys' current defense is depleted via suspensions; Rolando McClain added a 10-game ban to a front-seven that already had pass rushers Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence suspended - each out for the first four games of the year.
If you're anything like me... in the midst of all of this, thoughts of this team being far from a Super Bowl LI contender and letting down Tony Romo once again have crossed your mind too much over the past few days.
If you're anything like me... you realize that the Dallas Cowboys will always have a chance with Tony Romo as their quarterback, and it is something you appreciate every day.
With the aforementioned bad news surrounding America's Team on this holiday, and no on-the-field team activities to speak of, I figure now is as good a time as ever to appreciate the one and only Tony Romo - in anticipation of his return to action.
Tony Romo Owns the NFC East, and will prove it again in 2016
Dalllas Cowboys Finish the Fight!
Similarly to 2015, the Dallas Cowboys will start their season against two divisional rivals. Tony Romo's career record against the NFC East is 33-25. He's thrown 88 touchdowns to 52 interceptions against the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles.
In 2013, the Cowboys defense was one of the worst in NFL history. Even still, Tony Romo managed a 5-0 record against the NFC East. Unfortunately, due to injury, Tony missed the most crucial divisional showdown of them all, as the Cowboys and Eagles met up in week 17 with the division on the line.
The Cowboys came close, but were missing the drive that Tony Romo provides, and ended their season at home with a 24-22 loss. In those five previous wins against the NFC East, here were Romo's stats:
The first thing that should jump out from these absurd stats is the number of times Tony Romo was asked to throw the ball. It's hard to win in the NFL averaging just over 38 passing attempts per game, but Tony Romo can persevere all odds.
Little did we know, a 2013 season that only further proved how dysfunctional the Cowboys were outside of their quarterback would lead to a 2014 season in which the world would be forced to take notice of #9.
Tony Romo's Resurgence: The 2014 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys added another key piece to their offensive line entering the 2014 season when they drafted Zack Martin in the first round. Little did they know, Martin would become the missing piece to an offensive front that would dominate the line of scrimmage all season long.
The Cowboys' offensive line became their identity, with DeMarco Murray being the main benefactor of their superb run-blocking skills. With opposing defenses forced to pay less attention toward Romo and the passing game, the quarterback effortlessly tossed 34 touchdowns - 16 of which went to Dez Bryant.
This trio of offensive stars helped keep the Dallas defense off the field, which ultimately led the team to a 12-4 record, good enough to win the NFC East. After a signature game winning drive from Tony Romo advanced the Cowboys past the Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs, their season came to a crushing end at the hands of the Green Bay Packers on the road the following week.
You saw in the opening video how much that controversial loss meant to Tony Romo, who turned his attention to 2015 along with Cowboys Nation.
A Year to Forget...
A 2015 season that was supposed to end with Tony Romo hoisting the Lombardi Trophy instead ended with him playing in just four games. Ironically enough, two of the three wins Romo led his team to were against the Giants and Eagles in the first two weeks of the season.
Injuries ravaged the roster from top to bottom, as Jason Garrett kept his club competitive yet distant in the playoff hunt. For the offense, the second most notable absence was Dez Bryant, who was never the same after a week 1 foot injury suffered at home against the Giants.
The journey (so far) of Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo. Special thanks to Tek2000 for the original inspiration and some of the clips. All footage belongs to the NFL. Made solely for entertainment purposes.
The Return of Tony Romo: 2016 Aspirations
With the 2015 season being one to forget, the Dallas Cowboys have now turned their attentions to 2016.
Not only will Dez Bryant and Tony Romo be back on the field with a vengeance, but rookie Ezekiel Elliott is here and eager to become the missing element in the Cowboys' modern reincarnation of the 1990s "Triplets."
The entire team is going to try to mimic the formula that worked so well for them in 2014, which should mean great things for Romo and the offense. The idea for this Tony Romo appreciation post came from the reality of the Cowboys defense looking like it will need plenty of offensive support this season.
In reality, this article could have been written at any time, because Tony Romo is always ready for whatever challenge lies before him. If the Cowboys are going to need to put up points to win in 2016, then expect Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Ezekiel Elliott - along with Brice Butler, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams - to rise to the occasion and bring this team back to where they want to be.
If you're anything like me... you cannot wait for the Dallas Cowboys to step onto the football field again for training camp this month. If you're like me, you cannot wait to see what Tony Romo has in store for us on the long march toward the Super Bowl.
If you're anything like me... you know that Tony Romo is going to have a special season.
✭ To our quarterback, Cowboys Nation! ✭
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Terrance Williams Contract Creates 2018 Job Security
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.
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.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from 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.
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.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Star Blog18 hours ago
Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?
Star Blog2 days ago
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Mauricio’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cowboys Steal Defensive Talent
Dallas Cowboys6 days ago
Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Cowboys 2018 Free Agency: What’s Left Before Market Opens?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys Have Any Trade Assets?
Star Blog1 week ago
3 Former Penn State Alumni Cowboys Could Target in Free Agency
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Cowboys Defense: Bigger Need at Safety or Defensive End?