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Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable

The Dallas Cowboys battled through their fair share of injuries in 2015 and if they want to have any kind of success in the upcoming 2016 season, they have to avoid the injury bug. The unfortunate thing about injuries is that they are unpredictable and they can really have a major impact on a teams performance depending on which players are the ones to go down. The sad truth for the Cowboys in 2015 was that the injuries that the team endured was to key members and was a major reason why they finished with a 4-12 losing record. I decided to try and identify a few of the Dallas Cowboys players that are simply irreplaceable and would be devastating to the entire team if anyone of them where to go down with an injury and miss an extended period of time. Tony Romo Tony Romo obviously makes this list because we all witnessed firsthand how this team functions without him at the helm leading the offense.

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable

The Dallas Cowboys battled through their fair share of injuries in 2015 and if they want to have any kind of success in the upcoming 2016 season, they have to avoid the injury bug.

The unfortunate thing about injuries is that they are unpredictable and they can really have a major impact on a teams performance depending on which players are the ones to go down.

The sad truth for the Cowboys in 2015 was that the injuries that the team endured was to key members and was a major reason why they finished with a 4-12 losing record.

I decided to try and identify a few of the Dallas Cowboys players that are simply irreplaceable and would be devastating to the entire team if anyone of them where to go down with an injury and miss an extended period of time.

Tony Romo

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable 1

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Tony Romo obviously makes this list because we all witnessed firsthand how this team functions without him at the helm leading the offense.

The 2016 season will ultimately come down to the health of Romo and how he performs. There simply isn't another quarterback on this team that can come in and play anywhere near as well as Romo.

Kellen Moore has been receiving some positive reviews, but he is still somewhat an unproven commodity in the NFL and has never won a game during his time in a league.

Let's just hope that Romo's surgically repaired collarbone can last out the entire season and that no other injury mishaps occur. The Dallas Cowboys simply can't afford to lose their starting quarterback for any amount of time.

Tyron Smith

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable 2Do you think Tony Romo will last the season if Tyron Smith misses any amount time due to an injury? I know I don't.

Smith is arguably the best left tackle in the entire NFL and does an amazing job keeping Romo's blindside well protected. He is perhaps the second most important player on the entire Cowboys roster behind Romo.

I honestly don't know what the coaching staff would do if Smith went down with an injury.

Would Doug Free move over to the left side? Is Chaz Green ready to fill in as a left tackle?

Whoever is asked to protect Romo's blindside would be a huge downgrade from Tyron Smith. There is a reason he has been voted into the Pro Bowl three times already and the great thing is he is only 25 years old.

Travis Frederick

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable 3

(Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

Travis Frederick might just be a little under the radar when you think about the Cowboys offensive line, but his importance to the team is not.

Tyron Smith and Zack Martin seem to receive the majority of praise, but Frederick's contribution is on par with both Smith and Martin. That is why he is a Pro Bowler as well.

Frederick is responsible for making all the pre-snap line adjustments and identifying where the defense might attack. He is also responsible for keeping the pocket from collapsing and giving Tony Romo a clean space to step up and make a throw down the field.

Like Tyron Smith, there isn't another player on the team that can step in and provide the same type of stability at the center position. I'm not even quite sure they have a valuable option as a backup to fill in an emergency situation.

Joe Looney was signed to hopefully be that player but there's a reason why he was a free agent and in my honest opinion I think he is probably better as a guard than a center.

Jason Witten

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable 4Jason Witten's importance to the team is more than just what he's able to do on the field, although that would put on the list by itself.

Witten is the type of player that everyone looks to for guidance and support.

The Dallas Cowboys have been extremely fortunate to find a player of Witten's caliber and toughness. He is a surefire Hall of Famer in the future and although he is starting to slow down just a bit, he is still a player that has to be game planned for by defensive coordinators around the league.

The Cowboys offense would be drastically different without #82 in the lineup and like everybody else on this list there isn't another tight end on the roster that could come close to having the same type of production on the field.

Witten is used in so many different ways that finding one player to fill in would be virtually impossible.

Dez Bryant

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players That Are Irreplaceable 5

(AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

Again, we already know what happens when Dez Bryant goes down with an injury and what the offense looks like without him in the lineup or with him in the lineup at less than 100%.

There's no denying that Bryant is one of the top receivers in the entire NFL and his presence on the field has to be accounted for wherever he lines up.

He is one of those players that can be truly labeled as a playmaker and a quarterbacks best friend when he's on the field.

The sad thing is that the Cowboys wide receiver group is simply lost without him and there's no one else to step up and fill in is that #1 WR.

Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions on the players that made this list. I look forward to discussing this topic further.



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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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

Brian Martin

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

According to Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys have a meeting scheduled to visit with Free Agent Safety Eric Berry Tuesday at The Star.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Source: Former #Chiefs S and new free agent Eric Berry is visiting the #Cowboys on Tuesday. His first visit. They have a need there...

Eric Berry has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs after they drafted him fifth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. After signing Earl Thomas last week, the Chiefs decided to part ways with their former All-Pro Safety.

Berry, 30 is an intriguing free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. When healthy, he is arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the field these last few seasons causing him to only start in only three games since 2016.

This is a move many of us expected to happen after the Cowboys decided not to get into a bidding war for Earl Thomas, a player linked to Dallas for over a year now. In Berry, Cowboys Nation would be getting a similar player with the same kind of red flags. Both Thomas and Berry have to be approached with caution due to their injury history the past few years.

Depending on his asking price, Eric Berry absolutely makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He would be an upgrade over Jeff Heath and would pair well with the Cowboys up-and-coming three-year safety Xavier Woods.

This is still just a visit, so we should probably get our hopes up that a signing is imminent. But, I think we can all agree Eric Berry is exactly the "right kind of guy" Jason Garrett is always preaching about. He's a cancer survivor, five-time Pro Bowler, and All-Pro player. What's not to like!?



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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

The Dallas Cowboys added more defensive line help today after signing former Detroit Lions Defensive End Kerry Hyder.

Kerry Hyder Jr. on Twitter

Going back to Texas! #CowboysNation

Kerry Hyder provides more depth at the defensive end position and as a chance to become the starter opposite DeMarcus Lawrence while Randy Gregory is out serving his suspension.

Hyder, 27 originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech with the New York Jets in 2014. He spent a year in New York before signing a future/reserve contract with the Detroit Lions in January 2015.

He had a breakout eight-sack year with the Lions in 2016, but tore his Achilles in 2017 causing him to miss the entire season. In 2018 he had just one quarterback sack after Detroit switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Overall, this is a good depth signing by the Dallas Cowboys. Kerry Hyder has starting potential, but shouldn't keep the Cowboys from upgrading the position further through either another free agent signing for the draft.



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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Jess Haynie

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Tavon Austin

It's been just a week since NFL free agents could begin negotiating with other teams, but it feels like a lifetime for anxious Cowboys fans. Dallas' seemingly passive approach to 2019 free agency has left many disappointed. Still, there are some moves to recap.

As has become their strategy in recent years, the Cowboys have focused on filling up their depth chart and trying to avoid any glaring holes prior to next month's draft. They've re-signed several backups and added at least one likely rotation player.

It's still far too early to judge Dallas' activity. Comparing the 2019 roster to last year will depend heavily on the draft, growth from current players, and other factors. But with the "second wave" of free agency upon us, it's a good time to look at who's come, gone, and stuck around so far.

New Arrivals

  • TE Jason Witten (unretired)
  • TE Codey McElroy (Rams)
  • DT Christian Covington (Texans)

The biggest addition so far this offseason wasn't even a free agent, at least not in the purest sense of the term. Jason Witten's surprising return from retirement helped shore up one of Dallas' biggest needs, though it may not preclude them from drafting a tight end high in April.

Also at tight end, Dallas signed developmental project Codey McElroy. His experience is in baseball and basketball, having played just one year of college football. But at 6'6'" and 255 lbs., and having spent last year working with the Rams, the Cowboys must see something they're intrigued by.

Last week Dallas signed Christian Covington, who had 3.5 sacks for Houston in 2018 playing as a 3-4 defensive end. He should move to DT in the Cowboys' scheme and should be a solid addition to their rotation.

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley, now with the Buffalo Bills. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Departures

  • WR Cole Beasley (Bills)
  • TE Geoff Swaim (Jaguars)
  • DL David Irving (shenanigans)
  • LB Damien Wilson (Chiefs)

Beasley is heading to Buffalo on a four-year, $29 million deal. It appeared the relationship soured between Cole and Dallas over his playing time last year, and clearly the Cowboys didn't fight hard to keep him.

Damien Wilson followed Anthony Hitchens to Kansas City to help round out their linebacker corps. Once it was announced that Dallas was hanging on to Sean Lee in 2019, it was fairly certain that Wilson wouldn't be back.

Also not expected back was TE Geoff Swaim, who signed with Jacksonville. Even before Witten came back, Dallas appeared likely to stick with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz for returning talent and then add an upgrade via free agency or the draft.

While still a free agent, nobody expects David Irving back in Dallas or even the NFL after recent activities. Irving appears focused on a Hollywood career and advocating for medical marijuana use at this point.

Keepers

  • FB Jamize Olawale
  • WR Tavon Austin
  • WR Allen Hurns (team option)
  • OT Cam Fleming
  • G/C Joe Looney (team option)
  • DE DeMarcus Lawrence (franchise tag)
  • DT Daniel Ross (ERFA)
  • LB Justin March-Lillard
  • S Darian Thompson

While Dallas put the franchise tag on prized pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, his return in 2019 is far from settled. Lawrence has previously sworn he wouldn't play under a second franchise tag this year, and last we heard the two sides are far apart on a long-term deal. Could a holdout be on the horizon?

The Cowboys doubled-down on WR depth by re-signing Tavon Austin and exercising their team option on Allen Hurns' contract. Both are able to play out of the slot, meaning we could see more of a rotation approach to replacing Cole Beasley next year.

Dallas also re-signed fullback Jamize Olawale, which was a surprise given his low usage rate last year. Perhaps the change to Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator was behind this one, hoping to take better advantage of Olawale's receiving skills going forward.

Joe Looney and Cam Fleming will also be back as valuable backups on the offensive line. Looney started 16 games last year at center and also helps at guard, while Fleming will be the swing tackle once again for his second season in Dallas.

On defense, Dallas kept Daniel Ross in their DT rotation after solid performance in 2018. Justin March-Lillard return at linebacker, particularly for his value on special teams. And Darian Thompson, a former third-round pick by the Giants, is back as an ongoing developmental player.

~ ~ ~

Today we're already seeing a flourish of free agent activity in Dallas. Reports this morning have them meeting with WR Randall Cobb and S Clayton Geathers, and we haven't even had lunch yet.

If this is any indication, next week's recap may have a lot more to discuss.



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