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Dallas Cowboys: An Organizational Blueprint To Become Legitimate Contenders

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728261The Cowboys seem to be in an infinite loop of mediocrity; a perpetual cycle of good enough to tease fans and bad enough to never contend.

Cowboys Nation seems to be in a state of constant demand and ever growing expectations.  While Cowboys fans can be the best in the NFL, often they are blinded by the strategic unethical journalistic assault that sports media tends to launch.  Constantly big platform guys like Skip Bayless twist and turn the words and actions of “America’s Team” to conjure up negative perceptions around the NFL and, ultimately, more reads.

As I sit here writing this, I impore you to sit back and look at these Cowboys with an open mind.  Take away your personal biases or individual feelings towards current players.

Now, there are three unequivocal truths about these Cowboys: 1) Tony Romo, like him or not, WILL be quarterbacking this team for the foreseeable future. 2) Jason Garrett possesses the talent to be an excellent head coach in this league. 3) This team remains one of the most talented teams in the league.

Those are the things that we can not control and must stop trying to argue. We can’t take back Tony Romo’s contract.  We can’t justify firing Jason Garrett after two seasons that have seen improvement just to have to rebuild again.  And we certainly can not support an arguement that says the Cowboys don’t have the talent to contend in this league.

Cowboys fans let me make one thing abundantly clear, this Cowboys team is a top team in this league.

The only question that remains is how do you get them to play like it?

I’m not talking about just this year, i’m talking about consistently contending thoughout a long-term window that has been created through two years of smart drafting.

So for a minute, I get to escape from my very average life and step into Jerry Jones’ shoes and put together a blue print for returning the Dallas Cowboys into an NFL juggernaut.

Here we go….

Maximize Talent While Minimizing Cap

morris-claiborne1The Cowboys have put themself in a incredibly tough situation to navigate through in the upcoming years.  With limited increase projected in terms of salary cap allowance, the Cowboys have little room to add or retain upcoming free agents.

The Cowboys must adopt a philosophy of careful player potential evaluation.  Every personnel move needs to be calculated, meaning that every player needs to be evaluated in terms of long-term cost and long-term potential.

Additionally, the team needs to realize the benefit of player acquisition through the NFL draft.  For years the Cowboys have carelessly drafted and watched picks bust or flame out.  Thankfully, Jason Garrett has began to change that trend and will need to continue to do so to help the burden of potentially losing impact players in the near future.

In the next two years Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant, Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray will all be free agents.  Those afforementioned players represent the young core of this team.  The Cowboys must make it a priority to ensure that they retain as many of these players as they can.  Each has superstar ability and it would be nausiating to see them depart to have success elsewhere because the Cowboys didn’t know how to budget properly.

Promote Continuity Through Coaching

106827160_crop_650x440For all the crap that Jason Garrett gets I believe that he’s doing something very special in Dallas.  He has transformed this roster from a group of individuals to a team.  Changes don’t occur over night, no matter how much we want them too.

Finally, Garrett has his type of players and that can’t go overlooked.

Let me break it down for everyone.  Players don’t benefit from constant coaching changes.  Learning new schemes isn’t easy and if you’re having to do it every offseason you’re never going to be able to maximize your potential.

Garrett may not be perfect and he certainly has a lot to improve on.  However, if i’m Jerry Jones i’m giving him an extension.  Garrett needs to know that he has security in building this team.  If you’re making him consistently look over his shoulder in fear he’s never going to be able to fully commit to successful coaching.

The players need to know that Garrett isn’t going anywhere, they need to know they can commit to him without fear of having to endure change.  Garrett is the glue to a team that is finally starting to come together.

Let The Son Claim His Throne

Stephen+Jones+Dallas+Cowboys+v+Houston+Texans+Ibc5eTzTPvgxJerry Jones is arguably the best marketer that the NFL has ever seen.  He has continued to make the Cowboys one of the most popular teams in the NFL and as a result he is the owner of the most valuable sports franchise in the world.

However, Jerry Jones’ ability to be a good business man doesn’t mean he’s worth anything as a general manager.

For a while now Jerry Jones has been grooming his son to take over the family business.  It has been said that Stephen Jones has the right mind to be a successful GM in the NFL and could do so with any NFL franchise.

Stephen seems to be the anti-Jerry.  He understands how football operations work and seemingly does things for the betterment of the team.  Stephen was reportedly the front man for the Cowboys negotiations with quarterback Tony Romo which is structured in a way that will maximize the Cowboys ability to retain players in ’14-’15.

The Cowboys would benefit from having Stephen if for no other reason that he can dedicate all his time to being the GM.  Jerry will always be more committed to growing his bank account than the franchise.  If this team plans to win, they need a GM committed to it as well.

Summary

There is a reason that this blueprint is tailored to the front office.  The talent on this team suggests that the Cowboys are ready to win now.  They have a mixture of older veterans and young budding superstars which is the equation to success.

However, until the ownership recognizes what it wants from this team and the extremely important role it plays in it’s teams success, the Dallas Cowboys will remain “Next Year’s Champions”.

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Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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2 Comments
  • Football Mensa

    They have a 3 year window. Jerry wasted the careers of the core players. If Dallas hits in this draft it will be a very good season. They bomb and the older core guys will never see a superbowl.

    Jerry should have relinquished control a long time ago. Amazing how the pride of a man will ruin a franchise and spin a web of failure.

    • http://bleacherreport.com/users/785399-bo-martin Bo Martin

      Completely agree, this is the most important draft in years. Let’s hope that they get it right and Cowboys fans and players can enjoy the season they’ve been looking forward too.

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Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Headlines - Forget the Triplets: Cowboys Need The Underrated to Shine in 2016
Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News

For better or worse, the Cowboys don’t even need to play football to be all over national TV. I guess it’s just part of being the one and only America’s Team. For the second consecutive week, Fox Sports had a Dallas Cowboys’ player on set for Fox’s “Undisputed.”

Just a week ago, Brice Butler made waves with some controversial comments that failed to make him look like a “great teammate.”

This time, Fox’s guest was Cowboys’ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Unlike Butler, I really think we should give Scandrick credit for being a very good teammate, and acting like one on his TV appearance.

Throughout the segment, it feels as if Orlando is being tricked into saying something against his teammates. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe start bashing on Dez Bryant‘s performance and the fact that he should be replaced.

Of course, this is the kind of stuff fans in Cowboys Nation are thinking about. Heck, I really wouldn’t even mind if Dez isn’t wearing a star next season. However, I really disliked Butler’s comments when asked if he would’ve done a better job if given the same opportunities as Dez.

Scandrick’s responses were awesome though. When asked if he would defend Dez, he didn’t even hesitate.

“I don’t think he’s lost any confidence. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever been around. I think it can all be fixed. I think he just needs to get back to work and get back to the basics.” – Orlando Scandrick on Dez Bryant.

Scandrick also answered questions about what went wrong with the Cowboys this season by pointing out the fact they lost one of their best players because of a suspension, and some injuries. But he also said what’s been in our minds for a long time. When asked what was the biggest reason they struggled, he said some painful, yet truthful words: “We played some bad football against some very good teams.”

Later, he was asked about how Sean Lee’s absence affected the defense, he insisted they didn’t step up. At the end of the day, the NFL is a league in which you can’t be that dependent on a single player.

Sean Lee is an awesome player, but I think we’d all like to see this defense be a little less dependent on him.

Scandrick even had to defend Dak Prescott.

Dak was highly criticized after a sophomore season in which he struggled, alongside the entire team. But in the words of Orlando, we should “give him time.” Dak had a lot on his plate, but he made a lot of progress for the Cowboys.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Orlando Scandrick’s time in Dallas may be coming to an end, especially with young guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis taking over. He’s signed through 2019, so who knows; maybe we see him wearing the star for a bit longer.

“It’s always a possibility.” – Orlando Scandrick on potentially not returning to Dallas next season.

Even still, it’s nice to see him support his football team and his friends on a show which featured a non-starting Cowboys’ wide receiver taking shots against his team. Orlando Scandrick deserves an applause.

Tell me what you think about “Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Pursue Veteran Backup at Quarterback?

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys only have two quarterbacks under contract right now, starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. With only three years of combined experience between them, one could argue that a veteran presence would be useful. Should Dallas make a veteran QB a free-agent priority in the 2018 offseason?

Of course, there’s plenty of other QB experience on the Cowboys staff. Head Coach Jason Garrett played professionally from 1989-2004, and started his coaching career with quarterbacks.

Scott Linehan has been coaching offense with an emphasis on the passing game for 30 years.

Kellen Moore, who is taking over for the departed Wade Wilson as quarterbacks coach, has played very recently and will bring a fresh perspective.

However, losing Wilson’s experience from the room, and the lack of any veteran player at QB, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dak Prescott has said veteran Mark Sanchez — who was with Dallas in 2016 — was a major help during his whirlwind rookie season. Tony Romo enjoyed veteran advice from guys like Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna, and Kyle Orton throughout his playing career.

This isn’t to say Dallas would want to bring in a veteran to knock Cooper Rush down the depth chart. After a surprising preseason, Rush took the backup job from Kellen Moore and certainly has intriguing upside.

If the Cowboys were to add a veteran, that player would have to come in with the understanding he’s competing with Cooper and may not be guaranteed a job.

The good news is that it’ll be a buyer’s market for veteran quarterbacks this offseason.

Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, and Matt Moore could all be available. Even a player with more pedigree, such as Sam Bradford, may have trouble finding starting work with many jobs taken among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Dallas could even consider bringing back Mark Sanchez, given his previous relationship with Dak Prescott. He only had a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Given Prescott’s seeming durability, Dallas will likely only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2018 and for years to come. Because of that, they may be content to focus on Dak and Cooper Rush, and just get through the offseason with training camp bodies.

However, the case can certainly be made for adding another veteran player with the desire to teach to help these young quarterbacks develop. Prescott was not the same guy in 2017 that we saw as a rookie, and perhaps the absence of guys like Sanchez and Tony on the sideline had something to do with that.

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Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal is a Good Hire for Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal Is A Good Hire For Cowboys

Yesterday, it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys will hire Sanjay Lal to be their new wide receivers coach. Lal spent 2017 with the Indianapolis Colts in the same position, but has made multiple stops around the NFL prior to joining the Cowboys staff.

Most recently and arguably most notably, Sanjay Lal was the receivers coach for both the New York Jets (2012-2014) and the Buffalo Bills (2015-2016). This means he coached on Rex Ryan’s staff for two different teams, with two very similar offensive philosophies.

Run the football.

As seen in the video below, Sanjay Lal has experience working as the wide outs coach for an offense with a run-first philosophy. He even says himself that their offense in New York was “ground and pound,” but notes that “without a pass game there’s no pound.”

Cowboys fans became all too familiar with the truth behind that statement during the 2017 season, as even solid efforts in the run game were rendered meaningless by their lack of explosion through the air.

Jets Nation Inside Camp: Sanjay Lal Mic’d Up

Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is mic’d up during training camp, and also discusses trying to play pro football before becoming a coach in the NFL.

A lot has been made of Sanjay Lal’s lack of 1,000-yard receivers during his time as a coach. The offensive philosophies of the teams which he coached for, however, show why this criticism is flimsy.

It’s quite possible the Cowboys will once again be without a 1,000 yard pass catcher this season, but if Ezekiel Elliott and the run game are clicking, and Dak Prescott is spreading the ball to different targets, this stat won’t mean a thing.

Lal was also the coach in Buffalo when Sammy Watkins had the best years of his career, including a 1,000-yard season.

During that stint he coached Robert Woods to productive seasons as well. Now Woods is a dangerous target for the Los Angeles Rams after being coached by Lal for multiple seasons.

These were also the same years that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was at his best.

While in New York, with the Jets, Lal’s most productive receiver was Jeremy Kerley, who finished with 827 yards in 2012 and 523 in 2013. What’s important to note here is that Kerley played as a slot receiver for much of his time as a Jet.

The Cowboys lacked any type of production from the slot in 2017, but maybe Lal can change that by getting the best out of Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, as he did with Kerley.

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Know that some believe he had a real shot to be an OC in this league one day. https://t.co/1s21w2jZGR

All indications from those “in the know” suggest Sanjay Lal is on his way to becoming an offensive coordinator soon. Many believe he has the smarts and the football IQ to command an offense himself, as soon as he gets the right opportunity.

Maybe that opportunity will come down the line in Dallas, where he can continue to coach within that “ground and pound” style, which he has done for many years while also implementing elements of his own passing game expertise.

Everyone has been critical of the Cowboys’ inability to bring in external hires, and to spark up new/creative offensive ideas. Lal has spent time among some of the smartest offensive minds in football.

Maybe he’s the man to bring in that outside creativity this offense seems to lack.

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