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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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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.

Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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