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Could the Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Could The Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After a season of disappointment and under achievement, one word that creeps into every die-hard fan is change. Back in September, the Dallas Cowboys were one of the Las Vegas favorites to get to the Super Bowl. Naturally, after a 9-7 season, we all want some sort of change.

By now, we know that said change will not come in the form of a new head coach. Or, if we're being honest with ourselves, probably not even in the form of different coordinators.

So, then what?

We've seen a coaching carousel lately in Dallas with a lot of moves going on. Just about every position coach is leaving or interviewing with other teams, Kellen Moore is set to be the new QBs coach and so on.

But heading into the offseason, it's inevitable to think about how many changes we could see in the Cowboys' offense.

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports)

Recently, fellow Staff Writer Brian Martin wrote about how the Cowboys should build a Prescott-friendly offense for Dak Prescott. Despite a struggling season, Dak Prescott shouldn't be evaluated or replaced after just two seasons. Even if overreactions around Cowboys Nation tell you otherwise.

Even still, it's more than fair to criticize an offense that was far from meeting expectations last season. All this leads to a lot of questions about where the future of this offense is headed.

Is Dez Bryant still worth the money he's being paid?

Should he be officially replaced by another WR1, something he hasn't been for a long time?

The Cowboys have a ton of needs, and even though we're used to the idea of defense always being our top priority in the offseason, this time it might be different.

This team really needs to get Dak a best friend, a receiver who can create separation. A good route runner.

Who knows, maybe Dez isn't here next season. But even if he is, he probably won't be "the guy" when it comes to catching Dak Prescott's passes.

Could The Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018? 1

Dallas Cowboys WRs Ryan Switzer, Cole Beasley

What about Cole Beasley?

Whether we like it or not, he's another guy whose play wasn't as good as 2016. With him going into his final year under contract, is it possible the Cowboys explore other options?

Despite not getting a lot of playing time, Ryan Switzer showed very promising flashes when he was asked to fill Beasley's spot in the season finale at Philadelphia. I can't help wondering if Switzer will be able to earn a more involved role on offense as the slot wide receiver next year.

Perhaps in the long run, he's the better option for the Cowboys instead of the guy who'll be 29 when the 2018 season arrives.

Now, Jason Witten is my all-time favorite Dallas Cowboy. But if we're being real with ourselves, even if he's still as reliable as ever, he isn't a very dangerous player anymore. The coaching staff should find a way to do something similar to what the Chargers have done with Antonio Gates and add a younger, more dangerous tight end to play alongside Witten.

Before the 2017 season began, the Cowboys were expected to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. They failed to meet expectations. We know the coaching staff isn't changing at the "big three" positions, but maybe we see it in the form of players.

Could we see a new-look offense in Dallas next season?

Tell me what you think about "Could the Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?" 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!

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

  • Bennie

    I would explore a trade with Dez Beasley and Williams go get martavius Bryant re sign butler promote swizter sign another good route runner for depth because we still got Noah brown use witten for another year n draft a tight end this year learning from one of the best tight ends get him his reps Dallas could make a splash if they free up some roster room n cap even promote Byron back to corner n find a safety in the draft in the 3-4 round we could revamp the O completely to where we still have room even maybe looking at Allen Robison on a one year prove it deal because the injury

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I’m totally open to seeing a move with one of our WRs, don’t know about Martavis Bryant though. Man, I’d love Allen Robinson if he’s healthy.

      • Bennie

        Martavis would give us the vertical threat we needed in dez but is faster n still a red zone threat if we could get Robison that would be a plus sign both But if not one of them n keep butler n then sign someone who is proven to be able to stay healthy run good routes n be able to adjust on the fly

        • Ducebag

          This is what I mean…..I feel as Cowboy fans are making excuses for Dak…I’ve seen plenty of games this season where I sat and was like “wth is this guy doing”

          • Datschu

            Exactly brother!! Exactly! Sad thing is that I told everyone who would listen what 2017 would be like. You can bank onnit like the sun setting in the West! It’s the Dallas Cowboys. Dak cannot pass downfield accurately enough to be a legitimate threat. And unfortunately our number 1 WRs strengths are the now qb1s weaknesses…
            Dak will have 1/2 the career in Dallas that romo did.
            And then we’ll be with new qb1… my problem is that I’m just a fan and say this in 2016… how come the front office didn’t?

          • jglousa210

            I think half is giving him to much credit. Romo was that dude on a shitty team. He carried us to winning records despite the lack of defense, an oline and a good rb. Dak lost zeke and T Smith and shit the bed. And his accuracy is imo the sole reason for all our receivers decline. I to told everyone that we would regret letting Romo walk. But everyone was dick riding Dak. When he wasn’t ready. He needed to play behind Romo until Romo actually retired and learned everything he possibly could from imo one of the greatest football minds ever. But instead we won a few games and turned our backs on the guy that could have left us plenty of times. But stayed loyal to a mediocre franchise.

          • Russ_Te

            You said Dak was half of Romo when he was Rookie of the Year – sure.

            Dak is far more talented. Romo was a turnover machine for years until he finally got more judicious with the ball. He has great career stats but much worse games when they counted most, down the stretch and in playoffs. Good riddance to him. He was Danny White – no better.

          • Fred Miller

            I agree, but he was still a second year QB last season. Can’t expect perfection yet. He definitely had less time to throw compared to his rookie season. Next year will be a good test.

  • Ducebag

    Idk why my fellow Cowboy fans can’t that Dak is not as good as we thought

    • Bennie

      He is good he don’t have receivers making plays to get the ball.. he can’t do it running it every time n neither can zeke… he needs weapons dez isn’t what he use to be give butler the time dez had n I bet we would have a 1000 yard receiver.. dak can only do so much by him self with no weapons look at wentz last year (rookie year) then this year (sophomore year) no weapons compared to weapons..

      • Cowboysdude

        Excuses…that is why most Cowboys fans continue to accept mediocrity…… stop and think … Romo made player around him better… Dak doing that? Start there….. and think.

        • Datschu

          Preaching to the choir dude. In 2016 when Dak was taking the job I knew he wouldn’t last very long. We not a very complete passer.

        • Steve

          Yea BUT Romo didn’t do it in year 2 making everyone around him better and don’t 4get every time he messed up or choked in December/Playoff game everybody was on his ass just like everybody is on Dak’s! IMO I believe we all need to chill out and give Dak some time to mature and I believe that Dez isn’t a #1 and T-Will is a good but not great receiver for a #2 and we need to let Switzer take over the slot and draft a route running TE to learn from Witten if Gathers isn’t gonna cut it! IMO again we need to draft a stud DT at 19 this year to improve our D and make it strong enough to keep Dak from having to be a hero every game

      • jglousa210

        I’m sorry but you’re so wrong. Dak is the sole problem. All our receivers numbers are down. Explain that. Even beasley our top guy last year. Dak is the problem. I’d personally like to see him and rush fight for the starting spot this off-season.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      I really think there’s a QB curve. If Dak a bad year in 2018, then you start evaluating the position. It’s still too early too give up on him after a bad season and one in which the entire team struggled. Maybe in the long run, he isn’t as good as we think. But still too early to say he shouldn’t be our QB. Just as it is too early to call him elite.

      • Bennie

        Never called him elite just stating that he had a slump year like you said by dez had a few slump seasons.. witten is old Williams isn’t producing neither is Beasley start fresh give him new weapons new personnel I bet anything he is right back to his rookie season production

        • Mauricio Rodriguez

          Oh, don’t get me wrong. Never meant to say you called him elite. Was really just giving my two cents on the topic. I think Dak will be fine, we just need to give him some time.

        • Gary Stevens

          If Cole Beasley was utilized more in the offense he would put up some strong numbers. He is not getting the ball enough to get him in the flow of the game. In fact, I believe he is a better slot receiver than Switzer would be. He has heart and is not scared of those crossing routes. I believe Switzer would make a better #2 wide receiver. He is fast enough to create space between him and a defender.

    • Datschu

      Whenever they made him the starter I KNEW HE WOULD BOMB OUT! Why didn’t Jorge front office? He’s not a legitimate passer!!

    • jglousa210


  • Tone’ Cyphers

    I don’t know how change we’ll see with the same coaches calling the shots. There won’t be a lot of wholesale changes in the playbook. Hopefully the players can just play better.

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      That’s completely fair. Thanks for reading!

  • Cowboysdude

    And as long as the owner continues telling everyone he has a “HC” they’ll continue to fail…..

  • Datschu

    I’ve been asking this for YEARS… maybe this year JJ will miraculously read my post and then he left ignoring will go on…

    “Jerry….did you pay attention”?

    Everyone would agree that dak is a better qb than nick Foles, correct? Would you?

    Well let’s operate under the assumption that everyone reading this agrees that he is… for sh!ts and giggles…


    Beat a team that killed the cowboys this year… AND only had to get his team in position to score 15 points to do so!

    The eagles win because of a suffocating and stingy defense…

    You see mr Jones…. if the other team cannot score your qb only needs to get the team in position ONE FREAKING TIME TO KICK A FIELD GOAL!
    Offense puts butts in the seats… DEFENSE wins championships! Especially in this decades NFC conference!

    Signing DEZ to 70+ mil= bad deal (when you no longer have a qb who can pass down field accurately and consistently)

    Drafting zeke 4 ovr = bad drafting (especially when Jalen Ramsey was sitting there for the taking)

    Drafting a project lb in the second round= another bad draft choice (when we could have had an impact player on D completing his second full season)

    I don’t know about any of y’all… but the good season, bad season, 8-8 season … wash rinse and repeat sh!t is wearing me down…
    Especially when even in their “good” seasons they’re 1 and done in the playoffs…

    This franchise just can’t get out of their own way… would say snake bit… but snake bit means it’s not of your own doing…. the circus clown and pony show… ER…. Dallas Cowboys front office is to blame for the 22 years of stank football

  • Datschu

    Anyone here old enough to remember when romo was rising to the ranks of qb1? The excitement? The crazy plays he made?
    Did any of you see that from Dak last year? Or was it mostly zeke?
    I saw a qb the likes of Trent silver at best!
    They pushed romo out too soon!

    • Datschu

      Trent DILFER*

    • jglousa210

      I 100 percent agree.

    • RandyWhite54Fan

      They didn’ Push Romo out, Romo’s back pushed him out. We needed a 16 game starting QB Romo couldn’t do that anymore. When Jerry and JG are gone America’s Team will return.

  • Datschu

    I’m just so tired of all the bumbling. The stubbing of the organizations toes. Gregory, Byron jones in round 1, the qb debacle of 2015, the unimaginative HC they keep rolling out there,….
    THE STUBBORN ASSED WAY OF BUILDING OFFENSIVELY (zeke) when the last 8 of 10 super bowl winners won with great defense…
    I’m sorry you draft a RB at #4 overall IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A LEGITIMATE DEFENSE!!!
    Look at Jacksonville… they did it the right way… now imagine if they get a qb… or even alex Smith…

  • Bennie

    You guys don’t see the bigger picture… dak isn’t the one dropping the balls he isn’t the one that is calling the plays he isn’t the one who has the keys to the offense to be able to do what he wants on the field .. dak needs to improve yea but you can’t blame this on him… Jason Garrett dez Williams Beasley witten you gotta hold them accountable too they wasn’t separating them selves from the defenders they wasn’t holding on to the ball or catching it.. if dak has another “slump year” then we can discuss it but til Dallas either gets a new coaching staff aka hc and oc or they have a new offense of look then they are just gonna be average we need weapons who can create space run good routes catch the ball n hold on to it.. we need to revamp the offense with new weapons new coaching staff build chemistry n go from there the ones hating on dak will see that he only had a slump year zeke was battling off field problems was gone 6 games then you had dez couldn’t catch the ball couldn’t hold on catch desperate himself from defenders Beasley just wasn’t himself witten is old Williams isn’t a number a WR..

    • jglousa210

      I honestly don’t think you truly understand how the game of football works based on your comments. What datschu said is 100% correct. Defense wins championships. And Dak is not the guy. His accuracy was horrendous at best. His arm strength is lacking and he just flat out can’t hit our receivers to save his life. Yes our guys dropped some passes but im chalking that up to frustrations with a shitty qb. They’re tired of him and i think he’s losing this teams confidence in his ability to run the team. He’s no Romo not even on his best day.

      • Steve

        Staubach himself said that the year he went 1-4 to start out the year and missed the playoffs for the only time in a decade. You have a bad year and everyone doubts you, Dak took the league by storm a yr ago and then everyone game planned him, there wasn’t much complaining until Zeke went out then Dak was under the scope and T. Smith went out Lee went out and we have Collins playing new pos. and a diff player at LG for a few games till that got figured out but was mediocre at best so with all the that happening Dak wasn’t supposed to flinch and the stats read without Tyron S. alone Dak’s Qb rating was 30 points lower! Yea 30 points because he was getting pummeled from behind which gets in your head and then you lose a second and then timing is off and then even when he gets the ball there we drop it in some of the most crucial moments (Dez fumble vs Seattle) that changed the entire momentum of that game and all of that because he wasn’t confident on dropping back and stepping up and making a throw! I believe the sophomore year was a crucial year of learning for Dak to not have his security blanket in T Smith and Zeke and have to grow as a Qb! Next year will tell the story on Dak Prescott

  • Stephen L. Holley

    More Jones “STUPIDITY”….keep ‘Garrett and Linehan” after total stupidity the last two years ( first down at the three yard line…Elliot in the backfield…great o-line and you throw the ball three times)!!! Jones will never give up his complete control , Garrett will keep ruining QB’s and we will be stuck with mediocracy as long as Jones is the owner!!!!! Sickening!!!!!! With the talent on that team they should still be playing!!! “SHORE UP THE O-LINE”!!!! ” RE-SIGN DEMARCUS LAWRENCE- MARTEN”!!!! ” TRADE DEZ-SWITZER,KEEP BUTLER AND NOAH BROWN- SLAP SOME SENSE INTO RANDY GREGORY-BRING HIM BACK”!!!! “IF GATHERS CAN GET HEALTHY HE’S THE ANSWER AT TIGHT END”!!!! MAKE WITTEN PLAYER-COACH”!!!!!

  • RandyWhite54Fan

    In 2016 Dak would throw to an area of the field and a WR would be there. If they ran an out instead skinny post the ball was up for grabs. This year was a timing throw which isn’t what Dak is about. Romo and Aikman yes that’s their game. 60% I gave to the WR’s of the blaim. Sign Butler make him the #2 WR. Williams would be better coming off the bench. Rework Bryant’s contract 12.5 million is 6 million too much. Find a LG and RT and become a more zone blocking offense. No FB use the ACE formation (2 TE’s). The six weeks Zeke was out because he acted like a dumb ass. Was The longest six weeks of my life. When Zeke is in there it’s a totally deference. The play calling off this year. I would like to see more pass on first down to predictable. Dez throwing a temper tantrum on the sideline Dez knows he’s on the down side of his career. I know we need to upgrade our WR’s and TE. It wouldn’t be my first pick we have other needs. Forget Moore as QB coach hire Romo. Bad choice by Jerry and it was Jerry. If they want to make a Super Bowl run. There not as close as Jerry thinks. The need OL upgrades DL upgrades secondary help and LB help.

  • TexHomaHeat .

    To all of you Garrett haters, I wanting to remind you of something. No coach of better quality than Garrett would take the Cowboy’s head coaching job! No one! Garrett is the best answer as long as Jerry Jones is the owner and GM. As for the critizism of Garrett and Linehan, I didn’t remember reading all this bitching in 2016 when they had a full offense (a quality running back). I’ve been a Cowboy fan for over 50 years. Cowboy fans need to be patient and understanding of the situation.

  • Mike C

    I understand the Dak hate completely. I just think it was more of play calling and coaching. You cant blame him for getting killed in the atlanta game, and really that was the case for the season. Coaching shouldve focused on his mechanics this offseason. The playbook was not creative enough, i actually predicted most of the offensive plays In key situations. Its almost like we used the exact same plays from last year and only used %25 of the playbook. As a diehard cowboys fan with a lack of coaching changes i am very disinterested in next season. And im so sick of hearing about our 5 rings.

  • dallas1966

    It’s time for the Cowboys coaching staff to decommissioned the Romo Friendly offense, that Dak has been running for the past 2 seasons, into the warehouse. And start the construction of the Dak Attack friendly offense. Dak had modest success with the Romo friendly offense, throwing for 45 TD, with 13 Int. was very good. Now let’s see how Dak production goes in an offense predicated to his strength.

  • Gary Stevens

    As long as Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan control the offensive scheme of the Cowboys, I don’t think they will ever win a Super Bowl. They are just awful at making adjustments to what the opposing defenses show them. If plan A doesn’t work in a game they have no plan B.

  • John McClain

    Dak needs to learn how to throw receivers open the way Romo Brady Manning Brees all have done. Dak waits til they’re open and that is too late

Star Blog

Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Brian Martin



Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Since becoming the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Rod Marinelli hasn't had too many of his former players follow him to Dallas. In fact, I can only think of one… Henry Melton, and we all know how that turned out.

I don't know about you, but I found that a little strange. It's pretty common for coaches to try to bring some of their players with them when they accept a new job. Familiarity goes a long way in the NFL and former players can also help make the transition easier for everyone.

Strangely enough, Rod Marinelli hasn't really been afforded that luxury, whether it was his doing or not. But, there is a free agent who played under Marinelli's tutelage in Chicago who might make sense for the Dallas Cowboys, linebacker Shea McClellin.

Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator in Chicago when the Bears decided to draft Shea McClellin 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Marinelli likely had a big say in that decision, and if he still feels the same, a reunion could be in order.

Shea McClellin started his career in the NFL as a 4-3 left side defensive end playing opposite Julius Peppers, but was also viewed as a potential Brian Urlacher replacement. He showed flashes of becoming a solid defensive end his first few years in the league, but was eventually moved to linebacker, where he seemed to find a home for himself.

Shea McClellin

New England Patriots LB Shea McClellin

After his contract expired with the Bears, the New England Patriots decided to bring him aboard to help with their linebacker depth. He only ended up starting four games for them in 2016, but made some memorable plays to help the Patriots become the Super Bowl champions.

Unfortunately, the 2017 season wasn't very kind to him. His entire year was wiped out due to a concussion, which probably had a lot to do with why they recently released him.

This of course could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys. They currently need some depth at the linebacker position and Shea McClellin could provide that, if he's healthy. The healthy bit here is key, because he has had problems with concussions in the past.

If McClellin is indeed healthy, he could bring a versatile skill set to the Cowboys defense. His best spot is probably at strong side LB (SAM), but I think he could play middle linebacker (MIKE) as well. He also could provide depth at defensive end, the position he played to start his NFL career.

With the LB depth a concern, Shea McClellin makes quite a bit of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, his past history with concussions is a red flag, but it also drives down his asking price. I think he would definitely fall into that "bargain shopping" mentality the Cowboys have been using these last few offseasons.

He probably wouldn't be viewed as a very important signing, but you still need these types of players on your team in order to succeed in the NFL. Let's see if the Dallas Cowboys agree.

Do you think a Rod Marinelli and Shea McClellin reunion is in order?

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Star Blog

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys

Jess Haynie



Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys

Now that he's signed with the Washington Redskins, cornerback Orlando Scandrick joins a lackluster list of former Cowboys players and coaches who have gone from Dallas to its historic rival. The history of these moves is ugly for Washington, going back over 40 years, and can't have their fans too excited anytime they sign an ex-Cowboy.

The most recent example was just last year with defensive tackle Terrell McClain. After a strong season as a 15-game starter in Dallas, McClain got a four-year, $21 million deal to join the Redskins. He missed four games with injuries and was only credited with two starts; hardly what the team wanted given the money they paid.

Before him it was Jason Hatcher, whose 11-sack season for the Cowboys in 2013 got him a four-year, $27.5 million deal from Washington. Hatcher would battle knee injuries for two season, getting only 7.5 sacks from 2014-2015. His early retirement in 2016 brought an abrupt end to a disappointing tenure.

Continuing the legacy of defensive linemen was Stephen Bowen, who Washington paid a shocking amount of money ($27.5 million over five years) to in 2011 to pick up in free agency. Bowen had a great first year for the Redskins with six sacks and 16 starts, but injuries would soon cost him 14 games from 2013-2014. He was eventually released after only one standout season in four with the team.

Going back even further, DT Brandon Noble joined Washington in 2003 after being a full-time starter for Dallas for over two seasons. He would miss all of 2003 with a knee injury, have an unimpressive year in 2004, and then missed all of 2005 with more health issues. He retired after being released by the Redskins in 2006.

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys 1

Hall of Fame CB Deion Sanders

Orlando Scandrick won't be the first cornerback to go from Dallas to Washington, or the best. At age 32, Deion Sanders was released in 2000 by the Cowboys and then got a huge seven-year, $56 million deal from the Redskins. This came less than a year after Daniel Snyder bought the franchise and was desperate to get them relevant again.

The Sanders move backfired horribly. Even after a solid season by his lofty standards, Primetime was disgruntled with both the coaching staff and his increasing struggles as an aging player. He suddenly retired after just one season of the seven-year contract.

Washington also tried to tap into the Cowboys' glory days when they signed receiver Alvin Harper in 1997. Harper had left Dallas in 1995 and spent two years with Tampa Bay, but had not carried over the same success he enjoyed playing in the Dallas offense.

The Redskins hoped that reuniting him with Norv Turner, who had been Harper's offensive coordinator and was now their head coach, would help Alvin get back to form. But between ongoing injuries and the absence of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith as teammates, Alvin Harper was never the same guy as when he won two Super Bowls in Dallas.

The failed poaching attempts go back many more decades, another one being running back Calvin Hill. The fourth-leading rusher in Cowboys history and a four-time Pro Bowler while in Dallas, Hill joined Washington in 1976. He served as a backup only, averaging only 3.8 yards-per-carry as he played behind the likes of Mike Thomas and John Riggins.

Redskins Have Not Had Success With Former Cowboys 2

Norv Turner also couldn't bring his Cowboys success to Washington. (Brian Bahr/Allsport)

The bad history doesn't stop with players. The aforementioned Norv Turner, who was one of the hottest assistant coaches in history after the Cowboys first two Super Bowl wins in the 90s, was hired as the Redskins' head coach in 1994.

Turner's run started with a whimper, drafting quarterback Heath Shuler third overall in that first year. Shuler would go down as one of the biggest QB busts in NFL history

Norv's Redskins never seemed to recover from that blunder. He only had two winning seasons and one playoff appearance from 1994-1999, and was fired midway through the 2000 season.

Far more recently, Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan left the team in 2015 and took the same job in Washington. He didn't get to bring the offensive line or DeMarco Murray with him, though. As such, the Redskins have remained one of the league's worst rushing teams for the last three seasons. They fell to a new low of 28th in the NFL in 2017.

~ ~ ~

Of course, none of this means that Orlando Scandrick won't have success in Washington. But with the Redskins generally the most mismanaged team in the NFC East, all of the Dallas players and coaches who've gone there have not walked into good situations. For all that Cowboys fans love to complain about Jerry Jones, he handles the owner and GM roles better than any pair Washington's had in almost 30 years.

Given the nature of the rivalries, we naturally can't wish success for Scandrick or anyone else who leaves Dallas for a division opponent. With the track record we just discussed for Washington, it's not something I'll be losing any sleep over.

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Star Blog

Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Have Their Version of Tryann Mathieu in Xavier Woods?

It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.

Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.

The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.

Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods

It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.

I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.

Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.

As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.

His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.

Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.

As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.

Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.

Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

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