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Should Dallas Cowboys be Interested in CB Jason McCourty?

Jess Haynie

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Should Cowboys be Interested in CB Jason McCourty?
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images

On Thursday, the Tennessee Titans released veteran cornerback Jason McCourty as a cap-clearing move. Still needing help at corner after losing Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in free agency, the Dallas Cowboys might be interested in giving McCourty a new home.

A sixth-round pick in 2009, McCourty has been with the Titans for his entire career so far. He became a full-time starter in 2011 and has been started every game he's played since. Outside of missing 12 games in 2015 with a groin injury, Jason has been durable and missed only three other games in six seasons.

What really jumps out when you look at Jason McCourty's track record are consistent interceptions. He's picked off 13 passes in the five full he's played as a starting corner. Even last year, coming back from injury and at 29-years-old, he had two interceptions. Comparatively, Brandon Carr had just seven picks in five years with Dallas.

Jason McCourty

Jason McCourty hauls in one of his many career interceptions. (John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports)

Obviously, you don't sign a guy based on what he's already done but rather what you think he can give you now. Last year, McCourty was ranked 55th among cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus. That put him just a few spots below Brandon Carr, who was 50th.

Perhaps more importantly, it was well higher than 91st-ranked Nolan Carroll. Dallas signed the veteran Carroll in March to help cover the departures of Carr and Morris Claiborne. Coming off a down year with the Eagles, Carroll hasn't excited many people with his arrival in Dallas and the prospect of him playing a significant role.

Right now, cornerback remains a major roster concern for the Cowboys. Many feel it is their second-greatest need overall after a pass rusher, and some have even argued it should be their top priority in the coming draft.

If the Cowboys see Jason McCourty as an upgrade over Nolan Carroll, it could solidify their CB position and not force their hand in the draft. They could still take a corner but not have to rely on them so heavily in 2017, which is good for both parties. Especially if Dallas does go with a pass rusher in the first round, is any other rookie they take really going to be able to contribute right away?

With $5 million in cap space just gained from releasing Tony Romo and room to make more after extending Jason Witten's deal, Dallas can work out a reasonable contract with Jason McCourty within their budget. If they are interested, the biggest challenge will be keeping him away from his brother Devin and the Patriots.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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6 Comments
  • Saul molina

    No why sign another 30 year old player wait until the draft

  • Randy Martin

    Well we now know that the FO will not chase after veterans of they feel they will bring nothing to the party or they are overpriced. I don’t see why we need to chase a 30 year old CB. I would rather swing a few times in the draft and bring in as many UDFA’s as we can. Bring in fresh legs and minds that can be molded.

    • Jess Haynie

      Anthony Brown was a rarity, not a new strategy. The chances of finding late-round or undrafted DBs who can contribute as rookies are very slim.

  • Travis Diggs

    I would take a look at him after the draft. He could be good depth He’s already better than Frazier and Heath so why not take a look at him if the price is right

    • Jess Haynie

      I know it’s just two weeks away, but he could easily be gone before the draft.

    • Randy Martin

      McCourty is a CB while Frazier and Heath are safeties so that’s not a proper comparison.

Dallas Cowboys

Jaguars Waive Barry Church; Could Cowboys Bring Him Back?

Jess Haynie

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Barry Church

Veteran safety Barry Church was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could he return home to the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent his first seven seasons?

Despite his leadership and consistency on defense, Dallas allowed Church to leave in free agency when Jacksonville gave him a lucrative deal. But if he clears waivers, could the Cowboys consider bring him back for depth and support during their likely playoff run?

Jane Slater of the NFL Network reported on this potential reunion:

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys haven't reached out to S Barry Church but I'm told they are discussing the possibility of bringing him back to Dallas according to a source informed. Church, 30, was released by the Jags today and is familiar with the system having played there from 2010-2016.

The Cowboys have had solid play from their current starting safeties, Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. Neither is a star, but the duo has not been a liability during the team's current five-game winning streak.

Church was a similar player, reliable if never exceptional, during his time in Dallas. He could be a nice insurance policy for the playoffs if something happened to one of the starters.

Barry knows the system. He never played for Kris Richard, but he was with Rod Marinelli for three seasons before leaving in free agency.

According to reports out of Jacksonville, Church is being released because the team wants to go with younger, cheaper players now that their season is over. There is no known injury keeping Barry from playing.

Of course, Dallas would have to make room on the roster to pick Church up. They could third-year prospect Darian Thompson, who is the current fourth man at safety.

Barry Church must now go through the 24-hour waiver process. A team may claim him, including the Cowboys. We'll see what the future holds.



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Dallas Cowboys

How the Dallas Cowboys Can Win the NFC East This Week

Jess Haynie

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

It's only Week 15, but the Dallas Cowboys could become the 2018 NFC East Champions this week through a couple of scenarios. I thought we'd take a moment today to break down how the Boys can win their division and assure their spot in the playoffs.

With three weeks left in the regular season, most of the divisional games have already been played. The only two left to play are the Week 17 finales; Cowboys at Giants and Eagles at Redskins.

Here are the current standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys 8-5 (4-1 in division)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (3-2 in division)
  3. Washington Redskins 6-7 (2-3 in division)
  4. New York Giants 5-8 (1-4 in division)

The Giants have been scrappy lately, winning four of their last five, but it's too late for them to try to win the division. Even if the Cowboys were to fall to 8-8, the best New York could do is tie them in overall record. They would have also split their head-to-head series, negating that tiebreaker.

At that point, it would come down to the record within the division. New York would improve to 2-4 with a win over Dallas in Week 17, but the Cowboys would still be 4-2 against the NFC East. Dallas would still be the division champion.

So, that knocks out New York. Technically, the Eagles and Redskins are still alive. But their margin is about as slim as it gets.

Both Philadelphia and Washington need the Cowboys to lose their last three games, and then to also win out themselves, to steal the NFC East crown.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Thankful for Cooper in Division Win Over Redskins

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

For the Redskins, it's about their record against division opponents. The best they can finish is 3-3, assuming they'd win their last game against the Eagles. With the head-to-head series against Dallas split this year, they would have to finish 9-7 overall and have the Cowboys drop to 8-8 to become NFC East Champions.

The Eagles also need to finish one game ahead of Dallas, but for a different reason. Philadelphia lost both their games with the Cowboys this year, so Dallas has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

So that really makes thing simple for Dallas; win just one of your last three games and you're the division champion.

Not only that, but even if Dallas were to fall this week against the Indianapolis Colts, they could still clinch the division with losses by the Eagles (@ Rams) and Redskins (@ Jaguars).

It would certainly behoove the Cowboys to get the division locked up now. They could then use the last two weeks of the season to get ready for the playoffs.

Dallas would have the freedom rest banged up players like Ezekiel Elliott and Zack Martin. It would also allow them to work in returning players such as Sean Lee and Tavon Austin and figure out their new rotations without pressure to win.

Beating the Colts on Sunday isn't a given; they're at home and desperate to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture. They are the toughest opponent Dallas has left until January.

But despite that, with the Eagles facing a juggernaut team and Washington trying to play football without a quarterback, there's a great chance that the Cowboys will be the NFC East Champions by Sunday night.



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Game Notes

#INDvsDAL: How The Game May Be Decided In The Red Zone

Kevin Brady

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In many ways the Dallas Cowboys offense has found their stride in recent weeks. Over this five game win streak they have "found their identity" playing ball control offense and trusting their quarterback to make big throws when needed most. Of course the defense has been the star most weeks, but this offense should not be slept on either.

This doesn't mean the offense has been without their fair share of struggles, however, particularly in the red zone. Struggles that the numbers say could cost the Cowboys this weeks' game in Indianapolis if they don't get it cleaned up.

In terms of red zone offensive efficiency the Cowboys have been downright horrendous. In fact, they are dead-last in the league in success rate inside the 10 yard line, last in first-and-goal success rate, and 21st in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

There's no sugar-coating those numbers, they are bad. Especially when you consider that this team has arguably the league's best running back and a quarterback with the size and athleticism you might expect from a linebacker.

For as bad as the Cowboys are inside the red zone, the Colts are equally as good. Indianapolis is top 10 in terms of success rate inside the 10, at the goal line, and in first-and-goal success rate. They are also 11th in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

Despite not having the individual running back the Cowboys have, the Colts offensive line and skill players as a whole set them up a bit better when the field is shortened. Tight end Eric Ebron has been rather incredible in terms of production this season, catching 12 touchdowns on 58 receptions. Andrew Luck is also a more accurate quarterback than Dak Prescott, though Prescott should be a much more dangerous red zone threat than he currently is.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

I am working on the Cowboys 32nd ranked Goal-to-Go offensive numbers. They have run 35 of their 59 total plays out of Shotgun-11 Personnel. In those 35 plays, the average gain per snap is....12 INCHES. I am not kidding. They could out-gain that by running QB sneaks. I am amazed.

Of course, some of the Cowboys red zone struggles can be pinned on offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan has failed to scheme open the "easy" red zone touchdowns we see so often around the league. As pointed out by Bob Sturm on Twitter this week, the Cowboys' personnel groupings and play calls when in goal-to-go situations have been questionable to say the least. But while blame does fall on the coaches' shoulders, the players need to execute better as well.

Games in the NFL often come down to just a handful of plays, and red zone efficiency plays a key role in deciding the outcome of close games every week. If this is once again the case on Sunday, based on past performance, the Dallas Cowboys could be in trouble against the efficient Colts.



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