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Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore

With three games remaining, and the Cowboys at 4-9, my optimism for 2015 is all but gone. Disappointing, gut-wrenching and unfathomable are all words I would use to describe the turn of events this season.

I joined the Inside the Star family this summer with one goal in mind - writing about the Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl Champions. Now, my attention shifts to how to make the lifelong dream possible next season.

This process must begin with the quarterback position as Kellen Moore needs to come in for the veteran Matt Cassel. We all know exactly what the Cowboys have in the veteran Cassel, and it's not pretty.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Matt Cassel threw 0 completed passes that traveled 10 yards in the air over the first 55:28 of the game today.

Kellen Moore represents more than just the white flag for 2015. He represents a potential answer to some of the most critical questions the Cowboys will have this offseason before the draft.

1. Is Kellen Moore a viable backup QB?

With a short week to prepare for the Jets, and a road game in Buffalo on tap for week 16, the Cowboys should be able to get a decent showing one way or another from Moore. While entirely evaluating him off of three games would be unfair, his performance could make the difference between drafting a signal-caller in the first round or trusting him enough to let him compete with a lower round pick.

2. Will Kellen Moore save Scott Linehan?

While I find this entire topic absurd, and hope that Linehan is back next season regardless of the outcome for the remainder of 2015, a transition in quarterbacks could certainly save him. Linehan was with Kellen Moore in Detroit, so the two have a chance to put something together and prove to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys that Linehan should return and Moore can be here to stay.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Should Kellen Moore start for @CowboysNation on Saturday against the #Jets?

3. Can Moore play with more confidence than Cassel?

As referenced in the tweet above, perhaps the most frustrating part about Cassel's play is his unwillingness to try to hit on big plays down the field. Given the chance, would Kellen Moore attempt to open things up and finally get Dez Bryant involved this season?

 4. Is Kellen Moore a trade option?

Let's say Moore starts against the Jets and throws four touchdowns, only to regress to what the Cowboys thing they actually have in him at Buffalo and against Washington.

In this scenario, we have seen teams before throw out everything they know about evaluating players and go after a QB based on one game tape. Perhaps a team would do the same for Moore, giving the Cowboys a valuable piece in return.

Some potential trade returns may include a different backup QB that the Cowboys rank ahead of Moore, or a running back that shows potential.

These four questions are very important for the Dallas Cowboys moving forward, and can all be answered by making a simple quarterback switch away from a hopeless veteran in Matt Cassel to a young and potentially exciting Kellen Moore.

So, I ask you now, is Moore the guy the rest of the way? Let me know with a comment below, or find me on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ! You can also follow ITS on Instagram at insidethestardc!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. larry faught

    December 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Anyone is better than cassel

  2. George Johnson

    December 15, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I am a big K Moore fan and have followed him his whole career. I would like to see K Moore play but for none of the reasons you mentioned. I think he needs to play after three plus years in the NFL for his development and to get some experience. I don't expect him to be substantially better than Cassel and Weeden in his first few games as I assume he will go through a learning curve and will possibly make some rookie mistakes. He will likely do okay to well though as he is a master at pocket passing and makes good decisions and minimizes mistakes. He may never play in the NFL because of his physical limitations; small size, lack of athleticism and lack of a strong arm. He needs to get an opportunity however to demonstrate he can overcome or compensate for his weaknesses with his outstanding pocket passing abilities and instinctive play. He may never get the opportunity because he doesn't look like an NFL QB and has zero NFL experience.

  3. Dave Dash

    December 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I feel there is a conspiracy against Kellen Moore, because I figure maybe Romo doesn't want Moore to come in and play well and do like he did to Bledsoe years ago… just my opinion.

    • George Johnson

      December 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      I disagree. I also wouldn't expect K Moore to play real well in his first couple of games especially against good defenses. Another conspiracy I have read is that Garrett doesn't want K Moore to come in and do well because everyone will say why didn't Garrett start Moore earlier before Dallas lost so many games that they are out of the playoffs.

  4. Ronald Dulaney

    December 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    After the Cowboys are behind the Jets by 20 points at halftime, they should bring in Kellen Moore for the second half – that Cassel never shows up for, as we've all witnessed over and over. But only if they let him audible at the line because one of his greatest intangibles is his ability to read defenses and their ploys before the snap. He must also be allowed to improvise AFTER the snap because, first, his incredible feel for pocket flow and where the passing lanes will emerge (why this short kid had so few batted passes – and sacks). And secondly, his apparently innate ability to discern the flow of the players, offensive AND defensive, and where the pass needs to be "placed" so only his receiver can reach it ( why he had so few interceptions). Because of the regemented or formatted nature of practice sessions, these intangibles are rarely, if ever, observed. That's why it's been said that Kellen Moore plays better than he practices. When allowed to exercise these intangible assets he tends to thrive, as when Scott Linehan gave him free reign when the Lions played the Patriots in the 2013 preseason. Because Shaun Hill was beat up, Kellen subbed for him and played against the Pats' first and second team defenses (per Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated). He started in the second quarter and led 4 scoring drives with two touchdown passes, no interceptions, no sacks or fumbles or batted passes, ending with a 156 QBR. It might be nice to see him start against the Buffalo Bills because he owned them the last four preseason games and he outdueled Tyrod Taylor in Virginia against Taylor's Hokies!

  5. Doug

    December 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I'll step out and say you're all wrong. Not only will Kellen step out and be the real deal game #1 but he'll continue winning games every time he plays. I watched him step out onto Autzen Stadium his second game in college football as a freshman. I was sure we were going to be crushed by the Ducks but Kellen proved us all wrong then and he'll prove everyone wrong again. I get that he doesn't look the part but he will make Dallas proud. Let Kellen show Dallas what he can do – it would be a blast to watch…..

  6. Zac Fields

    December 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I'll never understand the cult following that Kellen Moore has.

    There are no conspiracies here. The Cowboys have taken the approach every other team has taken toward the quarterback position when their incumbent starter has been injured.

    Look at Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets.
    Matt Hasselbeck of the Colts.
    Michael Vick of the Steelers
    Blaine Gabbert of the 49ers
    Josh McCown of the Browns
    Case Keenum of the Rams

    All players with tangible NFL experience. There are no Kellen Moores in this list. The backup quarterbacks starting in the NFL today are all either vested veterans or drafted heir-apparent players. As far as I know, there have been no undrafted quarterbacks who have never played an NFL snap starting for any NFL team this season.

    With all that said, I want Kellen Moore to start, too, because I think it's time we see what he's got. It's the whole "nothing to lose" argument and Moore does give us at least a sliver of reason to believe he might be good since he was extremely good in college. While success in college often doesn't translate to the NFL, at least we have a foundation for an excuse to give him a shot.

    But there are no conspiracies and no, Garrett/Jerry and company are not stupid for not having already started Moore several weeks ago. Even if he plays the final 2 games and performs well, Weeden and Cassel were still the right guys to have started for the Dallas Cowboys when they were still in playoff contention.

    • Ronald Dulaney

      December 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      @Zac Fields, Weeden and Cassel, judging from their play, obviously weren't the "right guys" to start for the Cowboys. They were the conventional wisdom guys, the common sense guys, "the usual suspects" guys, the safe choice guys, the " nobody can call me stupid if I choose these" guys – maybe. But obviously not the "right guys".

    • Ronald Dulaney

      December 15, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      @Zac Fields, Weeden and Cassel, judging from their play, obviously weren't the "right guys" to start for the Cowboys. They were the conventional wisdom guys, the common sense guys, "the usual suspects" guys, the safe choice guys, the " nobody can call me stupid if I choose these" guys – maybe. But obviously not the "right guys".

    • George Johnson

      December 17, 2015 at 12:41 am

      I am a big K Moore fan and have followed him his whole career and read everything said about him. Let me rebut some of what you said. 1) Yes, K Moore was not drafted. However, every one of those experts would have to admit now after what K Moore has done so far in the NFL, that he should have been drafted in the later rounds. 2) K Moore has never played in the NFL. However, every QB at some point has not played in the NFL. Someone has to give them an opportunity to play even though they have no experience and the coach wants to win the game, not break in a new rookie QB. Hopefully K Moore will get this opportunity at some point. , 3) K Moore was not drafted because he is too small, not athletic and does not have a strong arm. Many said they questioned whether K Moore could even play in the NFL. However, these so called experts were putting too much weight on what they can see and measure which are mainly his physical attributes or should I say lack there of. What they can't see and measure are his cerebral or mental abilities to play QB. He is outstanding at these and plays instinctively. He may be one of the best ever at a combination of accuracy, anticipation and mental abilities. His college coach, Peterson, said , "HE IS THE BEST POCKET PASSER HE HAS EVER SEEN" Pretty strong statement for a respected coach who is not known to be outspoken. I believe he developed these capabilities from studying, practicing and playing QB since he could walk because he was relentless at it and his dad was a coach so he was in a constant football environment. 4) K Moore has been underestimated at all levels. The major colleges were not interested in coming out of high school just like the NFL was not interested coming out of college. He has always proved everyone wrong and plays way better than anyone thinks he can play. Besides his poise and instinctive abilities to play, he is extremely consistent. One of the reasons he was 50-3 in college and could have easily been 52-1 was his consistency. He can't make all the throws in the NFL playbook because of not having a strong arm but his throws will generally be accurate, good anticipation, good touch, to the right receiver, quick release, and not be intercepted. He will do this consistently over and over again.

  7. Sean Martin

    Sean Martin

    December 15, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    InsideTheStar.com User

    I feel there is a conspiracy against Kellen Moore, because I figure maybe Romo doesn't want Moore to come in and play well and do like he did to Bledsoe years ago… just my opinion.

    I think Romo is clearly safe to start when he's once again ready to go, and even would likely prefer to see Moore succeed. Look back at the sideline during the seven-game losing streak, Romo the most hurt most of the time.

  8. Zac Fields

    December 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I've shared this sentiment with @Jess Haynie multiple times in the past, but I believe the Cowboys have always preferred to have "Romo-friendly" backup quarterbacks. They have always preferred to have veteran backups that were absolutely no threat in the event that Romo struggled (which he has done at random point sin his career) or got injured.

    I'm not faulting the Cowboys for going that route, but to me that's the reality of it. Look at their acquisition of Brandon Weeden. There was a younger, more successful former Browns quarterback available by the name of Colt McCoy, but McCoy was a huge name in Texas from his college days and was young enough that if Romo struggled you'd start to see fans wanting to see what McCoy could do. It may only be 10% of fans clamoring for it, but that kind of stuff can really mess with a quarterback's psyche.

    Same goes for Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers acquired Gabbert last year in a trade for nothing more than a 6th round pick. Another guy younger than Weeden who was a top draft pick just three years prior, and played for a crappy team in Jacksonville which gives some hope that he can be rehabilitated in a better system.

    It's working out great for the 49ers. And the Redskins got some good games out of McCoy last year. I just believe the Cowboys have always avoided putting guys behind Romo that might have long-term potential. They rarely draft quarterbacks, and the one time they acquire a recent 1st round draft pick, it's a 32 year old nearly as over-the-hill as the quarterback he is backing up.

    To me, just having Kellen Moore on the team indicates a slight deviation from that philosophy. We'll get to see Moore at some point this season — perhaps as soon as next week.

  9. Zac Fields

    December 16, 2015 at 10:34 am

    David Moore of DMN hit the nail on the head for me, pertaining to Kellen Moore:

    David Moore – DMN

    Let's say Moore plays the final two games? Let's say he plays lights out? Does that diminish the need for the Cowboys to draft a young quarterback to develop for the future?

    Not at all.

    Kellen Moore is a curiosity. He's someone who can help pass the time at the end of a dreadful season.

    He's not the future.

    That's my take on it. I think they should start Moore as soon as next week. I wish they'd have started him this week, but it's just a curiosity for me. Nothing he could do on the field changes my view that the Cowboys must consider drafting a quarterback in the top 2 rounds in April.

    • Ronald Dulaney

      December 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      @Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

    • Ronald Dulaney

      December 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      @Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

  10. Jess Haynie

    Jess Haynie

    December 16, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Pigskin ZacI've shared this sentiment with @Jess Haynie multiple times in the past, but I believe the Cowboys have always preferred to have "Romo-friendly" backup quarterbacks. They have always preferred to have veteran backups that were absolutely no threat in the event that Romo struggled (which he has done at random point sin his career) or got injured.

    And, as I've said every time you make this argument, I think you're taking the facts and making one of a few possible interpretations. I think Jason Garrett and Wade Wilson, because of their playing history, have a bias towards experienced backup QBs and prefer older veterans over younger guys.

    Saying they're worried about messing with Romo's confidence is, frankly, an insult to Tony. I think he's proven to have way more guts and moxie than that and that it wouldn't be a factor. Romo was himself a backup who ended up taking somebody's job based on performance. He gets it.

    We keep decrying the Cowboys for taking young tight ends and sticking them behind Jason Witten, only to watch them leave and end up becoming solid players elsewhere. Why would that be okay at QB, where the backup has way less chance of ever making a contribution during their time here, but not other positions? Seems like everyone wants to have it both ways. When a guy is an iron man like Witten, the team gets criticized for wasting picks on reserves. When Romo misses significant time, the team gets criticized for not putting more into the depth chart.

  11. Jess Haynie

    Jess Haynie

    December 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    That said, I'm all for playing Kellen Moore. What is there to lose? Still competing for the playoffs is a total joke now and almost mathematically impossible because of the Giants/Eagles game Week 17. They would both have to lose two straight leading to that game, and Dallas would have to win three in a row, for there to even be a chance. NOT HAPPENING.

  12. Zac Fields

    December 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Jess HaynieWe keep decrying the Cowboys for taking young tight ends and sticking them behind Jason Witten, only to watch them leave and end up becoming solid players elsewhere. Why would that be okay at QB, where the backup has way less chance of ever making a contribution during their time here, but not other positions?

    The problem with that logic is that a backup quarterback who does get time and thrives becomes a highly-valuable commodity that can be traded. A 1st or 2nd round tight end playing behind the never-injured Jason Witten will almost never end up yielding any value.

    Look at what the Patriots did with Matt Cassel to understand why the Cowboys are foolish for only making one half-hearted attempt at developing a drafted quarterback in the last decade. Back in 2008 when Tony Romo was out most of the season, isn't it a shame that the quarterback who played pretty damn good in his absence was Jon Kitna? What if we had drafted a Kevin Kolb (who, coincidentally yielded a king's ransom for the Eagles in a trade) or even a Chad Henne? What if one of those guys could have led the Cowboys to a .500 record and had an 85.0 quarterback rating? Could we have been the one to acquire Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in a trade?

    I view quarterbacks as valuable commodities. If you draft and develop them, they could be the heir-apparent or you could at least recoup some value in a trade. That's not true of almost any other position behind a strong incumbent starter.

    InsideTheStar.com User@Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

    You have heard the term "Romo-Friendly" before I said it, right? I hope so.

    Like I said, I'm not necessarily faulting the Cowboys for never putting a viable backup quarterback behind Romo — I'm just stating a fact. It's hard to argue that the Cowboys have clearly demonstrated a preference for washed-up quarterbacks in their mid-30's behind Romo. I think the Cowboys are aware that a young drafted quarterback is a valuable commodity that can be developed and traded if need-be, but what they are also aware of is the fickle nature of NFL team fans and aware of the very real issue a quarterback controversy causes.

    I feel like these are all simple concepts, though. Teams try to avoid quarterback controversies, which is an even bigger deal when you're talking a franchise like the Cowboys that deals with a higher level of drama than normal simply because of who they are.

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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