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The Dallas Cowboys’ Problems Start at the Top

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As I'm sure you all know, the Dallas Cowboys are 5-6 and are long shots on making the playoffs this season. When we take a look at what the Cowboys have struggled with this season the list is rather long.

Whether it's the injuries to Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, or Dan Bailey, the six game suspension that the NFL smacked down on Ezekiel Elliott, or maybe the coach's inability to adjust, there is plenty to talk about when discussing the weaknesses of this Dallas Cowboys football team.

The biggest problem with the Dallas Cowboys comes from the top. Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Will McClay deserve a lot of blame for what has happened to this football team.

In recent years, the Dallas Cowboys front office has been looked at as geniuses for drafting guys like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, or signing guys like Benson Mayowa and George Selvie, unfortunately that luck has run out.

Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Stand Out In 2017?

Dallas Cowboys during rookie minicamp, Front row left to right: Dak Prescott (4), Maliek Collins (96), Jaylon Smith (54), Ezekiel Elliott (21), Charles Tapper (79). Back row Anthony Brown (30), Darius Jackson (34), Kavon Frazier (35) and Rico Gathers (80). Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Over the last few weeks I evaluated every draft pick the Cowboys have used since 2013. In my evaluation I pulled out guys who I had graded as above average and pro-bowl players. I was shocked to find out that out of 42 total draft picks, I had only seven draft picks graded out as above average players based on their careers so far.

(* = pro-bowl caliber player)

That is not a successful formula for building a super bowl team.

The lack of ability to draft, sign, and develop players to play at a high level is something that this team cannot afford to do, especially with the way they handle free agency.

Last offseason the Cowboys signed Damontre Moore, Stephen Paea, and Nolan Carroll in free agency. None of those players are currently with the team. In 2016, the Cowboys signed Benson Mayowa and Cedric Thornton to pretty big contracts. Benson Mayowa has yet to record a sack in 2017 and Cedric Thornton was one of the Cowboys' final cuts before the '17 season.

How do you fix this problem? It may be time to let Will McClay walk and try to help another team build its roster.

Practice Squad Poaching

While Will McClay has certainly helped this team a lot over the years with drafts and bringing in other guys off the street, he's struggled in building a championship team.

As we all know, the last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl was January 28th, 1996, that's also the last time the Cowboys won an NFC Championship. That is a 21-year span that the team has gone without playing in an NFC Championship game.

Will McClay obviously knows what he's doing, but similar to the Cowboys coaching staff, he and Stephen Jones seem to be very stubborn in the way they do things. Like I mentioned above, McClay and Jones don't like spending big money in free agency, as we've learned over the last few off-seasons.

I understand why, but you better be able to hit on a good percentage of your draft picks if you're not comfortable paying proven veterans.

That stubbornness from the front office is something that must change in order for the Cowboys to get back to a championship caliber team. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like that's going to happen anytime soon.

On Stephen Jones radio show today with 105.3 The Fan he all but confirmed my "stubbornness" comment.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

It's very difficult for us to think we can pick a shorter defensive end and have success." - Stephen Jones on draft DEs.

This is something I will never understand with this front office. Their lack of ability to evaluate defensive talent has put this team in a bind for years now, and it doesn't seem like they are interested in changing their ways.

The comment from Stephen was made after Jeff Cavanaugh asked about Carl Lawson (7.0 sacks) and T.J. Watt (5.0 sacks). Jones practically made it clear that they will stay away from short pass rushers with short arms, hints the Taco Charlton pick. That is absolutely ridiculous seeing as some of the better pass rushers in the NFL are undersized (Carl Lawson, Melvin Ingram, Brandon Graham).

This type of mentality concerns me as someone who covers the team and as a fan.

Having confidence as an NFL general manager is one thing, being stubborn and not having the ability to adjust is another. Stephen Jones and Jerry Jones are not going anywhere, we know that. But it may be time to start thinking about getting someone new in the building to evaluate talent and make personnel decisions. The track record proves itself.

The Cowboys can't keep drafting projects or signing journeymen in free agency if they want to compete for a Lombardi trophy. Especially when you take into account the window you have with an extremely cheap franchise quarterback.

Do you think Will McClay is the right guy as the Dallas Cowboys "General Manager"? Let me know below!



Born in 1995, loved Football but more importantly the Dallas Cowboys since day one. Living in Redskins Country flying the Blue and Silver flag as high as possible. Covering the Dallas Cowboys for InsideTheStar.com and CowboysNation.com. Catch me on twitter @ConnorNFLDraft!

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Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten’s Game?

Brian Martin

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Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten's Game?

Jason Witten is 37 years old, retired from the NFL after the completion of 2017 season to try his luck as an announcer in the booth, but has now decided to come out of retirement to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys? It seems a little unrealistic to think he can come back after a year away from the game and pick up where he left off, but it sounds as if he's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Jason Witten has been the talk of Dallas Cowboys OTA practices so far. These practices are unpadded and basically just an opportunity to do install some of the offensive and defensive plays, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the things that has been somewhat surprising though is how talked up the future Hall of Famer has become.

Here is what Head Coach Jason Garrett had to say recently about Jason Witten's return:

“Yeah, absolutely. He’s been excited about every part of it ever since I met him and that hasn’t changed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “The work that he’s done in the weight room in the off-season program has been outstanding. His testing numbers and all of that are what they’ve been or even better. And he just has an unbelievable way about him. Tremendous passion for the game. And he demonstrates that every day. Witt looks good. He’s excited to be back and we’re certainly fortunate to have him back.”

The main thing that stands out from Garrett's quote to me is how Jason Witten looks just as good, if not better after not playing at all in 2018. To think that his testing numbers are possibly even better is unfathomable. We typically don't see NFL players in their mid-30s retire from the game and then return just as good, or maybe even better than they were before.

It's inhuman!

Jason Witten, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten

Maybe that's just what Jason Witten is, a little inhuman. Maybe he's found the secret to turning the clock back just a little bit. Or, maybe he found the fountain the youth and didn't tell anybody. Regardless, there's no doubt Witten will be a welcomed addition to the Cowboys offense, especially if he's gained a step.

I don't know about all of you, but I'm hoping the year away from the game did him some good. I honestly thought he made the right decision to retire prior to the 2018 season. It just looked like father time was catching up to him in 2017. But, hopefully all he needed was a little time away from the grind he's been putting his body through for over a decade.

Whatever he's done hasn't gone unnoticed though. Even Quarterback Dak Prescott has noticed and said he's on to Witten's scheme.

“I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.”

I'm not afraid to admit I wasn't too excited to see Witten come out of retirement and rejoin the Cowboys at first. I was skeptical he could be the player he once was after a year away from the game. But, all of this talk about him looking as good as he once was, perhaps better, has me really looking forward to seeing him on the field once again.

Do you think a year away has rejuvenated Jason Witten's game?



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Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva

Mauricio Rodriguez

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3 Quick Fixes to Jumpstart Cowboys Anemic Offense

Los Dallas Cowboys tuvieron un interesante 2018. La ofensiva dejo mucho que desear toda la primera mitad de la temporada cuando carecían de un receptor número uno. No fue hasta media temporada cuando consiguieron a Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, que la ofensiva comenzó a verse realmente amenazante. Siendo sinceros, el cuerpo de receptores de los Cowboys lucía muy débil al inicio y Michael Gallup aún no conseguía mucho tiempo de juego en el emparrillado. Incluso una vez en el equipo, a pesar de las grandes hazañas de Cooper en Dallas, la ofensiva no terminó de dar el siguiente paso.

Sí, con Amari en el equipo vimos un equipo de Cowboys que movía constantemente las cadenas e incluso se convirtió en una de las mejores unidades en tercera oportunidad en la liga, pero no fue suficiente. Los problemas en zona roja persistieron y continuamos viendo una selección de jugadas muy cuestionable semana tras semana.

Es por eso que al finalizar la temporada, la administración de los Cowboys finalmente tomó una decisión muy anticipada. El entonces coordinador ofensivo, Scott Linehan, fue despedido.

En cuanto a talento, los Dallas Cowboys no verán un cambio mayor en su ofensiva. Cole Beasley, uno de los mejores WR slot en la NFL, firmó con los Buffalo Bills durante la agencia libre. A pesar de la llegada de Randall Cobb, la ofensiva probablemente extrañará bastante a Beasley. Además está el regreso de Jason Witten al campo, quien se repartirá el balón mucho con los jóvenes del equipo, principalmente con Blake Jarwin. Por último, Travis Frederick podría estar de regreso como el centro titular. Fuera de eso, no se anticipan cambios de jugadores en la ofensiva.

Y a pesar de esto, la afición de los Cowboys espera ver un cambio grande entre la ofensiva del 2018 y la de 2019. Si las cosas salen bien, así será. Pero más que por el talento del equipo, que ya está ahí y es un muy buen talento, deberá ser por el hombre al mando.

Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore ha tomado las riendas como el nuevo coordinador ofensivo y finalmente podremos ver su potencial. Muchos han criticado a Moore, en gran parte por nunca haber sido un quarterback exitoso en la NFL. Sin embargo, hay muchas razones por las cuales deberíamos estar emocionados.

Desde que Moore salió de la universidad de Boise State, se le veía como un prospecto muy inteligente. Incluso analistas como Jon Gruden (en ese entonces conductor del programa de ESPN Gruden's QB Camp) mencionaban que Moore probablemente no sería un gran mariscal, pero que tenía la mente de un coach.

En Boise, Moore trabajaba con la ofensiva del actual coach de los Washington Huskies, Chris Petersen. Esta ofensiva es una muy complicada que le exige al mariscal saber casi tanto como un jugador profesional. Muchos han descrito a Moore como un genio ofensivo que será un gran coach en el futuro.

Para los Cowboys, Kellen Moore será una pieza clave en 2019. Si vemos una ofensiva realmente diferente, será gracias a su creatividad y filosofía que implementa a un grupo bastante talentoso en Dallas. Los jugadores están ahí, ¿sabrá el coordinador ofensivo de 30 años aprovecharlos?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Headlines - Rubbing Salt In The Wound That Is Randy Gregory

The NFLPA and the NFL have reached an agreement to research alternative pain-management tools for the players. They'll form joint medical committees to study different strategies, among which will be the use of marijuana. It's important to make it clear that said committees will not be exclusively about marijuana, but a lot of different issues related to pain-management in the league. However, it'll likely be one of the most important aspects of their work.

Marijuana continues to be a highly debated topic and it's no different when discussing the NFL. Dallas Cowboys fans should be very familiar with the situation. Earlier this year, David Irving "quit" on football during an Instagram live stream while smoking weed. In the video, Irving talks about how he thinks it's better to be addicted to marijuana rather than certain medications used by NFL teams to treat their players.

Although David Irving is not an authority on substances, that is where all of this debate centers around. Throughout the league, players are given strong medication to deal with injuries and the physical pain of playing pro football. I'm not an expert either, but it's more than fair to say there's a strong argument here. Specially in a country where marijuana has already been legalized in 10 states and the trend points toward legalization continuing.

The current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the NFL and NFLPA will expire after the 2020 season and how the league's drug policy looks like in the new agreement will be a huge factor for reaching a satisfactory CBA for both sides.

Of course, the fact that the NFLPA and the league are working together on such an important task doesn't mean we will see any immediate changes or that the NFL's ban on marijuana will be lifted anytime soon. Many big question marks will have to be answered before we hear about teams implementing this substance as a pain management tool.

For the Dallas Cowboys, this will be a relevant narrative down the line. Pass rusher Randy Gregory was reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension due to substance abuse prior to the 2018 season. After a dominant year, Gregory was suspended again by the NFL and it all points toward him sitting out this upcoming season and perhaps even more.

Even still, the Cowboys are still standing behind their 2015 second round pick. If the league ends up lifting its ban on marijuana, they'll have to decide what they will do with players already serving a suspension for this reason. Guys like Randy Gregory, for instance. If it's decided they'll be reinstated to the NFL, the Cowboys will sure be glad to have supported Gregory all throughout the process.

Last year, the pass rusher proved how effective he could be even with a short period of time training. Hopefully, the Cowboys are able to get him back on the field eventually, where's been consistently dominant. In the meantime, we'll see how recently acquired Robert Quinn does in Dallas.

The NFL won't be lifting its ban anytime soon, but it's good to know they're at least open minded to changing the league's policy and consider alternatives that could benefit the players' health. We'll see how these new medical committees work and keep you updated here at Inside The Star.

Tell me what you think about "NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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