The Dallas Cowboys defense has been the story of this season, primed to show off their collective talents in the playoffs. As NFC East champions, the Cowboys will host either the Seahawks or Vikings in the Wild Card Round. On Rod Marinelli's side of the ball, feel good stories like Jaylon Smith's or rookie Leighton Vander Esch's have made Defensive End Randy Gregory just another guy - precisely what he needs at this point in his career, despite being one of the biggest reasons the Cowboys can contend in the NFC.
The Cowboys win over the Buccaneers last week caused a subdued reaction as the team clinched the division. It was likely Gregory's best game as a pro, forcing two fumbles that both led to touchdowns. For a player that was unsure if he'd ever see the field again after his latest suspension, Gregory is paying off the Cowboys trust in him reclaiming a starting DE position this season.
Gregory has five sacks and ten quarterback hits in his last seven games, consistently flashing pass rush skills that nobody else on the roster can match. This is even true of DeMarcus Lawrence, whose found ways to be disruptive despite just one sack in his last four games.
Considering the Cowboys offense managed just two touchdowns in two games where the NFC East was theirs for the taking, Gregory's 14 points provided off turnovers against Tampa should go a very long way with his teammates and coaches.
The last two times the Cowboys have made the playoffs, they've been eliminated by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers will not be in the postseason this year. The Cowboys consolation prize? A gauntlet of accomplished starters in Russell Wilson/Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, and Jared Goff potentially await them.
The Cowboys pass rush will be crucial in their hopes of playing into February, and thanks to Gregory they absolutely can. Dallas has even overcome a number of costly penalties from him to see his quarterback pressures rise. With it, quality wins against the Saints, Eagles (x2), and Falcons have legitimized the entire Cowboys defense as a force to be reckoned with.
With a herd mentality instilled by Marinelli, the Cowboys believe anyone on their defense can make a game-changing play at any time. This belief extends well into the secondary behind Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard. Starting up front with Gregory, aided by the likes of Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, and Lawrence, is as good of a place as any for this play making ability to show up for Dallas and spark a playoff run.
The Cowboys are a playoff team that know opposing coaches will have to prepare for Randy Gregory off the edge. Neither are these absolutes were believable at various points this year, most recently the fact that the Cowboys could win their division. In doing so, their sights are set on higher goals, with Gregory having nowhere but up to go in a career that can take off this postseason.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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