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Deon Anderson Should Fear Team Reaction

Bryson Treece

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Cowboys Blog - Deon Anderson Should Fear Team Reaction

Of all the things to happen, why'd Deon Anderson have to land himself a gun related charge? Seriously, as if Plaxico Burress didn't make that point crystal clear for the league.

To me it seems like there are just too many dynamics in play to try to figure out what will happen with him should he be convicted, and even if he's not. I say too many because one of the key dynamics is the amount of change in Jerry Jones regarding his players and personal conduct.

We all remember the 90's—it was ugly as far as personal conduct.

But then Adam "Pacman" Jones was able to test and tread the waters before eventually sinking at the hands of Jerry Jones. And who can forget Terrell Owens, given that anyone believes the decision to release him last year was even slightly about team chemistry and "The Player's" attitude.

Jerry has possibly demonstrated a change in his own policies for dealing with players who cause and get into trouble. I use possibly because while things were really heating up with Pacman and T.O., Anthony Spencer got into some trouble and barely received a slap on the wrist.

So what will Jerry do with Deon, regardless of if he is eventually convicted or not? It's hard to say.

T.O. had become more of a problem than a producer, and Pacman could never stay out of trouble long enough to start producing in Dallas. But Spencer was viewed as the next starting OLB ready for the soon-after release of Greg Ellis.

Deon Anderson had one catch for five yards in 2009. That's it. That was all of his involvement.

It seems to me that the axe would fall swiftly if it even looked like he was facing jail time. But a guy that touches the ball only once in a whole season plus two playoff games should be very worried no matter what.

So you guys tell me what you think, should he be cut and under what circumstances? Answer in the comments.

[poll id="19"]



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. bigkat74

    February 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I think he should be released but not simply because of the charges, but because of production or lack there of on the field. He doesn't seem like an effective lead blocker and as was stated had only one catch out of the backfield this past season. I think the team needs to move on and try to find the next “Moose”, a fullback who excels in blocking and can contribute by catching the ball out of the backfield..

  2. JoeC87

    February 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I disagree with bigkat in regards to lead blocker or just Deon's blocking ability in general. There was a chart somewhere comparing Deon and J. Phillips and we were more successful in all areas with Deon in the game. I don't want to see him cut because I really like his attitude in games and he is a great blocking fb. I hope JJ keeps him, but we never know what JJ is thinking or is going to do.

    Edit: And he might have only had one catch but that is not what J Garrett is using him for, and on top of that we have so many OTHER threats on the field that can handle the catches.

    • Bryson Treece

      February 21, 2010 at 2:42 am

      In his three years, he gets 4+ touches, mixed run and pass, each year. In '09 he had one catch and no runs. You're right, he's not used as a weapon with the ball, but as a weapon to keep the ball moving.

      The problem is that when your sole function is to be an extra blocker, like a fullback, you don't have a lot of value. Guys who can block are easier to find than guys who can catch and run.

      I remember hearing about that stat comparing the blocking of Anderson and John Phillips. It's a nice stat, but being that Phillips was a rookie third string TE with more of a receiving style, the stat doesn't tell us much. A fullback of any caliber should be able to block better than him. When a TE was used in the backfield to block, it was Witten more times than not, even when Phillips was on the field. Not easy to call this one.

      • JoeC87

        February 21, 2010 at 2:49 am

        True but honestly when you look around the league at the other teams how many of them are actually utilizing their fb's as both blocker and potential receiver/runner? Reason I like Deon is cuz he plays smash mouth blocking and that's harder then you think to replace. But like I said if we can find someone of equal or higher potential in the draft or via free agent then so be it.

        • Bryson Treece

          February 21, 2010 at 3:03 am

          And that's really what I'm hoping for, to find a replacement via the draft. I've always been sort of the partial to the idea of cutting Anderson. Remember that I'm young enough that my first year as a Cowboys fan was Smith's first Super Bowl, which means it was Moose at fullback. Maybe it's an unfair model to hold him up to, but I don't think Anderson fits in the mold of a Moose.

          Most teams use the fullback position for blocking, some use it for running and a couple use it for passing. A lot of teams use a TE at FB though, and the Cowboys are one of those more and more each year. That tells me they might be losing confidence in Anderson anyway.

          • JoeC87

            February 21, 2010 at 3:25 am

            Yeah but the game has changed from back in those days. I think the FB as itself is slowly getting faded out anyway, because like you said people are figuring out that TE's just fit better with what teams are trying to do. I think only FB that is still like the old school FB's is the Ravens FB McClain. I see your point though, i'm fully for sticking a TE like Witten and Phillips back their on occasion, I think Garrett could come up with some crafty plays (hopefully) with that formation. Here's to hoping big things in 2010!

  3. JoeC87

    February 21, 2010 at 4:24 am

    I disagree with bigkat in regards to lead blocker or just Deon's blocking ability in general. There was a chart somewhere comparing Deon and J. Phillips and we were more successful in all areas with Deon in the game. I don't want to see him cut because I really like his attitude in games and he is a great blocking fb. I hope JJ keeps him, but we never know what JJ is thinking or is going to do.

    Edit: And he might have only had one catch but that is not what J Garrett is using him for, and on top of that we have so many OTHER threats on the field that can handle the catches.

  4. Bryson Treece

    February 21, 2010 at 8:42 am

    In his three years, he gets 4+ touches, mixed run and pass, each year. In '09 he had one catch and no runs. You're right, he's not used as a weapon with the ball, but as a weapon to keep the ball moving.

    The problem is that when your sole function is to be an extra blocker, like a fullback, you don't have a lot of value. Guys who can block are easier to find than guys who can catch and run.

    I remember hearing about that stat comparing the blocking of Anderson and John Phillips. It's a nice stat, but being that Phillips was a rookie third string TE with more of a receiving style, the stat doesn't tell us much. A fullback of any caliber should be able to block better than him. When a TE was used in the backfield to block, it was Witten more times than not, even when Phillips was on the field. Not easy to call this one.

  5. JoeC87

    February 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

    True but honestly when you look around the league at the other teams how many of them are actually utilizing their fb's as both blocker and potential receiver/runner? Reason I like Deon is cuz he plays smash mouth blocking and that's harder then you think to replace. But like I said if we can find someone of equal or higher potential in the draft or via free agent then so be it.

  6. Bryson Treece

    February 21, 2010 at 9:03 am

    And that's really what I'm hoping for, to find a replacement via the draft. I've always been sort of the partial to the idea of cutting Anderson. Remember that I'm young enough that my first year as a Cowboys fan was Smith's first Super Bowl, which means it was Moose at fullback. Maybe it's an unfair model to hold him up to, but I don't think Anderson fits in the mold of a Moose.

    Most teams use the fullback position for blocking, some use it for running and a couple use it for passing. A lot of teams use a TE at FB though, and the Cowboys are one of those more and more each year. That tells me they might be losing confidence in Anderson anyway.

  7. JoeC87

    February 21, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Yeah but the game has changed from back in those days. I think the FB as itself is slowly getting faded out anyway, because like you said people are figuring out that TE's just fit better with what teams are trying to do. I think only FB that is still like the old school FB's is the Ravens FB McClain. I see your point though, i'm fully for sticking a TE like Witten and Phillips back their on occasion, I think Garrett could come up with some crafty plays (hopefully) with that formation. Here's to hoping big things in 2010!

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Dallas Cowboys

Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

Sean Martin

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Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?

The Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss at the Los Angeles Rams is still fresh on the minds of their players, staff, and front office. So much so that the team had to fan the flames on a Jason Garrett comment expecting Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan to return. Garrett himself walked back this "report" once Stephen Jones noted it's still too early for any coaching staff changes. The focus will remain on Linehan's post until it's removed or the Cowboys OC is retained, but one coordinator the Cowboys now expect to keep is Rod Marinelli on defense.

Marinelli himself disputed the season-long belief that this was likely his last as the Cowboys defensive coordinator. With Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard not taking any of the three HC positions he interviewed for, Marinelli doesn't have to worry about shuffling his title to accommodate Richard - who called the plays from week one this season anyway.

Rod's title does include his specialty as defensive line coach though, a unit that the Rams dominated with their offensive line to a historic degree. The Rams' season-high 273 rushing yards was provided by both Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson surpassing 100 yards on the ground, the first time in team history they've had two backs reach this mark in a single playoff game.

Rams HC Sean McVay hardly had to reach into his vaunted 'bag of tricks' to expose the Cowboys defense in a way they hadn't been all year, but there was still an element of brilliance in his offensive game plan. It came out after the game that the Rams picked up on the keys the Dallas defensive linemen used to signal stunts and twists before the snap. While this is nothing more than just great scouting yielding an unforeseen advantage, it's left the Cowboys with more than enough time to ponder what went wrong in the Coliseum.

Danny Heifetz on Twitter

The Rams offensive line knew what the Cowboys defensive line was going to do before the snap on Saturday. https://t.co/oGo6Eiz4av

The answer to this may be nothing other than the coaching questions the Cowboys are already considering. With Richard's interviews in Tampa Bay, Miami, and New York coming at the beginning of the week leading up to game day, it's possible Marinelli had a larger say in the Cowboys preparation on defense.

It was Marinelli's defense that conceded 412 yards to the Rams in 2017 in a loss at AT&T Stadium. Matching him up with McVay leaves a lot to be desired, while Richard helps bridge this gap - something he was seen desperately trying to do on the sideline with a battered Cowboys defense.

As each day of the offseason passes, a change at either coordinator position becomes less likely in Dallas. On offense, the play caller has more than a season's worth of evidence showing the deficiencies of the Cowboys attack. In a league fueled by recency bias however, Marinelli certainly didn't leave his best performance on the field in Los Angeles.

Somewhere in the middle of this is Jason Garrett, safely in place as the head coach that should be personally trying to upgrade his top two assistants however possible. Marinelli signing up for another year makes this hard on defense, though Richard should resume play calling duties next season.

Again, this leaves the onus of the Cowboys improvements for 2019 on the offensive side of the ball, something that'll be realized when the shock of their defense letting them down in the biggest game of the season is gone.

Tell us what you think about "Did DC Rod Marinelli Have Increased Role in Cowboys Loss at Rams?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Getting Over $30 Million Cap Space from Expiring Dead Money

Jess Haynie

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Tony Romo, Dez Bryant

You may have already heard that the Dallas Cowboys will be flush with salary cap space in 2019, and that's very accurate. A huge portion of it comes from over $30 million in expiring cap penalties, otherwise known as "dead money."

Quick explanation; dead money occurs when a player is released or retires prior to the expiration of their contract. Any guaranteed money, such as the original signing bonus or money converted in a restructuring, that has not yet been paid out according to the contract schedule is accelerated.

For example, when Tony Romo retired after 2016, he still had $19.6 million in guaranteed money owed to him. Dallas chose to split this dead money over two years, and thus had a $10.7 cap penalty in 2017 and $8.9 million last season.

But now Romo's dead money, along with Dez Bryant's and several other players, is coming off the Cowboys' books. The result is a roughly $30 million infusion of salary cap space for 2019.

Here were the major culprits for last year's dead money:

(All cap figures are taken from Spotrac.com)

  • QB Tony Romo - $8.9 million
  • WR Dez Bryant - $8 million
  • DT Cedric Thornton - $2.5 million
  • CB Orlando Scandrick - $2.3 million
  • CB Nolan Carroll - $2 million
  • WR Deonte Thompson - $1.8 million
  • DE Benson Mayowa - $1.1 million
  • K Dan Bailey - $800 thousand
  • TE James Hanna - $750 thousand

Those players alone make up a little over $28 million. Another $4 million or so came from over 30 players with lesser penalties that still added up.

Right now, the Cowboys have only $1.76 million in dead money on their 2019 salary cap. Nearly all of that is the $1.6 million still owed to Orlando Scandrick.

That difference is where the cap space comes from, and it will be of tremendous help to Dallas as they have major financial moves coming. They need to re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence, deal with a major salary bump for Amari Cooper, and consider a contract extension for Dak Prescott.

The 2019 number will change, of course, as the offseason rolls on. If Dallas elects to release players like Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford, or others, some dead money will appear. But that will be offset by whatever cap savings motivated the move in the first place.

This is a good reminder of why the Cowboys' new era of fiscal conservatism is a good thing. After years of what felt like perpetual "salary cap hell," they are finally getting out from under those penalties and have complete flexibility this offseason. They may not even need to cut a guy like Crawford, who they almost would have been forced to in past seasons.

We'll be talking a lot more about individual players and their contracts in the weeks ahead, but this summary helps us see that Dallas isn't nearly up against the financial wall as they have been. We still miss guys like Romo and Dez, but we won't miss that awful dead money in 2019.



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Player News

Cowboys Expect C Travis Frederick Back for Offseason Program

Jess Haynie

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Travis Frederick

Lost in yesterday's hoopla over Scott Linehan's return was a positive report about Center Travis Frederick. In his comments to the media, Jason Garrett said that Frederick's recovery timetable should allow him to a full participant in the team's offseason program.

After never missing a start in his first five years, Travis missed all of 2018 dealing with the effects of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The disease attacked his neurological system and required immediate and intensive treatment.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Jason Garrett says the team anticipates Travis Frederick being involved in the offseason program right from the start this spring if he continues on the same positive track in recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome. #cowboyswire

While Joe Looney performed admirably in Frederick's absence, he's not an elite talent. Travis has been arguably the best center in the NFL since entering the league in 2013.

It's hard to qualify what effect not having Frederick had on the Cowboys offense in 2018. Ezekiel Elliott still led the league in rushing, but short-yardage plays weren't as automatic as we've seen in past years. A 4th-and-1 stuff was part of what led to the Cowboys' loss this past Saturday.

Dak Prescott was the second-most sacked QB in the NFL in 2018. After being sacked just 25 and 32 times in his first two seasons, the number skyrocketed to 56 sacks.

That's not all on Frederick, of course. Tyron Smith had some health issues and there were was turnover at left guard.

But having your All-Pro veteran center out there to help with the pre-snap reads, and help the rookie guard on his left, might have helped avoid some of those issues.

Indeed, Travis Frederick's return is just one of many reasons for optimism with the 2019 season. One of the best players on the team, he was sorely missed this year and can only help as Dallas looks to build on their division title and playoff appearance.



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