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Dez Bryant: Why Dallas Cowboys Fans Can’t Lose Faith Just Yet

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Cowboys Blog - Dez Bryant: A Cowboy for Life?

Unfortunately, the 2015 NFL season went the complete opposite direction the Dallas Cowboys had hoped for. A team many predicted to go to the Super Bowl in 2016, the Cowboys are currently 4-9 in the worst division in football with three of their wins coming against teams within the NFC East. The Cowboys have won two games since September 20th, the same day Tony Romo suffered his first of two left clavicle injuries.

Week 2 actually wasn't the first major injury for the Cowboys. In Week 1, the Cowboys' star receiver, about two months off signing a 5-year, $70 million deal, broke a bone in his right foot, which caused for him to miss six weeks of football. Since his return against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8, Bryant has caught just 22 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Despite Matt Cassel at helm, Cowboys fans have been upset with Bryant's lack of production, but the hate for the former Oklahoma State product is simply absurd.

After the injury against the New York Giants in Week 1, it was originally reported that Bryant would return in 4-6 weeks. However, it was then reported that the injury timetable would be about 10-12 weeks. But after missing just five games, Bryant returned. Since returning, Bryant has dealt not only with the pain of the foot injury, but he's also been battling a knee injury he suffered while catching a 51-yard touchdown pass in Week 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The first year of Dez's mega-contract hasn't been a good one, but you have to look at the state of the Cowboys. Really no player has had a ton of success this season and a large reason why has been who's playing at the quarterback position.

2016 will bring a ton of optimism for Cowboys fans. They'll have a high draft pick in this year's draft, they'll be bringing back a ton of key players, and younger players like Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, and Demarcus Lawrence are only to improve. Oh yeah, also a guy named Tony Romo will return to full health.

Dallas may be a laughingstock right now, but an offense with weapons like Romo, Bryant, Jason Witten, and the offensive line mean the Cowboys could be back in business atop the league in no time. It all depends on one thing, can the Cowboys stay healthy? Look at the 2014 season, that year was the healthiest Cowboys season in the past seven years. Look at the success they had and could've had if it weren't for a bogus NFL rule. The talent is there for the Cowboys to make a Super Bowl run in 2017 and if that does indeed happen, Bryant will be one of the main reasons why.



An online sports writer for about three years now, Ryan is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He writes about his favorite team on Inside The Star. Ryan also writes for other publications like Roster Watch, Rant Sports, and Cuse Nation. Ryan is a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Information Management and Technology. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanRattyNFL.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Oscar Reyes

    December 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I already lost faith in the Cowboys doing anything at all. The main reason is the Quarterback situation. Thank goodness that Brandon Weeden is gone. Now Jason Garrett is glued to Matt Cassel and Cassel needs to be benched. Kellen Moore needs to be given the opportunity and chance to show what he can do. If Matt Cassel starts against the New York Jets the Cowboys are going to LOSE. Everyone mark my words. With this lose it is all over till next year.

  2. Juan M. Perez

    December 16, 2015 at 3:39 am

    I agree with Oscar go on and give Kellen Moore a chance you guys were boasting how he knew the offense better than Weeden and Cassell….Give the guy a chance

  3. James Howerton

    December 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I'm a lifelong Cowboy's fan and will be till the day I take a dirt nap. Personally, I'll be happy if we lose out. The higher the pick, the better off we'll be. Due to injuries to Romo, Dez and our besg DB, we really never had a chance this year. A top 5 pick in the top 4 Rounds can improve what is already a pretty good team. We've finally found a FS who could be a perrenial Pro Bowler, a good, young OL, a D that will get better because we have a very good DC, one of the best WRs in the game, a HOF TE who is like the Energizer Bunny and 1 or 2 excellent LBers. We're a fairly young team with needs at multiple positions. QB, RB, DT, WR, etc. We will have the luxury of taking the BPA and hopefully the stars will align for us this off-season. We have a good owner and I think Stephen's developing into a good GM. Our HC will lead us to a Championship. I think it might be Post-Romo although I hope he wins one before he retires or is forced out so he gets to the HOF. He has given Dallas everything he has but his body is breaking down (literally) before our eyes, after taking a beating year in and year out until they drafted some excellent OL-men in the First Round. So many say Garrett's had enough time to win a SB but I had to wait 11 years for Coach Landry to win the first one. I'm glad that Clint Murchison had faith and patience with Coach Landry, although financial difficulties forced Murchison to sell the team to Bum Bright in 1984. Bum had no such faith in Landry and he sold the team to Jerry Jones after the debacle of a 3-13 record. Jones hired Jimmy but after posting a 1-15 record in '89, Jones and Johnson were the laughingstock of the League. That off-season Johnson and Jones pulled off the deal of the century with the Hershal Walker/Vikings deal and nobody was laughing 3 years later when Dallas won the SB. Jones, the great owner, and Johnson, the great coach, were never able to equal their success apart from the othef as of this season.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" 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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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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