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Did Cowboys Make A Mistake Releasing Darius Jackson?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Did Cowboys Make A Mistake Releasing Darius Jackson?

We all knew that at some point the Dallas Cowboys would activate veteran running back Darren McFadden and add him to the 53 man roster. To make such a move the organization had to release someone, and even though many of us have projected who that player may be, I don't think any of us saw them cutting Darius Jackson.

Darius Jackson isn't a household name by any means, so many of you will probably just shrug your shoulders upon hearing of his release, but I for one am left in the state of disbelief. I'll admit, it was literally one of those jaw-dropping moments for me.

Now, Jackson may be in his first year in the NFL after being drafted in the sixth round by the Cowboys, but I really had big expectations for him once he had time to develop his skill set a little more.

Cowboys Headlines - Did Cowboys Make A Mistake Releasing Darius Jackson? 1The former Eastern Michigan product possesses an impressive combination of size, speed, and explosiveness, which was on full display at his Pro Day earlier in the off-season. He is a complete back and can not only run the ball, but is an effective receiver out of the backfield and not bad in pass protection either, although that was still a work in progress.

The Dallas Cowboys now risk another team claiming him off of waivers, and I for one would be surprised if he isn't. Hopefully though, he goes unclaimed and the Cowboys can bring him back as a member of the practice squad.

I honestly would hate to see him become a productive member for another team in the NFL, especially considering the team chose to keep Lance Dunbar instead.

You see, Dunbar was my choice for the Cowboys to release when Darren McFadden was  brought back to the active roster. I really have a disdain for specially players and to me that's the category I would put #25 in.

He is not the type of player you want to see carrying the ball between the tackles and the only thing he has been somewhat successful at is as a receiver out of the backfield. Of course, that's not even mentioning the fact that he has a history of being injury prone.

To me, Darius Jackson can do all of those things and has more upside down the road. Unfortunately, we may now see him find success with another team.

I really just thought it was odd that the Cowboys would choose to keep Dunbar, who is on a one-year deal, over Jackson, who is in the first year of his rookie contract. Typically in these situations you see the aging/injury prone veteran get the ax, not the young player with promising potential.

The only thing that I, and the rest of us can do is wait and see if Darius Jackson can somehow slip through waivers and become a member of the Cowboys practice squad.

Here's to hoping that the Cowboys mistake of releasing Jackson in the first place can be rectified by bringing him back to the team.

Would you like to see Darius Jackson return to the Dallas Cowboys?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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16 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    OF COURSE….the cowboys made a HUGE mistake releasing D.Jackson. He’s the better complete back on the the roster outside of Zeke. Alfred Morris has gave you little of nothing, Dunbar is only in as a 3rd down receiver , and McFadden is in the last year of his deal. The only thing that would make this worse is if he’s claimed by a playoff team Specifically the GIANTS. Overall bad move boys!!!!

    • Brian Martin

      Travis, you’re completely right. I think he is the most complete back outside of Zeke. That’s why it was so surprising that he was the one released. I’m still holding out hope that he can be added to the practice squad, but I think that is highly unlikely.

  • Robert Strandberg

    Bad move!

    • Brian Martin

      I agree Robert.

  • Jeff Cook

    I agree I was completely surprised by this move I really wished they would have released Dunbar or even DMC over Jackson. The only reason I can think of why they released Jackson is maybe he was late to a meeting or he didn’t have a tie lol. We can only hope no other team has seen what we all on here see in Jackson and let him clear waivers and hope we resign him to PS. Of course if we give Dunbar a couple more touches this week he will be heading to IR next week then we can bring Jackson back.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Jeff. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one surprised by Jackson’s release. I’m really hoping he can clear waivers and come back to the Cowboys.

  • Skidmark Goatcabin

    If he clears waivers the Cowboys need to drop Dunbar and resign Jackson. This is a horrible move.

    • Brian Martin

      Skidmark, unfortunately I don’t see them doing that since they kept Dunbar over Jackson in the first place. Fortunately though, the Cowboys can add Jackson to the practice squad and still keep Dunbar. He just has to clear waivers first.

  • Russ_Te

    The problem is Whitehead. The Cowboys need Dunbar around for when he misses meetings… ;^)

    • Brian Martin

      Russ, I would be fine with getting rid of both Whitehead and Dunbar. Give me a more complete player over a specialty player any day.

  • Russ_Te

    Checking Google news for Jackson and there it is, 14 minutes ago. Cleveland claimed him >

    https://www.all22.com/dallas-cowboys/browns-claim-cowboys-running-back-darius-jackson

    But the Browns are done in 3 weeks and DJ could be teamless again this offseason.

    • Brian Martin

      Yeah, Cleveland claimed him. I doubt that he will be team less again this off-season. This move was probably made for future purposes. That’s true running backs can be found later in the draft, that’s for the Cowboys found Jackson in the first place. Christine Michael was a second round pick however.

      • Russ_Te

        Right about Michael. But he’s bouncing around now, had 10 carries for Green Bay last week. Marion Barber III, 4th round. These RB’s with power & burst seem to be prevalent out of college now.

        It’s true that Cleveland may see DJ as part of their rebuild.

        • Brian Martin

          The RB position takes less time for rookies to contribute in the NFL. It is still disappointing that the Cowboys had a promising first-year player in Jackson. It seems like a wasted pick that might have to be addressed again in the upcoming draft.

  • Assassin

    Both Eagles and Giants made claims on him. Thank God the Browns took him first

    • Brian Martin

      Assassin, I saw that also. I would’ve hated seeing Darius Jackson find success with the Eagles or Giants. At least with the Browns I can root for him.

      • Assassin

        Yep. Would have hated to see him with either one. And like you mentioned on the contract. We have Zeke for three more years plus an option year. Dunbar is only signed through this year. Morris and McF are both signed through 2017. We would have had DJ for 3 more years on a cheap rookie deal.

        • Brian Martin

          Assassin, McFadden is a FA after the season as well.

          • Assassin

            You are correct. my bad.

          • Brian Martin

            No worries. That’s why I was really confused by the release of Jackson with two running backs in the last year of their contracts.

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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin

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Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" 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 OT La’el Collins Could Become Major Bargain

Jess Haynie

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La'el Collins

When you talk Cowboys offensive line, you always think of Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin first. Right Tackle La'el Collins still has to prove he belongs in the same sentence with his elite teammates. If he does that in 2018, Collins could become one of the best bargains on the roster.

Making the move from left guard to right tackle last year, Collins improved with time and was playing his best football at the end of the year. This was despite ongoing back issues that had him on the injury report most weeks.

La'el started all 16 games at right tackle and did enough that the Cowboys committed to keeping him there in 2018, even despite a big hole back at left guard. They are hoping consistency and stability will allow Collins to really blossom this season, building on the strong progress shown last year.

For 2018, Collins has a $5.76 million cap hit. According to Spotrac, that makes him the 13th-most expensive right tackle in the NFL this year.

That middle-of-the-pack expense is consistent with where La'el currently rates among NFL right tackles. Bleacher Report ranked Collins as the 16th-best RT in football last year.

But that ranking was based on the season as a whole. If La'el plays all of 2018 the way he was playing towards the end of last year, he will have emerged as one of the better right tackles in the game.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

If Collins develops as we hope, that salary suddenly becomes a major bargain. The most expensive right tackles in the NFL are making $7-$9 million this season.

But this can go a couple of ways. With his 2019 cap hit rising to $7.9 million, La'el needs to next step forward.

If Collins were to struggle this year, it could make him a potential cap casualty next offseason. Dallas can save $6.5 million in cap space if Collins is released or traded in 2019.

Dallas could elect to give Connor Williams, their second-round pick this year, a look at right tackle next season. It's the position he played in college.

They could also consider veteran backup Cameron Fleming, who will still be just 26-year-old. Fleming has two Super Bowl rings and several starts, including in the postseason, from his time with the Patriots.

While we think of La'el Collins as a first-round talent, it's important to remember that he was ultimately an undrafted free agent. Dallas did not have to invest anything to acquire him, and ultimately that makes it easier to let him go.

Naturally, we prefer the other side of this coin. If Collins builds on 2017, he will join the upper echelon of right tackles in the league. And if the Cowboys' offensive line isn't already the best in the NFL, that would only cement them as the best unit in football.

If La'el makes the leap, it could mean huge things for the Cowboys' offense and team success this year.



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Dallas Cowboys

How Cowboys Could Benefit From Randy Gregory’s Suspension

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory Withdraws Suspension Appeal, Cannot Return Until Week 15

Randy Gregory is back! His suspension is officially over and he will be able to join the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California when training camp gets underway less than a week from now.

Speculation has already started as to what this could mean for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, and shockingly expectations are rather high for a player who hasn't stepped foot on the field in over a year. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to focus on Gregory's mess of a contract, because it is rather interesting.

Randy Gregory was signed to a four-year contract after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rookie deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season, but his multiple suspensions have now changed that expiration date.

You see, Gregory has only played in a total of 14 games in his career, 12 as a rookie and two in Year 2. His third year in the NFL was completely wiped out due to his year-long suspension. If you were to add that all up, it equates to just one accured season in the NFL. Remember that, because it could have a huge impact on his contract down the road.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

What all of this means is that the Cowboys can pretty much stretch out Gregory's contract now that they are three years in on the deal and have only gotten one accured season out of the agreement. That basically means they can push his contract back a year, meaning his 2017 salary ($731,813) gets pushed back to 2018, his 2018 salary ($955,217) gets pushed to 2019. That would essentially make him a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2020.

Or does it?

Depending on how the Dallas Cowboys handled paying Randy Gregory during his suspension could actually make him an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (EFA). This is a similar situation in which David Irving found himself in after the 2017 season. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on him in order to secure his services for another season, albeit at a $2.91 million price tag.

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys pretty much hold all the cards when it comes to Randy Gregory's contract situation. It's all a little confusing, but that's what makes it such a unique and interesting situation.

Of course, the Cowboys could decide to extend Gregory early if he completely dominates upon his return this season. It's highly doubtful though considering his past suspensions, but still technically a possibility. If it does happen, you can go ahead and ignore everything I've written previously.



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