Let's all just calm down for a second.
It's an exciting time around Cowboys Nation considering that America's Team went through football drills while
Matt Cassel quarterbacked them to failure wearing pads for the first time in what feels like forever on Monday. It was a breath of enormously fresh air after the pollution that 2015 decorated our nostrils with.
While it has indeed been quite the delight to see the Cowboys doing their thang, it's been a precarious type of optimism as one of the team's primary Stars (no pun intended) hasn't exactly looked like the version of himself that we're accustomed to seeing.
Cowboys coaches haven't been kidding about Dez needing to knock the rust off. Three drops today, without going against DBs.
This tweet, from last Saturday, raised many eyebrows throughout the pride of blue & silver. Dez? Three drops? WITHOUT GOING AGAINST DBs?!
No way, right? Not our Dez. Sam Bradford is more likely to complete a pass to his intended target than Dez is to drop a ball. There is no way on Earth, Mars, Neptune, or that space where people who think Kirk Cousins is awesome live that Dez Bryant could have a case of the dropsies.
Much to our chagrin, Dez is indeed of some extra work. I know it feels like I just punched you in the face, but hear me out for a second.
Dez Bryant getting in some extra work after practice today.
The last time that Dez Bryant played a football game was December 19th, 2015. That was 228 days ago. This particular game was at home, on a Saturday night, against the New York Jets. Mr. Throw Up the X ended the game with 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Anyone with eyeballs knows that Dez Bryant was not Dez Bryant on that fateful Saturday night. Dez was never Dez at all in 2015. We're at the point in the 2015 Process (shout out to Coach Garrett and his 17" philosophy) that we can admit that. It's time for 2016.
While Dez's 2016 might not be as spectacular at this point as it usually is... it's because it's been such an enormous amount of time since Dez Bryant was Dez Bryant. How long?
During the final three weeks of the 2014 Regular Season, Dez had 15 catches for 286 yards and 6 touchdowns. THAT is the Dez Bryant we know who loves to throw up that X. The final game in that stretch was played on December 28th, 2014... 584 days ago.
It's understandable that Dez would need some time to regain his proper form. It's just unheard of because Dez Bryant is a freak of nature who catches footballs beyond the comprehension of the weak-minded (looking at you, Dean Blandino).
Thanks to @dallascowboys & @DezBryant for the FUN today!!! #DreamBigInspireMany #DallasCowboysCamp https://t.co/oWQFnl3yl7
We know Dez Bryant, Cowboys Nation. He's the same guy he's always been that took some time after practice to hang out with Miles Brown.
He's the guy who's going to dominate the NFL in 2016 and there's nothing that rust, Dean Blandino, or Josh Norman can do about it. Throw up the X.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
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