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Don’t Panic: Big Free Agent Signings Ahead For Dallas



Cowboys Headlines -  5

Well, with the end of free agency day number three, we can certainly come to one conclusion: our cap space for the next few years is looking reeeeaaal purdy.

In keeping with themes of free agency years past, the Cowboys have looked to re-sign homegrown talent, and sign solid role players who can immediately contribute. Basically, players who our front office considers low risk, low reward type guys. And honestly, I like it.

I’m sensing some of you don’t. I’m sensing some of you reading this are saying, “You’re out of your mind. Bringing in Olivier Vernon would’ve instantly boosted our pass rush and Lamar Miller would’ve broken the single season rushing record.” While I somewhat agree with those thoughts, I also want to point a couple things out.

First I want to ask you: do you enjoy our running game? Not just our rankings and stuff, but, like, watching our offensive line bulldoze people on Sundays and seeing Darren McInjuryProne run for just under 1100 yards in all sixteen games?

Yeah, me too. You know who’s really responsible for that success?


Travis Frederick is going into the final year of his rookie deal. At some point within the next two years, he’s going to need to be re-signed. Alex Mack just signed a 5-year, $45 million contract. Zack Martin, a two time pro-bowler and rookie all-pro is going to have to be signed around the same time Frederick is, with likely a year in between. Kelechi Osemele just signed a 5 year, 58.5 million dollar contract with the Raiders, with 25.4 million in guarantees. La’el Collins will be coming down the pipeline soon after him.

Catch my drift? You can’t think of us re-signing our own guys as givens, because they’re not.

I feel like Cowboys fans take the talent on this team for granted, and just focus on the negatives. I’m sorry, but that’s why you’re not the general manager of this squad.

Every team is a different team. The way I think about it is, “Okay, who do we have under contract for NEXT season?” THAT’S your team. So, if Frederick becomes a free agent in March, he’s not on our team, and we have no center. Thus, signing him to a new deal is the exact same thing as signing a big name free agent, because that’s exactly what it is.

The only difference is, we already know he’s a scheme fit and that he meshes with our team, so there’s no gamble there.

It’s unbelievable to me that teams shell out the cash that they do for players who thrive in other systems. No matter how similar the schemes are, they’re always very different. The coaches are telling you new things, the quarterback has new timings, the players around you run different routes at different speeds. Again, no team is the same. Whether it’s the Cowboys vs. the Giants, or the 2015 Cowboys vs. the 2016 Cowboys, they’re all different, just to different degrees.

I’ll admit, I was hoping to grab a starting caliber cornerback in free agency this year. We may still do that with Nolan Carroll, but he’s going to be on the wrong side of 30 next January, which doesn’t really jive with me all that much.

So, for those of you who are desperately waiting for us to make a big splash in free agency, I promise you we will, but it won’t come this year, and likely won’t be a player coming from another team. You’re huge roster addition comes on April 28th.



Dallas Cowboys fan since the Drew Bledsoe “era.” I love Tony AND Dak. I like to think that I’m the most objective that a fan can get, while still being a diehard, which I truly believe is the 8th wonder of the world. Go Cowboys!!

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie



Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.


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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.


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Dallas Cowboys

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job

Sean Martin



Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job 1

By keeping all three top coaches (Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli) in place for 2018, there isn’t a Dallas Cowboys coaching hire that feels like they “must” get it right to contend next season. This is how it should be.

Producing nine wins, despite missing key players throughout the season, the Cowboys are changing things up at the position coach level to hopefully introduce new ideas and give the talent on this team a better chance at sustained success.

One coaching vacancy that needs to be filled by the right guy above any else is on the offensive line, where things haven’t been the same since the great Bill Callahan departed.

Frank Pollack took his place, and now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals after not being retained by Dallas this offseason.

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job

Tom Cable (Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

The first name that was thrown around in consideration for the Cowboys job was Tom Cable, which sent a panic throughout Cowboys Nation before Cable decided to sign with John Gruden and the Raiders.

Cable had been coaching the Seahawks’ OL, a position that franchise has not valued in some time, and struggled to develop any talent in protection of their franchise QB Russell Wilson.

Now, two new names have emerged as candidates to coach the likes of two-time 1st Team All-Pro LT Tyron Smith, 1st Team All-Pro C Travis Frederick, and two-time 1st Team All-Pro RG Zack Martin.

Mike Solari and Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has already met with the Dallas Cowboys, looking for work after 23 seasons with the Bengals. During this time, Alexander served as Marvin Lewis’ assistant head coach, in addition to his duties as their OL coach.

Judging on reactions out of Cincinnati to Alexander’s departure, the Bengals offensive line regressed under him in 2017, warranting change from a franchise that is as reluctant as any to move on from coaches.

Goodberry on Twitter

Paul Alexander better be gone

Most recently, Mike Solari has served as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants — far from a renowned unit around the NFL lately. He does have previous experience with the Cowboys, having served as an assistant OL and special teams coach here from 1987-88.

From 2006-07, Solari did reach the rank of offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, which shows the level of respect that the 30-year NFL coaching veteran has earned.

He will be the Dallas Cowboys’ next interview for their open OL coach position.

Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack 1

Dallas Cowboys RT La’el Collins, RG Zack Martin

Depth at tackle, a long-term answer at left guard, and an extension for Zack Martin are among the questions facing the Cowboys offensive line moving forward. Whoever is in charge of keeping this unit up to standard in 2018 though, may hold the keys to getting the entirety of the Cowboys’ program back on track.

Whether it’s Alexander, Solari, or another outside candidate yet to emerge, Inside The Star will keep you updated on the Cowboys’ ongoing coaching search.

Tell us what you think about “Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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