Stating that the Dallas Cowboys have the best offensive line in the entire NFL may sound a bit redundant, but I honestly believe that they will look even more dominant in 2016 now that they have a running back that truly fits the zone blocking scheme.
The Cowboys gave their offensive line an early Christmas present when they decided to draft Ezekiel Elliott #4 overall in this years draft. They could have chosen to go with a dominant defensive player with that selection, but they chose to add a player that can make the strongest position on the team (OL) even stronger.
If you add all of that up, it equals a deadly combination. Right?
To me, it's kind like having a beautiful classic car, but the engine doesn't work properly. Everything still looks nice and works, but if you want that car to perform at its best you have to get that engine purring.
I can't tell you how excited I am to see Elliott taking handoffs from quarterback Tony Romo and making it to the second level of opposing defenses before he is even touched.
That's right, that's how dominant I think the Cowboys offensive line will be in 2016.
I honestly haven't been this excited about a Cowboys running back since Emmitt Smith was still wearing a star. We kind of got a glimpse in 2014 with DeMarco Murray, but Elliott is an even better scheme fit then Murray was and a more talented player.
Even Darren McFadden was able to have arguably the best season of his NFL career in 2015 running behind the Cowboys offensive lineman, despite not being a great scheme fit.
Here's a look at the lead RBs statistics over the last two seasons for the Cowboys.
DeMarco Murray (2014)
Darren McFadden (2015)
Those are pretty impressive numbers if you ask me, but Elliott is more talented than both Murray and McFadden and again a better scheme fit then either one of them.
I think it probably is equally exciting for everyone. Elliott gets to run behind an offensive line that features three Pro Bowl players (Frederick, Smith, Martin) and the offensive line gets to block for a RB that should make their job a lot easier.
If things work out the way I think they will for La'el Collins, we may even see another offensive lineman added to the Pro Bowl roster.
Let me try to put things in perspective a little bit more.
I've already mentioned the impressive seasons that Murray and McFadden were able to have, but over the last two seasons combined the Cowboys offensive line has allowed the variety of running backs to run for 4242 rushing yards on 916 attempts. The RBs were able to average 4.6 yards per carry over that time span.
Are you convinced yet?
Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line are a match made in heaven and combined together make a deadly combination that should make the entire team become a dominant force in not only the NFC East division, but the entire NFL.
Of course, that's just my opinion backed by a few facts.
It is still unknown what type of player Ezekiel Elliott actually is, but the excitement he has created is real.
Who knows? He could end up being the next Adrian Peterson or the next Trent Richardson, but I for one believe big things are ahead of Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line.
What do you think?
Please for free to use the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter @bmart0204 to discuss this topic further.
Though Promising, We Need To Relax About Safety Kavon Frazier
With the addition of former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard to the Cowboys' defensive coaching staff, fans are hoping that Dallas will create their own "Legion of Boom." Of course this is a lofty goal, but one worth pursuing nonetheless.
If the Cowboys are to recreate the Legion of Boom they will need their version of two vital pieces: Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
The Seahawks defense works, in many ways, because of these two players. Thomas' ability to play centerfield and literally defend sideline to sideline gives the Seahawks the freedom to use Chancellor where he's best, as a box safety. Chancellor is a big, physical safety who defends the run effectively in the box and can blanket tight ends in man coverage with his size and athleticism.
These safeties are arguably the most critical pieces to the Legion of Boom, though having a shutdown corner in Richard Sherman certainly doesn't hurt.
Realizing Chancellor's importance, Cowboys fans are hoping that current safety Kavon Frazier can fulfill this role in Dallas. Since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 Frazier has made his home on Special Teams. As an impressive tackler in both punt and kick coverage, Frazier earned himself time at safety down the stretch of the 2017 season.
All in all, Frazier played rather well. Against the Washington Redskins he stepped in and made a few splash plays at the line of scrimmage, causing Cowboys Nation to lose their minds. After that impressive Thursday night game, however, Kavon Frazier didn't really reach that same level of performance.
Frazier is still a liability when asked to cover, especially when asked to play as a two deep safety. He also struggles when taking angles at times, though playing downhill as a tackler is his best attribute. Frazier actually reminds me a bit of Barry Church, though over time Church became more refined in coverage than Frazier currently is.
Some have argued that Kavon Frazier's presence should stop the Cowboys from considering a first round safety. I would disagree, and actually believe that if Florida State's Derwin James is available, the Cowboys should consider making that pick.
If you could combine the athleticism and coverage abilities of Byron Jones with the physicality and "box safety" qualities of Kavon Frazier, you'd have a fantastic safety. Unfortunately, this isn't the Marvel Universe and we are left without any super heroes in the back-end.
Hopefully Kris Richard will figure out how to correctly place all of these pieces in the Dallas Cowboys secondary going forward.
Maverick Carter: LeBron James Considered Cowboys During NBA Lockout
Maverick Carter is a pretty important man in the world of sports. As a business man, entrepreneur, and manager of one of the best basketball players of all time in LeBron James, Maverick Carter is certainly used to making headlines.
This week, while on former NFL running back Arian Foster's podcast "Now What? with Arian Foster," Carter claimed that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once attempted to negotiate a contract with LeBron James.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Carter claims that Jones contacted LeBron James and discussed bringing him in as a Cowboy while the NBA was without games.
"Jerry Jones, being the smart marketer he is...one day out of the clear blue sky LeBron got a contract I think it was for like one year, a couple million bucks to play for the Dallas Cowboys." - Maverick Carter.
Carter then states that LeBron may have the paperwork framed in his house to remember these discussions with Jerry Jones. LeBron's fandom for the Cowboys has been well documented, as has been his high school football prowess.
We may never know how "real" these discussions were, and of course it is long over now, but just imagining LeBron James getting a chance to play for the Dallas Cowboys would break the internet.
You can check out the full episode of the podcast here, and I highly suggest listening to the other episodes Arian Foster has to offer.
Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?
February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.
DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.
Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.
After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.
There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?
Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.
For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.
In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys
What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?
First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.
It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.
It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Cowboys Mock Draft: Dallas Adds Starters At 3 Positions
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Deep Dive: Inside the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 Salary Cap
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Dallas Cowboys Sign Converted QB Jason Thompson to Play Safety
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Cowboys CB Marquez White Could Emerge in 2018
NFL Draft1 week ago
Star Defensive Talent Falls to Cowboys in Latest Round of Mock Drafts
NFL Draft7 days ago
The 1 Player Cowboys Should Consider Trading Up For
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
How Much Input Will Kris Richard Have in Cowboys Draft?
Star Blog4 days ago
Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition