The Dallas Cowboys have had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL for over three seasons, and the success running backs have had behind that offensive line has led some to erroneously believe anyone can run behind the Cowboys line with success. Even though the Cowboys offensive line doesn’t affect the team’s NFL betting, it is still interesting that a lot of people believe anyone can be successful running with that line.
In 2014, DeMarco Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns behind that line, making him the league leader in rushing yards. A year after, he left the Cowboys for the Philadelphia Eagles, who paid him closer to what he felt he was worth than the Cowboys did.
In Philadelphia, Murray had one of the worst statistical seasons of his career, which led to people saying he wasn’t a very good running back without the holes the Dallas Cowboys offensive line opened up for him.
Murray’s replacement in Dallas was oft-injured running back Darren McFadden, who many thought was done as a starter in the league. However, McFadden was able to rush for 1,089 yards while splitting carries, which again brought up the idea that it was the offensive line that made him successful.
This is where things get interesting, if the Cowboys were so confident that anyone could run behind their offensive line, why did they feel the need to draft another running back instead of sticking with McFadden again?
The answer is quite simple: simply because a player rushes for a thousand yards, it doesn’t make them a great or effective running back. In McFadden’s case, the yardage didn’t translate to much success because the team finished a dismal 4-12.
The injury to Tony Romo had something to do with the team’s lack of success last year, but McFadden also contributed in his own way. Despite going over one thousand yards, McFadden wasn’t very effective when it came to scoring. He finished the season with three touchdowns in the 10 starts he had last year, which wasn’t good enough to help the team win games.
Fast forward to this season, the Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick in the draft in what might be the best pick they have made in a long time.
Because of his success at Ohio State, selecting Elliott was a no-brainer and it has been paying dividends for the Cowboys this season.
Elliott has 703 rushing yards through the first six games, and is currently leading the NFL in rushing yardage. He also has five touchdowns in the six games, which is almost double McFadden’s output last year.
DeMarco Murray, who was criticized for not being the same runner without the Cowboys offensive line, was traded to Tennessee in the offseason and is doing very well over there.
Murray has 633 yards this season, and is third in the NFL in rushing, which means he doesn’t need the Cowboys line to be successful, he just needs to be in a system that he fits in, which didn’t happen in Philadelphia.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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