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.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.
The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.
One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.
Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.
Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.
This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.
Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.
Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.
Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.
Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.
It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.
Cowboys CB Marquez White Facing Assault Charges
Player news this time of year is often not the good kind, and such is true of a new development with Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Marquez White. The second-year CB is facing aggravated assault charges for an incident last October.
According to the report, White displayed a legally owned firearm during a "road rage" incident.
Marquez, a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys last season, has made his side of the story public. The following account was released by White to The Dothan Eagle, his hometown newspaper:
Naturally, we're in a wait-and-see situation as to how this case unfolds and impacts White's availability to the Cowboys in 2018. He is one of several players hoping to catch on at the bottom of the CB depth chart, having spent his rookie season on the practice squad.
This latest legal issue is especially unwelcome news after other Cowboys' recent problems. The team has seen David Irving get suspended four games for illegal substances and Terrance Williams' get arrested for public intoxication in the last two months.
Last year, Linebacker Damien Wilson was charged for aggravated assault in a somewhat similar situation to that of Marquez White. Those charges were eventually dropped.
What happens in White's case remains to be seen.
Deadline for DeMarcus Lawrence Contract Extension Nearing
NFL teams have until July 16 to work out a long-term extension with any players currently under the franchise tag, which means the Dallas Cowboys have about a week to work something out with Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence. If deals are not signed and approved by the league by 4 P.M. ET July 16, the sides cannot agree to new contracts until after the 2018 season ends.
Along with the Lawrence, Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah, and Los Angeles Rams S Lamarcus Joyner have franchise tags slapped on them. All of them would love the long-term security a contract extension would provide, but they are all going to have to wait and see what the upcoming week has in store for them.
So, what will the Dallas Cowboys decide to do with DeMarcus Lawrence? Can they come to terms on a long-term contract extension before the deadline on July 16?
Luckily for Lawrence, the Dallas Cowboys seem open about hearing what he believes his market value is. That doesn't mean he will get his asking price, but the talks have to begin somewhere.
Rumors are already circulating that Lawrence is seeking a five-year extension and wants to make more money than Danielle Hunter, who the Vikings just signed to a five-year $72 million contract. That's probably more money than the Cowboys have in mind at this time. They may prefer to wait and see if he can replicate what he accomplished in 2017.
Last season DeMarcus Lawrence turned into the "War Daddy" Owner Jerry Jones has been seeking for the defense. He accumulated a career-high 14.5 quarterback sacks and finally played an entire 16 game season. But, even that may not be worth the money he is rumored to be seeking right now.
Hunter's five-your $72 million contract extension is the going price right now for someone of Lawrence's caliber, but there are other players in line for a big payday as well. Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, and Jadeveon Clowney are all in the same boat as Lawrence. What kind of extensions they receive could change the going rate, which could cause some hesitance on the Cowboys part.
Fortunately, I kind of doubt DeMarcus Lawrence is going to complain much if he has to play the 2018 season under the franchise tag. He will make a little over $17 million for one year and has a chance to cash in big time if he can replicate what he did a season ago.
Would you sign DeMarcus Lawrence to an extension before the July 16 deadline?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Should Cowboys Consider FS Brandon Bryant in Supplemental Draft?
Star Blog1 week ago
What if Dak Prescott isn’t Dallas’ Franchise QB?
Star Blog1 week ago
4 Decisions That Could Shape Cowboys 2018 Season
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
6 Cowboys Players Primed To Make Their First Pro Bowl
Dallas Cowboys3 days ago
Ex-Giants Coach Ben McAdoo Talks Trash About Cowboys
Player News2 weeks ago
Cowboys QB Mike White Reacts to Madden NFL Speed Rating
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Tavon Austin: “Green Means Go” for Cowboys Newest Play Maker
Star Blog4 days ago
Would Trading La’el Collins for Earl Thomas Make Sense?