I’ve noticed that there are plenty of lists going out lately. Most of which shed no respect to Cowboys players who have rightfully earned it. So to fulfill the appetite of you fans I’ve created a list of the Best Cowboys of the last 15 Years. .. So get ready!
1 Emmitt Smith-The leagues leading rusher. Smith proved to be a “Go to guy” by coupling hard nose, downhill running with incredible durability. With 3 Super Bowl rings, Smith may be the most noticeable player in Dallas Cowboys History.
2 DeMarcus Ware- Perhaps the most naturally talented player to emerge on this defense in years, Ware consistently strikes fears into opposing offensive coordinators. Ware has increased his sack total in each of his 3 seasons ending with 20 last year. There is no signs of slowing down which is good news for this defense!
3 Troy Aikman- Concussion Troy can’t be forgotten for all the marvelous things he did in Dallas. He was a model field general, orchestrating 3 Super Bowl victories and becoming the Cowboys all time leading passer with 32,942 yards.
4 Darren Woodson- The one player that ANY of us would give ANYTHING to have back. Darren Woodson played the secondary perfectly forcing 23 interceptions. He was the backbone in many great defenses and earned a reputation as one of the fiercest safeties in the league.
5 Michael Irvin-A distraction? Sure. However, Michael’s production was unmatched. He averaged over 15 yards per gain and had over 60 touchdowns in his career. He was a consistent target who was reliable and a HOF athlete.
6 Larry Allen- A big strong offensive lineman who was versatile in his play. At 325 lbs he was an immovable force and a good reason for Emmitt’s success.
7 Jason Witten- Witten is a Blue Collar, Smash mouth player who has, in my opinion, defined the future play of tight ends. He blocks well, He’s intelligent, and He’s a bigger threat in the passing game then most receivers, He can shed tackles, and he’s not afraid to throw his body around.
8 Tony Romo- Though under constant scrutiny, he has produced more 300 yard passing games then any quarterback in Dallas history in 3 years. With a 64 percent completion rate, and a ratio or 2 td’s to 1 interception, his regular season play is comparable to some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time (Coming soon: a comparison against Peyton, Aikman, and Young in there first 4 years) I believe that given the opportunity, Romo will thrive in future playoff appearances.
9 Deion Sanders- Prime time, Sanders electrified the field with his wonderful coverage, ability to force interceptions for touchdowns, and punt returning skills. Sanders had abilities that we will forever miss and may not see for years to come.
10 Terrence Newman- Not Deion Sanders, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily worse. Terrence doesn’t produce stats like some of the other elite DB’s but that’s because he’s never really tested. He is a shut down corner with speed and game breaking ability. He will be the staple in this defense for years to come.
11 Greg Ellis- A bitter end to this story. Greg has given his all to this team and that has to be respected. He was a feared defensive end, but an even more devastating OLB with the ability to get to the passer; he’s registered 77 career sacks with the Cowboys.
12 Daryl Johnston- The moose led the way for Emmitt throughout his career… Enough said.
13 Dat Nguyen- Nguyen solidified the middle linebacker slot in his second year after leading the team in special teams tackles the first. His run stopping ability and hard hitting made him well known throughout the league. If it weren’t for a disc injury, Dat would be along Bradie James, supporting the same number 1 defense he helped solidify in 2003.
14 Marion Barber- A hardnosed runner this team hasn’t seen since Smith. After going through Troy Hambricks stages and a little flash of Cason, Barber was a breath of fresh air. He has become a “Closer” and has the talent to become a franchise back and league leader.
15 Flozell Adams- Though penalty prone, Flozell has provided stability to the offensive line in Larry Allen’s Absence. He is big, strong, and mobile. He also uses his hands well and is also a talented blocker. An excellent round out to this list.
**Notable Mention** George Teague- For his incredibly memorable hit on Terrell Owens, when Owens was boastfully disrespecting the star.
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.
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