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Greg Hardy Back In Week 5: What To Look Forward To

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Blog - Greg Hardy Back In Week 5: What To Look Forward To

If you spent the duration of the Greg Hardy appeal holding your breath then you might be able to give Michael Phelps a run for his money, but if you were it was certainly worth it! The NFL, Arbitrator Harold Henderson to be specific, officially reduced Greg Hardy’s 10-game suspension down to 4 games last Friday.

This means that Greg Hardy is eligible to return to the field of play in Week 5 when the Dallas Cowboys host the World Champion New England Patriots at AT&T Stadium on October 11th, 2015. That sound that you are now hearing is the waterfall coming out of Rod Marinelli’s mouth as he salivates over Hardy rushing a Tom Brady-less New England.

While Greg Hardy spent the entire 2014 season on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, entering that year he was coming off 11 and 15 sacks in 2012 and 2013, respectively. If Greg Hardy is who the front office thinks he is then my oh my are we going to have some fun. Greg Hardy can potentially line up on the interior of the defensive line with Tyrone Crawford, allowing second-year player Demarcus Lawrence and rookie Randy Gregory to be the bookend pass rushers.

All reports so far indicate that Greg Hardy has looked great and that he’s constantly challenging his teammates. The former Carolina Panther brings tenacity to the defensive line that has been missing it for quite some time, and he can help improve an overall defensive unit that only produced 27 sacks in 2014.

The Cowboys were looking at potentially being without Hardy's services until their match with his former team on Thanksgiving, the Carolina Panthers. Much is made about how critical NFL games are in November and December, but six games from September to the middle of November can make or break a team's season.

Greg Hardy's First 5 Games As A Cowboy:

  • Host the Patriots
  • Travel to New York to play the Giants
  • Host the Seahawks
  • Host the Eagles
  • Travel to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers
  • Travel to Miami to play the Dolphins

Consider that those are some potent offenses that would have been all the more difficult to defend without somebody that has Greg Hardy's talent. It's only fair to also assume that it will take Hardy a few games to get back into his rhythm, and he should be back to his havoc-wreaking ways when DeMarco Murray and the Eagles come to town.

It’s going to be a very fun training camp to watch as Hardy and Co. go up against what many believe is the best offensive line in football every day. The Cowboys host the Giants, travel to Philadelphia, host the Falcons, and host the Saints in the first four weeks of the season. It’s very easy to believe that the Cowboys will go 3-1, at worse 2-2, or quite possibly 4-0 in that stretch. Regardless of the record that the Cowboys roll into Week 5 with…getting Greg Hardy on the field is only going to make them better.

Tell us what you think about "Greg Hardy Back In Week 5: What To Look Forward To" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space

Sean Martin



Travis Frederick

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.

Jane Slater on Twitter

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.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Cowboys Place 2nd Round RFA Tender on DL David Irving

Jess Haynie



David Irving

One of the more anticipated Cowboys free agency moves has finally happened. Defensive lineman David Irving has been given the 2nd-round Restricted Free Agent tender, which would result in a $2.91 million contract for 2018.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: the Cowboys have used a 2nd round tender on DT David Irving. The cost is $2.91 million.

If another team offers Irving a contract, that would have to send their 2018 second-round draft pick to the Cowboys.

There was no doubt that Dallas would extend an RFA tender to Irving, one of the bright young stars on their defense. The question was at what amount; they could have gone with the $4.1 million tender which raises the compensation to a first-round draft pick.

With a difference of only about $1 million, some might argue that the Cowboys went lower to entice other teams to try to sign Irving. Perhaps they don't foresee giving him a big long-term deal next year, so want to get something for him now.

It's a logical argument, and one that means there may be more to this story before the offseason ends. For now, though, David Irving's closer to remaining a Cowboy than he was yesterday.

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