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Head Coaching Changes Around The NFL Could Benefit The Cowboys

Brian Martin



Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, 49ers

The Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers are all teams that will start the 2017 season with new head coaches. The vultures were circling around several of these organizations, which is why head coaching changes were made in the first place. The Dallas Cowboys could end up being the beneficiaries when/if these teams start making changes to their rosters.

New Head Coaching Changes In 2017 Could Benefit The Cowboys 1It's only natural for new head coaches and their coaching staffs to come in and evaluate the roster from top to bottom and then make changes as they see fit. Teams around the NFL will be watching closely and the Cowboys should absolutely be one of those vultures circling to pick up any "meat" that they believe will help their team.

Of course, some of these teams will have more roster turnover than the others. The Denver Broncos for example already have one of the most complete rosters in the entire NFL, so I wouldn't expect much change there. But, the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams could be two teams that the Dallas Cowboys are watching very closely to pick up any unwanted scraps.

I'm going to dive in a little deeper and attempt to show you what I mean for the new head coaches of the 49ers and Rams.

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan, former offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, was hired by the San Francisco 49ers to take over the head coaching job. To say that he faces an uphill battle would be an understatement.

Now, the 49ers are not the most talented of teams, evidenced by their back to back losing seasons, but there are some players the Cowboys could be interested in.

New Head Coaching Changes In 2017 Could Benefit The CowboysKyle Shanahan recently hired Robert Saleh as the 49ers new defensive coordinator, but it hasn't been announced yet if they will operate a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. The past several years they have been a 3-4 team and a player that hasn't fit into that scheme that could be of interest to the Cowboys is defensive end Tank Carradine.

Carradine is a prototypical 4-3 DE, but during his time with the 49ers he has been tried as an outside linebacker and also been asked to add weight and play a 3-4 DT. Unfortunately, both attempts to try to fit him into the 3-4 defensive scheme has been like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

I believe Tank Carradine would be a great addition and help improve the pass rush for the Cowboys. But, acquiring him from the 49ers could be tricky if he's not released. I would personally trade a late round draft pick to obtain his services, but this is a situation that falls into the of wait and see category.

Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams

Sean McVay may be the youngest head coach in the modern era of the NFL, but he will have plenty of experience surrounding him. The hiring of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will probably help McVay through any kind of coaching jitters, but it's Phillips' announcement of switching to the 3-4 defensive scheme that could benefit the Dallas Cowboys.

New Head Coaching Changes In 2017 Could Benefit The Cowboys 2The Los Angeles Rams have invested heavily over the past several years to put together a pretty impressive 4-3 defensive unit. Phillips' change to a 3-4 could mean some of those investments won't quite fit in his new defense, especially former first-round defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Aaron Donald has completely dominated as a 3-technique defensive tackle since entering the NFL. At 6'1", 285, Donald doesn't exactly fit the size criteria to transition to a 3-4 defensive tackle.

It is going to be really interesting to see how/if Wade Phillips is able to fit Aaron Donald into a 3-4 defensive scheme. If things don't go well, the Cowboys could be the beneficiary.

The Dallas Cowboys were all set to draft Aaron Donald back in 2013, but the Rams pounced on him first. They had to settle for Zack Martin instead, but things still turned out nicely. Just imagine if they could have both players.

For this to happen though, the Rams would have to be willing to trade Aaron Donald and the Cowboys would likely have to give up at least their first-round draft pick. Although it's unlikely, it is still a possibility.


Now, there is no telling when/if either of these players will be available at some point this off-season. That's not really the point I'm trying to make.

The Dallas Cowboys need to search every nook and cranny in order to improve their roster. New head coaches in the NFL create an opportunity that otherwise might not be available to acquire players who don't fit into their philosophy.

Of course, if Tank Carradine or Aaron Donald become available or are being shopped, I think the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely entertain the idea of bringing them aboard.

Do you Agree or Disagree?

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


Star Blog

DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady



DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.

The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.

After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.

So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.

What exactly is that role, though?

I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.

Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.

Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.

If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.

This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.

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Star Blog

New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady



New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.

Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.

This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb

Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.

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Star Blog

Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady



Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.

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