Connect with us

Star Blog

How 2014 Division Roster Moves Affect The NFC East

Avatar

Published

on

NFL NFL Blog - How 2014 Division Roster Moves Affect The NFC East

Each year free agency rolls around this division manages to shuffle around a high-profile player. This year we're talking about two Pro Bowl players in DeSean Jackson and Jason Hatcher staying inside the division to play for a former rival, pitting them against their former allies not once, but twice. How do these two signings specifically effect the rest of the division?

The Players Before:

Hatcher, selected in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006, had sat on the bench for much of his career with little to no impact before Monte Kiffin's scheme resuscitated his career. Jackson, a second round selection by the Eagles in 2008, had a profound impact on the Eagles since the beginning. But what made them so great? What makes these two players so key inside this division? Here's their 2013 statistics.

(Philadelphia '13) DeSean Jackson: 82 receptions, 1332 receiving yards, 9 touchdown catches

(Dallas '13) Jason Hatcher: 41 tackles, 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

The Players Now:

Both Jackson and Hatcher are now wearing burgundy and gold playing for the Washington Redskins.

On April Fools Day, DeSean Jackson played a trick on the birds and signed a three-year contract with Washington. There were interested teams outside of the NFC East - a reported total of nine teams - two of which lied in the California area, the 49ers and Raiders. Instead of playing for California, as NJ.com reports that he has affiliations with a gang in Cali, he chose to stay in the NFC East and play for a rival after being released by his team, after six years and two head coaches.

Jason Hatcher signed a deal for four years, worth over 27 million dollars and afterwards stated that the Cowboys showed no interest in bringing him back to the team after eight seasons. Whether that is true is really unknown. We're not inside Jerry Jones' mind.

The New York Giants:

How are the Giants doing after these turn of events? Not so good. They likely got the worst end of the deal, or deals. DeSean Jackson played the Giants twice last season and he went off, gathering 15 receptions, 195 yards and 1 score. Jason Hatcher put up 5 tackles and 3 sacks in two games versus the G-Men. Safe to say that these two greatly contributed to their All-Star campaigns when playing the New York football Giants. These two still know their new opponents very well, and that will only mean more havoc on the opposing side when this game rolls around.

The Philadelphia Eagles:

The Eagles will have to swallow a large pill, the one they were prescribed when they released the 27-year-old, 3-time Pro Bowler this week.

Bad news for those guys as they're going to need to order another for a double dose because Jackson's still in the NFC East and they'll have to play him twice this season. DeSean knows the Eagles' scheme after being around Chip Kelly for a season. If this move happened a year ago I wouldn't have looked much at all into it, because DeSean wouldn't be so aware of the defense Kelly runs. But now he has a clue; he's experienced it.

In two games last year Jason Hatcher had eight combined tackles, three sacks, and one of his two forced fumbles.

With revenge on the mind of DJax, and Nick Foles possibly holding the ball longer without their speedy separation receiver, this could bode very badly for the Eagles.

The Dallas Cowboys:

I saved the best for last! DC Nation, we might not have a problem on our hands, not with DeSean Jackson at least. In two games last year, against the worst Cowboys defense he's ever had to face, he managed only six grabs for 49 years and never saw the end zone. But Jason Hatcher?

Hatcher has a tendency to play well against division rivals. Does he get motivated off of this stuff? If so, with Dallas dropping him like Hatcher states, then we have a serious problem - Jason's motivation to stick it to his former team. Eight of Hatcher's eleven sacks last season came against NFC East teams. This concern might contribute to Dallas drafting a guard as an insurance policy for when the injury-bug strikes - which normally does.

It's likely that Dallas has the least of the worries, as opposed to the Eagles and Giants, when it comes to Jason Hatcher and DeSean Jackson playing for the enemy in 2014. In my opinion, do I think these two signings propel Washington to first in the division? No, but they won't hurt their chances if these two players perform like they did for their respective former teams.



I'm a life-long Cowboys fan. Where I was born and raised in North Carolina, it was a family tradition, and hopefully I can pass it down to the generations that follow. I love that football can always give us memories we'll cherish for the rest of our lives, and great moments, from the action happening on the field to who's sitting in the room with us while it happened.

Advertisement
Comments

Star Blog

Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten’s Game?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten's Game?

Jason Witten is 37 years old, retired from the NFL after the completion of 2017 season to try his luck as an announcer in the booth, but has now decided to come out of retirement to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys? It seems a little unrealistic to think he can come back after a year away from the game and pick up where he left off, but it sounds as if he's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

Jason Witten has been the talk of Dallas Cowboys OTA practices so far. These practices are unpadded and basically just an opportunity to do install some of the offensive and defensive plays, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the things that has been somewhat surprising though is how talked up the future Hall of Famer has become.

Here is what Head Coach Jason Garrett had to say recently about Jason Witten's return:

“Yeah, absolutely. He’s been excited about every part of it ever since I met him and that hasn’t changed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “The work that he’s done in the weight room in the off-season program has been outstanding. His testing numbers and all of that are what they’ve been or even better. And he just has an unbelievable way about him. Tremendous passion for the game. And he demonstrates that every day. Witt looks good. He’s excited to be back and we’re certainly fortunate to have him back.”

The main thing that stands out from Garrett's quote to me is how Jason Witten looks just as good, if not better after not playing at all in 2018. To think that his testing numbers are possibly even better is unfathomable. We typically don't see NFL players in their mid-30s retire from the game and then return just as good, or maybe even better than they were before.

It's inhuman!

Jason Witten, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten

Maybe that's just what Jason Witten is, a little inhuman. Maybe he's found the secret to turning the clock back just a little bit. Or, maybe he found the fountain the youth and didn't tell anybody. Regardless, there's no doubt Witten will be a welcomed addition to the Cowboys offense, especially if he's gained a step.

I don't know about all of you, but I'm hoping the year away from the game did him some good. I honestly thought he made the right decision to retire prior to the 2018 season. It just looked like father time was catching up to him in 2017. But, hopefully all he needed was a little time away from the grind he's been putting his body through for over a decade.

Whatever he's done hasn't gone unnoticed though. Even Quarterback Dak Prescott has noticed and said he's on to Witten's scheme.

“I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.”

I'm not afraid to admit I wasn't too excited to see Witten come out of retirement and rejoin the Cowboys at first. I was skeptical he could be the player he once was after a year away from the game. But, all of this talk about him looking as good as he once was, perhaps better, has me really looking forward to seeing him on the field once again.

Do you think a year away has rejuvenated Jason Witten's game?



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

3 Quick Fixes to Jumpstart Cowboys Anemic Offense

Los Dallas Cowboys tuvieron un interesante 2018. La ofensiva dejo mucho que desear toda la primera mitad de la temporada cuando carecían de un receptor número uno. No fue hasta media temporada cuando consiguieron a Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, que la ofensiva comenzó a verse realmente amenazante. Siendo sinceros, el cuerpo de receptores de los Cowboys lucía muy débil al inicio y Michael Gallup aún no conseguía mucho tiempo de juego en el emparrillado. Incluso una vez en el equipo, a pesar de las grandes hazañas de Cooper en Dallas, la ofensiva no terminó de dar el siguiente paso.

Sí, con Amari en el equipo vimos un equipo de Cowboys que movía constantemente las cadenas e incluso se convirtió en una de las mejores unidades en tercera oportunidad en la liga, pero no fue suficiente. Los problemas en zona roja persistieron y continuamos viendo una selección de jugadas muy cuestionable semana tras semana.

Es por eso que al finalizar la temporada, la administración de los Cowboys finalmente tomó una decisión muy anticipada. El entonces coordinador ofensivo, Scott Linehan, fue despedido.

En cuanto a talento, los Dallas Cowboys no verán un cambio mayor en su ofensiva. Cole Beasley, uno de los mejores WR slot en la NFL, firmó con los Buffalo Bills durante la agencia libre. A pesar de la llegada de Randall Cobb, la ofensiva probablemente extrañará bastante a Beasley. Además está el regreso de Jason Witten al campo, quien se repartirá el balón mucho con los jóvenes del equipo, principalmente con Blake Jarwin. Por último, Travis Frederick podría estar de regreso como el centro titular. Fuera de eso, no se anticipan cambios de jugadores en la ofensiva.

Y a pesar de esto, la afición de los Cowboys espera ver un cambio grande entre la ofensiva del 2018 y la de 2019. Si las cosas salen bien, así será. Pero más que por el talento del equipo, que ya está ahí y es un muy buen talento, deberá ser por el hombre al mando.

Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore ha tomado las riendas como el nuevo coordinador ofensivo y finalmente podremos ver su potencial. Muchos han criticado a Moore, en gran parte por nunca haber sido un quarterback exitoso en la NFL. Sin embargo, hay muchas razones por las cuales deberíamos estar emocionados.

Desde que Moore salió de la universidad de Boise State, se le veía como un prospecto muy inteligente. Incluso analistas como Jon Gruden (en ese entonces conductor del programa de ESPN Gruden's QB Camp) mencionaban que Moore probablemente no sería un gran mariscal, pero que tenía la mente de un coach.

En Boise, Moore trabajaba con la ofensiva del actual coach de los Washington Huskies, Chris Petersen. Esta ofensiva es una muy complicada que le exige al mariscal saber casi tanto como un jugador profesional. Muchos han descrito a Moore como un genio ofensivo que será un gran coach en el futuro.

Para los Cowboys, Kellen Moore será una pieza clave en 2019. Si vemos una ofensiva realmente diferente, será gracias a su creatividad y filosofía que implementa a un grupo bastante talentoso en Dallas. Los jugadores están ahí, ¿sabrá el coordinador ofensivo de 30 años aprovecharlos?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



Continue Reading

Star Blog

NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Rubbing Salt In The Wound That Is Randy Gregory

The NFLPA and the NFL have reached an agreement to research alternative pain-management tools for the players. They'll form joint medical committees to study different strategies, among which will be the use of marijuana. It's important to make it clear that said committees will not be exclusively about marijuana, but a lot of different issues related to pain-management in the league. However, it'll likely be one of the most important aspects of their work.

Marijuana continues to be a highly debated topic and it's no different when discussing the NFL. Dallas Cowboys fans should be very familiar with the situation. Earlier this year, David Irving "quit" on football during an Instagram live stream while smoking weed. In the video, Irving talks about how he thinks it's better to be addicted to marijuana rather than certain medications used by NFL teams to treat their players.

Although David Irving is not an authority on substances, that is where all of this debate centers around. Throughout the league, players are given strong medication to deal with injuries and the physical pain of playing pro football. I'm not an expert either, but it's more than fair to say there's a strong argument here. Specially in a country where marijuana has already been legalized in 10 states and the trend points toward legalization continuing.

The current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the NFL and NFLPA will expire after the 2020 season and how the league's drug policy looks like in the new agreement will be a huge factor for reaching a satisfactory CBA for both sides.

Of course, the fact that the NFLPA and the league are working together on such an important task doesn't mean we will see any immediate changes or that the NFL's ban on marijuana will be lifted anytime soon. Many big question marks will have to be answered before we hear about teams implementing this substance as a pain management tool.

For the Dallas Cowboys, this will be a relevant narrative down the line. Pass rusher Randy Gregory was reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension due to substance abuse prior to the 2018 season. After a dominant year, Gregory was suspended again by the NFL and it all points toward him sitting out this upcoming season and perhaps even more.

Even still, the Cowboys are still standing behind their 2015 second round pick. If the league ends up lifting its ban on marijuana, they'll have to decide what they will do with players already serving a suspension for this reason. Guys like Randy Gregory, for instance. If it's decided they'll be reinstated to the NFL, the Cowboys will sure be glad to have supported Gregory all throughout the process.

Last year, the pass rusher proved how effective he could be even with a short period of time training. Hopefully, the Cowboys are able to get him back on the field eventually, where's been consistently dominant. In the meantime, we'll see how recently acquired Robert Quinn does in Dallas.

The NFL won't be lifting its ban anytime soon, but it's good to know they're at least open minded to changing the league's policy and consider alternatives that could benefit the players' health. We'll see how these new medical committees work and keep you updated here at Inside The Star.

Tell me what you think about "NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending