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An Ideal Free Agency Haul: Pass Rush, Secondary



Cowboys Headlines -

What does this team need right now, today? What does this team need to win Super Bowl LI? A solid quarterback? Check. An all-pro offensive line? Check. One of the best receivers in the game? Yep, got that one too. I’ll throw in a hall of fame tight end, just for kicks.

That’s nice, what about defense? Well, we’re getting there. For starters, how about a solid 3 technique for your Tampa 2 scheme? Yeah we got one of them puppies. If only we had a defensive end that posted 8 sacks in 8 games last seas – oh wait – yeah we got one of those. Cool. How’s that secondary look? Well, meh. We’ve got a free safety who looks to have the makings of something special, and arguably one of the most underrated defensive backs in football in Orlando Scandrick. You’re losing me here, Ian. What if I told you we have a pair of nickel linebackers comprised of a first and second round pick, one of whom made the pro bowl last season? That’s a little better. But the team certainly still feels incomplete.

That’s nice.

What if we signed the best (taking talent and youth into account) defensive end on the market? You’re getting there. I’m not done yet. What if I throw in a nickel defensive back who’s only 26 years old, had 6 interceptions his rookie season, and is only reaching free agency because of the log jam of talent at his position on his team? Well that fixes the secondary issues, but what about that gaping hole at 1 technique? Whelp, the NFL thought of that a bajillion years ago and implemented this nifty recruiting metric called “The NFL Draft.”

In all seriousness, this draft is STACKED at defensive line. So stacked, that I firmly believe we’ll nab Nick Hayden’s replacement at pick #34.vernonsacknewton

So let’s recap. Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Pick #34, Olivier Vernon, Casey Hayward, Mo Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick, Sean Lee, Rolando McClain, Barry Church, and Byron Jones. I firmly believe that is a Super Bowl winning defense.

What about the offense? Well, we have the best offensive line in football. I’m not sure I’ll get much argument about that, unless your name is Jason Peters. What goes really good with an offensive line?

I’m not sure about you, but I’d like to throw a running back behind it who can do damage. A running back who can be on the field for all three downs. A running back who some people believe could be an all-pro. I’m starting to think that the best option for this team is to take Ezekiel Elliot with the fourth overall pick. I won’t go into a ton of details now, but in terms of win now AND win in the future, this could be the guy.

So to give you a free agency recap, I want to haul in Olivier Vernon, and Casey Hayward this week. I think Miami being willing to put the transition tag on Vernon says a lot. Usually with free agents, teams will either franchise tag, or let them test the market. Miami basically said, “We’d be willing to pay this guy X amount of dollars, but he’s still technically on the market.”

Casey Hayward has gotten overshadowed in Green Bay by better players, but showed a ton of promise and shouldn’t completely break the bank, and with our lack of corner depth, would easily walk into the 3rd cornerback spot.

This is one potential route we could go. Do I think it’s possible? Yes. Do I think it’s realistic. Maybe. It’s a little too rich for what our front office has done in recent years, but given the success of John Elway’s “just buy all the good players,” method, we may be a little more inclined to put money on the table. Keep an eye on a name like William Hayes. Under the radar production and a perfect bridge player to get us into Randy’s prime.

Whelp, news just broke that Charles Johnson is going back to the Panthers. Market’s getting pretty thin there, Jerry.


Dallas Cowboys fan since the Drew Bledsoe "era." I love Tony AND Dak. I like to think that I'm the most objective that a fan can get, while still being a diehard, which I truly believe is the 8th wonder of the world. Go Cowboys!!

  • Randy Martin

    As much as I like Vernon it would be highly unlikely Dallas is going to shell out that kind of dough in free agency. Better give up on that fantasy. On the other hand, Hayward is very realistic. But free agency frenzy is fun times!

  • Blue Star

    Dallas Free Agency Extra Lame.

Dallas Cowboys

Can Cowboys Trust Guard Jonathan Cooper in 2018?

Jess Haynie



Jonathan Cooper

One of the big decisions facing the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 offseason is at left guard. Veteran Jonathan Cooper started 13 games last year and is now a free agent. Should Dallas bring Cooper back, or should they look elsewhere for next season’s starter?

With a lot of money already being spent on the rest of the starting offensive line, the Cowboys need a bargain at left guard. They didn’t re-sign Ronald Leary in 2017 for that very reason, hoping Cooper or Chaz Green would be able to handle the job for a fraction of what Leary got from the Denver Broncos.

Cooper took over for Green in Week 4 and held the job the rest of the season. The Cowboys rushing attack remained one of the league’s best, even performing well later in the year when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended. It looked like Jonathan could become part of future plans.

However, in Week 17, Cooper went out of the game with a knee injury. It thankfully wasn’t serious and he is expected to be ready for 2018. However, it was a reminder of the injury-plagued past that has caused the former first-round pick so much trouble.

Jonathan Cooper

Dallas Cowboys Guard Jonathan Cooper

Taken seventh overall in 2013 by the Arizona Cardinals, Jonathan Cooper was one of the true blue-chip guard prospects in recent draft history. He seemed like a can’t-miss pick, and interior linemen don’t often go that high in the draft. The Cowboys have even said they coveted Cooper in that class.

But constant battles with injuries caused Cooper to be traded, released, and discarded by the Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Cleveland Browns over his first four seasons. While 2017 was looking like a turning point for him, Jonathan’s injury in the season finale was a sobering reminder of why he’s become a bargain-bin player.

Still, at just 28-years-old, Cooper has good years left and will now have another offseason for continuity and chemistry development with the Cowboys.

Dallas should have to pay more than a few million to keep Cooper on the roster.

If Dallas is leery (no pun intended) of Cooper, they will have options. La’el Collins could move back to the guard position, allowing the Cowboys to go find either the best guard or tackle who would fit with their existing group.

Given so many other considerations this offseason, Dallas will likely try to simplify things by giving Jonathan Cooper another chance. His history is a red flag, but sometimes you have to take those gambles and save salary cap space to handle other needs.


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Player News

Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys Headlines - Forget the Triplets: Cowboys Need The Underrated to Shine in 2016
Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News

For better or worse, the Cowboys don’t even need to play football to be all over national TV. I guess it’s just part of being the one and only America’s Team. For the second consecutive week, Fox Sports had a Dallas Cowboys’ player on set for Fox’s “Undisputed.”

Just a week ago, Brice Butler made waves with some controversial comments that failed to make him look like a “great teammate.”

This time, Fox’s guest was Cowboys’ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Unlike Butler, I really think we should give Scandrick credit for being a very good teammate, and acting like one on his TV appearance.

Throughout the segment, it feels as if Orlando is being tricked into saying something against his teammates. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe start bashing on Dez Bryant‘s performance and the fact that he should be replaced.

Of course, this is the kind of stuff fans in Cowboys Nation are thinking about. Heck, I really wouldn’t even mind if Dez isn’t wearing a star next season. However, I really disliked Butler’s comments when asked if he would’ve done a better job if given the same opportunities as Dez.

Scandrick’s responses were awesome though. When asked if he would defend Dez, he didn’t even hesitate.

“I don’t think he’s lost any confidence. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever been around. I think it can all be fixed. I think he just needs to get back to work and get back to the basics.” – Orlando Scandrick on Dez Bryant.

Scandrick also answered questions about what went wrong with the Cowboys this season by pointing out the fact they lost one of their best players because of a suspension, and some injuries. But he also said what’s been in our minds for a long time. When asked what was the biggest reason they struggled, he said some painful, yet truthful words: “We played some bad football against some very good teams.”

Later, he was asked about how Sean Lee’s absence affected the defense, he insisted they didn’t step up. At the end of the day, the NFL is a league in which you can’t be that dependent on a single player.

Sean Lee is an awesome player, but I think we’d all like to see this defense be a little less dependent on him.

Scandrick even had to defend Dak Prescott.

Dak was highly criticized after a sophomore season in which he struggled, alongside the entire team. But in the words of Orlando, we should “give him time.” Dak had a lot on his plate, but he made a lot of progress for the Cowboys.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Orlando Scandrick’s time in Dallas may be coming to an end, especially with young guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis taking over. He’s signed through 2019, so who knows; maybe we see him wearing the star for a bit longer.

“It’s always a possibility.” – Orlando Scandrick on potentially not returning to Dallas next season.

Even still, it’s nice to see him support his football team and his friends on a show which featured a non-starting Cowboys’ wide receiver taking shots against his team. Orlando Scandrick deserves an applause.

Tell me what you think about “Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!


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Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Pursue Veteran Backup at Quarterback?

Jess Haynie



Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys only have two quarterbacks under contract right now, starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. With only three years of combined experience between them, one could argue that a veteran presence would be useful. Should Dallas make a veteran QB a free-agent priority in the 2018 offseason?

Of course, there’s plenty of other QB experience on the Cowboys staff. Head Coach Jason Garrett played professionally from 1989-2004, and started his coaching career with quarterbacks.

Scott Linehan has been coaching offense with an emphasis on the passing game for 30 years.

Kellen Moore, who is taking over for the departed Wade Wilson as quarterbacks coach, has played very recently and will bring a fresh perspective.

However, losing Wilson’s experience from the room, and the lack of any veteran player at QB, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dak Prescott has said veteran Mark Sanchez — who was with Dallas in 2016 — was a major help during his whirlwind rookie season. Tony Romo enjoyed veteran advice from guys like Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna, and Kyle Orton throughout his playing career.

This isn’t to say Dallas would want to bring in a veteran to knock Cooper Rush down the depth chart. After a surprising preseason, Rush took the backup job from Kellen Moore and certainly has intriguing upside.

If the Cowboys were to add a veteran, that player would have to come in with the understanding he’s competing with Cooper and may not be guaranteed a job.

The good news is that it’ll be a buyer’s market for veteran quarterbacks this offseason.

Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, and Matt Moore could all be available. Even a player with more pedigree, such as Sam Bradford, may have trouble finding starting work with many jobs taken among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Dallas could even consider bringing back Mark Sanchez, given his previous relationship with Dak Prescott. He only had a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Given Prescott’s seeming durability, Dallas will likely only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2018 and for years to come. Because of that, they may be content to focus on Dak and Cooper Rush, and just get through the offseason with training camp bodies.

However, the case can certainly be made for adding another veteran player with the desire to teach to help these young quarterbacks develop. Prescott was not the same guy in 2017 that we saw as a rookie, and perhaps the absence of guys like Sanchez and Tony on the sideline had something to do with that.


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