Connect with us

Player News

Is Lance Dunbar’s Job In Jeopardy?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lance Dunbar's Job In Jeopardy?

When it comes to the NFL, there is nothing guaranteed. Just when you think you have things figured out, you get thrown a curveball that catches you off guard.

Case in point, take a look at what happened to Tony Romo. Throughout his rehab everyone insisted that this was still Romo's team, but once he was able to return to the lineup, he finds out that this is now Dak Prescott's time to shine.

Now, it's hard to fault the Dallas Cowboys in any way for choosing to stick with Prescott, but this is one of those curveball situations that still caught a lot of us off guard.

The sad truth is that is just the nature of the NFL and nobody's job is guaranteed, no matter how long you've been with the organization.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Lance Dunbar's Job In Jeopardy? 1Job security in the NFL is iffy at best, and I think that Lance Dunbar could be looking over his shoulder now that Darren McFadden was activated from the Non-Football Injury list.

The Dallas Cowboys still have about two weeks to make a decision about when/if they want to add McFadden to the active roster, but it's hard to believe they will carry four running backs. That means someone's job is in jeopardy, and to me it looks as if Lance Dunbar is the odd man out.

Dunbar is what I would classify as a 3rd down/specialty back in the NFL. He is not someone that you want carrying the workload for your team, but he is useful in certain situations.

The Cowboys like to use him as a receiver out of the backfield because he creates a mismatch problem for linebackers. That is where he is most dangerous, but with the way Ezekiel Elliott has been playing, Dunbar's playing time has been limited to say the least.

Durability is the main concern with Lance Dunbar. It seems every time he starts to produce for the Cowboys offense, he always suffers an injury that ends his season.

It's really difficult to depend on someone when you have to worry about their availability on a regular basis. Already in 2016, injuries have been a problem for Dunbar and resulted in him only playing in eight games.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like Lance Dunbar, but I think Darren McFadden can pretty much do everything that Dunbar can and offer little bit more in the running game.

McFadden finished fourth in rushing in the NFL last season running by the Cowboys impressive offensive line and could be relied upon once again in case of an unfortunate injury occurred.

Honestly, I would feel much better with the duo of Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden backing up Ezekiel Elliott then I would with Morris and Lance Dunbar.

Give me a complete running back over a specialty RB any day.

Of course, this is all speculation. We really have no way of knowing when/if the Cowboys will add Darren McFadden to the active roster or who will be a roster casualty once it does happen. But, if I'm Lance Dunbar, I would certainly be a little bit worried that my job was in jeopardy.

Do you think Lance Dunbar's job is in jeopardy?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions about Lance Dunbar's job security.



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.

Advertisement
6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    November 29, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I think it’s a foregone conclusion that if McFadden is ready to play Dunbar is history. The only other option would be Darius Jackson but I really hope that doesn’t happen. This will likely be McFaddens last year and I like having Jackson as a backup to Morris.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      November 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Randy, I tend to agree with you. However, I know the coaching staff really likes Lance Dunbar. I just don’t really see a role for him on offense if McFadden is added to the active roster. It will be really interesting to see how the situation plays out.

  2. Russ_Te (@Russ_Te)

    November 30, 2016 at 6:41 am

    The way to look at this is that the Cowboys running game is the font from which all team success flows. Dak is better, the defense is better because of it. If you can dominate that aspect of the NFL game, then you stockpile as much talent as you can so that it never falls off.

    That is why I wanted Leary still on the team when Collins took his job at LG, Best backup G probably in the game in Leary, and sure enough he became needed in a big way. Same could be true for McFadden, who we know is a threat and a workhorse at RB.

    If you lost Elliott, you reload with McF and Morris and it remains the case that nobody stops you.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      November 30, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Russ. I agree with everything you said, especially about keeping Ronald Leary. Honestly, if I have to make a decision between having McFadden or Dunbar on the active roster, I think I would have to go with McFadden. I just think he offers more to the team overall.

  3. Russ_Te (@Russ_Te)

    November 30, 2016 at 6:44 am

    So to clarify, I would not dump McFadden just to keep Dunbar. Dunbar has enough good NFL plays that someone will bring him to camp next year.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      November 30, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Russ, I agree. There were a few teams interested in Dunbar during the off-season, but he was still recovering from his knee injury. I think somebody will bring him in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Player News

Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



Continue Reading

Player News

DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



Continue Reading

Player News

When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

Published

on

All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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