Connect with us

Player News

Is Rolando McClain Key To Cowboys Defensive Success?

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys defense for the upcoming 2016. Who will be the starting defensive ends with Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence missing the first four games due to violating the substance abuse policy? How will the cornerback situation shake itself out? Who will be the starting outside linebacker? These are just a few questions that surround the Cowboys defense that should answer themselves once the off-season practices really start getting underway.

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Is Rolando McClain Key To Defensive Success?

There are a lot of questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys defense for the upcoming 2016.

Who will be the starting defensive ends with Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence missing the first four games due to violating the substance abuse policy?

How will the cornerback situation shake itself out?

Who will be the starting outside linebacker?

These are just a few questions that surround the Cowboys defense that should answer themselves once the off-season practices really start getting underway.

There is one question though that I think may be key to how the defense performs in the upcoming season.

How will Rolando McClain perform after a full off-season in the Dallas Cowboys training program?

Despite the fact that this will be Rolando's third season with the Cowboys, it will be his first full off-season to go through the strength and conditioning programs.

In year 1 with the Cowboys organization he didn't join the team until they were already in training camp. Again, he missed the strength and conditioning program in year 2 because he was recovering from a knee injury.

Finally, he should be able to take part in the entire off-season for the Cowboys and that should help him become more physically and mentally prepared for the 2016 season.

We have a witnessed that when Rolando was on his game he is one of the better linebackers in the entire NFL, but there are also those times where he just seems to disappear and I'm hoping that with a full off-season to prepare those lapses in games will vanish.

I would love to see him finally put everything together and quit running hot and cold, because when he's hot both him and Sean Lee make up one of the better inside linebacker duos in the entire NFL.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Rolando McClain Key To Cowboys Defensive Success?

Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

In all honesty, I believe that he could just be the key factor in determining whether or not the Cowboys defense is successful in 2016.

The Cowboys really don't have another player to play that middle linebacker position that can have the same kind of impact that Rolando McClain does.

In 2015, after missing the first four games for violating the substance abuse policy, Rolando still had a really good statistical season. He finished with 97 tackles, nine for losses, two sacks, 10 quarterback pressures, and that interception he return for a touchdown against Miami.

That's a pretty impressive statistical season, especially considering the fact that he only started 11 games. What's even more impressive though is the fact that he was averaging 11 tackles a game and if you add in the four games that he missed when he was suspended, he would be close to having approximately 140 tackles or so.

It's time for the Cowboys patience in McClain to finally pay off and I think that we will see bigger and better things from him in 2016.

There is no denying that McClain is a really good player, but the Cowboys are relying on him to be on the field. If for some reason he becomes unavailable, his impact on the field will be missed and it could end up being disastrous for the entire defense.

There simply isn't another linebacker that can step in and fill the void left in the middle of the defense. That is why I believe that Rolando McClain is the key to the success of the Cowboys defense in 2016.

Do you agree or disagree?

Please feel free to use the comment section below or hit me up on Twitter @bmart so that we can discuss this topic further.



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.

Player News

Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



Continue Reading

Player News

Terrance Williams: Details, Impact of 3-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

Published

on

3 Current Starters Cowboys' Fans Hate, But Shouldn't 1

Terrance Williams was already missing games on injured reserve, but now the Dallas Cowboys receivers is going to lose some money as well. Williams was finally hit with a three-game suspension by the NFL, starting immediately,  for his public intoxication arrest last May.

Dallas placed Terrance on IR in Week 5 just a day before their game against the Houston Texans. Williams had been struggling with a foot issue since the offseason, which included a surgery that he hadn't fully recovered from.

Many were surprised that Williams wasn't suspended to start the season, given that his arrest occurred several months prior. But when charges were eventually dropped after Terrance took part in some required alcohol education courses, it appeared the league might be letting the issue go.

However, as Cowboys fans know all too well, Roger Goodell's NFL operates its own judicial system.

In Williams' case, the suspension will only result in lost game checks. Players still get paid when on IR, but Terrance will lose that amount of his $3.5 million base salary.

Because he can serve the suspension while injured, Terrance will still be eligible to be recalled from injured reserve in December after sitting the mandatory weeks.

The real issue for Williams now is how this event, and his general fall from grace in the Cowboys offense, will affect him in the next offseason.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Terrance is in just the second season of a four-year, $17 million contract he signed in 2017. If he's released after this year, Dallas would save $2.25 million of his scheduled $4.75 million cap hit in 2019.

Williams' cap hit isn't the issue by itself. That would be a bargain for a significant contributor in your offense, even if he was just the third receiver.

But Terrance appears to have fallen well below that spot on the depth chart. Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup are the top three receivers these days, and veteran Deonte Thompson has also been getting looks. Dallas also brought back Brice Butler a few weeks ago, though he hasn't really been worked in yet.

Not only that, but the Cowboys will have the option to recall Noah Brown from IR in just a few more weeks. He was one of their more intriguing young prospects prior to getting hurt.

Dallas could let Terrance come back next year to compete, hopefully with full health and less personal baggage. But after six seasons, they may be ready to move on to players with more room to grow.

For now, though, Terrance Williams is out of action and out some money. We'll see what the future holds.



Continue Reading

Player News

Report: Austin Heading to IR: Deonte Thompson is the Next Man Up

John Williams

Published

on

Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson Making Preseason Debut Vs. Cardinals

Tavon Austin's stint with the Dallas Cowboys has been up and down through six games. He's provided some big play ability on the outside, but hasn't really had the running room on jet sweeps that the Dallas Cowboys would have hoped for when they acquired Austin from the Los Angeles Rams during the 2018 NFL Draft.

Now it's being reported by Brandon George from the Dallas Morning News that Austin may be headed to injured reserve for a groin tear suffered in the Dallas Cowboys week six win over the Jaguars.

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said WR Tavon Austin will be getting a second opinion on his injured right groin in the next day or so. He didn't discount possibility of him being placed on injured reserve.

 

Whether Austin goes to injured reserve or not remains to be seen, but we do know that he'll miss week seven and likely won't be able to suit up for a while. Though Austin hasn't been relied upon much, he has been a threat that opposing defenses have had to account for in both the passing and running game. Tavon Austin leaves a bit of a hole.

Enter Deonte Thompson.

Deonte Thompson, who was signed by the Dallas Cowboys this past offseason, hasn't been the same type of rushing threat that Austin has been in his NFL career. Thompson's only carried the ball two times in his career for -5 yards. However, Thompson has some skills that could bode well should the Dallas Cowboys decide to use him in the jet sweep role that Austin is vacating.

He's been a return threat in his NFL career, averaging 24.8 yards per return. He's had returns of 47, 64, and 74 yards. He's also had some good moments running after the catch in his career, though he hasn't gotten many opportunities.

Thompson's a former track athlete and before the 2012 NFL Draft ran a 4.30 40 yard dash. He has the speed and a bit more size than Austin to make some things happen if given the opportunities.

The jet sweep has become an important staple in the Dallas Cowboys offense. Even when they don't hand it off on the sweep, they use it in play action, to set up screens, and even to get the defense thinking about it on direct hand offs to Ezekiel Elliott. They aren't going to want to scrap that part of the playbook just because Austin will be sitting out. Deonte Thompson can be that guy. Much like Marquise Goodwin in San Francisco, Thompson has elite speed.

He's not just football fast. He's fast-fast.

When I was in high school, I played baseball. In the baseball program I was fast. The fastest on the team. That was my game. Infield singles. Stretching doubles to triples. Stealing bases. I was fast. I went out for track my senior season because I thought, "hey I'm fast, let's see what would happen if I ran the 100-meter-dash." I found out really quickly that there is a difference between baseball fast and track fast.

The same applies to football and track. Deonte Thompson is track fast. He's a guy that the Dallas Cowboys need to get the ball to on those jet sweeps to continue to threaten defenses sideline to sideline. When it's working, as we've seen with Lucky Whitehead in the past and Tavon Austin this year, it opens up a lot for the Dallas Cowboys offense.

It's likely that Cole Beasley gets those first jet sweep attempts, and as a trusted veteran for the Dallas Cowboys, he probably should. But, if Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan want to continue to use the jet sweep to the offense's maximum benefit, they need to start showing it with Deonte Thompson. He has the speed to get to the corner and take it to the end zone from any where on the field.

Here's an example of what Thompson can do with the ball in his hands.

NFL on Twitter

109 YARDS TO THE HOUSE!!! Deonte Thompson returns the missed field goal and runs it all the way back for a @ChicagoBears TD! #CHIvsAZ https://t.co/k9IfkZMoIY

 

With Tavon Austin set to be out -- possibly for the season -- it's time to see what Deonte Thompson can do. The Dallas Cowboys need to get a win here to get above .500 for the first time this season and set themselves up to make a run at the divisional crown. Deonte Thompson's ability with the ball in his hands will give them a good opportunity to do just that.



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