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Is The Cowboys Secondary Suddenly A Cause For Concern?

Brian Martin

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Is The Cowboys Secondary Suddenly A Cause Of Concern?

Yesterday we learned the fates of the Dallas Cowboys free agent cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Carr will be suiting up for the Baltimore Ravens next season and Claiborne will be playing for the New York Jets. With their departure, they join Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox as secondary players the Cowboys have lost via free agency. Suddenly things are starting to look a little sparse on the back end of the Cowboys defense, which has become a concern for a lot of fans.

There were many of us fans that believed the Dallas Cowboys would try to retain either Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne, but it looks as if they were willing to move on and try to rebuild the secondary without them. So, if you're counting that is a total of four secondary players that started on defense at some point in 2016, without a lot of additions to take over. It's no wonder Cowboys fans feel a little left in the dark.

I for one am not panicking, because I think I see the bigger picture of what the Cowboys are trying to accomplish this off-season. I mean, how many of you have been wanting the organization to upgrade from Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, and J.J. Wilcox these past few seasons? Now that it they are all moving on, everyone starts to freak out.

Trust me on this and take a deep breath. The Cowboys know what they're doing, so we are just going to have to trust the process and let everything play out. Let me try to break this down a little bit better for you, so that I can hopefully ease your mind.

Cowboys Secondary: Cornerbacks

CB Anthony BrownIf you are keeping track, and I'm sure you are, then you have come to the realization that the Dallas Cowboys have only added Nolan Carroll, but lost both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne in free agency. Things don't quite add up do they?

Carroll was brought in to more than likely take over for Carr. They are both basically the same size, but I think Carroll is probably better of the two players, although it may be a slight margin of victory. No doubt he will start at one of the outside cornerback spots, the other probably to be played by the second year CB Anthony Brown.

Brown had a fantastic rookie season and his addition to the Cowboys roster last year couldn't have come at a better time. He ended up starting nine games as a rookie and is now the future for the organization.

That leaves Orlando Scandrick and he will probably move back into the nickel, where he is at his best. Scandrick took some time to get healthy last year, but was playing really well towards the end of the season.

With Carroll, Brown, and Scandrick the Cowboys already have a solid group of starting CBs. But, you can bet they aren't done addressing the position just yet. I will guarantee you that they will add another talented cornerback in the upcoming draft with one of their first few draft picks. That will solidify the CB position and build the foundation for years to come.

Cowboys Secondary: Safeties

S Jeff HeathLike the cornerback position, the Dallas Cowboys have lost two of their safeties, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. Unfortunately, they haven't made any new additions, which either means they think they have their starter currently on the roster or they're still mulling over the free agent options. Of course, they could draft another safety, which isn't entirely out of the question.

In all honesty, I wouldn't mind seeing Jeff Heath receive more playing time starting next to Byron Jones on the back end of the Cowboys defense. He seems to always be around the ball making plays and creating turnovers, which is something the defense can certainly use.

There are several free agent options still available that can step in and be a day one starter. Of course, that would involve spending money and I'm not quite sure if anybody they signed would be better than what they currently have or what they could possibly add through the draft.

The 2017 safety draft class is deep and there are quite a few players in the first few rounds that could come in and not only solidify the back end the defense, but be an upgrade over what the Cowboys let walk this off-season. Honestly, I think this is the route that they prefer to go.

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As you can see, things aren't quite as bad as they seem right now. The Dallas Cowboys have a plan in place, we as fans just have to trust the process because unfortunately we really don't have any other choice.

Personally, I don't know if they will make any more moves to address the secondary before the 2017 NFL Draft. I think they will probably draft both a cornerback and safety in the first two rounds and move on from there. Fortunately, both the cornerback and safety positions are pretty deep this year, so they should be able to come away with a starter at both positions.

Does any of this help ease your concerns about the Dallas Cowboys secondary?



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.

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7 Comments
  • leo thomas

    I like what they are doing it had to be done sooner than later. This CB group seem to be very big, strong and fast. Tapper now has his chance to show his pass rushing skills.

    • Brian Martin

      I agree Leo. It was time to make a change to the secondary. I think it’s a shock to most people because it’s kind of all at once.

  • Terence Rendon

    Now let get for real Mr. Martin. Signing Carroll is a down grade over the player of Carr and Claiborne. If Carroll was a better player Philly would never let him go in the first places. Carroll could not hold the line. If you go by all the people who does ranking players by there stats over last year {2016) you see both Claiborne (19) and Carr was in the 20’s best CB in the league last year. Were Carroll was rank 55th best CB, Now for Brown, and Scandrick . Brown is up and coming and will be a good CB when he get more season under the belt. Sccandrick is getting older and starting to show all the injury that his body has taken. Now for the Safeties. J.J. Wilcox has never started a games in NFL. He not that good of a player and don’t have the truth confident of the coaching staff that he can get the job done. Byron Jones can not do everything by himself. Yes it has to be done at some point down the road but not all at one time. Now for tapper on being a every down player I don’t see it. Now you have 1 DE is out for the season for off the field issues that got him into trouble with NFL. Then you have another out for 4 to 6 games for the same reason. Dallas is so cap strap it not even funny any more. They need to learn now to manage there money better. They need to stop given out big money contract to. They need to look how the rest of the league is doing it.

    • Terence Rendon

      I also put in over 2500 hours in draft and free agency players every year. I know my stuff. You use draft to build a team of the future. But you use free agency to fill in the holes. Not the other way around

      • Brian Martin

        I think that’s exactly what the Cowboys are doing.

    • Brian Martin

      I disagree with you about Carroll. He is just as good as Carr, if not a little bit better. I think you’ll be a good fit in the Cowboys secondary. Scandrick didn’t start the year healthy, but he got better as the season progressed. I really don’t think the Cowboys secondary is any worse than it was in 2016 right now. In fact, I think they will be better next season after we see who they add through the draft.

    • Troy Wecker

      Carr was never the player he was advertised to be. OBJ made him look absolutely stupid on national television 2 years ago. His only saving grace…he never missed a game. Mo never lived up to his first round draft status. Every year he was plagued by one injury or another that kept him sidelined. Personally, I like Wilcox. He was a hard hitter, the enforcer of the group. He laid out OBJ in the season opener of 2015-that was a thing of beauty. However, he frequently took bad angles missing big plays. I agree that Dallas is cap strapped and for that reason you “can’t put a steak on every plate.” They should look very closely at the way the Patriots do business and copy that. Six Superbowls in 17 years is something that should make you stand up and take notice.

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Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

https://twitter.com/TheSupremeTaco/status/1072203745868554240

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.



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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" 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!



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" 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!



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