I know that Patrick Crayton is feeling pretty upset right now, but this really isn't the way to go by handling it. There are several other ways to express your feelings about your football ability on a certain team. Being absent to OTA's and mini-camps is not helping his side of the argument. You can't just kick and scream to get your way in the NFL. I learned that at an early age when Mom or Dad got tired of any temper tantrum I would provoke in public with my rear meeting the palm of their hand. Now as for a grown man, that's a different story. I would really like to understand everything that is going on with this. Is there some sort of hidden story going on at the Ranch, or does he really feel that Jerry Jones is out to ruin his career and... his life?
To me, none of this mounts up to making sense. I know that Crayton has voiced his opinion before about issues that Cowboys fans feel should of just slid by...but why such a big voice about this? I just assumed that he understood that he has a job and it's to show up to camp and catch footballs with his teammates.
I am very grateful for everything Crayton has done for this team over the years. I know that he has gotten the 'shaft' on many occasions. Fortunately every time he has shown up to prove himself the following week, and on through the rest of the season. It just seems very simple to me that all Crayton needs to do is show up to camp and do what he has always done..proven himself. That's what every player does every day of being in the NFL. Tony Romo needs to always prove that he is good enough of a Quarterback to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl victory. DeMarcus Ware needs to prove that his 20 sack season wasn't a fluke. Roy Williams needs to prove that he can play just as good at Dallas as what he did in Detroit. Miles Austin needs to prove that he can keep on performing the way he did last year after his break out game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Keith Brooking needs to prove that he can still play at a high caliber after 13 years in the league. Sean Lee needs to prove that he can play with the pros after teams passing on him in the draft cause of his ACL tear. The list continually never ends.
Now, my opinion on handling such a situation would be to not focus on talking... but to focus on playing hard on the field, working hard off the field, and improving my ability as an NFL receiver every day. He is clearly putting his focus in the wrong direction. With him being out right now, that is allowing a lot of younger guys to step in and get a better chance at taking 84's spot. These are young and hungery guys who dive into any slightly open crack of an opportunity. Those guys who are with the team right now are focused! Let me repeat myself..they are FOCUSED! Focused on their individual play and the playing ability of the team as a whole. They are focused on their job and the ultimate goal. They are not focused on talking with the media about how they feel they need to fit into an organization. Talking to the media is just something that is a requirement that many guys don't always feel like doing. The media shouldn't be an outlet for your frustrations.
There was a reason why Jerry, Stephen and Wade decided to clean house before last year... because there was too much controversy going on...way too much. Even the constant comments from Greg Ellis were getting old, and look at what happened to him after a 1 year stint in Oakland. Patrick Crayton is a big key to this team. Patrick and Tony have a chemistry that takes years to develop. Crayton isn't a superstar on this team but he gives us everything that is still vital to winning a championship. He is a very good third receiver to be placed in the slot. He had a couple of excellent touchdown runs on punt returns too. He is that guy who we all know can fill in a second or even first receiver role any time someone gets hurt.
Maybe Patrick is wanting to show to people that he is worth the money that Jerry spent on him a few years back. Maybe that is the issue...? I know that I am trying to psychologically analyze this whole ordeal. Something just doesn' t aggrevates me about this whole situation. It seems like the Dallas Cowboys are looking very positive right now... I just don't understand what the whole uprise of feeling betrayed by Jerry is all about.
Whatever it is it needs to get sorted out and Dallas needs to get back to their main focus. That's being a team and everyone finding a way to contribute to the ultimate goal. We all love you Crayton!... for everything that you have done for this team. You have gotten yourself through many criticisms that typically come with being a Dallas Cowboy, but don't let things end like this. I feel that Patrick Crayton is a tremendous commodity to this organization and needs to get back on the field and do all those positive things that he knows how to do. If not then I guess we will be talking about how good (or bad) the Cowboys will play in 2010 without Number 84 on the team. That guy who gives Tony Romo assurance on catching balls during drastic situations. Someone who knows the ends and outs of this offense. Let's get back to playing football...and proving ourselves as a team.
Cowboys Wishlist: 3 Things I Want to See in Kellen Moore’s Offense
The Dallas Cowboys offense will mostly remain the same in terms of players. However, a big change is coming with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore taking over the talented unit. In a special edition of Cowboys Wishlist, I'll share the three big things I want to see in Moore's offense in 2019.
Let me know what you want to see in the comments section below or tweet me @MauNFL!
Wish #1: Frequent Read Option
Despite Dak Prescott's skills as a runner, rarely did we see the Cowboys run read option plays. For a team that seems to have the perfect duo for these plays, they certainly seemed to have wasted it over the last few years. This is an offense that has plenty of talent to be struggling as much as they did in the red zone last year.
Imagine being concerned about Ezekiel Elliott getting the ball and Dak Prescott keeping it at the same time? Not to mention the play action threat with a group of receivers led by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb... oh, and a veteran tight end in Jason Witten who might be older but whose hands are very reliable.
The Athletic's Bob Sturm pointed out Prescott's average of 4.46 yards per carry and 18 touchdowns in the red zone between 2016 and 2018. The league average for all players is 2.64 and there's no one close to over four yards and over 10 touchdowns in the league. Dak has been dangerous when using his legs and yet, the Cowboys haven't used the read option as much. I hope that changes with Kellen Moore taking over.
Wish #2: Use Tight Ends More
I'm still impressed by how little the Cowboys utilized their tight ends in 2018. In fact, as Bobby Belt noted on Twitter a few months ago, this has happened consistently in Scott Linehan's career.
One thing you consistently see when Scott Linehan takes over an offense is a drop in the starting tight end's production. Randy McMichael, Byron Chamberlain, and Jason Witten all saw drops in yards per catch, receptions per game, and yards per game once Linehan took over.
Last year, Blake Jarwin had only three games with more than three targets. In those games, he racked up 56, 45 and 119 yards. This makes me wonder if the real problem at tight end last season was more about how they were utilized rather than the players at the position.
With Jason Witten back, Jarwin and the future Hall of Famer could split the snaps. Hopefully, Kellen Moore gives them a more active role on the offense. I really think we'll see way more from them.
Wish #3: Pre-Snap Motion
Pre-snap motion is truly a thing of beauty. The simple fact of getting a player in motion before the ball is snapped can go a long way to keep a defense in its toes and cause confusion to set up a successful play. In Boise State, Moore ran an offense that heavily relied on pre-snap motions.
The first year offensive coordinator won't turn the Cowboys into the new L.A. Rams but he can add this kind of trickery to help Dallas take the next step offensively. Dak Prescott will be playing his fourth year of professional football and adding this to the offense will only help the young QB by making his reads even easier.
How Will Coaching Changes Impact Cowboys’ Backup QB Battle?
There has been a big shakeup on the Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff in 2019. Scott Linehan is out, Kellen Moore was promoted to Offensive Coordinator, and Jon Kitna was hired as the new Quarterbacks Coach. What impact will the changes have on the QB position, and especially when it comes to the battle for the backup role?
The contenders remain Cooper Rush, a third-year player who joined Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and 2018 fifth-round pick Mike White. Rush was the backup QB last season, but had a major experience edge over his rookie competition. That playing field will be more level now in White's second season.
The changes in the coaching staff even things out all the more. There is a new OC with new ideas and things to learn, and new QB coach with his own style and preferences. Rush and White are starting over together, in a way, with this new personnel.
Jon Kitna is especially intriguing in this conversation. Moore was here last year but Kitna brings a fresh set of eyes to the QB position. He also brings the resume of being an exceptional backup quarterback during his playing career, understanding what it takes to be a success in the role.
Kitna may see and appreciate things that neither Kellen Moore or Scott Linehan could.
For example, what made Cooper Rush take a backward step in his play from the 2017 preseason to last year? He was the undrafted underdog that took the backup QB job away from Kellen Moore two years ago, but last year was the incumbent trying to hold on to his spot against a new prospect.
Did Mike White being a drafted player get in Rush's head?
Jon Kitna spent a long time fighting off younger options. He may be able to help Cooper deal with that pressure.
Or perhaps it will go the other way; Kitna's fresh perspective could help push White up the depth chart. From the new QB coach's own lips, he's approaching this situation without preconceived notions:
"For me, it’s more of a clean slate. I just want to come in and help those guys and help them progress in their careers. If you get the best out of them, that’s going to be good for us at an organization.”
A few months ago I was pushing for Dallas to sign a veteran backup. With the Super Bowl in reach, I don't want to see the season go down the drain if something happens to Dak Prescott. It'd be nice to have our own Nick Foles ready to go.
While it doesn't appear the Cowboys will go that route, I'm at least comforted by having Jon Kitna's voice in the room. He could have a tremendous influence on Cooper Rush and Mike White, and perhaps upgrade the QB2 position even without a roster move.
If nothing else, I'm going to be more confident in the backup quarterback decision knowing that Kitna was involved in making it.
Despite Changes, Cowboys Offense Still Runs Through Ezekiel Elliott
We've talked a lot this offseason about the changes at Offensive Coordinator and slot receiver, or how Jason Witten's return will impact the tight end position. But while all of these will impact the Dallas Cowboys' offense in 2019, the constant feature remains Running Back Ezekiel Elliott and the rushing attack.
From 2016 to 2018, since the Cowboys drafted Elliott, Dallas has ranked 1st, 3rd, and 10th among NFL teams in "run vs. pass" play calls. That's only logical; you don't spend a fourth-overall pick on a RB and then not make him the featured player in your offense.
Zeke has certainly rewarded Dallas' decision; Elliott has led the league in total rushing two out of three years, and he led in yards-per-game in 2017 while dealing with his suspension.
Leaning on Elliott has been smart business based on his effectiveness, plus the investment in the offensive line over the last several years.
Dallas has now sunk three first-round picks (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin), one second (Connor Williams), and now two thirds (Chaz Green and Connor McGovern) on building up their front wall. They've spent a lot of money to keep their All-Pro guys around, plus La'el Collins.
Some would try to paint the run-heavy approach as how the team is trying to hide the weaknesses of Dak Prescott at quarterback. But in 2014, with DeMarco Murray at RB and Tony Romo at QB, the Cowboys were still 3rd in the league in rush vs. pass attempts.
This isn't about Zeke or Dak, or any other specific player. This about a team philosophy that starts at the top with Jason Garrett, and that isn't going to change even with Kellen Moore taking over as the new Offensive Coordinator.
We're all excited to see what new wrinkles comes from getting rid of Scott Linehan. We highly anticipate the development of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in the offense, coupled with the addition of Randall Cobb. We're salivating at what Blake Jarwin might become under the tutelage of the great Jason Witten.
Heck, maybe we'll see fullback Jamize Olawale's receiving skills put to more use. Perhaps gadget guys like Tavon Austin or rookie Tony Pollard will be deployed in more creative ways.
And yes, Dak Prescott's growth is another major factor in Dallas' 2019 success. It's especially interesting, and even concerning, as talks are ongoing about his long-term contract.
But make no mistake, this is still the Ezekiel Elliott show. Even if a few more of his carries become receptions in Moore's scheme, Zeke should still get the lion's share of the touches.
That's why this week's news about his incident in Las Vegas is so troubling. It probably won't lead to a suspension, but we saw what happened in 2017 when Elliott was missing for over a third of the season.
While Dallas should be better able to withstand losing Zeke now than it was two years ago, it may still be more than Prescott, Cooper, and the rest could handle. It definitely wouldn't put the Cowboys in good position to compete for a Super Bowl.
In the end, the 2019 will still come down to how well Dallas runs the ball. It's the engine; nothing else matters if the rushing game doesn't set everyone else up for success.
Don't ever take it for granted. This is still Ezekiel Elliott's offense.
Player News2 weeks ago
Leighton Vander Esch Graded Best Rookie Linebacker Since 2014
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Kicker Matt Bryant Should Be the Final Piece of Cowboys 2019 Offseason
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Way-too-early 2019 Dallas Cowboys 53-man Roster Projection
Star Blog2 weeks ago
QB Dak Prescott Already Impressing New Offensive Coaches
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
What Could June 1st Mean for 2019 Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Despite Perception, Dallas Cowboys had an Excellent Offseason
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Why Cowboys Should Make Signing RB Jay Ajayi a Top Priority
Player News6 days ago
DT Leonard Williams May be Available, Should the Cowboys Explore a Trade?