Connect with us

Star Blog

Jason Garrett’s Leadership Crucial as Cowboys “Focus” on 2017 Training Camp

Sean Martin

Published

on

Jason Garrett's Leadership Crucial as Cowboys "Focus" on 2017 Training Camp 1

The Dallas Cowboys held their opening training camp press conference from Oxnard, California on Sunday, and as expected the trio of Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Head Coach Jason Garrett generated plenty of interesting quotes for Cowboys Nation.

Entering their first training camp in 14 years without QB Tony Romo, expectations - along with the feeling of doubt - have never been higher for a Cowboys team that discovered a budding star to replace Romo last season in Dak Prescott. Dak's backfield mate and fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott should also be reason for optimism with the 2017 Cowboys, but yesterday all Elliott related questions directed to the team's brass were understandably about a potentially impending suspension and his off-field behavior.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Jerry: "The stronger your core base is, the more risks you are allowed to take". Wow does this say A LOT, re: sustainability.

Watching mostly as a fan just desperate to get back to some football, one theme stuck out from Dallas' press conference. This is a team that absolutely can meet their Super Bowl expectations this season, but only if Jason Garrett takes a step up as their leader.

Jon Machota on Twitter

New Dallas Cowboys training camp shirt slogan: FOCUS.

Upcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Jones spoke to the media Sunday about being able to take more risks to round out the roster when the Cowboys' "core" has been so strong. On the surface, these comments make the Cowboys' head coaching job sound like a nightmare - far from the privilege Garrett frequently refers to it as.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Jerry: "In my experience, risk has been worth the reward. I don't know that we have Super Bowls without Charles Haley, Michael Irvin...

Yet Jason Garrett, entering his seventh full season as the head coach of America's Team, has been exactly the guy both the Jones' and Will McClay have wanted to transition their roster from old and middling to young and competitive.

Risks that the Cowboys have taken will still be present from the practice fields of Oxnard, but at least on day one it was Jason Garrett - with his blue shirt, sunglasses, and cool demeanor - that lulled the press and fans alike to sleep with repeated talk of his trust in the Cowboys' core, his coaching staff, their program, and leadership ability.

Not only was Jason in mid-season form, but he was right.

The Cowboys 2017 draft class, from top to bottom, was about bringing in overall low-risk players with above average floors. This, on the heels of a 2016 class that could go down as their best ever despite another second round risk in Jaylon Smith, should signal the full arrival of a Jason Garrett led Cowboys football team this fall.

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett - the 2016 NFL Coach of the Year

If Garrett truly believes in the Cowboys' overall structure as a team he is ready to lead to an elusive sixth Super Bowl, he is going to need to show even more leadership qualities and command over every aspect of the Cowboys.

This power for Jason will certainly come as warranted, as the cornerstone players the Cowboys turn to in hard times like now have all raved about his player-first mentality and right approach to the game. More than just cornerstones are in place for the 2017 Dallas Cowboys though, as Garrett has built a roster capable of amazing things.

So, as Jerry Jones rambled yesterday afternoon about past players the Cowboys gambled on for better or for worse and how proud he's been of previous successes, the stories he told all felt like cautionary tales from the past - thanks solely to the man sitting next to him that was chosen for moments like these, Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Garrett’s Leadership Crucial as Cowboys “Focus” on 2017 Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Advertisement
5 Comments
  • Willie Rogers

    Well so far we’ve learned that Romo is indeed still the backup qb in Dallas, the guy never retired.JG will get his first ring probably next year and the year after that.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      How exactly did we learn that Romo is the backup QB?

      • Willie Rogers

        Because he never officially retired.Down goes Prescott in comes Romo, do you believe anything that comes out of Jerry’s or Room’s mouths these days.

    • John Williams

      Yeah, I don’t get it. How did we learn that Romo is still the backup? Romo isn’t anywhere close to playing shape. He’s in TV, look good in a suit shape.

  • John Williams

    I’m all aboard the Garrett “Focus Express.”

    I’ve been a proud member of team Garrett for several years now and think the trust he’s earned from the Jones’ speaks volumes. He has been allowed to shape the team. And while they’ve taken on a lot of risks, had some catastrophic seasons, the team has never quit playing for Garrett. It’s his team. They speak his language. It’s only a matter of time till he brings a championship to Dallas.

Star Blog

Cowboys Trade For DT Jihad Ward Already Paying Off?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Trade For DT Jihad Ward Already Paying Off?
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys uncharacteristically made several offseason trades this year and it has yet to be seen how or if these players can be impactful in 2018. One such trade was met with quite a bit of skepticism and actually angered a lot of Cowboys fans. Sending wide receiver Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Jihad Ward was somewhat puzzling, but it looks as if the trade might already be paying off.

Unfortunately, one of the Dallas Cowboys best defensive players will once again have to sit out of the first four games of the 2018 season while serving his suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. David Irving was expected to pick up where he left off last season as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, but will have to wait until Week 5 to find out what he can do.

I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys suspected something like this would happen with Irving once again, but suddenly the trade for Jihad Ward is looking like a brilliant under the radar offseason move.

I know a lot of Cowboys fans were excited to see what Ryan Switzer could do for the offense this season, but the coaching staff never really had a plan in place for him or knew exactly how to use him. There is no question as to how the coaching staff will use Ward. He could end up being one of the better defensive lineman this season.

Jihad Ward

Dallas Cowboys DT Jihad Ward

Jihad Ward has already caught the attention of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff in organized team activities (OTA's) and mandatory minicamp. Coincidentally, he's been playing in place of David Irving at the under tackle position or the three-technique. It's a role he may not relinquish heading into the 2018 season, and quite possibly even when Irving returns from his suspension.

I know it's a little bit early to anoint Jihad Ward, but the fact that as a new addition he's already starting ahead of the likes of Tyrone Crawford and other 3-tech candidates is pretty telling, at least for me.

Once training camp opens up there will be several things I will be paying close attention to, and how Jihad Ward performs will be one of them. He was after all highly thought of by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli a few years ago in the 2016 NFL Draft. Maybe that infatuation will pay off.

I know it still stings a little that Ryan Switzer is no longer with the Cowboys, but Jihad Ward could prove to be the more impactful player this season and beyond.

Do you think the Jihad Ward trade is already paying off for the Cowboys?



Continue Reading

Star Blog

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?

Sean Martin

Published

on

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary?
(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, David Irving's most recent four game suspension is the main story for a Dallas Cowboys team finished with OTAs and mini camp, left only to wait for training camp now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the offseason program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in Oxnard. Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a Kris Richard led secondary that is off to a fast start, are safeties Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.

Joined by Jeff Heath, Tyree Robinson, Jameill Showers, and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at safety to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones (the former safety), and Anthony Brown already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.

It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.

Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 2

Dallas Cowboys S Kavon Frazier (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Safety Kavon Frazier

Working mostly as a special teams player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys defense as a sixth round pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the Washington Redskins, Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.

This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing offense.  Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defenses.

The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game -- which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.

Safety Xavier Woods

Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana Tech. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to trade up for his services.

The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the "Byron Jones treatment" as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to cornerback, seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.

Doing the same for Woods -- while keeping the natural FS free to react -- should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.

Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the tight end. This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.

How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard's Secondary? 1

Dallas Cowboys CB Anthony Brown, S Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath

Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.

There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these "starting" responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved linebacker play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.

Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.

With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.

Tell us what you think about "How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Continue Reading

Star Blog

No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

For the past five years, Dallas Cowboys fans have gone through painful offseason stories regarding upcoming suspensions for defensive players. It doesn't matter how much talent the front office is able to find through the Draft, there's always one player that ruins what feels like a successful offseason. This time, for the second consecutive year, David Irving is the player to let Cowboys Nation down.

On Friday it was announced that Irving will serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Understandably, a lot of Cowboys' fans want to see Irving released by the franchise that has preached the "Right Kind of Guy" philosophy while failing to establish such a thing. It's disappointing to see such a talented player limiting himself  by not "wanting it" bad enough and by making mistakes like this repeatedly.

However, even if it's a very frustrating situation, the Cowboys shouldn't cut David Irving. 

First of all, Irving's hit against the cap space is pretty minimum and nothing to be concerned at all. After being handed a second-round tender earlier in the year, #95 was set to earn $2.91M during the season. With a four-game suspension ahead of him, that number will be even lower.

We're talking about a guy who in eight games managed to get to the quarterback seven times in 2017 and consistently pressured opposing signal callers. Not to mention he's going to be just 25 years old when the season begins.

For the Cowboys, David Irving has the talent needed to average one sack per game. All of this for less than three million.

Irving has proven by now that he's not worth a long-term extension. That much is clear.  In order to get one of those, a player must prove his availability.

Talking specifically about 2018, though, I'm sure the Cowboys will be better off if they count on Irving for the final 12 games of the season. The team counts with pretty decent depth at the position with Maliek Collins, Datone Jones and Jihad Ward, but Irving has the potential to end the season with double-digit sacks.

The team gains nothing by releasing Irving. The team will not even be "sending a message" if they were to release #95. Maybe if the team had consistently sent this kind of "messages" over the years it would make sense.

However, we know this team sticks with their players and supports them in moments like this. They have done just that with Randy Gregory and it seems like it will pay off soon.

Whether we're mad at Irving's actions or not, the truth is letting him go wouldn't be wise at all. The Cowboys are not paying him big-time money, he's young and he'll be productive on the field when the defense needs him to.

We're talking about a football team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy. They can't be letting starting-caliber players go just like that. They need all the help they can get and even though his situation is far from ideal, David Irving will play a big role on defense.

Tell me what you think about "No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving" 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!



Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).




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