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

Sean Martin

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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.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Willie Rogers

    July 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    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.

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      July 25, 2017 at 11:01 pm

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

      • Willie Rogers

        July 26, 2017 at 5:25 pm

        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

      John Williams

      July 26, 2017 at 4:01 am

      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.

  2. John Williams

    John Williams

    July 26, 2017 at 4:03 am

    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.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" 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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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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