Over the last 15-20 years the Dallas Cowboys haven't exactly been stable. Although the Jason Garrett regime continues to reign, the roster itself has went through the typical turnover which occurs in today's NFL.
This is true everywhere except one position: starting tight end. Veteran Jason Witten has been the TE1 for about 15 years, and enters the 2018 offseason expecting to start at tight end for the Cowboys once again.
Jason Witten has been a pillar of professionalism in Dallas, and is clearly a leader and role model in the locker room. But let's not be dishonest, the quality of Witten's play has dropped in recent years. This is especially true in his run blocking, an area in which he used to excel.
During Witten's reign the Cowboys have been unable to find a legitimate heir to his throne. Though fans have hope that Rico Gathers could take over the tight end role and become the seam-buster this offense clearly needs, Gathers is yet to take the next step during his young career.
It can be argued that it's time for the Cowboys to draft Witten's replacement, and begin to groom that player to be the starting tight end in 2019. Would such a move insult the Cowboys' legend? According to Witten, it wouldn't.
Witten told ESPN's Todd Archer that it would be "foolish to get sensitive" if the Cowboys were to draft a tight end early. Of course, Witten still believes he can play at a high level, and he wouldn't be returning if he didn't believe he could, but the Cowboys do have to consider moving on from the aging tight end sooner or later.
Plus, there are certainly some good tight ends to choose from in the 2018 NFL Draft. South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert might be the best tight end in the whole class, but would need to be taken at 19th overall. Notre Dame's Durham Smythe and Central Michigan's Tyler Conklin provide some solid mid-to-late round options, and Miami's Chris Herndon is a bit of a wild card. I'm also a big fan of Oklahoma's Mark Andrews, but I am not ready to take a tight end within the first two rounds, which is exactly where I think Andrews will land.
All things considered, Jason Witten probably won't have to worry about the Cowboys taking a tight end early on in the NFL Draft. Not this year, at least.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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