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Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones Defends Decision on Lucky Whitehead

Jess Haynie

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Jerry Jones

Listening to Jerry Jones can sometimes feel like wandering through a maze.  The Cowboys owner and general manager’s speaking style can sometimes meander, dancing around the point he’s making. This was not the case yesterday as Jerry spoke in the Lucky Whitehead situation; his comments were direct and powerful.

Gene Jones To Present Husband Jerry At Hall of Fame Induction 2

As you already know, Dallas released Whitehead after what has since been revealed to be a case of mistaken identity in a shoplifting charge. In his own defense of the move, vice president Stephen Jones said the “culmination” of things with Lucky led to the decision. Coach Jason Garrett practically scolded the media, citing that the team knows more about the players than they or anyone else does.

Perhaps surprisingly, while speaking with a large group of reporters on the practice field, it was Jerry Jones who made the strongest statement of all. His voice almost starting to quiver with emotion, Jones clearly took the criticism personally:

“I’ve never talked to a player that I didn’t have empathy. Now you’re talking to somebody, that if you all have done one thing in my time, and to criticize me, is how I will back up a player to a fault. You’ve done it. You’ve done it for years. I will back them up to a fault.”

“When we do make a decision around here that is in the best interest of the team to move on, there’s one thing you can forget about, and that is whether we’re being fair or whether you’ve given it consideration of what it means to the individual. That doesn’t happen around here.”

Truer words Mr. Jones has never spoken. Throughout his time with the Cowboys, Jerry has been knocked plenty for being overly loyal, be it with generous contracts during players’ twilight years or for showing too much tolerance for personal conduct issues.

Josh Brent

Troubled former DT Josh Brent was still a part of the organization for several years after retiring.

Some have criticized the team for only being loyal to guys who have perceived on-field value, such as their handling of Randy Gregory‘s drug issues or their support of star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Few, if anyone, expected Lucky Whitehead to make the 2017 roster. The argument is that Dallas’ loyalty to players is entirely self-serving.

How does that explain Josh Brent, the now-retired defensive lineman whose drunk driving led to the death of friend and teammate Jerry Brown in 2012?  Even after Brent retired from football in 2015, having played just three more games for Dallas in over two seasons, the Cowboys continued work with him and eventually gave him a job in their scouting department.

Brent was no star player or high draft pick. He was just a guy, and one of many that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys have continued to work with and support even as their problems and “distractions” outweighed their performance.

Some might have wondered if the handling of Lucky Whitehead was a sign that Jerry Jones’ influence was waning; the harder line coming from Stephen, Garrett, and other voices in the organization. Based on his comments, Jerry was clearly fully involved.

Lucky Whitehead

Lucky Whitehead

That Lucky Whitehead was released says more about his history before this incident than anything. Remember, he was suspended for a critical game against the Giants last year for being late to a team meeting. And no, it wasn’t the typical “running late” situation.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

ALERT: #Cowboys source use word ‘AWOL’ to me to describe #luckywhitehead status this am. Legit concern for safety/whereabouts.

Whitehead’s social media activity the night before, which he quickly deleted, revealed his recreational activities. Indeed, the team contacted local police out of concern for Whitehead. I doubt that happens every time a player is late for a meeting, showing there’s more to the story and Lucky’s reputation that we don’t know.

This was less about Whitehead’s expendability as a player and more the issues that eroded his relationship with the team leading up to now. All this talk about “sending a message” is media-driven and not consistent with everything we know about Jerry Jones or even the handling of players during Jason Garrett’s tenure. It’s time to start pointing fingers in the right direction.

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Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin

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Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

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Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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