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Jerry Jones Expresses Excitement About Young Cowboys Secondary

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Secondary: Which Players Are Making An Impression? 1

The Dallas Cowboys used not one, not two, not even three, but four draft picks on defensive backs in the 2017 NFL Draft in hopes of overhauling their secondary. The Cowboys secondary was pretty much gutted after the 2016 season, so wasn't that big of a surprise they invested so much draft equity on defensive backs. But, there was no way of knowing if they would be ready to play key roles as rookies.

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how well rookies will respond once they enter into the NFL. Some players just take longer to adjust to the speed of the game, while others are able to start right away.

Due to injuries, the Cowboys secondary didn't really have the luxury of sitting and waiting to see if there rookies were ready or not. They had to insert them into the lineup pretty much right away and hope they were ready. It was pretty much baptism by fire.

Not everything has been sunshine and rainbows for the Cowboy secondary though. But, at least one person has been impressed with the influx of youth on the back end of the defense through the first four weeks of the 2017 season.

David Helman on Twitter

Through four games, Jerry Jones is excited about the trio of defensive backs he drafted this past spring.

General manager/owner Jerry Jones seems to be really excited about the future of the Cowboy secondary, and I would have to agree. Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods have already been one of the few bright spots on the Cowboys defense, but a healthy Chidobe Awuzie should only help improve things in the Cowboy secondary.

Awuzie is a versatile player who played every position in the secondary at Colorado. I believe he was going to do the same with the Cowboys, but unfortunately injuries have prevented that from happening. But, it has opened the door for Xavier Woods, and he has stepped up to the challenge.

DB Xavier Woods

DB Xavier Woods

If you read between the lines in Jerry Jones statement, you might just notice he could be indicating we are going to see a lot more of Xavier Woods in the near future, possibly against Green Bay. Whether that is at cornerback or safety is yet to be determined, but it could possibly mean Jeff Heath is looking at a decrease in playtime.

Jeff Heath hasn't exactly performed very well as a starter so far this season, so the Cowboys could possibly be looking at switching things up in the secondary. Both Xavier Woods and Chidobe Awuzie are likely in the running to challenge Heath for more playing time, but we will have to wait and see how that turns out.

The trio of Awuzie, Lewis, and Woods already look to be starting caliber players and likely the future of the Cowboys secondary. All three had outstanding collegiate careers and so far it's looking as if they are carrying it over at the NFL level.

I don't know about you, but I agree with Jerry Jones. Even though the Cowboys secondary has seen their fair share of bumps and bruises already, I think the future looks bright.

Do you agree with Jerry Jones about the future of the Cowboys secondary?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Lostman

    October 4, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I see it is a work in process but the offensive line is really a big concern

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 4, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      It is definitely a work in progress, but there are already signs the rookie defensive backs could be something special. I’m personally not that concerned about the offensive line. They started off shaky last season before rounding into form and I think they will do the same thing this year.

  2. Spoonydawg

    October 5, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Heath was never a starter anyway, he knly got the spot because of tjme in service… Hes akways bedn a special teams player, abd just a spot duty fill in on a few packages…

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 5, 2017 at 9:35 am

      I think he deserved a shot to be the starter based on what he has been able to with limited reps, but he hasn’t been able to prove himself. It’s time to look at someone else.

  3. Vale Torres

    October 5, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Replace Jeff Heath. God bless his heart!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      I don’t think he will be completely replaced, but I think Jeff Heath will likely see a decrease in snaps

  4. fbluhm

    October 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

    From what I saw of the game, Sunday, the defense has nothing to brag about. That secondary Jerry likes so much couldn’t stop the Cardinals from winning the game.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      I think you mean the Rams, because the Cowboys beat the Cardinals. This secondary is patch worked together right now. Young players playing big roles, but they’ve performed pretty well. They were just on the field too long against the Rams last week.

      • fbluhm

        October 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Some good points, Brian and, yes, it was the Rams. Thanks for the correction. From what I’ve been reading lately, it seems they’re (the media) putting it all back on Zack’s shoulders again. In my opinion, the defense had just as much todo with the final score as the offense, which did manage to score 30 points.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          October 5, 2017 at 8:57 pm

          I think you mean Dak’s shoulders. That’s typically what happens when you are the QB, especially for America’s Team.

  5. Allen Rogers

    October 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I absolutely agree

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      These young guys have been pretty good and will only get better with the more they play. I think they will start cutting into Jeff Heath’s playing time

  6. Mr. Jaguar

    October 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Brian I wholeheartedly agree with Jerry as well. The backend of the Cowboys defense will only get better with time. Especially, if the Cowboys defense makes the postseason, unlike previous years.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      They’ve actually played better than a lot of people think. Unfortunately, everybody wants to be instantly gratified and tend to focus too much on the negatives.

  7. Steve

    November 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Well Brian, what do you think after 2 months has come and gone about our secondary now? IMO I believe Lewis may have the ability to be a shut down type of corner! We haven’t seen enough of Awuzie to see what all he can bring to the table and Woods looks like he is gonna be a hard hitting stud at safety! Jury is still out on Taco because I believe DLaw and Irving had taken all the honors which is well deserved and Collins/Menoya is solid as well so I think we have a young core group of D-linemen, not leaving out Crawford as well. I believe we need a sold linebacker and another top notch Wr and O-lineman and not in that order in this years draft…

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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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Star Blog

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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