As the Dallas Cowboys played their last football game for the next eight months, they saw one of their starting offensive players go down in week 17. Jonathan Cooper was carried off the field with what seemed to be a serious knee injury, and this isn't the first time health has been an issue for Cooper.
He was drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals only to be placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a preseason injury. His football career has been constantly bothered by injuries ever since.
Jonathan Cooper proved to be very valuable for the Cowboys. After parting ways with Ron Leary and Doug Free in the offseason, La'el Collins was kicked to the right tackle position, leaving the left guard spot completely open. Chaz Green got the nod to start the season and the entire OL struggled until he was replaced by Jonathan Cooper.
Believe it or not, Cooper -- a first-round pick who was never the impact player he was expected to be in the NFL -- helped the Dallas Cowboys a lot this year.
The Cowboys are a team with a lot of needs. They need to improve at a lot of positions on both sides of the ball before they can be considered a contender in 2018. One of those positions is offensive guard, and Jonathan Cooper's injury does nothing but increase that concern.
The Cowboys will have to make a decision regarding Cooper and the future of Dallas' LG position.
Personally, if he's healthy I wouldn't mind seeing #64 back in the starting lineup in 2018. He wouldn't have anything close to an expensive contract and Dallas could push the position down the needs list.
Left guard Jonathan Cooper is getting his left knee examined with 58 seconds to go. If he plays in 75 percent of the snaps this season, he earns an extra $500,000. He was at 80.8% entering the game. https://t.co/zCu8VakkJI
According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Cooper had an incentive of $500,000 for playing in 75% of the snaps this season. Despite not finishing the game, I think it's safe to assume he'll get his fair share of extra money thanks to becoming the starter. According to Pro Football Reference, he participated in 44.1% of the snaps in the season finale and should easily average above 75% for the year.
Heading into an offseason filled with questions, the front office will have to decide between bringing in a new left guard and shuffling the offensive line for the second consecutive year, or sticking with Cooper despite whatever his injury turns out to be.
Would You Like to See Jonathan Cooper Back in 2018?
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight
According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.
The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.
Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.
This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.
Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.
Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.
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