In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks drafted safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, laying the groundwork for their Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defense. Orchestrated by new Dallas Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard, the Seahawks have seen a steady decline in talent from their once intimidating defense. Leading the way as their enforcer and making four Pro Bowls for Seattle was Kam Chancellor, who announced yesterday that he is no longer medically cleared to play.
Chancellor's NFL career coming to an end does not come as a complete surprise to the Seahawks, who knew the severity of his neck injury suffered in week 10 of last season. Perhaps Earl Thomas' ongoing holdout will be of greater shock to the Seahawks however. Now more than ever, the Seahawks should be expecting Thomas to emerge as a leader, but instead he's made his intentions for either a long-term extension or trade very clear.
'Earl Thomas' and 'trade' is all that's needed to link the former Texas Longhorn back to the Cowboys, ever since he caught up with Jason Garrett at AT&T Stadium following his team's week 16 win against the Cowboys.
"Come get me," was Thomas' message to Garrett, whose focus at the time was on getting the Cowboys back to the playoffs. Leading the way with 11 tackles, Thomas and the Seahawks had just crushed these playoff hopes, eliminating the Cowboys from contention in 2017.
It's this type of impact player that could help assure the Cowboys return to the top of the NFC East this season, especially with so much promise in their young secondary. Reuniting Thomas with Richard is the type of move that puts a team over the top. Not just a step in the right direction, a leap into an open opportunity to win. The Cowboys would be doing so with Quarterback Dak Prescott still on his rookie contract, which the Seahawks were able to take advantage of in Super Bowl XLVIII.
For the first time in years though, the Cowboys offense around Prescott may be entering the season with more uncertainty than Rod Marinelli's defense. This is why the Cowboys went ahead and drafted Left Guard Connor Williams with the 50th overall pick they were prepared to offer for Thomas at the draft.
Williams crossed the stage in Dallas and absolutely floated his way up through the stadium as he went through his media tour in the stadium he now calls home. With such an impressive young player in front of us, nobody in the Dallas media was presently thinking about Earl Thomas.
The Cowboys did offer their next pick, 87th overall in the third round, to the Seahawks but it was not enough for Thomas -- instead turning it into rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, an expected day one contributor.
Come training camp, the Cowboys and Seahawks could be two teams going in opposite directions. While the Cowboys focus will be on trimming a very deep roster down to 53 players, the Seahawks are stuck searching for replacements to All-Pro players like Kam Chancellor.
If Earl Thomas isn't the answer anymore in Seattle, trade talks are sure to pick back up, with the Cowboys holding even more leverage the next time they pick up the phone. Players on the bubble in Dallas may be of interest to a Seahawks team looking to retool on the fly.
As a football fan, it may be hard to imagine the Seahawks without both Chancellor and Thomas, but the chain reaction from one player's career ending bringing a star to The Star would surely be a joyous moment for Cowboys Nation.
Did another domino in this Earl Thomas to the Cowboys game fall yesterday afternoon, a Sunday in July? It's possible, but nothing definitive needs to come from the Cowboys front on this matter, meaning only time for the Seahawks to look in the mirror can develop this story further.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
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