Sometime ago, amidst this Smartphone-tranced alternative world, all cognitive thought and deductive reasoning ceased. The greater the technology, the dumber we seem to become.
And nowhere has it been more pronounced than in the third-world dimension known as sports journalism. AP Stylebooks used to litter newsrooms like qualifiers in a Cialis ad, but it'd take Indiana Jones to find such a relic under all the dust and debris these days.
(Pardon me, hold that thought, I just got a tweet. Oh never mind, Adam Schefter just broke the news that the Jaguars might sign a tackle, but might not, but they might. Good to know.)
The rules now, well, there are no rules.
Reporters tweet rumors practically as fact to intentionally gluttonous degrees, from so many angles and sources that they can barely be tracked. We're left to wonder who said what about whom and when. It's impossible to sort through the smoke to find the real fires anymore. We remember almost nothing about anything that we heard or read.
(So what's this I hear about Jacksonville? I can't remember.)
Anyway, ProFootballTalk just ranked the Cowboys at No. 24 in the league. ESPN applied a 28th "future ranking" to the Cowboys. This qualifies in this bent industry as actual "analysis", based on....I suppose a Fantasy Football expert or something. Not sure.
Stop and consider. Here's a team that has gone 8-8, 8-8, and 8-8 the past three seasons, with the same QB as now, the same coach, and the same GM. That there is a trend, folks, one that should comfortably and concretely put Dallas right at or very near No. 16.
Now, add a guard to a good young line and an offense that is safely in the top 10 in the league. Then, replace a cupboard full of nobodies with at least 10 legitimate NFL defensive linemen, as well as the return of healthy starters behind them. How can that not be at least slightly better than that awful defense a year ago? Objectivity says it likely can't.
From all that, two very popular sources of opinion just determined that Dallas is worse than the Cleveland Browns. Huh?
The truth is, the media now allows itself unapologetically to let its "analysis" reflect the true want of its analysts, rather than their observed thought. There's not a whiff of science to it at all. Add an insatiable thirst for stirring up public outcry and cock fights, as well as utter detest of doing any real work. I swear, none of these folks do any research beyond talking to each other and forming a collective agreed-upon opinion.
Sadly, this is the case in almost every arena anymore, the message is geared for the toothless and tattooed minions and lemmings who ask few questions and take up pitchforks on hint of a rumored whisper. Little attention is paid to those that pay attention.
Just watch the reaction by week 3 when Denver and the media figure out what we already know about DeMarcus Ware. Note the spin as their beloved Patriots and Giants derail. And watch how the "Cinderella Cowboys" inexplicably end up middle of the pack or better and shock them all to their dissatisfaction.
However, that will again morph later into "Dallas has one of the most talented rosters in the league", as usual, then they'll lament how underperforming again the Cowboys are. Of course, there'll be no reference to that 28th-ranking they prescribed a few months prior. You can throw it in their face, but they'll ignore you. PFT runs so many stories per minute, good luck ever finding that 24th ranking again.
Journalists often carry a chip because they don't feel properly compensated or worshiped for their self-acknowledged immense talents. They pour the scars of their youth into thinly veiled vitriol and a disturbing love for poking bears in cages with sharp sticks. They care little anymore about doing right by their trade and name.
I believe we should call them on it at every turn. Thus, this rant. We should also largely ignore them, and not fall for the bloody meat they leave laying in our path. We won't, but we should.
And the worst part is, these are just the sports journalists. But that's another session for another forum and another day.
[su_spoiler title="Editor's Note" style="simple"]Erod joins us from the forums of DallasCowboys.com as a first-time contributor with a piece he originally posted on the forums July 11, 2014.[/su_spoiler]
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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