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Dallas Cowboys

Learning from our Ancestors

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I spent the weekend reading "Boys Will Be Boys" the Jeff Pearlman book about the on-goings of the Dallas Cowboys in the 90's. Hard to believe that all took place so long ago (20 years since Jerry bought the team). It was great remembering some of the things that took place, and hearing different things for the first time. Though I have not finished reading the entire book yet a few things come immediately to mind that would help this Cowboys team. Unfortunately we live in the era of the salary cap and coaches and player personnel cannot conduct business as they did back then. I would suggest though that our fearless leader (Wade Phillips) go back and review how Jimmy conducted business!

Jimmy Johnson was an unbelievable coach and talent evaluator. He was also a a large pain in the ass! Some of the things Jimmy did I would not wish on my worst enemy. One thing that Jimmy did exceptionally well however is something that this team dearly needs. He had a great feel for his team! When I say that I am talking about when his teams started to get a big head he knew it and was quick to make an example of someone to show the rest of the team that know one was safe! In a previous post I wrote about how this team is in dire need of quality players behind some of the starters to push them.

The Cowboy teams of the 90's for the most part despised their coach, but they would run through brick walls for him. Now the argument can be made that Dallas was just to deep and to athletically gifted to lose, and that would be a solid argument. That team however was exactly that a TEAM! The players stuck together, they believed in one another.

We have heard over and over again that Dallas has too many egos on this team, and too many questionable character guys (T.O., Pacman, Romo). Well guess what? This team does not have near as many players that fit that profile as those 90's teams did (Irvin,Haley,Deon,Nate Newton,etc.). So what is the difference? Was it all Jimmy? The difference is accountability! The coaches held every player accountable, and the players held all of their teammates accountable! The coaching staff made the players believe in the system, and the players executed to the best of their abilities and made sure that the man next to them was doing the same, or there would be hell to pay. There were no off days, there were no light training camps, there were no practices where hitting was left out. Those teams prepared exactly like they would play and most times harder. When is the last time you heard of a Cowboys team practicing outside during inclement weather? 1993 that's when. Football players are warriors and must train that way in order to keep an edge, this team trains like dancer's in the Nutcracker! So what happens? They play like crap, and they quit when things get tough!

One of the greatest Cowboys QBs, Troy Aikman always had somebody behind him that was either competing for his job or could step in and do his job if he was hurt or just did not get the job done. Do you all remember Steve Beuerlein? Yes the one that led Dallas on a 5 game streak to get them in the playoffs in 1991. The same one that even after Troy was healthy again continued to start. The following season Troy was a different player because of this, he was more focused, he cut out the stupid mistakes. Yes I know Troy would have more than likely done this without Beuerlein being there, but do you not think that this helped speed up the process? Tony Romo does not have to push himself. There is no one behind him that wants or could take his job! I believe Tony works hard, I also believe that there are different types of "working hard". There is Working hard  because you want to win! And There is working hard because you want to win and I better get better or they will bench my ass! Same goes for everyone else on this team!

There are many things this group could learn from their ancestors. The question becomes will Wade take a stroll down memory lane and heed the advice given by the ghost's at Valley Ranch? At this point Wade is himself looking over his shoulder. Now is the time to do something drastic! The changing of the year will not cure this teams ailments, firing Bruce Read although needed will not fix them either. No its time Wade makes things a little uneasy around there. Maybe signing someone like Kurt Warner would do the trick? Maybe sending Flozell Adams packing might do it? Maybe Terrell Owens needs to go? Something must happen because if this team simply returns as it is next season, 8-8 is a maybe! Wade Phillips cannot be the tyrant that Jimmy was but he can be more like Jimmy and less like Andy Griffith and maintain credibility with the team! The players do like Wade and will play for Wade, they just need a little more motivation!

What changes do you think would best repair this broken team?



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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mike D

    January 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    1)Jerruh needs to hire gm and keep his surgically stretched face out of the football operations
    2) Fire that hapless clueless joke of a head coach
    3) Get rid of all Cancers ie: TO, Tank, & Pacman
    4) Get rid of Crayton-all he does is run his mouth and drop big passes
    5) add some depth to the Oline- it is dominate 12-13 weeks and then always falls apart at the end
    6) hire a great coach in the Mold of Coughlin to mentor and get the most out of that team
    Romo, Newman, Ratlif and Barber are all top 10 at their position. Whitten and Ware are clearly the best at theirs. There is no reason that a team that talented should humiliate themselves and their Fanbase year after year. It all starts at the top with Jerruh and I thank God that he is not smart enough to take this advice!

  2. bags030404

    January 6, 2009 at 10:12 am

    That may be the smartest comment I have ever seen from you! Right up to the point where you believe we should hire a Coughlin clone! It is absolutely amazing to me that 2 years ago he was a BUM and all you Giants fans were begging management to fire his sorry tail, and now he is the greatest coach of “ALL TIMES”. The only reason you think we should get rid of Crayton is so you could sign him, to replace one of those terrible recievers you have. Since we have not won a playoff game since Barry Switzer was the coach, I really dont believe the coach is the problem! And you should Thank God because if Jerruh ever did smarten up you guys are in deep do do

  3. Mike D

    January 7, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Bags- Coughlin is not the greatest Coach ever but is EXACTLY the kind of Coach you guys need. He would get the egos in line and preach TEAM FIRST. That is why a less talented Giant Team has out performed your super star Laden Roster. Also check Coughlins Resume out. He has been a winner everywhere he has been. I never wanted him to go, it was just a mateer of the Team buynig into his message wich finally happenned in 2007. Crayton would not make our Practice squad bro, he is GARBAGE! YOu should trade him for any picks you can get to recoup some of what old Jerruh gave up for Lead Foot Wiiliams

  4. Mike D

    January 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Bags how is it that I know more about your team than you do? The reason you havent won a playoff game since CLintons first term is simple. First off JJ built a Dynasty when he was there. Eventually old plastic face ran him off and bought in Bubba Switzer, who rode JJ’s coattails to anoother SB followed by one more playoff win the following year. By then the Team had gone in the Crapper without a smart fotball guy (JJ) running it.JErruh had terrible drafts and made terrible trades(2 #1’s for Galloway???)wich drove this team into the ground. Amazingly Bill Parcells(The greatest Football Mind of Our time)takes over, turns over the Roster and Shazam, instant winner. 11-5 the first year? With Quincy freakin Carter? Over those 3 years Parcells drafts are amazing and he implements his football philosiphy and you guys skyrocket back to the top of the NFL World. Jerruh ” Nip Tuck” Jones than meddles in things enough and brings in Guys like TO against the Tuna’s wishes and he leaves, just before he has you ready to be a perenial SuperBowl Team.
    Not wanting to have another strong willed guy fighting Jerruh and his bad Ideas he goes out and hires the Hapless ” Abominable Doughman” Wade Phillips to run the show and almost instantly the Inmates (no Pun intended) are running the Asylum. A team that is by far the most talented in the NFL gets knocked out in the first rd (first time ever for a #1 seed)last year and follows that up by bending over for Philly this year and missing Playoffs entirely.This Team will not win another Playoff game until They do exactly what I laid out above.

  5. bags030404

    January 7, 2009 at 9:44 am

    First of all if you had read the above article you would see that I completely agree with needing to be hard nosed and a team first attitude. My comments about Coughlin were not ment to downgrade Coughlin I was downgrading the Giants fan base! We new what we had with Jimmy and never suggested his removal, unlike Giants fans with Coughlin. As far as Bill Parcells goes he drafted WAY WAY MORE busts than he did good players. So that whole argument of yours is crazy. Bill Parcells did some good things here and did get things turned in the right direction, but his record was at best average (10-6,6-10,9-7,9-7) and while drafting some excellent players he also missed very badly on many more (35% success rate in the draft). One lucky catch does not make you a good reciever, and one drop does not make you a bad reciever. The fact is that Crayton was not used enough or properly by us this year, thanks to a complaining T.O.! He is a legitimate #2 and on your team (without Plax) would be a #1. Why is it that our defense has been better and more consistent without “the greatest football mind of our time”? Bill is a complete jerk and everyone would agree that he was not the same coach as he was in N.Y. and New England, he was “softer Bill”. This was said during almost every Cowboy game telecast while he was here!

  6. Mike D

    January 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Um are we yalking about the Same Bill Parcells that just took over the worst team in the NFL and took them from a 1-15 to an 11-5 team in one year? If he isnt the greatest football mind of our time who is? Who has taken 5 teams that were at the bottom of the league and made them all instant winners?You guys would not be the joke of the NFL had he stayed, I promise you that!

  7. bags030404

    January 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    This league is built for quick turn arounds, the proof will come over the next few years. He did the same thing in Dallas he took a underachieving team the first year and got 10 wins,and did nothing from then on. Same thing with Jets. I guess Tony Sparano had nothing to do with the Miami turn around did he? Do not confuse what I am saying; he is a very good evaluator but he does make large mistakes just like everyone else! that is all I am trying to say!

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Defensive End

Jess Haynie

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DeMarcus Lawrence

If quarterback is the most important position in football, then the guys who hunt them down might be second. As such, the Dallas Cowboys face a major offseason decision in 2019 when it comes to the free agency of Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence.

This will be Lawrence's second year as an unrestricted free agent, with Dallas retaining him last season using the franchise tag. Even though he accepted it in 2018, DeMarcus swore all the way back in that summer that he wouldn't play for the Cowboys in 2019 if franchised again.

Despite his sack numbers dropping a bit last season, "Tank" remains one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. He is a total package of pass-rushing and run stopping, and he's now given Dallas two-straight Pro Bowl seasons.

If the Cowboys have any plans to contend for a championship next season then they can't risk losing a player like Lawrence. We've seen what this defense looks like without a premiere pass rusher and it isn't pretty.

Of course, Dallas could try to replace DeMarcus with a different free agent signing. If Jadeveon Clowney or Frank Clark avoid being tagged by their own teams, perhaps the Cowboys can lure one of them over. But don't expect any big difference in compensation between these three players.

Whether it's Lawrence or one of the other premiere pass rushers in free agency, you can expect the Cowboys to make one of them their top offseason priority. The greater mystery is if Dallas will make any other moves to upgrade the DE position, or stick with what they've got.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

Dallas finally enjoyed some real production out of Randy Gregory in 2018, whose personal issues nearly derailed the talented pass rusher's career. Gregory posted six sacks last season and was starting to look like the Robin to Lawrence's Batman.

Also in the mix is 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, who took a backwards step last year and seemed to be in the coaches' doghouse by season's end. Motivation and attitude seem to be an issue for him, and he'll need to step it up this summer if he doesn't want to wind up at the back of the depth chart again.

One of last year's fourth-round picks Dorance Armstrong also returns. He will hopefully be ready to take on a larger role in his second season and provide another pass rushing threat, plus insurance in case Gregory suffers any return of past problems.

If Dallas doesn't make Tyrone Crawford a salary cap casualty, or chooses to re-sign David Irving, those are two other guys who can play some defensive end for you.

Despite these options, the Cowboys could still look at adding another mid-grade free agent for depth and insurance. They could hope for a bargain on veterans like Ezekiel Ansah, Vinny Curry, or Chris Long. They might hope that Rod Marinelli could work his magic on first-round flop Dante Fowler.

Another guy that Dallas might look at is Benson Mayowa, who was with them from 2016-2017 and is a solid player. He spent the last season in Arizona on a one-year deal and is still just 27 years old.

Don't expect much from the draft, barring a major steal presenting itself. The Cowboys have bigger needs with their limited number of 2019 picks, and they also still need to see how recent selections like Charlton and Armstrong play out.

This offseason is all about DeMarcus Lawrence, or at least one of the other marquee free agents at defensive end. Some supplemental moves are possible, but arguably the biggest move Dallas makes the next few months is either retaining or replacing their top pass rusher.



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Dallas Cowboys

Offense or Defense, Which Should be the Cowboys Main Offseason Focus?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Need to Upgrade the Offense or Defense More?

The Dallas Cowboys offseason should be approached like a puzzle. You have to know what the picture looks like beforehand before you start grabbing random pieces to try to fit them together. Keeping that in mind, I thought it be a good idea if we take a look at the Cowboys offense and defense to try to determine which one needs the most attention.

It may be somewhat surprising, but the Dallas Cowboys pretty much have the entire puzzle almost put together. There is just a few missing pieces they need to add, but for the most part the team that will take the field when the 2019 season kicks off is already in place.

There isn't going to be much roster turnover this offseason. Nearly all of the starters will return for the upcoming season on both sides of the ball, meaning the Cowboys are in good shape as far as having the teams nucleolus in place. In fact, there might be just one or two starting positions up for grabs on offense and defense.

Let's take a look…

Dallas Cowboys Offense

Kellen Moore, Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

As things stand right now before any moves are made in free agency or through the draft, the Dallas Cowboys offense may have just two starting spots up for grabs. But, even that's just a guesstimate because we still don't really know what the future holds for Center Travis Frederick, even though all signs point to him making a triumphant return to the starting lineup.

The way I see it though, the Cowboys will need to find someone to replace Cole Beasley in the passing game and also add a starting caliber tight end. That's it really as far as the starters are concerned. There is however need for more depth at several positions such as backup running back and offensive tackle, but those aren't necessarily "needs". I'd say they're in pretty good shape offensively compared to years past.

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys Assistant Coach Kris Richard

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys really don't have any glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball either. After finishing as one of the top defensive units in 2018, they will have nearly all of their starters returning for the 2019 season. But much like on the offensive side of the ball, there could be two starting spots up for grabs.

The Cowboys will have to find someone to replace Damien Wilson as the starting strong side linebacker and potentially a new starting strong safety. That's really the only starting positions I believe are up for grabs on defense. But like the offense, they could stand to add more depth and competition throughout the defense, especially along the defensive line. But again, there really isn't a glaring "need" they absolutely have to address.

Verdict: Cowboys Offense

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Even though the Dallas Cowboys offense and defense seems to be pretty evenly matched as to how many starting positions are up for grabs, the offense looks to be the one that needs just a little bit more help. The defense proved in 2018 they are someone to be reckoned with and with the loss of just Damien Wilson, that shouldn't change. The same can't be said about the offense though.

If Cole Beasley does indeed leave via free agency, that's a big blow to the passing game. But, it's not just him. Other than their rushing attack, the Cowboys offense was ranked in the bottom half of the league in nearly every other category. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan now gone we can hope that improves, but that doesn't mean improving the offense shouldn't be the Cowboys main offseason focus though.

Of course, this is just my opinion and you are more than welcome to agree or disagree with it. But, when the free agency and NFL draft ball finally starts rolling, I expect most of the Cowboys offseason moves to be on the offensive side of the ball. Improving things around Quarterback Dak Prescott would seem like the wise thing to do after all, especially since he's about to be paid quite handsomely.

Which side of the ball do you think needs more help this offseason?



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Quarterback

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of work to do to restock and refine their roster in the hope of improving of last year's playoff run. We'll be looking at all of the 2019 needs for this offseason in the coming days, and we're going to start with paramount position of quarterback.

Unlike most spots on the team, the quarterbacks don't have anyone with an expiring contract this year. Both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush will be in the final year of their deals, while Mike White still has three years left on his rookie contract.

Despite this, Prescott's contract is still one the hottest issues the Cowboys face this offseason. They must decide if they want to go ahead and lock him up now to a long-term extension, or wait and see how Dak performs in his fourth season.

It's a real dilemma for Dallas. One the one hand, Prescott already has two Pro Bowls, two division titles, and all winning seasons on his three-year resume. However, he's also had ongoing accuracy issues and problems with consistent productivity in an increasingly pass-focused league.

Given what he's already accomplished, Dak can command a pretty sizable contract in current negotiations. Just within the week he's already commented on not planning to give the Cowboys a discount in his next deal.

If Dallas waits another year then they risk that price tag going up. They could be competing with the open market, or what if Prescott leads the team to the NFC Championship or beyond in 2019?

If Dak's camp is already going to be aggressive in contract negotiations this year, then there's a case to be made for just waiting. Let him play on his bargain $2.14 million cap hit and use the savings to load up on talent for a championship run. The team will still have resources to re-sign Prescott in 2020, or even franchise tag him, if that's their choice.

Mike White

Dallas Cowboys QB Mike White

However that situation goes, we know that Dak is the starter in 2019. But even though Cooper Rush and Mike White are both due to return next season, should the Cowboys be satisfied with that QB depth chart?

As I wrote about earlier this week, Dallas has good reason to look at adding a veteran passer to the mix this offseason. If Rush and White beat him out, that's great. But if not, it adds an experienced voice to help Dak Prescott in this critical upcoming year.

You can go a few different ways. Some of the projected free agents can match Prescott's mobile style, such as Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, or Robert Griffin III. Others give you the experience edge such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, or Matt Schaub.

It doesn't seem likely that the Cowboys would draft another QB after just taking Mike White last year with a fifth-round pick. Unless they are moving to a completely different philosophy, Dallas will likely give White at least another year or two to develop as a mid-round selection.

Ideally, at least one of White or Cooper Rush will show some growth this year and inspire confidence as the immediate backup. But adding a veteran for competition certainly couldn't hurt, and Dallas has the cap space to do it.

Thankfully, everything that Dallas might have to do this offseason at quarterback is optional.  They can choose whether or not to redo Prescott's contract, or whether or not to pursue upgrades behind him. There is no gaping hole being created by a potential free agent departure.

The Cowboys have the power now, but that can quickly change next season once Dak's a free agent. That's why they still have a big decision to make in 2019.



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