As reality sets in for the Dallas Cowboys that their franchise leader in touchdown receptions is no longer part of their team, Dez Bryant's departure has shed light on some other potential harsh realities for America's Team.
In his "exit interview" with NFL Network's Jane Slater, Bryant was an open as always - this time about how his final days with the Cowboys went down around the organization.
Dez Bryant to @SlaterNFL: "This situation was very unfair to me." Added that former teammates he called "Garrett guys" worked against him. "I truly believe that. I want them to know that I know. I'll shoot them a text message and let them know.
The sticking point from Bryant's interview concerns the head coach that has stuck with the Cowboys (as a full-time HC) since 2011 in Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have shown an incredible level of commitment towards Garrett, who has rewarded them with seasons like 2014 and 2016 - winning the NFC East thanks to a core of players that should certainly be considered "Jason Garrett guys".
Near the top of this list of players is Dez Bryant, who now serves as the latest Cowboys example of how quickly rosters can turn over in the NFL. Ideally, the Cowboys are looking to build a roster full of players that want to fight for Jason Garrett - a coach that has seen many franchise players who carried him early in his career depart under his tenure.
There is no doubt that Garrett is truly on the proverbial hot seat for this 2018 season. On the heels of a 9-7 campaign, the Cowboys likely need to return to the playoffs to see Garrett continue leading this team. To do so, it feels like they'll be relying on less "Garrett guys" than ever, but is this really the case?
No one person inside The Star made the decision this late in April to move on from Dez Bryant. This move was agreed upon by a majority of high-ranking Cowboys voices, at least some of which had soured completely on Bryant's overall impact on the team.
Dak Prescott on not having a say in Dez Bryant's release: "I'm in my second year so as much as you want to say, I want a say and this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me and that's what those guys are there to do.
As we sit here on another Sunday without Cowboys football though, the Cowboys are not a better football team than they were at any point with Dez Bryant on their roster. The Cowboys are seemingly distancing themselves from Jason Garrett (as they possibly should be prior to the 2018 NFL Draft) under the facade that this team is built to be his.
If "Garrett guys" such as Quarterback Dak Prescott - firmly cemented as this team's starting QB for the foreseeable future - were able to have a say in Dez Bryant departing Dallas, than we are truly looking at a new era of Cowboys football.
A new era led by much of the same, which is why the Cowboys will continue to be viewed in the same light around the league. In all honesty, this is a team that will likely fall short with Jason Garrett as their Head Coach once again in 2018. Dez Bryant may even score a touchdown against the Cowboys to make matters worse.
The Cowboys ran out of scapegoats for mediocrity a while ago, recycling their ineptitude by branding it under their career 67-53 head coach. A coach that owes a significant portion of his success to Dez Bryant.
Surely, the Cowboys outlook for the future can brighten up following this month's draft. Similarly to last year's approach at cornerback, the Cowboys are confident in their ability to find talent in this year's class of wide receivers.
Adding up to ten new players in the draft only proves further that the Cowboys are a team in transition, for better or worse.
Dez Bryant's supporters can weigh in on which way the team that's now betrayed #88 is trending.
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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