A few weeks ago, I explored how the Dallas Cowboys' defensive line could still create pressure and wreak havoc even without the presence of a big time pass-rushing end.
My plan focused on the interior of the defensive line shrinking the pocket and getting into the face of the quarterback. This would eliminate any chance of stepping up in the pocket, and would force either a quick throw or a failed escape attempt.
Maliek Collins, Cedric Thornton, Tyrone Crawford, and Terrell McClain would be featured in a fearsome interior rotation that would bring hope to an otherwise questionable defensive line.
It all seemed so perfect.
Of course, things don't always work out how you planned.
While I, as well as all of Cowboys Nation, feels terribly for Collins, the show must go on until he can return.
Not that any time for an injury is a "good" time, but if Collins' foot break would've occurred any further along the offseason process, it would have had a much bigger impact on both Collins and the Cowboys.
With still just under 100 days to go until the season opener against the New York Giants, there is little doubt that Maliek Collins' foot will be healed in time for the regular season.
The real questions which must be asked are about where his conditioning and "professional-readiness" will be after being sidelined for such a long period of time.
It is no easy task for a rookie, especially a third round defensive lineman, to be physically and mentally ready for the season opener with a full offseason and training camp to work with. So, imagine how difficult it will be without that offseason?
If Collins was to miss most of or all of training camp and/or some preseason games, he may not be ready to make an impact come week 1 like we thought he would be able to prior to the injury.
A sort of secondary impact Collins' injury will make comes with how we view the 2016 draft class as a whole.
Going into the draft, just about everyone thought that Dallas would focus their draft on defensive help, with the exception of taking a quarterback or a running back at some point. While they did add three straight defensive players from rounds 2-4, and then two more defensive backs in the 6th, there is a strong possibility only two or three of those players will be on the roster and ready to play come week 1 of this season.
After all the speculation about adding a potential defensive stud like Jalen Ramsey, Dallas may be left with a 4th rounder and 2 6th rounders as their only healthy rookies defensively.
Down the line, Maliek Collins will certainly be fine and Jaylon Smith may be as well, but if you're looking for immediately impactful defensive rookies, you might have come to the wrong place.
I am not suggesting the Cowboys drafted, or should have drafted, with only 2016 in mind. The draft is a tricky business where you try to add players who will produce as soon as possible, while also "building for the future." But I definitely don't believe that, as fans, we expected only three late round defensive picks to be healthy contributors week 1 of this season.
With all of that being said, let's not overreact too much here.
We all thought Collins would be a player for the Cowboys, and he still will be. A broken foot during the early days of June is not going to change that.
It is a minor setback for Collins, but once he is healthy and comfortable in the system, he will be absolutely fine.
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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