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.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
Cowboys Place 2nd Round RFA Tender on DL David Irving
One of the more anticipated Cowboys free agency moves has finally happened. Defensive lineman David Irving has been given the 2nd-round Restricted Free Agent tender, which would result in a $2.91 million contract for 2018.
Source: the Cowboys have used a 2nd round tender on DT David Irving. The cost is $2.91 million.
If another team offers Irving a contract, that would have to send their 2018 second-round draft pick to the Cowboys.
There was no doubt that Dallas would extend an RFA tender to Irving, one of the bright young stars on their defense. The question was at what amount; they could have gone with the $4.1 million tender which raises the compensation to a first-round draft pick.
With a difference of only about $1 million, some might argue that the Cowboys went lower to entice other teams to try to sign Irving. Perhaps they don't foresee giving him a big long-term deal next year, so want to get something for him now.
It's a logical argument, and one that means there may be more to this story before the offseason ends. For now, though, David Irving's closer to remaining a Cowboy than he was yesterday.
REPORT: Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick Has Requested Release
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested to be released by the Dallas Cowboys, according to a report from ESPN's Todd Archer. The veteran has been with the team since 2008, when he was drafted in the fifth round.
Archer's report can be found here:
Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested his release from the team, according to a source. Scandrick hopes to get into the free-agent market when it opens Wednesday. Cowboys seem to have moved on at corner with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis,... https://t.co/oBgAn2Riqt
The end of Scandrick's run in Dallas comes as no surprise. He had fallen behind the youth movement at cornerback with Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown all arriving in the last two seasons. Now with talk that Byron Jones may move back to CB, there's just not place for Orlando.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, releasing Scandrick doesn't provide any great salary cap relief.
If Dallas cuts Scandrick outright, they will get back about $1.4 million from his $5.3-million cap hit in 2018. If they make him a June-1st cut, the cap relief increases to $3 million and pushes $1.6 million of dead money into 2019.
If not for all their younger options, the Cowboys might have elected to stick with Orlando for one more season. But given what they already have at corner, Dallas was likely planning to release him even before this request.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Should the Cowboys Restructure LB Sean Lee’s Contract?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Cowboys Salary Cap: 2 Easy Moves for $5.5 Million Relief
NFL Draft1 week ago
Mauricio’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cowboys Steal Defensive Talent
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Cowboys 2018 Free Agency: What’s Left Before Market Opens?
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys Have Any Trade Assets?
Dallas Cowboys1 day ago
Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line
Star Blog4 days ago
3 Former Penn State Alumni Cowboys Could Target in Free Agency
NFL Draft1 week ago
Familiar Faces Remain in the Fold for Cowboys Mock Drafts