Welcome back to this week's edition of Martin's 5!
I had to dig a little deeper this week to bring out some of those lingering thoughts that are stuck in my head.
I think I'm still riding on that high from the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Chicago Bears last Sunday night. How exciting was a game to watch?
This week the Cowboys take on another NFC opponent when they head to San Francisco to play the 49ers at Levi Stadium Sunday afternoon.
This match up could possibly be the definition of a trap game for the Dallas Cowboys, especially when you consider the fact that the 49ers new head coach is Chip Kelly, who should be well-versed in what the Cowboys do.
But, let's not get off track here. Below are five things I am wondering about when the Dallas Cowboys hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon.
One: I recently wrote an article about whether or not Terrance Williams is the most hated Dallas Cowboys player, which is based mostly on his early-season struggles. That article really made me start to wonder if Brice Butler will start to see more opportunities in the passing game? The hot topic of the off-season was if Brice Butler could beat Terrance Williams for that #2 WR position, but I guess we all forgot about Cole Beasley. Nevertheless, Williams has had a rocky start to the 2016 season and that could mean that Butler starts seeing more playing time.
Two: With the success that Dak Prescott has been having the first three games of the 2016 season, I wonder if Tony Romo is learning anything from the way Prescott has been playing? Romo is well known for tinkering with different parts of his game each off-season to try to improve as a quarterback. So, would it be to far of a reach to suggest that watching Prescott from the sideline has made him think about how he can emulate #4's success so far? Romo will take over as the starter once he's back to 100%, and I think he would be smart to study why Prescott has been so good in his absence.
Three: Linebacker Sean Lee and Navarro Bowman played alongside each other during their time at Penn State. This Sunday the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers face off against one another, so I've been wondering who will have the better game of the two? It still amazes me that Penn State had both of these players on defense at the same time and that they are both still playing at a really high level in the NFL. Whichever player has the better game might be the determining factor of whose team comes away with a victory. Let's just hope it's #50.
Four: Let's stick with the teammate theme here for just a second, because I wonder who will be the better running back Sunday between the two former Ohio State Buckeyes? As a freshman at Ohio State, Ezekiel Elliott played second fiddle to Carlos Hyde, so you can almost bet that both players want to win the bragging rights to who the best Buckeye RB really is. Elliott might just have a little added incentive after being Hyde's back up in college, but whoever has the better outing Sunday might be the deciding factor of which team wins the game.
Five: I wonder if Chip Kelly will have something up his sleeve for the Dallas Cowboys Sunday? The former Philadelphia Eagles head coach should know the Cowboys personnel really well and know how to exploit their weaknesses. Knowing your opponent is extremely helpful. It helps with the game plan and the 49ers looked at their best in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams when they had the time to prepare for that particular opponent. I wouldn't be surprised to see the 49ers do some things that are designed to catch the Cowboys off guard. We just have to hope that the Dallas Cowboys are disciplined and ready for the unexpected.
Is there anything you are wondering this week?
Let me hear what you think in the comment section below.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
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