Welcome to this week's edition of Martin's 5!
The Dallas Cowboys are currently on a five-game winning streak and are playing like one of the hottest teams in the entire NFL. Yes, our Dallas Cowboys!
They are currently on their bye week after heading to Lambeau Field and defeating the Green Bay Packers rather impressively in a difficult environment.
Now, the Cowboys might have the week off, but that doesn't mean there aren't several things still weighing on my mind. Luckily, I have the platform to share with you the random thoughts that are running through my head in regards to the Dallas Cowboys.
Below are five random things I'm wondering about this week.
One: The defense for the Dallas Cowboys has been performing better than anyone could have ever expected so far in 2016, but there is one player not living up to expectations. Tyrone Crawford has been somewhat of a disappointment this season, and that makes me wonder if the Cowboys regret signing him to a contract extension? The Cowboys signed Crawford to a five-year $45 million contract extension last year in 2015, but so far this season he hasn't really played up to expectations. Crawford was supposed to be a difference maker at the all important 3-technique, but has been moved to defensive end because rookie Maliek Collins has been outplaying him. He is being paid as one of the top defensive tackles in the league, but is nowhere near the player the Cowboys were hoping to get. He currently has just 12 tackles and two quarterback sacks. Those numbers need to improve if he plans on living up to expectations.
Two: Thinking about Tyrone Crawford underperforming expectations, made me start thinking about who is performing above expectations. Cole Beasley is playing like one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and is one of main reasons why the Cowboys offense is one of the best units in the entire league, despite the absences of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. I wonder if he can continue to dominate out of the slot like he has been for the first six games of the season? Beasley's best season in the NFL was in 2015 when he caught 52 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns. As things stand right now, he has 33 receptions for 390 yards and three touchdowns. He is on pace to finish the 2016 season with 88 catches for 1,040 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of SMU. Right!?
Three: The Dallas Cowboys are currently on their bye week, and that means the players get to take a step away from the game for a few days. I wonder if this will have an impact on the momentum/win streak they had after defeating the Green Bay Packers? The Cowboys are playing some of the best football we have seen from the organization in some time and we all hope that they can carry this momentum throughout the season. The slightest little thing can negatively impact a team's momentum, so it's important that the players come back with the right mindset and pick up where they left off after coming away with the victory at Lambeau Field.
Four: It looks as if running back Darren McFadden is on track to rejoin the team and practice after being out on the Non-Football Injury list the first six weeks of the season. It's hard to envision McFadden having much of a role on the team with the way Ezekiel Elliott and even Alfred Morris has been playing this season. I wonder if the Cowboys will keep him as insurance or if they will try to find a trade partner? There seems to be several running back needy teams around the NFL and that could possibly mean we have seen the last of McFadden in a Cowboys uniform. How about a wonder within a wonder? I wonder if McFadden could end up back with the Oakland Raiders? Oakland looks like they could be a playoff contender, but they have really struggled to run the ball this year. They have a familiarity with McFadden and a reunion between the two would make for a really good storyline.
Five: I hate to say it, but I wonder if we will see Tony Romo back on the field in 2016? I was a big advocate of reinserting Romo as a starting QB once he was fully healthy, but I can't discount what Dak Prescott has been able to accomplish during his absence. The Dallas Cowboys haven't officially announced anything yet, but it looks as if Prescott will remain the starter after the bye week against the Philadelphia Eagles. If he continues to string together wins, it will be really difficult to justify making a change a QB. Romo has yet to really practice, so it's difficult to know exactly how healthy he is. I don't think there is a quarterback controversy, but that could all change if/when Tony Romo is ready to take the field.
Is there any thing weighing on your mind regarding the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to take advantage of the comment section below to share any of your thoughts or opinions.
Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension
An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.
Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw
However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.
In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.
The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.
It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.
We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.
Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler
The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.
According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.
Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.
Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.
Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.
He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.
To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.
If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.
If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.
This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.
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I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.
Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?
Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency
It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.
As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.
Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.
The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.
Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.
His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.
Last season, Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.
The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.
Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.
From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi
I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.
Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.
If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.
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