Welcome to this week's edition of Martin's 5!
After completely manhandling the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the Dallas Cowboys have a tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers on the road.
This isn't the same dominant Packers team we have seen in the past, so it is definitely a winnable game for the Cowboys if things go as planned and they continue to play the way they have been playing.
If you are new to reading my weekly edition of Martin's 5 or maybe you've forgotten, let me explain that this is a space that I use to share the things that I'm wondering each week. They can just be things that are stuck in my head or things I'm wondering heading into the weekly matchup for the Cowboys.
Below are my five weekly wonders, and trust me it wasn't difficult to do this week as it has in weeks past.
One: The Dallas Cowboys have a tough game on the road against the Green Bay Packers this week. If Dak Prescott can come away with a victory at Lambeau Field, I wonder if he remains the starting quarterback even once Tony Romo is back to 100%? I firmly believe that Tony Romo is the better of the two QB's at this point and gives the Cowboys best chance to win. But, I just don't know if I can sit Prescott if he is on a five-game winning streak. When your team is on a hot streak, how can you justify making a change to arguably the most important position in the NFL. I'm just glad I'm not the one that is going to have to make this decision. Whatever way the Cowboys decided to go will be deeply scrutinized.
Two: Speaking of Tony Romo, I wonder if he will actually be able to return to the field after the Cowboys Week 7 bye week? As things stand now, it looks as if Romo is on schedule to return Week 8. Of course, he hasn't really started throwing very much or practicing. Once that happens it will be interesting to see if he has any kind of setback. When dealing with back injuries you have to take the cautious approach, especially for someone like Romo who has already had back problems in his playing career. I personally wouldn't be in a hurry to put Romo back on the field, especially if I have any kind of concerns about his health. Dak Prescott allows the organization to take things slowly and make sure Romo isn't being rushed back.
Three: I wonder if Ezekiel Elliott can continue his streak of 100+ rushing yard games this week against the Green Bay Packers? Through the first five weeks of the 2016 season, the Dallas Cowboys have the best rushing attack in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers have one of the best, if not the best, run defenses in the NFL. This is a strength against strength matchup and the winner will probably go a long ways in determining the outcome of this game. The Cowboys offensive line makes all the difference. They completely manhandled the Cincinnati Bengals defensive front, and I think they could do the same against the Packers. I could easily see Elliott hitting that 100 yard rushing mark again this week.
Four: The Dallas Cowboys secondary has been one of the strengths of the defense, but I wonder if Morris Claiborne and company can continue to impress against a tough group of Green Bay wide receivers? Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his wide receivers have been among the best in the NFL for the past several years and will be a tough test for the Dallas Cowboys secondary. The Packers like to use three and four wide receiver sets on offense, so that will definitely put pressure on the secondary to be at their best. Claiborne in particular has been playing lights out, but he will have to step up his game this week as well everyone else on the backend of the Cowboys defense.
Five: The pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys defense was much improved last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. I wonder if that will carry over this week so they can continue to harass Aaron Rodgers just like they did Andy Dalton? Now, I don't expect the Cowboys defense to rack up four QB sacks against the Packers, but applying pressure to Aaron Rodgers throughout the ball game will help keep the secondary from having to cover the Packers WRs for an extended period of time. DeMarcus Lawrence added a little juice to the pass rush last week and will have to do the same this week. The more pressure they can get on Rogers the better, but it will be difficult against the Packers offensive line, who are among the best in pass protection.
Well, that does it for this week's edition of Martin's 5. Do you have anything on your mind that you would like to share?
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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