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Messing With Momentum? Why Trading Dez Bryant Is A Bad Idea

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Blog - Why I Call Dez Bryant My Favorite Athlete

As America's team, the Dallas Cowboys get talked about every single day on each National sports media outlet. Whether its Fox Sports, ESPN, NFL Network or anything else, everyone loves to give their opinion on how the Cowboys are playing and what they should do with personnel.

No matter just how wrong and/or misguided their opinion is.

In this week's edition of "awful Cowboys takes," people actually want the Dallas Cowboys to get rid of their best wide receiver and a clear leader both on the field and in the locker room. They want the Cowboys to trade Dez Bryant, along with Tony Romo, because...

Well, I'm not really sure why.

I have not heard one good explanation for why trading away a player who is 2nd in the NFL to only Rob Gronkowski in receiving touchdowns since 2010 is a good idea. Or why shipping off one of the 5 most physically talented players on this roster midway through what we think could be a Super Bowl season makes any damn sense at all.

Linda Cohn on Twitter

With all the chatter about how Romo could mess up a good thing in Dallas with Dak, don't be shocked if the return of Dez could do same.

But, he'll just mess up the momentum! They have a good thing going and Dez will ruin it!

Linda Cohn on Twitter

Great minds think alike. I'm concerned if Dak tries to force it to get ball to Dez. Bryant wants to be part of this. https://t.co/CWw6cYw6EF

Listen, I really like Linda Cohn. I think she is a fantastic Sportscenter host and she is really good at her job. I also like Jim Trotter, and for the most part, I think he knows what he's talking about.

But to suggest this is flat out idiotic. And trust me, they are not alone in their takes, they are just most recent people to suggest it.

"Oh no, our WR1 is back, now I have to find ways to get him the ball," said no offensive coordinator ever, especially not when that WR1 is Dez Bryant!

Yeah, this Dez Bryant.

Dez Byrant does it all on this touchdown versus Redskins (Week 8, 2014)

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant grabs a low catch with one hand, runs through a few Redskins and falls just over the goal line to score a touchdown in Week 8 of the 2014 NFL Season.

Oh, and this Dez Bryant.

Dez Bryant Comes Down with the Ball & Reaches Out for TD! | Cowboys vs. Rams (Preseason) | NFL

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant hauls in the TD pass from QB Dak Prescott against the Los Angeles Rams in their preseason opener. #NFL Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Start your free trial of NFL Game Pass: https://www.nfl.com/gamepass?campaign=sp-nf-gd-ot-yt-3000342 The NFL YouTube channel is your home for immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, full NFL games, behind the scenes access, up-to-the-minute analysis and more!

You remember him? The guy that went for 7 catches and over 100 yards last time we saw him healthy for a full game? Yeah, he's pretty good at football, and we should be ecstatic he's coming back.

For months all that we talked about was how without Dez, the Cowboys receiving corps looked lost. How they lack any true deep threat when Dez isn't in the lineup. How they should consider drafting Laquon Treadwell because they "needed another Dez." And now, with the return of that player imminent, you want to just get rid of him? Because of "momentum?"

I am a bit of a momentum truth-er myself. Meaning, I'm not even sure if momentum really exists. I mean, of course it exists in physics when defined as mass times velocity (my humble brag about knowing science), but in a sports sense, how real is it?

You want to know why I think the Cowboys have won 5 straight games? Because they are a better football team than everyone they've played this year.  They've had the better quarterback play, they've had the better coaching, they've had the better o-line play, they've created turnovers, and they've dominated in the run game.

No, I don't think its due to some magical force which is pushing the Cowboys passed opponents. The only force which is doing just that is their offensive line, which is literally forcing the ball down the throats of the defense.

Sure, there is something to chemistry and "mojo" or swagger of a football team, but the idea that the return of one of the team's best players is going to make that team worse is patently insane.

The return of Dez Bryant only makes an already really good Dallas Cowboys team better. If anything, it should only help solidify that these Cowboys are legit, and are capable of making some real noise in the NFC this winter.

So be happy that Dez is back, and enjoy this ride the Cowboys are taking us on, because seasons like this don't come around often in today's NFL.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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6 Comments
  • Cornelius Craft

    There’s no freaking way I would trade Dez. I wouldn’t even have a conversation about letting #88 go

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      The fact people are even mentioning it hurts my brain. Thanks for ready, Cornelius!

  • RickP

    Just think about how great the offense will be with Dez and Tony back on the field! That’s momentum!

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      Exactly my point! Thanks for reading, Rick.

  • Jay

    It’s sad you even had to write this article. Anyone suggesting trading away Dez, must stop watching football immediately. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      Somehow someway people (especially some media members) think this is a good idea. Makes no sense to me. Thanks for reading, Jay!

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Geoff Swaim Needs Surgery, Should the Cowboys even use a Tight End?

John Williams

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Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim Quietly Exceeding Expectations? 1

Well, the injury woes continue to mount for the Dallas Cowboys with news coming down this evening that Tight End Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist in the 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The injury will need surgery which will mean Swaim will be out a while, if not for the rest of the season.

David Helman on Twitter

Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist yesterday and is going to need surgery. Sounds like it might not be season-ending, but he won't be available Thursday #cowboyswire

In previous seasons this wouldn't be much of a blow to the offense, but Geoff Swaim has been the only tight end that the Cowboys have ben able to rely on this season. Dalton Schultz is a rookie, Blake Jarwin's been inconsistent, and Rico Gathers still isn't fully trusted. With the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan's insistence on using a tight end, it seems there's a huge hole at the position heading into Sunday's first place showdown with the Washington Redskins.

But in reality, is there?

For weeks, I've been screaming for this team to use more 10 personnel (one running back and zero tight ends) as its primary passing formation because it gets their best pass catching weapons on the field at the same time. Swaim has been solid and consistent in his first year as a starter, but the rest of the tight end group has disappointed. So why even run a tight end out on the field.

The Dallas Cowboys have options that could replace the tight end in the passing game without actually using a tight end.

First, they could use Noah Brown as the de facto tight end. He's been one of the best blockers on the team in his first two seasons with the team and this is the type of role he's made for. Split him out wide and motion him in tight when you want to run. He can be a threat down the seem and in the red zone with his athleticism. He'd be a mismatch for the linebackers that try to cover him and could open space underneath for Cole Beasley. Brown is also a really good run blocker, so having him on the field doesn't negate what you want to do in the run game.

The other player the Cowboys coaching staff could work into more of the tight end route responsibilities is Allen Hurns. Hurns is a really good route runner, especially in the middle of the field, where the Dallas Cowboys haven't received a lot of production. You can put Hurns in as the fourth wide receiver and split him a couple of yards off the tackle to give him a cleaner release than a TE might get and have him run "Y-option," shallow post routes, or drags. He can be a threat in the passing game if put in situations where he can excel. See below for something Allen Hurns does really well.

Film Review: What's Up with Allen Hurns?

In fact, by going four wide receivers with Brown or Hurns on the field, it's possible the opposing defense is forced to run more of dime packages against the Dallas Cowboys 10 personnel.

Why would you want to get teams into dime packages?

Most NFL teams have two pretty good linebackers that they can deploy in nickel situations, but teams rarely have four corners that they can put on the field and feel really good about. So, if you can force teams to remove one of their 11 best players for a backup corner back or safety, you are already winning that matchup.

That matchup would also get you into much more favorable defensive fronts to run against. Even if the opposition put seven or eight in the box, it would be against smaller personnel like corners and safeties instead of a second linebacker.

Running 10 personnel as their base offense moving forward would be unconventional, but with an opportunity to take control of first place in the NFC East on Thanksgiving, now is not the time for conventionality.



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Cowboys WR Michael Gallup on Personal Leave; Team Offers Support

Jess Haynie

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Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys rookie receiver Michael Gallup suffered a personal tragedy on Sunday, being informed that his brother committed suicide. He is now on personal leave away from the team, and both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have given their full support to Gallup during this difficult time.

According to reports, Gallup was unaware of his brother's death until immediately after the Cowboys' win over the Atlanta Falcons. Michael did not return with the team to Dallas and remained in Atlanta to be with his family.

A formal statement was made by owner Jerry Jones yesterday regarding Gallup:

“Our team and our entire organization are deeply saddened by the news of Michael’s loss. His family is our family. We share in the grief and pain that comes with something so personal and tragic. We offer our support, care and comfort for Michael, and we ask that all of those who have sons and daughters and brothers and sisters join us in keeping Michael and his wonderful family in their thoughts and prayers.”

Throughout his time owning the Cowboys, Jerry has built a reputation for personal loyalty and compassion with his players. His head coach is no different.

As he addressed the media Monday, Jason Garrett did not get into football matters when addressing Gallup's situation:

“This is a very challenging time for him. We’ll take it moment by moment, day by day, and give him all of our love and all of our support.”

While Michael is certainly dealing with something far more important than football, his availability for Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins does come into question.

The Cowboys have a short week to prepare for Washington, and Gallup has started their last five games. If the rookie has to sit, which seems probable given the timeframe, we can expect more playing time for Allen Hurns and Noah Brown.

Whatever happens happens on that front. Our focus is on Michael Gallup during this sad time, with him and his family in our collective thoughts as Cowboys fans and fellow humans.



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Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch’s Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion

Sean Martin

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Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch's Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion 1

The Dallas Cowboys know what they're doing when it comes to the NFL Draft. Not to be outdone by Philadelphia, the Cowboys brought the 2018 Draft to AT&T Stadium, marking the first time the event's been held in an NFL stadium. This made Boise State Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch the first player to be drafted on the field he now calls home. Returning home this week after two straight interceptions against the Eagles and Falcons, Vander Esch is far from the controversial pick that drew jeers inside AT&T Stadium on draft night and every bit the star the Cowboys projected him to be.

The ascension of Leighton "Wolf Hunter" Vander Esch as one of the best young linebackers in the game has happened rapidly. LVE played eight man football in high school, tasked to do everything on both sides of the ball before settling into defense as a walk onto the blue turf.

For the first time in what seems like forever, the Cowboys have more than just a plan to play defense without Sean Lee. Thanks to their 19th overall pick they're thriving as one of the best units in the league, making Lee an afterthought.

Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch's Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch

Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have changed the entire makeup of the Cowboys defense, two young and athletic linebackers that should be roaming the middle of the field for a long time in Dallas.

This is exactly what LVE was able to do on his interceptions of both Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. Vander Esch defending well against the pass is probably the least surprising part of his development, as his coverage skills always overshadowed his strength against the run in college.

It just so happens that Vander Esch tallied 63 tackles in eight games before recording his first career interception, establishing himself as an all-around linebacker with no true weakness. Vander Esch has played with the power and block shedding ability that matches his sideline to sideline range and instincts, as opposing offenses have done little to slow the Cowboys new leader on defense.

LVE2

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is Vander Esch's first interception, which set up a Cowboys field goal against the Eagles. Watch as Leighton reads the eyes of Wentz through the play, first angling towards his check down throw and then gaining depth to intercept the pass.

The subtle yet effective movements from Vander Esch to undercut Wentz's throw is a fine example of how quickly LVE has picked up on Kris Richard's defense, as well as the next level game speed.

LVE1

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Sunday's interception from Vander Esch was the type of game breaking play the Cowboys needed to separate from the Falcons in hostile territory. Although the Falcons would rally to tie the game after this point, the Cowboys defense became the first to hold Atlanta under 20 points at home this season, thanks in large part to LVE as always.

The smoothness from Vander Esch on this play is exceptional, stepping up into coverage against the running back before sprinting back in position for the turnover. Calvin Ridley, drafted seven picks after Vander Esch, helps Leighton by letting Ryan's pass go through his hands.

Give Vander Esch credit for being in the right place at the right time and finishing the play. Every week, the rookie finds a way to do something memorable, and in helping the Cowboys earn their first two road wins of 2018 he finally flashed in pass coverage.

The next challenge for the Cowboys defense comes on a short week, against the division leading Washington Redskins. Though they lost starting Quarterback Alex Smith for the season on Sunday, expected to start Colt McCoy on Thanksgiving, it was Running Back Adrian Peterson that gashed the Cowboys for 4.13 yards a carry and 99 total yards in the Redskins week six win over Dallas.

Given what not only Leighton Vander Esch but the rest of the Cowboys defense has shown against the run in recent weeks, all without David Irving and most recently without either Antwaun Woods or Daniel Ross, the Cowboys should certainly be prepared to play for first place in the NFC East on Thursday.

Tell us what you think about "Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch’s Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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