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Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism

Sean Martin



Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism 1

Michael Lombardi is a former NFL scout, Director of Player Personnel, and General Manager turned media member over at The Ringer. If you follow the great Bryan Broaddus from the Dallas Cowboys' website, you've likely even seen Broaddus promote some of Lombardi's current NFL work.

He has the respect of many around the league.

All of this does little to distract Cowboys Nation from the fact that, on Lombardi's latest edition of his "GM Street" podcast, he - apparently from the friendly confines of NJ where Lombardi grew up and Jason Garrett attended Princeton University - opened the show with an incredibly off-target string of criticism towards the Cowboys' current head coach.

Jason Garrett

Cowboys training camp is right around the corner, meaning that there is now a short amount of time for national media outlets to hitch their wagons to whatever flaming hot take on America's Team they want to be able to promote prior to the team returning to action.

If Michael Lombardi truly believes everything he said about Jason Garrett, he is going to be in for a long season regardless of Dallas' record following a 13-3 season in 2016.

"Jason Garrett been a head coach for six years. He’s 50 years old. He’s going to be 51 next year. He should be in the prime of his head coaching career. Instead, he’s made two playoffs. I mean he goes 12-4. Then he goes 13-3 last year and he loses at home to a bad Green Bay defense." - Lombardi on the GM Street podcast

This was Lombardi's first chance to actually say something coherent when it comes to a real issue the Cowboys have had, in that the team has not put together consecutive winning seasons since 2008-2009. Instead, Lombardi takes aim at Garrett's two best seasons as the Cowboys' Head Coach by pointing out the playoff losses to Green Bay.

Despite being on the verge of two NFC Championship games, reaching the playoffs this year with an unprecedented fourth round draft pick under center, Garrett cannot possibly be entering his prime with the team he's reversed from old and hopeless to young and exciting according to Lombardi.

Anyone at all that's followed the Cowboys at almost any time knows this team is in better condition from top to bottom as a contender than ever before, as young stars all over the roster prepare to enter their own primes with a supposed past-his-prime coach.

Of course, these claims by Lombardi become even more ridiculous when taking a closer look at the NFL's reigning Coach of the Year, considering the endless praise he's received in Dallas from the front office and players alike. Lombardi should know these things, but chose to double down on his misguided rant by offering this:

"I don’t see Jason besides clapping and cheering players..."

This is inexcusably bad. To admit that you've only seen Jason Garrett clap and cheer on his players is to admit that you've formed your opinion on him solely by watching Garrett coach on TV. Lombardi is clearly better than this when you consider his background and experience in the media field, but missing the point this much on Jason Garrett is laughable once you try moving past the fact he admitted above to really not having a grasp on his Cowboys' situation.

Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism

An even deeper look at what has accelerated the Cowboys near the top of the NFL world shows a dynamic connection from Jerry Jones and the top of the front office to Will McClay and Stephen Jones down to Jason Garrett. Every part of this Dallas team has worked in harmony over the past seasons to turn over a roster that is now ready to win. Jerry himself has expressed multiple times that he believes Jason Garrett is a leader the Cowboys can win with, but once again don't tell this to Lombardi.

"If I'm Jerry I'm nervous, the guy that's always lurking around the corner is Sean Payton"

Sean Payton. The Saints' Head Coach that has had stability at QB with Drew Brees throughout his career only to manage three consecutive 7-9 seasons.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

Former GM Michael Lombardi on Jason Garrett: " When you watch him coach, you never really get the sense that he's in control of the game.

One could argue that Dak Prescott provides the most stability at QB for Garrett's Cowboys over his tenure, and even still Jason dealt with his team's rotation of signal callers behind the injured Tony Romo in 2015 the best he could before bouncing back as the NFC's top seed following a Romo injury the next season.

Jason Garrett absolutely still has a chance to enter his prime with the Cowboys. Mr. Process himself deserves a chance to see things through since his first year in 2010, and he is just weeks away from getting the chance to take the same core from a 13-3 team a year ago into 2017 in search of Dallas' elusive sixth Super Bowl.

If you read this and smiled, you're in the right spot ahead of Cowboys training camp and the preseason. This team is going to be fine, thanks in large part to the efforts of Jason Garrett. Let's not listen to Michael Lombardi.

Tell us what you think about "Michael Lombardi Misses The Point With Unfair Jason Garrett Criticism" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Mauricio Rodriguez

    These comments from Lombardi make no sense. I think what I hated the most was mentioning Sean Payton. Glad you’re out here defending Cowboys Nation, Sean.

    • Sean Martin

      Glad you’re with us as well, the whole thing from Lombardi comes off as senseless.

  • Don

    I agree with y’all it is senseless. I’m tired of hearing the Peyton to the Cowboys notion as well. As I’m on my rant I would like to add that I’m even more tired of Adam Sheifter (sp) reporting almost daily that the NFL is probably going to hand out some kind of suspension on Zeke. Mickey Spagnola on a local radio show this week said he was tired of hearing it from him and felt it was his unfounded fishing stirring the pot. I as many others are tired of hearing about it .The NFL dragging this out for a year now is totally ridiculous when by now thru all the media outlets we know as much as they do and nothing more. The Cowboy camp says they don’t know of anything impending but I’m sure they want it to be over with as well.

  • ThePsychodad69

    He’s a parasite, the Browns are so dysfunctional he was hired twice and happened to be with the 49ers and Pats when they won SB’s. Garrett earned 2 as a player.

    He’s now a talkinghead @ what seems to be a National Inquirer of sports. He’s in his prime and nobody wants him. With a face like his he needs to stick to radio.

Star Blog

Sean’s Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Cowboys D

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Dallas Cowboys Defense 1

It took some time, but the Dallas Cowboys have their first outside free agent of the offseason, signing Linebacker Joe Thomas to provide depth at a position where Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber have already signed elsewhere.

The fifth-year pro has played exclusively with the Green Bay Packers, but the Cowboys do have some familiarity with Thomas as he spent part of 2015 on their practice squad.

Joe Thomas has served as a core special teams contributor and sub-package LB for the Packers out of South Carolina State, and will now look to bring these services to a Cowboys team in need of play making ability on both defense and special teams.

Using film from this past season, here is Joe Thomas' full scouting report.

LB Joe Thomas: Strengths

Thomas1 - Streamable

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Joe Thomas lined up at all three LB positions for the Packers, taking the majority of his snaps on defense at MIKE or WILL. The WILL position is where Thomas should fit best in Dallas.

Not overly physical with a shorter but square frame, Thomas is a rangy player with light feet and fluid movement ability. Shifting laterally along the line of scrimmage to "pick through trash" is not a problem for Thomas, nor is flipping his hips and running to the football.

It may take Thomas more effort than it should to get in position on most plays, with false steps and late reads being an issue, but once he establishes his sight on the point of attack this is a downhill missile of a player.

Thomas2 - Streamable

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Joe Thomas uses his length well to disengage from blocks and finish off plays, doing a nice job of not allowing blockers into his chest consistently.

With Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith expected to be the Cowboys' primary starters at WILL and MIKE respectively, Thomas could supplement these two physical, well-rounded players extremely well given his athleticism.

LB Joe Thomas: Weaknesses

Thomas3 - Streamable

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There is a reason a player with the raw traits of Joe Thomas goes un-drafted, and in this case it is because of awareness and anticipation issues in Thomas' game.

Far too often on tape, Thomas is forcing himself to recover from false steps against the blockers in front of him. I would have loved to see a player with this movement ability get more clean opportunities to finish at the football, but it was simply not there for Thomas.

When Thomas wasn't late to the ball against the run, he was getting caught flat-footed in space trying to compensate for this reactionary ability. This led to Thomas' fair share of missed tackles, where the LB failed to break down correctly.

Overall, Thomas did a decent job of avoiding blocks and disengaging, and does play with better-than-expected stopping power. The strength and technique to shed blocks was rarely seen though, relying on his quickness to outrun opponents to the spot.

LB Joe Thomas: Summary

Sean's Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Dallas Cowboys Defense

This is a player that should help the Dallas Cowboys in two phases of their game this season.

Signed for both 2018 and 2019, the Cowboys have clearly seen enough from their former practice squad linebacker in Green Bay to bring back an athletic ST ace with upside on defense.

Joe Thomas shouldn't be taking Lee or Smith off the field regularly this season, but at his best he will factor into Rod Marinelli's defense on passing downs.

Thomas gives a unit predicated on flowing to the ball even more speed on the field, and is an ideal depth signing with the versatility to cover punts and kickoffs.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Cowboys D" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Star Blog

Could a Special Coach Help Dez Bryant’s Route-Running?

Brian Martin



Could Special Coach Help Dez Bryant's Route Running?

Dez Bryant's career with the Dallas Cowboys may be in limbo, but that's not stopping him from trying to improve his game and on-field performance.

Bryant will reportedly train with personal wide receivers coach David Robinson, who specializes in route-running, according to reporter Jane Slater of NFL Network. This should come as good news to a lot of Cowboys fans, because Dez Bryant has often been criticized throughout his professional career for his route-running.

If anything, this news should indicate that Dez Bryant is more determined than ever to rebound from his disappointing 2017 season and prove his critics wrong that he is no longer one of the top receivers in the league. I for one am not going to bet against him.

Bryant's work ethic and passion for the game have never been questioned. His desire to be the best is evident anytime you turn on his film, whether it is in a game situation or on the practice field. He takes the "practice like you play" mantra to heart.

Everybody should be encouraged that at this point in his career, Dez Bryant is still looking at ways to improve his game and seek help. Hopefully, working with a well-known receivers coach like David Robinson can take Bryant's game to the next level.

Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

You may not know who David Robinson is (I certainly didn't), but he is well respected around the league and has helped other receivers under his tutelage. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jordan Reed, and even Cowboys former WR Brice Butler have all benefited from Robinson's coaching.

Dez Bryant has always been regarded as one of those types of receivers who is always open regardless how tight the coverage is around him. His ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air is arguably his best trait, but he could become more dangerous if he can create separation on his own with better route-running.

Unfortunately, Bryant is entering the stage in his career where age becomes a factor and some regression is to be expected. This is why improved route-running could improve any deficiencies Bryant maybe dealing with.

But, what exactly will David Robinson be working on with Dez Bryant?

Robinson told Jane Slater that in his workouts with Dez Bryant, he will concentrate on the expansion of Bryant's route tree, shaking defenders at the line of scrimmage, and improving footwork technique to compensate for any natural loss of speed due to age.

I don't know about you, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing how Bryant responds to Robinson's coaching, hopefully still as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

We all know that Bryant's status with the Cowboys is unknown, at least to those of us on the outside looking in, but I don't see him going anywhere in 2018. There just aren't any vet WRs or rookies who I can see replacing his production. Of course, I could be wrong.

One thing is for sure though, Dez Bryant isn't going to sit on his hands while he waits to find out what his future holds.

Do you think improved route-running will help Dez Bryant's game?

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Star Blog

Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Brian Martin



Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?

Since becoming the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Rod Marinelli hasn't had too many of his former players follow him to Dallas. In fact, I can only think of one… Henry Melton, and we all know how that turned out.

I don't know about you, but I found that a little strange. It's pretty common for coaches to try to bring some of their players with them when they accept a new job. Familiarity goes a long way in the NFL and former players can also help make the transition easier for everyone.

Strangely enough, Rod Marinelli hasn't really been afforded that luxury, whether it was his doing or not. But, there is a free agent who played under Marinelli's tutelage in Chicago who might make sense for the Dallas Cowboys, linebacker Shea McClellin.

Rod Marinelli was the defensive coordinator in Chicago when the Bears decided to draft Shea McClellin 19th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Marinelli likely had a big say in that decision, and if he still feels the same, a reunion could be in order.

Shea McClellin started his career in the NFL as a 4-3 left side defensive end playing opposite Julius Peppers, but was also viewed as a potential Brian Urlacher replacement. He showed flashes of becoming a solid defensive end his first few years in the league, but was eventually moved to linebacker, where he seemed to find a home for himself.

Shea McClellin

New England Patriots LB Shea McClellin

After his contract expired with the Bears, the New England Patriots decided to bring him aboard to help with their linebacker depth. He only ended up starting four games for them in 2016, but made some memorable plays to help the Patriots become the Super Bowl champions.

Unfortunately, the 2017 season wasn't very kind to him. His entire year was wiped out due to a concussion, which probably had a lot to do with why they recently released him.

This of course could be good news for the Dallas Cowboys. They currently need some depth at the linebacker position and Shea McClellin could provide that, if he's healthy. The healthy bit here is key, because he has had problems with concussions in the past.

If McClellin is indeed healthy, he could bring a versatile skill set to the Cowboys defense. His best spot is probably at strong side LB (SAM), but I think he could play middle linebacker (MIKE) as well. He also could provide depth at defensive end, the position he played to start his NFL career.

With the LB depth a concern, Shea McClellin makes quite a bit of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, his past history with concussions is a red flag, but it also drives down his asking price. I think he would definitely fall into that "bargain shopping" mentality the Cowboys have been using these last few offseasons.

He probably wouldn't be viewed as a very important signing, but you still need these types of players on your team in order to succeed in the NFL. Let's see if the Dallas Cowboys agree.

Do you think a Rod Marinelli and Shea McClellin reunion is in order?

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