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.
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.
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.
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.
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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