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#MillerToDallas: A RB That Actually Fits the Cowboys

Sean Martin



Cowboys Blog - #MillerToDallas: A RB That Actually Fits the Cowboys

Darren McFadden was fourth in the league in rushing this season. Darren McFadden started just ten games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015.

If you could go back in time to tell a large group of Cowboys fans, known as Cowboys Nation, that the above two statements would be true then you could have saved a 2014 offseason full of absurd speculation about free agent running backs.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

They have shown as much interest in Ray Rice as they have shown in having me play RB.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

@CowboysNation have you gotten any questions asking for Cassel to be the starting running back yet?

These two tweets are as far as I'll go into the mess that was the aforementioned speculation. Of course, my Matt Cassel comment was merely written to poke fun at the whole situation. But now I am here to tell Cowboys fans that this 2015 offseason has given us a free agent running back that we can all get behind!

His name is Lamar Miller, and if you are going to push for one back to join the silver and blue this offseason, let it be him.

A fourth round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, Miller took over the starting job in Miami as a member of the Dolphins in 2013. He was 26th among all running backs in carries that season, and totaled 709 yards.

The following season he shot up to 15th in the league in carries, as he went for a career high 1,099 yards. This season, he dropped down to 872 yards on the 18th highest workload in the league with 194 attempts.

Should Lamar Miller trade in his dolphin helmet for a star, Cowboys fans should be excited about his relatively small workload. With Darren McFadden's durability being a concern going into his contract year, adding a guy like Miller will bring in a spark of energy to the Dallas backfield.

Miller is a perfect fit for Scott Linehan's running system, with the shifty speed and quickness to do major damage behind the league's best offensive line. While Tony Romo and Darren McFadden could make for a dangerous combination in 2016, allowing DMC to to run against defensive fronts that do not see his carries coming, the addition of Lamar Miller could take this offense to a Super Bowl level.

Romo tosses to Miller. Miller around the left side. Makes a man miss! 10. 5. Touchdown. Dallas Cowboys.

Sound good to you? Great, same here! Now let's get ready to hear this on repeat in 2016, by tweeting #MillerToDallas (all tweets using this hashtag will appear at, which is brought to you by Inside The Star)!

Upon Further Review on

Tell us what you think about "#MillerToDallas: A RB That Actually Fits the Cowboys" 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.

  • Randy Martin

    The question is what would it cost to sign Miller. I don't think he gets Murray money but a 4-yr $25M deal sounds in the ballpark. I wouldn't pay more than that though. I think I would rather spend my money on a guy like John Starks that can spell McFadden and would cost a lot less and then grab my RB of the future in the 3rd round.

  • Sean Martin

    I think that's a fair contract number. I also agree that the talent to be had at RB in this draft is awesome! So either way, we should have an upgrade at this position come 2016 – already coming off a season where DMC was fourth in the league in rushing after ten starts and no viable quarterback play.

  • Jess Haynie

    I am on record, going back to my support of letting DeMarco Murray leave town, of being against spending big money at running back. I think when you've invested three first-rounders and the money to come on second contracts for these offensive linemen then you should be able to get production with reasonable talent at running back. Lamar Miller's a great player but would his production behind this line, at $7-$8M/year, be that much greater than what we got from McFadden for a fraction of the price? I just think you can spend that money elsewhere and get better return for your dollar.

  • Sean Martin

    Definitely agree depending on who else we bring in. Had Corey on my show this week and he was in favor of signing Trumaine Johnson over Miller.

  • Zac Fields

    I'm with Haynie.

    Not that I'm dead-set against signing a guy like Miller, but I really think you're better off addressing that position in the draft. I see too many rookie runningbacks playing very good football for pennies on the dollar versus these high-priced veterans. I also think Darren McFadden being here another year affords us the opportunity to be looking for more of a "complementary back" as opposed to paying somebody big dollars to crank out 1,500 yards for us by himself.

  • RJ Ochoa!

    Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • Blue Star

    I don't see Dallas giving him any money. The Jets or Browns probably over pay.

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

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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.

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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

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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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