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New Confidence brewing in Dallas

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The 08-09 Cowboys Defense, with the exception of two changes, looks very similar to last year’s defense. The most highly publicized change has been the upgrade in the Dallas secondary. With the additions of number 1 draft pick Mike Jenkins, and the off-season trade for Adam Jones, joining the team, these two players should change the defense entirely. Along with undeniable skill, they bring with them a fierce bloodthirsty mentality, which this team has been missing for a long time. Neither of these guys has shown any reluctance to smack their opponent upside the head!

Mike Jenkins is an incredible man defender, he is a guy that you can put on an island and let him take his man out of the picture. So far from what I have seen he has two areas of improvement that need to be addressed. The first area of concern his occasional tendency to bite very hard on a double move. Once he gets more attuned with the NFL game a lot of this will take care of itself. The second area of concern with Jenkins is his zone coverage play. Let us not forget, he is a rookie and I am sure he has never seen a playbook quite this big, nor with this many reads to make. Our resident offensive coordinator is a Princeton grad, if a typical NFL playbook was 200 pages, I’m guessing his is 700. It is very evident to me that he has found himself a mentor, and he is responding extremely well to him. That mentor is none other than Terrence Newman! This floored me at first, not that Jenkins had a mentor, but more that it was Newman. Newman has always been very reserved and not much into teaching another corner how to play his position, especially one that will, one day, be trying to take his job! What has made Newman more willing to counsel the young up and comer?

Adam Jones, as we all know, has not been reinstated. Yet! I say yet because I believe it is merely formality. He, like Jenkins, is strong man defender with an attitude. I have been pleasantly surprised by this guy’s work ethic. For a man who has been in all sorts of trouble, doing very immature things, he is coming across now as a throwback player. The league used to be full of players that were, shall we say, “lunch pale” kind of guys. Adam Jones clearly falls into that category. I know, I know, we all see the flashy “Pac-man bout to make it rain up in here” things. These things may be who he is off the field, but on the field he is nothing like that. Now has he suddenly appears to have become a better person off the field. Whether that is true or not, well that I do not know. But from what I have seen so far, if I had to give an answer, I would say probably he has cleaned up his off field act. People do come equipped with the ability to change who they are, and it is not up to you or I to judge anyone. He will have his day when he is judged. So now the next question becomes: Why is he apparently changing now and not 6 months ago?

In my opinion, the second substantial change to this defense is the principle difference! It is an addition that has not received a great deal of press and I certainly did not realize the impact that it would have. Dave Campo! Yes, Dave Campo! He may very well turn out to be the key acquisition for a run at the Super Bowl. Everyone, including myself, dismissed this guy. My opinion of him has always been: “How can he be the right man to turn a sorry secondary into a “Super Bowl Champion potential” secondary, when he failed miserably as the team’s head coach”? Something I even neglect to remember sometimes is that when Campo took over as the head man, he acquired a very shitty football team. The players on that team loved Campo and they played hard for him. They simply were not NFL playoff caliber players! In the end, it cost him his job, but was it his fault entirely? My answer is NO! And I believe that if people within the organization were asked they would say the same thing. This, however, is nothing new for the NFL. Coaches get fired all the time when they do not win, no matter who is to blame! This guy has taken a mentally weak secondary and given them something that they have not seen at Valley Ranch in a long time; confidence! Even when they were winning Super Bowls, and were absolutely dominating teams, the secondary as a unit never had the confidence that they are showing now! That’s right I said never. And that includes when Prime Time was here. Prime Time was the only one who had confidence or game for that matter. This team is different, and I for one believe it is instigated by one Dave Campo. So to find the answers to our questions about Newman and Jones, You need look no further than their leader!

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Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin

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Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Cowboys Losing Linebackers Coach Matt Eberflus to Colts

Jess Haynie

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Matt Eberflus, Sean Lee

Multiple sources are reporting Matt Eberflus — who has been the linebackers coach and passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys — will leave to join the Indianapolis Colts as the new defensive coordinator. Eberflus has been with Dallas since 2011, having joined Rob Ryan’s staff when Ryan become the coordinator for the Cowboys’ defense.

He has been the linebackers coach during his entire Dallas tenure and was also named passing game coordinator in 2016.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

With Josh McDaniels ticketed for the #Colts, former #Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus is expected to come along as defensive coordinator, I’m told. Lot of parts falling in place now.

If not the Colts, some thought Matt Eberflus might end up replacing Matt Patricia as the defensive coordinator in New England. Either way, it does not appear Dallas could have kept him around while Rod Marinelli remains in his current position.

Eberflus’ work in Dallas speaks for itself, and primarily through LB Sean Lee.

He has been Lee’s position coach for all but his rookie season, and in that time Lee has been one of the top defensive players in all of football.

Beyond Lee, Eberflus has also been able to get quality play out of mid-round picks like Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson. We also saw Jaylon Smith make significant progress this season.

Given Matt Eberflus has never worked with Josh McDaniels before, the fact he was on the Colts’ radar says a lot.

Make no mistake; the Cowboys lost a good one here.

Don’t panic, however. Coach Marinelli has cast a very wide net during his time in the NFL and there are a lot of potential guys, some with plenty of experience, that Dallas might look to.

It’s entirely possible that Eberflus’ replacement will be someone who Marinelli spends 2018 grooming to take over as the defensive coordinator.

Still, of all the coaching changes so far for Dallas, this one hurts most.

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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