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New Faces in the NFC East Division Who Could Give Cowboys Problems

Brian Martin



New Faces in the NFC East Who Could Give Cowboys Problems

Teams around the NFL do their damnedest to upgrade their roster after the completiion of each season. There are variety ways to accomplish this feat, whether through the draft, free agency, or via trade, with the ultimate goal of having a better team than they did before. Otherwise, teams around you are getting better while your sitting on your hands.

This is especially true for the Dallas Cowboys. They've done a pretty good job of continuing to add pieces to the roster to make them a better team. This offseason is no exception. They've added some talented players and they should be better than they were last season. But what about the rest of the NFC East division? What players did they add and how much of a threat are they to the Cowboys?

Let's take a look at some of the new faces around the NFC East division who could possibly give the Dallas Cowboys some problems in 2019.

Philadelphia Eagles

Miles Sanders

Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders

I figured we'd start with the division rival who is expected to give the Dallas Cowboys a run for their money as far as the NFC East title is concerned. I hate to say it, but I like some of the new faces the Philadelphia Eagles have added to the roster this offseason.

I think where they've upgraded the most is at running back with Jordan Howard, formerly of the Chicago Bears, and Miles Sanders, who they drafted in the second-round of the 2019 NFL Draft. I believe these two players alone improve the Eagles offense dramatically, which unfortunately isn't good news for the Cowboys run defense. Howard and Sanders should become a formidable duo Dallas has to now figure out how to contain.

They also brought back Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson, who will help improve their passing game. But, it's their defense I think could be more concerning. A healthy secondary will do wonders for the Eagles D, but so will the additions of LB Zach Brown and DT Malik Jackson. Both players should be an upgrade over what Philadelphia put on the field in 2018, which could cause some problems for the Cowboys offense if they're not accounted for.

New York Giants

New York Giants, Golden Tate

New York Giants WR Golden Tate (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Giants made some questionable offseason moves in my opinion. They used free agency, the draft, and made a trade to add some new faces to their roster so far. All three of those moves resulted in some players who could give the Dallas Cowboys some problems in 2019 and beyond.

The biggest move they made was trading WR Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for some draft capital, Safety Jabrill Peppers, and Offensive Guard Kevin Zeitler. These two players alone are upgrades over who the Giants suited up at both positions last season, but trading away Beckham also hurt them a little bit in the passing game. Unless you think Golden Tate can be as productive. He has been a "Cowboy Killer" in the past.

I really like the rookies they added through the draft. Cornerback DeAndre Baker should help improve their secondary and Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence should help replace Damon "Snacks" Harrison, who they traded away last season. These two players may not make a huge impact their first-year in the NFL, but they could both end up giving the Cowboys some problems down the road.

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins, Montez Sweat

Washington Redskins DE Montez Sweat

The Washington Redskins are kind of an afterthought in the NFC East division, but I'm not so sure. They played the Dallas Cowboys pretty tough in 2018 and ended up splitting the series. The loss of Quarterback Alex Smith definitely hurts them, but they did their best to bring in a few players to hopefully offset his loss.

The Redskins acquired QB Case Keenum via trade from the Denver Broncos to probably be a bridge player until QB Dewayne Haskins, who they drafted in the first-round of the 2019 NFL draft, is ready to take over. Keenum has been a solid QB in the NFL and is talented enough to make Washington a dangerous challenger for the NFC East title. I wouldn't underestimate him and I don't think the Cowboys should either.

The other new faces the Redskins added who I believe could give the Cowboys some problems are all on the defensive side of the ball. They added S Landon Collins and CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie to their secondary to play with Josh Norman. I'd say that's a pretty formidable trio. They also drafted one of the most athletically gifted pass rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft, Montez Sweat. All of these players should make an already good Redskins defense even better.

Which new faces do you think will give the Dallas Cowboys problems?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


Player News

Report: Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Ready for Start of Training Camp

John Williams



Cowboys Center Travis Frederick Still Hoping to "Be a Rock" for Teammates Despite GBS Syndrome

With the Dallas Cowboys opening training camp with their first practice on Saturday, July 27th in Oxnard, California, a lot of information is coming out regarding who will be available when they report.

It was already reported that Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will be placed on the physically unable to practice (P.U.P.) list to start training camp. Now, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that Travis Frederick will avoid the Non-Football Injury list (NFI) and be ready to report for the starting of training camp.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Very good news for the #Cowboys: All-Pro C Travis Frederick, who dealt with Guillain-Barré syndrome last year, is expected to be active for the start of training camp. He avoids NFI and is ready to go.

Frederick has been out of action for a year after being diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome during last year's training camp. Guillen-Barre is a disorder that can affect the peripheral neurological system. Basically, the neurological system that doesn't consist of the brain and the spinal cord, which is the central nervous system.

There was talk that Frederick might have been ready to go for the playoffs at the end of last season, but the team continued to hold him out in order to get him back 100% for 2019. It looks like the time has come for Frederick to regain his spot as the leader and lynch-pin of the offensive line.

While Joe Looney was effective in 2018, there's no doubt the team suffered a drop off from All-Pro Travis Frederick to career backup Looney. Getting Frederick back in the middle of the offensive line is the most significant upgrade the Dallas Cowboys could have made this offseason on either side of the football.

Frederick is one of the smartest players on the team and does a lot for Dak Prescott and the offensive line in terms of setting protections. For Dak Prescott, he'll be able to have a little more faith that the front of his pocket will hold up if he needs to step up to make a throw. Frederick will also help Connor Williams as the two work combo blocks against opposing interior defenders. Frederick will immediately improve the Dallas Cowboys red zone offense as they'll be able to get more of a push on the interior.

It was almost expected that this would be the case, but hearing it for certain should give the Dallas Cowboys and their fans a lot of optimism for what's to come in 2019. Travis Frederick returning to the starting lineup is a huge addition for a Dallas Cowboys offense that looks ready to roll in 2019.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Cornerback

Jess Haynie



Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys have spent a lot of draft picks the last few years to build up their cornerbacks group. There is a lot of potential heading into 2019, but Dallas needs these young players to take the next step if they want to compete for a championship. This weekend's start to training camp will be an important part of the process.

Dallas' best move to help the cornerback position was switching Byron Jones back there in 2018 after a few seasons at safety. Jones went to his first Pro Bowl and has positioned himself for a big contract extension.

Byron is currently set to play 2019 on his fifth-year option of $6.27 million, which is a steal for a CB of his caliber. Whether or not the Cowboys allow him to enter unrestricted free agency next year, or get a new deal signed, will be something to watch for throughout the upcoming season.

Jones' future may be in question, but we at least know he'll be the team's top corner this season. None of the other Dallas CBs can enjoy that same certainty in 2019, as depth chart positioning and job security are all in flux right now.

Here is the current CB depth chart headed into training camp:

  1. Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie
  2. Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis
  3. Michael Jackson, Donovan Olumba
  4. C.J. Goodwin, Chris Westry
  5. Treston Decoud

Will this list hold as is, or will we some shifting over the five weeks of training camp and preseason?

The battle for snaps between Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis will be an intriguing ongoing storyline. Awuzie was the starter last year, and will hopefully make a big developmental leap in his third year.

But Anthony Brown has proven himself a capable player despite being just a 6th-round pick in 2016. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Brown will certainly be pushing for a significant role this season to hopefully help his free agent marketability in 2020.

Jourdan Lewis

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis

If things go like they did last year, both Awuzie and Brown will get plenty of playing time. The true enigma of this bunch is Jourdan Lewis, who is hoping to be more than just the number-four CB in 2019.

Though he was drafted a round later than Awuzie in 2017, Lewis was generally considered the superior talent by most draft analysts. He fell due to a domestic violence accusation a month before the draft for which he was eventually found not guilty.

Jourdan was looking good at the end of his rookie season, but the arrival of Kris Richard as Defensive Backs Coach last year seemed to cause a regression. Lewis only got in on a little over 18% of the total defensive snaps in 2018, while the top three all had 67% or higher.

Despite his few opportunities, Lewis still had one of the biggest plays of the year with his interception that sealed Dallas' stunning upset over the New Orleans Saints. His potential has been noted, with Coach Richard even calling him an "exception" to his general preference for bigger, stronger cornerbacks.

But even if the team likes Jourdan, can he beat Awuzie or Brown? Could he perhaps have more value in a trade, with two years left on that rookie deal, to a team in greater need at CB?

Michael Jackson

CB Michael Jackson

The idea of moving Lewis, which existed prior to the draft, gained steam when Dallas used a 5th-round pick this year acquire CB Michael Jackson out of Miami. He fits that prototypical build at corner, and perhaps the Cowboys are hoping he can show enough early to provide an adequate replacement if they want to trade Jourdan.

If not Jackson, prospect Donovan Olumba is another option. He nearly made the 53 last year but got squeezed out when Dallas only kept four cornerbacks. After a year on the practice squad, Olumba is back and could be ready for a roster spot.

Veteran C.J. Goodwin has bounced around the NFL since 2014 but has some real-game experience. If the young guys aren't in a position to be game-day active, perhaps he would be the best option. Dallas added him in the middle of the 2018 season and he was helping on special teams and as a reserve corner at the end of the year.

Undrafted rookie Chris Westry, listed at 6'4", is another intriguing player to watch in camp. That rare size is something you can't teach, and hopefully Richard can develop Westry enough to get something out of the physical gifts.

This should be a fun 2019 training camp at cornerback, with competition potentially at every spot on the depth chart except the very top. And while secure at number-one, even Byron Jones has his own question marks around his long-term future in Dallas.

We'll start getting some answers in just four more days!

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Player News

Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence and CB Byron Jones to Start 2019 Camp on PUP

Jess Haynie



DeMarcus Lawrence

The Dallas Cowboys will be missing two of their defensive leaders when they open 2019 training camp this Saturday. Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will both start camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List as they recover from offseason surgeries.

Lawrence, who got a new five-year contract in April, immediately underwent shoulder surgery once his deal was finalized. DeMarcus reportedly was waiting for contract negotiations to be completed before he had the procedure.

Jones had hip surgery in late May. He is playing 2019 on the fifth-year option from his original contract, and is no doubt hoping for his own long-term extension sometime in the near future.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones will open Cowboys camp on PUP and won't practice in California via @sportsdaydfw

Neither Lawrence or Jones, who are both coming of Pro Bowl seasons in 2018, are expected to be absent once the regular season starts in September. But either participating in this year's training camp is doubtful, and even preseason appearances are in question right now.

With DeMarcus out at DE, newcomers like Robert Quinn and Kerry Hyder will get plenty of chances to show their stuff.  It's also a nice opportunity for Taco Charlton, assuming he's recovered from his own offseason surgery, to get some work against the first-team offensive line.

No Byron at CB will give Jourdan Lewis a nice opportunity to work with the starters as well. He was likely stuck at the 4th spot behind Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown but should now get more time on the field and against the best competition.

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