Given it is the offseason, this becomes a valuable time to look around the league and analyze who the Cowboys will be up against in their upcoming campaign.
Of course, the most important off all their match ups come within their own division, as they play each of their hated rivals twice per year. Because of this, understanding what the strengths and weaknesses of each NFC East foe are, and where the Cowboys stack up in the divisional hierarchy is important.
Today, I kick off an important offseason series, providing an overview of each position group around the NFC East. To start the series off, we will examine arguably the most important position in football, the quarterbacks.
Let's start with the obvious.
Now that former franchise quarterback Tony Romo has retired, the Dallas Cowboys are officially Dak Prescott's team. After taking the league by storm in 2016, Prescott looks to improve further and continue his dominance during his sophomore season.
Behind Dak, the Cowboys depth chart gets pretty thin.
Kellen Moore is the current backup quarterback in Dallas, though some have speculated Romo to be the team's emergency option. Though there are some others currently on the roster, most notably former Florida Gator Austin Appleby, Dallas is most likely to only keep two QBs on their final roster.
New York Giants
For what seems like the one hundredth year in a row, Eli Manning is the starting quarterback of the New York Giants. A Super Bowl champion, Manning is beloved by much of the Giants fan base, but has clearly seen his play decline a bit over the years.
Still, with an abundance of weapons on the outside Manning should have little trouble ripping through most NFL defenses this year.
Behind Manning sits former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith. While Smith had a rough go of it with the Jets, there is a chance he can resurrect his career as the backup for Manning.
The Giants also added California quarterback Davis Webb in the third round of this year's NFL Draft, and many have speculated he will be the heir to Manning's New York throne.
Though it seemed he wouldn't be through much of the offseason, Kirk Cousins remains the starting quarterback in Washington for 2017.
Cousins has gained much fanfare over the last two years, but is probably the third best starting quarterback in the division by my own rankings. After losing both Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon this offseason, it should be interesting to see how Cousins plays in 2017.
Former Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy sits as the QB2 in Washington behind Cousins, with Nate Sudfeld fighting for the third roster spot.
As a whole, the Redskins quarterback situation is solid, with a pretty good starter and serviceable backup as well.
Finally, we have Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philly traded up to select Wentz second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, and while they think they have found their franchise quarterback of the future, some critics are not-so-sure. Considering they went in the same draft, the inherent rivalry between Wentz and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott will be a ton of fun to watch through the years.
The Eagles also brought Nick Foles home to Philly to be the backup quarterback this season. Overall, Philly must depend on a young guy to get it done in 2017, but Wentz did flash signs of being worthy of such a high selection during his rookie season.
How I Rank Them
To me, this is pretty simple. While Eli Manning is the veteran of this group, and Kirk Cousins has been a good starter over the last two seasons, Dak Prescott is the best and most talented quarterback in this division.
As an overall quarterback situation, I like what Washington has going for them with the best backup QB in the NFC East. Still, Dak Prescott should be the best starter out of the bunch in 2017, and is in the most comfortable situation offensively.
Maybe I'm a little biased, but his play last year earned him this top spot to me.
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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