With week 1 quickly approaching (come on Sunday!), it's time to take a look at the state of the NFC East. Can any of these teams make a run at the Cowboys in 2015?
Preseason Record: 1-3
Key injury: Orlando Scandrick (Out for Season)
The Cowboys' preseason offered little glimpse into what we should expect on Sunday, similar to when the team failed to win a preseason game prior to 2014 - going on to win 12 games and the NFC East.
The recent trade for Christine Michael all but confirms that Dallas will use a "back by committee approach", which should lead to a more explosive offense.
Each back adds a different element to the offense, who's primary focus must once again be on controlling the time of possession.
Defensively, Rod Marinelli used this preseason to evaluate the depth he had at each position. Often using a dizzying amount of players, there is some uncertainty but excitement as to who will see the field Sunday night.
The sky is the limit for the 2015 Cowboys - entering week 1 optimistic and, more importantly, healthy.
New York Giants
Preseason Record: 2-2
Key injury: Jason Pierre-Paul
Giants' fans are optimistic that the offense will return to normal in 2015, playing with a healthy Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. However, they will need to protect Eli Manning (in a contract season) and establish a running game to be successful.
They will enter the season with Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings in the backfield, as well as free agent pick-up Shane Vereen. Anchoring the offensive line will be first round draft pick Ereck Flowers.
Jason Pierre-Paul should be ready for week 1 following his fireworks incident, and the team will need its usual dominant defensive line to help out a weak secondary. New York allowed 831 passing yards this preseason.
Predictions are often worthless when the Giants and Cowboys get together, so it should be an interesting start to the season for both teams on Sunday night!
Preseason Record: 3-1
Key injuries: None
Chip Kelly's preseason fun has come to an end, and it's time to see if his 53 man roster can actually produce in 2015. New quarterback Sam Bradford had some success in Kelly's hyper-spread offense this preseason, and the focus must be on keeping him healthy.
The Philly running backs are likely the best core in the NFL, with former Cowboy DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and speedster Darren Sproles.
If all three stay healthy, the Eagles offense will be firing on all cylinders - also playing with Jeremy Maclin clone and first round pick Nelson Agholor.
The question will be if the improved Eagles' defense of Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso can hold up with this style of offense. Whether after a score or not, Bradford and Co. will be off the field quickly and the defense will be often tested.
The Cowboys will visit the Eagles early in week 2, in what could be a measuring stick game for both teams.
Preseason Record: 3-1
Key injuries: None
The Robert Griffin III era is over in Washington, and Kirk Cousins will take over one of the most dysfunctional teams in recent history in 2015. He will not go without his weapons to work with, as the team still has DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon - as well as Alfred Morris.
Ryan Kerrigan will lead a revamped defense that has been a lone bright spot for the team in the past years. However, a battered secondary will not fare well against the passing attacks of Dallas, New York, and Philly - and another last place finish for Washington is likely.
They will open against the Dolphins on Sunday.
How do you see the NFC East stacking up? Let me know below or on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ!
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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