We should know by the end of the day if a federal judge will grant Ezekiel Elliott an injunction against his six-game suspension from the NFL for domestic violence. Over the last 48 hours, it appears Roger Goodell is doing everything he can to try and improve the NFL's legal footing. His attempts have been comically hollow and desperate.
Let's start with the biggest clown show in this circus:
NFL is suspending former Giants kicker Josh Brown six more games for domestic violence, sources tell ESPN.
Read that again...
"... former Giants kicker Josh Brown"
Yes friends, a guy who currently has no job in the NFL has been suspended six games. The NFL suddenly decided to drop this Fisher-Price hammer the morning before Elliott's injunction will be decided. It's painfully obvious, but what really hurts is the insult that Goodell and his team thought it wouldn't be.
We're not nearly as stupid as the NFL thinks. And if we're not, you know who especially isn't? Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas. If you and I find the NFL's tactics insulting, imagine how he will feel.
Of all of the domestic violence cases heard by the NFL since Ray Rice's, Josh Brown's was the league's biggest fumble. The initial one-game suspension was met with severe public backlash, prompting Roger Goodell to panic and then give Brown the equivalent of an indefinite suspension. A guy you'd definitely want to play cards with, Roger consistently doubles down on his own incompetence.
It's also convenient that the NFL went after Josh Brown given the conspiracy theories that were swirling about Ezekiel Elliott's suspension and the Cowboys' meeting this Sunday with the Giants. Brown's case was the one that everybody pointed to for comparison; admitted domestic violence over an unproven accusation, one-game and six-game bans respectively. The imbalance and inconsistency couldn't have been more egregious.
Two days ago, a story began to circulate that the NFL would be investigating legendary WR Michael Irvin for a previous domestic violence accusation. Irvin has been retired since 2000 but is an employee of the NFL network as a studio analyst.
While the league certainly has the right to consider its employees personal conduct, the timing of this story was incredibly convenient. "Look, we aren't just focusing on players. Everyone associated with the NFL is held to the same standard." Even if this is genuine, broadcasting it two days before Judge Mazzant's decision is hardly a coincidence.
Basically, the NFL is trying to whip up some quick legal precedent like a contestant on "Chopped." Somehow, they think that this laughably transparent maneuver will impress a seasoned federal judge. It's yet another time that Roger Goodell has failed to read his audience and shown his inadequacy.
Say what you want about the NFL's increasing revenues during Goodell's tenure, but many would argue that these were natural developments that had no basis in his influence or involvement. Whenever Goodell is truly front and center of an issue or a decision, it's almost always come with a hit to the league's reputation.
I recently went into even more detail about the NFL's blooper reel when it comes to domestic violence cases. This week is just more of the same; Goodell's reactionary decisions and make-up calls. They've thrown the Hail Mary, and hopefully Judge Mazzant swats it down.
Kicker Matt Bryant Should Be the Final Piece of Cowboys 2019 Offseason
The draft is done, DeMarcus Lawrence is re-signed, and the bulk of free agency activity has passed. The 2019 Dallas Cowboys have more than enough talent to compete this season, but there is still one last move I'd wish they'd make. Veteran kicker Matt Bryant, still one of the NFL's best even at almost 44 years old, could be the final piece to this offseason puzzle.
The Atlanta Falcons' longtime kicker, and franchise scoring leader, was not retained this year despite another standout season. He made 20-of-21 field goals, with a long of 57, in 2018.
Why Atlanta didn't keep Bryant hasn't been confirmed, but perhaps the team was just looking to avoid hanging on one year to late. But Matt, who ranks eight all-time in FG accuracy (86.2%), doesn't think he's done. He tweeted the following from his personal account in February:
"Over this past year I’ve been asked numerous times about retirement and how I feel. Well, I’m not retiring and I feel fine and plan on feeling even better with some changes to my offseason program!
As of now Matt Bryant remains a free agent, and I think the Dallas Cowboys should be very interested.
If you go up and down this Dallas roster, kicker is arguably its biggest liability. Brett Maher had some highlight moments in 2018, and won two Player of the Week awards, but he also was one of the league's worst kickers in overall FG accuracy.
The problem with Maher is that you can't teach his best skill; the accuracy from the high 50s and even low 60s is incredible. It's a true weapon that you have a hard time letting go of, which was evident last year when Dallas dumped Dan Bailey for Maher at final cuts.
But Matt Bryant might be the best of both worlds. He's been a 91% FG kicker overall this last three years and has made 18-of-22 attempts from 50 yards out or more.
Maher only made 80.6% of his kicks in 2018. He went from 6/7 from long range, but that tells you how shaky he was from closer in.
Those closer kicks are worth the same three points that the longer ones are, and how'd you like it if Dallas lost a critical game because their kicker couldn't make a 35-yarder?
I get the fear factor with an older guy like Matt Bryant. Heck, the Cowboys let Dan Bailey go when he was still just 30. But Bryant hasn't shown the red flags that Bailey did; he's still kicking as well as he ever has.
If nothing else, Dallas has the cap space and circumstances to bring in Bryant for a true competition with Maher. If Brett has improved his game and keeps his job, then that's awesome. But why not add some pressure now, though a position battle with one of the all-time greats, and see what Maher's really made of?
Seasons have been made, and shattered, by one kick. Unless the Cowboys have good reason for confidence in Brett Maher's development from last year, they could be carrying a significant liability into a year where they're trying to push for a Super Bowl.
If Matt Bryant could provide even a small amount of additional security, isn't he worth it?
Cowboys RB Mike Weber’s Injury Scare Continues Concerning Trend
Rookie RB Mike Weber had a brief scare earlier this week with a knee injury in practice, but thankfully the MRI came back with a good report. However, as he fights to have a future with the Dallas Cowboys, this health incident is a concerning reminder of Weber's recent history.
One reason that Weber fell to the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft was due to battling injuries during his last two years at Ohio State. He lost his starting job in 2017 due to ongoing hamstring issues and also had to miss time last year because of a foot strain.
Carrying the load for the Buckeyes is a far different workload than being second or third on the Cowboys' RB depth chart. But this latest scare happened in early May, just two weeks after Mike joined the team and well before the more strenuous activities of an NFL offseason.
A practice injury can cost you just as badly as one that happens in a game. And with Dallas already thin at RB, it could leave them severely shorthanded if it occurs during the regular season.
Many have projected that the Cowboys' RB group in 2019 would have Ezekiel Elliott as the obvious starter and then rookies Weber and Tony Pollard behind him. While Pollard was drafted three rounds ahead of Weber, he's not built to take a large number of carries if Zeke were to go out.
If Mike Weber does make the team, he would be expected to take a sizable role if something bad happen with Elliott.
The "injury prone" label is disastrous for any athlete, but especially a guy with no real claim to a roster spot. If Weber causes concern in the front office about his durability, they may go a different way at final cuts.
Remember, Mike's not just up against Pollard and Darius Jackson for a roster spot. There are still plenty of veteran free agent running backs out there that Dallas could turn to if they're not confident about their young prospects.
This isn't too say that one scary moment in May, which ultimately didn't amount to much, is reason to cut bait with Mike Weber. But when you stack it up with his injury history in college, it does make you wonder how he'll do over the course of an entire NFL season.
Hopefully, Weber bounces back from this and has a great summer. Former Buckeye RBs have treated Dallas well the last few years, and it'd be fantastic if Mike can provide the same solid solid depth that Rod Smith did.
But this latest news is just a reminder of why Dallas can't rest easy at running back just yet, and why they may still have another move to make to prepare for 2019.
Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Graduating From Notre Dame
The 2019 season is right around the corner for the Dallas Cowboys, with OTA's and training camp getting ready to kickoff in the coming weeks/months.
Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith made the most of his offseason, going back to Notre Dame to finish out his college degree. Smith is set to graduate from Notre Dame this Saturday, and will walk to earn his degree in Film & Television.
Smith talked to DallasCowboys.com's David Helman about why it was so important for him to graduate and finish what he started at Notre Dame.
“When I left after my junior year, I promised my mom that I would go back and finish...Finishing my third year with the Cowboys, it was time.” - Jaylon Smith
2,025 @NotreDame undergraduates will receive degrees during Commencement Weekend. That contingent includes @thejaylonsmith Yes, the current @dallascowboys & former @NDFootball All-American linebacker, who took 21 credits this spring #4for40 #GraduatingChampions #CEV
Smith continues his leadership on and off the field, and we all send our congratulations to the Cowboys starting MIKE linebacker!
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
5 Dallas Cowboys Players Who Could Become Trade Assets
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
3 Free Agent Targets for the Cowboys with Compensatory Pick Period Closing
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Which 5 Dallas Cowboys Will Shine in Their Contract Years?
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
3 Reasons Why LB Leighton Vander Esch Will be Even Better in 2019
Player News1 week ago
RB Rod Smith Signs with Giants; Brother Jaylon Sends Farewell Message
Player News4 days ago
Leighton Vander Esch Graded Best Rookie Linebacker Since 2014
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Will Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford be a June-1st Roster Cut?