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Off-Field Drama Likely to Ruin Training Camp

Bryson Treece

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Cowboys Blog - Smooth Watchdog: No Matter The Result, Don't Pull A Yahoo Sports
AP Photo / Julio Cortez

There was a time when the only thing fans of the NFL cared about was football. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The NFL is at a point where sports lines offered by sportsbooks don’t matter as much as they used to. And the reason is that the NFL is constantly mired in drama these days. The Cowboys exemplify this recent trend in the NFL.

When Jerry Jones opened the Cowboys training camp on Sunday, he was probably dreading another conversation with the media because he knew the questions he would field would have very little to do with football. And that is odd considering the performance Dallas has been delivering.

Their thirteen victories in the previous season not only put them in a favorable position for a Super Bowl run but they also tied for a franchise record.

However, no one seems to care much about that, as Coach Jason Garrett and vice president Stephen Jones will attest. The drama has dominated the Dallas headlines as of late and it is largely the fault of Ezekiel Elliott and Jourdan Lewis.

The league has been looking into Elliott for quite a while now because he supposedly breached their domestic violence policy. The fact that the investigations have been running for so long is a source of frustration for some people, especially when it is still unclear as to whether Elliott will be suspended.

Lewis, on the other hand, will actually go to court to answer a domestic violence case. That isn’t the sort of press Dallas wants. But that is exactly what everyone wants to talk about. And Jones can attest as much because the Sunday press conference saw him spend the first twenty minutes discussing anything but the activities on the field.

Jones didn’t dismiss the worries of fans and pundits. He accepted that the Cowboys had to be open to the voice of the fans and that the team was working hard to change the reputation they are starting to garner.

It is clear that a portion of the training camp will be spent dealing with the off-field drama, probably to the detriment of the Cowboys in the long run. For now, fans just want to know what will happen to some of these players because their presence or absence matters.

Elliott hasn’t made things easy for his team. Besides the domestic violence charge, the athlete's reputation has taken a hit for being present during an incident at a night club that saw a man’s nose get broken. The speculation of his involvement has run wild.

And that is just months after another incident involving Elliott and a woman’s top.

If those two weren’t bad enough, linebacker Damien Wilson is also on the chopping block, dealing with assault charges of his own.

Dallas needs to get its act together. They have to escape the banner of controversy, which is problematic for their brand. They cannot be seen to tolerate some of the uncouth mannerisms of their players. However, they cannot afford to spend so much time dealing with off-field drama.

The worst thing to come out of the Dallas controversies is the fact that all their players are being painted in the same colors as the likes of Elliott and Lewis.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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8 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    C’mon man! Off-road drama preoccupies the mind of the media. It isn’t going to ruin training camp. For every article like this that continues to echo this theme, there is 5 more that talks about the great things happening in camp. Obviously this story came out dated as Jourdan Lewis has been exonerated. Nobody is turning a blind eye to these things but it doesn’t mean the media needs to keep a spotlight on them and keep echoing the same theme over and over. No Bryson, training camp is alive and well and is happening. And it’s making headlines for all the right reasons!

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      It was an hour before Lewis’ trial ended, and what do you think I was talking about? The media is going to grind this shit to death and we’ll have to weed through it during camp. Sure, plenty of places to avoid it, but nothing official/connected. It’s a grind.

      Not to mention, Twitter.

      You want to talk about echoing a theme, try sifting through thousands of tweets every day talking trash. “Oh, so it’s okay to beat women, but not steal?” There are smart people there who don’t piss and moan all day, but it gets tiring and they are vastly outnumbered. So maybe you only get the post if you see things from my/our POV. And Facebook is even worse; blind optimism and sour disdain, no middle ground.

      Anyway, just my 2 cents.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece
    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece
  • Willie Rogers

    This is not at all surprisng,Dallas has the worst media in all of proffessional sports, the most haters reside right here in the lone star state,these guy’s are so jealous of these young black men making all this money.It’s about to run them out of their rabbit ass minds.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      Willie, come on man. It’s a game. Competition, rivalry are part of it. Don’t make me call bullshit on you; leave race out of it. Men. Not black men, not “rabbits” (racist af btw), just men. Why can’t we get that one down?

      ITS is a blue and silver zone. Thanks for reading!!! DC4L

      • Willie Rogers

        Bryson Treece you know you got me lol.

        • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

          I love football and this team too much to let all that hate and BS pollute it. Great game, awesome men.

          Six weeks, two days to go…

Star Blog

Tony Romo Documentary in the Works

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Blog - 5 Most Heartbreaking Losses Of The Tony Romo Era

If you've missed seeing Tony Romo on the field, an upcoming documentary may be the cure. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is reportedly the subject of a film chronicling his football career going all the way back to high school.

"Now or Never" will tell Romo's incredible story, going from undrafted to one of the top passers in the history of the Cowboys' storied franchise. It's being produced by a Texas-based company run by Christian Hanna (no known relation to James).

According to an article from MyRacineCounty.com, Romo's hometown newspaper, the tale of Tony's football career will be told going back to his days at Burlington High School in Wisconsin. It will follow him to Eastern Illinois University, the same QB hotbed that more recently produced Jimmy Garoppolo.

But what most of us will want to relive is Tony's amazing NFL career, which stands out among the most unexpected rises to stardom of any player in league history.

Romo, who was an undrafted free agent signed by the Cowboys in 2003, didn't play in a game for three seasons. He rose the QB depth chart through practice and preseason play, eventually becoming the backup and earning the respect of then-coach Bill Parcells.

 - Tony Romo, #9

Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo

In Week 7 of 2006, Parcells pulled struggling starter Drew Bledsoe at halftime and went with his intriguing young prospect. Tony's first pass in the NFL was one to forget; an interception.

About a decade later, Romo would retire as the Cowboys' all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He currently ranks fourth all-time in NFL history for passer rating.

Tony's career never saw the playoff and Super Bowl success of predecessors Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, but he remains a beloved figure in team history. The controversial end to his football career, losing his job to rookie phenom Dak Prescott in 2016, created a major rift among Cowboys fans.

While no longer playing, Romo remains one of the hottest names in football. His charisma and football acumen have him in a featured role with CBS Broadcasting.

From obscurity to "anointing oil" to one of the most discussed names in sports, Tony Romo's story is fascinating. This documentary crew picked a great subject, and we look forward to enjoying their work and revisiting the Romo Era once the film is released.



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Star Blog

Prescott VS Wentz Rivalry is Just Beginning

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz Make Cowboys/Eagles Rivalry Great Again

No one expected Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott to become such an interesting rivalry, but that's precisely what the 2016's second and 135th draft picks have turnt out to be since the day they entered the NFL. The two came into the NFC East with very different expectations. Dak wasn't even supposed to be a starter, but circumstance is what helped this rivalry emerge.

Prescott seemed to lead the race after their rookie seasons were over, having led the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC, but Carson Wentz made a huge statement in 2017. Before he went down injured playing versus the LA Rams last December, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was playing astonishingly well.

Leading the MVP race before tearing his ACL, Carson Wentz had thrown for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns through 13 games. Had he not gone down, it's more likely than not he would've been named the MVP instead of Tom Brady.

Despite having won the passing yards race, Dak Prescott's 2017 was rougher than his rival's. His interceptions count went from 4 in 2016 to 13 last season. He threw for only 22 touchdowns, falling eight short of the 30 TDs mark. His completion percentage also went down, from over 67% to almost 63%.

As we all know, it wasn't a good year for the Dallas Cowboys. Suspensions, injuries and poor play led them to a disappointing 9-7 season that didn't feel like a winning season at all, even though that's how it will go down in the books.

To make things worse, the Eagles went into January with QB Nick Foles starting, and overcoming adversity and doubters, won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Although it was Foles and not Wentz the one who played Philadelphia's postseason, the former second overall pick is one of the main reasons for the team's success.

His sophomore year was way better than Dak's.

But as impressive as Wentz's year was, the rivalry between the two signal-callers is just beginning. There is still a lot of history to write in this duel of two young and hard-working players. Two leader of men in one of the most intense rivalries in the NFL.

5 Points: Thoughts on the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Schedule 1

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Through two years of football, here's how their numbers look like:

Wentz: 29 games, 1,047 attempts, 644 completions (61.5%), 7,078 yards, 49 TDs, 2 rushing TDs

Prescott: 32 games, 949 attempts, 619 completions (65.2%), 6,991 yards, 45 TDs, 12 rushing TDs

There's not a ton of difference between their numbers, but in the NFL, it's about more than stats. Prescott had the better 2016, Wentz the better 2017.

Dak and Carson have really only played two match-ups in their two years playing in the league. Sitting at an even 1-1 record, 2018 will feature two great games between both of their teams. The defending Super Bowl Champions against the underestimated Dallas Cowboys.

The sport is about winning games and championships, but rivalries like this one make the NFL even more special. Even with Wentz being the MVP front-runner for most of last season, Dak Prescott still has a lot of time to turn things around.

If both turn out to be as successful and important as their franchise wish them to be, then this rivalry will be around for a lot of years.

Tell me what you think about "Prescott VS Wentz Rivalry is Just Beginning" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?

Sean Martin

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Is It Time To Give Up On DE Randy Gregory?

The Dallas Cowboys will enter training camp in Oxnard with arguably their deepest and most talented defensive line in years. Cowboys Nation continues to hope for the best possible news on suspended Defensive End Randy Gregory, to potentially take this defensive front to the next level. Should Gregory be reinstated, the Cowboys would have another option at right defensive end. This is a position they've bolstered with the signing of Kony Ealy and drafting of Dorance Armstrong, both moves coming behind would-be starter Tyrone Crawford.

This logjam at DE begs the question, amidst optimism for Gregory's situation, is the 2015 second round pick even a lock to make this roster?

Who Does Randy Gregory Need to Outplay?

Going through some form of the Cowboys depth chart at Gregory's position above does little to sort out how Gregory can justify a starting position. Having true starters on the defensive line is not DC Rod Marinelli's way, meaning a possible rotation of Crawford, Gregory, and Armstrong could coexist.

If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford, QB Dak Prescott

Even with insufficient depth at defensive tackle, the Cowboys seem committed to keeping Crawford on the edge. As he's done with each position change within the Cowboys defense, Crawford is slowly developing into a respectable right end that's great against the run.

This sounds like just the type of player to compliment a speedy rusher like Gregory, but Randy won't be alone in this role should he return to the team. Along with FA addition Kony Ealy, the Cowboys will look to bring Charles Tapper back from an offseason concussion, and also have second-year rusher Taco Charlton in need of a true position.

It's fair to say that Gregory has been anything but reliable since the Cowboys took a gamble on him, but turning his life around to see out this reinstatement would go a long way in beating out the often-injured Tapper.

Given Ealy's ability to play both on the edge and inside, at his best if receiving limited snaps, I believe that Gregory will only have to surpass Tapper in reaching a favorable spot on the Cowboys depth chart at DE.

Comparing Randy  Gregory and Dorance Armstrong

Of course, making the roster and making an impact on defense are two vastly different realities for Gregory in 2018. Another player that could stunt his opportunities to hunt down quarterbacks is rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong.

If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE Dorance Armstong  (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Cowboys would love to see Armstrong begin his career with a strong showing in Oxnard, owning all of the traits needed to be an effective right end at the next level.

Lacking the true cornering speed that Gregory has flashed in short spurts, Armstrong did produce a ten sack season for Kansas in 2016. This production matches the traits that kept Armstrong a priority for the Cowboys at the draft, despite only seeing him get home 1.5 times in 2017.

Rewind to last year's draft, and the Cowboys spent their first round pick on a defensive end they looked to make a right end, all while knowing his ideal spot is at LDE. This makes the difference between drafting Charlton and Armstrong an important one, as the Cowboys are clearly searching for high-value options to complete their pass rush.

Again, assuming Tapper becomes the odd man out in the Cowboys carrying Gregory, Ealy, and Armstrong as right ends, the work is cut out for Gregory to regain the trust of his coaches and bring what only he can to this defense.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

It goes without saying that Randy Gregory will carry plenty of attention with him if present in Oxnard. This is a player capable of transforming a young Cowboys defense into one of the league's most feared.

While the Cowboys would do well to quickly sort out who plays the 3T-DT position alongside DeMarcus Lawrence, and the 1T inside for that matter too, sticking Gregory on the opposite edge could be the easiest decision they make to see immediate improvements in their pass rush.

Should Ealy or Armstrong have more to say about this lineup for the Cowboys defensive line, the depth of this unit will live up to the hype.

Tell us what you think about "If Reinstated, Is Randy Gregory A Lock for Cowboys 53-Man Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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