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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

8 Comments

  1. Randy Martin

    July 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

    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!

  2. Willie Rogers

    July 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

    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.

    • Bryson Treece

      July 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

      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

        July 28, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        Bryson Treece you know you got me lol.

        • Bryson Treece

          July 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm

          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…

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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