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Order Of #52: Dexter Coakley

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Order Of #52: Dexter Coakley

You know when you go to dinner and are particularly starving? And the waiter brings a tray of food and you get your hopes up and BAM! …takes it to the table next to you? It’s demoralizing. That’s what every day of this offseason has felt like waiting for football.

The good news is that we’re 52 days away from filling our bellies with the usual servings of Tony, Dez, and a side of Coleslaw. Consider this your appetizer and enjoy the Greatest 52 in Dallas Cowboys History.

The Following Players Have All Worn 52 For The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Billy Cannon, LB
  • Dexter Coakley, LB
  • Dan Connor, LB
  • Alex Daniels, FB
  • Chris Duliban, LB
  • Justin Durant, LB
  • Dave Edwards, LB
  • Jim Eidson, OG
  • Isaiah Greenhouse, LB
  • Wayne Hansen, LB
  • Jeff Hurd, LB
  • Al Johnson, C
  • Scott McLean, LB
  • Carlos Polk, LB
  • Mickey Pruitt, LB
  • Jim Schwantz, LB
  • Sean Scott, LB
  • Robert Shaw, C
  • Leon Williams, LB

I hope that you really are starving because Chef Boy R-J has prepared not one, but two delectable appetizers for you!

Dexter Coakley

coakley

Dave Edwards

daveedwards

Cowboy Dave

If there’s hair in your food then you usually send it back, right? Well our first appetizer’s nickname was “Fuzzy” so don’t do that here.

dave

Dave Edwards was drafted 194th overall (yes, 194th!) by the Denver Broncos in the 1962 American Football League Draft. Edwards elected not to be a horsey but to ride one, and signed with the Dallas franchise as a free agent in 1963 to become a Cowboy.

Edwards Scissorhands

1963 saw one of our Greatest 54s in Dallas Cowboys History, Chuck Howley, make the move to the weakside linebacker spot, opening up the strongside. Dave Edwards cannonballed his way into one of the greatest linebacking corps in NFL History. Chuck, Dave, and Lee Roy Jordan (our Greatest 55 in Dallas Cowboys History) turned the Cowboys into a contender. While Lee Roy manned the middle and Chuck floated out, Fuzzy thrived against the run.

edwards

Dave Edwards became very well-known for how excellently he jammed opposing tight ends. Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden was so impressed that he had his team study Dave Edwards so that they could emulate his play. Edwards served as a key component that allowed the Dallas Cowboys to win their first Super Bowl in the 1971 season. He was an excellent linebacker, but he is edged out by one other #52.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Raise your hand if you’ve got over 1,000 tackles for the Dallas Cowboys. Ok, I see some of you guys. What’s up? Ok now raise them if you had 7 straight 100-tackle seasons. I see a few of you have left…this is getting awkward. Last one here, tackle a Denver Bronco if you’ve scored four defensive touchdowns with a Star on your head!

coakley2

Dexter Coakley, ladies and gentlemen! This tackling machine was taken by the Dallas Cowboys in the 3rd round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Coakley took over the starting duties at the weakside linebacker position in that rookie year of 1997 and never gave it up.

#52: Dexter Coakley

Coakley teamed up with the Greatest 59 in Dallas Cowboys History, Dat Nguyen, to compose one of the better linebacker tandems in the early 2000s. Dexter played so well that he became the first Cowboy linebacker to head to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl since Ken Norton Jr. in 1993.

dc

Dexter Coakley was a breath of fresh air for the Cowboys at the linebacker position. He tackled and tackled and tackled, totaling 1,046 for his Cowboy career…good enough for 4th in franchise history.

In 128 games in the blue and silver Dexter Coakley started 127. He was the epitome of durability and is the Greatest 52 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Check back tomorrow to find out who the Greatest 51 in Dallas Cowboys History is!


Want to share your opinions on who should be featured on our Countdown To Kickoff? Email me at rjochoa@insidethestar.com or Tweet @rjochoa.

 

Tell us what you think about "Order Of #52: Dexter Coakley" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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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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