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Outlining The Battle For “RB3” In Dallas

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Browns Snatch Darius Jackson Off Waivers, Slips Away from Cowboys 1

Being a Cowboys running back not-named Ezekiel Elliott in 2018, you aren't going to get many opportunities to carry the football. Back during the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cowboys made the choice to employ a "workhorse" back, someone who will take the bulk of the touches and be their most dynamic offensive weapon.

Still, the Cowboys are expected to carry three running backs this season. Behind Elliott will almost certainly be Rod Smith, who saw his value grow with increased playing time during Zeke's 2017 suspension.

Smith is a dynamic running back who showed he can be a receiving threat as well. He's a solid pass blocker, and is the most seasoned running back on the roster outside of Elliott.

With Zeke and Smith just about locked into their roles, the battle for the Cowboys' third running back has begun. And so far during camp, each of these three backs has made their case to why it should be them.

Bo ScarbroughBo Scarbrough

Probably the biggest "star" of these three running backs, Bo Scarbrough has a good shot at being a Dallas Cowboy come September. The former Alabama back was taken in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and brings with him much fanfare and hype.

Of course, as a late day three pick, Scarbrough is easily dispensable for the Cowboys. They don't need to keep him around whatsoever, given their heavy investment in Elliott and their lack of investment in Scarbrough.

Still, much of Cowboys Nation is pulling for the Alabama running back. Due to his size and physicality, many hope that Scarbrough could bring some short yardage toughness to the Cowboys offense. Plus, adding Scarbrough to Elliott and Smith might give Dallas the biggest running back group in all of football.

Darius Jackson

Ah, old Darius Jackson is back in Dallas.

The former sixth round pick instantly became a fan favorite back in 2016, with fans believing that Jackson could be the perfect change of pace back to compliment Ezekiel Elliott. Jackson fits the zone running scheme well, and displayed big play ability during his college days.

Still, his rookie preseason action with the Cowboys was a bit disappointing and left both fans and coaches wanting more. Jackson was released by the Cowboys once Darren McFadden was healthy enough to be activated, and I think there's a better chance than not he will be cut once again.

Trey Williams

The real darkhorse of this group is former Texas A&M running back Trey Williams. During his short NFL career, Williams has bounced around a lot. After signing with the Washington Redskins as an UDFA in 2015, Williams moved around the league quite frequently.

He now finds himself in Dallas with a chance to win the RB3 job behind Smith and Elliott, though it will be an uphill battle.

Where Williams has the advantage over Scarbrough and Jackson, however, is on special teams. Williams has already been getting punt return reps at practice, and can be a dynamic returner in the right situation.

With Zeke and Smith already eating up most of the touches, who can contribute most on special teams will most likely decide this RB3 battle.

And considering Scarbrough got almost no experience in this area at Alabama, and that Darius Jackson wasn't able to make much of an impact on special teams with the Cowboys in 2016, maybe Trey Williams can sneak onto the 53 man roster.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady

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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.



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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady

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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.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

https://t.co/9H9xfApFqe

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.

https://twitter.com/tae15adams/status/1108158105957920770

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

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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Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.



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