If you were to ask the Dallas Cowboys coaches, “In one word, what is the first thing that jumps off the page about Davon Coleman,” I suspect at least a few would answer, “Motor, the kid has got a motor…he never quits, he keeps coming, keeps grinding, keeps pushing…keeps fighting!”
If your follow-up question just happened to be, “What is the one trait above all traits you value over anything in your defensive lineman?” I once again would think that one word at least a few coaches would say is, “Motor!”
Everything else can be taught or trained. Motor, on the other hand, is a measure of will, determination and passion. A player either has it or they don’t.
Beyond the eye-test, a quick glance at his college stats suggests Coleman’s ability as a player is on the rise; he is by no means a finished product. Prior to his senior year, he played mostly DE. During the offseason leading up to 2013 (and his senior year), he put on 25 pounds and played the majority of his snaps as a DT.
In 2011, he started 13 games, had 5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 42 total tackles. In 2012, (and the last year of playing the majority of his time at DE) he had 11 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 66 tackles. In 2013, (were a move to DT would actually suggest a decline in production) he registered 15 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and only 8 fewer total tackles from 2012 with 58.
At his Pro Day he lifted 225 lbs 35 times and registered a decent 10 yard dash at 1.73. For reference, Aaron Donald, the first DT off the board (and my pet cat for the first round) lifted 35 times and finished with a 1.63 10-yard dash.
Fellow Sun Devil Will Sutton drafted in the 3rd round by the Chicago Bears lifted 24 times and finished his 10-yard dash in 1.82 seconds (2013 – started 14 games, 13.5 TFLs, 4 sacks, and 48 total tackles). Therefore, it is safe to say, beyond his motor; Davon Coleman brings the physical tools, as well.
Why did Coleman go undrafted?
The primary issues seem to be two-fold:
- Arm length – Think Phil Costa. Davon Coleman on the pro level will have to win battles with technique, as his overall strength and ability to disengage will be hindered by the simple fact that most offensive lineman can avoid his punch to gain separation by simply keeping him at arm’s length.
- Much of his production is overlooked as a result of suggestions that he benefited from a very talented cast of players around him.
The story is markedly similar to an undersized DT for the 3-4 that the Cowboys had in Ratliff, though his snub only dropped him to the 7th round. Ratliff proved that the size of one’s heart will always trump the size of the player. That question - as far as Davon Coleman is concerned - remains unanswered. But based on what I have seen and read, he is off to a very good start.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.
The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.
One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.
Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.
Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.
This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.
Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.
Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.
Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.
Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.
It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.
Star Blog2 weeks ago
What if Dak Prescott isn’t Dallas’ Franchise QB?
Star Blog1 week ago
4 Decisions That Could Shape Cowboys 2018 Season
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Ex-Giants Coach Ben McAdoo Talks Trash About Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Tavon Austin: “Green Means Go” for Cowboys Newest Play Maker
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
6 Cowboys Players Primed To Make Their First Pro Bowl
Star Blog6 days ago
Would Trading La’el Collins for Earl Thomas Make Sense?
Star Blog4 days ago
True or False: Sifting Through the Cowboys Trade Rumors
Dallas Cowboys5 days ago
Kris Richard Allows Cowboys to be Patient on Earl Thomas