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Pro Bowl Teams: Where Did The 5 Cowboys End Up?

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Cowboys Blog - Pro Bowl: Where the Cowboys ended up 3

Last night Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice drafted their Pro Bowl rosters for this Sunday’s Pro Bowl game. In typical Michael Irvin fashion, all five Dallas Cowboys selected to the all-star game ended up on Team Irvin.

Cowboys Blog - Pro Bowl: Where the Cowboys ended up

Michael Irvin retweeted this photo captioning it saying “Love this!”

Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick will be joined by David DeCastro, Marshal Yanda, Brandon Albert, Andrew Whitworth and Alex Mack. It’s pretty crazy that the starting Cowboys offensive line is pretty close to on-par with this Pro Bowl offensive line.

Cowboys Blog - Pro Bowl: Where the Cowboys ended up 2

09 August 2014: Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, Tyron Smith
of the Dallas Cowboys during training camp at City of Oxnard Fields in Oxnard, California. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Sean Lee will be in the middle of the Team Irvin defense, with NaVorro Bowman, Lavonte David, Derrick Johnson and Anthony Barr joining him at linebacker. That is an absolute dream of a linebacker core.

Dan Bailey is the lone kicker for Team Irvin.

Did you want the Cowboys to draft Todd Gurley? Of course you did.

Well, you can get as close as you most likely ever will to seeing Todd Gurley run behind the Cowboys offensive line, when Gurley joins Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman as the running backs that will be running behind the likes of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick.

Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston and Teddie Bridgewater will be receiving snaps from Travis Frederick, another dream scenario for those that had hoped the Cowboys could have drafted Winston or Bridgewater in the two previous NFL Drafts.

The Team Irvin wide receiver core is absolutely astounding, with Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Deandre Hopkins and Allen Robinson as the primary pass catchers.

Cowboys Blog - Pro Bowl: Where the Cowboys ended up 1

Where Team Rice makes its mark is on defense. The defensive line for Jerry Rice’s team is composed of Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox, Gerald McCoy, Cameron Jordan and Everson Griffin. Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick will definitely have their hands full.

The Pro Bowl will be televised live from Honolulu, Hawaii Sunday, January 31 on ESPN at 9PM EST/8CST.

Full Roster – Team Rice

Coach: Andy Reid, Chiefs

Captain: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
Captain: Aaron Donald, Rams

QB: Eli Manning, Giants (No. 2 overall pick)
QB: Derek Carr, Raiders (No. 8 pick)
QB: Tyrod Taylor, Bills
FB: John Kuhn, Packers
RB: Adrian Peterson, Vikings (No. 14 pick)
RB: Doug Martin, Buccaneers
RB: Chris Ivory, Jets
WR: Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (No. 6 pick)
WR: Amari Cooper, Raiders (No. 10 pick)
WR: T.Y. Hilton, Colts
TE: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
TE: Gary Barnidge, Browns
OG: Richie Incognito, Bills
OG: Logan Mankins, Buccaneers
OG: Josh Sitton, Packers
OG: Nick Mangold, Jets
OT: Kyle Long, Bears
OT: Joe Staley, 49ers
OT: Joe Thomas, Browns
C: Eric Wood, Bills

Defense

DT: Fletcher Cox, Eagles
DT: Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
DE: Cameron Jordan, Saints
DE: Everson Griffen, Vikings (No. 18 pick)
LB: Elvis Dumervil, Ravens
LB: Julius Peppers, Packers
LB: Tamba Hali, ,Chiefs (No. 14 pick)
LB: Khalil Mack, Raiders (No. 4 pick)
LB: Clay Matthews, Packers
LB: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
CB: Marcus Peters, Chiefs (No. 12 pick)
CB: Vontae Davis, Colts, (No. 20 pick)
CB: Brent Grimes, Dolphins
CB: Jason Verrett, Chargers
S: Eric Berry, Chiefs
S: Mike Adams, Colts
S: Charles Woodson, Raiders

Special Teams

ST: Cedric Peerman, Chargers
KR: Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
P: Johnny Hekker, Rams
K: Josh Brown, Giants

Full Roster – Team Irvin

Coach: Winston Moss, Packers (Mike McCarthy was supposed to coach, but he didn’t make the trip due to an illness).

Captain: Devonta Freeman, Falcons
Captain: Geno Atkins, Bengals

QB: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (No. 1 overall pick)
QB: Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings
FB: Patrick DiMarco, Falcons
RB: Todd Gurley, Rams (No. 15 pick)
RB: Latavius Murray, Raiders
WR: Julio Jones, Falcons (No. 3 pick)
WR: A.J. Green, Bengals (No. 11 pick)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (No. 13 pick)
WR: Allen Robinson, Jaguars
TE: Tyler Eifert, Bengals
TE: Delanie Walker, Titans
OG: David DeCastro, Steelers
OG: Zack Martin, Cowboys
OG: Marshal Yanda, Ravens
OT: Branden Albert, Dolphins
OT: Tyron Smith, Cowboys
OT: Andrew Whitworth, Bengals
C: Travis Frederick, Cowboys
C: Alex Mack, Browns

Defense

DE: Michael Bennett, Seahawks (No. 9 pick)
DE: Carlos Dunlap, Bengals
DE: Ziggy Ansah, Lions (No. 7 pick)
DT: Calais Campbell, Cardinals
DT: Jurrell Casey, Titans
LB: Sean Lee, Cowboys
LB: Anthony Barr, Vikings (No. 17 pick)
LB: Lavonte David, Buccaneers
LB: NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
LB: Derrick Johnson, Chiefs
CB: Richard Sherman, Seahawks (No. 5 pick)
CB: Desmond Trufant, Falcons (No. 19 pick)
CB: Adam Jones, Bengals
CB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Giants
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles
S: Reshad Jones, Dolphins
S: Harrison Smith, Vikings

Special Teams

ST: Justin Bethel, Cardinals
KR: Darren Sproles, Eagles
P: Sam Koch, Ravens
K: Dan Bailey, Cowboys

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I've been blogging about sports and music for almost eight years now. I also work in media relations for a New York sports team, so I understand the bridge between the outlets writing about a team and the team monitoring content. I hope to bring something new to Inside The Star, getting deep into draft work, breakdowns and I always come with a strong and passionate opinion. I'm very active on Twitter, so ask questions, comment on stuff, etc. and I will almost definitely respond to you in some sort of debate!

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Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Ryan Switzer see an Increased Offensive Role in 2018?

The Dallas Cowboys clearly had a specific role in mind for Ryan Switzer when they drafted him 133rd overall in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Come to find out, that role didn’t include being involved much on the offensive side of the ball, at least not as a rookie.

After watching the way the Cowboys utilized Ryan Switzer in 2017, it’s pretty obvious the sole purpose he was drafted was to improve the special-teams play in the return game.

They clearly didn’t envision him being a part of the game plan on offense, despite the continuous outcry from fans.

Like most rookies, Ryan Switzer didn’t really get off to a fast start, and took a while to get used to the speed of the NFL. But, once he calmed his nerves and regained his confidence, he proved to be an upgrade in the return game.

Switzer ended up ranking third in kickoff returns, averaging 25 yards per return in 2017 and 12th in punt returns with almost 9 yards per return.

He also became the first Dallas Cowboys player to return a punt for a touchdown since 2013. He accomplished this against the Washington Redskins, in Week 13 when he took an 83-yarder to the house.

Surprisingly enough, using Ryan Switzer solely as a return specialist wasn’t enough for a lot of Cowboys Nation. A lot of fans wanted to see his talents utilized more on the offensive side of the ball as well, but were only left disappointed.

Ryan Switzer

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer

Getting Switzer involved in the offensive game plan just wasn’t in the cards in 2017.

He only managed to catch six passes for 41 yards and rushed four times for 5 yards. This isn’t exactly what Cowboys fans envisioned after hearing Switzer was opening a lot eyes in training camp and organized team activities (OTAs). That was the main problem.

He was hyped up so much heading into the season that fans expected to see him involved much more on offense.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, had something else in mind, but I doubt that’s the case for the upcoming 2018 season.

I really think we’re going to see an increased role for Ryan Switzer next season.

The Cowboys coaching staff should have a much better understanding of his strengths and weaknesses now that he has a year in the system under his belt. And, they’ve seen firsthand how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands.

What the Cowboys coaching staff will have to determine this offseason is just how big of a role Switzer will have next year.

Should Switzer take Cole Beasley‘s job?

Cole Beasley, like the rest of the Cowboys receivers, had a down year in 2017. We shouldn’t assume that his job is safe, especially with someone like Ryan Switzer waiting in the wings. But, is Switzer ready to take over full-time?

Tough decisions will have to be made eventually, but such is life in the NFL.

Will Ryan Switzer see an increased offensive role in 2018?

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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