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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



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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PFF Ranks Cowboys Run Defense 13th In The NFL

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys duo of young linebackers took the NFL by storm in 2018.

Rookie Leighton Vander Esch and former second round pick Jaylon Smith played well above expectations, as for the first time in years Dallas did not face a significant drop off in defensive production when Sean Lee was out and injured.

These young linebackers are the cornerstone of a run defense which should be among the league's best going forward, and Pro Football Focus agrees. Well, somewhat agrees.

PFF ranked all 32 run defenses heading into the 2019 season, slotting the Cowboys 13th overall. Better than half the league, but not quite top 10.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Cowboys/status/1151155572059717632

PFF's reasoning behind this ranking certainly makes sense, as they credit the young linebacker duo without mentioning much of what will be in front of them helping to stop opposing running games.

"The Cowboys’ run defense begins and ends with the league’s best young linebacker duo. Leighton Vander Esch ranked third in run-stop percentage as a rookie while Jaylon Smith checked in at 29th."

The playoff loss in Los Angeles has left a bad taste about the Cowboys' interior defensive line in a lot of mouths, but I do think they've improved the unit this offseason. Signing Christian Covington and drafting Trysten Hill was a nice start to do so, but having Maliek Collins healthy and Antwaun Woods back for a full season will also go a long way.

Interestingly enough, two of the Cowboys divisional foes came in ranked above them on this list. Washington was slotted as the 12th best run defense, while Philadelphia was placed at number 8. Both teams' units deserve respect, of course, but this further highlights how difficult it could be to run the ball in the NFC East this season.

While I hate simply throwing this term around, analytics suggest that passing is what wins games in the NFL. Passing and stopping the pass, I should say.

With strong run defenses in their division, the Cowboys will need to maximize their passing game efficiency if they want to repeat as NFC East champions.



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3 Reasons Amari Cooper is Primed for an All-Pro Season

Matthew Lenix

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3 Reasons Amari Cooper is Primed for an All-Pro Season

Amari Cooper changed life for the entire Dallas Cowboys offense in 2018. Finally, Quarterback Dak Prescott has the number one option at wide receiver he's desperately needed since his rookie campaign. Now, after half a season and multiple playoff games under his belt in Dallas, Cooper is set to have a monster year. Here are three specific reasons why.

1. Culture

Head Coach Jason Garrett has established a certain way of doing things in Dallas since taking over in 2010. His constant search for the RKG or "Right Kinda Guy" as he puts it has the culture in the locker room at a very positive and productive place. As criticized as he is, justifiably or not, he has his team all on the same page. This is something Cooper has been trying to find since he entered the league in 2015. An organization with the right mindset in order for him to perform and maximize his skill set. After being traded to Dallas, Cooper opened up in November about being unhappy during his days in Oakland.

"I wasn't really happy in Oakland or anything like that. But when I sat and thought about it [Monday} night, I thought about the fact that they traded me away. I don't know how to feel about it," Cooper told Yahoo Sports.

This may seem small to others considering these players make millions of dollars right? Well, it doesn't change the fact that they're human. When you feel unappreciated you don't play to the best of your abilities. Shortly after the trade, Cooper talked about how he's been different since putting a star on his helmet. "I feel like it did change me, as far as having that chip on my shoulder. Not that I wasn't passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changed me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it," Cooper said. A change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered for Cooper and the Cowboys.

2. The other weapons around him

The Cowboys aren't just Amari Cooper or bust at the wide receiver position. Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb provide more challenges for defenses on a weekly basis. Gallup has firmly locked down the number two spot on the depth chart. It took a while for him to establish chemistry with Dak Prescott, as they would misfire on several big plays during the first half of the season. Nonetheless, by seasons end things started to pick up, and he finished with 33 receptions for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the playoffs, he scored a touchdown in the Cowboys Wild Card win over Seattle. The next week against the Rams he performed well even in defeat, with 6 receptions for 119 yards. He's got speed, size, and versatility. Now with a full season and two games of playoff experience under his belt, I look for even more production from Gallup, as a possible breakout star.

Randall Cobb is a much-needed upgrade in the slot for the Cowboys. Unlike former receiver Cole Beasley, Cobb can line up inside or outside. Giving new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore a bigger bag of tricks at his disposal. Now, he can lineup Cooper inside or outside and play with a plethora of different looks, keeping defenses off balance because of the uncertainty of how the Cowboys will attack through the air.

Then, of course, there's Ezekiel Elliott. The two-time rushing champion is the tone-setter on offense and dictates how defenses will attack. With Cooper being such a threat in the air you basically have to pick your poison. 8-9 man fronts against the run can make you vulnerable to play action down the field or quick slants with Cooper's exceptional route running. The more productive Elliott is the more honest it keeps opposing defenses, opening up more opportunities in the passing game. Averaging 101.2 yards per game for his career, second all-time to Hall of Famer Jim Brown, Elliott can make create even more opportunities for Cooper in 2019 with a full season of playing time together.

3. Motivation

Amari Cooper is currently looking to sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys. Preferably, both sides would like to get this deal done before the season starts considering he's in the last year of his rookie contract that is set to pay him 13.9 million in 2019. However, it isn't just a new deal that motivates Cooper heading into the new season.

"It's kind of a weird situation, just being that I've never been in this situation before, talking about a contract. But also, I'm under a fifth-year option, so I'm not too familiar with it. I really don't ask my agent many questions. I'm not really worried about it that much. I'm more focused on actually playing and really earning the respect and then the contract," Cooper said.

Being motivated by earning respect is a very mature approach from Cooper. Now, add that to the fact that I'm sure he wants to firmly put his name alongside Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr, and Michael Thomas as the best receivers in the game, you have a fully motivated number one option heading into the new season.

Amari Cooper has already made three pro bowls, but now there's another level for him to reach. In just nine games last year with the Cowboys he caught 53 passes for 725 yards and 6 touchdowns. Also, he caught another 13 on 18 targets in the playoffs for 171 yards and a score. He's in the right culture, he has a number of other weapons around him and he has multiple reasons to be motivated heading in the new season. With a full offseason of building chemistry with Dak Prescott, I see Cooper taking that leap to the All-Pro level in 2019.



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Is La’el Collins Playing For A Contract On A Different Team?

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack

How good is La'el Collins?

This is a question that Cowboys fans have disagreed on since his rookie season. Collins, who originally joined the team as their left guard replacing an injured Ronald Leary in 2015, moved out to right tackle in 2017, starting all 32 games there the last 2 seasons.

Collins' play has been somewhat up-and-down, as should be expected when a lineman not only switches from guard to tackle, but from the left side to the right side as well. Still, he's been a solid right tackle and a stable presence for a Cowboys offensive line which has struggled with major injuries at other positions over the last couple of years.

While Collins has not been the "elite" level player fans had hoped for when signed after the 2015 draft, he's been a solid player nonetheless. Dak Prescott has faced more pressure from the right side of the line than the left, but a good portion of that pressure has to do with him struggling to sense pressure from that right side.

The Dallas Cowboys seem rather undecided about La'el Collins' future with the team themselves, though. Dallas went out and draft guard Connor McGovern in the third round of the 2019 draft, starting the whirlwind of rumors that McGovern will be the starting left guard in 2020. This would kick second year player Connor Williams out to right tackle, allowing Dallas to let Collins walk without too much worry.

While this is well and good on paper, on the field the transition will likely not be as smooth. We've already seen how tough it is to move from left guard to right tackle in just one offseason, even if you were a college tackle once upon a time. Connor Williams could face these same struggles, despite possibly even anticipating the change a year out.

Regardless, La'el Collins is now in a contract year and is playing for that new deal come 2020. Dallas may not be looking to extend him, mostly due to the plethora of new deals they'll be handing out to other players, but he will be a hot commodity come free agency if and when he hits the open market.

Collins could very well be playing for a new contract elsewhere this season, as his days in Dallas look to be numbered.



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