When we started this blog we had one goal in mind, to be the best fan blog out there. Well we forgot some details in that original goal and have since been shown a few new things we needed to work towards. Needless to say it became apparent that we had to write about something on here that would keep you all interested.
So we brought you an interview with a rather unlikely candidate – Mickey Spagnola, the www.DallasCowboys.com writer. We got some good feedback and it was fun to do, but our real goal with that was to get the fire started, and today the flames have risen once again.
Some of you know him and others only know of him. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 draft after he recorded a record vertical jump of 46’6 at the combine. He then started all 16 games his rookie season with the Jaguars.
He’s coming off of his best year in Jacksonville where he amassed 55 tackles, a team leading 4 interceptions, and 8 passes deflected while playing in all 16 games, starting 13. He’s the new starting Strong Safety in Dallas and has already shown us that he can cover man to man like Roy Williams only dreamed of doing.
I’m happy to present to you #43 Gerald Sensabaugh!
DCNation: In the off season you had an opportunity to sign a long term deal elsewhere, why did you decide to opt for a one year deal with the Cowboys?
Gerald: The numbers weren't where I wanted them to be. So I figured I would take one last shot and see what I can get after another 1 year deal. I also wanted to go to a larger market team and experience football with some tradition behind it.
DCNation: We know that the main goal every year is to win the Super Bowl, but can this team realistically do that? Why?
Gerald: Yes, this team has the talent and personnel to do so. There are many explosive players on the offensive side of the ball, so expect lots of points. On the defensive side, we have the opportunity to be one of the best defenses this year in the league. So if you combine the two, I say we have a legit shot at winning the Superbowl.
DCNation: The past couple of years this Cowboys team has had plenty of talent to get deep into the playoffs, lack of execution has been the Achilles heel to this team. Every year the fans of the Cowboys hear "how things will be different" from the same players, so many fans have grown weary of their talk. So far in your first year with the Cowboys, what can you tell us about this team - what makes you think that you can contend this year?
Gerald: We will be major contenders this year. Going through OTA's this team got a lot better from last year. Through training camp we are going to fine tune the chemistry and we will be set to go.
DCNation: Based on what you’ve seen so far, what do you think about the cornerback situation that’s brewing? Scandrick has shown serious talent, but Jenkins was drafted higher and also brings some good coverage skills. Your thoughts?
Gerald: I'm very exited about the two young corners. No matter who starts, they both will be major contributors to this defense.
DCNation: The 2008 Dallas Cowboys Defense was a strong unit, but I think the coaches and fans believe that this years defense could be one of the best in the entire NFL. It is my perception that the biggest reason for these thoughts is because of you. What do you feel is the greatest asset you’re bringing to this team?
Gerald: I feel that I bring the ability to cover at the strong safety position. I have had my share of both run stuffing and covering but I believe the need here in Dallas is to cover more. I am still expecting to make a impact on the run game also.
DCNation: Is there another player, former or current, that you have tried to pattern your play after? Why?
Gerald: Donovan Darius because he was a physical player that was know for big hits, and always being around the football. And Deon Grant because of his ball skills and coverage ability. Those are the two that I learned from as a youngster and I tried to pattern my game with both of theirs combined.
DCNation: It’s no secret that the Cowboys have struggled in recent years at the Strong Safety position. From both the perspective of your new teammates and your own estimations, what do you feel is your biggest goal for 2009 to bolster the Strong Safety position in Dallas?
Gerald: Covering Man to Man. To make a bigger difference in the passing game.
DCNation: Many fans in the NFL view the safety position as a guy who can really lower the boom on opposing players. The Dallas Cowboys recently had a safety who was known for that, but was not very good to say the least in coverage. Does your play favor coverage over hitting? Or do you feel you are a balanced Safety?
Gerald: I feel that I am balanced. In my prior years I had to do both.
DCNation: Dave Campo has had defensive success in Dallas before, and as well in Jacksonville. Having seen him in action in both places, what do you think he brings to a team that might be otherwise missing?
Gerald: He brings a positive, fair, competitive environment that players like. He's a coach that gets the best out of his players.
DCNation: It is obvious that you were brought in to be the starter, but do you still feel like you need to prove that you are the man in training camp?
Gerald: Yes, I always have to prove something. Here in Dallas there is a lot of competition. We have guys that can play safety and corner. This secondary is real athletic. Everybody here can play.
DCNation: Of the scheduled opponents for 2009, which team concerns you the most as a safety?
Gerald: I really don't have any concerns but I do respect all teams equally. Every team brings a different attack to the table so you must prepare as best as you can for all of them.
DCNation: Can you give us a little insight about the work ethic and demeanor of your new Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator?
Gerald: Coach Phillips is going to make sure that we work hard and get things right. He is less tolerant of errors (especially mental errors), I can tell those get under his skin.
DCNation: Playing in the AFC South you were able to test your abilities against one of the greatest QB's of this era, Peyton Manning. Was there anything you learned from your time against him that you feel will help you be a top tier Safety in this league?
Gerald: Reading QB's and not going for fakes. He's the pump king and does it every play. He makes the safety play honest and is hard to get a tip on.
DCNation: There has been a lot of talk about some incidents in your past, are those things behind you now? And is there anything you would like to let the fans in Dallas know about you to clear up any questions they may have?
Gerald: The whole past is behind me and I'm looking forward to winning the super bowl with the Cowboys. That is my main focus.
[wstlink]r http://www.GeraldSensabaugh.net[/wstlink]You can find out more about Gerald by going to his website – www.GeraldSensabaugh.net – he has a blog there that he not only updates rather often, but he actually participates in comments on his blog. Truly a class act and we welcome him to Dallas.
We want to thank Gerald Sensabaugh not only for speaking with us, but for taking the time to do so from San Antonio as training camp starts. We also look forward to more interviews with Gerald throughout the season.
Cowboys DE Dorance Armstrong Could Be Needed Quickly
The Dallas Cowboys are stronger at defensive end than they've been in some time, but they still lack a specific type of pass rusher. Rookie Dorance Armstrong may be able to fill that role, giving him an early opportunity to contribute that many mid-round rookies can't find.
While DeMarcus Lawrence has become a beast and Taco Charlton is expected to do more as a second-year player, they are both better suited to play on the left side. It is that right side DE, the athletic type who can take on NFL left tackle, that the Cowboys haven't had since DeMarcus Ware left.
It was supposed to be Randy Gregory, but we all know the issues he's dealt with the last three years. His reinstatement request to the league is expected to go through, but even then we can't be sure the type of player he will be.
If Gregory isn't still the talent that Dallas hoped for in 2015, the next man up just might be Armstrong. He is a raw talent, still undersized for consistent NFL defensive end work, but he has the natural agility and style of play that best suits the weak-side rusher.
Veteran Kony Ealy is more like Lawrence and Charlton, bigger and more suited from the strong side. Another option, Charles Tapper, has yet to prove he can get through a single game without injury.
Rookies have not had a hard time finding early work in Dallas lately.
Obviously, it didn't take Quarterback Dak Prescott long to make an immediate impact. We've also seen the same from Cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown, Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins, and Safety Xavier Woods.
With the difficulties that guys like Gregory and Tapper may have getting back into football shape, Armstrong could have a leg up in training camp. The Cowboys won't hesitate to give him the work if he's the best man for the job, regardless of draft status or tenure.
These new look, new era Dallas Cowboys are all about meritocracy, so Dorance Armstrong could rise quickly if he performs. It would make for a nice immediate return on a fourth-round pick.
CB Jourdan Lewis Addresses “All Or Nothing” Scene With Dez Bryant
When the newest season of Amazon's All or Nothing featuring the Dallas Cowboys came out, people immediately were drawn to one scene in particular.
That scene featured then veteran Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis, as they battled it out all day in practice. Lewis and Bryant were in each others ears, as Lewis wanted to make it known to Bryant that he isn't the same type of corner he's used to seeing in practice.
Jourdan Lewis was asked to give his side of the story recently, and DallasCowboys.com recorded his response. The following video is courtesy of "Ed It Channel" on YouTube.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
Lewis addressed rumors that the rivalry was "fake" or staged due to the fact that Bryant knew that Lewis was mic'ed up. He says that the competition was organic, and that when put on the field with each other their competition improved both of their play.
Dez Bryant is gone now, but hopefully the Cowboys will be able to replace that competitiveness on the practice field and allow for tempers to flare from time to time.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Embraces Lack of No. 1 Wide Receiver
As I wrote exactly a week ago, in discussion of maligned Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrance Williams:
"...this won't be the first look we have at the status of the Cowboys receivers. I'm already on record having high expectations for Michael Gallup, and believe Cedrick Wilson was one of the steals of the draft for the Cowboys in the sixth round. The unproven nature of this pass catching unit (through to TE with rookie Dalton Schultz) is going to make for fascinating training camp battles, competing for spots in an offense that could still be one of the league's best".
Here we are again, with an emerging leadership voice of the Cowboys speaking about his wide receivers. Dak Prescott told Pro Football Talk that he, "doesn't know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver".
This is a bold statement from a third-year quarterback that's already told Cowboys Nation this offseason that he wants to be the best to ever play for the franchise. Beginning the journey towards becoming a Cowboys legend must start with Prescott securing his status as the Cowboys franchise QB in 2018 - by throwing to Williams, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, Cedrick Wilson, and Allen Hurns.
This will be no easy task for Prescott, but the Cowboys have never wavered in their commitment to building this team around him. Left with no choice on personnel decisions like Jason Witten's retirement, the Cowboys are well-prepared to also deal with the loss of Dez Bryant.
If they weren't, Bryant would still be in Dallas, and as it stands now he remains a free agent. New to the Cowboys offense is not only Gallup, Wilson, and Hurns but also Tavon Austin as a pass-catching running back.
Strength in numbers must be the message for the Cowboys offense this season. Relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and a punishing offensive line will be what keeps opposing defensive coordinators up at night, but so too must be the diverse nature of how the Cowboys can line up on the outside.
Allowing Prescott to serve as a "point guard" like QB could lead to the Cowboys turning plenty of heads with their all-around play in 2018. Anybody writing them off simply because of unproven wide receivers lacks a complete understanding of the roster and how Scott Linehan plans to change his offense.
Sure, it's possible that Linehan fails to prove himself as a play caller worthy of the talent the Cowboys possess on offense - but the talent is there. In Prescott's rookie year, Cole Beasley emerged as his go-to receiver, only to regress in 2017.
With the Cowboys shipping Ryan Switzer to Oakland during the draft, Beasley has a clear path back towards developing this chemistry with Prescott out of the slot. The same should go for Allen Hurns, despite arriving in Dallas as a free agent this year.
Hurns has talked about holding himself to a high standard, despite joining the Cowboys to play with Dez Bryant initially.
"I felt it was a big opportunity to come to Dallas to play with Dez. But with him not being here, it’s a bigger opportunity. It's a matter of me making the most of the opportunity"
Plenty of Cowboys receivers will have a chance to make the most of the opportunity to play in this offense. Hurns' spot as an outside starter feels safe, as he could be the big "No. 1" target Prescott needs to either find in the red zone or distribute the ball elsewhere.
The amount of change the Dallas Cowboys have gone through since drafting Dak Prescott is a cruel reminder of how difficult reaching the pinnacle of sports can be. The Cowboys biggest challenge to reach the playoffs again in 2018?
Silence the doubt that a declining Dez Bryant no longer being with the team will derail the efforts of this deep and eager-to-compete WRs room.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Star Blog4 days ago
Should Cowboys Pursue Recently Released LB Mychal Kendricks?
Player News1 week ago
WATCH: LB Jaylon Smith Moving Without Brace
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Could Cowboys Have Second Chance at Acquiring RB Donnel Pumphrey?
Star Blog2 days ago
Creating a Monster: The Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Which UFAs Have Best Chance to Make the Cowboys Roster?
Player News1 week ago
BREAKING: Terrance Williams Arrested For Public Intoxication After Car Accident
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Is 2018 LB Sean Lee’s Last Season with Cowboys?
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
The Cowboys Defense Is Close, And We Should Be Excited