Organized Team Activities are in the books! Throw a parade! Seriously. This means that we just checked off another thing from our offseason to-do list. We are that much closer to the 2015 season!
Coach Garrett spoke to the media before today’s OTAs and expanded briefly on the current state of the team. Dez Bryant (who still has yet to sign his franchise tender) and Rolando McClain (rehabbing in Alabama) were both still absent. Coach did give us two things to sink our teeth into. Byron Jones has seen some looks at safety (although that’s not exactly breaking news) and fellow rookie La’el Collins has seen more repetitions at guard than he has at tackle. Collins has been thought since his signing to be the potential starting left guard for the team. Perhaps the team is drinking that kool-aid.
In terms of what we saw on the field at Valley Ranch, the starting defensive line scared me more than Jurassic Park (am I the only person who finds that movie terrifying?). Jeremy Mincey lined up at left end, Randy Gregory at the right, and Tyrone Crawford and Greg Hardy filled in at the tackle spots. Obviously second year player Demarcus Lawrence (who didn’t practice today) will be in contention for that left defensive end spot, but that defensive line sounds and looks formidable. If these guys can get it together, under the guidance of Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli, they can be an elite unit. Can you imagine the training camp battles between them and the offensive line?
Speaking of that offensive line the first team drills saw Darrion Weems at right tackle, Doug Free is still rehabbing and not practicing, and Ronald Leary at left guard. I don’t read a lot into this as Free is still tender and Collins is being eased in. I’m excited to see third round draft pick Chaz Green get in there and would like to see him get some action with the starters to see what he’s made of. Perhaps at training camp. Or on my Madden team.
The running back position has been under the NFL microscope all offseason. Ryan Williams did not practice and Darren McFadden, nursing a hamstring, wasn’t a full go. This meant lots of repetition for Joseph Randle, and the more work with the full first team he can get the better.
Sean Lee looked great. Randle tried to give him a juke and Sean didn’t bite. Lee’s instincts have always been phenomenal so hopefully with OTAs behind him he feels great physically and is past that mental block. He spent the final twenty minutes of drills participating in the 7-on-7 drills so he’s very hungry for football action.
The Cowboys’ mandatory three-day mini camp is next week so we’re all going to have to hold our breaths until then. That’ll be an exciting time as hopefully we can see some faces that we haven’t out on the field. Can’t wait!
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
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