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Report: Cowboys Latest Ring of Honor Inductee to be Announced Friday

Sean Martin

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Report: Cowboys Latest Ring of Honor Inductees to be Announced Friday

Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones called a press conference for Friday at noon yesterday, just the latest development from an unusually busy Cowboys team as they continue to prepare for week nine against the Tennessee Titans. With one new player added in Amari Cooper and one first-year coach fired this week, the Cowboys looming announcement has Cowboys Nation on high alert.

They should expect the Cowboys to use this time to announce their latest ring of honor inductee(s), according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.

Kate Hairopoulos on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys will announce unknown addition to Ring of Honor in news conference https://t.co/auWHbOJJxl via @sportsdaydfw

This report lines up with early speculation that the Cowboys would be addressing their ring of honor at today's presser. So too do the schedules of both former Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo and Tight End Jason Witten.

Jones confirmed with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas last month that Romo would indeed be a Cowboys ring of honor member.

https://twitter.com/dallascowboys/status/1047149450878173184

In the last three weeks, Romo has called the Cowboys emphatic home win against the Jaguars and brutal loss at the Redskins before working a Bears home game against the Jets last Sunday - earning a week off this Sunday.

Romo's availability to return to AT&T Stadium once again could reunite him with Witten, who followed in his quarterbacks footsteps to enter broadcasting this year. Witten is working his first Cowboys game for ESPN, as the team will appear on Monday Night Football for the first time since week three of 2017.

Cowboys vs. Titans will be the first Monday night game at AT&T Stadium since the Cowboys defeated the Lions in week 16 of 2016. In that game, Witten caught a touchdown pass from Dez Bryant as the Cowboys rolled 42-21.

Report: Cowboys Latest Ring of Honor Inductee to be Announced Friday

Witten and Romo are the obvious candidates to join the 21 other current members of the Cowboys ring of honor. They are Darren Woodson, Bob Lilly, Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Chuck Howley, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, Tom Landry, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Bob Hayes, Tex Schramm, Cliff Harris, Rayfield Wright, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Drew Pearson, Charles Haley, and Larry Allen.

In the hallways of The Star, where the Cowboys will make today's announcement, there is hardly a divide in respect that both players warrant as former cornerstones to the franchise. Such a split may occur when the two are considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, putting impetus on the Cowboys to honor both very shortly after their retirements.

The current 2018 Cowboys are serving as a great reminder of how quickly rosters can turnover in the NFL, needing to make a move to help their new quarterback immediately after Dak Prescott's 22 of 35 performance with one turnover-turned-touchdown in Washington.

Amari Cooper will make his Cowboys debut in front of his home fans against the Titans.

Even less prepared to enter this season without Witten, Cowboys Tight End Geoff Swaim has yet to practice this week, leaving the team with only rookie Dalton Schultz, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers at TE for Witten's return to Dallas.

Still, with the NFC East in reach at 3-4 and the Cowboys 3-0 home record positioning them for a win on Monday, an inspiring ceremony for two players that much of the Cowboys roster has taken the field with could be all this young team needs to respond off the bye week.

Such a plan from the Cowboys will not be publicly known until later today, but the team certainly knows how to remain relevant in the news cycle, set to dig into their past to carry them through the weekend - having not played a game in 12 days.

Friday is shaping up to be one of Cowboys nostalgia.

Tell us what you think about "Report: Cowboys Latest Ring of Honor Inductee to be Announced Friday" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019

John Williams

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Amari Cooper

In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.

Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.

The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?

Let's take a look.

Outside Receivers

As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.

Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.

As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.

Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.

Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.

There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.

Slot Receiver

Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.

While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.

Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.

In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.

With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka

John Williams

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Why Cowboys Should Acquire Recently Released S George Iloka

As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.

It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.

The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.

Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.

Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.

Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.



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