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Safe or Out?

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Safe or Out?

This seems to be the game we’re playing. Desperately in need of veteran leadership the Cowboys have successfully pursued Gerald Sensabaugh, signing him to a one year deal. In his 5th season he registered 82 tackles and 4 interceptions so you can’t doubt his upside, but I just have to wonder, with a history of arrests and troubled off-the-field issues is he worth it?

I mean we’re trying to rebuild, we’re trying to become a straight-laced team, with a clear image. It worries me, it worries me because distractions have proven costly, and without distractions this team can potentially be untouchable.

The talent is here, and he can bring a lot to us. However, I have to admit I was sort of liking the idea of moving Orlando Scandrick to Free Safety and bumping Hamlin to Strong Safety. We’ll see what time brings, but Sensabaugh will undoubtedly solidify our special teams void, and possibly some good cover skills as a defensive back.

So my indecision leads me to turn it over to you, do you think that Jerry’s latest move is safe, or did the cowboys strike out?

Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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7 Comments
  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    I see this move as akin to signing Tank Johnson, and that worked out fairly well while he was here. he never really caused a fuss and seemed to be a team player for the most part. It was a bit of a surprise when he started saying he wanted out, and the way he did it was in very poor taste. But again, he did well here.

    I figure Sensabaugh had some very minor traffic issues, and one gun possession charge, yet he has still been playing and doing well. I mean look at the photo you posted above … I’m interested to see what anyone can do that can get a beat like that Manning and Reggie Wayne. It warrants a look and backup spot at worst.

  • Theo

    I like the move, you are bringing in someone with experience, and you know can play, but still has upside, because he is young. I really didn’t like the move they were talking about with Scandrick for the reason that Hamlin can’t tackle to save his life, just look at the Ravens game. You need a strong safety that can tackle, so to me rushing Scandrick to FS and Hamlin didn’t make sense, now what you could do was have Scandrick feel out the FS position in the OTAs and training camp as well as reps at corner and see what happens, if he catches on great. let him work at it, and then if Hamlin doesn’t put up the numbers you want get rid of him. Sensabaugh may have had off the field issues, I think they are minor, but you have to think Campo has worked with him as well as DeCamillis, so it is not like none of the coaches have not spent any time with him, they know who this kid, so I think it will work out in the Cowboys favor.

  • Austin

    Im still stunned at the T.O move! Nothing J.J does will suprise me now

  • http://www.cowboysfanrebellion.com Craig Cotton

    I think it’s a safe move under one condition. As long as Jerry doesn’t consider it the fix at SS. We need to go into the draft for a young safety. Pegues in the 4th would be a great addition to this team, and possible a cheap answer to a position that has haunted us since Woodson left.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  • Fabio

    HI,

    My username at the official site is Health Nut. I’m going to try here for a bit hoping to get a more educated class of people. I hope the people that respond on this site are actual critical thinkers with enough years watching the Cowboys (going back to the Tom Landry days) to not come up with useless dribble. Too many people, I think, confuse fantasy football with reality.

    Anyhow, this signing is a god one. Yes, he does have issues, but he is young enough to turn around those issues. He also does not get the publicity of a Pacman. That goes a long way to trying to turn someone’s life around. It is difficult to do if the press is scrutinizing every move and talking about it 24.7 on ESPN. So, I think, with the support the Cowboys have in place, he could, if he really wanted to, get on the straight and narrow.

    Of course, now that he is in Big D, the attention will be on him, but at least he comes here without the media blitz. He has some good talent and can be a player for us for a long time in terms of talent level.

    I do think that we need to keep looking because with players like him you can never be safe.

    Fabio

  • https://insidethestar.com/about/ Bryson Treece

    That is a good point, you never really know when a player that has had trouble in the past will start having trouble again. But isn’t that the case with any player? I mean look at Roy Williams (SS), he was good for a few years, and without injury or any other reasonable cause, he just started sucking. Okay, so he didn’t adjust to the 3-4 as well as most of the others did, but even what he had been so good at before the scheme switch, which was hitting, started to suck as well.

    For Sensabaugh, I think his issues off the field were not even in the same league as Pacman Jones’ were. None of it was for drugs or seriously breaking the law. Some say he was profiled when he was busted for driving with a suspended license, which was caused by his charges for reckless driving on his motorcycle, but had he not done either he wouldn’t have been in the situation to begin with. It all comes down to choices … but I’d rather have a guy that likes to drive and hotrod a bit than a guy that likes to fight, or gets shot with his own gun *cough*.

    The only serious charge on his record is the illegal possession of a firearm … half the people I know illegally own a gun and only use it for protection … some for hunting … so I don’t think it says a whole lot about him. Kind of like Tank Williams, he had the same issue, now we’ve learned in the last few months that he isn’t much of a team player, but does one have anything to do with the other? Not really.

    I’m looking forward to drafting one of maybe 4 safeties that will be available come #51. Each is capable of starting right away, so a year or so for grooming would only be better, and Sensabaugh can safely hang onto the starting job until they’re ready. Competition is the best motivation in football.

    Welcome to DCN Fabio … seen your comments at DC.com and on the blog before, nice to have you here.

  • https://insidethestar.com/ bags030404

    Great response Health nut! I agree with you completely! I have not seen much of this player but have heard a lot of good things. The great thing about him coming here is that he does not have to be a star! He can simply come in and be a teammate and contributor, and if he does those things he will be a 100% upgrade from the previous safety.

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Hire Longtime Bengals OL Coach Paul Alexander

Thus far the 2018 offseason has brought a plethora of change to the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Now it is being reported the Cowboys have hired a brand new offensive line coach, former Cincinnati Bengals’ Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander.

Alex Marvez on Twitter

Source tells @sportingnews that Paul Alexander hired as new @dallascowboys offensive line coach

Alexander coached with the Bengals for over 20 years, and replaces the same man in Dallas who replaces him in Cincinnati, Frank Pollack. Alexander has also been the Bengals assistant head coach since 2003.

The Cowboys recently lost an assistant head coach when Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia left for Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders.

Per usual, the hire has been met with mixed reactions from Cowboys Nation.

Joey Ickes on Twitter

Since 2003, CIN has had only one season where they finished top-10 in Yards per attempt on the ground… They’ve been bottom-5 in the league 5 times in that span… That’s the OL Coach DAL just hired.

The hiring of an offensive line coach who’s rushing attack finished bottom five in the league in rushing yards per attempt five times since 2003 doesn’t look too great on paper. He will also teach with different techniques and styles than previous Cowboys OL coaches, which could potentially set back the offensive line early in the season.

Plus, respected Bengals’ writer Joe Goodberry did not exactly love the hire for the Cowboys.

Goodberry on Twitter

Pretty bad https://t.co/fysjZqCQ6l

Regardless, this is still a very talented offensive line and one which should lead an effective ground attack based on their talent alone. 2017 proved further that coaching matters a lot in the NFL however, and the wrong hire could set back even the most talented of units.

We will just have to wait and see how this 2018 season ends up playing out.

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Dallas Cowboys

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job

Sean Martin

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Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job 1

By keeping all three top coaches (Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, and Rod Marinelli) in place for 2018, there isn’t a Dallas Cowboys coaching hire that feels like they “must” get it right to contend next season. This is how it should be.

Producing nine wins, despite missing key players throughout the season, the Cowboys are changing things up at the position coach level to hopefully introduce new ideas and give the talent on this team a better chance at sustained success.

One coaching vacancy that needs to be filled by the right guy above any else is on the offensive line, where things haven’t been the same since the great Bill Callahan departed.

Frank Pollack took his place, and now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals after not being retained by Dallas this offseason.

Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates For Cowboys Vacant OL Coach Job

Tom Cable (Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

The first name that was thrown around in consideration for the Cowboys job was Tom Cable, which sent a panic throughout Cowboys Nation before Cable decided to sign with John Gruden and the Raiders.

Cable had been coaching the Seahawks’ OL, a position that franchise has not valued in some time, and struggled to develop any talent in protection of their franchise QB Russell Wilson.

Now, two new names have emerged as candidates to coach the likes of two-time 1st Team All-Pro LT Tyron Smith, 1st Team All-Pro C Travis Frederick, and two-time 1st Team All-Pro RG Zack Martin.

Mike Solari and Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has already met with the Dallas Cowboys, looking for work after 23 seasons with the Bengals. During this time, Alexander served as Marvin Lewis’ assistant head coach, in addition to his duties as their OL coach.

Judging on reactions out of Cincinnati to Alexander’s departure, the Bengals offensive line regressed under him in 2017, warranting change from a franchise that is as reluctant as any to move on from coaches.

Goodberry on Twitter

Paul Alexander better be gone

Most recently, Mike Solari has served as the offensive line coach for the New York Giants — far from a renowned unit around the NFL lately. He does have previous experience with the Cowboys, having served as an assistant OL and special teams coach here from 1987-88.

From 2006-07, Solari did reach the rank of offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, which shows the level of respect that the 30-year NFL coaching veteran has earned.

He will be the Dallas Cowboys’ next interview for their open OL coach position.

Cowboys at Raiders: La'el Collins Faces Toughest Test Yet In Khalil Mack 1

Dallas Cowboys RT La’el Collins, RG Zack Martin

Depth at tackle, a long-term answer at left guard, and an extension for Zack Martin are among the questions facing the Cowboys offensive line moving forward. Whoever is in charge of keeping this unit up to standard in 2018 though, may hold the keys to getting the entirety of the Cowboys’ program back on track.

Whether it’s Alexander, Solari, or another outside candidate yet to emerge, Inside The Star will keep you updated on the Cowboys’ ongoing coaching search.

Tell us what you think about “Mike Solari, Paul Alexander Candidates for Cowboys Vacant OL Coaching Job” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Defensive Back Questions Still Need Answers

John Williams

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Byron Jones
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys defense took a step forward in 2017, and in the process they answered several questions. They found a “war daddy” in DeMarcus Lawrence, something that’s been missing since DeMarcus Ware left for the Denver Broncos. Lawrence finished tied for second with Calais Campbell in sacks with 14.5, and made the NFL All-Pro Second Team.

We got to see Jaylon Smith answer questions about his health all season long. Smith appears to be trending in the right direction, both in his health and his performance on the field.

The plan to rebuild the secondary seems to be on the right track as they’ve found a couple of aggressive corners in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. They have the look of a dynamic duo that will be impact players on this team for a long, long time.

Kavon Frazier has been a revelation. The thumper at the safety position is something that’s been missing for the Dallas Cowboys since Roy Williams.

However, questions still remain about a defense that carried this team at times, and looked like the Rob Ryan and Monte Kiffin defenses of yesteryear at other times.

To me the biggest questions in the secondary revolve around Byron Jones and Xavier Woods.

Cowboys en Español: Proyectando el Roster de 53 Jugadores 2

Dallas Cowboys S Byron Jones (James D. Smith via AP)

Where do Byron Jones and Xavier Woods Fit?

Byron Jones has been a popular whipping boy for Cowboys Nation. Some of that has been accurate, but he’s not as bad as social media would have you believe.

He’s been sticky in coverage, especially against tight ends, throughout his career, but in 2017 it seemed like he was shying away from tackling a bit too much. He still has that tremendous athleticism and coverage ability that warranted a first-round pick, but the question remains: What is his best position?

After playing where needed his rookie season, the Cowboys coaching staff moved him to safety for the last couple of years with mixed results.

As stated, he’s been pretty good in coverage and made some incredible plays on the ball, even if he’s lacking the interception numbers. The problem comes, in my opinion, when he’s asked to make tackles in space, which is an important aspect of being a safety.

Many have begun to wonder if Dallas would be best served moving Jones back to corner.

As a cornerback, Jones would be able to use his athleticism and coverage skills against the bigger wide receivers in the league, but not be asked to make as many tackles in the middle of the field against running backs and tight ends.

They can still bring him in against some of the better tight ends in the league. We already know the Cowboys will face Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jordan Reed of the Washington Redskins, and Evan Engram of the New York Giants for a total of six games in 2018.

Dallas will also face the likes of Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffrey and Marvin Jones, who are bigger more athletic wide receivers who could require a man of Byron’s skill.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Byron this offseason.

Where Will Dallas Cowboys Search For "Fresh Ideas" Begin? 3

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

The same question applies to Xavier Woods, but not because he struggled. He was actually quite good as the slot corner throughout much of his rookie season.

Woods primarily played safety in his time at Louisiana Tech, and showed an ability to be the deep middle safety. Because of injuries to the cornerback group, Woods lined up as the slot corner for a lot of his snaps.

He played well there for Dallas, leaving many to wonder if he hasn’t earned the role of third cornerback. That may be a good fit, but it’s not typical to see a guy who was primarily a safety in college become a corner in the NFL.

I’d rather see him as a full-time safety.

With Woods at safety, Dallas can stay in their base defense when teams go to three wide receiver formations, especially on early downs or in situations where a run is just as likely. He can drop down from the safety spot to play in the slot, if — and it’s a big if — you trust your single-high safety.

Woods’ ability to cover in the slot allows you to stay competitive against the run, which was a struggle for Dallas.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

We’ve seen how the yo-yo game between positions can affect a player’s technique and mentality. Chaz Green wasn’t the same player in 2017 when asked to prepare as both a guard and a tackle, as opposed to 2016 when he strictly played tackle.

In my opinion, it would be to the Dallas Cowboys interest to move Byron Jones back to cornerback full-time, and move Woods to safety.

When you decide to go to your nickel package, Chidobe Awuzie and Jones play the outside with Jourdan Lewis moving to the middle. Or you bring Jones in to cover the tight end, leave Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, and drop Woods into the slot and play cover 1.

What do you think?

Where do Byron Jones and Xavier Woods fit best on this team?

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