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Should Cowboys Address TE Injuries and Inexperience With This FA?

Brian Martin

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Should Cowboys Address TE Injuries and Inexperience With This FA?

As impressive as the Dallas Cowboys win over the New Orleans Saints was, this is no time for them to get complacent. They still have several areas in which they can improve, which is why I think they should consider adding Free Agent Coby Fleener to help stabilize and upgrade the tight end position.

The Dallas Cowboys chose to approach the tight end position much like they did at wide receiver at the beginning of the season. They hoped they could just throw some bodies out there and still get the same kind of production, but that the experiment has failed.

The Cowboys were lucky enough to be up to make a move to improve the WR position by acquiring Amari Cooper via trade, and it's that kind of aggressive approach I believe they now need to apply to the TE position. That's especially true considering Geoff Swaim could be done for the year after sustaining a broken wrist, which required surgery, against the Atlanta Falcons a couple weeks ago.

With Swaim out for an undisclosed amount of time, the Cowboys TE position is in dire straits if they have to rely on the inexperience of Blake Jarwin, Rico Gathers, and Dalton Schultz. None of the three are close to being the blocker or receiver Swaim is, and that alone should raise a red flag.

Swaim's injury and the inexperience behind him on the TE depth chart has forced the Cowboys to turn to Wide Receiver Noah Brown as a "Light End" as my fellow Staff Writer John Williams has so eloquently entitled him. I'm a big fan of Brown's, but a tight end he is not.

Coby Fleener

Free Agent TE Coby Fleener (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

I think it's time the Cowboys make another bold move, much like they did by acquiring Amari Cooper and give Coby Fleener a call. At 30 years old, he should still have a few more years of tread left on the tires and would provide a really good short-term solution while the position sorts itself out.

He hasn't played at all in 2018 after being released by the Saints, but he didn't have a terrible 2017 season before it was cut short due to concussion problems. Last year he delivered 631 yards receiving and three touchdowns with a catch percentage of 73.3%, which is production the Cowboys would love to be getting from their tight ends.

Fleener could come in and not only mentor the youth movement, but also provide more-than-viable production for the remainder of the 2018 season and potentially 2019 as well. He's not going to cost a lot and would be that "transitional" veteran presence while the Cowboys figure out the long-term solution. Sounds like a win-win to me.

I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys will agree, but this seems like a no-brainer to me. There is still a lot on the line these next few games and adding someone who is not only cost-effective, but an upgrade like Coby Fleener could pay dividends down the road.

Now is not the time for complacency. The Cowboys must do everything within their power to keep improving and I believe adding Coby Fleener is a great start.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should consider adding Coby Fleener?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. DevilDog58

    December 3, 2018 at 7:48 am

    It would all depend on whether or not he could pick up and execute the current Offense. If so, why not? But that may be a big if this late in the season. If not, hopefully they can pick one up in the off season, either through FA ala Jay Novacek or in the 2nd Round of the Draft.

  2. Lous8

    December 3, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I absolutely agree. He’s a Vet so picking up the offense won’t be a problem, but I still wish they’d use Gathers in the passing attack.

  3. Tony Hill

    December 5, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Yes he is first because what happen to Ezekiel Elliott. But I hope it is for the benefits to help Ezekiel Elliott out so he Don’t need to be over work. Hurting his long turn chance playing RB in this league. Zeke need a quality back up just like most other backs do. Yes he is a stud but human at the same time. But Ezekiel Elliott got 6 games lost when he got suspended so you know Jerry Jones watch to see what happen with this. I just hope it is about more and what I think we need to get even better. Get a safety and TE and the first two round then DT in the third round man we just could be unstoppable. Plus a OL in the 4th round keep building the line is a must. Then best available players LBers, WRs,DE, CBs

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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