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Signing This Veteran DT Could Help Cowboys Run Defense

Brian Martin

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It's no secret that the Achilles' heel for the Dallas Cowboys over the past several seasons has been the neglect to improve things on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately, even though they devoted most of their draft resources to improve things, the Cowboys defensive performance so far in 2017 has been pretty abysmal, especially the run defense. But, I think the Cowboys run defense could improve if they signed veteran defensive tackle Arthur Jones.

Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys currently have an open roster spot because of the decision of Stephen Paea to retire due to reoccurring knee problems. Paea was one of the few Cowboys free-agent signings during the off-season, and he was expected to come in and add depth to the middle of the defensive line. Unfortunately now there is a need at the 1-tech and I believe Arthur Jones could possibly be the solution.

In case you are unfamiliar with Arthur Jones, he is the older brother of UFC fighter Jon Jones and current Arizona Cardinal OLB/DE Chandler Jones. Arthur probably doesn't have the same kind of name recognition as his brothers, but I believe he can help the Dallas Cowboys nonetheless.

DT Arthur Jones

DT Arthur Jones

Arthur Jones would provide the beef in the middle of the Cowboys defense that they are currently lacking. At 6'3", 320, Jones would be the biggest 1-tech the Cowboys DL have had in some time. But, he is a free agent for a reason.

Unfortunatelly, injuries and a suspension for PED's ended up cutting his time with the Indianapolis Colts short. He never really lived up to the contract he signed with the Colts in 2014, and as a result ended up on the street.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Why would the Dallas Cowboys want to sign a player who is currently on the street? Well, let me enlighten you.

Arthur Jones is currently the best option available to step in and help the Dallas Cowboys run defense at the 1-tech. I know there is a belief that the Cowboys will sign either Richard Ash or Lewis Neal from the practice squad for depth purposes, but Jones is better than both.

DT Lewis Neal

DT Lewis Neal

If Arthur Jones is indeed healthy, we could see the player that helped a dominant Baltimore Ravens defense win the Super Bowl a few seasons ago. Injuries unfortunately robbed him of his explosiveness during his time with Indianapolis, but if he is back to 100%, it's definitely an area of his game that would upgrade the Cowboys defensive line.

I honestly believe he fits the exact mold defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli looks for in his 1-tech. Jones is equally effective holding up in the run game or providing inside pressure to the QB. His last two seasons in Baltimore when he was healthy, Jones accumulated at least four QB sacks in back to back seasons. That is the type of player the Colts thought they were getting when they signed him as a free agent, but injuries never allowed that to happen.

Now, I have no way of knowing if the Dallas Cowboys have any interest in Arthur Jones, but to me it actually makes a lot of sense to see if he has anything left in the tank. I believe he could make an instant impact in the middle of the Cowboys defensive line.

Should the Cowboys take a look at Arthur Jones?



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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17 Comments
  • Charles

    Not what we need another player that never quite lived up to his potential and has issues with drug suspensions. I would pass.

    • Brian Martin

      Unfortunately, he’s probably the best free-agent DT available. But, the Cowboys will probably pass on him because of the issues you mentioned. I would personally bring him in for a tryout to see if he would be an upgrade or at the very least a good depth player.

  • nick

    Couldn’t hurt to sign him for this year and see what happens, we need a true 1 tech big enough to clog holes and get some push at the same time.

    • Brian Martin

      I would bring him in for a tryout to see if he could add depth and possibly be an upgrade. They need to do something.

  • Hobbes49

    I would be all for it. Give me a horse in the middle of the line. If he plays well, it helps everyone, Collins, Lee, Hitchens, and Wilson especially. We need a big body to clog those inside running lanes. Of course, we most likely won’t see it happen. It will be Neal or Ash.

    • Brian Martin

      I don’t really like the idea of signing Lewis Neal from the practice squad. They don’t need another 3-tech, especially in undersized one like Neal. I think Richard Ash gets what they need more, but he hasn’t really done anything since coming into the league a few years ago. That’s why taking look at Arthur Jones make sense to me. But, it probably won’t happen unfortunately.

      • Hobbes49

        I totally agree with you. Guess we will see on Saturday. Should make the decisionby then

  • Travis Diggs

    Dont hold your breath. This team has showed us time and time again that anything to improve this defense is always way to far fetched. Last week it was Navarro Bowman, Kinda Sorta had a chance to trade for Sherman, no action in free agency(1 retired and 1 released). This defense is atrocious and it’s gonna stay that way. Who is the second best player on this defense….anybody?????

    • Brian Martin

      I honestly think the Cowboys would’ve signed Bowman if he would’ve actually made it to Dallas. I’m honestly not too upset it didn’t happen though. And I was against trading for Sherman also. It would simply cost too much in not only money, but draft capital as well. The only thing we can do as fans is continue to remain patient and hope the Cowboys continue to make it a priority in the draft.

  • Russ_Te

    I’d like to sign him for DT and also LG… ;^)

    • Brian Martin

      Russ, I completely agree with you there. I think Arthur Jones could be an upgrade and the Cowboys could definitely use a better LG.

  • Russ_Te

    Roy Green was the last true 2-way player that I know of in the NFL. 1980’s…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Green

    • Brian Martin

      I believe the Cardinals also used Patrick Peterson sporadically at times on offense as a WR. Much like the Cowboys did with Deion Sanders.

  • Mr. Jaguar

    Brian:

    I noticed the deadskins just released DT AJ Francis. He is 6-5 350 and 3 years removed from Maryland.
    The falcons also released DT Tanelo Tipetu, from Washington, 6-1 285, 1 year in the NFL.
    Maybe McClay take a look?

    How old is Jones? How many years in NFL? Like you said in your article, ” it’s a reason Jones is on the Street and not playing.”

    • Brian Martin

      I’m sure the Cowboys will explore all possibilities. Arthur Jones is 31 and has played seven years in the NFL. He was a member of the dominant Baltimore Ravens defense when they won the Super Bowl.

  • EverybodyTalks

    Truly, Stephen Jones has said repeatedly that they want to get their players through the draft. Jerry Jones was interviewed today and stated that they use free agency to fill in the bottom part of the 53 man roster. Example: Carroll was a bridge or insurance for Lewis to gain experience. Bene is still here because of all the hammy problems with Chidobe. Ash came from the practice squad to fill in for Paea. I’ll admit they were burned by Cedric, but you’re not going to get them all right. Dee Moore was insurance for the front four. He goes and Taco is getting more reps or Moore’s reps. Kellen was insurance for Cooper and now Kellen goes to the practice squad to save Blake Jarvin from a rumored grab by Philly. Again, that shows their view of going through the draft and their regard for Blake.. Zeke’s status has meant carrying 4 RBs. Depending on what goes down next week, could mean that one of our veteran RBs will become the insurance policy the Cowboys no longer need.

    • Brian Martin

      You laid out their roster strategy perfectly. I think this is what we will continue to see despite fans wanting the Cowboys to sign a big FA. The Cowboys will only do that if they believe that player is the missing link.

Star Blog

Seahawks’ Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

John Williams

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Seahawks' Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

The Seattle Seahawks are in need of a big win this weekend to stay a game or two back of the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys hope to extend their one game winning streak to two, but to do that, they'll have to win certain matchups on both sides of the football. One player that the Dallas Cowboys will have to be aware of and contain is rookie Tight End Will Dissly.

With Doug Baldwin injured in week one and out week two, other players have had to step up in their lead wide receiver's absence.

Brandon Marshall and Tyler Lockett are the names that most everyone will recognize, but Dissly, is the name that Cowboys Nation should keep an eye on come Sunday.

Dissly, drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Washington, came into the season with a reputation as a blocking back. Dane Brugler, of The Athletic, had Dissly ranked 98th overall and as the ninth ranked tight end in the draft. Just one spot behind Dallas Cowboys rookie Tight End Dalton Schultz.

Here is what Brugler had to say in his 2018 NFL Draft Guide.

"A one-year starter at Washington, Dissly spent his first two years at Washington on defense and his final two years on offense, lining up inline and wing in the Huskies’ offense. He was a blocker-first and receiver-second in college, which was a role he embraced with his hard-nosed toughness and competitive edge. Dissly uses his upper body power and base strength in unison to control the point of attack, displaying the core flexibility and length to keep defenders busy. While he flashed reliable hand/eye coordination and run power after the catch, he lacks the route-running experience or athletic deception to consistently uncover. Overall, Dissly is a project as a pass-catcher, but he will contribute early in his NFL career as an inline blocker and sixth offensive lineman."

Dane Brugler - Dane Brugler's 2018 NFL Draft Guide

To say that it comes as a surprise at Dissly's start to his rookie campaign would be a huge understatement. A Brugler notes, there was a chance he'd contribute early as a blocking specialist, but was thought to be a project in the passing game. He's been a big play threat in the first two games of the season, already taking the lead in Seattle Seahawks TE snap distribution at 65%.

Among tight ends, Dissly's is tied for 12th in the NFL in targets with 10, tied for 17th in receptions with six, fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, tied for first with 2 touchdown receptions, third in yards per reception at 24.5, third in yards after the catch with 90, is tied for fifth with five receptions for first downs, sixth in yards per route run, and hasn't dropped a pass this season. He's averaging five targets, three receptions, 73.5 yards, and a touchdown per game. He's been targeted twice out of the slot and has two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown while playing 46% of his snaps from the slot.

When Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted his rookie tight end, he has a passer rating of 143.8.

He's been way more than they could have hoped.

Here's what SB Nation' Seattle Seahawks blog Field Gulls had to say about Will Dissly after the Seattle Seahawks week one loss to the Denver Broncos.

"Hot damn! Who saw that coming? Was that Will Dissly or a prime Jeremy Shockey? 3 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for someone drafted primarily for his blocking abilities. Seattle has a new weapon on offense, and I doubt anyone saw that coming."

Mookie Alexander - Field Gulls, SB Nation 

It's likely that nobody, including the Denver Broncos or the Chicago Bears, saw Dissly's breakout coming this soon. Now with it on tape, the Dallas Cowboys will have their eye on Will Dissly.

Russell Wilson doesn't have a ton of established -- or still good -- wide receivers at his disposal, but Will Dissly looks like a fourth round steal for the Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys' linebackers will be tested on Sunday.

Four of Dissly's six receptions have come against linebackers, including a 34 yard reception (19 yards after the catch) against Chicago Bears' Linebacker Danny Trevathan and a 66 yard reception (52 YAC) against Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Bradley Chubb.

The Dallas Cowboys seem fully capable of matching up with good receiving tight ends as Jaylon Smith showed on Sunday. Smith showed an ability to run with Odell Beckham Jr. in coverage on Sunday. No small task. We know that Sean Lee is good in coverage. Leighton Vander Esch's best trait coming out of Boise State is his coverage ability. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Dallas Cowboys matchup Xavier Woods and Anthony Brown with the athletic tight end when he's lined up in the slot.

How the Dallas Cowboys defense does in coverage against the rookie tight end could be a major key to the game. With names like Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett, and Rashad Penny to keep an eye on, someone like Will Dissly could be easily forgotten.

You're going to hear his name called on Sunday. Let's just hope it's more for what he did weeks one and two.



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Star Blog

Xavier Woods Among Cowboys with Something to Prove in Seattle

John Williams

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1

The Earl Thomas trade rumors have been relentless this offseason. We've heard about them. I've written about them, and for better or worse, they just won't stop. No doubt Dallas Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods has heard them as well.

When Woods went down with his hamstring injury and as Earl Thomas continued his hold out, the clamor for Thomas grew louder and louder.

Per reports, it looks like Woods is set to make his 2018 debut. With a good game against the Seattle Seahawks, he can put a silence to the trade rumors.

I've been a proponent of making the deal for Earl Thomas all offseason. From the time he came running down the tunnel toward the Dallas Cowboys locker room, I've been all aboard the Earl Thomas hype train. Opportunities to add All-Pro players don't come along very often and if you're hoping to win football games in the short term, like the Dallas Cowboys are, you make the move.

My opinion isn't a knock on Xavier Woods, who was good as a rookie last year. He was especially good when asked to play in the slot early in the 2017 season. It has more to do with Woods still being a bit of an unknown and Thomas being a known quantity.

Xavier Woods has shown potential to be a really good safety in this league. In college, he played a lot of single high safety and played it very well. He has a knack for making plays on the football and can be a game changer for the Dallas Cowboys.

If the Dallas Cowboys can come away with a victory in Seattle, facing the player that the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to for months, and Woods has a good game in the process, then all of this will go away.

Heading into Sunday, Xavier Woods isn't the only player on the Dallas Cowboys roster who has something to prove.

Two Wide Receivers

The Cowboys added another wide receiver this week when they resigned free agent Brice Butler. I agree with Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie that adding Butler doesn't make a ton of sense, but it definitely adds question marks to the wide receiver room, in particular wide receivers Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns.

These two wide receivers were expected to be the starters on the outside and the primary targets, aside from Wide Receiver Cole Beasley, and yet, they've failed to have much of an impact in either of the two games in the 2018 season.

Take a look at their stat lines.

  • Allen Hurns: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, 0 touchdowns, on 55% of the team's offensive snaps.
  • Terrance Williams: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 0 touchdowns on 25% of the snaps.

Those two are tied for fifth in receptions through two weeks of the season. Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson has found himself as a favorite target of Quarterback Dak Prescott through the first two games and has seven receptions for 60 yards.

With now seven wide receivers on the roster, there are less snaps to go around and with the increase in playing time for Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup, Terrance Williams may have already found himself as the odd man out. Brice Butler complicates things further for Williams and may eat into Allen Hurns snap count as well.

Now it looks like Terrance Williams is facing a suspension. If the suspension comes down before Sunday, he's going to really have a hard time finding a role on this team when he comes back.

Brandon George on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/of11Xlb7wD via @sportsdaydfw

If he comes back. 

Defensive End Making a Comeback

Things started out really well for returning Defensive End Randy Gregory. During the preseason he flashed the tools that made him a highly coveted player before his failed drug test at the NFL Combine.

Unfortunately the start of his 2018 season was derailed due to a concussion early in the Carolina Panthers game forcing him to miss week two.

In his place, Taco Charlton emerged as an impact player on the right side of the defensive line. Charlton has played the most defensive snaps of any defensive end through the first two games of the season; DeMarcus Lawrence included. Taco went from a 73% snap share in week one to an 83% snap share in week two. It's obvious that he's earned his snaps and the coaching staff wants to get him on the field.

This doesn't even begin to mention the contributions by rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong, who like Charlton, saw a 10% snap increase from week one to week two and played really well when in the game.

This is a bit of a problem for Randy Gregory. Yes, he flashed in the preseason and early in the Carolina game, but the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and Gregory hasn't done much of anything in the regular season, yet.

Coming into the Seahawks game, Gregory is going to have to earn back some of those snaps. By all accounts he has a chance to be an elite defensive end on the right side of the Dallas Cowboys defense, but he has to prove that he can stay on the field and effective when on it.

He needs to shine in week three.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Who are your players with something to prove heading into the week three matchup with the Seattle Seahawks? Let us know in the comment section. 



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Star Blog

How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Seattle Seahawks: 5 Bold Predictions
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.

In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.

In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.

And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.

The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.

Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.

Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.

They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.

Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.

But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.

Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.

Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.

So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.



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