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Somehow, Cowboys OL Chaz Green Is Still Alive

Jess Haynie

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Chaz Green

The most maligned player coming out of the Dallas Cowboys 2017 season was offensive lineman Chaz Green, whose epic meltdown against the Atlanta Falcons was the worst moment of the year. Despite this, Green remains on the roster and apparently not at the bottom of it.

With Guard Zack Martin not reporting to OTAs yet during his contract negotiation, it has been Chaz who's been playing in his place at right guard with the starters. Yes THAT Chaz Green, not veteran guards Joe Looney or Marcus Martin, has been getting that first-team work.

If that surprises, confuses, or disturbs you, you're not alone.

You can't blame the organization for wanting to get something out of Green, given that he was a third-round pick just three years ago. But his time in Dallas has been full of disappointment, both in his play and his ability to stay healthy.

Chaz is now in the final year of his rookie contract. He counts just $877k against the salary cap, which is a bargain for a versatile reserve with experience.

But not all experience is good.

Chaz Green

Dallas Cowboys OT Chaz Green

Dallas clearly knows they don't want Green as the swing tackle anymore, signing veteran free agent Cam Fleming to a $2.5 million salary to take over that role. But apparently they're still hoping to get something out of Chaz in this final year of his deal.

Dallas has two guys with more experience at guard than Green; the aforementioned Looney and Martin. "Jumbo Joe" has been in the system for two years already, and Marcus was signed last March as a versatile guard-center option.

Giving Chaz this early work may not be an indication that team prefers him to Looney or Martin. They may be assessing him at guard to see if he has any future there before training camp begins, knowing if they really want to invest more time in him in the coming months.

But still, when you hear that Green is getting first-team reps, it's a cause for pause.

Chaz already failed to make it at guard once, losing out to Jonathan Cooper at left guard last year. Dallas will likely go with rookie Connor Williams there this year,  but perhaps Green will get some more looks if the second-round pick struggles.

Of course, Zack Martin should be back as the right guard soon. But if his contract holdout continues into training camp, maybe we'll see even more of Chaz in the starting lineup.

Obviously, we'd love for Chaz Green to turn things around and make a positive impact on the team. But so far he's been a blown third-round pick and had one of the ugliest individual performances in recent memory last year.

He's still alive, though, and perhaps closer to the starting lineup than we'd have ever guessed.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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8 Comments
  • Mark Peters

    How? He’s an average guard at best. He must be the nicest guy in the world. This is not based just on the ATL game. Sometimes players even good ones get in over their heads. I was more upset at the coaches for some unfathomable reason they didnt help him. I know Witt was in the game because he always was for 15 years. I cant see how that staff would continue to allow their possible franchise QB take a beating like that. But I regress. With the new FA they signed, if he makes this roster my head may explode. Bad footwork, no nastiness, not the strongest. I don’t know will 1 person give me a tiny example of upside. Please

  • Sexcdex Xfact

    Up until that infamous Atlanta mayhem , Chaz Green never even came remotely close to portraying such a horrific game
    IDK what happened or why & didn’t see this coming either
    But now with the possible explantion given that this could be to see if & what they may have in him
    It also says they’re making sure they don’t waste anything worthwhile
    Now,
    I’d just like to compare the same thoughts & feelings I have with the CB controversy brewing with J. Lewis & A. Brown
    I feel there’s a good chance Dallas, (ie. C. Richard), is seeing just what they have in Brown before handing the reigns to Lewis for good
    This could be a very good trade value moves for both these scenarios or just simply depth preparations
    Either way competition breeds excellence

    • Mark Peters

      I watched him at Florida. He was good but not what I would say special. I think Dallas saw a lot of potential and made him a 3rd round pick and cant admit they are wrong. Nothing personal I hope he goes somewhere else and balls out.

  • EverybodyTalks

    Do the Cowboys think Alexander can bring him back from the brink? There was talk that they did Chaz wrong by trying to make him train at Guard after being the swing tackle in the previous year. I remember one game, where Chaz looked like he was false starting every down, but when they actually went back to the tape he was demonstrating excellent reaction time. He was finally called for not being up on the line.
    Chaz has been given ample opportunities but injuries have sidelined him (like Tapper). Even if Alexander is the Chaz-whisperer, most fans will never be able to get past the Atlanta debacle. I saw it again, on All or Nothing, and that nightmare performance left fresh scars.

  • dallas1966

    Green career just received a boost from the hiring of Alexander

  • http://www.bifellowship.com Stevenson Durandisse

    There’s always a reason.

  • Ellen Legree

    We as fans always often never give player that screwed up a chance but I will. I believe Chaz already know what he has to do to redeem himself and he will do just that when he makes the team this summer.

    • Mark Peters

      In that respect you’re right. He should not be judged by one game. Good or bad. And he has been moved around which is not beneficial for younger players. He must be good at practice but in games way too many mental errors. Give him a lot of reps at one position in the first 2 preseason games. If not notably better than move on. Maybe a change of scenery will help.

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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin

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Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" 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 OT La’el Collins Could Become Major Bargain

Jess Haynie

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La'el Collins

When you talk Cowboys offensive line, you always think of Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin first. Right Tackle La'el Collins still has to prove he belongs in the same sentence with his elite teammates. If he does that in 2018, Collins could become one of the best bargains on the roster.

Making the move from left guard to right tackle last year, Collins improved with time and was playing his best football at the end of the year. This was despite ongoing back issues that had him on the injury report most weeks.

La'el started all 16 games at right tackle and did enough that the Cowboys committed to keeping him there in 2018, even despite a big hole back at left guard. They are hoping consistency and stability will allow Collins to really blossom this season, building on the strong progress shown last year.

For 2018, Collins has a $5.76 million cap hit. According to Spotrac, that makes him the 13th-most expensive right tackle in the NFL this year.

That middle-of-the-pack expense is consistent with where La'el currently rates among NFL right tackles. Bleacher Report ranked Collins as the 16th-best RT in football last year.

But that ranking was based on the season as a whole. If La'el plays all of 2018 the way he was playing towards the end of last year, he will have emerged as one of the better right tackles in the game.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

If Collins develops as we hope, that salary suddenly becomes a major bargain. The most expensive right tackles in the NFL are making $7-$9 million this season.

But this can go a couple of ways. With his 2019 cap hit rising to $7.9 million, La'el needs to next step forward.

If Collins were to struggle this year, it could make him a potential cap casualty next offseason. Dallas can save $6.5 million in cap space if Collins is released or traded in 2019.

Dallas could elect to give Connor Williams, their second-round pick this year, a look at right tackle next season. It's the position he played in college.

They could also consider veteran backup Cameron Fleming, who will still be just 26-year-old. Fleming has two Super Bowl rings and several starts, including in the postseason, from his time with the Patriots.

While we think of La'el Collins as a first-round talent, it's important to remember that he was ultimately an undrafted free agent. Dallas did not have to invest anything to acquire him, and ultimately that makes it easier to let him go.

Naturally, we prefer the other side of this coin. If Collins builds on 2017, he will join the upper echelon of right tackles in the league. And if the Cowboys' offensive line isn't already the best in the NFL, that would only cement them as the best unit in football.

If La'el makes the leap, it could mean huge things for the Cowboys' offense and team success this year.



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Dallas Cowboys

How Cowboys Could Benefit From Randy Gregory’s Suspension

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory Withdraws Suspension Appeal, Cannot Return Until Week 15

Randy Gregory is back! His suspension is officially over and he will be able to join the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California when training camp gets underway less than a week from now.

Speculation has already started as to what this could mean for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, and shockingly expectations are rather high for a player who hasn't stepped foot on the field in over a year. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to focus on Gregory's mess of a contract, because it is rather interesting.

Randy Gregory was signed to a four-year contract after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rookie deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season, but his multiple suspensions have now changed that expiration date.

You see, Gregory has only played in a total of 14 games in his career, 12 as a rookie and two in Year 2. His third year in the NFL was completely wiped out due to his year-long suspension. If you were to add that all up, it equates to just one accured season in the NFL. Remember that, because it could have a huge impact on his contract down the road.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

What all of this means is that the Cowboys can pretty much stretch out Gregory's contract now that they are three years in on the deal and have only gotten one accured season out of the agreement. That basically means they can push his contract back a year, meaning his 2017 salary ($731,813) gets pushed back to 2018, his 2018 salary ($955,217) gets pushed to 2019. That would essentially make him a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2020.

Or does it?

Depending on how the Dallas Cowboys handled paying Randy Gregory during his suspension could actually make him an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (EFA). This is a similar situation in which David Irving found himself in after the 2017 season. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on him in order to secure his services for another season, albeit at a $2.91 million price tag.

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys pretty much hold all the cards when it comes to Randy Gregory's contract situation. It's all a little confusing, but that's what makes it such a unique and interesting situation.

Of course, the Cowboys could decide to extend Gregory early if he completely dominates upon his return this season. It's highly doubtful though considering his past suspensions, but still technically a possibility. If it does happen, you can go ahead and ignore everything I've written previously.



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