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Stopping The Hate: How Jason Garrett Has Won Me Over



Cowboys Headlines - Stopping The Hate: How Jason Garrett Has Won Me Over

I'll admit, I've never been much of a Jason Garrett fan over the years. But as the Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFC with a 6-1 record, I'm happy to say, he is winning me over as a fan.

When Garrett took over for Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season, he provided a spark for the 1-7 Cowboys, rolling off a 5-3 record to start his tenure as head coach. However, hovering at .500 for several seasons afterward never convinced me he was the answer.

It's fair to say from looking around the league in today's NFL, that a record of 45-43 doesn't typically mean you keep your job. For me, last season was just another example of why I was calling for a coaching change. Not winning without Tony Romo, even enough to keep the team afloat, was so frustrating to watch.

Once again, I placed blame on the coaching staff.

Cowboys Headlines - Stopping The Hate: How Jason Garrett Is Winning Me Over 1

Less than a year later, the Cowboys are the best team in the NFC, and Garrett is leading the charge.

Sure, it's easy to just say, "Garrett is winning, what's not to like." But this goes much deeper than just Ws. Last Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles is a prime example of Garrett's growth as a head coach.

The Cowboys are a young, explosive team, and Garrett's optimistic and visibly positive approach to coaching fits this team well. In the team's biggest game of the year thus far on Sunday Night Football, things weren't looking good for much of the game in all three phases, but Garrett's confidence never wavered.

Dak Prescott looked like an uncomfortable rookie for most of three quarters, struggling against Philadelphia's strong defensive front.

The defense wasn't making enough plays and the special teams unit played easily their worst game of the year. Penalty flags flew on almost every special teams play against Dallas.

But, despite all the struggles, Garrett did what he could to swing momentum back into his team's favor. Good coaches need to have that ability in this league, and I'm confident to say that in a tough spot, down in games, he can pull something out.

The fake punt call was brilliant, and the Cole Beasley to Terrance Williams wide receiver pass almost hit in a big way. On a fourth and short in overtime, Garrett dialed up a quarterback sneak that led to a walk-off win just a few plays later.

Cowboys Headlines - Stopping The Hate: How Jason Garrett Is Winning Me OverThat one was a pretty obvious one, considering the team's offensive line, but still impressive nonetheless.

That aggression goes hand in hand with another one of Garrett's underrated mindsets: starting fast.

Again, I'll admit that I am typically a firm believer of deferring to the second half when winning the coin toss. But since the offense and winning the time of possession battle are vital for the Dallas attack, I'm beginning to love the quick starts as well. Dallas has scored points on five of their seven opening drives this season, and could have been six if not for a missed field goal.

He possesses an optimistic approach to the game that seems to bode well for this young team. He can get creative, and most importantly, he is winning games. I am beginning to trust in him.

I am stopping my Garrett hate once and for all.

Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan behind enemy lines here in New Jersey. CBS Sports employee and contributor for

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

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

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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