#46 Alfred Morris
Alfred Bruce Morris was born in Pensacola, Florida on December 12, 1988. He played his collegiate football at Florida Atlantic University. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but is currently a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Alfred Morris attended Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track.
In track, Morris was one of the top performers in the state in jumping events. In 2007, at the FHSSA 1A-2A Outdoor State Finals, he finished in 10th place in the triple jump event, with a career-best jump of 13.40 m. He also got a place ribbon in the long jump with a leap of 6.48 m and ran the 200 m in 23.46 seconds.
On the football field, Alfred Morris was a two-way player at Pine Forest High School. As a senior, he rushed for 1,049 yards and 17 touchdowns on offense. On defense, he accumulated 147 tackles and five interceptions.
Alfred Morris was named North West Florida MVP, first-team All-State, Max Emfirger All-American, and was a game MVP. He also participated in the PSA All-Star Game. Academically, he was named the student-athlete of the month for Pine Forest High School.
Alfred Morris decided to accept a football scholarship to Florida Atlantic University to continue his career on the gridiron.
Alfred Morris enjoyed a redshirt season his first year at Florida Atlantic University in 2007. In 2008, Morris played in 11 games and had seven carries for 23 rushing yards. He also accumulated 10 tackles on special teams, which included seven solo tackles.
Morris began the 2009 season as a virtually unknown player, but by the end of the year he held the Sun Belt Conference rushing title with 1,392 rushing yards. Alfred Morris’ 1,392 rushing yards was a single season rushing record for FAU. He finished his sophomore campaign with seven straight 100 yard games, the SBC rushing title, the FAU MVP title, the FAU team Academic Award, and the University Male Student Athlete of the Year award, as honored by the University’s Provost.
In 2010, Morris’ final season at FAU, he carried the ball 227 times for 928 rushing yards. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored a touchdown in seven of his last 11 games. He finished just 72 yards shy of becoming the first FAU player to have back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
For his career at Florida Atlantic University, Alfred Morris played in a total of 35 games. He had a total of 497 rushing attempts for 2,343 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
2012 NFL Draft
The Washington Redskins drafted Alfred Morris in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Morris didn’t particularly have a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, scoring poorly in a few of the events. He only managed to run a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, which is slow by NFL standards.
There were also concerns about his size when it came to playing at the next level.
The Washington Redskins used the sixth round draft pick they received in a trade from the Minnesota Vikings for quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Alfred Morris had a strong showing in the 2012 preseason, his rookie season, and ended up being named the starter by head coach Mike Shanahan.
In his NFL debut, Alfred Morris rushed for 96 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. In week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Morris was nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week after rushing for 70 rushing yards on 17 carries and scoring a touchdown. He would end up winning Rookie of the Week twice in 2012, in weeks 7 and 14 against the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
In his final game that season, Alfred Morris rushed for 200 yards on 33 carries, scoring three touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys, which set new Redskins records. His performance helped the Redskins when the NFC East division for the first time since 1999.
He finished his rookie season 2nd in the NFL with 1,613 rushing yards — behind only Adrian Peterson — and scored 13 rushing touchdowns, 2nd in the NFL behind Arian Foster. He broke Clinton Portis’ single-season rushing record (1,516) and Charley Taylor’s record of most touchdowns scored by a rookie (10). He also became the fourth player in NFL history to record over 1,600 rushing yards in his rookie season.
In 2013, Alfred Morris was not quite as productive as his rookie season, but still finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,275. He also scored seven rushing touchdowns. He ended up playing in the 2014 Pro Bowl after originally only being selected as an alternate.
In 2014, Morris rushed for 1,074 yards and scored eight touchdowns. His 1,074 rushing yards was his third consecutive season to rush for over 1,000 yards. He went to the 2015 Pro Bowl as an alternate for running back LeSean McCoy.
In 2015, Alfred Morris’ final season with the Washington Redskins, he remained the starter despite splitting carries with Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. His production declined significantly and he finished his last year in Washington with only 751 rushing yards and one measly rushing touchdown.
Alfred Morris signed a two-year contract to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in March 2016.
On March 21, 2016, the Dallas Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Morris received $1.8 million guaranteed, including a $1 million signing bonus. He can earn up to $500,000 per game in 2017 if he’s on the active roster and another $1 million dollar escalator is also available.
Alfred Morris’ base salary with the Cowboys in 2016 is $800,000 and he has a cap number of $1,300,000. In 2017, his base salary is $1,200,000 and he has a cap hit of $2,200,000. It is unlikely he receives a second contract from the Cowboys with both Ezekiel Elliott and Darius Jackson on the roster.
If the Dallas Cowboys decide to move on from Morris after the 2016 season, they will save $1,700,000, but there will be $500,000 in dead money.
Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills
Although the Dallas Cowboys won't be on the clock in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they essentially invested their first pick in Amari Cooper. However, wide receiver remains a need for the team, specially with Cole Beasley heading for free agency. Out of West Virginia, Wide Receiver David Sills is an interesting potential target for Dallas. A quarterback-turned-wide-receiver story, Sills is one of those guys who constantly shows up when you watch his football team play. That's what you want in a receiver.
Let's dive in.
During his time playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers, David Sills was a scoring machine. He scored 35 career touchdowns (15 in 2018, 18 in 2017) and caught over 980 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter. The Big 12 is known for its lack of good defensive backs, which will naturally raise skepticism when discussing how good Sills really is but it shouldn't.
Sills is 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds. His frame is constantly criticized but thanks to his size and his excellent ability to high point the football that shouldn't be an issue. He's one of the best in this draft class when it comes to 50-50 jump balls. He shines the most as a vertical threat, including over the middle of the field, which should be an interesting trait for the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his career, he was almost indefensible when given the opportunity at deep over the shoulder passes.
Although he doesn't have the best acceleration, Sills' build-up speed can be lethal for opposing defensive backs. Paired with this is his skill to adjust for deep balls, slowing down when necessary to take on defenders.
What I personally like the most about Sills is his play in goal line situations. Whether it's playing inside on a slant or running a fade route, the Mountaineer wide receiver surely made a lot of opposing defenses suffer. Thanks to his background as a quarterback, his understanding of defensive coverages is pretty solid. He manages to find the defense's soft spots and get open constantly.
But why isn't he valued as a top prospect on this year's NFL Draft? Well, unfortunately, there are a few reasons for this.
First off, David Sills had some problems in the "drops" department. He has plenty of body catches that aren't necessary. When balls weren't on target, he often didn't make the play despite counting with a pretty good catch radius. He can greatly improve in his route running abilities and he was challenged by true press cornerbacks, struggling to release early.
For the Dallas Cowboys, Sills could be a solid contributor as a vertical threat and in the red-zone, where the offense struggled so much last season. With the class being quite loaded at wide receiver this year, Sills should be a realistic target even in the fourth round.
Cowboys Receive 4th-Round Compensatory Pick in 2019 NFL Draft
The Dallas Cowboys will receive an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after the league awarded compensatory picks today.
The pick will be 136th overall, which is one spot below were Dallas drafted Dak Prescott in 2016.
And in other news... NFL awarded compensatory draft picks today - Patriots and Rams each received two third-round picks. The full list, per sources:
We have Anthony Hitchens to thank for this extra pick. The former Cowboys linebacker signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Chiefs last offseason which far surpassed any of the deal that Dallas made with their own free agent acquisitions.
Only free agents whose contracts expired, not those released in the offseason by their previous team, count towards the compensatory pick formula. Therefore, Allen Hurns' deal was not a mitigating factor.
As mentioned already, the fourth round of the NFL Draft recently gave Dallas its starting quarterback. Other notable fourth-round picks in the modern era have been Hitchens, Doug Free, Marion Barber, and Chris Canty.
Last year, Dallas drafted DE Dorance Armstrong and TE Dalton Schultz with fourth-round picks.
Already short their first and sixth-round picks this year from previous trades, the Cowboys are certainly happy to have this extra selection for April's draft.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Linebacker
One of the brightest spots on the Dallas Cowboys' projected 2019 roster is linebacker. The young pair of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have already emerged as one of the league's best duos. But that doesn't mean that the Cowboys have no work to do at the position this offseason.
Having Jaylon and Leighton does take a lot of pressure off. Most teams utilize their nickel scheme more than any other these days, which generally utilizes just two linebackers, in the increasingly pass-focused NFL. And thankfully, both Smith and Vander Esch have shown great skills in pass defense.
But there's still a semi-starting role to get figured out in the base 4-3 scheme. Damien Wilson has held the strong-side or "SAM" position for the last few years and has an expiring contract.
What's more, Dallas has a big decision to make regarding the contract of Sean Lee, which is ripe for terminating with $7 million in salary cap savings possible.
It's highly unlikely that the Cowboys would keep both Lee and Wilson. If they decide to re-sign Damien, Lee will be cut to help fund that move and others. If Sean is kept on, Wilson will almost surely be looking for a starting role somewhere else in free agency.
Even if the Cowboys do make Lee a cap casualty between now and March 13th, they may still allow Wilson to test free agency and then try to re-sign him later at a discount. He's unlikely to attract the same attention that Anthony Hitchens got last year.
Another factor in all of this is Joe Thomas, a free agent addition last year who provided good depth and could potentially start in 2019. He is scheduled to count $2.2 million against the cap, which is fine for a primary reserve but a bargain for an occasional starter.
A core of Smith, Thomas, and Vander Esch gives the Cowboys a good foundation to build from. Smith can play the SAM in the base scheme and Thomas can be the primary backup to Jaylon and Leighton in the nickel.
However, going that route would deplete the depth chart. Chris Covington, a sixth-round pick last year, would be the only noteworthy player under contract. Dallas would need to find at least two more guys to fill out the group for 2019.
They could look at re-signing backup Justin March-Lillard, who would at least bring some familiarity and veteran experience. But that might still leave them looking for more of a primary reserve, which would be especially vital if Thomas is promoted to a starting role.
The projected LB free agent pool for 2019 should make it a buyer's market. Dallas may be able to re-sign Damien Wilson or even add an upgrade, like perhaps the Vikings' Anthony Barr, at a relative bargain. There should be ample options for depth as well.
Barring an extremely favorable value opportunity, don't expect the Cowboys to spend a significant draft pick at linebacker. The fourth-round is the earliest I could see one going based on other needs, and even then it would need to be someone they really like.
Good drafting is why Dallas has flexibility and leverage this offseason. The picks they invested in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch appear to have made LB a strength of the team for the next several years.
There is still business to attend to, but the Cowboys won't have to be too concerned with linebacker in 2019 thanks to their young stars.
Star Blog4 days ago
Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
3 Free Agent Targets for the Dallas Cowboys Offense
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
How Does LB Joe Thomas Fit Into Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Cowboys C Travis Frederick Provides Update on Recovery, 2019 Return
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Mock Draft Analysis: Who are Experts Sending to the Cowboys?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
Dak Prescott Won’t Give A “Hometown Discount,” Nor Should He
Star Blog1 week ago
Should the Cowboys Try to Pry RB Duke Johnson Away From Cleveland?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys Need a Veteran Backup QB in 2019?