#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.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Tight End
The shocking return of Jason Witten is a feelgood story for the 2019 Dallas Cowboys, but will it really mean on the field? How will Witten's big presence impact the tight end position during the upcoming training camp and beyond?
Before we ever knew Jason would come back from retirement, Blake Jarwin was stirring up excitement as the new starting TE this year. His huge three-touchdown game in Week 17 last year, while an extreme example, showed the kind of receiving threat he might be going forward.
Still, before Witten announce his return to football, some wanted the Cowboys to invest more in the position. Whether it came in the form of a veteran free agent like Jared Cook or Tyler Eifert, or a high draft pick, there was the thought that Dallas needed to guard themselves against Jarwin being a flash in the pan.
But once we heard that Jason was back, we knew that there wouldn't be any big moves at TE this offseason. The Cowboys are hoping that some combination of Witten's actual return to the field, or his mentoring of their young prospects, will elevate the position from last year.
Here is our projected TE depth chart for the 2019 training camp:
- Jason Witten
- Blake Jarwin
- Dalton Schultz
- Rico Gathers
- Codey McElroy
While Jarwin may wind up having the most snaps and targets of any TE this season, it's a safe bet that Witten will get some deference as a Cowboys legend. That's why we're making him the starter right now, even with a year away.
The balancing between Blake and Jason as the top two will be something we watch all season. Not only does it impact the 2019 offense, but we want to know if Dallas has a TE of the future in house or will need to make a big move next year to solidify the position.
2018 4th-round pick Dalton Schultz may have something to say about the presumed top two. If he's made some strides in his sophomore season, Schultz could force a full-blown committee approach at tight end.
From a financial standpoint, Dallas would love for Schultz to take over the position in 2020. He is signed through 2021 on a cheap rookie contract, while Jarwin will be a restricted free agent next year.
Predicting who emerges between Jarwin and Schultz is hard to say, but what isn't hard to imagine is that these may be Rico Gathers' last few weeks as a Cowboy.
Now entering his fourth season, the basketball-to-football transformation project has not been able to break through. He has expressed frustration with the TE depth chart during the offseason, and a one-game suspension to start 2019 isn't going to help matters.
Dallas may just be keeping three tight ends this year. They have WR Noah Brown and FB Jamize Olawale who are built to do play like smallish TEs. If they only keep three, it won't matter how much Rico has progressed.
If the Cowboys go with four tight ends that last guy may not be Gathers. They signed prospect Codey McElroy this offseason, who spent last year as an undrafted rookie with the Rams. McElroy may be their new developmental project.
Dallas' 2019 camp will offer plenty of new insights into the TE position. How do they split the workload between Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz? Can Rico Gathers do anything to fight his way into the conversation, or will he lose his spot to Codey McElroy?
We look forward to getting some more answers in the coming weeks.
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OTHER 2019 CAMP PREVIEWS
PFF Ranks Cowboys Run Defense 13th In The NFL
The Cowboys duo of young linebackers took the NFL by storm in 2018.
Rookie Leighton Vander Esch and former second round pick Jaylon Smith played well above expectations, as for the first time in years Dallas did not face a significant drop off in defensive production when Sean Lee was out and injured.
These young linebackers are the cornerstone of a run defense which should be among the league's best going forward, and Pro Football Focus agrees. Well, somewhat agrees.
PFF ranked all 32 run defenses heading into the 2019 season, slotting the Cowboys 13th overall. Better than half the league, but not quite top 10.
PFF's reasoning behind this ranking certainly makes sense, as they credit the young linebacker duo without mentioning much of what will be in front of them helping to stop opposing running games.
"The Cowboys’ run defense begins and ends with the league’s best young linebacker duo. Leighton Vander Esch ranked third in run-stop percentage as a rookie while Jaylon Smith checked in at 29th."
The playoff loss in Los Angeles has left a bad taste about the Cowboys' interior defensive line in a lot of mouths, but I do think they've improved the unit this offseason. Signing Christian Covington and drafting Trysten Hill was a nice start to do so, but having Maliek Collins healthy and Antwaun Woods back for a full season will also go a long way.
Interestingly enough, two of the Cowboys divisional foes came in ranked above them on this list. Washington was slotted as the 12th best run defense, while Philadelphia was placed at number 8. Both teams' units deserve respect, of course, but this further highlights how difficult it could be to run the ball in the NFC East this season.
While I hate simply throwing this term around, analytics suggest that passing is what wins games in the NFL. Passing and stopping the pass, I should say.
With strong run defenses in their division, the Cowboys will need to maximize their passing game efficiency if they want to repeat as NFC East champions.
3 Reasons Amari Cooper is Primed for an All-Pro Season
Amari Cooper changed life for the entire Dallas Cowboys offense in 2018. Finally, Quarterback Dak Prescott has the number one option at wide receiver he's desperately needed since his rookie campaign. Now, after half a season and multiple playoff games under his belt in Dallas, Cooper is set to have a monster year. Here are three specific reasons why.
Head Coach Jason Garrett has established a certain way of doing things in Dallas since taking over in 2010. His constant search for the RKG or "Right Kinda Guy" as he puts it has the culture in the locker room at a very positive and productive place. As criticized as he is, justifiably or not, he has his team all on the same page. This is something Cooper has been trying to find since he entered the league in 2015. An organization with the right mindset in order for him to perform and maximize his skill set. After being traded to Dallas, Cooper opened up in November about being unhappy during his days in Oakland.
"I wasn't really happy in Oakland or anything like that. But when I sat and thought about it [Monday} night, I thought about the fact that they traded me away. I don't know how to feel about it," Cooper told Yahoo Sports.
This may seem small to others considering these players make millions of dollars right? Well, it doesn't change the fact that they're human. When you feel unappreciated you don't play to the best of your abilities. Shortly after the trade, Cooper talked about how he's been different since putting a star on his helmet. "I feel like it did change me, as far as having that chip on my shoulder. Not that I wasn't passionate before, but playing with more passion, trying to intentionally have fun out there. It definitely has changed me, in terms of me going out there and just having fun with it," Cooper said. A change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered for Cooper and the Cowboys.
2. The other weapons around him
The Cowboys aren't just Amari Cooper or bust at the wide receiver position. Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb provide more challenges for defenses on a weekly basis. Gallup has firmly locked down the number two spot on the depth chart. It took a while for him to establish chemistry with Dak Prescott, as they would misfire on several big plays during the first half of the season. Nonetheless, by seasons end things started to pick up, and he finished with 33 receptions for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns. In the playoffs, he scored a touchdown in the Cowboys Wild Card win over Seattle. The next week against the Rams he performed well even in defeat, with 6 receptions for 119 yards. He's got speed, size, and versatility. Now with a full season and two games of playoff experience under his belt, I look for even more production from Gallup, as a possible breakout star.
Randall Cobb is a much-needed upgrade in the slot for the Cowboys. Unlike former receiver Cole Beasley, Cobb can line up inside or outside. Giving new Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore a bigger bag of tricks at his disposal. Now, he can lineup Cooper inside or outside and play with a plethora of different looks, keeping defenses off balance because of the uncertainty of how the Cowboys will attack through the air.
Then, of course, there's Ezekiel Elliott. The two-time rushing champion is the tone-setter on offense and dictates how defenses will attack. With Cooper being such a threat in the air you basically have to pick your poison. 8-9 man fronts against the run can make you vulnerable to play action down the field or quick slants with Cooper's exceptional route running. The more productive Elliott is the more honest it keeps opposing defenses, opening up more opportunities in the passing game. Averaging 101.2 yards per game for his career, second all-time to Hall of Famer Jim Brown, Elliott can make create even more opportunities for Cooper in 2019 with a full season of playing time together.
Amari Cooper is currently looking to sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys. Preferably, both sides would like to get this deal done before the season starts considering he's in the last year of his rookie contract that is set to pay him 13.9 million in 2019. However, it isn't just a new deal that motivates Cooper heading into the new season.
"It's kind of a weird situation, just being that I've never been in this situation before, talking about a contract. But also, I'm under a fifth-year option, so I'm not too familiar with it. I really don't ask my agent many questions. I'm not really worried about it that much. I'm more focused on actually playing and really earning the respect and then the contract," Cooper said.
Being motivated by earning respect is a very mature approach from Cooper. Now, add that to the fact that I'm sure he wants to firmly put his name alongside Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr, and Michael Thomas as the best receivers in the game, you have a fully motivated number one option heading into the new season.
Amari Cooper has already made three pro bowls, but now there's another level for him to reach. In just nine games last year with the Cowboys he caught 53 passes for 725 yards and 6 touchdowns. Also, he caught another 13 on 18 targets in the playoffs for 171 yards and a score. He's in the right culture, he has a number of other weapons around him and he has multiple reasons to be motivated heading in the new season. With a full offseason of building chemistry with Dak Prescott, I see Cooper taking that leap to the All-Pro level in 2019.
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