...from me, at least.
If you are like me, you are sick of hearing/reading about it, regardless if you were against or for his release. In the beginning, I was against it. I didn't like his mouth. I didn't like his me first attitude. But I was willing to put up with it considering his production. Shame on me...especially considering I was also against him joining the team in the first place.
But truth be told, if we only look at 2008, his performance hinged on several different contingencies to be effective. First, he had to have a free release off the line in most cases to get open. Second, while his top end speed was still impressive, the amount of time he took to get to that speed had deteriorated from years past. And lastly, his ability to catch, in my mind, suffered as a result of over-self-improvement. We hear and read the term "soft hands" quite a bit, but rarely consider what that truly means. But if you envisage his overall physique, chances are his hands followed suit with the rest of his body: Hard. Add to that his age of 35 and one could come to the conclusion just based on performance alone, minus all the drama that is a big part of T.O.'s entourage, that perhaps the Cowboy's made the right decision in moving on and further grooming the youthful WR's currently on the roster.
Now, let's add the drama back.
The latest news has T.O. running a camp at Duncanville Highschool and the distinguished guest of honor at a going away party Thursday night. In short, he made the comment that everyone knew Romo was the quarterback and thus the leader of the team; Romo simply failed to rise to the occasion. But, in the end, everyone blamed T.O. and he accepts the role of scapegoat, especially considering he is no longer a part of the team (paraphrased). Just so we are clear, if anyone made T.O. a scapegoat, it was the media.
Admittedly, the media did play a huge role in the drama filled 2008 season. The media is a monster. But like all monsters, the media must be fed. And since T.O. seems to be the one that continually feed's said monster, from a legal point of view, the monster was T.O.'s pet. As the owner of that pet, T.O. is responsible for whatever damage it causes, as well.
Nevertheless, despite his annoying and poorly-behaved pet, T.O.'s problem is and always has been T.O. His philosophy is to be honest no matter what, which is admirable. But the problem with his so-called honesty is that filter that discludes him from accountability. When you are a member of a team, and a member of your team makes a mistake, who made the mistake, the individual or the team? The correct answer is the team. Doesn't matter if it's a professional sports team, a research team, or a military team, as a whole you are only as strong as your weakest man, which means everyone on the team is responsible for the team's success and failures. Now let's flash back to where T.O.'s problem's really began in Philadelphia.
On April 2005, Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and indicated that he would seek to have his contract with the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004 (most of which being bonus money as his base salary was only $660,000), and was slated to make $4.5 million in 2005. This two year amount did not place Owens in the top 10 paid wide receivers playing. He also made a comment to the effect that he "wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl"; the remark, thought by most to be directed at quarterback Donovan McNabb, caused a controversy between them to heat up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrell_Owens).
It really doesn't matter who T.O. was referring to, because if an individual on that team "got tired" then the team as a whole "got tired." Furthermore, to use the performance of another as ammunition to get a raise is despicable. Imagine if your co-worker were to throw you under the bus as ammunition for getting an increase in pay. Beyond his ignominious display of narcissism, one has to wonder if he truly believed this comment in regards to another player helped his cause. If anything, that comment in the end meant millions of lost dollars. That loss would make most introspective in hind-sight, but because of his overall wealth and the lack of pain truly experienced as a result of his actions, he will likely never change.
T.O.'s team concept is skewed, which is why he is a cancer. When he can openly question other players, coaches, and management, this open's the door for younger player's who look up to T.O. as someone they want to emulate to also question others. When everyone is questioning everyone, execution will suffer team-wide. It happens quick. And once the damage is done, there is no fixing it until the cancer and all those who were effected by the cancer are removed. Plain and simple.
Here's looking forward to 2009's Chemotherapied Cowboys!!!
Is 2019 Wide Receiver Group Best Dak Prescott Has Worked With?
Dak Prescott will be leading the Dallas Cowboys offense for the fourth consecutive year in what has been a very unlikely career. In three seasons, he's led the Cowboys to two NFC East titles and one playoff win. He's done so with quality offenses, starting by a strong offensive line and an elite running back in Ezekiel Elliott. During his career in Dallas he's had some solid receivers, but he hasn't played with a group as strong as the one he'll have in the upcoming 2019 season.
This year's starters will be headlined by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb. Although there's many other intriguing players to watch at the position, those three are the presumed starting three.
Despite the big debate among fans and analysts, Prescott has been able to win games for this football team. Perhaps his worst came at the beginning of last season, when the team's plan of not having a WR1 backfired terribly.
In the first seven weeks of the 2018 season, Dak averaged only 202 yards per game. In that span he threw for less than 200 yards in four games. Once the team traded for Cooper, that average rose all the way up to 274 yards per game. He threw for less than 200 yards in only one occasion since then.
Michael Gallup is poised for a breakout season after a rookie season in which he improved every week. The Cowboys' 2018 third-round pick didn't get as much playing time at the beginning of the season as he fought for snaps with Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin among others. In the postseason, Gallup caught six passes for 119 yards. He still has a long way to go, but the talent is clearly there.
As for Randall Cobb, many fans have doubts. He's coming in to replace Cole Beasley, who was such an effective slot wide receiver. Cobb's style will likely be different, and although he might not be as good at shaking defenders off as ol' #11, he'll be more of a downfield threat than Beasley.
Comparing this starting group to the ones from prior years, it really seems like the best Dak Prescott has worked with. During his first couple of years in the league, Dak played with a Dez Bryant that (like it or not) wasn't anywhere close to his peak. 2016-2017 Dez wasn't on last year's Amari Cooper's level. Williams had his moments, but wasn't consistent and was well-known as a body-catcher.
This year's group has its question marks, that's for sure. Randall Cobb hasn't played a full season since 2015 due to injuries and Michael Gallup doesn't have a ton of experience and is yet to breakout. Even still, it seems like Prescott will have a great group of pass-catchers to help him lead the Cowboys to another NFC East title. It'll be an interesting fourth year for the young Cowboys quarterback. It's definitely good to see he'll have help.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Offensive Tackle
The Dallas Cowboys appear to be bringing back the same key trip of players at offensive tackle from last year. But with talk that 2019 could be La'el Collins' last season in Dallas, will we see signs that the Cowboys are preparing for future changes in how they handle the position in this year's training camp?
With Tyron Smith as an All-Pro fixture at left tackle, and Cameron Fleming re-signed this offseason to be the swing tackle, the intrigue swirls around Collins and his impending free agency in 2020. If the Cowboys have no intention of paying La'el what he can command on the open market, what might they do now to lay the groundwork for Collins' exit?
Here's a quick look at the projected OT depth chart for 2019 camp:
- Tyron Smith, La'el Collins
- Cam Fleming, Jake Campos
- Mitch Hyatt, Derrick Puni, Brandon Knight
As was just said, the returning top three are locked in to those spots. Campos is a carryover from last year's practice squad, so that experience gives him a potential edge over the three undrafted rookies.
Back to the top, though, and this situation with La'el Collins. If Dallas had Collins locked up for years to come, they would likely only keep the two starters and Fleming as a backup. A fourth OT is unlikely to be active on game days, and they have Guard Connor Williams' college experience as a tackle in case of an emergency.
If the Cowboys are truly thinking that La'el won't be back in 2020, perhaps they use a roster spot now to hang on to a player who they value for depth next year.
This is where undrafted rookie Mitch Hyatt becomes an intriguing figure in this 2019 camp. He comes from a championship college program at Clemson and was projected as a late-round pick this year. Dallas made him a priority free agent signing after the draft.
Of course, Campos, Knight, or Puni have the potential to make some noise as well. But Hyatt would seem to have the most upside of the group, and Dallas might be willing to consider him as a 2020 swing tackle option if he can hit the ground running in camp this year.
Cam Fleming is also going to need to have a strong camp to help the Cowboys' in their strategy. Letting Collins go would be predicated on their comfort level with Fleming as the right tackle next year. If he struggles now, then doesn't get much playing time in the regular season, that would likely shake their confidence.
The final result of all this talk could be that La'el Collins and Dallas actually do figure out a way to continue their relationship. But when the Cowboys drafted Connor McGovern in the third round of this last draft it felt like a future-pointed move, with Collins' projected departure the likely impetus for the investment.
What we may wind up seeing is McGovern taking over at left guard and allowing Connor Williams to replace Collins at tackle. But that's a discussion better saved for next offseason.
You can read more about La'el Collins impending free agency in this recent article by our own Kevin Brady. A few weeks back, I also discussed the idea that Dallas should trade Collins now rather than lose him as a free agent next year.
For now, the offensive tackles in 2019 should have continuity and stability. But if we really pay attention in this training camp and preseason, we may see signs of what the Cowboys are planning to do at the position in the coming years.
~ ~ ~
OTHER 2019 CAMP PREVIEWS
Randall Cobb Will Be a Different Slot WR for Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys signing Randall Cobb might just be the most underrated move of their offseason. For less than five million dollars, they got an experienced wide receiver who is only 28 years old. The former Green Bay Packer has had a solid career wearing green and yellow and now gets the chance to play with the Cowboys' colors. But what can we expect from the veteran wideout?
There are some players who are absolute locks to make the 53-man roster and Cobb is one of them. That much is clear. On the depth chart, he probably sits behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, who will likely be the number one and number two receivers, respectively.
With Cole Beasley departing to the Buffalo Bills in free agency, Cobb is expected to take his place as the offense's starting slot receiver. Cowboys Nation knows very well just how good Beasley was at playing in the slot. His ability to shake defenders off was really impressive and his hands were reliable. However, we might see something different from Cobb.
Yes, it all points toward him playing the same position, but don't expect him to be a Beasley 2.0. This is of course, not a bad thing. Something fans consistently complained about Scott Linehan's offense were the short routes receivers had to run. In Cobb's short time with the Cowboys, we're seeing deeper routes even out of the slot position.
Bryan Broaddus from DallasCowboys.com wrote: "the ball to Cobb even playing out of the slot is further down the field. We hadn’t seen that from Cole Beasley and visually it looks different."
This should be exciting for Cowboys fans, specially considering all the positive reviews on new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. What we see from Randall Cobb in 2019 could be very different from what we had seen from Beasley in prior years.
It's also worth mentioning that word is Cobb has quickly developed an important chemistry with his new quarterback, Dak Prescott. Beasley was very important in Prescott's rookie season, when he averaged 52.1 yards per game and accounted for five touchdowns.
While Beasley was an important receiver for Cowboys, he wasn't really known as a team leader. Cowboys reporter Lindsay Cash Draper wrote about Cobb's leadership skills will carry on to the team whether he's doing it intentionally or not. It's always good to have such presences out there on the training field to spark the team.
Randall Cobb won't be this team's #1 guy or anything like that, but he will surely contribute every week. When we look back to this offseason, I believe this signing will look like a great move by the Cowboys' front office.
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