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The Most Impacted Position Battle By Tony Romo’s Injury

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Headlines - The Most Impacted Position Battle By Tony Romo's Injury

There are a lot of fallout questions from the news that an injury to his back will keep Tony Romo out for some time this season.

Among the long list of things racking my brain since the news officially dropped is a particular position battle on the Dallas Cowboys - Wide Receiver #2. If you haven't yet then let me urge you to consider how deeply this spot is impacted by the change from Tony Romo to Dak Prescott.

Terrance Williams has been this team's compliment to Dez Bryant ever since he was drafted in 2013. While T-Will has given us glimmers of a playmaker, his built up stock with Cowboys Nation wore out last season when he was unable to carry the team in the absence of Romo and Dez.

Perhaps his stock with the Coaching Staff wore out way before then as it was shortly after Dez Bryant went down with his injury last season when the Cowboys traded for Brice Butler. We should have known then that Brice was coming, and many of us have since caught wind of that essential inevitability.

Cowboys Headlines - The Most Impacted Position Battle By Tony Romo's Injury 1

The lone roadblock on Brice Butler's way to Wide Receiver #2 domination seemed to be, and I mean no offense to our quarterback, Tony Romo. It's no secret that Romo has a rapport with Terrance, but on the RJOShow Dolphins Postgame Episode my fellow Staff Writer Jess Haynie made another great point about the Romo factor at WR2.

As we were talking Cowboys/Dolphins, the deep bomb that Dak Prescott threw to Brice Butler came up. I mentioned how Brice's athleticism would be the reason why he would eventually unseat Williams, but Jess pointed out that this exact thing might work to Butler's demise in a Romo-led offense.

Calling a spade a spade here, Tony Romo doesn't have the arm strength to deliver a ball 50+ yards downfield. That's ok. He makes up for it in many, many, many other ways; however, Dak Prescott does have the arm strength to put a ball 150 feet away from him.

Since the collective world of the Dallas Cowboys will be led by Dak Prescott for the next 6-10 weeks, loyal RJOShow listener and Inside The Star reader @K1ng_0f_Harts reminded me of Jess and I's conversation Saturday evening. Suddenly... Brice Butler's athleticism and all the compliments that come with it are able to be fully utilized by someone with Dak Prescott's arm strength.

I touched on this issue during the RJOShow Tony Romo Bonus Episode, but this is bigger than I think any of us realize. Romo's injury is obviously ginormous for the future of this team because we'll get to see what we have in Dak, but the Cowboys are only going to bring back one of Terrance Williams or Brice Butler. The next 6-10 weeks could go a long, long way in determining who that's going to be when they hit the negotiating table next offseason.

Who do you think will flourish while Dak Prescott is the Cowboys Quarterback? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "The Most Impacted Position Battle By Tony Romo’s Injury" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.

By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.

While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.

Byron Jones

The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.

Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.

Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.

Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.

Chaz Green

Okay, hear me out.

The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.

Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.

Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.

Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.

La'el Collins

It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.

Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.

Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.

Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.

If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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