Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

The Most Important Man To The Cowboys Success

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Blog - Seven Personnel Adjustments That The Cowboys Should Make

The 2016 Dallas Cowboys season has been epic.

Seven straight victories, one of the top offenses in the NFL, two unprecedentedly great rookies, the best offensive line in football, and the top record in the NFC.

Nobody saw this coming. Not a single person. Sure, I thought the Cowboys could win the NFC East if Tony Romo played in at least 13 of the team's 16 games. I thought they could eke out 10 wins this year, maybe 11 if they stole one against the Packers.

Boy, was I wrong. And I am so happy that I was so wrong.

As great as the offense has been, and as impressive as both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have been, the most important man to the Cowboys success has nothing to do with the offense. In fact, he is not even a player on the Cowboys roster.

The most important man to the Cowboys success is defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

And if you don't believe me let's revisit the Cowboys off-season. Cowboys Blog - Cowboys 14-4 When Marinelli's Defense Forces A Turnover

Three, I repeat three of the Cowboys projected defensive starters began the season suspended. Of the three, only one of them has returned. The other two, Rolando McClain and Randy Gregory, aren't even expected to return at all this year by many around the organization. At best, they'll get Gregory back in late December, but they have somehow been successful without him.

Arguably the three most talented players on this defense, aren't even on the defense this season. Linebacker Jaylon Smith has been out since day one in Dallas, and there is no anticipation of his return any time soon. Plus, as mentioned earlier, McClain and Gregory have been out as well.

And yet, the Cowboys are 7-1.

16. The number of career sacks Cowboys defensive ends had before week one.

18. The number of sacks the Cowboys have accumulated as a team in 2016.

Yeah, this is a big deal.

We all knew creating a pass rush with just four down linemen was going to be difficult for the Cowboys to do this year, but Rod Marinelli has found ways to draw up pressures for his defense to put on opposing quarterbacks.

The sacks have been timely, such as Orlando Scandrick's huge third down sack against the Eagles. This defense makes plays when it matters most, and that is a reflection of their defensive coordinator.

Young guys have emerged as good players, such as Maliek Collins and Davis Irving, but Marinelli's ability to develop their talent and the talent of everyone on this defense has to be credited.

Somehow, this under-talented and much maligned Cowboys defense is in the top 15 against the pass, has allowed just 17.5 points per game, and has forced 10 turnovers through 8 games. No, the numbers aren't great, but they are much better than anyone expected. And they have been good enough to win 7 straight games.

The most impressive stat from this defense, is that which was tweeted out by Cowboys Nation yesterday.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

The Cowboys are the only team in the NFL that still has not allowed an opposing 100 yard rusher or receiver.

That's right, the only team which is yet to allow a 100 yard rusher or receiver. The season is halfway over and this is a real stat! This is incredible.

For perspective, the Cowboys allowed both their first 100 yard rusher and receiver week 3 of last year against Atlanta, when Julio Jones went for 164 yards and Devonta Freeman ran for 141. Through 8 games this year, performances like these have been completely stopped.

Of course, arguments can be made that others are more important to the Cowboys success. Dak Prescott, the rookie 4th round quarterback who has been damn near perfect, comes to mind, as well as head coach Jason Garrett.

Regardless, the impact and importance of what Marinelli is doing with this defense should be no discounted. The man has been an absolute wizard so far, and is a huge reason for the Cowboys 7-1 record.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here