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The Safety Dance

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Alright! So it looks like Alan Ball has proven himself to all those non-believers out there. Everybody who thought that the Safety position was going to be our weak point on our top ranked defense. Which is something that I didn't  understand to begin with. When Ken Hamlin was out for 6 games in 2009, Alan Ball came in and the defense never skipped a beat. The thing is about Ball is that he's not outstanding, but he's not horrible. He does exactly what is needed of him to make our defense very effective. The man even put on 20 more pounds so he would be able to better fit his role as a starting Free Safety. His only weakness coming in was his ability to tackle, and he proved people wrong again with an open field tackle on Darren Sproles during last weeks game in San Diego. Ball is a speedy secondary player who is getting smarter, at his position, as the years go by. Not to mention, that he could take over as a 4th or 5th cornerback if things get really hectic.

Now! Let's change the subject to the other side of the field...the Strong Safety position. This position is looking very profitable for the Cowboys as two of their undrafted rookies are stepping up at the position and on special teams. It seems that wherever the ball is you are sure to find Danny McCray or Barry Church

Danny McCray proved himself noticable during the Hall of Fame game where he seemed very aware of all that was thrown his way. He even managed to get a interception.

Barry Church, as we all know, stepped in for injured Gerald Sensabaugh who hurt his shoulder early in the game and will be out 2-4 weeks. Church claims to have been nervous whenever his name was called to go out unto the field. First play for the rookie that day was him matching up again Antonio Gates. Which by any means would be an intimidating situation for any football player to be in. As the game went on he was practically involved in every play. Church's most notable play was his 80-yard fumble return that was unfortunately stopped by a desperate Phillip Rivers weaving around Anthony Spencer's tackle.

It's very evident that these two undrafted rookies are a big to talk about during the preseason. I am forgetting one very important rookie that also has been working hard to live up to his hype. There's another rookie that is bringing a lot of excitement to Cowboy fans other than Dez. His name is hard to remember (...or forget...) Akwasi Owusu-Ansah(say that 10 times fast)...or just AOA. He's not an undrafted rookie but a 4th round pick, that not too many saw coming at that time. I know that Akwasi (I just go by his first name...it's easiest for me to remember and pronounce) showed that he was a viable asset to special teams. So far he has shown that he can tackle and run back punt and kick returns. Akwasi has excellent vision to go along with his elusive speed. Forget anything about him coming from a small school in Pennsylvania (Indiana)...but so did Romo and Austin, looked what happened to them. AOA showed tha the was able to be what all they scouted him for, and this was just his first preseason game. All of his run backs looked very smooth and professional, except for the one fumble that he had on kick return, that was luckily covered up by the other rookie Safety Danny McCray (I guess they watch each others back). I guess, you're come with a few sharp edges that need to be smoothed and filed if you are a rookie, so the fumble can be over looked. Especially, since he came back late in the game with a 45-yard punt return that was called back cause of a illegal blocking call(B.S. as Cowboy fans would call it).

These guys know how to play and they are more than willing to put in all the work that is needed to make this team and to contribute in whatever way possible.

I know that Mike Hamlin will be filling in for Gerald Sensabaugh against Houston this coming Saturday. A lot of Cowboys fans want to see more of either one of those rookies, but Mike Hamlin is still above them on the roster.

The down-side about all of this is Patrick Watkins chances of continuing to keep his roster position. Watkins is still fighting a sore knee that will not make his opportunity to stay on the team any better. Number 25 has experience of 10-games from his 4 year career, but his contract is too big. Why spend money on a veteran who has had his chance to really be a starter and not let one of these younger guys, play for less money, and have just as good ability as the veteran(right now) with potential for a brighter future? I know that Watkins has shown himself to very valuable on special teams...but so have these rookies.

Ball! you made the team. Sensabaugh! you too..but you need to watch yourself. These guys are looking hungery and wanting to prove a point. They are wanting to work hard and get this Dallas Cowboys team back to the glory they are use to having.

I personally think that Watkins has seen his days as a Dallas Cowboy and need to find work on another organization.

I would also like to mention that if things get bad with injuries that Ball could step into the 4th or 5th cornerback position...Oh! I already did mention that. Well...so can Akwasi Owusu-Ansuh. I say we keep 5 Safetys for this season. I say we keep this, position that all these football "expert" "analyst" want to say will be our weakest point on defense, to be one of our strong points. My personal picks would be Ball, Sensabaugh, AOA, Church, and McCray. Each contributing in their own special way to make the Safety position a thing for ESPN and NFL Network "expert" and "analyst" to praise.

We got the talent! Just execute!...and Stay focused!

This team can go far!...or not far at all..when it comes to traveling, that is.... in February.  I think we got it...how about you Dallas Cowboys Nation?




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Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Address TE Need Via Free Agency?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Should Cowboys Address TE Need Via Free Agency?

A season after Jason Witten's retirement, the Dallas Cowboys still have a need at tight end. Replacing a future Hall of Famer is no easy feat so it's only logical that it would take longer than a season to feel good about who's in at tight end.

The Cowboys currently have two tight ends who could be pretty serviceable going forward. Fourth round pick Dalton Schultz did a very solid job as the team's TE2, specially toward the second half of the season. He turned into a pretty good run blocker and despite only racking up 116 yards in 12 catches, he's a guy the Cowboys' offense could use even more in the future.

Also on the team is Blake Jarwin, who functioned as the Cowboys' main tight end for most of 2018. His performance against the New York Giants in week 17 made us wonder whether or not he could be an important target on the Cowboys' offense.

These two could very well have more in them than what we've seen. With a new offensive coordinator in town, tight end is a position the Cowboys could start using way more. As Bobby Belt pointed out on Twitter a few weeks ago, Scott Linehan's offense doesn't benefit tight ends very much. Before we give a verdict on what Schultz and Jarwin can do, I'd like to see them work with Kellen Moore's offense.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

One thing you consistently see when Scott Linehan takes over an offense is a drop in the starting tight end's production. Randy McMichael, Byron Chamberlain, and Jason Witten all saw drops in yards per catch, receptions per game, and yards per game once Linehan took over.

Here's the thing. If the Cowboys are not taking a tight end in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, are they really upgrading what they already have? I'm not sure we'll be convinced about that if they draft a player for the position until the third or fourth round. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating for the Cowboys drafting a TE in the second round, because I believe there are more pressing needs on the team. However, signing a veteran free agent might be the better option for upgrading the position.

Should a veteran TE be an option?

This year, there are quite a few interesting names in the tight end market. Veterans such as Jared Cook, Tyler Eifert and even Antonio Gates will be looking for a new team pretty soon. I know, that would be "getting older." But it could also mean getting better. Building a solid TE committee with a veteran leading Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz could be the way to go for this football team.

Should Cowboys Address TE Need Via Free Agency? 1

TE Tyler Eifert (Aaron Doster / USA TODAY Sports)

Eifert is a great tight end... when he's on the field. Durability is his biggest weakness, as he hasn't played more than 10 games since 2016. The Cowboys could take a risk on him and constantly rotate him with Jarwin and Schultz. It may be a huge risk, but it could pay off big time. If the price is right, Eifert should be targeted by the front office.

The 2018 Oakland Raiders had a season to forget, winning only four games. Even still, Jared Cook's season was impressive. He finished the year with 896 yards and multiple 100-yard games. The biggest issue with Cook is his age. He turns 32 in April. But hey, he's literally coming off from a career year.

Jesse James is a younger guy who could also be worth it. He's not an a potent receiver, but he gets it done in the passing game and is one hell of a blocker. James could be a legit, cheaper option for the Cowboys in free agency.

There are a lot of names out there the front office could look at. Charles Clay was just released by the Buffalo Bills and Nick Boyle will be looking for new job after new arrivals pushed him out of the Baltimore Ravens' roster just to mention a few names.

We'll see what the front office's plans are soon enough, but right now, I'd say tight end is a need the Dallas Cowboys should at least try to address in free agency instead of the NFL Draft.

Tell me what you think about "Should Cowboys Address TE Need Via Free Agency?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Cornerback

Jess Haynie

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Byron Jones

Unlike other positions on their roster, cornerback appears ready to off the Dallas Cowboys stability in 2019. However, that doesn't mean the team can just ignore it this offseason. There are still a few decisions to be made.

Thanks to a shrewd move in April of last year, Dallas will be enjoying Byron Jones' services at a bargain. They picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract and will be paying him just $6.3 million next season.

That's a steal for a Pro Bowl corner, who generally make more than double that amount in a single year. But the Cowboys are still left the decision of whether or not to give Jones a long-term deal now or wait until he hits free agency in 2020.

It's easy to say that they should enjoy the discount and worry about it next year. But then you risk a second Pro Bowl trip and the lure of the open market. Byron's asking price could only go up.

Of course, Dallas could then also have the option of using the franchise tag.

Keep in mind that Jones will turn 27 this September. Dallas could decide that it makes sense to play through the rookie deal this year, franchise him in 2020, and then reassess when he's about to turn 29 years old.

If they give Byron a long-term deal now then they'll have to pay him like one of the top corners in football. It may be wise to wait.

Chidobe Awuzie, Giants

Dallas Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie

Another decision facing the Cowboys is if they think they can improve at the second starting position. It was an up-and-down year for Chidobe Awuzie, but he was playing his best toward the end of the season. Dallas could hope that a second year with Kris Richard's coaching, and just more general growth for a third-year player, will elevate Awuzie's game.

However, with plenty of cap space to work with, Dallas could pursue a solid veteran option and then allow Awuzie to play the nickel role. It would not only perhaps improve the CB2 position but also bolster depth overall.

Speaking of depth, Anthony Brown returns for the final year of his rookie deal. While never spectacular, Brown has been a gem as a former sixth-round pick with 29 career starts. He brings exceptional value and may even compete with Awuzie for the starting job.

While arguably the team's best young corner in 2017, Jourdan Lewis comes into this season with a lot of uncertainty. He fell out of favor last season, perhaps for not fitting the physical style that Richard likes. But he did manage to snag the game-clinching interception in Dallas' upset win over the New Orleans Saints.

If a scheme mismatch is the issue, the Cowboys could look to trade Lewis this offseason. He still has two years left on his rookie deal and was considered a first-round prospect by some in 2017. A cornerback-needy club might have more use for him than Dallas seems to.

If they did move Jourdan, the Cowboys might turn to Donovan Olumba to fill out the depth chart. He was one of their surprising performers in last year's training camp and spent the year on the practice squad. At 6'2", he has the size that the team seems to be looking for now in its corners.

More than likely, Dallas will ride with this group in 2019 with no big changes. I do think a Lewis trade is possible, especially with the Cowboys short on draft picks this year. But don't expect any major cap space or draft capital to go at one of the team's more solid positions.

With all the other work Dallas needs done this offseason, a little stability at cornerback is a luxury.



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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Center

Jess Haynie

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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Center
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Even with Dez Bryant's release and Jason Witten's retirement, the loss of Travis Frederick last season may have been the most damaging to the Dallas Cowboys. The team looks forward to getting their All-Pro center back in 2019 while also having a reliable backup still under contract.

Just within the last few weeks, Frederick has provided encouraging updates on his status for next year. It looks like he'll be able to participate in all offseason activities, but the Cowboys would settle for Week One. There appears to be plenty of cushion for that to happen.

Travis' absence in 2018 was seen in various ways. Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times, second-most in all the league, after just 32 and 25 times the previous two seasons. Part of that is missing Frederick's blocking ability, but also the way he would assist with reading the defense and making pre-snap adjustments.

Dallas would've loved having Frederick out there to help Guard Connor Williams, who worked with Travis throughout the offseason only to lose him in late August. It was not an easy way for the rookie to start his career.

We also saw issues in the run game. Even while Ezekiel Elliott led the NFL in rushing, short-yardage situations weren't as easy as they used to be. The Rams were able to neutralize the Cowboys' rushing attack in Dallas' playoff loss, something that Frederick might have helped overcome.

Joe Looney

Dallas Cowboys G/C Joe Looney

This isn't saying that Joe Looney did a bad job. On the contrary, Looney was more than adequate and helped keep Dallas from suffering far greater damage without Frederick.

After Joe's work in 2018, Dallas won't blink at keeping him on the $1 million salary he's due next year. It's a bargain for a backup of his quality, and especially given his versatility as an option at guard as well.

Not only are Frederick and Looney locked in for 2019, but Dallas also still has backup Adam Redmond under contract through next season. He was added after final cuts last year to be Looney's backup and should return to at least help the team through July and August.

With these guys already in place, there's no reason to think that Dallas will give much attention to the center position during the offseason.

At most, a mid-round draft pick might be used on a player who could potentially replace Looney in 2020 as the backup. Joe's contract ends next season, and he could be competitive for starting jobs with other teams at that point.

With lots of other concerns throughout the roster, Dallas is fortunate to have so much security at center. All signs are positive on Travis Frederick's return, and that is a huge boost to the team as it looks to push forward from last year's playoff run.



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