There becomes a time, where teams rebuild, and youth becomes superior and preferable to age. We've seen it time and time again. Eli Manning Replaces Kerry Collins, Tom Brady replaces Drew Bledsoe. Typically teams go into a slump, losing game after game while trying to quickly breed a plethora of youth into becoming superstars.
Luckily, the Cowboys have a more unique and much better situation. Through good drafts and free agency moves the Cowboys are able to (or have) replace seasoned veterans with well bred, talented young players that will kick start the next decade of Cowboys players. So fittingly I thought we'd take a look at what moves and players we're prepared to see.
Anthony Spencer replaces Greg Ellis- It's been coming for a while now. Greg saw a re-emergence in the 2007-2008 season, but has slowed down considerably from what he was, and though he's still a good player, he's not as dynamic as Spencer, who has 4.5 sacks in extremely limited play. I like what I've seen so far and expect great things from him as Ellis come to the end of a wonderful career.
Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins become play makers- With Anthony Henry Gone, expect a hard battled competition to emerge to replace him, though Jenkins may have the upper hand, expect to see Scandrick rotate with him. These two young cornerbacks bring speed and coverage abilities, and Scandrick has shown good tackling abilities. As Scandrick and Jenkins figure out their strengths, our defense will emerge as a turnover machine. I believe that we will see Scandrick flourish in zone coverage's, while Jenkins will bring man to man coverage abilities comparable to Mel Renfro.
Hatcher and Bowen become a relief tandem worth fearing- The release of Chris Canty had the Cowboys believing Hatcher and Bowen would be starting, that is before the signing of Ivan the great. Hatcher and Bowen however, will offer fresh legs, strength, and speed that will harass opposing running backs, offensive lines, and quarterbacks.
Felix and Tashard force Garrett to make the right Choice- Felix is the speediest back that I can recall ever seeing play. He has explosive speed from the handoff and can shed tackles. However, His play-making ability may be limited due to fatigue so he needs to see a smaller number of carries then Barber and Choice. Yes I said it Choice. He has displayed stellar workhorse back attributes and has me excited to see how dynamic he makes our rushing attack. Barber is a given but I see split back formations featuring different combinations of backs to include our full back Anderson. Our running backs will be the core of this offense and ultimately this teams Super Bowl chances.
Long Shot: Bobby Carpenter shows that he has- So far Bobby Carpenter has been a bust and not exactly a fan favorite. He has displayed great play-making ability but has been awfully inconsistent. This is it Bobby! I'm rooting for you here, DON'T MAKE ME REGRET IT! I predict that bobby will see increased snaps and will emerge as a coverage linebacker whose speed will contribute to filling holes and getting to pocket quarterbacks.
As time goes by, our team grows, and I think our front office has planned for us to dominate for years to come...Thoughts?
Cowboys DE Dorance Armstrong Could Be Needed Quickly
The Dallas Cowboys are stronger at defensive end than they've been in some time, but they still lack a specific type of pass rusher. Rookie Dorance Armstrong may be able to fill that role, giving him an early opportunity to contribute that many mid-round rookies can't find.
While DeMarcus Lawrence has become a beast and Taco Charlton is expected to do more as a second-year player, they are both better suited to play on the left side. It is that right side DE, the athletic type who can take on NFL left tackle, that the Cowboys haven't had since DeMarcus Ware left.
It was supposed to be Randy Gregory, but we all know the issues he's dealt with the last three years. His reinstatement request to the league is expected to go through, but even then we can't be sure the type of player he will be.
If Gregory isn't still the talent that Dallas hoped for in 2015, the next man up just might be Armstrong. He is a raw talent, still undersized for consistent NFL defensive end work, but he has the natural agility and style of play that best suits the weak-side rusher.
Veteran Kony Ealy is more like Lawrence and Charlton, bigger and more suited from the strong side. Another option, Charles Tapper, has yet to prove he can get through a single game without injury.
Rookies have not had a hard time finding early work in Dallas lately.
Obviously, it didn't take Quarterback Dak Prescott long to make an immediate impact. We've also seen the same from Cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown, Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins, and Safety Xavier Woods.
With the difficulties that guys like Gregory and Tapper may have getting back into football shape, Armstrong could have a leg up in training camp. The Cowboys won't hesitate to give him the work if he's the best man for the job, regardless of draft status or tenure.
These new look, new era Dallas Cowboys are all about meritocracy, so Dorance Armstrong could rise quickly if he performs. It would make for a nice immediate return on a fourth-round pick.
CB Jourdan Lewis Addresses “All Or Nothing” Scene With Dez Bryant
When the newest season of Amazon's All or Nothing featuring the Dallas Cowboys came out, people immediately were drawn to one scene in particular.
That scene featured then veteran Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis, as they battled it out all day in practice. Lewis and Bryant were in each others ears, as Lewis wanted to make it known to Bryant that he isn't the same type of corner he's used to seeing in practice.
Jourdan Lewis was asked to give his side of the story recently, and DallasCowboys.com recorded his response. The following video is courtesy of "Ed It Channel" on YouTube.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
Lewis addressed rumors that the rivalry was "fake" or staged due to the fact that Bryant knew that Lewis was mic'ed up. He says that the competition was organic, and that when put on the field with each other their competition improved both of their play.
Dez Bryant is gone now, but hopefully the Cowboys will be able to replace that competitiveness on the practice field and allow for tempers to flare from time to time.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Embraces Lack of No. 1 Wide Receiver
As I wrote exactly a week ago, in discussion of maligned Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrance Williams:
"...this won't be the first look we have at the status of the Cowboys receivers. I'm already on record having high expectations for Michael Gallup, and believe Cedrick Wilson was one of the steals of the draft for the Cowboys in the sixth round. The unproven nature of this pass catching unit (through to TE with rookie Dalton Schultz) is going to make for fascinating training camp battles, competing for spots in an offense that could still be one of the league's best".
Here we are again, with an emerging leadership voice of the Cowboys speaking about his wide receivers. Dak Prescott told Pro Football Talk that he, "doesn't know if any team in the league necessarily needs a No. 1 receiver".
This is a bold statement from a third-year quarterback that's already told Cowboys Nation this offseason that he wants to be the best to ever play for the franchise. Beginning the journey towards becoming a Cowboys legend must start with Prescott securing his status as the Cowboys franchise QB in 2018 - by throwing to Williams, Michael Gallup, Cole Beasley, Cedrick Wilson, and Allen Hurns.
This will be no easy task for Prescott, but the Cowboys have never wavered in their commitment to building this team around him. Left with no choice on personnel decisions like Jason Witten's retirement, the Cowboys are well-prepared to also deal with the loss of Dez Bryant.
If they weren't, Bryant would still be in Dallas, and as it stands now he remains a free agent. New to the Cowboys offense is not only Gallup, Wilson, and Hurns but also Tavon Austin as a pass-catching running back.
Strength in numbers must be the message for the Cowboys offense this season. Relying heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and a punishing offensive line will be what keeps opposing defensive coordinators up at night, but so too must be the diverse nature of how the Cowboys can line up on the outside.
Allowing Prescott to serve as a "point guard" like QB could lead to the Cowboys turning plenty of heads with their all-around play in 2018. Anybody writing them off simply because of unproven wide receivers lacks a complete understanding of the roster and how Scott Linehan plans to change his offense.
Sure, it's possible that Linehan fails to prove himself as a play caller worthy of the talent the Cowboys possess on offense - but the talent is there. In Prescott's rookie year, Cole Beasley emerged as his go-to receiver, only to regress in 2017.
With the Cowboys shipping Ryan Switzer to Oakland during the draft, Beasley has a clear path back towards developing this chemistry with Prescott out of the slot. The same should go for Allen Hurns, despite arriving in Dallas as a free agent this year.
Hurns has talked about holding himself to a high standard, despite joining the Cowboys to play with Dez Bryant initially.
"I felt it was a big opportunity to come to Dallas to play with Dez. But with him not being here, it’s a bigger opportunity. It's a matter of me making the most of the opportunity"
Plenty of Cowboys receivers will have a chance to make the most of the opportunity to play in this offense. Hurns' spot as an outside starter feels safe, as he could be the big "No. 1" target Prescott needs to either find in the red zone or distribute the ball elsewhere.
The amount of change the Dallas Cowboys have gone through since drafting Dak Prescott is a cruel reminder of how difficult reaching the pinnacle of sports can be. The Cowboys biggest challenge to reach the playoffs again in 2018?
Silence the doubt that a declining Dez Bryant no longer being with the team will derail the efforts of this deep and eager-to-compete WRs room.
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