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Things Are Finally Quiet In Dallas

In a sense, it’s almost relieving to be without so much of the attention that Dallas has garnered for themselves in recent months. With the variety of gab ranging from Owens to Romo and Witten, and even talk of gag orders, puppets, and the draft; it’s nice to see a lull before the storm.

Bryson Treece

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A quick look around the blogosphere and already this morning I'm feeling a bit left out. Dozens of articles and nary a one about the Dallas Cowboys, unless of course you check out the Dallas Morning News blog or the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ... but they almost have to write about the Cowboys.

In a sense, it's almost relieving to be without so much of the attention that Dallas has garnered for themselves in recent months. With the variety of gab ranging from Owens to Romo and Witten, and even talk of gag orders, puppets, and the draft; it's nice to see a lull before the storm.

I say storm, yeah. Pre-draft free agency is basically over in Dallas, unless a gift falls into their laps with having only about $5 million left in cap space this year, so the next thing we really have to look forward to is the NFL owners meetings next week, and then the start of the Cowboys off-season conditioning program. That'll be it until the draft, or will it?

I mean the conditioning program might not be as uneventful as it tends to be, not this year. Not after seeing so many injuries last year to players that, quite frankly, are expected to be huge factors this year for the Cowboys. Will Felix Jones continue to show signs that he'll be ready? Sure it's early, he'll likely not do anything more than he has been doing with rehab so far, but you know it'll make a headline somewhere.

What about Roy Williams, is the new top receiver in shape enough to take over for Owens? He probably will be, but I guess we just won't know until the headlines tell us so, right?

It'll be fruitful gossip to last us until the next real football action takes place in the draft. Just look around the web and you'll find big headlines about Plax skipping voluntary workouts in New York; Cutler throwing tantrums because his new team entertains trade offers, and make no mistake about it, it's a new team under first-time Head Coach Josh McDaniels.

You'll find articles claiming trade talks have really heated up between Julius Peppers' agent and the New England Patriots, where the compensation is expected to be the #34 overall pick, the very pick that the Pats obtained when they traded Matt Cassel to Kansas City.

And lest we forget the multitude of mock drafts that are floating around out there, some claiming the Cowboys will take a risk on Pat White even though his biggest stock increase has come from the pure speculatory observations of his proposed value in the draft. Imagine that, determining his draft value is increasing his draft value ... in a fashion so fitting with the perceptions of the Jerry World Order, why not say the Cowboys are interested. And while the Cowboys have been known to love QB/WR combo guys, I think we've got our hands full enough in that area between Crayton and Stanback.

So it's a lull before the storm ... and for the first time in a while, the Cowboys aren't topping the charts. Nary an article in sight outside of the local media market. Even the latest news of T-New and his comments regarding Romo and his fling, which some say has ended by the way, was old news being recycled back into the spotlight.

Sure it won't last, but that's not the point. It's inevitable that Terrell Owens will get bored in Buffalo soon and start "setting things straight" with the situation he made sure to set ablaze in Dallas last December.

No, the point is that for now, at least, the Cowboys have fallen out of the spotlight. A sure sign that perhaps the drama has finally ended in Big D ... that just maybe Elvis has indeed left the building. It's going to be interesting to see how and when the next big story breaks about Dallas ... any takers for it being an ESPN report? I thought so.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Bryan Martin

    March 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Hey bro… next headline will involve ole Greg Ellis… Count on it! It’s an infinite loop!

  2. BTreece

    March 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    He’s already got it on DC.com, got it last night over the new NFLPA chief. At least he ain’t bitching yet.

  3. Craig

    March 18, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Bryson, you forgot. There is controversy steaming. It’s all they are talking about in the Dallas media today. And, that’s the “huge” debacle between Romo and Newman. They are making drama out of nothing, IMO. He said nothing that should warrant two full daysof media attention, and two supplemental interviews to “make the story”.

    Oh, the doldrums of the offseason.

    Craig

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  4. BTreece

    March 18, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Yeah … But at the time I wrote this it was mainly just local media around here getting twisted over that. But come on, just wouldn’t be the Cowboys if the local media wasn’t starting something.

  5. Craig

    March 18, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Oh, I agree. They will always find something to dredge up drama about. Like you said, if the Cowboys weren’t in the media, we will know that the apocalypse is upon us.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  6. Austin

    March 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Romo and Simpson? is it to early to start that crap?

  7. BTreece

    March 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    No, it’s too late to start that crap. I really hope the media and fans just let that one die. Should have never been issue anyway, but in a country that cares so much about a president getting some head, what can I really expect?

    Romo just needs to shut up, put up, and play some damn football this year … quiet his critics.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Defensive End

Jess Haynie

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DeMarcus Lawrence

If quarterback is the most important position in football, then the guys who hunt them down might be second. As such, the Dallas Cowboys face a major offseason decision in 2019 when it comes to the free agency of Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence.

This will be Lawrence's second year as an unrestricted free agent, with Dallas retaining him last season using the franchise tag. Even though he accepted it in 2018, DeMarcus swore all the way back in that summer that he wouldn't play for the Cowboys in 2019 if franchised again.

Despite his sack numbers dropping a bit last season, "Tank" remains one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. He is a total package of pass-rushing and run stopping, and he's now given Dallas two-straight Pro Bowl seasons.

If the Cowboys have any plans to contend for a championship next season then they can't risk losing a player like Lawrence. We've seen what this defense looks like without a premiere pass rusher and it isn't pretty.

Of course, Dallas could try to replace DeMarcus with a different free agent signing. If Jadeveon Clowney or Frank Clark avoid being tagged by their own teams, perhaps the Cowboys can lure one of them over. But don't expect any big difference in compensation between these three players.

Whether it's Lawrence or one of the other premiere pass rushers in free agency, you can expect the Cowboys to make one of them their top offseason priority. The greater mystery is if Dallas will make any other moves to upgrade the DE position, or stick with what they've got.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

Dallas finally enjoyed some real production out of Randy Gregory in 2018, whose personal issues nearly derailed the talented pass rusher's career. Gregory posted six sacks last season and was starting to look like the Robin to Lawrence's Batman.

Also in the mix is 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, who took a backwards step last year and seemed to be in the coaches' doghouse by season's end. Motivation and attitude seem to be an issue for him, and he'll need to step it up this summer if he doesn't want to wind up at the back of the depth chart again.

One of last year's fourth-round picks Dorance Armstrong also returns. He will hopefully be ready to take on a larger role in his second season and provide another pass rushing threat, plus insurance in case Gregory suffers any return of past problems.

If Dallas doesn't make Tyrone Crawford a salary cap casualty, or chooses to re-sign David Irving, those are two other guys who can play some defensive end for you.

Despite these options, the Cowboys could still look at adding another mid-grade free agent for depth and insurance. They could hope for a bargain on veterans like Ezekiel Ansah, Vinny Curry, or Chris Long. They might hope that Rod Marinelli could work his magic on first-round flop Dante Fowler.

Another guy that Dallas might look at is Benson Mayowa, who was with them from 2016-2017 and is a solid player. He spent the last season in Arizona on a one-year deal and is still just 27 years old.

Don't expect much from the draft, barring a major steal presenting itself. The Cowboys have bigger needs with their limited number of 2019 picks, and they also still need to see how recent selections like Charlton and Armstrong play out.

This offseason is all about DeMarcus Lawrence, or at least one of the other marquee free agents at defensive end. Some supplemental moves are possible, but arguably the biggest move Dallas makes the next few months is either retaining or replacing their top pass rusher.



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Dallas Cowboys

Offense or Defense, Which Should be the Cowboys Main Offseason Focus?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Need to Upgrade the Offense or Defense More?

The Dallas Cowboys offseason should be approached like a puzzle. You have to know what the picture looks like beforehand before you start grabbing random pieces to try to fit them together. Keeping that in mind, I thought it be a good idea if we take a look at the Cowboys offense and defense to try to determine which one needs the most attention.

It may be somewhat surprising, but the Dallas Cowboys pretty much have the entire puzzle almost put together. There is just a few missing pieces they need to add, but for the most part the team that will take the field when the 2019 season kicks off is already in place.

There isn't going to be much roster turnover this offseason. Nearly all of the starters will return for the upcoming season on both sides of the ball, meaning the Cowboys are in good shape as far as having the teams nucleolus in place. In fact, there might be just one or two starting positions up for grabs on offense and defense.

Let's take a look…

Dallas Cowboys Offense

Kellen Moore, Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

As things stand right now before any moves are made in free agency or through the draft, the Dallas Cowboys offense may have just two starting spots up for grabs. But, even that's just a guesstimate because we still don't really know what the future holds for Center Travis Frederick, even though all signs point to him making a triumphant return to the starting lineup.

The way I see it though, the Cowboys will need to find someone to replace Cole Beasley in the passing game and also add a starting caliber tight end. That's it really as far as the starters are concerned. There is however need for more depth at several positions such as backup running back and offensive tackle, but those aren't necessarily "needs". I'd say they're in pretty good shape offensively compared to years past.

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys Assistant Coach Kris Richard

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys really don't have any glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball either. After finishing as one of the top defensive units in 2018, they will have nearly all of their starters returning for the 2019 season. But much like on the offensive side of the ball, there could be two starting spots up for grabs.

The Cowboys will have to find someone to replace Damien Wilson as the starting strong side linebacker and potentially a new starting strong safety. That's really the only starting positions I believe are up for grabs on defense. But like the offense, they could stand to add more depth and competition throughout the defense, especially along the defensive line. But again, there really isn't a glaring "need" they absolutely have to address.

Verdict: Cowboys Offense

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Even though the Dallas Cowboys offense and defense seems to be pretty evenly matched as to how many starting positions are up for grabs, the offense looks to be the one that needs just a little bit more help. The defense proved in 2018 they are someone to be reckoned with and with the loss of just Damien Wilson, that shouldn't change. The same can't be said about the offense though.

If Cole Beasley does indeed leave via free agency, that's a big blow to the passing game. But, it's not just him. Other than their rushing attack, the Cowboys offense was ranked in the bottom half of the league in nearly every other category. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan now gone we can hope that improves, but that doesn't mean improving the offense shouldn't be the Cowboys main offseason focus though.

Of course, this is just my opinion and you are more than welcome to agree or disagree with it. But, when the free agency and NFL draft ball finally starts rolling, I expect most of the Cowboys offseason moves to be on the offensive side of the ball. Improving things around Quarterback Dak Prescott would seem like the wise thing to do after all, especially since he's about to be paid quite handsomely.

Which side of the ball do you think needs more help this offseason?



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Quarterback

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of work to do to restock and refine their roster in the hope of improving of last year's playoff run. We'll be looking at all of the 2019 needs for this offseason in the coming days, and we're going to start with paramount position of quarterback.

Unlike most spots on the team, the quarterbacks don't have anyone with an expiring contract this year. Both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush will be in the final year of their deals, while Mike White still has three years left on his rookie contract.

Despite this, Prescott's contract is still one the hottest issues the Cowboys face this offseason. They must decide if they want to go ahead and lock him up now to a long-term extension, or wait and see how Dak performs in his fourth season.

It's a real dilemma for Dallas. One the one hand, Prescott already has two Pro Bowls, two division titles, and all winning seasons on his three-year resume. However, he's also had ongoing accuracy issues and problems with consistent productivity in an increasingly pass-focused league.

Given what he's already accomplished, Dak can command a pretty sizable contract in current negotiations. Just within the week he's already commented on not planning to give the Cowboys a discount in his next deal.

If Dallas waits another year then they risk that price tag going up. They could be competing with the open market, or what if Prescott leads the team to the NFC Championship or beyond in 2019?

If Dak's camp is already going to be aggressive in contract negotiations this year, then there's a case to be made for just waiting. Let him play on his bargain $2.14 million cap hit and use the savings to load up on talent for a championship run. The team will still have resources to re-sign Prescott in 2020, or even franchise tag him, if that's their choice.

Mike White

Dallas Cowboys QB Mike White

However that situation goes, we know that Dak is the starter in 2019. But even though Cooper Rush and Mike White are both due to return next season, should the Cowboys be satisfied with that QB depth chart?

As I wrote about earlier this week, Dallas has good reason to look at adding a veteran passer to the mix this offseason. If Rush and White beat him out, that's great. But if not, it adds an experienced voice to help Dak Prescott in this critical upcoming year.

You can go a few different ways. Some of the projected free agents can match Prescott's mobile style, such as Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, or Robert Griffin III. Others give you the experience edge such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, or Matt Schaub.

It doesn't seem likely that the Cowboys would draft another QB after just taking Mike White last year with a fifth-round pick. Unless they are moving to a completely different philosophy, Dallas will likely give White at least another year or two to develop as a mid-round selection.

Ideally, at least one of White or Cooper Rush will show some growth this year and inspire confidence as the immediate backup. But adding a veteran for competition certainly couldn't hurt, and Dallas has the cap space to do it.

Thankfully, everything that Dallas might have to do this offseason at quarterback is optional.  They can choose whether or not to redo Prescott's contract, or whether or not to pursue upgrades behind him. There is no gaping hole being created by a potential free agent departure.

The Cowboys have the power now, but that can quickly change next season once Dak's a free agent. That's why they still have a big decision to make in 2019.



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