At least simulations are more credible than Texas Governor Greg Abbott's football suggestions. Those who believe that the popularity of a player makes their play quality should allow Will McClay and his staff to do their jobs.
McClay did his due diligence; not only did the team try out four Quarterbacks yesterday, they made a trade for Matt Cassel once they realized none of the tryouts were worthy of a contract. Yet this is still not enough for some fans, they still want the team to sign...
Tim Tebow. Yes... That Tim Tebow...
The entire Tebow to Dallas movement is understood perfectly by examining the following. Cowboys Break and Talkin Cowboys on DallasCowboys.com have a specific caller - Mike From Florida - who in weeks past has scoffed at the notion that Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassell, and Kellen Moore are all better options than Tim Tebow. He even questioned the Philadelphia Eagles for signing Stephen Morris instead of keeping Tebow on their roster. Yet, is Tebow even remotely close to being the Quarterback that Stephen Morris is? He must be furious that they cut Morris and decided to sign Thad Lewis as their third-string signal caller.
I thought he was a Cowboys fan? If he believes Tebow is so good, why would he want the Eagles to keep him?
Yesterday on Talkin Cowboys Mike admitted that he does not watch College Football, stating that he does not have the time for it. So it is reasonable to assume that he does not have time for "meaningless" preseason games either. It is almost certain that Mike has never broken down film on any of the players he gives evaluations on either.
Do you see where this falls apart?
Allow me to go a little further. Will McClay has a vision for this roster, through his guidance this team has built a dominant Offensive Line, a relentless Defensive Line, and the depth that allows the team to not panic with the losses of Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.
With that being said who would you rather trust with this team; fans who only watch games and believe every word spewed from ESPN, unless it is negative towards the Cowboys, or The Architect that has built the team?
I will just go ahead and state that my trust is going with Will McClay.
I know the Tim Tebow fans reading this will quickly point to the 2011 Denver Broncos season as to why he is worthy of starting for the Cowboys, so let's take a look at that season.
Tim Tebow started 11 games that year, the team went 7-4, but that does not tell the entire story on how Tebow played. In those 11 starts, the Broncos only averaged 18.5 points per game. Only the Colts, Jaguars, Browns, and Chiefs averaged fewer points per game for the entire season. Which places an enormous amount of pressure on the defense.
Tebow's numbers from that season are also not that exciting.
His 46.5% completion percentage ranked last out of qualifying Quarterbacks for the 2011 Regular Season. He was also the only qualifying Quarterback to complete less than 50% of his passes. Blaine Gabbert finished 32nd with a 50.8% rating.
What about drops?
The Broncos were credited with 28 drops during the 2011 season. If we assume all of those were on Tebow passes it would move his percentage up to 56.7%. But, we would also have to adjust for the number of passes his receivers had to bail him out of as well, so that would also not make up for his lack of accuracy as a passer.
For example, the average completion percentage among the 33 qualifying Quarterbacks in 2011 - with Tebow included - was 59.7%.
Tony Romo was 3rd in the NFL at 66.3%. Remember, Tebow completed 46.5% of his passes; how can this standard be acceptable with the incredible year Romo had? It is hard to believe this case would ever be made unless it was indeed for Tim Tebow.
I know there is also the argument that he simply wins. The issue with that argument is that it is a fan argument. We are not speaking of the NBA or - to a lesser extent - the MLB.
One player does not win or lose games in the NFL.
For example, let's take Rex Grossman.
He was the starting Quarterback for the 2006 Chicago Bears that went 13-3 and went to the Super Bowl. Grossman's Quarterback Rating was 73.9, a full point higher than that of Tim Tebow in 2011. Much like Tebow, Grossman began falling to the wayside after his lackluster performance. Grossman was replaced as the starter during the 2007 season and for some odd reason there was not a national outcry for him to be given another chance.
If only Rex Grossman was as popular as Tim Tebow is today, perhaps he would have the endorsements and the following to allow him to charge absurd amounts for speaking engagements.
His popularity is what probably turned him into a first round draft pick. There is no question that the Denver Broncos were aware of his limitations as a passer, but they were hoping his intangibles would in some way make up for his poor footwork, terrible release, and remedial knowledge of reading a defense (which he still has yet to improve upon), not to mention his accuracy issues. They also hoped they could develop him while taking full advantage of his jersey sales and national popularity.
Dan Mullen - the current Mississippi State Head Coach - was Tebow's Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach during his tenure at Florida. What is interesting is that I just finished scouting Mullen's current Quarterback Dak Prescott, who is a more refined version of Tim Tebow. Yet, there is still little chance that Prescott will be selected in the first round. Prescott is much better at reading defenses and is a much better passer than Tebow was coming out of college.
I do not see very many fans screaming for Dak Prescott in the way they were for Tim Tebow, which is a shame. I feel Prescott has a better chance at developing into an NFL Quarterback than Tebow ever had.
Again, this is the difference between those that will simply take what the national media states as fact and those that will either research for themselves or trust those that have. As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I am slightly surprised so many fans are buying into the national media hype around Tim Tebow.
These are the same outlets that told you Tony Romo sucked for years! They are doing this for ratings and no other reason!
Does Tim Tebow Have A Chance?
Instead of sitting on a cushy production set repeating lines fed to him about college football matchups for the week, he will make the move that both Doug Flutie and Hall Of Famer Warren Moon did and join the CFL. This may be hard to hear for some but...
Right now Tim Tebow is not an NFL caliber Quarterback, and every team in the NFL agrees with me.
No matter who Tebow may work with off the field, that does not replace getting live game experience.
The CFL is a throwing league, giving him ample opportunity to improve his glaring weakness. He has refused for several years to go to the CFL, time that he would have indeed been able to improve as a Quarterback.
If he made the move to the CFL he would have the opportunity to play for the Montreal Alouettes and be coached by Anthony Calvillo: professional football's all time leading passer, who is currently the Alouettes Quarterback Coach. That could perhaps help Tebow progress as a Quarterback.
If Tebow wanted to simply play in the NFL, I am sure teams would salivate to have him play Fullback or Tight End. He would be similar to Mike Alstott at Fullback, he even has the ability to lineup at Running Back with a blocking Fullback in front of him, which would allow him to run down hill and punish defenders.
I will read between the lines for you.
Tim Tebow only wants to play Quarterback. If he will not commit to improving his craft in the CFL as a Quarterback and he refuses to play another position in the NFL, he is writing the story for himself.
If he truly does want to become an NFL Quarterback he will spend time in the CFL and prove that he can become a polished passer. He is unbelievably marketable to any NFL franchise, he just needs to show he can be average at the position to earn a roster spot.
Conspiracy Against Tebow?
The most ignorant argument has to be that the NFL is in some way biased against Tim Tebow for his beliefs. I will simply direct readers to click here and here to put this argument to rest. I also highly doubt those making that argument were pulling for Michael Sam in the same way they pull for Tim Tebow.
Hypocricy? Just a bit.
Lack of understanding? Yes.
The NFL is a business based on performance, teams actually have an incentive to have Tim Tebow on their roster from a marketing stance, yet he provides an unneeded distraction if he is a third Quarterback. Believe me, if teams felt Tebow had any chance at producing on the field he would be given every opportunity to do so.
Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, and Jameill Showers are all better Quarterbacks than Tim Tebow.
Don't make the mistake of believing that Tebow is a better fit than the former Pro Bowler Matt Cassel.
Definitely don't believe that Tebow is a better answer than Brandon Weeden, who has been in this offense for over a year and has received numerous repetitions during practice. Even if Weeden plays poorly, Tebow is still not a better solution.
If Weeden plays poorly against Atlanta, Moore will be the next best solution since he is familiar with Scott Linehan's offense. After Atlanta, Cassel will be the best solution.
At no point is Tebow the solution if your concern is the Dallas Cowboys winning football games.
If you would like to see Tebow he will more than likely remain with the SEC Network, if that is not enough there is the possibility you may catch him on the speaking trail with Dinesh D'souza again.
Just please stop with the constant questioning of why he is not in the NFL. I kindly answered that for you in the body of this article. If you want to speak more about Tim Tebow I welcome your responses - @TheRealSmoothG on twitter.
Cowboys Trade For DT Jihad Ward Already Paying Off?
The Dallas Cowboys uncharacteristically made several offseason trades this year and it has yet to be seen how or if these players can be impactful in 2018. One such trade was met with quite a bit of skepticism and actually angered a lot of Cowboys fans. Sending wide receiver Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Jihad Ward was somewhat puzzling, but it looks as if the trade might already be paying off.
Unfortunately, one of the Dallas Cowboys best defensive players will once again have to sit out of the first four games of the 2018 season while serving his suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. David Irving was expected to pick up where he left off last season as one of the best defensive tackles in the league, but will have to wait until Week 5 to find out what he can do.
I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys suspected something like this would happen with Irving once again, but suddenly the trade for Jihad Ward is looking like a brilliant under the radar offseason move.
I know a lot of Cowboys fans were excited to see what Ryan Switzer could do for the offense this season, but the coaching staff never really had a plan in place for him or knew exactly how to use him. There is no question as to how the coaching staff will use Ward. He could end up being one of the better defensive lineman this season.
Jihad Ward has already caught the attention of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff in organized team activities (OTA's) and mandatory minicamp. Coincidentally, he's been playing in place of David Irving at the under tackle position or the three-technique. It's a role he may not relinquish heading into the 2018 season, and quite possibly even when Irving returns from his suspension.
I know it's a little bit early to anoint Jihad Ward, but the fact that as a new addition he's already starting ahead of the likes of Tyrone Crawford and other 3-tech candidates is pretty telling, at least for me.
Once training camp opens up there will be several things I will be paying close attention to, and how Jihad Ward performs will be one of them. He was after all highly thought of by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli a few years ago in the 2016 NFL Draft. Maybe that infatuation will pay off.
I know it still stings a little that Ryan Switzer is no longer with the Cowboys, but Jihad Ward could prove to be the more impactful player this season and beyond.
Do you think the Jihad Ward trade is already paying off for the Cowboys?
How Will Safeties Xavier Woods, Kavon Frazier Fit Kris Richard’s Secondary?
Unfortunately, David Irving's most recent four game suspension is the main story for a Dallas Cowboys team finished with OTAs and mini camp, left only to wait for training camp now. I've chosen to focus on the players that were on the field for the offseason program, that will continue to contend for starting jobs in Oxnard. Standing out from a lackluster group of safeties, for a Kris Richard led secondary that is off to a fast start, are safeties Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.
Joined by Jeff Heath, Tyree Robinson, Jameill Showers, and Marqueston Huff, the Cowboys are lacking a dominant force at safety to pair with their young and talented group of cornerbacks. With the likes of Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones (the former safety), and Anthony Brown already improving under Richard, the Cowboys hope is that the same will apply to this group of safeties.
It's still entirely too early to know how the Cowboys want to deploy their safeties this season, but the only players that have shown their strengths and weaknesses over any period of time are Heath, Frazier, and Woods. This is sure to cause an uphill battle for the fringe players looking to push this trio of versatile safeties.
Jeff Heath has appeared in 77 games over five seasons with the Cowboys. Frazier and Woods combined? Just 24 games, with 16 of them making up Woods' rookie season a year ago. This makes finding a potential role for both players vital to the Cowboys.
Safety Kavon Frazier
Working mostly as a special teams player through two seasons in Dallas, Kavon Frazier has patiently awaited his opportunity to spark the Cowboys defense as a sixth round pick of 2016. Doing so in a memorable week 13 win over the Washington Redskins, Frazier earned an increased role as an enforcer on defense.
This is a player whose straight line burst and power is ideal for a ST starter, and when Frazier connects coming downhill on defense, the results can be catastrophic for an opposing offense. Surely these are traits that will remind Kris Richard even slightly of his Super Bowl winning "Legion of Boom" defenses.
The distinction between Frazier being a part-time player or one maximizing his potential to start deep in the Cowboys secondary is an important one. Limited in coverage, Frazier may be at his best when conceding snaps to another safety on the Cowboys roster with more of an all-around game -- which the Cowboys can only hope Xavier Woods continues to be.
Safety Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods may not have the pure stopping power that Kavon Frazier possesses, but as a fellow sixth-round pick there is more than enough to like about what Woods brought to the Cowboys in 2017 out of Louisiana Tech. With 14 interceptions and six forced fumbles out of college, Woods slid in the draft enough for the Cowboys to trade up for his services.
The team wasn't cheated out of their investment in Woods last season, giving him the "Byron Jones treatment" as Woods lined up all over the field. It was Richard that came to Dallas and almost immediately moved Byron Jones down to cornerback, seeing a better use of his natural size and skills there.
Doing the same for Woods -- while keeping the natural FS free to react -- should be next up on Richard's offseason to-do list. This is a player with sideline to sideline range, enough athleticism to cover down in the slot, and the functional strength to compete in the box.
Amidst this uncertainty for both Frazier and Woods, early reports out of the Cowboys practices thus far have Jeff Heath specifically matching up against the tight end. This is an ideal role for Heath, and one that could compliment Woods very well.
Regardless of where Heath is on the field, Woods should be able to coexist with him as a similarly instinctive safety.
There is also the possibility that both Heath and Woods struggle to handle these "starting" responsibilities, leaving the Cowboys with very little trusted depth at safety. If there is an area Woods needs the most improvement in, it is the angles he takes against the run to consistently make stops, a weakness also potentially mitigated by the Cowboys improved linebacker play (investing the 19th overall pick at the position).
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
Between Frazier and Woods, it feels safe to say the Cowboys must find a starter for a secondary that could still achieve great things in 2018. The Cowboys are entering this season with a loaded group of cornerbacks, all capable of making a safety's job relatively easy, especially while learning under Richard.
Such can be the hope for a raw player like Frazier and, in a sense, Xavier Woods. The second-year player in Woods is a great unknown for the Cowboys right now, as he'll remain that way for some time before next month's training camp.
With this, we'll have much more time to sit around and continue pondering what certain position groups will look like once meaningful Cowboys football graciously returns. I've written before that I'm paying close attention to this team's group of wide receivers, and you can add in the secondary players they'll be competing against too.
No, Cowboys Shouldn’t Cut David Irving
For the past five years, Dallas Cowboys fans have gone through painful offseason stories regarding upcoming suspensions for defensive players. It doesn't matter how much talent the front office is able to find through the Draft, there's always one player that ruins what feels like a successful offseason. This time, for the second consecutive year, David Irving is the player to let Cowboys Nation down.
On Friday it was announced that Irving will serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Understandably, a lot of Cowboys' fans want to see Irving released by the franchise that has preached the "Right Kind of Guy" philosophy while failing to establish such a thing. It's disappointing to see such a talented player limiting himself by not "wanting it" bad enough and by making mistakes like this repeatedly.
However, even if it's a very frustrating situation, the Cowboys shouldn't cut David Irving.
First of all, Irving's hit against the cap space is pretty minimum and nothing to be concerned at all. After being handed a second-round tender earlier in the year, #95 was set to earn $2.91M during the season. With a four-game suspension ahead of him, that number will be even lower.
We're talking about a guy who in eight games managed to get to the quarterback seven times in 2017 and consistently pressured opposing signal callers. Not to mention he's going to be just 25 years old when the season begins.
For the Cowboys, David Irving has the talent needed to average one sack per game. All of this for less than three million.
Irving has proven by now that he's not worth a long-term extension. That much is clear. In order to get one of those, a player must prove his availability.
Talking specifically about 2018, though, I'm sure the Cowboys will be better off if they count on Irving for the final 12 games of the season. The team counts with pretty decent depth at the position with Maliek Collins, Datone Jones and Jihad Ward, but Irving has the potential to end the season with double-digit sacks.
The team gains nothing by releasing Irving. The team will not even be "sending a message" if they were to release #95. Maybe if the team had consistently sent this kind of "messages" over the years it would make sense.
However, we know this team sticks with their players and supports them in moments like this. They have done just that with Randy Gregory and it seems like it will pay off soon.
Whether we're mad at Irving's actions or not, the truth is letting him go wouldn't be wise at all. The Cowboys are not paying him big-time money, he's young and he'll be productive on the field when the defense needs him to.
We're talking about a football team that wants to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy. They can't be letting starting-caliber players go just like that. They need all the help they can get and even though his situation is far from ideal, David Irving will play a big role on defense.
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