Travis Frederick and Zack Martin are two of the best offensive lineman in the entire NFL and arguably the best at their given positions. Frederick and Martin have a combined seven years of experience in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and have been voted into the Pro Bowl a total of six times between the two of them. Those accolades alone set them apart from other offensive lineman, but not everyone agrees they are the best at their positions.
Pro Football Focus recently handed out grades to all of the offensive guards and centers in the NFL, but Travis Frederick and Zack Martin didn't beat out all of the other competitors. In all honesty, it seems somewhat disrespectful and that's not just because I'm a Cowboys' fan.
The top graded centers in the NFL in 2016.
Travis Frederick finished second in PFF's grading system behind Denver Broncos Center, Matt Paradis. Now, I don't know anything about the grading system PFF uses, but I don't believe Paradis is even in the same discussion as Frederick as to who is the better center.
Travis Frederick is a three-time Pro-Bowler, whereas Matt Paradis' only claim to fame is he won a Super Bowl ring with the Denver Broncos in 2015. A Super Bowl ring doesn't make you a better player, and I doubt any team in the NFL would choose Paradis over Frederick given the choice.
Travis Frederick's importance to the Dallas Cowboys is undeniable. I personally believe he is arguably the most important offensive lineman in Dallas, so for PFF to have him graded as the second-best center in 2016 is shocking to me. But, not as shocking as where they have Zack Martin graded.
Playing both left and right guard in 2016, nobody did it better than Marshal Yanda.
I personally believe Zack Martin is the best offensive guard in the entire NFL and that's not just because I'm a Cowboys' fan. Martin has been voted into the Pro Bowl in each of his first three years in the NFL, so for PFF to have him as the third-best graded OG in 2016 is a little bit disrespectful.
Both Travis Frederick and Zack Martin helped pave the way for Ezekiel Elliott and allowed him to become the leading rusher in 2016 as a rookie. Frederick and Martin also helped Dak Prescott in the passing game by keeping the pocket from collapsing, which allowed him to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Nothing against Marshall Yanda or Ramon Foster, but they don't really have the same accolades or accomplishments that Zack Martin has. That is why I believe Martin should've been the top graded offensive guard by PFF, but again I don't know how their grading system works.
I don't know about the rest of the Dallas Cowboys' fans, but I think Travis Frederick and Zack Martin should both feel a little bit disrespected by the grades they received from Pro Football Focus. They both had better seasons than the players PFF graded higher.
Do you think Frederick and Martin were disrespected by PFF's 2016 grades?
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
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