The Dallas Cowboys' rookie camp is in the books, as we check off another key event leading up to the 2016 season. With that comes the period we are in now, where fans and writers alike covering this team begin to analyze exactly what may be in store for the Cowboys once they hit training camp and really begin working towards building the season's roster.
In this edition of tweet break on Inside The Star,let's take a look at some things that have been said so far about the upcoming season for the Cowboys.
Anthony Brown. https://t.co/g2ZZnZXZyy
Bryan Broaddus is one of the most respected members of the media when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. In this question, BB was asked about who he felt was the biggest steal out of the Cowboys' draft class on top of their undrafted free agent haul.
Broaddus' answer was Anthony Brown, who was selected in the 6th round with the 189th overall pick out of Purdue.
The Cowboys' rookie class will look to mix with the current roster, which is full of veterans that drew attention in Pro Football Focus' top 101 players from this previous season. Particularly, the first round picks that this front office has invested in the offensive line are featured here.
Cowboys C Travis Frederick didn't allow a sack last season, and surrendered just 10 pressures; sits at 35th overall on our Top 101 of 2015.
Cowboys G Zack Martin surrendered just one sack last season and 13 total pressures; sits at No. 54 on our list of 2015's best 101 players.
Cowboys LB Sean Lee sits at No. 58 on PFF's list of the top 101 players in the 2015 season. https://t.co/meOp30U7mc
Not mentioned on Twitter, but making the list at 13th overall as the highest ranking Cowboy, was LT Tyron Smith. Three of the four Dallas players honored were along the very offensive line that rookie Ezekiel Elliott will get to run behind - and we highlighted Elliott's first days in the silver and blue during last week's tweet break.
It is also good to see Sean Lee, who returned to health in 2015, reach the talent level that Cowboys Nation knows is possible from him by earning the 58th spot on this list.
ALERT: good, promising #Cowboys sight: Jaylon Smith is working with resistance cords. @1053thefan
If Sean Lee can find some long-term health with the Cowboys, Rod Marinelli is going to be set up nicely at the LB position. Lee can look forward to playing next to Jaylon Smith down the line, who the Cowboys brought in with the 34th overall pick during the draft despite his knee injury.
Funny quote from TE coach Mike Pope on Rico Gathers being a 'project': "I've been married twice, so I've taken on some projects in my time.
This edition of tweet break has covered Cowboys' players as established as Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, down to the later round rookies in Anthony Brown.
So, why not conclude this week with perhaps the most obscure rookie at Valley Ranch - converted Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers. While the reports on Gathers' practice performances have been good, it didn't stop Mike Pope from providing us with a great quote.
Thank you for reading, and you can go find me over on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ! Feel free to send me your comments and questions about anything Cowboys related over there, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Oh, and one last thing:
World's most profitable sports teams: 1. Dallas Cowboys 2. New England Patriots 3. Manchester United See the rest: https://t.co/j6BwQJ4RRD
Is Kavon Frazier Fighting a Losing Battle With the Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas Cowboys Safety Kavon Frazier has one year remaining on his rookie contract, but may not see the end of it with the same team who drafted him. In fact, it really looks as if he is already fighting a losing battle in Dallas.
The Dallas Cowboys signed Free Agent George Iloka and drafted Donavan Wilson out of Texas A&M in the sixth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft in the hopes of upgrading the safety position. That doesn't bode well for Kavon Frazier, especially after seeing his defensive snaps take hit in 2018.
After the arrival of Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard, Frazier saw his playing time on defense go from 21.24% in 2017 to 18.07% in 2018. It's not a huge difference, but it's pretty obvious the Cowboys value his special-teams ability, not his defensive play.
The way I see things, Kavon Frazier is a longshot to make the Cowboys final 53-man roster this year. At best, I have him fifth or sixth on the depth chart right now. Since Dallas typically only carries four safeties on the roster, it's looking as if Frazier could inevitably be the odd man out.
I personally have Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath, and George Iloka ahead of Kavon Frazier right now on the depth chart. That means he's competing with Darian Thompson, who is also playing on a one-year deal, and rookie Donovan Wilson for that fourth and final roster spot at the safety position. Unfortunately for Frazier, it looks as if the odds are against him.
Donovan Wilson has already had to step into Frazier's shoes while he was out in OTA's after having his knee scoped, and has been pretty impressive doing so. He has supposedly picked up the defensive scheme pretty quickly and is becoming a vocal leader on the backend. Being a younger, cheaper option, Wilson has a better chance of sticking around on the final 53-man roster over Frazier.
As you can see, Kavon Frazier is fighting an uphill battle with the Dallas Cowboys. It of course is nothing new for him. He's had to fight his way onto the roster ever since he joined the Cowboys, but this year just seems a little different in my opinion. It just looks as if the odds are more against him this time around.
I have no doubts Frazier will continue to fight with every ounce of his being, but if I'm being completely honest I think he's fighting a losing battle. It's going to be really interesting to see how this roster battle at the safety position plays out in training camp and preseason.
Do you think Kavon Frazier is fighting a losing battle with the Dallas Cowboys?
Dallas Cowboys: The Case For Regression In 2019
It's been a few years since things around the Dallas Cowboys felt this good prior to a season. Coming off a 10-6 year in which Dallas won both the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a one possession road game to the future NFC champions, Cowboys Nation is expecting some big things in 2019.
After all, the Cowboys went out and improved their roster in multiple ways this offseason and brought in some new blood on their offensive coaching staff. Spirits are high among Cowboys Nation, and just about everyone is anticipating a two team race for the NFC East.
But some numbers indicate we should be thinking "not so fast."
The details of the 2018 season are not as pretty as the total picture. Rarely are they ever, of course, but these particular details point towards possible regression for the Cowboys in 2019.
Basically, their point differential a year ago spells out impending doom. (That was dramatic, but let's discuss).
The Cowboys were +15 in 2018, and by pythagorean wins expectation, they were about as strong as an 8-8 team (8.53 wins to be exact). This means they won nearly 2 more games (1.47) than would be expected, fourth most in the entire NFL.
This point is furthered when looking at their record in one possession games. Dallas went 8-2 when the game was decided by 7 points or less, winning close games at a rate that is simply not sustainable year to year.
These numbers make the Cowboys a prime candidate for regression in 2019, as they were in 2017.
Back in 2016, the Cowboys outperformed their pythagorean expectation by a whole 2 wins. The following season? Dallas finished the year 9-7. The model also indicated that the 7-9 Eagles performed 2 wins under expectations in 2016, meaning they would get back on track in 2017. As we know, they ended up winning 13 games and the Super Bowl the following season.
Of course, this isn't set-in-stone, and the Cowboys very well could outperform these expectations and avoid regression. This would mainly hinge on their coaching staff and quarterback performing at an elite level, carrying them through close games and winning more games by greater than one possession.
Newly Acquired DE Robert Quinn Brings High Expectations
Winning games in the NFL typically comes down to accomplishing two goals. One, being successful when passing on offense. And, two, stopping the opposing team's passing game.
The Cowboys set out to accomplish that second goal this offseason, re-signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, and trading for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn. Quinn, who tallied 6.5 sacks last season for the Miami Dolphins, is one of the leagues more feared rushers when at his best. The former All Pro has multiple 10+ sack seasons under his belt, including a whopping 19 in 2013.
And, as expected, the Cowboys coaching staff is ecstatic to have such a respected pass rushing specialist on their roster.
“He’s got that first step. He’s an established pass rusher in this league, so he’s going to bring some good stuff for us.” - Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
The Cowboys acquired Robert Quinn for a 2020 6th round pick, which could end up being the steal of the offseason. Quinn has played with some top-notch pass rushers in the past, and each time they have brought out the best in his own game.
Back with the Rams in 2017, when Aaron Donald was on the same defensive line, Quinn got to the quarterback 8.5 times. And, last season, he remained consistent in his sack totals playing alongside Cameron Wake. Now he joins a DeMarcus Lawrence who has 25 sacks over the last 2 seasons.
"I think it was kind of one of those where I get to have fun, pin my ears back and just disrupt the backfield, which is what they want us to do." - Robert Quinn told NFL.com.
Quinn and the always dominant Lawrence will form an impressive defensive end duo on passing downs, with the potential to be one of the best in all of football. Dallas is also hoping to add Randy Gregory into this mix, a piece which could prove vital late in football games if he is able to return from his current indefinite suspension.
Whether or not Gregory finds his way back onto the field, though, this defensive front will be in good hands. The edge combo of Quinn and Lawrence, combined with a plethora of skilled interior rushers such as Maliek Collins, gives the Cowboys a fearsome defensive line which should keep quarterbacks uncomfortable every Sunday.
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