Cowboys Nation, today is the first Friday of August! What does that mean exactly? Well, as you know July is over and..every Friday here on Inside The Star I share the best tweets from around the world that involve America's Team! AUGUST FOOTBALL THINGS!
With this being the first August edition of this weekly roundup, it means that we are in for a marathon to the finish! We've finally made it. Each and every day our Twitter timelines are being graced by Cowboys news and updates coming out of Oxnard for training camp.
Here are some things that stood out. ✭
Easing into camp? Not so fast, Rico!
Coach Pope's unique drills never cease to amaze us. #CowboysCamp https://t.co/MOApOeD6hL
We mentioned Rico Gathers' excitement for what was ahead of him in last week's edition of Tweet Break, but perhaps that mood changed slightly after the Baylor basketball star turned Dallas Cowboys rookie went through this Coach Pope drill.
Doing his best to make this roster as a tight end, backfield blocker, or whatever else the team may need (outside of a power forward at defensive end perhaps?), Gathers' was slapped with the responsibility of coordinating taking this mask on and off while catching a pass.
Welcome to the league, rookie!
@EzekielElliott only misstep at #CowboysCamp so far? He flunked the 'Sing-In-Front-of-The-Team' rookie test. Needs a do-over. @1053thefan
Another rookie that the Dallas Cowboys have at training camp is this running back out of Ohio State named Ezekiel Elliott - you probably haven't heard much about him though.
Well, the team's fourth overall pick had been making great progress slowly getting himself acquainted to the offense, but apparently hasn't been working his vocal cords much.
On a more serious note, Elliott's hamstrings were bothering him enough on Tuesday to be pulled out of practice, and as of yesterday we know that he will "miss some time".
The Cowboys Offensive Line - Really good at Football
Who was the best left tackle in the #NFL last year? By our grades, it was #Cowboys LT Tyron Smith.
Often times, the Cowboys' offensive line is talked about in it's entirety as the "Great Wall of Dallas" or the "Space Cowboys". However, when an individual players gets some attention nationally, it's typically Tyron Smith.
A game changer at left tackle, Smith is ready to once again do his part in helping an offense that should put up some big numbers with Tony Romo back running the show.
Cowboys Nation, defensive coordinators everywhere, and common sense, can all agree with this PFF grade.
Dez Bryant - Also Really Good at Football
He was a little rusty in padded practice, but that doesn't have Cowboys WR Dez Bryant down https://t.co/WaownNyvT4
Dez Bryant is the best WR on the Dallas Cowboys, the best WR in the NFC East, and one of the best in the NFL. However, #88 has not been himself in a long time, thanks to injuries that wiped away his 2015 season. Naturally, in his return to dominance, Bryant has faced some struggles at training camp thus far.
Instead of looking at these struggles as a potential positive, as the Cowboys' emotional leader can inspire others with his work ethic, national headlines have tried to paint a picture of Dez struggling and regressing to some sort of mean that has always been a #1 target.
Dez Bryant & his adoring public. https://t.co/zudSuIyZNK
Well, ESPN, listen up - Dez Bryant will happily prove any doubters wrong this season, so let's all calm down and watch him complete a pass to Bennett Broaddus. Cool.
Kicking it Cool
Dan Bailey still wears the same cleats he started wearing his rookie year, using tape and glue to keep them together https://t.co/9mFK3kN5qD
Dan Bailey can expect to kick a lot of footballs this season, and hopefully his cleats will hold up. As you see here, the Pro Bowl kicker has used the same cleats since 2011.
From that point, Bailey has converted on 90.6% of his field goals. Don't ever change those cleats, Dan.
Let's hope that, with Matt Cassel gone, most of Bailey's kicks are extra points and kickoffs - and that these cleats can get a fighting chance to last through another NFL season.
Final News & Notes
As the Cowboys enter what will be a game week (yeah, the Cowboys play a game at the end of next week!), here is the latest from Twitter on what we know about some of their ongoing situations.
Particularly, the Kellen Moore injury that has sent the Dallas front office into a scramble to find a veteran backup has been a well-discussed topic in the Twitterverse.
Cowboys backup QB Kellen Moore will have surgery on his broken ankle today in Dallas, source said. Recovery time is 3 or 4 months.
Cowboys, #Browns discussed trade for backup QB Josh McCown. Browns prefer to keep him, attached a high price, Cowboys rejected for now
The Cowboys seem content on letting the QB2 market settle a bit after watching Nick Foles sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, and inquiring to the Browns about Josh McCown only to receive a steep asking price. While some other attractive options still exist, the team will push forward with young guns Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers getting all of the reps.
Dak Prescott & Jameill Showers took all reps today-thought both acquitted themselves admirably. Showers ended day on perfect TD to Escobar
That will do it for another edition of Tweet Break here on Inside The Star! To make sure that the best tweets that you find about the Dallas Cowboys get included here each week, just tag me in them @ShoreSportsNJ, or email suggestions to Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.
Happy tweeting, and go Cowboys!
Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.
McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.
None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.
The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.
Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?
"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.
On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.
Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.
I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.
Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.
Though Not A Direct Beasley Replacement, Randall Cobb Would Bring Value To Cowboys’ Offense
When the news broke Monday that veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb was visiting the Dallas Cowboys, most immediately assumed he would be a logical replacement for the departed Cole Beasley.
When you take a look at the film and each of their skillsets, however, you quickly see this is likely not the case.
While Cobb would be able to play in the slot as a receiver for the Cowboys if he signs, his value extends much further than just a slot receiver. Where Beasley makes his mark with precise route running, short area quickness, and 3rd down reliability, Cobb is much more of a threat after the catch. He's not the route runner that Beasley is, and really isn't an upgrade over Beasley as a receiver, but Cobb would be able to help the Cowboys' become more diverse in their offensive schemes.
Similar to Tavon Austin, Randall Cobb can be used in pre snap motion and jet-sweep packages, as well as a traditional running back. A college quarterback, Cobb's versatility is what makes him so attractive to NFL teams. Cobb would actually fit more of the Lance Dunbar "scat back" role of sorts for the Cowboys than that of the Cole Beasley slot receiver role. His versatility, however, allows him to carve out a lane within the offense which they haven't quite had before.
Another area Cobb could help the Cowboys is when the play breaks down. With experience in the Packers offense playing with arguably the greatest improviser we've ever seen in Aaron Rodgers, Cobb would be able to help Dak Prescott down the field when he breaks the pocket and the play is off schedule.
So often last season we talked about how the Cowboys offense is reliant on remaining on schedule, staying in front of the chains and not having to force the ball downfield. Unleashing the Mississippi State version of Dak Prescott, where he can improvise and use his legs to create big plays, tends to be when this offense is at its best, however.
Randall Cobb won't be a Pro Bowler if the Cowboys sign him, and depending on the money he receives, it might not even be a lock that he makes the final roster. But Cobb would be an exciting addition to a Cowboys offense which has lacked "creativity" over the last few seasons, and is looking to reinvent themselves to a certain extent.
A receiving corps headlined by Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, with versatile weapons such as Cobb and Tavon Austin behind them, is a pretty good one to head into draft day with.
Signing Cobb would keep the Cowboys from "needing" to take a wide receiver early in the draft, and would allow them to easily shed Allen Hurns if a receiving weapon did fall to them at 58th overall.
Should Cowboys Inquire About Trading for 49ers DL Solomon Thomas?
When it comes to making trades, the Dallas Cowboys are typically the buyer and not the seller. They proved that last season when they acquired Tavon Austin, Jamize Olawale, and Jihad Ward via trade and could be looking do the same once again this offseason. That's why today I want to talk about the Cowboys putting in a call to the San Francisco 49ers to inquire about potentially trading for Solomon Thomas.
New 49ers Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek is rumored to be evaluating Solomon Thomas' film in order to determine his fit and future with the organization moving forward. This is no easy task. In his two years in the league they've tried Thomas at DE and DT, but unfortunately the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has yet to find his footing at either position.
Being a man without a position doesn't bode well for Solomon Thomas, especially after the 49ers acquired Defensive End Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs last week via trade. The 49ers are suddenly stacked along the defensive line. That's not all though, things could actually get worse for Thomas.
To further complicate matters, the 49ers could use their second overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft on the either Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams. If that's what indeed happens, someone is going to be the odd man out. If you haven't guessed it yet, I think that player could be Solomon Thomas.
As a former high first-round draft pick, Thomas would count $7,678,468 against the salary cap in 2019 and $8,958,213 in 2020. That's probably more than the 49ers want to pay for a rotational/backup defensive lineman. And cutting him this season would create $16.6 million in dead money, so a trade is the logical solution.
With all that in mind, it wouldn't surprise me if San Francisco put Solomon Thomas on the trade block any day now. He is only two years into his four-year rookie deal and comes with a fifth-year option as a former first-round draft pick. That means if a team does trade for him they have him under contract for essentially three more years.
If you add all of this up, it makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They need defensive line help and Solomon Thomas needs a fresh start. The Cowboys would get a young versatile defensive lineman and the 49ers get to dump his contract while also receiving some compensation in return. It's a win-win for all parties concerned.
I know what you're thinking though. What would the Cowboys have to give up in the trade? Well, it might not be as much as you think.
Fortunately, Thomas' failure to make an impact his first two years in the NFL favor the buyer, in this case the Dallas Cowboys. He has only four career quarterback sacks, three of which came in his rookie season. Stats of course don't always tell the entire story, but game film does. Unfortunately for Thomas, he can't escape his poor play.
I believe it wouldn't take more than a 2019 fourth-round draft pick to get Solomon Thomas away from the 49ers. Remember, just last season the New England Patriots sent a third-round draft pick to San Francisco and received Offensive Tackle Trent Brown and the fifth-round pick in return. Brown was a more proven player and was in the last year of his contract.
I don't know about you, but I kind of like the idea of Solomon Thomas in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. If anybody can tap into his potential, Rod Marinelli can. Giving up a 2019 fourth-round pick is well worth the gamble in my opinion.
Do you think the Cowboys should inquire about trading for Solomon Thomas?
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