There was a point in my life where Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" played on my iPhone 30 times a day. I've moved on since then and am proud to say that I only rock out to it 16 times per 24 hours now, thank you very much.
The Dallas Cowboys just moved into The Star, but they didn't unpack a whole lot because they're Oxnard bound in just a few short days! While they get packed up they need to take a page out of my book and listen to "Call Me Maybe" and take the words pretty seriously.
How's that, you ask? It's no secret that in the NFL injuries happen. We saw that Junior Galette tear his ACL on Monday, and the nature of the business is that he won't be the last this Training Camp season across the league.
Even if, God willing, the Cowboys make it through the dog days of summer unscathed, they're pretty limited in certain areas of their team (cough defensive line, cough middle linebacker, cough backup quarterback). It makes sense for them to have some high-quality Veteran Free Agent phone numbers on speed dial.
Word has trickled out through the Twitterverse that the Cowboys have no interest in the spin move master... that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be ready to have interest. Freeney, 36, was able to piece together eight sacks in 11 games for the Cardinals last season. I'm not sure if you heard, but the current Cowboys pass rush is
really bad in need of help. He has some serious versatility as he can play both Defensive End and Outside Linebacker, plus he's a very strong leader of men.
Dwight Freeney is number one on ever Dallas Cowboys fan's wish list, so he needed to make this list. Just as much we all need to make our peace with the notion that it's unlikely. Sad face.
Similar to Dwight Freeney, Mike Neal is a versatile defensive player who can primarily be categorized not as a linebacker or defensive end, but just as someone who will get after the quarterback.
Neal hasn't missed a game in the last three seasons while playing all over... DE, LOLB, and ROLB. In that stretch of time he has 13.5 sacks which is about 392,021 more than the 2016 Cowboys Rushmen.
Considering the suspensions to Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Rolando McClain to start the season, the Cowboys are in need of someone who can play some end and linebacker. Here are two guys. You're welcome, Cowboys.
A precarious point of depth on the 2016 Dallas Cowboys lies in the secondary. Sophomore standout Byron Jones and the returning Orlando Scandrick lead the hype while 2012 stars Morris Claiborne (re-signed to a one-year deal) and Brandon Carr (who took a pay cut) are still there hanging out. Don't forget JJ Wilcox out there thinking flat lines are filled with angles.
Whether due to an unforeseen injury or the realization that what they have isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, in the heat of Oxnard the Cowboys may remember a March visit that they had with Leon Hall. The former Bengal has experience playing all over the secondary and has hauled in 26 interceptions since entering the league in 2007. Just to put that in perspective consider that Claiborne, Carr, Scandrick, and Byron all have a combined 16 in their Cowboys careers. Yea... yuck.
"Kuuuuuuuuuuuhn!" You can hear it echoing in AT&T Stadium, can't you?
I know, I know. We're talking about a Fullback here. Just relax, ok?
The Cowboys are currently exploring what a Smith (Rod or Keith) can bring to the primary blocker for Ezekiel Elliott. Coach Garrett tends to like a Fullback on his roster, and one of the best in the business over the last few years is out there looking for work.
John Kuhn is the classic Jason Garrett guy. He works hard, flies under the radar in his own way, and he's an overall great dude. He's the exact kind of veteran leader you want your rookie Running Back learning from. In the event that a Smith doesn't work out and the Cowboys work out the roster math at tight end, Kuhn could be a Cowboy.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019
In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.
Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.
The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?
Let's take a look.
As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.
Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.
As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.
Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.
Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.
There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.
Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.
While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.
Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.
In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.
Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.
With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.
Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka
As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with
The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.
It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.
The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.
Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.
Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.
Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.
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