OTA’s are well underway and you start to wonder what will be made of the big headlines. From Miles Austin to Gerald Sensabaugh to Dez Bryant, there are still many questions. Yet, somehow, we still feel confident enough to label this Cowboys team as “Super.” Is that right? Can we deem them so successful when there is so much haze?
Well fear no more… I am here to help you understand some of the questions you’ve asked and some that you want to ask.
Ed Folker asked “Will The Cowboys Trade for or Make a Deal for a Seasoned Safety?? Pref. The guy from The Rams!”
Ed, that’s a good question and a popular one at that. It is very unlikely that the Cowboys even consider this option. Alan Ball and Mike Hamlin have shown good potential and have grown considerable as professionals. On the other side, if Sensabaugh decides to do something shocking, I still like what Akwasi brings. Though they are all raw, it’s better then spending a large sum of money on a new contract for someone like Otagwe.
Now, my opinion isn’t law or concrete. There are some smaller name safeties out there that the cowboys could look at. I also like Barry Church the undrafted rookie.
I think Jerry is looking in house though.
Brent Cochran -- “If Wade doesn't make the playoffs will JJ give him the AX!?”
I personally don’t think so. Mostly because next year is so uncertain, the coaching search would be very difficult. However, many refer to Jason Garrett as the coach of the future, and he very well could be. If Wade has a horrible season and by horrible I mean less then .500, than Jerry will consider the “Axe” but like I said this is the class of the NFC East, if they go worse than .500 then there are bigger problems.
Chris Synnott -- “Will the cowboys put dez in the slot because I think it would create tough match up problems for defenses? “
Although I see where you’re seeing the mismatches, I believe Dez Bryant offers something even better. Dez Bryant is surely a number 2 potential receiver TODAY and a number 1 in a few years. This means that you can move Roy to 1 Dez to 2 and put Miles in the slot at times to create some very big mismatches.
Don’t confuse what I’m saying though; Miles is the number 1 receiver. I am merely talking about shotgun and singleback sets where a slot receiver is used. This would make things pretty interesting.
DCN—What will the Cowboys Do about Sensabaugh and Austin?
Expect Sensabaugh to get a deal first, I don’t say that because he deserves on but because he is the most willing to test free agency. However, because of Sensabaughs eagerness he wont get the deal he probably deserves. His pay will define mediocrity but will be more then the 1 year deal he doesn’t want.
On the other hand, Austin, if he can remain humble and patient, will receive a 5-7 year deal from the well paying Dallas Cowboys. All he needs to do is have 2 solid games. Im not talking 150 yard games, I’m talking maybe 70-100 yards with 1+ Td’s. Not very hard, by week 7 Austin is locked up.
DCN—When will Dez supplant Roy?
Don’t get too excited, Roy will be number 2 at the beginning of the season. If he can prove that he’s ready to finally play, then he’ll stay there. Now Jerry didn’t move up for no reason so expect Dez to get his share, if he performs well, you’ll see Roy see decreased snaps.
DCN—How will the Cowboys do this year?
In the next week ill do a season prediction (last year I was only off 1 game, so I pretty much rock) but believe me when I say the Cowboys will win the NFC East this year.
DCN—Can we expect a Super Bowl?
I don’t think we can expect anything. Expect them to contend, ill let you know when I feel that they are “Super” quality though.
WR Randall Cobb Named Cowboys “Surprise Standout” for Offseason
NFL teams have wrapped up their offseason activities with the close of OTAs, especially where the players are concerned, and await the start of training camps next month. In reviewing the last few months, ESPN had their local reporters each pick a surprise standout from their team's practices. Todd Archer, who covers the Dallas Cowboys full time, selected veteran receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb is in his first season with Dallas after signing as a free agent last March. He's spent the last eight years with the Green Bay Packers and was a Pro Bowler in 2014, but has struggled with injuries the last few seasons.
Here were Archer's observations on how Randall is doing so far with the Cowboys:
Normally a player with Cobb's résumé -- 470 catches for 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career -- would not be considered for a category like this. But injuries limited him to only nine games and 38 catches for Green Bay in 2018, and it was hard to know what the Cowboys were getting in the veteran receiver.
If the offseason work is any indication, they have found a replacement for Cole Beasley. Cobb's versatility can expand the offense for others, such as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Cobb looked quick in and out of his breaks and fast enough to make plays down the field. Will he put up the 1,287 yards he had in 2014? No, but he gives Dak Prescott a security blanket in the slot who can turn a small gain into a big one.
The notion of Cobb replacing Beasley is a big one. While we'd like to think that Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup will provide plenty of firepower for the Cowboys offense, Dak Prescott has enjoyed a reliable threat from the slot position since he arrived.
Randall Cobb, when healthy, can do more than just make clutch catches. He has good run-after-catch skills and perhaps bring more big play potential than Beasley did.
If Cooper and Gallup do emerge as a dangerous starting duo on the outside, Cobb should have even more opportunities to punish defenses than Beasley did.
If nothing else, it's very encouraging to hear that one of the Cowboys' few 2019 free agent moves is already reaping benefits. Cobb still needs to bring it over a full season to really justify the move, but these early reports are cause for excitement.
BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension
Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.
Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.
Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.
The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.
While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.
The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.
Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.
Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started
Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.
The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.
All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.
Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.
How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.
When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.
Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.
There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.
The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.
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