Dallas Cowboys Nation is a site dedicated to the fans. We care what you think and we want to you to have a platform to voice what you have to say. This installment of "Voice of the Nation" asks who fans view as the top-5 current Dallas Cowboys.
Here are their responses:
Todd Cory (Twitter: @TDC331)
5. Tyron Smith
Left tackle Tyron Smith provides a pro-bowl caliber, blind side protective anchor for the quarterback. He also possesses a tremendous amount of upside to go along with youth. His athleticism and increasing experience are valuable assets.
4. Jason Witten
One of the best tight ends to ever play in the NFL. Reliable, consistent and as tough as they come. His influence and work ethic both on and off the field helps this team immensely.
3. Tony Romo
The Dallas Cowboys always have the chance to win any game with Tony Romo leading the charge at quarterback. The team is never counted out with him in the lineup. An extremely exciting player to watch every single down as he will always try to capitalize on the team's opportunities with big plays.
2. Demarcus Ware
Quite possibly the best pass rusher in the game. Demarcus Ware is a constant, major threat to opposing offenses. A high character player/fan favorite, who piles up sacks and forced fumbles. An absolute iconic force for the Dallas Cowboys.
1. Sean Lee
With Sean Lee in the lineup, the defense is awarded with a tremendous presence of swagger. A linebacker who is at the peak of his career. Sean Lee plays with a magical instinct for the football and greatly lifts the Cowboys defense.
Dan Flannigan (Twitter: @Dan_Flannigan)
The Penn State second round pick is the leader of the defense and is a tackle machine. He is also injury prone and needs to stay on the field a whole season. Lee is the future at MLB in the NFL and there should be no transition period for the move to the 4-3 since the guy is an absolute genius. If Lee never got hurt this past season the Cowboys win the division in my opinion, he is that important. He can cover TEs and RBs and is obviously a force in the run game. Health will always be his question mark but once he gets rid of the bug he will only get better.
4) Jason Witten
To me Witten is the best all-around TE in the league with his route running, hands and blocking. He will set the Cowboys record for most receptions in team history and he is the only one who could catch Tony Gonzalez for most all time for a TE at the moment. Witten is a great leader on and off the field and always seems to be there when Romo cannot find anyone open down field. The window is closing on his prime years which is why Dallas went with a TE in back to back drafts even though none block like Witten. He will have a few more good seasons before passing the torch down to the young guys but there is no one better to learn from, save Gonzalez, than Witten for Hanna and Escobar.
3) Dez Bryant
"The Big 88"- Hot Hands Hannon for all you Little Giants 90's kids out there. Dez has finally grown up and is making all those teams that passed on him in the draft regret it with every catch he makes. There is a reason Jerry gave him the number made famous by the likes of Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin and if Dez keeps up his pace he will be right up there with them as one of the best Cowboy wide outs ever. That 2,000 yard, 20 TD goal he said he could get most likely will not happen and not because of skill but because Romo has too many mouths to feed and with the additions of Terrance Williams and Gavin Escobar to add to it. Dez will warrant some attention from DBs but they cannot focus too much on him with Miles "String Cheese Hamy" Austin, Williams, Witten, and the backups Hanna and Escobar on the field. I expect another big year but not the record breaker the media will talk about all season.
2) DeMarcus Ware
Beast. I really do not have to say any more about Ware but for the instructions given for this post....I will. Ware has the most sacks since coming into the league in 2005 out of Troy with 111 and was the second fastest to 100 behind only the late great Reggie White. Ware's health and numbers have declined over the years but like Romo he is out there doing it by himself. He was and still is the only threat Dallas has in the pass rush and that will take its toll on anyone. The move to the Tampa 2 4-3 will allow Ware to be in more one on one match ups where he can once again dominate left and right tackles while returning to the position he played in college. If this team is going to make noise this year Ware needs to get at least return to the range of 16-18 sacks which should be achieved.
1) Tony Romo
Ladies and gentlemen I do not want to hear the man is not clutch or the man cannot win. Tony Romo can play quarterback and play it pretty well considering what he has to put up with every Sunday. The man puts up serious numbers folks and puts this team into position to win games. Now, yes I am aware he tries too hard sometimes but give him a break he is running for his life for most of the game. In his career he has a 177 to 91 touchdown too interception ratio....Eli has a 211 to 144 and played two more seasons than Romo. If Jerry would give this man an offensive line the Lombardi would be in Dallas period. He is the captain and leader of this team and will be here at least three more years pending when the contract can be voided so if you do not support him find another team to root for, but I suggest you stay put if an o-line is created.
Eric Hoenig (Twitter: @DFWSportsFan)
Whether it’s because of the poor quality of the offensive line as a unit the past two seasons, the fact that the Cowboys passed on JJ Watt in the 2011 draft in favor of Tyron Smith, or that we just don’t hear that much from Smith, he is often overlooked. Smith has performed quite well starting 31 games for America’s Team in his first two seasons in the league, and he is still only 22 years old. 22 years old. Let that sink in for a minute. Smith has the size and athleticism to excel at one of the most important positions in football for the next decade. Smith has already become the Cowboy’s best o-lineman (I know that’s not saying much), and his best football is still ahead of him.
4. Sean Lee
Lee is the heart and soul of the defense, and his athleticism and instincts make him one of the best inside linebackers in all of football. Lee has demonstrated a knack for causing turnovers which is something that the Cowboys have been lacking in recent years. He is a difference maker in the middle, and he will thrive in Kiffin’s 4-3 defense where he will patrol the middle. The only thing keeping Lee from being rated even higher on this list is his inability to stay healthy. For the Cowboys to reach their full potential in 2013, they’re going to need Mr. Lee to stay healthy.
3. DeMarcus Ware
The Cowboys have one of the game’s best defenders on their roster with Ware, and D-Ware’s ability to get to the QB has been second to none over the course of his career. Opposing coaches and QBs have to scheme around him and know where he is at all times, and Ware can take over a game. He is one of the classiest guys in the NFL, but I do have some concerns about his age finally catching up to him and the injuries that slowed him down last season.
2. Tony Romo
Say what you want about Tony Romo, but he is a darn good QB. This team can only go as far as he will take them. Unfortunately for Cowboy fans, he has fallen short in crunch time throughout his career, and he has yet to play his best football at the end of the season. However, Romo is an immensely talented player, and he has shown that he is definitely capable of playing the most important position in the game at a very high level. To be able to play as well as he has behind such a poor offensive line has actually been quite remarkable. I was very happy to see the Cowboys take a “Romo –Friendly” approach in the draft and get him some much needed help. If this list was about who is most important to the Cowboys, Romo would come in at number one, and without him, the Cowboys have no shot at making the playoffs.
1. Dez Bryant
Dez is the most talented player on this roster. Period. Other than Calvin Johnson, there isn’t anybody else in the NFL that I would rather have at wide receiver for the Cowboys. Dez finally put it all together in 2012 as his knowledge of the game has improved drastically. He has the size, speed and hands to dominate the game, but his most important characteristic is his heart and passion. Dez brings a much needed attitude and fire to this team, and if he continues learning more about the game of football, he will become an unstoppable force on the field.
It’s impossible to make a list of the top 5 Cowboys without mentioning Ware’s name. It’s probably incredibly stupid for me to have him this low, and I admit that. It’s just that I’m an offensive kind of guy (get it, ha…nevermind). Ware is the best pass-rusher and easily the pass-rusher on the team when he was on the field last year. People say that Anthony Spencer is more important to this team, and I laugh in their faces. I’ve heard it mentioned too many times that Ware lacks heart, or Ware isn’t mean enough. All I say to that is Saints 2009. From what I’ve heard Ware always battles through injuries, so it’s tough that he missed so much time last year, but I fully expect him to have 2 or 3 more good-great seasons before he starts regressing. This guy is amazing, and besides: I just like shouting “Beware of D-Ware!”
4. Dez Bryant
I hate to keep going offense here, but what’s not to like about Dez Bryant… ok I’ll admit that there were some things in the past, but everything I hear from the guy on the radio or that he tweets sounds like he’s really matured and accepts that he’s a role model. Dez Bryant is a guy that can do it all: he’s strong, he’s quick, and he’s got great hands. He’s got the playbook down and fights for every yard on every play. I get that some of you out there hate that, but I love it. This kid bleeds Football. His string of 7 games with TD receptions is amazing and with Terrence Williams and Gavin Escobar to stretch the field, he has a shot at being something special this year. It was criminal that he didn’t make the pro bowl last year. Although, let’s forget his disappearance at the end of the season.
3. Jason Witten
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Senator. Drafted in the third round out of Tennessee (The other UT) in 2003, he has been a stalwart for the Cowboys ever since. I’ll admit I wasn’t around for a lot of Witten’s biggest plays, mainly because I wasn’t watching at the time. But anyone whose helmet gets ripped off and keeps running head-first into traffic is a legend in my opinion. If the Cowboys never win a Super Bowl with Romo and Witten at the helm, it’s Witten I’ll feel the most sorry for. This guy gives his heart and soul for this team, playing through a spleen laceration and being criticized for losing a step because of it. He’s a blocker and a pass-catcher, a rarity in Today’s NFL. Plus, I swear he and Romo have a telepathic connection going on.
2. Tony Romo
Like it or not, Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys. Look no further than the 2013 NFL draft. If that isn’t a Romo-friendly draft I don’t know what is. It is my personal opinion that Romo has done more with less than any other current big-time quarterback in the NFL right now. Certainly there are better quarterbacks; I don’t think anyone would deny that. However his career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 2:1; the NY/A of the Dallas Cowboys passing offense with him at the helm has averaged 7.19. Compare that to a league leading 7.4 by the Denver Broncos offense last year. His running game and offensive line take turns being in shambles. He’s the national media’s number one piñata. And he’s just a really likeable guy; I can’t help but want him to succeed. Roll out right, Tony!
1. Sean Lee
2010 was my first NFL draft. I’m not a really young fan (I’d be old enough to remember the 1996 Super Bowl if I actually cared about Football at the time). It’s just that I wasn’t that big into sports until the 2009 season. Anyway the 2010 draft sticks out in my memory for two reasons: general anger at picking Dez Bryant, and drafting the injured Sean Lee out of Penn State. The anger at pick-up of an injury-prone linebacker (who we didn’t need: I’m noticing a trend here) was palpable everywhere I looked: “There goes Jerry again.” However, I truly believed he would be great. When it was announced in 2011 that he would be taking 1/3 of the snaps from Brookings and James, it wasn’t long before rumors came out he would take the majority of the snaps. What more is there to say? He picked off Peyton Manning in his first year. He played with a club over his hand for half a season in 2011. Finally, he’s the best MLB you’ve never heard of. And he’s only going to get better.
A special thanks to everyone who contributed to this installment of "Voice of the Nation". Please be sure to check these guys out on Twitter and let them know what you think!
Though Promising, We Need To Relax About Safety Kavon Frazier
With the addition of former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard to the Cowboys' defensive coaching staff, fans are hoping that Dallas will create their own "Legion of Boom." Of course this is a lofty goal, but one worth pursuing nonetheless.
If the Cowboys are to recreate the Legion of Boom they will need their version of two vital pieces: Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
The Seahawks defense works, in many ways, because of these two players. Thomas' ability to play centerfield and literally defend sideline to sideline gives the Seahawks the freedom to use Chancellor where he's best, as a box safety. Chancellor is a big, physical safety who defends the run effectively in the box and can blanket tight ends in man coverage with his size and athleticism.
These safeties are arguably the most critical pieces to the Legion of Boom, though having a shutdown corner in Richard Sherman certainly doesn't hurt.
Realizing Chancellor's importance, Cowboys fans are hoping that current safety Kavon Frazier can fulfill this role in Dallas. Since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 Frazier has made his home on Special Teams. As an impressive tackler in both punt and kick coverage, Frazier earned himself time at safety down the stretch of the 2017 season.
All in all, Frazier played rather well. Against the Washington Redskins he stepped in and made a few splash plays at the line of scrimmage, causing Cowboys Nation to lose their minds. After that impressive Thursday night game, however, Kavon Frazier didn't really reach that same level of performance.
Frazier is still a liability when asked to cover, especially when asked to play as a two deep safety. He also struggles when taking angles at times, though playing downhill as a tackler is his best attribute. Frazier actually reminds me a bit of Barry Church, though over time Church became more refined in coverage than Frazier currently is.
Some have argued that Kavon Frazier's presence should stop the Cowboys from considering a first round safety. I would disagree, and actually believe that if Florida State's Derwin James is available, the Cowboys should consider making that pick.
If you could combine the athleticism and coverage abilities of Byron Jones with the physicality and "box safety" qualities of Kavon Frazier, you'd have a fantastic safety. Unfortunately, this isn't the Marvel Universe and we are left without any super heroes in the back-end.
Hopefully Kris Richard will figure out how to correctly place all of these pieces in the Dallas Cowboys secondary going forward.
Maverick Carter: LeBron James Considered Cowboys During NBA Lockout
Maverick Carter is a pretty important man in the world of sports. As a business man, entrepreneur, and manager of one of the best basketball players of all time in LeBron James, Maverick Carter is certainly used to making headlines.
This week, while on former NFL running back Arian Foster's podcast "Now What? with Arian Foster," Carter claimed that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once attempted to negotiate a contract with LeBron James.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Carter claims that Jones contacted LeBron James and discussed bringing him in as a Cowboy while the NBA was without games.
"Jerry Jones, being the smart marketer he is...one day out of the clear blue sky LeBron got a contract I think it was for like one year, a couple million bucks to play for the Dallas Cowboys." - Maverick Carter.
Carter then states that LeBron may have the paperwork framed in his house to remember these discussions with Jerry Jones. LeBron's fandom for the Cowboys has been well documented, as has been his high school football prowess.
We may never know how "real" these discussions were, and of course it is long over now, but just imagining LeBron James getting a chance to play for the Dallas Cowboys would break the internet.
You can check out the full episode of the podcast here, and I highly suggest listening to the other episodes Arian Foster has to offer.
Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?
February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.
DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.
Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.
After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.
There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?
Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.
For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.
In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys
What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?
First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.
It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.
It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.
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