Let's turn the clock back a bit, shall we? Critics love to say that Dallas Cowboys fans live in the past, and for the purposes of this exercise we're going to a bit. We're firing the 'ol DeLorean up to 88mph in order to re-visit the 2016 season (it was a fun one, wouldn't you say?). What we're looking at specifically is where the Cowboys landed each week on NFL.com's Power Rankings... the results will interest you.
NFL.com's weekly power rankings are written by Elliot Harrison, a Dallas native and Cowboys Historian, and I'll attest to the list's quality. Elliot is a fantastic NFL writer and he's usually very fair to the Cowboys (not to mention he was one of the OG National Romo Defenders).
As you can see the Cowboys sat at 16th right after their Draft. Of course it was that very Draft that would significantly boost the quality of America's Team last season, but that was unforeseen by literally everyone in the NFL.
The Lowest Point On The Season
Amazingly the lowest status that the Dallas Cowboys reached in these Power Rankings was the 19th spot. This is considering that the Cowboys were down Tony Romo - at that point their unquestioned savior - and had just lost to the New York Giants (remember when Terrance Williams didn't get out of bounds?).
Dez Bryant clearly telling Terrance Williams to get out of bounds. Wow.
#19 isn't terrible relatively speaking. Considering that the whole world got to see what the Dallas Cowboys were without Tony Romo just a season prior, the fact that Dallas was still considered a Top 20 team was an achievement that's something to be proud of. Fortunately for all of us things got going quickly and the Cowboys rose, rose, and rose.
The Cowboys Soar To The Top
The question "when did Dak Prescott really and truly earn the job of starting quarterback?" is one that is fascinating to debate. Some would say it's a collection of games, some would say the Overtime win at home against Philadelphia, and others would say it was the big road win at Lambeau Field.
It was indeed that victory in Green Bay that catapulted the Cowboys in these Power Rankings. Prior to that the Cowboys were 8th and jumped all the way up to 3rd, the Cowboys wouldn't leave the Top 3 for the rest of the regular season.
After that Eagles win on Halloween's eve, the Cowboys actually climbed all the way up to 2nd! They would never fall below #2 for the remainder of the season, but they would rise for a bit.
America's Team Takes The Throne
The Cowboys maintained Elliot Harrison's top spot in his weekly power rankings on NFL.com for four weeks (shout out to #4 Dak Prescott!). They originally took the throne after what many would say was their biggest win of the season, an incredible clash of the NFL's finest franchises when Dallas outlasted the Steelers in Pittsburgh on November 13th.
The Kool-Aid at #1 stayed blue and silver for a long and glorious month as the Cowboys ripped off victories against the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, and in Minnesota against the Vikings. It took a road loss in New York in frigid conditions against a stifling defense for the Cowboys to fall down a spot and see the eventual Super Bowl LI Champion New England Patriots take the spot back.
Dallas was one of just six teams to hold the top spot across the season, and they held it for the second-longest amount of time. It's tough to argue that that specific stretch of time was when they were at their most dominant, and unfortunately it all ended for good about a month after that New York Giants loss.
Where will the Cowboys land on next season's week-to-week Power Rankings? We're all going to have to wait to find out!
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
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