Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

What Games Can Cowboys Win Without Tony Romo?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Headlines - Schedule Breakdown For Dak Prescott Through The Bye

The Dallas Cowboys have pretty much rolled out the red carpet for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, at least until Tony Romo returns to 100%. That's not exactly bad news considering how well Prescott has exceeded expectations and performed on the field during the first three preseason games for the Cowboys.

There is still a lot of optimism surrounding this Cowboys team, even though their projected starter (Tony Romo) and backup (Kellen Moore) are both dealing with injuries causing them to be out for an unspecified amount of time.

Normally, we would hear a lot of talk about tanking the season in order to have a top draft pick, but things have changed. And that has everything to do with the belief Dak Prescott can keep this high-powered Cowboys offense firing on all cylinders.

Tony Romo is said to be out anywhere from 4-8 weeks to 6-10 weeks. Because of this I decided to breakdown the schedule with Prescott at the helm to determine what the record might look like heading into their Week 7 bye.

By then, we should know if Romo could possibly return after the Cowboys bye week, or if we will see more of Prescott.

Here is a quick look at the Dallas Cowboys' opponents over the first six weeks of the 2016 season and my win/loss prediction.

Opponent Could Dak Prescott win?
New York Giants No
@Washington Yes
Chicago Yes
@San Francisco Yes
Cincinnati No
@Green Bay No
Bye Week

Would you be satisfied at .500 heading into the bye?

Well, that's how I see things possibly breaking down, as of right now, if Dak Prescott continues to play the way he has been.

It's always tough to predict NFL matchups because there is so much turnover year after year; it's really hard to figure out what the team will look like based on what they have been able to accomplish in the preseason.

Having said that, let me try to break this down a little further by examining each individual opponent.

New York Giants - Week 1

When the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants face off against one another, you can pretty much guarantee that the outcome will come down to the final seconds on the clock. I don't predict that to change any, not even with Dak Prescott leading the Cowboys' offense.

The Giants used the offseason to try to upgrade their defense and spent heavily to bring in some of the top free agents to accomplish that. Whether it pays off or not is still the question, but I think they'll throw everything (including the kitchen sink) at Prescott trying to confuse/harass him.

I do, however, think the Cowboys can win this game if they can find success in the running game and control the clock with Ezekiel Elliott.

Ultimately, I give a slight advantage to the Giants, which unfortunately means Dak Prescott loses his first regular-season game in the NFL.

@Washington Redskins - Week 2

I don't know who was in charge of coming up with the 2016 schedule, but they didn't do the Dallas Cowboys any favors by scheduling back-to-back division opponents in the first two weeks of the season.

Fortunately, I think the Cowboys match up really well against the Redskins, and even though they're playing their first away game of the season, I see them coming away with their first win in 2016.

Kirk Cousins played surprisingly well in 2015, but whether he can have a repeat performance has yet to be seen. Even the Redskins are waiting to see what he does before they offer him a long-term extension, so you can read whatever you want to into that.

This game will be particularly interesting because we'll get to see Dez Bryant and Josh Norman face off against one another. I think the Cowboys will impose their will with their offensive line and running game.

Chicago Bears - Week 3

The Dallas Cowboys will play their first non-division game at AT&T Stadium against the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the 2016 season.

The Cowboys' and Bears' 2015 seasons were oddly similar and they both finished last in their respective divisions. But fortunately for the Cowboys, they aren't really in a transitional phase like the Bears.

Head coach John Fox is entering his second year with the Bears and he is still transitioning his defense from the 4-3 to the 3-4. I think the high-powered Dallas Cowboys offense will be too much for the Bears' defense, and quarterback Dak Prescott will have his best professional game in prime-time on Sunday night.

If there is a must-win game during the first six weeks of the season for the Cowboys, I believe this is the one. This game alone could have huge playoff implications and for that reason I think the Cowboys' coaching staff will do everything in their power to ensure a W.

@San Francisco 49ers - Week 4

There is absolutely nothing about the San Francisco 49ers that scares me, not one bit, and I think this could possibly be the safest bet for the Dallas Cowboys to win with Dak Prescott playing quarterback.

On both offense and defense, the 49ers really lack players that can make a big difference in the game. New head coach Chip Kelly has yet to make the kind of impact in the NFL that both he and everyone else might have expected.

The Dallas Cowboys know what to expect from Chip Kelly and should come out and completely dominate this game in all phases. I fully expect the Cowboys to have their highest scoring game of the season and come away with their third win of the year.

Cincinnati Bengals - Week 5

The Cincinnati Bengals are perhaps one of the better balanced teams on both offense and defense in the entire NFL.

They are projected to make a strong push to make the playoffs in 2016 and could possibly be the toughest defense that Dak Prescott has faced to this point.

On offense, the Bengals have the play-makers to make the game miserable for the Cowboys defense. Andy Dalton throwing to AJ Green will really test the Cowboys secondary, but the Bengals also like to be physical at the point of attack, and will try to be dominate up front with the running game, led by Jeremy Hill.

This is going to be a really tough test for the Dallas Cowboys, in all phases of the game. Unfortunately, I don't think Dak Prescott can do enough to come away with a victory at home.

@Green Bay Packers - Week 6

Any team traveling to Lambeau Field and secure with the thought they can come away with a victory are either delusional or know something I don't. Lambeau Field is arguably the toughest venue to play at and that doesn't bode well for the Dallas Cowboys in their Week 6 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

A Packer offense led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers is always dangerous, but after an injury-plagued 2015 season, Jordy Nelson should be back to 100% to pick up where he left off pre-injury. This should make the Packers' offense one of the best in the NFL and is the sole reason why I think they beat the Dallas Cowboys.

As talented as I think Dak Prescott is, I don't believe he can match Aaron Rodgers touchdown for touchdown. And I don't even want to think about how the Cowboys defense will look against the Packers offense at home.

✭✭✭

If you're stoked about Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop just got his jerseys in. Check it out, and get your new Dak Prescott jersey today!

Can Dak Prescott do better than 3-3 before the bye week?

Please take advantage of the comment section below and tell us your prediction of Dak Prescott's win/loss record in the first six weeks of the 2016 season.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

Advertisement
48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. beast

    August 30, 2016 at 8:19 am

    4-2

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I think 4-2 is a fairly realistic record heading into the bye. The only real loss that I see is against Green Bay. How ecstatic would Cowboys fans be if Prescott had a 5-1 record heading into the bye week?

      • Billy

        August 31, 2016 at 9:22 am

        Dak has inherited every starting position at every level of his football career because of injuries to named starters , which tells me that he may not have talents and measurables the eyes can see but there is something about his aura on a football field that just brings a calm and quiet confidence to those around him I have watched my Dallas Cowboys long enough to trust my gut and what I have seen so far excites me I do not put anything past him 5-1, 6-0 would not shock me until proven otherwise I am quite comfortable with Dak.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          August 31, 2016 at 10:24 am

          Billy, I think I pretty much agree with everything you said. I do however believe he has the talent to be successful in the NFL. I’ve been paying close attention throughout training camp practices and have noticed that Prescott doesn’t look very good in practices, but seems to excel when he’s in a game situation. And you’re right, he does have a commanding presence when on the field. I think the team will rally around that. I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs while Romo is hurt.

  2. Joey

    August 30, 2016 at 9:21 am

    If dak is 5-1 and tony is health after the bye week does tony get his job back?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

      If that’s the scenario, I think the Dallas Cowboys would give Romo more time to recover from his back injury. I think they would continue to go with Prescott if he’s performing that well. Thanks for taking the time to leave, Joey.

  3. Tim Felder

    August 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Win all. Six

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Tim, that would be absolutely amazing.

  4. Mingo Rodriguez

    August 30, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I say we go 4 -2 or maybe 5 – 1 this
    Kid is going to be the real deal. Our offense is going to be deadly Go Cowboys Mingo Arizona.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Mingo, I think those are realistic expectations. Prescott has a lot of the intangibles you look for a QB, but he really hasn’t gone up against a defense that has tried to game plan for him yet. It is because of that alone I said 3-3. I think the only pretty much guaranteed loss would be playing Green Bay at home.

  5. Vaughan

    August 30, 2016 at 9:51 am

    You really think the Dallas Secondary can guard all the passing weapons the Skins have at their disposal?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Yes, I think it’s possible. But I also think the Cowboys offense can put more points on the board than the Redskins. I think the Cowboys defense can do enough to keep the Redskins offense from outscoring the Cowboys offense. Sometimes that’s all it comes down to. Thanks for leaving a comment Vaughan.

  6. Thomas

    August 30, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I think Dak will be just fine with all the help he got I can see him goin 4-2 or maybe even 5-1 go cowboys

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 10:02 am

      I agree Thomas, but at the same time I’m curbing my expectations until I see how Prescott performs against a defense that is actually game planning against him.

  7. Deven

    August 30, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Dak the man

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

      We all hope so Deven

  8. James

    August 30, 2016 at 11:24 am

    4-2 Dallas beats NewYork to open the season. New York has a new Head Coach.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 11:34 am

      James, Ben McAdoo is actually in his second season as head coach for the New York Giants. To me, the game against the Giants as a tossup. I can see it going either way.

  9. Brian

    August 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I’m guessing 4-2, maybe even 5-1. The Giants game as you said is always a toss up but I think with scandrick back to hold ODB a little and with how bad that Giants line really is we take that one. Going to Lambeau is as tough a challenge as any so that’s an L. Other then that I think they are all very winnable games. The redskins are a good match up for us as are the bears, and I think my flag football team could give San fran a run this year. Bengals would be the only one I think could go either way.
    Let’s not forget we drafted zeke over a CB for this exact reason to take the pressure off romo so we’re built to weather this scenario

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Brian, I agree with everything you said. I took the cautious approach with 3-3 because we have yet to see Prescott in a game where a defense is actually game plans for him. I do however think that all of these games are winnable, with probably the exception of playing Green Bay at home.

  10. James

    August 30, 2016 at 11:33 am

    The Cowboys will never lose another game. Ever.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 11:39 am

      James, I like your mindset LOL. I guess anything is possible

  11. Mason Tapp

    August 30, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Yo the cowboys will get rolling after 4 games when our suspensions on defense are out and hopefully, Giants-Win with Eli throwing easy picks even though they have a huge recieving core but a vounerable offensive line, Redskins-Win dak can play agajnst that secondary like its nothing with a healthy line, zeke can kill and redzone will be easy with our recieving plus our backs of morris and zeke. Bears-Win because ya… Packers-Loss, at lambeau, we have had good history plus our away game winning percentage but aaron is too strong with reading the field and escaping our rush plus a healthy jordy Bengals-W honestly, bengals defense isnt as great as hype gives it plus they have lost some and they have a good runblocking scheme but i think this is a close one we could win and 49ers-Win i mean if blane gabert is a stater rolling into that game, you have a good chance plus a healthy hyde is rare and cowboys will win this in my opinion
    -Mason, Frisco

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Mason, I can’t disagree with anything you said. The Cowboys could be very well at 5-1 when they enter their bye week. I personally chose a side of caution because Prescott has yet to face a defense that has actually been game planned for him. I do agree however think that all of these games are winnable, with maybe the exception of playing Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

  12. Jim Neely

    August 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Seriously? Have you watched the Giant games in preseason? They are appallingly badly coached on the offensive side of the ball, and all that spending on the defense doesn’t make up for bad coaching there, either. I do not see the Cowboys losing this game to an Eli-led team: he has been dreadful in the first three preseason games.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Jim, I agree that the Giants have looked terrible in the preseason. However, they always seem to perform their best when they are playing against the Cowboys. I see this game as being a tossup.

  13. TRIMAINE CLARK

    August 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I got 4-2 at its worst with losses to gb and maybe ny but if everyone else can stay healthy, if the defense bends but dont break and if we pound with the running game setting up many play action scenarios for Dak, then we will be ok!!!!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Trimaine, I truly believe that all of these games are winnable with the exception of maybe playing Green Bay at home. I’m just a little bit concerned that Prescott might just be a flash in the pan and may regress a little bit in his play once defenses start to actually game plan for him. That’s the only reason I went with 3-3. I could easily see them going 4-2 or 5-1.

  14. Zdallas

    August 30, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I can see a 4-2 start from the boys I don’t think the Giants can get consistent pressure with the front 4 with our oline if zeke is as advertised I think we can play keep away and win not sure we can do that against gb or cinci

    • David caudill

      August 30, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      I think the Cowboys could be 5-0 with Prescott I know the Cowboys could beat the New York Giants Cincinnati Bengals the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        August 30, 2016 at 8:50 pm

        David, I like your confidence. I hope you’re right.

  15. Trimaine CLARK

    August 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I can see 4-2 at its worst and 5-1 at its best with the guaranteed loss to gb and possibly ny. As long as everyone else stays healthy, the defense bends but dont break and we pound em with the running game setting up alot of possible play action scenarios then we will be ok!!!! If we get to one of those records then i wouldn’t rush Tony back too fast

  16. Dave

    August 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    4 and 2 would be wonderful…as long as they let Dakota do his thing hell be ok

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      I agree Dave.

  17. George Johnson

    August 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Brian: I am surprised by all the optimism. I think your 3-3 prediction is just about right. Dak has played outstanding but it is too early and too few games to judge too much about his abilities/skills. He is a rookie and greenhorn who has a lot to learn/develop. I haven’t seen him receive a lot of pressure yet, many receivers have seemed to be pretty open and I assume the play calling was simplified for Dak until he gets more experience/reps. He also seemed to be lucky on a couple of throws such as the touchdown in Seattle. I fully expect him to come back down to earth during season games and with defensive game planning for him as you said. The outstanding offensive line and running game should allow for a certain amount of offensive success especially if Dak can avoid too many mistakes and the coaches develop a game plan that fits his strengths and weaknesses. My guess is the real determination of wins and losses will more likely be how well the Dallas defense does. If the Dallas defense is not very good it will be hard to win even three games out of the first six.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      George, that’s pretty much the way I see things as well.

  18. Michael

    August 30, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    could the Giants create a in depth gameplay against a QB who’s only tape is on 3 half preseason games? I feel the giants will not fully know what they have to deal with until they play against Dak which should give him a slight advantage.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      The Giants don’t have to create a really in-depth game plan for Prescott. So far, Prescott has only seen vanilla defenses in the preseason. He hasn’t really seen teams disguising their coverages or blitzes. I think that’s what might give him the most trouble.

  19. David caudill

    August 30, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I know the Cowboys to be 6-0 the Cowboys can beat the New York Giants Washington Redskins Cincinnati Bengals San Francisco 49ers Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers Prescott is a good quarterback then when Romo comes back we will win the rest

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 30, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      The Green Bay game is the one that worries me the most. It’s really tough to go into Lambeau Field and come away with a victory.

  20. LAQUAN MEDLIN

    August 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    5-1 ZEKE will run for 195 and 3tds in LAMBEU field Demarco Murray shoulda ran for 250 plus yards in two games against GREENBAY if we ain’t abandon run game

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 31, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Laquan, I can definitely see 5-1 entering the Cowboys bye week. Ezekiel Elliott will definitely be a major reason why the Cowboys are successful in 2016. I don’t know if he’ll be able to run for nearly 200 yards against Green Bay if the Packers are able to jump out to an early lead though.

  21. scott edgmand

    August 31, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I have looked at the first 6 games and I don’t know the giants aren’t relevant 200 million dollar mistake doesn’t make them any better I see 6-0 actually I don’t see cowboys losing any of the first nine games I cant figure out how any team is going to bet them thru 9 green bay I believe is on a slide with or without Jordy. personal opinion. don’t hate. manning has been horrible in preseason odell if he was a game changer why haven’t they made a play off since he been there they got worse. giants are horrible Washington is good not good enough philly , where do I begin the cleaning up after hurricane chip. dallas goes 12-4 wins the east and the conference and surprise faces either titans or jags in the superbowl again people don’t hate I respect all comments please respect mine

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      August 31, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Scott, you definitely make very valid points. I think if Dak Prescott continues to play like he’s played in preseason, then I would absolutely agree with you. I however am taking the kind the of wait-and-see approach. I want to see Prescott perform like he has been against defenses that are actually game planning for him. If he can do that I think the Cowboys are a playoff team, with or without the return of Romo. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing everyone’s opinions.

  22. Kenneth Dickson

    August 31, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    I understand why you are sceptical and can see 2 of the losses you have predicted. However I don’t believe NY will be as hard of a test as you think. I know the games are always won or lost in the fourth quarter against them but I think we will pull out the win. The only major obstical I see is Greenbay. It is very difficult to go into Lambeau field and beat them. I’m gonna predict either a 4-2 or 5-1 record. I have to agree that the Bengals are a pretty complete team but I don’t think their defense is as good as it’s made out to be. I’m hoping for the best for the Boyz….

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Thanks for commenting Kenneth. My reasoning for predicting 3-3 is mostly based on the fact that we really haven’t seen Prescott play when opposing defenses are actually game planning for him. If he continues to play like he has been I can absolutely see them going 4-2 or 5-1.

  23. Jerry

    September 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I say we start 4-0 then lose to CIN and GB…Dak is gonna struggle against CIN defense and Lambo is a tough place to play…however…this will be Dez’s chance to exact revenge for “The Catch”…last season he wasn’t healthy enough and didn’t have a decent QB…so he might be a man possessed in the GB game…also Dak has told him if he’s single covered he’s gonna throw it to him…so we have a slight chance at 5-1…but 4-2 is more likely…3-3 if Dak doesn’t do as well as we hope

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      Jerry I like your predictions for Prescott for the first six games of the season. I think it’s very reasonable to think he can go 4-2 or 5-1. I just took the side of caution predicting 3-3. I’m hoping that I’m wrong and Prescott can come out and completely dominate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Dallas Cowboys

7 Free Agents the Cowboys Should Target

Shane Carter

Published

on

Are the Dallas Cowboys in for Another Quiet Free Agency in 2018?
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys' focus after losing in the second round of the playoffs is likely going to be contract extensions, sealing up their best players now before getting ready for the draft. They're likely to lose a few free agents but their priority will be their big name free agent, DeMarcus Lawrence, and extending contracts of Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and probably Byron Jones, in a year where they’ll see more cap room than they have in a long time.

Free agency, to Dallas, has been really almost entirely about re-signing their own and not dipping into the free agency pool like Jerry Jones used to do. However, in today’s NFL, a bit of the old Jerry may need to come back.

If we look at the success of Philadelphia, the L.A. Rams, Kansas City, Cleveland or Chicago, all these teams re-signed their own and drafted well, but also went out of their way to either trade for or sign other players. Free agency helped refuel all these teams and all saw success in the same capacity as the draft did.

The Cowboys don’t need to break the bank but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider some players who will be available. This team has nowhere to go but up, so take that next step. The more help, the better.

Anthony Sherman

A bit of an underrated name, Anthony Sherman was another Pro Bowl player this season for Kansas City. Being brought back on a one-year "prove it" deal, he more than outplayed his contract.

The Cowboys' current fullback, Jamize Olawale, did play as well as people had hoped. He played well on special teams, but as a blocker for Ezekiel Elliott and a receiver out of the backfield (see the Colts game). Olawale was a very valuable player to Oakland but he wasn’t able to replicate the same success in Dallas.

Sherman might want to come back to Kansas City but not only do the Cowboys have more cap room in 2019 but the possibility of playing with arguably the best running back in football might be too big to pass up. Just imagine the next Daryl Johnston and Emmitt Smith.

Randall Cobb

Cowboys Headlines - Who will Emerge from the Cowboys Linebackers? 2

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

See how many quarterbacks there are in the NFL and then which teams gave them a plethora of weapons: Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Baker Mayfield, Deshaun Watson, etc.

Amari Cooper appears to have re-established himself among the NFL’s elite receivers, Tavon Austin looks like a cheap re-sign who could be used in rotation both in the slot and outside, and Michael Gallup in the last four games of the season finally meshed with Dak Prescott and looks like a great number two receiver. Throw in Blake Jarwin and a likely second-round pick to be a tight end, and the Cowboys look like they’ve got plenty of weapons.

We need to consider now the other receivers Dallas has. Cole Beasley is hitting free agency and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to keep him, Terrance Williams’ future is up in the air, Allen Hurns is coming back from a devastating injury, and Noah Brown is much more of an H-Back/sub-tight end option. Ideally, Dak Prescott’s next receiver will have good hands, run routes well and have plenty of speed.

Randall Cobb is not likely to return to Green Bay, and according to spotrac.com, his estimated value is currently a little under $8 million a year. Whether that’s too rich for the Cowboys’ taste or not, they should consider this. Cobb is only 28 years old and still can be productive on the right team, and given the right quarterback, one of the better slot receivers in the game.

K.J. Wright

The Legion of Boom is dead and, with it, the remnants of Seattle’s Super Bowl defense. K.J. Wright might not be on the same level as Bobby Wagner but he might be just what the Cowboys need in the linebacker rotation.

It looks like Sean Lee might have played his last down as a Cowboy. He’s never completed a full 16-game season, and with rising stars Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch back there, Lee is a likely cap casualty. Damien Wilson is a solid linebacker and often played up to the level that both Smith and Vander Esch played at but Wright might be an upgrade.

He’s 29 years old but won’t command a high price in the open market. His familiarity with Kris Richard also makes this an intriguing option. Knowing his success with Richard, it would make sense that Wright wants to finish his career in a system that he can thrive in and possibly make it back to the Super Bowl.

Matt Slauson

Depth was seriously tested on the offensive line in 2018. Travis Frederick missed all season with Guillain-Barré syndrome, Zack Martin missed time with knee issues, and Tyron Smith as well, for his neck.

Connor Williams looks like the future at right guard but Xavier Su'a-Filo filled in for most of the season. Going forward, the Cowboys need better, more veteran depth.

Matt Slauson has played for four different teams, playing in 114 games and starting in 111 of them. While he’s probably not the player he once was, Dallas really needs him for quality depth across the interior offensive line and veteran leadership.

He only cost the Colts $3 million last season, and that would be worth the price to bring him in. Depending on the health of the offensive line, any sort of upgrade on the second team is worth it.

Jalen Richard

Lee, Green Standouts on Cowboys Injury Report 1

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

It’s always good to have a full backfield. You need your lead dog, a solid number two and a speed receiver option to come out of the backfield. The Cowboys lacked the last one, and they could really use it.

Jalen Richard is a modest 5’8 200 lbs but has given the Raiders plenty of quality play, both as a change of pace back and especially at receiver. In fact, he had more receptions (68) than he did rushes (55) in 2018.

Since he’s likely to be mostly used as the Lance Dunbar-type of back that Jason Garrett misses, it's better that he catch passes than run the ball.

Richard shouldn’t cost very much and having him there would allow Elliott more rest, not having to force him out there on passing downs. Obviously Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best running backs in the game, at both running and catching, but quality depth with Jalen Richard might be what keeps him healthier, longer.

Jason Verrett

Health has been the biggest issue for Jason Verrett. His first two seasons looked like he was going to be a star in this league. However, in the last three seasons, he’s only played in five total games. It’s unlikely that he’ll be retained by the Chargers.

Jerry Jones has shown from time to time that he’ll give a player chances, despite off-field or injury issues (see Rolando McClain). A one-year "prove it" deal would make a lot of sense, especially if it improves the Cowboys' secondary depth.

Having played at TCU, Verrett is familiar with DFW and would probably be welcomed. There’s still plenty of time for Verrett to return his career back to where it once was. At a discount, the Cowboys might want to take advantage.

Earl Thomas

Kam Chancellor's Seahawks Career Ends, Will Earl Thomas be Next to Leave? 2

At last! We’ve come to THE name everyone has expected: Earl Thomas.

Leader of the Legion of Boom and future Hall-of-Famer, Earl Thomas broke the internet last season when he ran toward the Cowboys locker room, telling coach Jason Garrett to come and get him. Cowboys and Seahawks fans went crazy.

It was a move that was thought could happen before or during the draft, or possibly before the 2018 season started. But Seattle never budged.

Instead, Earl Thomas broke a bone in his leg, the game after he played the Cowboys and was placed on injured reserve. Now, Earl Thomas is a free agent, and Seattle is likely to lose him and get nothing back.

Earl Thomas has been to a pair of Super Bowls, winning one, and along with Kris Richard helped create one of the greatest secondaries in NFL history. This should be a no brainer. Earl Thomas could be the missing piece to the already elite Cowboys defense. Let’s make everyone’s wishes come true and make this happen Jerry Jones!



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

3 Reasons Why Kellen Moore Should Not Become Offensive Coordinator

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Kellen Moore

The notion that current Quarterbacks Coach Kellen Moore will be promoted to Offensive Coordinator has divided many Cowboys fans. The idea is growing on some, but others remain very opposed. Is he really the right guy to help Dallas' offense get to the next level?

Yesterday, one of my fellow Inside The Star writers gave his reasons why Moore's promotion could be a positive for the Cowboys. I decided to play devil's advocate today and give three reasons why it would not be a good move.

For the record, I'm not opposed to the move. I don't want some retread like Todd Haley or Mike McCoy, who have been fired from more than one NFL team in their past. What innovation can they offer at this point?

But at the same time, do you really want a guy whose never held the job at any level before now? That leads us to my first reason for being against Kellen Moore.

1. Inexperience

Even Sean McVay spent three seasons as the Redskins' OC before he got his job in Los Angeles. Moore was playing QB just a year ago and has spent one season in a true coaching role. I know he was credited for being an assistant to the coaches during his playing career, but you'd still like a guy whose spent a little more time with a clipboard in hand.

Kellen could be a genius, and there are often reality checks that come whenever you step into a larger role. We often see something being done and think we understand, even thinking we could do it better, but then discover nuances and challenges that we didn't recognize before.

Most of the greatest QBs to ever play the game didn't have strong rookie seasons.

Of course, there's talk that Moore's role as OC would be supplemented by a lot of experienced assistants. Tight Ends Coach Doug Nussmeier has been a coordinator on the college level for high-profile programs like Alabama, Florida, and Michigan. We could even see Jason Garrett gets more hand-on with the offense again.

Perhaps Kellen would give a fresh approach and outlook that would push the Cowboys' offense forward in 2019. But you have to be concerned about his lack of experience, regardless of how highly you rate his potential.

3 Reasons Why Kellen Moore Should Not Become Offensive Coordinator

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, QB Kellen Moore, and former OC Scott Linehan

2. Scott Linehan's Influence

If you didn't like Linehan's work with the Cowboys then you may be concerned that he's had a lot of influence on Kellen Moore's offensive philosophy. Between Dallas and Detroit, they have been together for all but one of Moore's seven years in the NFL.

Linehan was the Lions' OC when Moore signed with them following the 2012 draft. When Scott was fired by Detroit after the 2013 season, he came to Dallas while Kellen played one more year with the Lions. In 2015, Linehan played a key role in getting Moore signed by the Cowboys.

That said, we have no way of knowing how much Linehan has shaped Moore's ideas about football. It's only a hypothetical, but one that shouldn't be ignored.

It's entirely possible that Kellen may have learned some good things by observing Linehan, too. "What not to do" can be valuable experience. Perhaps Moore was shaking his head at some of Scott's calls and decisions as much as the rest of us.

I take some confidence in the fact that Jason Garrett, who knows offense, would be willing to make this move. His job is on the line and the willingness to give Kellen Moore increased responsibility means Jason must see something he likes.

It also would mean he doesn't blame Kellen for our third reason.

3. QB Regression in 2018

This is the clearest and most concerning evidence against Moore's ascension on the coaching staff. In his one year as Quarterbacks Coach, there was no sign of development in Dak Prescott's performance from his rookie season. Also, Cooper Rush's play in the 2018 preseason was a clear regression from last year.

But only insiders know how much of this is about the coach as opposed to players and other factors around them. Was Kellen wanting to coach things that didn't align with Linehan's offensive strategy? Was Moore really getting to do things his way?

Most would agree that Prescott's play got better as the season went on, and perhaps that's a feather in Moore's cap. In fact, it could be a sign that Kellen also improved in his role over time.

As for Rush, we've seen plenty of one-hit wonders in sports. Guys can get hot and cool off, and perhaps what we saw last August was closer to reality than his 2017 play.

But as smart and savvy as Kellen Moore has been praised to be as an offensive mind, there's no denying that it didn't seem to rub off on the Cowboys quarterbacks this year. Communicating and teaching what you know to others is a separate skill.

~ ~ ~

Ultimately, we don't know what kind of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore could turn out to be. But there's evidence on both sides of the argument, and the Cowboys will be taking a serious gamble if they elect to promote such an inexperienced guy to such an important role.

But in this era when everyone is looking for the next creative and innovative offensive mind, maybe it's the exact move this team needs.



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

How Joe Looney Saved the Cowboys Season and Protected Their Future

Brian Martin

Published

on

Joe Looney Saved Cowboys 2018 Season and Protected Their Future

I can't really express enough how important Center Joe Looney was to the Dallas Cowboys 2018 success. His play was kind of lost in the shuffle of all of the ups and downs that took place throughout the year, which is why I wanted to try to set the record straight today.

Joe Looney is better known around Cowboys Nation and the outside media as the guy who dressed up as a 6'3", 315 pound Ezekiel Elliott earlier in the offseason. You may have forgotten, but he wore Zeke's No. 21 jersey with his mid-drift showing while miming the "Feed Me" sign during practice. It's hard to imagine a jokester like that could be such an integral part to the Cowboys 2018 season, but he was.

Despite his jocularity, Joe Looney more than adequately replaced Travis Frederick in the middle of the Cowboys offensive line this past season. In fact, he was really the only consistent thing about the starting five, which in itself deserves more attention than it's actually received.

The Cowboys OL was a mess this season. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, Dallas' other Pro Bowl offensive lineman, battled injuries throughout the year and missed time because of it. Add that to the revolving door at left guard between Connor Williams and Xavier Su'a-Filo and La'el Collins up-and-down season, and Looney's play looks all that more impressive.

The fact that Joe Looney was pretty much an afterthought this past season really speaks volumes to the level of his play. One of the things that really made him so important to the Cowboys success though in 2018 was his availability.

Joe Looney, Travis Frederick

Dallas Cowboys C Joe Looney

It may surprise you to know, but Looney played every single offensive snap (1,076) in 2018. That's up from just 94 snaps in 2017 as the Cowboys backup guard/center. I don't know about you, but I find that really impressive. To go from basically not playing to starting every single game is a huge jump to make.

As impressive as it was for Joe Looney to play every single offensive snap in 2018 for the Cowboys, what he did with that opportunity is even more inspiring. If not for him, Dallas wouldn't have won the NFC East division or made the playoffs. But, he did more than save their season. He protected their future.

Just imagine for a second if Looney would've been a disaster taking over for Travis Frederick in the middle of the Cowboys OL. It shouldn't take too much imagination on your part, just think back to what happened in 2017 with Tyron Smith out of the lineup, forcing Chaz Green and Byron Bell to start at left tackle.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was forced to run for his life in 2017 with backups at LT, causing him to regress as a pocket passer and develop "happy feet". If not for Looney, it could've destroyed Prescott's confidence altogether. Instead, Prescott continued to improve throughout the 2018 season and looks to be the future at the position once again.

I don't know what you think about all of this, but for me Joe Looney was the Dallas Cowboys MVP in 2018. I believe it's time to give credit where credit is due, because he's definitely not receiving the kind of recognition he deserves.

Do you think Joe Looney saved the Dallas Cowboys 2018 season?



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending