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Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List?

I love lists. Love them. What do I need to get done tomorrow? Let me make a to-do list. What are the five best movies ever?

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List?

I love lists. Love them.

What do I need to get done tomorrow? Let me make a to-do list. What are the five best movies ever? List those bad boys. Which Deniece Williams song makes my heart sing the most? Give me a list. (Spoiler: It’s Let’s Hear It for the Boy).

Someone who might love lists more than I do is NFL Network, or as they would have you believe… the NFL players.

Cowboys Headlines - Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List? 1

Since 2011 the NFL Network has put together an annual “NFL Top 100” list. The list is pretty simple – the Top 100 Players in the NFL as voted on by the players.

That last bit is a little tricky. Yes, technically the votes that go into this list are 100% players on NFL rosters, but I can guarantee you that the Tom Bradys of the world aren’t in on it. As a result the sanctity of the list is left in the hands of players who are simply prisoners of the moment and have no memory past the most recent season.

The 2016 version of the Top 100 list gets going tonight on NFL Network, and we here at Inside The Star were wondering how America’s Team is going to do.

So how have the Dallas Cowboys fared in the history of the NFL Top 100? Glad you asked. Keep in mind that the list is released around May so the year of these lists precedes that numerical season.

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
DeMarcus Ware (12th) DeMarcus Ware (6th) DeMarcus Ware (12th) Dez Bryant (25th) DeMarco Murray (4th)
Jason Witten (36th) Jason Witten (75th) Dez Bryant (35th) DeMarcus Ware (56th) Dez Bryant (15th)
Andre Gurode (57th) Tony Romo (91st) Jason Witten (41st) Tony Romo (71st) Tony Romo (34th)
Miles Austin (70th) Tyron Smith (78th) Tyron Smith (36th)
Tony Romo (72nd) DeMarco Murray (87th) Jason Witten (93rd)
Jay Ratliff (75th) Jason Witten (98th)

Bolded Names Are Active Players On The Dallas Cowboys Roster

The Cowboys average 4.6 players on the NFL Top 100 every year, but since we can’t have a player who’s value is .6 (we’ll let the Eagles have those guys like Sam Bradford) we’ll round it down to an even 4. That number is working well for Cowboys Nation these days, right? Ezekiel Elliott was selected with the 4th Overall Pick and Dak Prescott is going to wear #4. Sweet.

So who will the four Dallas Cowboys on the list be? We need to remember that the “players” voting on this list have really, really, really short term memories. For instance, it would not shock me at all for Tony Romo to be completely absent from this list due to the fact that he only played, poetically, four games last year.

Here are our official predictions regarding the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.


Jason Witten Gets The Sixth Ring

The only Dallas Cowboy who has made the list each year since its inception is one who I believe we all take for granted – Jason Witten.

Cowboys Headlines - Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List? 2

Witten has become so good and so dependable that it’s actually boring. He’s like the San Antonio Spurs of the tight end position. It’s exhausting to watch him play game after game, make catch after catch, and be clutch all the time.

Jason is a household name when it comes to the tight end position. The NFL literally hands the players voting a list and says to write down their 100 best players. If I gave you a pen and paper to do the same, don’t you think Witten’s name would come up? Of course you do. He’s making the list for a sixth straight time.

Tyron Smith Makes It To The 20s

I can’t emphasize how big enough of a factor the whole “household name” quality is with this list. The players are essentially writing down the first hundred names that come to mind.

Tyron Smith has established himself as one of the premiere left tackles in the game – arguably the best. Consider the big names that were hurt last season: Tony Romo, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, etc.. When the voters think of stars, no pun intended, they’ll think of Tyron. Look for him to be one of the top two tackles on the list.

Dez Bryant Falls To The 50s

Mr. Throw Up The X only played in nine games during the 2015 season, and he was without #9 for six of them. As a result he ended the season with a disappointing 31 catches for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns.

With other receivers across the NFL having spectacular seasons in 2015 (Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Brandon Marshall off the top of my head) Dez will likely be one of the lower receivers on the list. He’ll still make it, he’s Dez Bryant after all, but if you were basing the list off of 2015, which most of these guys are, it’d be hard to justify putting him above a lot of people.

Zack Martin Makes His NFL Top 100 Debut

Pretend that you literally just started following the NFL a year ago. (This is how Chip Kelly builds NFL teams, FYI).

When it comes to the best at their respective positions one name would undoubtedly stick out – Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl Guard Zack Martin. In two seasons Zack has as many Pro Bowls and was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2014 as a rookie. You’d be pretty impressed, right?

The voting for this is typically done around the Super Bowl as far as the calendar is concerned, which somewhat explains why Zack didn’t make the list last year. Similarly to Tyron Smith people identify him with success and with the greatness of the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line. He’ll make it.

Sean Lee Squeaks In For A Surprise 5th Cowboy

I know that I said we were going to round down from 4.6 but the rules of math, logic, and my own heart are suggesting that we round up! Raise the roof up in this hizzy!

Cowboys Headlines - Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List? 3

Sean Lee was, shockingly, one of the lone points of consistency when it came to health for the 2015 Dallas Cowboys. He played in 14 games, something he’s only done three times in his career, and he racked up 76 tackles along the way. That’s the 19th most of all NFL players and the 12th most among those that saw snaps at the linebacker position.

Even more wind in the Sean Lee sails is the fact that perhaps his finest game of the season came in a Monday Night Football matchup in Washington on a cold December night. This was a national game that plenty undoubtedly saw that conveniently took place shortly before voting likely began. 2015 saw Sean Lee make his first Pro Bowl, and now it’s going to give him his first spot on the NFL Top 100.

~~~

BOLD PREDICTIONS

It wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t get a little crazy, right? Here are three bold predictions for the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 List:

  1. Darren McFadden Makes The List — The NFL’s 4th Leading Rusher has to be remembered, right?
  2. Dan Bailey Is The Only Kicker On The List — Split ’em. All day long.
  3. Byron Jones Jumps Onto The List — We weren’t the only ones who saw what he did.

What are your thoughts on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 List? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about “Which Cowboys Will Land On NFL Top 100 Players Of 2016 List?” in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

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I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Dallas Cowboys

Can Cowboys Trust Guard Jonathan Cooper in 2018?

Jess Haynie

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Jonathan Cooper

One of the big decisions facing the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 offseason is at left guard. Veteran Jonathan Cooper started 13 games last year and is now a free agent. Should Dallas bring Cooper back, or should they look elsewhere for next season’s starter?

With a lot of money already being spent on the rest of the starting offensive line, the Cowboys need a bargain at left guard. They didn’t re-sign Ronald Leary in 2017 for that very reason, hoping Cooper or Chaz Green would be able to handle the job for a fraction of what Leary got from the Denver Broncos.

Cooper took over for Green in Week 4 and held the job the rest of the season. The Cowboys rushing attack remained one of the league’s best, even performing well later in the year when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended. It looked like Jonathan could become part of future plans.

However, in Week 17, Cooper went out of the game with a knee injury. It thankfully wasn’t serious and he is expected to be ready for 2018. However, it was a reminder of the injury-plagued past that has caused the former first-round pick so much trouble.

Jonathan Cooper

Dallas Cowboys Guard Jonathan Cooper

Taken seventh overall in 2013 by the Arizona Cardinals, Jonathan Cooper was one of the true blue-chip guard prospects in recent draft history. He seemed like a can’t-miss pick, and interior linemen don’t often go that high in the draft. The Cowboys have even said they coveted Cooper in that class.

But constant battles with injuries caused Cooper to be traded, released, and discarded by the Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Cleveland Browns over his first four seasons. While 2017 was looking like a turning point for him, Jonathan’s injury in the season finale was a sobering reminder of why he’s become a bargain-bin player.

Still, at just 28-years-old, Cooper has good years left and will now have another offseason for continuity and chemistry development with the Cowboys.

Dallas should have to pay more than a few million to keep Cooper on the roster.

If Dallas is leery (no pun intended) of Cooper, they will have options. La’el Collins could move back to the guard position, allowing the Cowboys to go find either the best guard or tackle who would fit with their existing group.

Given so many other considerations this offseason, Dallas will likely try to simplify things by giving Jonathan Cooper another chance. His history is a red flag, but sometimes you have to take those gambles and save salary cap space to handle other needs.

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Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Headlines - Forget the Triplets: Cowboys Need The Underrated to Shine in 2016
Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News

For better or worse, the Cowboys don’t even need to play football to be all over national TV. I guess it’s just part of being the one and only America’s Team. For the second consecutive week, Fox Sports had a Dallas Cowboys’ player on set for Fox’s “Undisputed.”

Just a week ago, Brice Butler made waves with some controversial comments that failed to make him look like a “great teammate.”

This time, Fox’s guest was Cowboys’ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Unlike Butler, I really think we should give Scandrick credit for being a very good teammate, and acting like one on his TV appearance.

Throughout the segment, it feels as if Orlando is being tricked into saying something against his teammates. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe start bashing on Dez Bryant‘s performance and the fact that he should be replaced.

Of course, this is the kind of stuff fans in Cowboys Nation are thinking about. Heck, I really wouldn’t even mind if Dez isn’t wearing a star next season. However, I really disliked Butler’s comments when asked if he would’ve done a better job if given the same opportunities as Dez.

Scandrick’s responses were awesome though. When asked if he would defend Dez, he didn’t even hesitate.

“I don’t think he’s lost any confidence. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever been around. I think it can all be fixed. I think he just needs to get back to work and get back to the basics.” – Orlando Scandrick on Dez Bryant.

Scandrick also answered questions about what went wrong with the Cowboys this season by pointing out the fact they lost one of their best players because of a suspension, and some injuries. But he also said what’s been in our minds for a long time. When asked what was the biggest reason they struggled, he said some painful, yet truthful words: “We played some bad football against some very good teams.”

Later, he was asked about how Sean Lee’s absence affected the defense, he insisted they didn’t step up. At the end of the day, the NFL is a league in which you can’t be that dependent on a single player.

Sean Lee is an awesome player, but I think we’d all like to see this defense be a little less dependent on him.

Scandrick even had to defend Dak Prescott.

Dak was highly criticized after a sophomore season in which he struggled, alongside the entire team. But in the words of Orlando, we should “give him time.” Dak had a lot on his plate, but he made a lot of progress for the Cowboys.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Orlando Scandrick’s time in Dallas may be coming to an end, especially with young guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis taking over. He’s signed through 2019, so who knows; maybe we see him wearing the star for a bit longer.

“It’s always a possibility.” – Orlando Scandrick on potentially not returning to Dallas next season.

Even still, it’s nice to see him support his football team and his friends on a show which featured a non-starting Cowboys’ wide receiver taking shots against his team. Orlando Scandrick deserves an applause.

Tell me what you think about “Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Pursue Veteran Backup at Quarterback?

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys only have two quarterbacks under contract right now, starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. With only three years of combined experience between them, one could argue that a veteran presence would be useful. Should Dallas make a veteran QB a free-agent priority in the 2018 offseason?

Of course, there’s plenty of other QB experience on the Cowboys staff. Head Coach Jason Garrett played professionally from 1989-2004, and started his coaching career with quarterbacks.

Scott Linehan has been coaching offense with an emphasis on the passing game for 30 years.

Kellen Moore, who is taking over for the departed Wade Wilson as quarterbacks coach, has played very recently and will bring a fresh perspective.

However, losing Wilson’s experience from the room, and the lack of any veteran player at QB, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dak Prescott has said veteran Mark Sanchez — who was with Dallas in 2016 — was a major help during his whirlwind rookie season. Tony Romo enjoyed veteran advice from guys like Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna, and Kyle Orton throughout his playing career.

This isn’t to say Dallas would want to bring in a veteran to knock Cooper Rush down the depth chart. After a surprising preseason, Rush took the backup job from Kellen Moore and certainly has intriguing upside.

If the Cowboys were to add a veteran, that player would have to come in with the understanding he’s competing with Cooper and may not be guaranteed a job.

The good news is that it’ll be a buyer’s market for veteran quarterbacks this offseason.

Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, and Matt Moore could all be available. Even a player with more pedigree, such as Sam Bradford, may have trouble finding starting work with many jobs taken among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Dallas could even consider bringing back Mark Sanchez, given his previous relationship with Dak Prescott. He only had a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Given Prescott’s seeming durability, Dallas will likely only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2018 and for years to come. Because of that, they may be content to focus on Dak and Cooper Rush, and just get through the offseason with training camp bodies.

However, the case can certainly be made for adding another veteran player with the desire to teach to help these young quarterbacks develop. Prescott was not the same guy in 2017 that we saw as a rookie, and perhaps the absence of guys like Sanchez and Tony on the sideline had something to do with that.

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