Connect with us

Star Blog

Who Will Be Cowboys 2018 Preseason “Pet Cats”?

Sean Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Roster: Who Are the "Best" Players on the Bubble? 1

Here we are on another Sunday without Dallas Cowboys football, which means we are closer to the Cowboys arriving in Oxnard for their 2018 training camp. Scheduled to do just that on July 24th, it's not too early to predict which players will emerge as favorites for both starting and backup jobs through camp.

Today, we're focusing on backup players -- or those with the potential to be backups. Every year, Cowboys Nation attaches themselves to long shot players that show out in both practice and preseason games.

When these players find themselves looking for a home outside of America's Team early in the fall, their "pet owners" can be rather devastated. Below, I've made my picks for not who I'm picking as my annual pet cats, but for two players that I can see Cowboys fans hyping up in just a few short weeks.

Offense: Running Back Bo Scarbrough

Take this one to your local sports book (and don't tell them I sent you). Ever since establishing the best offensive line in the league, the Cowboys have enjoyed a consistency in the running game strengthened by the depth of their backfield. Of course, not every running back can fully live out their dream of playing for the Cowboys each season, despite fan allegiance for the likes of Gus Johnson or Jahad Thomas.

This year, seventh round pick Bo Scarbrough feels destined for this role. Having already played inside AT&T Stadium as the latest featured back for Alabama, Scarbrough slid to the Cowboys final pick of the draft due to his limitations in the passing game and on special teams.

With Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Darius Jackson as capable pass catchers at RB, it will be the Cowboys special teams unit that Scarbrough must find a role in to earn a roster spot. Contributions on special teams may go under the radar through the preseason, compared to the bruising runs that Scarbrough is capable of, but a marriage of the two against live competition will give the Cowboys yet another weapon to add on offense.

Should the Cowboys have to move on from Scarbrough, they'll have the rest of the league looking back at their notes from this draft on if he can provide depth in the backfield.

Who Will be Cowboys 2018 Preseason "Pet Cats"?

Defense: Safety Tyree Robinson

If you'd like a member of the Cowboys coaching staff to share in the same excitement as we all do for training camp to begin, look no further than new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard.

Richard's presence with the Cowboys young secondary sets expectations for this unit sky-high, despite some concerns at safety.

Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier should all be locks to make this team at safety and compete for starter-level snaps. All three players will factor into the Cowboys plans on both defense and special teams.

When it comes to true play making ability at safety though, Oregon UDFA Tyree Robinson has the traits to stick with the Cowboys as an outsider to this secondary. With six interceptions over four seasons as a starter for the Ducks, Robinson is a rangy safety that's quick to diagnose plays in front of him.

It will take a near perfect training camp and preseason run for Robinson -- or any of these depth pieces at CB and S -- to make the Cowboys final 53-man roster. Let's face it though, preseason football can be boring at times, and Robinson could provide the spark for Rod Marinelli's defense to make things interesting at any point.

Enough plays with the ball in his hands or ball carrier on the ground because of him, and Robinson will gain traction as a player worth considering over other unproven options at safety.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys begin their preseason in California once again, lining up on August 8th against the San Francisco 49ers. These four quarters alone will be a dream for plenty of players that miss the cut with the Cowboys, although not all roster trimming moves are created equally.

As the intensity of these preseason games increases, and the Cowboys begin to resemble the team they'll field in Carolina to start the regular season, players that the fans have been cheering on for months will become an afterthought.

Such is life in the NFL, surely something even the most loyal of Cowboys fans realize, despite grooming their pet cats each year without fail -- or results for the most part.

Tell us what you think about "Who Will Be Cowboys 2018 Preseason “Pet Cats”?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

Star Blog

Will Terrance Williams’ Run Of Bad Luck Continue?

Brian Martin

Published

on

If Suspended, Will Cowboys Cut Ties With Terrance Williams?

To say that Terrance Williams has had a run of bad luck recently would be an understatement. First he breaks his foot, which kept him out of all of the offseason practices so far. Then, he ends up getting arrested on an intoxication charge, a Class C misdemeanor, on May 19 after crashing his Lamborghini into a light pole. Unfortunately for him, his bad luck could continue with training camp approaching because he could be looking at a demotion.

As things stand right now, I have a hard time seeing Williams being any more than the fourth wide receiver on the Dallas Cowboys depth chart. I have him behind Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, and rookie Michael Gallup (in that order) right now, possibly falling even further. For now, I'll pencil him in at WR4 though.

I believe a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans wouldn't be too terribly upset if we don't see a lot of Terrance Williams in 2018. Fans have been unhappy with Williams for quite some time and many voiced their displeasure when the Cowboys signed him to a contract extension last offseason. But, he is still on the roster, which means we should probably expect him to stick around for at least one more season.

There is a cloud still hanging over Williams' head though. His intoxication arrest is still an open case and the league could decide to discipline/suspend him for breaking the NFL's conduct policy. That could impact his availability to start the season, which could ultimately determine where he exactly fits in on offense in 2018.

I know, it's a lot to take in, but that's how things stand right now and I don't things get much clearer when training camp gets underway. But, let's try to dive into this little deeper to try to determine what to expect from T-Will this year.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

As I mentioned earlier, I believe Hurns, Beasley, and Gallup are the top three Cowboys receivers this year. If that proves to be true, Williams is looking at demotion. He may be nothing more than an insurance policy in case of injury.

Terrance Williams does have something going in his favor though. He has the coaching staffs trust, which means he could reprise the same role we have seen from him in the past. But, that's where his potential suspension comes into play.

If Williams is indeed suspended, that would give more opportunities to other WRs on the roster to prove themselves, particularly Michael Gallup and Noah Brown. I think these are the two receivers who could have the biggest impact on Williams' offensive role this season.

Gallup will without a doubt receive every opportunity to prove he's ready to hit the ground running as a rookie. I think he will be successful, which is why I have him ahead of Williams on the depth chart to begin with. Noah Brown on the other hand is the wild card here.

I'm a big fan of Noah Brown's. I believe he can adequately replace Williams as both a receiver in the passing game and as a blocker in the running game, something the coaching staff really values about Williams. I think he has a chance to leapfrog T-Will on the depth chart, but he's really going to have to have a good training camp to do that.

Having said all that, I still don't know exactly where Terrance Williams will fit offensively for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, but I think his bad luck will continue. I think he should probably just be an insurance policy in case of injuries, but will have to wait to see if the coaching staff agrees.

Do you think Terrance Williams' bad luck continues?



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Alternate Universe: Where Would Cowboys Be With RB DeMarco Murray?

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Blog - Dez Bryant To DeMarco Murray: "Come On Home" 1

During the Spring of 2015 the Dallas Cowboys faced what most considered a difficult decision.

Following an unexpectedly successful 12-4 season in which the Cowboys won just their second playoff game since 1996, two of the team's main offensive weapons were set to hit free agency.

On one hand was wide receiver Dez Bryant, coming off of a career year and widely considered a top wide out in this talent-rich league. On the other hand was running back DeMarco Murray, also coming off of a career year in which he led the NFL in rushing yards.

Could the Cowboys afford to pay the somewhat aging running back in this NFL economy? Could they place a premier price tag on a wide receiver despite their run-first, ball control mentality?

Of course, this wasn't exactly an either/or situation, but the Cowboys did re-sign Bryant to a lucrative deal and allowed Murray to walk to Philadelphia.

Now Fast forward to 2018.

Neither Murray nor Bryant are on the Cowboys, Tony Romo is broadcasting for CBS, and Dallas has spent a top five overall pick on replacing Murray at running back.

DeMarco Murray announced his retirement from football last week, making much of Cowboys Nation (including myself) think back upon those Romo-era teams.

And it's really hard not to wonder, where would the Cowboys have gone if they decided to keep DeMarco Murray? Where would they be had they re-signed Murray, rather than spending a premium pick on Ezekiel Elliott a year later.

If we're being honest, Elliott is a much more dynamic runner than Murray ever was. He brings more explosion and reliability to the offense, and is arguably the best back in football. Even when Murray was the league's leading rusher, this really couldn't be said about him.

There's not much of a chance that DeMarco Murray would still be a productive RB1 in Dallas heading into 2018. His play significantly dropped over the years in Tennessee, even behind their solid offensive line.

Of course the value of the running back position has been devalued as of late, making the Cowboys selection of Elliott a questionable one to some around the league. Paying the league's leading rusher what they would've had to pay him back in 2015, however, would have been even more questionable.

Plus, the Cowboys were able to replace much of Murray's production in 2015 with Darren McFadden, even if the team didn't win nearly as many games.

There might be an alternative universe out there where Tennessee's Murray and Derrick Henry-led backfield existed in Dallas, but Cowboys fans are certainly not upset about having Ezekiel Elliott in a Cowboys uniform.

Even if it took them a top five pick to seal the deal.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Considering an Earl Thomas Extension, Age is just a Number

John Williams

Published

on

Dallas Cowboys Wishlist: 2018 Free Agency Edition
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

When people consider whether the Dallas Cowboys should trade for Seattle Seahawks' Safety Earl Thomas, one rebuttal fans throw out there is his age, and for good reason. People get concerned about handing out contract extensions to players entering their age-29 season.

In the salary cap era of the NFL, it typically isn't good business to pay age as the team often doesn't get the value out of the player that the contract expects.

One position where I feel that isn't necessarily the case is at the safety position. Let's consider Earl Thomas' accolades for a moment and see if we can find some correlations.

Earl Thomas, in his eight-year career, has been to the Pro Bowl six times, missing out his rookie season and in 2016 when he only played 11 games. He's been selected to the NFL All-Pro's first team three times in consecutive years from 2012 to 2015.

So, let's go over to our friends at Pro Football Reference and see which other safeties have been to the Pro Bowl at least six times and have been selected as a first team All-Pro player three times.

Here's the list:

Considering an Earl Thomas Extension, Age is just a Number

The first thing you'll notice is the elite players on the list along with Earl Thomas. The likes of Rod Woodson, Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins, Troy Polamalu, Aeneas Williams, and Charles Woodson. Those are just the players whose career extended into 2000s.

Then if you consider Ronnie Lott and Cliff Harris, that's some amazing company.

The players with an asterisk are the players that are in the Hall of Fame. Reed, Polamalu, and Woodson will be in the Hall of Fame. Cliff Harris not being in the Hall of Fame is still an NFL injustice that needs to be righted as he was one of the key cogs to the success of the Doomsday Defense of the 1970s.

I know Deion Sanders is on the list, and he's only there because he did play some safety toward the tail end of his career, but we know that it was as a corner that Deion made his money. The key though is that Deion's switch to safety at the end allowed him to prolong his career.

Removing Earl from the discussion for a moment, the average length of the careers of the men mentioned above was 13.41 years. The longest career was Charles Woodson at 18 years followed by Deion at 17 and Brian Dawkins at 16 years. The shortest careers were the 10-year careers of Cliff Harris and Joey Browner.

So, if Earl Thomas, having played eight years, played to the short end of the career length, he'd still have another two years left, this season included. If he played to the average length of those listed above, he'd have another five years left.

Considering that half of the players listed above all played longer than the average, there's a good chance that Earl Thomas has another six to seven years left in his career.

So, when we think about an extension for Earl Thomas, we have to consider the fact that for someone who has had the career that he's had to this point, he's going to be able to play at a good to great level for the life of a four-year extension.

Earl Thomas is an elite player and is on track to one day be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If the Dallas Cowboys could add that to their young and developing defense for the next four years, they shouldn't worry about his age.

Obviously, anything can happen, and people may point to him missing games in each of the last two seasons, but prior to 2016, Earl Thomas played and started 100% of his team's games. That's a six season stretch of being available for every single game.

For a team that is really close to contention and has the makings of an elite defense, Earl Thomas could be the missing piece that could put them over the top, much like Charles Haley did for the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty of the 1990s.

Don't let the age thing distract you from adding one of the best safeties in the NFL and one of the best players in the league. Earl Thomas to the Dallas Cowboys just makes too much sense not to do it, and for the All-Pro safety, age is just a number.



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