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Will Kris Richard’s Success End Jason Garrett’s Era in Dallas?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Kris Richard on Cleveland Browns Short List of HC Candidates? 1

The Dallas Cowboys' front office hit the ball out of the park when they hired former Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator Kris Richard as their defensive backs coach for the 2018 football season. Since then, Richard's influence on the Cowboys has been felt on a weekly basis. He's unanimously beloved by Cowboys Nation as he has helped Rod Marinelli build a championship caliber defense.

Defense is the name of the game for the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. Despite having some big names on offense like Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper, it's been the other side of the ball that's won this team a handful of games. They rank second in the NFL in scoring defense, fifth in total yards allowed and third in rushing yards allowed.

Rod Marinelli deserves a big part of the credit as the defensive coordinator of course, but it's Kris Richard's arrival that has taken the defense in Dallas to a whole other level. He even has taken over some play-calling duties.

There's a reason we've seen a more aggressive approach on defense this year. For a team that seemed almost allergic to sending blitzes the last few years, we're seeing these sort of plays every defensive drive. Linebackers are being utilized in pass rushing, something we didn't really see often before.

Much had been said about this defense potentially being one capable of holding down elite offenses. That's precisely what they did against arguably the best team in the NFL at the moment, the New Orleans Saints. The defensive gameplan these couple of coaches put together for the Saints was simply fantastic.

Take Jourdan Lewis for example. The sophomore who had seen close to zero action on the season was brilliantly used in limited snaps, limiting one of the Saints' most dangerous weapons, RB Alvin Kamara. Michael Thomas, who had been averaging 98 yards per game, had only 40 against Dallas.

Kris Richard is also the reason the Cowboys picked up Byron Jones' fifth-year option. At this pace, Jones should be an All-Pro cornerback once the season comes to an end.

I can go on and on about why Kris Richard has been amazing for the Dallas Cowboys, but let's get to the matter at hand.

There might be only one way to keep Kris Richard beyond 2018.

Clearly, Kris Richard is making a name for himself. If we as fans are noticing, I assure you NFL teams will do so too. The Dallas Cowboys must keep Richard on the team. They shouldn't let him walk after he's played such an important role in the performance of one of the best defenses in the NFL today.

If the Cowboys are to keep him though, leaving him at his current job will surely not be enough. We're talking about a guy who'll be getting a lot of phone calls once the season is over. Some of those calls will probably be for defensive coordinator openings... and some might be about head coach openings.

Is the Cowboys 2018 Season Circling the Drain? 1

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett (Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports)

Jason Garrett has been a polemical figure for the Cowboys. Despite holding the 2016 Head Coach of the Year Award, his results in Dallas have been inconsistent. The Cowboys are likely making the playoffs, which helps his case to remain this team's coach. But even if they manage to deal some damage in January, are the Cowboys willing to keep him at the expense of Kris Richard?

Is Jason Garrett worth letting go an energetic, passionate, smart, young defensive coach like Kris Richard? If Richard walks away, would the defense be the same?

If the front office ends up facing this tough decision, it will be one of the most important decisions they've faced recently. I, for one, would definitely prefer to promote Kris Richard if it comes to that. He's one of the main reasons the defense is playing at this level, and he could be an exciting young coach in the NFL with a bright future ahead of him.

Keep in mind, Richard is far from a "one-year wonder." After all, he was the architect of the Seahawks' "Legion of Boom." I just don't see how you let such an opportunity leave. Hopefully, the Cowboys do everything in their power to keep him around for a long time.

Tell me what you think about "Will Kris Richard’s Success End Jason Garrett’s Era in Dallas?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Chuck Wright

    December 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I fear JJ will let Kris walk (not that he could stop him) for a well deserved HC offer.

    My fantasy, JJ promotes Kris to HC, says thank you to JG, Scotty L and the rest of the weak offensive staff save Marc Columbo. Hires a quality OC who understands the run/pass option game and can build an offense around Dak/Zeke and the talent we have.

    • Bruce Hood

      December 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Well said, JG is not consistent and in 8 years he’s proved to be what the Cincinnati head coach is ( mediocre).
      JJ will probably have to much pride and let him walk. He may believe they have his play calling system down pat and someone else can do it. I do believe we can win again if JJ gets out of the way. He wants the attention all by himself and here is where the problem is.

    • Maverick_F14

      December 2, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Agreed wholeheartedly!

  2. Maverick_F14

    December 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Indeed. But don’t stop there. Give him autonomy on coaching staff selection especially in the offensive coordinator plus others.

    MAKE IT SO!

  3. Sdot-carry-the-infinite

    December 3, 2018 at 2:27 am

    I think there is a way to maneuver, where all parties can stay in Dallas. Jason Garrett, can be promoted to the scouting division, to honor his father’s legacy. Kris Richards gets promoted to head coach. Even though the players respect Jason Garrett, he has reached his peak as head coach. The reason Linnehan was brought in, was because JG was a terrible game manager and a so-so play caller. Well, Linnehan is running the same boring concepts that Garrett instilled for over a decade.

  4. DevilDog58

    December 3, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I have been a Garrett supporter in the past but it’s time for him and Linehan to go. Jones let Sean Payton leave and look what he’s done. I support making Richard the HC and letting him hire a new OC. We need an aggressive young HC, period.

  5. BeirutWedding

    December 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I’d love that but I don’t it doesn’t seem like a possibility to me.

  6. Suave Freddie

    December 4, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    It’s time to do the right thing. JG had many opportunities to make this team a playoff contender year after year. Cowboys are in a state of being a Dynasty (like from the past). With Kris Richard as head coach, he can be a Jimmy Johnson like coach. Hope & Pray that the Joneses are smart enough to keep him and promote him as Head coach CAN’T LET HIM WALK AWAY!!

  7. Steve

    December 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I agree with most all of ya’ll. Richard should be HC and let Garrett and Linehan go, don’t keep them in any capacity! Hire a new OC and keep MC as O-Line coach and also our WR coach has been good, our wide outs didn’t know how to run a route till he showed up in Big D and even better that we picked up Coop because he is the premier route runner! Things like that rub off on the rest of the club including LVE and his play that has brought our Defense along with D-Law to the fore front and we have a smart young nucleus that if we can get the right coaching we can be the dynasty team of the 90’s and win 1 or 2 more Championships before Jerry passes on and can relish knowing that (America’s Team) The Dallas Cowboys has more trophies than any team in the NFL

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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