Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Will McClay Breaks Down Cowboys Vision for New WR Amari Cooper

Sean Martin

Published

on

Will McClay Breaks Down Cowboys Vision for New WR Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys trade for former fourth overall pick Amari Cooper said a lot about their feeling towards the previous depth at wide receiver, as well as what the team is looking for in pass catchers for Quarterback Dak Prescott.

This picture became clearer when Will McClay joined the Jason Garrett show on DallasCowboys.com to break down some film on Cooper. On Thursday, I wrote about the implications of the Cowboys losing a first round draft choice in their move for Cooper, none of which included McClay - who clearly shows an understanding of how the former Oakland Raider can help the Cowboys.

Will McClay Evaluating Amari Cooper | Dallas Cowboys 2018

Cowboys VP Of Player Personnel Will McClay breaks down some of the plays that has the Cowboys so excited in Amari Cooper's potential.

Cooper is an incredibly efficient route runner that defeats man coverage in a variety of ways, something the Cowboys have been lacking so far this season on the outside. Cole Beasley has been their most consistent receiver in these areas, leading the team with 33 catches out of the slot.

Beasley may remain Prescott's first option in the passing game for the Cowboys week nine game against the Titans, but Cooper's integration into the offense has come along nicely during the Cowboys ongoing bye week.

From top to bottom, the Cowboys have a lot riding on Cooper's ability to make an immediate impact, and this surely includes McClay. An architect to the Cowboys roster, it's McClay that dictates the Cowboys preferences at each position much more than Jerry and Stephen Jones, who pulled the trigger on this high-profile trade.

McClay's first look at Cooper in the video above shows the importance of beating press coverage in the Cowboys offense. With Scott Linehan as their coordinator, the Cowboys passing game relies more on individual success than it does scheme to create plays.

Cooper's ability to beat the man across from him, using the "quickness" and "speed" that McClay describes, should help him greatly in Dallas.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Asked #Cowboys WR Amari Cooper about possibility similarities between this playbook and Raiders since his last 2 offensive coordinators worked under Scott Linehan: "This is a pretty different system but it's still easy, still not that hard to pick up.

Next, McClay explains the importance of Cooper making a vertical play out of a heavy 22 personnel play by his Raiders. Three of Prescott's eight passing touchdowns this season have come on play action throws such as this, as the Cowboys could feature much more deception in their running game to free up Cooper.

Running Back Ezekiel Elliott remains the Cowboys best play maker on offense. When McClay says that having a receiver who can get deep helps an offense, it should be music to Elliott's ears as he looks to keep pace with the league's best rushers.

With that, the Cowboys are hoping to remain in contention in the NFC East, needing to add Cooper to a receiver corps featuring Cole Beasley and rookie Michael Gallup as the only other real contributors. Cooper's presence makes the Cowboys passing game formidable enough to evaluate Prescott as a passer at the very least.

Will McClay Breaks Down Cowboys Vision for New WR Amari Cooper 1

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper, Cole Beasley

With Beasley set to hit free agency after this season, the Cowboys may not be (and shouldn't be) done adding talent at WR just yet. Whether they're scheduled to pick early in the second round should their 3-4 record worsen, or maintaining depth on offense in a revived passing game, a lot of the Cowboys philosophy on receivers in Linehan's offense was revealed in this segment by McClay.

While other Cowboys staffers will be relying on this Cooper trade working out for their own job security, McClay will continue to evaluate this roster as it pertains to the 2019 Draft and free agency. Cooper's overall effect on both tasks feels large enough to justify trading a first round pick, while impatiently awaiting his debut on November 5th against the Tennessee Titans.

Tell us what you think about "Will McClay Breaks Down Cowboys Vision for New WR Amari Cooper" 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.

Advertisement
Comments

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Head Toward NFL Draft with No Glaring Needs

John Williams

Published

on

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten Retiring, Joining MNF Broadcast Booth

When the offseason began after the Dallas Cowboys fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs, it was clear that they were a team on the rise, but had several areas they needed to address as free agency and the draft approached.

The team had holes or depth issues at safety, defensive tackle, swing tackle, wide receiver, defensive end, and tight end. Through the first two weeks of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys have taken care of each of those areas.

With the signings of George Iloka, Christian Covington, Cameron Fleming, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Kerry Hyder, and Jason Witten, The Dallas Cowboys have set themselves up to approach the draft with “clear eyes and a full heart.”

As they head into April with the NFL Draft looming, the Cowboys won’t be held back by positional need and can allow their draft board to do the work for them and just add good players. It’s an excellent position to be in as they don’t have to reach for a player at a position of need they may not like as much because they have a veteran presence filling that need.

Backup running back appears to be the only position where the Cowboys could use some depth, but that player for this team is more of a special teams player who gets limited snaps on offense because of the greatness of Ezekiel Elliott. It’s generally a position where there is a lot of talent deep in the draft and undrafted free agent pool, which allows the Cowboys to be patient filling that need behind the NFL’s leading rusher.

Mother than that, if the Dallas Cowboys has to go play a football game and win today, they’d be in great shape to do so.

On the flip side, however, the Cowboys can still add players at defensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end, safety, and defensive end because they aren’t restricted by big contracts to those veteran players. Each of them came to the Cowboys on one-year deals. The veterans that they signed would prohibit them from drafting at that same position, and that’s the point.

The Cowboys have created a formula that works really well for them. Sometimes it get frustrating watching the team not make any big splashes in free agency, especially that first week when other teams are bringing in big-name players to add to their rosters. That formula has led them to a 48-32 record over the last five seasons with three NFC East titles, and two playoff wins, and three divisional round appearances.

And the playoff runs could have been deeper with a bit of luck and correct officiating.

The Dallas Cowboys have set themselves up really well as they now set their sights on the NFL Draft at the end of April. Though they won’t have a first round pick to add to their talent pool, the Cowboys have shown that they can find talent in the second round and beyond. This year will be no different.

Now it’s time to sit back and trust the process.



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Have Had Quiet, Yet Successful, Free Agency

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones

Yet another free agency without a big splash by the Dallas Cowboys. What a surprise. Despite entertaining Earl Thomas rumors for a long, long time, the Cowboys' front office has stuck with its philosophy of not overpaying free agents and building the team mainly through the NFL Draft. However, they've actually had some pretty good signings over the last few days that will really benefit the Cowboys when the season comes around.

They've done so with inexpensive free agents who will contribute at a high level on their respective positions. Sure, top free agent signings are fun. But many times, they end up backfiring to teams for spending so much money in one single player. At the end of the day, the Cowboys' way has gotten the team three NFC East Championships since 2014. Many factors come into play, but their team building philosophy can't be as bad as many claim it to be.

George Iloka

The most recent acquisition came in form of former Cincinnati Bengal and Minnesota Viking Safety George Iloka. The Cowboys had a desperate need at the defensive backfield and finally they've done something about it. On a heavy safety market, the Cowboys sat tight while watching the top free agents get top contracts around the league, including Landon Collins' record breaking deal with the Washington Redskins.

Now, they've gotten a guy who can play both safety positions. I'll be surprised if he doesn't take Jeff Heath's job. He's played as a free safety most of his career but being a good tackler, he should do a good job in the box. Iloka will also shine on special teams in Dallas.

So far, my favorite signing may be that of former Green Bay Packer, Randall Cobb. The Cowboys had an important need at the wide receiver position despite counting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup leading the room. Cole Beasley is a tough guy to replace and although Cobb may not be a better slot receiver than him, he certainly has the experience and the skill set to be a starting slot WR.  What's more, he'll only cost the Cowboys five million while Beasley got a four year deal with which he'll earn $17M over the first two years.

Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb

Cole Beasley will be missed, but the good thing is the front office did a pretty good job at filling the concerning hole on offense. Cooper, Gallup and Cobb are definitely not a bad starting trio to have.

Other under the radar moves will also help the Cowboys. Kerry Hyder may not be a well-known in the NFL but he'll surely contribute to this defensive line as a rotational player. Hyder had eight sacks in 2016 with the Detroit Lions before suffering an Achilles injury in 2017 and dealing with a scheme change last season. Hyder will surely be happy about being back to a 4-3 defense in Dallas.

Christian Covington was another overlooked signing. Covington will help on the interior of the defensive line and although he'll likely not be a starter, he'll be an important piece in the rotation for a very reasonable contract ( also a one-year deal).

For a football team that's constantly criticized for not being active in free agency, the Cowboys have done something at pretty much every position where they need help. Safety, defensive end, defensive tackle, wide receiver and tight end have all been addressed this offseason prior to the NFL Draft. This will give them great flexibility in April and could lead to a pretty good "best player available" strategy.

Now granted, there are still concerns regarding the young "to be extended" group of players. DeMarcus Lawrence hasn't reached an agreement with the Cowboys and will continue to postpone surgery until he does. If the front office doesn't strike a contract with the star pass rusher, it won't be possible to consider this offseason a good one no matter what happens. Dallas can't let him leave.

In the meantime though, they've had a pretty quiet yet successful March. And they're not done yet. Robert Quinn could end up wearing the Star if a trade with the Miami Dolphins does end up taking place. We'll see if the Cowboys continue to build on an already pretty good free agency.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Have Had Quiet, Yet Successful, Free Agency" 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!



Continue Reading

Player News

BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

Published

on

George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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