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With the Offseason Started In Dallas, Moves Can Be Made

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We’re fans right?  And you know what fans love to do? Speculate.  That’s right, we love to believe we know everything and come up with moves we expect to be made before the beginning of the season.

You know what’s best? We believe those moves are actually going to happen and if they don’t then the team's destined to fail.

See we’re all GM’s, myself included.

I often ask myself why no team calls me inquiring about my interest in a front office or coaching position.  Sure my resume is pretty blank but I mean heck, I’ve got a 717 IQ in Madden, I win tons of championships, and I write for a Cowboys site.

I mean Hello! Jerry, I’m right here!  Please inquire to hire!

Anyway, since my phone's not ringing I thought that I’d give you my speculations for the upcoming season.

Sign Miles Austin long term: A no brainer right?  I mean this is my least ballsiest move.  This needs to get done and get done like yesterday.  Miles Austin needs to be locked up for at least 5 years to help Tony Romo get a ring.

Bottom line: No Miles, no ring.

Get rid of Bennett and Barber: Yea I’m getting real right here.  Bennett talks too much trash and his production is minimal.  He is the perfect equation for a team distraction. Plus, have you guys seen the way John Phillips plays ball? Get Real! In Barber's case, he is still a great back.  However, we’ve got three great backs and Barber's upside still makes him someone we can package into a deal before he starts wearing down.

Let Go of Marcus Spears: If there is a better 3-4 end in free agency, I say we nab him. The price of Spears may be high, but I’m willing to let him test the water if he gets greedy. All we need is a large hole-clogger, not a pass rush specialist.

Trade up in the draft: I am in love with Eric Berry from Tennessee.  He is a ball hawking safety with great range and he can change a game in a second.  If we can move up to the top 10 by packaging some players, we could nab him.

Start Breeding Keith Brooking Mini me’s, Pronto: Keith Brooking has been down right fantastic, hasn’t he? I mean from pep-talks to big stops to unmatched game intensity. So what’s the problem?

He’s coming into his 13th year.

I think he’ll stay for next year but we better start getting a blue collared middle linebacker who plays just as well as Brooking in reserve because, frankly, none of the wasted draft picks from last year are going to fill that void.

Draft Correctly: I want to see a few things happen here.  I want to see a safety taken. If not in the first round, then we’ll need to keep Sensabaugh.  I also want a middle linebacker, defensive tackle, and offensive depth to be addressed.

Pretty simple, I mean there's no cap limit so take chances and maybe win big.



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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. kelly wood

    January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    you obviously are unaware, I hope, of the money Barber will make next season… no one will take Barber with the cash he is due to get…. releasing him is the only option…

  2. Brandon

    January 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I thought because we made it past the wildcard round we couldn't sign any free agents beyond our own? That would make it hard to lose Marcus Spears. I may be misinterpreting the rule.

  3. Bryan Martin

    January 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I don't believe that the rule is that we can't sign any free agent besides our own. The rule is to my knowledge that we are strapped to who we do sign because we are only allowed to sign one player over 4.5 million. Could be wrong though, I'll look it up and get a better answer for you Brandon!

    Kelly, Marion is due a substantial amount of money. However, Next year is uncapped and there are some teams that would jump at a chance to get a solid back like barber, salary cap or not.

  4. Robert

    January 21, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Brandon – Teams in the “Final Eight Plan”, of which the Cowboys are part, can’t sign a new free agent unless they lose one, and then that player’s salary can’t be greater than the one the former player is getting. There will be little Free Agency moves this off-season. The restrictions in place will reduce the amount of players eligible for free-agency by about 200 players overall.

  5. Douch

    January 26, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I agree with almost everything in but i think at some point Dallas will need a new offensive coordinator. I can’t stand Garret some of the plays he has been calling are downright horrible. Maybe not this year but soon.

  6. Bryson Treece

    January 27, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Sadly, though, we'll likely get a new offensive coordinator only once Garrett is promoted to head coach. Barring and glaring screw ups in 2010, it's bound to happen. And by glaring I mean mistakes that even Jerry Jones can't ignore.

  7. Dee

    January 31, 2010 at 5:48 am

    People keep talkin like Barber sucks stop lookin at his money he has been hurt bennett is still young people talked about Mike jenkins like this last offseason sayin scandrick should start now look at him be patient thats why you guys arent GMs jerry knows what he's doing

    • Bryson Treece

      January 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      We're not GM's because we didn't buy a football team. That doesn't mean we're idiots though.

      Barber was never as good as everyone thought he was. He had a role and in it he was pretty good, but take him out of that closer role and you've got a guy that isn't that fast and isn't very elusive. His injuries are why I think we should trade him. Everyone hsa been saying it for years now, that his running is going to shorten his career. I think it already has started to do that, or else he would stay healthier more. And we're at two years now, in a row, of him having multiple sidelining injuries.

      As for Bennett, the problem with him isn't his lack of production, quite the contrary. He's producing too much, off the field. It's a major tell how someone divides their time. He spends more time than any other Cowboys player online Tweeting and making videos and whatnot. His production on the field this last preseason started slipping within a week of MartyB coming out to play. His priorities are screwed up and his character is rather low, especially considering some of Marty B's antics online. If he would just buckle down and focus on football then he would be worth keeping. As it is we've got the T without the O.

  8. gjh2603

    February 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    mr. martin, i could not agree with you more, sign miles and ditch barber. i believe that jones is ready to step up at the RB position. mike jenkins is starting to look pretty good and i still believe in ken hamlin but i still think something needs done in the secondary. Our offensive line is big but not very athletic, maybe something needs done there too.
    Not only do we need to sign austin long term but we need more talented speedy wideouts, but im not quite ready to give up on roy williams yet,i see progression with him slowly but surely. We need micheal irvin, alvin harper and kevin williams back from the past emmitt and troy wouldnt hurt either

  9. gjh2603

    February 20, 2010 at 3:43 am

    mr. martin, i could not agree with you more, sign miles and ditch barber. i believe that jones is ready to step up at the RB position. mike jenkins is starting to look pretty good and i still believe in ken hamlin but i still think something needs done in the secondary. Our offensive line is big but not very athletic, maybe something needs done there too.
    Not only do we need to sign austin long term but we need more talented speedy wideouts, but im not quite ready to give up on roy williams yet,i see progression with him slowly but surely. We need micheal irvin, alvin harper and kevin williams back from the past emmitt and troy wouldnt hurt either

  10. STERLING

    January 21, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I AGREE WITH THE SAFETY FROM TENNESSEE, AND SIGNING AUSTIN LONG TERM . I THINK WE NEED TO TRADE ROY WILLIAMS, THROW IN MARION BARBER AND BENNETT TO CLEVELAND FOR SHAWN ROGERS (NG) AND BRODNEY POOLE (S) AND POSSIBLY A PICK. MOVE RATLIFF TO (DE) (SAME SIDE AS WARE) LET GO OF SPEARS AND GO AFTER CROMARTIE (CB) IN FREE AGENCY. I REALIZE THAT POOLE IS NOT A PREMIER SAFETY BUT HE WOULD HELP SURE UP A SECONDARY (ESPECIALLY IF WE WERE TO DRAFT THAT SAFETY FROM TENNESSEE. WE ALSO NEED TO SIGN DOUG FREE BACK AT (LT) AND FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR COLUMBO (RT)

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Linebacker

Jess Haynie

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Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch's Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion

One of the brightest spots on the Dallas Cowboys' projected 2019 roster is linebacker. The young pair of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have already emerged as one of the league's best duos. But that doesn't mean that the Cowboys have no work to do at the position this offseason.

Having Jaylon and Leighton does take a lot of pressure off. Most teams utilize their nickel scheme more than any other these days, which generally utilizes just two linebackers, in the increasingly pass-focused NFL. And thankfully, both Smith and Vander Esch have shown great skills in pass defense.

But there's still a semi-starting role to get figured out in the base 4-3 scheme. Damien Wilson has held the strong-side or "SAM" position for the last few years and has an expiring contract.

What's more, Dallas has a big decision to make regarding the contract of Sean Lee, which is ripe for terminating with $7 million in salary cap savings possible.

It's highly unlikely that the Cowboys would keep both Lee and Wilson. If they decide to re-sign Damien, Lee will be cut to help fund that move and others. If Sean is kept on, Wilson will almost surely be looking for a starting role somewhere else in free agency.

Even if the Cowboys do make Lee a cap casualty between now and March 13th, they may still allow Wilson to test free agency and then try to re-sign him later at a discount. He's unlikely to attract the same attention that Anthony Hitchens got last year.

How Does LB Joe Thomas Fit Into Cowboys' 2019 Plans?

Dallas Cowboys LB Joe Thomas (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Another factor in all of this is Joe Thomas, a free agent addition last year who provided good depth and could potentially start in 2019. He is scheduled to count $2.2 million against the cap, which is fine for a primary reserve but a bargain for an occasional starter.

A core of Smith, Thomas, and Vander Esch gives the Cowboys a good foundation to build from. Smith can play the SAM in the base scheme and Thomas can be the primary backup to Jaylon and Leighton in the nickel.

However, going that route would deplete the depth chart. Chris Covington, a sixth-round pick last year, would be the only noteworthy player under contract. Dallas would need to find at least two more guys to fill out the group for 2019.

They could look at re-signing backup Justin March-Lillard, who would at least bring some familiarity and veteran experience. But that might still leave them looking for more of a primary reserve, which would be especially vital if Thomas is promoted to a starting role.

The projected LB free agent pool for 2019 should make it a buyer's market. Dallas may be able to re-sign Damien Wilson or even add an upgrade, like perhaps the Vikings' Anthony Barr, at a relative bargain. There should be ample options for depth as well.

Barring an extremely favorable value opportunity, don't expect the Cowboys to spend a significant draft pick at linebacker. The fourth-round is the earliest I could see one going based on other needs, and even then it would need to be someone they really like.

Good drafting is why Dallas has flexibility and leverage this offseason. The picks they invested in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch appear to have made LB a strength of the team for the next several years.

There is still business to attend to, but the Cowboys won't have to be too concerned with linebacker in 2019 thanks to their young stars.



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Dallas Cowboys

Xavier Woods Versatility Key in Dallas Cowboys FA Safety Pursuit

John Williams

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Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods Is Getting Better By The Week

There has been a debate going on among Cowboys Nation for more than a year now about the prospects of bringing in Seattle Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas. Now with free agency approaching, there are several other names that the Dallas Cowboys could consider when looking to upgrade the safety position. Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, and Tre Boston are several of the many quality and really good safeties that are hitting the free agent market in a few weeks. It's a group with varied skill sets and abilities, which makes the debate even more interesting. The Dallas Cowboys, however, will be able to take a look at all of them when free agency opens March 13th because of one player; Xavier Woods.

Xavier Woods, the Cowboys fifth round draft pick from the 2017 NFL Draft just finished his first full season as a starter for the Cowboys and played really well. In two years he's shown the ability to cover from the slot, play deep, play in the box, be a force over the middle, and make plays on the football. He's one of the more versatile players on the defense with his ability to play all over the field. That versatility allows the Dallas Cowboys' front office an advantage when approaching the names mentioned above.

The Dallas Cowboys don't have to be locked in to one particular type of safety. When people talk about Landon Collins, they label him a "box safety." Earl Thomas is a traditional free safety. Tre Boston is a similar player to Earl Thomas and Tyrann Mathieu is like Collins. The Cowboys can go into free agency with the freedom to explore their options and do their due diligence when it comes to these players.

That's a distinct difference from this offseason to last.

Last offseason, the feeling was that the Dallas Cowboys had to go get Earl Thomas. The safety position was so weak that the Cowboys were going to be playing at a disadvantage in the high-flying, pass-heavy NFL. Xavier Woods proved in his first full season that he can be a productive, play making starter in the NFL and should only continue to improve.

According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier Woods was sixth in the NFL in passer rating against among safeties with at least 352 coverage snaps. His 62.8 passer rating allowed in his coverage was tied with Eric Weddle, better than Derwin James, Reshad Jones, Adrian Amos, and Maliek Hooker. Of the safeties drafted in the 2017 draft class, only Eddie Jackson from the Chicago Bears had a better passer rating against than Xavier Woods.

The Dallas Cowboys got a really good player in Xavier Woods and as they get ready to potentially make a run at a big name safety, they can feel confident that whoever they end up signing will be a good fit with Woods. He can play in the box or cover receivers and tight ends. You can run more two deep safety looks, because he has the range to play it.

This year, as opposed to last, they have more certainty at the safety position because of Xavier Woods and the strides he took in 2018. There's no reason to believe that he can't continue to take a step forward for the Dallas Cowboys. His ability to play all over the field allows the Cowboys to be smart and patient in their pursuit of a safety upgrade this offseason.



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Dallas Cowboys

3 Free Agent Targets From Cowboys NFC East Rivals

John Williams

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3 Free Agent Targets From Cowboys NFC East Rivals

The free agency period in the NFL will be here in a little more than three weeks and the Dallas Cowboys will begin the annual tradition of trying to put together the best 53-man roster that they can come up with. Free agency is just one part of the equation that includes the draft, the signing of undrafted free agents, adding and subtracting from the roster during training camp, and picking up players after the final cut down day.

You can rest assured that Will McClay and the entire pro scouting department is doing their due diligence in anticipation of the March 13th start to the 2019 free agency period. They'll look high and low for players that can come in and be contributors for the Cowboys. Even within their own division.

Between the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins, there are some interesting names to consider as the Cowboys peruse the free agent aisles of the NFL superstore. Some of those players like Landon Collins, Ronald Darby, Nick Foles, and Brandon Graham will be new releases that will cost you a pretty penny at the check out stand. Others like Haloti Ngata will be in the used and refurbished section. And then there are those who could be had at a reasonable or discounted rate.

Here are three from within the NFC East that the Cowboys could have their eye on.

Mario Edwards, Defensive Line, New York Giants

The former Oakland Raiders second round pick out of Florida State University has already played for two teams in his young four-year career. That isn't a good sign for Mario Edwards as he approaches free agency for the first time. You don't generally see many top 100 picks get released from the team that originally drafted as they usually wait as long as they can to see if the player is going to hit.

For Mario Edwards, he found himself caught in a numbers game and outplayed by two rookies in Oakland's training camp in 2018, leading to his release. It also sounds like the Raiders couldn't quite figure out where to put him on their defensive line.

We know that the Dallas Cowboys love looking around the league for those reclamation projects. Edwards could be the next David Irving or Antwaun Woods. A player that isn't highly thought of, but in the right situation and with the right coaching could flourish.

Edwards has played 14 or more games in three of his first four seasons, missing his second season with a hip injury. He totaled more than two sacks a season in those three seasons. He isn't by any stretch of the imagination someone who is going to come in and replace DeMarcus Lawrence or Randy Gregory, but he could be a nice depth piece with potential to see significant snaps both at defensive end and 3-technique defensive tackle.

Edwards could be the next Rod Marinelli special.

Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

The Dallas Cowboys could be in the market for a slot wide receiver this offseason if Cole Beasley is allowed to walk in free agency, which seems like a near certainty. There are several intriguing options on the roster in Allen Hurns and Cedric Wilson that could play in the slot some, or play on the outside allowing Amari Cooper to play in the slot. They could also look to the draft for Beasley's replacement as well. In the free agent pool, there are several interesting names, one of which is Jordan Matthews.

Jordan Matthews just finished his second stint in Philadelphia and while he didn't have huge production in Philly in 2018 -- 20 receptions on 28 targets for 300 yards and two touchdowns, he's a player with a track record in the NFL and could be a "big slot" option.

In Matthews first three seasons in the NFL, he averaged 75 receptions on 115 targets for 891 yards and 6.3 touchdowns in his first stint with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2014, Matthews caught 64 of his 67 receptions from the slot, which was second in the NFL that season. In 2015, he led the NFL in receptions from the slot with 81, while also scoring eight touchdowns. In 2016, his final year with the Eagles, he was ninth in the NFL with 53 receptions. So, in those first three seasons in the league, he averaged 67 receptions, 796.3 yards, and six touchdowns. He caught eight touchdowns in each of his first two seasons for the Eagles in the slot.

He's not the same player that Cole Beasley is, but he's a player that knows how to win in the slot and because of the past couple of years could be a cheaper option to try and replace Cole's production.

Jamison Crowder, Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins

If Jordan Matthews is the inexpensive option for the Dallas Cowboys in the slot, Jamison Crowder would require paying a pretty penny. Spotrac.com estimates that Crowder could be worth $8 million per year over four years on the open market.

Interestingly enough, he's never been as productive as Cole Beasley or Jordan Matthews, but because of his age and his work the last couple of seasons, injuries not withstanding, he's seen in a more positive light than Matthews.

Crowder is cut from a similar cloth as Beasley. Smaller in stature and uses quickness and speed to win games. As Cowboys fans, we know all to well the effect that he has in game. Crowder, however, has never had more than 66 receptions in a season and has only scored more than three touchdowns once in his four seasons in the NFL; back in 2016 when he scored seven.

Crowder is coming off of an injury this season that limited him to just nine games, 29 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns. In his three full seasons prior to 2018, Crowder averaged 64 receptions on 93 targets for 746 yards and four touchdowns.

If for some reason, his market comes in less than the $8 million per year that Spotrac.com is projecting, I'd be very interested in bringing Crowder to Dallas.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Each of these guys offers something intriguing that the Dallas Cowboys could use. Whether it's a defensive lineman or a slot wide receiver, they all bring something to the table. The Dallas Cowboys need to approach this offseason with a "go for it" mentality, but if they continue to follow their free agency philosophy, Mario Edwards and Jordan Matthews could be nice pieces to add to the team that offer a lot of upside.



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