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Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Have Their Version of Tryann Mathieu in Xavier Woods?

It's not uncommon for Dallas Cowboys fans to zero in on certain free agents in hopes that they will bring their talents to America's Team. In fact, just about any "big name" player to hit the open market is often linked to the Cowboys in some way or another. That was the case when the Arizona Cardinals decided to move on from Tyrann Mathieu.

Once Tyrann Mathieu became available, Cowboys fans immediately wanted to see him with a star on his helmet. But, despite the fans petitioning, the Cowboys brass seemed to show almost zero interest in the former Cardinal.

The decision to not pursue Tyrann Mathieu certainly didn't sit well with a lot of Cowboys Nation, but I think it was the right decision.

Despite Mathieu's perceived talents and youth (he's just 25), the Cowboys weren't interested in paying the price to bring him to Dallas, especially since they already have a similar player on their roster.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods

It may sound crazy, but I think the real reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't show much interest in Tyrann Mathieu is because of Xavier Woods.

I honestly believe Xavier Woods and Tyrann Mathieu have a similar skill set. Both players are little undersized to be a full-time safety in the NFL, but each of them have the versatility to play several different roles in the secondary.

Mathieu may have been listed as a safety on the Arizona Cardinals roster, and now the Houston Texans, but the truth is he played mostly out of the nickel/slot in his professional and collegiate career. That is where he is at his best, and the same can be said about Xavier Woods.

As a rookie, Xavier Woods showed his versatility with the Dallas Cowboys by playing a variety of different roles in the secondary. His versatility was one of the reasons the Cowboys decided to trade up in last year's draft to acquire his services.

His name might not carry the same kind of weight as Tyrann Mathieu right now around the league or amongst NFL fans, but I don't think Xavier Woods is that much of a drop off talent wise.

Xavier Woods

Dallas Cowboys DB Xavier Woods (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Personally, I believe Mathieu is starting to decline a little as a player. I think injuries are starting to take a toll on his play, although it may be minimal. I actually prefer Xavier Woods' upside, especially when you take into account the difference in salaries between the two.

Surprisingly enough, Xavier Woods might just have been more productive in 2017 then Mathieu. Woods started just four games and finished the season with 42 tackles, three passes defensed, and one interception. Mathieu on the other hand started all 16 games and accumulated 78 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and two interceptions.

As you can see, Xavier Woods was almost just as productive as Mathieu in nearly a third of the playing time. What's even more impressive about this is that Woods accomplish this as a rookie.

Of course, all of this is speculation, but I for one am not all that upset the Dallas Cowboys missed out on Tyrann Mathieu. I'm willing to bet on Xavier Woods being able to do everything Mathieu can and at a fraction of the cost.

Were the Cowboys right not to pursue Tyrann Mathieu?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Nick Russo

    As usual, I’m going to agree with you here Brian. Given how tight our cap is already going after Mathieu just didn’t make sense. I really like our young secondary and the potential they have if they can remain healthy. What you said about Woods’ position flexibility I agree with, but I wonder what’s your take on how these guys will be utilized with Jones making the move back to corner. To me, I would think that you play chido and Jones on the outside with Lewis in the slot and woods and Frazier/heath (pre draft) at the safety’s. Curious to see if you agree with that or if you think that Woods belongs in the slot with Lewis.

    • Brian Martin

      I really don’t have any idea how they’re going to deploy players in their secondary in 2018. I think they can get really creative with their coverages and mix-and-match personnel depending on the situation.

    • Michael White

      I agree with both you and Brian. I understand the frustrations of cowboy nation when it comes to free agency..but i also remember the cap hell we went through in the Barry Switzer thru Dave Campo era along with horrible drafting..The Quincy Carters, Shante Carvers, Ebenezer Ekuban, the Joey Galloway trade…the list is extensive..I don’t wanna go through that again..I’m going out on a limb and stating that X-Woods might be worth passing on Earl Thomas. Good sound coaching and a scheme that takes advantage of his skills set is the reason i say that and i believe we have that in place already..Honestly I’m excited about what we have. Let’s just continue to excel in our draft and pick FA who might be sleepers on other teams…we might not hit homeruns on all of them, but that cost wil be minimal as compared to the dead money we used to pay for by bringing in these so called premium FA and them not panning out..

      • Brian Martin

        Having Xavier Woods on the roster would keep me from going after type Tyrann Mathieu, but not Earl Thomas. Thomas is a difference making free safety. I’m all for the Cowboys trying to acquire him, but I’m glad they’re not giving in to the Seahawks demands. Hopefully their asking price will come down.

    • Tim Hargrave

      Anthony Brown will be our 4th corner and everything else is exactly like you said and I think they will get another safety in the draft plus alot of people don’t remember Duke Thomas that was playing pretty good before he got hurt and we have that other guy from FSU that we got out of the 6th round last year that was on our practice squad im telling u we will be a top 10 secondary and maybe even a top 5 next year

  • Travis Diggs

    So i guess were going to justify every free agent we miss out on to make cowboys fans get off the ledge. We’ve clearly lost free agency again for the 5th year running, what should get my hopes up as a fan for the upcoming season, not this

    • Brian Martin

      Honestly, there wasn’t really a free agent out there I thought the Cowboys should seriously pursue. There are still a lot of things that can happen to make this year’s team better between now and the start of the season, but I understand you were skepticism. All we can do is sit back and hope things improve.

    • Larry Murray

      I am very glad we lost free agency, because that’s not where you’re supposed to be building your team.

  • James Johnson

    If there was any FA I felt was a good pursuit, it may have been Dontari Poe to play the 1 tech, allowing Malik Collins to go back to rotating in at the 3 tech whet he is better suited. However, there are good options in the draft for a 1 tech DT at a fraction of the cost, so I think the “disciplined” approach is good. Other than that, a solid OG or OT, which they’ve been looking at. We were burned in the early 2000s with splash FA moves. I tend to agree with this take. Let the other teams blow their cap wad and keep getting better through the draft and keeping the players we know we most need down the road.

    • Brian Martin

      I like Dontari Poe, but never really thought of him as a realistic FA option for the Cowboys. I thought he would be out of their price range, which seems to be the case. I think someone like Bennie Logan is someone to keep an eye on.

      • James Johnson

        I agree. If Vita Veia or Da’Ron Payne were available in the draft, Logan may not even be necessary. A lot could happen. Logan wouldn’t be a bad guy to have, though.

        • Brian Martin

          I think they will try to bring in another DT through free agency and maybe draft one as well. They definitely need depth at the 1-tech.

    • Will

      You can get a fat assed, space eating DT through the draft a LOT cheaper than Poe or Logan

      • Brian Martin

        This is a pretty good DT draft class. I think the Cowboys draft one at some point, but I’d still like to find a veteran FA.

        • Will

          I’d wait until camp cuts. There’s always a vet or 3 that get cut during camp, and one of those will probably be better and cheaper than who’s out there now, and a mute point entirely if Payne, Vea, or Bryan is drafted

          • Brian Martin

            It’s a risk to wait that long, but I get your point. And, I kinda doubt the Cowboys draft a DT in the first few rounds. They just haven’t shown that they value the position very highly in the past.

  • Sly

    Having a game changer at every level is what makes your defense elite. We finally have a pretty good pass rush on the Dline, we have a healthy Sean Lee at the linebacker position, and Earl Thomas would have been a great addition to our safety and cornerback core. Thomas would be invaluable as a mentor for the younger guys. You can’t win Super bowls without veterans on D and we have zero in the secondary. They can only get younger in the draft. The time to win is now. If they sign Thomas we can concentrate on offense in the draft.

    • Brian Martin

      I agree Earl Thomas would be a great addition, but I’m not willing to give up what the Seahawks are asking and then have to sign him to a contract extension. I would much rather have Tre Boston. He excelled in Gus Bradley’s defense last season with the Chargers, which will be similar to how Kris Richard will use his players in the secondary.

      • Sly

        Ok, I’m on board. Just checked out his stats and saw a highlight video and he’s only 25. This is why you’re the expert and I will stay in my lane…lol Whatever they do, I think they have to get one vet in with those youngsters, though.

        • Brian Martin

          Sly, I’m no expert, just a Cowboys fan who has a platform to voice my opinion.

    • Will

      ET was NEVER going to be a Cowboy. This was a pipedream from the start. The Cowboys secondary needs to stay going young. Awuzie, Jourdan, and Woods with hopefully Armani Watts added in this draft is exactly what we need

      • Prenze Hampton

        Mathieu signed with Hou for 7 mil.. Thats change. We gonna keep being adverage while teams like Philly and Giants loading up to beat us yet again. I like thr young corners etc. But we need to win now.. Dak contract coming up.. Zeke coming and if we dont win by then we are fucked. We gonna lose alot of key guys in order to keep them.

        • Will

          I’ve suffered since the fall after our glorious 90’s run, young man. What you’re asking them to do is EXACTLY what got us into cap hell in the first place. Patience is the key here. We are building through the draft and SMALL free agency bids. Dak and Zeke will get theirs, we have a brand new, roughly 6 season window here. Enjoy the ride, and bide your time

        • Brian Martin

          I agree with the win now mentality, but I don’t think Mathieu is a difference maker. I honestly think he is a little overrated. He really doesn’t have a true position in mostly place out of the nickel/slot. The Cowboys are ready have several defensive backs to play that role.

          • Reggie Boutte

            Why is Tyrone Crawford still on my team? Someone please tell me. He’s the worst and his contract is not helping either.

          • Brian Martin

            Tyrone Crawford is a good player, but unfortunately the Cowboys paid him like a great player. This will likely be his last year in Dallas. And I completely agree with you about the OC. I was really hoping he would be replaced after last seasons deplorable playcalling.

          • Reggie Boutte

            Exactly. The RPO looks awesome when it works out. But bad example being the RPO vs Seattle. 1st down at the 3, just run Zeke please. When can we get a good screen? The last one I remember was when Zeke broke vs The Steelers. The Saints call a successful screen just about every possession. Where are the pick plays or crossing routes. The Patriots do it all the time. What about a new formation? Where are the bunches or motion? I’m so tired of the 11formation. Creativity please. instead of just lining up and saying were better. That’s dumb.

      • Brian Martin

        I think there is still a possibility Earl Thomas becomes a Cowboy, but it will take the Seahawks coming down on their asking price. The closer we get to the draft, the more the asking price may go down. I’m not going to hold my breath or anything, but I still think it’s a possibility.

        • elindio42

          I don’t think Dallas can afford him even if Seattle cuts him. He will want too much money.

          • Brian Martin

            Seattle isn’t going to cut Earl Thomas. And, if you look around the league at what these FA safeties are receiving contract twice on the open market, then the Cowboys can afford Thomas. They wouldn’t be discussing a possible trade for him otherwise.

  • Will

    There were no FA’s that were worth the asking price this off-season from the first wave. I’m glad the Cowboys are being careful with the cap. Bring in guys like Fleming, Hunter, maybe Tre Boston. Keep the youth movement going

    • Brian Martin

      Will, I agree. I’m really glad the Cowboys failed in their attempt to sign Sammy Watkins. There are still some available FAs who can come in and help this team going forward.

      • Will

        Exactly. Tre Boston, Cam Fleming, Bowman if it’s a cheap deal, Martin, and Inman, then call it an off-season till the draft and next round of cuts

        • Brian Martin

          I’d be on board with the Cowboys signing all of those players mentioned except Inman. I don’t think they need a veteran WR.

          • Will

            Not so much to play WR, but as a special teams replacement for the departed K. Smith

          • Brian Martin

            I’d rather find another LB or another defensive player to take over Keith Smith’s special-teams role. At least they are used to tackling.

          • Will

            Inman is a surprisingly good special teamer, reminds me of the WR the Patriots had who was there just to play ST for years, can’t recall his name

          • Brian Martin

            I don’t disagree about Inman as a ST player, I just rather have someone who would be more likely to contribute in other areas.

        • Brian Martin
      • Brian Martin
    • Brian Martin
  • Prenze Hampton

    Who says some bullshit like this? Mathieu declining at 25? Xavier and Mathieu comparison at this point makes no sense AT ALL. One is a pro bowler and was one of the best players in all of college football. Returned punts and got a national title. One is a ball hawk and creates turnovers.. Something my Cowboys haven’t been able to do. Just becuz they be similar in stature doesnt mean there the same player or even close.

    • Brian Martin

      Mathieu and Woods are similar players. They both play the nickel/slot role on defense, which is why the Cowboys didn’t show any interest in the former Cardinal. And, I can honestly care less what Mathieu did in college. He’s not the same player he once was, and I think injuries are the reason why.

  • Nicholas Succarotte

    Hey Brian while i agree with not going back to the days of not long ago and signing every big name exspensive free agent, what has me concerned and frustrated is while not only are we not signing any good frer agents we lost some key players so right now we are weaker then last year, while the eagles, vikings,rams and teams that were better then us already are getting a lot stronger through free agency. And to make it even worse, without signing free agents for years now we are still in cap hell with no money and our roster isnt as good as it needs be to really compete.SO PLEASE, tell me something to give me hope and see some light.

    • Will

      We have a lot of picks, and the 2nd tier of FA’s are where we need to find gems. We don’t have as many holes as some people think

    • Brian Martin

      The Cowboys are continuing to draft well and build the roster the right way. They will plug some holes with some affordable FAs and be just fine. It’s a frustrating process, but it’s working.

    • Larry Murray

      Who have we lost that you’re worried about?

      • Nicholas Succarotte

        Its not necessarily who we lost, just the fact all top nfc teams already had a better roster and team then us, teams like eagles,rams and vikings, and this off season they all got better and some of them a lot better from signing big time free agents, while alls we have done is lost a handful of players amd some of them starters, so that means there rosters got better Nd ours got a little worse and created more holes we need to fill, and the fact that were in just as bad of cap hell as when we were signing big name free agents every year, and remember we stil have our qb and rb on rookie deals, so were going to be even way worse off when we have to give dak 100million and pay zeke top rb money, i just dont think our roster as is should have us pretty much dead broke, and the teams that are better then us all got better while we got a little weaker with more holes

        • Larry Murray

          That is a fallacy. None of these rosters are more talented than ours. We had a 5 game span where we were missing 3 to 5 blue chippers. None of the teams mentioned dealt with that. Yet we were still 1 game out of the postseason. you’re imagining a gap. The eagles prove we have a championship roster

          • Larry Murray

            There’s an article that proved we went through a 3 game span with the most blue chip players inactive in NFL History

          • Nicholas Succarotte

            Lol if you know football you know its not a fallacy thats why they all had better records and will all be projected to do better then us next year, we have 1 really good def lineman, we have no big names in the secondary, we have 1 big time linebacker but hes always hurt, then on offense we have 3 great lineman, a great rb, and we still have to find out more on our qb, and with dez having 3 down years we dont have any big time good recievers, our tightend is coming to the end of his career, and we have no depth anywhere so tell me how are rosters are as good as the rams,vikings or eagles?

          • Nicholas Succarotte

            And you have that backwards buddy the eagles proved we are still several pieces away from a championship, because they lost more players to injury then us, including there left tackle, there best linebacker and there best and most important player there qb carson wentz and they kept rolling, unlike us because we dont have a deep roster and dont have good backups or enough good starters to deal with any good players getting hurt

  • Andrew Forh

    I strongly disagree with you. T Mathieu is a better safety and better football player than Xavier Woods at this point in his career. I’m sick and tired of this team devaluing the presence of reliable veterans. You don’t having a guy like T Mathieu on your roster could benefit the entire DB group. Experience player who has been to a NFC conference unlike every player on the team? Or guy who was immature in college but got his act together and has been a model citizen since entering the league couldn’t help out guys like zeke or Gregory?!? Dallas drop the ball on T Mathieu. Instead of assuming what his price was they should have made an offer. I’m suppose to believe woods who can’t beat B Jones or J Heath is going to be a ball hawking safety… stop it just stop it.

    • Brian Martin

      Tyrann Mathieu isn’t a ball hawking safety though. If you watch his career at LSU and with the Cardinals, you will notice that he is playing out of the slot/nickel. The Cowboys already have several players who can fill that role, which is why there wasn’t an interest in Mathieu. I know you will disagree, but I think he is a little bit overrated.

  • Albert Smith

    Initially I wondered what was going on but I feel like Woods is more than capable, the money was the main thing as well as trying to give all these youngsters their fair share.

  • EverybodyTalks

    The numbers don’t lie. Xavier was thrown in the fire. He did a very good job and this article is a compliment to his ability.

Star Blog

Seahawks’ Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

John Williams



Seahawks' Tight End Will Dissly Flying Under the Radar

The Seattle Seahawks are in need of a big win this weekend to stay a game or two back of the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys hope to extend their one game winning streak to two, but to do that, they'll have to win certain matchups on both sides of the football. One player that the Dallas Cowboys will have to be aware of and contain is rookie Tight End Will Dissly.

With Doug Baldwin injured in week one and out week two, other players have had to step up in their lead wide receiver's absence.

Brandon Marshall and Tyler Lockett are the names that most everyone will recognize, but Dissly, is the name that Cowboys Nation should keep an eye on come Sunday.

Dissly, drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Washington, came into the season with a reputation as a blocking back. Dane Brugler, of The Athletic, had Dissly ranked 98th overall and as the ninth ranked tight end in the draft. Just one spot behind Dallas Cowboys rookie Tight End Dalton Schultz.

Here is what Brugler had to say in his 2018 NFL Draft Guide.

"A one-year starter at Washington, Dissly spent his first two years at Washington on defense and his final two years on offense, lining up inline and wing in the Huskies’ offense. He was a blocker-first and receiver-second in college, which was a role he embraced with his hard-nosed toughness and competitive edge. Dissly uses his upper body power and base strength in unison to control the point of attack, displaying the core flexibility and length to keep defenders busy. While he flashed reliable hand/eye coordination and run power after the catch, he lacks the route-running experience or athletic deception to consistently uncover. Overall, Dissly is a project as a pass-catcher, but he will contribute early in his NFL career as an inline blocker and sixth offensive lineman."

Dane Brugler - Dane Brugler's 2018 NFL Draft Guide

To say that it comes as a surprise at Dissly's start to his rookie campaign would be a huge understatement. A Brugler notes, there was a chance he'd contribute early as a blocking specialist, but was thought to be a project in the passing game. He's been a big play threat in the first two games of the season, already taking the lead in Seattle Seahawks TE snap distribution at 65%.

Among tight ends, Dissly's is tied for 12th in the NFL in targets with 10, tied for 17th in receptions with six, fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, tied for first with 2 touchdown receptions, third in yards per reception at 24.5, third in yards after the catch with 90, is tied for fifth with five receptions for first downs, sixth in yards per route run, and hasn't dropped a pass this season. He's averaging five targets, three receptions, 73.5 yards, and a touchdown per game. He's been targeted twice out of the slot and has two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown while playing 46% of his snaps from the slot.

When Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted his rookie tight end, he has a passer rating of 143.8.

He's been way more than they could have hoped.

Here's what SB Nation' Seattle Seahawks blog Field Gulls had to say about Will Dissly after the Seattle Seahawks week one loss to the Denver Broncos.

"Hot damn! Who saw that coming? Was that Will Dissly or a prime Jeremy Shockey? 3 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for someone drafted primarily for his blocking abilities. Seattle has a new weapon on offense, and I doubt anyone saw that coming."

Mookie Alexander - Field Gulls, SB Nation 

It's likely that nobody, including the Denver Broncos or the Chicago Bears, saw Dissly's breakout coming this soon. Now with it on tape, the Dallas Cowboys will have their eye on Will Dissly.

Russell Wilson doesn't have a ton of established -- or still good -- wide receivers at his disposal, but Will Dissly looks like a fourth round steal for the Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys' linebackers will be tested on Sunday.

Four of Dissly's six receptions have come against linebackers, including a 34 yard reception (19 yards after the catch) against Chicago Bears' Linebacker Danny Trevathan and a 66 yard reception (52 YAC) against Denver Broncos Outside Linebacker Bradley Chubb.

The Dallas Cowboys seem fully capable of matching up with good receiving tight ends as Jaylon Smith showed on Sunday. Smith showed an ability to run with Odell Beckham Jr. in coverage on Sunday. No small task. We know that Sean Lee is good in coverage. Leighton Vander Esch's best trait coming out of Boise State is his coverage ability. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Dallas Cowboys matchup Xavier Woods and Anthony Brown with the athletic tight end when he's lined up in the slot.

How the Dallas Cowboys defense does in coverage against the rookie tight end could be a major key to the game. With names like Brandon Marshall, Tyler Lockett, and Rashad Penny to keep an eye on, someone like Will Dissly could be easily forgotten.

You're going to hear his name called on Sunday. Let's just hope it's more for what he did weeks one and two.

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Star Blog

Xavier Woods Among Cowboys with Something to Prove in Seattle

John Williams




The Earl Thomas trade rumors have been relentless this offseason. We've heard about them. I've written about them, and for better or worse, they just won't stop. No doubt Dallas Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods has heard them as well.

When Woods went down with his hamstring injury and as Earl Thomas continued his hold out, the clamor for Thomas grew louder and louder.

Per reports, it looks like Woods is set to make his 2018 debut. With a good game against the Seattle Seahawks, he can put a silence to the trade rumors.

I've been a proponent of making the deal for Earl Thomas all offseason. From the time he came running down the tunnel toward the Dallas Cowboys locker room, I've been all aboard the Earl Thomas hype train. Opportunities to add All-Pro players don't come along very often and if you're hoping to win football games in the short term, like the Dallas Cowboys are, you make the move.

My opinion isn't a knock on Xavier Woods, who was good as a rookie last year. He was especially good when asked to play in the slot early in the 2017 season. It has more to do with Woods still being a bit of an unknown and Thomas being a known quantity.

Xavier Woods has shown potential to be a really good safety in this league. In college, he played a lot of single high safety and played it very well. He has a knack for making plays on the football and can be a game changer for the Dallas Cowboys.

If the Dallas Cowboys can come away with a victory in Seattle, facing the player that the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to for months, and Woods has a good game in the process, then all of this will go away.

Heading into Sunday, Xavier Woods isn't the only player on the Dallas Cowboys roster who has something to prove.

Two Wide Receivers

The Cowboys added another wide receiver this week when they resigned free agent Brice Butler. I agree with Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie that adding Butler doesn't make a ton of sense, but it definitely adds question marks to the wide receiver room, in particular wide receivers Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns.

These two wide receivers were expected to be the starters on the outside and the primary targets, aside from Wide Receiver Cole Beasley, and yet, they've failed to have much of an impact in either of the two games in the 2018 season.

Take a look at their stat lines.

  • Allen Hurns: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards, 0 touchdowns, on 55% of the team's offensive snaps.
  • Terrance Williams: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards, 0 touchdowns on 25% of the snaps.

Those two are tied for fifth in receptions through two weeks of the season. Wide Receiver Deonte Thompson has found himself as a favorite target of Quarterback Dak Prescott through the first two games and has seven receptions for 60 yards.

With now seven wide receivers on the roster, there are less snaps to go around and with the increase in playing time for Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup, Terrance Williams may have already found himself as the odd man out. Brice Butler complicates things further for Williams and may eat into Allen Hurns snap count as well.

Now it looks like Terrance Williams is facing a suspension. If the suspension comes down before Sunday, he's going to really have a hard time finding a role on this team when he comes back.

Brandon George on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication via @sportsdaydfw

If he comes back. 

Defensive End Making a Comeback

Things started out really well for returning Defensive End Randy Gregory. During the preseason he flashed the tools that made him a highly coveted player before his failed drug test at the NFL Combine.

Unfortunately the start of his 2018 season was derailed due to a concussion early in the Carolina Panthers game forcing him to miss week two.

In his place, Taco Charlton emerged as an impact player on the right side of the defensive line. Charlton has played the most defensive snaps of any defensive end through the first two games of the season; DeMarcus Lawrence included. Taco went from a 73% snap share in week one to an 83% snap share in week two. It's obvious that he's earned his snaps and the coaching staff wants to get him on the field.

This doesn't even begin to mention the contributions by rookie fourth round pick Dorance Armstrong, who like Charlton, saw a 10% snap increase from week one to week two and played really well when in the game.

This is a bit of a problem for Randy Gregory. Yes, he flashed in the preseason and early in the Carolina game, but the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and Gregory hasn't done much of anything in the regular season, yet.

Coming into the Seahawks game, Gregory is going to have to earn back some of those snaps. By all accounts he has a chance to be an elite defensive end on the right side of the Dallas Cowboys defense, but he has to prove that he can stay on the field and effective when on it.

He needs to shine in week three.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Who are your players with something to prove heading into the week three matchup with the Seattle Seahawks? Let us know in the comment section. 

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Star Blog

How The Seattle Seahawks Have Increased Importance In Cowboys’ Lore

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys At Seattle Seahawks: 5 Bold Predictions
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

You can't talk about this decade's Dallas Cowboys without discussing the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2012, when Golden Tate took out Sean Lee on a crack-back block and the Seahawks embarrassed a Cowboys team who had just defeated the defending champion New York Giants, we saw which of the two teams was truly ready for the big stage.

In 2014, as Rolando McClain intercepted Russell Wilson and the Cowboys clinched a critical road victory, we knew that Dallas was a legit contender.

In 2015, when Seattle finally came to Dallas and rendered the return of Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant meaningless in a 13-12 win, the then 2-5 Cowboys were sent further into a Romo-less abyss.

And, in 2017, Dez Bryant's key drops and Dan Bailey's missed field goals during a horrendous home loss to the Seahawks on Christmas Eve might have sealed each of their fates for the following offseason.

The most important moment in this Cowboys/Seahawks history, however, occurred during a preseason game. A meaningless preseason game which turned out to be the most meaningful day in recent Cowboys history.

Cliff Avril dragging Tony Romo down from behind, effectively ending his career, and kicking off the roster massive turnover we have seen the last two offseasons. From Dak Prescott, to a brand new secondary, to the retirement of Jason Witten, and the cutting of Dez Bryant. All of this change, which put an end to the Romo era rosters in Dallas, began with that hit in Seattle.

Since 2012 the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC really, have been judged by how they play against two teams: the Packers and the Seahawks.

They have been the class of the NFC, and while we like to think that if the "Dez Caught It" game went how it should have Dallas would've handled Seattle, that will forever be an unknown.

Sunday's game is not expected to carry the franchise-changing implications that some of these other match ups have had. The Seahawks are 0-2 and reeling, with a shaky offensive line and reported distrust throughout the organization.The Cowboys, however, can jump-start their season with a big road win over a winless team that they should beat in the minds of many.

But knowing how things between these teams tend to go, Sunday afternoon may end up having major implications on the rest of the Cowboys' season.

Where this could be the case is in a potential Earl Thomas trade. It's been speculated that Seattle has been hesitant to deal Thomas to Dallas before their week 3 match up, but could be more willing to do so after the game.

Especially if that game is a loss which sends them to 0-3. The Cowboys have been actively pursuing Earl Thomas, and Thomas has certainly made it clear that he wants to be in Dallas. The only party not willing to make it happen thus far, are the Seahawks.

So, this weekend, there is a chance another chapter is added to those franchise-changing moments in Cowboys/Seahawks lore.

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