Connect with us

Star Blog

Your NFC East Champions: The Dallas Cowboys

Avatar

Published

on

Your NFC East Champions: The Dallas Cowboys

There have been no repeat NFC East champions over the last 14 years and the Dallas Cowboys made sure that streak continued as they overthrew last season’s juggernaut from Philadelphia. If the Cowboys defeat the Giants in New York this week they will wrap the 2018 season with a 10-6 mark and claim the division. However, if they fail to do so, and many of the premier online sportsbooks like Bookmaker are projecting they will by installing them as 6 ½ point underdogs, Dallas still wins the division and nothing changes but their record.

Thus, with nothing on the line, the goal is to escape Week 17 without injury and be ready to welcome most likely Seattle, but possibly Minnesota, to Dallas in the first round of the postseason parade.

It’s been quite a ride for this Cowboys team, muscling their way into the playoffs, warts and all. We can clearly recall when Dallas was 3-5 and a rudderless ship whose captain, Jason Garrett, was bracing for either a mutiny or relief of his command.

Let’s give some credit to Jerry Jones, who could have done what most billionaires do when they are displeased; replace the old Bentley, the aging wife, or the beleaguered head coach of their favorite toy. He gave Garrett the rope to either hang in there or hang himself and right now, the Cowboys still have a chance to be world champions.

Garret had this to say following the playoff clinching 27-20 victory over the Bucs:

"It’s a tangible goal that you have with your team. You want to win the division first and get in the playoffs, so we accomplished that goal, and certainly proud to be a part of our group from our coaching staff to our ownership to our personnel, and especially our players and the commitment they made going all the way back starting probably all the way back in February, and for a lot of the guys on our team it started way before that. So certainly, something I think we can be proud of, but hopefully, it’s just the start of something."

But if the Cowboys pull a repeat performance of their Week 16 win, then it could be a quick one-and-done for the NFC East champs. You see, Dallas was beaten by Tampa Bay in virtually every category last Sunday except the one that counts – the score.

The Bucs had nearly 400 combined yards versus the Cowboys, who tied their season low with a mere 232 yards. The Bucs ran 25 more plays and had the ball for 35 minutes versus just 25 for the 'Boys. The Dallas defense was flagged seven times in that game and if just a few things went the other way, our 'Boys would be fighting for their playoff lives in the season finale.

But the long and short of it is there isn’t a team in the league that hasn’t won ugly and the Cowboys are in the playoffs whether the pundits and talking heads like it or not.

Speaking of ugly, let’s revisit their hideous 3-5 start.

Since the NFL's playoff format changed 28 years ago, 163 teams have registered a 3-5 record at the midpoint of the season. Of those teams the average final record is 6-10 and just 13 made it to the postseason. Five of those 13 made it past the wildcard round and only the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars advanced to the conference championship. The Jags bowed to the Patriots in that AFC title tilt and needless to say, the odds are firmly stacked against the Cowboys.

But let’s also understand that someone always wins the lottery, despite astronomic odds, and according to top-notch online sportsbooks, of the 15 teams still alive in the playoff hunt, Dallas is listed in the middle of the pack at +2500 to win the Super Bowl. It sure beats playing Powerball.



This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

Advertisement
Comments

Star Blog

Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Though Not A Direct Beasley Replacement, Randall Cobb Would Bring Value To Cowboys’ Offense

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Not A Direct Beasley Replacement, Randall Cobb Would Bring Value To Cowboys' Offense

When the news broke Monday that veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb was visiting the Dallas Cowboys, most immediately assumed he would be a logical replacement for the departed Cole Beasley.

When you take a look at the film and each of their skillsets, however, you quickly see this is likely not the case.

While Cobb would be able to play in the slot as a receiver for the Cowboys if he signs, his value extends much further than just a slot receiver. Where Beasley makes his mark with precise route running, short area quickness, and 3rd down reliability, Cobb is much more of a threat after the catch. He's not the route runner that Beasley is, and really isn't an upgrade over Beasley as a receiver, but Cobb would be able to help the Cowboys' become more diverse in their offensive schemes.

Similar to Tavon Austin, Randall Cobb can be used in pre snap motion and jet-sweep packages, as well as a traditional running back. A college quarterback, Cobb's versatility is what makes him so attractive to NFL teams. Cobb would actually fit more of the Lance Dunbar "scat back" role of sorts for the Cowboys than that of the Cole Beasley slot receiver role. His versatility, however, allows him to carve out a lane within the offense which they haven't quite had before.

Another area Cobb could help the Cowboys is when the play breaks down. With experience in the Packers offense playing with arguably the greatest improviser we've ever seen in Aaron Rodgers, Cobb would be able to help Dak Prescott down the field when he breaks the pocket and the play is off schedule.

So often last season we talked about how the Cowboys offense is reliant on remaining on schedule, staying in front of the chains and not having to force the ball downfield. Unleashing the Mississippi State version of Dak Prescott, where he can improvise and use his legs to create big plays, tends to be when this offense is at its best, however.

Randall Cobb won't be a Pro Bowler if the Cowboys sign him, and depending on the money he receives, it might not even be a lock that he makes the final roster. But Cobb would be an exciting addition to a Cowboys offense which has lacked "creativity" over the last few seasons, and is looking to reinvent themselves to a certain extent.

A receiving corps headlined by Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, with versatile weapons such as Cobb and Tavon Austin behind them, is a pretty good one to head into draft day with.

Signing Cobb would keep the Cowboys from "needing" to take a wide receiver early in the draft, and would allow them to easily shed Allen Hurns if a receiving weapon did fall to them at 58th overall.



Continue Reading

Star Blog

Should Cowboys Inquire About Trading for 49ers DL Solomon Thomas?

Brian Martin

Published

on

Should Cowboys Inquire About Trading for 49ers DL Solomon Thomas? 1

When it comes to making trades, the Dallas Cowboys are typically the buyer and not the seller. They proved that last season when they acquired Tavon Austin, Jamize Olawale, and Jihad Ward via trade and could be looking do the same once again this offseason. That's why today I want to talk about the Cowboys putting in a call to the San Francisco 49ers to inquire about potentially trading for Solomon Thomas.

New 49ers Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek is rumored to be evaluating Solomon Thomas' film in order to determine his fit and future with the organization moving forward. This is no easy task. In his two years in the league they've tried Thomas at DE and DT, but unfortunately the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has yet to find his footing at either position.

Being a man without a position doesn't bode well for Solomon Thomas, especially after the 49ers acquired Defensive End Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs last week via trade. The 49ers are suddenly stacked along the defensive line. That's not all though, things could actually get worse for Thomas.

To further complicate matters, the 49ers could use their second overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft on the either Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams. If that's what indeed happens, someone is going to be the odd man out. If you haven't guessed it yet, I think that player could be Solomon Thomas.

Solomon Thomas

San Francisco 49ers DL Solomon Thomas

As a former high first-round draft pick, Thomas would count $7,678,468 against the salary cap in 2019 and $8,958,213 in 2020. That's probably more than the 49ers want to pay for a rotational/backup defensive lineman. And cutting him this season would create $16.6 million in dead money, so a trade is the logical solution.

With all that in mind, it wouldn't surprise me if San Francisco put Solomon Thomas on the trade block any day now. He is only two years into his four-year rookie deal and comes with a fifth-year option as a former first-round draft pick. That means if a team does trade for him they have him under contract for essentially three more years.

If you add all of this up, it makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They need defensive line help and Solomon Thomas needs a fresh start. The Cowboys would get a young versatile defensive lineman and the 49ers get to dump his contract while also receiving some compensation in return. It's a win-win for all parties concerned.

I know what you're thinking though. What would the Cowboys have to give up in the trade? Well, it might not be as much as you think.

Fortunately, Thomas' failure to make an impact his first two years in the NFL favor the buyer, in this case the Dallas Cowboys. He has only four career quarterback sacks, three of which came in his rookie season. Stats of course don't always tell the entire story, but game film does. Unfortunately for Thomas, he can't escape his poor play.

I believe it wouldn't take more than a 2019 fourth-round draft pick to get Solomon Thomas away from the 49ers. Remember, just last season the New England Patriots sent a third-round draft pick to San Francisco and received Offensive Tackle Trent Brown and the fifth-round pick in return. Brown was a more proven player and was in the last year of his contract.

I don't know about you, but I kind of like the idea of Solomon Thomas in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. If anybody can tap into his potential, Rod Marinelli can. Giving up a 2019 fourth-round pick is well worth the gamble in my opinion.

Do you think the Cowboys should inquire about trading for Solomon Thomas?



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