Who are your Top 10 most valuable Cowboys going into this season? The NFLOutsider's Greg Trippiedi begins his with Jason Witten at #1 and rounds it out with Bradie James at #10.
1. TE Jason Witten
Witten is the best tight end in football. He blocks well enough, but his real value is in an intermediate receiving target, because he's as much responsible for Romo's success as Tony himself is. He also makes plays down the field with the ball in his hands. Where Witten really earns his keep though is in his versatility. He's become the new Tony Gonzalez, because he doesn't have to be right next to the offensive tackle to be a match-up nightmare. Safeties cannot cover him, which means nickel packages are necessary to match up with the base Cowboys offense. How awesome is that?
10. LB Bradie James
James could be described as a consistent performer and a team leader, and he has accomplished as much without any help from a revolving door at the other ILB in the Cowboys' 3-4 defense. He's a tackling machine who gets overshadowed because other teams in the division have fantastic middle linebackers, but James plays at a near pro bowl level year in and year out.
However, Trippiedi's comments on Demarcus Ware won't make many Cowboys fans happy.
4. LB DeMarcus Ware
Ware led the league's in sacks last year. In doing so, he's built up a reputation for being more valuable than he actually is: he's a great player who likely will not enjoy a hall of fame career, but should find his way to 5 or 6 pro bowls. Ware has major weaknesses against the run, but you have to have him on the field for almost all defensive snaps simply because of the type of havoc he can wreck in opponent's backfields.
Demarcus Ware talked to the Ranch Report about how his experience transitioning from a college defensive end to a pro linebacker will be able to help draftees Victor Butler and Brandon Williams.
"It was a learning process, being able to do so many things, he said, "being able to read run offenses, read pass offenses, being able to drop, sort of becoming a cornerback instead of just rushing the passer."
Ware was asked if his new role as a mentor made him feel older than his age would suggest.
"No, I don't - I actually just turned 21 yesterday," he joked. "I'm kidding - I'm still a youngster, but I've been through what they're going through now, so I'm ready to help them make that transition, and make it smoother than I did."
More VRR after the jump.
One of our rookie UDFAs, FB Asaph Schwapp, got in trouble at the airport.
Twenty two-year-old Asaph Schwapp was boarding a flight to Houston when security found a throwing-star in his bag, police say. A throwing star is a popular martial arts weapon.
A police report states Schwapp told officers he collects martial arts weapons and that a friend had given it to him. The report also states he was "extremely cooperative."
Rob Rang at CBSSports includes Dallas QB Stephen McGee as one of his "rookies (who) have careers off on right foot" list.
Stephen McGee, QB, Dallas Cowboys: With only three games in a pro-style offense while at Texas A&M, McGee was expected to need a great deal of work, but insiders say the former Aggie was stunningly refined in his technique throughout Dallas' minicamp May 1-3. Coaches, including quarterback coach Wade Wilson, who played the position for 18 years in the NFL, raved about McGee's poise and accuracy throughout the camp.
Isaiah Stanback’s knee surgery on Thursday will keep him sidelined until training camp.
Let’s keep an eye on this guy. Former Cowboy Jim Jeffcoat is evaluating colleges with his son, Jackson (a DE like his father), who is ranked #6 in the nation by Scout.com. The Jeffcoats will visit USC where Devon Kennard, son of former
"I know Derek (Kennard) and we actually won Superbowls at
," said Jeffcoat. "But each situation is different for each child. What might be good for one kid, might not be for another. I just know one thing, I’m not going to put any pressure on Dallas and when he decides on a school, it is going to be his decision. Jackson
"We’re going to take an unofficial visit to USC this summer and we’ll evaluate it after that. We’re in the information gathering stage and we’re trying to get information on various schools. We just want to see what each school has to offer
and also what each football program has to offer." Jackson
In case you win the BTB fundraiser tickets to the Cowboys vs. Titans game, tuck this away somewhere. It's ESPN's updated travel guide page for the new Cowboys Stadium, complete with address, directions, and a link to the Dallas city guide. You can even check the weather!