Ryan's got to show something really impressive this year, because if the Cowboys' defense is costing them games again in December, his record and his pedigree aren't going to be enough to spare him the blame.
NFC East offseason report cards - USA Today
USA Today grades each NFL team's offseason based on roster maneuvers, coaching changes and current events, and hands out an A- to the Cowboys. It looks like the only things missing in their opinion a decision on whether to extend Anthony Spencer and finding out whether Kevin Ogletree can replace Laurent Robinson.
Cowboys Keeping Tabs On McBriar’s Rehab - DallasCowboys.com
Nick Eatman writes that the Cowboys are monitoring Mat McBriar through his rehab, and will bring him in for a workout once he's 100% healthy. And according to a text message by McBriar from earlier this week, things are looking good for the two-time Pro Bowler:
"I’m doing really well. Surgery went beautifully. Nerves are firing again. Set for a full recovery."
Tyron Smith among breakout candidates - ESPN NFC East Blog
Mel Kiper reviews the 2011 draft class and identifies players he thinks are most likely to break out, among them the Cowboys' left tackle Tyron Smith. Kiper and Graziano both weigh in on the selection:
Kiper: How could I have Smith here after he started 16 games for the Cowboys in 2011? It's not that he started, it's where he starts. Smith won't be 22 until December, and the Cowboys worked the youngster in on the right side last year. But if he takes over at left tackle, in a division with the kind of pass-rushers the NFC East has, it'll be a true test of his value. I think he'll do well.
Graziano: Smith was a monster at right tackle last year, one of the best in the league at that position. There's nothing to indicate he can't handle a transition to the more important spot, and if he does he has the talent to excel there for a very long time.
NFL Videos: Best pass rusher right now?
Apparently, Warren Sapp still has a job at NFL.com, where he was recently spotted giving props to DeMarcus Ware.
Scott Hanson: You tell me right now... who's the best in the game, right now?
Warren Sapp: DeMarcus Ware. DeMarcus Ware. It's just that simple. And the reason I say this is that in seven seasons, this man has ninety nine and a half sacks, Scott. To find somebody with more sacks in seven years, you’ve got to go to the Minister of Defense, that’s right, Reggie White.
This young man here goes right side, left side, inside, outside - IT DOES NOT MATTER - and when you have more sacks in seven years than I have in thirteen years (and I consider myself a pretty good pass rusher) you win the title for me, Scott. It's just that simple. DeMarcus Ware right now.
Cowboys Coach Breaks Down Danny Coale - HokieHaven.com
Nice article from a Virginia Tech website, which features extensive quotes on Coale by Keith O'Quinn, the Cowboys' Offensive Quality Control/Wide Receivers coach. But why do I have to go to HokieHaven.com to find out what the Cowboys coaches are saying about their rookies?
Cowboys Mailbag: Scandrick vs Jenkins - Fox Sports
Bob Sturm answers some mailbag questions and provides this take on Scandrick's deal:
The Cowboys actually did a pretty nice job here of locking in a young corner before he got to free agency. [...] To get him under contract was a shrewd move knowing that Jenkins was free after 2012 and Newman was losing his fastball despite being paid as an elite corner.
So, if the Cowboys waited too long, Scandrick's pricey deal would have not been an option. His ability to get paid would be determined in the open market, where the Cowboys just paid Brandon Carr, another corner from the 5th round of the 2008 draft, 5 years, $50 million.
Nobody is saying that Scandrick is elite and would have had that. But, the Cowboys wisely saw that corner in free agency who have the amount of playing experience of Jenkins and Scandrick get paid a ton of money. They had to pick one based on performance and price. Scandrick and Jenkins both made that choice easy. Scandrick never had the tools of Jenkins, but he always had twice the fight.
Dallas Cowboys Undrafted Free Agents: Harland Gunn Profile - SB Nation Dallas
Our own KD Drummond puts together a profile piece on college free agent guard Harland Gunn, and writes that there's more to like about Gunn than just his name.
Best Interconference game of 2012? Steelers @ Cowboys - NFL.com
Gregg Rosenthal highlights the top seven 2012 NFL interconference games, and the Steelers-Cowboys showdown on Dec. 16 ranks at the top of his list.
And finally, Mackenzy Bernadeau with a message for you:
Thank you #cowboynation for the support.Surgery went well and I'm getting better everyday.— Mackenzy Bernadeau (@MackB73) May 18, 2012