Murray's Awesome 2014 season continues to generate residual benefits...
Continuing the week-long awards banquet, ESPN's four NFC East writers dole out the heavy hardware; Number 29 gets OPOY honors, in a unanimous vote. Here's Redskins beat man John Keim's take:
When someone flirts with 2,000 rushing yards, it’s not difficult to give him this award. Obviously the Dallas line made a big difference, as did the commitment to the run game. And without Tony Romo, this offense is far less scary. But the run game set the tone for the season, helping a defense limited in talent and setting a physical tone.
Orr's article rehashes old news, but it's topped off by a terrific "Best of DeMarco Murray: video compilation, complete with screaming fan with, well, you know, that face...
Archer's free agent series continues, with a look at the Cowboys' fullback. He didn't have a regular-season carry, and he's 30, so it's not like teams will be lining up for his services.Archer opines:
What it should cost: The fifth-year minimum salary is $745,000. It’s possible the Cowboys give him a small signing bonus or sign him to a veteran minimum salary benefit deal. The competition for his services, however, shouldn’t be big. It’s not Clutts’ ability or lack of it. It’s the nature of his position.
I think it's clear that the Cowboys want to keep Beasley around. The question is: how will they play the risk-reward game that applies to all RFAs? Toddzilla thinks thusly:
The Cowboys have to decide whether to put the low tender on Beasley and risk not receiving any compensation in return should he sign elsewhere because he was an undrafted free agent. The Cowboys could put the second-round tender on Beasley, which will be in the $2.4 million neighborhood. They could also look to buyout his unrestricted free agent year in 2016 and offer him a multi-year deal that could average, say, roughly $2 million per year but keep his first-year cap number low.
This was official yesterday; today, it's officially official...
In coaching circles, known commodities are a good thing. As Archer points out, this will be the third time Loney has worked with Scott Linehan. They worked together with the Rams in 2008 and he was the Vikings' offensive line coach for two seasons during Linehan’s time as Minnesota's offensive coordinator.
With 2012's Great Cornerback Experiment all but an official disappointment, Machota writes that the Cowboys might go back to the well, offering up two handfuls of possible candidates. Here's a fer-instance:
P.J. Williams, Florida State. The defensive MVP of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game intercepted four passes in three seasons at FSU. Confident in his abilities, Williams (6-0, 196) recently told Sporting News that he’s "going to put on a show" at next week’s scouting combine.
Expert’s take: "Cover cornerback with the talent to play on an island, and the swagger to regroup and forget when beaten. Williams can cover outside or from the slot, and has potential to come in and start right away for an aggressive man-cover defense. With consistency of effort, Williams could become the best cornerback to come out of this draft." – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
If this were to happen, I would not complain.
It's a slow news day, so we dip into other people's mailboxes. Broaddus and Helman, The Mothership's version of Master and Blaster, weigh in on some email queries. Here, "Master" Helman offers some perspective on the lack of movement thus far this offseason:
The thing you have to remember is that this is a two-way street. A lot of these guys – Rolando McClain and Bruce Carter, for instance – stand to earn substantial contracts, and they probably want to see what they’re worth on the open market. It’d be bad business sense for them to sign a contract with the Cowboys before they see what else is out there....Keep in mind also that we’re still exactly a month out from free agency. There’s still a lot of time for all these conversations to begin heating up.
The prolific Archer's day ends with this thoughtful piece on perhaps the only player on the 90s Cowboys who we legitimately can say was underrated. Here, Woodson recalls his multi-faceted role in Dallas' defense:
My argument with Mike Zimmer was I would have had a lot more interceptions if I would have just played safety instead of the corner and the linebacker and whatnot. At the same time, I wanted to win games and if that was how they were going to utilize me, so be it. I see how the game is basically is -- now you need a safety who can cover the slot to give you multiple personnel packages that you have to match up with tight ends that catch the ball down the field. So yeah, I think I was way before my time as far as safety play.
Daddys, you best hope your sons grow up to be like Darren Woodson.
And, mostly because it will tick off fans of other teams:
"No matter where the Cowboys travel, there are always friends to greet them. Their players are heroes to the young, and their success and style has gained them a following across the United States"