This seems a good place to start...
Sturm's much-anticipated annual list of the league's most successful teams in the Super Bowl era. Thanks to their playoff win against the Lions, the Cowboys have reclaimed the top spot - or, at least, are tied with the Steelers for first place. Here's Sturm's rationale:
Dallas Cowboys Last year: #2 Total: 109 pts Dallas has the most playoff appearances, the most Final 4s, and are tied with Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl appearances. However, since 1996, they have a performance level that actually trails the Jacksonville Jaguars and is certainly a team that is getting by on reputation and history. They are far removed from where they once stood, and yet, they still can claim to have as many or more points than any other franchise. They were a dominant, dominant franchise for 30 years. So much so, that according to these numbers, the Cowboys had 101 points through the first 30 Super Bowls and just 8 points in the last 19.
Looking at the recently restructured front offices in Atlanta and New York (Jets), Archer concedes that Jerry Jones might be right when he says that the Cowboys benefit from a streamlined decision tree, with the owner always agreeing with the General Manager, asking, "could the Cowboys' structure actually be a (gulp) good thing?"
With Jason Garrett, Will McClay and Stephen Jones as his information filters, I'd say (gulp) it could be...
A Randle's-Arrest-Affects-Murray point-counterpoint:
Toddzilla argues that Joe Randle’s arrest does not affect the team’s negotiations with Murray. What he means by this is the the Cowboys will adhere to a consistent free agency plan, one established in the past few offseasons:
I might be proven wrong in March when the market opens, but I think the days of the Cowboys ponying up $50 million in free agency to a player they don’t know, like Brandon Carr, are over.
The Cowboys will have a certain threshold they will not go above to retain Murray, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards in 2014 and was named the Offensive Player of the Year.
Sabin takes the other side, asserting that Randle's arrest throws the Cowboys' post-Murray contingency plan out the window, largely because the team can no longer rely on the Oklahoma State product:
In the past, Garrett has repeatedly said he wants to populate the Cowboys’ roster with the right kind of guys. What happens in relation to Murray and Randle will show how committed the Cowboys are to realizing that vision.
Borrowing a page from BTB, Archer points out that the running backs the Cowboys have brought to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits the last three years indicate that they have a good eye for NFL-caliber running back talent:
Murray and Stevan Ridley visited in 2011. Doug Martin visited in 2012. In 2013, the Cowboys had Giovani Bernard, Knile Davis, Randle and Le'Veon Bell in for visits.
Bell finished second to Murray in rushing yards in 2014 with 1,361 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Martin ran for 1,454 yards as a rookie for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ridley had 1,263 yards in his second season for the New England Patriots. Bernard has been a versatile weapon for the Cincinnati Bengal. Davis has been a valuable backup behind Jamaal Charles with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Sturminator's draft profile series continues with a peek at the Huskies' multi-positional "Swiss army knife." Here's Sturm's takeaway:
There is something to be said for a ball hawk who always finds the ball and knows how to get it and then what to do with it. I also love the idea that he is so versatile in what he does. But, if I am going to spend a 1st round pick, there better be one position in particular where I think he can be a pro-bowl player for me, or I should keep shopping, and since I am not great at imagining his future, based on his present tense, I would not say I see the sure-fire 1st round prospect that others see.
We start with number one and finish with number two:
After ranking the NFL's top quarterbacks (Tony Romo came in a highly-disputed seventh), Machota turns to receivers. Our boy Dez comes in second, behind only Megatron:
2.) Dez Bryant. Bryant has become the NFL’s best redzone wide receiver. He led the league in touchdown receptions this season with 16 and he leads all receivers in TD receptions over the last five seasons with 56. "Obviously, Calvin’s the standard across the league," Tony Romo said before facing Detroit last month, "but Dez has done such a great job that I think both teams are very happy and very proud to have the guys that they have."
Of course, Cowboys fans will say this is more accurate than the Romo rating...
In part III of his offseason manifesto series, The Noble Drummond examines the Bryant contract situation, which he claims "will dictate everything else about the Dallas offseason." His plan? A 7-year, $100 million deal with $37 million guaranteed. If Bryant and his camp balk at that, Drummond notes, there's always the franchise tag...
And speaking of Bryant, there's this:
The Deztroyer posted an Instagram video of his crazy impressive ab workout Tuesday and it's taken off...hit the link to check it out.