The Greg Hardy Earthquake has hit Cowboyland, and the aftershocks continue...
Why Goodell feels Hardy's 10-game suspension is appropriate; DE plans appeal, sources say - David Moore, DMN
Moore crafts an exhaustive review of the Hardy case. The suspension imposed on Greg Hardy, Moore writes, establishes a new standard in dealing with domestic violence issues by a beleaguered NFL. This is Goodell’s first public opportunity, Moore asserts, to "get it right" in a domestic abuse case since Rice.
NFL's due diligence on Greg Hardy shows what the Cowboys lacked - Yahoo
Adelson writes that Lisa Friel, the former Manhattan prosecutor who led the league's investigation of the Hardy matter, did a far better job in due diligence than the Cowboys did before deciding to sign him:
In other words, this went far beyond the Cowboys' canvassing of mostly favorable voices when investigating Hardy – an "exhaustive amount of research," Garrett called it – prior to signing him. Rather than looking for a way out of an uncomfortable conclusion, which is what the Rice investigation reeked of, Friel was looking for the full truth of what happened.
Jerry Jones must feel shocked, possibly betrayed by commissioner's stand on Hardy - Kevin Sherrington, DMN
Sherrington writes that "this isn’t the kind of justice Jerry had in mind when he signed Hardy to a one-year deal." And then he continues in this vein:
Missing six games still leaves more than half a season. Ten games out means 2 ½ months without even practicing. How much impact can Hardy make after basically missing all that practice and the last 25 games? Jerry couldn’t have expected this result, and I have to believe he feels shocked, if not betrayed, by the commissioner’s stand.
Dallas Cowboys' cap relief from Greg Hardy suspension would come later - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Hardy's suspension does not do much for the Cowboys' salary-cap situation just yet, Archer points out. Here's the key: until the appeal of the suspension is finalized either through the league’s process or a court date, the Cowboys must hold a little more than $8 million in cap room to account for the rest of the per-game roster bonuses.
Did Dallas Cowboys waste their time signing Greg Hardy? - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Dallas
If Hardy doesn't make his debut until Thanksgiving Day against the Carolina Panthers, JJT opines, then signing him will have been a complete waste of time. To illustrate his point, he opens a page from the recent history books:
As an example of how a lengthy suspension can affect a player's performance, let's look at San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who served a nine-game suspension at the start of last season. During his first 43 games, Smith had 42 sacks and 135 tackles. In seven games last season, Smith had two sacks, 15 tackles and virtually no impact. That's quite a drop-off.
Does The Hardy Suspension Affect Draft?; Timetable For Appeal? - The Mothership
In response to a mailbag question on the appeals process for Hardy's suspension, David "Tiny Jim" Helman lays down some logistical parameters:
He’s got three days from the time of the suspension to appeal the ruling, and I’m confident he will. Once that happens, there’s really no telling what the timetable is. I read on Twitter yesterday that the process took about 100 days for Adrian Peterson. So it’s entirely possible we could be waiting until June or July to learn whether Hardy’s suspension will be decreased or not.
And on to the draft...
Are signs pointing toward cornerback in NFL draft for Dallas Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer argues that, even with the suspension of Greg Hardy, cornerback is still at the top of the list of Cowboys' needs. Much of his argument is based on the likelihood of a pass rusher being available. To wit:
At No. 27, the Cowboys are not likely to be in a position to take one of the better pass-rushers. Perhaps Bud Dupree is around and perhaps Randy Gregory’s stock slips because of a failed drug test....The Cowboys could still dip into the defensive end pool at No. 60 for possibilities such as Eli Harold, Danielle Hunter or even Owa Odighizuwa rather than possibly reaching for one of those players at No. 27.
I do fear they will spend this draft much like they did the last one: chasing cornerbacks.
NFL draft analysis of OL position: Top-heavy class could provide special starters - Bob Sturm, DMN
The Sturminator reviews the crop of offensive linemen in this year's draft. One of my pet cats get his "Best of Texas" tag:
Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M: At one point, Cedric was projected to be one of the first picks of this draft, but has had a very difficult 2014 that included a positional change from right tackle to left tackle that did not go real well (he was eventually moved back) and then a blown ACL in the Aggies bowl game. Still, he has impressive physical traits including the longest arms in this group insure someone is going to get value and potential when his name is called.
Cowboys 2015 Draft Profile: RB T.J. Yeldon - Joey Ickes, CowboysHQ
Our boy Ickes profiles the former Crimson Tide runner, arriving at the following conclusion:
There are obvious connections between the Cowboys and the Crimson Tide, and despite questions about the recent performances of former Alabama players in the NFL, TJ Yeldon should be a solid NFL running back. He is probably a second to third round player on most team’s boards, and will likely be in serious consideration at pick number 60 should the Cowboys take a corner or some other position in round one. He would likely be the lead back in a committee, where he saw between 15-18 carries per game, and would likely be a 1,000 yard runner as a rookie.
Possible Pick: Randall Arguably The Draft’s Best Coverage Safety - Rob Phillips, The Mothership
Today’s featured draft profile over at the Mothership is Arizona State safety Damarious Randall. Rob Phillips offers the following on the former Sun Devil:
How He Helps the Cowboys: Seems like every year we’re discussing the last time the Cowboys had a versatile free safety who could move into the slot to cover tight ends and receivers. You know, Darren Woodson – a fellow Sun Devil alumnus and the club’s all-time leading tackler. Randall doesn’t have Woody’s complete skill set – he’s smallish for a safety and doesn’t tackle consistently well – but he has good recognition and ball skills in coverage. J.J. Wilcox has shown progress at free safety the last two years, and it’s certainly possible the Cowboys stay committed to his development as an every-week starter.
Dallas Cowboys draft breakdown: LB Shaq Thompson - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer's draft series continues with a peek at the Washington linebacker. A nugget:
He was good but there were times my eyes left him and found more active players. In the three games I watched there were times he was cautious in his reads, like he was unsure if he should trust what he was seeing. Oregon’s offense will do that to a lot of people so I don’t want to ding him for that. In coverage, he does a good job with his eyes of knowing where his responsibilities are and what the quarterback is doing. Only once did I see him lose his spot when he pulled off his guy to go after Marcus Mariota.
And a couple of cool draft tools, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News:
2015 NFL Draft Prospects Numbers Comparison - DMN
Blatantly plagiarizing the spiderweb-graph made popular by Mockdraftable.com, the Dallas Morning News offers a set of player comparisons at each of the draft's positions. Want to know how Clive Warford stacks up against Maxx WIlliams? Click on his picture and get all the details...
You be the GM: 2015 Cowboys Drafter - DMN
The DMN also offers a cool interactive draft tool that allows readers to "take your seat in the Cowboys' war room" and make Dallas' picks in the first three rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft. Check it out!
Cowboys complete pre-draft visits by hosting WR Dorial Green-Beckham - David Moore, DMN
Troubled Missouri wideout Dorial Green-Beckham was at the Cowboys complex on Wednesday to meet with coaches and scouts. He presents a really interesting possibility at #27 - and I wonder if he might just turn out to be the only guy with a first round grade on their board at that point in the draft.