This offseason hasn't disappointed in the headlines department, of course when you are speaking about the Dallas Cowboys everyone has something to say. We still have many more months before training camp but that doesn't stop the mind from wondering. Here are five thoughts about the Cowboys so far this offseason.
RoMac Is Home
I personally believe that Rolando McClain was single-handedly the most important player to retain in the offseason, next to Doug Free and Dez Bryant. Rolando graded out an impressive +16.2, which included two picks, one sack, 77 tackles, 13 assists and 48 negative plays created. It's safe to say that he made his presence felt on gamedays. Sure, he had his moments leaving us wanting more, but McClain finished the season as the eighth rated inside linebacker according to PFF. By retaining his services, the Cowboys may be well on their way to allowing Sean Lee to move to the weak-side. It's been something to salivate over since McClain first came to Dallas. We have all been waiting to see these two play together. In 2015, we should finally get that chance. Dallas' best linebacking performances came out of the nickel in games against the New York Giants and especially the Seattle Seahawks. I fully expect this to be a package that the Cowboys will find major success in again this season. No offense to Jasper Brinkley, who is a great insurance policy, but none of this would fully be possible without Rolando McClain back in the fold. I'll move on from this point with the help of Lindsay Cash:
Walking by the locker room at Valley Ranch, see Rolando McClain high-fiving teammates, saying "ready to go", seems VERY excited to be here— Lindsay Cash (@LindsayCash15) April 2, 2015
Last thing McClain said before walking out the back door: "We're taking over the world this year." #Cowboys— Lindsay Cash (@LindsayCash15) April 2, 2015
Who's On First?
We are a mere three weeks away from the 2015 NFL Draft, can you feel the excitement? The Cowboys have done such a nice job at filling out their roster that I have a hard time really deciding; what's the most important position at 27? Is it cornerback? Defensive tackle? Running back? Now, Bryan Broaddus has felt all along that a really good cornerback will likely be available at 27, but I just can't figure it out. I've taken a different position in each of my mocks and have a few more to do. The options are endless and when it's all said and done, the Cowboys could wind up trading the pick and throwing in another change-up. I think if we follow my colleague O.C.C's pre-draft visitor log we get something a little different. It's filled with corners, runners, and linebackers, Oh my! I want to take a defender in the first round, with that said cornerback may be the pick, but I can't fault Dallas if an impressive linebacker is waiting to be plucked. Of course the beauty of it is that yours truly will be in Chicago on draft day to revel in the extravaganza.
Two Forgotten Red-Shirts
We get so caught up in what's new that we sometimes forget what may already be waiting to shine. Both Ben Gardner and Chris Whaley have been on my mind as of late. These will be two guys that could have a serious impact on the Cowboys draft plans. Both of these players spent their first year rehabbing and are certainly going to be ready to go come OTA's and training camp. In essence, it's almost as the Cowboys may be looking at these two as extra picks for 2015. Both were extremely effective in college but got bit by the injury bug. After rehabbing all year, we can only wait and see, but that doesn't stop me from getting you excited:
As fans we have kind of been given the runaround on this matter. At first we were told it would be a minimum six games, then four games. Bryan Broaddus said he was worried it would be closer to eight games, which would be a bit alarming for him to miss half of the season on a one-year deal. Now we're hearing that anything over a two-game suspension will be met with an appeal. As Mickey Spagnola has said many times, the NFL must be careful about how they approach this. Both Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson won their appeals. With matters such as these, the NFL must be cautious to not put themselves above the law, if they do then they run the risk of looking foolish. A suspension is certainly warranted, I just don't know what it's going to mean for both the Cowboys and the NFL.
Sudden Notion Cowboys Are Weakened
Without even giving any of these guys credit in my post, I have to laugh at the talk about the Dallas Cowboys suddenly not be favored in the NFC East. First of all, other than replacing Murray, the core of this team has remained the same. The best offensive line in football belongs to Dallas. The best quarterback in the division wears a star, the best receiver wears a star, the best tight end wears a star, the best pass rusher (despite feelings) wears a star; tell me what I'm missing here? These "guys" forget that one running back does not make or break a team. So we're supposed to buy that Jay Gruden and RGIII have worked it out, that Sam Bradford, Miles Austin, and DeMarco Murray are now ready to take the NFL by storm instead of by training room, and Eli Manning and the Giants are now west-coast kings? As my Italian buddy Rich D'Alfonso would say "GET OUTTA HERE." Let's wait until post-draft for any anointing oils..