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Cowboys News: Who Will Contribute, Who Is Under Pressure, And Who Is Standing Beside Their Teammates?

A look at the important news about the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL in general, starting with a trio of posts from the mothership about players with high expectations for 2015.

It may be a tense meeting between Robert Kraft and, well, everybody.
It may be a tense meeting between Robert Kraft and, well, everybody.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Point: La’el Collins Has The Potential To Match Martin’s Rookie Season Success | Dallas Cowboys

As a guard, La'el Collins may seem like an odd choice for the rookie most likely to have the biggest impact for the Cowboys this year. Except, of course, for what happened last year with one Zack Martin. This observation brings a little perspective to the thought. Perspective that kind of makes your mouth water.

As publicized as the tackle positions are - and rightly so, for the record - how huge would it be to have three first-round talents forming the bulk of Tony Romo's pocket for the foreseeable future? It's been widely discussed that Romo handles pressure coming from the edge much better than right in front of him. On top of that, he's on the shorter side of starting NFL quarterbacks, and having three maulers directly in front of him should help his line of sight.

Counterpoint: Pass-Rusher Gregory Will Deliver Biggest Immediate Impact | Dallas Cowboys

Randy Gregory is probably the more obvious choice for the most impact, given the need to upgrade the pass rush. And this lays out a way he can become a big presence on the field, even if he is just a role player to begin the season. You might also drool a little over this.

His role will probably be as a third-down nickel rusher for now. And I think that will make him even more dangerous. You get a fresh, rambunctious, hungry rookie eager to get to the quarterback on third-and-long, and I think good things will happen for the Cowboys.

Gut Feeling: Who’s Coping With The Most Pressure Entering The 2015 Season? | Dallas Cowboys

This looks at the veteran players, and it excluded Tony Romo from consideration because the quarterback on an NFL team pretty much automatically is seen as having the most pressure on him. The writers came up with several answers, and since I'm doing this post, I'll give you the one I like the best.

David Helman: There's a wide variety of acceptable answers to this question, but I keep coming back to one guy who's going to be facing the weight of high scrutiny and high expectations in 2015 - Sean Lee. For roughly a year now, Lee's presence has loomed over the Dallas defense due to the simple fact that he hasn't been there.

Moore: The story behind Cowboys rookie Randy Gregory's marijuana use, personality | Dallas Morning News

This is a long piece, and you have to read it all to get the entire picture. But one thing jumps out: The conclusion that Randy Gregory is just a knuckleheaded future bust simply does not add up. It begins with the difficult time Gregory had as the last invitee to the NFL Draft left in the green room.

The next evening, long after every other prospect and family are gone from the green room, the Cowboys use the 60th pick of the draft on a player who ranks fourth on their board. Randy kisses his mother. His eyes lock with his father's, and they embrace.

No words are spoken.

"That was a life-altering moment for all of us,'' Kenneth Gregory recalls. "It was powerful.

"There is a greater story to be told than Randy failed a drug test.''

Growing Optimism Toward Contract Resolution With CB Scandrick | Dallas Cowboys

It looks like the brief holdout by Orlando Scandrick, now ended with his attendance in the offseason program, will work to get him some more money.

"Of course we stand strong about what a good player he is, how much we need him, how much he helps us and would like to get something satisfactorily worked out with him," Jones said last week. "Hopefully we can get something worked out that can be in the best interest of the Cowboys and also accommodate what he needs to do."

Report: Despite contract limbo, Dez Bryant still working with Cowboys | | Dallas Morning News

Just like with the Scandrick situation, the media has been trying to make a big story about issues between the team and Dez Bryant over his contract. And just like with Scandrick, things just look more and more like it's really just business, and the players have no intention of not being there when the season starts. Bryant has also been showing up at Valley Ranch lately.

According to, Bryant has met with team owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett during those visits and plans to continue participating in the team's strength and conditioning program.

"I wanted to be here for my teammates," Bryant told the team's official website. "... In the past two years that locker room has changed. There is something special in there."

Ryan Williams knows Morris Claiborne's difficult road - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

A lot of fans have given up on the oft-injured Morris Claiborne, but he has not been abandoned by his teammates, who still have high hopes for him to come back. And Ryan Williams understands exactly what he is going through after tearing his patella tendon, since that he had the same injury when he played for the Arizona Cardinals.

"There's no easy way to walk anybody through that process," Williams said. "When I found out he had that injury I just pulled him to the side and let him know that it wasn't going to be easy to come back from, it was going to be tough. It was probably going to be one of the toughest things he's ever been through, especially being a cornerback because when you tear your patellar tendon your quad muscle is basically gone, and when you back pedal, you walk backwards, the muscle that helps you the most is your quad."

Carr Open To Mentoring "Sponge" First-Round CB Byron Jones | Dallas Cowboys

Brandon Carr is another player that fans have been down on for a while. And rookie Byron Jones may eventually take his spot on the roster - but he is not treating it like that bothers him at all.

"I'm all about mentoring guys," Carr said recently. "I'm all about competition and guys getting better each and every day. He's a young guy, he has a lot to learn. I feel like I can add some teaching lessons to him as well."

Jean-Jacques Taylor: Will Joseph Randle be the answer for Cowboys?

For a while, JJT was sounding entirely too positive about the Cowboys, but he is back to his accustomed form with a detailed discussion of why the team is kidding itself about the running back position and this bit of really, really insightful analysis.

That's why there's feeling around the club's Valley Ranch training complex that if they get to training camp and none of the team's runners distinguish themselves, it wouldn't surprising for the Cowboys to make a move.


There are also some big NFL stories outside Dallas. In case you haven't noticed.

NFL to weigh new PAT procedures at owners' meeting -

The new rules will be discussed in what may be a somewhat tense meeting. Because it will be the first one with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft attending since that little thing about the low air pressure in some footballs came up. And Kraft is not happy.

Robert Kraft, Patriots owner, angry about NFL's Deflategate penalties | The MMQB with Peter King

Kraft is not backing down from his insistence that he and his team has done nothing wrong.

"If they want to penalize us because there's an aroma around this? That's what this feels like. If you don't have the so-called smoking gun, it really is frustrating. And they don't have it. This thing never should have risen to this level."

Blank says Patriots failure to admit mistakes hurt in deflategate | Atlanta Falcons blog

Kraft was for years seen as one of the wise old heads of the league. That is now imperiled by his adamant and combative stance. Falcons owner Arthur Blank, one who may take that elder statesman role Kraft is losing, thinks that the situation was mishandled by the Patriots from the get-go. When the Falcons got caught pumping in crowd noise to the Georgia Dome, they went a different route than the Pats did.

Blank and Kraft took different approaches when faced with allegations.

Blank admitted to the mistakes early after they were discovered in late November. The NFL said the Falcons cooperated fully in the investigation.

The Patriots and Brady were not fully cooperative, according to the league's appointed investigator, Ted Wells. Their lack of cooperation likely led to stiffer penalties.

NFL leaks disagreement with Patriots on circumstances for re-interviewing witnesses | ProFootballTalk

The whole situation about the deflated footballs is degenerating into something very like a family argument, which it actually is. Kraft and the Patriots are members of the very league they are fighting, which raises some strange questions about just what they can do. And the more that comes out, the worse both sides look.

Even if Wells and company somehow missed the documents (which is embarrassing in and of itself), they easily could have done a text search for any words or partial words of interest (like "deflat-") to pull up any overlooked documents. Regardless, the failure to spot those critical text messages before the first official interview with McNally would be regarded by many lawyers as malpractice.

Eddie DeBartolo will present Charles Haley at Pro Football HOF - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Jerry Jones really went to bat for Haley in pushing for him to be admitted to Canton, but it looks like Haley is sticking with the guy that brought him into the league.

San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos gives sons John and AG day-to-day operations

I bring this up just as a matter of general interest. Not that it might be a good model for anything that might conceivably happen in the future in another NFL franchise. Like Dallas. Nope. Never crossed my mind.

Believing that the time is right for change, San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos is permanently relinquishing day-to-day operations of the team to his sons John and AG, has learned.

Going forward, John, 35, will be president of football operations and AG, 36, will be president of business operations. Each son will have final say over his respective side of the company -- whether it's the hiring and firing of head coaches and general managers or the negotiation of sponsorship deals and setting of ticket prices.

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