Archer's OTA observations: a day late but never a dollar short. Here are a couple worth sharing:
Corey White was taking the dime package snaps with the first-team defense after that role went to rookie Byron Jones last week.
-The Cowboys have the makings of a versatile defensive line. With DeMarcus Lawrence not practicing, Jeremy Mincey lined up at defensive end in the nickel package with Randy Gregory. Greg Hardy and Tyron Crawford took over the tackle spots in the pass-rushing situations.
The Broad One reviews his notes from the OTA sessions, taking a longer look at some guys who might not be garnering a lot of OTA headlines. Here's some of what he's thinking about a guy Archer mentioned, Corey White:
My scouting report on White was that he was a much better slot player than he was on the outside, but I don’t believe I have given him enough credit for how he has played on the outside in these practices. What I have also noticed about White's game is that he can line up as a true free safety or walk down in the box and play like a linebacker in coverage.
He has been competitive in every job the coaches have asked him to do. White has shown me that he is not afraid of the matchups he gets.
The Cowboys have completed signing their 2015 draft class, as Byron Jones inked his rookie contract on Thursday afternoon. An added bonus: as a first-round pick, Jones’ four-year deal comes with a team option for a fifth season.
Archer weighs in on the Williams-needs-to-play-hard-every-play story. Number 83 is stepping up:
With Dez Bryant not taking part in the offseason program, Williams has become the leader in the room. He is the first receiver in the pat-and-go line. He is the first receiver in line for the individual drills. In the workouts earlier in the spring, he was the one leading the group.
Cowboys Terrance Williams Owns Up To His Own Inconsistent Play - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Our fearless leader checks in with his take on this story
A big day from the Sturminator:
A recap of a Bob Sturm Q&A with Dallas Morning News Readers. Here's the question that generated the title:
Question: I know you’ve been breaking down some tape on McFadden. The knock on him has always been that he’s a good straight line runner with some explosiveness but that he’s very stiff and can’t make people miss. Does that concur with what you’ve seen from him in the games you’ve studied?
Sturm: My biggest concern with McFadden these days is that it looks like he has lost his decisiveness. He seems to not go anywhere particularly fast at the moment he gets the ball. This offense needs a RB shot out of a cannon and I fear that he has been ruined by his difficulties in Oakland. That piece will be out soon.
Another article derived from Sturm's chat features a question about Rolando McClain:
Question: Do you think Rolando McClain just doesn’t like practicing football? He seems to avoid it any way he can. I’m wondering how the coaches feel about him especially as he kind of hung out there in free agency for a while.
Sturm: It was suggested to me last year at training camp by a member of the front office that practicing might not be his favorite thing. And trust these guys, it isn’t easy to saddle up every day and do what he does for a living. But, they also said that come game-time, you will like what he brings and they were right. He did show up after barely doing anything in August and exceeded all expectations I had for him and brought a physical force in the middle of the field. It isn’t the best trait in the world to have, but if he can pull it off and if you can get him for a modest investment, I think you have to accept those terms. He is pretty strong on Sundays.
The eagerly anticipated Part III of Sturm's deep examination of every sack allowed by the Cowboys in 2014 moves into November and games 9-12 - versus Arizona, Jacksonville in London, at the Giants, and the Thanksgiving debacle versus Philadelphia - that resulted in sacks 19-25 of the season.
This is a must read; for now, suffice it to say: Ron Leary doesn't come out so well.
Stanton writes that there are only a handful of teams that are actually capable of winning the Super Bowl this season. The Cowboys hold the fifth spot; here's the rationale:
Talent abounds in Big D
The unbelievable offensive line that the Cowboys have assembled is what gives them a chance to go deep in the playoffs. With that group in the trenches, they can compete with any team, on any Sunday, in any location. Yes, they need to replace DeMarco Murray. But there’s little doubt that whoever is the new feature back in Dallas will have plenty of success behind his stellar group of blockers.
And, finally, a troika of pieces on the continuing Joseph Randle-DeMarco Murray business...
Benoit studies film of the Cowboys' offensive line and concludes that DeMarco Murray did indeed leave plenty of meat on the bone - the article includes several images that compare the route Murray should have taken (and the hole that was there for the taking) with the zig-zaggy route he opted for. Here's Benoit's take on Murray:
Murray’s strength is his ability to get square downhill, even off contact. His weakness is in his hips, which are a little stiff, and his feet, which are sometimes too heavy to maintain balance when changing direction. But based on some of the decisions Murray made last season, you wonder if he even knows these things about himself
And here's what he has to say about Randle:
Randle averaged 6.7 yards a carry off the bench in 2014. He can average well over 5.0 getting 20-plus carries a game as a starter as long as he plays with the discipline that Murray sometimes lacked....If he starts "tasting some of the meat"—as Murray put it, in his polite response to his former backup’s comment—Randle too might get hasty and clever....If he runs with [patience and discipline] in 2015, he’ll keep McFadden on the bench and contend for a rushing title.
The mass exodus of veteran Eagles players continues:
By releasing the veteran guard, the Eagles are losing a player with two Pro Bowl appearances, an All-Pro selection and 56 starts over the last four seasons.
The Eagles now are left with two openings on the offensive line. Both guard spots will need to be filled, whether it's from in-house or with a signing or a possible draft pick. Either way, Mathis will be a tough player to replace.
Apparently, Eagles LT Jason Peters hasn't been paying attention:
"[Murray] was the rushing champ last year," Peters said, per Chris McPherson of Eagles.com. "He almost broke the record. For him to come here and not duplicate that, that would discredit us a little bit with the Dallas offensive line. We've got to make sure he gets his yards. That's a big challenge. The Dallas offensive line is good. We're just better. We're going to make sure he gets his yards."
Good luck with that, bro.