Bill Barnwell ranks NFL offensive triplets all 32 teams - Bill Barnwell, ESPN
Barnwell ranks all 32 teams' set of offensive triplets, with the Steelers and Patriots earning top honors, but the Cowboys are not far behind.
6. Dallas Cowboys
QB Tony Romo, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Dez Bryant
Here's the difference between basing expectations on players staying healthy and players suffering a typical amount of injury. We have no idea about Elliott's propensity for injury heading into the pros, but we know that Romo's style of play and history suggests that he's going to struggle to stay healthy. Even if Romo's offseason collarbone surgery does prevent the longtime Dallas starter from suffering another fractured clavicle, Romo's style, advancing age and repeated back issues suggest that he's still likely to miss time, even if it's not the vast majority of the season. And while the Cowboys are hopeful that Bryant will recover from a fractured foot that ruined his 2015 campaign, those sorts of injuries have a way of recurring. If everyone stays healthy, this could be one of the three best triplet combinations in football, and comfortably the best the Cowboys have had since that famous Aikman-Smith-Irvin combo from the 1990s. That's just a big ask.
Sunday Morning Must Reads
Tony Romo says he feels great, but knows 'you can't disregard history' - Eric Prisbell, USA Today
Romo has not sat out a practice so far this offseason, but that may not carry over to camp and to the regular season.
Romo said he and the team will discuss in camp what schedule he should be on in 2016, whether he should continue to take Wednesdays off from practice. He said it will be based on the feeling of throwing each day. He feels good now, he feels strong.
"At the same time, you can't disregard history," he said.
Tomlinson Believes Ezekiel Elliot Will Be Special - David Watkins, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Ladainian Tomlinson speaks very highly of Cowboys first round running back Ezekiel Elliott.
""LT" believes the Cowboys have something special in Elliott. He's a 3-down back who doesn't need to leave the field unless he needs a break, much like Tomlinson back in his prime."
Michael Irvin has no doubt Cowboys' Dez Bryant will be himself again - Todd Archer, ESPN
Michael Irvin believes Dez Bryant is back on track and that "something can happen here" this season for the Cowboys. "No doubt," Irvin said when asked if Bryant could return to prominence.
"Last year was a great experience. Not on output and everything but on levels of understanding what it takes and all of that. And Dez will tell you that himself. And not just from Dez's perspective, but from also the feeling and the atmosphere going into the season is important and now everybody, I believe, is back on track of feeling like, 'Boy, something can happen here. Something can happen here.' Going into last season with all of the situations going on in the offseason, that wasn't the feeling."
Irvin said the difference between Bryant in 2016 and the receiver that led the NFL with 16 touchdown catches in 2014 will be mentality.
"He has to make sure he's feeling good about himself," Irvin said. "He has his quarterback back there. He'll be fine. I know he's looking for a great year with all those things going into the season. [Mentality] will be the difference. Knowing it's structurally good, he'll be good. Knowing it's strong enough to do certain things, you'll be good. Getting yourself to say you're free to do all those things is the key. You've got to feel that."
Can You Name The Cowboys Starting Four Defensive Linemen? - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
Nobody knows today who the four DL starters for the Cowboys will be, but Danny ventures a guess. And while he thinks he has a good feel for the first three spots, the fourth is a complete mystery, though he does suggest David Irving could be the guy.
When your defensive line group finally breaks the seal on showing the world that they have talent, there is always one player that nobody has heard of that breaks out. Irving can be that player. The 22-year old has great athleticism and showed up on tape several times last season. Despite playing inside at defensive tackle, he's got the speed to play on the edge. The Cowboys have nice depth at DT now and Irving is too talented to be buried on the depth chart.
He'll have plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills on the edge with the team being suspect at defensive end. He shows great thrust and can attack the run well, which makes him a good candidate for being a two-down player, but don't sleep on his pass rushing skills. Despite playing only 205 snaps last year, he still managed to have 16 quarterback hurries. Irving gave us all a glimpse of his talent last year, but look for him to break out on the scene this season.
And here's some "tape" on Irving from last year.
Podcast: Looking At The Big Picture – Footbology
BTB's own Landon McCool joines BTB favorite Marcus Mosher in this episode of the Footbology Podcast in which they discuss some big picture topics in Big D, including whether Tony Romo can lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl, whether Jason Witten is slowing down the Cowboys’ offense and more.
What do players do between now and camp? - Todd Archer, ESPN
In his regular Twitter mailbag, Archer explains what the players will do the next six weeks.
A lot of them take some vacation time, but it’s hard to say they take any "time off." They might take a week but they will continue to work out. Players will still work out at Valley Ranch if they remain in town. Those who return home will find a gym there. The injured players will continue to go through some rehab. The rookies also remain and will have their workouts. The on-field work with coaches is over, but players will be around and do some on their own. Per league rules, players can’t be at the facility 10 days prior to the start of training camp, so that’s when Valley Ranch will truly go dark.
Exploring Benefits Of New Sports Med Complex To Be Located At The Star - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Helman explains how the new medical facility at The Star in Frisco will put the Cowboys at the cutting edge of the NFL.
Joining the 91-acre, mixed-use development will be a first-of-its-kind sports medicine facility, to be named Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star.
"Baylor Scott & White, in my mind, are the premier – not only in health care but in prevention future – that we have in Texas, and one of the tops in the nation," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Wednesday.
The new medical facility will focus on injury prevention, research and wellness for athletes of all levels, and it will include an ambulatory surgery center, diagnostic imaging, a sports performance program, an urgent care center, outpatient rehabilitation, a pharmacy and more, provided by Baylor Scott & White Health and its affiliates.
In addition to helping advance the impact of sports medicine, the partnership also puts the Cowboys in position for unique opportunities in the future. The presence of a medical facility on the Cowboys’ campus puts them in position to possibly host the NFL Combine at some point in the future – as mentioned earlier this week.
It all adds up to just another way the Cowboys are positioning themselves at the forefront of the sports landscape.
Possibility the Cowboys land the Draft or Combine? - Staff, SportsDay
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, who hasn't been arrested yet, joined KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan to about the possibility of the Cowboys landing an NFL Offseason event at some point.
I think that the draft is more immediate because there is a five-year deal for the scouting combine to stay in Indy. There's nothing like the looming approval of a new stadium in L.A., which openly aspires to host the scouting combine, to help the NFL get whatever great deal the NFL got to stay in Indianapolis for five years with the scouting combine. ... I think the NFL is realizing that these tent pole events in the offseason can be treated the same way the Super Bowl is treated. Not to the same degree. Not to the hundreds of millions of dollars degree. But you can leverage one city against the other and get the best possible deal.
NFL coach: Going for two every time makes sense, but I'm 'scared to do it' - John Breech, CBSSports.com
Breech wonders why more NFL teams aren't going for two-point conversions, even though the math is very clear about going for two.
During an interview with WDAE-AM in Tampa Bay this week, Koetter basically admitted that going for two is the right play.
"We've studied it, and mathematically, it does make sense," Koetter said, via JoeBucsFan.com.
Although Koetter loves the math behind the idea of going for two every time, he's not going to do it.
"Say we go out there that first game, and we score three touchdowns and we don't make any two pointers and we lose 21-18," Koetter said. "Who's going to get killed? You're going to be on [the radio] and you're going to be dog-cussin' me the whole time."
Don't get all the focus on this. There are much better analytic hills to die on (like punting less often). https://t.co/wh4ke6x2l9— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) June 18, 2016