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Cowboys News: Why Most Hotly Contested Camp Battle May Be For A No. 2 Spot

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Alfred Morris Should Be Cowboys' No 2 Running Back - John Owning, Today's Pigskin
Owning writes that the training camp and preseason roster battle between Morris and Darren McFadden for the No. 2 running back spot behind Ezekiel Elliott may be the most hotly contested battle of camp.

It wasn’t easy for the Cowboys to get McFadden going. They had to switch their running scheme from mostly zone concepts to power concepts in an attempt to compensate for his lack of vision, patience and lower-body flexibility to make the cut desired in a zone scheme. This is evidenced by the fact that he averaged 3.65 yards per carry on zone runs but 7.53 yards per carry on power runs per The Dallas Morning News’ Bob Sturm.

Morris, on the other hand, is almost the complete opposite. He is a fantastic zone runner who exhibits patience while making the correct reads to go along with the ability to make the required cuts. However, Morris isn’t a reliable receiver out of the backfield, and his ability in pass protection can be inconsistent. Morris’ production has declined every year he has been in the league. While some of that can be attributed to Washington’s switch from zone to power concepts last year, it is still a bit troubling.

All in all, Morris looks to be the front-runner for the No. 2 running back job. It is possible that he develops into a better receiver and pass protector at this stage in his career; however, it isn’t possible for McFadden to all of a sudden become a great zone runner. Morris is a much better complement to Elliott, and the offense will run smoother with those two than with McFadden.

NFL Injuries to Watch Heading into 2016 Training Camps - Kristopher Knox , Bleacher Report
If you thought this was going to be yet another post about Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, or Jaylon Smith, you're in for a surprise.

Dallas Cowboys fans probably aren't too concerned about the broken elbow suffered by 2015 starter Darren McFadden. The Cowboys drafted Ohio State produce Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of this year's draft and added veteran running back Alfred Morris in the offseason.

However, McFadden's injury could very well affect how the team itself prepares for the coming season. McFadden required surgery to repair the elbow and could realistically miss the season opener.

Even if McFadden is ready for the season opener, missed time in training camp could cost him the backup job. Elliott is expected to take the starting job, and a healthy Morris probably slides into the backup role.

If McFadden wants to avoid going from Dallas starter to No. 3 back in a single offseason, he'll need to get on the field in training camp and in the preseason.

Most underrated player on all 32 NFL teams - Vincent Verhei, ESPN
Vincent Verhei of Football Outsiders fame pinpoints the most underrated player on each NFL roster, and for the Cowboys it's Demarcus Lawrence.

It's a shame Lawrence will be suspended to start the season, because the former second-rounder took a noticeable step forward in his second season, leading the Cowboys with 7.5 sacks. When he does come back, Lawrence will probably be one of the few reliable sources of pressure on the Dallas defense.

20 Questions: Do Cowboys Go Heavy At Wide Receiver or Running Back? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys writers take a stab at this question, and Nick Eatman sums up the prevailing sentiment nicely.

I’m going to say neither. And the real reason why is having to go long at quarterback and perhaps tight end, depending on the status of Escobar. But back to the question, I really don’t see them going heavy at running back. Something will work itself out one way or another but I don’t see the Cowboys keeping four tailbacks and a fullback. If they keep four backs to start the year, it means they never got a trade for Morris and/or McFadden and Darius Jackson was too good to let go. But it’ll mean they don’t keep a fullback and use an extra tight end. They won’t keep more than five receivers so that’s not the answer. I don’t see them going long at receiver or running back. That’ll have to occur at quarterback, defensive end and maybe linebacker.

Redskins Rookie Enemies: Charles Tapper - Bryan Frantz, Hogs Haven
Hogs Haven continues its look at rookies the Redskins will encounter this season, and today it's Tapper's turn.

Tapper can hurt the Redskins simply by playing. The Redskins and Cowboys don't meet for the first time until Sept. 18, Week 2, but at least three relevant defenders are already out for the game due to suspensions: Rolando McClain (10 games), DeMarcus Lawrence (4 games) and Randy Gregory (4 games). Even if Dallas wasn't facing so many absences, Tapper could be a factor because the surrounding defense is nothing to write home about.

Jerry Jones at summit of NFL's power players - Wally Hall, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Hall walks us through Jones' accomplishments as a Cowboys owner, and includes a promise of better times on the field.

Jones paid $140 million for the Cowboys in 1989. A few months ago, Forbes magazine valued the franchise at $4 billion, surpassing longtime most valuable franchise Real Madrid, the successful soccer team.

One of the first things Jones did when he bought the Cowboys was start selling signage around Cowboys Stadium, something no other NFL team had done. He added suites before any other NFL franchise had put a pencil to the additional revenue that came from corporate America, which wanted to entertain clients in private at football games. Jones also took a shot when he worked to bring a fledgling network, Fox, into the NFL. All 32 teams have benefited from Jones spearheading the charge to rethink television rights.

Everything Jones has done improved the value of the NFL and all of its members.

[...] Cowboys fans know it has been more than 20 years without a Super Bowl for their team. They would like to win more games, and so would Jones, and he will.

The Best/Worst QB Depth Charts in the NFL - Geoff Magliocchetti, Sportsgrid
This article points out that while teams like the Cowboys disintegrated when their starting QB went down, others like the Bengals did not, and goes on to look at the best and worst QB depth charts in the league. The Cowboys, along with the Seahawks and Jets, rank among the worst.

Grow up. It’s time to admit that Tony Romo, indeed, is a very very good quarterback. However, even the staunchest Romo apologist will admit to you that their heart skips a beat every time he’s on the ground for more than 3 seconds. The Cowboys rise and fall as Romo does, evidenced by their 3-1 record with him last year, contrasting the 1-11 record they suffered when Romo missed time due to two separate injuries.

After the Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel stopgaps failed, the Cowboys turned to college football hero from Boise State, Kellen Moore. The winningest quarterback in college football history showed ever so brief flashes of brilliance, but nothing to assure he’s a long term solution in case Romo goes down again.

The Cowboys also didn’t bother to trade up in the Draft to take a potential backup, and the aforementioned Raiders took advantage, trading up to swipe away Connor Cook, three picks before Dallas’s 4th round selection. The Cowboys did bring in rookie Dak Prescott, but will his style of offense translate to the NFL?


Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams uses Twitter to initiate a social media frenzy with Cowboys fans - Jeff Hartman, Behind the Steel Curtain
DeAngelo Williams had a Twitter exchange with Alfred Morris a week ago, in which he remarked that while the Cowboys O-line was good, the Cowboys were short handed on defense. Some Cowboys fans answered, but the whole thing was nothing more than a microsecond blip in the Cowboys social media universe. In Pittsburgh, that blip apparently equals a "social media frenzy".

LOOK: CFL receiver accidentally makes 'insane' no-look TD catch -
This is a pretty crazy touchdown "catch."


ESPN Can't Stop Bleeding Subscribers - The Motley Fool
ESPN lost about 3 million subscribers this year, and about 10 million over the last three years. ESPN had about 99 million subscribers at the end of 2013. At the end of 2015 they were down to 92 million, and the latest estimate has them at 89 million.

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