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Cowboys News: Can Dallas Get Back To First, Who Makes Biggest Impact On D?

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Also, if you were building the perfect offense for the next five years in the NFL, would there be any Cowboys on it?

Is Marinelli on a hot seat this year?
Is Marinelli on a hot seat this year?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

First To Last & Back Again - Joe Messineo, Cowboys Nation

Of course the hope for Dallas Cowboys fans is that 2016 is going to be a lot more like 2014 than 2015. This article points out some reasons to have hope, including one based on how large a part pure chance plays in the very short NFL season.

Dallas should be much better just because of dumb luck to begin with. Luck falls both directions, and if any team had it's share of bad luck last year it's the Dallas Cowboys. Romo has to be healthier this season than he was in 2015. That alone will add a number of wins to the team's ledger. The same goes for Bryant, and that healthy pair will do wonders for the likes of rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot, as will the best offensive line in the league.

20 Questions: Which Defensive Newcomer Will Make The Biggest Impact? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys

In the ongoing series of questions about the Cowboys, the writers at the mothership come up with different candidates for who will bring the most help to a defense that clearly needs it. Bryan Broaddus comes up with a name that would be very good to have step up.

I honestly didn't have to give this much thought -€” Benson Mayowa will be the defensive newcomer that will make the biggest impact. The scouts knew what they were doing when they went after him. He is going to surprise a lot of fans in the way he plays this season.

Cowboys Defensive Film Study Summer Project, Part 3 - Bob Sturm, Bob's Blog

Bob Sturm is involved in a project looking at the defense in all 16 games from last year. Each part, when finished, will cover four games, and includes notes on the on-field performance and some stats on coverages used. This note from game 12 against Washington has something that perhaps may foreshadow a somewhat altered approach to things by Rod Marinelli as the D tries to hold up its end of things.

The most interesting attributes in this game were the constant blitzes of Barry Church and trying to get him more proactive in the game. He sometimes appears a decoration on the defense with no perceivable impact in some weeks, but when they deploy him to attack, he seems better for it. He blitzed about 6 times and came up with some splash plays on three occasions.

Cowboys Defensive Film Study Summer Project, Part 4 - Bob Sturm, Bob's Blog

This review of the Green Bay Packers contest is only the first of four games for the last installment of his study, but this excerpt really sums up some of the problems the Cowboys faced last year - that hopefully will be different this time around.

It didn't help that by December, Sean Lee and Rolando McClain looked beat up and physically worn down from the long year of ground and pound.  Meanwhile, Claiborne left he game again injured, which took Byron Jones from FS back to corner, and Wilcox or Jeff Heath played deep in the 2nd half.  Time of possession was 38-22, GB, and the Cowboys just looked beaten up by their own offense's incompetence.

Recent Study says New England Patriots beat out Dallas Cowboys for NFL's best fans - Jacob Bartelson, Pro Football Weekly

Nobody can say Cowboys fans are just front runners after the past twenty years. It is impressive that, even with so little playoff success over that time, Dallas fan base is only edged out by that of the Patriots (which could certainly be argued has a certain aspect of the bandwagon about it). It is somewhat surprising to see what made the difference in this particular rating.

"The Patriots have about 2.4 million Twitter followers compared to 1.7 for the Cowboys. Of course this is all relative — a team like the Jaguars has just 340 thousand followers," Lewis continued.

Are you following @dallascowboys? If not, this is obviously all your fault.

20 Questions: Which Cowboys Coach Is Under The Most Pressure In 2016? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys

We get a double dip of the 20 questions series today. The real answer to this might be "all of them", but each writer singles out one in particular, including Rob Phillips.

Beyond the head coach here in Dallas, I'd say Rod Marinelli has the most challenging job in 2016. The veteran defensive coordinator already knows he's without three starting-caliber players to start regular season. That leaves little wiggle room for injuries in training camp and preseason

Building the ideal NFL offense for the next five years - Doug Farrar, SI.com

This is an interesting take on things, since it seeks to come up with a roster not for one season, but that would still be dominant in 2020. It is a good sign that three of the names are from the Cowboys' offensive line, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and that draft pick everyone laughed at, Travis Frederick.

Frederick is still learning the nuances of pass-protection, but there is no better run-blocking center in the league. He's a pure zone mauler who has no issue getting to the second level and dealing with linebackers and safeties. It looks to be a safe bet that the 25-year-old, who has never missed an NFL game, will be performing at a very high level for a long time to come.

Sho’Nuff: Who’s the best Dallas Cowboys player, right now? - KD Drummond, Cowboys Wire

This ranking certainly agrees with the preceding article, putting those three players in the top five of the entire roster. And you probably can guess who comes in at number 1.

It's time we stop pretending there's someone on this roster better at their job than Tyron Smith is. One of, if not the best left tackle in the league. Smith's bad games are so rare, when he has them he gets guys like Olivier Vernon $85 million contracts on pure speculation.

NFL Future Power Rankings takeaways: Rams, Colts, Cowboys in trouble - Kevin Seifert, ESPN

And this just illustrates how all these ratings are just writers giving opinions. If the Cowboys provide the biggest contingent for Sports Illustrated's idea for the best roster for the next five years, how can the team be in such a bad position for the next three, as ESPN thinks? This one focuses on the age of Tony Romo.

The biggest issue is Romo's age (36) and durability combined with the utter lack of a succession plan. The Future Power Rankings project counts on highly productive quarterback play from other aging stars, but it's difficult to expect that for Romo. And in this case, conventional wisdom should be challenged.

Of particular note is that no mention is made of the team trying to get both Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook before landing Dak Prescott. They may not have done as well as they wanted, but it looks like there was a plan in place.

Sources: 49ers To Play Rams In Regular-Season Game In China - Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal

This is not official, but the desire of the NFL to break into the Asian market is well known. This game may happen as soon as 2018, and you can expect the league to try and get their flagship franchise over there soon after. (If you don't know who that flagship team is, go sit in a corner.)

Watching football takes more of an emotional and physical toll on fans than one would think - Nathan Beaucage, Baltimore Beatdown

Have you ever felt really drained after watching a close game? Do you think that football may mean a bit too much to you? Well, it turns out that you are hardly alone. Watching games can have a variety of bad effects, including this.

Emotional games and close scores can not only break fans' hearts, but also cause heart failure.

So try to remember: This is supposed to be fun.

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