Today’s news of course has to include a Tony Romo piece, plus we take a look at how the Cowboys are doing in free agency, and hear from some ex-Cowboys who just left.
Over at SB Nation’s Broncos blog, Mile High Report, they discuss the poker game going on right now where everybody seems to be either obfuscating the truth or outright lying. The Cowboys are still playing the game of trying to trade Romo, while the Broncos have gone from very interested in Romo when they thought he was going to be released, to not really interested in Romo now that a trade is the current option. Mile High Report says don’t buy it, the Broncos will be all over Romo if he is released.
Because Romo is going to be cut and I would bet within the next several days. The Cowboys will incur nearly $20 million in dead money, but they will also get $5 million in cap savings. With just under $10M in cap space right now, it does give them some wiggle room to work with before the draft.
When he does finally get cut, you should prepare for the Broncos to go hard for him. The Broncos free agency moves show they are preserving cap for something and the only $10-14M something left out there is for a certain quarterback who hasn’t yet hit the market.
This Tony Romo saga also shows why we shouldn’t put too much stock into what comes out from the local Denver media when it is clear the Broncos are in need of some posturing in a given situation. Instead, we should be prepared for craziness once the Cowboys finally do the inevitable.
So why can’t the Cowboys get a trade done. Our own DannyPhantom breaks it down in a nice article.
The Romo ordeal is a convoluted situation. It’s an oddity that a rookie QB has the type of season that Dak Prescott has had and that coupled with the financial implications of Romo’s contract drives the decision for the front office. They will continue to hold out as much as they can to look for the best deal for Romo, but if something doesn’t change to make a team more thirsty for his assistance, it shouldn’t be that outlandish that the Cowboys don’t get much in return.
It can be frustrating and we will all hope the Cowboys can gets something for Romo, but it’s a dicey situation. It’s still possible that a new development could boost his trade value, but only time will tell.
Maybe you have noticed some Cowboys fans are losing their minds right now, declaring the season over. It’s pretty comical. Even in a nice article from the DMN that breaks down what each NFC East team is doing in free agency, the headline reads that the Giants could now be the front runners in the division.
[Brandon] Marshall gives Eli Manning what could be the NFL's best receiving trio. With the Cowboys and Eagles so thin at defensive back, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Marshall could make the Giants the NFC East front-runners.
Go ahead and ignore this early prediction as click-bait, but the rest of the article gives a good rundown on the East.
Looking for a more even perspective on the Cowboys so far in free agency? Got you covered.
Cause for concern?
Absolutely not. Dallas has kept its core intact and will have many of the same starters both on offense and defense next season. Signing [Nolan] Carroll protects them in the event that Claiborne and Carr walk, while [Stephen] Paea will be a nice replacement for McClain. With the draft still to come, Dallas has plenty of time to plug its few holes on the roster.
Here is an interesting take on the Cowboys in free agency. The idea is that many of the positions that the Cowboys have lost in free agency are the ones that are most easily replaced.
Not to minimize the 1 technique DT position but Rod Marinelli can find an adequate replacement anywhere.
Ronald Leary was an unsung hero on the Cowboys offensive line but the guard position is regarded as the easiest position to replace on line. It’s essentially the 1-technique of the offensive line.
Barry Church is another significant loss at an extremely replaceable position. The Dallas Cowboys notoriously use their strong safety in the box to stop the run. Without the coverage responsibilities of the free safety (Bryon Jones), the strong safety is often more linebacker than defensive back. Therefore it’s more of a plug-and-play position.
While that is probably minimizing Barry Church’s role, it’s pointing out that his spot is the most easily replaced in the entire secondary. Just like the 1-technique is to the defensive line and the guard is to the offensive line.
For a refresher on why it is silly to panic this early, we go to our own Tom Ryle.
Aaron Rodgers is famous for saying it: R-E-L-A-X. The Cowboys have a plan for the offseason, with backups and fallbacks just in case, and we have seen THREE WHOLE DAYS of what they are going to do. There are almost six months between now and the first real football game of the 2017 season. That is a lot of time to get things figured out and do what needs to be done to fix things. And along the way, be judicious about who you listen to out there. There are a lot of so-called “experts” that will say whatever generates the most attention, and that is doubly true when the topic involves the Cowboys. It is all a process, as someone once said. That means you have to take a little time to consider the whole picture before you reach your final conclusion.
Besides, you are never going to make it to the end of the season if you get that worked up now.
Our own VAfan also had an interesting take yesterday in case you missed it. Could it be that the Cowboys don’t invest big money anymore in pass rushers because they rotate so many players and it wouldn’t be cost efficient?
This does not prove that Dallas won’t ever pony up for an elite pass rusher while Rod Marinelli is the defensive coordinator. But it does suggest his philosophy of rolling eight guys, as Marinelli talked about in 2015, cuts against paying a top defensive lineman the premium they earn in today’s NFL.
Now some takes from former Cowboys. Let’s start with Terrell McClain who end up in Washington.
“I was just worrying about getting signed with a contract and all that being taken care of, but the biggest thing with me was the football part and wanting to be with a team that wants me, was willing to pay for my body of play to come here and make a change. That’s what really drove me here over some of the other teams, but it’s going to be good. It’s going to be good.”
“A lot of people, it’s hard for them to transition from different defensive schemes,” McClain said. “For me, it’s difficult but not too difficult because I’m used to it. It wouldn’t be too long for me to get used to it, but I see it as a challenge. You’ve got to keep challenging yourself. I feel like that’s the only way to get better is to keep challenging and compete. I feel like it’s a challenge, and I’m ready to compete my [tail] off to go and get that starting job and make a difference.”
Jack Crawford in Atlanta.
Q: What was attractive about the Falcons to you?
A: “The philosophy that I played in the past few years under Rod Marinelli with the Cowboys is similar. To me, when I watch Atlanta on tape, I like how they play. The all have high motors and they all just get up the field.”
Q: Do you fit the Falcons’ scheme?
A: “I believe that system is the most fun and how to play defensive line. I’d prefer to try to be disruptive than try and hold a gap. I’m glad that I think this is one of the best teams that I fit defensively. I think it fits me. I was really happy to sign there. I’ve heard nothing but good things about everybody. I’m excited.”
Ron Leary wants everybody to know that he will NOT be recruiting Tony Romo to Denver if the QB is released. He still thinks Romo’s got game, but it’s just not his personality.
“Nah, I’m definitely not a recruiter. I’m not getting caught up in that at all,” said Leary at a news conference Friday at Dove Valley. “Tony’s a great guy. He was a great teammate with me in Dallas, but I’m in Denver now. We have two great young quarterbacks in Trevor (Siemian) and Paxton (Lynch). I watched them last year, they’re getting better. They’re young and have bright futures.”
He also discusses his love for run blocking.
“I take more enjoyment blocking for the run. Run blocking is all about attitude,” Leary said. “It’s big guy on big guy, who is going to come out hard, who is going to hit him first in the mouth. I’m moving forward, he’s moving forward. I love that part of the game.”
J.J. Wilcox admits that he had his best year last year and is finally learning not to make all those mistakes that made Cowboys fans so frustrated.
"I think the best year I've had was last year, by far," said Wilcox, even though he only started four games after opening 29 contests over the previous two seasons. "Despite it not going the way I wanted it to, from starter to reserve role, I think I'm growing in the right direction and growing to understand football, understand the plays, understand the concepts the offense is trying to use to attack me. I definitely think I'm on the rise and just steadily growing in the this game.
"I limited my mistakes, limited my missed tackles, knew when to go to get the ball, when to lay the big wood, knowing when to turn it on, when not to turn it on. It's definitely just learning the timing. Now I'm just grateful for this opportunity."