The Cowboys have 12 players - more than a fifth of their roster - who share last names with a teammate. The Smith name leads with four players - Tyron, Jaylon, Rod, and Keith - two of whom are actually brothers. Ezekiel Elliott was just joined by Jayrone Elliott. Maliek Collins and La’el Collins share last names. Kellen Moore, the man the Cowboys can’t seem to get rid of, shares last names with Damontre Moore. The last pairing is Byron Jones and Chris Jones. The Cowboys lost one of these pairings in the offseason when Jack Crawford left, leaving Tyrone as the only Crawford left on the team.
How would you rank these groups? We’ll throw in last year’s approximate value numbers to provide some context, though you don’t need to use this to compare the groups. We’ve chosen to list these in alphabetical order so as not to bias the rankings.
- Maliek Collins. 7 AV. Third-round draft pick in 2016. Likely the best defensive lineman on the Cowboys in the key defensive line position in Rod Marinelli’s scheme.
- La’el Collins. 1 AV (injured). Undrafted free agent from 2015. Signed to extension through 2019 this offseason after he was moved to right tackle, replacing Doug Free, who retired. Much more athletic than Free. Just needs to settle into the position and learn to master his technique.
- Ezekiel Elliott. 16 AV. Fourth pick in the 2016 draft. Led the NFL in rushing yards by a wide margin. Candidate for offensive rookie of the year, and MVP. Considered by many to be the engine that makes the Dallas offense run. His suspension by the NFL is now under court review.
- Jayrone Elliott. 1 AV. Most recent addition to the Cowboys, acquired for a conditional seventh-round draft pick from the Green Bay Packers, where he played outside linebacker in their 3-4 alignment. Has four career sacks - one per 77.5 snaps, and is a standout on special teams. Replaced Mark Nzeocha on the roster.
- Byron Jones. 7 AV. First-round draft pick from 2015. Played his rookie year as a cornerback, then was moved to safety last year. Good player who hasn’t reached his potential yet.
- Chris Jones. 2 AV. Cowboys punter can do more than just punt. His fake punt run against Philadelphia helped the Cowboys come back to win that game.
He also had this play.
Chris "The Punisher" Jones. #DETvsDAL pic.twitter.com/FkogM7e14T— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) December 27, 2016
- Kellen Moore. 0 AV. Out with an injury last year, and ineffective in pre-season, this Moore is someone most Cowboys fans would likely rather see in the rear view mirror.
- Damontre Moore. 0 AV. This Moore looks to have rediscovered his game, after bouncing around because of locker room issues that arose when he was with the Giants. Suspended the first two games of this year.
- Tyron Smith. 13 AV. Considered by many to be the best tackle, and left tackle, in the NFL. Perennial All-Pro. He’s still only 27 years old.
- Jaylon Smith. Did not play. Drafted at the top of the second round by Dallas in 2016, he’s finally overcome a serious knee and nerve injury to get back on the field. With Anthony Hitchens suffering his own knee injury in preseason, Jaylon should get lots of snaps as he continues to work towards regaining the dominance he showed in college.
- Rod Smith. 0 AV. Jaylon’s older brother. A special teams demon, he switched from fullback to halfback in the offseason to provide rushing depth as well, and played remarkably well in the preseason.
- Keith Smith. 0 AV. Like Rod, Keith is a player who is eager to learn and find a way onto the field. Originally brought in as a linebacker, he converted to fullback last year, and is now cemented into that role. But he also provides great value as a special teams ace.
So there you have it. Collins, Elliott, Jones, Moore, or Smith? Which group is the best?
Which Cowboys group is the best?
This poll is closed
The Collins - Maliek and La’el
The Elliotts - Zeke and Jayrone
The Jones - Byron and Chris
The Moores - Kellen and Damontre
The Smiths - Tyron, Jaylon, Rod, and Keith