Let’s check in on the news.
Remember when we were all talking about the Cowboys having a Romo-friendly offense? Now, it’s about a Dak-friendly one.
“Everybody here is all-in in terms of their belief that Dak can be a great player in this league and will be,” [Stephen] Jones said on 105.3 The Fan’s Ben and Skin show [KRLD-FM]. “How do we put concepts in place, how do we put a system in place that fits his skills? Obviously it worked out great even though we were predominately running a Romo-friendly offense with a few wrinkles that took advantage of Dak being young and fresh-legged and being able to have the mobility that he had.
“We were able to do that, but I think as we move forward, we have to really go in and critique and make sure that our concepts and what we’re doing offensively give Dak every opportunity to utilize his skill set and get the most out of him.”
Personally, I think this is a huge idea for Dallas to follow through on. Tony Romo was a very different type of quarterback than Dak. They need to start tailoring the scheme to his skills. Part of the reason Dez Bryant is falling off so quickly is Romo and he were on the same page, Dak has tried to feed Dez too, but they don’t work as well together. Maybe they can rectify that problem with a new wide receiver coach and some other changes, that is as long as they keep Dez around. It’s amazing that the idea of letting go of Dez is a huge topic of discussion.
Bryant is signed with the Cowboys through 2019. He is due base salaries of $12.5 million in 2018 and ’19 and will count $16.5 million against the salary cap in each season. If the Cowboys cut Bryant, they can save $8.5 million against the cap and be in the clear, from a cap perspective, going into 2019, or they can designate him a post-June 1 cut and save $12.5 million but have him count $4 million against the 2019 cap. At the end of last season Bryant said he would not accept a pay cut.
Just as the Tony Romo question hung over the Cowboys last offseason, the Bryant question hangs over this one.
Dak is part of the Dez problem, but Bryant’s abilities also seem to be eroding, his ability to create any kind of separation is diminishing. He needs a gunslinger willing to throw him open, and that’s not Dak’s game.
Making the offense Dak-friendly, or Dakifying the offense, would also include a healthy Tyron Smith, or at least an adequate backup. The Cowboys don’t think there is a serious issue with Smith
According to team executive vice president Stephen Jones, though, the Cowboys don’t expect Smith’s problems to be a long-term issue.
“I think a good offseason here of getting it to where it needs to be, I think we can count – the thing I understand is we can count on Tyron being back to normal and good to go next year,” Jones said.
The Cowboys have to be hoping that’s the case, given Smith’s recent injury history. The California is remarkably young, having just turned 27 despite the fact that he just completed his seventh NFL season.
Speaking of healthy offensive lineman, Zack Martin is trying to become one by having elbow surgery recently that will force him to miss the Pro Bowl.
The good news is that this is nothing serious and that Martin will be able to start preparing for the 2018 season with the rest of the team. The Cowboys and Martin will hopefully reach agreement on a long-term deal for the All-Pro guard. He is set to play under the fifth-year option of his original rookie deal which would amount to $9.3 million unless both sides come to an agreement.
Also playing hurt most of the season was Maliek Collins. There were expectations on Collins for his sophomore campaign that went unmet. Perhaps the injury to his foot was part of the problem, hopefully the surgery will clean it up.
Collins started every game this season. He spent time as the under tackle when David Irving served a suspension to start the season and missed games later in the year due to a concussion. When Irving was available, Collins played nose tackle.
Collins finished his second season being credited with 18 tackles and 25 quarterback pressures by the coaching staff, along with 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
The Cowboys are talking up keeping Anthony Hitchens. In the end, though, it will all come down to the money.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens, one of the defense’s most underrated players, is a priority to bring back.
“Certainly we want to do everything we can to keep Hitch right along with Sean (Lee) and Jaylon (Smith),” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Monday.
Hitchens doesn’t make a lot of headlines playing next to Lee, a co-defensive captain and two-time Pro Bowler. But the Cowboys value Hitchens’ production, consistency and versatility.
In 2016 he collected a career-best 104 tackles, according to coaches’ film. In 2017, despite missing the first four games following knee surgery, he ranked third on defense with 89 tackles.
It finally was officially announced, by the Raiders no less. The Cowboys are going to need a new special teams coach.
[Rich] Bisaccia is going to be hard to replace for the Cowboys, and adds to the growing list of new coaches that the team must bring in to replenish the staff. We should all wish him well and be grateful for what he did during his tenure in Dallas. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.
And to close, one crazy story. First off, when I read that Cole Beasley had released a rap single I immediately thought - “I read that wrong.” Next I thought, this will probably be pretty embarrassing for Cole. Athletes as rappers rarely work out. But, Cole is getting good reviews.
It turns out he’s been making music behind the scenes of his NFL career and wanted to share it. Here’s the first single off an album he has planned, 80 Stings, and I have to say it’s surprisingly good, simply because a good athlete rapper is a rarity.
Hit the link to read some reviews and listen to the single.