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Cowboys News: Are Dez Bryant’s days numbered, potential coaching changes

And a look at a new Ice Bowl documentary from Don Meredith’s son

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Change likely coming to Cowboys coaching staff, but how much? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Like many of us, Archer questions whether changes are coming to the Cowboys' 2018 coaching staff and lists the assistant coaches with expiring contracts:

But Jones did not rule out changes on the coaching staff going into 2018.

Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, wide receivers coach Derek Dooley, running backs coach Gary Brown, linebackers coach Matt Eberflus and secondary coach Joe Baker have expiring contracts. Tight ends coach Steve Loney could retire.

Garrett would not get into potential moves on his staff after the game Sunday.

“I have no considerations about that right now,” the head coach said. “We’ll certainly look at everything.”

Could that include offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli?

Sources: Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley not coming back, other sources say not true - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Ian Rapoport says Derek Dooley is gone, Jon Machota says that report is not true. Apparently, the Cowboys front office is meeting with Garrett this week, and that's where decisions about the coaching staff are likely to be made.

So the question is, should Dooley come back?

Dooley took over the wide receivers in Dallas back before the 2013 season, following Dez Bryant’s breakout 2012. This came after Dooley had been fired as the head coach at the University of Tennessee, and we all know how much Jason Garrett likes former leaders.

Changes need to be made in Dallas, and perhaps you agree that Dooley is one of them. It feels like the Cowboys wide receivers had a down year.

Should Dak Prescott Endorsement Of Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Linehan Count For Anything? - Mike Fisher, CowboyHQ
Fisher also opines on potential changes in the Cowboys' coaching staff:

I recognize that the fan base may find Garrett and Co. to be “stale,” and maybe the blood-thirsty media does, too.

But in the post-game locker room in Philly, we had Terrance Williams telling me positive thoughts on Garrett, we had defensive leader Sean Lee endorsing Marinelli, and we had Jason Witten and Prescott endorsing Linehan. (All three of those coaches, by the way, have big-money/multi-year contracts still in play.)

That should tell us —and Jerry and Stephen Jones — a great deal about whether this staff has command of the room.

Now, does they mean the entire staff remains in place? No. As many as seven assistants are now free agents without contracts, a list led by defensive right-hand man Matt Eberflus.

And does it mean the players actually get a tangible vote here? No. The Joneses are not running a democracy here.


Cowboys are back in an all-too-familiar spot; what comes next for Dallas - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
The Sturminator is a must-read, as always, giving his post-season state of the union:

The Cowboys are highly leveraged in special players being special. They need Tyron Smith to return to dominance and must hope his back can heal so he may continue his prime years in full health. They need Dez Bryant to return to being a top wide receiver and not just a famous one who sells jerseys and fills talk show segments. They need substance far beyond the 53.5 receiving yards per game they have gotten out of him since he signed his big contract. He may not be the guy who can get you 82 yards per game anymore (like he did to get that contract), but they will need him to split the difference immediately.

They will need Sean Lee to find the fountain of youth, or they will need to get more realistic about what he can provide. He barely got to 600 snaps this year after hitting nearly 1,000 last year. They depend on him for everything and, while there is no question he gives it all he has, he will be 32 when next season begins, so the fault will be on the Cowboys if they continue to place all their eggs in his aging basket.

Split Inevitable Between Dez Bryant And Cowboys - Jordy McElroy, Fanrag Sports Network
McElroy outlines why he thinks the longtime Cowboys wideout might have seen his final days in Dallas:

The Cowboys wouldn’t be wrong in trying to convince Bryant to accept less money, either.

Spotrac has the 29-year-old receiver counting more against the cap than any other player on the Cowboy roster. He’s also second in the league behind Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins in cap hit for a receiver. Unlike Hopkins, however, he isn’t playing like one of the best receivers in the league.

He hasn’t eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving or double-digit touchdowns since 2014. The last three seasons have been mostly injury-plagued years filled with inconsistent performances on the field. It also isn’t any secret that he’s struggled to get on the same page with second-year quarterback Dak Prescott.


More Positives From The Young DBs, Analyzing Bailey’s Misses - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Over at the mothership the Broad One broke down the game film from Sunday and found some things to like:

Excellent call and execution of the screen play to Ezekiel Elliott for 22 yards. Scott Linehan caught the Eagles in a blitz on a play that required two fakes by Dak Prescott to get the ball off. Prescott never saw Kamu Grugier-Hill until he was right on top of him. With Elliott, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick all in the flat, Prescott just flipped the ball over the top of Grugier-Hill to get the play rolling. Elliott received nice blocks from Martin and Noah Brown but for the Eagles the damage had been done.

Speaking of screen plays, heck of a job by Jourdan Lewis cutting down Kenjon Barner on a third and long play that appeared to have a chance. Like the Cowboys’ screen pass to Elliott, it was well set up with blockers in front. Lewis beat the block of Marcus Johnson and then launched his body in the direction of Barner, hitting him in the hip. The blow was able to get Barner to the ground, preventing what would have been a disaster for the defense.

DeMarcus Lawrence: I know I’m not going anywhere - Charean Williams, ProFootballTalk
Williams quotes Lawrence on his pending free agency and DLaw seems convinced he'll remain a Cowboy:

DeMarcus Lawrence‘s 14.5 sacks tied him for second in the NFL behind Chandler Jones and were 5.5 more than he had in his first three seasons combined. The Cowboys had not had a double-digit sacks leader since Jason Hatcher in 2013.

Now, the Cowboys have to figure out how to keep Lawrence as he is scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason. Lawrence, who made $5.5 million in his rookie contract, expects to remain in Dallas somehow, someway.

“I already know what my situation is,” Lawrence said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I don’t really care about it because I know how the Cowboys feel about me and they know how I feel about the organization. My agent is going to take care of everything, and he knows how everyone feels.

“I know I’m not going anywhere.”

Cowboys' David Irving opens up about scary symptoms from his concussion - David Moore, SportsDay
David Moore talks with David Irving and sheds light on Irving's concussion symptoms:

"It's hard to put my words in order," Irving said of symptoms he's experienced at times over the previous 32 days. "I'll be talking and I'll know what I want to say but then when it's time to talk, I can't say it. I look like a deer caught in headlights."

He pauses and smiles.

"I couldn't have said that weeks ago," Irving said. "I wouldn't have thought of that.

"But yeah, it's getting better, getting easier."


This terrific Ice Bowl documentary is one every Dallas Cowboys fan needs to see - Michael Granberry, GuideLive
Michael Meredith, son of Ring of Honor Don Meredith, saw his Ice Bowl documentary debut on the NFL Network over the weekend. Granberry provides insight into this special piece and the accolades it has received. He also provides his own memories of the game:

The game was one thing, and Cowboys fans all know the outcome. For the second straight year, our beloved team lost to the Packers on the game's final play. The 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship Games were played on the first and last day of 1967 and were the two best football games I've ever seen. The first I saw in person at the Cotton Bowl, soon after my 15th birthday, the second I watched with my family, huddled by the fire, our eyes burning a hole of sadness and regret into the black and white TV screen in front of us. What do I most remember? The second Packers quarterback Bart Starr scored the winning touchdown, my mom burst into tears. I will always hold the Packers accountable for making my mom feel that way.

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