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Cowboys News: Can the Cowboys follow the Eagles’ model to the Super Bowl?

The links for your Wednesday morning.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys don’t have to copy Eagles, but they can learn some lessons - Todd Archer, ESPN

None of us can stand the Eagles, but Archer writes on some things that the Cowboys can learn from their divisional rival. Any chance that Jerry is willing to spend a little more in free agency?

Free-agent value

Executive vice president Stephen Jones is on record as saying he does not believe free agency is the best way to build a team, and he is correct. The Cowboys have almost turned a blind eye to it in recent years. The Eagles used it wisely in 2017, signing Alshon Jeffery, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long and Torrey Smith.

The Eagles did not swing for the fences in free agency but found pieces that helped Wentz excel. Long was a disrupter on the defensive line. Cornerback Patrick Robinson shored up the secondary. Oh, and quarterback Nick Foles was a free-agent pickup as well.

The Cowboys don’t have to swing for the fences, but they can do more than just bargain shop.

Eagles’ run through adversity shows how far Cowboys are from Super Bowl - A.J. Mada, Cowboys Wire
It is really terrible to have to watch our most loathed division rival go to the Super Bowl. It hurts even more knowing they got there by getting right a lot that the Cowboys got wrong.

Every year the Cowboys fall short of the Super Bowl, it hurts. But it hurts more knowing the Eagles now have a chance to win a Super Bowl and they’re doing it without some key pieces to their team, key pieces the Cowboys have lost in recent years and have not been able to overcome. The Eagles ability to draft and sign free agents to create roster depth is the biggest reason they are successful and it is the one thing that is holding the Cowboys back from reaching their ultimate goal.

Philadelphia’s Success Puts Spotlight on Jason Garrett - Jean-Jacques Taylor, NBC DFW

JJT says Doug Pederson’s ability to adjust to adversity only makes Jason Garrett’s seat hotter, especially if nothing changes in 2018.

Pederson’ s performance with a team ravaged by injuries puts pressure on Garrett to perform. And if the Eagles, a five-point underdog in the Super Bowl, manage to beat New England it’ll simply put more of a spotlight on Garrett’s failure this season.

Two years ago, Jerry blamed the Cowboys’ 4-12 season on Tony Roma’s twice-fractured collar bone. He blamed last season on Goodell’s suspension of Elliott.

Well, Garrett has kept both coordinators, but will wind up hiring at least four new offensive coaches and two defensive coaches.

If next season doesn’t meet Jerry’s expectations, there is no one left to blame except Garrett.

Mailbag: Closing The Gap On Philly? Drafting An Immediate Contributor? - The Mothership

Bryan Broaddus doesn’t believe the gap between the Cowboys and the Eagles is all that big.

Fair to say the Eagles will be favored to repeat as division champs. What can Dallas do to close the gap? It seems clear to me that the priority should be on defense and offensive line.

Bryan: The Eagles did a nice job with their roster. You beat them last year when it mattered and lost to them this season while short-handed. I don’t see the gap as being that deep when all hands are on deck. Work the draft, add some quality pieces but don’t pigeon-hole yourself on what you should take. I like their chances to add those guys even selecting where they are.

Rob Phillips, though, is a little more concerned.

Rob: They’ve got to protect themselves at linebacker and left tackle in case Sean Lee and/or Tyron Smith were ever to miss more time. Adding some speed on offense, either at receiver or through a change-of-pace running back, also makes sense. And you can never have enough pass rushers or corners. There really aren’t many positions on this roster where you say, yep, they’re covered.

Five 2018 offseason predictions for the Dallas Cowboys - Michael Sisemore, BTB

The Eagles were successful in acquiring talent last offseason, but will Cowboys enjoy free agency this offseason? That’s one of Michael’s predictions.

The Cowboys are certainly not pleased with how the 2017 season turned out for them and especially now as they watch their rival, the Eagles, head to the Super Bowl. They’re certainly aware of what the Eagles did to get there and that was take chances in the offseason to better the talent around their young star quarterback. They were aggressive and a lot of things worked out.

So far, the Cowboys have focused on low-key changes to their coaching staff by grabbing guys that are highly regarded in the league as innovators and motivators. Though that’s just a small start, expect the Cowboys to take a page out of Philly’s book and not be afraid to be a little aggressive.

Teams who believe they are close to contending for a championship aren’t hesitant to make a move for a player that can really help them win. If the opportunity presents itself in free agency with a player that the Cowboys could really benefit from adding, expect the Cowboys to make a play for him. When free agency is over, Cowboys fans are going to be pleasantly surprised as this front office finds a shiny new toy. The bargain-bin diving is going to be put on hold as the Cowboys walk away with one big-ticket item.

Jerry Jones says Kellen Moore hired as Cowboys assistant - Dave Southern, Idaho Statesman
Kellen Moore will retire and join the Dallas coaching staff, owner Jerry Jones confirmed Tuesday.

“I don’t want to get ahead of an overall announcement, but I’m glad that we’re going to have Kellen with us in the future,” Jones said, via David Helman of the team website. “We’ll get down to the specific announcements on that, but we have completed an agreement with Kellen.”

Why the Cowboys believe new QB coach Kellen Moore is a future coaching star - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Hiring Moore to the coaching staff hasn't met with universal acclaim, but the Cowboys like what they are getting.

It might seem like a significant jump to those on the outside, but not for those within the organization.

“I really think Kellen is going to be a star in this league. I really do,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We’ve spent a lot of time with him and he’s got a lot of qualities of the guy that’s the head coach of this team right now.”

“Part of making our organization ‘Dak-friendly’ was keeping things that he was really comfortable with, and that being Scott and Kellen and Jason and really keeping some consistency there in terms of his development,” Jones said. “He’s just really come a long ways, 32 regular-season games, a playoff game and a bunch of preseason activity. He’s played a lot of football and we also want to keep that going in the right direction.”

How the Cowboys are making their offense 'Dak-friendly' this offseason - Brandon George, SportsDay
During the first day of Senior Bowl practices on Tuesday, Jerry Jones explained how the Cowboys want their offense to become more "Dak-friendly."

Jones said the first step was to make sweeping changes on the offensive coaching staff to add some fresh voices with new ideas. The Cowboys will have four new offensive assistant coaches.

"We just need to take advantage of what we have in Dak," Jones said. "A part of that is expanding the playbook and becoming more problematic for defenses. That's what this offseason is about. That's what these positions coaches are about. To change it up, change it up more during the season, from the beginning to the middle to the end of the season. I think you'll see a lot more variation in what we're doing. Variation in terms of schemes, technique."

New offensive line coach Paul Alexander could make changes to the run game. He's well-versed in the Cowboys' zone blocking ground attack, but he also used some power and trap schemes in Cincinnati.

Jerry Jones said new receivers coach Sanjay Lal is a key addition. He said he'll immediately improve receivers' routes.

Dallas Cowboys Coaching Carousel: The Hiring Of Kris Richard, The Status Of 'Linehan's Lieutenants' And All The Latest Moves - Mike Fisher, Cowboys HQ
Fisher delivers a good compendium of the coaching moves to date, along with some interesting insight as to how we got here and how well the team is reaching their goals.

Depending on what boxes you want checked, the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff needed:


Young blood.

New ideas.

Drastic change.

You don’t get that last one — unless we count a realization that head coach Jason Garrett will be the hottest of hot seats in 2018 if in the penultimate year on his contract he fails to guide Dallas to the playoffs.

But in those other categories we do see reflected some of the desires of Cowboys watchers. And, of course, many of the desires of the Cowboys themselves.

Why the Cowboys’ new coach could move Byron Jones to cornerback - Reid Hanson, SportsDFW

With the hiring of former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, could Byron Jones make a position change?

Since the single high scheme often asks them to bump and chance down the sideline, essentially making them responsible for the back 1/3, they need recovery speed and ability to look back for the ball. Length is also key since the corners want to reduce windows and back shoulder catches as much as possible.

You don’t have to be 6’3” like Richard Sherman but it certainly helps.

While Byron Jones doesn’t have the height of Sherman, he does have the reach. Blessed with freakishly long arms, Jones has the same 32” arm length as Sherman. This together with his enormous hands and superior leaping ability, Jones has the ability to make up for the missing two inches in height.

Rare footage of new Cowboys coach Kris Richard at practice - Patrik Walker, Cowboys247

Ever wonder how Richard is during practice? Check this out.

One team’s mistake is another’s found wealth though, as could be the case for the Cowboys in what has immediately become the biggest coaching grab in recent memory.

Given what Richard was able to accomplish with the Seahawks’ secondary, namely helping to form the careers of players like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, marrying him to the likes of rookies Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods -- for starters -- invokes justifiable excitement within the Cowboys’ organization. And if the move helps grease the wheels for a potential move on Thomas, who wants the Cowboys to “get him”, then all the better.

Stephen Jones on sideline moments from Dez, “sometimes that can be a distraction.” - DannyPhantom, BTB

Is Dez Bryant a distraction? This is what Stephen Jones had to say about the Cowboys receiver:

“The other thing that we all see and it is certainly visible to anyone who watches our games, watches our sideline, is Dez is certainly a fiery guy who plays with a lot of emotion both on and off the field. Sometimes that can be a distraction. It can be a distraction for Dez, it can be a distraction for other teammates. And we just have to really get our hands around when you put all the full body of work together where that’s headed.”

Is a pay-cut in the team’s future plans?

“Of course we pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s as aware of it as anybody. … He knows when you get paid that kind of money there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. … Those are all things we have to look at as a team, as an organization when we start to put our team together next year.”

A perfect match? James Washington explains how he’d help Dez Bryant if Cowboys draft him - SportsDay

Speaking of Dez, could a former Oklahoma State Cowboys receiver join him in Dallas? James Washington certainly hopes so.

Washington told SportsDay Cowboys insider Brandon George on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl. Washington said he has long studied up on Bryant’s film from their shared alma mater and thinks he’d complement the Cowboys’ slumping Pro Bowler well.

”Dez needs help,” Washington said.

Washington also confirmed the Cowboys were one of the first teams he met with in Alabama this week. Dallas, in addition to other teams, asked Washington about his limited route tree.

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