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Cowboys news: Multiple plans to fix the Cowboys, none of which are the same

There are a lot of offseason opinions for how the Cowboys can best fix their team but no consensus.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Making The Case For Why It’d Be A Mistake To Part Ways With Dez -David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
Yes, Dez Bryant was a disappointment in 2017 but are the Cowboys a better team in 2018 without him? Simply stated, heck no!

Now, don’t mistake me. I’m all in favor of this team drafting a wide receiver. This year’s crop is loaded with talent, and guys like D.J. Moore and James Gallup have caught my eye as intriguing talents. But it’s a big ask for any rookie to shoulder the role of a No. 1 receiver at the outset. If you’ll remember, Dez himself only started two games in his debut season.

With all of that stuff in mind, I just don’t see a more appealing, realistic option than Dez Bryant himself. Maybe it’s time to begin transitioning to a new wide receiver corps, but that doesn’t have to be done in one offseason.

Cowboys can't overpay Lawrence - Dink Kearney, SportDFW
Everyone is excited about the Cowboy opportunity to re-sign DeMarcus Lawrence after his breakout season. Well, almost everyone. Dink Kearney provides his reasons for pause.

During the 2016 season, Tank played in only nine games, started in three of them, and recorded one measly sack! One reason for the lackluster season was Tank’s suspension, missing the first four games of the season for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.

That’s one red flag and it’s not good. Tank was so non-existent that season that David Irvin had a break out year and was seen as the future “War Daddy” for the Cowboys.

The other red flag is that Tank has a history of being injured. If you recall, Tank went down with a foot injury before his rookie season even started in 2014.

Could Dallas Cowboys Release WR Cole Beasley? Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
The idea that Cole Beasley has become expendable is something a lot of fans can't really wrap their mind around. Yes, his numbers declined - but so did Dez Bryant's and Terrance Williams'. And yes, they have Ryan Switzer now, but that doesn't mean they should swap out one slot machine for another. It's good to have an open mind though and as Jess Haynie explains, there are some arguments being made supporting his release.

The threats to Cole Beasley’s job security are twofold; his own contract and the presence of Ryan Switzer.

Beasley will count $4.25 million against Dallas’ salary cap in 2018, the final year of his contract. That isn’t a bad number for a solid rotation player, but the Cowboys could get back $3.25 of that if he’s released.

That’s $3.25 million that can go to adding talent at other positions, or perhaps to keeping DeMarcus Lawrence around. Dallas has several needs this offseason, and they need cap space to address them.

The thought of losing Cole is made easier because of Switzer, last year’s fourth-round pick who has been labeled as a Beasley clone from the moment he was drafted. Having already taken over as the return specialist on special teams, Ryan will be looking for a bigger offensive role in his second season.

Four offseason moves that will fix the Dallas Cowboys offense - Michael Sisemore-Blogging The Boys
Though it’s early, here’s a rough draft on how to fix the Cowboys’ offense this offseason.

Move 2: Draft a starting left guard

Jonathan Cooper was serviceable when he was playing in between two All Pros but his lack of ability was quite noticeable without Smith playing. The Cowboys tried their favorite route of giving a former high pick a chance to redeem himself, now they should go a different route. The Cowboys should consider using another first-round pick on this position. In the first nine weeks of the season, Dak Prescott was sacked only 10 times, he would be sacked 22 times in the last seven games.

This really isn’t a team that can get by with being a decent offensive line, they’re constructed in a way where the line is the key ingredient to their success. They were seriously compromised on the left side last season and unfortunately Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t there to disguise things.

Isaiah Wynn, Georgia - He’s an excellent run-blocker that can play all positions including tackle. Wynn has the natural aggressiveness that you want in a guard and was equally dependable in pass blocking.

Will Hernandez, UTEP- He’s already met with the Cowboys and is very strong at the point of attack. He does lack the length of most NFL guard prospects but he’s made positive buzz with his performance in the Senior Bowl.

Offensive line is not one of the deepest position groupings, they need a starting left guard that they don’t have to pay a lot of money to for a while.

Cowboys DT Maliek Collins didn't have a breakout 2017 as expected. But here's why it wasn't a sophomore slump - Kristi Scales, SportsDay
It was a little bit of a let down season for the Cowboys second-year defensive tackle, but that doesn't mean he's trending down. As Kristi Scales explains, there were several underlying factors that played a role in his lack of production.

Question: Maliek Collins was expected to have a breakout year and he didn't...what can we expect this season? Was '17 a sophomore slump?

Kristi Scales: Maliek Collins did not have as big an impact in 2017 as he did in his rookie campaign in 2016, but I would not call it a sophomore slump. This is not an excuse, but the truth is that he played this past season with a stress fracture in his foot. He wore a steel plate insert in his shoe during games. It's not the same foot he broke his rookie year. Collins gutted it out all year in spite of the foot injury. Collins finished 2017 with 2 1/2 sacks, 25 pressures, three tackles for loss, 18 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He also moved along the line from 3-technique to nose tackle. Lots of moving parts along the line during the season with Stephen Paea's season-ending injury and David Irving returning after four-game suspension to play DT.

Dak Prescott’s star took a dip in year 2, but his potential still shines bright in Dallas -Justin Tinsley- The Undefeated
Some folks are already giving up on Dak Prescott but Tinsley says calm down, Dak Prescott is just getting started.

Prescott’s second season in Dallas became a story that the franchise and fans have become all too familiar with in the decades since its last Super Bowl in 1996. The team entered 2017 with preseason hype predicting a return to yester-decade dominance. It was all for naught. Elliott’s on-again, off-again but ultimately on-for-sure suspension, stemming from domestic violence allegations, haunted the team all year. Prescott’s numbers took a hit as well, although he still played relatively well, with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, in a system that still hasn’t been fully fitted to his style of play. He and star wide receiver Bryant never found a true rhythm, and the Cowboys finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

Cowboys won't see player earn performance escalator in 2018 but will in 2019 -Todd Archer- ESPN
The Cowboys won’t see any escalators in 2018 but they could have a bunch in 2019.

Players drafted in Rounds 3-7 need to play in at least 35 percent of the offensive or defensive snaps in two of their first three seasons in order to have their base salaries jump to the restricted free agent tender for that season. Last year, linebacker Anthony Hitchens qualified, while Terrance Williams and J.J. Wilcox qualified in 2015.

Wilson came the closest, having played in 30.7 percent of the snaps in 2017 and 26.8 percent of the snaps in 2016.

Emmitt Smith: Jason Garrett will be fired if he doesn't improve- Sam Quinn- 247Sports
Emmitt Smith puts Jason Garrett's job on the line in 2018 and believes that he must improve or he'll be gone.

“I think Jason has what it takes. I do. But I think this is his last year with the Dallas Cowboys if he doesn’t get it right, because he’s had everything else supporting his case. I think people want more. I think Jerry actually wants more, and if you want to get more, you may have to do some things that you don’t necessarily want to do.”

“Everybody has a shelf life. Everyone. Including coaches. At the end of the day it’s about performance, and if your performance has been mediocre at best, in some cases you’ve had great seasons, but you haven’t been able to win the big one, that’s a problem.”

7-round Mock Draft: Would this haul get Cowboys back to Super Bowl? K.D. Drummond- Cowboys Wire
Our buddy, K.D. Drummond gives his first mock draft in hopes to get the Cowboys back in the postseason.

Pick 19: Marcus Davenport, UTSA

A lot of folks doubted whether Davenport was worth the projection during the first few days of Senior Bowl practice. Then he owned Thursday and recorded two sacks and a fumble in the game. Get him for five years for cheap, give Lawrence a five-year deal and go kill every quarterback ever.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys take a linebacker but not the one you think - R.J. White-
White over at CBS puts out another Mock Draft and he's got the Cardinals trading into the Top-10 for a quarterback. More importantly, he has the Cowboys taking a linebacker but not the one you think.

19. Dallas Cowboys

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas. With Anthony Hitchens a free agent and with Sean Leeseemingly never able to stay healthy, it makes sense for the Cowboys to find a partner for Jaylon Smith at the position at some point. Cowboys fans should know Jefferson’s upside well with the linebacker playing down the road in Austin. While he’s not a finished product by any means, he’ll get the chance to work into the defense as a rookie before potentially taking over a bigger role if 2018 is Lee’s last year in Dallas.

Should the Cowboys copy Bill Belichick’s leadership style? - Michael Strawn- Blogging The Boys
Bill Belichick is obviously in a league of his own and though folks would love to copy what he's done, is it even possible?


Establishing a successful culture is perhaps the simplest and most direct measure of a leader. Regardless of the profession, strategies and talent acquisition won’t matter if the leader isn’t able to establish a culture of success. There are four ways Belichick has developed such a culture at New England. Let’s look at each one.

Establish high expectations

Belichick is notorious for making clear, in no uncertain terms, the expectations he has. This is at every level: as an organization, as a team, as a coaching staff, as a position unit and individually. He also makes it clear that failure to live up to the expectations will result in - well, something bad.

Belichick does not rant and rave to make his points. He is, however, clear, direct and uncompromising with his expectations. Many of his ex-players and coaches say it’s a high stress environment to work under but also say the expectations brought out their best. That’s often the way it is with such things, Tom Landry’s players testified repeatedly they feared disappointing their head coach (who also wasn’t a screamer).

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