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Cowboys news: More on “Dak-friendly”, overpaid players, and the true value of Dez

Plus despite being off the field since the end of the 2016 season, Tony Romo is still making sports headlines.

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
Both these stars are in the news from yesterday.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys "Dak Friendly" Offense ✭ Sean Martin, Inside the Star
We all know how the Cowboys are looking to become more "Dak-friendly" this year. This is a take that is worth considering.

Beginning this 2018 Cowboys offseason by claiming the Cowboys offense needs to actually be more simplistic is sure to send Cowboys Nation into a frenzy. Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, who will work alongside plenty of new position coaches in 2018, has been heavily criticized for the predictable nature of his offense. Predictable and simplistic are two drastically different terms when considering the nuances of the fast-paced, spread offenses that have taken over the NFL.

It’s QB friendly systems like these that produced Cam Newton, Alex Smith, and Dak Prescott.

A simple RPO design that Prescott has run since his days at Mississippi State may be predictable for opposing defenses to an extent, but stopping Prescott from either handing the ball to Zeke Elliott or carrying it himself behind this dominant offensive line in Dallas is much harder.

8 Cowboys who were overpaid in 2017 | K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
This is a nice take on who is not living up to what they are being paid by Dallas. The numbers appear to be what they actually are paid and their cap hit. The “top” name on this list is probably not who you thought of.

No. 1 – Tyrone Crawford: $10,350,000 | $9,100,000

It’s not Crawford’s fault the Cowboys paid him what he did, betting on the come instead of proof he could be dynamic. But that doesn’t keep him from being seen as a bad investment. Crawford is by all accounts a great dude and a stand up guy. You can’t be a right defensive end, play 16 games and get just four sacks. Especially when the guy opposite you is getting all the attention and the man next to you for half the season is a wrecking ball.

Crawford plays the run extremely well, but there’s no room for him on the strongside with Lawrence out there and Charlton behind him. The Cowboys have simply found better players at his positions and now they need to upgrade right defensive end to complete the transformation of the defensive line.

Dez Bryant is still one of the league’s best at catching contested passes - DannyPhantom, Blogging The Boys
There has been a ton of criticism about how Dez Bryant has fallen off as a top wide receiver. But maybe there is more to the story to explain why he still is valuable.

While Bryant’s numbers have dropped, it might be a little presumptuous to write this guy off just yet. One thing he still does extremely well is come down with contested passes when his defender is draped all over him. And thanks to Next Gen Stats from, the evidence supports that. They recently put together a Top-10 list for the best receivers at catching passes in tight windows where they ranked the 49 receivers who were targeted at least 17 times on tight window passes (receiver has less than a yard of separation from the his defender).

Based on this ranking system, Bryant finished as the number three receiver, behind Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs and Detroit’s Marvin Jones Jr..

These NFL stars were recruiting, draft afterthoughts | Cami Griffin, The Draft Wire
This slideshow takes a look at five NFL stars that nobody expected to become what they did. You are very familiar with one of them.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

I’m not sure that it’s possible for a player to be more overlooked and underappreciated throughout his entire life as a football player than Romo. He played quarterback at Burlington High School in Wisconsin, earning All-State First Team honors. That still didn’t send any major collegiate offers his way, therefore Romo decided to attend Eastern Illinois University where he became the first Ohio Valley Conference player to win the Walter Payton Award as the top Division 1-AA football player.

Although he spent his entire career breaking records, the respect still wasn’t granted. Romo went undrafted in the 2003 NFL Draft where he was later signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. Though his path took much longer than others, Romo ended his NFL career breaking numerous franchise records, still holds several NFL records, and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Somehow, somewhere, he’s still being doubted.

Tony Romo to tee it up at Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship - staff
Despite being gone from playing for over a year, Tony Romo continues to be a ratings draw. His analysis of NFL games made them must-see for many fans. Now, professional golf is trying to cash in on his drawing power.

Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current lead analyst for the NFL ON CBS, will compete in the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (March 19-25, 2018) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic as a sponsor exemption. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship is a first-year PGA TOUR event in 2018, previously having a two-year run as a Tour event.

Playing as an amateur participant with professional partner Will Zalatoris in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, Romo revealed during a press conference Wednesday that he has received a sponsor exemption to the new PGA TOUR event, which carries a purse of $3 million and will be broadcast on Golf Channel. Romo will compete as an amateur in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

Star Evaluation: Cooper Rush Defied The Odds In Rookie Season | David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Romo was undrafted. So was current Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush. It is almost unimaginable that he could have a career anything like Romo's. But stranger things have happened (see: Nick Foles, Super Bowl MVP).

What’s Next:

The Cowboys’ actions in the next few months will say a lot about what the future holds for Rush. It’s theoretically possible the organization spends some resources on a free agent quarterback. Or perhaps they’ll spend a draft pick on another understudy – though it’s hard to imagine them doing that before the third or fourth round, at the earliest. If they don’t do that, then it’s a safe bet that Rush goes into 2018 as Dak Prescott’s primary backup. With another spring and summer of second-team reps, not to mention the preseason, there’s no telling how much more could come of his continued development.

Coaching Tracker: Latest Status Updates For Cowboys Offseason Coaching Moves | Dallas Cowboys staff
This article from the mothership makes it clear that, despite keeping the top three coaches in place, there has actually been a lot done to reshape and refine the staff. One departing coach has been part of the biggest NFL story in the past couple of days.

Matt Eberflus (Passing Game Coordinator/Linebackers)

According to, Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard confirmed that Eberflus is set to become the Colts’ new defensive coordinator, despite the Feb. 6 news that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would remain in New England and not become the Colts’ new head coach. Since the season ended, reports had linked Eberflus to McDaniels’ staff if McDaniels took the Indianapolis job. Ballard worked in the Chicago Bears’ front office when Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, was the Bears’ assistant head coach. Eberflus, a trusted assistant for Marinelli in Dallas, came highly recommended as a defensive coordinator candidate in Indianapolis. Eberflus had been the Cowboys’ linebackers coach since 2011 and was given the additional title of passing game coordinator in 2016. He reportedly had an expiring contract after the 2017 season. New hire Kris Richard is expected to fill those duties in Dallas next season.

Despite the Josh McDaniels kerfuffle with the Colts, it looks like Matt Eberflus still has a job in Indy.

La'El Collins excelled, but position flex doomed Cowboys OL - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
The Cowboys under Jason Garrett place a high value on position flexibility. That may be a major error, at least at times, as this article illustrates.

Everyone loves a rousing game of musical chairs -- that is, unless you're an offensive lineman in the NFL.

It's one of the quickest ways to rip a hole in the bow of your speedboat, as the Dallas Cowboys so unceremoniously learned in 2017. The team lost Ronald Leary to free agency and Doug Free to free agency last Spring and many believed they'd simply promote backup swing tackle Chaz Green to the right edge and anchor La'El Collins to left guard, where he actually supplanted Leary as starter in 2015. They initially held firm to that plan without equivocation, often stating Collins would not move to the right edge.

And then they changed their mind.

The move on Collins wasn't a bad idea considering he played tackle in his days at LSU and he'd make good on that vote of confidence by having a very strong year, particularly considering he faced the best pass rushers in the NFL seemingly weekly. It did create a cavernous void at left guard though, to which the Cowboys figured they'd just plug in Green despite Jonathan Cooper -- an actual interior lineman -- being better suited to the task. So strong was the belief in Green they'd start him to begin the season and despite his early struggles, they were content to let the chips fall where the may.

Well, the chips fell out of an airplane at 40,000 feet and still haven't been found.

Speaking of Collins, here is the most exciting Cowboys tweet from yesterday:

In case you aren’t good with faces, that’s Collins and Tyron Smith on the left. Looks like Will Hernandez has a destination where he’d like to land during the draft.

We can only dream.

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