Archer writes on that new defensive backs coach Kris Richard is potentially the biggest pickup that the Cowboys have made this offseason — at least in the eyes of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
They will use the offseason to see what mixes best between Marinelli’s philosophy and what Richard likes to do, but there are many similarities.
“I do think the DNA of our defense is the DNA of the defense where he comes from,” Garrett said.
The Cowboys don’t have a cornerback like Sherman, but they like the potential of Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. They don’t have a safety like Thomas, although there remains the possibility that he could become a Cowboy. They hope to have linebackers like Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright in Sean Lee, Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. They like their pass-rushers, such as Lawrence, David Irving, Tyrone Crawford, Taco Charlton and others, the way Seattle used a rotation with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark.
Is Richard the Cowboys’ treasure? The hiring seems to be generating a lot of optimism and excitement in the Big D.
Spring is the time for NFL optimism, and that extends beyond the fresh feel-goods of youthful roster moves.
New top defensive assistant Kris Richard “might be as good as any acquisition coming in,” Dallas Cowboys coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “This guy’s really good. ...When you meet him, you’ll like him. You know that ‘it?’ He’s got it.” The factual realities? Richard is indeed likable, and he has an impressive resume. The opinion-based questions? If he’s the greatest thing to hit sports since legalized gambling...why did his previous employer, the Seattle Seahawks, just get done firing him?
Richard is just 38, but his skins on the wall including the supervision of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.’’ He was the defensive coordinator for one of the great forces in football for the last half-decade but coaches change jobs. It’s part of the gig.
JJT wrote that Richard’s presence had him ready to go out and play.
Who’s most caught your eye at rookie minicamp? Any surprises?
JJT: They spent rookie camp in shorts and T-shirts. It was worse than the traditional Underwear Olympics. But if you asked me who impressed me the most it was passing game defensive coordinator Kris Richard. He has a presence about him. He’d speaks with conviction and I don’t know if he can coach or not, but I was ready to suit up. If he can get Byron Jones and the rest of the youngsters in the secondary to play to their pedigree then he’ll be a big-time addition
Can the addition of Richard lead to a bounce-back season for America’s Team?
When a football team talks about improving by changing the coaching, we often think of the head coach, or at least the coordinators. This year, for the Cowboys, it’s all about the assistant coaches. Sanjay Lal at wide receiver, Paul Alexander on the offensive line, even Kellen Moore for the quarterbacks. But one guy is getting more ink than all those other guys combined, and that guy is secondary coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard.
Players and other coaches can’t stop gushing about him. The hope is that he can take a young-but-talented secondary and mold them into a force not unlike the Legion of Boom that he helped create in Seattle.
We’re putting a lot of faith in Kris Richard, but you can do that when a guy has skins on the wall. His success in Seattle, in creating a secondary that was so good its nickname was known all around football, deserves that kind of respect.
Can Byron Jones make a jump in 2018? If so, Richard may be the reason he does.
It must be the offseason when you start comparing a high-jumping, super-versatile athletic defensive back to a massive left tackle who hasn’t played with the team in nearly 10 years.
But the more I think about what the Cowboys are trying to do with Byron Jones, I can’t help but drift back 15 years ago, maybe even to the date, to a similar situation that certainly panned out for all parties.
I can’t help but wonder if Jones could be in the same boat here. Let me be the first to admit that I haven’t really been correct in my assessment of him as a player. When he was a cornerback, I thought he needed to be moved to safety. After last year, I thought he probably needed to be a cornerback.
I’m not calling new secondary coach Kris Richard the next coming of Parcells, but he does come here highly respected. He was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator when they made it to two straight Super Bowls and was the creator of the LOB (Legion of Boom) secondary.
Dak Prescott could cash-in big next offseason.
Tom Pelissero: “Dak Prescott was a fourth-round draft pick. That means there is no fifth-year option in his contract. That’s normally a touchstone for these deals to get done because it’s a big number sitting there at the end of the contract, both sides are motivated to figure out whether or not they’re going to be able to get something done long term.
With Dak Prescott, the Cowboys have time to figure this out. He’s due $1.35 million total over the next two years. He’s eligible to have that extension to negotiate after this season. One comparable would potentially be Russell Wilson, who agreed to a deal going into his fourth season on the eve of training camp. At the time, averaged $21.9 million. That was good enough for second under Aaron Rodgers, but the guaranteed signing, relatively small, $31.7 million.
Perhaps the addition of Tavon Austin will allow Dak to have a big season in 2018. But how will Scott Linehan use the former top-10 pick?
Clearly, the exit of Dez Bryant, the retirement of Jason Witten, and even the trade of Ryan Switzer has changed things dramatically. Because of contracts, the futures of Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley are short-term, as well. The Cowboys now usher in an era of third-round rookie Michael Gallup, Hurns, a tight end group that could literally go anywhere, and yes, at least one season of Tavon Austin.
Austin has some folks around here pretty excited, but most of the league is having a laugh at the idea that he will have a resurgence at this age and juncture in Dallas. Of course, the giggles were likely similar when Reggie Bush joined his third team at a similar age in Detroit. Unlike Bush, who could handle running back duties on a team that needed someone to do it, the clear vision of what role Austin fills here in Dallas remains a mystery. And that mystery exists because Linehan is trying to conceive an offense here that is different from the one that required replacement.
This is a huge year for Scott Linehan (and the numerous positional coaches below him that have been brought in with fresh viewpoints and ideas). This is an even bigger campaign for Jason Garrett. And on both counts, it is crucial that they infuse some life into an offense that needs it. Everyone loves Dez and Witten, but this offense – even with both fully fit – could not get open for their QB in times of great need. The thoughts were that they could survive the absences of Elliott and Tyron Smith and everyone who thought that was possible was dead wrong. It was a disaster.
Bo Scarbrough is another player that can take this offense to another level. The former Alabama Crimson Tide back says that he sees some similarities between Jason Garrett and Nick Saban.
After playing at one of the iconic programs in college football, running back Bo Scarbrough has started his NFL career with one of the iconic franchises in professional football.
After getting in his first work with the Cowboys at their rookie minicamp over the weekend, Scarbrough said Dallas and the Crimson Tide had a lot of common because of their approach to football.
Dallas head coach Jason Garrett spent two seasons as the quarterbacks coach on the staff of Alabama head coach Nick Saban when he had the reins of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL.
”He’s kind of like coach Saban,” Scarbrough said. “Just from being around the building and seeing some of the signs up -- the team, the team, the team, the ball, the ball, being disciplined. It’s kind of the same thing that we do at Alabama, so I kind of feel at home.
Meanwhile, Terrance Williams is continuing to receiver from offseason foot surgery.
Terrance Williams remains out of the offseason program while rehabbing from a broken foot.
“He has not been involved in the teaching sessions yet,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s been out there. He’s been working on the side with our trainers and our strength coaches. It seems like he’s on schedule to do everything that everyone anticipates him to be able to do. He’s in good spirits. I think he’s just waiting and waiting for that chance to get back out there. But he’s certainly engaged, and he’s doing all the right things.”
Yousuf wrote an awesome feature on Connor Williams. It’s definitely worth reading.
Connor Williams’ draft day story was going to be special, regardless of what team dialed his number. He was a highly-regarded prospect, one of 22 slated to attend the draft at AT&T Stadium, a venue just up the road from where Williams grew up and played high school football at Coppell.
The first day concluded and Williams didn’t hear his name. The next day, half of the second round went by and Williams still didn’t have a home. But right around 7:30 p.m. on April 27th, his story went from special to magical.
With longtime Eagles kicker David Akers trolling Cowboys fans while announcing the 49th pick, owner Jerry Jones called Williams to let him know the Cowboys had selected him next at No. 50. Williams, visibly emotional, was on one knee, phone in his right hand while his left hand covered his face.
“It was all worth the wait,” Williams said. “My area code is 972 so when that phone rang, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a dream come true.”