Can Byron Jones be ‘perfect’ for coach Kris Richard and Cowboys? - Mike Fisher, Cowboys247
Has 2015 first-rounder Byron Jones found the perfect coach to unlock his potential? Jones and DBs coach Kris Richard are excited to work with each other.
“I think I’m a perfect player for what he wants,’’ said Byron, referring to a football relationship with new Dallas Cowboys top defensive aide Kris Richard.
“Prototypical,” said Richard on the eve of Cowboys OTAs, which begin today here inside The Star in Frisco. “Fantastic athlete, size, length, speed.”
The Richard “prototype’’ corner is, in short, bigger, taller, more rangy than the norm. The Cowboys’ new defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach therefore projected the 6-0, 205-pound Jones as a corner. Now that Richard is here, Jones is there -- after two years of serving as Dallas’ starting free safety, he’s now a cornerback.
What Byron Jones’ move to CB says about Kris Richard’s power with Cowboys - SportsDay
SportsDay’s David Moore discussed Byron Jones’ move to corner, among other topics.
Moore: Also Kris Richard likes bigger corners. The question with Byron Jones, across the organization, is they felt this is a guy who can succeed at corner or safety. They felt the ceiling was higher at safety for him, but will he be physical enough? His size is in between - big corner, smallish safety. Is he going to be big enough and a big enough hitter to force turnovers or just be a really good corner?
They determined he hasn’t been making plays back there. Let’s go ahead and put him at corner.
He does an outstanding job covering tight ends. People shouldn’t just be dismissed because they don’t make plays. Orlando Scandrick didn’t make a lot of big plays but was an outstanding slot corner because receivers rarely had big games or made big plays against him. He prevented big plays but didn’t make any. Byron Jones falls in that same category.
Five things to watch for during Cowboys OTAs - DannyPhantom, BTB
Danny wrote on five things that he will be monitoring during the Cowboys’ OTAs. Jaylon Smith, the tight end position, and who will step up as the leaders of the team are among the topics.
With Witten gone, the team not only lost a great player, but they lost their benchmark. For years, Witten has stood as a living example of how a football player should handle his business. Watching a savvy veteran out there busting his butt, working relentless to get better is such an amazing luxury to have for young players. Who’s going to be that guy now? Who’s the player that exhibits top-notch work ethic? Who’s going to be the guy who is the first one on the field and the last one off?
The offense will look no further than their young quarterback, Dak Prescott. It’s Dak’s team now. He’s still a young guy, but many will be looking to him to command the offense and demand excellence from his teammates.
Defensively, Sean Lee is the guy that will take on that role.
What Cowboys OTAs could tell us about the secondary - SportsDay
Bryan Broaddus is interested in learning a little more about LVE, as well as the secondary.
What can you monitor at OTAs?
I think it’s good to see everybody together and where they’re going to line up. Where’s Leighton Vander Esch going to play? What are they going to do? I believe that Byron Jones is going to be your right corner. The rotation of the receivers is another thing I’m looking forward to. A lot of those questions can kind of get answered in the OTAs and the minicamps as we get to watch them with their own eyes.
Four rookie starters in 2018? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The staff writers discuss who and what they’ll be watching most as OTAs get underway, and Bryan Broaddus wonders how many rookie starters will emerge this season.
"This will be our first chance to see the veteran and rookie players together for the upcoming 2018 season. Something to think about that I said on Talkin’ Cowboys this morning. I thought we had the potential of four rookies lining up as starters this season. Connor Williams at left guard, Leighton Vander Esch at middle linebacker, Dalton Schultz at tight end and Michael Gallup at wide receiver all make sense. Williams is a no-brainer due to his talent level and the need at guard. Vander Esch wasn’t drafted to sit on the bench, so they’ll find a spot for him. Schultz is a complete tight end and should provide a boost to the position from the jump. If the learning curve isn’t too steep for Gallup, he’ll be pushing for Terrance Williams’ spot. OTAs are only the start, but it also gives you a clue to what the front office and coaching staff are likely thinking."
Cowboys start on-field life without Dez Bryant, Jason Witten - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys’ OTA’s began on Tuesday and things are ... different, to say the least. Yes, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are really gone. But, things must go on.
This theme will come up throughout the season: life without Jason Witten. For the first time since 2002, the Cowboys will have offseason practices without Witten, who retired and joined ESPN’s Monday Night Football after a career that saw him become the franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards and games played. The Cowboys want to take a look at the tight ends on the roster before potentially looking for outside help. Geoff Swaim is the only tight end with a catch in a regular-season game, and he has just nine for his career.
Another theme will be life without Dez Bryant. The Cowboys will not look to one player to replace Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown catches. They will look to the group, but Allen Hurns would seem to be the most likely replacement in the starting lineup. He was signed as a free agent after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where his numbers over his final three years were similar to Bryant’s final three with the Cowboys. Hurns has been a regular in the offseason program since joining the team, but this will be his first work under the watchful eye of the media.
Cowboys rookie Dalton Schultz’s college coach explains TE’s seemingly low production at Stanford - Jori Epstein, SportsDay
Rookie tight end Dalton Schultz is a potential replacement for the great Jason Witten. If you’re worried about Schultz’s collegiate production, don’t be. Stanford tight ends coach Morgan Turner says it was more of a schematic issue than lack of talent.
Turner: Yeah I think it’s more schematic than anything else. His time here he was playing with Christian McCaffrey, who was a Heisman runner-up who set a college football record for all-purpose yards then Christian McCaffrey leaves and along comes Bryce Love who runs for over 2,000 yards. So there’s been a lot of options on offense but whenever we needed Dalton, he’d be there to make a play.
He’s a very reliable pass catcher. I know his numbers aren’t as high but I don’t think he’s deficient in that department. He can stretch the field for them a little bit and ran a 4.75 at the combine. He can run and has good hands.
What ‘web-back’ label truly means for Tavon Austin, Cowboys - Patrik Walker, Cowboys247
Tavon Austin has the versatility to do a lot of things for the Cowboys. Can the former first-rounder reach his potential in the Big D?
The 27-year-old is fast, quick and much akin to tackling a rooster hopped up on LSD, to describe his skill set frankly. Be it in the backfield, the slot or outside the hashes, Austin has the chops to toast any would-be defender -- should they be unwise enough to put their ankles and reputation at risk. The Cowboys are a team that, at one point, gave 30 and 29 carries to Dunbar in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Austin has had seasons with the Rams wherein he’s doubled the workload of Dunbar in both runs and receptions, a hint of what’s to come in Dallas.
So for those still questioning what Austin will definitively be for the Cowboys, the answer is walking on a spider web. Leave a message and they’ll call you back.
Ranking Every NFL Backfield Heading into the 2018 Season - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report
Knox ranked all 32 backfields and has the Cowboys at ... 8?
8. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the league’s best running backs in Ezekiel Elliott. He only appeared in 10 games because of suspension last season but still managed to rush for 983 yards and 4.1 yards per carry. He’s also a quality pass-catcher who has racked up 58 receptions in less than two full seasons.
The problem with Dallas’ backfield is that it lacks proven depth. The Cowboys haven’t re-signed Alfred Morris, who rushed for 547 yards last season. That leaves Rod Smith as the veteran backup behind Elliott. He rushed for 4.2 yards per carry last season but has 57 total NFL carries.
The Cowboys drafted former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough in the seventh round. He is a 6’1”, 228-pound bruiser who should see some work in short-yardage situations. The Cowboys also have Trey Williams, who has also spent time with the Colts and Steelers.
Why the Dallas Cowboys could have the best and most dynamic rushing attack in football - Cole Patterson, BTB
But can Dallas have the deadliest rushing attack in the NFL this season?
Zeke and his 2,614 career rushing yards and 22 career touchdowns is just one element of why the Cowboys may have the league’s best rushing attack in 2018. He is a game-changer in his own right, but the Cowboys have added some intriguing pieces that have the potential to make the run game, and the offense as a whole, so much more dynamic in 2018.
The Cowboys not only added Connor Williams to the offensive line in this past year’s draft, they also made some moves during the weekend in Dallas to help the rushing attack. In a surprise move, Dallas traded a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for 2010 first-rounder Tavon Austin. Austin, a shifty, play-making talent that can play all over the offense and in the return game, has the talent to be a change-of-pace back and a receiver for Dak Prescott. We wrote on what he can bring to the Cowboys offense.
Tavon Austin was the first of two moves on the draft’s Saturday that appear to have the potential to make the run-game even better this upcoming season. In the seventh round, the Cowboys grabbed former Alabama Crimson Tide running back Bo Scarbrough with the 236th pick.
Dane Brugler’s 2019 NFL mock draft: Defensive line dominates, but Cowboys have their eyes on offense - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Dane Brugler released his latest way-too-early 2019 mock. He has the Cowboys selecting a tight end with the 26th overall selection — meaning that Dallas not only finds a potential long-term answer at tight end, but also makes a return to the playoffs.
26. Dallas Cowboys - Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
It is now the post-Witten era in Dallas and unless a tight end on the roster emerges this season, the position could be high on the wish list next offseason. His athleticism makes Fant an appealing up-and-coming prospect.