NFL receiving corps rankings: All 32 teams entering 2018 - Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus
Ever since the departure of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys receiver group has been the Rodney Dangerfield of WR's...No respect.
29. DALLAS COWBOYS
Yards per route run as a unit, rank: 1.22 (24th)
The fact that the Cowboys brought in Tavon Austin this offseason should tell you about how bleak their receiving corps looks at this point. There’s some mild hope that either Michael Gallup or Cedrick Wilson can contribute right away as rookies, but it’s rare for third- and sixth-round picks, respectively, to be immediate impact players. Terrance Williams has been a mainstay in the Cowboys lineup the past five seasons despite averaging under 1.50 yards per route over that span.
It’s especially difficult for a sixth-round pick on IR to contribute ...
Why this group of Cowboys receivers could be better than last year's - Kevin Sherrington, SportsDay
Don't come at Kevin Sherrington with that receiver story.
Question: Michael Gallup looks ahead of schedule. Do you think the trio of Gallup/Allen Hurns/Cole Beasley could be as effective or more so than Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams ?
Sherrington: Here's what I think of the receiver story: All we've heard is how it's the NFL's worst group, and there's no No. 1. But let me ask you, how is that different from the last couple of years? Cole Beasley led the team in receiving two years ago. Does he seem like a No. 1 to you? I believe the Cowboys made the right decision with Dez. He has not performed anything like a No. 1 the last two years. Just because he used to be one doesn't mean he is now.
The Cowboys won't be the only team that spreads the ball around more. Dez complained the other day about "garbage-ass" play-calling and receivers lining up in the same positions. Maybe that's because Dez couldn't run the route tree for all those other positions. I guess we'll see if and when another team signs him.
But we know that Hurns can play across the board because that's his history. He's played inside and out. I don't have any question that this group can be as effective as the one last year, because, frankly, it wasn't very good then. The question is, can they be better? I think so, because of the versatility. Also because the running game should be better. My only caveat is the replacement for Witten. They'll miss him more than Dez, mainly because there's no replacement with anything close to the track record that Hurns offers.
What Dak Prescott’s training camp inconsistency means for Cowboys' regular season - Staff, SportsDay
A surprisingly level-headed assessment of Prescott's performance so far in camp from the Sportsday writers roundtable. Here are two of the four writers.
David Moore: Prescott hasn't looked particularly sharp so far in camp. I'm not sure that's an accurate barometer of what to expect once the season starts. He didn't really wow observers in practice day in and day out the last two camps but was strong once the season began. Here's the thing: Some players don't push themselves or put themselves in a positon to look bad in camp because the practices are open to the media and public and a poor moment can turn into a viral moment on social media. Prescott doesn't appear to have that fear. He will make throws that have been problematic for him in the past to determine if he's improved enough to include it in his game going forward. That takes place early in camp. Now, if it's the final week of camp and he still doesn't look sharp, there could be cause for some concern. But I don't believe that will be the case.
Jon Machota: Dak's been solid. He's throwing to several new receivers, so there's going to be some growing pains. But he hasn't done anything to prevent me from thinking he's going to have a good year. I've always thought he's at his best when the pocket is collapsing and he has to adjust on the fly. There's not a lot of that in a training camp setting. If you remember back to his rookie camp, there were days when Jameill Showers looked like the better quarterback in practice. Dak has had some nice throws from the pocket. He appears to be developing a good deep-ball connection with Tavon Austin. This offense must have that to keep opponents thinking it's a possibility on any play. If their passing offense is only 15-yard-or-less throws, defenses are going to shut them down. Cole Beasley has been Dak's favorite target, but his rapport with Austin, Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, Lance Lenoir and Deonte Thompson looks to be growing by the day.
NFL’s new helmet rule would wipe out many classic moments - Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
This new helmet rule is already stirring up a lot of criticism.
The biggest take away from the most drastic rules change this year is the apparent vagueness of the helmet rule. It’s not vague because the stipulations aren’t clear. They are. What remains a big question entering the preseason (the Cowboys open their preseason schedule Thursday against the 49ers), however, is how, exactly, the helmet rule will be enforced.
“The way the rule has been identified to us is if they lower the head and initiate contact to the defensive player we’re potentially going to have a foul on that play,” 10-year NFL referee veteran Todd Prukop said. “If he’s bracing for impact then that is not a foul. If a player is running and he lowers his helmet prior to that impact, then he’s initiating [contact].”
As Stefan Stevenson points out, some of our favorite memories would now be flagged for a 15-yard penalty.
Love him or hate him, Terrell Owens is a Hall of Famer.
Owens would quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and say “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge in controversy.” Well, on Saturday, he stood in Chattanooga.
Terrell Owens: Writers spurred enshrinement boycott - Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
TO finally had his moment in the sun in Chattanooga on Saturday, and he used that opportunity to explain why he wasn't in Canton. Spoiler alert - it's because of the sports writers/selection committee.
"I want to address the elephant in the room. Many of you may be wondering why we're here instead of Canton," Owens told the hometown crowd. "There's been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be there. I would like to set the record straight.
"It's not because [of] how many times it took me [to be] voted [into] the Hall. It's about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame. These writers disregarded the system, the criteria, and bylaws in which guys are inducted and ultimately the true meaning of the Hall of Fame and what it represents."
According to the Hall of Fame's selection criteria, voters are instructed to take into account only what the players have done on the field. In the case of coaches and contributors, the criteria is adjusted to emphasize what they did in and around the game that influenced the sport.
Owens' protest stems from his opinion that certain members of the selection committee held off-the-field issues against him, delaying his election for two years.
Boycotting HOF ceremony shows Terrell Owens will never understand what football is all about - Reuben Frank, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Of course, there are some who think there is a different reason he didn't make the trip out to Canton. Spoiled brat alert.
He didn’t get this when he played. He doesn’t get it now. And he’s 44 years old and most likely he’ll never get it.
Why is Terrell Owens holding his own personal Hall of Fame ceremony in Tennessee Saturday instead of spending the weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame with all the other inductees and former greats?
Because it was never about the team for T.O. It was never about acknowledging or crediting or thanking his teammates or coaches or anybody other than himself.
The Cowboys celebrate every Hall of Famer they have ever had. Here's why Dallas isn't doing the same for Terrell Owens - David Moore, SportsDay
There are some who will take the time to honor Terrell Owen's Hall of Fame induction, but the Cowboys won't be one of them. David Moore explains.
The Cowboys cherish and celebrate their connection to every player who has a bust in Canton. Owens is the exception. When the receiver was announced as a member of the class of 2018 in early February, the club issued a congratulatory graphic on its social media account. It did not issue a statement as it had with every honoree who proceeded him.
Owner Jerry Jones was scheduled to spend Thursday night and the majority of Friday at the Hall in Canton. Rather than fly to Chattanooga on Saturday to catch Owens' defiant speech at McKenzie Arena, his plans were to fly back to Southern California to join his team at training camp.
But over the last six months, one of the few statements Jones has made is that he believes Owens is making a mistake by not joining the rest of his class in Canton. This elicited a swift response from Owens on Twitter, saying the Cowboys owner made a mistake by releasing him at the end of the 2008 season.
In case you missed it...
Top five rookies in Cowboys 2018 training camp through two weeks - Connor Livesay, Blogging The Boys
How are the new guys doing? Livesay gives an update with his top five rookies so far, and has some surprises in store:
4. Tyree Robinson - S - Oregon - UDFA
If you’re looking for a dark horse candidate to make the team that we currently aren’t talking about, Tyree Robinson is a perfect guy to start with. Robinson is a 6-foot-2, 200-lb safety that is known for being a ball hawk safety, who excels in coverage and taking the ball away. In his four year career at Oregon, Robinson had six interceptions and 201 tackles. Robinson has made multiple plays in camp in both coverage, and filling in, in the run game.
Will McClay talked up UDFA safety Tyree Robinson and "a couple young corners" as a potential dark horses to make the roster on #SomosCowboys— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 2, 2018
Robinson has plenty of competition in the secondary, but due to his versatility, the Cowboys could keep Robinson as a guy to play safety, corner, and special teams. Will McClay is a big fan of Robinson and even went out on a limb to say that he was one of his “dark horse” candidates when on with Ambar Garcia of the mothership earlier this week. Keep an eye on Tyree Robinson in the preseason games, he’s one who could seriously stand out.
Cowboys 2018 training camp: Early grades for Cowboys offense through seven practices - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
Sisemore grades every offensive position, including how Prescott thus far still has room for improvement.
Dak Prescott has tossed a couple of interceptions but that’s to be expected. For the most part, Prescott has looked crisp and you can see that he’s worked with certain receivers a lot through the offseason. Dak has worked on his mechanics and release, he also seems to have improved his timing, too. From what we’ve seen, Prescott has had a few off throws but he’s also had his way with this defense on several occasions.
Cowboys training camp 2018: What have you changed your mind on so far? - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
One of our earliest head-scratching moments might start to make sense now. I'm starting to think this Kris Richard guy knows what he's doing.
Anthony Brown vs. Jourdan Lewis at slot corner
When reports of lineups first trickled out of OTAs there was just about a riot that Anthony Brown was starting at slot cornerback over Jourdan Lewis.
Jourdan is a fine cornerback, in fact he’s a very good one. Two weeks into camp though, Brown has defended his position well. He appears to be the better option at the position for now. This isn’t an indictment on Lewis, moreover a testament to Brown’s talents.
Remember that two years ago people anointed Anthony as the next great cornerback in Dallas while only one season later were ready to cut bait from him entirely. He’s got game, and it’s shown up so far in Oxnard.