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Cowboys news: Tony Romo fuels the fire

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He doesn’t exactly slam the door on getting into coaching - “one day”.

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AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sean McVay and Bill Belichick understand that the system needs to fit the players, not the other way around – Michael Lombardi, The Athletic
Want to know what Jason Garrett and Kellen Moore need to do to fix the Cowboys' offense? This may be it.

When it comes to coaching in the NFL, the one common denominator is that players respect football knowledge over all else. A coach’s background, political affiliation or religion does not matter to players; they only care about how their team’s leader can help them improve their own craft. Developing their skills means they will become better players; becoming better players means they will make more money and maximize their earning power. They might like their coach and say nice things about him to the media, but the only way a coach can truly earn his players’ respect is through his knowledge.

Age makes no difference, either, and look no further than Super Bowl 53 to validate that statement. Rams head coach Sean McVay recently turned 33 years old. Patriots head man Bill Belichick is 66. Both men can capture their team’s attention because they completely understand that the game is about putting the players in the right system to succeed, not just running their pre-existing system.

Tony Romo (who knows drama) says, 'I'm sure one day I'll coach' - Mike Fisher, 247 Sports
Former Cowboy Tony Romo seemed to leave the door open for going into coaching while in Atlanta preparing for the Super Bowl. But is it real, or just playing to the audience?

(Jason) Garrett remains in charge of a team about which Romo was asked, what the Cowboys need to do to "take the next step.''

“Hmm, that is a good question,” Romo said between (of course) dramatic pauses. “I will pass on that.”

Does that hint at Romo's future employ with the Cowboys? Does it hint at continued friction between Romo and Garrett? Does it make you wonder what Romo, if he ever were to coach the Cowboys, would do with Dak?

I think that's kind of the idea here. Every answer, every non-answer, every pause, every "aw-shucks'' pronouncement, every Romostradamus prection, gives Tony Romo more power, more love, more success, more money. That's the competitive game he plays now.

Super Bowl 2019: Tony Romo of CBS could be the real star of the 2019 Super Bowl - Dan Wolken, USA Today
Romo has quickly become a superstar in the booth. This article looks beyond the play call predictions to analyze how he brings a new level of enjoyment to those who listen to him broadcast.

In a business where dozens of former players and coaches find their way on television and all sound more or less the same, Romo has established a television persona that makes his Super Bowl debut an event in and of itself.

“As good as we thought Tony was going to be, it was a real risk making him the only solo lead analyst to ever go from the field right into the booth,” McManus said. “We thought it was a calculated risk, and we thought he was going to be good. But you never know until that red light comes on that first time how good a guy is going to be, and he’s still developing. Tony is going to be better next year than he was this year.”

Forget his analytical ability for a moment.

Nobody currently in a football broadcasting booth, pro or college, sounds like Romo. In a world where his counterparts tend to be rather erudite in their analysis of plays and players, Romo feeds off the energy of a game, balancing an almost boyish joy for football with an easily digestible breakdown of what just happened.

And with Romo setting that tone in the booth, there’s no choice but for his partner Jim Nantz to loosen up his own style, making for a much less formal-sounding broadcast than he did with Phil Simms.

Film room: 3 under-the-radar free agents the Cowboys should target, including a perfect complement to Ezekiel Elliott | John Owning, SportsDay
We all know that the Cowboys don't like to spend big dollars in free agency, preferring to "bargain shop". This frustrates many, but remember, that is how they acquired one Antwaun Woods. So here are some options for this year, including a change-of-pace running back.

Corey Grant, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Last season, the Cowboys were devoid of a scatback to complement Ezekiel Elliott's skill set in the backfield. Rod Smith has been a great backup but lacks the speed and play-making ability to scare defenses.

If the Cowboys are looking to add speed and big-play potential to their offense without breaking the bank, Corey Grant would be the perfect choice.

Grant missed most of 2018 with a Lisfranc injury -- which should keep his price down -- but has proven to be an explosive playmaker when healthy. In 2017, while splitting time with Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon, Grant carried the ball 30 times for 248 yards -- an absurd 8.3 yards per carry -- and two touchdowns.

Ex-NFL scout: Why Texas A&M's Trayveon Williams is a player to keep an eye on if Cowboys look to draft RB help | SportsDay staff
Of course, the draft is another way for Dallas to find a running back to bolster things.

Is there a sweet spot in the draft where the Cowboys can select a running back that doesn't interfere with other areas of need?

Bryan Broaddus: "A guy that I think is a really interesting player is this Trayveon Williams from Texas A&M. He's a guy that's a little bit of a shorter guy, he's 200 pounds. He's gonna kind of be one of those guys when the Cowboys are picking at [No.] 58...that running back tends to be somewhere from 58 to like 65, somewhere right around that. But keep an eye on that Williams kid from Texas A&M, because I think there's a lot of really great qualities about him. I love the toughness, I love the vision, I love his ability to catch the football. We gotta work on the pass-blocking stuff. But you talk about a guy that...and you watch the last two games -- LSU, North Carolina State -- he wore those two teams out. You watch him in some of the other games, too, against some quality SEC defenses, he was having some productivity as well.

- from the Ben & Skin show on 105.3 The Fan

Brian Urlacher on LVE: 'He's only going to get better' - Patrik "No C" Walker, 247 Sports
It is tough to be measured against a legend - but when you measure up, it is very, very good.

There's one NFL legend in particular whose name always comes up when discussing Leighton Vander Esch, and that's Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher. It began before Vander Esch landed with the Dallas Cowboys via the 19th-overall pick, and it's easily the more favorable of the two names attached to the former Boise State star many felt was a first-round reach -- that faction labeling him the next Bobby Carpenter. With Carpenter being arguably the biggest Cowboys' draft bust of all-time and Urlacher donning a gold jacket for his incomparable professional career, there was essentially no middle ground when it came to expectations on Vander Esch.

As the collective NFL world saw it, he'd either be the best thing since sliced bread, or the mold hiding behind the wood paneling in the basement.

It turned out to be the former, with Vander Esch setting records in his stellar rookie season en route to both a pro bowl nod and Second-Team All-Pro honors, making the comparisons to Urlacher a bit more credible. For his part, however, the Chicago Bears' legend feels talent, measurables and skill set aren't the only reasons the two are constantly placed side-by-side in such discussions.

"Yeah, we’re both tall, white guys," he jokingly said from the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl, via DallasCowboys.com. "It happens. It’s tough. It’s not fair to him.”

Will Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford be a 2019 Salary Cap Casualty? ✭ Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
Our own DannyPhantom thinks Tyrone Crawford will still be wearing the Star this fall. Here's a deeper dive into the pros and cons of cutting him for cap savings.

One of the tougher contract decisions facing the Dallas Cowboys this offseason is with Defensive Lineman Tyrone Crawford. While the veteran is still a solid contributor and one of their captains last year, the Cowboys can create about $6 million in salary cap space by releasing or trading him.

This is a tough one because Tyrone isn't grossly overpaid. His $10.1 million cap hit for 2019 is a bit high for what he offers, but it's not awful. He's still just 29 years old, a model citizen and locker room presence, and just had a career-high with 5.5 sacks last season.

But according to Over The Cap, Crawford will rank 31st among all NFL defensive linemen for 2019 salary cap numbers (currently under contract for next season, not 2019 free agents). That includes everyone from the 4-3 pass rushers to the 3-4 nose tackles.

If you consider that there are 32 teams in the NFL, you would like for anyone in or around that Top 30 to be a game-changing player. But Crawford isn't that guy; his 5.5 sacks had him tied for 64th in the league in 2018. He's never been named to an All-Pro team or gone to the Pro Bowl.

‘Selection Saturday’ Nears For HOF Finalist Brandt - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
This is long overdue.

Gil Brandt is on the doorstep of Canton.

The former longtime Cowboys scouting chief and current NFL.com senior analyst will learn Saturday whether he’s been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class.

Seniors finalist Johnny Robinson and two contributor finalists, Brandt and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, will be voted on separately from the 15 modern-era finalists. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was inducted in 2017 as a contributor.

Redskins Hire Rob Ryan As Inside Linebackers Coach - Redskins.com staff
A familiar face will be on the sidelines when the Cowboys face Washington next season.

The Washington Redskins announced Wednesday that they have named Rob Ryan as inside linebacker’s coach.

Ryan is entering his 20th NFL season after spending the 2016 season as the Buffalo Bills Assistant Head Coach/Defense. Prior to joining Buffalo, Ryan held defensive coordinator roles with the New Orleans Saints (2013-15), Dallas Cowboys (2011-12), Cleveland Browns (2009-10) and Oakland Raiders (2004-08).