Read up on a scouting report from SportsDay’s own John Owning on safety George Iloka who visited with the Cowboys on Friday.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, George Iloka is the prototype -- in terms of size -- for the strong safety position on the Cowboys’ defense made famous by Kam Chancellor with the Seattle Seahawks.
Iloka spent the 2018 season with the Minnesota Vikings after becoming a salary cap casualty of the Cincinnati Bengals in August 2018. Though he performed well at times, Iloka was not a great fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense, where he was forced to play a large percentage of snaps in Cover 2 and Cover 4.
Given his skill set, Iloka would be a much better fit in the Cowboys’ scheme -- where they play mostly Cover 1 and Cover 3 -- as a strong safety, playing a healthy portion of snaps around the box.
Iloka displays the type of skill set that should lend itself well around the box. He has great instincts and discipline against the run, and he packs a punch when he arrives with the momentum.
Randall Cobb officially signed with the Cowboys on Thursday, here’s why that was a great signing for both parties.
Not only can Cobb still be a very productive receiver, he is a veteran presence in a locker room dominated by youth. He should be a calming presence where your main trio of Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper are all 25-years old or younger. It is also worth noting that not only is he a veteran in this game, but he is also a champion and although it was in his rookie season, he knows what it feels like and that matters.
Outside of his overall effect on the team as a whole, the value Cobb presents for a young wide receiver core is immense. For Cooper, Michael Gallup, and the returning Allen Hurns, he could be something they have never had in their respective wide receiver room’s on any teams they’ve played for, a winner and respected veteran.
For someone like Tavon Austin, Cobb could be the key to finally help unlock all that potential explosiveness that got him to this point, after all he can be seen as a smaller, quicker, perhaps even more explosive version of the newest Cowboy receiver.
Lastly, and probably more important than anything, Cobb is another safety blanket for Prescott. With the re-addition of tight end Jason Witten, the team’s newest addition provides Dak with another break in case of emergency-type option on big plays, big downs, and simply when things need to go off script. This was the missing element for Prescott last season, his first without Witten, and that was an option he could count on when all else failed.
With a new-and-improved wide receiver core in 2019, here’s what to expect from Dak Prescott’s receiving options.
As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.
Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.
With free agency starting the slow down, and the draft coming up, here’s BTB’s own Danny Phantom with one player the Cowboys should look to add before the NFL draft.
The Miami Dolphins are having buyers remorse from when they traded for Quinn a year ago. It didn’t take much draft capital to get him as Quinn only had two years left on his deal and the Dolphins were willing to take on his cap hit. Now, he’s only got one year left and Miami is in rebuilding mode. The cost to pull him away from the Dolphins is projected to be a 2020 fourth-round draft pick. That’s cheap.
The bigger issue could be how much of his 2019 cost the Dolphins are willing to pay to reduce the Cowboys portion of the cost. There’s also the prospect of him working an extension into the agreement. Having DeMarcus Lawrence and Quinn on the edges would help strengthen the team’s pass rush. This type of move could set the team up nicely for a deep playoff run.
Which player should the Cowboys pursue? Keep in mind, they each come with a different price so this isn’t just a straight-across question. If you have another player in mind, vote other and then hit the comments and tell us who the Cowboys should sign.
Say it louder for the people in the back.
Contract disputes rarely ever end well and there are some recent examples to fall back on for proof. While players such as Khalil Mack and Le’Veon Bell offer recent proof, the Dallas Cowboys can also see the negative results of these disputes by looking back to their 2015 season.
That was the year they place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant and the star receiver ended up missing some important offseason work. When they finally did come to terms with him on a new deal, Bryant found himself struggling with nagging foot problems and managed to play just nine games that season.
There’s a threat of there being a similar problem with DeMarcus Lawrence, who is in his own dispute with the team. After receiving the franchise tag for the second season in a row, Lawrence is looking like a holdout candidate and that can have an effect on the 2019 season.
With the recent additions to the WR room in Dallas, does Lance Lenoir still have a role?
What’s Next: The signing of Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin don’t exactly help Lenoir’s chances of making the roster in 2019. Then again, the deck has been stacked against him before and he’s somehow found a way to stick around, whether it’s the practice squad or the roster. This year, Lenoir will get the chance to prove himself in camp, and the more versatile he is with his knowledge of the playbook, the better. Lenoir is one of the few receivers on the roster who can play all the positions and has special teams experience.