Draft season is upon us and that means mock drafts. Lots and lots and lots of mock drafts. Unlike many mocks, however, John Owning puts research behind his thoughts so you don’t have to.
Unfortunately, Savage’s aggressiveness can get him into trouble. Because he’s so aggressive with his pursuit angles, he often arrives at the tackle point out of control, causing him to miss more tackles than he should (eight in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus). Furthermore, Savage has a tendency to get caught peeking into the backfield while in coverage, enabling receivers to get open deep against Maryland at times.
He displays outstanding range in coverage and when defending the run, leveraging his 4.36 speed and anticipatory skills to chase down tackles or minimize throwing windows from deep zones.
Savage also displays impressive coverage ability from the slot, making him an effective option to defend bigger slot receivers and tight ends. Although he would be giving up a size advantage, he displays the requisite physicality and explosiveness (39.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-6 broad jump) to hang with bigger receivers.
Over at TheAthletic, Kevin Turner zeroes in on a cornerback with size but not so much speed.
Williams’ speed didn’t stand out in games, but it was hardly ever a major flaw. On brief occasions, I noticed him getting grabby in the middle of routes to make sure a receiver would not leave him in the dust. He’s not the most loose-hipped, fluid mover you’ll see, but considering he’s nearly 6’4, I think he moves well. He also showed that he can move well in short areas, which is more important than long speed anyways.
Williams played at Vanderbilt for three years, but didn’t have an interception until this past year, when he found four. With his long frame and ability to affect the wide receiver throughout a route, Williams is a perfect fit for the Cowboys.
He needs to improve at the line of scrimmage, as he could be more of a force jamming receivers. While his ball skills are above average, you’d like to see him whip his head around to play the ball a little better. The good news: those things can be improved over time. Kris Richard working with JoeJuan Williams is the kind of stuff draft dreams are made out of.
Meanwhile. the Cowboys’ newest safety thinks he’ll fit in just fine with Rod Marinelli’s defense.
"Safeties have to be interchangeable. In the league you have to do a plethora of things," Iloka said. "You're gonna show multiple looks, multiple things upfront and multiple looks on the back end. So it's very key for a safety to be able to do a lot of things and be interchangeable. I've done that throughout my career. I made a name for myself doing it. But everybody has their strong points."
Iloka is best utilized as a strong safety in the box. He believes his skill set will be a better match in Dallas under defensive masterminds Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard.
"This defense plays into my strong points. I'm versatile and I can do a lot of things," Iloka said. "I'm a physical safety. I like to come up in the run-game support, set the edge, take on blockers and make an impact."
Ideally, the Cowboys insert Iloka as the starting strong safety and have Xavier Woods remain at free safety. Iloka is a better tackler and makes more of an impact around the line of scrimmage than last year's starting strong safety, Jeff Heath. Yet, there's a realistic chance Dallas selects a safety in the 2019 NFL draft to compete for playing time.
Expecting a radical departure from the Cowboys’ past offensive strategies with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore? Think again says David Moore of SportsDay.
Moore will call the plays. Different formations and tendencies will emerge. His input will be significant.
But this will remain Garrett's offense in approach with all of the philosophical underpinnings that go with it.
Did you expect anything different? Did you expect a head coach in the final year of his contract to turn the keys to the offense, and his fate, over to someone with only one year of coaching experience in the NFL, someone tasked with putting together a game plan for the first time?
Garrett's future is tied into what the Cowboys do this upcoming season. He's not going to distance himself from his expertise, the reason he became the franchise's head coach in the first place. That's why he's spent more time with his offensive coaches than he has in recent years.
"I do think as the offensive staff is coming together I have spent a little more time in there," Garrett said. "I think that's a good thing for the staff and me as we start to formulate what this plan is.
Another defensive newcomer who’s excited about his prospects is the Cowboys shiny, new defensive end, Robert Quinn.
Quinn acknowledged his excitement to play for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and his 4-3 scheme. He also seems excited to play opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence.
“I’m glad he likes to play the left side,” Quinn said of Lawrence. “I think with him coming into his own and knowing the capability that he has, as a younger player, he can only get better. From what I hear and see, he’s getting better and better. I’m excited to get to work with a guy like Lawrence and the whole Hot Boyz group and just fit in where I can.”
Quinn also acknowledged that getting better doesn’t just start in the games. He knows facing All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith in practice every day will only make him better.
“How does the saying go? Iron sharpens iron,” Quinn said. “If you’re going up against the best tackle in the game every day, it can only make you better. He’s been making his mark, and hopefully he can make me a little better, too.”
The business side of the Dallas Cowboys never seems to have a losing season and yesterday saw a legendary Cowboy continue to put his stamp on the team’s legacy.
“This is a big day for us. It’s a big day for the Dallas Cowboys,” said team owner/general manager Jerry Jones. “We think it will be memorialized for many years to come by its very being, that 17-story building that basically says ‘This is about the Cowboys, this is about Roger Staubach.’ We want the people living in it to, as close as you possible could, be involved in the fabric of what the Cowboys have been and what they’re going to be.”
Staubach and his partner, real estate developer Robert Shaw, teamed with the Cowboys on the project, which is slated to open its 158-unit building early next year. Residents will have exclusive access to amenities at The Star, located directly across the street.
“You get a membership here at the Cowboys Club, you get a membership at Cowboys Fit, you get an opportunity to be a part of Cowboys practices,” said Cowboys Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson.
If you’re one of those that thinks running the ball - at virtually any time - is a losing strategy you’ll like the following article. If, however, you think running the ball is integral to successful football you’ll probably want to avert your eyes.
A lot was made of New England’s run-first approach during the playoffs but it was still Tom Brady and the passing game that led the charge to another Super Bowl win. The Patriots passed the ball 126 times during the postseason. They ran it 114 times. The Pats averaged 0.26 Expected Points Added (a stat you can read more about here) on passing plays and 0.07 on running plays.
The Patriots adoption of a more balanced play-calling approach wasn’t a reaction to shrinking defenses but more of an adjustment to their own personnel. New England didn’t have a receiver capable of threatening secondaries downfield. They put more tight ends on the field to create favorable matchups for their receivers. If defenses refused to come out of their nickel and dime personnel groupings, the Pats ran it down their throats. But if they were able to create a mismatch, passing was still the No. 1 option — as it is for every smart team in the league.
The running game still has a place in today’s NFL butut only in certain situations, like when there’s a clear blocking advantage in the box or in third- and forth-and short situations. Other than that, NFL teams should continue to chuck it down the field.
Excited about the possibilities new Cowboys’ defensive end Robert Quinn brings to the Dallas defense? So is The Sturminator, who uses video and analysis to explain why all of us should be excited.
Quinn can still bring it. He needs a 4-3 and he needs snaps. But his body still looks pretty darn athletic if you ask me, and that could easily mean 8-10 sacks in Dallas. If he does that, they will be thrilled to give him $500k a game. Just this weekend, ESPN released their NextGen pass-rush analytics and the results for Quinn continue to impress.
Can Quinn stop the run and do the little things? Good question, but his switch is generally flipped on. I like his motor and I am told he works his tail off. He didn’t care for the life in Los Angeles, saying he was definitely not a west coast guy.
I was skeptical when the talks started, but spend an afternoon watching Quinn play and he wins you over. He underwhelmed for two months in Miami early, but played incredibly well down the stretch. That means something to me as he was on a team going nowhere.
If the Cowboys get the second-half version of Quinn lined up opposite Lawrence — and I’m pretty confident they’ll agree on an extension soon — this could be a pretty special Dallas defensive front.
This is another solid, short-term piece of business, in my opinion.
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Anthony Brown is getting in work!