In honor of the NFL’s 100th year in 2019, each team is asking fans to vote on the best moment in franchise history to compete for best moment in NFL history. For the Cowboys, there are plenty of moments to choose from, but fans have four to decide between.
Through nearly 60 years of Cowboys football, four plays have been selected, and we’re now asking fans to vote on their favorite moment in Cowboys history. From there, the winner will be put into a bracket against the greatest plays from every NFL team. The top play in NFL history will then be selected at the NFL Honors award show before Super Bowl LIV.
Here are the four moments the NFL selected for the Cowboys:
The Cowboys finally got back to the top of the mountain in 1992, winning their first Super Bowl in 15 years as they crushed the Bills, 52-17. Troy Aikman, who was named Super Bowl MVP, threw four touchdowns, including two to Michael Irvin before halftime. The Cowboys forced nine turnovers and scored two defensive touchdowns in what would turn out to the be the first of three titles in a four-year span, paving the way for the franchise to be dubbed the “Team of the 90s.”
Not many franchises have more Hall of Famers than the Cowboys, but it is still fair to wonder who the next Cowboys to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio might be. Bryan Broaddus and Rob Phillips try to answer that question.
Bryan: Nothing against Cliff Harris, but Drew Pearson and Darren Woodson in my opinion have the best chance. I just don’t see the Hall allowing all three to get in. If I had to just choose one, Woodson would be my guy. What a player in so many ways.
Rob: This is a timely question amid reports that the Pro Football Hall of Fame will consider expanding the 2020 class from eight inductees to 20 in honor of the league’s 100th anniversary. Pearson, Harris and Woodson all deserve consideration. The safety position is getting a lot more competitive with new guys becoming eligible, but Woodson’s credentials stack up well. He’s the franchise’s all-time leading tackler and was a huge part of a three-time championship defense.
Cowboys Rumors: Suspended DE Randy Gregory to Apply for Reinstatement This Week - Timothy Rapp, Bleacher Report
Ever since Randy Gregory was indefinitely suspended, the Cowboys have been optimistic that the defensive end could be reinstated in time for the 2019 season. That reality got one step closer on Tuesday when Gregory officially applied for reinstatement.
“He came in after not playing ball for over a year, and I think he really played well and was working himself into it,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said in February, per Nick Eatman of the team’s official website. “Certainly he has his challenges, continues to have them. I don’t think those things go away. So we’re going to keep working and cheering for him.”
Gregory is hoping to be reinstated in time to participate in training camp and the preseason, according to Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan.
Per that report, “The application will include an update on Gregory’s process as a result of his in-depth treatment in behavioral and substance abuse clinics and will feature a continuing ‘personal responsibility’ plan that will likely have him living with family members in [the Dallas-Fort Worth area].”
After Randy Gregory’s suspension, the Cowboys took several steps towards trying to replace his production, just in case a reinstatement didn’t happen in time. One of those moves was trading for Robert Quinn. But now it has to be asked who would start if Gregory is able to return.
Production wise, it’s hard to differentiate between the two players based on what they accomplished last year. The only real difference is their age. Quinn just turned 29 years old in May and Gregory will turn 27 in November. Two years doesn’t seem like all that much, but due to Gregory’s time away from the game due to suspensions, his body hasn’t taking nearly the pounding Quinn’s has over the years. That could factor into the equation.
Randy Gregory of course first has to be reinstated though. Then it has to be in time to prove he’s just as capable of a starter as Robert Quinn in training camp practices and preseason. If he’s able to accomplish all this though it could make for an interesting offseason, at least what’s left of it.
Anyway this shakes out, it’s a good problem to have for the Dallas Cowboys. Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli likes to rotate his defensive lineman, meaning Gregory and Quinn will both get plenty of playing time. Having two fresh pass rushers opposite DeMarcus Lawrence should be fun to watch in 2019.
Ezekiel Elliott situation could reportedly go sideways fast if progress isn’t made on new contract - Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports
Earlier in the week it was reported that Ezekiel Elliott would consider holding out from training camp if a deal wasn’t agreed to by then. Are the Cowboys approaching a flashpoint in negotiations?
Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson writes that while Elliott hasn’t made a decision on whether to skip Cowboys camp ... “yet,” the running back “definitely wants an extension in the works.” There’s more: “If Cowboys aren’t proactive about a deal, I think this could go sideways fast. It hasn’t yet. This will be an important week.”
At issue is what’s always at issue when talking about running backs: No matter how good they may be, they play the most fungible position in the NFL. For every Le’Veon Bell who makes $12.1 million on the franchise tag there’s a James Conner pulling down $578,000 and being just as productive. Bell, who sat out the 2018 campaign, signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets this offseason, which was less than what the Steelers offered him last summer -- and trails the contract the Ramsgave Todd Gurley.
It’s worth noting that Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said in February that Elliott very much remained in the team’s plans.
”Well, I mean we’ve got it budgeted that we’re going to pay Zeke a significant contract at some point,” he said at the time. “He’s right there at the top with the best of the business, if not the best. We saw what Gurley got paid, and that’s probably where it starts, and we’ll go from there.”
Film room: Why Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence may be even more dangerous to opposing offenses in 2019 - John Owning, SportsDay Dallas
Arguably the most important part of the Cowboys’ offseason was signing DeMarcus Lawrence to a long-term contract extension. Lawrence certainly earned every cent with his play, but John Owning takes a closer look at just how dominant Tank can be.
Everyone who is even remotely familiar with Lawrence knows that his signature pass rush move is the cross chop (above clip). Lawrence uses subtle footwork, outstanding timing, great body control and powerful hands to set up and effectively execute the cross chop on any given rush (read this more a more in-depth look at Lawrence’s cross chop).
If we all know that the cross chop is Lawrence’s signature move, you can bet that each and every offensive lineman he faces this season will know it too, necessitating Lawrence to expand his pass rush repertoire this offseason. Here’s a great example (h/t to Coach Brandon Jordan for the video):
While there is no official name (yet) for the move Lawrence is applying above, some coaches have begun to call it an arm drag (0:22 of the video) - as it bears a close resemblance to the grappling technique of the same name.
The deepest position group on the team might just be the wide receivers corps, which has a host of players fighting for spots behind the three presumed starters - Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb. For Devin Smith, he’s trying to overcome more than just a roster battle.
“I’ve got an opportunity here, and I’m just trying to take full advantage of it. Injury after injury, it kind of broke me down and I got depressed for a while. My mental wasn’t right, and it was hard. But really got me over the hump is the fact that I love this game.
“Seeing all my friends in the NFL, seeing them succeed, I just wanted to be a part of that, especially coming from Ohio State, with a lot of guys in the pro’s doing well, I wanted to be one of those guys and show an example to the young kids in my hometown of Akron.” – Devin Smith, on why he continues to fight.
Smith is aware of his struggles when it comes to staying healthy, but wasn’t afraid to come back for more in the NFL. Smith’s role is to bolster depth to the wide receiver group, and gain traction during training camp. He battles not only the newness of joining the Cowboys in January, but the injuries of his past. He’s obviously got fight in him to be here at this point.