Minkah Fitzpatrick could be a great addition to the Cowboys defense, but can they make a trade happen?
The Cowboys currently use veteran Jeff Heath as the strong safety, and second-year pro Xavier Woods as the free safety.
Few players have squeezed more out of their opportunity more than Heath, who is a good pro but simply has not made the type of plays teams covet from his spot.
Woods is improving, but has yet to make any type of major plays thus far.
Adding a Fitzpatrick would require some movement, but he would be an upgrade.
The Cowboys have not had high-end production and major plays from the safety position since Woodson, or Roy Williams in the first few years of his career.
The Cowboys have had a Pro Bowler at every position on the field in the last decade except for safety.
Fitzpatrick is a Pro Bowl type talent, and he’s going to require more than a Taco to get him.
Cowboys have talked to Dolphins, presumably about Minkah Fitzpatrick - Charean Williams, Pro Football Talk
So we know that the Cowboys are at least a bit curious about Fitzpatrick’s, but will talks progress?
The Dolphins have given Minkah Fitzpatrickpermission to seek a trade. The Cowboys could use an upgrade at safety.
So have the Cowboys had conversations with the Dolphins the past 24 hours?
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones answered, “Yeah,” when asked that question on 105.3 The Fan on Friday but wouldn’t comment on specifics and didn’t use Fitzpatrick’s name. Jones added that he talks to other teams all the time.
“We always . . . when you hear rumors, you get calls,” Jones said on his radio show, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “You have conversations between myself, Jerry [Jones], Will [McClay]. We’re always checking around and seeing what’s going on. We have a pretty steady diet of visiting with other teams. We’re always trying to improve our roster.”
Cowboys scouting report: Scouting the Washington Redskins offense - Connor Livesay, Blogging the Boys
Taking a deep dive into the Redskins offensive game-plan in week one, and what that can mean for the Cowboys defense in week two.
Similar to the New York Giants, the Redskins used a good amount of mesh-concept to free up their receiving backs and slot receivers on third downs. This is a nice little concept from Jay Gruden that forced the dropping linebackers to cover two levels of the field with one position. On 3rd and 8, Gruden dials up a levels-mesh play that brings Chris Thompson and Trey Quinn as the receivers across the shallow-middle of the field. Giving the down-and-distance and space the linebackers are forced to cover, the mesh-receivers pull all three of the Eagles linebackers down to attack the underneath players. Gruden then has a level-receiver running a medium dig-route behind the linebackers. Once Keenum sees the linebackers step up to attack the underneath receivers, he has a free window for the first down. The Cowboys linebacker will need to stay discipline in their coverages, and must force Keenum to check the football down, and limit the big plays.
Cool little concept from Washington. Run level-mesh with Chris Thompson and and Trey Quinn. PHI linebackers end up selling out on the underneath crossers and leave a bug window for Richardson down the middle. Tough to defend this one. pic.twitter.com/nfG5i1lBG3— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) September 11, 2019
The mothership crew gives their game predictions for Cowboys at Redskins.
Bryan Broaddus: This FedEx Field is a strange place to play. Crazy plays, bad bounces and questionable calls have all been part of its history. The Redskins are already 0-1 in the division and another loss would already put them in a bad spot. The Redskins are banged up while the Cowboys should have full game efforts from Ezekiel Elliott and Byron Jones. I believe that Jay Gruden is going to attempt to shorten this game by running the ball with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson so that means every possession is going to matter. If the Cowboys defensively don’t handle this they will lose this game. But I see a better game from the front seven especially DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford. Cowboys control Peterson and Thompson as the offense puts a ton of pressure on the Redskins defense. Dallas 28 Washington 17.
Byron Jones could be a full-go for Sunday’s game. He’s ready get back on the field as CB1.
FRISCO, Texas – Cornerback Byron Jones didn’t speculate on how many snaps he’d play or whether he’d return to the starting lineup Sunday at Washington.
“No clue yet,” he said.
But the Pro Bowl corner continues to make progress in his return from offseason hip surgery. After sitting out all four preseason games, Jones played 28 defensive snaps in the Cowboys’ season opener against the Giants – a little more than the coaching staff estimated before the game.
Jones returned to practice the final week of training camp, exactly where he and the team circled as a benchmark when he began his rehab. Physically he feels great. The biggest thing is getting his footwork and technique down again.
“It’s a skill set,” he said. “Football is one of those sports where you have to prepare the right way. You have to practice, you have to be out there with the guys going over our schemes and obviously what the receivers want to do to us. I kind of skipped over that but learning very quickly and every single practice is very valuable to me. I’m gaining a lot of ground with every practice we’re going through.”
Redskins without Jonathan Allen and Caleb Brantley for Cowboys game, per source - JP Finlay, NBC Sports
The Redskins have already ruled out two defensive lineman, one being one their best defender.
The Redskins defensive line took a major blow this week as a source tells NBC Sports Washington that Jonathan Allen and Caleb Brantley will not play against Dallas. ESPN 980 first reported the news on Allen.
Allen hurt his knee last week in Philadelphia, and while there has been some speculation he will return this week for the Cowboys game, the medical staff doesn’t think his knee sprain will allow him on the field, per the source. For Brantley, the injury dates back to early August when he first injured his foot. Brantley tried to play a bit against the Eagles but reaggravated the foot.
After Allen hurt his knee last week, the Redskins defense fell apart.
The Cowboys offensive line was just about perfect last week against the Giants, but this week will be a tougher task.
This week against the Washington Redskins, that competition level should be a bit higher. At least on paper. Washington has invested a good number of assets into their defensive front in recent years, essentially going after anyone who’s played under Nick Saban in college.
Their defensive line is wildly impressive when you take a look at the names they are able to deploy: such as Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Caleb Brantley, and Matt Ioannidis. Yet, their production as a defensive line hasn’t been nearly as strong.
Washington’s run defense finished 28th in DVOA in 2018, and after one week of football they currently sit at 16th in those same rankings. They also ranked 29th in adjusted line yards a year ago. Of course, a defensive line does more than just defend the run, but their pass rushing numbers aren’t too pretty either.
Though they did have a decent sack percentage last season, their edge pass rushing talent outside of Ryan Kerrigan leaves much to be desired. Washington tried to fix their edge spot opposite Kerrigan by drafting the highly touted Montez Sweat, but he is still very young and has to grow as a player.
Kellen Moore is the real deal.
Whatcha gonna do Washington, noon Sunday at FedExField in this NFC East matchup to prevent starting off the season 0-2?
Do you want to load the box up front to make sure Zeke doesn’t romp up and down the field on you?
Or do you want to saturate the secondary in coverage and maybe take your chances blitzing to make sure Dak doesn’t single-handedly rip you apart throwing the football to his arsenal of receivers?
Normally defenses choose one or the other, unless the defense is strong enough to play it straight up.
See, the Giants chose the former, figuring if they stopped the Cowboys’ running game Dak couldn’t beat them, though maybe they forgot what he did over the final eight games of last season, and maybe in that season finale when the Cowboys put up 36 points behind Prescott’s 387 yards passing and four passing touchdowns, including that 32-yard on-the-run laser to Cole Beasley on fourth-and-15 with 1:19 left, along with the two-point conversion pass to Michael Gallup for the 36-35 victory.
Bad choice. Cowboys 35, Giants 17.