Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott is off to the best start of his career, and was rewarded by being on the cover of Money Issue of Sports Illustrated.
Starting in early spring, the Cowboys embarked on a spending spree, handing over $180 million in guaranteed money to players, most of whom were already under contract. That’s more than the Jones family paid for the entire franchise in 1989. Smith, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (five years, $105 million), right tackle La’El Collins (five years, $50 million) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90 million) were all locked down before the season-opening win over the Giants. Still on the Joneses’ to-do list: wide receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Byron Jones and, most notably, quarterback Dak Prescott.
In a league where the biggest contract at a position doesn’t necessarily go to the best player but the star who made his deal most recently, only two of the Cowboys re-signees (Lawrence and Elliott) topped the league in traditional measures that most use to gauge contracts. Elliott’s back-loaded deal comes with significant risk for a running back. Smith, meanwhile, leapt at the chance to cash in while he still had two years remaining on a particularly restrictive second-round rookie deal, but he did not reset the top of the linebacker market. Collins got a significant percentage of guaranteed money relative to others at his position (70%), but from a team perspective it’s a reasonable deal considering the inflated market for offensive linemen.
How is all this possible in a salary-capped system where the top players almost always dig in until they get the best money for their position? While every situation is different, part of the answer lies in the history of the Cowboys franchise. Long before there were guardrails on what each team could spend, Dallas was known for slipping in a house, horse trailer, rental car or steakhouse gift card to get its best talent to sign for less and for longer. When the Joneses took control, that philosophy evolved into this southern utopia; a network of perks that include that private social club, isolated passageways to the player valet, soaring jersey sales (thus, more commission money), retail space in the pro shop for passion projects and the underlying promise that, if you succeed here, you’ll never have trouble finding lucrative work once your career is over.
Quarterback luck is now just one more thing going the Dallas Cowboys' way this season - Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News
Everything seems to be going right for the Dallas Cowboys early this season, even the quarterbacks they will face.
I raised this question in a news conference at Valley Ranch back in '92, near the end of that regular season, asking Jimmy Johnson about the "good fortune" of having faced Denver's Tommy Maddox instead of John Elway, the Raiders' Todd Marinovich in place of Jay Schroeder, Phoenix's Timm Rosenbach instead of Chris Chandler, Jim McMahon in the Philly rematch in place of Randall Cunningham and even New York's Kent Graham in place of either Phil Simms or Jeff Hostetler.
I got the nodding head and the smacked lips and the "Yes, Tim, we're not very good, we're just lucky" response from Jimmy that you might expect. That wasn't really the point, of course. Those Cowboys were extremely good, about to win three Super Bowls in four seasons. But it never hurts when that carpet is rolled out for you to get things started. Enter 2019.
I can't tell you if it's a break to have begun the season against the old guys -- Eli Manning and Case Keenum -- instead of the rookies. Daniel Jones starts for the Giants this week and Dwayne Haskins has to be in the on-deck circle for a struggling Washington team. But it's most definitely a break to be facing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who sits at the very bottom of the passer rating list (more than 100 points below Dak Prescott), and one wonders if Josh Rosen will ever get a chance to start for any period of time in this league. The bigger break -- unfortunately for New Orleans -- is that Drew Brees is having thumb surgery today.
Devin Smith’s comeback an inspiration to Dallas Cowboys - Clarence Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Devin Smith is impressing with his play on the field, and inspiring with his story off it.
There will be more moments to come for the comeback kid,who had three catches for a team-high 74 yards in the game. He not only proved he belongs in the league again but showed he has regained the deep speed to take the top off defenses.
Smith will now be counted on to help fill in for the injured Michael Gallup, who is out 2-4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Look for Randall Cobb to start opposite Amari Cooper with Smith taking a larger role in the sub-packages.
Ironically, Smith was filling in for a resting Gallup when his number was called on the touchdown. It was vintage Smith, who ran a great route on cornerback Josh Norman and caught a perfect ball from Prescott. “Devin got an opportunity,” Prescott said. “It was great just to see him get out there and put the boosters on and throw the ball out there and he went under it and it was great. I’m happy for a guy like that who’s had a great camp. Obviously done a really good job up to this point. Now he’s going to just help us out. As you said, he’s got some speed. He can do a lot of things. He’s going to be a big help to this offense.”
Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end Robert Quinn will face his former team, the Miami Dolphins, in his Dallas debut on Sunday.
The Cowboys released former first-round draft pick Taco Charlton on Wednesday afternoon to make room for Quinn on the 53-man roster. Quinn spent the first two games on the Reserve/Suspended list for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, which he strongly denied once the suspension came down in early March. Now, the 2-0 Cowboys are adding a proven pass rusher to their defensive line. Quinn made two Pro Bowls with the Rams before joining the Dolphins in 2018.
“Definitely gives us a better rush,” Cowboys starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods said. “He’s a veteran. His resume speaks for itself. It’s good to have him back, most definitely.”
The Dolphins Are Tanking For The Future, But 2019’s Roster Must Pay The Price - Kevin Brady, Inside The Star
Check out a breakdown of the Dallas Cowboys next opponent, the 0-2 Miami Dolphins.
Though teams typically overvalue draft picks, there’s no doubt that the best way to build a football team is with young, cheap talent. By leveraging the rookie wage scale, teams can maximize title windows by finding cheap quarterbacks through the draft, and spending big money on other key positions. The Seahawks have done it, the Eagles have done it, and now the Browns are looking to do it.
And, as clear as can be, the Dolphins are going full tank mode in 2019. Miami is off to one of the most pathetic starts in NFL history. After getting throttled 59-10 at home in their season opener, Miami followed up that loss with another awful performance in week 2. Through two games, Miami has been outscored 102-10. It’s unwatchable for the fans, and most importantly, demoralizing for the players.
From a front office stand point, its easy to understand what the Dolphins are doing. After all, as a Dallas Cowboy fan, you can argue that Jimmy Johnson brought the tank to the NFL with his famous Herschel Walker trade. Johnson hoarded draft picks from 1988-1991 and built one of the greatest dynasties this league has ever seen.
Taco Charlton is gone and we have a lot of thoughts. Listen to them on the latest episode of The Ocho from the BTB podcast feed.
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