Film room: 3 Cowboys rookies who will outperform their draft slot, including the potential steal of the entire 2020 class - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Who will be the star of this year’s rookie class?
It’s not exactly going out on a limb to suggest a fourth-round pick who has a real chance to start at some point in Year 1 is going to outperform his draft slot, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Tyler Biadasz here.
Unfortunately, Biadasz is probably the rookie most affected by canceled OTAs and minicamps. Biadasz is missing crucial time to get comfortable in the Cowboys’ scheme and on the same page as Dak Prescott in terms of protections, line checks and blocking assignments, providing Joe Looney an early leg up in the center competition. Yes, Looney’s learning a slightly new scheme as Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore meld their respective schemes, but he at least has real in-game experience while gaining Prescott’s trust — something neither Biadasz nor Connor McGovern can claim.
But even if the lack of practice time hurts his chances to win the starting center gig as a rookie, Biadasz will be the favorite to win the job in 2021. He has more potential at center than either Looney or McGovern. If you want to really get exited about Biadasz dawning a star on his helmet, check out his 2018 tape, when he looked like a first-round pick and was one of the most dominant interior offensive linemen in football. Offseason hip surgery following his sophomore season eliminated his ability to attain new skills and get stronger, as he was primarily focused on rehab.
Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott feels ‘normal’ after coronavirus diagnosis, concerned with player safety - ESPN
Ezekiel Elliott spoke about feeling good after his coronavirus diagnosis, but he also spoke about the possibility of a season in the midst of the pandemic.
The three-time Pro Bowler was perhaps the most high-profile NFL player to reveal he had the coronavirus. And as cases of positive tests for the virus mount, the 24-year-old said he was concerned about the safety of players, with the NFL preparing for a return to training camps in July amid the pandemic.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of moving parts that have to be figured out,” Elliott said. “I just don’t know how they can keep the players [healthy]. You gotta put the health of the players first.
“And it’s not even so much, I would say, the players’ health — because I got corona, and it really didn’t affect me much. But a lot of people have kids — they may have kids with asthma; they may have newborn babies; their parents or grandparents may live with them. ... We have to find ways to make sure that players and their families — and the coaches also, and their families — aren’t put at risk.”
“Hey, I hope we play,” Elliott said. “I wanna let you guys know, I do hope that we have a season. But it has to be right. It has to — we gotta put the health of the players and the coaches and the support staff first. I think that’s important.”
Don’t forget about number 13.
Everyone knows Amari Cooper is one of the best receivers in football, and everyone is excited about CeeDee Lamb. But that doesn't exactly make Gallup chopped liver.
Don't tell the league that. It seems like every time we talk about the Cowboys' offense, Gallup gets left out in favor of Cooper, Lamb, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. It's understandable, but it's dead wrong.
Only 25 receivers finished with 1,000 yards last year, and Gallup was one of them. On top of that, he's not even the Cowboys' primary receiver. Surpassing 1,000 yards despite not being the No. 1 receiver is tough to do. That's probably why Gallup, Chris Godwin, Jarvis Landry, Robert Woods and Mike Williams were the only guys who pulled it off last season.
Again, that's not to say Gallup is perfect. He struggled with drops last season, and it's something he'll need to clean up in Year 3. But those that are forgetting about him because of the other talent on this offense? They're doing so at their own peril.
Which rookie do you believe will be more productive in 2020?
Frelund cites Lamb’s ability to break tackles and production in the slot as the two main reasons for his potential success in his first year. Also, she points out the fact the Cowboys already have a couple of playmakers at the position who will keep defenses honest. This in turn will generate more opportunities for the Oklahoma product.
“Lamb’s Oklahoma resume shows exceptional production from the slot and an elite ability to earn yards after the catch. Lamb forced the second-most missed tackles on receptions (26, per Pro Football Focus) among FBS receivers and recorded the third-most yards after contact (376, per PFF) last season overall, but we need more context to spin all that forward to see the difference he’ll make for the Cowboys. Looking at his slot production (24.2 yards per reception from the slot, the second-most in FBS, per PFF) and his ability to operate in the middle of the field, and factoring in how defenses facing Dallas will also be forced to account for Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Lamb has the highest rookie wideout ranking in my model, checking in at No. 38 among all NFL receivers.”
Cowboys O-Line Allowed NFL's Fewest Sacks; Can They Repeat w/o Frederick? - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
Minus Frederick, will the Dallas’ O-Line be as effective in 2020?
Clearly, though, Dallas is did a great job overall in avoiding sacks on Dak Prescott. But with All-Pro center Travis Frederick’s retirement this offseason, can they maintain that same performance in 2020?
The good news is that the Frederick of 2019 wasn’t the same player we knew from 2013-2017. He was still very solid, but even Travis admitted he wasn’t playing up to his usual standard. So replacing Frederick isn’t quite as daunting as it was a few years ago.
The Cowboys have some good options there in veteran Joe Looney and young prospects Connor McGovern and Tyler Biadasz. Among those three, somebody should emerge who can keep the line solvent and competitive. Additionally, we’re hoping on 3rd-year improvement from Left Guard Connor Williams. If we get the expected growth at that position while still having the great Zack Martin on the other side, whoever plays center in 2020 is going to be well supported.
Ex-Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis talk NFL memories, players speaking out, and more - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Catching up with two former Cowboy defenders.
Greg Ellis, 44, played 12 NFL seasons, 11 with the Cowboys. A defensive end who earned one Pro Bowl berth, Ellis played in 176 games compiling 84 sacks and 531 total tackles.
DeMarcus Ware, a nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, played for 12 seasons, nine with the Cowboys. As an outside linebacker, Ware played in 178 games with 138.5 sacks and 657 tackles.
In the 45-minute conversation, the pair talked about how they would feel playing during the coronavirus pandemic, whether Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should speak out against police brutality and their various business ventures.
What do we make of the Cowboys defensive line? We discuss on the latest episode of Talkin’ The Star.
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