Film room: 3 underrated players on the Cowboys’ 2020 roster, including the glue that holds the D-line together - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Examining three of the most underrated players on the Cowboys’ roster.
Since being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, Gallup has quickly developed in myriad areas, growing into a high-end No. 2 receiver in the Cowboys’ offense. It’s fair to criticize Gallup for his inconsistent hands, as he led the league in drops in 2019 (13), but based on his rookie season and college career, last year appears to be the exception, not the rule. He had just three drops as a rookie and 12 throughout his whole college career despite seeing 191 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.
Nevertheless, even with the drop issues, Gallup was one of the NFL’s most efficient receivers, finishing 10th in receiving yards per route run (2.16), per Pro Football Focus, as his improvement last season overshadowed his drop issues. The area where Gallup has seen the most improvement is in his ability to beat press coverage, on top of his overall route-running ability. While his hands could still be refined a bit more, Gallup’s footwork to beat press coverage is very impressive. He does an excellent job of manipulating defensive backs and attacking leverage with his feet to create separation with his releases against tight coverage.
The defense looks different, but will they play different?
Better, worse or the same? Same, but with some questions...Losing Jones to the Miami Dolphins was a big blow, but it was not unexpected since the Cowboys were not going to approach the $16.25 million-a-year offer Jones received. While Jones did not take the ball away, he was ninth-best in completion percentage allowed among players with 50 targets as the nearest defender in 2019, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He gave up three touchdowns. Would you rather have a corner with four interceptions but give up more completions and/or touchdowns?
The Cowboys did not stand pat at the position even with Awuzie and Lewis entering the final year of their rookie contracts and Brown being re-signed. Diggs, a second-round pick, had three interceptions last season at Alabama and has tremendous athleticism. Robinson, the Cowboys’ fourth-round pick, had four picks last season at Tulsa. Worley can play all across the secondary and Canady has solid ability.
The bottom line, however, is they must get the ball. The Cowboys have not had a cornerback with four interceptions in a season since Terence Newman in 2011.
With no trip to Oxnard, now’s the chance to cherish a few Cowboys training camp memories - Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News
Take a trip down memory lane of past Dallas Cowboys training camps.
The camps in Austin were all about the heat, both literally and the manner in which practice could get dialed up. You’d have a front row view of Troy Aikman screaming at defensive line coach Butch Davis, and the Cowboys just might have achieved a level of play that they couldn’t reach against lesser opponents. Things got dialed up in the journalism world, too. The day Jerry Jones came walking our direction, Ed Werder stalking him and Jerry shouting to PR director Rich Dalrymple to get this (blankety blank) away from him after Ed and I had been beaten on a story about Tom Landry going into the Ring of Honor ... yes, that one comes to mind quickly and may haunt me for years to come.
Flash forward to 2004 in Oxnard. It’s Bill Parcells’ second year and we’re all believing that the team is going to take a step forward after its shocking playoff trip in ‘03 and that Quincy Carter is really developing into a quarterback. Suddenly word is out one morning that the team is about to cut Carter and it feels just as wild and crazy in its own way as the Walker signing back in ‘86. Parcells spots long-time New York Daily News writer Gary Myers just before the news conference is to begin, and the coach gives him his awkward New Jersey grin. “You picked a good day to be here,’’ Parcells said.
Lots of circus catches. Lots of fights. Dalrymple reporting to us that Emmitt Smith has been thrown from a cart after it hit Crazy Ray but neither appears to have sustained serious injury. The calm inside Landry’s dorm room while the craziness generated by the Walker signing swirled around him. Tex Schramm reaching into his desk drawer for a little mid-day beverage before scolding me for believing what agents told me. The awkward, defeated look on Chan Gailey’s face when he was forced to refer to Michael Irvin reportedly stabbing a teammate with scissors as “horseplay.’’ Jimmy Johnson running all over the field, going absolutely crazy during a poor special teams practice to elevate his team.
Speaking of camp, the Mothership looks at some of the downsides of staying at the Star.
Well, heard new head coach Mike McCarthy was enthralled with the idea of having those two grass fields in Oxnard. But, there’s only one at The Star. And if the Cowboys plan on practicing on the grass field outdoors, probably have to do that in the morning. Though that might suit Mike McCarthy’s schedule just fine, since heard his preference is to flip what the Cowboys have been doing all these years at the River Ridge Sports Complex of conducting the walk-through practice in the morning and the padded one in the afternoon. He prefers the padded practice to be in the morning, which likely is the only way to practice outdoors avoiding the Texas 100-degree afternoons, with the afternoon walk-through then in Ford Center.
Either that, or the Cowboys can always practice inside Ford Center, although repeated indoor practices on artificial turf is not optimum for player legs. Oh, this also occurred to me the other day, since there is more time when working from home to daydream:
If the Cowboys want two, side-by-side grass fields to practice on, maybe they can commandeer two of the 17 grass practice fields over at the FC Dallas Soccer Center just a 10-minute bus ride away from The Star. These days do require flexibility to manage outside the box, you know.
The rookie wideout will be able to contribute in multiple facets of the game.
Plain and simple, special teams cost the Cowboys a chance to win in at least four games and perhaps more. Against the Packers in Week 5, the Cowboys trailed by 10 in the final two minutes but kicker Brett Maher missed a 34-yard field goal to prevent any chance for an onside kick and getting the game to a one-score possession.
Against the Jets the next week, Maher did make a 62-yard field goal, but missed one from 40 in an eventual two-point loss. Against the Giants in New York, the Cowboys gave up 181 kickoff return yards. Against Minnesota the next week, mass confusion occurred on the sideline at the end of the game. Tavon Austin signaled for a fair catch despite having plenty of room to return a punt and perhaps give the Cowboys a chance to win the game.
And there was New England, where the Cowboys had a punt blocked that led to the Patriots only touchdown. Dallas also couldn’t figure out the wind and rain as the weather elements caused all sorts of problems handling kickoffs.
Which Cowboys do you think should have made the list?
46. G ZACK MARTIN, DALLAS COWBOYS...Few players have been as consistently excellent as Zack Martin since he entered the league. Five of his six starting seasons have seen him earn an overall PFF grade of at least 85.9, and the sixth was 79.1. Last season, he allowed no sacks at all, was flagged just twice all year and earned a solid run-blocking grade. He has now been penalized just five times in four seasons.
We have all heard the same Dak Prescott criticisms. We attempted to debunk them on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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