For the latest position breakdown, the Mothership takes a closer look a the Cowboys offensive line situation.
Frederick is retiring after seven seasons with the Cowboys, including a successful, Pro Bowl return from Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2019. He decided it was time for the “next chapter of life” after a self-described “difficult” year trying to reach his high standard of play. The Cowboys have placed him on the Reserve/Retired list and will spread out his $11 million salary cap hit over two years.
Who replaces Frederick? That remains to be seen. The Cowboys have been in this situation before when Frederick spent the 2018 season recovering from GBS. Among the candidates this time around: fourth-round draft pick Tyler Biadasz, also a former Wisconsin standout, and veteran Joe Looney, who filled in for Frederick in 2018.
In 2018, the club also made an in-season switch at offensive line coach, promoting former starting right tackle Marc Colombo to replace Paul Alexander. But with head coach Mike McCarthy now in charge, the Cowboys have hired one of McCarthy’s long-time assistants, Joe Philbin, to oversee the position. Philbin is one of four new assistants with previous NFL head coaching experience. He has coached the offensive line in Indianapolis and most recently Green Bay, where he worked on McCarthy’s staff for seven years.
The loss of Travis Frederick puts Joe Looney into the spotlight once again.
With the Cowboys having an amazing amount of roster turnover, and with them having an idea of Frederick’s plans they wisely rewarded Looney with a new one-year contract for 2020. The Cowboys were thought by some to suddenly have huge shoes to fill on their offensive line, but if Joe Looney didn’t have issues shining in this role in 2018, why couldn’t he do it again? While all signs point to Joe Looney being the Cowboys starting center in 2020, he does have some younger players behind him on the current depth chart. It’s possible one or more could give him a run for his money and be named starter before opening night.
When you're watching film and find this nugget of a pancake, you must stop everything and show the world. Watch @dallascowboys LG Joe Looney LIGHT UP this linebacker on a scissors play. It's so beautiful pic.twitter.com/3oI7w2biSM— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) May 5, 2020
The addition of Cam Erving could be a nice depth piece to help shore up the offensive line.
Dallas’ signing of offensive lineman Cameron Erving should not be overlooked. A savvy move to bring in a veteran with real game experience is one thing, but Erving has the ability to be used as both a swing tackle and guard if needed by the Cowboys. Erving signed a one year deal with the Cowboys back in May. He comes to Dallas after spending his last three seasons in Kansas City, where he most recently started eight games at left tackle during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl season.
Erving won’t be pushing La’el Collins for a starting job, of course, but he can fill in nicely in the Cameron Fleming role after his departure to the Giants this offseason. A former first round pick back in 2015, there’s nothing but upside for the Cowboys in this deal.
Jadeveon Clowney isn’t the free agent DE who Cowboys fans should be clamoring for - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
DMN’s John Owning pleads his case for the Cowboys to add a skilled veteran pass rusher in the form of Everson Griffen.
The 6-3, 273-pound Griffen is five years older than Clowney, but age is less important when signing players to short-term deals, which is probably the only way either signs with Dallas. Griffen, 32, is also cheaper and much less injury-prone than the 27-year-old Clowney.
The real reason why Griffen would be a better fit with the Cowboys is his pass-rush ability. With Tyrone Crawford’s return from injury and the acquisitions of defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy, the Cowboys have invested enough resources in improving their ability to stop the run — where Clowney makes his biggest impact. What the Cowboys have yet to do is replace the pass-rush ability of Robert Quinn, which is why Griffen is more enticing. Over their careers, Clowney has averaged 9.42 snaps per pressure while Griffen comes in at 8.70 snaps per pressure.
Additionally, Griffen has done a much better job of converting his pressures into sacks, averaging 6.6 pressures per sack while Clowney averaged 8.6 pressures per sack (using Pro Football Focus’ pressure data along with the NFL’s official sack data).
More importantly and despite his age, Griffen shows no signs of slowing down — 2019 was arguably one of his best seasons as he finished tied for 13th among edge defenders in pressures (66) to go with eight sacks and 26 stops.
Lewis has taken a backseat under previous coaching staffs, but are things likely to change this upcoming season or are his days numbered in Dallas?
Jourdan Lewis spoke to DallasCowboys.com earlier this week, saying he was looking forward to a clean slate with this new defensive coaching staff.
“And they said that everybody has a clean slate. It doesn’t matter how big, tall, how long you’ve been here, it doesn’t matter. If you can play ball they want to see you in that position to go and compete for that job” – Jourdan Lewis.
Yet defensive backs coach Al Harris told that same DallasCowboys.com that he values length in cornerbacks, and implied the team was looking for length when drafting both Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson II this year. All of this may mean one thing: Jourdan Lewis could have a completely clean slate in 2021, with a nice pay day for another franchise during free agency.
And if you’re on the fence with the whole Jourdan Lewis usage situation, you might want to check out John’s write-up tomorrow.
Who do you prefer - Anthony Brown or Jourdan Lewis?— John Owning (@JohnOwning) July 3, 2020
Find out my answer Monday at @dmn_cowboys!
Ranking NFL’s top rivalries of the 2000s: Epic QB clash tops list of historic matchups - Bryan DeAndro, CBS Sports
CBS ranked their top eight rivalries since the turn of the century, and the Cowboys make the list twice.
4. Giants vs. Cowboys
Overall head-to-head record during the decade: Giants, 12-9
Playoff record during the decade: Giants, 1-0
Longest winning streak: 3 (Cowboys)
Best game: 2007 divisional round: Giants 21, Cowboys 17
One of the greatest rivalries in NFL history, the Giants and Cowboys’ rivalry hit a frenzied pitch in the 2000s, when the two stories franchises faced off for the first time in the 2007 playoffs. The Cowboys, the decided favorite heading into the game, had scored a combined 76 points in their regular season sweep of the Giants, who managed to clinch a wild card berth before upsetting the Buccaneers in the wild card round. But unlike their first two meetings, the Giants’ defense was up to the task against the Cowboys’ talented offense, led by Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Marion Barber. While they were still able to pile up 23 first downs while converting 10 of their 16 third down opportunities, Dallas managed to score just 17 points against a New York defense that forced three punts and an interception during the Cowboys’ final four offensive possessions.
The elevated play of New York’s defense set the stage for Eli Manning, who threw a pair of touchdown passes to Amani Toomer. The Giants’ defense, after forcing the Cowboys to punt from deep inside their own territory, also helped set up New York’s only scoring drive of the second half, a drive that was capped off by Brandon Jacobs’ 1-yard touchdown run. After getting his team of the Giants’ 23-yard-line with 16 seconds left, Romo threw two incomplete passes before his final attempt was intercepted by R.W. McQuarters. Despite putting together one of the greatest regular seasons in franchise history, the Cowboys had to watch as the Giants were ultimately the team that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end.
It was an interesting week for the Dallas Cowboys. We discuss on the latest episode of Cowboys Hoy.
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