Film room: Looking for Gerald McCoy’s replacement on Cowboys’ roster, in free agency and the trade market - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys will have to replace Gerald McCoy, the questions is whether to rely on in-house options or look to the outside world.
Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill will have to play major parts in Dallas’ defensive line rotation to keep Crawford fresh and healthy. Gallimore (6-2, 302 pounds) is a rookie third-rounder who has special linear speed and explosiveness. He projects to be more of a flash player early in his career, as his explosive first step will assuredly give some guards problems while his issues with taking on double teams and changing direction will lead to some warts early on as well. As a rookie, Gallimore would be better used in pass-rush situations rather than in running situations where opposing offenses can target him with double teams.
Hill (6-3, 308 pounds) struggled mightily as a rookie, as he was simply too raw technically to take advantage of his intriguing physical traits, though he did show some technical improvements as the season wore on. Through the early portions of camp, there are some positive signs that Hill is adequately building off the improvements he displayed toward the end of the season, which seems to be due to Hill maturing this offseason. When asked about Hill, Crawford said:
“That guy is an animal. A lot of last year was just him growing into a pro. Now, with this offseason work and his mindset and mentality coming into this thing, I’ve seen him become a pro right before my eyes.” If Hill can take a step forward and play like the second-rounder the Cowboys thought they drafted last year, then it mitigates a lot of concern the team may have from McCoy’s injury because he can provide Crawford the necessary breather on base downs (first and second).
Ezekiel Elliott on Cowboys in 2020: ‘We’re going to run the ball’ - Dallas Cowboys Blog - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
The star running back is confident Dallas will mix the run and pass well in 2020.
Elliott, 25, isn’t concerned with a change in workload given McCarthy’s arrival or the addition of 2020 first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, who will give the Cowboys a top receiver trio with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. “We have a lot of weapons, but I think we’re going to run the ball and spread the ball around,” Elliott said. Where Elliott struggled last season was in explosive runs. His four runs of at least 20 yards were the fewest among the top 10 rushers in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb led the league with 11 runs of at least 20 yards.
From 2016 through 2018, Elliott led the NFL with 30 runs of at least 20 yards. “Shoot, I don’t know,” Elliott said when asked why there was a decline in 2019. “Just finishing, got to make more guys miss in open field.” McCarthy’s review of Elliott’s 2019 season does not lead to major worry, either. “The guy I saw on film was the guy who was 4-plus [yard] runs every time he touched the ball,” McCarthy said. “If you look at his averages and if you break it down by his outside zone and his inside zone and his tight zone runs, he runs the ball very well. There is no flaws there as far as him as a runner. You can see on the screens some of the big plays he did have. He finished runs. He finished plays. His ability to be a multiple-run force runner is something we will definitely utilize.”
Andy Dalton sure seems like everything the Cowboys could have wanted in a backup quarterback.
As someone who has had a lot of backup quarterbacks himself, Dalton said his main responsibility is to be Prescott's No. 1 supporter, to encourage him on the sideline and offering tips about what he's seeing during a game. With training camp underway, Dalton is also seeing how his experience can also help in the meeting room – not just with Prescott, but with his two younger teammates, Clayton Thorson and Ben DiNucci.
"It could be a rotation. It could be a linebacker position that is tipping off something else," Dalton said. "It may not be covered. It may not be said. But it may be something I would be thinking about, so I kind of bring it up, 'Hey what do you see here. What is going to happen next when this happens?' That just comes with the experience of playing." It feels reminiscent of 2016, when Prescott was mentored by the likes of Mark Sanchez and Kellen Moore during his first season as the Cowboys' starter. It's probably not something he thought much about during the week-to-week grind of starting, but the past decade has afforded him plenty of expertise.
"It definitely gives you a different perspective on it. To go back and look at it, I have played in a lot of games," he said.
Releasing DT Gerald McCoy was harsh, but that doesn’t mean his relationship with the Cowboys is over - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
Gerald McCoy’s release may not mark the end of his time in Dallas.
McCarthy then mentioned that McCoy had mentioned he would like to be around the team during the season even though he knew he wouldn’t play. “That was part of our conversation,’' McCarthy said. “He expressed not only a desire to be here but to be part of what we’ve started here.
“Obviously, he’s very comfortable and this is where he wants to be. That’s exactly what he communicated to me.‘' The issue became how much it would cost the club to have McCoy around. His release means the Cowboys are no longer responsible for a $2.5 million base salary and $750,000 roster bonus this season. The club is also off the hook for his $1.5 million base salary in 2021.
A short time after McCarthy’s comments, as the Cowboys took the practice field, a smiling McCoy posted a picture of himself on Instagram before going into surgery. He posted comments about his optimism and faith, saying he would approach this “as a blessing in disguise.‘' McCoy does pocket $3 million for his brief tenure with the club. He’s on the team’s salary cap for $1 million this season and $2 million in 2021. The door is open for his return. But it’s closed for now.
The third-year wideout has received high praise at the start of camp.
In 2019, Michael Gallup was fourth in the NFL in yards per reception (16.8) among wide receivers with at least 90 targets per Pro Football Focus. Gallup was also sixth in yards per reception after the catch (5.0) among that same wide receiver group. When you combine those two numbers it lets you know that Gallup was not only making plays down the field, but he was making plays once the ball was in his hands. Only two receivers in the NFL averaged more than 16 yards per reception and five or more yards per reception after the catch; Stefon Diggs and Michael Gallup.
Obviously, Michael Gallup is a beneficiary of Amari Cooper’s presence on the other side of the field. And at the same time, Cooper, and the rest of the offense will be helped by Gallup’s emergence. Teams will struggle with where to deploy their defensive resources with Michael Gallup as big a threat to beat them down the field as Cooper.
It seem as if Mike McCarthy has learned from a past mistake in his career. We discuss on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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