The Cowboys are still trying to generate some competition at the backup quarterback position after working out, but ultimately not signing, Jeff Driskel. Now they’ll be taking a look at undrafted rookie Brady Davis.
The Cowboys have four quarterbacks on their offseason roster but worked out veteran Jeff Driskel last week. So they might not be set for the season. They will look at another quarterback this weekend, too.
Illinois State quarterback Brady Davis has accepted a tryout for this weekend’s rookie minicamp, his representation, Icon Sports Consulting, announced.
Davis began his career at Memphis, spending 2015-17 there before transferring. In 21 games at Illinois State, Davis completed 54 percent of his passes for 3,514 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Much has been said about the Cowboys’ significant improvements in drafting the last decade or so, and a big part of that strategy has been their willingness to take chances on certain players in the second round, with mixed results. The Cowboys are hoping Kelvin Joseph becomes a positive example of that strategy.
It happened again this year for the Cowboys, who desperately wanted a cornerback – so much so they were likely willing to take either Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn in the first round despite having higher grades on Micah Parsons and Rashawn Slater.
So in the second round, they got their cornerback – one that likely has first-round talent in Kelvin Joseph.
So what’s the issue? With Joseph the only questions – ones the Cowboys most certainly answered before the pick – is that of his commitment to football and his team. He reportedly left LSU’s squad after the 2018 season after he was sent home from the bowl game. Joseph transferred to Kentucky where he played half of last season before deciding to “opt out” and prepare for the draft, although it was widely reported that the decision to part ways was a mutual decision by Joseph and Kentucky’s staff.
Joseph is also an accomplished rapper with several produced albums. But he insists football is his top priority and the Cowboys are obviously willing to give him that chance.
Antwaun Woods became a roster casualty last week after Dallas selected two defensive tackles in the draft and added another in undrafted free agency, but it didn’t take long for the veteran nose tackle to find a new home.
Woods, 28, was recently released by a Cowboys team in need of cap space and that had just spent a pair of picks on defensive tackles during the NFL Draft. Earlier this offseason, the team placed a right of first refusal tender ($2.1 million) on Woods, a restricted free agent, which he signed. Woods entered the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans, playing in just one game. He sat out the 2017 season with an injury before signing on in Dallas.
The USC product spent the past three years with the Cowboys, where he started 32 games. Last season, he played in 14 with Dallas, starting seven. He registered 23 tackles (one for a loss), one sack, two quarterback hits and three pressures, according to Pro Football Reference.
Woods is listed at 6-1, 318-pounds, a size that likely means he’ll compete with the Colts other one-technique tackles to serve as Grover Stewart’s primary backup. The competition should be fierce, as the Colts already have some talent at the position.
Dan Quinn was fired just five games into the 2020 season, so he had some time to reflect on his coaching career. And it seems that he took that time to tinker with his well-established defensive scheme before coming to Dallas.
In the three months between getting fired and joining Mike McCarthy’s staff, Quinn said he stripped down his belief system, determining what would work for defenses in 2021.
“That included defensive cutups from 2013 to 2020, and that brought me into some of the system changes that I wanted to implement on the next lap around,” he said. “I didn’t want to do just another rinse and repeat. And, so, that was a big piece on what I wanted to do.”
That evaluation led to some philosophical changes for Quinn, a long-time 4-3, Cover-3 style coordinator. The 50-year-old coach surprised some during the draft when he mentioned adding 3-4 elements to that system. The Cowboys’ new DC wants to be more multiple than his clubs in Seattle and Atlanta — something Dallas attempted and failed miserably to implement last season.
“Certainly a combination of things that, the foundation that has been here, as well as some new things that I wanted to bring into it and how we play and the style that would do that,” Quinn said.
The four-year evaluation: Analyzing the Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft class for quality - Bob Sturm, The Athletic
The Cowboys are getting ready to head into the 2021 season, which means their 2018 draft class is entering the final years of their contracts. With that in mind, a better picture of how good that draft class was can now be discerned.
Some of you are surely asking: How is April of 2018 four years from May of 2021? That is a very fair question. It isn’t. Technically, it’s just 37 months ago, but it also fits the “four drafts ago” setting and is the exact and appropriate time where the evaluation must be done. The wording might be clunky, but the application is not.
We go “four drafts back” because of what McClay indicated. The four-year deals will expire in January and the five-year deals must be activated by the Monday after the draft.
We now clearly know how the Cowboys evaluate 2018 first-round draft pick Leighton Vander Esch by virtue of their refusal to activate his fifth-year option. This is normally a complete no-brainer, because the fifth year locks in a price that is normally far below the price of a new extension per year. Of the top 18 picks in that draft, 17 extended on that price (Josh Rosen was the only rejected one) and since Vander Esch was pick No. 19, we see the arbitrary cut-off point hits close to home and doesn’t feel so arbitrary after all.
The Cowboys did what many fans have wanted for a while in taking Quinton Bohanna, a massive nose tackle, in the sixth round. It’s hard to get too excited for a sixth-round pick, but Bohanna may be good enough to warrant some hype.
Quinton Bohanna was a sixth round pick for a reason. Statistically, he achieves very little. Despite starting the better part of four seasons at Kentucky, Bohanna has only accumulated 25 solo tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Even as a NT those are paltry numbers.
But it’s what he does for those around him that make him so valuable. Bohanna is a guy who controls the line and occupies blockers. He does the tough work that allows others to make the plays. This is something that was desperately missing from the Cowboys last season when Dallas was the second worst run-defense in the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys linebackers have been almost impossible to fairly evaluate. With such poor defensive line play in front of them, they were handed impossible situations. It’s not surprising they started to shy away from taking on blocks, abandoned their gap responsibilities, and started to free lance.
If the Dallas Cowboys can put up some consistent play again on the defensive line, the linebackers behind them should automatically improve. A trickledown effect we’ve spoken of repeatedly this offseason.
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