How Dan Quinn plans to overhaul Cowboys’ porous defense in just one, short offseason - David Moore, DMN
One short offseason for Dan Quinn to work some magic.
Quinn wants to instill a ballhawking mentality. The base packages will have more of a 3-4 look, but, as he points out, most defenses are now in the nickel 60 to 70 percent of the game.
One size does not fit all, but it’s clear from this draft that Quinn cherishes length. He wants a diverse group.
“You want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme,’’ Quinn said. “Whatever size or style team you’re playing against, you want to be versatile enough to be able to say, ‘All right, this is how we’re going to match up and get it on.’”
How far down this path the Cowboys are able to travel in one, short offseason will unfold in the coming weeks and months. It makes sense now to focus on the approach of the man who will put this together.
After an 0-5 start, only three-and-a-half years removed from leading Atlanta to the Super Bowl, the Falcons cut ties with Quinn as their head coach. The date was Oct. 11.
What followed was a 360-degree assessment.
Surely with Quinn and some new additions, the defense will be better in 2021.
Reason #1 – Dan Quinn
While hiring a fired head coach from a 4-12 Atlanta Falcons’ team who fielded the worst passing defense in the NFL last season as your new defensive coordinator doesn’t seem wise, the addition of Dan Quinn in Dallas should improve this unit.
Before helming the Falcons for just over five seasons, including taking them to a Super Bowl in 2016, Quinn was the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks for two years. During that short run, the Seahawks went to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning one.
With Quinn now leading the defense in Dallas, the hope is his scheme will be more familiar to the players than the one Nolan attempted to install in the midst of a virtual offseason caused by a worldwide pandemic last year.
Cowboys 2021 Roster Decisions: Salary Cap Impact Will be the Tiebreaker - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
Money is of the essence in building NFL rosters.
While salary cap impact is always a consideration in any roster move, it’s less of a focus when a team is flush with cap space. That is definitely not the case for the Cowboys; currently up against the wall in 2021 and projected to be well over the cap next year by at least $20 million or more depending on the final numbers.
There are lots of ways that Dallas can help that 2022 situation with restructuring and cap casualties next year. You’ve likely already seen breakdowns of how they can move money around on Dak Prescott’s new contract to create space, and others like DeMarcus Lawrence’s and Amari Cooper’s offer similar opportunities.
Also, many expect the 2022 salary to be higher than current projections once the NFL’s increased revenue from new TV deals and expected easing of pandemic restrictions is realized.
However, another way the Cowboys can help themselves next year is by increasing their 2021 cap room and rolling it over. The team strategically rolled over $27 million in unused 2020 cap space to help them get through this difficult offseason; the 3rd-highest rollover number in the NFL this year.
Julio Jones was spotted in a ‘Boys jersey over the weekend.
Baltimore, San Francisco, New England, the Chargers, Henry’s Titans, Indianapolis and a Green Bay team looking to pacify forever-unhappy QB Aaron Rodgers all make more sense.
But is Jones working out in Green Bay? Is he wearing a Colts hoodie? Does he have another team’s equivalent to legendary Cowboys booster Michael Irvin tweeting about it?
The team that does trade for Jones’ $15.3 million base salary and his $66 million contract will probably not be the Dak Prescott-led one that already boasts Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup at wide receiver. (By the way: Another rumor has Jones working out with Amari, as the two of them are all-time Alabama greats.)
We are not sure what the market is for a pricy wide receiver in his 30s who is coming off a season in which he was healthy enough to play only nine games. But if we were in charge of betting real money based on this photo of two interesting sports shirts?
We’d probably put the odds of the Cowboys trading for Julio Jones slightly ahead of the odds of them trading for Ozzie Smith.
Dallas Cowboys: A Terrance Williams Retrospective (what we learned) - Adithya Prabakaran, SportDFW.com
We talked at length about Williams’ athletic ability through his testing times, but the terms play speed and play strength exist for a reason. In reality, there wasn’t much difference for Williams on the field as there was in his underwear. At 6-feet-2, he had long strides which helped with his foot speed, but in the shorter areas of the field, his acceleration and speed rarely challenged defenders with his free releases.
His agility and change of direction are adequate at best and his explosiveness was below average. Williams’ long legs and lack of explosiveness all tie hand-in-hand. His agility would suffer when he didn’t sink his hips as a high-waisted individual; even otherwise he struggled to challenge the DBs hips in phase because he took too long to start and stop out of his breaks. The lack of explosiveness allowed cornerbacks to minimize the separation out of his breaks as they were generally more explosive.
A positive with Williams’s athletic ability was his foot quickness. When dealing with press coverage, he displayed good foot fakes that helped him stack the cornerback out of his release and then used his long strides to maintain separation working vertically. Combine this with his solid play strength and balance, you could make the case that Williams should have lined up primarily as an X receiver from the beginning.
Micah Parsons will be playing against a few of his old Penn State running backs in the NFC East.
Former teammates at Penn State, NFL rookie Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders are anxious to go to war once again this season, only this time, they could be meeting each other in the A gap.
In the NFC East, anything goes.
“It’s going to be a battle, and it’s going to be a challenge,” Sanders said this week, via Penn Live. “He’s a great player. Just the fact that he’s from Penn State too, it’s going to some crazy battles.”
“I got him twice a year, and he already hit me up saying, like, he’s mad he got me, [Giants running back] Saquon [Barkley], and everybody twice a year,” Sanders said.
The Cowboys took Parsons at No. 12 overall in last month’s NFL Draft and he’ll be the new face of a defense that’s in full rebuild mode.
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