Will former Boise State QB Kellen Moore be on 2022 College Football Hall of Fame ballot? - Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman
Kellen Moore has already built a strong - albeit short - résumé as a coach, but his legacy as a player in college football for the Boise State Broncos is still what he’s known for. And it’s possible that Moore could be inducted into the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.
The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2022 class will be announced Wednesday, and the question on the mind of every Boise State fan is whether the most successful quarterback in program history will be on it.
Kellen Moore went 50-3 at Boise State from 2008 to 2011 — setting an NCAA record for wins by a quarterback — and he became the first Bronco in any sport to win three conference player of the year awards.
He wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft, but Moore signed with the Detroit Lions in 2012 as a rookie free agent. As soon as his playing career ended in 2018, he caught on with the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff — spending one year as quarterbacks coach and the past two as offensive coordinator.
A year ago, Blake Jarwin was expected to assume the starting tight end role in Dallas after Jason Witten’s second retirement, but his opportunity was cut short in the season-opener. Jarwin is still rehabbing from the ACL surgery, but it eager to return.
“Obviously, my expectation for myself was pretty high, and then just to go down like that in the first half of the first game was pretty tough,” he said last week. It might have been overshadowed by injuries to the likes of Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, but the loss of Jarwin so early in the season is a tremendous what-if from this past season.
The Cowboys felt strongly enough about their former undrafted free agent to sign him to an extension on the strength of just 11 starts. Seeing his counterpart, Dalton Schultz, succeed to the tune of 63 catches for 615 yards makes it easy to wonder what Jarwin might have done with a full season of his own.
“Just to see him kind of have that success on the field, I’m just happy for him,” Jarwin said of Schultz. “I’m excited to get back out there and compete with him. I think it’s going to be great for both of us, and I think both of us on the field at the same time will be awesome, as well.”
Cowboys’ Blake Jarwin will be ‘ready to roll’ for training camp, Dalton Schultz to train with George Kittle - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
As tragic as Blake Jarwin’s injury was last year, it paved the way for Dalton Schultz to have a big breakout year. Now with Jarwin returning in 2021, Dallas is looking at a potential two-headed monster at the position.
Jarwin has proven himself a playmaker when given the chance and as one of Prescott’s favorite targets, seeing him return could make the Cowboys offense that much more prolific. That said, in his absence, Schultz took a gargantuan leap forward and finally established himself as a viable starter in the league as well. He took full advantage of his 14 starts, delivering career-highs in receiving yards (618) and touchdowns (4) despite a carousel of mostly dismal quarterback play following the loss of Prescott to a season-ending injury in Week 5.
This means the Cowboys now legitimately have two starting tight ends, but if you’re thinking there’s some side-eyeing from one to the other, you couldn’t be more wrong. Jarwin and Schultz have been nothing but supportive of each other in their time together in Dallas, and that support spills over into 2021, as Jarwin works to return to the fold.
“I’m so excited for Blake,” Schultz said from Cowboys OTAs. “I love like working alongside a guy that I can really trust. Obviously we got a few years of work together. He is one of the hardest working guys in the locker room, and we kind of pride ourselves on that in our room of being the grinders that will go in day in and day out and do our part. And I’m so excited to see him back on the field.
When the Cowboys selected Chauncey Golston, many fans were skeptical of the value of the pick. However, a deeper dive into Golston’s body of work and his early results in OTA’s suggest that the Iowa edge player will be taking a roster spot. The question is whose job will he be taking?
Over the last three seasons, Golston quietly racked up 127 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 10 passes batted down, and three interceptions. At 6-foot-5, 269 pounds, Golston has rare length for the defensive end position with a wingspan of almost 85 inches and arm length of nearly 35 inches. Despite that size, Golston posted an impressive 36-inch vertical jump and a very solid 4.80 in the 40-yard dash, showing off impressive athleticism in addition to his outstanding size.
Up next? Golston is going to steal someone’s job. The Dallas Cowboys have a new defensive coordinator in former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Golston can play a variety of positions on the defensive line well, but in the base formation, he’s obviously going to be playing the defensive end position. Golston’s ability to be a consistent run defender as well as his high potential as a pass rusher make him an intriguing candidate to come in and start right away as a rookie.
Jaylon Smith’s fall from grace among Cowboys fans only grew with his number change, and speculation about the linebacker being moved before the start of the regular season refuses to go away, with Pro Football Focus now suggesting a trade package for Smith.
The June 1st designation takes away that issue, allowing teams to pretend the player isn’t released until after. When released on June 2 or later, only the current year’s signing bonus allocation counts for the current year. The future years’ allocation will accelerate onto the following year’s cap, and that’s what makes Smith a viable trade candidate as of Wednesday.
Because of the guaranteed money of Smith’s deal, he cannot be released. Another team could sign him for the veteran’s minimum and Dallas would have to pay the rest of his $7.6 million salary to play for someone else. That’s cash out of pocket and not going to happen.
However, he could be traded and that’s exactly what Pro Football Focus recommends in their June 1st survey around the league. Smith is one of six players identified as potential move players and their solution is to send him to the Los Angeles Chargers for a fifth-round pick.
10 Cowboys who need to step up most in 2021: Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith high on the list - Jon Machota, The Athletic
The Cowboys obviously faced injury issues in 2020, but their disappointing finish was also due to some disappointing individual performances from players who did stay healthy. If Dallas wants to bounce back in 2021, these players will need step up.
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB
It’s difficult to imagine the Cowboys not having a good season if Elliott has a big year. Dak Prescott won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016 but the award could have easily gone to Elliott. His physical running style and ability to consistently turn in game-breaking plays were a key reason for that 13-3 season. Elliott has recently struggled to find the frequent explosive runs he did during his first three seasons. Having starting offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins healthy should make a noticeable difference. Elliott doesn’t need to lead the league in rushing as he did in 2016 and 2018, but he has to make defenses pay when they go light in the box to defend all of their weapons on the outside. And he certainly has to be better at taking care of the ball than he was last season. Elliott’s six fumbles were most among NFL running backs.
2. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE
He is Dallas’ most important defender, and the expectations should be high as he enters his eighth season. Lawrence hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2018, his last year with double-digit sacks. That needs to change this year. Lawrence does so much more than just rush the passer. He’s a very good all-around player. But causing problems for quarterbacks is the area where the Cowboys need him to make the biggest impact in 2021. If Lawrence is back to getting 10-plus sacks along with 20-plus quarterback hits, that should only increase the opportunities for Trevon Diggs, Kelvin Joseph, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Damontae Kazee and Donovan Wilson to make plays on the back end. If the Cowboys get 2017 and 2018 Lawrence, this defense will get back to being, at the very least, middle of the pack. And with a loaded offense, that should be more than enough to be in position to make some noise in the playoffs.
The Cowboys have long ignored the safety position, but the low-cost signing of Damontae Kazee in free agency has brought some cautious optimism due to his connection to Dan Quinn. Coming off an Achilles injury, Kazee’s speedy recovery has only increased that optimism.
David: I’ve been asking that question for about eight years. In all seriousness, I’m at least a little bit encouraged by the fact that Damontae Kazee is already practicing. I wasn’t expecting him to be that far along in his recovery from his Achilles injury, so that’s a really pleasant surprise. If he’s ready to go, he’s easily the favorite to handle that job. And in all honesty, the Cowboys really need him to be ready. I’m not exactly sold on their other options.
Jonny: It’s definitely a little perplexing that they are treating a newly-signed player coming off a major injury as a solution to the problem. It feels like something that could cost them in the long run. That said, if healthy, I really like Kazee as a potential solution. He feels like the type of player I would want to come in and produce under Dan Quinn. I’m leaning towards optimism with Kazee, but you can’t really validate that optimism is until he’s played five games in a Cowboy uniform.
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