Taking a look at some early best bets for the Cowboys this upcoming season.
Win Total: Over/Under 10. Dallas has one huge asset heading into the regular season. It has a franchise quarterback in Prescott and a solid relationship between quarterback and coach. “He takes care of us. He builds his relationships,” the 29-year-old said of McCarthy, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “We have a great relationship that has continued to build.”
As long as Prescott stays healthy, the Cowboys will be in the playoff mix this season. They have too much talent across the roster to not push for the postseason in the underwhelming NFC.
Looking outside the division, the NFC’s top contenders include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals. It would be a surprise if Dallas didn’t claim one of the seven postseason berths.
Dallas should also top its over/under of 10 wins. The Cowboys have the league’s easiest schedule (tied) in terms of opposing 2021 win percentage (.462). They’re coming off a 12-5 campaign and should again see double-digit wins in 2022.
Cowboys bring back former kicker Brett Maher after tryout on Tuesday - David Howman, Blogging The Boys
Brett Maher has returned.
The Cowboys have been holding a competition for their kicker position between undrafted rookie Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu. So far through training camp, Hajrullahu has been the clear frontrunner, but neither kicker showed anything to give the team confidence. That led to the team bringing in four kickers for a tryout Tuesday morning, and it ended with the signing of the one name most familiar to fans.
Roquan Smith trade fits - 10 NFL teams with picks, salary-cap space for Chicago Bears linebacker - Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com
Should the Cowboys pursue a trade for the talented linebacker?
Smith, 25, is a year away from free agency and wants a new deal now. Word began to circulate last week that the Bears' contract offer was unimpressive to the player.
And now Chicago must make a decision that will challenge the direction of first-year general manager Ryan Poles: Decide to pay your best player, even if you didn't draft him, or complete the tear-down by dealing another marquee defender after the Bears previously sent Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers in March. A trade request can go one of two ways: It can prompt a better contract offer from the original team (Smith's message was harsh), or it can expedite the inevitable changing of jerseys.
Either way, interest from around the league will be high. Over four seasons, Smith has reached elite status by filling up the stat sheet, with 524 tackles (43 for a loss), 14 sacks, 17 pass deflections and five interceptions. He ranked fifth in the league in tackles last season (163). He plays all three downs and impressed in coverage.
The UDFA is trying to lock down a roster spot.
Houston has now started to catch not only the attention of some coaches, but others have taken notice, including quarterback Dak Prescott. He recently said that Houston is where he expects him to be every play. He also loves to pick his brain and communication about things. “Tough, resilient player,” said Prescott.
We all heard Jerry Jones say he believes in his young guys, and Houston is one of them. During his senior season with the Leathernecks, he caught 90 passes for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns. He even poured out 237 yards against Ball State.
I’ll be honest until Washington went down, I had no idea who Houston was. I started diving into the depth at the position and heard he was starting to impress. As mentioned before, until we see some game action from these players, it is hard to predict who will help the receiver group. Houston is doing all the right things as a UDFA to claim a roster spot.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott on returning to rookie form, the addition of Anthony Barr - Staff, Dallas Morning News
Dallas’ star running back spoke about getting healthy and his overall career trajectory.
How much better do you feel than last year when it concluded and you were playing through injury? Elliott: “I felt way better. I’ll say even better than that. Beginning this offseason, I’d say it probably took me until after the season’s over. You know, probably like one and a half two months to fill back. But, you know, now I’m ready.”
Is there a chance you can get back to being that player that you were when you first came into the league? Elliott: “I wouldn’t say I’m not that player anymore. I’ll say just as far as production, I have a different role you know having TP here is definitely helped me out a lot. It’s definitely going to extend my career, taking some of those touches off me. It is a different role than my rookie year but I plan to get back to that form.”
Four players who could be on their way out of Dallas.
Matt Farniok, G. This entire offseason we’ve seen and heard the hype train about Farniok and how much this Cowboys coaching staff and front office think he’s improved over the last season.
While I appreciate their enthusiasm over his growth and potential, what this front office did after the 2022 NFL Draft leads me to believe that they may not be too sure about Farniok. Adding James Empey and Alec Lindstrom says something about how you feel about your backup center position. Both of these players come into this camp with a lot to prove after not being drafted and are out to prove they belong.
Farniok is going to need to come out and hit the ground running, but that was derailed briefly by a head injury in camp. The Cowboys have also used him as the defacto fullback with the injury to Ryan Null during camp. If he isn’t able to take hold of the backup center spot then McClay could use him as a trade chip in order to get a receiver. There isn’t that much tape on Farniok so teams can look back at his college tape and may want to give him a shot in exchange for a player who may not be a household name but one that can help the Cowboys move the chains until Michael Gallup and James Washington return.
ICYMI:Cowboys 2022 training camp practice #12 recap w/ video & tweets - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Everything you need from Dallas’ second to last practice in Oxnard.
The Cowboys held their second to last practice in Oxnard today. Let’s dive in and see how it went.
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