Jerry Jones was ready to share the positivity with Cowboys fans after trading for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks.
One of the players the Cowboys added was WR Brandin Cooks, a player Jones admitted they tried to get in a trade last October. But Jones said he views Cooks in a role that could ultimately replace Amari Cooper, who was traded last year. “I think what you want Cooks to do is what Amari did for the overall passing game,” Jones said. “Not only in the production, which you counted on with Amari but also the room he opened up for the other receivers and those two things because of the Cooks’ speed and because of just his route running ability he does that for you.”
What does Jones like about Stephon Gilmore, another veteran the team traded for this offseason? “ His instincts, his instincts and of course he’s got great athletic ability,” he said. “But his instincts and in this particular case, his experience and the fact that he’s got a lot of gas left in his tank.”
The Cowboys have made plenty of changes in offense to try to help Dak Prescott take this team further in the playoffs.
FIX DAK PRESCOTT, AND FAST
It feels like it was seasons ago that Dak Prescott was in contention for an MVP award, but it was only October.
When Dallas decimated the Patriots, they looked like Super Bowl shoe-ins but then all of a sudden they collapsed with a run of mediocre results. Dak Prescott was at the center of their collapse, and his fortunes on the field seemed to reflect the team’s performance in the standings.
Any player that costs as much as $40 million a season needs to be front and center of a team’s recovery.
There is a lot of faith in Prescott among the fans, but he is entering his seventh season and will be 29 years old this year. He does not have much longer to turn around his fortunes and with them the fortunes of the Cowboys.
Ezekiel Elliott Return to Cowboys ‘Absolutely’ a Possibility, Mike McCarthy Says - Scott Polacek, Bleacher Report
This would certainly be...something.
Jones also clarified that Dallas didn’t offer the veteran running back a pay cut.
Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted Dallas saved more than $10 million on the salary cap with the Elliott release, so financial motives were surely in play. He also wasn’t the same playmaker in recent years as he dealt with the wear and tear of the position and injuries that limited his production.
The Ohio State product led the NFL in rushing yards as a rookie in 2016 (1,631) and again in his third year in 2018 (1,434). He led the league in rushing yards per game in each of his first three seasons and has three Pro Bowls and four years of more than 1,000 yards on the ground on his resume.
Yet he posted a career-worst 3.8 yards per carry in 2022 and was a less explosive option than Tony Pollard in the Dallas backfield. A knee injury played a part in that, but it was also his seventh consecutive season with more than 230 carries.
“You know, no one felt good about that,” McCarthy said of releasing Elliott. “I mean, Zeke has such a bright light to him too. He’s a great teammate. There’s so much love for him in the building, but you get to these spots, you know, the longer you’re in this league, these are tough decisions. Very difficult decisions. Very difficult for Dak [Prescott]. You know, I’ve had a number of conversations with Dak, but it’s not easy.”
Should the Cowboys have brought back Dalton Schultz after he signed just a one-year, $9 million deal with the Texans, or is the youth movement at TE the right idea?
Dallas used last season as a bridge year to go from Schultz to Ferguson, and possibly Hendershot. The rookie TEs got to learn and play behind Schultz to prepare to take over if the veteran out of Stanford didn’t return. The team covered themselves in case the inevitable happened this offseason, which it did.
Now that Schultz is gone, the Cowboys have replacements ready in Ferguson and Hendershot. The duo played quality snaps in their rookie years, produced, and appear ready for the next step in their sophomore campaigns. The question is, can second-year TEs match Schultz’s production?
Schultz may not have had the athletic upside of Ferguson or Hendershot, but he was a security blanket for quarterback Dak Prescott and worked himself into a top option in Dallas’ passing game. The offense needs one, or both, of the young TEs to emerge as the same.
The potential is there. The new dynamic duo at tight end combined for 30 catches, 277 yards and four scores last year. When injuries forced Schultz out of the lineup for two games and rendered him ineffective in a handful of others, Ferguson and Hendershot stepped up.
Hendershot had his two best games when Schultz was out, which included season-highs in catches (3) and 43 yards in Week 3 against the New York Giants.
This is one storyline that isn’t going away until draft night.
2. Bijan Robinson is a generational talent
Bijan Robinson is a top-10 NFL prospect regardless of position and his numbers at the University of Texas show how he will become a number-one running back in the league. Bijan has great size and acceleration, he can power through tackles and when downfield he accelerates with great speed.
Robinson’s change of direction and grit allow him to create explosive plays and make the opposing team struggle to bring him down.
He’s also developed into a better pass-blocker, which will be crucial in replacing Elliott. Pollard has also improved in pass protection, but Robinson’s size profiles as a like-for-like replacement for Zeke in that regard. If Dak is protected, this offense will flourish.
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