McCarthy comes in third for NFC East coaches here.
So for all the regular-season success McCarthy has had in 16 years leading the Packers and Cowboys, he was particularly difficult to place on our CowboysSI.com countdown of the 32 NFL head coaches ...
17. Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys - McCarthy knows how to guide a team to the playoffs, as evidenced by his .614 winning percentage in 16 seasons as an NFL head coach. But it’s hard to get by back-to-back embarrassing postseason finishes for the Cowboys, and only getting to one Super Bowl while having peak Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
PAIR OF 1ST ROUNDERS GIVE THIS NFC EAST TEAM THE BEST DEFENSIVE TACKLE ROOM - Mario Herrera Jr., Inside The Star
The Cowboys were loaded with edge rushers last year, and now have a fearsome group of defensive tackles to go with it.
Projected starters: Osa Odighizuwa, Mazi Smith
For the first time since the 1991 NFL Draft, the Cowboys used a first round pick on a defensive tackle.
A great move for a defense that has been gashed right up the middle by opponent’s rushing attacks.
Smith is unnaturally strong, and at 330lbs he will be a force in the middle eating up blocks to free up the linebackers.
JOHNATHAN HANKINS/CHAUNCEY GOLSTON/NEVILLE GALLIMORE
Johnathan Hankins was re-signed after he essentially saved the defense from giving up 3,000 yards rushing for the season.
He can pair with Mazi on obvious rush downs, and play a veteran mentor role to the rookie as well.
Chauncey Golston is technically listed as a defensive end, but he has bulked up to be able to make in impact inside.
He provides valuable depth and versatility along the entire defensive line.
Neville Gallimore still has a role in this defense, but could be a cut candidate after being bumped down the depth chart in 2022.
Watch: Cowboys’ newest big brain, Sarah Mallepalle, discusses analytics in football - KD Drummond, The Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys are building a serious football analytics department.
John Park was brought in a few weeks ago to take over the division, and he’s wasted no time in beginning the rebuild. The Park hire was met with universal praise, not just for his own acumen, but for the network of other really intelligent people he was going to be able to tap into in order to build out that wing at The Star in Frisco.
His first hire, Sarah Mallapalle, hits on those sweet notes. Mallapalle is a Carnagie Mellon graduate with a BS in Statistics and Machine Learning from 2018. She spent a year in the Philadelphia Phillies organization before the NFL and has been with the Baltimore Ravens the last three seasons. In the below video, she was part of an esteemed panel at MIT Sloan, the Sports Analytics Conference. Various topics are covered with the panel, so you can spend 45 minutes and get a glimpse into the Cowboys’ newest big brain.
The Cowboys RB2 competition is wide open in Oxnard.
Depth at Running Back
The departure of Ezekiel Elliott—who, it should be noted, remains unsigned—leaves a lot of uncertainty at the running back position. Tony Pollard, who was given the franchise tag this offseason, should be the starter and can be a good one.
While splitting time with Elliott in 2022, Pollard racked up 1,378 scrimmage yards, 12 combined touchdowns and a Pro Bowl nod. The weakness here is behind Pollard on the depth chart.
Dallas simply doesn’t have a lot of experience behind the 26-year-old, with 2022 undrafted rookie Malik Davis and sixth-round rookie Deuce Vaughn likely near the top of the depth chart. The former played just 79 snaps last season, while the latter is an untested 5’5”, 179-pound prospect.
The Cowboys also have former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter Ronald Jones II, who had a mere 17 carries in 2022, and special-teamer Rico Dowdle at the position.
Depth will be vital because Pollard has never been an every-down back and is coming off of leg surgery. If he struggles in a more prominent role or fails to regain his pre-injury form altogether, the Dallas ground game could be in trouble.
Over the next several weeks, the Cowboys will have to determine if they have enough depth on the roster or whether re-signing Elliott or targeting another free agent such as Dalvin Cook will become necessary.
Eric Scott Jr. could be the latest late-round steal for Dan Quinn in the secondary, with the team trading a future pick for him.
3. Eric Scott, CB
Raise your hand if you predicted Eric Scott to be the most discussed and hyped Cowboys rookie draft pick at OTAs and minicamp. Mazi Smith presumably will steal the show among the rookie class once the pads come on at training camp, but that takes nothing away from Scott’s offseason.
The 2023 sixth-round pick, whom Dallas traded up to draft, practiced regularly with the first-team defense. Some of that can be attributed to Trevon Diggs missing a few practices and Jourdan Lewis still sidelined from his Lisfranc injury, but it says a lot Scott didn’t look overwhelmed practicing with the ones.
Mike McCarthy said Scott has been one of the most impressive rookies. Even Dan Quinn is impressed by the 23-year-old DB.
“When you see a guy wanting the moment to go compete, and balling his fist up and saying, ‘I ain’t leaving here,’’’ said Quinn of Scott’s attitude on the field. “That’s what I’m looking for from the rookies, to have that kind of attitude to say, ‘I’m here. I ain’t going nowhere.’”
Scott will be tested once the intensity picks up at training camp, but he’ll have valuable (and rare) experience for a rookie corner having already lined up against CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup in the early part of the offseason program.
Blogging The Boys Podcast Network and YouTube Channel
We offer a different show every single day on the Blogging The Boys podcast network, and on weekdays we offer two different shows every single day.
- Monday: 1st and 10 with Tony Catalina & Aidan Davis
- Monday: Hidden Yardage with Mark Lane and Sean Martin
- Tuesday: The Writer’s Block with Jess Nevarez and Brandon Loree
- Tuesday: BTB Roundtable with various BTB Staffers
- Wednesday: NFC East Mixtape with RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay
- Thursday: The Ocho with RJ Ochoa
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin’ Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Friday: The Star Seminar with Danny Phantom and Rabblerousr
- Saturday: The World’s Team with Meg Murray and Paul Stewart
Also every single weekday features a roundup episodes of sorts similar to these news headlines that catches you up on everything that you need to know! Make sure to listen to Dallas Cowboys Daily hosted by Jess Nevarez from Monday through Friday. We also offer live shows every weekday afternoon on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
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