Cowboys Tarnished Star

Tarnished Star?

The start of training camp is seventeen days away and the sports world is drooling at the prospect of the NFL season being around the corner. We’ve made it through the draft, OTA’s and minicamps and in seventeen days the sounds of pads colliding will start the shaping of the 2017-18 Dallas Cowboys team. Much to the chagrin of the management, I tend to go into my shell during the offseason. I’m not a big college football fan, although my favorite team is The Fighting Irish, my ADHD makes it hard to follow. In my mind it’s easier to skip the NFL Combine aka “The Underwear Olympics” and go straight to the draft which I would rate a B- due to the lack of foresight of possible future roster issues. I felt that the team was shortsighted in not addressing the linebacker room in the draft and this past Fourth of July holiday an issue arose with a player that was stamped by coaches and management to be a key contributor.

If  you’re a Cowboys fanatic like I am, I get alerts to my phone for anything Cowboys related, and I was awoken on Friday morning by an article on Yahoo Sports titled: “Wilson’s Aggravated Assault Charge Latest in Mounting Personnel Issues for Cowboys”. The article discusses the many Cowboys transgressions during the offseason from Nolan Carroll to David Irving as well as  rookie Jourdan Lewis who came to the team with a pending July trial date for domestic violence charges. To throw a dagger into my heart, Elliott’s domestic violence investigation is discussed. I’m not here to give any excuses for the behaviors of players but let’s not lump everyone’s situation into one big pot or question the teams commitment to having a drama free football team.

David Irving is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the leagues policy on performing enhancing drugs. I understand that players should know what they put in their bodies. It’s been reported that the PED that was in his system is from a company that signed him to promote their products and I hope they reimburse him the money he’ll lose during his absence (highly unlikely). This transgression does not mean that Jason Garrett is not a  disciplinarian or that management is more concerned with talent rather than character. I’m under the belief that this is an honest mistake that the team could not control. If fans and media expect the team to monitor players lives to the point of what they put in their bodies, what has the NFL come to? I’m sure that the NFLPA has a do/don’t list of what the players can take so this falls on Irving’s shoulders and I’m sure he would say the same thing.

Nolan Carroll should have known better to drink and drive and in the world of Uber and Lyft there is no excuse. Carroll has taken personal responsibility for his actions and the league will most likely be suspending him in the near future. The team has enough cornerbacks on the roster to circumvent his loss and he might not have a big part in this season if one of the rookie cornerbacks perform during his absence. When he arrived in Dallas he was signed as a starter but his salary isn’t enormous to the point that he has to play.

The Ezekiel Elliott saga is rumored to be coming to an end in the near future. The NFL continues to do its due diligence in his case and I can see this coming to an end no later than the third preseason game of the season. In my opinion the only reason that Alfred Morris is still on the team is because of Elliott’s legal issues. In recent interviews and comments, it seems that the light bulb has finally come on and everyone can hope that the only thing Elliott will be catching is screen passes instead of cases.

All of these cases are issues that the team has addressed and I would bet a large coke slurpee that Garrett continuously preaches personal responsibility and not squandering an opportunity for one poor decision. With the recent arrest of linebacker Damien Wilson for two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon the team is taking the “gathering more information” stance and there are people that feel that Garrett should make an example of Wilson and cut him. Over the years the Cowboys have shown patience with players who step outside of the law and to be honest with you there is no need to read the list of names. The team doesn’t benefit by making decisions about the players status on the team before the court system and I’m certain the team will wait to see how it works out. I’m sure we will see Wilson at training camp and during the preseason while this plays out in the media and court. I’m not worried if Wilson can be replaced on the field because we have Anthony Hitchens, this teams Swiss army knife.

One of the reasons that I am a Jerry Jones apologist is during his ownership, he’s never turned his back on his players. Some people may feel that is because Jerry values the talent over Garrett’s RKOG (Right Kind of Guy) mantra and that might be true but at least he’s been consistent. For every Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain there is a Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. There is also a Dimitrius Underwood and Alonzo Spellman, two players that the Cowboys gave an opportunity to get their lives together after being diagnosed with mental disorders.

As Jones gets ready to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, these stories should be told as well as how he affected the NFL with his shrewd business moves in advertising and challenging the NFL norm.

So Mote it be

Cowboys DL David Irving Facing Suspension

David Irving vs Green Bay

DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory and now this season uber-talented DL David Irving is facing the annual Dallas Cowboys 4 game PED suspension. Welcome to the offseason.

From the “I’ve heard it before” department Irving’s agent reportedly believes they have a very good case and will appeal as the failed test is a “technical violation” due to a supplement Irving has a marketing deal with. Must be one hell of a deal.

In truth the NFL has had PLENTY of false positive in regards to supplements and this very well could be the case here. On the other hand there have been many, many, many more players that have got away with it. PED use is real and the NFL isn’t doing anything effective to stop it. Instead they tout anyone they do catch as “the NFL keeping the game pure.” However in reality they only catch dumb athletes or a player with a very rare failure of a masking agent. The testing is not on the level with international standards nor is it going to be any time soon. As long as the incentive is there to cheat (huge dollars) it will be an issue.

At this juncture however the leagues insistence on catching and punishing “technical violators” versus actual PED users is laughable and speaks volumes as to the efficacy of the program. It’s a joke.

It’s not a joke to Irving, Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys Nation faithful however as most likely the ‘Boys will again be light along the defensive line to begin the season and (again) it’s a player that has a chance to blossom with playing time.

Yep … they really know how to pick em along the offensive line in Big D. Defensive line … not so much.

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

The Supreme Taco is a Dallas Cowboy

Taco Charlton

Rod Marinelli has to be smiling pretty big right about now. With the 28th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys selected Michigan defensive end Vidauntae Taco Charlton to man the post they selected Randy Gregory for last season. Charlton put up 9.5 sacks his senior year after starting only three games as a junior. He needs to get stronger and he doesn’t have an elite first step. Let me be clear. I think it’s a damn fine selection. The ‘Boys were picking at the bottom of the first round and came away with a very talented player. The Dallas D just got a lot better.

Ed Note: Click here for the latest Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

Jason Garrett made it clear Charlton is penciled in on the weak side. At 277 lbs Charlton makes the ‘Boys bigger along the defensive line than they have been in years and should solidify early down run defense. But don’t be fooled into thinking Charton is only a run-stuffer (13 tackles for loss last season). Taco tabbed 9.5 sacks last season and the Cowboys are expecting him to put up similar numbers for them. He may not have an elite first step, but he’s no slouch out of the blocks either.

What does it mean for the Dallas D? DeMarcus Lawrence, Maliek Collins, Cedric Thornton and Taco Charlton will probably start in the base package though David Irving may have something to say about it. Irving, Tyrone Crawford, Stephen Paea, Benson Mayowa and Charles Tapper are available for rotation and special packages. This is the deepest the Cowboys rotation has been in years.

On passing downs Marinelli has options galore. He can move Charlton or Irving inside. Mayowa can blaze from the edge. He can flip Lawrence with Charlton. Maliek can play the 1-Tech with Irving or Crawford at the 3 spot. With all of the players having excellent length stunts and twist become even more puissant and that’s saying something as the “Texas Twist” has proven to be quite the weapon for this D.

Is Charlton the next coming of DeMarcus Ware? No. They get the job done differently. But if you would be excited to have Chris Long or J.J. Watt on your club then start jumping for joy because these are the guys Taco’s game reminds me of. Neither Long or Watt have an elite first step, however QB’s know their names as both players work their way through the pocket making certain if the QB doesn’t take his first option his second choice will be to throw it away or take the sack. This is what Taco will bring to the park on game day. Blue-collar sacks. Me? I don’t care if the sack is arrived at by a streak of lightning or an irresistible force. What matters is the QB has grass stains on his back by the end of the first quarter. Right now the Cowboys are deeper and more talented along the defensive line than they were before the draft. That works for me.

And BTW .. in case you’re wondering @TheSupremeTaco is the Cowboys newest member’s Twitter handle. Who said awesome nicknames are a thing of the past?

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over