CowboysNation CowboysNation on the STL Network Fri, 07 Feb 2020 19:58:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CowboysNation 32 32 Cowboys Draft News 2020 Fri, 07 Feb 2020 19:58:15 +0000 Cowboys on the Clock

Dallas sat out the first round of the 2019 draft due to their trade for Amari Cooper which the Raiders used to pluck Mississippi State safety Jonathan Abram at No. 27 overall. As an aside, Abram suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his professional debut against the Broncos and landed on the IR for the remainder of the season.

But the Cowboys are back in the game and now the debate rages in the Lone Star State as to which player best fits their needs. It was a disappointing 2019 that saw Dallas bow to the Eagles in the penultimate game of the season where they lost control of the division and ended with a .500 record and a ticket out of the playoffs. The bettors can get Dallas at +600 to win the NFC and +2000 to win the Super Bowl on 5dimes for next season.

Yet, hope springs eternal in April when free agency is in full swing and the draft begins. To that end, it’s our annual right as Cowboys’ fans to debate which top-tier talents should be welcomed into the lovin’ arms of the Dallas organization. Let’s take a look at a few of the oft mentioned names that are rumored to be the apple of Jerry Jones’ eye and a weapon that can be fully utilized by new head coach, Mike McCarthy. Barring a trade, let’s meet the candidates at No. 17 in the opening round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Cowboys Draft News

A.J. Epenesa – DE (Iowa) – Despite a bounce-back season by defensive end Robert Quinn, in which he registered double-digit sacks (11 ½) for the first time since 2014, he is expected to get a big paycheck as a free agent and Dallas may not care to match. If Quinn does walk away, then the prospects of calling A.J. Epenesa’s name get greatly enhanced.

Hawkeyes’ longtime head coach, Kirk Ferentz, had this to say about his departing junior defensive lineman, “He has things you can’t teach. I’m not saying he’s (former Iowa product and long-time NFL player) Adrian Clayborn, but he’s like Adrian. He’s really explosive through his lower body and he can use his hands and keep moving. He’s not mechanical.”

C.J. Henderson – CB (Florida) – The Cowboys have voids to fill in their secondary and will need to improve with an injection of young talent. Many of the draftniks and pundits are betting that Dallas selects either Henderson at cornerback or Alabama’s Xavier McKinney at safety while some are opining for LSU’s Grant Delpit in place of the latter.

Veteran draft guru, Mel Kiper, stated the following about Florida’s star corner C.J. Henderson, “Dallas likely has budgeted to pay up for [Dak] Prescott and [Amari] Cooper (it gave up its 2019 first-rounder for him), but [Byron] Jones could be the odd man out on a team that is already paying top dollar at several positions. That means the Cowboys will need a cheap option as a replacement corner. With smooth hips and great recovery speed, Henderson is a natural cover corner with a 6-1 frame.”

Xavier McKinney – S (Alabama) – Expressing many of the same thoughts as ESPN colleague Mel Kiper, Todd McShay felt Dallas’s need at safety was a bit more pressing than corner and offered the following regarding McKinney, “Jerry Jones has quite an offseason ahead of him. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Robert Quinn and Byron Jones headline a talented — and expensive — list of players headed toward free agency. If cornerback Jones is one of the odd men out, a secondary that mostly held passing offenses at bay but struggled to produce takeaways gets weaker. And the Cowboys have needed a safety since the days when Roy Williams and Darren Woodson roamed the defensive backfield. McKinney has some range as a deep safety — he pulled in three interceptions on the back end for Bama last season.”

Grant Delpit – S (LSU) – A bit of a longshot at No. 17, Delpit benefitted from ending his collegiate career as a national champion after LSU defeated Clemson in the title tilt. However, Dane Brugler, National NFL writer for The Athletic, believes the Boys can trade down a few notches, swapping the 17th pick for the Saints’ 24th along with a third-round pick this year and next, plus a fourth-rounder in 2021, while still landing one of the top safeties in the draft. Brugler explains, “In this scenario, the Cowboys trade back seven spots, add three draft picks and draft a player they likely would have considered at No. 17 overall. Delpit is far from a perfect prospect, but his coverage awareness and speed allow him to make plays sideline to sideline.”

Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy As Head Coach Mon, 06 Jan 2020 17:06:54 +0000 Well that escalated quickly, less than one day after the Dallas Cowboys announced they wouldn’t retain Jason Garrett, reports are the team will hire Mike McCarthy as the next head coach. Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy As Head Coach. It was a weird week for the Cowboys and their handling of the coaches, but in the end, Jerry Jones pulled the trigger on McCarthy.

If the reports are true, Jones wanted a coach who had experience in the NFL and didn’t want the same on the job training he had with Garrett. McCarthy fits that bill for Jones and comes with an impressive resume during his tenure with the Packers.

Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy As Head Coach

Mike McCarthy Record

In 13 seasons with the Packers, McCarthy compiled a 125-77-2 record, won six division titles, went to the playoffs nine times, four NFC Championship games and won a Super Bowl in 2010. For the Cowboys, who haven’t been to the conference title game in almost 25 years, they’ll take McCarthy’s success.

The hire doesn’t come without warts, though. McCarthy did have quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers to work with during his time in Green Bay and had his issues working with the later. The dysfunctional relationship with Rodgers was one of the biggest reasons that McCarthy’s time came to an end with the Packers.

There were also other problems with McCarthy, who had issues on game days and preparing during the week. Clock management and an inability to alter his offensive scheme stuck out as issues during games and an awkward report of getting massages at the Packers facility while preparing game plans, something the veteran coach disputes, was an off the field problem.

McCarthy does bring a solid ability to work with QB’s, especially when it comes to mechanics and delivery, which should continue to help the development of Dak Prescott. He’s an offensive coach who brings an aggressive style and isn’t afraid to take chances on 4th down.

One impressive note on McCarthy was during his season off, according to an video report, the coach studied the game and embraced the analytical side of the sport. That was something many Cowboys fans railed against Garrett for not doing, using the statistical data to help make decisions. If McCarthy has taken the time off to learn more and embrace the future of the game, it can be a great hire for the Cowboys.

There are no reports on who will come with McCarthy to help lead the offense or if any current coaches stay. Likewise, no defensive coordinator has been named yet.

McCarthy brings a winning record, a no-nonsense demeanor, and an impressive ability to coach QB’s. If he’s truly embraced the analytics and has learned from his time away, this could be a home run for the organization.

Time will tell, but Mike McCarthy is a good hire for the Cowboys and Jerry Jones.

What’s your take on Cowboys Hire Mike McCarthy As Head Coach

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Dak Prescott Misses Mark – Jerry Jones Misses Point Mon, 30 Dec 2019 14:45:58 +0000 Dak Prescott Misses Mark by 1 Yard

Dak Prescott misses the mark by 1 yard against the Redskins and he is “ok” with it. Why? It seems after throwing for 303 yards, 4 TD’s, zero interceptions and winning the game in blowout fashion Dak was focused on one, singular item.

“But I didn’t make the playoffs and I deserve to be second.” – Dak Prescott on why missing the record by 1 yard does not matter to him.

A Staughbachian, Aikman-like response. Toss this on the pile of “reasons I like this kid.” Make sure it’s near the top.

Contrast the above with the response of brash owner Jerry Jones who had this take on Prescott’s chance at Romo’s record of 4,903 passing yards for the season.

“It really breaks my heart that Dak didn’t get that record — by what, a yard? A yard,” Jones said. “I would’ve gone out there and run a route for him at that time to get that yard. He deserves that. And I like the boy who’s got the record.” – Jerry Jones on Prescott misses the mark.

Jerry wants something to brag to the public about. It doesn’t have to be the right thing, it can be anything. Jones seemingly living through his player’s accomplishments versus his own fits perfectly with his lack of concern for his teams’ fortunes under his direction. When Jones took over Dallas had a winning record versus every team in the league. Every team. After 25 years of .500 ball, now it’s not even close.

Dak Prescott may have missed the mark, but Jerry Jones misses the point. It’s not individual accolades that matter in this sport Jerry. In the ultimate team sport, it’s the Lombardi that matters. Keep on bragging. In the meantime, the Eagles took the NFC East from you.

Another Left Coast Sports Post
on Twitter: Steven Van Over

The Vent: Cowboys Blow NFC East In Disappointing Showing Mon, 23 Dec 2019 02:26:02 +0000 You had to see this coming; after playing their best game of the season last week, the Dallas Cowboys floundered with an NFC East crown on the line in Philadelphia. It was a lackluster performance from the Cowboys with so much on the line and the team is now in desperation mode heading into the final week of the season.

It might have seemed strange to watch the Cowboys lose to an undermanned Eagles team, but this is who the Cowboys have been this year. They don’t play with any consistency from week-to-week, and they look like a completely different team on the road. The game plans appear vastly different and despite having the opportunities to beat the Eagles after an awful start, Dallas never found a rhythm.

There wasn’t enough play-action, there were too many runs on first down and there was no pressure on Carson Wentz. The Eagles didn’t have any of their starting wide receivers for the game, and yet the defense inexplicably sat in a soft zone for much of the night. Playing off coverage on the biggest weapons for the Eagles’ offense, the tight ends, made little sense.

However, the defense only managed to give up 17 points, a total that should’ve given one of the best offenses a chance to help win the game. Instead, it was a sloppy performance from everyone.

The Cowboys had six drops and left points on the field. It didn’t help that Dak Prescott was off for much of the game. The shoulder injury and not practicing appeared to affect his accuracy. Prescott missed wide-open receivers or threw behind them all game long. And when the Cowboys needed him on a drive to tie the game up late, Prescott couldn’t deliver.

Dallas and Prescott are now 0-for the season on comeback attempts. In what was one of Prescott’s best traits in the first three seasons, his ability to will the team to wins, has disappeared in 2019. When the Cowboys have needed him most, Prescott hasn’t gotten the job done, it’s that simple.

Not all the blame goes to Prescott though. Football is a team game and the entire team fell short. Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper weren’t on the field in key moments and it cost the Cowboys. The third and one, where the play call inexplicably ran an option and Tony Pollard fumbled, was one of the plays of the game. The call was terrible, but Elliott needs to be on the field.
The Cowboys needed their playmakers in this game and they didn’t get enough from them.

Nothing has changed for the Cowboys since Week Four of this season, they haven’t played good football in back-to-back games since early in the year. The bad Cowboys showed up today with so much on the line.

We should’ve seen this performance coming because the only thing that’s consistent with the Dallas Cowboys is their inconsistency.

The Gloat: Cowboys Prove They’re Still Contenders Crushing Rams 44-21 Mon, 16 Dec 2019 03:24:57 +0000 Why can’t the Dallas Cowboys do that every game? That’s what every Cowboys fan was thinking after their favorite team dismantled the Los Angeles Rams 44-21.

We’ve been waiting to see from these Cowboys, a complete team effort. It’s been weeks since the team put a game this good together and it was the first time they’ve done it against a winning team.

This was the best game the Cowboys have played on the season, it’s that simple.

The Cowboys played with energy against the Rams we haven’t seen much of in the past few weeks. With the Eagles winning earlier in the day and their backs against the wall, Dallas came out and fought like they knew their season was on the line. The Cowboys couldn’t have been eliminated from playoff contention with a loss, but their played inspired no confidence they could turn things around.

Consider things turned.

Ezekiel Elliott put together a stellar game and ran like a man possessed, rushing for 117 yards and two scores. The stud runner could’ve done even more damage if the team hadn’t pulled him with the game out of hand in the second half. Elliott was elusive and broke tackles on his way to a 160 total yards.

Tony Pollard pitched in with a 100-yard game as well, and his best game as a pro featured a nifty 44-yard touchdown run.

If there were any doubt the Cowboys still needed to run the ball well and to include Elliott more, this was the game. Dallas kept the Rams’ defense off balance on early downs and still fed Zeke enough to dominate on offense.

It was also a game for a couple of players people are ready to put out to pasture. Jason Witten had an amazing one-handed touchdown grab and Sean Lee was all over the field. The General Lee picked up a sack and an interception that helped seal the game near the end of the first half.

Finally, even special teams pitched in with a good showing. Kai Forbath was perfect on all his kicks, including two inside of 50 yards, which is all fans have been asking for.

We’ll find out if the Cowboys can get back to playing well consistently next week, but for today, it was an impressive showing.

The Cowboys are still in first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys still control their own destiny. And for one week, the Cowboys reminded us all just how good they can be when it all comes together. We can all gloat for a week.

Tuesday With Jerry Jones 11/26/19 Tue, 03 Dec 2019 03:46:34 +0000 It’s a Tuesday during the NFL season, and you know what that means for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans, we get to listen to Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones talk about his team with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. You never know what will come out of Jerry’s mouth when he gets behind a microphone and we capture some of the fun for you.

Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s with Jerry, after another brutal loss:

On how he feels today after how outspoken he was after the game:

“I feel the same now that I felt than when you’re the GM, those coaches are out there are my ultimate decision. I should and do expect our fans to question how we perform.”

Jerry Speak: It’s OK to criticize the coaches, but it all falls on me because I’m the GM.

Reality: No joking around about this one, Jones is correct, the mess is his fault, he’s allowed these mistakes to happen on his watch and he hasn’t changed the results.

On practicing outside a few days last week:

“I’m not going to get into whether or not we could’ve picked the day to emulate the weather in New England. We never took advantage of a slippery ball…the head coach makes the decision (to practice inside or out.”

Jerry Speak: Blame Mother Nature for what the weather was in New England and that we couldn’t get a day like that last week to simulate the rain and wind in preparation.

Reality: The weather conditions had nothing to do with winning or losing the game, but the team should’ve prepared for those possible conditions (I’m not sure they did or didn’t).

Did he meet with Jason Garrett to talk about Patriots game?

“We won’t have time because this isn’t a normal work week. We won’t reflect on what happened because of a short week.”

Jerry Speak: I don’t have time to waste on a coach that’s not going to be here much longer.

Reality: It’s insane to believe that Jones hasn’t spoken to his coach about how poorly he coached his team the other day because it’s a short week. It’s a conversation that needs (needed) to happen.

On how they move past the “coaching errors” this week:

“Let’s start right now, come out and play well against an outstanding team in Buffalo. Let’s get the taste out of our mouths. We’re prepared to take advantage of the details of winning a football game. In a week like this, you can’t dwell on what happened Sunday.”

Jerry Speak: I’m an optimist, why would I look back at what happened when I can look forward.

Reality: You have to move on, the game on Thursday is more important than the game you’ve already lost.

Would Jerry make an in-season coaching change?

“The answer is no. Period.”

Jerry Speak: I’m not going to fire a coach in the middle of a season, unless it’s Wade Phillips.

Reality: Jones likes Garrett, he’s not going to get rid of a coach in the middle of a playoff race.

Would Jones have gone for a touchdown on 4th and 7:

“I live with that decision without criticism. I never had an issue on a call like that. When those calls work, I love’em, when they don’t, I don’t.”

Jerry Speak: I woud’ve went for that dang score!

Reality: Jones likely preferred to go for it, but isn’t gonna bash his coach after he’s bashed him enough the past few days.

On analytics during gameday:

“I agree (with Garrett), the analytics of the decision can help out but there are other factors (momentum of the game, the weather) it calculates the averages and theory but doesn’t take into account when you’ve gone against the odds and it’s worked out.”

Jerry Speak: I’d rather gamble on my gut than use those goofy numbers I don’t understand.

Reality: The Cowboys should be using analytics more for in-game decisions.

On being told the two tripping calls were incorrect:

“Those are things you have to live. Many times during the course of a game, we get told it happens (during the week)…When the game gets close, it’s a bad time to be honing in to get phantom type of interpretations of what you’re seeing.”

Jerry Speak: They were terrible calls but if I complain, it’s only going to get worse for my team.

Reality: The Cowboys have gotten the short-end of the stick for a number of years now and it’s pure crap.

On why Special Teams have been such a struggle:

“Relatively speaking, we have some inexperience in that area. That can show up…the nuances of pro game are a challenge. It’s an area where we’ve got our attention to because it pertains to field position, it changes possession. Going back a 100 years ago, we used to start every practice with 25 minutes of Special Teams.”

Jerry Speak: We need to start every practice with 25 minutes of Special Teams from now on.

Reality: The Cowboys should start every practice with 25 minutes of Special Teams work. Period.

*Please note, not all quotes are exact, but the words come straight from Jerry Jones

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The Vent: Cowboys vs Bills Thanksgiving Embarrassment Tue, 03 Dec 2019 03:37:23 +0000 Long-Expected Football Holiday Didn’t Go As Planned Cowboys vs Bills Thanksgiving Was A Disaster

The fire Jason Garrett mantra will grow even stronger after the Dallas Cowboys were punked on their home field on Thanksgiving by the Buffalo Bills, 26-15. It was an embarrassing display playing for their coach and their pride after getting dogged all week by the media.

With all that was on the line tonight, the Cowboys came out and crapped the bed. It was putrid and the mistakes were unfathomable.

Dak Prescott, every Cowboys fans’ MVP candidate a few weeks ago, missed easy throws, was picked off on an inexplicable screen pass and showed horrendous pocket presence. Prescott was sacked four times and fumbled twice, losing one of them. The missed throw to Ezekiel Elliott on fourth and goal was one of the worst passes in the NFL on the year.

Despite the two turnovers, the Cowboys still were able to move the ball. However, Brett Maher blew two field goal tries and it forced the Cowboys to play catchup for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, the defense was just as bad. The unit wasn’t able to stop the Bills and Josh Allen from going up and down the field. During a stretch where the Cowboys needed a stop without giving up points, the unit gave up four straight third down conversions and gave up three points that put the nail in the coffin.

It’s difficult to understand the defensive game plan that had no spy on a running quarterback and asked its defensive linemen to stick back instead of attacking a QB who makes mistakes when pressured. Jaylon Smith was lost most of the game, Sean Lee couldn’t bring down ball carriers on the first contact and the cornerbacks were constantly in a trail position. Cowboys vs Bills Thanksgiving was a big embarrassment.

Garrett isn’t long for the head coaching gig with the Cowboys, but he’s hardly the only one to blame. It starts at the top and Jerry Jones has allowed this core of players and coaches to fail too often. The embarrassing loss starts with Jones, continues with the coaches and includes the players. None of them are doing enough to win games.

The play that summed everything up was on fourth and one, Allen fumbled the snap and no Dallas defender forced Allen to the ground. Instead, the QB muscled his way to a first down. It was the epitome of the game; one team had fight and toughness, the other tried to finesse their way to a win. It’s the exact opposite of what we’re used to seeing with a Garrett led team and the players are just as guilty as the head coach for their lackluster performance.

What an ugly showing by the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, hope fans were able to keep their food down.

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