Prediction: Two more long time Pro Bowlers to Restructure Contracts

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(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

This is my prediction for the offseason.  Before the 2017 NFL Draft, two more Pro Bowl Cowboys will join the list that already includes Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick.  Smith and Frederick have restructured their contracts saving Dallas nearly 17 million towards the salary cap.

Expect both 14 year vets who rode the bus together to Valley Ranch on their first day with the team.  Yes, I am talking about BFF’s Jason Witten and Tony Romo.  Their situations may be different, but my prediction is that they will both be wearing Blue, Silver and White for 2017.

Both of these men came into Dallas, their only belongings were “their own expectations” of self.   For 14 years that has been enough for these two.  No predictions nor guarantees were made about these two when they were rookies.

Witten is bound for the Hall of Fame and still has at least two good years in him.  Witten has been the consummate leader, bowing only one time in his glorified career to the pain of playing in this rough/competitive sport.  Jason is skilled when it comes to finding the open spaces no matter who is taking the snaps from Frederick.  He also is a competent blocker.

A lot of trash has been spoken about Tony Romo over the years.  The truth is, there is a strong chance that Witten may be the only more dedicated player to the Cowboys’ organization than Romo.  Romo is also the only quarterback to take every single snap in a season for a team that began in 1960.

Coming to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, Romo spent more time in his first four years with the clipboard than his helmet.  Romo has kept his smile, through the roughest two year period in his career since high school (2015-2016) when he had to watch the game from the sidelines.  It is never easy to look at your best days in the mirror.

When the scrappy young man from Eastern Illinois University finally received his chance to start, he never looked back.  Romo holds and will retain several Cowboy records for many seasons to come.

Caption (credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Tony ran this offense when the team wasn’t very good.  Yet, with his drive to win, Romo carried this team during those seasons.  If the Cowboys won at all during those years, the game heroics were placed on Romo’s back (not a pun) and he carried the team with his elusiveness and his BFF Jason Witten.

Romo is the best option at pushing the growth of Dak Prescott.  No one else will come into camp and push Dak for the job as hard as Romo will.  Besides, there is NOT a better alternative at back-up, a player who knows this offense and knows how to make it work, other than Romo.  And at 37, Romo will eventually retire as a Cowboy.  Hats off to you Tony Romo.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

My prediction of Romo remaining with the team has to do with his age, the number of hard hits he has sustained over the years, his injury history as a starter,  the reluctance of any team to pay him his contract as it stands and the fact he has restructured his contract several times before.  Plus, we don’t want Tony Romo to beat us wearing someone else’s team jersey!

Both of these leaders will restructure to better the team.  For the front office to  improve this team the Cowboys are going to have to secure at least one defensive end, either in free agency or through the draft. But, even first round drafted defensive ends rarely come plug and play.

Predictions are just that, predictions; however, I have been right many times in the past.  Who else out there is ready for some Cowboys Football?  Go Dallas.

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20 Cowboys to become potential Free Agents

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Caption (credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

20 Cowboys are potential free agents if they are not signed before March 9th.  Dallas also has one Exclusive Rights  free agent.  The season is over for the players; however, the front offices’ work is never done.

Of these 20 Cowboys, Rolando McClain is a certain NOT to get an offer of any sort (as he is suspended indefinitely by the NFL).

David Irving is the one Exclusive Rights free agent on the team.  The Cowboys will sit on this signing, seeing they will have the option to outbid all other teams for his services, if it comes to that.  Irving out played most of the teams lineman last season including DeMarcus Lawrence.

Barry Church is the number one player the team needs to secure before March 9th.  Church recorded over 100 tackles this season, making it four seasons in a row.

Caption (credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

This is closing in on Bradie James team all time record of six consecutive seasons of recording at least 100 tackles.  Church did it again this season despite missing four games with a broken forearm.  He makes an excellent safety/linebacker to defend the run.  His tackles are usually terminal to opposing ball carriers.  Barry has been a Captain of this defense whether on the field or in the locker room and the team is not ready to move on from him.

I sincerely hope Jerry Jones keeps the promise he made last season to Ronald Leary.  Jerry said he was committed to Ron after Ron showed up, under difficult/intense contract negotiations in shape and ready when his number was called.

Caption (credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Last season showed Leary’s team character and he was ready to step right in when La’el Collins went down for the year, with virtually no loss at the position.  We need to retain Leary’s physical toughness.

Terrance Williams should be kept around IMO.  Williams plays with a big heart and he makes some clutch grabs for the Cowboys.

Caption (credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Year two with Dak Prescott should only improve.  I expect Williams to be offered a two year deal.

Defensive players who deserve new contracts are Jack Crawford, Terrell McClain and Andrew Gachkar.

Players who will be offered one year deals are players like CB Brandon Carr,  CB Morris Claiborne, LB Justin Durant, Safety J.J. Wilcox, DE Ryan Davis, QB Kellen Moore, WR Brice Butler, RB Darren McFadden, RB Lance Dunbar and G Jonathan Cooper (possibly DE Richard Ash).

Will Gavin Escobar be offered a new contract, or will the team stick with a healthy James Hanna and Geoff Swaim?  Prescott seemed to have a better connection to Swaim than he did with Escobar.  Or, will TE Rico Gathers have developed enough to have him replace Escobar.

Say goodbye to Mark SanchezLinehan prefers Kellen Moore over Sanchez and so does every single fan, except Mark’s mom.

Over the next thirty days we shall  see how the Jones and Will McClay handle their free agents.

Caption (credit: www.fansided.com)

Keep in mind, the 2017 NFL Draft looks to be another deep talent draft.  Through negotiations we shall see which of the 20 Cowboys’ free agents are able to stay around for 2017 Summer Camp.

 

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

 

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Dusty Trail Ends in Dallas for the Cowboys of 2016

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The long, hard fought, dusty trail to the Super Bowl came to an abrupt end for the Cowboys Sunday afternoon.  2016 was a season to measure all other seasons by, for the Cowboys.

Dallas received the opening kickoff and drove right into Green Bay territory, only to have a un-sportsmen Like Conduct penalty on Brice Butler for being confused and being the 12 man in the huddle.  This was not called a simple too many men in the huddle for five yards, instead we were punished 15 yards which stalled a good start, leaving Dan Bailey to kick the first field goal, while giving Dallas a 3-0 lead.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

The Cowboys lost their momentum for a quarter after this penalty.  Rod Marinelli failed to make the necessary defensive adjustments early enough to keep the game within reach as the Packers built up and 18 point lead in the second quarter.  The rust from two weeks off was apparent for Dallas.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Safety Jeff Heath intercepted Aaron Rodgers and the momentum turned in the second half.

Dallas dusted off their trail rust in the second half and played like the 2016 Cowboys played all season.  They found a way to score with big plays to Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott.  Dak and the Defense fought their way back to a fourth quarter tie.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

With less then thirty seconds left in the contest, Dallas’ defense gave up a 34 yard pass– which set up Mason Crosby for a 51 yard game winning field goal with just three seconds left on the game clock.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

It was an exciting game in the second half.  The Cowboys never had the lead after the first score of the game; however,  Dallas did turn a potential blow-out into a fourth quarter shoot-out.

This 2016 Cowboys’ team came into the season with very little hope after Tony Romo went down with yet another back injury against Seattle in pre-season.

Hats off to the entire team for the way they maintained composure after losing their leader and Field General, Tony Romo.  This team led by the best offensive line in football, has nothing to be ashamed of.  This 13-3 team made it a good autumn for all Cowboy fans across the globe.

The Cowboys are set up for next season’s journey.  Jaylon Smith should be ready for summer camp giving the team a first round middle linebacker even before the 2017 NFL Draft starts.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

This team will be on the trail to the  Super Bowl again next season with a Great Foundation in place and all of our draft picks ready to take the best player available, with no obvious needs, except maybe a pass rusher.

I’d like to personally thank everyone for the great time this season and for following us at Whitebear560.com.  Cowboys forever!

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Dallas has a score to settle in upcoming Shootout

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The potential for a Shootout on Sunday afternoon in Arlington will draw the largest television crowd on record.  With both Dallas and Green Bay having the ability to score quickly and often, this one should come down to who dominates on the defensive side of the ball.

Jason Garrett’s squad will attempt to run the clock and win in the battle of the turnovers.  These will be the two key elements in winning at home in this divisional playoff game.

Aaron Rodgers has seen his fair share of shootouts in his career, but none have been like the one he faces with 90,000 spectators plus inside AT&T Stadium.  In the last meeting the Cowboys were able to match the scoring of Green Bay.  They keeping telling us this is a different team then we faced in Lambeau earlier in the season.

Have I got news for you, doubters.  This is NOT the same team that beat the Packers earlier in the season, either!  Remember, we won that game on their home turf, without Dez Bryant even dressing out in uniform.

The Packers have played their collective hearts out during the final run of the regular season and last week against the New York Giants.  However, here stems their issues.  They are banged up and without Jordy Nelson.  Their rookie middle linebacker is banged up and is going to have to take on our brutes on the offensive line at some point.

Meanwhile, back at the STAR, the Cowboys had their full roster in attendance for Wednesday’s early session.  This is a young team with a lot of veterans seeing their first playoff action ever.

Expect the Cowboys to come stampeding out of the gate, right from the get go.  This is playoff time and the coaches will have this team prepared to run over Green Bay and use their spurs in doing so.

This game is a Tabula Rosa (Blank slate).  Nothing that happened this season, with the  exception of the younger players gaining game time experience, is likely to determine the outcome of this playoff game.

What will playout in this playoff is the heart and determination of all three Cowboy groups (offense, defense and special teams).  They gelled early on and they have yet to unravel some of the special trick plays Scott Linehan will have in store for Green Bay.  Green Bay will give up the big plays,  especially after our offensive line has worn them down a bit –  have them playing on the heals.

Dez has his own issues to put behind him in this game.  Expect Dez to draw double coverage.  Expect Dez NOT to lose a touchdown in this one-to a bad call.  Expect Dez’s presence, alone, to make this a big passing day for Dallas.  Having Bryant out there will free up one of our other many weapons, and Dak knows just how to use them effectively.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Having  the best offensive line in the NFL will allow Ezekiel Elliott to get to the second and third levels, often.  This is where the shootout will begin.  The Cowboys will come out firing both barrels and take Green Bay out of this one quickly.

Rod Marinelli has his full compliment of linemen ready for this game.  Keeping fresh legs on the field while not drawing penalties for doing anything less, will certainly be a challenge against Green Bay’s hurry- up offense.  However, it is a challenge Marinelli has his group ready for.  They will keep Rodgers guessing and on the run.

Matt Eberflus’ defensive passing strategy will keep the Packers honest in the running game, while stopping a shootout.  Expect to see a whole lot of the dime defense on Sunday.   Expect Sean Lee to have a career game in his first, ever, playoff appearance.

(credit: www.dallascowboys.com)

Anthony Brown has come a tremendous distance since summer camp, but I expect it will be Byron Jones who plays the game of his life on Sunday.  And, he will need to – for Dallas to hand Green Bay the beating they have prepared for them.

Takeaways and not allowing the big plays will help Dallas advance in this shootout.  The Cowboys’ veterans from 2014 have an extra incentive in this one.  Yet, this entire Dallas team plays as a team and will win this game – as a team.

 

 

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A Blog about The Dallas Cowboys by Whitebear560