The Cowboys could make a move at any time.
No. 3 Gareon Conley, CB
Notice a trend here? The last cornerback on this list is the former first round pick, Gareon Conley. At just 26-years-old, Conley is the youngest free agent on the list and possibly the only player who is still in his prime. Conley didn’t play at all in 2020 and in the seasons he has played, he’s been mediocre.
But if the Dallas Cowboys want to bring in someone who can thrive in man coverage, Conley is their man. Conley is graded in the 69th percentile when in single coverage and when targeted he’s forced incompletions over 22 percent of the time (second best in NFL since 2017). That’s nothing to scoff at and something to consider.
Retired NFL QB Alex Smith anticipates ‘huge’ comeback for Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott – Jori Epstein, Yahoo
Alex Smith knows a thing or two about coming back from injury. He thinks Dak will be fine.
Alex Smith wants to be clear: His road to recovery does not identically resemble Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s. But as the NFL’s 2020 comeback player of the year, Smith thinks back to his own rehabilitation of tibia and fibula fractures further complicated by a life-threatening infection. Now, as he considers Prescott’s return from a compound fracture and dislocation of his ankle, Smith is eager to watch the two-time Pro Bowler retake the field. He believes NFL fans “should be excited.”
“Dak is, I think, one of the most unique athletes in the NFL – and I really think that from like a freakish perspective,” Smith told USA TODAY Sports this week over Zoom. “He is such a strong, powerful, such a good athlete. So I really expect him to come back and be rolling. Then you add that on to his fortitude and mental perspective?
“I think he’s going to have a huge, huge year.”
Prescott certainly hopes so.
Everybody is hoping Zeke is back to his old self in 2021.
In the case of Elliott, though, there is enough reason to believe that a big bounce-back year is coming. Not only does his fitness level indicate a renewed sense of focus heading into the 2021 season but he’ll also have the aid of a potent passing offense behind him with Prescott returning to the field.
On top of that, the offensive line appears to be healthy, especially as Tyron Smith and La’el Collins get back on the field and Connor Williams has shown out in the offseason thus far as well. That’s the stars aligning for Zeke to get back to the form of being a 1,300-yard (at minimum) rusher for this offense.
There are flaws on the Cowboys roster, to be sure, especially as the defense remains a question mark. Having said that, there should be few concerns about what the offense is capable of. And if Elliott keeps doing what he’s already done in the offseason, the hype about how much Dallas can put on the scoreboard should rightfully continue to grow.
With all the focus on the Cowboys defense, Kellen Moore still needs to step up – David Howman, BloggingtheBoys.com
Can’t forget about the offense amidst all this defensive talk:
We can’t forget about Kellen Moore though. Since becoming the Cowboys offensive coordinator after just one season under his belt as a position coach, the former Boise State star has quickly made a name for himself. In his first year running the offense, Dallas led the league in total yards and finished second in offensive DVOA, fifth in pass DVOA, and third in run DVOA. That’s pretty darn good for a first-time playcaller, and it’s a major reason why Mike McCarthy opted to retain Moore despite having previously pledged to never let another person call plays for him.
But it wasn’t all perfect in 2019. Moore’s offense too often featured drives that stalled out near the end, resulting in settling for field goals (that were often missed by Brett Maher) instead of touchdowns. Dropped passes were another huge issue for his unit. And there was also the troubling trend of how the offense seemed to pivot away from many of the staples Moore introduced in the first three games, notably pre-snap motion and passing on early downs. This led to a narrative that head coach Jason Garrett, a much more traditional and conservative offensive mind, was too involved with Moore’s game plans. We’ll never know if that was true or not, but Moore had the opportunity to change that under McCarthy, a much more pass-happy coach.
Dan Quinn is the man giving out sponsorships:
The best example of the importance of sponsorship can be found at the defensive tackle position. The Cowboys used their top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to select UCF’s Trysten Hill to aid then defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s defense.
The following year, Dallas selected Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore in the third round to help Nolan’s scheme. Now, Quinn has brought in his own defensive tackle in Osa Odighizuwa, the team’s third-round selection out of UCLA this year.
Hill and Gallimore have lost their sponsors in Dallas. The rookie hasn’t. Here’s what the staff over at the team’s official website, DallasCowboys.com, wrote about Odighizuwa and how he could be destined to leapfrog Hill and Gallimore for the starting role.
“Odighizuwa looked terrific in OTAs and minicamp, where he looked every bit able to sniff out the ball with athleticism and relentlessness. The safe bet would be that he comes into Week 1 as a rotational player, but he’s certainly a candidate to earn a starting job at some point in his rookie season.”
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