2018 Cowboys: Turning over the same leaf

Bosoxen

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I thought they should have gone for it but punting was defensible. The defense had played really well up to that point so I didn't have a problem with pinning them inside the 20 and making them drive 50+ yards to get into FG range with a non-existent running game and a clearly hobbled Watson. Even despite showing some signs of allowing them to move the ball it wasn't undone until the defense allowed Hopkins to rumble for 42 yards. Allowing that to happen is going to screw you no matter what you do. Imagine the howls if they'd gone for it, not made it, and then proceeded to give up that play.

Plus, at that point in the game, I trusted the defense more than the offense. Houston's front seven had been absolutely dominating the line since the 3rd quarter and I wasn't terribly confident they'd convert the 4th down. But I still would have preferred to go for the kill shot there.
 

SMU_Sox

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I never was super high on Dak. I don’t particularly like his mechanics especially under pressure and I question his decision making, timing, and anticipation. He’s a classic “see-it, throw-it” QB (HT John Owning among others although at this point it’s pretty obvious I think). Coming out I thought his absolute ceiling was back-up QB. I think he can be a low tier starter if his receivers can get separation for him.
Something I learned was to focus on what a player can do vs what they can’t. Dak can scramble. Dak has adequate arm strength. Dak can throw to open receivers. He does enough things well where I can buy into him being a piece of a winning team as long as he doesn’t have to carry too much weight. But that’s the problem with his position. It’s the most important one and limitations have to be accounted for. Dak needs a stronger receiving core to thrive. He’s affordable right now so it’s a shame that the Cowboys don’t have additional cap space. It’s also a position where you ideally have a guy in place who you want to be able to carry your team.
The paradigm of a rookie QB deal and building a team around him can look different depending on where you go. But part of that paradigm is an elite unit on one side of the ball. Seahawks had Wilson and the LOB. Eagles defense was stacked too. KC has an offense that anyone outside of NE would be jealous of (and maybe even NE too given ages). Rams have their defense. Aside from KC now the rest of these teams were built well on both sides of the ball but had that elite unit. I don’t see the rest of the equation being fulfilled in Dallas. Some of that is injuries on the oline. I think the rest of that is on those Jones boys.
 

Greg29fan

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Thoughts on the 4th and 1 punt in OT? I thought they absolutely should have gone for it. Power running team with a great RB and mobile QB. Texans' defense was huffing and puffing.
Thought it was the right call. The "power running team" couldn't get a third and one right before it cause Zack Martin ole'd a block on a 230 pound linebacker.
 

BigSoxFan

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So...huge win against Jags and nothing? That was an ass kicking that needs to be celebrated.
 

TFisNEXT

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The team looked a lot more like the 2016 version in Dak's rookie year than what they have shown since about midway through last season.

I'm not sold on them but it does show they can be dominant when the offense is clicking.
 

Bosoxen

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Very impressive win. Is this some wake-up call thing, where the Cowboys suddenly turn it on or...an outlier?
That game showed what they can do when everything is clicking. The problem is that's rarely been the case the past two seasons - particularly on the road, as @Greg29fan points out. We already knew this kind of potential was there so there's only hope for the 2018 season if this was a wake up call for the offensive coaching staff. Prescott looked like a completely different QB out there and it had everything to do with his being allowed to run the ball. If I can diagnose the simple fact that Prescott is not a pocket QB capable of running a timing-based offense, I don't know what it is that's causing Linehan to insist on designing game plans like that. Sure, it's not a recipe for long-term success to be running Prescott 10+ times a game (you'd end up getting him killed) but he's at his best when the defense has to take his running ability into account. That loosens things up considerably because they can't just key on Elliott anymore. On the other hand, I'm sure Beasley will go back into the witness protection program so things will never look so easy again.

The defense is starting to look legit and it will likely look more so once they can put their three best linebackers on the field at the same time. But outside of Stafford, they haven't exactly faced a murderer's row of quarterbacks. That's going to change because that was, by all accounts, the easy part of the schedule. We shall see.

I'm thinking 8-8 sounds about right, though I doubt they'll go perfectly 8-0/0-8 home/road. I don't see them beating New Orleans but they could steal one of the division road games or should at least beat the Colts.
 

The Process

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I agree with yall that yesterday's game was fantastic and not to be a debbie downer here BUT when the were showing QB comparisons the thing that stood out for me was Blake and Dak were relatively close excepting Dak's run. That has me wondering is Dak Blake Bortles with wheels?
 

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I agree with yall that yesterday's game was fantastic and not to be a debbie downer here BUT when the were showing QB comparisons the thing that stood out for me was Blake and Dak were relatively close excepting Dak's run. That has me wondering is Dak Blake Bortles with wheels?
Probably but it is worth mentioning Bortles is a pretty adept and swift runner.
 

Bosoxen

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Yeah, it really was. But it shouldn't have even come to that. This fucking team, even after dropping 40 on a pretty good defense, completely went away from everything they did well in that game. And watching Connor Williams get abused all afternoon was like watching Chaz Green being left on an island to die against Atlanta last year. This coaching staff is completely incapable of making in-game adjustments (or worse, refuses to), which I think is a symptom of what someone in the local media so astutely pointed out yesterday: Jason Garrett coaches this team like it's a far better team than it actually is.
 

TFisNEXT

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Yeah, it really was. But it shouldn't have even come to that. This fucking team, even after dropping 40 on a pretty good defense, completely went away from everything they did well in that game. And watching Connor Williams get abused all afternoon was like watching Chaz Green being left on an island to die against Atlanta last year. This coaching staff is completely incapable of making in-game adjustments (or worse, refuses to), which I think is a symptom of what someone in the local media so astutely pointed out yesterday: Jason Garrett coaches this team like it's a far better team than it actually is.
This team would probably have another win (maybe even two considering the HOU and WAS games were so close) if Frederick was healthy. They've been beaten in the middle of the line more this year than in the past.

It's actually kind of sad that the offense is in the state it's in because you have to really admire the defense that Marinelli has built. That defense (esp with Lee on the field, and it showed yesterday) is fucking good. That's the first time I've said that about the cowboys defense since maybe 2009 when they were playing at a high level late in the year...handcuffing the eventual SB champ Saints at home to break their 13-0 streak and then back to back shutouts to end the year.

It would have been nice if Dak could grow more since 2016, but I guess that isn't the case. He can be a starter but he isn't that franchise QB who can win 3 or 4 games on his back per season. Maybe if they hit a HR at wide receiver in the 2019 draft they can contend next year but something tells me they may be stuck in mediocrity for a while. Their cap situation does get a lot better going forward at least.
 

Bosoxen

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This team would probably have another win (maybe even two considering the HOU and WAS games were so close) if Frederick was healthy. They've been beaten in the middle of the line more this year than in the past.
Have to add Connor Williams being overmatched there. Looney seems to be doing an ok job overall but having a rookie out of his depth (in addition to Tyron Smith showing signs of a fork in his back) is probably not helping matters.
Amari Cooper to the Cowboys. Giddyup, fellas.
Oh Christ, I thought you were joking. They better not be sending a first rounder.

Edit: Fuck me, they are sending a first rounder:

 

Bosoxen

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JFC. I would have only wanted him for a conditional second, at most. Guess they didn't learn their lesson from the last two times they made a trade like this.
 

BigSoxFan

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Wow, wasn't expecting a 1st. The Raiders are going to own the entire 2019 draft. Cooper is a legit WR1 when healthy and on his game. He's been a mess last 1.5 years. Now the question becomes whether or not Dak can get him the ball.
 

Mystic Merlin

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This might be one of the worst trades in recent NFL history. Patriots made a similar trade for Cooks but Cooks is a much better player and they got a 1st round pick back for him.
More importantly, Cooks was a consistently productive player.

Cooper hasn’t performed well in two years. He could definitely turn it around but why pay an unconditional first (which I think will fall between 15-20) to find out?
 

Super Nomario

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This might be one of the worst trades in recent NFL history. Patriots made a similar trade for Cooks but Cooks is a much better player and they got a 1st round pick back for him.
To me the contractual differences are even bigger than the talent differences. Pats got a full year of Cooks dirt cheap, plus a bargain fifth year at ~$9 MM. Dallas gets only a half year of Cooper at a bargain and no camp to assimilate him, plus his fifth year option is for almost $14 MM because he was a top-10 pick.
 

Bosoxen

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Reminder: they could have had Calvin Ridley for a first round pick in April.
 

Super Nomario

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Reminder: they could have had Calvin Ridley for a first round pick in April.
They could have had four cheap seasons of Calvin Ridley plus a relatively inexpensive fifth year option.

I guess the devil's advocate position here is that drafting WR is a crapshoot. I know people bash Belichick's WR drafting but (as IIRC DotB pointed out) it's not like other teams are doing great with John Ross, Laquon Treadwell, Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, Tavon Austin, etc. If Dallas was planning to take a first-round WR anyway, there's some logic to getting an established guy instead. The problem is, he's going to cost money as well as a first-rounder, and he hasn't produced consistently.
 

BigSoxFan

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They could have had four cheap seasons of Calvin Ridley plus a relatively inexpensive fifth year option.

I guess the devil's advocate position here is that drafting WR is a crapshoot. I know people bash Belichick's WR drafting but (as IIRC DotB pointed out) it's not like other teams are doing great with John Ross, Laquon Treadwell, Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, Tavon Austin, etc. If Dallas was planning to take a first-round WR anyway, there's some logic to getting an established guy instead. The problem is, he's going to cost money as well as a first-rounder, and he hasn't produced consistently.
They definitely need him to return to 2015/2016 form to save face on this trade. Can't afford another Roy Williams situation.
 

Bosoxen

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They could have had four cheap seasons of Calvin Ridley plus a relatively inexpensive fifth year option.

I guess the devil's advocate position here is that drafting WR is a crapshoot. I know people bash Belichick's WR drafting but (as IIRC DotB pointed out) it's not like other teams are doing great with John Ross, Laquon Treadwell, Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, Tavon Austin, etc. If Dallas was planning to take a first-round WR anyway, there's some logic to getting an established guy instead. The problem is, he's going to cost money as well as a first-rounder, and he hasn't produced consistently.
Right, and when you consider this team's cap position, that's not exactly the wisest distribution of resources. This move, in addition to being panicky and stupid, will likely cost the Cowboys DeMarcus Lawrence in the offseason. So I guess we're going to swing back in the direction of going after the shiny offensive object and rolling with mediocre defense.

If nothing else, the past 10 months have shown that, despite Stephen Jones's supposedly increasing influence, this team has no long-term plan.
 

The Process

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After yesterday this was always going to happen. Winning because of your owner/GM/coach would be a great change from where this franchise has gone.
 

TFisNEXT

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Well...at least at isn't as bad as the Roy Williams trade. That's about the only compliment you can make.

Jerry still has enough say to overpower Stephen...that's what this says. And that jerrah has learned nothing over the past 18 years.
 

johnmd20

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Well...at least at isn't as bad as the Roy Williams trade. That's about the only compliment you can make.

Jerry still has enough say to overpower Stephen...that's what this says. And that jerrah has learned nothing over the past 18 years.
Jerrah has learned more bad habits in the past 18 years than he's forgotten, I guess.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Current PFF grade = #68 WR in 2018 (with the usual caveat re: PFF player ranking system).

Having said that, doesn't this put a ton of pressure on Dallas to give Amari top WR money when he hits FA in 2020? Cooper's 5th-year option will already cost $14m next year.

Otherwise, it'll be quite a waste of a 1st round pick for a 1.5- year rental. Especially for a team that will have a tough time getting out of the NFC EVEN if Cooper regains his form circa 2015-2016.

This seems like such a Jerry move to me.
 

Marciano490

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Anytime you can get a skilled receiver away from a bum QB like Carr to a superstar like Dak who can throw accurately anywhere on the field, you have to take that into account in analyzing the trade.
 

Gunfighter 09

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Sammy Watkins set the floor of the top of the first round receiver market at $16M per, so Cooper is going to cost north of that to lock up long term.

He was also knocked out cold for the second time in twelve games over two season last week, but has been pretty healthy other than that.

He is only 24 years old and I still think he is more the player he was in 2015 & 16 than the player who dropped a ton of (important) balls and disappeared for long stretches between a couple of sterling performances the last two years. This is an overplay for Dallas, but I think it is reasonable to think that they were one very good receiver away from winning the division this year. The Eagles supposedly offered a 2 for Cooper, so Dallas probably didn't over pay by a ton.
 
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TFisNEXT

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Sammy Watkins set the floor of the top of the first round receiver market at $16M per, so Cooper is going to cost north of that to lock up long term.

He was also knocked out cold for the second time in twelve games over two season last week, but has been pretty healthy other than that.

He is only 24 years old and I still think he is more the player he was in 2015 & 16 than the player who dropped a ton of (important) balls and disappeared for long stretches between a couple of sterling performances the last two years. This is an overplay for Dallas, but I think it is reasonable to think that they were one very good receiver away from winning the division this year. The Eagles supposedly offered a 2 for Cooper, so Dallas probably didn't over pay by a ton.
The trade would have made more sense back in spring or summer...it still would be an overpay, but at least Cooper would have training camp and preseason to learn the offense so he would be useful in 2018.

Trading for him now? They grab him with a 3-4 record and he's probably a minimum of a month away from being useful in the offense, perhaps more....unless I'm missing something and the offenses are similar.
 

Bosoxen

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I don't know whether it helps or hurts that they have a bye week coming up. I don't know how studious Cooper is but if he still has Nick Saban's voice echoing in his head, I would imagine he's more likely than not to hit the books right away. And I don't doubt Prescott would be willing to put in the work to start building some chemistry with him.

Not that that is likely to help much, since the schedule is not particularly friendly for the next few weeks - in addition to two short weeks in November. But the division is extremely winnable, despite the 3-4 record, and if Cooper can somewhat resemble a capable wide receiver down the stretch, the defense is looking good enough to potentially not be a total embarrassment if they somehow manage to sneak into the playoffs.

Who the hell knows at this point. The only constant with this team is that Jerry will do something stupid with the roster, Garrett will continue to be a mediocre coach, and I will start next year's thread with another pithy "more of the same" title.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't know whether it helps or hurts that they have a bye week coming up. I don't know how studious Cooper is but if he still has Nick Saban's voice echoing in his head, I would imagine he's more likely than not to hit the books right away. And I don't doubt Prescott would be willing to put in the work to start building some chemistry with him.

Not that that is likely to help much, since the schedule is not particularly friendly for the next few weeks - in addition to two short weeks in November. But the division is extremely winnable, despite the 3-4 record, and if Cooper can somewhat resemble a capable wide receiver down the stretch, the defense is looking good enough to potentially not be a total embarrassment if they somehow manage to sneak into the playoffs.

Who the hell knows at this point. The only constant with this team is that Jerry will do something stupid with the roster, Garrett will continue to be a mediocre coach, and I will start next year's thread with another pithy "more of the same" title.
The division is right there for the taking. I'm not buying Washington as more than a 9-7 type team. Philly is sitting at 3-4 and you have 2 games remaining against them. The defense remains quite good and has only given up more than 20 points twice in 7 games.

The offense has tons of room for improvement and Cooper now gives the Cowboys a legit weapon in the passing game. If he returns to 2015/2016 form, I think Cowboys take the division. If he looks like 2017/2018 Amari, then it'll probably be more of the same. Will definitely be interesting to watch.
 

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Most interesting take that I've seen is that this is spending a 1st on a WR, but also to set up a scenario to decide on Dak. Basically giving Dak a #1 to see if extending him is a Bortles level mistake.
 

Bosoxen

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Most interesting take that I've seen is that this is spending a 1st on a WR, but also to set up a scenario to decide on Dak. Basically giving Dak a #1 to see if extending him is a Bortles level mistake.
If that's the case, then this is even dumber than I thought. If you're going to do that, the only way to know for sure is to get a true, established #1 like Julio Jones or Antonio Brown. Not that either of those guys would be available but spending that resource on that player to inform that decision is not what I would consider wise.

Also, there were already questions about Prescott heading into the offseason. Granted, they weren't quite as glaring as they are now but that just makes the mismanagement of the roster - and this subsequent panic move - that much more puzzling. Did they not see it or were they just blaming everything on Dez?
 

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The most Dallas thing that could happen is that Cooper makes some splash plays, the defense keeps us in enough games to get to 9-7 and win the division and while we bow out to a superior team in the Wild Card game it promotes enough confidence in Garrett for him to get an extension. Based on his splash plays, they then re-work Cooper's last year into a multi-year extension. Cut to Jerruh and Cooper at the press conference talking about how giving up the pick was tough but having a true #1 WR makes it justified. Cooper has a rough start to the season, the media turns on him and he never recovers. The Cowboys delay the inevitable for a year but ending up cutting him and leaving significant dead money against the cap, which along with the new deal they gave Prescott, significantly impairs the team's ability to keep the core players together and leads to a repeat of the years of 7-9 bloated salaried teams. Meanwhile, the 1st rounder Oakland gets in the trade turns out to be some stud player (likely a superstar franchise QB) that replaces Carr and leads Las Vegas to dominance.

While we're at it, shortly after Cooper is released, Jerry Jones becomes the first successful beneficiary of a new medical procedure that grants him immortality. In his first every press conference after the procedure, he calls the Cooper trade a "football move he would do 10 times out of 10" and looks forward to running the team for the foreseeable future.

Did I miss anything?
 

Bosoxen

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In 2030, after Garrett has completed a run of five straight 5-11 seasons, Jerry finally fires him and replaces him with the long-ago retired Bill Belichick*. Belichick quickly turns the team around just in time for Jerry to gain approval for a new 200,000-seat stadium located in Southlake, TX. Shortly after that, Jerry signs a loud-mouthed knucklehead wide receiver against his coach's wishes, forever fracturing the relationship. Belichick, finally unable to contain himself, calls Jerry the "dumbest fucking person he's ever had the displeasure of working with", causing Jerry to fire him and replace him with Lane Kiffin, who then immediately goes on to run the team into the ground.

*Sorry Pats fans. The symmetry only works with your boy Bill.
 

Greg29fan

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Houston trades a 4th and a 7th to get Thomas, Philly trades a 3rd to get noted Cowboy assassin Golden Tate, and we gave up a fucking 1st for a guy who is probably worse than both of them.
 

BigSoxFan

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Houston trades a 4th and a 7th to get Thomas, Philly trades a 3rd to get noted Cowboy assassin Golden Tate, and we gave up a fucking 1st for a guy who is probably worse than both of them.
True but Cooper has the most upside given his age. It's obviously a legit question as to whether or not he'll ever reach that upside with a QB like Dak.
 

Dan Murfman

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So before going into work yesterday I recorded a bunch of shows to see what they say about the Red Sox. One of my stops was Undisputed. I fast forwarded through the first hour as it was football talk. They finally are going to talk about the World Series. They spent a minute or so on the best team won blah blah . The rest of their World Series talk was whether Garrett should have been at the game. Apparently it’s an issue back in Dallas. Big enough that Jerry has to comment on it and said he had no problem with it.
 

Greg29fan

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The rest of their World Series talk was whether Garrett should have been at the game. Apparently it’s an issue back in Dallas. Big enough that Jerry has to comment on it and said he had no problem with it.
It's a sensitive topic since Cabo-gate a few years ago.