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  • Tyrone Crawford reaches deal to get charges dropped
    by Tom Ryle on July 18, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images It now clears the way for the league to decide what, if anything, to do about the bar incident he was involved in. While Ezekiel Elliott has apparently avoided any disciplinary action regarding his incident in Las Vegas, the Dallas Cowboys still have been waiting to find out what, if any, action would be taken by the NFL regarding the bar brawl Tyrone Crawford was involved in. That fight, in March of this year while he was in Florida, led to a misdemeanor charge in May, to which Crawford pleaded not guilty. Now, according to an article from Bleacher Report (and others), Crawford has a deal to get the charges dropped. Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford has entered a pre-trial diversion program in connection to a March altercation at a bar in Panama City Beach, Florida, according to court records obtained by TMZ Sports. Upon completing the program, Crawford will have his misdemeanor charge of unlawful assembly dropped. This does not keep the NFL from taking disciplinary action against him, but it does clear the way for the league to now conclude its investigation and announce a decision. There is no timeline for such, and no real guide. The league office does these things in its own inscrutable fashion. It would obviously be to the team’s benefit to find out before the start of the regular season if any suspension will be involved. It is all but certain nothing can be decided before the start of training camp at the end of next week. The best case would clearly be no suspension, perhaps with a fine, but even if the commissioner feels that some punishment is warranted, it hopefully will not be a severe one. In Crawford’s favor, he has tacitly admitted some responsibility by agreeing to enter the diversion program, which is something the league apparently likes to see. The willingness of the local authorities to drop the charge also should be seen as a positive sign. On the flip side, it was an ugly incident, and caught on video which was all over social media. We will keep you appraised of future developments while we hope for a good outcome. […]

  • Madden 20 thinks the two highest-rated NFL teams reside in the NFC East
    by Dave Halprin on July 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Have the Cowboys risen to the top? On the one hand, the ratings from the video game Madden 20 really don’t mean anything. Sure, the makers of the game will tell you they try their best to make it as accurate as possible and they take great care in assigning ratings. Still, in the end they are like any other rankings out there, good for debate, but ultimately have a mixed-record of accuracy. That doesn’t stop NFL players from taking their shots if they don’t like their rating. Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence sure didn’t take to kindly to his rating. HOLD UP @EAMaddenNFL you not just going to disrespeck me like that with an 89 and get away with it....PUT. SOME. RESPECK. ON. https://t.co/ndDkGvo7gx.UNTIL THEN COWBOYS NATION IS ON MADDEN STRIKE! RT @dallascowboys Nation show em we ain’t playin bih. pic.twitter.com/okVXyooI3l— DeMarcus Lawrence (@TankLawrence) July 15, 2019 Well, Tank can take some solace in the Cowboys overall rating. As a team, the Cowboys roster is ranked second overall. That’s ahead of teams like New England, New Orleans and Los Angeles (both teams). The Cowboys overall rating is 88 and are very balanced with 86 ratings on offense and defense. In contrast, a team like the Saints (tied for third) have a 92 offensive rating but fall to 82 on defense for an 87 overall. While the rating is a nod to the Cowboys strong roster, fans can’t get too excited about it. Why? The Philadelphia Eagles edge the Cowboys out for the top spot with an 89 rating. The Eagles rate 87 on offense and 84 on defense. Basically, the two best teams, at least by roster ratings according to EA Sports, reside in the NFC East. Our friends in Washington get an 83 rating, which would seem a little high. The Giants, though, rate a 77, only ahead of the Miami Dolphins as the worst. Connor Livesay broke down the individual rankings for the Cowboys players previously, you can see that here. You can view the full team-ratings here. […]

  • Film Room: Exactly how much should Dak Prescott be paid?
    by Matt Minich on July 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    The question everybody wants an answer to, is Dak Prescott worth over $30 million a year? As the 2019 season approaches, so does the final year of quarterback Dak Prescott’s rookie contract. This puts a lot of pressure on the Cowboys to get something done sooner rather than later. The Philadelphia Eagles recently signed Prescott’s draft-classmate Carson Wentz to a massive contract extension, locking him up through the 2024 season paying him an average of $32 million per year. The question that has been posed from many, both inside and outside of the Cowboys fan base, is an obvious one: “Is Dak Prescott worth over 30 million per year?” To answer that question, we must look at the film. Looking at the pocket Let’s start by taking a look at what Prescott can do with a clean pocket. Against the Buccaneers in Week 16 Prescott threw an absolute dime to Michael Gallup to convert a third and 12. Tampa Bay was in a Cover 2 look. Cover 2 has two “soft spots” that offenses look to target in the passing game. The first is the deep middle, between the two safeties. Many teams combat this by playing Tampa 2 and dropping their middle linebacker deep. The second is the side pocket throw... that throw places the ball deeper than the cornerback and near the sidelines where the safety will have trouble getting to it. Teams will combat this by dropping their corners underneath the route rather than having them just sit in the flat. On this play the Bucs do a good job of bracketing the receiver with cornerback Brent Grimes underneath and safety Jordan Whitehead over the top, but a perfect tight-window throw by Prescott results in a 32-yard gain and a first down for the Cowboys. The unfair stereotype that can be thrust on an athletic quarterback like Prescott is that they always are looking to run. This is simply not true. Prescott always has his eyes down field looking to make the throw. On the next play in our film review, during the two-minute drill at the end of the second half, Prescott demonstrates just that. Dallas has excellent protection, but Eagles defensive end Chris Long gets into the passing lane and gets his hand up. This forces Prescott to step up in the pocket before delivering a perfect ball to Cole Beasley on the deep out route. This type of pocket presence is something that non-athletic quarterbacks like Tom Brady are noted for but Prescott has this skill as well. Outside the pocket analysis Of course, Prescott gives the Cowboys something extra with his athletic ability. In Week 17 the Cowboys found themselves in a third down situation just inside the Giants 40-yard line. The exotic overloaded defensive front from the defense caused confusion for the Cowboys offensive line. As a result, B.J. Hill and Olivier Vernon were able penetrate the backfield from the left side. Prescott rolled out to his right, but kept his eyes down field. As he approached the line of scrimmage he threw the ball across his body to tight end Blake Jarwin 20 yards down field and Jarwin was able to run it in for a touchdown. Once again, this shows Prescott keeping his eyes downfield when under pressure and looking to make big plays in the passing game. Yes, Prescott can also run the ball. In our final play of film review, a goal line situation against the Redskins, Prescott drops back to throw but quickly feels pressure from the left side. He rolls out around it, then ducks inside another defender before seeing his path to the end zone. At the end of the day, Dak Prescott is worth every penny. He is an excellent passer who can keep the play alive with his movement inside and outside of the pocket. The film backs all of this up. […]

  • What would you consider a successful 2019 season for the Cowboys?
    by One.Cool.Customer on July 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Making the playoffs is probably a minimum requirement to consider 2019 a success for the Cowboys, but is there more? After reading the headline above, I know there are people who are just itching to inform me that “In Dallas, success is measured in Super Bowls,” and that anything less is unacceptable. Well, today you may have to go scratch that itch somewhere else, because, believe it or not, the 2019 season can be a success even without a Super Bowl title. The question is, how do we define success? After three straight winning seasons, simply tagging on a fourth consecutive winning season is more of a minimum requirement, but certainly not a success by itself - even if four straight winning seasons would already be quite an achievement. Only four teams in the league are currently riding a streak of four+ consecutive winning seasons: Patriots (18 consecutive seasons with a winning record) Seahawks (7 seasons) Chiefs (6 seasons) Steelers (5 seasons) But that’s just the regular season, and despite winning only their third playoff game since 1996 last year, expectations in Dallas are for at least another playoff win, everything else would mean they have regressed. How about a season like 2007 or 2016? In both seasons, the Cowboys stormed out to a 13-3 regular season record, easily won the NFC East and entered the playoffs as the number one seed, but lost in the divisional round. Would you consider the number one NFC seed a success? How about a repeat of 2009, 2014 or 2018? The Cowboys win their wildcard game only to lose the divisional round game. Would you consider a playoff win a success? How about a season like 1994? The Cowboys enter the playoffs as the number two seed and advance to the Conference Championships after handily dismantling the Packers 35-9, only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl-winning 49ers. Would you consider making the Conference Championships a success? Or do they have to make it to the Super Bowl (and then win it, of course)? The Cowboys are a young team with a lot of talent. I don’t think anything less than another playoff win could be considered a success in any shape or form, regardless the circumstances. But what happens after that? Do the Cowboys have to win the divisional round, do they have to play for the Conference Championship? Or is the manner in which they play the final game (in whatever playoff round it happens to be) more important? The ultimate goal, as Dak Prescott recently phrased it, is obviously to make it to the Super Bowl. But is a Super Bowl win really the only measure by which to consider a season a success? What needs to happen for you to consider the 2019 season a success for the Cowboys? […]

  • The Cowboys DeMarcus Lawrence is quietly one of the best defensive players in the league
    by DannyPhantom on July 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports Take a moment to appreciate the Cowboys armored fighting vehicle. Since the departure of DeMarcus Ware, the Dallas Cowboys have been on the look out for their next star pass rusher. In 2014, the team traded away their third-round pick to move up in the second round so they could select Boise State’s DeMarcus Lawrence. From one DeMarcus to another, the Cowboys had landed a talented defensive end, only they didn’t realize it right away. Lawrence battled injuries early in his career, but when he was healthy, he was very good. There isn’t much question that Lawrence has been one of the best edge rushers in the league over the last couple seasons. That’s why the team gave him a five-year, $105 million contract extension. But as good as he is, it’s very possible there’s still a lot more left in this Tank. On Saturday at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas, Lawrence made it clear that he has his sights set on something big. “My goal is to be the best that’s ever played this game,” These types of statements aren’t unusual for players who are extremely confident, especially if they’re already playing at a high level. Considering his “soul-snatching” type comments in the past, there’s never been a lack of confidence from Lawrence. While the belief in himself is high, there are a lot of good reasons to believe he’s only scratched the surface. He’s instinctive One of the great things about Lawrence is he’s not just your “pin your ears back and attack the quarterback” pass rusher. Tank is very good against the run as well. His sack totals are great, but he also tied for the league lead last year for the most stops at or behind the line of scrimmage against the run. What’s impressive about this stat is that opponents tend to run away from Lawrence, so this speaks to what type of impact he has in the running game. The Cowboys were one of the top rushing defenses in the league last year and finished tied for fourth with 3.8 yards allowed per attempt. The sacks are sexy, but Lawrence is one of the most effective run-stopping defenders in the league. Lawrence isn’t the type of pass rusher that just chases quarterbacks with reckless abandonment. He’s very attuned to what’s going on. He plays the play. Tank is very good at keeping his head up and never gets lost in what’s going on. He doesn’t over-pursue and uses his hands extremely well to shed defenders. Lawrence always has a plan and has the wherewithal to make his actions count. His football IQ was on full display when he got his first career interception last season. Tank Lawrence with the INTERCEPTION...#dallascowboys #cowboys #CowboysNation #dallascowboysnation #dallas #americasteam #gocowboys #WASvsDAL #nfl pic.twitter.com/QGjp5VRt1d— Dallas Cowboys IntCl (@DCInterclub) November 23, 2018 He’s the big fundamental Sure, it’s another Texas superstar that holds the licensing rights to that nickname, but similar to the San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan, Lawrence’s greatness is attributed to how fundamentally sound he is. Don’t get me wrong, Tank is a good athlete, but he doesn’t blow you away with freakish metrics. His spider chart is rather blah, but Lawrence is a craftsman and he’s done an outstanding job developing his game. Lawrence wins with an arsenal of pass rushing techniques. He’s got strong hands and uses them really well. He’ll use his right arm to chop the hands of his blocker to open up a path around the edge. He’s got good push and uses power and speed to penetrate through creases. Lawrence has happy feet and can weave in and out of lanes, avoiding blockers. And he knows how to finish. As he’s closing, he’ll always swipe at the ball which has made him one of the best at forcing fumbles. Demarcus Lawrence strips it and Antwuan Woods picks it! #DALvsNYG pic.twitter.com/4Iju5z1BCV— Adam Collins ✭ (@AdamCollinsCN) December 30, 2018 He’s got a champion’s mentality Even before his huge sack numbers started showing up in the stat sheet, Tank was regarded as one of the top leaders in the locker room. He works extremely hard, and when younger players see him going full speed to chase down a runner from the opposite side, that’s going to leave an impression. Lawrence isn’t the quiet guy who’s all smiles like the DeMarcus before him. Instead, he comes across a little abrasive at times. He’s made it clear he doesn’t like quarterbacks, and plays with the mentality that he’s going to do everything he can to punish his opponents. There is definitely some swagger to his game, but it brings about a fire in him that translates all over the field. Lawrence is one of the biggest splash-making players in the league, and his impact can get lost at times as his teammates around him cash in on his dirty work. Whether it’s taking on double teams, forcing errant throws, or running a quarterback into the arms of his teammate - Lawrence has made a career of making his teammates look good. And he’s not a guy who gets bent out of shape when others are getting the credit. He just goes out there and plays hard, and has quietly become one of the most disruptive players in the league. […]

 

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