D-Unit's 2012 Cowboys Mock Offseason LIVE
hahaha. I dunno, I think this might be fun. Just had an idea that I would mock out the Cowboys offseason with a fun fake (of course) series of events that go from cuts, fa signings, and the draft. Feel free to comment throughout as things happen. :)
Terence Newman is released by the Dallas Cowboys
In a much expected cap savings move, the Dallas Cowboys have released veteran cornerback Terence Newman from the team. Drafted in 2003 with the 5th pick in Round 1, Newman has spent his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys. During that span he went to the Pro Bowl 2 times (2007, 2009) and has collected 532 tackles, 32 interceptions and 2 sacks.
There comes a time when age catches up and in 2011, Newman's age showed plenty... and his performance did not match up to the salary he was making as the teams highest paid player. His base salary at $8M + $2M (signing bonus) last year became a tough pill to swallow. The Cowboys will free up $23M over the next 3 years with the release of Newman, but will have to pay $2M per year over that span in dead money due to the amount owed by his signing bonus.
Terence Newman contract details:
Tyron Smith is officially the Cowboys Left Tackle
INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith with the No. 9 overall pick last year it was the with idea that he could move to left tackle one day.
One day is supposed to be 2012.
Coach Jason Garrett said Smith will move to left tackle and Doug Free will play right tackle when the Cowboys reconvene in the offseason. Garrett added that "there's no guarantee," that Smith would be the opening day starter in 2012.
"The starting point for us next year is Tyron will start at left tackle and Doug will start at right tackle," Garrett said from the NFL's annual scouting combine. "The versatility that Tyron had coming out is something we were really attracted to. He was a right tackle in college, as you know, but we felt like he had the physical traits to play left tackle. Same with Doug Free. We felt he could play either side."
Free has started the past two years at left tackle, taking over for Flozell Adams in 2010, but he broke into the lineup in 2009 at right tackle after Marc Colombo suffered a fractured ankle at Green Bay. The Cowboys signed Free to a four-year, $32 million contract extension before last season.
Smith started every game as a rookie and earned high marks across the league for his play. He took snaps early in training camp before Free was eligible to practice but moved to right tackle for the rest of camp and the rest of the season.
"We felt the best decision was to leave Tyron at right tackle with the shortened training camp and offseason," Garrett said. "We felt like he was ready to make that move now and we'll see how it goes. I think both guys have demonstrated they can play either side. We're just trying to come up with the best combination."
Free struggled in 2011, but the move to right tackle comes with some risk as well considering the types of pass rushers the Cowboys see in the NFC East. Philadelphia has Jason Babin and Trent Cole, Washington has Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, the New York Giants have Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora.
The decision to make the switch could also affect guard Kyle Kosier. He moved from left guard to the right side to help ease Smith's transition. He could be moved back to the left side, however, there is some question about his future on the team. Garrett said Kosier's recovery from a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee suffered in the season opener is going well.
Callahan going back to his Wisconsin roots?
The Cowboys hired Bill Callahan at the start of the offseason to help improve the play of the offensive line and assist Jason Garrett in game planning. With that hire came an added dimension of knowledge and a new network of resources. Callahan made a name for himself being the offensive line coach at Wisconsin during Barry Alvarez's reign when the program first got turned around. His ties there remain strong as the community is a tight knit one. So looking into the draft prospects coming out of Wisconsin in this year's draft should not be overlooked.
As a current WI resident this excites me. I have seen both of them play on many occasions, both are beasts, as every WI linemen lately. The versatility from Zeitler is nice, but i still prefer Konz in a trade down scenario.
Dallas exercises Exclusive Rights to WR Jessie Holley
Holley will return to the Dallas Cowboys for the 2012 NFL season since he is an exclusive rights free agent. Even though Holley was a free agent, he was not allowed to negotiate with any other team and no other team could offer him a contract since Dallas wanted him back. That is due to him having less than three years playing time. Dallas could offer Holley any contract they wanted and he couldn't refuse it unless he wanted to quit the NFL.
Holley will be back in 2012 at league minimum.
This signing is not an indication of the Cowboys losing interest in bringing Laurent Robinson back.
“It’s important,” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. “He’s a big contributor to our football team last year. We had a several injuries on our football team last year, different guys got hurt at different times and we had to put somebody else in. Nowhere was that more obvious to me than at the receiver position. Early in the year Dez Bryant got hurt against the Jets, so he missed a game and was hobbled some and Miles [Austin] gets hurt, and Laurent stepped in and did a good job for us.”
But there are significant stumbling blocks in the way due to the heavy interest league wide in the break out year Robinson had.
Laurent Robinson's agent thinks his client is a big target. "He's got the age, height, speed and people can see what he can do."
Cowboys release 4 players
In preparation for the start of Free Agency the Dallas Cowboys have continued to churn their roster. WR Kevin Ogletree, TE Martellus Bennett, K David Buehler, and DE Kenyon Coleman have been told that the Cowboys will not retain their services.
For Ogletree, who is a Restricted FA, the lowest tender available will cost the team $1.3 million. The Cowboys had no interest in offering him that kind of money with the season full of mental lapses that Ogletree had.
Bennett never capitalized on the flashes he showed as a rookie catching 4 TDs as a redzone threat. In the 3 years since, Bennett has failed to add another TD to his resume and never had a better year in receiving yards. The 2nd rounder has turned into a bust, so it wasn't expected to see him back at Valley Ranch for another season.
Bennett will be looking to take his immaturity issues elsewhere.
edit: Just saw something in Bennett's pick that I didn't know was there. eeeeeeewe!
Buehler was released this offseason because Dan Bailey showed he could handle the field goal and kickoff duties while Buehler nursed injuries. The team will save $1.26 million by releasing Buehler.
Coleman was released this offseason because there are younger players that can play defensive end in defensive coordinator Rex Ryan's system. The team will save $1.9 million in salary cap space with his release.
There continue to be rumblings that if Dallas can lure certain targets in FA that Abram Elam could also be let go and veteran linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking will not be brought back.
Cowboys active during Post Season Bowl Games
East-West Shrine Game
The East West Shrine game kicked off the offseason draft process with an on field display of mid-to-late round talent and the Cowboys brass was most certainly there. No surprise at all considering the Cowboys have drafted players out of this game consistently year to year. The latest being David Arkin and Josh Thomas last year.
Here are a couple to keep an eye on.
Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman (6-0, 203) -- If there was an MVP of the week in St. Petersburg, Norman was the guy. He's long, physical and showcased an impressive burst when asked to drive on the football. He was making plays all week and not only has a "plus" skill set, but also exhibits a very natural feel deciphering routes developing in front of him. There are some off-the-field character concerns, but he's a legit top-100 pick.
Miami (OH) OG Brandon Brooks (6-5, 353) -- Brooks stood out immediately at the weigh-in, carrying his weight about as well as you can for a 353-pound specimen. He dominated practice all week due to his combination of power, balance, coordination and pop on his punch. He's a natural anchor player who can slide through contact and overwhelm in the run game. There isn't a ton of snap off the ball initially into contact, but he still looks like a starter at the next level to me.
Rob Ryan: "I'm only looking at DBs. Nothing else. DBs."
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan knows his team needs to improve its defensive backs and he’s determined to do something about it. While at the Senior Bowl, Ryan made it clear the secondary is on his mind.
“I’m only looking at DBs,” Ryan said. “Nothing else. DBs.”
The secondary isn’t the Cowboys’ only problem on defense, but it’s by far the most critical. The Cowboys ranked 23rd in the NFL this season, giving up 244 passing yards per game. Even though that ranking is up three spots from 2010, the Cowboys’ pass defense was statistically worse this year.
Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones always promises big things in the offseason following these disappointing seasons, but never comes through on them. Ryan has taken it upon himself to make sure the Cowboys at least draft some help at cornerback and safety, even if Jones doesn’t bring in veteran help via free agency.
Ryan is specifically interested in Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson, who is projected to be taken on the second day of the draft, in either the second or third round. Of course, Jones makes the final call on who the Cowboys draft, so Ryan can only plead his case and hope Jones selects Johnson after taking a high-profile pass rusher in the first round.
The Cowboys have no hopes of drafting a cornerback in the first round after Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested for possession of marijuana. LSU’s Morris Claiborne is the only other defensive back who will be taken in the first half of the first round of the draft and he’ll be gone way before the Cowboys are on the board with the No. 14 overall pick.
Cowboys veterans are shown the door
The Dallas Cowboys are allowing veterans Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Mat McBriar and Alan Ball to test Free Agency. "We obviously have a great deal of love for Bradie, Keith, Mat and Alan on a personal level, but this is just another hard part of the business of professional football and it has come time for us to each seek new paths." said Stephen Jones. "It's especially tough for us with Bradie and Mat since they have been with the Cowboys for many many years. They will always be able to call this place home."
These announcements are a direct result of the failure to reach expectations from the Cowboys in 2011. Early signs pointed in this direction with the emergence of Sean Lee and the 2nd round selection last year of Bruce Carter. With the release of James and Brooking, the door looks wide open for the 2 new linebackers to seize their opportunity. However, with both Lee who is often injured and Carter, who has yet to have a full season under his belt after ACL injury, the Cowboys are weak in depth at the ILB position. Stephen Jones did say that there might be an opportunity for James to return, but stayed short of saying they were going to pursue that route.
Alan Ball reached expectations of a 7th round draft pick, but not much more. His release is a good sign as the Cowboys badly needed to eliminate him being a constant target and major weak link on defense.
Mat McBriar has been a Pro Bowl punter for the Cowboys and one of the main stays here, however, an injury plagued season in 2011 looks to spell the end of his days as a Cowboy. Choosing not to resign McBriar opens up more cap space for the Cowboys in FA. If they can replace the Punter position with a player who earns minimum salary, that will open a few more millions of dollars in the long term. This could be a sign that the Cowboys are going to be hot in Free Agency.
Cordy Glenn's stock skyrocketing, linked to Cowboys
This is the time of year where rumors are nothing but smoke and mirrors, but the latest has Cordy Glenn being a target of the Cowboys in the first half of Round 1. "...word is Glenn continues to sky-rocket up draft boards and ending up with Dallas in the top half of round one is a real possibility.” http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=6165
This could be a ploy to attract teams looking for help at OG like the Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals to trade up with the Cowboys.
It's no secret that the Cowboys need help at Guard and will look to either FA or the draft to address that need. With David DeCastro's surpurb combine, he's looking to be gone well before the Cowboys are on the clock at 14.
My interior OL philosophy for round 1 is simple, hope DeCastro is there at 14 or trade down for Konz/Zeitler. That's it.
Free Agency Begins - Cowboys stay quiet
On the first day of Free Agency the Cowboys stayed relatively quiet. The only signing being in the retaining Clifton Geathers. Geathers who's 5 min of fame included sacking Tim Tebow last year signed a minimum wage deal.
Many Cowboys fans hoping for a big splash will have to wait. There were rumors that Brandon Carr could be a Cowboy, but news on that front has been quiet as of late. The Cowboys should also be in the market for a Guard or Center, with Ben Grubbs and Chris Meyers as top targets. As expected Carl Nicks was given the Franchise Tag by the Saints. Chris Meyers could also receive the Franchise Tag by the Texans now that Arian Foster was resigned today. The tag for a Center is much lower than that of a Defensive End, so it's looking more and more like Mario Williams will indeed hit Free Agency as the Texans are already tight against the cap. Two other players received the Franchise Tag today and they were San Diego WR Vincent Jackson and Arizona DE Calais Campbell.
The Cowboys are taking a wait and see approach with Anthony Spencer. Both the Cowboys and Spencer would like to remain together, however, sides are not close in contract negotiations and things have gotten a little dicey between parties. Abram Elam and Montrae Holland are also on the outside looking in.
Jerry Jones continues to emphasize that the Cowboys will spend this offseason, so even though the day passed with no big signings, don't assume things are quiet at Valley Ranch.
Guys READ THE FIRST POST.... or the THREAD TITLE...
It's a MOCK OFFSEASON. :P It's his "prediction/dream" for what what will happen in the coming months.
Post Combine Rankings: GUARD
1. David DeCastro, Stanford - 6047, 316
--5.43 Forty -- 1.82 10 yd Split --34 Bench --32 3/8 Arms
2. Cordy Glenn, Georgia - 6050, 345
--5.15 Forty -- 1.76 10 yd Split --31 Bench --35 3/4 Arms
3. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State - 6060, 333
--5.36 Forty -- NA 10 yd Split --32 Bench --35 7/8 Arms
4. Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin - 6037, 314
--5.39 Forty -- 1.75 10 yd Split --32 Bench --32 3/4 Arms
5. Brandon Washington, Miami - 6030, 320
--5.25 Forty -- 1.77 10 yd Split --28 Bench --33 Arms
6. Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State - 6040, 311
--5.43 Forty -- 1.89 10 yd Split --28 Bench --33 Arms
7. Brandon Brooks, Miami-Ohio - 6050, 353
--NA Forty -- NA 10 yd Split --NA Bench --NA Arms
Combine comments from http://walterfootball.com.
Post Combine Rankings: CENTER
1. Peter Konz, Wisconsin - 6050, 314
-- DNP Forty -- DNP 10 yd Split -- 18 Bench -- 33 Arms
2. Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin - 6037, 314
-- 5.39 Forty -- 1.75 10 yd Split -- 32 Bench -- 32 3/4 Arms
3. Philip Blake, Baylor - 6030, 311
-- 5.25 Forty -- 1.76 10 yd Split -- 22 Bench -- 33 Arms
4. David Molk, Michigan - 6010, 298
-- DNP Forty -- DNP 10 yd Split -- 41 Bench -- 32 Arms
5. Ben Jones, Georgia - 6020, 303
-- 5.44 Forty -- 1.83 10 yd Split -- 29 Bench -- 32 1/2 Arms
6. Adam Gettis, Iowa - 6020, 293
-- 4.91 Forty -- 1.65 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 33 1/8 Arms
7. Michael Brewster, Ohio State - 6040, 312
-- 5.35 Forty -- 1.76 10 yd Split -- 29 Bench -- 31 1/2 Arms
* Zeitler and Gettis have potential to switch to Center.
Combine comments from http://walterfootball.com.
Free Agency Day 2 - Cowboys land Safety Mike Adams
Last year the Cowboys took their time in negotiations with Gerald Sensabaugh and Abram Elam. This year, they have have put it on the front burner with today's signing of Mike Adams. Adams is already 30 years old and only has 1 year of starting experience under his belt. However, he did very well finishing with 64 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 passes defended, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery.
Under high recommendation of new Defensive Backs coach, Jerome Henderson, the Cowboys put their hard hats on early and quickly went into pursuit giving Adams a new 3 year, $6.5M dollar deal. His familiarity with Rob Ryan's defense is a big key here. The Cowboys defense was not very quick in picking up the nuances of Ryan's defense, so adding someone with that experience is a plus, especially if this signals the loss of Abram Elam.
Adams is an under the radar signing because he doesn't come with much hype, but the statistics show that compared to his other Free Agent peers and players at his position, that he did a very nice job this past season.
3-4? 4-3? Both? Rob Ryan shows versatility
Last month, at the end of a news conference, a reporter asked Cowboys coach Jason Garrett if the team was considering switching its base defense from a 3-4 to the more-conventional 4-3. The question seemed destined to be dismissed with a short response. Garrett, after all, has a reputation for being tight-lipped and judicious with words. But in this instance he stepped out of character and gave an intriguing answer, one that provoked discussions about the team’s plans.
“We haven’t gotten to the point where we’ve talked about what we’re going to play yet,” Garrett said that day. “We’re still evaluating the tape, and we’ll see where we are going forward. We’ll see what happens.”
Without revealing much more, Garrett left plenty open to interpretation and gave the impression the Cowboys were contemplating a change in defensive schemes after they surrendered 317 points — the 18th-highest total in the league last season. But when asked recently if it would be crazy to assume Dallas would abandon the 3-4 in favor of the 4-3, a source inside the Cowboys organization didn’t hesitate before replying.
“Yeah it would be,” he said. “Besides, we play 3-4 and 4-3. How can you switch if you already do both?”
From the moment he began installing his defense in training camp last summer, coordinator Rob Ryan promised that the Cowboys would feature unorthodox alignments designed to confuse the quarterbacks in a league where passing offenses have become increasingly sophisticated.
To stop them, Ryan was willing to try everything, conjuring up schemes like a mad scientist in a lab. From one play to the next, Ryan wanted his defense to change like a chameleon, camouflaging its intentions in a symphony of arranged chaos. Last season, according to the website, ProFootballFocus.com, the Cowboys ran 29 formations — switching from unconventional alignments that were devoid of down linemen to more traditional ones that featured four-man fronts. As for the true 3-4, the Cowboys were in that set only 34 percent of the time.
“Rob Ryan’s throwing a lot more at you because he does have a complex system,” said Marcellus Wiley, an NFL analyst for ESPN and a former Cowboys defensive end.
In 2004, Wiley spent his lone season in Dallas, watching Bill Parcells begin the process of scrapping the 4-3 defense — a system that had various incarnations but remained the backbone of the organization’s five championship teams.
By 2005, the Cowboys fully converted to a 3-4, a base formation that offered greater flexibility because there were more players on the field who could both drop back in coverage and rush the passer. To accommodate the transition, the Cowboys altered their personnel.
Before unveiling their new scheme, they drafted DeMarcus Ware, an outside linebacker who would become the linchpin in the defense and one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers. They also picked a run-stopping end, Marcus Spears, who would beef up a line that Parcells wanted to inflate by stacking it with bigger bodies. Seven years later, after Parcells stepped down and Wade Phillips came and went, Spears and Ware still have lockers at Valley Ranch and the Cowboys are relying on the 3-4 as their base formation. In part, that’s because they have acquired personnel best-suited for that particular scheme — from inside linebacker Sean Lee , a 2010 second-round pick, to end Kenyon Coleman, a free agent who signed last summer.
As a young man, Ryan watched his father, Buddy, devise and implement the famed blitz-happy 46 defense, which regularly featured six players along the line. Later he worked under Bill Belichick, who helped popularize the 3-4 formation as he built a dynasty in New England. At his first job as a defensive coordinator, in Oakland, Ryan predominantly ran a system that relied on four down linemen and various combinations of linebackers and defensive backs.
Ryan has shown, no matter where he has been, that he is not beholden to one configuration in an age when defensive coordinators can’t afford to be stubborn.
“He’s going to go with what fits best,” said CBS analyst Charley Casserly, the former general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.
And eventually the results will come. In both Oakland and Cleveland, his defenses allowed fewer offensive points in his second season in charge than they did in his first. In the process of trying to implement an involved system predicated on deceiving the quarterback, he first has to ensure that his players have a firm grasp of their responsibilities. That takes time.
In 2011, after their off-season had been wiped away by the lockout, the Cowboys’ defenders didn’t always know what to do. At different points, confusion led to communication breakdowns.
By New Year’s Day, when the Cowboys’ playoffs hopes had died, they allowed 57 passes of 20 yards or more for the second consecutive season. Eleven times, according to ProFootballFocus.com, they lined up with wrong number of players on the field when the ball was snapped.
“You come out of the huddle and you don’t know the play, there is nobody to point you in the right direction,” Wiley said.
Even Ryan admitted in late December that he had to simplify his scheme. But as the Cowboys begin to make plans in 2012, he doesn’t appear ready to make any sweeping changes. Instead, he’ll just continuing doing what he’s always done — a little bit of everything.
Breaking down the looks
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan runs a system that features multiple looks. In his first season in Dallas, the Cowboys used 29 formations, according to ProFootballFocus.com. The Cowboys were lined up in the base 3-4 (three down linemen, four linebackers) 34 percent of the time. In the chart, the first number represents down linemen, the second represents players with hands off the ground, and the third represents defensive backs.
Formation Percent of snaps
Post Combine Rankings: CORNERBACK
1. Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
- 5010, 193 -- 4.44 Forty -- 1.47 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 33.5 Vertical 32 Arms
2. Morris Claiborne, LSU
- 5011, 188 -- 4.47 Forty -- 1.6 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 34.5 Vertical 33 1/4 Arms
3. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
- 6020, 186 -- 4.43 Forty -- 1.53 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 35 Vertical 30 5/8 Arms
4. Brandon Boykin, Georgia
- 5090, 182 --DNP Forty -- DNP 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- DNP Vertical 31 1/2 Arms
5. Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma
- 5011, 206 -- 4.43 Forty -- 1.57 10 yd Split -- 23 Bench -- 34 Vertical 31 1/4 Arms
6. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
- 6000, 190 -- 4.44 Forty -- 1.5 10 yd Split -- 15 Bench -- 36 Vertical 31 Arms
7. Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
- 5010, 204 -- 4.51 Forty -- 1.52 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 37 Vertical 30 Arms
8. Trumaine Johnson, Montana
- 6020, 204 -- 4.5 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 19 Bench -- 35.5 Vertical 33 1/4 Arms
9. Chase Minnifield, Virginia
- 5010, 183 --DNP Forty -- DNP 10 yd Split --7 Bench -- DNP Vertical 31 1/2 Arms
10. Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina
- 6000, 197 -- 4.56 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 14 Bench -- 33 Vertical 32 3/4 Arms
11. Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
- 5010, 178 -- 4.38 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 11 Bench -- DNP Vertical 30 7/8 Arms
12. Josh Robinson, Central Florida
- 5010, 199 -- 4.29 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 17 Bench -- 38.5 Vertical 31 1/4 Arms
13. Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
- 5011, 192 -- 4.53 Forty -- 1.52 10 yd Split -- 19 Bench -- 34 Vertical 30 1/4 Arms
14. Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
- 6000, 194 -- 4.44 Forty -- 1.51 10 yd Split -- DNP Bench -- 37 Vertical 30 1/4 Arms
15. Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette
- 5010, 182 -- 4.37 Forty -- 1.56 10 yd Split -- 13 Bench -- 31.5 Vertical 30 1/4 Arms
16. Justin Bethel, Presbyterian
- 6000, 200 -- 4.53 Forty -- 1.56 10 yd Split -- 19 Bench -- 39.5 Vertical 32 3/8 Arms
17. Leonard Johnson, Iowa State
- 5010, 196 -- 4.65 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 15 Bench -- 32 Vertical 28 3/4 Arms
18. Cliff Harris, Oregon
- 5011, 175 -- 4.59 Forty -- DNP -- 10 yd Split -- 14 Bench -- 36 Vertical 30 1/8 Arms
Post Combine thoughts from yours truly. lol. :)
Jenkins as your #1 CB, I like it. I really really like Jenkins. Am a little afraid of the character concerns, but it wouldn't deter me from taking him at 14.
Jenkins is smooooth, I don't know if I'd have him ranked over Claiborne but it's a lot closer than I thought a month ago. I really like the crop of players that should be available at 14, we're sitting pretty :)
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