Dallas Cowboys: Positional Breakdown by way of Stephen A Smith

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 14: Head coach Stephen A. Smith (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 14: Head coach Stephen A. Smith (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Dorance Armstrong #92 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Defensive Line:

Stephen A Smith is known for his outrageous remarks and hilarious moments, but most of all, he is known for his famous catchphrase “Stay off the Weeduh!” With Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith both currently seeking reinstatement into the league, this would have been low hanging, yet funny, fruit. I decided to try something different.

Under the Jason Garrett/Rod Marinelli mindset, the team coveted a very specific type of edge rushers and defensive tackles. It was then followed up by Jason Garrett saying they found the “right kind of guys” off the street. That was true with the Robert Quinn trade, but that couldn’t be said for a lot of other players.

When defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was signed, he emphasized the idea that “we want good players, and then we’ll find a scheme to play them.” Quite a contrast from the administration that walked out the door. The team did just that in free agency. They grabbed Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy off the street, two people who had been previously linked to the Cowboys for years.

To make things even more interesting, not only did the Cowboys hear Randy Gregory was looking to return to the team, but also they reached out to former first-round pick Aldon Smith who hadn’t played in the league since 2015. Of all the offseasons the Cowboys have had, this one stands out amongst the rest.

In the draft, former Oklahoma Sooner Neville Gallimore fell to the Cowboys in the third round and former Utah Ute Bradlee Anae was waiting to be picked up by the team in the fifth round. This offseason has seen the Cowboys bring in some serious talent across the defensive line, the talent that the team had supposedly been looking for the past five years.

Times are changing in Dallas and the defensive line is the perfect example.

Dallas Cowboys Linebackers:

This time last year, the Dallas Cowboys had one of the best linebacker groups in the league. Now, there seem to be more questions than answers. Leighton Vander Esch was coming off of an All-Pro rookie season and Jaylon Smith had earned himself a five-year extension paying him handsomely. With Sean Lee playing the SAM position, the potential was through the room for that room.

Then Vander Esch’s neck issues started to flare up again, Smith started playing like it was 2017 again, and Sean Lee was somehow responsible for keeping the defense together until he couldn’t. 365 days is a long time and the Cowboys linebacker room was the quintessential example of that.

Heading into 2020, the expectations are that the room returns to their 2018 form especially with Mike Nolan calling the defense. This would require Vander Esch staying healthy, Jaylon Smith finding the right role, and other players like Luke Gifford, Joe Thomas, and Justin March filling in when needed.

The state of the linebackers could not have been better stated by Stephen A Smith.

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Backs:

Coming into the draft, the secondary needed some serious talent. After losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins, the team signed some veteran cornerbacks, but none of the production of Jones. (Makes sense as he is a top-five cornerback in the league.) In the draft, they grabbed Trevon Diggs from Alabama in the second round and Reggie Robinson II from Tulsa in the fourth round. Drafting two starting-caliber cornerbacks on days two and three could not have been a better use of assets.

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However, with all the influx of talent and possible position changes, the defensive secondary is currently the biggest unknown going into the season. For years, the team was particular about playing a certain way and it resulted in a lack of turnovers. This administration seems to place an emphasis on turnovers and playing press coverage.

Could this finally be the year the Cowboys secondary does what they keep saying they want to do or will the inexperience of the group bring down the team’s performance? We won’t know until week one so until then, we are all what Stephen A is doing.

Next. A predictive tale of the Dallas Cowboys 2020 season. dark

In the words of Stephen A, “I’m out!”