The Dallas Cowboys needed to have a great draft going into this upcoming season. With little to no hope of signing any impact free agents, Dallas needed to make hay in key positions of need in order to reach the potential their talent suggests. Two straight seasons of 8-8 and losing elimination games in the last week of the season shows two things: 1. They are close. 2. Their holes are too much to overcome and have handcuffed them to mediocrity.
With the 114th pick in this years NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys selected B.W. Webb the corner from William and Mary. The 5’10″ 184 lbs small school corner is a true zone corner and should fit well in the Cowboys Tampa 2 scheme.
The other major positive with Webb is that he is a high turnover guy, a thing that may help to change the Cowboys defensive identity as a low interception team. This guy had 8 interceptions in his red shirt freshman year and then fell off because teams stopped throwing at him. Continue reading
With the 80th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys got around to addressing some needs, selecting JJ Wilcox the safety from Georgia Southern.
Wilcox is an impressive athlete and should be able to turn into a good interception guy as he started his career at Georgia Southern as a wide receiver. 6 feet tall and 213 he has good size and attacks the line of scrimmage as a run stopper. His technique is raw though because he has only played one season on the defensive side of the ball. Continue reading
With the 74th pick of the NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys pick Baylor wide out Terrance Williams. Williams is a heck of a player, and put up some absolutely silly numbers the last 2 years at Baylor.
Willams is a good player and should make an impact in a reserve role this season. The wide receiver is a great value pick in the third round and should have very little problem living up to his draft status. Continue reading
With the 47th pick the Cowboys selected San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar. Escobar is a talented pass catching tight end and may find a role in a 2 tight end set for the Cowboys. James Hanna was not really able to take Martellus Bennett’s role in these sets for the Cowboys last season.
Escobar is a big body at 6’6″ 254 lbs and though he ran a sub par 40 time, he seems to have the speed needed to beat safeties down the seem. He is not a good blocker, but has the best hands of any tight end in the draft. Continue reading
After trading out of the 18th pick in the draft, the Cowboys selected Wisconsin center Travis Fredrick. Without judging what they left on the board or giving grades, as that is silly without at least seeing all the players through training camp, we will evaluate Fredrick.
Travis Frederick is 6’4″ and 312 lbs. He is also immediately the Cowboys best Center. He is a big player who opens holes at the point of attack. He has a great ability to turn defenders in the hole to create space. The bull rush is no problem for Frederick. He is a smart player, scoring 34 out of 50 on his Wonderlick exam and being called maybe the smartest player in the draft. His shot gun snaps have been described as reliable with good velocity. He handles stunts and blitzes well and has great positioning. Continue reading
The 2012-2013 Dallas Mavericks season was an exercise in “not good enough”. The season started with some hope, new faces and more youth than had been on the team in a long time made for an excited fan base.
A whirlwind couple of days saw a trade for Darren Collison and the arrival of Elton Brand through an amnesty auction. Chris Kaman and OJ Mayo were added to the talent pool and the Mavs looked like a team that could score with anyone.
By the time an early season European trip began, MFFL’s had forgotten all about the failure of the Mavs to land free agent point guard Deron Williams and saw the Mavericks as a team that could get into the top 6 in the West and maybe even sneak a series win. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban even famously said that the team was better off for missing out on Williams. Continue reading
FC Dallas maintained their early season dominance of the MLS with a 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night.
The Hoops made an easy show of it, scoring off a Whitecaps own goal in the 29th minute that was coming as FC Dallas piled on the pressure on the Whitecaps back four. The Vancouver keeper was getting to a lot of shots, but simply punching the ball back out and allowing the Dallas attackers to hold possession.
That possession paid off again as the strike partnership of Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez linked to score a second in the 50 minute. Perez was likely offside as Cooper’s shot was deflected, but his poacher’s header past the keeper showed why the Panamanian striker is rarely off-form. Perez may not be the fastest or most skillful player, but he gets himself in the right areas and finishes off goals with the precision of an assassin.
After the second, FC Dallas played as if they had put the game out of reach, and in truth, it was. The Frisco club had very little trouble killing off the game as Vancouver doesn’t have much in the way of attacking options.
If not for a couple of bizarre plays by Raul Fernandez and perhaps taking the foot off the gas a bit too early in the match, this one was perfect. FC Dallas is now 8 points clear of the Galaxy in the West and 5 points clear of any Eastern Conference team. They lead the league in goals scored and have allowed more goals than only 5 teams.
If FC Dallas puts up the money to sign a quality designated player midfielder this could be a season to remember.
The Dallas Cowboys were supposed to have an easy route to a new offensive line. Guards never find their way to the top of the draft and there were two guards graded in the top of this one. Left tackles are always at a premium, but skill players always go early in the draft and push them down. A deep offensive line draft was supposed allow the Cowboys to grab as many as two o-line starters in the first three rounds.
Then came workouts and interviews, and as teams got a look at this year’s crop of quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, pass rushers and corners, they were found wanting. Teams early in the draft began turning their attention to the stud offensive line class and slowly but surely, the Cowboys’ draft prospects got dimmer.
Dallas was sure to land Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack, and there was a chance that Lane Johnson could fall to them. Now most draft prognosticators have all three going before the Cowboys draft and as many as 5 offensive lineman going before the 18th pick.
If the worst happens, the Cowboys may still be able to find a good player, but not one who so readily fills their biggest needs. Making matters worse, most of the second round o-line talent fits between the Cowboys first and second round draft slots. If the Cowboys get out of the first two rounds with no marked improvement to their offensive line, we could be looking at a disaster.
With the draft three days away, the Cowboys’ front office and Dallas fans are forced to cross their fingers that the teams ahead of them fall in love with the Geno Smiths, Tavon Austins, and maybe even Manti Te’os of the world, pushing some of the larger bodies to them. It is a sad state, but it’s also what happens when you have no resources in free agency.
Dirk Nowitzki lead the Mavericks out of their early season hole back to the .500 mark, shaved his horrible beard and scored the 25,000th point of his career in one night as the Mavs beat the Hornets,107-89.
Dirk had a pedestrian 19 points while once again as has happened to often this season, failing to take the most shots on his team. That honor went to Shawn Marion, who scored 21 on his 16 shots, while having another Shawn Marion stat stuffing night.
The Mavs finally broke through the .500 glass ceiling mostly because they had another shot against a sub-par team in the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. Their were plenty of flaws on display, as the main distribution still came from Vince Carter, OJ Mayo and Marion. The nicest piece of offense came from the ball movement of Nowitzki who caught a ball on a back cut and moved it immediately to Chris Kaman seeing the help defense had reacted, allowing Kaman the easy basket.
Brandan Wright had another highly efficient game and I began to wonder, while surely Dallas will want him to return, has his second half driven him out of their price range?
Other than that, tonight’s performances just highlighted what we already knew, Shawn Marion, and Vince Carter are keepers. Mayo is a good player, but not a viable scoring option going forward. Kaman is talented but doesn’t complement Dirk defensively.
The 2013 Mavs couldn’t keep the 12 year playoff streak going, but they showed that a team could both lose 13 out of 15 and get back to .500. No one will talk about this version of the Mavs a decade from now, but they were good enough to provide entertainment.
Here is a look back at those hideous Mavericks beards:
Sidebar: The sweetest part of the night in the Kvaal house was my beautiful wife asking why it took so long for the Mavs to reach .500. When I asked what she meant she asked if it meant they had to just score 500 points or if they had to have a 500 point differential. I then stammered through laughter explaining that it meant winning at least half their games, which included a quick argument about why they do winning percentage on the one thousand scale instead of the one hundred scale. It was a classic.