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2018 NFL Schedule Thread...

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  • #46
    The bottom line is that we still have the draft. Right now we have a lot of positions and outcomes that could go either way.

    But at the same time, if, for example, you were to add three studs to each level of the defense, the defense would actually be in fantastic shape and would be a much better unit on paper than last year.

    Seriously, say you traded up with your third, via some unexpected draft miracle, and land Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick. Say you nab a linebacker in the second like Jewell, Carter, or even a falling LVE or Evans. Then in the fourth you get a NT like Senat or some other stud NT who falls.

    Or what if you give up your third for Earl Thomas. Then get LVE in the first, a WR in the second, and a DT in the fourth.

    Your defense will be very, very good next year.

    I'm ok with WR and TE maybe being a little greener. We won't throw as much next year anyway. The offensive progression is all based on Zeke's return and Dak's improvement at that point anyway. Swapping out 50 catch Hurns for 70 catch Bryant isn't that big of a deal.

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    • #47
      The only spot I truly agree that we are worse at is LB and WR to a lesser extent.

      Hitchens was our only truly dependable LB, even if he wasn't much more than an above average player. If Lee stays healthy and Smith improves gradually we could be fine but there are too many if's and unlikelihoods there.

      At WR, again assuming health from Hurns, I don't think we're much different than last year. Dez was not a good player in 2017 despite what anybody wants to say. You can't let the memories of what he was cloud how he played last year. He more or less lost that Seattle game single-handedly and there were many occasions where passes just clanged off his hands in 1-on-1 situations that were TD's in previous years.

      The only area where I think we'll truly miss him is the respect/coverage teams rolled to his side but assuming we draft a WR in the first 3 rounds I think we'll be more or less on par with what we had last year.

      Now, he may have a renaissance year in 2018 after having a fire lit under his ass but that doesn't change how he played in 2017 compared to what we will have in 2018.

      As far as the secondary goes, Byron Jones was a part-time safety by the end of the year, moving him to CB doesn't really change anything. Replacing Cooper with Fleming is more or less an equal trade, if not a slight net positive, and who really gives a shit about Hanna at TE?

      That's really stretching hard to make a case when you're talking about a guy who played 25% of the snaps.

      All in all I don't think the roster has improved or declined, it seems to be more or less at the same level it was last year, and I don't think the draft will substantially change that.

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      • #48
        The frightening reality the Cowboys now face as the NFL draft approaches

        By Brandon George , Staff Writer Contact Brandon George on Twitter: @DMN_George


        Cowboys fans face a frightening reality with the NFL draft headed to town.

        This Cowboys team that ended the season Dec. 31 with a 9-7 record and out of the playoffs hasn't improved over the last four months.

        Now Dallas needs to score a big victory in the first Texas-based draft.

        In this high-stakes game of backyard football, the Cowboys need to resemble the kid flexing rather than the one rolling on the ground crying.

        The Cowboys need a draft that duplicates their immediate-impact haul of 2016 rather than what they experienced last year.

        Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones made it clear from the outset in January that Dallas wouldn't be a big player in free agency.

        But the Cowboys' rough offseason has been more about what they've lost instead of what they possibly missed out on in free agency.

        The Cowboys released their No. 1 receiver, Dez Bryant, this month after having bid adieu to one of their top cornerbacks, Orlando Scandrick, in March.

        Dallas also cut defensive end Benson Mayowa, who had six sacks two years ago, and chose not to re-sign free-agent linebacker Anthony Hitchens and offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper. Hitchens has started the last two seasons at middle linebacker and was among the team's top tacklers. Cooper started 13 games last season at left guard.

        The free agent additions of receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, offensive linemen Cameron Fleming and Marcus Martin and defensive end Kony Ealy don't make up for all the losses.

        The Cowboys managed to plug a few holes but others have opened up, putting pressure on the organization to hit more home runs than singles with their 10 draft picks starting Thursday.

        At the top of the needs list are receiver, linebacker and safety.

        And no matter what receiver the Cowboys draft, he's unlikely to walk in as a more talented player than Bryant.

        Cowboys executives believe they can get more out of linebacker Jaylon Smith in 2018 than he showed in his first season on the field last year coming back from a serious knee injury. However, that's an unknown, and the departure of Hitchens has to be addressed.

        The Cowboys also need a starting safety now that they have committed to moving Byron Jones back to cornerback.

        Oh, and the Cowboys need a starting left guard now that Cooper has signed with San Francisco, and depth is needed along the defensive line and at tight end.

        Dallas can help itself by finding multiple starters with its first three picks. That isn't always easy.

        But in 2016, the Cowboys' strong draft paved the way for an NFC East title and a 13-3 regular season.

        Dallas used the No. 4 pick on running back Ezekiel Elliott and drafted its new franchise quarterback in the fourth round in Dak Prescott. In between, the Cowboys selected Smith in the second round and immediate defensive tackle starter Maliek Collins in the third round.

        The Cowboys also did well with their first two of four picks in the sixth round in 2016, selecting cornerback Anthony Brown (he's started 19 games in his first two seasons) and safety Kavon Frazier, who could compete for a starting job now that Jones is at cornerback again.

        Last year's draft wasn't as productive -- at least not yet -- for the Cowboys. Their first-round pick, defensive end Taco Charlton, had only 19 tackles as a rookie and didn't start. Second- and third-round cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis battled hamstring injuries early on as rookies and didn't contribute much until the final month of the season. The other six draft picks in the 2017 class either didn't make the final roster or haven't shown much yet.

        The Cowboys have lost four starters this offseason while adding only one (Hurns) -- or potentially two (Fleming) -- and now need to deliver high impact with this year's draft class.

        If they don't, it could be a long road ahead for Jason Garrett in what sets up to be a make-or-break season for the head coach. Garrett might need at least 10 wins and a playoff appearance to save his job.

        And the Cowboys must have another 2016-like draft to save face this offseason.

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        • #49
          Yea, I don't think the roster is appreciably better or worse than it was last year.

          Depending on the draft I think you could argue one way or the other that it's slightly better or worse.

          Let's hope this results in Garrett's firing so the team can (possibly) finally move forward.

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          • #50
            Plan on taking my son to his 1st Cowboys game in ATL on November 18th.

            It can't be any worse than last year.

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            • #51
              Wow, only 5 non-nationally televised games (4 if that last game v the Giants gets flexed).

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              • #52
                Originally posted by P_T View Post
                Wow, only 5 non-nationally televised games (4 if that last game v the Giants gets flexed).
                I'm pretty sure 5 is the max.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Genghis Khan View Post
                  I'm pretty sure 5 is the max.
                  Not just prime time games, but the majority of the late games (4 PM) are usually televised (at least in my area). IIRC, last season, only 4 Cowboys games were broadcast on Sunday Ticket.

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