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Hill: Itís time the Cowboys learn from the Ramsí Super Bowl blueprint

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  • Hill: Itís time the Cowboys learn from the Ramsí Super Bowl blueprint

    Atlanta -- Itís no secret that the Los Angeles Rams have used, and copied, the Dallas Cowboys in their approach to business and the marketing of their $5 billion stadium project from the use of Jerry Jonesí Legends Hospitality company.

    Considering that the Rams are in Super Bowl LIII just two years after moving from St. Louis and hiring coach Sean McVay following a 4-12 effort in 2016, Jones and the Cowboys might want to start taking a page out of their playbook.

    And it has to be more than just promoting Ďyoung phenomí quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore to offensive coordinator to try to channel some of McVayís new-age offensive creativity.

    The Cowboys need to copy the Ramsí exhaust-all-avenues mentality in building the roster to make a run to the Super Bowl.

    Unlike Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, who openly shuns making splashy moves in free agency and prefers to build the Cowboys through the draft, the Rams swung for the fences following an 11-5 breakthrough season in 2017 and are now reaping the rewards of being one win away from their second Super Bowl title. They won after the 1999 season as the St. Louis Rams.

    "ďI think most teams in the NFL build the core of their team, the foundation of it is built through the draft,Ē" Rams general manager Les Snead said. "ďAnd then at that point in time, you got to figure what window you are in and then maybe supplement with the other ways you can acquire players. What I did know in 17 is we had a breakthrough. And this offseason it was okay, letís improve on 2017ís breakthrough.Ē"

    Improve, they did. Since last February, the Rams traded defensive lineman Robert Quinn and linebacker Alec Ogletree, traded for cornerback Marcus Peters, cornerback Aqib Talib, receiver Brandin Cooks and linebacker Vic Beasley, and signed safety Sam Shields, Ndamukong Suh and running back C. J. Anderson in free agency.

    And thatís in addition to placing the franchise tag on Lamarcus Joyner, signing cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to a three-year, $15.75-million extension, signing Cooks to a five-year, $81-million extension, running back Todd Gurley to a four-year, $60-million extension, right tackle Rob Havenstein to four-year, $32.5-million extension and defensive tackle Aaron Donald to a six-year, $135-million extension.

    Now contrast that to the Cowboys in 2016 when they had a similar breakthrough season with a 13-3 record behind two rookie sensations in quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys had a first-round bye and lost in the divisional playoffs to the Green Bay Packers.

    But rather than build on their success, the Cowboys basically stood pat and brought the same team back with no major additions, even though they knew Elliott was facing a six-game suspension.

    The result was a 9-7 finish and no playoff game.

    After going 10-6 in 2018 and winning the NFC East for the second time in three years, Jones is again relying on the same conservative strategy.

    His focus is to prioritize the Cowboysí own free agents and players from contract extensions rather than to make significant outside additions.

    "ďI think our hands are going to be full paying our players,"Ē Stephen Jones said in the days after the season-ending loss to the Rams in the divisional playoffs. ď"People may not like it but weíre not big advocates of free agency. I donít think we make our living out here paying for free agents. I donít see that being the case especially because we got some really good football players on our team that need to be paid.

    "ďIt doesn'ít mean we wonít play free agency at all. We just wonít be paying a high-profile free agent more than likely. You never rule anything out all the way but I wouldn'ít necessarily say thatís going to be our strategy going into the offseason.Ē"

    The Cowboys have roughly $50 million in cap room and a number of players they want to address, led by free agent defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence as well as possible extensions for Prescott, Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper.

    But the Cowboys are in a similar place that the Rams were in last year with a number of big-time contract decisions on their own team like Donald and Gurley. They won the division but lost in the wild-card round to the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike the Cowboys, who seem to be prepared to stand pat again, the Rams felt they were close and decided to dramatically alter their roster to get over the top.

    ď"Here are the facts. We won the division,"Ē Snead said. "ďWhat we wanted to do was win the division again. We wanted to improve upon not getting the bye last year. But we did know and were confident in the belief that we could win the division. That is step one. We felt doing these moves really gives us a chance to win the division and then we get there, actually win in the playoffs.Ē"

    Winning in the playoffs is something the Cowboys havenít done since their last Super Bowl title following the 1995 season.

    They have just four playoff wins since 1996, including two since 2014, and have not gotten past the divisional round in 23 years.

    Maybe they can learn and copy from the Rams this time rather than the other way around.

  • #2
    We donít have a QB who can throw the ball more than 5 yards down field. It kinda limits our options.
    No Pat McQuistan = No Super Bowl. It's that simple.

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    • #3
      Sure, look how well Brandon Carr worked out for them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Plan9Misfit View Post
        We donít have a QB who can throw the ball more than 5 yards down field. It kinda limits our options.
        I'm sorry. You have been a long time poster here and you say some smart things, but this nonsense you keep pushing about Dak being comparable to Quincy is really dumb. Like retarded stupid ass head in the sand stubborn idiotically dumb.
        2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deadrise View Post
          Sure, look how well Brandon Carr worked out for them.
          And Nnamdi Asomugha was a dud for Philly. Didn't stop them from restocking their roster last year.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Iamtdg View Post

            I'm sorry. You have been a long time poster here and you say some smart things, but this nonsense you keep pushing about Dak being comparable to Quincy is really dumb. Like retarded stupid ass head in the sand stubborn idiotically dumb.
            As Iíve said many times, until his accuracy improves and he develops a feel for the pocket, heís a likable version of Quincy Carter. I think heís a great leader, but his pocket awareness is putrid, and he canít hit the broad side of a barn. I donít care if anyone agrees with any position I have on any topic, this one included. Itís up to him to improve. If he does, then Iíll stop calling him Quincy. If not, then I wonít.
            No Pat McQuistan = No Super Bowl. It's that simple.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Plan9Misfit View Post

              As Iíve said many times, until his accuracy improves and he develops a feel for the pocket, heís a likable version of Quincy Carter. I think heís a great leader, but his pocket awareness is putrid, and he canít hit the broad side of a barn. I donít care if anyone agrees with any position I have on any topic, this one included. Itís up to him to improve. If he does, then Iíll stop calling him Quincy. If not, then I wonít.
              No you won't. Because he has improved and you continue to call him Quincy.

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Plan9Misfit View Post
                  and he canít hit the broad side of a barn
                  This is why you sound dumb.
                  2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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                  • #10
                    Look, at some point you have to grab your nuts, make some sound evaluations in free agency and splash a little cash to improve the team. Literally every top team does it; the Patriots gave Stephon Gilmore a massive contract in free agency, the Eagles Super Bowl team was damn near half built through free agency/trades, and the Rams moves are obviously well documented. I love primarily building through the draft and focusing there but at some point you have to push the envelope a bit in free agency when need/talent align, which this team flatly refuses to do.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iamtdg View Post

                      This is why you sound dumb.
                      Consistently missing wide open receivers is his issue, not mine. We see it every week. If you want to call that ďdumbĒ, so be it. I call it having an appropriate expectation for someone who is to be a franchise QB.
                      No Pat McQuistan = No Super Bowl. It's that simple.

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                      • #12
                        How much is a leader of men that is an average passer due to poor mechanics worth?

                        Can the mechanics be fixed?

                        Three years in, the answer is no.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BipolarFuk View Post
                          Can the mechanics be fixed?

                          Three years in, the answer is no.
                          I'm going to give him a year with Kitna before I make that determination.
                          2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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                          • #14
                            I thought this article was going to be about firing Jeff Fisher and finding a good coach
                            2014=2009, 2015=2010?

                            The Garrett Song

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                            • #15
                              It's like Stephen has over-corrected for Jerry's foolish FA signings of the past. Sure, signing your own talent and building through the draft is wise. But has our own talent brought us far? No!
                              ​​​​​​At some point you have to be a little aggressive with FA, without risking it all. Personally, I would think think that guys like Richard and McClay should be given a lot of input and authority over the matter.

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