Thursday, January 30, 2020

2020 NFL Draft Digest No. 1: Searching for a solution to the Cowboys’ safety woes

In closing, here is how my stack of safeties appear after looking at these five:

I will certainly look at a few more safeties as we continue to march toward around 60 prospects in total, but that is plenty for this week.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher are deserving Hall of Famers. Which coaches might be next?

 There is no question about the main event of the week. On Sunday, we will finally allow the 49ers and Chiefs to battle, determining who reaps the spoils of landing on top of the football mountain for the 2019 season. We will crown a new champion, and the winning team will signal a changing of the guard in the NFL. Of course, the guard changes back or keeps changing without notice, which is why grabbing those trophies when you get the chance is vital.

Also on tap in Miami is another round of Hall of Fame inductees, when the 15 finalists will be whittled down to five. By now, you know that we already have quite a list of those who will go into Canton this summer. This is the special NFL 100 Centennial extended class, which includes 10 players, three contributors and two Hall of Fame coaches: Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Sports Sturm’s Friday Cowboys mailbag: Byron Jones’ future, DeMarcus Lawrence’s present and draft talk!

It’s Friday, and the bags are being packed for a week of Super Bowl fun in Miami. Also, the first of twelve Draft Digests drops next Thursday. So, without any further riffing or time-killing today, let’s put our traditional 60 minutes on the clock and answer your comments from the two big pieces I wrote this week.

Tuesday’s story was an exhaustive study of the 2019 defense as well as a look at how it sure seems a blitzing defense will be one of the centerpieces of a complete overhaul in 2020 under Mike Nolan. You may wish to read the full piece here before we get into some of the better comments and questions from it.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Breaking down the Cowboys’ 2019 draft class, which needs to get going in a hurry

Before we get waist-deep in the 2020 NFL Draft and delve into the reality that the Cowboys will need a number of solid picks to deal with a roster requiring a talent infusion, I want to close the book on the rookie class that came before them.

This exercise is one we annually do in this space and drives home the concept of the four-year conveyor belt of talent that NFL teams deal with in the salary-capped world they live in. If you get it right, you enjoy cheap labor for four to five years after each draft class and your roster enjoys an ability to make moves to supplement your situation. If you get it wrong, you must scramble to fill spots with older and more costly veterans on one-year deals as you try to remake your roster year after year.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Looking ahead to Mike Nolan’s Cowboys tenure and closing the book on the Richard Report

 Posted: Jan. 21, 2020

The Athletic post:

It has certainly been a busy couple of weeks, and in all of the excitement and drama of the Cowboys “not firing” Jason Garrett and hiring Mike McCarthy — along with tentacles of both storylines growing all over the place — we never had a chance to have a good discussion about the defense.

This will hopefully suffice for now, as we take on the cause today with a look ahead and then close the book on what happened in 2019."

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Draft hindsight: Revisiting the Zeke vs. Ramsey/Henry debate with 2020 vision

 Posted: Jan. 15, 2020

The Athletic Link:

"It happened again Saturday night on #CowboysTwitter, and I guess I just couldn’t resist. I know it is rather unfair, and at this point, we should probably let it go. But debate over the 2016 Cowboys draft — quite possibly the greatest in franchise history, mind you — was raging again.

That is because, despite how great the draft turned out to be, the decisions the Cowboys made in those first two rounds still strike many observers as good enough, but perhaps short of their full potential."

Monday, January 13, 2020

What does Cowboys’ 2020 shopping list look like, and could LSU-Clemson provide a preview?

 Posted: Jan. 13, 2020

The Athletic Link:

"The Cowboys have so much on their plate right now that they can barely stop to eat. They have to be in Mobile in one week but are assembling and building a brand new coaching staff, evaluating the roster (so they know what they don’t have) and surely looking at their own extensive list of free agents internally to realize that there is plenty of work to do. There are so many questions to ask about what schemes they are leaning towards on both sides of the ball and other internal decisions that will shape every question being thrown at them. The proverbial treadmill has been turned to the top speed as Mike McCarthy and his new band of men try to catch up in the blink of an eye."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Mike McCarthy is scrambling to assemble a coaching staff. Here’s why it matters so much

 Posted: Jan. 10, 2020

The Athletic Link: 

"The NFL has made documentaries on many topics over the years, many of which have uncovered a reality we were unaware of about how things go behind the scenes. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, one particular topic remains relatively undocumented: the wild race at the end of each season for all of the hundreds of aspiring coaches to find spots in the league before the final positions are filled. In order to work your way up the coaching ladder, you first need a spot on the ladder."

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Cowboys hire the best coach available: A comprehensive breakdown of Mike McCarthy’s fit in Dallas

 Posted: Jan. 7, 2020

"I witnessed every single snap of the Mike McCarthy era in Green Bay. It isn’t often that the two teams that I follow most closely in the NFL overlap, but this is probably the most significant one in a long, long time (no disrespect to Randall Cobb intended). They have one of the most historic and intense rivalries in the entire sport, and given that I was born in Wisconsin and raised on Packers football only to eventually earn a job following the Cowboys for a living in 1998, I may be in a unique position."

The Athletic Link: 

Friday, January 03, 2020

Friday Cowboys Riffing: Why haven’t Joneses officially parted ways with Garrett; who could candidates be?

 Posted: Jan. 3, 2020

"But should we feel surprised that this is how Jerry Jones conducts his business? Should anything from these 25 years of football wilderness feel like some shock or plot twist we are unprepared for?"

The Athletic Link: