Roadies For Life

What’s up my boy? Where do I begin? I guess there’s no better place to start than twitter in 2013. That’s when we started following each other during the NFL Draft and a bunch of others we still keep in contact with until this day.

In the beginning, it was just two guys laughing at the crazy stuff we would say on there. After a while, I told you about my desire to live in Dallas someday and you started telling me more about the area and what there was to do there. In 2014, I left South Carolina and went back up to Boston to work, and ended up losing it all, and became homeless. Fortunately, I was able to weather that storm and moved to Texas, and that’s when our relationship changed.

The next day after I got to Dallas you hit me up and said that you would come to pick me up after you got off of work. I was shocked. I knew we were cool, but I wouldn’t have thought you would be willing to hang with me that quick. Nonetheless, you came through and then took me to Oak Cliff. When we got there, you would introduce me to my first Modelo and I never went back to drinking Bud Lights again. As a black man, I couldn’t believe how easily you and the other Mexican men that we were hanging with took me in and made me feel welcomed.

When the 2015 NFL Draft came around, my first in Dallas, you let me know that they were hosting a draft party at AT&T Stadium. We hung out with your daughter, YoYo, Augie, Ashley, and some more friends and it was such a dope experience. A year later, however, you would change my life forever.

I began to see pictures of you hanging out with a bunch of Cowboys fans called the Hard Hittahz. I originally didn’t think much of it, but you told me that they were having a tailgate at the stadium to kick off the 2016 season behind CiCi’s Pizza accross from the stadium. I met Cheef (RIP), Goose, Gucci, Hardcore, and a bunch of other members that day. I was so blown away by the comradery and the passion you all had for the Cowboys that I became a member just days later, and the rest is history.

2017 would be an interesting year for our friendship and brotherhood. One night, you told me something very personal and private about your life that I didn’t know and never would have guessed. I won’t discuss what that was, but I was glad that you trusted me enough to tell me so I just let you vent. I gained a better understanding of who you were and a lot of things I saw before made more sense.

This was also the year that we began going to California together. We decided that we were going to the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California. We had a blast and proceeded to make it a regular thing for quite a while. All of our Hittahz knew if I said I was coming that you wouldn’t be far behind and vice versa. We have to take another trip there soon.

Good ole Roy’s. The stories we could tell about that place. We didn’t need anyone else to come with us. We would link up and go feast on some of those amazing fries and onion rings while drinking a few beers and bumping that Migos album. Just kicking it, cracking jokes, and having a good time. Simple but yet so fun at the same time.

Remember those Saturday trips to Traders Village? Those were the best. We would load up the cooler and go look around the flea market, and then hit up Yes Buffet afterward. It was insane how much food we would eat, and then we’d message each other later about how we passed out asleep once we got home. Good times man, and we still do it every so often now.

Our friendship has always been an easy one. We just click and we have since we first met. We’re always laughing and joking about something and keeping those positive vibes flowing. We don’t judge each other for what we believe in even if it’s different from the other, instead we accept our differences and realize that we can still be the best of friends through it all.

I know there are people in the past and even now that judge you for wearing your heart on your sleeve. But I’m here to tell you don’t ever change. Keep being true to yourself and whoever can’t deal with it doesn’t need to be in your life. Until you walk a mile in a man’s shoes you can’t speak on him or his life so don’t give any of that negativity any mind, keep being Paul cause that’s more than enough.

You bring an energy that rubs off on people. Simply put, you’re just a guy that likes to have fun and see the people that you care about doing the same. That’s a special gift you have. You keep everyone in good spirits despite all the chaos that’s around us in this crazy world we live in. You may not realize it but you help people get through a lot. It’s those times when people can smile and laugh even though they may be dealing with a lot behind the scenes that get them through because they get reminded that it can always be worse so enjoy the good you have going on.

I say all that to say this, Happy Birthday! I’m thankful for our bond and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. You’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had. No matter what you can always count on me to be there for you. When they see you they see me because we’re a team, and more importantly, we’re Roadies For Life!

That’s My Best Friend

Hello, best friend. It’s hard to believe we’ve been rocking for almost five years now. I still remember the first time we met in 2016 at 123 Bar when our Dallas Cowboys played the San Francisco 49ers. When I walked up to you and extended my hand, you gave me this ice-cold look with that classic raised eyebrow. I remember thinking “Damn, what did I do to her?”

Quickly after that though, we seemed to gravitate towards each other and began to talk more. We just understood one another on a deep level that neither of us could explain. For me, I got to the point where you were the first person I would look for at a tailgate or event for the Hard Hittahz. It was clear to me that we were building a special friendship and bond that only you and I understood. Nothing was ever forced, and even though we were still in the beginning stages of our connection, we already had something that went deeper than being a part of the movement we both loved.

After about a year of being friends, we had the first sentimental moment in our friendship. We were at Roy’s in Grand Prairie having drinks after a meeting, and for the first time, you would express just what I meant to you. You told me that you loved me and that you couldn’t fully explain it but we connected in a way that was very special but it didn’t disrespect your relationship that you were in. It wasn’t anything physical or sexual, it was spiritual, our souls were intertwined, almost as if we knew each other in another lifetime.

It was a very emotional moment for us both. I was overjoyed to know that you felt the same way about me that I did for you although we had never said anything up to that point. That’s when I fully understood what our relationship was. We’re just two people who genuinely love each other for who we are with no judgment.

Although we had reached another level of friendship, nothing could prepare either of us for what happened next. We had a get-together one weekend and when you pulled up it was obvious to me and everyone else that you were not ok. You told me that you and your man at the time (also my friend) were not on good terms at the moment and that it was killing you inside. My heart ached for you, especially because I couldn’t take your pain away.

That night when I went to sleep I began to dream. All I could see was myself and my father who passed on in 2012 inside a trailer. Then I went outside and saw you and your man talking, and shortly after you both hugged each other and then I woke up. My mind began to wonder about what the meaning of the dream was. The only people that had been in a dream of mine about him were family and close friends back home in South Carolina up until that point. I was driving myself crazy trying to connect the dots, then I got my answer a few days later.

You messaged me about a dream you had on the same night. You said you could hear a man’s voice telling you that everything was going to be ok in your relationship. Then, you woke up to your man standing over you and saying he was sorry for everything that you both were going through. After thinking about it for a second, I knew who the man was, it was my father.

So, I gave you all the details of my dream, especially the fact that it happened the same night as yours. How ironic that I had a dream with both of you in it that involves my dad and you hear that voice the same night. You were as shocked to hear it as I was when you explained your dream to me. We both knew at that moment our friendship was not the average one, it was in a completely different stratosphere.

Over the last several years it’s only gotten stronger. We’ve watched each other succeed, fail, laugh, and cry. Anything that’s going on in our lives, whether it’s good or bad, the other has to know about it. It’s imperative that we are involved in all aspects of the other’s world.

When you were in your previous relationship, people would ask us both if your ex was comfortable with our friendship, especially since he and I were close. It was almost as if people were subliminally accusing us of crossing the line. What we’ve always tried to explain to people is that he understood it and that we didn’t have to get approval from anyone about our bond. They didn’t have to understand our connection because it wasn’t their business.

We are a prime example that a man and a woman can be the best of friends without taking it to a physical level. You get me and I get you and we just love each other and hold each other down no matter what. We tell each other things before we tell anyone else because of the trust we have, it’s as solid as granite rock.

A few years ago, my phone died on me out of nowhere and I had to get a new one, but it would be a few days until I got it. We had a Hittahz meeting that night and no one could get a hold of me. I made it to the meeting, and when I saw you, I could see the relief in your eyes that I was ok. I thought to myself “I know she was going out of her mind not knowing where I was or if I was alright.” We hugged for an eternity it seemed like that night, and it was just confirmation for me that I was one of the most important people in your life.

The last year and a half has been difficult for you. We lost our brother Cheef, your relationship of four years ended, and you lost your grandpa (father). Some other friendships in your life have ended or changed over that span also and I know it’s been a lot to deal with. I want to apologize for making it seem like I didn’t understand how you felt when one of those friendships got rocky. I was just trying to help and take away your pain but that’s not what you needed at the time. All you wanted was for me to listen to you.

I knew you had to remove yourself from certain situations but when you had to do the same with me for a while it was devastating. I called you one day and left a voicemail. With tears in my eyes, I just told you that nothing had changed and that I was sorry. It was just the big brother in me that felt I had to protect you that got the best of me. I wanted you to know that no matter what, even in your absence, that I was still your best friend and that I would do anything for you, and that I was there if you needed me.

These last few months we’ve gotten back to our old ways after a very brief roadblock and it’s done my heart so much good, and I know it’s done the same for you as well. Our friendship is one of the most important things that’s ever been in my life and it always will be until I leave this earth.

I could go on forever about how much you mean to me but I’ll just end it with this. I love you with all my heart and soul KC Soto. Words can’t express my gratitude for how you love me, support me, and take care of me. You’ve seen me at my worst, supported me at my best, and given me a kick in the ass when I’ve needed it.

Happy Birthday! I hope your day is filled with love and joy because no one deserves it more than you. Your heart is bigger than Texas and your spirit and passion is infectious. From now and until the end of time, you’ll always be my best friend!

Prescott’s floor for new deal set by Wentz extension

The Cowboys came into the offseason with major players on their roster looking for new deals. The first domino to fall would be DeMarcus Lawrence, who in April signed a 5 year 105 million dollar deal with 65 million guaranteed. Now however, the focus has shifted to their signal caller Dak Prescott who’s definitely on his way to securing the bag.

On Thursday, the floor and timeline for Prescott’s deal was reset, as fellow 2016 draftee and NFC East rival Carson Wentz signed a 4 year 128 million dollar extension with 107 million in guarantees. Some would say this is a big gamble to take on a guy who’s only completed one sixteen game season in three years, while not registering one playoff snap, despite having a Super Bowl ring to look at before bed every night, even if Nick Foles served it to him on a silver platter.

Nonetheless, Wentz’s deal is in the books and now we know where things start with Dak presumably, around 32 million per year.

It’s not like Prescott hasn’t done enough to garner a similar payday, with his 3 year career being pretty stacked with individual and team accomplishments. His 15 game-winning drives, 13 primetime wins and 19 rushing touchdowns are tops in the NFL for all quarterbacks since 2016 including the playoffs.

Winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing right? Well his 32 wins since his rookie year are only topped by Tom Brady’s 38.

Accuracy is a huge key in the long term success of a quarterback. Prescott’s 66.1 completion percentage is the highest for any quarterback in his first 3 years. Sprinkle in an Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2 NFC East titles and you have an extremely impressive start to a career for a fourth rounder, although it’s clear with these statistics he should’ve gone a lot higher.

Now the Cowboys find themselves in a situation where they’d probably like to get this deal done sooner than later. Why? Yet another 2016 draftee Jared Goff is also due for an extension. If his were to get done first, the floor for Prescott will rise even higher, somewhere in the neighborhood of the 35 mil per season, putting him on equal footing with Seattle’s Russell Wilson.

Teammate Amari Cooper is also up for a big payday. Assuming he gets extended first, that would free up more money for not only Prescott, but Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and Byron Jones, who are all looking to cash in very soon.

Does signing Dak to a huge deal hurt the Cowboys long term? No

The Cowboys can free up more than 100 million in cap space for next offseason with extensions and restructures. Putting to bed all the outcry from misinformed fans about the organization not having funds to appease their most important players. There’s plenty of pie to go around, and big portions at that.

Prescott’s payday is rapidly approaching, he knows it and so do the Cowboys. It’s all about the chess match of negotiations at this point, crossing all the t’s and dotting all the I’s. Look for this blockbuster deal, that will make him the franchises new money king replacing DeMarcus Lawrence, to happen before training camp in late July.

The higher the check the bigger the expectations, especially at the quarterback position, and even more so in Dallas. I have no doubt that once he secures his financial future that Dak Prescott is more than capable of handling the pressure, and silencing the naysayers, as he’s done since his draft card was turned in.

Rejuvenating The General

Sean Lee has dealt with a plethora of injuries during his nine year career. 2018 was no different, as multiple hamstring injuries would cost him to miss nine games, and limited him to his lowest tackle total since his rookie season. This latest wardrobe change so to speak could help as the upcoming season approaches.

The Cowboys lost their starting strong side linebacker Damien Wilson to Kansas City via free agency. This left a hole to fill at the position, and the organization made a smart move by switching Sean Lee from weak side linebacker to strong. This kills two birds with one stone. Not only does it upgrade the position with a better player, it allows the Cowboys to have their three best players at linebacker on the field when their base 4-3 package is called.

Sean Lee is fully embracing the change, and the new responsibilities of it heading into 2019.

“As the game has changed, the standup linebacker positions can be similar at times. There are different responsibilities. Learning some of those different responsibilities, I’ll be working on that and I have great help from coach Ben Bloom. And then there will be times when I’ll be in similar positions I’ve been in,” Lee said.

The Cowboys mostly operate out of a nickel package, with two linebackers on the field, those will be Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, holding down the middle and weak side linebacker positions. This will limit Lee’s snap count while also preserving his availability. There’s no denying that when healthy Sean Lee is not only good, but dominant, putting himself in the same realm as Carolina’s Luke Kuechly and Seattle’s Bobby Wagner as the best linebackers in football. The only drawback has been health, and now with this move, that issue can hopefully be solved.

Even though he was sidelined for more than half of 2018, Lee couldn’t help but notice what his two young protege’s Smith and Vander Esch were doing in his absence, and is chomping at the bit to join them this season.

“That’s a dream come true to play with two young guys who love football. All Pro players who played unbelievable last year and really willed our team from a tough record early in the season, to snap back and get into the playoffs is really because of those guys, how well they played and the whole group, the whole defense,” Lee said.

The Cowboys finished 7th overall in total defense last season, mostly without Sean Lee. Now with this new plan in place, the unit has their All Pro leader back in a reduced but more beneficial role. A win-win scenario for all parties involved.

The hope here is that the all too present injury bug goes away for Lee, while simultaneously blending his skill and leadership with the rising stock of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. If this were to be the case, the Cowboys will have the best linebacker trio in the NFL. The rejuvenation of the general is hopefully upon us.

Witten isn’t back just to be some guy

Last May, the future Hall of Famer retired after 15 years in Dallas for the broadcast booth on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Following the footsteps of former teammate Tony Romo, but with nowhere near the amount of success. Realizing he wasn’t exactly stellar on television, and still having the fire in his belly to compete, Jason Witten couldn’t stay away. In February he got the call from the organization, and decided to return for year 16.

If the Cowboys hadn’t called Witten, would he have played anywhere else? He gave ESPN’s Todd Archer some insight into his thinking on that matter.

“I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity. I don’t know that I can answer that if this opportunity wasn’t there. Would I think about it? I don’t know that I could’ve seen myself wearing another uniform, but I was pretty adamant that I was ready to get back in there in play.”

Plenty of people on the outside think this spells doom for the progression of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, but that’s not necessarily the case. Athletes are naturally competitive and being pushed, especially by someone in the same room, can be a great thing. Witten has the mindset of making things interesting at tight end.

“There’s a lot of questions out there about me, too, and I’m anxious to prove that I can play. But also know that may not include every play and every snap. Certainly that’s been talked about. The team will make those decisions.”

“Those coaches work long hours, and they’re smart. Obviously, I’ve got a lot of respect for Jason Garrett and the program that he’s built here and who he is as a man and as a coach. That will all work itself. I can’t worry about how that plays out. My job is kind of make it tough on them. We all benefit if that’s the case.”

Not exactly a guy who’s planning to be on the sidelines wouldn’t you say? Jarwin and Schultz combined didn’t produce in 2018 what Witten did in 2017. Being the big dog in the room, and coming off a year of rest on a body that got beat up for 15 years, the Cowboys legend has all the incentive to put his name back at the top of the tight end depth chart.

Witten is surprisingly slimmer and faster than he was in 2017 according to people in the building. Truly amazing when you consider he took an entire year off from the gridiron. At 37, being in better shape than you were two years prior, is a testament to what the future Canton, Ohio resident is all about.

If you think Witten is simply back for a farewell tour, you may be wrong about that as well.

“Every football player wants to win. And certainly when making a decision like this, I’m envisioning holding Lombardi trophies and competing for championships,” Witten said via Mike Leslie of WFAA channel 8 in Dallas.

“Trophies” and “Championships”, that sounds like a guy with plans on being a Cowboy past 2019.

The Cowboys all time leader in receptions, yards and games played is back, and not just to be some guy. He’s called this current roster the most talented he will have the pleasure of playing with. Now with one of the franchises greatest players back in the fold, and motivated to win, the upcoming season is setting up to be very special in Big D.

Wolf In Cowboys Clothing

When the 2018 draft rolled around, you can bet nobody saw the pick of Leighton Vander Esch coming in the 1st round. When it did however, disappointment spread throughout the Cowboys fan base, seeing as he wasn’t an ideal selection, but it didn’t last long.

He wouldn’t start until week 4, but his impact was felt immediately. Combining for 30 tackles in the next three weeks and helping the Cowboys to two victories. It was clear if you watched the film just how naturally gifted he was as a tackler, earning one of his nicknames “The Tackling Dutchman” almost instantly.

Weeks 8-10 is where the rookie sensation probably had his best stretch of 2018. Not only did he combine for 30 more tackles and help the team rack up two more victories like his first three starts, but a new dimension of his game came to the forefront. Vander Esch would show off his coverage skills against running backs and tight ends, getting his only two interceptions and four of his seven passes defended for the season. The ability to stop the run is paramount obviously, it makes offenses one dimensional, but having a linebacker with coverage skills in a passing league gets you a long way.

What also couldn’t be denied was his on-field chemistry with Jaylon Smith. With Sean Lee still battling hamstring issues, this gave the 1st round pick more time to gel with his counterpart. It worked so well that not only were they making a case to be crowned the best linebacker duo in the sport, but they were the only set of teammates to rank in the top 15 in total tackles. Highly impressive wouldn’t you say?

Vander Esch would have his new best buddy right beside him everytime he did his now infamous “Wolf Howl” after a big play. It might seem insignificant to some, but football is the ultimate game of unity, and with this kind of support from a teammate, it can only help with the maturation process that all rookie players go through. Iron sharpens Iron.

“The Wolf Hunter” would appear in all 16 games, starting 11. Tallying 140 tackles (102 solo) and two interceptions. These numbers were good enough to garner him Pro Bowl and second team All Pro honors, as a rookie, putting to bed all the doubters.

The Cowboys saw something in Leighton Vander Esch, and it’s paid tremendous dividends so far. They would finish 7th in total defense in 2018 and became a unit the team could depend on, unlike years past, with the rookie phenom being a major link in the chain. He’s a throwback linebacker with his physicality, but with coverage skills also in his toolbox, his game adapts well in today’s NFL.

The second year pro is currently dealing with a pelvic injury that will keep him out of OTA’s, for precautionary reasons. Nonetheless, the future is bright for the kid from Idaho. With Jaylon Smith beside him, and hopefully a healthy Sean Lee, the Cowboys will have a dominant linebacking core in 2019.

Lurking in the Woods

The safety position has been a major topic of discussion for quite some time in Dallas. The organization took a major step forward locking down the free safety spot when they drafted Xavier Woods.

Playing his college ball at Louisiana Tech, the homegrown product wasn’t seen a lot nationally, but that didn’t stop him from producing at a high level. He would tally 14 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles in his last three years, a true ball-hawking safety to say the least. As he slid to the 6th round in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys couldn’t resist, selecting him at pick 191.

He played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting 4. He racked up 42 tackles, 3 pass breakups, and an interception. In 2018 he started all 14 games he played in. With more playing time comes more production, as his tackles increased to 56, his pass breakups to 9 and his interceptions doubled to 2.

In addition to having excellent ball skills, he’s also a head hunter. Just ask receivers league-wide as they basically get decapitated week to week by Woods with his striking power. He doesn’t just separate pass catchers from the ball, he knocks them into another galaxy, as evident by his hit stick, to use a Madden reference, on Saints Tight End Dan Arnold in the Cowboys week 13 win in Dallas last season.

Want more evidence of how good Xavier Woods is? Look no further than the red zone, as his play got even better when the pressure was the biggest. In 2018, he allowed a passer rating of 79.2, good for sixth amongst safeties in the league. Even more impressive, he forced incompletions on 80 percent of the passes he defended, which ranked 1st for all safeties, absolutely tasty statistics.

He also lacks no confidence in his abilities. For over a year, before he was signed by the Ravens, the talks of future Hall of Fame Safety Earl Thomas coming to Big D were embedded in the minds of Cowboys fans. However, Woods didn’t let that derail his focus.

“I just worry about what I can control, and that’s me playing out there every day. I’m trying to give them a reason not to want anybody. That’s my point of view, I pay no attention to it. I just control what I can control. I have the starting role now, and I have no plan on giving it to anyone else.”

As he enters year three, Woods has firmly positioned himself to be the Cowboys free safety for the foreseeable future. Receivers around the league would be wise to keep their heads on a swivel because there’s no doubt that Woods will be lurking.

Awuzie’s star is still rising

When you get drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, you’re immediately put under the NFL’s biggest microscope. Many have and will continue to crack under that pressure, don’t count on Chidobe Awuzie being one of those guys.

Going into his senior year at Colorado in 2016, he was coming off his best collegiate season. Tallying 90 tackles (78 solo), 4 sacks (a program record for defensive backs), 2 interceptions, 10 pass breakups and an unreal 13 tackles for loss. Impressive enough to earn him second team All Pac-12 honors.

He would find himself on the Jim Thorpe watchlist, given to the nations best defensive back, as well as a spot on the Nagurski watchlist, given to the nations best defensive player. He finished strong with 60 tackles (48 solo), 4 sacks, 1 interception, 12 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles, as well as another second team All Pac-12 selection.

When the 2017 draft rolled around, he wasn’t as coveted as other corners such as Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey or LSU’s Tre’Davious White, much to the delight of the Cowboys draft room. His ability to play both corner or the nickel position had the organization salivating when the 60th pick in round 2 came about, and his card was turned in. Not to mention, the now infamous announcement of his selection by Cowboys great Drew Pearson in Philadelphia no doubt put more eyes on the teams newest corner.

Going into his rookie campaign he would battle for a starting spot against Orlando Scandrick, Nolan Carroll, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown. It didn’t start off well though, because he would miss most of training camp with hamstring and ankle injuries, putting him fourth on the cornerback depth chart.

By week 2 he earned his first start against the Broncos, but injured his hamstring which sidelined him for the next two weeks. After returning against the Packers, he would re-injure his hamstring and miss the next 4 games. The season would end on a high note however, as Awuzie supplanted Anthony Brown as a starter for the final 5 games. Giving him all the confidence needed heading into year two.

2018 saw Awuzie start 14 of the 15 games he played in, missing only one due to an ankle injury. His production, much like his availability, went up tremendously, increasing his tackles from 25 his rookie year to 71, and his pass breakups from 7 to 11. Cementing him as the teams second corner opposite All Pro Byron Jones, while keeping Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis in reserved roles.

As the new season approaches, an all to familiar roadblock stands in Awuzie’s way of reaching his full potential, injuries. Currently, he’s dealing with a hip flexor that will sideline him for awhile. Definitely something to monitor considering he’s had several injuries already during his short career. His health is paramount to having the Cowboys defense remain a top 10 unit in 2019.

There’s no shortage of talent when it comes to Chidobe Awuzie. Sure tackler, excellent ball skills, speed and a high motor, he has it all. Experience is the best teacher, and his 2018 season proved that, as his numbers went north substantially. All that’s left now is hopefully getting the injury woes under control. Once that’s done, I have no doubt he’ll continue to earn his nickname “Chido Clamps”.

Pollard turning heads in Dallas

The backup running back spot was a point of emphasis going into the 2019 offseason. With the 128th pick in the draft, Tony Pollard fell right into the Cowboys lap.

At Memphis, Pollard was dynamic in several areas. 941 rushing yards on 139 carries (6.8 ypc), 1,292 receiving yards on 104 receptions (12.4 per rec) and 2,616 kick return yards that produced an outstanding 30.1 yards per return. Good enough to garner him All-AAC honors as well as AAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

This sounds a lot like what the Cowboys thought they were getting with Tavon Austin, which hasn’t panned out the way they would’ve hoped so far. He has the ability to do all things Pollard can, but he’s often on the injury report, making this selection not at all surprising. It puts Tavon on the clock as far as if he’ll even be on the Cowboys roster in 2019, harsh but truthful reality facing him going forward.

Dak Prescott has been impressed by the rookie at OTA’s, confirming his pre draft thoughts about Pollard. “He’s somebody I watched before the draft that I was excited about. I looked up his highlights and they said receiver at first. I was like ‘Dang, I thought we were getting a running back.’ But then you see him playing running back and he’s still having success. You look at Randall Cobb’s highlights, it’s the same thing he did in college. It’s exciting,” Prescott told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

On Wednesday, Pollard sent shock waves through the Cowboys fan base with an electrifying run of around 50 yards, showing extreme speed and elite change of direction quickness, with Ezekiel Elliott running down the field celebrating. Safe to say the two time rushing champ is recognizing the potential of his running mate, especially once he learns all the ins and outs of the system, while also giving the all pro much needed relief during a grueling NFL season.

This has to please offensive coordinator Kellen Moore as he enters his first year of playcalling duties. Pollard can take it to the house at any given moment, if you consider he averaged 9.2 yards per touch on offense in college, an insane stat to say the least, he’s basically a first down every play. Also, with unlimited position flex, he can help make what has been in recent years an often predictable offense into one that can become a nightmare matchup wise.

Versatility and durability, two important traits that have followed Pollard from Memphis to Dallas. It opens up a world of possibilities for the Cowboys offense with guys like Prescott, Elliott, Cooper, Gallup, Cobb and Witten along side him. Fans can only hope the days of misusing talent, far too commonplace under Scott Linehan, are long gone. Pollard has all the makings of a uniquely skill playmaker with an extremely high ceiling.

The Cobb Effect

It’s been a little over two months since Randall Cobb left the frozen tundra of Green Bay for the bright lights of Dallas, but his impact is already being felt.

The veteran receiver put a bug in the ear of Dak Prescott at the NFL Honors ceremony the night before the Super Bowl, telling him “Come get me”. After the departure of Cole Beasley in March to Buffalo, the Cowboys needed the slot position filled expeditiously, and did so with Cobb.

Their is a huge advantage the Cowboys have with Cobb as opposed to Beasley. He isn’t limited to just being in the slot beating guys underneath. He can not only do that, and do it well, but he can play either outside position, beating defensive backs vertically. With up and coming young stud Michael Gallup along side him, this makes life easier for Amari Cooper. Double teams can’t happen as frequently on him with multiple down field threats. This gives Cooper the chance to annihilate corners with what I think is his best route, the slant, critical when it comes to converting third downs on short yardage situations.

This also helps Ezekiel Elliott in the running game. Teams can’t as easily load the box with eight and nine man fronts, something all too often seen during the days of Scott Linehan and his predictable scheme. Being able to keep defenses honest by making sure the back end is covered works right into the Cowboys plan of controlling the clock by pounding the rock.

The biggest beneficiary of course is Dak Prescott. You give a quarterback more weapons the better his chances are to succeed, it’s that simple. During OTA’s it didn’t take long for the franchise signal caller to see the effect Cobb can have on the offense. “I mean, honestly, put him in the backfield, put outside, put him inside, ask him to block, ask him to take a jet sweep. I mean, he’s got film doing all those things really well. I think if we’re not utilizing all of his athleticism and just his versatility, then we’re cheating him as a player and we’re not getting everything we want as an offense.”

After being in Green Bay for eight seasons it isn’t surprising that coming to Dallas was an adjustment.

“I felt like a little kid, lost. I didn’t know where to go after each drill, each station. So I’m just looking around, seeing where the other receivers are finding my way around,” Cobb said.

If he felt lost he definitely hasn’t let it stop him from turning heads early in Dallas with his unique skill set and football knowledge.

“Since I’ve been here, we’re going through the installations, and I’m having a little bit of a mental challenge as far as so many of the same plays being different calls. Just trying to get more acclimated to the playcalling here, and making sure I’m using the right terminology so I’m on the same page with everybody,” Cobb said.

New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is looking to make this offense more dynamic, and having a player with this kind of mental awareness is key in that happening.

Cobb is only on a one year deal worth 5 million, so he’ll definitely have to show and prove if he wants to have a star on his helmet long term. Hopefully, with health on his side, the Cowboys may have not only added a piece for the upcoming season, but possibly even longer if the results pan out.