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  1. Preseason vs Texans

    It’s kind of insane how good we looked. I mean I think it was more Houston being bad, like really really bad, but still, that was an 11-win playoff team last year that posted nearly 500 yards on us last year AND we were down Tyron, Martin, Zeke, Cooper, Lawrence and Jones. This team might be really good. Our +15 point differential last year (as opposed to say +115) really might have just been a play-calling issue. It’s surreal to think that going from Scott Linehan to Kellen Moore might be our equivalent of dumping Jeff Fisher for Sean McVay, except that we already were a playoff team. I don’t know what to do with my hands. *knocks on wood*
  2. News and Notes: Offseason Edition

    Luck was the kind of draft prospect/QB talent that actually deserved the generational moniker. What could have been
  3. How should the Cowboys handle Zeke?

    Suspensions and injuries have the exact opposite effect on contract guarantees. The former voids them, the latter activates them.
  4. How should the Cowboys handle Zeke?

    It goes without saying but the guarantee is the only number that matters. There is no way we’re touching Gurley’s $45M
  5. Salary Cap and Player Priority

    We all want Crawford released. I think they’ll ask him to take a pay cut. None of Dak, Zeke, or Amari’s 2020 cap hits will be as high as their APY’s. We still have $23M this year to frontload those deals or roll over. Should have more than enough leftover to tag Byron and make a couple other smaller moves.
  6. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    That year was different, and awesome. Some of the games we blew in the 8-8 years were Greek tragedy level collapses. The 2011 and ‘13 Lions games immediately come to mind, ‘11 against the Giants and ‘13 against GB as well. He had bad plays in all of them, others had worse plays, but no I don’t think the fact that everyone gets paid and can get hurt means that the ability to inspire your teammates has no outcome on games. When your team has no composure it comes down to leadership. I gladly pin most of the blame on Garrett but those that would put some on Romo are not entirely wrong, I have come to realize. Regardless- my point is not that Dak’s leadership qualities are in a tier by themselves. It’s that being the Cowboys’ QB requires a particularly firm and unflappable, yet calming disposition to keep everything at ease and everyone in the right mindset amidst the intense media coverage and spectacle the Joneses create. That’s not a Cowboys Nation fairy tale, that is a real thing.
  7. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    It’s a heat of the moment thing, business off the field is separate. You always knew Dallas would blow it in big spots with Romo even if it usually wasn’t “his fault” because of their body language, and that starts with him. Things are palpably different with Dak under center. He wouldn’t have kept his job in 2016 if that weren’t the case- what is “riding the hot hand” but saying “we’re not sure you’re better than Romo but why go through with it when everyone knows he’s going to get hurt again”. That sinking feeling is how you get poor sideline energy and guys going through the motions. I never thought I’d be making the hot-takey “Romo wasn’t a leader, Dak is” case, but to be perfectly honest I can think of no better explanation as to why Dak's been as or more successful than Romo given the former’s vastly inferior skill set. These teams haven’t been more talented than Romo’s first 3 full years (07-09) yet the records have been nearly identical. I’m telling you, there is a lot of truth to this. Going back to the contract aspect, it’s not that different from Zeke tbh. Elliott’s leverage lies less in his actual on-field/replacement value and more in his teammates’ perception of his value (perception = reality) and the downside of a tumultuous locker room. This is what happened when we let go of Murray- we didn’t lose the guy who made our offense great, but we did lose the guy who motivated everyone by being a GD soldier eating 450 touches. We did lose some trust, and ergo, morale. Intangible value is a real thing in any business.
  8. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    Romo’s teammates admired him, respected him, at a distance. You think most wanted to roll with the handsome shmuck who dated celebrities, got a huge contract before his 16th start, and was buddy-buddy with the owner and tight end? It’s different with Dak, I promise you. The team’s composure and performance in critical situations is different because they actually believe in him. I loved Romo man, but looking back I find it pretty obvious he couldn’t quite captivate his teammates like Dak can.
  9. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    He probably will play better under Moore. We will see on the cap. Replacing Romo with a 4th rounder is as fluky as getting Romo as a UDFA. Complete stroke of luck to fix that situation in one year instead of almost 10. I agree that it’s easier to play QB now than say 10-15 years ago, but being the Cowboys’ QB is different, being right in the middle of the Jones circus. It takes a special person. Alex Smith couldn’t do it, guys like Carr and Cousins couldn’t do it, and to an extent Romo couldn’t do it. For all our talent on paper, it’s hard to believe we’d be 32-16 over the last three years without his steadying influence, given we were 4-12 the year before and 40-40 the half-decade before.
  10. Salary Cap and Player Priority

    The gap in APY between Bell and Gurley is negligible, however the cap in guarantees is a chasm ($27M vs $45M). I bet we’re closer to the first number than the second one.
  11. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    I agree with that. You have to let him play out the year if those are the demands. But I think we’ll get hit for more like 35, which..... may not be so bad if the cap goes up a lot and he plays better. What I’m saying is you run a greater risk of winning nothing of consequence with this current core by getting rid of Dak than you do by overpaying him. Things just feel contentious right now with the team and their contract situations. If they are able to weather the storm and stay focused (which they rarely have) then I think you have to put that on Dak’s leadership. Not taking care of him and making him the scapegoat clearly ups the turmoil.
  12. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    This is a pretty bad faith argument. Sure, replacing Romo cost us a fourth round pick (which is absolute luck) while replacing Dez cost us a first. But *having to* replace Romo cost us 11 of 12 games, while having to replace Dez cost us 5 of 8 (arguably 9 of 16, since he was hot trash from the 2017 Atlanta game onward and needed to be replaced then). You could also argue that we haven’t really replaced Romo, in terms of value added on passing plays per any advanced statistical model... and yet the team is fine without him, because Dak brings more value with his rushing ability and intangibles. That’s why you can’t just go get a new Alex Smith even if that’s more or less what he is on the field. His teammates would run through a brick wall for him. It’s hard to quantify that.
  13. Prescott seeking $40m/yr

    "My employees should care more about my enterprise's bottom line than their individual welfare." It's great when guys like Jaylon and Tyron take our extremely team-friendly deals. It's less great when Dez and Murray end up going for more than twice the cheap-*** offers Stephen gave them entering the 2014 season. I doubt 2015 would have gone quite so poorly had we settled those situations a year early. The idea that playing for the Cowboys is an honor and a privilege and if you're not willing make sacrifices to do so then you can go, sells very easily to fans who suck up Cowboys' and Texas in general exceptionalism... but I assure you that message falls on deaf ears to your actual players when your team has independent marketing deals/revenue streams outside of the league's revenue sharing but still operates under the same spending budget as everyone else. As a matter of fact, the Cowboys are actually well below league average in real cash spent on their roster over the last 3-5 years. Telling Dak, Zeke and Amari that they have to take this sort of deal to stay (which for Zeke means no guarantees beyond the years he's already signed for) is not being well-received. At all.
  14. Salary Cap and Player Priority

    Cooper has leverage on us in the first round pick we gave up for him and the weight of a franchise tag instead of an RFA tender. He also has a difficult agent that essentially forced the trade from Oakland. He’s gonna get closer to AB/OBJ money than Allen Robinson
  15. Salary Cap and Player Priority

    Dak, I imagine. He’s probably most amenable to this sort of deal where the full guarantees are paid out over 4 years as that’s what Wentz signed. Cooper and Zeke want closer to 1st than 6th in guarantees at signing for their positions, they’re taking their equivalent offers as insults.