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OTA winners and losers.

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Posted (edited)

OTA practices are over, and there will be a break before camp starts in late July. Certainly limited information can be gathered from these OTA practices, but there are things that you can do to boost your stock. It's still difficult to truly be a winner and harder still to be a loser of OTA practices but that's exactly what I'm going to label a few players here:

 

WINNERS

#1. Jaylon Smith

From nearly all reports coming out of OTAs Jaylon Smith has been a beast and one of the best players on the field. He was asked to "slow down," and RB coach Gary Brown jokingly yelled at him to "chill out" during a drill that saw his RBs repeatedly assaulted at the LOS. He reportedly looks fast, agile, and more confident in his duties. He has also ditched the brace, and is expected to be a full go this year. If his movement during OTAs is any indication, he could be back to the Jaylon Smith that played at Notre Dame. And if that's the case, we all have a lot to look forward to.

 

#2. Jihad Ward

https://thelandryhat.com/2018/06/09/dallas-cowboys-6-ota-standouts-summer/

"Ward was labeled a draft bust during his time with the Oakland Raiders. During his time with the Dallas Cowboys, he is showing what many believed he could be in the NFL. He has shown he can push the pocket making it difficult for the quarterbacks during these OTA’s. He also has been able to stuff some runs as well. If he can continue to show he can create havoc up the middle he would be a nice steal for the Cowboys."

http://www.dallascowboys.com/galleries/2018/06/08/top-10-newly-acquired-veteran-leads-broaddus’-10-biggest-offseason-surprises#513391

Several different sources are reporting that Jihad Ward was easily one of the most disruptive forces a long the DL during OTAs. He has set himself up early to be our starting 3t when week 1 roles around. With Collins hurt, Irving being mentally unstable/physically unfit, and Jihad Ward out shining the rest, you can count OTAs as a win for Ward.

 

#3. Blake Jarwin

Once again, if you Google Cowboys OTA standouts you will get ~10 different reports, and just about every one of them mentions Blake Jarwin. Like a unanimous "Oh I see" from the media. 

"I can now see why the front office didn’t want to lose him off the practice squad last season when they really didn’t have a spot. His ability to get down the field while finding space has been impressive. His hands to finish might be his best trait."

Blake Jarwin is 6'5 250 lbs. he was known as a blocker coming out of college so that was never really a concern, but what has been reported from OTAs is his ability to get up the field. His hands are now being called one of his best traits. He obviously has fans on the staff as they pulled him up to the active roster right before the season closed to ensure no one could steal him. With Swaim not standing out, Rico still being a theory, Shultz still getting acclimated, Hanna, AND Witten the GOAT retiring..... this has been a total win for Blake Jarwin who is looking set as Witts replacement going into camp.

HM:

Taco Charlton(reportedly came into OTAs with a chip. According to multiple sources he looks twice as confident this year as he did as a rookie, and has added to his game. Question marks abound as he enters his 2nd year, but gets a win for OTAs.)

Justin March-lilliard(outside of Jaylon Smith, JML has been the best LB/defender on the field.)

Byron Jones(sources say he looks "comfortable" in his switch to CB, and with what Richards is asking him to do which is mug and reroute at the LOS. With the move and new DB coach. OTAs were a win for Jones.)

Lance Lenoir(no Dez, No Twill, bunch of rookies, and from most accounts our best WRs at OTAs were Beasley, Gallup, and .....Lance Lenoir https://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2018/6/9/17443422/three-dallas-cowboys-veterans-that-wont-be-easy-to-push-off-the-roster-blake-jarwin-lance-lenoir)

 

 

 

LOSERS:

#1. Leighton Vander-Esch

As hard as it is to be a winner of OTAs it's even harder to be a loser of something so based in drills and craft work. To be a loser you typically have to suffer from an injury OR be victim to other players at your position really doing well. Both of those situations are true for LVE. Sean Lee is Sean Lee and he isn't coming off the field. Jaylon Smith is playing/practicing out of his mind right now. Rod Marinelli says he wants 3 guys for 2 spots. When Sean Lee was given rest it was Justin March-lilliard who replaced him and even HE started balling out. All the while LVE is nursing an ankle injury that isn't believed to be serious. I'm not worried about him, but OTAs were something less than ideal for LVE.

 

#2. TWill

Perhaps he should be number 1 on the the list of losers. I'm not sure how OTAs could go worse for someone. He was injured so he couldn't practice anyway, and then he gets arrested in an always public fashion complete with a TMZ video that showed him trying to pin things on another NFL player. He could end up losing his career over this, and all the while Dallas is stacked at WR without him. They drafted Gallup, and Wilson this year. They got Noah Brown last year who is getting reps with the 1s along with Lance Lenoir who is spending time with the 1s. Not to mention vets like Beasely and FAs like Hurns and speedster Deonte Thompson. No the OTAs could not have been worse for TWill.

 

#3. David Irving

According to Rod Marinelli David Irving is physically unfit to play football at the moment. According to David Irving he needs to take care of his self first, tweeting:

"There is no football if there is no me."

The post is dramatic to say the least, and leads me to believe that he is an emotional wreck that happens to be in poor physical fitness. He is playing on a contract year in 2018, and it's off to a rocky start. Add in the glowing reports about Jihad Ward and the hill gets steeper for Irving, who received no interest around the league on his 2nd round tender.

HM: Maliek Collins(injured while others perform well in his absence)

 

Edited by DaBoys

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5 minutes ago, Calvert28 said:

Why wouldn't they want to be developing LVE right now?

Jaylon is showing that he needs to be on the field. In an ideal world, Sean Lee doesn't really need practice reps, and in fact could probably benefit more from rest than reps. Not the case with Jaylon. So ideally you have Jaylon and LVE working your two spots. Let them both develop together. But LVE is hurt and Justin March-Lilliard is getting those reps.

 

I expect a lot of LVE and Jaylon at camp, with Lee getting rest. JML looks like the 4th man off the bench ahead of Damien Wilson and Joe Thomas.

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1 hour ago, DaBoys said:

Jaylon is showing that he needs to be on the field. In an ideal world, Sean Lee doesn't really need practice reps, and in fact could probably benefit more from rest than reps. Not the case with Jaylon. So ideally you have Jaylon and LVE working your two spots. Let them both develop together. But LVE is hurt and Justin March-Lilliard is getting those reps.

 

I expect a lot of LVE and Jaylon at camp, with Lee getting rest. JML looks like the 4th man off the bench ahead of Damien Wilson and Joe Thomas.

You think if Lee gets hurt again this year, they look to move on with Jaylon and LVE.

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2 hours ago, CAPJ said:

You think if Lee gets hurt again this year, they look to move on with Jaylon and LVE.

There's a good chance Sean Lee is playing his last year in Dallas no matter what happens. We will save $7M by cutting him next year, and the dead cap is reduced to $3M. Sean Lee would have to really ball out this year, AND LVE or Jaylon will have to really flop in order for Sean Lee to hang around. With those kind of savings hanging over his head, he will be on the chopping block, and if he misses 5+ games again it's over for him.

 

The only thing that helps him is we will have a tremendous amount of cap room next year and we won't really "need" to save money. Idk if that will save him in this business though.

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I kinda hope Lee can stick around in a Thomas Davis capacity...

It's nice to hear that Ward appears to be turning it around here. Hopefully he keeps it up going forward. 

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Also - a healthy Jaylon Smith has me all kinds of giddy.

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22 minutes ago, plan9misfit said:

If players stayed healthy, it’s a win. The rest? Pretty meaningless.

And the vet players know this, which explains Martin's desire to not even go. 

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I would love for Lee to sign a small deal to hang around. But his cap hit will be pretty high next year, and you would think they will want the two young guys taking over. I could also see some team throwing some money at him in FA. But a lot depends on the results of this year.

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Cedric Wilson got mentioned by the coaching staff.

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12 hours ago, DaBoys said:

There's a good chance Sean Lee is playing his last year in Dallas no matter what happens. We will save $7M by cutting him next year, and the dead cap is reduced to $3M. Sean Lee would have to really ball out this year, AND LVE or Jaylon will have to really flop in order for Sean Lee to hang around. With those kind of savings hanging over his head, he will be on the chopping block, and if he misses 5+ games again it's over for him.

 

The only thing that helps him is we will have a tremendous amount of cap room next year and we won't really "need" to save money. Idk if that will save him in this business though.

Good points.

I agree that he has a high cap hit, but for once we are in a place to front load some contracts so we can avoid the cap issues we have faced recently.

I would have no issues paying someone like Martin significant money upfront on next year's cap to help reduce the money down the line for potential extensions (Zeke, Dak, etc.)

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Jihad Ward. Is he trying to win the spot at NT? Or DE where Irving and Collins are at currently?

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how big is Ward?  i know i could look it up -_-

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3 minutes ago, chumpy said:

how big is Ward?  i know i could look it up -_-

6'5" 295 

and @atran35, Ward would play the 1T.

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