There was good news yesterday, as Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys came to agree on a six-year contract extension to make Martin the highest paid guard in the league. There was little doubt it would get done and the numbers we projected here a few weeks ago were dead on.
Martin’s contract was one of the biggest stories of the past few weeks, but it hasn’t been the only big ticket item around the Cowboys in the past week. Here are some other noteworthy details with the team recently.
Jaylon Smith plays without the brace. There were many who doubted whether this day would come, or if Smith would ever be remotely back to his old self during his college days. Playing without the brace is a huge step and the Cowboys might be closing in on getting a great return on their second-round investment. Word is that Smith is flying around and that he is making things difficult on the offense in minicamp. Things are looking good for Smith, who could help take this defense to a different level.
Randy Gregory goes to New York. The Cowboys haven’t been able to count on the pass rush during his first three years in the league, but Gregory took steps to get back onto the field. After his extended stint in a rehab facility and passing extensive drug tests, Gregory took a trip to the Big Apple to state his case for reinstatement in front of Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week. He appears to have a great case, but who knows the end result.
Gregory is now back in training to get in football shape and if he is granted reinstatement, he would be a big boost to the pass rush. The talented edge player is the best natural pass rusher the Cowboys have, including DeMarcus Lawrence. Tank is the best they currently have but it took a few years for Lawrence to get to the level he played at last season; Gregory would need time to get acclimated to the game again, but he has a natural gift of getting to the quarterback. Randy Gregory returning would be an immense help to the pass rush.
David Irving returns. The burgeoning star has been in and out of Dallas’ offseason program because of issues with his ex-girlfriend, but he arrived for minicamp. The goal of having a dominant defensive front might not be possible without Irving in the mix; his play is a big reason to be excited about the defense. If Irving can keep off the field things where they belong (not saying it’s easy, it’s a difficult situation he’s in) and focus on football, with Gregory possibly coming back as well, this defense could be a major problem.
Cole calls out coaches. This may not have hit your radar as much, but Cole Beasley said: “it feels like the first time we’re actually being taught how to run routes instead of just naturally doing (them).” That’s a pretty damning statement on Derek Dooley as a receivers coach and isn’t a good look for Scott Linehan or Jason Garrett either. All of them have their hands in this offense and they should’ve been better at teaching the position. The wide receiver play was ridiculed last year and this doesn’t help the Cowboys coaches’ case.
On the bright side, it’s encouraging the team now has a strong receivers coach in Sanjay Lal. This looks like a home run addition to the offense and a much-needed change.
Minicamp will be over in a few days and then we’ll get the extended wait until training camp arrives. There appears to be a good buzz about the Dallas Cowboys right now, but there is work to do. Hopefully, there's only good news to come.
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