Crowded Backfield...

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Crowded Backfield...

Post by MRich on Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:42 pm

Ok, so we've got Zeke, Alfred Morris, D. Jackson, Dunbar, and McFadden...

Who end up being the odd men out? I think Zeke and Morris have two spots locked up. If they go with 3 RB, that means either Dunbar or McFadden are either on PS or released...though I think one is injured, and local report is they might put him on NFI so that don't have to use a roster spot, but keep the player.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:19 pm

I think McFadden and Dunbar are no longer PS eligible, so it's 53 or bust. Or, like you said, PUP or NFI.

We also need to consider Rod Smith - the closest thing to FB they have. From my understanding of the rules, having played 10 games last season, and eleven overall, he is not PS eligible. So they have to decide if they want a FB or not. Do they really just go with a converted LB in Keith Smith? Garrett does like him some FB. They are also deep at TE, so the FB spot could be used to keep an 4th TE. Either way, the fourth RB spot goes to Smith or a TE, IMO.

So, I do agree we are looking at 3 tailback/halfback spots, with Zeke and Morris locked for two.

It really makes one wonder why they drafted Darius Jackson. I know he was only a sixth rounder, but still....Ok, now watch Zeke get injured to make me eat those words. Jackson to the PS.

My bet is McFadden is the odd man out. Dunbar was the centerpiece of the two-minute offense before his injury. I think they have a lot invested in Dunbar's ability, and not any one of the other backs has quite the same capabilities.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by Cowboy1959 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:41 pm

If I'm coaching the Cowboys I go into the season with Zeke, Morris, McFadden, Dunbar, and Jackson still on the team in whatever capacity, and nix the FB, which is a role that can be performed by one of the backup TEs, or even a mobile backup OL. There's a lot of talent at HB, and over a long season you're going to need all of them at some point.

If they offload one of these guys, hopefully it'll be in a trade where they can at least get late-round value, but I'd prefer them to keep them all for now.

But I agree with lg--McFadden appears to be the most expendable, especially since he hasn't hit the field at all. They may buy some time by putting him on the PUP or even the 6-week IR, but sooner or later they'll have to make a decision, and I'd have to say it's not looking good for him, even though he was one of only a small handful of guys to reach 1000 yards last year.

PS - that's some avatar, lg!
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by MRich on Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:44 pm

I've often wondered, myself, why they keep a fullback when sometimes they'll motion a TE into the backfield and have them act as a FB.

I guess you could take one of the RBs and treat them as sort of a "hybrid" RB/Slot Receiver. 5RBs seems like a lot to carry, though.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by caddy4bp on Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:34 am

Well the NFI for McFadden saves them a spot for 6 weeks, so I'm guessing that's his best bet to have a shot of being on the team. McFadden isn't ideally suited to the zone scheme. Averaged 3.4 YPA in zone, yet 5.7 in man blocking. They ran 2/3's of his attempts in zone, so he wasn't very effective. Doesn't have that patience needed to glide, then stick the foot in the ground and explode through the hole. Stashing him on NFI, gives them a chance to assess Morris's ability to pass block and if they have any need for McFadden. Also this is the last year of his deal.

Dunbar is a very intriguing player with great skills in space. Just can't stay healthy and that's a factor in his making the 53. Darius Jackson is a player with low 4.3 speed and we've seen just enough through 2 games to see he can bust a run and has shown that he can take a screen pass for nice gains. Early in camp he took one 20-30 yards for a score. Can he be a healthier version of Dunbar and have him under contract for four years, as he plays along with EE? Dunbar was resigned for one year and a cap savings if they go that route.

FYI, Morris has always been a zone scheme runner and appears to be a lock with a 2 yr deal. My two cents, is EE, Morris & Jackson as the 3 RB's. Rod Smith won't make it as the FB, yet Keith Smith is the front runner. For the 10 plays he's not worth it but he's a fave on special teams, so that will carry some weight in the decision process.

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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:21 pm

Cowboy1959 wrote:If I'm coaching the Cowboys I go into the season with Zeke, Morris, McFadden, Dunbar, and Jackson still on the team in whatever capacity, and nix the FB, which is a role that can be performed by one of the backup TEs, or even a mobile backup OL.  There's a lot of talent at HB, and over a long season you're going to need all of them at some point.

If they offload one of these guys, hopefully it'll be in a trade where they can at least get late-round value, but I'd prefer them to keep them all for now.

But I agree with lg--McFadden appears to be the most expendable, especially since he hasn't hit the field at all.  They may buy some time by putting him on the PUP or even the 6-week IR, but sooner or later they'll have to make a decision, and I'd have to say it's not looking good for him, even though he was one of only a small handful of guys to reach 1000 yards last year.

PS - that's some avatar, lg!

Ha! Thanks!
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:23 pm

caddy4bp wrote:Well the NFI for McFadden saves them a spot for 6 weeks, so I'm guessing that's his best bet to have a shot of being on the team.  McFadden isn't ideally suited to the zone scheme.  Averaged 3.4 YPA in zone, yet 5.7 in man blocking.  They ran 2/3's of his attempts in zone, so he wasn't very effective.  Doesn't have that patience needed to glide, then stick the foot in the ground and explode through the hole.  Stashing him on NFI, gives them a chance to assess Morris's ability to pass block and if they have any need for McFadden.  Also this is the last year of his deal.

Dunbar is a very intriguing player with great skills in space. Just can't stay healthy and that's a factor in his making the 53.  Darius Jackson is a player with low 4.3 speed and we've seen just enough through 2 games to see he can bust a run and has shown that he can take a screen pass for nice gains.  Early in camp he took one 20-30 yards for a score.  Can he be a healthier version of Dunbar and have him under contract for four years, as he plays along with EE?  Dunbar was resigned for one year and a cap savings if they go that route.

FYI, Morris has always been a zone scheme runner and appears to be a lock with a 2 yr deal.  My two cents, is EE, Morris & Jackson as the 3 RB's.  Rod Smith won't make it as the FB, yet Keith Smith is the front runner.  For the 10 plays he's not worth it but he's a fave on special teams, so that will carry some weight in the decision process.

Good analysis Caddy. Good to have you back on a forum.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:25 pm

Does anybody's opinion change now that the QB likely takes up three spots? Did Dunbars time with Dallas end up on the Seattle turf, too?
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by Cowboy1959 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:58 pm

I think Dunbar is going to be hard pressed to make the team this time around. Jerry has been infatuated with McFadden since he came out of college, and I think Dunbar's health concerns are going to encourage the Cowboys to move on.

I still don't see QB taking up 3 spots, unless they don't move Romo to the six-week IR. I can see them going into the season with Dak and a veteran backup, with Romo on IR and Showers on the PS. Then they'll have the luxury of an extra RB.

The only thing I know for sure is that Zeke, Morris, and Jackson should make the team. I still think the Cowboys can buy a spot by not going with a FB, but caddy is right: at some point you need a guy who can play special teams, and that might be enough give Smith a spot on the final roster.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by MRich on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:05 pm

I heard on a local sports talk station today that the Cowboys were getting calls about McFadden.

I also heard something about how the Broncos contacted the Cowboys about "Butt Fumble" Sanchez.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by Cowboy1959 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:38 pm


If we can get value for McFadden I'd support moving him on. But I see no reason to accept anything less than a 4th rounder for him. At that point I think he's more valuable to the Cowboys than a late-round draft pick.

I do not want Butt Fumble, especially if we have to trade for him. Surely we can do better than him, and even if we can't he's going to be cut next week anyway.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by MRich on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:27 am

I think we can do better than him as well. And stop calling me Shirley. Wink

The last thing we want right now is a guy known for a "butt fumble".
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:22 pm

I wonder, too, now that Teddy has gone down (brutal injury, poor guy)...does that make it risky to try and move Showers to the PS?

What if Showers plays lights out Thurs night against Houston. He will be the only QB on the roster, effectively. So he will be on display the entire game.

I know one thing for sure...53 is too small!
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by Cowboy1959 on Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:35 pm


They may have to go into the season with Dak, Showers, and the 3rd QB they pick up. I'm pretty sure they're going to sign Austin Davis today, if for no other reason than to have him play tomorrow night so that Showers doesn't have to go the whole way (or in case he gets injured). Whether Davis survives the final cutdown is another matter, as the Cowboys will be looking to upgrade the position no matter what.

It's pretty clear to me that they aren't going to trade for a QB, which they see as a 6-8 week solution. They are convinced Romo is going to play, and after getting burned last year by trading for Cassel I think they'll just try to hold the fort with Dak, Showers, and a journeyman until Romo gets back.

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Re: Crowded Backfield...

Post by lgkehoe on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:37 pm

Yep. And I would agree with them...keep those picks for upcoming years and continue to BUILD.

This team is on the precipice of something special. The last time that happened, Jerry mortgaged the future on Roy Williams WR.

Just stay the course, Jerry. Just stay the course.
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Re: Crowded Backfield...

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