Hold on to your hats Cowboy fans because the recent frantic execution of trades and player acquisitions has been like a ride on a wild bronco. Just when we thought the roster was finalized Saturday evening, things begin to happen quickly. Let’s look at the 4 new additions and analyze if they really can help.
LBs Edgar Jones and Kyle Bosworth:
The addition of these two were all about improving the Cowboys special teams which didn’t perform well in preseason. I was one who was critical of their play in previous blogs of preseason games. Jones and Bosworth bring NFL special team experience and were primarily on the kickoff coverage teams.
In preseason, Dallas allowed a long kickoff return against both the Raiders and the Bengals. With these two additions, Dallas is attempting to address this weakness. I look for both of these guys to step in and contribute on the kick coverage teams right away.
Jones comes from the Chiefs in a trade and has 39 career special team tackles.
Bosworth is the nephew of the notorious former NFL player Brian Bosworth who was mostly known for doing crazy stuff in the 80s that would be considered nothing compared to today’s standards. If you are under 40, just ask your parents about Brian.
Kyle was cut by the Giants (the Cowboys first opponent) and was a solid special teams performer for the Jaguars last season.
My Take: I expect these two to help with KO coverage right away but what about their lack luster kick returns? Not sure how these two help in that area. They provide depth at LB but Dallas recently cut a few guys who could help more at LB. This move is all about covering kickoffs.
DE Caesar Rayford:
The Cowboys traded a “to be determined” draft pick with the Colts to acquire DE Rayford. Rayford is a 27 year old rookie that has played arena football. The fact that he made the Colts roster this season is impressive. He did that by leading the NFL in sacks in preseason games.
In fact against the Giants, Rayford had 2 sacks and a total of 6 tackles. One sack particularly stood out as Rayford pulled Giants QB Carr down by one hand like he was a sack of potatoes. A nice video break down of Rayford’s play against the Giants HERE.
The signing of Rayford tells me that we shouldn’t expect to see DE Anthony Spencer in the Giants game. Spencer had knee surgery on July 25 and has yet to practice at all in the preseason including as recent as Monday.
The word I would use to describe Rayford is “raw.” But I would also describe him as tall, athletic, and quick. Plays with a good motor too. By raw, I mean he displays very few moves to elude blockers and he stands straight up upon take off out of his stance making him easier to block. A common issue for taller players and Rayford is a towering 6’7″. Bottom line is he needs coaching and with Cowboys defensive line coaches, Ron Marinelli and Leon Lett, he is in good hands to learn the game.
For now, Rayford provides some depth and he certainly is an intriguing prospect long term. Like his initial quickness and urgency to get the passer. I doubt he plays in the Giants game Sunday night but who knows? He seems to have their number so why not turn “too tall” Rayford loose?
Guard Brian Waters:
It appears Waters will agree to a contract with Dallas. Signing Waters was talked about weeks ago when the Cowboys were having injured guards in camp but Waters appeared to have a “show me the money” attitude. Back then a source close to Brian said, “Brian would play this season under the right set of circumstances.” (code for show me the money Jerry)
Waters seemed to be in no hurry to get off his
butt couch and report to a team’s preseason camp. Just sayin’.
Waters is a veteran who didn’t play at all last season after being cut by the Patriots. He is 36 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2005 for the Chiefs.
Dallas definitely needs help at guard with Livings moved to IR for the season and Leary questionable for the Giants game. Out of desperation, the Cowboys moved Free from tackle to guard and Jerry Jones exaggerated how well he performed at guard. Describing it as “amazing”. Really Jerry, amazing? Was that just a tactic to get Waters to sign? Must have been because Free didn’t perform that well at guard against the Bengals.
To be honest, I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy about this addition at all. Considering his age (36) and the fact that he sat out all of last season, Waters represents what Jerry has tried to do too often lately. Squeeze another year out of a money grabbing, tired old has-been that would be better off just left out to pasture.