The Dallas Cowboys always find a way to own the headlines. Who knew it would be old teammates hanging out, another risky signing, and Rex Ryan this week.
Let’s start with the news that will actually affect the Dallas Cowboys on the field in 2020, the signing of defensive end Aldon Smith. Who, even I forgot existed until I got the notification on my phone that Smith was coming to Big D. This signing is an interesting one.
Smith will make around $4 million if he has a good season, which from a financial standpoint it is a great deal for the Cowboys. Smith has played two full seasons in his NFL career, 2011 and 2012 with the San Francisco 49ers. 14.0 sacks in 2011, his rookie campaign, and 19.5 sacks his second go-around.
So, if Smith even gets close to double-digit sacks, this would be a steal, just like the Robert Quinn deal a year ago. That’s where the comparison ends though, as Smith is reportedly a recovering alcoholic who has suffered several concerning off-the-field incidents and arrests.
Smith is just another low-risk, high-reward gamble that owner Jerry Jones is taking a chance on. How this works out is still to be seen. If it is a case of Charles Haley or Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, will decide how fans and the media look back on this eventful signing of a former All-Pro.
Also, Smith hasn’t seen a playing field since 2015. So, where he is at almost five years later is also a big question. Hindsight is the only way we will know if the Cowboys made the right decision rolling the dice this time.
The next event that got the Cowboys into the spotlight, was a social media post of former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant working out with current quarterback Dak Prescott. The two did have good chemistry, kind of, through Prescott’s first two seasons. Is a possible reunion on the horizon?
No, probably not. In my opinion, the Cowboys offense already has a guy in wide receiver Amari Cooper, who needs to be more demanding of the ball. Something Bryant excelled at for his entire career in Big D. A focus on getting Cooper the ball more in the offense this season and also allowing now third-year wide receiver Michael Gallup to continue to blossom would be a better plan.
Talking about the Cowboys and Cooper, you won’t believe what the world woke up to Friday morning. Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan going after not only the skill but character of four-time Pro Bowler Cooper. Going on a rant about Cooper disappearing on the road, here’s what Ryan said during an episode of ESPN’s Get Up.
"“To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League. [Cooper] doesn’t show up on the road. He doesn’t show up against when the competition’s good, against the top corners, that guy disappears … This is who he is. And Dan, he doesn’t love football? Hell with it. He stops his routes, he does all this. I wouldn’t have paid this turd. No way in hell.”"
I don’t want to touch the premise and argument of this verbal attack because there isn’t much behind it. Cooper is a top receiver, who got paid top dollar. Cowboys fans will always want more out of him, but that is the nature of the fanbase in my opinion.
As for Ryan to go on a rant like this was alarming. He seemed to have personal issues with the wide receiver. Who knows if there is a story behind that but it was a moment that Cooper shouldn’t forget any time soon. The talented wideout needs to make this rant bulletin board material going into the 2020 season.
I believe Cooper must demand the ball more this season and be ready to make plays in every situation and setting, starting in September. As much as Cowboys fans can balk at the connection of Prescott to Cooper, it is the reality of the 2020 campaign.
Prescott and Cooper cannot have another performance like in New England Week 12 or in Philadelphia Week 16 last season. They need to step up if this team is going to earn back respect this upcoming season. Maybe this rant can be the fire that gets the connection going even more.
As for the first week of April for the Dallas Cowboys, it was eventful. That’s just part of life as a fan of America’s Team.