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I’m going to sound like a homer on this one Womens Customized Dallas Cowboys Jerseys , but bare with me: give the front office the benefit of the doubt,Sure, the Amari Cooper trade - in which the Cowboys gave up a first-round pick for the receiver - seems risky. It is, and that’s usually the https://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com ... sch-jersey nature of trades. Trading Ryan Switzer for Jihad Ward was a risk that didn’t work out, but didn’t burn the Cowboys. Trading a pick for Tavon Austin was a risk that’s mostly worked out, even if he is injured again. That’s football. But those trades are minor compared to giving up a first-round pick.When the news broke about what the Cowboys gave up for Cooper, many people derided Dallas for getting robbed by the same team that willingly got rid of Khalil Mack. People started bringing up Joey Galloway and Roy Williams again, situations where Dallas gave up a lot for a supposed star receiver who went on to do nothing for the team. One important thing to remember about those trades is this: Jerry Jones doesn’t call the shots alone anymore. Sure, the charismatic owner still holds the title of General Manager and is ultimately in control, but this front office is really run by two men now: Stephen Jones and Will McClay. The man who foolishly gave up everything for Roy Williams likely didn’t formulate this trade, but just signed off on it. Instead, it was the two men most responsible for the team’s two playoff appearances over the past four years. In the 2016 NFL Draft, when the Cowboys were on the clock at 16, Jerry very publicly wanted to take Johnny Manziel and groom him to replace Tony Romo. Stephen, whose reasoning was informed by the talent evaluations of McClay, convinced his father to instead take Zack Martin. Obviously, the right decision was made. But the overall drafts in recent years are one of the reasons why we should all trust what Stephen and McClay are doing. Since the 2010 draft, the Cowboys have been exceptionally better at selecting players. It started with Dez Bryant and Sean Lee, both of whom had or are still having productive careers. Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray turned out to be excellent draft choices in 2011, and while selecting Morris Claiborne in the first round of the 2012 draft turned out to be a bust www.thecowboysfootballauthentic.com , it was lauded as a good move at the time. Even so, the Cowboys got Tyrone Crawford out of that draft as well. And after Stephen got his way on taking Martin, which perhaps marked the most significant turning point in Jerry handing more control to his son, they followed it up the next day by trading up for DeMarcus Lawrence, and later getting Anthony Hitchens in the fourth round. Of course, the 2016 draft was their best one yet, with Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins, Anthony Brown, and Kavon Frazier all becoming important players to the team almost immediately. That incredibly talented secondary that has the Cowboys with the third best defense in the league? It consists of Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Frazier, Xavier Woods, and Jeff Heath. All of those players were drafted by Stephen and McClay, with the exception of undrafted gem Heath. But let’s focus on this season. They got rid of Bryant, which is still up for debate but seems more justified every time the unemployed receiver tweets something Dallas Cowboys T-Shirt , and instead focused on a receiver committee. Tavon Austin has been mostly good in the snaps he’s seen, and Michael Gallup is justifying the decision to wait until the third round to draft a receiver. And the reason they didn’t take one earlier? Getting Leighton Vander Esch to be their third starting linebacker and insurance for Lee, both of which the rookie has been excellent at doing. In the second round, they took Connor Williams to address their offensive line’s biggest weakness, left guard. And while the rookie is still adjusting to the NFL, he’s been mostly good. And then there’s the most controversial thing the front office has done this year: cutting Dan Bailey out of nowhere for unproven Brett Maher. The Cowboys were raked over the coals for that - similar to the reaction to the Cooper trade. Yet, through the five games Bailey has played for the Minnesota Vikings, he’s hitting only 78.6% of his field goals, while Maher has hit 88.9% and been one of the best kickers this year, a year where many teams have suffered from terrible kicking. (Yes, we realize he just clanged a 52-yarder, but still, he’s been a quality kicker).If Stephen and McClay are right and Amari Cooper really is the missing piece this offense needs to get going - which Michael Irvin also believes - then this trade will get the Cowboys to the postseason and, ideally, further than that. If that happens, the first-round pick is worth it. Furthermore, wide receiver isn’t exactly stocked with number one receiving talents in the upcoming draft. Additionally, the quarterback class in the 2019 draft looks pretty uninspiring so far. Cooper, on the other hand, is a known commodity despite his recent drop off in production. The Cowboys more or less know what they’re getting Dallas Cowboys Hats , and the fact that Cooper possesses great route running ability and has experience doing so against some stellar NFL defenses is a trait that no rookie wide receiver will have. Now, there is the potential that Cooper will struggle to find a rhythm in this offense and the Cowboys continue to lose every other game and finish around .500 on the year. That’s always a possibility. But considering the body of work that Stephen Jones and Will McClay have thus far, it’s probably more likely that won’t happen. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. When Kyle Shanahan was looking to get into the NFL as an assistant coach more than a decade ago, his father, Mike, called Jon Gruden and asked him to hire his son for an entry-level job in Tampa.Shanahan joined the Buccaneers as a quality control coach in 2004 on Gruden's staff and got his introduction to pro football on a staff that featured five assistants who have gone on to get head coaching jobs in the NFL."It was such a good place for me to go to because Jon was doing everything," Shanahan said. "It wasn't just his stuff. He was always on top of it with the film, which everyone is now because of the computers and everything, but he was one of the first guys doing that stuff, probably being a little bit younger than most guys at that time and just introduced me to pretty much every play known to man."Now 14 years later, Shanahan gets his first chance to coach against his old boss when the San Francisco 49ers (1-7) host Gruden and the Oakland Raiders (1-6) on Thursday night.Gruden said he took great pride in that staff that featured Mike Tomlin, Rod Marinelli, Jay Gruden and Raheem Morris during Shanahan's two seasons there in 2004-05. The Bucs won just five games the first season before winning the NFC South with an 11-5 record in 2005."We had a lot of fun back in those days. The woodshed, I called it," Gruden said. "People are going to take me to the woodshed here pretty soon, if we don't get this thing going."Both the Raiders and 49ers are struggling heading into this matchup, with Oakland losing three straight and San Francisco on a six-game skid.Shanahan has struggled without starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, while Gruden's return to the NFL has been rocky after nine seasons as a broadcaster at ESPN.But Shanahan believes Gruden will turn the Raiders around if given time and sees no signs that the game has passed him by."Jon lives and dies football," Shanahan said. "He never got away from it. He probably had even more time to sit and look at everything, and not get so caught up in his own team. The whole league's evolved since then. It evolves year to year. But Dallas Cowboys Womens Hoodie , you watch his system, he has a foundation of what he used to do and things like that, but he's kept up with everything."Here are some other things to watch:BEATHARD'S HEALTHThe 49ers could be forced to go with their third-string quarterback this week. Garoppolo went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 and backup C.J. Beathard is questionable this week with an injured right wrist. The next man up is Nick Mullens, who has never taken a snap in the NFL. Mullens spent last season on the practice squad and was promoted after Garoppolo's injury this year. He has impressed his teammates with strong play in the preseason and practice."He's a baller," running back Matt Breida said. "He doesn't let the game get too big for him. I think he'll do a great job if he has to play this week."DRIVE THE CARRRaiders quarterback Derek Carr is coming off perhaps his best game of the season, throwing for three touchdowns and running for a fourth score in last week's loss to the Colts. Carr completed 17 straight passes at one point and thrived in his first game after leading rusher Marshawn Lynch went down with a groin injury and No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper was traded to Dallas. Receiver Brandon LaFell, who wasn't targeted at all in his previous two games for Oakland, had three catches for 39 yards and a TD after getting the start in place of Cooper."He's friendly to the quarterback," Carr said. "He always runs friendly routes. He can play with anybody. I'm glad that we had some time to work and all those things, but he's the kind of guy that you can just throw him in and just play."SAFETY DANCEThe Niners go into this game thin at safety. Starting free safety Adrian Colbert is on injured reserve with an ankle injury and San Francisco could be without its top two strong safeties as well. Starter Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) and backup Antone Exum (concussion) are out this week. Jimmie Ward fared well last week at free safety after moving over from cornerback. San Francisco is thinner at strong safety with Tyvis Powell, who has never started a game, and rookie Marcell Harris, who could be activated from IR to make his debut, the main options.DYING RIVALRYThis will be the final scheduled meeting between these Bay Area rivals before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020. The teams have rarely been successful in their 36 seasons as NFL neighbors here with both making the playoffs in the same year only four times in that span (1970, '72, 2001, '02). The teams have combined for a winning record just once in 2003 and are on pace for the worst record for a two-team market since the 1970 merger.
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