NFL

NFL AM: New Cowboys Raising Eyebrows

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New Cowboys have a lot to learn:

Last year the Dallas Cowboys pass rush was slightly better than embarrassing. The 2015 Cowboys might be a lot better at getting to the quarterback, but it seems the team isn’t done being embarrassed about, or should we say, by their pass rushers.

Both of the Cowboys new pass rushers needed to keep a low profile until the season began, as Randy Gregory is facing scrutiny over his draft free-fall, and questions about why teams allowed him to fall to Dallas with the 60th selection in the draft, and Greg Hardy is facing a 10-game suspension for beating up his girlfriend because he was infuriated she once dated St. Louis based rapper, Nelly.

Greg Hardy confirmed this week that his character isn’t just a concern when it comes to whether or not he might beat up a woman at any given moment, as he proved that he can’t keep his mouth shut, may not actually have a heart, and doesn’t understand much of what’s going on around him, at all.

This week a Carolina Panthers fan tweeted a picture of newly drafted Michigan wide out Devin Funchess, and second-year standout Kelvin Benjamin, calling the pair the “Twin Towers.” Hardy’s response was, well, ridiculous.

“didn’t the twin towers get blowN up lol.” Hardy replied on Twitter.

Greg, please, if you can’t just go away, could you at least keep your mouth closed and stop reminding us how terrible of a human being you are?

Cowboys rookie Randy Gregory is trying to prove he’s ready to perform at the next level, and that his fall in the draft was unwarranted.  Dallas knows with Gregory that they drafted an ultra-talented pass rusher, but that he needs to clean up some of his off the field issues.

Dallas made it clear when they drafted him that they knew Gregory would need help getting his life in order. The hope for the Cowboys is that Gregory would keep a low profile for a while. Instead, Gregory made move of getting a star tattoo to show the allegiance to the team that drafted him, because nothing says laying low, or maturity, like getting a tattoo of the football team you’ve been a part of for less than a week.

Gregory is a young man, and often young men at his age just don’t get it, so it would be unfair to compare him to Hardy. One thing however, is certain. The Cowboys have their hands full with a pair of pass rushers who at the moment, just don’t get it. There is still hope for Gregory, as he’s just entering the NFL, and is about to be surrounded by guys of character who do get it. Hopefully he doesn’t spend too much time listening to Hardy, who clearly will never get it, because he’s just a bad guy.

Bucs’ Mike Evans got what he wanted on draft day:

It seems like NFL teams, players, and fans have never been more split on a pair of quarterbacks coming out in the draft than they were this year when it came to Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. The two could not be more different, as their Heisman Trophies may be the only thing the young signal callers have in common.

According to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their locker room wasn’t as split as the rest of America, as they claim almost every player they spoke to leading up to April 30th preferred one guy, and Bucs receiver Mike Evans may have given us a glimpse into who that guy was. Evans told Tampa Bay Times’ Greg Auman that he wanted Tampa Bay to draft Winston. “He can sit in the pocket and deliver the ball,” Evans told Auman.

What’s perhaps more interesting is Evans went on to cite his time with now Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in his reasoning.

“I did my time with a mobile quarterback. That was fun,” Evans commented about his time at Texas A&M.

Most who preferred Winston to Mariota did so because he’s the prototypical drop back passer, and it’s clear at least one of the guys who will be catching passes from him feels the same way. Big receivers like Evans and Vincent Jackson often prefer a guy who sits in the pocket and delivers the ball on time at the end of their route tree, as opposed to having to run around trying to get or stay open while their quarterback scrambles around, so it should be no surprise that Evans is excited to play with Winston.

Cardinals’ tight end John Carlson calls it a career:

Arizona Cardinals tight end John Carlson announced on Tuesday that he’s retiring from the NFL, leaving the Cardinals very thin at the tight end position.

Carlson was always a solid tight end, but it seemed his production was never what it could have been for the talented tight end. After 12 touchdowns over his first two years in the league, Carlson never had more than a single touchdown per season for the rest of his career.

Carlson played his final year in Arizona after a stints in Minnesota and Seattle, where he was drafted in the second-round out of Notre Dame in 2008.

Ironically, the Cardinals will look to last year’s second-round pick, Troy Niklas, of Notre Dame to step into the role left open by Carlson.

While Carlson is a leader and a solid tight end, Niklas is a big talented tight end, who was drafted to be the future of the position for Arizona. That future is now, and the 6-foot-7, 270 – pound Niklas will have plenty of opportunities to show he’s the man for the job, as he’s one of only two tight ends left on the Cardinals roster.

Expect Arizona to add some depth at the position, but it’s unlikely they bring in anyone who would challenge Niklas for the starting gig.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.