A few thoughts from film study of defensive end Jarius Wynn, who the Dallas Cowboys added to their roster. Wynn played five games for San Diego this season before making his way to Dallas.
Jarius Wynn DT / DE 6-3 285 Georgia 5th Season
Games studied: San Diego vs. Dallas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Tennessee
- Wynn played both tackle and end in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme, and he will see action at both spots for the Dallas Cowboys.
- He has a long, rangy build and plays with more strength than quickness, and he can hold the point of attack.
- Gets some push from the inside, had a nice sack by using power against Todd Herremans of the Eagles, who could not handle his movement down inside. He was able to finish the play on Michael Vick.
- Can work down the line and hold up blockers, but he needs to do a better job getting rid of those blockers quicker. Tends to get stuck.
- There were times where he tried to use counter moves as a pass rusher, and he had some success. But it needs to work more often.
- Wynn has used a quick swim move to free himself against Raiders and later against the Titans, along with a swat move as well that helped him in his rush.
- When he does free himself, he has a burst to chase the ball. His effort is good when trying to finish the play. Not a lazy player.
- Plays with power but, but I don’t like when he rushes down the middle. Brian Waters stoned him a couple of times on his rush in the San Diego game, and he was very unproductive.
- He will work to extend his arms to attempt to control his blocker, but he needs to use his hands quicker to get rid of that man.
- I was surprised he was able to hang in there taking on blocks, because he plays with a narrow base.
- I thought he was better when he was able to rush off the edge and try to get to the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. He played with more quickness on the edge, whereas inside, it was more about power.
- Did not see much quick redirection in his game, but his effort is really good when it comes to chasing the ball.
The bottom line is that Wynn will give the defense some flexibility at two spots, but I would like to see if Rod Marinelli can get him to play with more quickness off the ball. The Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme could allow him to be better in that regard.
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys were busy making some roster moves, many of which are domino-effects of the injury situation to both DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray.
The Cowboys officially waived defensive end David Carter and cornerback Chris Greenwood. They signed veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn, who worked out for the team on Monday and has five years of experience, including a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 2010. Wynn has a career total of 36 tackles and eight sacks. He was a sixth round pick out of Georgia in 2009.
They also signed running back Davin Meggett. A former standout at Maryland, Meggett is the son of former Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler RB Dave Meggett.
Davin was an undrafted free agent running back out of Maryland in 2012. He’s spent his first two seasons in the league on the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts practice squads. Meggett is described as more of a smash-mouth/down-hill runner, as opposed to his father who was a burner/returner for many years as a member of the New York Giants. The younger Meggett has yet to see any regular season action.
The Cowboys had an open practice squad spot after signing Cameron Lawrence to the active roster last Friday.
But when the dust settled, the Cowboys have one spot open on the roster. And with Jay Ratliff now gone, there is an open roster spot.
With DeMarcus Ware likely out this week, the Cowboys will need help up front. Wynn should be able to provide some depth behind George Selvie and Kyle Wilber. The club is hoping Edgar Jones (groin) can make it back, plus they have backup Caesar Rayford. The Cowboys can also use the open spot for practice squad defensive end Jason Vega.
At running back, Meggett will help in practice and the scout team. With Murray (sprained knee) expected to miss 2-3 weeks, and Lance Dunbar (hamstring) still out, the Cowboys are down to just Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner on the active roster.
IRVING, Texas – Mark Slough, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff’s agent, issued a statement from the four-time Pro Bowler regarding Ratliff’s release by the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon.
Prior to a question-and-answer session regarding Ratliff’s 2012 injuries and subsequent rehab, Slough issued a short statement from Ratliff:
The statement read: “First, let me say thank you to the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones for taking a chance on me in 2005. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Cowboys, and it was always my desire to begin and end my career here in Dallas. But I understand this business, and now it’s time to move on, turn the page and begin again.
To all my teammates, I want to wish them nothing but the best. Stay strong, keep fighting and always believe. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you, but I will always support you and value our time together.
And lastly, to all the Cowboy fans, I want to say it was an honor to play for you. Cowboy fans are the best fans in the NFL, and I thank each and every one of you for the support and love you have shown to me these past nine years. I will miss you.”
Ratliff played nine seasons with the Cowboys after being drafted No. 224 overall in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in 104 career games for Dallas, tallying 228 total tackles and 27 sacks.
The Dallas Cowboys received a lot of criticism for choosing to trade back and select center Travis Frederick in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.
However, through the first six weeks, the Dallas Cowboys are looking pretty wise.
Frederick stepped in as a starter, anchoring the Dallas offensive line from Day One. Although he struggled early in the season, the 31st overall pick has played well the last four weeks. In fact, the former Wisconsin standout has been so impressive that the folks at Pro Football Focus have given him the fourth-highest grade among 2013 first-round picks through the first six weeks.
New York Jets 3-4 defensive end Sheldon Richardson, Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and San Diego Chargers right tackle D.J. Fluker are the only rookies to grade higher than Frederick, who is ranked seventh among NFL centers and first when it comes to run blocking efficiency.
According to the PFF grade book, Cowboys starting offensive linemen received the four highest grades on the offensive side of the ball against Washington. Right tackle Doug Free led the way with Frederick second, left guard Ron Leary third and right guard Brian Waters fourth. Left tackle Tyron Smith was 11th among the team’s offensive players.
Other offensive grades …
Tony Romo received the Dallas Cowboys’ lowest individual grade and his worst of the season for his performance against Washington. Romo completed 18 of 30 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. PFF has Romo currently ranked seventh among quarterbacks, trailing Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford.
Dez Bryant is ninth among receivers. Dallas rookie Terrance Williams is 77th and Miles Austin is 84th.
Doug Free remains No. 1 among all offensive tackles. Tyron Smith is 22nd. Brian Waters is 11th among guards and Ron Leary is 33rd.
Dan Bailey is third among kickers and Dwayne Harris moved up to seventh among kick returners.
Over to the Texas-2 defense …
Second-year Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III received his worst grade of his NFL career on Sunday. Griffin only received one negative grade during his standout rookie season. He has received three negative grades already this year.
According to PFF, DeMarcus Ware is second among 4-3 defensive ends, trailing only St. Louis’ Robert Quinn. George Selvie is 20th.
Ware is first in run stop percentage and fourth in pass rush productivity.
Jason Hatcher, who received his highest grade of the season on Sunday, is fourth among defensive tackles. Tampa Bay’s Gerald McCoy, New York Jets’ Damon Harrison and Seattle’s Brandon Mebane are ahead of him.
Sean Lee has moved up to seventh among inside linebackers. Carolina’s Luke Kuechly holds the top spot. Lee is second in tackling efficiency but 22nd in pass coverage.
Barry Church, who was in the top five safeties a couple of weeks ago, has fallen to 23rd.
Brandon Carr is 14th among corners. Orlando Scandrick is 65th and Morris Claiborne is 95th. Former Cowboy Terence Newman — now in Cincinnati — is 12th.
Scandrick is fifth when the grades focus just on slot coverage.
Carr was thrown at 12 times Sunday, allowing only four catches for 55 yards. Pierre Garcon was targeted 15 times Sunday and Carr was defending on 10 of them. Garcon caught two of those passes for 29 yards.
Know the opponent …
With the Dallas Cowboys playing in Philadelphia Sunday, here’s a look at a few Eagles grades.
Left guard Evan Mathis is the highest graded offensive linemen in the NFL and running back LeSean McCoy is the league’s highest-graded running back.
Philadelphia’s top five defensive players: Defensive end Fletcher Cox, defensive end Cedric Thornton, outside linebacker Trent Cole, defensive lineman Vinny Curry and cornerback Brandon Boykin.
In the bag …
The Dallas Cowboys are at their best defensively when their line is causing problems for the opposing quarterback. Of Dallas’ 17 sacks this season, 12 have come in the team’s three victories and four of the other five came in the one-point loss in Kansas City.
Here’s the breakdown:
Week 1 vs. Giants, a 36-31 win: 3 sacks.
Week 2 at Chiefs, a 17-16 loss: 4 sacks. Week 3 vs. Rams, a 31-7 win: 6 sacks. Week 4 at Chargers, a 30-21 loss: 1 sack.
Week 5 vs. Broncos, a 51-48 loss: 0 sacks.
Week 6 vs. Redskins, a 31-16 win: 3 sacks.
IRVING, Texas– Jay Ratliff is no longer a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
The team ended the year-long suspense for the defensive tackle today, by officially terminating the contract of Ratliff, placing him on the failed physical list from Reserve/PUP (Physically Unable to Perform).
Ratliff has dealt with a groin injury since last year when he underwent sports hernia surgery. The defensive tackle reported to training camp and suffered a hamstring injury in the conditioning run. He stayed with the team through camp but was eventually placed on PUP. He was eligible to come off PUP this week, and while Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have stayed mum on the situation, the decision was made Wednesday afternoon to cut ties with eight-year veteran.
Ratliff made four straight Pro Bowls from 2008-11 and thrived in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme as a nose tackle. He played two years under Rob Ryan, including last year when he only played six games. Ratliff had just 25 sacks and no sacks in 2012.
In 2011, Ratliff signed a five-year extension that totaled out to $48.6 million. By cutting him now, the Cowboys will stop paying his $1.34 million base salary.
The majority of his $10.268 million cap charge will roll over into next year. However, the Cowboys will be free of all base salaries, including the $5.5 million for 2014.
In the least suspenseful announcement of the week so far, Dallas Cowboys kick returner Dwayne Harris was named NFC special teams player of the week.
It is the second time this year and the third time in his career that Harris has won the award.
The third-year receiver had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return against the Washington Redskins Sunday night. The punt return was the fifth-longest in team history and his second punt return for a touchdown. He finished the game with 109 punt return yards, seventh-most in team history.
The 90-yard kickoff return, to the 15-yard line to set up a touchdown that put the Cowboys ahead 21-9, was the 10th-longest in team history.
He finished the game with 222 combined return yards, fourth-most in team history.
He also had two tackles on special teams and leads the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in special teams tackles.
RELATED: Harris takes home NFC special teams award for 2nd time
IRVING, Texas – For the first time in 10 years and just the third time in franchise history, a Cowboys’ player has won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in a season.
To no surprise, Dwayne Harris won the weekly honor for his performance in Sunday’s 31-16 win over the Redskins. Harris’ 222 return yards outgained the Cowboys’ entire offense by nine yards.
His 86-yard punt return for a touchdown broke the game open in the second half and his 90-yard kickoff return led to another touchdown.
Back in Week 1, Harris won the award for his coverage skills in a win over the Giants. He had three tackles and was involved in a fumble recovery on the punt team. The last time a Cowboys player won this award twice in one season was Billy Cundiff in 2003, when he had two big games against the Giants, kicking a combined 11 field goals. Cowboys kicking coach Chris Boniol also won the award twice in the 1996 season, although the second award was for his performance occurred in the Wild Card win over Minnesota.
Along with this weekly award, Harris also achieved some milestones as well. He now has 623 punt return yards to move into ninth place in Cowboys history.
The 86-yard return was the fifth-longest in franchise history and he became just the third player in club history to have a 90-yard kickoff return without scoring a touchdown.
And his 222 total return yards ranked fourth in club history for a single-game. Mel Renfro holds the club record with 273 against Green Bay in 1964.