What Went Right in 2018
– Dallas looked to be in turmoil after Kevin Sumlin’s abrupt departure. However, the veteran coach Dan Reeves was able to right the ship and record the most wins from any coach in franchise history during a 16-game season.
– The quarterback tandem of James Franklin passed for 16 scores and just 1 interception all year. They also combined to add 600+ rushing yards and six scores.
– Jalen Richard and Austin Ekeler combined for over 2,400 yards from scrimmage and 21 scores.
– Dallas’ top two receivers weren’t even on the roster last year. Thomas was poised for an All-SFL season before his statistics suspiciously dropped off at the end of the year.
– Darius Latham had an All-SFL season, recording 14 sacks. Lewis Neal was also spectacular, recording four sacks despite only starting a handful of games.
– The secondary lead the league, recording 16 interceptions (two returned for scores). Second place was New York and Atlanta (14).
What Went Wrong in 2018
– Even though the team tied a franchise record for wins in a season, the Shooters were never really considered a contender for the title and entered round two as an underdog to New Orleans.
– Neither Franklin or RG3 established themselves as long term franchise starters. In-fact, despite making Franklin their opening day starter – Dallas opted to go with Griffin in round two of the playoffs.
– The running game slouched at the end of the year
– Richie Incognito, Alejnardo Villanueva, Ronald Leary, Jahri Evans, SirVincent Rogers and Spencer Drango were straight up owned by New Orleans’ Freddie Bishop, Brent Urban, Willie McGinnis and David Bass in all three matchups. Incognito was quoted after the playoff elimination “I mean, when you look at what those guys did in the Arena Football League, it’s really intimidating. They spend their offseasons working for moving companies and it shows. They were just too much for us when it counted.”
– Ja’Gared Davis and Jackson Jeffcoat failed to record sacks.
– LaDarius Gunter and Kenneth Acker struggled to stay healthy throughout the year.
– The Shooters struggled with kickers throughout the year. Anthony Fera went 11/16 while serving as the team’s kicker and punter. Dallas was forced to trade several picks for Blair Walsh, who was also fairly inconsistent – finishing 22/28.
– Despite investing in its offensive line, they only had two linemen rate out in the top 20. (Villanueva, 4th), (Rogers, 18th), (Drango, 21st), (Leary, 22nd), (Incognito, 39th). Seattle’s Willie Colon and D’Anthony Batiste finished 1st and 2nd. Davin Joseph was also in the top 10.
– Dan Reeves confirmed he will not be returning for a 2nd season. “This was a last hurrah for me. I was glad to step in when the organization was in need, but it’s time for them to find someone with a little more tread left on the tires.”
– Rumored head coach candidates include: Tim Rattay, Jason Maas, Mack Brown, Carlos Polk, Danny White, Butch Davis, Norv Turner, Marc Trestman and Michael O’Shea.
– Richie Incognito and Julius Thomas have been vocal about their intended retirement this offseason.
– Pending free agents include: RB Jalen Richard, WR Kendall Wright, TE Cole Wick, G Jahri Evans, G Ronald Leary, DE Ja’Gared Davis, DT Darius Latham, DT Drake Nevis, LB Zaire Anderson, LB Victor Butler, LB Rolando McClain, LB Taylor Reed, CB Kenneth Acker, CB DeANdre Elliott, CB LaDarius Gunter, CB Mike Jenkins, S Anthony Harris, S Jeff Heath and K Blaire Walsh.
– The team will see 350k of its 950k cap penalties wiped out.
– Dallas currently has three 1st round picks (Dallas, Houston and Birmingham), one 5th (Minnesota), one 6th (Iowa) and an 8th (Dallas).
– Dallas’ territorial draft picks were T Joseph Noteboom (TCU), T Matt Pryor (TCU), DE Justin Lawler (SMU), WR Trey Quinn (SMU) and WR Carl Whitley (ACU).