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Thread: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

  
  1. #16
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!
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  2. #17
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Think Jerry Jones is an unemotional robot? Think again. I know a lot of people hate Jones because he fired Jimmy Johnson at the height of the Cowboys success in the 1990's. The fact is both men were responsible for the split. I know this grates on people who revere Johnson and hate Jones but, if you explore the facts, it's true. Nothing could illustrate that more than a comment made by Troy Aikman on the parting of ways of Johnson from the Cowboys from an interview he did when Emmitt Smith was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Aikman said, very candidly, that the team was pissed off at both guys because they refused to do what they asked the players to do and that was sacrifice their ego for the good of the team. The fact is Jimmy was probably more to blame than Jerry for their rift. The problem with Jerry was he tried for ten years to show he didn't need Jimmy to win in Dallas. There was that ego thing again. Now, some of the things Jerry did were in an attempt to win one more Super Bowl for the triplets but shortly after trading away 1st round draft picks in back to back seasons to get WR Joey Galloway it all fell apart. Michael Irvin went down in Philly and his career was over after nearly becoming permanently paralyzed because of spinal stenosis. A condition that ended Irvin's career. Joey Galloway tore his ACL and never played again and Troy Aikman had to retire because of repeated concussions. That was the end of the dynasty of the Nineties. Without any first round draft picks new head coach Dave Campo had a roster full of has-beens and never-would-be's. Three straight 5-11 seasons later Campo was shown the door and a humiliated Jerry Jones finally swallowed his pride and hired Bill Parcells. Parcells lasted 4 years in Dallas. Many believed Parcells wouldn't last a single season as both men have big egos but to everyone's surprise Jones and Parcells became friends and their working relationship was excellent. Jones recognized that he needed a good head coach and he supported Parcells' requests for free agent signings and Parcells had a huge say in the Cowboys drafts. In the end the, at the time 62 year old Parcells, quit after a bitter loss in the playoffs to Seattle mainly on a poor spot on a Jason Witten reception at the goal line and the subsequent fumble of the snap on a potential game winning field goal by Tony Romo was just too much for him to bear and he resigned from the Cowboys a few weeks later. Parcells legacy with the Cowboys is significant as he brought in two Ring of Honor and at least one Hall of Fame player to the Cowboys in Tony Romo and Jason Witten. Wade Phillips succeeded Parcells and he did okay for one season. It appeared Phillips was a good hire but Phillips' history as a head coach in the NFL had been disappointing. One good season followed by decline in subsequent years is what Phillips had done in the past and it is what happened to him in Dallas. After a shellacking by Green Bay in Week 8 of the 2010 season when it appeared the team quit on him he was fired in what was a totally uncharacteristic move by Jones. That should tell you how serious the Cowboys situation was under Phillips. Jones installed Jason Garrett as interim head coach and Garrett took a team that was 1-7 to a closing 5-3 record. Jones hired Garrett as the team's 8th head coach in January of 2011 and he remains head coach at present despite many people who wanted Garrett fired after 3 straight 8-8 seasons. Jones stuck to his guns and has stood behind Garrett through thick and thin. Jones isn't the liability at GM he once was partly because he has learned from past mistakes and partly because his Cowboys heir apparent and oldest son Stephen Jones seems to have a better sense of what needs to be done. The Cowboys also have what is considered an uber judge of talent in player personnel guy Will McClay. It hasn't hurt that Jason Garrett had a vision on how he wanted to build the Cowboys "program" and every single season Garrett has been head coach the talent on the team has gotten appreciably better. Since 2011 Dallas has used 3 first round picks on their O-line and now it is considered one of the best in the NFL. The other two draft picks were both cornerbacks. One, Morris Claiborne, who Dallas traded up from #14 to #6 in the 2012 draft to get has been a bust. Not because he has been a lousy player but because he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Dallas could resign Claiborne this spring if the Cowboys can get him for a more team friendly salary number. The other CB was last year's 1st round pick out of UConn, Byron Jones. Jones has all the earmarks of being a mainstay in the Cowboys secondary for years. The only problem is Dallas doesn't seem to know what the best place to use him because he has been very good at both cornerback and safety. Right now, it looks like he will be a safety but a lot of that depends on the status of the other players at the position, including Claiborne, who have contracts that need to be addressed this spring.
    I took the long way around to post a link but I like Jerry. I think he's a good owner. It can and probably should be argued that he's not a great GM but he's gotten better. Almost every player who has played for him loves Jerry because he genuinely cares about the players and people in general. Jerry is obnoxious and he likes the spotlight a little too much for most people's taste but he's a good person. His heart and humanity are a big part of what makes Jerry, Jerry. In the article linked below from the Bleacher Report it talks about Jerry in a different light than maybe anyone has before. There is also a link in the article to an interview done by Joe Buck on his show, "Undeniable" on the Audience Channel. Give this a look and let me know if you don't change your mind about Jerry, even if it's just a little bit.

    http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dall...003a12fa3e0df0

  3. #18
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    Cowboys fans who are hoping Dallas addresses their poor QB depth problem will be interested to know that RGIII has passed his exit physical for the Washington Redskins. This opens the door for his release. Griffin has never really been a favorite of Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and because of injury and a rift between him and the Redskins front office and Mike Shanahan, the head coach prior to Gruden Griffin has fallen out of favor in the DC area. Kirk Cousins, who was drafted in the same draft as Griffin in 2012. Griffin was selected with the 2nd pick overall when Washington traded a butt-load of draft picks to move up to take Griffin with the St Louis Rams. Later, in the 4th round the Redskins took Cousins as an insurance policy in case Griffin was hurt. I think this illustrates that a good QB can be had later in the draft if you do your homework. In the last couple of years Griffin has had to eat a big old poop sandwich under the Jay Gruden regime. He was reduced to playing safety on the Redskins scout team during the season last year and he was inactive in every single game being relegated to 3rd string QB behind Cousins and Colt McCoy. It's possible that big dose of humble pie has made Griffin a better player and a better team mate. If Washington does release Griffin many people feel that Dallas is prime location for him to end up. If he does end up in Dallas it would make it less urgent for the Cowboys to use the 4th pick in the draft on a QB.

    Free agency may be a way for Dallas to fill a need at running back. Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin is a free agent and could be available if he comes at the right price. Martin has been in the NFL since he was drafted with the 31st pick in the 2012 draft. In 2013 and 2014 big chunks of those seasons were cut short due to injury. Prior to the 2015 season Tampa declined to exercise the 5th year option which is why he is a free agent now. In his rookie season he broke out gaining 1454 yards rushing with another 472 yards receiving while scoring 12 TDs. In 2015 Martin bounced back from his two injury shortened seasons by gaining 1402 yards, good for 2nd overall in the NFL adding another 272 yards receiving. Tampa is leaning towards a pass-first offense behind last year's first overall pick, Jameis Winston. Martin would be a great fit in Dallas as they try to rekindle the run first offense that made them so successful in 2014 with DeMarco Murray. Martin is 27 and has at least 3 more prime years left and the Cowboys best option is currently 28 year old Darren McFadden who will turn 29 before the 2016 season begins. Last season was only second Joseph Randall who lost his job to personal problems on and off the field. McFadden had a nice year but there were yards left on the field IMO. Martin is slightly younger and seems to have a much bigger upside than McFadden.

  4. #19
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The deficiencies on the defense are pretty clear. The need to sign their own free agents like Mo Claiborne and Rolando McClain. The need to get over Brandon Carr's $9.1MM salary for 2016. If these things don't happen Dallas will be in even bigger trouble than ever. The word is the Greg Hardy experiment is over. For the money the Cowboys paid him they didn't get their money's worth especially considering the PR nightmare they had to endure. Now, with the suspension of Randy Gregory the spotlight on defense gets down right gets pretty intense.
    I was hoping that Dallas would take LB Myles Jack but there are a lot of clouds hanging over him. His injury, a torn meniscus, is a serious one and there is no guarantee he can make a significant contribution this coming season. He won't be healthy enough to do anything at the Scouting Combine this coming week. The Cowboys need to sign Rolando McClain but they can't give him a long term deal because of his own drug and personal issues. He's a guy who is one more failed drug test away from being suspended for a full year. There is nothing that gives you any confidence that he won't screw up tomorrow. Dallas will have to give him a one year deal with incentives. From a business perspective they can't do anything else. Dallas may need to target Joey Bosa, the defensive end from Ohio State. He is supposed to be the best player in the draft. Maybe, maybe not. He may be the best option for Dallas in the draft. Let's take a look and see if Dallas even has a shot at Bosa.
    With the first pick Tennessee, according to NFL.com, is likely to take an offensive tackle. The Titans certainly do need to upgrade their O-line to protect their No 1 pick from last year, Marcus Mariota. Failure to protect Mariota last season cost the Titans their starting QB significant time because of different injuries. The No 2 pick goes to Cleveland and they will be taking a QB, no doubt about it, because they are done with Johnny Manziel and I can't say I blame they. Carson Wentz or Jared Goff will likely be a Brown next season. With the 3rd pick is San Diego and again, according to NFL.com, they need help along the defensive line. Joey Bosa is likely to be gone.
    What kind of crap for luck is Dallas riding. There isn't a sure fire, can't miss, QB worth using the 4th pick on. The best LB in the draft class is coming off a career threatening injury and the best defensive player in the draft is going one pick before the Cowboys can grab him. Even when you get to draft a franchise impacting player they just aren't available. Dammit!!! It may make the most sense to trade down and get some extra draft picks. Stock up with quantity as long as they are quality. I have trust in their player evaluation which is saying something because at one time I wouldn't have. Remember the 2009 draft? Dallas had 12 picks and not one was worth a darn and not one is still in the NFL.
    It's a different group in the Cowboys player personnel department and you never know what will happen in the free agency period. Damn being a fan is hard.

  5. #20
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Here's a name you may not have heard before, DeForest Buckner. This kid is a defensive lineman out of Oregon who Mike Mayock deemed potentially franchise changing in his ability. He has been projected as a top 10 talent in many mocks and looks like a guy I'd would not moan and groan over if the Cowboys draft him at #4. As a physical specimen he's 6'8" and 295 lbs and, as Mayock described him, has a Reggie White hump move that's friggin awesome. Mayock says Buckner can play anywhere up and down the D-line so what's to say he can't play right defensive end and move DeMarcus Lawrence, who came on strong in the last half of last season, to left end? Or keep him at tackle where the Cowboys need help desperately? I'll tell you, if this guy is THAT good he has a home in Dallas as far as I'm concerned.

    The Scouting Combine begins this week. On Wednesday to be exact. The NFL Channel will be covering the combine beginning Wednesday with press conferences beginning at 11 am. Thursday continues with more press conferences. The on-field work will begin coverage on Friday.

  6. #21
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The Cowboys have replaced a coach who departed for a different job and slightly restructured their staff's duties and they have created a position on the defensive side of the ball titled Passing Game Coordinator. LB coach Matt Eberflus has added this title to his resume. His job will be to tie together the linebackers and DB's to make a more cohesive pass defense. There were at least two games, New Orleans and Buffalo, where there were major breakdowns between the back seven in coverage that led to loses late in games. Maybe this will help iron out some of those problems.

    Stephen Jones met with reporters today at the NFL Scouting Combine and he addressed several issues including whether or not Dallas will be players in free agency. Jones said the Cowboys don't like to depend on free agency too much because after all is said and done good players end up getting paid like great players and average players end up getting paid like good players. Jones said the ideal way to build a team is through the draft and they don't like to overpay for free agents. You could point out that Dallas did just that last year at this time when they signed problem child Greg Hardy because they were desperate to upgrade their pass rush. With the Rams releasing MIKE LB James Lauranaitis this week as part of salary cap reduction moves because the Rams will have to save some money as they relocate to Los Angeles. Seriously, that's not likely the reason they released 3 players who counted roughly 30% of their team salary. Lauranaitis would be a nice addition though because current MIKE LB Rolando McClain is a free agent too but Dallas would be stupid to give a guy like him a long term deal considering he's one failed drug test away from a year's suspension. Launanaitis is a solid citizen that has just had an issue or two with injury but not substance abuse. He is also only 28 years old which means a 5 year deal would not be a reach.

    Remember Joseph Randle? You know, the RB that was supposed to assume the lead back role last season? Dallas cut ties with him by Week 4 when he refused to reenter a game. He had already had problems. He was arrested in 2014 when he shoplifted some items from a Dallas area store. He got in more trouble last year when he had an incident involving is baby's mother and their child in a parking lot in Kansas City involving a gun. Now, according to Bleacher Report Randle is unable to pay for a lawyer or bail after yet another run in with the law. In his 3 year pro football career Randle earned $1.3MM dollars. He has been arrested on 3 counts of battery and possession of drugs. Randle had the chance to be the #1 back in Dallas and he could have written his ticket in the Metroplex if he had been successful but he has thrown it all away. It's kind of sad to see someone flush his future down the toilet like this.

    So, Tony Romo has been rumored to have another surgery on his pesky collar bone. The story I heard is that Romo's collar bone may need a plate installed to help support it better so he will have less of a chance of another break. That story is false by all accounts, Romo doesn't need a plate installed. What he has been waiting for is his collar bone to completely heal. When that happens he will go under the knife again but this time the doctor will need to grind some of the healed bone. The reason for that is because the break was close to the shoulder joint and when a broken bone heals he is actually bigger at the break location and also the bone is much stronger than before. Because it is near the shoulder joint the new size of the bone won't allow the joint to give like it is supposed to which, if nothing is done, could result in another break in a new location or shoulder problem. Either way Romo will be sidelined yet again which, as we saw last season, is not a good thing for the Cowboys at all. Romo is scheduled to have x-rays on his collar bone after the scouting combine. The bone has to be completely healed before the doctors shave on it to fit the socket correctly or they will do more damage than good. The good thing is once it's done Romo will be ready to go when OTA's begin in May, if not then, but certainly by training camp in July. The hope is, like Mike and Mike say, he will be back and better than ever.

  7. #22
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    There is a website called fanspeak.com that allows you to be the GM of any team you choose and complete a mock draft of your own. I have posted a link to the site below that will take you to their On the Clock page where you can choose from a menu of draft ranking sites that include CBSSports.com, Walter Football, Fanspeak's own player ranking board as well as others. You decide how many rounds your mock will cover and then you can get started. They have a premium upgrade that allows you to trade up or down in a round and other features but I haven't done that. I have done a mock for the Cowboys pre-combine and I did a mock for the Texans. Dallas has a total of 9 draft picks. They have a pick in rounds 1-4 and a pick in round 6. They also have a compensatory pick in round 4 (No 38 pick in the round and No 137 overall) and they have 3 in the 6th (No 34/212, 38/216 and 39/217 in the round/overall).

    http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/

    Here is the results from my mock draft. I went heavy on defense taking 6 of the Cowboys 9 picks on that side of the ball. You are welcome to rip my draft or post your own. This one is my pre combine mock and I figure to post on a week until the draft. It's an opportunity to have some fun ripping my mock or posting your own and letting us rip yours or, heaven forbid, compliment the draft! Lots of opportunities for discussion here. I will post my Texans mock on the off season thread I have going for them.

    4: R1P4
    DE DEFOREST BUCKNER
    OREGON

    34: R2P3
    DT SHELDON RANKINS
    LOUISVILLE

    67: R3P4
    WR BRAXTON MILLER
    OHIO STATE

    102: R4P3
    TE NICK VANNETT
    OHIO STATE

    137: R4P38
    CB ERIC MURRAY
    MINNESOTA

    192: R6P14
    G REES ODHIAMBO
    BOISE STATE

    212: R6P34
    CB DONTE DEAYON
    BOISE STATE

    216: R6P38
    DE ANTHONY ZETTEL
    PENN STATE

    217: R6P39
    OLB ANTWIONE WILLIAMS
    GEORGIA SOUTHERN

  8. #23
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Yesterday, all 32 NFL teams announced their unused salary carryover amounts to the 2016 season. These carryovers are not a standardized amount but rather an amount determined by teams from the unspent portions of their 2015 salary caps.

    Under the current CBA, Clubs have minimum cash spending requirements. For the years 2013-2016, Clubs are required to spend an average of 89% of the Salary Cap over the four-year period. League-wide, Clubs must spend an average of 95% of the Salary Cap over the four-year period. - excerpt from an article in The Bleacher Report.

    That's a little confusing but I take that to mean individual teams must spend 89% of their cap money but the whole NFL is required to spend 95% of their cap money. This actually means the union wanted a guarantee that their players would be paid and owners could low ball their salary cap and pocket the rest. This is an effort for players to get paid which they deserve considering the beating they take in their sport.

    At any rate the teams can carry over any unused portion of the salary cap to the next season but they are not required to carry over all of that shortfall. In fact, The Broncos, Rams and Saints did not carry over all they were eligible to carry over. The smallest carryover was by the Seahawks which was $11,587.00 while the biggest carry over was $32,774,928 by the Jaguars. This carry over increases the posted salary cap for the next season by the amount carried over. Say, for example, the salary cap was $100MM, that plus the carry over would mean Jax would have $132MM to spend. To think that this would enable the Jags to jump into free agency with both feet is an understatement because, at some point, they will HAVE to spend at least 89% of that amount for face sanctions by the union for violations of the collective bargaining agreement.

    As for the Cowboys, they will carry over $3,571,239. Another good thing about the Cowboys salary cap is this will be the first year since 2006 Miles Austin hasn't figured into the Cowboys salary cap. This despite Austin not being a member of the Cowboys since 2013. The Cowboys still had dead money associated with Austin's 2010 contract extension that was a 6-year $57MM deal that Dallas continued to pay for through last season. For the first time is God knows how long the Cowboys are not in salary cap hell. They still have dead money on the books but so do all NFL teams when you consider contracts signed with players who are signed to replace and injured player or be on the practice squad or what have you. The Cowboys total dead money pool comes to just under $1MM which is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    Can Dallas be players in free agency? You bet but, as Stephen Jones said earlier this week, the Cowboys don't like free agency because you invariably over pay for players. But, a guy like LB James Laurinaitis could be a long term solution at middle LB and a much less risky move than depending on Rolando McClain who is definitely a risky player to depend upon. The question being about Laurinaitis is his health. If that isn't an issue I can't see why Dallas wouldn't prefer him over McClain.

    That gives me an idea......more on that later.

  9. #24
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Jerry Jones likes to take advantage of value when it's available. He took Dez Bryant when he dropped down to the mid twenties after he was suspended in his last year of college because he lied about meeting with Deion Sanders. He took advantage of Sean Lee recovering from an ACL injury he suffered at Penn State and he was able to get him in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft. As recently as last year Jerry saw an opportunity to take a chance on Randy Gregory when he fell into the 2nd round after testing positive for banned substances at last year's NFL Scouting Combine. Jerry also hit the jackpot on getting La'el Collins as an undrafted free agent when he was associated with a murder investigation of a female friend. The incident scared off every si ngle NFL team, including Dallas, from even drafting him. Collins was just someone who was interviewed in the case and he was cleared of any wrong-doing but it was too late to help him in the draft. But, there was Jerry, the old salesman, who wooed Collins into signing with Dallas giving the Cowboys 3 players who were considered first round talent in last year's draft. The third guy was CB Byron Jones who is looking like a real keeper. Collins too has shown himself to be a good player. The jury is still out on Gregory and he hasn't done himself any favors by getting himself suspended the first 4 games of the coming season for failing drug tests. I don't thing anyone questions his talent or ability to play at a high level in the NFL but he needs to prioritize was is important to him because if smoking weed is the most important thing in his life he won't last long in Dallas or the NFL. The whole point here is this, there is a player who is right up Jones' alley and that is Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith. Smith was considered a top ten talent heading toward the 2016 draft. That is until he blew up his knee in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1st. Smith tore his ACL and MCL and suffered nerve damage in both his ankle and knee. The thinking is he won't be able to play football until 2017. Am I right? Isn't this prime Jerry Jones territory? I could easily see the Cowboys taking a flyer on Smith especially if he should drop into the 3rd or 4th round of the draft. There is another player who could drop as well. Myles Jack out of UCLA. He's also coming off a serious knee injury, a torn meniscus, and the thinking is he could fall like a rock in the draft because of uncertainty of his health. He is not doing much at all at the combine but I would imagine he will try to do something at his UCLA pro day. With this knowledge in hand Dallas could resign Rolando McClain to a one year deal as a buffer to allow one (or both, I'm greedy) players a year to get completely well. That would allow Dallas to take a Joey Bosa or a DeForest Buckner with the #4 pick and grab a QB in the second round. If the opportunity exists, take Jack in the 2nd and if at all possible take Smith in the third. It would be the 2nd year in a row Dallas would get 3 first round ranked players in the draft. Yes, I know. The likelihood of this happening is slim to none but you can dream can't you?

  10. #25
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The combine is over and they stories are pretty much confirmed about what people suspected going in. No major surprises as there weren't any guys who just blew people away the way Byron Jones did last year when he set world record for the broad jump and he had a an unreal vertical jump. It was this combine workout and contributed to the Cowboys deciding to take Jones in the 1st round last year. I would submit these few players that Dallas could certainly use.
    1. Darron Lee (LB - Ohio State) - This guy is listed as a linebacker but he's got the speed and agility to play safety. He clocked a 4.47 40, a 35-1/2" vertical and an 11 foot broad jump and he displayed a lot of athleticism and agility. He is 6'1" and 232 lbs. With his skill set and measurables he reminds me of another hybrib linebacker from Arizona State and Cowboys Ring of Honor player, Darren Woodson. Dallas drafted Woodson in the 1992 draft and he spent 11 years anchoring the Cowboys secondary. Lee won't be the 4th pick in the draft but he is someone Dallas should really consider if he falls to the 2nd round considering the Cowboys have had a bitch of a time replacing Woody since he retired in 2004.
    2. Robert Nkemdiche (DT - Mississippi State) - Size, speed, power, this guy seems to have it all. Again, like Lee, he likely won't fall into the second round unless his off field issue with an incident at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead where he fell out of a 4th floor window in his room. Authorities found 7 marijuana cigarettes in his room after the incident and he was charged with possession. Nkemdiche was found conscious and stable when police arrived on the scene and he treated and released at a local hospital. It is speculated the incident, which happened on December 12, 2015, is likely to cause his draft stock to fall.
    3. Kamalei Correa (LB - Boise State) - Dallas has a history in the last few years of selecting players from Boise State. Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence have all been drafted by Dallas in recent years and all have played a vital role for the Cowboys. Orlando Scandrick was the Cowboys best CB going into last year until he tore his ACL in training camp. Crawford was limited last year by a rotator cuff injury he suffered in Week 2 against Philly. He also lost a year in 2013 when he tore his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp. When healthy Crawford is expected to make big difference at the 3 technique for the Cowboys. Lawrence hurt his foot in training camp of his rookie year in 2014 and it took him a while to get going which limited his production at left defensive end that season. In 2015 after Dallas signed Greg Hardy and drafted Randy Gregory Lawrence was moved to right defensive end and in the last half of last season a light seemed to on for Lawrence and he ended up being the team leader in sacks with 8 sacks. Correa is a player who could come in a help the defense at linebacker right away.
    4. Will Fuller (WR - Notre Dame) - The guy is fast, 4.3-40 fast, but he came into the combine with questions about how good his hands were. At the combine he showed he can catch the ball. Dallas needs a guy who can take the top off the defense. I'm sorry but Devon Street, Brice Butler and Rod Smith are not the answer. The problem is, will Fuller last into the 2nd round? Probably not. In a perfect world Dallas would have all 9 of their draft picks in the 1st and 2nd rounds. This is not a perfect world and Dallas will have some hard decisions to make in the second round. Ideally, Dallas would trade down and get an extra 2nd and possibly a 3rd rounder so somebody who wants a QB can move up. Damn, this GM thing is harder than it looks!
    5. Dak Prescott - (QB - Mississippi State) - After the big three of Goff, Wentz and Lynch Prescott is the next man up and he didn't anything but help himself at the combine. He seems to have excellent leadership skills and talent enough to play well at the next level. If he's available in the 2nd round Dallas could much worse by drafting him. Especially if Dallas does trade down and get an extra 2nd rounder. It would be sweet to pick up an impact defensive player AND your future QB in the same round.
    6. Kenyon Drake - (RB - Alabama) - Drake has been living in the shadow of Derrick Henry but he showed some scouts that he's a player at the combine. He showed speed (4.4-40 time), he showed athleticism, power and agility in the positional drills and he showed the ability to be an effective receiver. At 6'1" and 210 lbs he's not just a 3rd down back. You have to hope some of these players fall into the 3rd or 4th rounds so Dallas has a chance to get them. With Drake the 3rd round is remotely possible but not likely.

    The biggest loser at the combine is Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith because according to NFL.com several scouts familiar with his physical results say his knee that he hurt (torn ACL and MCL) in the Fiesta Bowl this year is "bad". Meaning that knee is really effed up and reports of his not being available until 2017 appear to be accurate. If he knee is really messed up it could actually mean it's career threatening. That said, this could be a good thing for Dallas if they do well in the first 2-3 rounds AND Smith falls to the 4th it would be a prime time to take him. If he was healthy he would be in the conversation as the best player in this year's draft but as it stands his prognosis for 2016 isn't good.

    Good news! The Cowboys are finally is a reasonably good position salary cap wise going into free agency and the draft. The Cowboys have around $14MM in free cap money available and they could get that figure higher if they decide to restructure a contract or two. It's the best shape they have been in a long time which means that if there is a free agent they see could help them they have funds to get into the conversation of signing one or two guys without screwing them up.

    Just to throw a monkey in the wrench, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said that Carson Wentz is the best QB in this draft and an upside equivalent to Andrew Luck when he came out of Stanford. Mayock continued be saying Wentz isn't ready from Day 1 to play in the NFL but his ceiling is akin to Luck's. Mayock points out that Wentz is as tall as Luck, as fast if not faster than luck, arm strength is equal to Luck, Wentz is more athletic than Luck. In fact, the only downside to Wentz is that he played at an FCS school and hasn't seen the level of competition that Luck did at Stanford. You can point out that Wentz excelled at the FCS level winning back to back FCS National Championships. Again, this GM thing is really, really harder than it looks.

  11. #26
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    I saw an article on Bleacher Report that bothered me and I hope to God it isn't true. The article said that the Cowboys will release CB Brandon Carr and, this is the sickening part, they are considering signing Adam "Pacman" Jones who is a free agent, to fill his spot. The Cowboys have already gone down that Pacman road and it resulted in a train wreck. Everyone pisses and moans about Carr's contract but fail to accept the fact that Carr is a high quality individual who hasn't missed a game since he was signed by the Cowboys in 2012. Not only has he been dependable he's been pretty darn good. The bugaboo about him is that contract he signed with Dallas which was a 5 year $50.1MM deal with a $26MM signing bonus. It was a steep price to pay but Dallas was hurting at CB and Carr was part of defensive secondary in Kansas City that was pretty darn good. Carr is better in man coverage than zone and in Rod Marinelli's defense and he has been a good player for the Cowboys. It's just that contract. The contract make expectations go way up. If he made 3 or 4 million a year nobody would sweat his deal. It's similar to the dissatisfaction people have with Mo Claiborne because he was the 6th player in the 2012 draft and because he has struggled with injuries he is considered a bust. Personally, I would have no problem offering Claiborne a new deal and I have no problem with Carr's deal. Jerry had no problem with it last year, why sweat it now? The upside to Carr is way better than anyone else you can sign in free agency, especially Pacman Jones. In Carr you have a guy who shows up. He hasn't missed a game in his NFL career which began in 2008. You have a good player who has been rock solid in coverage. You have a quality individual off the field as well. Now, if the Cowboys strike a deal for an extension which would allow Dallas some cap room by lowering his base salary, cool. I'm all in but I don't want the Cowboys to lose a good player and good locker room guy because of salary especially since the Cowboys are finally out of salary cap prison for the first time in a very long time. One last thing on this. The Cowboys aren't going after Jones anyway. Forget what a dumpster fire the guy was in Dallas, Jones is going to be 33 in September while Carr will turn 30 in May. This is Carr's last year of his contract. If Dallas gives him a two or three year extension they could probably get a hometown deal with Carr and he would be under contract until he's Pacman's age. CB's can play into their low 30's. There are some who last even longer. But, Carr is still in his prime and he's a guy Dallas should want to keep. If the Cowboys intend to draft Jalen Ramsey then maybe they let Mo Claiborne walk but if Dallas want's a defensive lineman like Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner then resigning Claiborne makes sense if they don't have to pay an arm or leg to do it. Claiborne isn't the main issue here, it is Carr. Dallas needs to keep Carr and the Cowboys should be thinking the same thing IMHO.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 03-03-2016 at 06:32 AM.

  12. #27
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    As a follow up to yesterday's post, NFL.com has an article that reports that NFL insider Ian Rappaport is saying that the Cowboys will let Brandon Carr go on Monday. All told, Carr was going to count $13MM or so against the Cowboys salary cap. They will save around $6.3MM in cap space but they will be saddled with $7.4MM in dead money. That's $7.4 MILLION dollars. Money Dallas will, in effect, spend without a dime in return in either service or with a player under contract. Do the Cowboys really resent Carr's salary that much? It seems like a person cutting off their nose to spite their face. Rappaport is rarely wrong but there is a lot of time between now and Monday where Carr and the Cowboys could reach a compromise. Carr is one of those guys who seems to fit Jason Garrett's "right kind of guy" mold both on and off the field. I would assert that Dallas should negotiate a contract extension for 2 or 3 years with a big signing bonus. His cap hit would go down, you'd have a dependable, standup guy for 3 years at a much lower cap hit (which is what you wanted in the first place) and you get some value out of that $7.4MM. The only downfall of this scenario is if Carr and/or the Cowboys can't agree to a number. I sure hope Rappaport is wrong and cooler heads prevail in this situation. A move like this would tell me Dallas is seriously looking at drafting Jalen Ramsey out of Florida State with the 4th pick in the upcoming draft. Even so, it's still a lot of cash to just piss away. (Hey Jerry, if you are in that giving a mood I know a guy right here on BigRedInsider.com who could use that $7.4 Mil and he would get a LOT of value out of it. Whaddaya say, Jerry? Can you hook a fella up?)

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...dallas-cowboys

    Speaking of the upcoming draft, here is my post combine mock draft done on the On The Clock feature on fanspeak.com. Seeing what I'm seeing about Brandon Carr I know who my first pick will be!

    4: R1P4
    S JALEN RAMSEY
    FLORIDA STATE

    34: R2P3
    OLB DARRON LEE
    OHIO STATE

    67: R3P4
    WR BRAXTON MILLER
    OHIO STATE

    102: R4P3
    DT SHELDON DAY
    NOTRE DAME

    137: R4P38
    WR STERLING SHEPARD
    OKLAHOMA

    192: R6P14
    DT D.J. READER
    CLEMSON

    212: R6P34
    OLB ANTWIONE WILLIAMS
    GEORGIA SOUTHERN

    216: R6P38
    G ISAAC SEUMALO
    OREGON STATE

    217: R6P39
    ILB JARED NORRIS
    UTAH

    I have done a lot of these mocks other than the one I posted last week and today but this is, by far, my favorite draft. If I had know that Darron Lee was going to be there in the 2nd round I would have picked Bosa or Buchner, probably Buckner, in the 1st round. My thinking in the pick for Lee was the fact that I see a Darren Woodson type player. Both were hybrid linebackers in college. Lee went to Ohio State and Woodson to Arizona State. Both are a little small to play LB in the NFL but both have great athleticism and can cover. I would see Lee at SS and Ramsey at FS in this scenario with last year's #1 pick Byron Jones sticking at CB.
    I looked at the Cowboys WR depth chart and I saw some throw aways in Brice Butler, Devon Street, Vince Mayle, Rodney Smith and even Lucky Whitehead when I looked at the opportunity to get guys with speed and play making ability. So that's why I took Braxton Miller in the 3rd and I couldn't believe my luck when Sterling Shepard was there at the end of the 4th. I had to pass on Shepard at the top of the 4th rd because I hadn't addressed the D-line at all and Alabama DT Sheldon Day was the top ranked player on the board at the time. In the 6th round I hit on the players highest ranked at that point in the draft as means to build depth. DT was addressed when I got Clemson's DJ Reader, I got O-line help in the form of Oregon State's Isaac Seumalo and I added LB depth with Georgia Southern's Antwione Williams and Utah's Jared Norris.
    We'll see how the mock changes next week after free agency begins. Will Dallas be active, or not? We'll see when we see it I guess.

  13. #28
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Holy Toledo, wrangler! Stuff keeps happening but it seems deathly quiet around Valley Ranch. The 3 biggest Cowboys stories of the day involve players who aren't even on the Cowboys payroll. I will list them in order of their importance beginning with the least impactful one first.
    1. The Washington Redskins didn't just cut ties with RGIII, they also cut veteran DT and former Cowboys Jason Hatcher. Hatcher left Dallas after the 2013 season for some free agent money and now, just two years into his deal. He was scheduled to make $6MM this season so cutting the 34 year old DT is a salary cap move by Washington.
    2. Troubled former Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, who just got out of jail on bail after spending nine weeks in jail because he couldn't afford the $150K to get out of jail, was arrested again yesterday because he didn't show up to his scheduled court appearance. This dude is seriously effed up. He has got some serious issues that he absolutely can't cope with. I sort of feel sorry for him. A guy with a world of promise has thrown it all away and has fallen off the deep end. It really is sad.
    3. DeMarco Murray is no longer an Eagle. Just this evening he was traded to Tennessee. The full terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed but it is thought that he will not lose his $21MM in guaranteed money despite agreeing to restructure his contract to facilitate the deal.

    Despite not making any cuts today Dallas did make tender offers to two restricted free agents. G Ronald Leary was given a one year tender offer of $2.553MM. Also, S Jeff Heath was also tendered a one year qualifying offer of $1.671MM. None of the rest of the Cowboys free agents received an offer or were cut. Here's a list of all the Cowboys free agents and I'm sure you have your own opinion of who you would let walk and who you would like to sign.

    As for free agency, don't expect Dallas to be a big player in this first week. They generally wait and cherry pick certain players but they generally wait until the initial free agent frenzy calms down and, in turn, the salary demands calm down as well.

  14. #29
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    There have been conflicting reports of whether or not Tony Romo will have a minor surgery to shave down the broken area of his collar bone where the break occurred or if he will have a steel plate inserted on the collar bone to reinforce it so it doesn't break again. You can understand the concern since he's broken it 3 times now. The first time in 2010 against the Giants when LB Michael Boley came in untouched and smashed Romo into the turf. The second time was last season when the Eagles did pretty much the same thing. He rebroke it in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers ending his season. In the end Romo decided not have the plate inserted but, he elected to have what is known as Mumford surgery. This is a procedure in which a portion of Romo's collarbone is shaved down to help alleviate stress and irritation. His rehab will last 6-8 weeks and he is slated to be able to participate in all off season activities with the team. Oh, BTW, the surgery was successful and he has already begun his 6-8 weeks.

    Who knows if Dallas will be players in free agency when it begins today but there have been a couple of players linked to the Cowboys. A couple have not really been serious and one would be pretty nice if it were to happen. First, a few weeks ago the speculation began that RGIII would kicked to the curb by the Redskins (which has since happened) and the Cowboys were in the initial conversation but also early on that conversation has no real legs. In the past week the Carolina Panthers veteran defensive end Charles Johnson was making the rounds sniffing out possibilities. With the failure of the Greg Hardy deal and the pending suspension of DE Randy Gregory Dallas needs to fill that pass rushing defensive end need. Yesterday, it was reported that Johnson will resign with Carolina. Good for him, bad for Dallas. The last guy that has been the subject of conversation is Miami RB Lamar Miller. It's being reported that Miller is being pursued by both Dallas and Houston. Miller is a veteran and he's a day one type of player but he is liable to be expensive as most free agents are. Personally, I would rather get a rookie in the draft. It would be cheaper and less risky and in a perfect world Dallas could find a guy as an undrafted free agent like Houston did when they got Arian Foster. Dallas needs help on the defensive side of the ball and they need to allocate their resources accordingly IMO.

    One hole in the Cowboys defense has been filled. The Cowboys have agreed to terms on a deal with MIKE LB Rolando McClain. This deal is not official as I only saw a tweet on Bleacher Report but it would be a good deal if Dallas got McClain on a one or two year deal. He doesn't really rate a long term deal because he is deep in the NFL substance abuse protocol. One more violation and he could be looking at a year long suspension. Dallas would be foolish to give a long term deal t a guy like that. One or two years at reasonable money and I'm sure Dallas would be glad to have him.

    There is another free agent who may be making a visit to Dallas soon. Former Rams DE Chris Long had a visit with the Redskins and he is slated to make a trip to Dallas next. Long is a good player but injuries have kept him from being a more impactful player. I'm sure if the Cowboys could get a team friendly deal considering his injury history that it would be worth a shot at signing Long to a deal.

    I am happy to say that, as of this morning, Dallas has NOT released CB Brandon Carr. Nor have they even had a hint of a rumor that they are pursuing form Bengal Pacman Jones. It seems there is a bit of sanity around Valley Ranch. Either the crappy weather has made making deals a little hard to do.

  15. #30
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Here is my 3rd mock draft done on fanspeak.com's ON THE CLOCK feature. Again, I used the CBS player ranking as the guide for the draft. I think this is the most daring of my mocks so far and you'll see why in a moment. In the 1st Rd the highest ranked player was Joey Bosa and seeing as how he could easily have been the #1 pick it's a no-brainer, right? With my 2nd pick I took a chance, a very Jerry Jones-ian chance on a player coming off a major injury. That would be Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith. This is not an impossible pick in the world of mocks vs reality because Smith's knee injury is pretty darn bad and there is a popular thought that if Smith ever plays again it won't be until 2017. In a perfect world Smith recovers nicely and after a stay on the PUP list he comes back to play for Dallas around Week 8 or 9. It would be really nice to see Dallas hit on 2 first round draft picks in this manner. In the third I went with another Ohio State guy in WR Michael Thomas. He's a big target and has got to be an improvement over Devon Street who has shown nothing since he's been in Dallas. Is it a coincidence that 3 out of my first 5 picks are from THE Ohio State University? Yes but, in a way, no. Yes because that is just how this mock draft fell but no because of the success Ohio State has had since Urban Meyer became head coach of the Buckeyes. It's just natural to see a lot of good players from a successful program in the NFL. That said, I took OSU TE Nick Vannett with the 2nd of my 4th RD picks. I don't know if it's wishful thinking or just my eyes deceiving me but I see some Jason Witten in this guy. Given a couple of years to be mentored by Witten Vannett could turn out to be the next really good TE in Cowboys history. With the first 4th Rd pick I chose RB Kenneth Dixon from La Tech. Dixon was a workhorse at La Tech and he's built much like Emmitt Smith with about the same 40 time. I'm not saying that Dixon will be the next Emmitt but the physical comparisons apply. He's a north-south runner with some power and can catch coming out of the backfield. Dixon has a 2nd Rd grade so this is a real bargain pick. The first pick in the 6th Rd was Clemson DT DJ Reader who will fill the 1-technique nicely. Clemson is another program that has been on the rise recently and Reader is one reason why. At 6'3" 327 pounds he's got the capability to be a force inside for the Cowboys especially with Joey Bosa in the mix. My supplemental picks in the late 6th are pretty much interchangeable as for when they are picked. From pick 34 to pick 39 Dallas has three of those in succession. So, I took CB Darryl Worley out of West Virginia. I like Worley mainly for his size, 6'1" and 204 lbs more than anything. Pick 38 was a FB from Northwestern named Dan Vitale. I am just ready to move on from Tyler Klutts. The final pick of the 6th, number 39, was Boston College S Justin Simmons. That's it. Overall I think this is the most complete mock I've done. Because there's no way in hell I can get both Bosa and Myles Jack so getting Jaylon Smith in the 2nd is pretty darn good as long as Smith is able to completely recover from his knee injury.


    4: R1P4
    DE JOEY BOSA
    OHIO STATE

    34: R2P3
    OLB JAYLON SMITH
    NOTRE DAME

    67: R3P4
    WR MICHAEL THOMAS
    OHIO STATE

    102: R4P3
    RB KENNETH DIXON
    LOUISIANA TECH

    137: R4P38
    TE NICK VANNETT
    OHIO STATE

    192: R6P14
    DT D.J. READER
    CLEMSON

    212: R6P34
    CB DARYL WORLEY
    WEST VIRGINIA

    216: R6P38
    FB DAN VITALE
    NORTHWESTERN

    217: R6P39
    S JUSTIN SIMMONS
    BOSTON COLLEGE

    There were a couple of Cowboys related moves yesterday. The Cowboys agreed to terms with Rolando McClain on yet another one year deal. That is another reason I felt I could take a chance in my mock draft on Jaylon Smith. The Cowboys are pretty well set a LB with McClain resigned meaning the Cowboys can afford to be patient with Smith.
    Also, QB Matt Cassel was signed by Tennessee to backup Marcus Mariota. That's it as far a Day 1 of free agency.

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