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Thread: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

  
  1. #31
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Dallas is making moves in free agency! That is worth an exclamation point at the end of that sentence because it was as recently at the NFL Scouting Combine that COO Stephen Jones said that Dallas didn't like trying to build their team through free agency because you invariably over pay for a player. Jones did have a qualifier in that statement when he said that you never know if or when an opportunity should arise. It's no secret that Dallas has got to upgrade their front seven and more specifically their front 4 and Dallas has made a move to get better on the D-line. Here's an article from DallasCowboys.com about the signing of former Philadelphia Eagle DT Cedric Thornton. Thornton was a defensive end in Philly's 3-4 defense and it's projected that he will be a defensive tackle in Dallas. The good thing about Thornton is he is just 27 so he's no 30-something retread, he's a guy in the prime of his career. Even at that the deal for Thornton is only $18MM for 4 years. This isn't a bad deal and if he is as good as he's been in Philly Dallas got a steal.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...edric-thornton

    Dallas has signed CB Josh Thomas to a deal. Thomas has come full circle in the NFL after being drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 draft Thomas didn't make the final cut. He ended up playing for 3 seasons in Carolina. In total in his 5 year career Thomas has been on 6 different NFL rosters. Dallas signed him prior to the last game of the season against Washington. He didn't get into the game but he was on the roster so Dallas decided to sign him probably as insurance because of the uncertainty over how well Orlando Scandrick comes back from his torn ACL and MCL and whether or not they can, or even want to, resign Morris Claiborne and whether or not they will cut Brandon Carr loose. It's looking more and more like Dallas will lean toward drafting Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey. It would be extremely hard to pass on him even though Dallas could use a LB like Myles Jack or a DL like Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner. Man, being an NFL GM is a bitch!

    As for the Cowboys salary cap, they have finally shed the bindings of all the dead money stemming from bad deals that goes back before Jason Garrett became the head coach. Frankly, since he became the head man the poor deals have been less and financial damage of the poor deals made has been less. Now, at long last Dallas has just $900K in dead money which, in the grand scheme of things ain't squat. For a change Dallas has $14MM in available funds which doesn't sound like much but considering it's more than the Cowboys have had in over a decade it's pretty nice. Yesterday Dallas cleared another $4.4MM in cap space by restructuring DT Tyrone Crawford's deal. The deal didn't cost Crawford any money but it did get him more up front guaranteed money freeing up the aforementioned room on the Cowboys salary cap.

  2. #32
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    I don't remember when Dallas has been more active this early in free agency. However, it's not so much about players being signed off other teams, it's been Dallas coming to terms with their own unrestricted free agents. The only "outsider" signed so far is DL Cedric Thornton. Yesterday Dallas made deals with 4 other "homeys". CB Morris Claiborne signed a one year deal for roughly $3.5MM and they also reached a deal with backup TE James Hanna. The terms of the deal with Hanna weren't disclosed as yet but it's believed to be a 3 year deal. I was worried some that Hanna would be signed by another team and I was really concerned when it was reported that Hanna had a visit with the San Diego Chargers. They would be in the market for a TE despite signing Antonio Gates to a deal because backup TE Ladarius Green is a free agent. Hanna has morphed into a fine blocking TE who still has the speed and skill to be a receiver. I'm glad they got that deal done. The next player signed was LB Kyle Wilbur. His deal is for two years but the terms of the deal have not been released. Dallas also signed their primary backup tackle from last season, Charles Brown. With Wilbur agreeing to a deal it means that Dallas has all 3 of their starting LB's back. Brown's deal mean the Cowboys will also have continuity on the O-line, at least at tackle.
    Dallas lost their primary backup at guard and center when Jacksonville poached Mackenzy Bernadeau yesterday. Also, veteran G Ronald Leary is as yet unsigned but he is a restricted free agent and he was given a tender offer last week which means if someone offers him a deal Dallas has the right of first refusal and if they don't match another team's offer Dallas would get a compensatory draft pick next year. That would mean much because they would still need a backup guard, preferably one who could also play center.
    The signing of Claiborne helps solidify the CB position which was a big concern for the Cowboys with uncertainty that existed because Claiborne was a free agent and there are still questions over what Dallas will do with Brandon Carr. It also makes Dallas less needful to sign Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey with the 4th pick in the draft. That doesn't mean they won't draft him anyway but it will be because he's the best player on their board and not out of need which is always the best reason to draft a player.

    In the link below is an article from DallasCowboys.com's Mickey Spagnola and in his weekly editorial he talks about what a good job the Cowboys front office personnel have done by abstaining from participating in the free agent frenzy of the past week. As usual The Mick makes a lot of sense and it's a good read to boot.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...ts-free-agency
    Last edited by eagle eye; 03-12-2016 at 08:51 AM.

  3. #33
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    We can take a momentary breather here in the 2nd week of free agency and look at the landscape. Of the 18 free agents from the Cowboys 2015 roster 6 have already been signed. That would be CB Mo Claiborne, OT Charles Brown, TE James Hanna, LB Rolando McClain, CB Josh Thomas and LB Kyle Wilbur. Dallas has also signed a DT in free agency. That would be Cedric Thornton who was a Philadelphia Eagle last year. Dallas has lost backup G/C Mackenzy Bernadeau to the Jacksonville Jaguars and backup QB Matt Cassel to the Tennessee Titans. That accounts for 8 of the 18 unrestricted free agents the Cowboys have to deal with.
    Dallas started the free agency period with around $14MM in salary cap space. At the beginning of the free agency signing period the Cowboys restructured the deal with DT Tyrone Crawford that freed up another $4MM or so. Yesterday the Cowboys and LT Tyron Smith agreed to a restructure of his contract that freed up another $7.2 MM in cap space. All in all, Dallas had $25MM to play with in free agency. They spent $18MM over 4 years on Thornton and he will count around 2.5 million on Dallas' cap this year. The cap hit for this year on the 6 guys Dallas has resigned is in the $14MM neighborhood. Including Thornton's cap hit that's a total of $16.5MM leaving just $8.5 left to sign draft picks, pay roster settlements for injured player and sign players during the season to replace injured players. Damn, it doesn't take long to eat up $25MM! Think about that for a minute. $25MM would allow me, son and his family and my daughter and her family to live comfortably for the rest of all our lives. In six days Dallas has spent $18MM+ and will struggle to make the remaining $8.5MM last while they still have more holes in their roster than a hobo has in his clothes. The kicker here is that this is the best financial shape Dallas has been in since the new millennium began. As with anything else it's all a matter of what your perspective is. To me and you $25MM is life altering money while an NFL GM will struggle make the same amount of money last for the next year while trying to field a playoff contending football team.

  4. #34
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    It took all week but Dallas finally made another free agent move yesterday. Dallas signed their own guy, RB Lance Dunbar, to a 1 year deal worth $1.75 according to reports. Dunbar missed 12 games last season after tearing an ACL and patellar tendon in his knee in Week 4 against the Saints. Dunbar was finally making contributions to the offense as he had 21 catches and 215 receiving yards in less than 4 full games at the time of his injury. Dunbar made several visits to other teams since free agency began before agreeing to the deal with Dallas. It's a very team friendly deal especially the one year part of it. It is sort of a "show me" type of deal that will allow Dallas to bring back a guy familiar with and who can contribute to the offense without much financial risk in case his knee isn't really healthy.

    Not much else going on around Valley Ranch and the draft talk is starting to wear thin and there's still 41 days until the draft.

    So far the Cowboys have signed 7 of their own free agent players with Dunbar the latest and they have signed one outside free agent in Cedric Thornton but otherwise the Cowboys have not been players in the chase for free agent talent. You got an inkling of that at the Senior Bowl when COO Stephen Jones said the Cowboys didn't like to delve into free agency because you end up paying a good player like he's great and decent player like he's good and so on. What Jones meant is, it's rare to get the bang for your buck and that has certainly been true in Dallas. The only guy who I really think earned his paycheck after Dallas signed him as a free agent was DL La'Roi Glover. His time in Dallas was wasted because he was here during those dismal 5-11 seasons at the start of the 2000's. Now, there are a few you can argue have been worth the money they were paid like Brandon Carr or Rolando McClain. McClain has been better than expected and Dallas hasn't broken the bank signing him in either of the past two seasons. Carr suffers not because he hasn't played well, it is just that nobody can get past his huge paycheck and the fact that he's not Deion Sanders. What Carr has been is a steady, reliable CB who has done his job. By reliable I mean he rarely is out of position, he's good in run support and he hasn't missed a single game in his 8 year NFL career. Carr is the poster child for the scenario Stephen Jones said about overpaying players. Carr is a good player who got paid like a great player. Carr is in the final year of his contract and he will count $13MM against the Cowboys salary cap this season and I think they should stick with him and so far they have.
    But I digress. The whole point of this rant is this. Dallas needs to upgrade their pass rush. They need a guy to play weak side DE that can terrorize the opposing QB. Dallas was in the same dilemma at this time last year and they addressed the problem by taking a chance on drafting Randy Gregory in the 2nd round after he was projected as a 1st round talent until he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine. Now, he will be suspended the first 4 games of the upcoming season because he failed 3 other tests. Got to consider that a swing and a miss by the Cowboys. Next they signed Greg Hardy late of the Carolina Panthers. Hardy was "the Kraken", a double digit sack man who seemed to be just what Dallas' doctor ordered. Wrong. Hardy came to Dallas because he was involved in a domestic violence case in May of 2014 that ultimately cost him his job in Carolina and, in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, made him the second coming of Adolph Hitler. Dallas signed him and the resulting media shit-storm was brutal. People compared Jerry Jones to Satan, calling him a pimp, immoral and heartless in the issue of domestic violence. But, that is just what Jerry does, if he sees a person who can help the Cowboys he's willing to take a chance on him and depend on his player support department to help the player past his problems successfully. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn't. Hardy was supposed to be toeing the line in Dallas to prove he was not the monster everyone painted him to be but it turns out Hardy WAS the guy everyone thought he was. He successfully fooled the Cowboys and in the subsequent months he was a smart assed pain in the ass to the media when they tried to interview him, he threw a fit on the sideline knocking a clipboard and papers out of special teams coach Rich Bisaccia's hands in a rage because the Cowboys had just given up a 97 yard kickoff return to former Cowboy Dwayne Harris on the ensuing kickoff after Dallas had scored the go ahead touchdown late in the 2nd meeting between the Cowboys and Giants, he made disparaging remarks about Tom Brady's wife prior to the Cowboys game with the Patriots and he habitually was late for, or missed, team meetings. In other words he was a bad team mate, bad for the locker room and a PR nightmare. Hardy was, and is, a selfish person who has a tendency toward violence. When asked at the Senior Bowl about Hardy, Jason Garrett tersely replied that, "Greg Hardy is a free agent". Sounds like Garrett feels Hardy isn't "the right kind of guy" and he's glad he is gone. With Dallas still needing to address their defense, and their pass rush in particular, in this draft and after the failures of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory you can bet that Dallas won't take a chance wasting the 4th pick in the draft on a guy with issues. Dallas needs the best player they can get who is also a standup guy off the field. That sort of lets out Joey Bosa who has had off field issues including being kicked out of the bowl game between Ohio State and Notre Dame for targeting. I'm sorry but that was not targeting, that is supposed to be a call to protect a player from a blow to the head and Bosa clearly hit the Notre Dame QB in the chest. That doesn't belie the fact that Bosa has issues. So, that leaves the next man up in the pass rusher pecking order in the draft, DeForest Buckner from Oregon State. The guy is a beast at 6'7" 290 lbs and he is fast for a big man doing the 40 in 5.05. Buckner is said to be able to play any position on the D-line and excel at it. If Buckner ends up a tackle instead of an end that's okay as long as he's good. It's worth noting that 2 of the 3 greatest D-linemen in Cowboys history are defensive tackles and both are Hall of Famers. One is Bob Lilly, "Mr. Cowboy" and the other is Randy "the Manster" White. Lilly was the 13th pick in the 1st round of the 1961 draft and he played for 14 years and helped the Cowboys play for 2 NFL Championships and 2 Super Bowls winning in Super Bowl VI over Miami. White was 2nd pick in the 1st round of the 1975 draft. He played 14 seasons amassing huge NFL stats and he played in 6 NFC Championship games and 3 Super Bowls winning in Super Bowl XII over Denver and also earning co-MVP of the SB with fellow D-line mate Harvey Martin. My point is it's okay if Buckner is a tackle if he has an impact of a Lilly or White. The last DT drafted in the first round was Russell Maryland with Dallas #1 pick in the 1991 draft. Maryland wasn't as impactful as Lilly or White but he helped Dallas win back to back SB's after the 1992 and 1993 seasons. Yep, I'm a Buckner man and I'm hoping Dallas feels the same way. Unless my eyes deceive me about the quality of players Dallas would have with Buckner my dream lineup for the D-line is DeMarcus Lawrence at right end, Cedric Thornton at the 1 technique, Buckner at the 3 technique and David Irving at right end. As you may remember Irving is, like Buckner, 6'7" and with that kind of height even if they don't reach the passer the QB would have about 10' of arms to throw around or over. D-end Ed 'Too Tall' Jones was 6'9" and he turned batting down balls at the line of scrimmage into an art. Interestingly enough Jones was the first pick in the 1975 draft and he has HOF numbers despite missing 2 seasons in the prime of his career when he was a professional boxer. From November 1979 to January 1980 he fought 6 fights and won them all including 5 KO's. His best win was over Mexican heavy weight champ Fernando Montes. In January of 1980 after his last bout he announced his intention to return to the Cowboys. In his career he helped his teams go to 5 NFC championship games and 2 Super Bowls winning in SB XII over Denver. Jones retired after 15 great seasons in Dallas. Jones never publicly explained why he left boxing so abruptly but I'm sure Cowboys fans didn't care because he was such a good player for the Cowboys. One more reason why DeForest Buckner should be the Cowboys first draft pick in April.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 03-18-2016 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #35
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Defensive end, the pass rushing kind is obviously a need to be addressed by the Cowboys. They did just that on Friday by making an offer for restricted free agent DE Benson Mayowa of the Oakland Raiders. The offer is reportedly 3 years for $8MM but it is not confirmed. Oakland has 5 days from Friday to match the Cowboys offer or he will go to Dallas. Since Mayowa was an undrafted free agent when he came into the league in 2013 the Raiders won't get any compensatory pick for losing him. Mayowa was signed by Seattle as a UFA in 2013 and he spent a year with the Seahawks until he was released in August of 2014. The Raiders signed him shortly thereafter and he's been in Oakland the past two years. Mayowa is a little light in the britches for an NFL DE (6'3" 240lbs). In fact, he's built more like a linebacker than a DE but evidently the Cowboys see something in him so we'll wait to see him in action. Here's a link from profootballcentral.com about Mayowa in August of 2013 as he was going through his first NFL training camp with Seattle.

    http://www.profootballcentral.com/20...id-from-idaho/

    I'll say it again, Oregon State's DeForest Buckner should be the Cowboys pick with the 4th pick in the first round. IMO he's the best DE at the top of the draft and Dallas is desperate for a player like this. I would also hope that either UCLA's Myles Jack or Ohio State's Darron Lee would be available in the 2nd round but that ain't happening. My first choice IF he's available is Ohio State LB Joshua Perry. If Dallas doesn't go defense then I hope they take a WR like Will Fuller from Notre Dame or Braxton Miller from Ohio State or Josh Doctson from Baylor.

    Have you noticed how many really good players from Ohio State there are? Since Urban Meyer came to OSU the talent level of the program has shot through the roof. You could draft strictly from Ohio State and have a good draft. Guys like DE Joey Bosa, LB Darron Lee, WR Michael Thomas, WR Braxton Miller, TE Nick Vannett, S Vonn Bell, RB Ezekiel Elliot, OT Taylor Decker, LB Joshua Perry, DT Adolphus Washington and CB Eli Apple are all top 5 in their respective positon ranks with many the #1 ranked player. Pretty impressive. Clemson is not far behind and both programs have been quite successful in recent years.

  6. #36
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The Cowboys have now have 2 new members for their team. First, the Cowboys had made an offer for DE Benson Mayowa, formerly with the Raiders, and both Mayowa and the Cowboys had to wait until the Raiders decided whether or not to match the Cowboys offer. Mayowa was a restricted FA and the Raiders had the right of first refusal and they had 5 days from last Friday to make a decision. Lo and behold, it is Tuesday and that means 5 days have passed since Dallas made the offer for Mayowa and the Raiders have declined to match the Cowboys offer. So, barring a freak incident, Benson Mayowa will be a Cowboy.
    The other acquisition addresses the RB position. Dallas has Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar and not much else. At least until now. Dallas has agreed to terms on a deal for former Redskins RB Alfred Morris. The deal is for 2 years and $3.5MM with another $2MM or so in incentives.

    It is also being reported that Dallas is close to coming to terms for FA CB Patrick Robinson who was with the San Diego Chargers in 2015. He was the 32nd pick in the 1st Rd of the 2010 draft by New Orleans. If he does sign with Dallas what was a position of weakness when free agency began has become a position of strength now. Two weeks ago all Dallas had was Orlando Scandrick, who is coming off a torn Achilles, and Brandon Carr who is in the last year of he FA deal he signed 4 years ago as well as a couple of inexperienced guys. As it stands now Dallas has Scandrick, Carr and they signed Morris Claiborne to a one year deal and Robinson, if he signs, would make Dallas set at least for 2016. If Dallas were to draft Jalen Ramsey from Florida State it would be a very interesting situation.

    Listening to the "Talkin' Cowboys" podcast this morning DallasCowboys.com staff writer and former scout, Brian Broaddus, talked about Benson Mayowa. If Broaddus is right Dallas may have gotten some bang for their free agent bucks with this pick. The guys on the podcast with him asked about the issue I wondered about, Mayowa's size. Mayowa is only 240 lbs which seems light for this position but according to Broaddus with Mayowa it's not a concern because in the film study he's done he hasn't seen a guy getting blown off the ball, a guy with a quick first step and wrong is very strong at the point of attack. Broaddus also opined that Mayowa would be the starter at DE during Randy Gregory's 4 game suspension to start the 2016 season.

    The acquisition of Mayowa and the potential acquisition of Robinson shores up positions of weakness in the Cowboys roster. This means that Dallas can really and truly draft the highest player on their board which means nobody that has been in the conversation since the end of the Super Bowl is ruled out. It could be QB (Goff or Wentz), RB (Ezekiel Elliot), DE (Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner), LB (Myles Jack) or CB (Jalen Ramsey) or they could trade down a few spots and pick up some more draft picks and still get a really good player. Personally, I don't want them to trade down because you don't get this high of a draft pick very often (hopefully) and you need to get a franchise changing player.

    Interesting fact about RB Alfred Morris. He's 27 years old and has been in the NFL for 4 years and has never missed a game. He should still be in the prime of his career and give the Cowboys a good power running back who flourishes in the one cut running offense that Dallas runs.

  7. #37
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Here are the scouting reports done by DallasCowboys.com's Bryan Broaddus, a former NFL scout and current staff writer, who breaks down the Cowboys newest players RB Alfred Morris and Benson Mayowa.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...de-him-success

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...uraging-traits

    The Cowboys worked out QB prospect Paxton Lynch yesterday. The University of Memphis QB is regarded as a top 3 QB prospect in this year's draft. Most mock drafts have Lynch going at the end of the first round. If Dallas hopes to get him they had better cross their fingers that he gets past the Broncos at the end of the first round of the draft. The Broncos are looking for a franchise QB after the retirement of Peyton Manning and the departure of Brock Osweiler to Houston. The Cowboys need to get the guy who will replace Tony Romo pretty darn soon. In the years of Dallas greatest success, from 1966 to 1982 Dallas always had a QB ready and waiting. Beginning with Don Meredith to Craig Morton to Roger Staubach to Danny White, Dallas never had a losing season in 20 consecutive seasons and they only missed the playoffs one time in that span. They also went to five Super Bowls winning 2 along with another 7 NFC Championship games. In fact from 1970 through 1982 Dallas went to the NFC championship game every year except for 1976 and 1979 when they lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. 1974 was the only year Dallas failed to make the playoffs. Dallas will stop and worked players at Ohio State on Friday. Dallas has worked out or worked with 2 of the top 3 QBs in this draft, Lynch yesterday and the Cowboys staff coached Carson Wentz at the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys had reps at Cal for Jared Goff's pro day.

    A lot of people have made a big deal about the fact that every year of his 4 year career Alfred Morris' rushing yards have declined. In 2012, as a rookie, Morris rushed for 1,613 yards, in 2013 he rushed for 1,275 yards, in 2014 he rushed for 1,074 and last season he only rushed for 751 yards. If you look a little closer his carries have gone down as well. From 2012 to 2015 he had in order, 335, 276, 265 and 202. His yards per carry also declined but I don't think it has so much to do with a decline in Morris' skills it has more to do with the decline in the Redskins talent. Morris is not a 3 down back by any means. In 4 years he had only 47 total receptions with the most in any season being 17 in 2014. He will add value to the Cowboys but by signing him doesn't mean they can't draft a RB if there's one they like.

    Speaking of the draft, here's my weekly mock from On The Clock. This is version 4.0. It should be noted that the draft is now only 35 days away. Maybe not only, since I wish it was here right now, maybe I should say '...still 35 days away.'

    In the first Rd I took DeForest Buckner out of Oregon. Dallas just HAS to get an impact pass rusher and, to me, Buckner is the guy. In the second round I took Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliot. There is no way in hell he will be there in the real draft but he was there in this mock simulator and I took him. I got OLB from Ohio State Jaylon Smith in the 3rd Rd. This could happen since Smith has a pretty serious knee injury and will not likely play in 2016. It is a roll of the dice pick because IF he fully recovers and is completely healthy he is considered a top ten talent and would give the Cowboys a long term solution at linebacker. With the 1st pick, fourth overall, in the 4th round I took TE Nick Vannett from Ohio State. It fills a need and this guy could end up being the next Jason Witten. With the 2nd pick in the 4th, No. 37 in the round, I chose UCLA WR Jordan Payton. There are just too many questions with the guys behind Dez and Terrence Williams not to take a good WR. I have no picks in Rd 5 and 4 in the 6th. With the first pick in the sixth I got Ken Crawley from Colorado. With the first of 3 supplemental picks I took OLB Yannick Ngakoue from Maryland. Next I selected FB Dan Vitale from Northwestern and lastly I got OLB Ian Seau from the U of Nevada. I just took him because he's Junior Seau's nephew and I figured he may have something of his uncle in him.

    4: R1P4
    DE DEFOREST BUCKNER
    OREGON

    34: R2P3
    RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT
    OHIO STATE

    67: R3P4
    OLB JAYLON SMITH
    NOTRE DAME

    102: R4P3
    TE NICK VANNETT
    OHIO STATE

    136: R4P37
    WR JORDAN PAYTON
    UCLA

    190: R6P14
    CB KEN CRAWLEY
    COLORADO

    213: R6P37
    OLB YANNICK NGAKOUE
    MARYLAND

    217: R6P41
    FB DAN VITALE
    NORTHWESTERN

    218: R6P42
    OLB IAN SEAU
    NEVADA

  8. #38
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    With the NFL draft just over a month away I thought it might be a good time to go over the Cowboys roster and see what the team has and maybe what the Cowboys might do in the draft. I decided I would start on the defensive side of the ball and this first installment looks at the safety position. Keep in mind that I am looking only at signed players who are currently listed on the Cowboys roster.

    > Barry Church SS - 6 yr veteran who came to Dallas in 2010 as an UFA. Church is the closest thing to Darren Woodson that the Cowboys have had since Woodson retired. He's a steady, if unspectacular, player and he is able to cover tight ends and backs as well as be effective in run support. To compare Church to Woodson is a little unfair because Woodson was a much better player but it's no knock on Church. His steadiness and reliability is a stabilizing factor in the Cowboys defense and he's also good at keeping players lined up correctly. Another thing about Church is he has the respect of his team mates evidenced in the fact he was elected team captain the past couple of years.

    > Jeff Heath SS - 3 yr veteran who came to Dallas as an UFA in 2013. Heath has had some ups and downs as Cowboy but in general he has shown enough to earn a role as a backup player and he contributes on special teams. I think some fans don't like Heath because he's been burned a few times but most of his transgressions occurred when he was a rookie and injuries decimated the Cowboys secondary and Dallas was forced to throw Heath into the deep end of the pool and, as rookies do, he made some mistakes, some of which really hurt the team. He's gotten better and I think he's better than people give him credit for.

    > JJ Wilcox FS - 3 yr veteran who was Dallas' pick in the 3rd RD of the 2013 draft. As a 3rd RD pick Wilcox was expected to be able to step right in and play right away. The problem was Wilcox had been a WR up until his senior year in college when he made the move to safety. Wilcox has been a bit of play maker but his flaws have been exposed. He's a really hard hitter but often he gives up plays trying to make the hard hit. As long as the play is in front of him he does ok but he's not great in pass coverage and recognition of plays and anticipation is lacking. Wilcox lost his starting job to Byron Jones in the middle of last season.

    > Byron Jones FS/SS/CB - 1 yr veteran drafted with the 27th pick in the 1st RD of the 2015 draft. Jones was a highly touted player coming out of UConn last spring and he didn't disappoint. After putting up sick numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine which included a world record standing broad jump of 12'3". He also ran a 4.36-40 and had a 44-1/2" vertical jump. Jones came in and the Cowboys put a lot on his plate playing him at every DB position and handled it all. He did make some rookie mistakes but he didn't make them twice. He has the speed and versatility to play both S and CB but the general thinking is he is best used at safety. This kid is a damn good player and regardless of where he ends up playing it's a position Dallas won't have to worry about.

    That's it. Dallas has 4 players under contract with 2 good starters in Jones and Church and serviceable backups in Heath and Wilcox. Dallas doesn't have to draft a safety but you always want to get better. I think a lot of people would not be sorry to see JJ Wilcox go and IMO he's the weakest link in the S chain. I would expect Dallas is going to address the whole DB position in the draft but going in you have to realize that Dallas starters are pretty good. Jones and Church are a pretty darn good tandem that will be even better in 2016 because of the year in the Cowboys weight room and a year of experience under his belt Jones will be really good. It never hurts to have a FS with 4.3 speed either. Top draft prospect Jalen Ramsey from Florida State is likely a top 5 pick and if he goes to Dallas the Cowboys would have to decide how they utilize Jones and Ramsey. One or the other will need to play cornerback. Both are free safeties and just to light in the caboose to play strong safety. My own personal pet cat in the draft is Ohio State LB Darron Lee. I've mentioned him before but he's a physical clone to Darren Woodson and he's fast and athletic enough to play safety. The only way Dallas gets him is if Lee does something stupid to cause his draft stock to fall into the second or third rounds. He is projected to go in the middle of the first which is the maddening thing about the draft. It's just a shame you can't cherry pick players that you want.

  9. #39
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The Cowboys are 30 days away from the NFL draft and the questions surrounding who Dallas might actually take with the 4th pick is a subject open to a lot of debate. What are you going to do Dallas? In a lot of mock drafts now Cleveland is no longer a sure bet to pick a QB with the 2nd pick in the draft which means either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff could be available. Word around Dallas is that the Cowboys front office isn't all that high on Joey Bosa so that means the best bets are either Florida CB/S Jaylen Ramsey or UCLA LB Myles Jack. Jack is still a wild card because his physical in April will determine if his knee is completely healed. His potential is mamma-jamma because of his size and athleticism. He's a LB would is fast and agile enough to play safety for goodness sake. It's just that pesky knee but, how many guys with a bad knee can do a 40" vertical jump which Jack did at the NFL scouting combine. I heard on a Cowboys podcast today that it's bad luck that Dallas has the 4th pick in the draft this year because there are a dearth of knock-your-socks-off players. No JJ Watt's, No Kahlil Mack's, no---no---who are we kidding? JJ Watt wasn't chosen until the 11 pick in the draft. Kahlil Mack was the 5th pick in the 2014 draft so who's to say there is no "Wow" player for Dallas to pick? The general consensus is that Jack is the most talented player in this year's draft. If he falls to #4 then, by golly, pick him and don't even wait until the clock winds down. Still need a D-end get someone with a lot of potential like Shawn Oakman from Baylor or Emmanuel Ogbah from Okie State or Kevin Dodd from Clemson. I like these players from Clemson. I'm glad I don't have to make this decision because you know Cowboys fans, no matter who they get they picked the wrong guy.


    So, to continue with the position profile I tackle the CB position today.

    > Morris Claiborne - 4 year veteran who suffered greatly because of where he was drafted and the expectations that came with being a high draft pick. Dallas actually traded up to the 6th pick in the draft to get Claiborne and he spent most of his time in the NFL injured. Last year was the most healthy Claiborne has been in a season but he still missed 5 games with an ankle and a hamstring injury. Mo signed a one year deal for a team friendly price. If Claiborne can stay healthy in 2016 he's going to make a lot of money, maybe not in Dallas but somewhere. He's got good skills and if he can stay on the field he will help Dallas a lot.

    > Brandon Carr - Carr has played 8 seasons and never missed a game. That kind of reliability is a big plus for Carr, or anyone else for that matter. Not only has Carr been reliable but he has played pretty well. He's good in run support and he doesn't get beat deep very often. The biggest trouble with Carr has been his salary. He signed as a free agent in 2012 and his was paid to be Deion Sanders when he's really probably closer to Larry Brown. Get over the salary people. Be thankful we have Carr. His $13MM cap hit this year is no big deal and it's the last year of his deal so appreciate him while you can.

    > Orlando Scandrick - He's also an 8 year vet but he's only got 7 years of wear on him as he missed all of last season with a torn ACL and MCL. Scandrick is a little on the small side for a CB but his tenacity and fight enable him to play much bigger than his actual stature. He made his bones in the NFL as a slot corner but he was good enough to displace Claiborne as the starting CB in 2014. He is widely regarded as the best cover corner on the team. If his knee is healthy and he's back at full strength Dallas has 3 damn good CB's.

    > Byron Jones - This second year player was the Cowboys first round pick last season and despite having everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown at him in OTA's and training camp he proved to be yet another 1st round hit for the Cowboys. Jones has shown he can play corner but with Claiborne, Carr and Scandrick on the field the general consensus is Jones will play safety. Some say safety is the position he's best suited for but I'll take a guy who can run a 4.3 forty either spot.

    > Terrence Mitchell - 2nd year player out of Oregon has shown some flashes but he needs to get more work in. A core special teams player who could see action in nickel and dime packages.

    > Deji Olatoya - Another 2nd year player from North Carolina A&T. He is an example of youth on this team and if he makes the team he will be a special teamer who could to see some action from time to time.

    > Buddy Jackson - Going into his 4th year in the NFL I don't see this guy as anything but a warm body for OTA's and training camp.

    > Brandon McGee - 3rd year player and much like Buddy Jackson he is just a warm body for practices.

    > Josh Thomas - He is heading into his 5th year in the NFL. He began with the Cowboys before he was cut before the end of training camp his rookie season. He bounced around to a couple of different teams before landing back in Dallas in December of '15. Dallas signed him to a one year deal back on March 10th.

    Dallas is set at CB for 2016. Beyond that it's a big mystery with Carr in the final year of his deal and Claiborne on just a one year deal Dallas will need to address CB in the draft. Dallas has been the destination of Florida State's Jaylen Ramsey in many mock drafts. There are other CB's in the draft of course and Dallas could wait to address the position in the middle rounds. In the later rounds I am partial to West Virginia's Daryl Worley. Dallas does not have to go CB with #4 but if they did I'm sure a lot of people won't complain.

  10. #40
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Dallas came to terms on a deal for free agent O-lineman Joe Looney. Looney is 25 years old and he's entering his 5th season in the NFL. Looney has started 27 games in the NFL at both guard and center. He started six games at guard for the Tennessee Titans last season and he had started as a center and guard for San Francisco, the team who drafted him in the 4th round. Looney is a younger and better version of former Cowboys Mackenzy Bernadeau who signed a free agent deal with Jacksonville earlier this month. This signing fills a need that Dallas had for a guy who could backup both the center and guard positions that was open because of the departure of Bernadeau and it allows Dallas to focus on other needs in the draft. Looney signed a 2 year deal but terms of the deal have not been made known as yet. Below is a link to the scouting report on Looney by DallasCowboys.com's Bryan Broaddus, a former NFL scout and current analyst for the Cowboys official website.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...so-play-center

    Terrence Williams has done some good things since coming to Dallas 4 years ago out of Baylor. You just wish he had done more. Dez Bryant missed most of the season with injuries and Dallas needed someone to step up and play like a #1 receiver but, for the most part, he really didn't do it. At least not until the final game of the season when he went off and had a damn good game in the season finale against the Redskins. Where was that guy all season? The answer to that can be found in this article by David Helman of DallasCowboys.com. He details a new found dedication by Williams that was provided by Jason Garrett and his trip to San Francisco for Super Bowl 50 helped re-motivate him.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...mp-2016-season

    Nearly one year ago to the day Dallas drafted CB Byron Jones with their first round pick in last year's NFL draft. The link below is from an article from the Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine by John Tranchina that allows Jones to reflect on his first season in the NFL.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...s-first-season

  11. #41
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    There are so many guys who are linked to Dallas in this draft. Of course there is always speculation on how a team will draft but this year it's different. Maybe it's because they have such a high draft pick coupled with the fact they have so many needs. QB, WR, DE, LB, CB and S are the positions of highest need with DE probably the most important. Dallas spent 4 years building up their offensive line and in 2015 they began rebuilding the defense by drafting Byron Jones and Randy Gregory in the 1st and 2nd rounds. Jones has been a definite hit while the jury on Gregory is still out but so far he's been a big miss. It's critical that Dallas 1st and 2nd round picks both hit in this draft. In 2014 Dallas was a strong contender to go to the Super Bowl. Dallas needs help on defense to get back to that place because their downfall in the playoff game against Green Bay their pass rush failed miserably despite the fact that Aaron Rodgers was damn near crippled going into the game. Personally, I hope Dallas takes LB Myles Jack with their first pick and a DE like Baylor's Shawn Oakman. If they go with DeForest Buckner I won't bitch especially if they get a guy like Ohio State LB Josh Perry in the second round. Some are even saying Dallas should take Florida State's Jalen Ramsey who is a CB/S but IMO this limits Dallas when they pick in the 2nd round. They are almost obligated to get a quality pass rusher if they go with Ramsey. If Dallas takes Jack or Buckner in the first if a guy like QB Paxton Lynch is available in the 2nd they should take him. I wouldn't count on it because Denver needs a franchise QB in the worst way and if Lynch is there at the end of the 1st round the Broncos probably should take him. If Dallas doesn't get Lynch then I'm happy if they get one of the top WR's. It's unlikely they could get Baylor's Corey Coleman but Notre Dame's Will Fuller, Ohio State's Michael Thomas or TCU's Josh Doctson my be there. Any one of which would be a nice compliment to Dez and Terrence Williams. Should Dallas take Carson Wentz with the 4th pick. Maybe but they would sacrifice an impact player on defense and it doesn't make sense for Jason Garrett to draft a QB of the future when, if Dallas struggles to a mediocre record, HE may be fired. I've said it before and I'll say it again, being an NFL GM is a sonofabitch.

    CB Brandon Carr has been the subject of controversy for a couple of years. It's all because he's paid to be Deion Sanders and he's just a good CB. His durability and dependability are important to any team who is trying to field a competitive team. In this article from DallasCowboys.com's Nick Eatman he talks about Carr's true value to the Cowboys and how his $13MM salary isn't a big deal.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...rn-2016-season

  12. #42
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Just when I have talked myself into hoping that Dallas selects UCLA LB Myles Jack with the 4th pick in this year's draft along comes DallasCowboys.com's Mickey Spagnola in his weekly rant changing my mind again. When this whole process just prior to the NFL Scouting Combine I was all in on Oregon DE DeForest Buckner. Dallas needs an impact pass rusher and Buckner looks like the most likely candidate. As we have gotten deeper into free agency Dallas has shored up their defensive line with the signing of a DT and a DE. The Cowboys also have DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving not to mention Randy Gregory after he serves his 4 game suspension. With that in mind I figured that the linebacking corps is thin and Myles Jack would answer a lot of previously unanswered questions. The caveat with Jack is uncertainty over the health of a knee he tore up pretty badly early last season. It was bad enough he dropped out of school to concentrate on rehabbing the knee with this year's NFL draft in mind. Then today I read Mr Spagnola's weekly editorial. Oh he tries to cover himself by saying that Dallas just needs to draft a guy who is a transformative player. A guy who can make everyone better around him and who has the talent and skill set to honestly be a guy who ends up in Canton, Ohio some day. Then he devoted the bulk of his article telling us all about what an amazing player Florida State CB/S Jalen Ramsey is. Pretty convincing article too. I got me to change my mind. It also makes be worry that he's so good Dallas has no shot in hell at getting him. Hell, he could even go to Cleveland since the signed RGIII this past week making it no guarantee the Browns draft yet another 1st round quarterback. How messed up would it be if Dallas had to choose between Myles Jack, DeForest Buckner, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff? Maybe someone in the second half of the top ten picks wants to move up and are will willing to give up a 2nd rounder this year and a 1st rounder next year. Yeah, right. Check out the article and see if the ol' Mickaroo can convince you Ramsey is the way Dallas should go when they go on the clock a mere 25 days from now.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...ssibility-no-4

    The DallasCowboys.com staff writers have posted their first full mock drafts. Bryan Broaddus, David Helman, Nick Eatman and Rob Phillips give us their choices for this April's draft.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...zed-mock-draft

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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Dallas signed another free agent defensive lineman. It was another one of their own guys as they signed Jack Crawford to a one year deal the terms of which are not currently known. Crawford is a 4th year player who has spent his first 3 seasons with the Cowboys. At 6'5" and 288 lbs Crawford is versatile enough to play end or tackle on the defensive line. Given the fact that teams have snapped up pass rushers left and right in free agency it's a wonder Crawford hasn't been scooped up yet. Although, when you look at it he doesn't have all that many sacks and even though he's got position flex he has not been especially great. The Cowboys wanted Crawford back and I'm sure they've seen potential in him but it's about time some of these guys start to live up to that potential. This signing gives Dallas a crap-load of depth on the D-line so does this mean that they will be less likely to take a Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner? Who knows. We won't know until April 28th around 7:30 PM.

    Dallas has begun their allotted 30 visits with potential draft prospects. Last year CB Byron Jones was among the 30 players Dallas welcomed to Valley Ranch and Jones ended up being Dallas first round pick at #27. Dallas will have a bunch of guys we'd love them to draft, that they'd love to draft, but just because you want it doesn't mean you'll get it. In fact you will not get every player you want. Ever get frustrated in your fantasy draft watching players you want disappear from the draft board as you squirm in your seat waiting for your next turn to pick? Quadruple that feeling and that's what an NFL war room goes through on draft days. The higher the round your picking in the more anxiety you feel because the pressure to get it right is enormous because the consequence of picking wrong might cost you your job. Imagine in your next fantasy draft that your boss at work tells you that you have to make the playoffs or your ass is fired. Kind of adds a little desperation to the pot doesn't it?

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...uation-process

  14. #44
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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    The Cowboys have brought in no less than 6 QBs as part of their allotted 30 visits every team is allowed prior to the draft. Yesterday Carson Wentz was the 6 sixth QB to visit Valley Ranch. As any Cowboys fan knows QB is a high priority need for Dallas with Tony Romo 36 years old and prone to injury the last few years with his back and collar bone issues. Romo's successor needs to be way up high on the Cowboys draft list. Odds are the best that Dallas will get a franchise QB in the first round but they are in a 'win now' mode and honestly the top two QB's in this year's draft, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, are not sure fire locks to be the next Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman. To me, the Cowboys would be best served to get a stud defensive player with pick #4 and hope a Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook falls to them in the 2nd round. Maybe that guy could be Jacoby Brissett from North Carolina State or some Romo-eque UFA they sign after the draft. I don't know and I don't care when or where Dallas get him but they need a to succeed Romo. During the first golden age of the Cowboys franchise when they built their America's Team mystique there was a QB ready to step in when the previous QB stepped out. Dandy Don Meredith gave way to Craig Morton who gave way to Roger Staubach who gave way to Danny White. A record 20 consecutive winning seasons would not have happened without a QB to lead the team. That's a big reason why the 90's dynasty never went any further than it did because there was nobody in the wings to take over the reins of the Cowboys franchise when Aikman was done. There were some pretty thin years for Dallas when Aikman retired because Dallas had put all their chickens in the Aikman basket and when he had to retire the Cowboys looked around and found the QB cupboard was bare. Jerry Jones was in a 'win now' mode then too hoping to get the triplets one last ring. It cost Dallas too much in that pursuit. It didn't help that the Cowboys drafted badly after Jimmy Johnson left and that poor drafting lasted until Bill Parcells came on board in 2003. Dallas has drafted pretty darn well in the first 3 or 4 rounds since Jason Garrett took over as head coach but the Cowboys haven't been very good in later rounds. That trend needs to change and right now.

    There has been a lot of talk about who Dallas should pick at #4 but what about needs that need to be filled in the draft? May I offer a RB for your consideration. Notre Dame's C J Prosise. Who? That was my question because I don't follow Notre Dame football that close and saw virtually none of their game last season Prosise was a total unknown to me when this draft process started back in February. What I have since found out is that Prosise is the 2nd fastest RB in the top 5. Only Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliot is faster. I have also found out that Prosise switched from WR to RB prior to last season so you know a couple of things with that info. 1) Prosise's ceiling is very high because he is still learning the intricacies of the RB position and 2) you know he can catch the ball coming out of the backfield. Prosise is a 3 down type of back who doesn't have to come off the field, he is good at pass blocking, he runs with power finishing off runs and he has the ability to make defenders miss and the speed to take the rock to the house. God only knows why but he's projected to be a 4th round draft pick and if he's there in the 4th Dallas should jump all over this kid. Dallas has two picks in the 4th round and if they can snag Prosise with one and Jacoby Brissett with the other, IMO, Dallas will have hit a huge home run in that round. Of course, it all depends on if one or, preferably, both guys panning out but what the hell, you only have one 1st round pick and so forth so why not expect the later picks to be good, right? Right.

    Here's my weekly mock draft version 6.0. As usual it's done the On The Clock draft simulator on fanspeak.com and for consistency sake I have used the CBSSports.com player rankings. If you try using this On The Clock there are a lot of player ranking sites to choose from, I just chose CBS when I started. So let's take a look at my most recent Christmas wish list.

    4: R1P4
    OLB MYLES JACK - Best defensive player in the draft next to Jalen Ramsey who was gone when Dallas picked.
    UCLA

    34: R2P3
    DE KEVIN DODD - Best available player in the 2nd. Had a breakout year with 12 sacks playing opposite Shaq Lawson at Clemson.
    CLEMSON

    67: R3P4
    TE HUNTER HENRY - Highest ranked TE in this draft and touted at the best all around TE to come out of college in years. Potential successor to Jason Witten.
    ARKANSAS

    101: R4P3
    RB C.J. PROSISE - Discussed him earlier in this post.
    NOTRE DAME

    135: R4P37
    QB JACOBY BRISSETT - Has the size and skills to play in the NFL and with good coaching can be a franchise NFL QB.
    NC STATE

    189: R6P14
    CB DARYL WORLEY - Good CB from power 5 conference. Needs to get better tackling but has the tools to be a good NFL CB.
    WEST VIRGINIA

    212: R6P37
    CB DEIONDRE' HALL - Player from Northern Iowa who is long and athletic and good in coverage which is perfect for a guy projected to play safety in the NFL.
    NORTHERN IOWA

    216: R6P41
    ILB NICK KWIATKOSKI - Another guy to play the middle who could be someone Dallas can count on if Rolando McClain stumbles and gets suspended again.
    WEST VIRGINIA

    217: R6P42
    C AUSTIN BLYTHE - This Iowa lineman has started at both center and guard in college and he would fill a need for as a swing guard and backup center.
    IOWA

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    Re: 2016 Dallas Cowboys Offseason

    Last Friday was "Dallas Day" meaning the Cowboys could work out as many players as they want to as long as they either went to high school or college in the Dallas area. The Cowboys are fortunate that there a lot of draft worthy players that came to AT&T Stadium for a potential draft interview. The best thing about the Dallas Day and similar days around the NFL are that the visits don't count against the allotted 30 visits allowed by NFL rules for hosting potential draft prospects. Here's an article from DallasCowboys.com about the Dallas Day activities.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...raft-prospects

    In last week's weekly rant DallasCowboys.com's Mickey Spagnola convinced me that Jalen Ramsey should be Dallas' pick at #4 in a little over 2 weeks at the NFL Draft. In this week's editorial Mickey seemed to be saying that Dallas needs to draft a QB as long as he's really worth the pick. It was cleverly disguised as an article about the long road Hall of Fame OL Larry Allen took on his way to the NFL. It's a good article and worth a look.

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/20...-your-anywhere

    After a week to think about it I have come to the conclusion that Dallas should take whoever is available at #4 between Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. Both guys are, with all the information available, the two best players in this draft. I'm sure there are people who will argue that Ole Miss OL Laremy Tunsil is the best player in the draft but Dallas isn't taking Tunsil because they just don't need him. The fact is one and maybe both may not even be there when Dallas picks. It's a no-brainer if one is there and if both are there the Cowboys should have a quarter ready to flip.
    The general consensus of most of the mock drafts of the first 3 picks ahead of the Cowboys are 1) OL Laremy Tunsil - Ole Miss to Tennessee 2) QB Carson Wentz - NDSU to Cleveland and 3) Jalen Ramsey - Fla State to San Diego. San Diego has also been linked to Jack and QB Jared Goff from Cal. Who knows at this point. Let's say both Jack and Ramsey are gone, who does Dallas take? If this is the case then Carson Wentz could be there as the top QB prospect. Dallas has called him impressive and NFL.com's Mike Mayock has a major man-crush on him. Dallas also seems to like Paxton Lynch but they would likely have to take him at 4 because the odds of his being there when Dallas picks at 34 in the 2nd round are slim and none. Of course if Wentz is gone and Dallas takes Lynch at 4 the Cowboys will take a lot of heat for taking him too high. If Jack and Ramsey are gone and Dallas doesn't go QB then I hope they go for the best pass rusher in this draft. No, it's not Joey Bosa. IMO it's Shaq Lawson from Clemson. Dallas will also be criticized for reaching for Lawson but let me tell you one thing. I have heard a former NFL scout and current DallasCowboys.com staff writer Bryan Broaddus compare Bosa with former Cowboys DE Greg Ellis. Now Ellis was a decent player for the Cowboys but he wasn't worth the #4 pick in the draft. Because Dallas had just gone through a lot of turmoil over Michael Irvin's arrest at a Dallas hotel with a prostitute and in possession of cocaine they didn't want a player who had a lot of baggage so they went with Ellis over future Hall of Famer Randy Moss. Bosa has some baggage too and he's not projected as 4-3 pass rushing right DE he's projected as a left DE who plays on the strong side of the line across from the tackle and tight end. I want a human tornado playing right end and I'm done with Randy Gregory. That guy can't leave weed alone and he's another failed drug test from a 10 game suspension. Lawson or Lynch or trade back. Personally, I don't want Dallas to trade back. I want either Jack or Lynch and I feel one or the other will be there when Dallas picks.

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