Dallas Cowboys News & Notes - Aaron Donald: "Would Be Great To Play For Cowboys"

Aaron Donald on possibly being drafted by Dallas: "I feel like I will fit that scheme great." - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: Aaron Donald thinks he would be a great fit for the scheme in Dallas, the salary cap may end up even higher than reported earlier this week, and Rod Marinelli explains his version of the "secret sauce".

Pitt’s Donald on Cowboys: ‘I love the way they play up front’ - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
Sounds like a match made in heaven - or at least a match made on the first day of the draft:

"I would love to play for anyone, but it would be great to play for them," Donald said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I love the way they play up front, 4-3 (scheme) … They like the three-technique to just get off and make plays. They like him to penetrate. I feel like I will fit that scheme great."

Donald is scheduled for a formal interview with the Cowboys tonight.

Cowboys target defensive tackle after last year’s draft mixup | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Rod Marinelli wants pass rushing tackles and ends for his scheme, which is why the Cowboys decided to pass on Sharrif Floyd last year - he wasn’t a quick-twitch guy.

"Unless a guy can be your 3 technique or a pass rush end, Rod doesn’t believe you should take him in the first round," Stephen Jones said. "He believes you can find noses in the middle of the draft or late in the draft. We believe Sharrif was a nose, a damn good nose but a nose."

Dallas Cowboys need D, but don't force it - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Everybody knows the Dallas Cowboys need help on defense, but that doesn't mean the Cowboys must draft defense in May, Archer writes, and Stephen Jones agrees:

"I think you get in a lot of trouble if you focus in on one spot," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "You start targeting something and drafting off need, we all know that will get you in trouble. I don’t think it’s to anyone’s surprise that it would be nice to come out of the draft at some point with a defensive front guy, a defensive lineman or two, but I don’t think we’re just going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take the first two picks and they’ve got to be defensive linemen.' I feel like you get in trouble that way."

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Salary cap could be $132 million - Newsday
After earlier reports that the 2014 number could grow to $130 million, ESPN reported on Saturday that it is projected to be $132 million. That would leave the Cowboys a mere $18.9 million over the cap, according to tracking site OverTheCap.com. This means the Cowboys could get under the cap by restructuring just three players, Romo, Carr and Lee. Anything beyond that is optional.

Stephen Jones: Cap crunch may be a blessing, force the Cowboys to draft well like Seahawks - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it.

"Free agency isn’t always the answer," Jones said. "We could go out and hire somebody if we wanted. But I don’t see us going in that direction now. We are not in any rush. But what it may cause you to do is draft young people and play your draft picks, which may make us a better football team. A team like Seattle shows that."

Twitter mailbag: Which free agent for Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
In his twitter mailbag, Archer discusses whether Cowboys were wise to move to 4-3, cap issues and what Cowboys might do at safety. He also responds to a question about who the Cowboys could go after in free agency:

I am not going after any free agents. Well, any high-priced free agents.

If they can keep Jason Hatcher on a relatively cap friendly deal, then that would be OK. But they are not in a position to set the market on a defensive end, defensive tackle, safety -- or pick a position. And the risk is not worth it. At best, a team will get a free-agent pick-up to play to the level of the contract but never exceed it. At worst a big-money deal paralyzes a team from a salary cap standpoint.

I believe [Stephen] Jones has it right when he says the Cowboys can be efficient in free agency. Efficiency may not sell but it is effective.

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Rod Marinelli: Defense can make a 'jump' - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Rod Marinelli explains his version of the "secret sauce", and how it will help get the defense jump-started:

"Your front seven," he said. "You always look at it. You’ve always got to look at the front seven. That kind of drives the whole thing for us. So hopefully we’ll be adding pieces, and I like some of the guys that were injured last year, (Tyrone) Crawford, Ben Bass. Some of these other guys I’m looking forward to seeing."

"The key is the foundation," Marinelli said. "If you can get that going, you get yourself a foundation and you build off that. Get the right pieces, the right couple of guys and things will jump quick."

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli: Kiffin’s new role will be ‘huge’ | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Rod Marinelli, who has replaced Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator, says his predecessor will have a "huge role."

"He’ll be in there every day with us — film, working drills, all the things," Marinelli said. "What a tremendous resource and a great coach. Great coach. Got great respect for him."

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Texas’ DE Jeffcoat and WR Davis would love to play for Cowboys | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
The Cowboys haven't yet talked to Jackson Jeffcoat, who said said he would love to follow in his father’s footsteps and play for his hometown team, but they have talked Mike Davis on Friday. Davis said he told the team’s coaches and scouts to please tell "Jerry Jones to take me."

Broaddus: Tight Ends Don’t Impress At Combine - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Thank God.

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