Nothing much happened yesterday for the Cowboys in free agency, but news of names linked to the Cowboys kept us on our toes yesterday. Here's a summary:
Hearing Cowboys interest in Julius Peppers is quite real. Obvious ties to Marinelli and with DAL Front 4 being picked clean, big need too— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 15, 2014
Cowboys also have interest in Peppers and Allen if either's price falls - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Williams writes that the Cowboys appear to be waiting for the market to settle, and could be landing spots for either Peppers or Allen - if their price tags come down.
Analyzing what a Weeden signing could mean - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer is on top of his game as usual, and where others have little more than snark to offer about the Cowboys interest in Weeden, Archer spells out what the interest in a backup QB could ultimately mean:
So let’s fast forward to training camp and the preseason. [...] If Weeden performs well enough (however you want to define that), then the Cowboys could feel comfortable in trading Orton to a team with a big need at quarterback and get a draft pick in return. Remember, this is Orton’s last year under contract. If the Cowboys trade Orton before the season starts, but after July 1, then they would gain $3.25 million in cap space in 2014.
Provided he does not retire, which would be unexpected, Orton is set to count $2.254 million in dead money against the cap because of the two voidable years remaining on his contract. So the Cowboys would gain cap space that they could use to roll over in 2015 and get a draft pick for a player they were not going to keep anyway.
Could former Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden wind up in Dallas? | cleveland.com
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reminds us that the Browns still owe Weeden $2.1 million for 2014. If he were to sign in Dallas for less, say the vet minimum of $570,000, the Browns would have to make up the difference to the $2.1 million.
With Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys are not rebuilding - ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer with some, let's say, well, um, well "unintentional" comedy:
Earlier today my guy, Calvin Watkins, brought you a post that says the Dallas Cowboys are rebuilding.
I don’t want to say Calvin is wrong, but, well, um, well, I don’t agree with that premise.
Gosselin: Here's what happens if no first-round caliber lineman are [sic] available for the Cowboys at pick No. 16 - DMN
If neither a defensive nor offensive lineman is on the board, Gosselin suggests trading down.
The Cowboys need to come up with at least two defensive linemen and one offensive lineman in this draft. As much as it may pain Jerry to draft a non-skill position, he must for the good of the franchise. Until this team can block and tackle up front, it's not going to compete seriously for division titles and Super Bowls. You win up front in the NFC East and right now the Cowboys are lacking there.
The Notebook: Timmy Jernigan has the power - SBNation.com
Two weeks ago, Stephen White, a former defensive end in Tampa Bay (1996-01) and the Jets (2002) took a close look at Aaron Donald and called him a "Marinelli guy" and a "master of technique." Today he turns his attention to Timmy Jernigan. And while White wonders whether Jernigan's power will translate to the NFL, he compares Jernigan favorably to La'Roi Glover:
Watching him do all of those hip tosses reminded me of former Raiders, Saints, Cowboys and Rams defensive tackle La'Roi Glover. If you never watched any of Glover's film, you wouldn't understand, but they both move so well in tight areas, they both use their power to swat guys out of their way and they both run really high with no knee bend.
Glover was a 4-3 three-technique, and he was able to find a way to make it work to the tune of six Pro Bowls during his career. There is a chance that Jernigan could find similar success if he really works on getting his hips turned on his movements. Even if it doesn't translate into six Pro Bowls, I see plenty of reason to believe improvement in that one area (along with getting off the ball just a hair quicker) could make him a very productive pass rusher as well as run stopper during his NFL career.
Thinking about catching the Dallas Cowboys play in London? Here’s how much it will cost | Jon Machota, DMN
Packages for a four-night stay apparently start at $1,650 for a single room.
Reminder: Initial contract details are always total BS - It's All Over, Fat Man!
A timely reminder that the early reports about contracts are usually wrong. Case in point:
"Whenever a figure is advertised as being guaranteed in an NFL contract, injury guarantees are always included. A good rule of thumb is to take whatever number is being reported and cut it in half."
Nickel & diming: How subpackages have become the new base defense in the NFL - SBNation.com
The always readable Danny Kelly (@FieldGulls) has a great long-form piece on how subpackages have become the new base defense in the NFL, and how that's impacting free agency and the draft. Kelly closes with a quote from Jeme Bramel.
"This is the era of specialization in the NFL. Slot wide receivers, third down running backs, goal line runners and pass catching tight ends are becoming more and more important of the success of today's offenses. The defensive side of the ball is no different. Situational edge rushers and pass rushing defensive tackles, linebackers leaving the field on passing downs and, of course, nickel corners. Because NFL offenses are operating out of multiple wide receiver sets more than ever, NFL defenses are specializing on passing downs more often in response."
The state of football stats: How to build a better Sloan, and improve the conversation about analytics - SBNation.com
At SB Nation, Bill Connelly examines what went wrong with the Sloan Sports Analytics conference and examines the state of football analytics in 2014. In close to 8,000 words.
Adding players that we think are improvements during free agency leads us to the logical conclusion that the team is better. But not true.— NFL Philosophy (@NFLosophy) March 15, 2014
NFL Free Agency has only been open for three days, but seems to be moving quicly towards the one-year deal phase. #thatwasquick— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) March 14, 2014