Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Drafting Better Is The Best Cap Strategy

Ronald Martinez

Latest Cowboys headlines: The salary cap could climb to $160 million in 2016; Tony Romo is shooting hoops again; AT&T Stadium gets even bigger.

Better drafting leads to healthy cap situation - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Archer answers a few questions in his Twitter mailbag, and has this to say on whether there will ever be a day of reckoning for the Cowboys because of the salary cap.

You always hear how the Cowboys or other teams will have to reconcile their cap situation, but honestly I don’t think that will ever happen. The credit card bill never comes due. What did hurt the Cowboys was the bogus (my choice of words) $10 million penalty imposed by the league because of how Miles Austin’s contract was structured.

There will always be dead money on a cap. Always. And for every team. Do the Cowboys have too much dead money? Sure, but they are getting in better shape with the cap. Will they be able to compete for the top-flight free agents? Not really. It would take too much work and chew up space they want to give to guys like Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. Free agency is not the answer to all of this team’s problems.

Where the Cowboys have to improve is drafting players. That, more than anything, leads to a healthy cap situation.

Cap could hit $160 million in 2016 | ProFootballTalk
A source tells PFT that the cap could spike to $145 million in 2015 and a whopping $160 million in 2016.

Dear Cowboys, please sign Tyron Smith and Dez Bryant right now, while they can still be had at this year's rate. Don't wait to overpay them next year.

Cowboys Under Cap After Costa Cut, Bernadeau Renegotiated - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
The release of Phil Costa and a renegotiated deal with Mackenzy Bernadeau on Friday put the final touches on getting under the cap before the weekend.

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Exclusive: Former Pro Bowler LeCharles Bentley reveals sleeper for Dallas Cowboys | Cover32.com
You may be familiar with LeCharles Bentley's O-Line Academy from the time he helped whip Montrae Holland back into NFL playing shape (Holland now works for Bentley at the Academy). Matt Thornton had a chance to interview Bentley and talked to him about the Cowboys and a draft prospect who could be of interest for Dallas. Read the full interview by following the link, here's an excerpt:

Matt Thornton: Speaking of young offensive line talent, do you have any players in the draft you feel might be a good fit for the Cowboys at guard?

LeCharles Bentley: I do have a guy for you. His name is Craig Watts from West Texas A&M. He’s a sleeper who many folks haven’t heard of, but I think he is a top tier talent.

Matt Thornton: Is Watts better suited in a zone blocking or man blocking scheme? New Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s base is the Coryell Offense with primarily power running between the tackles.

LeCharles Bentley: He can play either, but I think Watts skill set is better suited for a downhill running power blocking scheme. But he can adapt easily to either scheme because he’s such a complete player. In today’s game, it’s so important to get guys like Watts who are versatile and can block for guys like Marshawn Lynch in Seattle who run between the tackles, but can also support the edges runners too.

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Measuring beyond girth: How offensive linemen are graded in the NFL | The MMQB with Peter King
Offensive linemen are overlooked by everyone except the coaches who grade them each week—and those marks are the difference between lasting in the NFL and finding a new career, writes Ross Tucker, who looks at how linemen are graded.

Top 10 players who will be overpaid in free agency - NFL.com
With the best players usually locked up before free agency, Around The League lists 10 candidates who will likely receive an inflated contract not quite commensurate with their worth. Naturally An Eagle and a Giant make their list.

NFL free agency 2014: Negotiating window rules, schedule and more - SBNation.com
The 2014 negotiating window is set to begin today at noon ET. The three-day period prior to the start of free agency is meant to curb tampering, but will it work? Louis Bien explains the ground rules.

LA Clippers star gives Dallas Cowboys draft advice | GiveMeSport
DallasCowboys.com has been running profiles on potential draft picks. LA Clippers star DeAndre Jordan appears to agree with one particular article featuring Texas A&M WR Mike Evans. Jordan tweeted out in reply to the article: "Can't go wrong with an Aggie." Jordon of course is also a Texas A&M alumni.

Tony Romo, Jason Garrett hoop it up at Cameron Indoor Stadium - Sporting News
Jason Garrett and Tony Romo were inside Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium shooting balls with a couple of current and former Blue Devils yesterday. For anybody concerned about Romo's back, the video in the article shows him him dribbling and taking a jump shot without any noticeable hesitation. Of course, there's still the much bigger issue with the way he's wearing his hat...

Everything is bigger in Texas: Crews finish mounting massive ‘AT&T’ letters on Cowboys’ stadium | Star-Telegram
The "M" in "AT&T Stadium" alone weighs two tons. The two sets of letters are 43 feet tall and stretch 385 feet across the dome. The letters are so large that airplane passengers will be able to see them.

Exclusive: NFL great seeks real estate pro to lead new Austin office - Austin Business Journal
Emmitt Smith is looking to expand his business dealings to Austin. So far so good. This article starts out with what amounts to a help wanted ad:

Wanted: President for new real estate firm’s Austin division. Reports to former pro football great and Dancing with the Stars champion Emmitt Smith.

Wait ... what?

That's like "Yeah, I'm in the Hall of Fame, yadda yadda. But check this out: I won DWTS!!!"

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