Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: "Cowboys organizational chart is no longer ... a pretzel!"

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Cowboys headlines: "Cowboys coaching staff suddenly follows a logical organizational flow"; rookie wide receivers ready to step up; Kyle Orton's cap issues stem from forfeiture provisions in his contract.

Top 10 Storylines At Cowboys OTAs - Mike Fisher, FOX Sports
Mike Fisher summarizes 10 storylines to watch this week as the Cowboys start their organized team activities. Probably the most under-reported story on that list are the recent changes to the organizational chart, which Fisher describes as follows.

The Cowboys coaching staff suddenly follows a logical organizational flow for the first time in years with head coach Jason Garrett having tabbed Linehan and Rod Marinelli (rather than owner Jerry Jones having tabbed them).

Another facet of the logical organizational chart: while Garrett is high on it, he's in the final year of his contract with no extension forthcoming - which is exactly as it should be.

Garrett and his entire staff are coaching for their occupational lives here ... a "life cycle" that begins Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, Fisher described the organizational changes a little more succinctly:

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Top Storylines Ahead Of Cowboys OTAs - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Broaddus also offers his take on the top storylines that are likely to emerge over the coming days and weeks, and focuses mostly on the various position battles that are likely to happen. On the defensive line, the Cowboys will start working without Henry Melton and Amobi Okoye, who are both still recovering from injuries.

There will be plenty of focus on the defensive line and how Rod Marinelli, Leon Lett and Ben Bloom choose to line up their guys. With no Henry Melton and Amobi Okoye in the mix, we will most likely see Tyrone Crawford play the under-tackle or three-technique with Ben Bass and Davon Coleman as the backups. I am interested to see where they play Terrell McClain because I have always thought that he would be a candidate to play as the nose or one-technique. I had been hearing whispers that he might even see some action at the three. This position in my opinion is the most unsettled where those tackles line up.

Rookie WR Devin Street understands the game - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer writes that Street impressed the Cowboys at rookie minicamp by showing a savvy not often seen from rookie receivers.

On a go route, Street cleanly broke away from the cornerback at the line of scrimmage. Instead of veering wide to the sideline, he remained on a straight line down the numbers to keep the corner on his heels. That gave the quarterback the ability to throw the ball over Street’s outside shoulder with room for him to make the catch without worrying about the sideline. With the ball in the air, Street was able to glide outside and make the deep catch. The cornerback was never a factor.

"You can tell he was in an NFL-type attack and understands angles, how to win one on one, how to find himself open in zone and he certainly has a maturity level to how he runs routes," coach Jason Garrett said. "Very quarterback friendly."

Rookie WR L’Damian Washington explains why he’s ‘blessed and cursed’ | Jon Machota, DMN
Washington expected to be drafted but ended up an undrafted free agent. And even though not getting drafted hit him hard, he feels blessed to be in Dallas:

Several teams offered Washington a contract following the seventh round. But despite those teams offering "way more" money than the Cowboys, Washington chose to sign with Dallas.

Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley has a special bond with Washington. When Dooley was the head coach at Louisiana Tech in 2009, he was the first college coach to offer Washington a scholarship.

"He was the first coach that gave me a chance," Washington said. "Once he did, every other coach came along. I felt like I kind of owed him one, so I came here."

Kyle Orton, the Cowboys, and Retirement - Over the Cap
Jason Fitzgerald explains the forfeiture provisions in Kyle Orton's contract.

When a player receives a signing bonus it is essentially a prepayment of salary that is contingent upon the player fulfilling his contract. If released from that contract he keeps the signing bonus because he fulfilled his obligation and the team chose to terminate the deal. This is common in the NFL. However in some instances a player chooses to walk away from the NFL and not fulfill his obligation to the team. When this occurs a team has the right to demand repayment of the remaining salary cap charges attributed to signing bonus money for the current league year as well as all future league years covered by the contract.

Even though Orton would technically be a free agent in 2015, his contract is valid through 2016. The way the forfeiture rules are written Dallas should be able to recover money attributed to 2014, 2015, and 2016. That number is a whopping $3,382,500, or about 46.7% of his earnings over the last two seasons. If forced to repay back that money he would essentially have played the last two seasons for $1.9 million a year, which is a low wage for a capable veteran backup.

Let’s Not Count These Four Players Out Just Yet - Jeff Sullivan, DallasCowboys.com
Sully explains why the Cowboys like Gavin Escobar, B.W. Webb, J.J. Wilcox, and Morris Claiborne much more than the average fan does, and picks Wilcox as team’s most improved player in 2014.

They really like this kid. Also, they feel undrafted free agent Jeff Heath played a lot better than anyone realizes. For now, though, we’ll stick with Wilcox. Make no mistake, Wilcox is more talented, quicker, and the hands down front-runner to start this year, but for whatever reason, he struggled those final six games. Then again, who didn’t on the defense? Wilcox is my choice to be this team’s most improved player in 2014.

Is the NFL better off with the rookie wage scale? | USA Today
Rookies are no longer awarded some of the most lucrative contracts in the NFL.That's bad news for the rookies, and really good news for the penny-pinchers in the NFL.

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