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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Is It Time To Draft A Quarterback?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Could Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger be on the Cowboys' radar? The Cowboys don't want to continue to throw money at 30+ year-old players; Morris Claiborne says he’ll be ready for offseason work.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Brandt: Cowboys should look to draft Tony Romo's successor -
Gil Brandt says the time is right for the Cowboys to begin grooming a replacement for QB Tony Romo.

"Romo's days as an effective signal-caller eventually will come to an end, and the Cowboys would be wise to prepare themselves ahead of time by looking for his successor now. That process starts in the draft," Brandt wrote. "... When I was with the Cowboys, we were habitually trying to find somebody to groom behind our starting quarterback, whether we were adding Roger Staubach and Craig Morton behind Don Meredith or adding Danny White behind Staubach."

Brandt makes an interesting point: White, drafted in the third round of the 1974 draft, sat for six years behind Staubach before becoming the starter in 1980. That kind of time frame may not be realistic in this day and age, but even Aaron Rodgers sat behind Favre for three years before being named the starter - though that isn't something that's commonplace in today's NFL.

Possible Pick: UGA QB Murray Set To Show He’s Healthy - Rowan Kavner,
Murray has been a mid- to late-round fan favorite for a couple of months now, and Kavner teams up with Broaddus for a profile of the four-year starter at a major SEC program. There's a lot to like about Murray, despite his knee injury:

Murray’s the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 or more yards in four straight seasons. He not only holds school records for attempts (1,478), completions (921), passing yards (13,166) and touchdowns (121), but he also holds the SEC record for the last three categories, as well as total offense (13,562).

He’s projected to go in the middle rounds, anywhere from the third to the fifth.

Cowlishaw: If he's there in second round, here's the QB I want Cowboys to draft | DMN
In a recent chat with fans, Cowlishaw pushed for LSU's Zach Mettenberger in the second round:

Tim Cowlishaw: I wish the Cowboys would take LSU's Zach Mettenberger in the second round -- sort of the opposite of Johnny Football when it comes to mobility (he doesn't have it) and arm strength (he does) -- but I doubt he will last that long. I think at least four get taken in the first round and I have no idea where Derek Carr goes or what his future is. Mettenberger is the one I think is intriguing. He made throws last year that you watched and just said "That's an NFL arm." But you better have the O-Line to protect him.


Moore: Cowboys saving some cap space for long-term deals with Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith | DMN
David Moore was on SportsDay On Air on Monday and provided some solid perspective on the Cowboys' financial strategy.

Moore: "I think on misconception about this off-season was, especially after they got Henry Melton … was they didn’t have the money to go after Jared Allen. They had the money to go after Jared Allen. They chose not to take that approach, because they don’t want to continue to throw money at 30+ year-old players."

"You don’t have to spend every single cent that you have on the cap … They’ll sign Tyron Smith or Dez Bryant to long-term deal and then keep just enough so that later in the year they can add a few veteran guys if needed."

Morris Claiborne says he’ll be ready for offseason work | ProFootballTalk
Claiborne has had surgeries on his shoulder and finger this offseason, but says he'll be ready to go when the Cowboys' offseason program gets under way. He also said that he feels like he’s making good on Garrett’s desire to see him get stronger.

"I’m feeling great," Claiborne said in an interview with Gina Miller, via the Dallas Morning News. "I feel like my mind is getting stronger as well as my body. Just rehabbing every day and trying to get stronger. I’ll be ready for when we start up our workouts and on to OTAs and minicamp."

Look for more rotation on Minnesota Vikings' D-line - ESPN
With Jared Allen's departure, the Vikings defensive line is in a similar situation to the Cowboys', who lost DeMarcus Ware (and Jason Hatcher). As such, it's interesting to read about how the Vikings, similar to the Cowboys, are looking for more rotation on the D-line.

Zimmer seems likely to involve more players on his defensive line, and he's got the bodies to do it; the Vikings have four defensive tackles in place (Sharrif Floyd, Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson and Fred Evans) and added a former starter to their defensive end group in Corey Wootton. It's also worth noting that in defensive coordinator George Edwards' two seasons with the Miami Dolphins -- where former Zimmer assistant Kevin Coyle is the defensive coordinator -- no lineman played more than 83 percent of the Dolphins' snaps.

Zimmer's had a history of trying to use multiple linemen to keep the group fresh. It's likely a big reason the Vikings have prioritized defensive line depth this spring, and it could lead to a noticeably different look on defense this fall.


Remaining Free Agents: Offense - Over the Cap
Jason Fitzgerald argues that we are now out of Phase II and about to enter Phase III of free agency, where signings slow down considerably as teams are pretty comfortable with their rosters and would like to get a look at players in the early stages of the offseason programs and also see how the draft plays out. But there are still name free agents out there on offense, including Miles Austin, who'll likely end up with a team sooner or later.

Discerning fact from fiction in NFL draft reports. |
It's not always easy to tell which NFL draft whispers are real and which ones are bogus. Russ Lande tries anyway and suggests that Kony Ealy "is much more likely to be a second- or third-rounder" than where he is currently often mocked. Other (positive rumors) concern CB Kyle Fuller and WR Marqise Lee, while BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy gets the thumbs down.

Anthony Barr & the importance of effort -
Anthony Barr has been gaining some traction as a possible draft pick for the Cowboys, but former NFL defensive end Stephen White argues that he may be better suited for a 3-4 defense. And while he may not be the best pass rusher in the 2014 NFL Draft, White thinks Barr's got the kind of motor that will take him places.

See for yourself whether you agree or disagree with White's assessment:


Sources: DeSean Jackson Was A Problem For Kelly, In Eagles Locker Room " CBS Philly
The Eagles go on the PR offensive after allegations surfaced that they may have "smeared" MeSean. Anyway, good luck, Washington.

What a number of sources close to and around the team, including current and former players, as well as additional sources within the Eagles revealed was that Jackson was not very well liked by his teammates, was blatantly insubordinate, with temper tantrums cussing out Kelly several times in front of the team, pushed the NFL rookie coach the way "a child would test boundaries," and was more concerned with his rap label than he was about winning football games.

Giants have signed 24 free agents (so far) - San Antonio Express-News
The Giants agreed to a one-year contract on Friday with tight end Kellen Davis, bringing their total number of free agents signed to 24, 14 of whom played elsewhere last year.

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