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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Should Cowboys Keep Both Bryant And Murray?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Jerry Jones explains management style that earned him the title of NFL Executive of the Year; Cowboys up their number of Pro Bowlers to seven; Cowboys can deliver Dez and DeMarco for 2015, but should they?

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Keeping Bryant and Murray will be 'challenge’ for Cowboys - San Antonio Express-News
Challenging? Sure. Impossible? No way.

"Let me put it like this: It’s going to be a challenge," Jones said of re-signing both of Dallas’ biggest potential free agents. "But is it — you use the word 'financially reasonable’ — no. Is it possible? Yes."

"If you just look at it from the standpoint of dollars and cents, it probably doesn’t look reasonable. At the end of the day, you do realize it’s going to be costly to have both those players."

Cowboys can deliver Dez and DeMarco for 2015, but should they? | Brandon George, DMN
Jerry Jones said it’s not "financially reasonable" to re-sign receiver Dez Bryant and running back DeMarco Murray. Okay, I get that, but since when has that ever stopped the Cowboys from doing anything? Brandon George agrees:

Anyone who thinks the Cowboys couldn’t sign both Bryant and Murray just hasn’t paid attention recently.

The Cowboys can free up about $44.5 million of salary cap space in 2015 with a few moves. That would certainly allow them to bring back both Bryant and Murray.

Two Cowboys contracts that will get restructured to create about $20 million in cap space | Brandon George, DMN
Remember when every DFW scribe would prophezise Armageddon every time they talked about the cap? Yeah, those were the days.

They can restructure every season pretty much. It does start to get really expensive if you continue to push it down the road, though. So you want to limit it. Yes, the Cowboys can save about $20 million against the salary cap in 2015 by restructuring Tony Romo's and Tyron Smith's contracts. I believe both have automatic triggers in their contracts to do so without any decision needed to be made. Both will happen.

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Jerry Jones opens door on how Dallas Cowboys operate - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer calls Jerry Jones a "delegator-in-chief", whose approach differs from that of other NFL GMs - an approach that earned him the title of "NFL Executive of the Year."

The point is that we have a lot of people very qualified, very qualified people," Jones said. "Frankly, we spend a lot of the resources of the Cowboys to have these people. And we have a large number of them. I really do use them in decision-making and what I intend to do is certainly to take this encouragement and the encouragement by the year that we had and I am going to analyze every good thing we did and how it impacted having this good year and I am going to double-up there and then I am going to cut back, when I find a few things that we probably went the wrong way on and I am going to try to get those out of the mix. I am going to take the good things and really expand and push them with more intensity."

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Dallas Cowboys safeties Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox earn raises - ESPN Dallas
Archer explains a little-know NFL rule:

Under the NFL’s "proven performance escalator," players drafted in Rounds 3-7 since 2012 will receive increases by playing in at least 35 percent of the offensive or defensive snaps in two of their first three seasons.

For Church, that's a cool $1 million extra, J.J. Wilcox also qualified for a raise, but it will only be paid in 2016. James Hanna narrowly missed the escalator.

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What goes on in an NFL scouting department? | National Football Post
Greg Gabriel offers a look behind behind the scenes of what's going on in scouting departments right about now. According to Gabriel, scouting departments have whittled down their prospect lists from thousands of college players to about five or six hundred over the last month, and that now is the time at which the coaches start entering the evaluation process.

How important are All-star games? | National Football Post
Staying with the evaluation process, Greg Gabriel explains what NFL coaching staffs are doing at the All-star games:

All-star games also give NFL coaches their first chance to see prospects in person. During the NFL season, coaches don’t spend any time studying college players. Their entire workload is coaching the players they have. After the season, the scouting department will give the coaches a list of players to evaluate. When the coaches go to these postseason games, they concentrate on the few players that were assigned to them.

The coaches will look to see if the prospect fits the position's height, weight, and athleticism profile. He will also study the players' work habits and technique during practice. The coach begins to form an opinion as to whether or not he wants to work with the prospect. This is invaluable to reaching a final overall grade on a player.

NFL will hold veteran free agent combine in March - NFL.com
The NFL will introduce a veteran combine beginning this March in Arizona. The fact that the move creates another TV event for the league in the offseason is, of course, pure coincidence.

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Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo happy Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan are back - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
What, did you expect him to say he's disappointed?

Cowboys Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur Added To Pro Bowl Roster - Blogging The Boys
And then there were seven: The Cowboys long snapper has earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl, bringing the number of Cowboys at the Pro Bowl to seven.

2014 Cowboys: Improvement Shown In Decreased Number Of Close Games - Blogging The Boys
In 2014, the Cowboys improved dramatically, largely because they played fewer "close" games. For real improvement to occur as Jason Garrett continues to build his team, they will have to carry this tendency into the playoffs.