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Cowboys News & Notes: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Some lessons learned, some records broken, and some interesting draft prospects.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the offseason well underway for the Dallas Cowboys, the news is a bit more eclectic nowadays.

Cowboys might want to think twice about their power back - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Todd Archer brings up the thought that the Cowboys might want to think a little bit about how hard they try to keep DeMarco Murray after seeing the roles Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks and LeGarrette Blount of the New England Patriots played in their respective teams' wins in the Conference Championships.

As good as the Cowboys' offensive line was in 2014 Murray made a good portion of those 1,845 yards on his own. The Cowboys' fortunes changed because of their ability to run the ball. They brought a balance. 

The New England offense changed when they brought Blount back. They at least had the threat of the run to help Tom Brady throw the ball. The Seahawks are a running team that mixed in the pass.

Cowboys Romo: A Milestone Season In Review - CowboysHQ

A look back by Jordan Ross at the plethora of statistical measures of excellence for the Cowboys' quarterback, summed up aptly by his head coach.

"I just believe it so much in my heart that Tony Romo's greatest traits are his physical and mental toughness," coach Jason Garrett said. "All the great players in this league have those traits. Tony certainly exhibits them week-in and week-out. ... he's just a helluva football player.''

With Scott Linehan, Jason Garrett's ability to 'walk around' took root - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Speaking of the head coach, Archer considers how important the hire of a new play caller and de facto offensive coordinator liberated Garrett to take more control over the entire team.

Garrett was still involved with the offense with Linehan on board, but it was more in an advisory role. In practices, he spent more time with the defense. In meetings, he spent more time with defense.

By being more well-rounded, Garrett became a better coach.

How Jason Garrett Became a Great Leader - LeadWhereYouAre.Today

This is a look at how the head coach leads, from a pastor named Grant Diamond. He shows he really gets it with his first point.

Success Is a Process If there's one thing that Coach Garret is notoriously known for it's his unfailing emphasis on the "process" of building a winning football team. Win, lose, or draw, and regardless of the opponent you can guarantee that Coach Garrett will refuse to get caught up in the emotion of the moment after a game to take a short-term focus. Instead Coach Garrett has disciplined himself to stay on message about the importance of the process and taking a long-term view of success.

Sturm’s Offseason Digest No. 1: What I’m thinking if I have the Cowboys’ pick at No. 27; Randy Gregory profile | Dallas Morning News

Bob Sturm begins his own offseason routine, and spends most of his time reflecting on what we have learned from the NFC side of the playoffs.

The other thing that pops in your head is that these teams are not that far apart.  Detroit is not much worse than Dallas.  Dallas is no worse than Green Bay.  Green Bay may not be worse than Seattle.  The margins are close and you might need a call or a home field advantage to split the two teams up.  In other words, you need to be good to get into the playoffs, but then it is often the flip of a coin.  As Al Pacino famously said, "The inches are all around us, and when you add up all those inches, that is what makes the difference between winning and losing."  Mere inches.


Now is the time for all good Cowboys fans to start wondering who might be joining the team this year.

Dallas Cowboys' numbers game works better in free agency - ESPN

Archer had a lot of good stuff to read. In this bit of insight, he offers the example of how the Cowboys went about replacing DeMarcus Ware as a work of caution to those calling for a splashy free agent signing.

The Cowboys went with the numbers' approach in replacing Ware. They signed Jeremy Mincey to a two-year deal. They kept Anthony Spencer on a one-year deal. Combined with George Selvie, they combined to count $3.771 million against the cap and combined for 9.5 sacks. 

So it was basically the same production at nearly $6 million in savings. In theory, the Cowboys were able to allocate dollars elsewhere, like locking up Tyron Smith to a long-term deal. Whenever a team thinks it's one player away from a Super Bowl, they make a mistake. Charles Haley was more the exception than the rule when the Cowboys traded for him, but that also came before the salary cap.

2015 NFL Draft: Winston, Mariota Among 84 Early Entrants for Draft - Optimum Scouting

In recent years some of the best players available in the draft have been the early declarees. And with the Murray situation, this is probably the most interesting part of this look at all that are coming out early this time around.

13 running backs, led by Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi from Boise State, Buck Allen from USC, and Duke Johnson from Miami declared early, hoping to avoid the serious injuries suffered by Marcus Lattimore and fellow early entrant Todd Gurley.

2015 Senior Bowl: 10 defensive prospects to watch -

Of course, Dallas needs to find some help for the defense after a lot of recent investment in the offense, particularly that huge talent infusion on the line. Here is one player who might draw interest.

DE Henry Anderson, Stanford (6-5, 295, 4.88)
Stanford has been cranking out intriguing defensive prospects in recent years and Anderson fits the bill. He is built like a tree with good length and powerful hands to extend and meet blockers, shredding bodies and disrupting the pocket. Anderson has some body tightness, but he could be a "riser" after this week in Mobile.

Projecting the Compensatory Draft Picks for 2015 - Over the Cap

All you need to know: None this year for Dallas.


Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant to sit out Pro Bowl | Dallas Morning News

Late news that Dez Bryant won't be getting picked by his surrogate father Michael Irvin.

The Cowboys wideout has a groin injury and has been replaced by Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb.

But a late addition will still have seven Cowboys playing.

Three from Cowboys picked for 2015 Texas Sports Hall of Fame class | Dallas Morning News

Cliff Harris, Everson Walls and Gil Brandt will be inducted. All of the long time fans of the team will understand why.

And finally:

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