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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Contract Talks With Dez Bryant "Intensified Within Past Week"

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys are not yet ruling out a deal with Dez Bryant before the franchise tag deadline on Monday; Cowboys have more players on Top 100 free agent list than any other team; Is trading up in the cards for the Cowboys?

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

First of two franchise tag deadlines looming on Monday - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys have to put the tag on Dez Bryant by 4 p.m. ET on Monday. Once that's done, it creates a new desdline for Bryant and the Cowboys: the two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal.

Cowboys face delicate balance with Dez Bryant, franchise tag - USA Today
The Cowboys will likely stick Dez Bryant with the franchise tag on Monday, but are not yet ruling out a deal before the franchise tag deadline.

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones reiterated to USA TODAY Sports this week that signing Bryant to a long-term contract remains the end game. A person with knowledge of the matter, who did not want to speak publicly because of the private nature of the situation, said the pace of the talks have intensified within the past week, but nothing is imminent, yet Jones added that he would not rule out striking a deal before Monday.

Greg Cosell's Film Review: DeMarco Murray and his value to Dallas | Yahoo Sports
Cosell takes a detailed look at the Cowboys' ground game and explains why Murray and the Cowboys are a perfect fit - and how one may not be as effective without the other.

This is why the question of signing Murray is a tough one. Murray and the Cowboys are a perfect fit together: He is a great fit in their zone-based running game, and the Cowboys benefited from having a back who can sustain drives and control a game. The Cowboys’ success last season started with Murray, and Murray isn't the kind of back who can be plugged into any system and have a huge season. If the Cowboys don’t re-sign him (assuming they don’t replace him with a Peterson-level back), their offense has to be different next season. Their whole team would have to be different.

Is trading up in the cards for the Cowboys? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Todd Arche answers a reader question about the possibility of the Cowboys trading up into the top 10 or 20 in the draft.

As a general rule when it comes to Jerry Jones and the draft, I would say never say never to anything. But you're asking about what I potentially see and I just don't see it. It costs too much. The Cowboys have said over and over that they want to build a team the right way and they're not one player away. They would have to give up way too much to get into the top 10 to select a pass rusher. I don't see them moving up inside the top 20, either. But if a player they covet is there at Nos 23, 24, 25, then I can see them making a flip to get up there. Like free agency, I don't see the Cowboys making any drastic moves in the draft.

Top 101 NFL free agents for 2015 -
Around The NFL's Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling rank the top 101 free agents. The Cowboys are represented with seven players (3. Bryant, 9. Murray, 46. Melton, 53. Free, 54. R. McClain, 74. Carter, 99. Spencer), more than any other team in the NFL. The Broncos, Packers, Patriots, 49ers and Browns have the second most free agents on this list with five each. Whether leading this list is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.

5 Cowboys who could break out in 2015 | Jon Machota, DMN
Machota explains why Cole Beasley, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyler Patmon, J.J. Wilcox, or Ryan Williams could be candidates to take their game to another level in 2015.


NFLPA: The Dallas Cowboys are not spending enough money | Jon Machota, DMN
Machota writes that each NFL team is required to spend at least 89 percent of their salary cap in cash over a four-year period. The Cowboys are currently below this hard cash floor, but that's just a technicality that will quickly disappear once the Cowboys cough up whatever signing bonus Dez Bryant and other free agents will receive.

What is the NFL's 89 percent spend rule? - Big Cat Country
The NFL has a minimum spending rule of 89 percent over a four year period in the new CBA, but there isn't really a need for fans to be overly concerned about it.

Cowboys 2015 Salary Cap Outlook - Over the Cap
Jason Fitzgerald takes a look at the Cowboys' cap situation and proposes an offseason plan that for once isn't about getting out of a salary cap hole.

I know it is very easy to look at last season and say that one more big piece will make it work this year, but what is making things tick for Dallas really has been the development of their younger players, specifically on the line, while getting some good value on some low cost signings. The Dallas big ticket players of the past are not the type of players that got them to the divisional round of the playoffs and they need to keep focused on that.

Constant Compensation: How Do the Ravens Always Have So Many Draft Picks? - Grantland
The Ravens will likely have four compensatory picks in this year's draft, and have collected more comp picks than any other team over the last 20-odd years. This article takes a look at how they managed that.

Combine Survivor Effect - Advanced Football Analytics
Brian Burke explains why we see so little correlation between NFL Combine numbers and NFL success: Once you remove the 90% or so of players who simply aren't good enough athletes, the error overwhelms the correlation because of sample size issues.

The lesson here is that scouts should be using the measurables as a "filter" rather than a "coefficient." In other words, they should be looking for red flags where a player might be below a certain minimum level of an attribute, rather than using the attribute as a relative indicator of potential. And as I understand it, that's how teams generally use the Combine in practice.


Matt Johnson announces official retirement on Instagram

While not exactly a surprising development, I know that I at least was still holding out some kind of hope for Matt Johnson to make it in the big leagues.

So I made the hard decision to retire from playing football today. I had a tough 3 years in the NFL with injuries and my body just seemed to tell me it's time to move on. My passion is still in the game of football and I can't wait to get into coaching the game I love. I want to thank everyone who enjoyed the ride with me, my coaches at Tumwater, EWU and with the Cowboys. My great agent Cameron Foster for giving me the chance of a lifetime. I met amazing people through my time playing that will be life long friends. Thank you all. #NGUNNGU #GoEags #CowboysNation

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