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Cowboys News & Notes: Teaching Moments For Jason Garrett; DeMarco Murray Contract Speculation

Plus mock drafts and scouting reports. All the Dallas goodies you really need to know.

And DeMarco Murray gets another honor, this one for his work off the field.
And DeMarco Murray gets another honor, this one for his work off the field.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eatman: From Contracts To Manziel To Late-Game Picks, Some Random Thoughts | Dallas Cowboys

Nick Eatman does some nice dissection of Russell Wilson's play in the Super Bowl, including the fact that he didn't throw a really bad pass on the big interception. He also brings up something that has been mentioned several times in various other places about the strange sequence of events for the NFC teams in the playoffs.

Speaking of, how coincidental of a domino-effect did we see this year in the playoffs, starting with the NFC. Detroit feels like it had a game stolen from them by the refs and the Cowboys. Dallas goes to Green Bay and gets robbed by a misinterpretation of the rulebook and a few guys sitting in the league office. Then the Packers don't get robbed, but have their hearts yanked out in the final minutes of regulation by the Seahawks and a misplayed onside kick. So Seattle goes to the Super Bowl, only to get 1 yard away from winning the game, but never even got to run their best play with their best player.

Evidence shows Cowboys would have run ball in same scenario Seahawks faced on fateful Super Bowl play | Dallas Morning News

The Cowboys only faced two second and one situations at the goal line during the regular season, and they ran DeMarco Murray for touchdowns both times. Neither were in game situations similar to the one faced by the Seahawks, however. Rainer Sabin points to a play that probably had much more to do with how Dallas would have handled that particular problem.

But perhaps one 2nd-and-1 play from the season opener would have influenced the Cowboys' decision. Back in September, with Dallas stationed at San Francisco's 2-yard line, quarterback Tony Romo checked out of a run play and attempted to throw a pass. He was sacked for a nine-yard loss and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal. It was a defining episode for Dallas, and it appeared to accelerate the Cowboys' rapid evolution into a run-based offense that ultimately changed the trajectory of the franchise.

Mailbag: Could The Cowboys Have Won The Super Bowl?; Assessing Lee's Injury? | Dallas Cowboys

The answer to the first question is kinda "Who knows?", but Bryan Broaddus' take on the second is encouraging.

I do agree with you about the concern of his injury history, but in the same breath I am not going to bet against him in getting ready for this upcoming season. In visiting with him and physically seeing him with my own eyes is what leads me to that thought. He is due to have a good run and I believe that this is that season.

Moore: Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has mother lode of teaching moments after wild Super Bowl | Dallas Morning News

You know these are a couple of points the head coach will hammer home to the appropriate audiences.

Garrett can point to one example after another of how a player who had little impact on either team's success during the regular season was ready for his moment once it came around. Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan have a harrowing reminder of what can happen when a play caller ignores the team's offensive identity at a crucial moment.

CURIOUS GEORGE: Would Dallas Cowboys have run unlike Seattle did; how much does DeMarco Murray want to play for Super Bowl contender? | Dallas Morning News

The "What would Garrett have done" question is a popular theme. But it is also just a guessing game. Brandon George's other questions are actually more interesting, including this one that is at the forefront of all our minds.

I'm curious how much DeMarco Murray wants to play for a Super Bowl contender next season: Murray is set to become an unrestricted free agent if the Cowboys can't sign him before free agency opens in March. Murray said last week that he's not thinking about one big contract and that "the money is irrelevant to some degree." Murray said "what's best for me is to win a Super Bowl and win one now." Sure, all things equal, Murray would prefer the best of both worlds ... a big contract for a Super Bowl contender. But how much will he stick to that if one of the league's bottom feeders throws big (or at least bigger) money at Murray this offseason in free agency and the Cowboys and other Super Bowl contenders don't get close.

Marshawn Lynch's impact on DeMarco Murray - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Todd Archer does think that Marshawn Lynch's contract will influence the negotiations between Murray and the Cowboys. Just not the one you expect.

There is no doubt Murray's agents will look at Lynch's deal -- if and when it becomes official -- as a barometer for what their client should receive. The Cowboys can counter with offers to last year's free agents that topped out at $3.5 million per year. 

Perhaps there is a Lynch deal that could play a part in the negotiations. It's the one he signed in 2012 with the Seahawks that covered four years and at the time was worth $31 million with $18 million guaranteed.

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray to be honored in May as Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year | Dallas Morning News

A little evidence that Murray isn't just great on the field.

Murray is being honored, in part, because of his work with his foundation in the Dallas area that has provided educational support for under-served youth.

Other athletes who have been honored with the award in recent years include Peyton and Eli Manning, Cal Ripken Jr., Colin Kaepernick, Drew Brees, Joe Torre and Arnold Palmer.

Impressive company.

Five Wonders: Monte Kiffin's future - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Just to go on record, I would not see anything wrong with offering Kiffin some kind of consultant position, or even a somewhat meaningless title for the grace with which he accepted his demotion. It's not like Jerry Jones can't afford it. But the team is at least going to accord Kiffin some dignity no matter how this plays out.

Kiffin turns 75 at the end of the month. His one-year run as the coordinator did not go well. Jason Garrett has a lot of respect for Kiffin and would prefer the coach goes out on his own terms. By letting the contract run out, the Cowboys can say they let Kiffin make his own decision to retire or keep coaching.

Total Accuracy Final Rankings - Field Gulls

I guess our sister Seahawks site had to find something to get their minds off the Super Bowl loss. Hat tip to Landon McCool, our podcast maestro, who pointed this out. Can you guess who topped this list?

Now for some draft stuff:

Position Series: Breaking Down The Cowboys’ Needs On The Defensive Front | Dallas Cowboys

I guess this qualifies as a position of need.

The shortcomings of the pass rush were on full display in Green Bay in the playoffs, when a hobbled Aaron Rodgers had plenty of time to dissect the Dallas defense. The Cowboys finished 28th in the league with just 28 sacks - a number that put them 10th among the 12 playoff teams, ahead of only Cincinnati. Credit to Rod Marinelli for coaxing maximum effort out of his rushmen, but this is a unit that needs a talent infusion. There were bright spots, such as Mincey's unlooked-for production at right end, not to mention Spencer's bounce back from injury. The bottom line, though, is that this was a group that wasn't able to enforce its will nearly as often as required from this scheme.

Sturm’s Draft Profiles: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson | Dallas Morning News

And here is someone that might get a look. He is undersized at 6'3" and 235 lbs, but as Bob Sturm notes, that may not be enough reason to disregard him.

I once discounted a player because he seemed undersized for the edge rusher spot in the NFL and I feared if he would ever find a home. That player now has 49 sacks in 56 career games and his name is Von Miller. I am not saying he is Von Miller, but Vic Beasley is the real deal and has proven his worth with 25 sacks and an absurd 44.5 more tackles for loss in the last 2 seasons.That is 69.5 explosive plays in 2 seasons in a major conference while playing against a number of tackles who we consider NFL prospects. He has gifts around the edge that make his case for him. Sometimes you have to ignore the scale and watch the games and for that reason, I think Vic Beasley might turn out to be the very best edge rusher in this entire draft - and that says something because there are some very good pass rushers in this class.

Draft Notes Vol. III: Five Corners " CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Here is a list at some potential names to help out in the secondary.

NFL Draft 2015 Scouting Report: Oregon State Cornerback Steven Nelson - Blogging The Boys

Meanwhile, the First Lady of BTB, Dawn Macelli, teams up with Birddog26 to take a more in depth look at another corner.

Where he impresses is the ability to put himself in position to make plays. This helped him stand out at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. According to Rob Rang, Nelson stood out in coverage and displayed a consistent ability to undercut receivers and break up pass plays. He displayed quick feet and fluid movement throughout his time in Mobile. Nelson also possesses a second gear that allows him to quickly close on the play.

2015 NFL Mock Draft: Gurley, Gordon both first-round worthy -

NFL Mock Draft 2015: Post Super Bowl Edition - Blogging The Boys

Here are a couple of mock drafts (and you know there will be plenty more). Interesting to see how Dane Brugler and our own DraftCowboys came up with similar but different names for the Cowboys at 27.

Explaining NFL Free Agent Designations - Over the Cap

This is a handy definition of the various types of free agents. You might want to bookmark it in case you need to figure out what things like RFA and ERFA mean.

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