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Dallas Cowboys News And Notes: Much Ado About DeMarco Murray

All the news that's fit to links. And, today, there's plenty o' breathless headlines to ring in the New Year: Free agency begins!; DeMarco Murray stories every ten minutes!; former Cowboys sign elsewhere!; Dallas' free agent targets!; Scandrick!; O-diggity!

O-diggity celebrates the new NFL year
O-diggity celebrates the new NFL year
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NFL's New Year kicked off with a bang on Tuesday afternoon, as four o'clock was barely finished chiming before a bevy of deals hit the airwaves and put the Twitterverse into a several-hour-long tizzy.  Never fear, faithful BTBers; we have all the information distilled in our convenient free agency tracker:

Cowboys 2015 Free Agent Rumor & News Tracker - Blogging The Boys

Bookmark it and go there regularly over the next few, frenzied days to keep up on the myriad goings on.


The lead story, of course, is the DeMarco Murray saga. Here's Tuesday's blow-by-blow account:

DeMarco Murray's agent, Dallas Cowboys talked deal - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys and Murray's agent (finally) spoke on Tuesday morning, after going a few weeks without communication. However, it's not likely that they talked terms so much as checked in with their respective parameters and called it a day.

Time for Dallas Cowboys to keep DeMarco Murray - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer, ESPN Dallas's bell cow, writes that the team needs to get off of the proverbial pot. Murray, he insists,

...means too much to this team's success. He means more to the Cowboys than he would mean to another team. The Cowboys have searched high and low for an identity in the coach Jason Garrett era and finally found it with the way they ran the ball in 2014....

This is a team that has a new window of opportunity opened because of the success it had in 2014 with its identity being Murray's productivity and toughness.

The Cowboys can't just let that walk out the door.

DeMarco Murray removes all references to Dallas Cowboys from his Twitter account - Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Early Tuesday morning, Murray deleted all references to the Cowboys from his Twitter account; there are now no more photos in Cowboys regalia nor mentions of the team in his bio. Of course, this resulted in rampant media speculation about his motivation for doing so.

LATEST UPDATES: (Sources) Jaguars, Raiders Bidding For DeMarco Murray - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
The Estimable Ryle writes that our concerns about the Cowboys lead dog saying farewell to Big D look to be coming true:

"This is exactly the kind of bidding war that the Cowboys were hoping would not materialize, but it should be no real surprise given Murray's resume. The chances of Dallas retaining him were looking good with no action before the trade deadline, but that looks to have radically changed."

Could Spiller move to Dallas if Cowboys lose Murray? - Kevin Patra,
Over at, Patra asks: could C.J. Spiller become the next lead back for Jerry Jones' squad, and then proceeds to reveal the specious nature of the question with which he begins:

Spiller would be an interesting signing for the Cowboys. He's not the power back like Murray and often dances or bounces the ball outside, which wouldn't be a perfect mesh with Dallas' blocking scheme. Spiller would essentially be a better version of the backs currently on the roster.

If DeMarco Murray leaves, Dallas Cowboys won't jump at free agent RBs - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer notes that the Cowboys are more likely to seek a replacement for DeMarco Murray in the draft than they are in free agency:

According to multiple sources, the Cowboys are not ready to check in on the middle- to lower-level running backs that are available, including C.J. Spiller and Darren McFadden, at this time.

You're not alone here, Tom. I'm dizzy as all get out...


The Cowboys, as I suggested good teams do in my Six Free Agency Commandments post, spent the day waiting for the frenzy to subside (commandment number one: "Thou Shalt Wait Until the Storm Passeth"):

Since the Cowboys were idle, most of the stories revolved around their own free agents visiting and signing with other teams.

Dallas Cowboys WR/return specialist Dwayne Harris signs with New York Giants - Brandon George, Dallas Morning News
The deal is reportedly worth $17.5 million over five seasons, with $7.1 million fully guaranteed and a $4 million signing bonus. As George writes, "The Cowboys weren’t going to come close to paying Harris that kind of money." Adios to the Dread-Head Kid.

Cowboys lose LB Justin Durant to Atlanta  - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
From the "that stinks" department: Although Durant was one of the linebackers the Cowboys hoped to retain, he agreed to a contract with the Atlanta Falcons just a few hours after free agency opened Tuesday afternoon. Apparently, the Cowboys' last gasp attempt to keep him was unsuccessful.

Anthony Hitchens is Dallas Cowboys' Justin Durant insurance - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Toddzilla reminds us that Dallas has a pretty darn good replacement for the departed Durant already on the roster.

Source: Free agent LB Bruce Carter visiting Tampa Bay, Houston; Dallas Cowboys only ‘slightly’ in touch - Brandon George, Dallas Morning News
Tarheel Paul is on suicide watch. Duke whomped his beloved Heels last weekend, and Carter has plans to visit the Buccaneers and Texans. To make matters worse, the Cowboys seem uninterested in Paul's plight, having made little contact with Carter's people.

Stephen Jones wanted to keep Durant, Carter and McClain; why that looks like it won’t happen - Rainer Sabin, Dallas Morning News
Last month, Stephen Jones said that the organization was interested in keeping all three of its free agent linebackers: Justin Durant, Bruce Carter and Rolando McClain. With Durant in Atlanta and Carter on his tour, that's not going to happen. That leaves McClain...

Dallas Cowboys free agent DT Henry Melton visiting Tampa Bay tonight, Wednesday - Brandon George, Dallas Morning News
On Tuesday, defensive tackle Henry Melton flew to Tampa Bay for a visit with the Buccaneers, where he's likely to run into Bruce Carter. Given that the Bucs run the same defense as the Cowboys, it makes sense that ex-Cowboys are being targeted by Lovie Smith and Co.

Dallas Cowboys free agent DE Anthony Spencer drawing interest from multiple teams | Dallas Morning News
One day into free agency, George offers, multiple teams have already expressed interest in Dallas Cowboys free agent defensive end Anthony Spencer. However, we don't know who those teams are just yet...


How about players the Cowboys might be interested in?

Checking on some of the Dallas Cowboys' free-agent needs - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer takes inventory of the Cowboys' free-agency needs. Its a fairly extensive list:

-pass rush
-running back
-backup/ swing tackle
-veteran backup QB

In addition, he offers potential targets for each position,. Here's the inside scoop on potential free agent corners:

They have expressed interest in Davon House of the Green Bay Packers and Patrick Robinson of the New Orleans Saints. House has the size the Cowboys want in corners (6-foot, 195 pounds) and can play inside and outside. Robinson was a first-round pick in 2010 and had nine interceptions in an up-and-down run with the Saints.

Sadly, House already signed with the Jaguars (really, who hasn't).


Roster Rundown: Scandrick’s Upward Trajectory Continues After Standout Season - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
The Broad One turns his scouting eye to the former Boise State product, and pens a love song. Here's a sample:

It is rare that you can find a player that can play at a high athletic level but also with the intelligence as well. Scandrick is the total package in both regards. I have always respected his ability to prepare for a game and how he carries that over to the field. He is as solid as they come when playing coverage. The fact that you can line him up on the outside or kick him inside to play the slot is a huge plus for this club. His ability to cover the opponents best in those critical situations when trying to get off the field on 3rd downs was a real key down the stretch when the club was fighting to get in the playoffs and once in.


Pro Day Tour: Pass-Rusher Odighizuwa Steals Show At UCLA With Stellar Workout  - The Mothership
A report from UCLA's pro day, here potential Dallas draft targets DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, LB Eric Kendricks were put through their paces. Since I think both could be Dallas targets with the 27th pick, I'll include information on each, starting with Odighizuwa:

Odighizuwa chose to stand on his 4.61 40 time from the Combine and only participated in position drills, where he shown. He really demonstrated his power working the sled but the highlight of his day came in linebacker drills. While he primarily played with his hand in the ground at UCLA, Odighizuwa moved well in space and showed that he is able to drop into coverage and proved that his impressive measurables in Indianapolis can translate to field.

And Kendricks:

Like Odighizuwa, Kendricks only participated in position drills and performed very well when put through the paces by NFL scouts. The linebacker was limited with a hamstring injury at the Combine but allayed concerns about his athleticism by moving very well Tuesday.


Nick Foles described as "overjoyed he’s out of Philly" | ProFootballTalk
The Eagles look to be fast approaching Redskins levels of dysfunction. Nick Foles for one is glad to be out of Philadelphia.

Sal Paolantonio of ESPN said on 97.5 The Fanatic that a Foles relative described Foles as ecstatic to no longer be an Eagle.

"I just talked to a member of Nick Foles’s family. He is absolutely pumped, overjoyed he’s out of Philly," Paolantonio said.

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