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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: First-Round Pick For A Running Back?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Signing big-name free agents doesn't usually help teams win more games; One of many ways how to get out of "salary cap hell"; Does signing Darren McFadden preclude Cowboys from drafting a running back in the first round?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the offseason, where even the reliably prolific Todd Archer didn't have a new post up yesterday. Which means we'll ring in the new week with assorted odds and ends loosely pertaining to the Dallas Cowboys.


Sabin: Signing McFadden doesn't mean Cowboys won't draft RB; losing Murray hurts ability to address needs on D in draft | Dallas Morning News
Rainer Sabin on whether the Cowboys will draft a RB in the first round:

It's a good question. I wouldn't rule out anything at this point. I don't think the Darren McFadden signing necessarily precludes the Cowboys from drafting a running back with a first-round pick. But the Cowboys have so many needs on defense to address. That's why losing DeMarco Murray hurts Dallas because it essentially creates a need at a position that was solidified as long as he was in the backfield.

Machota: Cowboys still need to upgrade defense, but noticeable ones won't come via free agency | Dallas Morning News
In a chat with fans, Jon Machota talked about further upgrades on defense.

The noticeable ones will come in the draft. They still need plenty of help along the defensive line, they could use a good linebacker and another corner. All of those can be found in the draft if they find the right player. This is also a front office that will be constantly trying out players who might not have big names but can be productive. George Selvie would be a good example. He wasn't added to the team until training camp. There are always bargains out there. They just have to be found.

Gosselin: Here's the only way the Cowboys can get out of salary cap hell | Dallas Morning News
Gosselin continues to perpetuate the story of "salary cap hell" and suggests the only way out of it is to stop restructuring contracts.

If you keep pushing the money back, as the Cowboys have done on an annual basis by restructuring their biggest contracts, that squeezes the salary cap tighter and tighter in future seasons. I know the Cowboys do not want to restructure Romo this season. But we'll see. The wants (fiscal restraints) of Stephen Jones may differ from the wants of his father and his head coach (retaining the NFL rushing champion). Another re-do of Romo would logically be the only way the Cowboys could manage that.


Dallas Cowboys project tab in Frisco: $168 million and climbing | Dallas Morning News
If you're interested in what's happening with the new Cowboys headquarters and practice field in Frisco, this is a good primer, though you'd hope that the planners would invest a little more creativity in the project than they did in some of the street names:

Street names in the development have been finalized. Traffic will enter from Warren Parkway on The Star Boulevard, pass through Winning Drive and head toward Cowboys Way. The project will be bordered on the west by Gridiron Road and to the north by Hall of Fame Lane. The Avenue of Champions will lead into the team’s headquarters complex. And the existing Gaylord Parkway will be extended north into the project.

Jerry Jones' real estate company to start work on $700 million development - Dallas Business Journal
The figure in the headline of the previous link was probably meant to impress, but it looks like the cost of the Frisco facility is chump change compared to some of the other projects Jerry Jones is managing.

Blue Star Land Co., the Frisco-based development company of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is preparing to start construction on its 1,000-acre master planned community that will bring 1,800 homes to Prosper. The community will be called Star Trail and it will cost more than $700 million to develop and will include roughly 100 acres of commercial acreage for retail services for residents.


When dreaming of draft sure things, remember Trent Richardson | USA TODAY Sports Wire
Richardson was the highest-drafted running back in six years when Cleveland took him with its third pick in 2012, but that didn't make him a sure thing, far from it.

Having operated in Alabama’s NFL-influenced offense, Richardson should have been able to pass-protect. He also should have learned to read holes opened by Alabama’s powerful offensive line,but maybe that was the problem. Maybe the talent around him made him look deceptively good.

The Browns made a mistake on Trent Richardson, but only because they had the first chance. Moral: There are safeties in the draft, but no safe picks.

Do NFL teams improve after signing top free agents? - Sports - The Boston Globe
Have you ever wondered how much better NFL teams get after signing top free agents? On average, they win 0 additional games this report suggests.

Looking across all the teams that picked up a top-five free agent over the last decade, it turns out that those teams didn’t get any better. On average, they ended up winning almost exactly the same number of games.

If you’re looking for a more concrete explanation, though, it might have to do with salary. Top free agents fetch a premium price, which crowds out spending on other, less glamorous but sometimes equally important personnel. So teams gain a star, but lose too many workhorses.

Players who change teams perform worse - Sports + Numbers:
This analysis finds that on average, both starters and non-starters experience a drop in Approximate Value when they change teams. How can you avoid that?

If you need to plug holes in free agency, behave like a value investor. Seek out places where value is most likely by identifying where there is favorable reason for the player to be available. Players jettisoned in a salary cap-related purge over those let go from a team with tons of cap space. Players released due to off field concerns over those available cheaper than you thought for no obvious reason. Players who haven’t had the chance to prove themselves – stuck behind stars if possible – over those who have started and failed to impress.


Safety-Needy Giants face 'sketchy' year for safeties - Big Blue View
The safety situation for the Cowboys might not be the best in the league, but it's worlds better than where the Giants find themselves.

The New York Giants have only two safeties on the roster who have played an NFL snap -- and zero who have started an NFL game. Whether you like Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor or not, and there is potential there, it seems apparent the Giants need to add more players at the safety position.

During an appearance on the 'Big Blue Chat' podcast, Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking The Draft said the Giants -- and anyone else looking for safety help in this draft -- are going to have a tough time finding it.

"It's just such a bad year if you need a safety. The only thing that could be worse for a team is if you need a quarterback. It's a sketchy year for safeties," Kadar said. "There's a lot of need out there for coverage safeties and there's not a lot of quality at that position. I think we're going to see some of these guys get overdrafted a little bit."

Washington Redskins have improved, but enough to win NFC East? NFL Spinzone
Two writers for NFL Spinzone discuss whether the Redskins can take the East. Read from a Cowboys perspective, this piece has high comedic value. Example: "Quarterback aside, Washington can win with defense and coaching in 2015."

Philadelphia Eagles not alone in Marcus Mariota speculation - ESPN
At some point Philly fans will figure out that they didn't draft Mariota after all. I'd like to be there and watch as that realization sets in.

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