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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: ESPN Writers Say Cowboys Are Best Team In The NFC East

Latest Cowboys headlines: Four ESPN writers unanimously pick Cowboys as best team in the East; The writing had been on the wall for Anthony Spencer in Dallas; A preseason schedule with a twist.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NFC East roundtable: Cowboys are best team entering NFL draft - ESPN
All four ESPN NFC East writers agree that the Cowboys are the best team in the division entering the draft, based on offseason moves that have been made. All four weighed in with their take on why the Cowboys are the best team, but I'll let our own Todd Archer do the honors on this one:

I believe Murray will be a big loss for the Cowboys, but I don't think it will cripple their success. I don't know how many games Hardy will play. I don't know how many games Rolando McClain will play. I don't know how happy Dez Bryant will be with the franchise tag. The Eagles made a lot of moves, but I don't believe in their quarterback at all. The Giants could bounce back. I still think the Redskins are the fourth best team in the division.

The Cowboys were able to cover their needs in free agency without spending much of any guaranteed money. They have the best quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver and tight end in the division. They have added a pass-rusher, kept a playmaker and will welcome back Sean Lee. Entering the draft, the Cowboys are still the team to beat.

The all-time NFL power rankings -- of the Super Bowl era - CBSSports.com
Brad Gagnon throws together a franchise ranking based on Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl appearances, Hall of Famers produced, division titles and all-time modern-era regular-season records.

Turns out that the Cowboys arent just the best team in the NFC East, they're also the best team of the Super Bowl era. The Redskins come in 7th, the Giants come in 13th, and I stopped looking after that.

Anthony Spencer signs one-year deal with New Orleans Saints | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Spencer is now on his fourth consecutive one-year deal, of which his first two were for a combined $20 million when he was franchised by the Cowboys. Our own Tom Ryle has his take on Spencer's departure here.

Dallas Cowboys were prepared to move on from Anthony Spencer - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer writes that the sum of the Cowboys' recent moves had ultimately made Spencer replaceable.

The Cowboys signed Greg Hardy in free agency and will give DeMarcus Lawrence a greater role in 2015. They also have Jeremy Mincey, who led the team in sacks last year with six, and will welcome back Gardner, who didn’t play as a rookie because of a shoulder injury. Plus there is the NFL draft, where the Cowboys could also take a defensive end early.

Dallas Cowboys preseason schedule has an Adrian Peterson hook | Charean Williams, The Star Telegram
There seems to be an Adrian Peterson angle to almost every Cowboys story at the moment. It's no different for the preseason schedule.

The intriguing part of the matchup against the Vikings is whether star running back Adrian Peterson will play as a Viking or as a Cowboy.

The third preseason game is also the unofficial dress rehearsal for the season. Most teams play their starters for at least a half and sometimes through three quarters. That means Peterson will get his most extensive, real-time action in almost a year.

2015 NFL Draft: DE Frank Clark reaches plea, charge dropped - CBSSports.com
The Cowboys have a confirmed interest in Frank Clark, and now that the former Michigan defensive end has reached a plea deal that dropped his charge from misdemeanor domestic violence to disorderly conduct, teams might be lining up for Clark.

And although he won't be on every draft board, Clark has done his damage control with teams and the recent plea deal will also help when evaluators debate whether or not to draft him. The question isn't if he will be drafted, but more likely when will he be drafted?

And it wouldn't be a complete shock to see Clark sneak into the top-100 selections.

Mayock: 2015 WR class has eight players with first-round grade - NFL.com
If you're busy trying to figure out which corner or defensive end could still be around when the Cowboys are on the clock with their 27th pick, NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has good news for you, as the more wide receivers are picked in the first round, the more other prospects are bound to drop.

"I've got eight wide receivers with potential first-round grades. Of those eight, I think six will go in the first round," Mayock said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft."

SackSEER 2015 - Football Outsiders.com
Previously only available behind the ESPN paywall, the SackSEER data is now available for all.

From high school fields in Canada to the NFL; Tyrone Crawford followed an unlikely path | Dallas Morning News
How Tyrone Crawford made good is your feelgood story of the day.