Today's biggest story is, if not sad, then at least a bummer:
The Cowboys have released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, roughly a year into the two-year contract his signed last Spring. While a full recovery was always a longshot, it was hard not to root for the guy, especially after he'd overcome the rare disease that had him in a 145-day long coma.
The other big news in Cowboys land continues to be the pre-draft visits. A few new names were added to the list on Wednesday:
The second wave of college players has hit Valley Ranch, Moore writes, and notes that running backs and defensive ends top the list.
The frequently updated list of names the Cowboys are bringing in for pre-draft visits to Valley Ranch, courtesy of the inimitable O.C.C..
Draft profiles, anyone?
The Mothership's series identifying potential draft picks who could affect the depth chart at each position continues with a look at offensive tackle. Here's an interesting name we haven't heard much about:
Andrew Donnal, Iowa – Donnal only started two games until his final season for the Hawkeyes, where he blossomed into an effective right tackle. While college teammate Brandon Scherff is considered one of the draft’s elite O-Line prospects, Donnal could grow into a starter as a developmental tackle taken in the middle-to-late rounds.
Sturm's draft series continues with a gander at a former Duck. Here's The Sturminator's summary:
This guy is not Andrew Luck. There are major questions about scheme-fit, and whether he can get a redshirt year to figure out his new destination. However, I feel that he is more likely to achieve "solid starter" status than any other QB in this draft and while that may put me in the minority on that front, I can live with it. Mariota is perfect in a Philadelphia or Seattle-type offense and while I don’t know how healthy he can remain if he runs 100 times like he did in a normal college season, I do know that he is going to be very difficult to defend. He will put defenses in a real bind where you cannot defend everything and move the chains with his feet if you load up the secondary, and unlike Kaepernick, can make all of the throws if you sit on his runs. I really believe that in a few years, Mariota is going to be something pretty special.
Archer's breakdowns of players at positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys keeps on keepin' on with a look at the troubled former Michigan star. Archer's conclusion:
Cowboys fit: It all goes back to the off-field concern. Can the Cowboys be comfortable with that when they have already added Hardy and had an incident with running back Joseph Randle earlier this offseason? On the field, he fits perfectly. Maybe the Cowboys decide there will be a round in which they can add him and withstand the scrutiny the selection would make. They have weathered many storms, but this would be one they created.
Here's a taste of the relevant position rankings from Mayock (Names of Valley Ranch invitees are in bold):
1. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
2. Todd Gurley, Georgia
3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
4. Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
5. Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Interior defensive linemen:
1. Leonard Williams, USC
2. Arik Armstead, Oregon
3. Malcom Brown, Texas
4. Danny Shelton, Washington
T-5. Eddie Goldman, Florida State
T-5. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
1. Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida
2. Randy Gregory, Nebraska
3. Vic Beasley, Clemson
4. Bud Dupree, Kentucky
5. Shane Ray, Missouri
1. Paul Dawson, TCU
2. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
3. Stephone Anthony, Clemson
4. Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fla.)
5. Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
1. Trae Waynes, Michigan State
2. Jalen Collins, LSU
3. Marcus Peters, Washington
4. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest
T-5. Eric Rowe, Utah
T-5. Byron Jones, Connecticut
The salary cap and the meme that wouldn't die...
Question: Where would Dallas find the cap space to pay $13 million for Peterson? Moore's answer:
It has more room now that Tony Romo has restructured. You could go to Jason Witten to restructure to get more. You could designate Brandon Carr a post June 1 cut. The Cowboys will be able to make the room. To me, that's not the question. The question is should they?
And we end with this little gem:
Todd Archer and the rest of the NFC East roundtable focuses on the worst free agency signing made in the division. My favorite:
Dan Graziano: Byron Maxwell, Philadelphia Eagles. Yeah, $10.5 million a year, $25.5 million guaranteed for a cornerback who has never been a No. 1 and was a No. 3 as recently as 2014? Sorry, Eagles fans. It's possible you might end up very happy with the player, but unless he suddenly morphs into a top-5 cornerback in the league there's no way he was worth this kind of financial outlay. This is the kind of move that has a chance to look very bad in two years, possibly even one.
But, but, but...Chip's a genius. Right?