Lots of scattered stories today; let's start with some roster moves:
The Cowboys brought back former safety Danny McCray, who was the one of, if not the best of, the Cowboys' special teams players from 2010-13. He'll also back up at safety and hit the field if - and only if - the Cowboys get into really, really big trouble at the position.
How did the Cowboys brass think their offseason went? Here's Jones the Younger, asked if they exceeded expectations:
"I wouldn’t say we’ve ‘exceeded,’" said executive vice president Stephen Jones, the maestro of the offseason symphony. "You always have high expectations of what you might accomplish in the offseason. I think it fell right for us. You might say ‘Well, you didn’t get a running back in the draft,’ but you’ve only got so many picks and you’re not going to be able to get everything at the end of the day. I think, for the most part, the draft fell in areas where we needed it to fall. I think we were able to get good players at the places we were thinking. I think we’ve had a really solid offseason. Our goal is to get better, and I think we got better and the proof will be when we go to training camp and get to work and then when we start playing football games."
Now it's time to sort some stuff out:
At present, the Cowboys coaches are trying to figure out which ten to twelve linebackers the want to bring to camp. The process of thinning out the contenders has already begun, Tiny Jim writes, as the Cowboys released veteran Dekoda Watson last week. Second-year prospects Keith Smith and Will Smith were also waived Thursday, clearing the way to sign Texas A&M rookie Donnie Baggs .
Yes, the Cowboys must replace DeMarco Murray’s 1,845 yards, but Jerry Jones is so excited about the overall run game that he says he anticipates an even better operation in 2015. Let's listen in:
"You say the entire running game, and that would including our tight ends, including our fullback – the entire game – we’re better," Jones said Thursday. "Murray certainly is in that thought, but what we’ve got a chance to do with our depth, what we’ve got a chance to do with the talent, the competition that we have, and I’m assuming we can protect (Tony) Romo, which standing here last year, the concerns about his surgeries were more so than today."
One of the reasons we can expect the Cowboys to improve in 2015 is because their younger guys improve. A couple of examples:
After a pretty solid run of knuckleheadery, Randle seems to be getting his act together. Here's his position coach:
"I think he’s maturing up and he’s getting better and he understands the opportunity he has in front of him and I think he’ll take full advantage. I think those days are behind him and we’re looking forward to working with Joe. … Just being around him these last few weeks, he seems to be more mature to me. He and I have sat down and had one-on-one conversations about his future and I think he wants to go in the right direction."
Although he was drafted, at great cost, as the 2013 draft's last good weakside end, DeMarcus Lawrence is fixin' to be the starting LDE, on the strongside. Listen here:
"I actually feel I am best at left end," Lawrence said. "I feel like I get off way better on my left side, keeping my right hand down. So we are working on that right now. We’re still trying to fill in some spots at right end."
The Broad One takes a moment to examine the tape on Whaley, the former Texas Longhorn. Broaddus sees him as a three-tech:
He is a much better player when he can line up on the outside shoulder of the guard and attack up the field. He has plays with better quickness than he does power. There is good short-area foot quickness to his game, along with that lateral quickness. I would say that Whaley has good reactionary skills with the ability to change direction. Nice body control and balance. Wasn’t knocked off his feet or in poor position when it came to making a tackle....
...I liked players like Nunez-Roches, Jarrett and Cooper in the 2015 draft better for the position – so without the injury would have put him in the fourth round on my board.
Cowboys 2016 Compensatory Picks In Focus - KD Drummond, Cowboys HQ
With May 12th come and gone, teams now have a firm list of free agent acquisitions that will qualify for compensatory picks. The Noble Drummond reviews the team's free agent deals and concludes that the Cowboys are likely to be awarded a 4th rounder (which will become a fifth rounder if Greg Hardy's suspension is reduced to six games) and and two sixths. Plus there's this:
If any of the following players is cut from the Cowboys prior to the season, they would earn an additional 6th or 7th rounder (provided none of the players Dallas lost is cut from their new teams): Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar, Darren McFadden, Jed Collins. So if you want to root for one fullback over another, Ray Agnew basically comes with a 2016 7th rounder attached.
And we'll close with this...
The fine folks at The Dallas Morning News have crafted a cool quiz that will tell you which Dallas Cowboys player you relate to most. For the record, I'm Tony Romo...and my wife, who also took the quiz, is Cole Beasley.