The really important news that Dallas Cowboys fans are waiting eagerly for is still to come. The NFL office remains silent on the Greg Hardy suspension in what looks more and more like a deliberate delaying tactic, although exactly why they would do so is hard to imagine. Meanwhile, the entire Jones family has left for vacation, leaving the Dez Bryant negotiations to be finished up later. The latter has caused some contradictory takes.
Sounds like a Dez Bryant deal isn't out of the question this week. Expect things to continue evolving and possibly conclude by midweek— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 6, 2015
So, as we wait for something to break on those stories, here are some articles relating (more or less) to the Star.
This relates to the Bryant situation. Like him, Jason Pierre-Paul had turned down a long-term deal offered by the New York Giants, and had not signed a franchise tender offer. Now he has no protection after injuring his hand in a fireworks accident over the weekend.
This is a contract offer that's likely been on the table for some time as the two sides work to avoid Pierre-Paul playing on the $14.8 million franchise tender that has been extended to him. Pierre-Paul has not yet signed the tender and thus, the 26-year-old wasn't officially under contract when the incident occurred. There's been no talk about the Giants rescinding the franchise tag at this stage, a move that would make Pierre-Paul a free agent.
I know there are reasons to not sign the tender, but if John Mara and the Giants decide to play hardball, they could cut JPP loose without a cent if his injury (still being evaluated) keeps him off the field for a significant time.
This takes a look at how the Bryant negotiations are influenced by the clearly inflated deal Calvin Johnson got.
There is, however, a fascinating connection between the two receivers as their second contracts approached. Both were entering their sixth NFL seasons, one year before elite receivers historically begin a decline in production, according toa recent study at Overthecap.com. Aside from any off-field/character issues, the real question the Cowboys face with Bryant is whether to pay a premium for production that is likely to drop in the next two or three years.
Sometimes the questions asked tell you a lot about the subject at hand, and based on this one, there is obviously a belief that the Cowboys will have a very potent attack again this year. Really, this extract sums things up.
Dan Graziano, New York Giants: I hate to sound like a broken record, but no, I don't think the NFC East defenses are equipped to handle the offenses of the Cowboys, Eagles or even the Giants.
The video that goes with the article mentions that the NFC East was by far the highest scoring division in the NFL. That is why finding some answers on defense is also very important in Dallas.
We don't do a lot of our own "All this" or "best of that" lists here, because we know very well just which way our prejudices lean. And this one from the SBN Giants site certainly has its own issues with objectivity. But given the problems faced with stopping our NFC East rivals when they have the ball, it was interesting to see only Sean Lee making this list. Of course, we all remember how well everyone predicted the defensive performance of the 2014 Cowboys.
While we are at it, we may as well include this one. One thing is clear, the Cowboys are getting a lot more respect than they were a year ago.
7. (And third in the NFC, behind only the Packers and Seahawks, which is becoming a consensus.)The Cowboys are prepped to raise [sic] up 1-2 slots if they can pick up where they left off in 2014. They're a team built to win now and if the distractions of the off season don't catch up to them they're tooled to win late with players returning from suspensions and being hungry to prove themselves. This could be a team deep in the playoffs.
Another offseason ranking. For those who aren't familiar with the official definition of "ranking" as commonly used in sports, it is "an extremely non-factual and highly opinion based listing, fully incorporating whatever misconceptions the author has". Having said that, it is nice to see that the national media is beginning to see Tony Romo in a somewhat better light - although this does have a bit of that "damning with faint praise" vibe.
10. Tony Romo, Cowboys
Playing behind the league's best O-line has allowed him to polish many areas of his once inconsistent game.
While we are discussing Peter King's NFL stuff, this was a very interesting thing to see. It is just as subjective as any of these things, but still an interesting idea. They include not only owners, players and coaches, but also media figures,agents, future draft picks, and others. At the time this was written, they were only up to 21 in their countdown, and two Cowboys had made the list (the link below goes to the paragraph on each).
With the top twenty still to come, it will be interesting to see just who else might conceivably make it from the Cowboys (cough) Jerry (cough).
The use of drones in practice was an exciting development, but the feds have jumped in to remind Dallas and other teams that ALL aircraft are regulated and must meet licensing standards as well as comply with various restrictions.
The Federal Aviation Administration contacted the Cowboys about their drone usage, but there is no investigation, and fines aren't expected.
The federal agency is still looking at the New York Giants and New England Patriots, and it previously sent a warning letter to the Washington Nationals after the baseball team used a drone for publicity photos during spring training.
The Cowboys will likely get something sorted out for training camp. And when they are practicing inside AT&T Stadium or the new enclosed Frisco facility currently under construction, they can fly the drones however they want, because indoor operation is not covered.
This is a fairly harsh but not unjustified take on the effects of the Rolando McClain suspension on the Cowboys.
Where this suspension hurts is in the locker room. McClain's teammates will now be asked to pick up the slack for a player that could not be bothered to join them in the off-season program. They will be asked to answer media questions about a player who decided to stay home and, presumably, smoke blunts instead of working with team trainers, while his teammates sweated it out in the Dallas heat.