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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Sean Lee Headed To First Pro Bowl, Senior Bowl Preview

Many thought he was completely snubbed, but since Justin Houston dropped out, Sean Lee will make an appearance in his first Pro Bowl.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Five ways to fix the Dallas Cowboys' defense - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN
Much of the blame for the Cowboys' poor record has gone to the offense, but the defense came up short in key areas, too.

In a lot of games this season, the Dallas Cowboys' defense played well enough to win with just a little more help from their struggling offense. But Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli vehemently disagrees. That’s because his version of the Tampa 2 defense is designed to generate two things: sacks and turnovers.

The Cowboys' defense produced neither this season, finishing last in the NFL in turnovers (11) and tied for 25th in sacks (31). And unlike the offense, the defense was relatively healthy all season.

Cowboys Sign Two OL, One Linebacker To Reserve/Futures Contracts - Dave Helman, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys signed three workout players to futures contracts on Wednesday, securing them with the team ahead of the 2016 offseason.

The three signees are offensive tackle Justin Renfrow, offensive guard Jared Smith and linebacker Jerrell Harris. All three players have extensive experience with teams around the NFL, though none of the trio has spent time on an active roster.

Cowboys Injured Reserve Players: Getting Them Healthy May Be Third Leg In Building 2016 Roster - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys

Sometimes it's really hard to look at a 4-12 and not get overly critical. Don't overlook how the roster will be improved with better health from these players.

By the time the season drew to its dismal close, they had ten players on injured reserve. Although it is not certain how well all of them will recover, the advances in medical care and rehabilitation offers hope that many if not all of them will be back for the start of camp. Some of them are very important pieces. And others may offer some hope of help in lesser but still important roles.

Dallas Cowboys: 10 QBs Dallas Cowboys could target in 2016 NFL Draft - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The Cowboys need to start identifying their quarterback of the future and it could be addressed as early as the fourth overall pick in April.

This isn't a great QB class. You won't find any can't-miss prospects like Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck at the top, but a franchise caliber option should be available. Dallas could also wait to grab a QB in the second or third round to develop over the next few seasons. Either way, it's probably best that they at least come away with one of these 10.

Former Dallas Cowboys WR Drew Pearson to Dez Bryant: Be patient - Todd Archer, ESPN
Cowboys legend Drew Pearson has some advice for Dez Bryant, who had another surgery on his right foot after the season. Be Patient. Coming from the man who has been waiting an eternity for an HOF call.

"With Dez’s surgeries and the grafts and all that, this is something you’ve got to be really careful with," Pearson said. "The main thing is he’s got to get back healthy. You can’t rush it. He can’t try to do this and that. He’s got to let the process take care of itself. For me, as a receiver this is the kind of injury that could end it. You’ve got to be careful. You might never be the same. You’ve got to have that fear factor in your rehab. So let the healing process take care of itself. A lot of it has to be natural healing. He has to be patient. I think he realizes that now."

Sean Lee Added To Pro Bowl Roster As Alternate, Giving Dallas Five Pro Bowlers - Dave Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Sean Lee has earned his first career Pro Bowl selection, as he was added to the roster as an injury replacement for Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston.

It’s not surprising that Lee would be one of the first names on deck, given the season he had for the Cowboys. After missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL, Lee appeared in 14 games this year, amassing 155 tackles from his new position at weak side linebacker. The addition gives Dallas five members of the Pro Bowl roster. Kicker Dan Bailey, as well as offensive linemen Tyron SmithTravis Frederick and Zack Martin were named to the initial roster in December.

NFL Draft 2016: Finding Playmaking Defensive Ends Based On Their College Production - OCC, Blogging The Boys
There are bound to be playmakers available to the Cowboys throughout the draft. Using a metric called the Production Ratio, we try to identify who those playmakers could be.

With Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey likely heading towards free agency, the Cowboys could very well be looking for pass-rushing help in the draft once again this year. At around this time last year, Stephen Jones said the Cowboys were planning on chipping away at that defensive line the way they chipped away at the offensive line, and looking at what they did on the O-line, it's not much of a reach to expect them to further fortify their defensive line this year. But finding effective pass rushers in the draft, either at DE or DT, is not an easy thing. If it was, everybody would be doing it.

No Dallas Cowboys on PFWA all-rookie team -  The Star-Telegram
Moe, Moe, Moe...Why don't you like me, Nobody likes me? This classic Simpsons' line has me pouring one out for our rookies.

No Dallas Cowboys made the team.

I have my doubts that this Cowboys staff can develop a young QB; here's why - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Gosselin is not afraid to get critical, but I have to agree with him here. The Cowboys track record doesn't look good when developing young quarterbacks.

Romo developed here under Parcells and Sean Payton. There hasn't been much development at all at the position since then. The Cowboys have preferred to go the older, journeyman route with the Kitnas, Ortons, Weedens and Cassels. I thought Dustin Vaughan had a chance but he actually regressed under this staff. So, yes, I have my doubts whether this staff with all of its great offensive minds can develop a young quarterback. I haven't seen them do it yet. Seeing would be believing.

Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys must regain offensive identity in 2016 - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN
The Cowboys ran the ball just 42.1 percent of the time this season, moving away from their successful physical formula from the previous season.

The Cowboys ran the ball 42.1 percent of the time this season, throwing it 57.9 percent. Even when the Cowboys did run the ball, they didn’t control games with their run game. Darren McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards, fourth in the NFL, but the Cowboys couldn’t turn that production into points. They couldn’t convert on third-and-short and they kicked too many field goals instead of scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

Senior Bowl Preview: 3 Under-The-Radar Prospects Worth Scouting Next Week - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
The Broad One takes a look at some players that may be of interest to the Cowboys at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

These aren’t the names that are going to steal the headlines, but all three of them could be valuable additions – and at positions of need for the Cowboys. You’ve probably heard of these guys, given their high-profile status, but it’s worth taking a closer look.

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