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Cowboys News & Notes: Mike Mayock: "If You Can Draft A Franchise QB, You Have To."

Latest Cowboys headlines: Mike Mayock believes the time is right for the Cowboys to get a QB; DeMarcus Lawrence has back surgery, expected back "fairly soon"; is QB Dak Prescott an option for the Cowboys?

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mayock: Cowboys, Browns, Chargers could strike for QB in draft - Chase Goodbread,
NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock believes the time could be right for the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers to invest an early first-round draft pick in a quarterback.

"I look at Dallas at No. 4 and as much you love Tony Romo, three years in a row he's not been able to play 16 games," Mayock said. "He's 36 years old. At what point -- you're not going to be drafting that high again -- at what point do you pull the trigger? San Diego, same thing. Cleveland's got to get a quarterback. Philadelphia's sitting there at (pick) No. 13 saying 'My guy might not get to me anymore.'"

"There aren't 12 franchise quarterbacks in the whole league," Mayock said. "If you can draft one, you have to."

Carson Wentz solidifies standing as first-rounder at Senior Bowl - Daniel Jeremiah,
Daniel Jeremiah says QB Carson Wentz responded under pressure this week at the Senior Bowl, putting questions about whether he's a first-rounder to rest.

North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz entered this week facing more pressure than any other prospect in Mobile. He was by far the highest-rated passer heading into the week of practice and everyone was eager to see how he would respond to the pressure and higher completion level. He responded with an outstanding performance. He displayed ideal size, arm strength and most importantly, poise. This moment wasn't too big for him. I'm looking forward to watching him play on Saturday, but he's already done enough to earn his spot in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Four-round mock draft: Cowboys grab QB Wentz at No. 4 - Chad Reuter,
The Dallas Cowboys' coaching staff worked with Carson Wentz at the Senior Bowl, and they are projected to select the North Dakota State QB in Reuter's four-round, 127-pick mock draft. The other Cowboys picks:

34. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
67. Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
98. James Cowser, DE, Southern Utah

Running back is not a critical area of need for Cowboys - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
In a recent live chat, Cowlishaw voiced an opinion that will both endear and alienate him from equal parts of the Cowboys fan base.

I think it's fine to feel like you can go into 2016 with McFadden and someone else. And that someone else doesn't need to be a costly free agent or a high draft pick. If the Cowboys could throw the ball at all, their running game this past season would have been fine. In fact, he was one of only seven 1,000-yard backs and he barely played the first six games.

So when I see people talking about the Cowboys need to take Ezekiel Elliott I wonder what they are watching. This is not a critical area of need.


Does Dak Prescott make more sense for Cowboys than Carson Wentz? - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
There was a lot of focus on Carson Wentz this past week, but it was QB Dak Prescott who won MVP honors on Saturday.

And Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott might be a name to remember going forward. He could be a mid-round quarterback option for the Cowboys, should they spend their early-round picks on impact players who give them a better chance to "win now" with Tony Romo rather than on a developmental piece such as Wentz.

Prescott, along with the other South quarterbacks, met with the Cowboys for about an hour on Friday. Prescott said he watched film and interviewed with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

Robert Nkemdiche reportedly drawing interest from Cowboys, Chargers - Jim Lohmar, Red Cup Rebellion
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller says that both the Cowboys and Chargers are scouting Nkemdiche heavily. Here's what Miller has to say:

Teams in the top 5 are evaluating him like he's going to be a top-5 pick. Especially the Dallas Cowboys have been very, very involved, starting to get background information on him from trainers and from coaches, reaching out to that Ole Miss Staff. And also the San Diego Chargers.

So you have teams picking there early in the draft who have a need for defensive tackle or for a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. His athleticism is so, so appealing to be 6-4, 285 pounds and run like a tight end or a wide receiver, people are excited. I think we're going to continue to see his name move back up from where it was during the season. From what I've heard, it's one incident. It's something teams are going to be able to get over if he takes care of business between now and the NFL Draft.


Dallas Cowboys staff energized by coaching Senior Bowl prospects - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Jason Garrett and the Cowboys assistants have built a rapport with players such as hot QB prospect Carson Wentz and pass rusher Carl Nassib.

The darling of the event, North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, follows any instruction or advice that may come his way, and raved about working with guys such as Garrett, Linehan and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

On the defensive side, every player has gained respect for Marinelli and the other assistants.

As Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib said, "It’s been a pleasure working with Marinelli. He’s the man. I love him."

Why recent history shows Cowboys may take underclassman with top pick - Rainer Sabin, SportsDay
Turns out, coaching the Senior Bowl doesn't give you much of a leg up for your first-round pick.

The chance to work with players on Dallas' draft board [during the Senior Bowl] would seem beneficial. But if recent history shows anything, it really isn't when it comes to finding the best of the best. Of the last 10 players chosen with top-ten picks by teams that had coaching staffs work the Senior Bowl the year they were drafted, only one - Ezekiel Ansah - actually participated in the practices and the game.


First-timers Sean Lee, Dan Bailey lead Cowboys group in Pro Bowl | The Star-Telegram
It's been a long time coming for Lee and Bailey, and Stephen Jones is particularly pleased for Lee to have made it.

"I think we’ve always felt like since the day he walked into the doors at valley ranch he was going to be a Pro Bowl player," Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said of Lee. "He’s had some bad luck in terms of his injuries and those types of things, but he deserves every bit of it. He’s one of the best football players that we’ve had since we’ve been involved with the team."

DeMarcus Lawrence Has Offseason Surgery, Expected Back "Fairly Soon" - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Lawrence recently underwent a surgical procedure on his back, according to Jason Garrett.

"It was something that bothered him for a lot of the year," Garrett said. "He obviously played through it, but he was dealing with it a little bit."

Garrett didn’t want to set a fixed timetable on Lawrence’s recovery, but he didn’t seem concerned that it would hold the 23-year-old defensive end out for long.

"We expect him to be back fairly soon," Garrett said. "We’ll see. We don’t want to put it definitively, but we think he’s going to be OK."


Dallas Cowboys 2016 Salary Cap Overview: Potential Cap Savings - KD Drummond, Cowboys HQ
KD Drummond offers a salary cap overview for the 2016 Cowboys. Excluding releases and restructurings, the Cowboys start the season with about $12 million in cap space, and Drummond concludes that the team can "reasonably" create almost $48 million in cap space, though that would mean pushing money forward by restructuring almost every major contract except Tony Romo's. Those $48 million also includes the outright release of Barry Church, which I don't think is very "reasonable".


Fort Worth police searched for Johnny Manziel after ‘possible assault’ with ex-girlfriend - Mark David Smith, The Star-Telegram
Johnny Manziel continues to make piss-poor decisions. This possible assault is just the latest in a long string poor decisions and a further big nail in the coffin of Manziel's NFL career.

A Fort Worth Police Department news release Saturday afternoon says police were responding to a call at the Berkeley Luxury Apartment Homes near TCU at about 2 a.m. Saturday when they came across a 23-year-old woman who told them she had been in a disturbance with her ex-boyfriend earlier in Dallas.

"The preliminary investigation determined that a possible assault had occurred in that jurisdiction or multiple jurisdictions," the release says. "The complainant was uncooperative with officers on scene," but she was concerned about Manziel’s well-being. The release specifically refers to him as her ex-boyfriend several times.

The NFL has set a precedent for how they plan to deal with domestic violence when they handed out a 10-game ban for Greg Hardy last year. Will they apply the same rules to Manziel?

Why even I am giving up on Johnny Manziel - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw comes clean.

As one of the last people who retained the opinion that the Cowboys should at least kick the tires on Johnny Manziel's availability, I very willingly move on.

I have said he needs to come clean on all of that with the Cowboys or any other potential suitor, but enough is enough. You deal with this sort of behavior if you're coaching Lawrence Taylor. A backup quarterback as unproven as Manziel? Teams have better things to do.

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