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Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Finish 4-12, Secure #4 Pick In The Draft

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys cap off the season with another loss; earn the #4 pick; did Kellen Moore do enough to earn a shot in 2016?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Lose Season Finale To Washington 34-23, But It Was Best Outcome For Them - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys tumultuous season is finally over. For the last time this season, Tom Ryle provides his weekly game recap.

The best scenario for the Cowboys going into the game was to lose but show some fight and have some players step up.

That was my sentiments exactly. This was one of those games where you'd like to see the team orchestrate some beautiful drives only if somehow it wouldn't result in any points that could help them win the game. Well, as luck would have it - that's exactly what the Cowboys did.

Instant Review: Staff Writers Give Quick Analysis Of Cowboys' Season Finale - Staff, The Mothership
The staff gives us their initial assessment of the Redskins game.

Rob Phillips: I thought Kellen Moore would have his best game as a starter, and the offense did finally open up. The Cowboys’ 23 points was their highest total since Romo’s final complete start Nov. 22 at Miami (a 24-14 win). Moore’s 435 passing yards were easily the most by one of the team’s four starting quarterbacks this season, and his three touchdowns tied a single-game season high. But he committed three more turnovers, two of which led to Redskins touchdowns, bringing his total to seven in three games.

Most disappointing Cowboys season finally ends; what Dallas should do next - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
The Cowboys put Kellen Moore out there so they could see what he could do. There were some good things and there were some bad things, but the question now is - will we see more of Moore?

Did quarterback Kellen Moore show you anything in these past few games that makes you want him on the roster?

Yeah, I think I have been reasonably consistent with my Kellen Moore views. I think he can play a decent level of quarterback as a backup. And if I am going to select a quarterback high in my next draft, one of my best objectives is to keep that QB from playing. I need a dependable quarterback who understands what we're trying to do offensively and can execute on a reasonably competent level to move the team. Moore can do a lot of that. He has obvious limitations and those limitations would get bigger each week as defenses gameplan for the throws he can and cannot make. I don't want to have to find a veteran and a rookie in the off-season so I would like to retain Moore for a short term No. 2 and draft the No. 3. Moore has helped himself in the last month. He still has a very small margin for error and can't be a long-term starter. But as far as a backup and, essentially, an assistant coach, I think Moore could handle that. I would like to put him through the off-season training program to give him every opportunity.

Jerry Jones: 'Unequivocally, yes,' Kellen Moore is capable of being Tony Romo's backup - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Jerry seems to have given his stamp of approval of Kellen Moore. Or maybe he just likes using the word "unequivocally" because let's face it - that's fun to say. It's like "Cool Whip."

"What I like is his ability to put a bad play behind him, and then I like his instincts," Jones said. "[Offensive coordinator] Scott Linehan is right. He has something that's very special, and so we have him and we want to go forward and try to develop his contribution to us winning."

He has demonstrated again and again that he's been able to put bad plays behind him. I just wish he didn't have so much experience at it.

Redskins 34, Cowboys 23: My Top 10 Whitty Comments - Richie Whitt, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
This season had no shortage of surprises, but one of the more pleasant ones was the durability of Darren McFadden.

Happy New Year to McFadden! Today he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, which allowed him to cash in a $300,000 contract bonus. Of course for a guy who sold his house last summer for $2.5 million it’s probably no biggie. But, nonetheless, McFadden shocked us all by playing in all 16 games and rushing for almost 1,100.

Moore’s Development, McFadden’s Toughness Among Thoughts - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership
Broaddus gives us his 12 thoughts on the game, including one of the teams most underrated contributors.

Speaking of toughness, how about Tyrone Crawford? Dealing with a damaged shoulder, he continued to line up and play despite needing surgery to get it fixed. It was clear during the last half of the season that he was a one-armed player, and you could especially see this when he had to play off blocks. For him to end up with three tackles, including one for loss, tells you a lot about the type of player he is.

And Tyrone was a big part of why the Cowboys defense was able to get that safety.

Don’t Forget About These 5: Crowder Gets Loose; Touchdown to Touchback - Nick Eatmon, The Mothership
Nick Eatmon identifies five plays that had significant impact, including how the Cowboys defense had problems corralling Redskins WR, Jamison Crowder.

Crowder picks up third-and-long – One play after Anthony Hitchens nearly picked off a deflected pass over the middle, the Redskins were in a third-and-17 at their own 27. The Cowboys played a prevent defense, but allowed Crowder to catch a bubble screen and run 24 yards for a first down. The Redskins kept the drive alive and added another field goal for a 27-14 lead.

2016 Draft Order: Cowboys Secure #4 Draft Pick In 2016 Draft - Dave Halprin, BTB
It's official. The Cowboys get the #4 pick. So the only question now is who's it gonna be? You don't have to answer right now as you can just sleep on it for about four months. But if you're curious to see where other Cowboys fans are at, this is the place for you.

1. Tennessee Titans: 3-13 (.492 strength of schedule)

2. Cleveland Browns: 3-13 (.531 SOS)

3. San Diego Chargers: 4-12 (.528 SOS)

4. Dallas Cowboys: 4-12 (.533 SOS)

5 thoughts: Cowboys' first-round target should be defensive playmaker - Jon Machota, SportsDay
All the talk will now shift to what the Cowboys should do with their top pick. Jon Machota is leaning towards defense.

The happiest fans Sunday afternoon were the ones hoping the Cowboys would tank for a higher draft pick. Mission accomplished. Dallas' slot hasn't been finalized, but it secured a top 5 pick. Which direction should they go? As of right now, I would go with the best defender on the board. I don't think a running back in this class is worthy of a top five pick and I question how good this QB class really is. The best wide receiver: Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell would be an intriguing match with Dez Bryant, but I still think adding a defensive playmaker is more important for this current roster.

A decade-by-decade look of every Dallas Cowboys first-round pick - Staff, SportsDay
The days of Bobby Carpenter and Felix Jones are over. This team had demonstrated that they've got their act together as of late when it comes to making draft picks in the first round. That's going to make things exciting come April.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Jason Garrett: 'Let me be real clear -- there's no thought of replacing Jason' - David Moore, SportsDay
While today is officially "Black Monday" there will be no head coaching change in Big D.

"Let me be real clear,'' Jones said. "There's no thought of replacing Jason. At all. I only say that to get ahead of anything that might be said about me addressing coaching.

But the Cowboys will have some decisions to make when it comes to their staff.

"Jason is the ultimate decision-maker regarding the staff. And so that remains for us to sit down and really evaluate the staff. We've got, I think, four that are out of contract. So that's always a potential and problematic.''

In the end, was signing DE Greg Hardy worth the backlash? - Brandon George, SportsDay
The backlash from the Hardy signing is just noise, but his real cost can be broken down as follows:

Hardy signed a one-year, $13.1 million deal last March that was built around how many games he played and how well he performed. Hardy finished with only six sacks. That's one for every two games. The Cowboys will end up paying him a little more than $8.8 million.

At this point, it's not whether he was worth it or not, but rather - what's he worth right now. That will be one of the many tough decisions the Cowboys will have to make as Hardy, Morris Claiborne, and Rolando McClain are set to hit free agency this offseason.

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