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Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Take East Crown in '16, Draft Talk Heating Up

The ink isn't even dry on the 2015 season but the Cowboys open up as favorites in the NFC East. More draft talk abound and much more...

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

2016 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock Releases Top 5 Players Per Position; Carson Wentz Is Top-Ranked Quarterback - OCC, - Blogging The Boys
Mayock ranks the top five at every position in the 2016 draft prior to the Combine. We take a look at five positions that may be of particular interest to the Cowboys: QB, DE, DT, CB, and LB.

This is Mayock's first go at a top five this year, and the rankings are bound to change after the NFL Combine. But Mayock is one of the bigger names in the draft business, so his rankings carry some weight. You can find the full rankings here, and we'll only do a quick run-through of the priority positions the Cowboys may address in this year's draft.

Position Series: Safeties Are Long On Depth, But Short On Playmakers - Dave Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Lost in the shuffle of quarterback, defensive end, and cornerback talk is the safety position. One that doesn't seem to offer too much optimism at this point.

The Cowboys have plenty of bodies at the safety spot, but there seem to be two important questions to answer: what should they do with them, and how dramatic is the need for an upgrade? They appear to have a rising star in the defensive backfield in Byron Jones, who enjoyed a solid rookie season.

Cowboys Offseason 2016: Scouting Defensive Tackle David Irving - Ryan Ratty, Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys could potentially upgrade the defensive tackle position at some point in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, David Irving has all of the tools to be successful as the team's 1-technique defensive tackle.

Promoted to the active roster following the release of Davon Coleman in late September, Irving made a name for himself when he blocked a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8. However, he had been one of the team's most productive defensive linemen, despite playing limited snaps and in limited games, for that matter. As a whole, Irving finished with 16 quarterback hurries, which was good enough for sixth on the roster.

A Dallas Cowboys slant on the key NFL offseason dates- Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Taking a look at the key dates during the NFL offseason and what the Dallas Cowboys have in store for each of those dates.

Feb. 23-29: NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Cowboys slant: With the fourth overall pick, this will be a big week for the Cowboys to get to know the top prospects. They got to know North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz fairly well at the Senior Bowl, but you would expect them to have face-to-face meetings with Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch, the other top quarterbacks available, in Indianapolis. The biggest part of the week is not the workouts -- it's the interview and medical exams.

Wade Phillips’ defense won it the old-fashioned way for Broncos - Gil Lebreton, The Star-Telegram
Against a young stallion of a quarterback, Wade Phillips countered with a defense that was too overwhelming and relentless to stop.

After 46 years of coaching football, it was Wade’s first Super Bowl title. And just two years after he was dismissed as interim head coach of the Houston Texans, Phillips scripted the winning formula that stymied the NFL’s hottest team.

Newton was supposed to be the one with all the weapons. But Phillips turned loose Texas A&M product Von Miller and ex-Cowboy DeMarcus Ware. The Panthers’ offensive line was both beaten and befuddled.

Dallas Cowboys: 10 defensive backs Dallas Cowboys could target in 2016 NFL Draft - Jon Machota, SportsDay
After intercepting only eight passes in 2015, the Cowboys will be looking to upgrade their defensive backfield this off-season.

1.) Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State. Similar to Jones, Ramsey has the ability to play almost every spot in a defensive backfield. Some believe he'll be a shutdown corner in the NFL, others see him as more of a safety. Either way, Ramsey is a possibility for the Cowboys at No. 4 overall. 

Expert: "Some scouts on the road think he's overrated and some think he's the next Richard Sherman. We all agree that he's going to win the combine and that (Mike) Mayock won't stop talking about him." -- NFC director of football operations talking about Ramsey via

Goodbye Redskins, Hello Cowboys In The NFC East? - OCC, Blogging The Boys
The ink hasn't dried on the Panthers loss in the Super Bowl and we already have new odds for the NFC title next year. Check out the favorites for the NFC title in 2016 below.

More often than not, the early odds are just mirror of how teams finished last season, but not this year. In addition to the Cowboys, who are favored to be the new division champion in the NFC East, the NFC North and NFC West see changes at the top, with the Packers and Seahawks favored to take the division title from the Vikings and Cardinals respectively.

Film Room: Taking Closer Look at Ohio State’s Miller; Louisville DT Rankins VIDEO - Dallas Cowboys
The Broad One is back with some breakdown of Braxton Miller and Sheldon Rankins, check out the film room session with one of the best.

Hall of Fame should call on Jerry Jones- Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a winner but he's also helped transform the NFL with his business instincts.

But Jones helped transform the NFL with his business instincts. In the early 1990s, CBS and NBC asked for a reduction in rights fees because they maintained they were losing about $75 million a year. Former Cleveland owner Art Modell, the chairman of the broadcast committee, wanted to give a $238 million rebate and a two-year extension.

That would have cost the owners $8.5 million each. Jones and formerPhiladelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman got together enough votes to block the vote. The owners instead settled on a $1 million reduction per team. Jones was added to the league's television committee and was directly involved in negotiations. Fox outbid CBS by more than $100 million a season as it got into the NFL business. Now the television deals bring in $4.95 billion a year to the NFL.

Don't expect football affluenza victim Johnny Manziel to get Cowboys call - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Once again, let's do as much killing this idea as was done bringing it to the Cowboys in the first place.

Manziel became a victim of football affleunza. Too much came his way too soon. Beating the mighty Crimson Tide in Alabama, the first freshman ever to win a Heisman Trophy, his face and image plastered on national magazine covers, first-round selection in an NFL draft... He became addicted to the spotlight. The Johnny Football persona overwhelmed the Johnny Manziel reality.

All that made it easy for Manziel to lose perspective. And he did. He lost the football side of his life. What he did off the field became more important than what he did on the field.

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