It is a real smorgasbord of Dallas Cowboys news today. The offseason is rolling along, with the NFL Combine up next and "real" free agency not far behind. Meanwhile, draft questions still abound, and the team still has a lot of decisions to make about their own players. Here are the best links from Monday's news.
Before he tore up his knee up in the Fiesta Bowl, Jaylon Smith was thought by some to be the best linebacker in this year's draft class. Given that the Cowboys have not been afraid to take players coming off injury, his might be a name to watch.
Jaylon Smith is the type of player who many think is between the fifth and 10th best player in the draft. He is so good that it is believed that despite the gruesome injury and the delay in his comeback, he will still go before pick No. 20 to some team that can't pass up his ability. If, somehow, he were to be available when the Cowboys come to the podium at the start of Round 2, this would be the type of player that would have them sprinting to turn in their card. He seems like a "can't miss" talent who will likely slide right to a team that is already pretty good and he will push them over the top. It may not be in 2016, but Jaylon Smith will be a star very soon.
And there's also this thought from Sturm:
One more thing on the fabulous Myles Jack - Are we sure he is a better pro than Jaylon Smith (after 2016)? I wish I was sure. I'm not.— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) February 15, 2016
Please, all you on the Jackwagon, don't shoot the messenger.
looks at whether it is wise to use the fourth pick on a cornerback. Spoiler alert: It's way to soon to know.
One amusing thing each year is how media and the fans overreact to the Underwear Olympics. Having said that, one name that has become very popular around here is likely to get even more buzz in Indianapolis.
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey
Florida State's star defensive back can play any position in the secondary, and will bring the kind of track exploits to Indianapolis that foretell a stellar outcome. He was the long-jump champion of the ACC last year, and ran a 100-meter dash in 10.61 seconds. No, they don't test in the long jump at the combine, but he's a smart pick for a brow-raising measurement in the broad jump. He'll test at more than 40 inches in the vertical jump as well. One NFL executive has already predicted that he'll "win the combine."
It sounds like a cool way to come up with a neat visual of how the drafniks are thinking about the picks for each team in the first round. But when you look at the actual results, "cluttered" comes to mind.
Lamar Miller is one of the current fan favorites as a possible free agent acquisition. Broaddus offers a rational take on how the team might approach that.
They are well aware of who Lamar Miller is and what he could potential bring to this organization. In free agency we have seen this group bottom fish and find value without over paying. To get Miller they are likely going to inquire about the price and see what direction that takes them. They also know from their college scouts that there are several talented running backs in this draft.
Darren McFadden was more effective and important for the Cowboys in 2015 than just about anyone imagined. But Rob Phillips points out why the Miller idea is getting so much traction.
Whether the Cowboys add to the position in free agency or they draft a promising young rookie, they can't afford to lean so heavily on McFadden again.
Part of free agency is which of your own to re-sign, which may have been mentioned here before. Kyle Wilber is one of the players the Cowboys have to make a decision on.
Chance to return: Moderate. The best part of position flexibility is cost effectiveness. Wilber is a solid role player who knows what he is and what he isn't. He will not command a big contract.
This is just one outlet's ranking of free agents, but it is a possible resource for you to check in the coming weeks.
It is debatable just how "under the radar" any need is for the Cowboys, but Phillips does bring up a couple of Cowboys who may be very important in the interior of the defensive line this year.
David Irving and Terrell McClain. Signed off the Chiefs' practice squad in late September, Irving contributed at both tackle and end playing about 20 percent of the snaps. He moves well for 6-foot-7 and has the height to get his hands in passing lanes. The Cowboys need him to continue developing as a solid rotation guy. Don't forget about McClain: he was a candidate to start next to Crawford last offseason but needed season-ending toe surgery after the second game. He can play both tackle spots, too.
The only real hole left for Dallas to fill on the coaching staff is the one left by Jerome Henderson's departure. No decision yet, but it looks like the short list has been set.
Al Golden, the former coach of the Miami Hurricanes, was one of the first candidates to interview for the position but has since agreed to take a job as Detroit's tight ends coach. Joe Baker, who has been on the Cowboys staff the past four years and focused on safeties the past two, is also under consideration.
Tim Lewis, Mike Nolan, Gill Byrd and Steve Brown are the other candidates to interview for the position.
The 4-12 season may have disappointed, but it has not reduced the demand for all things Cowboys. Any and all talk about boycotting the team over its performance is, well, just that.
But if you need more proof that the boycott group is merely a vocal minority, then just know that the Cowboys sold out their 800 initial memberships at the Cowboys Club, which is set to open in September at the team's new practice facility, The Star at Ford Center, in Frisco, Texas.
Families were able to join with a one-time fee of $4,500, plus $350 per month. Corporate memberships have a different fee based on the number of people involved.
Assuming the corporate rate is not less than for families, that's $3.6 million in sign up fees, plus a monthly $280 thousand, minimum. And if you want to get on the waiting list, it will only cost you $250. Just to wait.
There is no real problem with asserting that, for the first time since bored poll takers trying to find more work started asking the question, the Cowboys are not the most hated team. The New England Patriots have, after all, worked so hard to earn that title. But this?
And for those of you who consider the Cowboys to be "America's Team,'' well, you're in the minority. A resounding 64 percent said they no longer consider the Cowboys to be "America's Team.'' Only 27 percent said yes while 11 percent weren't sure.
Just check the TV ratings, folks. The Star still rules.
Finally, in honor of yesterday being President's Day: