It's another scattershot day of Dallas Cowboys and NFL news. We've got some looking back with regret, looking forward to the Compression Shorts Competition (there, Joey, I didn't use that other term), and as always this time of year, some draft talk.
VP Stephen Jones was concise and fairly blunt about Randy Gregory's suspension.
"This is a disappointment. We have been clear with Randy about what his responsibilities are and what is expected of him. This is something that he is going to have to work through and correct."
The idea has quickly arisen that the Cowboys may alter their draft strategy because Gregory will miss the first four games. Bryan Broaddus offers his reasoning why that is not going to happen.
I don't believe that the Gregory news changes their approach at all. They knew that there was a potential problem with him and they were just waiting to see how the situation was going to play out and it now has. Their intent in my opinion was going to grab pass rushers regardless not because of Gregory but the likelihood that Jeremy Mincey, Jack Crawford and Greg Hardy are all free agents and might not be signed back.
Matt Cassel was also a disappointment for the Cowboys, but strictly from a productivity on the field standpoint.
He wasn't the player the Cowboys expected when they acquired him in the trade from Buffalo. He appeared to have a difficult time cutting it loose, which was something was a knock of Brandon Weeden as well, which could say something about the message they were receiving from the coaches. The Cowboys scored more than two offensive touchdowns in just one of his starts. He failed to throw for more than 200 yards in three of his full games. There was plenty of evidence that he just did not fit with the offense or the coaches had a difficult time trusting he could be the guy.
There was a bit of disappointment in Terrance Williams as well. He was not able to make up for the lack of Dez Bryant, at least enough. This may influence what the Cowboys are looking for at some point in the draft.
He definitely has playmaking ability but it's safe to say he needs other talented receivers around him. Personally, I think he's a solid No. 2 but the Cowboys might try to add a little more speed to the position, which could push him down the depth chart.
It's just one opinion, but this list has the top four prospects as Joey Bosa, Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, and Myles Jack, which is of some interest for a team that holds the number four pick.
Speaking of Ramsey, there are a lot out there who would like to see the Cowboys take him. For all of his fans, you will be interested in Sturm's evaluation. Oh, and be prepared to drool.
What if Jalen Ramsey from Florida State appears to be the most complete defensive back that the last decade can offer? Because from where I sit today, I am not sure who I would value higher. He seems to be able to play free safety, strong safety, outside corner, or slot. He seems to be proficient at zone defense or man coverage. He seems to be great at pass defense and run support. In other words, this guy is dripping with off-the-charts grades across the board.
As someone once said, it is just math.
For all of the needs and wants the Cowboys have -- at cornerback, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, running back, quarterback, wide receiver, safety and tight end -- it will be impossible to fill them all in the draft.
So might as well take the best players you can when you get the chance, huh?
The NFL Combine starts today. Although it lasts for a week, each position only has four days of activities, staggered over the seven days. You might want to bookmark this for a handy reference of what each group is doing.
Although we are prone to read too much into what happens in Indianapolis, things can change for many rookies during the next week.
So as we think we know who the top picks might be for the late-April draft this year, a lot can happen, and likely will happen in the next few days.
Just look at the Cowboys' three high-profiled rookies from last season. All of them went to Indianapolis with different expectations and/or outside perceptions than how it turned out in the draft.
Although it is not certain, this might be the last iteration of the Combine in its present form. It seems like the league is realizing that all the time spent by prospects training to just maximize their numbers in the Combine-specific drills might be better used.
Testing players for skills that don't translate to the sport itself, then judging them on how they master it, and leaving them to master those skills above others and wasting a year of a career that's short by nature and can end abruptly. Who does that help?
Here is an interesting idea. Maybe all participants should opt out of the Wonderlic because the league does not exact live up to its end of the bargain.
So here's what we suggest that every player should say when the time comes to take the Wonderlic: "Sorry, sir. I choose not to take the test. You've told me that the results are private and confidential, but every year the scores for one or more players are leaked to the media. So the only way to reliably secure my own test result is to not create one."
Making changes to the Combine drills and the Wonderlic would probably not upset too many staffs, based on this.
While most people concentrate on 40 times and bench press results at the Combine, scouts will tell you the medical exams and interviews are the greatest benefit from their week in Indianapolis.
We have all heard about how much the salary cap is going up this year. Well, it turns out that there was an arbitration hearing about some NFL revenue accounting practices the NFLPA disagreed with, and based on the ruling, that figure is going up even more.
In its review of the NFL's financial calculations, lawyers and accountants with the players association found the league had created another category of exempted money that isn't in the collective bargaining agreement. In his ruling, Burbank noted that while the language and provisions of the agreement are complicated, interpreting the contract isn't. The so-called "waived gate" revenues in dispute didn't fit into any of the exempted categories. Burbank ordered the NFL to return the money to the shared revenue pool immediately, which, if the union's calculations are correct, should increase the salary cap for the 2016 season by about $1.5 million per team.