There is Dallas Cowboys news, news from the NFL Combine, free agent news, news from other teams that directly or indirectly affect Dallas, and even a bit of news from somewhere on the road with the Elegant Lady, AKA the Dallas Cowboys bus. It is a disparate bunch of items, but we will tie it all together for you - sort of.
Right now, Jalen Ramsey seems to be the name being tossed out there the most for who Dallas could draft with the fourth pick of the draft. He was not seen has having been a big winner at the Combine, because he walked in the door as the best defensive back in Indianapolis. And he certainly did nothing to change that perception.
Check out this slate of results: 4.41 40, 41.5 vert, 11'3 broad, 6.94 3-cone, and a 4.18 shuttle. Ramsey murdered the combine like everyone thought he would, establishing himself as a sure-fire top three player in the 2016 class.
He turned out to have the best performance of the Combine. Period.
Your two freaks of the 2016 Combine: Jalen Ramsey (99th percentile) and Vernon Hargreaves (98th percentile)— Zach Whitman (@zjwhitman) March 1, 2016
Unfortunately, it seems every silver lining comes surrounded by a dark cloud. In this case, the way Ramsey solidified his position as one of the very few elite players in the draft may also make it problematic for the Cowboys to get to him. The assumption is that the Tennessee Titans are all but guaranteed to take OT Laremy Tunsil. The Cleveland Browns are desperate for another quarterback, which is probably bad news for Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
After the Browns, the San Diego Chargers hold the third pick. And there is the rub. Not only is Ramsey a possible choice for them . . .
With Ramsey now seen as possibly the best overall talent available, other teams may go after him by trading with San Diego. Hopefully, someone looking to go a different direction will call with an offer.
This time around, Rivers' presence may facilitate another draft-day deal for the Chargers. Since they don't need to draft a quarterback, teams clamoring to select either California's Jared Goff or North Dakota State's Carson Wentz could offer a substantial package to get into the top three.
Speaking of Wentz:
Peter King wrote a long piece about Wentz, who seems almost too good to be true (he has never gotten any grade at any level of education less than an A). And in a draft that is lacking real superstars, it looks more and more doubtful he will be available as an option for the Cowboys.
The point is, I could see Wentz becoming the big star of a starless draft. Not that he cares, or wants the attention. He won't want it. But the NFL does a good job of inventing heroes, and the first quarterback picked in any draft is going to get the hype machine going. And as teams prepare to leave Indianapolis at the close of the combine today, with the draft two months away, Wentz could be that guy. Cleveland has a crying need post-Manziel for a franchise quarterback. It's too early to ID the leader in the clubhouse, but the temperatures I took of quarterback-needy teams over the week showed Wentz leading in the race for first QB off the board.
Quick takeaway from this on if and when the Cowboys could draft a QB: They aren't tipping their hand.
This link is included just to show why Jerry Jones might be talking about Tony Romo having four to five years left in his career.
Brady, 38, has a birthday in August and if he plays out this contract, he will be 42 years old when it is up.
Bob Sturm always seems to be dropping true wisdom in his stuff, and his take on what the Combine really means is a fine example.
I think this is a good time to share my views on the NFL combine and assume that this is how most people see it. The combine is simply a way to confirm or challenge data that has already been assembled. We don't get to see the same players doing the same things when watching their college tape, but we do get to see them in their natural environment doing what they can do. The idea is to now fill in the gaps at the combine - not construct opinions. I would rank it somewhere around 80% college tape and 20% interviews, workouts, and other off-field evaluations. But, make no mistake; the most important component of evaluating any football player for me is always going to be football.
On that same subject, Bryan Broaddus agrees.
What scouts know is that the tape is the most important thing. If a player plays well on tape you know that you can count on him. Players can train for this Combine and improve but that tape tells the story. On the other hand, if a player struggles at the Combine my experience is that we generally see them improve at their Pro Days. Always remember, the Combine is for the medical and interviews the workouts are just something to do with the players while they are all together.
There have been some feeble attempts to say that Romo would be upset if the Cowboys used their first round pick to take a quarterback, but that is just trying to stir the pot.
"If the best player there is a quarterback, then that's what our team needs," Romo said at the end of the season. "I'm just obviously a player on the football team and I don't have to make those decisions and I'm glad."
Free agency is next week. The Cowboys are in good shape financially.
Jerry Jones sees the team as able to do whatever is needed.
With the 2016 salary cap projected at roughly $155.3 million for the coming year, Dallas is looking at an estimated $14 million in cap space. Believe it or not, that still puts the Cowboys in the bottom third of the league in total space - teams like the Jaguars, Raiders and Bears have north of $60 million in cap room.
Despite that, Jones acknowledged that this is as healthy as the Cowboys' salary cap has looked in recent memory, as they spent much of the past few years trying to get out from under the weight of several limiting contracts.
The Cowboys will have a big hole to fill if Rolando McClain is not re-signed, but as Stephen Jones has said, that seems to be the plan for him right now.
When Jones says the Cowboys want him back, then there is a good chance it will happen. Considering the success McClain has had in two seasons with the Cowboys, he could be in a position where he does not want to mess with what has been a good thing.
Just throwing that out. It probably doesn't mean anything. Unless it does.
With all the questions the Cowboys have about their pass rush, David Irving might be an important piece for them this year. Broaddus' take:
Where He Fits: Front office and coaches are high on his ability. Has that rare length that I feel like that you could develop as a defensive end. I would like to see him work on the right side as an edge rusher. Not sure if body type will allow him to add much weight but feel like he can add more strength. No question that he could help in the rotation.
Romo is involved in a lawsuit seeking $10 million in damages over the fantasy football convention he was going to have. Just days before it was scheduled to begin, the NFL forced him to cancel because they were shocked, shocked they told us, to find out it was in a facility owned by a casino. There are still two claims to go forward with despite this initial setback, and Romo's lawyer summed up their overall argument nicely.
"The NFL has always been a bully and is being a bully in this situation as well. So the NFL we believe put an end to the event or made the NFFC cancel the event because they weren't getting a piece of the pie" said attorney Julie Pettit. "The NFL is always pro-gambling, always pro fantasy, or anything related to gambling except in this incident when they weren't getting a cut in it."
This is a very fun piece on the driver of the Elegant Lady, the famous (or infamous) Cowboys "party bus" that shows up all over the country when Jerry Jones or key staff need to have a place to conduct business, or anything else, on the road. The driver, Emery Tyler, has been wheeling it and its predecessors around for sixteen years and he has just about seen it all - but he ain't talking. (The term "non-disclosure agreement" came up.) But it has given him a unique view of the colorful owner.
Tyler and Jones spend a lot of time together, and they talk often â mostly about life and kids and grandkids, Tyler said. The owner you see on television in front of the camera, Tyler said, is exactly the person he drives all around the country.
"What you see is what he is," he said. "I've never had a better boss. I know what my job is, I do it and he lets me do it."