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Cowboys News & Notes: BOOM! Finally, Free Agent Signings!

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Dallas waited for free agency to come to it, and it finally arrived.

You'll look much better in blue and silver, Alfred.
You'll look much better in blue and silver, Alfred.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After what seems like forever waiting for something to happen with free agency (outside of the re-signings of their own, of course), we finally had some very significant developments on that front for the Dallas Cowboys. The team stuck with its philosophy of waiting until the first waves of big-name signings were done and then sought to bring in players that were much more affordable. The results on Tuesday were pretty good.

Free Agency 2016: Cowboys Sign RB Alfred Morris To Two-Year Deal - Blogging The Boys

On Monday, the feeling seemed to be that Alfred Morris was going to move on and listen to other teams before he made a decision. Maybe they just sat him down and played a lot of video of the Cowboys offensive line.

Dallas Cowboys hope Alfred Morris can do what Darren McFadden did - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

The Cowboys saw Darren McFadden have a much more productive year than anyone thought the often-injured, aging back could. They are banking on lightning striking twice.

In signing Morris, the Cowboys are reaffirming their faith in the offensive line

Alfred Morris signs with Cowboys, but memories will last in Washington - Washington Redskins Blog- ESPN

Morris was not just a back who had some very good years with Washington. He was in every sense of the word a right kind of guy, to coin a phrase.

Alfred Morris was more than just a running back for them; he was a regular guy who worked hard and succeeded -- and he was theirs. Then he was allowed to leave in free agency; then he signed Tuesday with the Dallas Cowboys.

So, yes, this one will hurt.

Scouting Report: Alfred Morris Still Boasts Skills That Made Him A Success | Dallas Cowboys

Bryan Broaddus takes a look at the video, and it certainly sounds like the Cowboys got an immediate upgrade at running back in Morris, despite his age.

There is no question that Morris can still play and the tape showed that. His physical toughness and desire to finish are still there. He has never had top-notch playing speed, but where he has had success is in his ability to take the ball in a one-back set, read the blocks and accelerate through the hole. He also still has the ability to make the first defender miss and bounce the ball to the outside.

Dallas Cowboys: Alfred Morris: I feel Cowboys have pieces to get to next level, reach a Super Bowl | SportsDay

And by pieces, he primarily means those five big'uns up front and a pretty good passing game.

"I feel like with the pieces they have here, I think it will definitely help propel us to that next level. Everybody who plays this game wants to win a Super Bowl. I feel like they have a lot of pieces here, amongst other things, to get us to that point."

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Dallas Cowboys Sign Former Raiders DE Benson Mayowa - Blogging The Boys

It looks like Dallas found the right numbers to back the Raiders off of matching their offer for Benson Mayowa.

The offer sheet Mayowa signed with the Cowboys, according to NFL Network, includes a $700,000 base salary and $3.3 million bonus in 2016, and base salaries of $2.5 million and $2.75 million the next two years. That's a good chunk of money for a player who was just a rotational guy in Oakland.

One random comment (which I cannot locate) had it that Oakland may actually have a cash flow issue that affected things. Seems weird, but then, this is Oakland.

Benson Mayowa would be part of Dallas Cowboys' committee approach - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

In a year when there was not a lot of depth at pass rusher in free agency, and things don't look much better in the draft, the Cowboys are going for quantity. They've tried it before.

The Cowboys have gone with a quantity over quality approach for their pass rush before. In 2014, Jeremy Mincey led the Cowboys with six sacks. The Cowboys had 13 players record at least a half-sack that season.

This fits in with what our own Michael Sisemore described earlier.

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Report: Three-Year Deal Between Cowboys And CB Patrick Robinson "Pretty Much Done." - Blogging The Boys

There is still one more shoe to hopefully drop for the Cowboys, and it sounds like a deal with Patrick Robinson is just a matter of time. Apparently, he changed agents in the middle of free agency, for some reason.

Patrick Robinson: Analysis From The Leader Of The P-Rob Fan Club | Inside The Star

Here is a look at what the Cowboys are (hopefully) getting.

Patrick Robinson is a cover corner through and through. While he lacks the ideal size for the Cowboys, he plays bigger than his measurables. I rarely saw his height or arm length becoming a problem for him. He excels in sticky coverage and uses his positioning and body control to cover receivers. He is a lot like Orlando Scandrick in that respect.

One thing I noticed with Robinson was versatility, something the Cowboys really covet. There were games where Robinson was used mostly in the slot and others where he played the outside cornerback position. He plays on both sides of the formation as well. What is even more important is that San Diego played both man and zone coverage and I didn't see him struggle with either.

However, things may have hit a snag late Tuesday night.

There was a lot of negative reaction on social media (some of which was rumored to have come from the author of this article, which is clearly scurrilous slander), but according to DMN beat writer Brandon George, Dallas has not withdrawn its offer and still considers itself to be in the mix.

Stephen Jones: Dallas Cowboys being efficient with offseason plan - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

As much as it has dismayed many, this was the way Dallas was going to do it all along.

"I just don't think in winning now by overpaying guys that it helps you win now," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "Just don't think you're getting a player that's going to make a difference. On top of that you're way overpaying him. I think there's better ways to do it, starting with the draft."

Although there is certainly room for debate about how effectively they have done so, the Cowboys have (pending the Robinson deal) addressed all the most pressing needs on the roster except backup quarterback - and that was a desolate wasteland in free agency this year.

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Of course, this time of year there is always draft talk to get to.

Dallas Cowboys: Who should the Cowboys draft at No. 4? The case for and against the most likely candidates | SportsDay

The signings today have led to various comments about how the Cowboys won't draft this or that player with the fourth overall pick, which completely misses the intent. Dallas signed Morris and Mayowa so they are more free to draft the best player they can at four without making it a need-based decision. This article points out that there are pluses and minuses for all the usual suspects for the Cowboys to take in the first round - although it still tries to link the choice to who the Cowboys have just added.

Report: Cowboys to host Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins | Cowboys Wire

The Cowboys are looking at all the players they think could help them. Sheldon Rankins could be a way to upgrade the defensive line even further.

Cowboys' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli loves players with high motors and lateral quickness, two of Rankins most attractive traits. He can easily line up in the "A" gap and gobble up multiple blockers to help open up an expressway to the quarterback for other defensive cohorts; but he can also use his lateral speed to get around blockers and chase down whomever is unlucky enough to have the ball in their hands.

Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys reportedly schedule workout with DE Shaq Lawson for early April | SportsDay

Obviously Dallas would like to find more help rushing the passer. Here is what Jon Machota had to say about Shaq Lawson.

An outstanding run defender and pass rusher, Lawson had 12.5 sacks last season, including two in the national championship game against Alabama. He would be a versatile addition up front for the Cowboys, likely playing left end and then moving inside in passing situations

Vernon Hargreaves solidifies top-10 NFL draft status at pro day - NFL.com

Hargreaves is not seen as fitting the ideal profile for Cowboys defensive backs, but his athleticism may make them consider him if Jalen Ramsey is not available. Lots of other notes here on prospects.

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Oh, yeah, the owner's meeting is still ongoing. That means some rule changes, but first, some pearls of wisdom from Dallas' owner, Jerry Jones.

Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones is still enamored with Johnny Manziel, but ... | SportsDay

Sigh. We won't even bother with quotes here, just this trenchant observation.

Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones: Darren McFadden still No. 1 back over Alfred Morris; 'open' to Greg Hardy | SportsDay

Here, the principle involved is best described by a new term introduced this week.

Expanded horse collar 1 of 7 rules passed by NFL competition committee - SBNation.com

There are still a couple of rules still to be decided, but several have passed, including elimination of all "chop blocks", an expansion of the horsecollar rules, and making the longer PAT try permanent.

Catch Rule Criteria Explained At League Meetings: ‘Control, Two Feet, Plus Time’ | Dallas Cowboys

The league, particularly league vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, continue to stretch and deform the definition of a catch to deny the irrefutable fact that Dez caught it.

NFL owners vote to keep preseason overtime, for some reason - SBNation.com

This is just wrong.

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