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Cowboys News & Notes: Which Positions Of Need Will Cowboys Address In Free Agency?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Free agency is almost here; looking at some running back and quarterback options; Joseph Randle arrested again.

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Cowboys 2016 Free Agent Philosophy: Positions Of Need - Jim Scott, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have plenty of needs as they enter free agency and our own Jim Scott identifies certain areas that the team will need to address. One of the more intriguing issues will be how they approach the defensive line position.

Dallas has one starting caliber defensive end able to start week one in DeMarcus Lawrence. Greg Hardy's imminent departure, Randy Gregory's suspension, and Jeremy Mincey's aging all take them out of the candidacy (and that's assuming Mincey is even re-signed). They need to get someone. Jason Pierre-Paul and Adrian Clayborn have been suggested by some. Other options could involve moving Lawrence to the weak side and picking up a 3-4 end like Malik Jackson, Kendall Reyes, or Jared Crick to play the strong side. Perhaps David Irving's promise as a hybrid end/tackle would let him move up to start at left defensive end as well, but it's not something I am ready to count on.

Cowboys' Top-Five Needs as Free Agency Nears - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
The draft is not the place to make decisions based on need, but free agency is. Here is a look at the Cowboys biggest needs entering free agency.

Already a top concern before a few weeks ago, the need drastically increased with the news of Randy Gregory’s four-game suspension. With Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey, and Jack Crawford all currently free agents, that leaves just DeMarcus Lawrence and Ryan Russell as signed players who could play in Week One.

One of the first orders of business will be addressing the teams own players who will be hitting the market.

Dallas Cowboys’ free agents: Who will be re-signed, who will go elsewhere? - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
With free agency right around the corner, here is a list of Cowboys players that could be hitting the market.

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Dallas Cowboys Free Agency 2016: Cowboys Need Upgrades Over Just Bodies - Michael Sisemore, BTB
With a name like Colt McCoy, it just seems fitting that he's a Cowboy. Our own Michael Sisemore agrees.

Solution: Colt McCoy is a crafty but smart veteran that has had success and could certainly run the offense that Scott Linehan likes. Enough with talk of Robert Griffin III and Nick Foles, those options are too expensive and both will likely want to have a shot at starting. The only starting quarterback-caliber players that actually choose to sit are guys like Kyle Orton. If they love the game, they want to play the game. Drew Stanton and Chase Daniel other options to consider that should be somewhat affordable. If the Cowboys draft a quarterback this year or not (they will), they will still need someone capable of starting right away. A veteran like McCoy makes perfect sense while they groom one behind Tony Romo.

Cowboys are more likely to pursue Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel rather than RGIII, Johnny Manziel - Brandon George, SportsDay
There will be a lot of money flying around once free agency starts, but will the Cowboys use any of that to get themselves a backup QB?

The Cowboys, however, plan to be patient and frugal in free agency despite having more cap space this year (about $14 million) available to them than in recent seasons. Although the Cowboys have been linked to Griffin and Manziel in national reports, Dallas is more likely to pursue Texas prep products Colt McCoy or Chase Daniel in free agency as a veteran backup for Tony Romo.

It will be so nice when this whole "Johnny Football coming to Dallas" can be put to rest. Plus, he's real busy doing other important stuff.

2016 NFL Draft: Three dark horse quarterback options for the Dallas Cowboys - Jeff Smith, The Draft Wire
After Jerry Jones divulged the Cowboys draft plans of not taking a QB in the first round, the team will have to look for a plan B. What are some long-shot candidates that might be an option in later rounds?

For what it’s worth, over Prescott’s final two collegiate seasons, he scored 80 combined passing (56) and rushing (24) touchdowns, so the man has a knack for finding the end zone. He also threw just 23 interceptions throughout his entire college career.

Only 23 interceptions his entire career? That's impressive. Eli Manning has thrown over 23 interceptions in two different seasons in his career and they still let him play.

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Why the Dallas Cowboys Should Sign This Free Agent RB - Brian Martin, The Landry Hat
As the Cowboys lay low for the first part of free agency, they will be keeping their eye on some low-cost options. And there could be some good-buy running backs available when they finally decide to get out on the dance floor.

Khiry Robinson of the New Orleans Saints could possibly be the best player that the Cowboys could sign in free agency and a player that would fit into their strategy over the past years of signing cost-effective veterans.

After pretty much coming out of nowhere as an undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M, Robinson signed with the Saints after a three-day tryout at their rookie mini-camp in 2013. His three years in a league he has amassed 766 yards and eight touchdowns. Robinson is a physical runner, and what I mean by that his he runs with an angry streak looking to physically punish any defenders that try to tackle him.

Of course the draft might be the direction the team goes when it comes to the running back position.

RB Ezekiel Elliott is 'special'; is that enough to make Cowboys consider him with 4th overall pick? - Jon Machota, SportsDay
You have to admit, there is a certain amount of excitement that shows up with the thought of Zeke as the Cowboys running back.

Question: A mock draft that came out Thursday had Cowboys taking Elliott at 4. What would be your odds of Dallas taking a RB in first round?

Jon Machota: First off, let me say that the Cowboys don't need to take a running back that early. Behind their offensive line, I think they'd be just fine with McFadden and a player they draft in Rounds 2-3. But Elliott is a special player. I believe he would be a Pro Bowl-caliber player behind this offensive line. But is it worth spending the fourth pick on a running back when their are several exceptional defensive prospects sitting there as well? That's a decision the Cowboys have to make. Elliott wouldn't be a bad pick, I just think there are far too many holes on defense to pass up on this chance to get an immediate impact player on that side of the ball.

2016 NFL Draft: 3 Running Backs I'd Like to see Dallas Draft - Sean Martin, Inside The Star
While Ezekiel Elliott is a star running back, how much better is he than some of the later round options? That third round pick is going to get here faster than you think.

The Cowboys need a running back with some open field speed who is hard to catch.

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Switching over to a running back who isn't so hard to catch, especially if you're the Kansas City police department...

Ex-Cowboy Joseph Randle arrested Sunday for the sixth time in 18 months - Naheed Rajwani, DMN
This is not a re-run. This is really happening. The Dallas Morning News Crime Blog reports that Joseph Randle has been arrested...again.

Former Dallas Cowboy Joseph Randle was jailed in Kansas early Sunday, this time for failing to appear in court. This is the 6th arrest of his career. Two more and he'll match his career NFL start total.

I can't help thinking of that scene in Liar Liar where Jim Carey gives this great legal advice...

Okay, back to real football stuff.

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Cowboys’ Romo ascends active leader lists with Manning’s retirement - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Tony Romo didn't have to do anything to propel himself up the active leader board on Sunday, but it's not like any of that matters, right? It's all about the W's.

Short of winning a Super Bowl in the twilight of his career, Tony Romo will likely be remembered nationally as just a very good quarterback. Despite the fact that quarterbacks only control roughly 25% of the plays on the field, it’s the only position in the NFL that carries a W/L record and is judged by playoff success. Tony Romo has led a historic career, framed in the rise from undrafted free agency.

What if Laremy Tunsil Falls to Dallas? - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
The Cowboys should have a great option when the number four pick gets to them, but what if the best option is tackle, Laremy Tunsil?

If Ramsey and the quarterback they wanted are gone then Dallas may be strongly seeking a trade-down partner. Tunsil being available would aid that cause greatly and could motivate them even more to slide back. However, I think Dallas would have to consider staying put and adding Tunsil to their already fabulous offensive line.