The Houston Texans released Brian Hoyer on Sunday. Yes, Brandon Weeden is still on their roster, but Hoyer was due a 2016 base salary of $4 million had they hung on to him. With a big QB signing in free agency last month, the Texans felt they no longer needed to keep Hoyer around.
Now that the Texans have signed Brock Osweiler to a big deal, Hoyer became expendable. The Texans were reportedly shopping him and were apparently unable to find anyone willing to part with a draft pick for him. That may be more a reflection of the fact that it was becoming clear that Houston would not keep him and he would be available without having to part with anything at some point than anything else. It may well be exactly the game Dallas was playing.
Should Cowboys sign recently released Texans QB Brian Hoyer? - Patrik Walker & K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Would Hoyer offer the Cowboys anything different at the backup QB position that they haven't already seen? The dynamic duo from the Cowboys Wire offer up their take on the former Texan quarterback.
The fact is, Hoyer never truly got a consistent chance to shine in Houston. New head coach Bill O’Brien changed starting QBs in 2015 early and often. For a signal caller in the NFL, this is a nightmare scenario. Given such, Hoyer was still able to deliver 2,606 yards with 19 TDs to only seven INTs. His accuracy was only slightly less than McCown’s at 60.7%, however, Hoyer also started (only) three more games while tossing seven more TDs.
Hoyer is a real option for the Dallas Cowboys— Birddog26 (@Birddog26) April 17, 2016
I have a rule that when Birddog says something, I listen. It's a good rule.
Would signing Hoyer change the Cowboys draft plans? Absolutely not. The Cowboys are up to something at the QB postion and in ten short days we'll all find out what that entails. Sticking with the wire, the plans could be getting a little more clearer.
Jerry Jones’ actions show Cowboys are dead serious about Romo’s heir - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The fun thing about Jerry Poppins is that despite always telling us what he plans on doing, he still manages to keep us all guessing. It's frustrating and exhilarating all at the same time. K.D. explains that the jig is up and the Cowboys interest in QBs is not something that they can keep hidden under a lamp shade.
Jones went on record early in the process to tell people that despite knowing it’s time to consider a succession plan for Tony Romo, he would not be looking to select one with the fourth overall pick. Whether this was subterfuge, cunning misdirection or the honest truth will have to wait until April 28 to be answered. The actions of the Cowboys owner/GM though, say Dallas is and has always been very interested in the draft’s top quarterbacks.
Staff Writers Give Their "Two Cents" With Cowboys’ Personalized Mock Draft - Staff, The Mothership
Are you interested in a full, six-round Cowboys mock from the Cowboys staff writers? Of course you are. Well, you're in luck because four of them put their own touch on each pick.
Rob Phillips: The top-five dynamic may have shifted with the Rams now picking No. 1, but I’m sticking with Bosa to the Cowboys as my mock No. 4. He still makes the most sense to me in terms of filling the biggest need on the roster. The Cowboys have taken steps to address their defensive line in free agency, but they need another pressure player, and Bosa has the motor needed to play for Rod Marinelli.
Cowboys 2016 Draft Prospect Profile: Clemson Defensive End Kevin Dodd - Joey Ickes, BTB
If the Cowboys don't get one of the elite pass rushers with the #4 pick, many fans will be holding their breathe that they land one with pick 34. Our own Joey Ickes breaks down the defensive end from Clemson. No, the other one.
Dodd is an interesting evaluation because of the fact that he is a one-year starter with almost no production in prior years. I am encouraged by the development he showed as the year wore on, and believe he can continue to develop but wonder if the limited athleticism will limit the upside of his production at the NFL level.
If he's the best player on their board, Dallas should draft this offensive lineman - Staff, SportsDay
Bryan Broaddus was asked about the conundrum the Cowboys could face if Laremy Tunsil falls to them at four. While the idea of trading back is a popular thought among many fans, Broaddus believes you can't pass up on something this good.
On the possibility of drafting Ole Miss OL Laremy Tunsil:
Broaddus: I think that's the consideration, that's the question you have to ask yourself. You just want as many great players as you can. If he's the No. 1 guy on your board and you have an opportunity to take him... I know everybody out there is freaking out right now, why take another offensive lineman? But that's the route to go. That's the one. If you have Bosa over Tunsil on your board then go ahead and take Bosa or go ahead and take Myles Jack or go ahead whoever -- Ezekiel Elliott -- whoever it is. But if Tunsil is your guy, that's a hard one to walk away from.
Cowboys options at #4 are many - Massimo Russo, Cover32
While taking the Ole Miss tackle would surprise some fans, selecting a different Ole Miss player would really catch people off guard. Massimo Russo looks at a new angle.
Not to lock the door and throw away the key on the possibility of the Cowboys using one of their premium round picks on Ole Miss top prospect Laquon Treadwell – a Brandon Marshall/Plaxico Burress physical type receiver – or Notre Dame’s Will Fuller – a burner type that was used on screens, crosses, flags, post and fly routes, but realistically, if the Cowboys are going to tackle the offensive skill positions in the early rounds – taking a running back or quarterback is much more expected.
Cowboys Draft Positional Profile – Linebacker - Shawn Kairschner, WFAA.com
Trying to guess who the Cowboys are going to draft is tricky, but it helps when you know what they're looking for. Shawn Kairschner examines what the Cowboys like in a linebacker and how it may shed some light on some potential draft prospects.
As you may remember from the 90s Cowboys, this scheme puts a premium on speed, preferring it to size and bulk. In the Buccaneers 1998 defensive playbook, Kiffin offered a set of global statements on "Defensive Team Philosophy." One of these is noteworthy:
5. Quickness: The quicker the defense, the harder it is for the offensive team to score. It only makes sense [that] if your defense has overall team quickness the better the opportunity to swarm and gang tackle. The best of both worlds is size and quickness, but if something has to give, take the quickness.
As this suggests, the Cowboys are not averse to adding a bigger linebacker in the 250-260 pound range so long as he meets their baseline athletic markers; however, there are so few men of that size who meet such criteria that the Cowboys personnel guys—just as Johnson did in the early 90s—will tend to favor LBs in the 225-235 pound range. As Kiffin says, "if something has to give, take the quickness."
If you've ever been curious about the differences between the WILL, MIKE, and SAM positions, then this a good piece to check out.
Dallas Cowboys: Bob Sturm's NFL draft series: Will Cowboys take advantage of draft's deepest position? - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
With a rare opportunity to pick so early, so much is made about that coveted fourth pick. And rightfully so. But the Cowboys are sitting in great position to cash in on another first round talent with their early second round pick. Bob Sturm examines how the team could take advantage of a deep DT draft class.
Andrew Billings, Baylor
Billings is so gifted that you can see the dread of the opposing interior linemen who must deal with him. Teams quickly adjust their game plans to the flanks to avoid him. He is quick in tight spaces and able to shed a blocker or jump through a gap and destroy a play before it gets started. He is a bull in a china shop and has a fork-lift maneuver where he can rag doll a lineman out of the way. He plays in all situations, which can be a concern for this type of player, who usually does not play on third downs or two-minute drills. Billings might stay on the field. At his best, he is among the most dominant defenders in the country.
Dallas Cowboys Draft 2016: How Do You Want Your Defensive Tackle(s)? - Michael Sisemore, BTB
Mister Sisemore has been asking the BTB community which round certain positions should be targeted. In his latest installment, he takes a look at the DT position and offers up a few different options.
Billings- He's the quintessential 1-tech that most teams deploy in the 4-3 alignment. However, that's not all he can do. He has a tremendous amount of strength that he puts on display with regularity. If the Cowboys are looking to get more production in the middle, look no further as Billings finished the year with 15 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 40 total tackles. He's a resident of the backfield and can be overpowering for linemen to take on. Finding creative ways to get pass rusher free to make plays is Billings' method of operation. The one thing that will have the Cowboys' licking their chops is his motor which doesn't have an off-switch. Billings is clearly one of the best tackles in the class which could very well see a run in the first round.
Ronald Darby, Bud Dupree among Year 2 breakout candidates on defense - Staff, NFL.com
While all the talk is about what new toys the Cowboys will get in the draft, the team could get a big boost in 2016 from a player they've already drafted. I don't want to play spoilers, but he may or may not be a distant cousin of Mother-Lovin Jones from Horrible Bosses.
Dallas Cowboys: NFL network analyst: Cowboys are the NFC East favorites; what could knock them down? - Staff, SportsDay
Teams that only win four games aren't typically picked to win their division the following year, however, that seems to be a popular choice when it comes to the NFC East. Maurice Jones-Drew gives his prediction:
"Tony Romo changes the whole dynamic of the offense. Dez Bryant plays better, Jason Witten plays better, the offensive line plays better. That defense plays better. He breathes confidence into these guys. I had a player, Jeremy Mincey, who I played with in Jacksonville. He said as long as we have [Romo] we have a chance. And that's how the defense plays. Now he goes down, you put Kellen Moore in there, you put a couple of other guys in there, Matt Cassel, obviously the defense can't do anything. Tony Romo's had a magical time in Dallas, and if he's healthy, I think they're the best team in the NFC East."