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Cowboys News: New No. 2 Receiver? Plus, Did Cowboys Get Best Value Pick In Draft?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Drew Pearson expects Brice Butler to step up this season; why you should take Ezekiel Elliott for your fantasy team with the utmost confidence; Cowboys done in free agency?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Who the Cowboys are counting on to step up at No. 2 receiver next season - Newy Scruggs, SportsDay
In a chat with fans, Scruggs offered Drew Pearson's take on which wide receiver might step up this season.

I'm lucky to have Drew Pearson around to ask questions to and he believes Brice Butler can become a good receiver. We've seen Tony Romo make players like Miles Austin, Laurent Robinson and Cole Beasley into productive wide receivers. Drew Pearson thinks Butler has the talent to become a solid contributor.

Terrance Williams was a disappointment last year. With Dez Bryant missing time he never took advantage of his shot as the number one guy and I don't want to hear about how Romo only played in four games. Hall of Famer Tim Brown once told me sometimes a receiver has to makes his quarterback look good. Williams was lucky the Cowboys have other needs and they didn't use a premium pick on a wide receiver.

One scout says the Cowboys may have got the best value pick in the whole draft - Newy Scruggs, SportsDay
Scruggs talked about Cowboys rookie DE Charles Tapper in a recent live chat.

I know Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report loves Tapper, calling him the best value pick in the draft. He wrote: The Cowboys selected Oklahoma's Charles Tapper in the fourth round. One NFC scout told me he believes that pick was one of the best in the draft. Why? He's 6'3" and 271 pounds and runs a 4.59 40-yard dash. What scared some teams, this scout explained, was that Tapper has the sickle cell trait. It's considered relatively minor, presenting a problem mostly in conditions such as high altitudes. The Cowboys don't play in Denver this season, and the NFL hasn't placed a franchise on Mount Kilimanjaro, so he'll be just fine.

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First Down: Ezekiel Elliott's fantasy critics don't like winning - Brad Evans, Yahoo Sports
Evans explains why you should take Elliott for your fantasy team with the utmost confidence.

After the Dallas Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick, the fantasy community became instantly divided. Zeke zealots contend he's a legitimate first-round pick, a presumed high-volume rusher placed in an ideal situation. Naysayers, however, argue he's an unproven product destined to ruin your fake franchise as a committee rusher. Yours truly, like most industry folks, unequivocally sides with the former group.

In Dallas, a fantasy star is about to be born. Zeke is a unique talent thrust into a nourishing environment. Expectations should be high. It's not hyperbole he finishes atop the RB ranks come year's end. On my big board, only David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell rank above him. He's that good folks. My fearless forecast: 266 carries, 1,173 rushing yards, 47 receptions, 463 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. And that might be conservative.

One skill Dak Prescott has in common with Tony Romo, and why Cowboys shouldn't take it away from him - SportsDay
Jon Machota and Brandon George discussed the rookies in a recent podcast, and here's Machota's take on what Prescott could bring to the table that the other backup QBs last year couldn't.

If the Cowboys are down late and Dak Prescott is in at quarterback, he's gonna be in the gun. That's where he is gonna be at his best. That's where he can use his feet. I feel like when I watched Dak Prescott in college and I watched some of these quarterbacks last year -- the Matt Cassels and Brandon Weedens in the Cowboys' system -- Dak ain't gonna be the same way as those guys.

When that pocket collapses, he's not going to go down. He's going to use his feet. Maybe that won't be smart later on in his career, but as a young kid, he's going to use his feet. That's something that you didn't see from Matt Cassel very often, or Brandon Weeden. It brings another dimension. It's almost in a way kind of like what Tony Romo has where he always wants to extend plays. I think that's where Dak is at his best. Why would you take that away from him?

The next Jimmy Graham? Why former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers was too good for the Cowboys to pass up - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Stephen Jones explains what the Cowboys saw in Gathers, who's drawn comparisons to Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham, both former basketball players too.

"I'm not saying he is going to be one of those guys, but he has the traits," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "The other thing is, he is a little thicker. I think he can be a 'Y' tight end for us as well, play [on the line], a little bit like Martellus Bennett was for us. Long arms, big hands, he's just a big man. We liked what we saw, and really feel like, with our situation, he is a good fit for us."

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Jerry Jones confident we'll see the old Dez Bryant in '16 - Conor Orr, NFL.com
The Cowboys feel Dez Bryant can have a bounce-back season in 2016 after missing seven games last season with a broken foot and lingering ankle issues.

"With the contract dispute, if you will, he wasn't around, which is business, and consequently he probably wasn't in his best shape going into the season. And then you start to add the injuries when players aren't in shape and they continued on through training camp and then on into the season and we ended up not having him much last year, so if he can get his rehab done and get himself in top condition, then I think we'll see the same Dez that we saw two years ago."

Jones' explanation makes sense, and it's important to make a distinction here: he's not blaming the holdout on the broken foot, and by 'best shape' he likely means football shape. Athletes train all offseason but there are some movements that are entirely unique to the field. Bryant missed nearly all of the offseason workouts in 2015 during his contract impasse and injured his hamstring early on in training camp. Because injuries rarely heal over the course of a brutal NFL season, it was a slippery slope from there.

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Twitter mailbag: Dallas Cowboys take down help-wanted signs for now - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
In his latest mailbag, Archer answers a question about whether there will be any more free agent deals for the Cowboys.

Stephen Jones was asked this question the other day and he basically said no, but also acknowledged things can change quickly. Players can unexpectedly be released who would fill a hole on the Cowboys’ roster, but by and large I think the Cowboys are through with free agency. They had Jason Jones in for a visit before the draft and the veteran defensive end remains available [Jones signed in Miami late yesterday]. He could be an option but if you go with what Stephen Jones said, that might be over.

Once training camp begins there can be another wave of free agency that hits when players get hurt. Stephen Jones said the Cowboys have a list of players available at all positions. So for those wondering about Antonio Cromartie: The Cowboys are not interested even if you think they should be.

Six most interesting players still on free-agent market - Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
Stephen Jones recently told season ticket holders that the Cowboys were likely done in free agency, but Wesseling speculates that the Cowboys could still be on play for CB Leon Hall.

Similar to Arian Foster, Hall's next home is on hiatus until he's recovered from offseason back surgery. The 31-year-old slot corner has drawn interest from the Dolphins, Falcons, Cardinals, Giants and Cowboys.

Fearless NFL division predictions: The 8 teams that will rule in 2016 - Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com
The Cowboys will be back in the NFC East, La Canfora writes.

This is a team where 2015 strikes me as an anomaly -- all of the key injuries, the inept quarterback play, the drama every week. That won't happen again. Are they flawed? Hell yeah. They have no pass rush and I have no idea why they used their first two draft picks the way they did. But a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant is enough to shift the paradigm in this topsy-turvy division yet again, and I believe they will do just that. Those two can carry a team, and Rod Marinelli will find some fits on defense. Ten wins will get it done.