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Cowboys News & Notes: OTAs Begin Today, And Cowboys Now Rule The World - Financially

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Lots of news about what to look for as the entire team gets together for the first time. Meanwhile, the NFL is simplifying the rules on instant replay, but continues to blow it on concussions.

Jaylon Smith is still recovering from his injury.
Jaylon Smith is still recovering from his injury.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys overtake Real Madrid to become world's most valuable sports team while Manchester United remain in fifth    | Daily Mail Online

The Dallas Cowboys have long been America's Team. Now they are the World's Most Valuable Team, with a net worth of around $4 billion.

In fact, the Cowboys have held that title of the most valuable NFL side for the last nine years thanks to their impressive revenue figures and the AT&T Stadium.

The 85,000-seater stadium has played host to events other than NFL during the past few years - with the venue hosting the NBA All-Star Weekend, College Football, football games and high-profile music concerts.

Helman: Five Storylines Worth Watching When OTAs Get Started This Week | Dallas Cowboys

Today is the start of OTAs for the Cowboys, and David Helman chimes in with his top five stories to track. His number five is probably the most important of all: Don't have any injuries.

To that end, I actually consider it a good thing that guys like Dez BryantOrlando Scandrick and DeMarcus Lawrence look likely to be limited during OTAs. The Cowboys have various players still rehabbing their way back from injuries, headlined by the aforementioned trio.

Battle Royal: Staff Writers Analyze Options For Open Fullback Position | Dallas Cowboys

One of the most wide-open battles is at fullback, where the Cowboys are trying to convert both running back Rod Smith and lilnebacker Keith Smith to the job. Helman favors Rod.

Given that he played running back for five years at Ohio State and one year in the NFL, he's also bound to have better running and receiving skills than your typical fullback. Smith stands at 6-3, 226 pounds, and he's comfortable with the ball in his hands. Neither of those traits are common to see from a fullback, and that makes him awfully intriguing in my opinion.

Delusions of grandeur? SackSEER metric likes mid-round Cowboys pick | Cowboys Wire

OTAs are also the start of trying to develop a better pass rush. While Dallas waited until the fourth round to address the defensive end position in the draft, their selection, Charles Tapper, has some positive traits that will hopefully translate to performance on the field.

Dallas places a big emphasis on SPARQ scores, which gave Tapper it's 4th highest score among all edge rushers. Similarly, the SackSEER rating takes into account an "explosion index", a measurement devised from pre-draft workout numbers. Tapper's explosion index is only bested by Leonard Floyd and Emmanuel Ogbah, two players drafted at 9th and 32nd overall. Tapper's SackSEER rating grades him at 69.6%, higher than 257 out of 369 players in SackSEER's database.

Notre Dame teammate on Dallas Cowboys' Jaylon Smith: He's a freak now - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

Chris Brown was a teammate of Jaylon Smith at Notre Dame, and he is still his teammate on the Cowboys. He has nothing but praise for the second round pick, and thinks he will pay off for Dallas.

Brown never saw Smith have a down moment.

"Same dude. That's the best thing about Jaylon. He's the same dude through the in and outs," Brown said. "Real relaxed, but driven. I'm his roommate now, so he's in the playbook as if he's out there every single day taking every rep."

The Nerve of This Guy: Cowboys’ Jaylon Smith on ‘Mike and Mike’ show | Cowboys Wire

Patrik Walker has a penchant for really bad puns in his titles. But despite that, he has a good article about Smith, including how he enjoys learning from Sean Lee.

"Sean's a great guy. And for me, it's just watching him, he's so disciplined. He loves the game of football. So I'm definitely happy to be here."

Cowboys' offensive line is a running back's wish come true - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN

There is still criticism of the Cowboys taking Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, but both he and the team believe it is the best move they could have made.

The Cowboys have made no secret that their team is built around the offensive line. You can debate the worthiness of selecting the best running back available in the draft when you have what many consider the best offensive line in football. The Cowboys ran for nearly 1,900 yards last season with Darren McFadden as their lead back and Romo playing just four games.

But the Cowboys believe a special running back and a special offensive line can lead to a special season.

Third Down Efficiency Needs A Boost | Cowboys Nation

The injuries played an obvious part in this issue, but there is no doubt that the Cowboys have to do much better at converting third downs to have success this season.

In 2014, the offense was one of the best in the NFL at converting on third downs. Last season, not so much. The Cowboys ranked second in the league in 2014, converting at 47.09 percent. Dallas dipped dramatically last year, falling to 26th in the league, successful just 34.55 percent of the time.

I Cannot Tell a La’El: Could Cowboys’ Collins ascend to Pro Bowl? | Cowboys Wire

Did I mention Patrik's thing for really bad puns? He continues it in looking at how La'el Collins may be poised to take a major step forward in his sophomore campaign.

"Really just the game slows down for you, especially after the first year of experience knowing what to expect, knowing how hard I have to work this offseason to get stronger, faster and to be better mentally," said Collins to ESPN.com. "[You] play off just natural instinct and reaction where you're not even thinking out there. That's my biggest thing this year. That's what I'm focusing on."

NFL's Best QB Situations 2016 - Goal Line Stand - Rotoworld.com

This may make you a little angry, but it does point out just how precarious the situation is at quarterback for the Cowboys this year.

23. Cowboys, Tony Romo

Last Year's Ranking: 13

Tony Romo had a career year in 2014, but is now part of the "when healthy" brigade. Romo remains one of the league's best quarterbacks ... when healthy. He makes the Cowboys a Super Bowl contender ... when healthy. For being 36 years old, he is shockingly spry and agile ... when healthy. The second career break of Romo's collarbone cost him seven games last season. The third sidelined him for the final five. The recurring clavicle issues led to an offseason surgery, Romo's third in four years. That doesn't include the "minor" back fracture that interrupted his MVP candidacy for one game in 2014. Romo has become one of the best players in Cowboys history, but he is only one injury away from being history. Owner Jerry Jones admitted as much when he lamented not trading up for Memphis QB Paxton Lynch. With no talent to speak of behind Romo on the depth chart, the Cowboys have the most extreme risk/reward quarterback situation in football.

Bell: NFL poised to make significant change to instant replay

The NFL seems to really want to make things simpler with the rules. This is a surprisingly sensible step.

The new rule, if passed, will be written to legislate what plays cannot be reviewed.

Although it probably won't squash arguments about whether you saw a catch, call it a first down toward the NFL's aim to simplify the rulebook -€” for fans, players and coaches.

The NFL reneged on concussion study funding, and undid any goodwill it had left - SBNation.com

The controversy surrounding concussions and CTE continues, and the NFL is frankly doing a pretty horrible job, both from the standpoint of failing to actually address things and in the arena of public opinion. Now Congress has weighed in, and an Outside the Lines article details how the lawmakers have not liked what they have found.

The authors of the report held little back, calling the NFL's actions part of a "long-standing pattern of attempts" to conduct concussion research that would serve its own interests. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone from New Jersey told OTL that the NFL's actions would sow even more distrust among players, saying, "It says to them that they really can't trust the NFL to do the right thing."

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