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Cowboys News: Will Cowboys Trade Darren McFadden Or Alfred Morris Before Season Opener?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Should the Cowboys trade Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris? Why the Cowboys’ offensive line is so dominant. Tony Romo looking good in OTAs.

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Why the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line is so dominant - Mike Renner, Pro Football Focus
Renner takes to the film room and gives the Cowboys' O-line its due for opening holes that made even the Cowboys' rough crew of running backs look good in 2015. He also explains why drafting Ezekiel Elliott makes a ton of sense for Dallas. This read will be worth your time.

This is the Cowboys’ offensive line. It’s a unit that blocked for castoff running backs and quarterbacks the majority of last season, yet still came away as PFF’s highest-graded pass-blocking and run-blocking line. Unlike some recent top offensive lines—like the 2012 San Francisco 49ers and the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles—the Cowboys aren’t doing it with anything innovative or different. They simply execute far better than any other team in the league.

The more I reviewed the Cowboys’ 2015 performance, the more I understood why they were willing to eschew conventional wisdom by taking a running back—Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott—in the top five of the draft. They gave their backs a clean run to the safety-level far too often to only average 4.7 yards per carry as a team. Getting a running back who combines vision with elusiveness and power will be a huge boon for the Cowboys’ offense. The scary thing is that, with four starters at 25 years of age or younger, the unit could realistically be even better in 2016.

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Stephen Jones: Cowboys won't trade McFadden, Morris - Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team received interest for its running backs during last month's draft. Jones said Dallas isn't (currently) entertaining offers for either back.

"We got calls during the draft asking to trade for a couple of our running backs," executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "and we just don't have that interest."

Nobody expects Dallas to deal McFadden after he recorded the second-most 100-yard rushing performances in the league last season. The 28-year-old back is valuable Elliott insurance for a team with designs on the NFC East crown this year.

It's a bit of surprise, though, that Jones wouldn't be open to offers for Morris, who signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract in March.

Cowboys say they turned down trade offers for McFadden, Morris - ProFootballTalk
Just because the Cowboys turned down trade offers in the past doesn't mean they'll do it again in the future.

McFadden, who is coming off a 1,089-yard season, is heading into the final year of his contract and has a $2.15 million cap hit. The Cowboys just signed Morris to a two-year, $3.5 million contract in March. Both players are affordable and have been productive, which could make them worth something in a trade.

So it wouldn’t be surprising to hear McFadden and Morris mentioned in trade talks again. Even if, for now, the Cowboys aren’t interested.

Dallas Cowboys reportedly turned down trade offers for veteran RBs - Josh Sanchez, Campus Sports Net
Sanchez wonders whether the question of trading one of the running backs is simply about the price.

McFadden is coming off of one of the most successful years of his professional career, rushing for 1,089 yards last season behind the impressive Cowboys offensive line. Morris has also shown in the past that he can carry the load for an offense.

So while Dallas isn’t interested in losing their depth in the backfield any time soon, they could change their tune closer to the season if someone sweetens their offer.

Would Cowboys trade Darren McFadden? - Jeffrey Kahn, 247 Sports
By drafting Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys added almost $5 million to the RB position total, likely putting them higher at the position than they like. McFadden is the only back who could provide some cap relief for the Cowboys (the first year of Alfred Morris' contract is fully guaranteed).

McFadden opened up OTAs as the team's starter with Elliott right behind him. But if the Cowboys see Morris as an equal back to McFadden, McFadden's trade value might be at an all-time high. Yet, the 'Boys didn't trade him and they'll have the next few months to assess the roster and possibly re-open trade discussions.

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Todd Archer: Tony Romo looking good in OTAs - SportsDay
Archer recently spoke with ESPN Football Today about Tony Romo's progress this offseason.

"He looks good. And it's not just, 'Oh, he's throwing the ball well. He's going down the field and he's accurate.' He looks good, he's moving well. What people are telling me is he's moving as well as he's ever moved and much better than he's moved in a couple years, not because of the collarbone -- he called that a non-issue. But because of his back. The time off allowed him to put more strength in the back. His offseason work has improved because of that. He's stronger because of that. When we've seen Romo at his best he's a guy who can make things happen on the run. He looked painful to run around the last couple years but he's moving pretty well."

Twitter Mailbag: Week 1 Defensive Line Starters? - Todd Archer, ESPN
In response to a reader question, Archer forecasts what the D-line could look like in the season opener.

I thought it was interesting to see Ryan Russell as the starting left defensive end on the first OTA we watched Wednesday. I don't know if that will be the case Week 1. Losing Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence takes away their best two outside pass-rushers. Gregory had no sacks as a rookie, but Lawrence had eight last season. They have talked about moving Tyrone Crawford to defensive end, but I'm not a fan of taking a guy from his best spot and asking him to do things out of his comfort zone.

The options aren't the best, but here's what I would forecast, which means it will be completely wrong on Sept. 11 against the New York Giants: Crawford and Cedric Thornton will be the defensive tackles. Benson Mayowa will line up at right defensive end and David Irving will be the left defensive end. But I don't think we should get carried away with "starter," because the Cowboys will mix and match a lot of players as they go through the season.

Mailbag: Who Has Skill Set Similar To Dunbar? - Dallas Cowboys
A reader wonders who could step into the Dunbar role this season, and David Helman offers Darius Jackson as an option.

I’ve said this a couple of times now, and I’ll repeat that I’m fascinated to see what Jackson brings to the table at training camp. I wouldn’t say his strength is as a receiver, but he did average 10 yards per catch on 21 receptions last year – so he can definitely do it. He’s a bigger back, but he’s got some surprising speed to go with that power. Sixth-round picks aren’t all that valuable, but the Cowboys wouldn’t have used a pick of any kind on another running back if they weren’t highly interested. I’m not going to be surprised if Jackson finds himself a role on the 53.

The Cowboys’ Crown Jewel: Is Ezekiel Elliott the Most Sought-After Rookie in Fantasy Football History? - Robert Mays, The Ringer
Mays, writing for Bill Simmons' soon to be launched new site, takes a deep dive into whatt Elliott could mean for your fantasy football team.

After Elliott landed on the team with the NFL’s best offensive line, the question was raised if there had ever been a clearer choice for that draft’s no. 1 pick. We quickly agreed no, there hadn’t been, and that prompted me to take things a step further: Is Elliott—the former Ohio State star ranked among the top-five running backs on every preseason list available—the most sought-after rookie in fantasy football history?

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The fantasy expectations facing Elliott this year are unprecedented for a rookie. With the Cowboys line shaping up to be better than ever this fall (and with DeMarco Murray’s 1,845-yard, 13-touchdown 2014 campaign fresh in mind), it’s hard to throw water on anyone who envisions a crazy season for an undeniably gifted back. But the best fantasy rookie season of all time is a lot to ask of anyone.

UDFA receiver Jay Lee chose Lions over four other teams - Pride Of Detroit
The Cowboys had brought in Jay lee for a workout during Dallas Day, and made the former Baylor wide receiver an offer to join the team as an UDFA, but Lee apparently liked the situation in Detroit better.

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Ravens forfeit week of OTAs, fined for violations - Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Hey NFL teams: don't wear pads when pads aren't allowed, or else you will get fined almost $350,000 and will lose practice time. Also, 'fess up when you messed up and don't be douchebags about it.

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