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Cowboys News: Will Offense Be A "Clock-Eating, 3rd-Down-Converting Powerhouse?"

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Zeke at four was the right move; what UDFA's do you have your eyes on; an Eagles writer takes shots at the Cowboys draft decisions.

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Stephen Jones on why the Cowboys didn't draft defense in the first, passed on trading for Paxton Lynch - Staff, SportsDay

Stephen Jones took time to answer a few questions on 105.3 The Fan, including why the Cowboys decided on Zeke in the first round.

Why they settled on Ezekiel Elliott:

Jones: We just really felt like Ezekiel was a dual pick. He not only did great things for our offense, he also, we think, helps keeping Tony upright so that they have to respect the run game. He's certainly one of the more well-rounded guys in terms of pass protection as well as catching balls out of the backfield. He just does it all. And then the other thing is if we're able to in some shape or form replicate what we did two years ago in terms of ball control, that helps our defense.

Method to Cowboys madness clear, even if all don’t agree it will work - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The decision the Cowboys made with their first pick doesn't sit well with many fans, but the team has a plan and that plan is focused around getting back to the success they had in 2014.

The Cowboys have ensured, by drafting Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, things will not be the same as 2015. Teams will have to keep eight in the box to contain the run game, and teams will have to play a safety over the top to cover Dez. Do pundits forget the screenshots of teams jamming Bryant occasionally with two players on the line of scrimmage? Fun times are returning for those rooting for the star.

Cowboys believe defense will benefit from Elliott pick - Matt Urben, Cover32
While the Cowboys didn't select a defensive star with their first round pick, many feel they still took the player that would help their defense the most.

People spout cliches about winning in the trenches and how the best defense is a good offense and etc. Dallas is one of the teams that can truly run the ball down your throat and it’s not just word-play. They have the hogs up front and they have a new lead dog in the backfield with fresh legs to lead the way. Throw in a healthy Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, then you have the makings of a balanced, clock-eating, 3rd-down-converting powerhouse, capable of making any defense look alright. If they get 5-10 minutes to rest while the offense is at the very least moving the ball, they can put themselves into a winning situations.

Jaylon Smith on his relationship with Ezekiel Elliott and his feelings on draft day - Staff, SportsDay
The Cowboys new linebacker took time to share some words on the Rich Eisen Show to talk about a few things. One of those things was his friendship with the team's other premium draft pick.

On his relationship with Ezekiel Elliott:

Smith: That's my brother. We go way back. That had a lot to do with us knowing each other and already looking at each other as brothers. Through the whole recruiting process, just communication, got in touch. We played in the Army game together. So we got to kick it then and throughout our collegiate success.

It's good to see these two so close considering they will be attached at the hip once people down the road start talking about how brilliant these first two picks were for the Cowboys.

Win Now V. Rebuilding: The Dallas Cowboys Are Both -€” RJ Ochoa, Inside The Star

People seem to get crossed up on whether the Cowboys are in "win-now" mode or "rebuilding." I'm not sure why fans try to force them into one of these categories. Regardless where you stand on the issue, I found this little stat to be quite interesting.

I've said this before and I will say it until it no longer rings true: Tony Romo has never played a game where he was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Romo missed the final stretches of 2010 and 2015 thanks to injury, but every single game that he has ever played whether in the early days of September or the cold and frigid night of December has mattered. There are only two other current NFL quarterbacks who can say the same, Tom Brady and Joe Flacco.

Props to RJ Ochoa for that piece of info. It got a lot of attention on my twitter page.

Cowboys move "Smith and Smith" to FB; shaping most powerful NFL offense? - Patrik Walker, Cowboys Wire
With the Cowboys drafting superstars with their first two picks, it has forced other players reconsider their role on the team and try out a new position.

In the spirit of thinking even more outside of the box (pun intended), the Cowboys will also move linebacker Keith Smith to fullback as well; to compete with [Rod] Smith for the starting role there. Less of an offensive threat than Rod, Keith will certainly provide a more physical style of blocking and play due to his initial base position at LB. Still having much more athleticism than the unsigned Clutts, it’s an upgrade the Cowboys would still be looking forward to.

Are Gringos Smith's falling from the sky?

I'm not complaining, though. The last time the Cowboys roster had so many Smith's on the team, they were winning Super Bowls (Emmitt, Darren, and Kevin).

Five UDFA’s Who Can Make the Cowboys Roster - Jordan Ross, Scout
The Cowboys have been sneaky sneakertons when it comes to landing contribution in the UDFA market. The team has six former UDFA's on the roster now, from the return specialist, Lucky Whitehead to the $100 million franchise QB, Tony Romo. So, with the next batch of candidates identified, who's the next diamond in the rough? Jordan Ross from Cowboys HQ offers up five players who have a shot at making the team.

DT Rodney Coe Coe arguably has the best shot at making the team among their UDFA signings. The 6-3, 305-pound defensive tackle visited with the Cowboys pre-draft (as a 30-Visit guy) and they signed him immediately after it ended. He recorded 46 tackles (including 8.5 TFL) in 2015, along with two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and 3 pass breakups. Coe has impressive athleticism for a man his size and has the quickness that Rod Marinelli loves in his defensive linemen.

2016 Dallas Cowboys Undrafted Free Agents: Any SPARQ Standouts? - One Cool Customer, BTB
If you are trying to get a feel for which undrafted free agents have the best shot at making the team, a good place to start is their SPARQ scores. Two of the top three scorers in NFL% (ranking relative to his peers at the position) ended up making the team. So, who came out on top? Well, I don't want to spoil the surprise for you.

Philly writer blasts Cowboys' draft, says they got 'played' multiple times throughout - Staff, SportsDay
In the comic section of today's news, we offer up the draft analysis of a writer for Philadelphia, Jimmy Kempski. I guess when you trade away your own draft picks, you don't have a lot to critique...so, you give it a go on your divisional foes.

The Cowboys missed out on a lot of their draft targets, they got bad value with the fourth overall pick, and there's an outside chance their second round pick will never play. With their later round picks, they largely favored potential over production, which is something a 4-12 team does not have the luxury of doing, unless they are truly building for the long-term, which the Cowboys are not.

Building for long-term? What a novel concept. But that might be a little hard to wrap your mind around if your team is constantly hitting the reset button year after year. This isn't Groundhog's Day. You get to start from where you left off the previous season.

The Cowboys selection of Travis Frederick is simply a bad use of resources – Jimmy Kempski, Blogging the bEast
Thanks to the ever-so-resourceful Cool One, we are able to get a glimpse of just how credible this writer from Philadelphia is. Here's a taste of his expertise of the Cowboys 2013 first round draft selection.

Frederick’s limited upside, the value of the center position, the player’s underwhelming game tape, and the fact that there isn’t even some kind of magical guarantee that it’s a "safe pick" makes this a terrible use of resources, especially when the Cowboys could have gotten an impact player at 18.

Cowboys 1st and 10: The Ageless Witten + Inside Rookie Minicamp - Matthew Postins, Scout
If you don't fully understand the greatness of Jason Witten, there's an opportunity to do some learning. At 34 years old, he continues to produce and shows no sign of slowing down.

What Witten is doing right now is amazing. If you're not watching it you're missing out. As long as he stays healthy, I suspect Witten will have another great season. He's aging well and paving his own way to the Hall of Fame. And he likely won't be done after 2016, either. ... as he keeps himself busy in every possible way. Cool note from this week at rookie minicamp inside of Valley Ranch, where Ezekiel Elliott revealed that DeMarco Murray advised him to follow Witten, learn from Witten and mimic Witten in his actions. Reflected tight ends coach Mike Pope: "Witten is the 13th Disciple. He helps everybody."

If there is one thing that Cowboys fans all over the world can ultimately agree on, it's that Jason Witten is awesome.