Every day, we strive to bring you all the most interesting and pertinent news about the Dallas Cowboys. We collect, collate, and quote from articles published in a wide variety of venues. This is often the first stop for some of our readers as they go on social media each day, and we take pride in finding and relaying the latest information.
But yesterday, we WERE the news.
You've probably read this or seen references to it already, unless you were completely off social media all day yesterday. But our determined (read: nosy and stubborn) staff has, for the third time in the past seven years, found a picture of the Cowboys' draft war room and decoded most of their draft board. While there is a chance this may not be the final version of their board, it still contains a lot of information and indications about what the staff was thinking this year.
And the rest of the NFL world took note.
This is pretty much just a recap of the article, but it does say some nice things.
A few years ago, the intrepid folks at the Dallas Cowboys-focused blog Blogging the Boys pieced together video screen shots of the Cowboys' draft day war room to construct pretty much all of the team's seven-round draft board. This year, it appears they may have done it again.
Meanwhile, our old friend KD Drummond (who was here for the previous two draft board reveals) does what was intended with the data, analyze what the team did, and how it squares (or doesn't) with what the team claims to do.
Per BloggingTheBoys.com, the Cowboys community site which cracked both the 2010 and 2013 Cowboys draft boards (full disclosure, this author wrote for BTB during those seasons), the Cowboys had a quarterback option rated higher than Dak Prescott when they selected him with their compensatory selection at the end of the fourth round.
And here is a quick sampling of what some of our sister NFL sites have done with the hard work put in by OCC and others.
That last take is interesting, given that Carson Wentz was seventh on the Dallas board - although he was the top quarterback. But, Eagles.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of other news of interest to Cowboys fans.
When the ten game suspension was handed down for Rolando McClain, there was a lot of speculation that Dallas might turn to Justin Durant to help out. The speculation turned out to be spot on.
Linebacker Justin Durant, who was a locker-room leader and team captain when he played with the Cowboys in 2013 and 2014, is back with the club today after agreeing to a one-year deal.
However, the idea that signing another linebacker would lead to McClain's release was not so accurate.
The owner and GM has been reported to be the biggest (and possibly only) supporter of McClain at Valley Ranch. And it looks like that has not changed.
"There's a lot of reasons why we don't cut him: cap, many reasons," Jones continued. "But the bottom line is, I'd like to be positive about this and think that we haven't seen the last of Rolando McClain."
Well, Jones' stance may not have changed, but we can't talk about the view from Valley Ranch anymore. From now on, the Dallas Cowboys are going to be headquartered at the Star in Frisco, which promises to be at least as cutting edge and influential as AT&T Stadium. Quite a one-two punch for America's Team.
The world will see a state-of-the-art practice facility much like Jerry World. Jones is giving the Cowboys not only a new practice facility, but their own headquarters. The Star will cover 91 acres in Frisco, with a 40,500 square foot plaza. An indoor stadium in The Star will have the capacity to seat 12,000 people. This gives Jones the hope of hosting the NFL combine and possibly the NFL draft in the future.
One of the worn out memes about Jerry Jones is that making money is the top priority for him, with getting back to the Super Bowl a rather distant second. That certainly is not how he talks about owning what is now ranked as the most valuable sports franchise in the world.
"I would say that I would trade it for some first downs," Jones told the Star-Telegram about his team's ranking.
One player that missed any on-field action during the OTAs and minicamp was Lance Dunbar, who saw his season cut short (again) last year just as he was emerging as a major weapon, especially while Dez Bryant was off the field. He has been expected to start training camp and perhaps the regular season on PUP - but that may not necessarily be so.
"We fully expect everybody to get well," he said. "We're starting to feel pretty optimistic even about guys like Dunbar in terms of maybe being able to play sooner than later."
Lance Dunbar headlines a list of several players still rehabbing from major injuries, after he tore both his ACL and MCL in last year's Week 4 loss to New Orleans. Joined by the likes of Orlando Scandrick and Gavin Escobar, Dunbar underwent a strenuous rehab routine during OTAs - and Jones said he's made remarkable progress.
The quartet of writers doing this series offer differing candidates as to who needs to show out in camp, and Bryan Broaddus' nominee is one that will turn a few heads (or just get some nodding in agreement).
Kellen Moore. I am not sure that he can go through these practices / preseason games and just be okay. There might not be questions from the coaching staff but I just don't have the feeling that the scouts are totally on board quite yet.
This is an interesting idea that needs a little attention. Follow the link to vote on a Cowboy who will be followed all the way through camp on Youtube by the fan known as Yuma Cactus.
During the annual NFL officiating clinic (held this year in Irving, former home of Texas Stadium and the Cowboys), Dean Blandino said that the league is seriously considering making field goals and extra points even harder. (And Dan Bailey's contract an even better investment.)
"The discussion has really revolved around narrowing the uprights," Blandino said in a wide-ranging interview from Irving, Tex., during the league's annual officiating clinic. "That would be one way to affect both the extra point and the field goal. (Success rates) have continued to climb over the years as our field-goal kickers and that whole process has become so specialized, from long snapper to holder to kicker.
"We'll do some studies this year."
Meanwhile, the idea of what is and isn't a catch in the NFL is not exactly getting any easier to grasp.
"When it's bang-bang, rule it incomplete," Blandino told the league's 124 game officials at an annual preseason clinic in Dallas, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. "When in doubt, make it incomplete."
Blandino's advice to err on the side of calling a pass incomplete flows from his confidence that the ruling can be fixed via replay review, if there's indisputable visual evidence that the player actually had the ball long enough.
I don't want to come right out and say that Blandino seems to be motivated by his complete and total unwillingness to admit that Dez Bryant did indeed catch that ball.
Oh. Wait. I guess I just did.
Speaking the truth to zebras.