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Cowboys News: Improving Front Seven Is Cowboys' Top Offseason Priority

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys won't chase big-money free agents; Stephen Jones explains Cowboys' biggest offseason need; Romo to Texans?

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Dallas Cowboys won't chase big-money free agents - Todd Archer, ESPN
Every year, a part of Cowboys Nation dreams about the Cowboys signing big-name free agents, and is inevitably disappointed when the Cowboys don't. You can spare yourself that disappointment by listening to Todd Archer.

It happens every year. Cowboys fans want to know if their team will go after the biggest and brightest names on the free-agent market. For this question, it’s Jason Pierre-Paul. Others ask about Eric Berry. Recent history doesn’t seem to matter, but I’ll say it again: No, I don’t see the Cowboys jumping into the deep end of the free-agent pool.

Over and over executive vice president Stephen Jones has said the reward is not worth the money required. The best way to go about things is to draft well and re-sign your own players. This doesn’t mean the Cowboys will be inactive in free agency. It means they won’t pay over-the-top prices. The Cowboys have taken a prudent approach to free agency in recent years. I’d go so far as to say they have changed their ways. Nobody wants to believe it, but it’s true.

Now, I do believe the Cowboys can do more than sign the Cedric Thorntons or Benson Mayowas, but if a player like Pierre-Paul ends up with the Cowboys it will be on a deal the team wants, not at an inflated market price.

Stephen Jones on Cowboys' biggest offseason need - SportsDay Staff
The Cowboys have never been shy about articulating their offseason plan and then following up on that plan. And that plan this year looks to involve the pass rush, Stephen Jones recently told Ben and Skin on 105.3 The Fan.

Is finding an edge rusher still the biggest offseason need?

Stephen Jones: There's no question. That's why we always have to continue to be better. We haven't done a good job of that. We've tried in several different ways to make that happen. But as we sit here today, we don't have that player. We saw glimpses of that with Randy Gregory, but that's a huge question mark as to when he might be able to come back and be a football player in the NFL. Getting his life off the field in the right order is the most important thing.

But in the mean time, there's no question what our needs are. The focus is gonna be on defense. You don't ever shut your eye to a player who can help improve you on the offensive side of the ball either. We showed that last year when everybody knew how bad we needed defense and we obviously picked Zeke. Had the right rationale for it. I don't think anything could have gone more according to plan than picking Zeke.

I don't think you ever rule out anything. That's how you make huge mistakes. But I think it's obvious to anyone who watches our football team that the defensive side of the football, especially our front seven, is where we need the most improvement.

If you think that sounds familiar, you're right. Here's Stephen Jones in December 2013, explaining why improving the D-line is the Cowboys' top offseason priority.

"I think our biggest challenge is to get a better roster – get us to where we can compete better," Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. "I think it will start with our defensive front there."

"Obviously we’ll turn our attention to the front seven. With the injuries and the cap situation that we have, we’ll certainly have to take a long, hard look at it. My number one goal in the offseason is to improve our roster, especially in the front seven."


Ideas for the QB-needy: Romo to Texans? - Gil Brandt,
Could Tony Romo turn the Texans into Super Bowl contenders? Gil Brandt thinks so.

This could be a Super Bowl team with better quarterback play, which is why I would pursue Romo, who could definitely lift the Texans to the promised land if healthy. I'd also look for a potential replacement for Osweiler in the draft, maybe someone like Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes or even a second- or third-rounder that coach Bill O'Brien could develop. At this point, Osweiler is the default starter heading into 2017, but he was such a disappointment for this squad. I'd definitely have an open competition, even if that simply ends up being a two-man race between Osweiler and Tom Savage.

Acquiring Tony Romo may be right move for Kansas City Chiefs - Adam Teicher, ESPN
Teicher, ESPN's beat writer in Kansas City, writes that adding Tony Romo to the roster could be the move to finally put the Kansas City Chiefs over the top.

It's hard to deny the boost the Chiefs would get with Romo.

The decision is much more complex. Even if he's healthy and lasts a full season, there's no telling whether Romo would be the same player he was earlier in his career. He is at the age where many quarterbacks start to lose their skills. Squeezing Romo's contract into an already challenging salary cap situation is another matter that would have to be resolved.

Acquiring Romo would be a bold move for the Chiefs, one that comes with many risks. But after losing in the divisional round of the playoffs in each of the past two years, the Chiefs on their current course look like they'll never get to a Super Bowl.


Jerry Jones sees Triplets as Zeke Elliott, Dak Prescott, Jaylon Smith - Todd Archer, ESPN
Dallas owner Jerry Jones envisions greatness for linebacker Jaylon Smith, who missed his rookie season while recovering from a knee injury.

Jones won Super Bowls with Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith as The Triplets. Jones sees a new trio with Ezekiel Elliott, Smith and Dak Prescott.

"I think Jaylon begins our look to the future as a really outstanding talent, what you look for in building a team around. If I pictured some triplets right now, it might be Jaylon, Dak and Zeke," Jones said recently. "Jaylon is of the stature. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m not getting out over my skis. He’s the real deal. I’m confident of that."

Rookie class played major role in Cowboys’ success, sets foundation - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Davison argues that the 2016 draft class is a lot deeper than just Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.

The Cowboys also appear to have hit home runs, relative to the draft selection, of defensive tackle Maliek Collins (third round) and cornerback Anthony Brown (sixth round).

And let’s not forget about linebacker Jaylon Smith who had a redshirt season as he recovered from major knee surgery. But Smith is viewed as an elite player when healthy.


The Dallas Cowboys Are Considering Buying an E-Sports Team - George Slefo, AdAge
The Cowboys are examining whether to become the first NFL team to purchase an e-sports team. What is an e-sports team, you wonder?

The organization has quietly spent more than a year mulling over whether it should buy an established e-sports team of teens and 20-somethings who competitively play video games in front of fans for cash prizes.

If the Cowboys do wind up buying an e-sports team, it would be the first NFL team to do so.

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