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Cowboys News: The Top Three Free Agents The Cowboys Need To Re-Sign

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Later today the NFL will announce the 2017 Hall of Fame class, which will likely include Jerry Jones. Over the course of the evening, the NFL will announce 17 awards, and the Cowboys could walk away with the Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and the Offensive Line of the Year awards.

Until then, we'll join Todd Archer in wondering which three free agents the Cowboys should re-sign, marvel for the umpteenth time how Dak Prescott ended up in Dallas, and continue to engage in speculation about Tony Romo's future.

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Twitter mailbag: Which free agents will Cowboys re-sign? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Which free agents should the Cowboys try hardest to re-sign? The composition of the roster will play a factor into any eventual answer, Archer explains in reply to a reader question.

I think the composition of the roster will play a factor into the team’s eventual answer. Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are two cornerbacks set to hit the market. Same with safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, wide receivers Terrance Williams and Brice Butler and running backs Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar.

To me, Carr, Church and McFadden should be the priorities.

Where’s Ronald Leary? I just don’t see a way the Cowboys keep him. I see him getting a deal that will average around $8 million a year from some team on the open market. Considering the money that will be committed to Zack Martin, I can’t see the Cowboys having four offensive linemen averaging at least $8 million a year.

Carr’s availability makes him a better option than Claiborne, who is younger but hurt too often. Church is a valuable part of the defense for his playmaking and leadership. McFadden provides some every-down cover if something were to happen to Ezekiel Elliott. I’d put Williams in the Leary category of him getting a deal from somebody else that the Cowboys can’t match. Butler could be back on a short-term deal. But I wouldn’t put either in the top three.

Cowboys 2017 Free Agents: Will The Cowboys Re-Sign CB Brandon Carr? - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have decisions to make on their own free agents, and the decision on Carr may be one of the biggest.

Moving Carr to the right side seems to have helped his game. The Cowboys could use his experience and availability in a secondary that has multiple free agents. But, what kind of money does Carr want? That will likely be the key as the Cowboys would surely want him back, but at nowhere near the money he was being paid.

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Following Terrific First Season, Prescott Named Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Year - Rob Philips, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott gets some well-deserved recognition.

"It's an honor. It's a privilege," Prescott said on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football." "It's so humbling, especially just the great rookie class we had this year."

Prescott was named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, Pepsi and the NFL announced Friday, for his contributions to the Cowboys’ franchise-record tying 13-win season.

Other finalists were Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Work In 2016 Draft Produced Memorable Year of Rookies - Jeff Sullivan, Dallas Cowboys
The last Valley Ranch draft class may turn out to be one of its best, and Sully writes that the success of the Cowboys’ 2016 season can, in part, be traced back to last year’s draft and the work that went into it. But that is one question that will inevitably come up when discussing this draft class:

What did everyone miss about the kid who became maybe the most accomplished rookie quarterback in league history, tying Ben Roethlisberger’s first-year record with 13 wins?

Will McClay, senior director of college and pro personnel: "I don’t think anyone missed anything. There was the style of offense Mississippi State ran, which is detrimental for quarterbacks entering the league. It’s hard to project those guys. We saw the arm strength; there was some mechanical stuff that needed improvement. You can’t value the ability of that inside stuff, the intangibles, until you see the guy on the field and put them into your system. And even more so with a quarterback as opposed to a running back or an offensive lineman."

Stephen Jones: "I agree entirely with Will. Those intangibles mean so much more with a quarterback, the work ethic, the work habits, and Dak had more to overcome with the spread offense he ran in college. The majority of the time there’s a hard transitioning from that. Dak just has this desire to be great that few young players possess."

Chris Hall, the Cowboys’ assistant director of college scouting: "There’s a tendency as scouts to talk about intangibles a lot. Sometimes we overvalue it and sometimes we undervalue it. With Dak, we really undervalued it. There was the little hiccup with the DUI, a couple of other rumor blips in the back, but for everyone who was ever around him or coached him, it was 1,000 percent, ‘This guy is great, just the greatest, no holes at all.’

"If you dissect his game in college and his game for us so far, you will see [quarterbacks coach] Wade Wilson and [offensive coordinator] Scott Linehan brought him along so well and limited where his limitations are. We’ve really reworked our offense to take advantage of his athletic ability, the boots, the waggles. Call it the safer throws if you want, but go look at the throws Tom Brady is making. And how many rookie quarterbacks can come in to an offensive line like that, a great running back and the defense. The defense has been a top-five unit, which is crazy.

"Nobody missed on him."

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Bruce Arians: 'I doubt Tony Romo will be a Cardinal' - Patrik Walker, CBSSports.com
Speaking with Skip Bayless on Undisputed, Arians says pump the brakes on the Romo to Arizona talk.

"I think you always look at everybody that's available," said Arians. "But, I got my fingers crossed Carson [Palmer] is coming back. And we got Drew Stanton, so we're in really good shape at quarterback.

"I wish Tony the best, but I doubt he'll be a Cardinal."

DeMarcus Ware: Broncos 'gotta roll' with QBs over Tony Romo - Conor Orr, NFL.com
Ware likes the idea of potentially playing once again with Tony Romo, but the veteran linebacker knows the Denver Broncos have a plan for Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.

"I would like to reunite with Romo," Ware said. "He's one of those quarterbacks where he's good but the thing is, I know what we have with the Denver Broncos and you gotta go with what you have. Play with what you got and just roll with it."

Report: Bills have "significant interest" in Tony Romo - Joe Buscaglia, WKBW Buffalo
Buscaglia gives his take on the rumors about Buffalo's interest in Romo.

The reported interest in Romo isn't surprising, given the pressure that GM Doug Whaley could find himself under for the upcoming season. With new head coach Sean McDermott having much more time to prove his worth in the organization, the Bills have a pretty clear question facing them at quarterback.

Taylor was Rex Ryan's guy, and with everything that happened near the end of the season after Rex's departure, it certainly did not seem like a situation that showed belief in the quarterback from the GM Whaley. Given all of that, it would be doubtful that Whaley would want to hitch his wagon to a quarterback he may not have full belief in, with his job potentially on the line in the next year or two.

All in all, I think Romo with the Bills can help vault them into the playoffs in 2017 and I believe they should consider it if they can get the job done -- but only if they don't completely mortgage the future by giving up multiple big picks, and as long as they have a long-term plan in place for the position at the same time as Romo's existence in Buffalo.

However, I do have my doubts -- with all the other teams that have better rosters who are also in need of a quarterback -- that Romo will look at Buffalo and say, "that's where I want to be." If all the other hurdles are cleared, that may be the biggest to ultimately land the biggest quarterback fish of the offseason.

Could Cowboys trade Tony Romo to Chiefs? - Jeremy Bergman, NFL.com
Ian Rapoport "reported" yesterday that the Chiefs could be interested in Romo.

Rapoport said that K.C. has been looking to upgrade at the QB position after losing in the Divisional Round for the second straight season with Alex Smith under center.

"It was noteworthy when Andy Reid was non-committal to Alex Smith," Rapoport said on NFL Network. "They've made a QB trade in the past, doing so for Alex Smith. They'd have to be considered someone who would be a possibility."

Should Tony Romo get to pick his next team? Players say NO WAY!
A bunch of former players doubling as "analysts" fill the time between commercials on Foxsports.

Cris Carter, Greg Jennings and Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs all agree that teams can’t let players dictate the business.

Jennings, the former Packers receiver, saw a similar situation unfold when Brett Favre retired and then unretired, and Green Bay wasn’t willing to give him his job back. The Packers ended up trading him to the Jets for a fourth-round pick.

"They knew if they allowed Brett to choose where he wanted to go, he would’ve went over to the Vikings RIGHT NOW," Jennings said on "Speak For Yourself" on Friday. "Why? To get back at this organization."

Carter said the Cowboys MUST get something for Romo; preferably a pick.

"One thing Dallas has gotten right in the last several years is that draft. I would get some type of pick for him," Carter said. "They have not been wasting picks. They have gotten great value out of their draft picks. If you get a third-rounder, fourth-rounder for him …

Jason Witten can see Tony Romo staying with Cowboys - Sean Wagner, CBSSports.com
Witten is not so sure Romo will be playing for a new team next season.

"Well, I don't know that's fair to say," Witten said, per The Dallas Morning News. "That's the way it came across. I don't know that I see that. I don't know what he's feeling. When something like that happens and the season ends, it's going to take time to gather your thoughts and I'm sure he's in the process of doing that. I think it'll play out for what's best for everybody.

"I could see him coming back. I don't question that. I could definitely see that. There are a lot of moving parts with that. How does that play out? I don't know. It wasn't like he was saying goodbye when the season ended. I didn't sense that it was like that. I could definitely see him coming back."

Dak Prescott: It'd be hard to see Tony Romo elsewhere - Conor Orr, NFL.com
While Dak Prescott would love to see Tony Romo stay with the team, he just wants Romo to be happy whatever he decides to do.

"Whatever makes him happy," Prescott told Nate Burleson on Good Morning Football on NFL Network on Friday. "If he wants to play, he still got another year, couple years in him, then I want to see him end up in Denver, or on a good team, a team that adding him makes that much better. But to me he's a Cowboy, it'd be hard to see him in a different uniform."

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Mailbag: Questioning Play Calling? - Bryan Broaddus and David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
In a day and age where truth and facts have become as malleable as play doh, can you blame fans for confusing their own opinions with the truth?

Question: Are we seriously not going to question the offensive coordinator’s play calling during the Packer's playoff game? Those play calls were what I see as "I'm selfish, it’s all about me." Write about this, question Scott Linehan. What was his thinking? This Cowboy fan wants the truth.

Bryan: You want the truth? Plays didn't work -- period. Linehan has done a tremendous job all season with his play calling. He managed a third string quarterback in training camp to a 13-win season and division title when most of us thought the season was dead in Seattle. One more thing. Don't question us asking the tough question. Maybe you should pay a little closer attention?

David: I really do love the phrase "the truth," as though there’s some type of conspiracy as to why the Cowboys lost that game. I have said repeatedly that I don’t think Ezekiel Elliott touched the ball enough against Green Bay. That was a mistake. But stuff happens in football. There were some bad play calls, there were some good play calls. Even if I didn’t agree with everything they did, the Cowboys certainly put themselves in a position to win, had they executed better. It was a disappointing end to the season, but to sit here an act like we should be calling for someone’s head over a last-second loss is silly.

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Draft Buzz: Justin Evans getting first round buzz by the Dallas Cowboys - Tony Pauline, Draftanalyst.com
Texas A&M safety Justin Evans hasn't received a lot of consideration as a first-round prospect. CBS ranks him 102nd, NFL.com ranks him 64th, Drafttek has him ranked 87th. But that may be about to change, according to Pauline.

I’m told Evans, who had two solid practices at the Senior Bowl before sitting out Thursday with injury, is expected to blow up the combine and put up Byron Jones type numbers.

The belief is Evans could land in the late part of round one and I've heard his name linked with the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys presently have four defensive backs up for free agency including two safety’s, starter Barry Church and JJ Wilcox.