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Cowboys News: How Close Are The Cowboys To Making Next Year's Super Bowl?

Super Bowls, the Hall of Fame, mock drafts, gambling, Tony Romo opinions, and free agency - what else do you want in a day's news?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

One night showed how close (and far) the Cowboys are from Super Bowl - Todd Archer, ESPN

This story comes from the Saturday night before the Super Bowl, when the Cowboys received the most league honors.

Things can change quickly, but there is hope, and there are lessons in 2016 that can carry over to 2017.

"Just the way everybody went about it," Garrett said. "The commitment that was made way back in the early part of 2016 by the players working out by themselves in January and making the commitment to be a part of something special. We focus on the day. That’s what we do. For everybody to commit to living up to the highest standards, that’s something that’s important to us, and we were able to do that.

"Obviously, positive results came from that approach, but the men, the commitment they make, the work ethic, the sacrifices, all those things stand out more than anything else."

Now it’s time to start all over with Super Bowl LII on their minds.

Inside the 33-minute debate that turned Jerry Jones into a Hall of Famer - Rick Gosselin, DMN

Gosselin made the case for Jerry Jones to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

"He's the one who got Fox involved, and that's taken the TV money where no one ever thought it would go," he said. "So as a contributor, I don't know that there's a more worthy candidate. [Troy] Aikman was among people who said Jerry Jones is the most impactful person in the NFL in the last quarter of a century. That's pretty strong stuff."

Jerry Jones on Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame side - Todd Archer, ESPN

Jerry backs one player who should have been elected, but will have to wait another year.

In studying the numbers, it is perplexing to see Owens on the outside, but everything with Owens is perplexing. He had divisive moments with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. He never won a championship, but in his only Super Bowl -- with the Eagles -- he played after breaking a bone in his leg and tearing ligaments just seven weeks before and was dominant (nine receptions, 122 yards).

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones had hoped to share the stage with Owens last weekend and again this summer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He believes Owens should be enshrined.

Who's the next member of Dallas Cowboys to make the Hall of Fame? - Todd Archer, ESPN

Todd's Five Wonders column. He offers several names in response to the title, but this seemed most interesting.

I wonder if we need to examine University of Washington players a little more during this draft process? Over the years, the Cowboys have had 15 former Huskies on their roster, with Isaiah Stanback (2007) as the most recent draft pick. It’s not just because Washington has good players. In Mel Kiper’s first mock draft, he had the Cowboys selecting cornerback Sidney Jones. But here’s why we might need to look at U-Dub players: Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence. Wait a minute, you say, didn’t those three go to Boise State? Yes, and Chris Peterson was their coach. Now Peterson is at Washington and is entering his fourth season. There is something the Cowboys like about Peterson’s players from the perspective of attitude, ability and work ethic. You would think he’s recruiting the same type of players with the Huskies.

Former head coach, front office exec Mike Holmgren on Tony Romo: 'I'd go after him hard' | SportsDay

Count Mike Holmgren as a former exec who would love to trade for Tony Romo.

"I'd go after him hard. I would. Tony played his first game against me. I remember talking to Bill Parcells after the game saying, 'Hey, he's pretty good. How'd you find him?' ... But if I thought that I could get to the Super Bowl with him, I'd do it. Life is short. Your coaching career is very short at times and you don't get that chance very often. Now, you have to be willing and your owner has to be on board with you. He's older and he's had some injury but if he can be healthy and play, he can get us there. I love Tony.

The story of how Jerry Jones and the Cowboys almost never drafted Jason Witten - DMN

This recounts stories told by Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

"And the other guy, what was really interesting, is they liked [tight end Jeremy] Shockey that year," King said. "Imagine: If they take Shockey, they probably never take Witten."

Witten became the Cowboys' third-round pick out of Tennessee the following year, en route to 10 Pro Bowl honors. The always-reliable and available tight end has played in 223 games for the Cowboys, catching 1,089 passes for 63 touchdowns plus a track record of skillful blocking.

NFL - Super Bowl LI among the six worst gambling bad beats of the 2016-17 NFL season - Bob Nelson, ESPN

The Cowboys played in two of these games - the first victory over Philly, where they rallied to win the game in overtime and beat the spread, and the second Washington game, where the teams traded five touchdowns in the fourth quarter to change the over-under and the final point spread.

Free Agent Overview: Can Cowboys Afford To Keep Veteran Safety Church? - Kurt Daniels, The Mothership

One of many evaluations of Barry Church.

Argument to Keep: Given his experience, there’s no doubt that Church knows the system and there are few safeties in the game stronger against the run. Perhaps even more valuable, though, is that he’s a respected leader, having been voted a team captain in each of the last three seasons.

Free Agent Overview: DL Jack Crawford Had A Career-High 10 Starts In 2016 - Rob Phillips, The Mothership

A take on Jack Crawford.

Argument To Keep: Crawford re-signed with Dallas on a one-year deal last April 4, the fourth week of free agency. His market value in 2017 remains to be seen, but in some ways Crawford is the epitome of a Rod Marinelli player. He can play any position on the defensive line and has a terrific motor.

A Cowboys’ Offseason Plan, Part 1: What Is Their Team-Building Philosophy? - VAfan, BtB

Part one of a 10-part overview of the offseason for Dallas lays out the ground rules. What is the Cowboy's team-building philosophy?

It’s important to look at this question because it tempers what fans might hope the Cowboys do in a given offseason. For example, whether or not the Cowboys have the cap space to do it, we have learned not to expect Dallas to be major players in free agency. The last big multi-year deal they signed along those lines was for Brandon Carr, and that was in March 2012. So there is no way the Cowboys will do what the Giants did last offseason, when they inked players to more than $200 million in contracts on defense. It actually worked for the Giants in year one, but hopefully it will become an albatross on the Giants’ cap over time.

Mock draft: After addressing pass rush in first round, could Cowboys nab a 1,500-yard receiver? - DMN

This talks about Matt Miller's seven-round mock on Bleacher Report. He likes Takkarist McKinley in round one, but notes he has a buyer beware sign on him. Funny, that's usually what Cowboy second rounders have.

With the Cowboys' first pick at No. 28, Miller has the team starting to address its pass rush by going after UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley.

"Takkarist McKinley has power, length and play speed," Miller said. "He's a three-tool player coming off the edge and has shown the dip and bend skills to get after quarterbacks. "There's also enough power to push back offensive tackles when they get hands on his frame.

But Miller also warns that McKinley (6-2, 250) is dealing with a shoulder issue that could require surgery down the road.

"If he's healthy, the tools are that of a top-20 player," Miller said. "The Cowboys have the stability to draft McKinley in Round 1 and allow him time to heal if surgery is required."

Who is going to be Dak Prescott's backup? 10 QBs the Cowboys could target in the NFL draft - DMN

Most people expect Dallas to sign a cheap veteran backup to Dak once Tony is traded. This article takes another approach, by looking at quarterbacks Dallas might draft. If you've struck gold once, might you do so again? (Cowboys have actually done it multiple times, with Tony Romo undrafted and Roger Staubach and Danny White taken late.)

Click on the article for the list.