The last time the Cowboys traded their first-round pick was in 2013, when they traded down from the 18th spot to the 31st and got an extra third-round pick in the process. Could they be looking to trade down again this year? This and more in today's summary of the latest Cowboys headlines:
Jerry Jones hints that the Cowboys might be looking to trade in NFL Draft - Jared Dubin, CBSSports.com
Jones indicated that the Cowboys have some opportunities to move up or down in the draft, depending on how things shake out.
"Near the bottom of the first, moving toward the top ... this sets up for a little potential trade action to try to gain some value or try to hit an opportunity," Jones said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I have never looked at where we were when we started a draft and thought we are not going to get a very good player right there. The assumption being that is where you are going to be when you have to make a decision. All that plays out as it unfolds. There are some opportunities (for trades up or down)."
Three Defensive Players The Cowboys Believe Can Take A Step Forward In 2017 - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
The three players Phillips lists are Jeff Heath, Maliek Collins, and David Irving. here's his take on Heath:
The fourth-year safety has been a consistent producer on special teams, but he also has made more and more plays on defense the last two seasons. He led the defense with two interceptions in 2015, and unofficially he had two picks against Aaron Rodgers in January’s playoff loss: one that led to a touchdown and another called back to due to penalty.
"His year jumped out at us when we really had the opportunity to step back from it and take a look," Jones said. "Heath’s year really influenced us on some of our decisions here so far in free agency.
Safeties Barry Church (Jacksonville) and J.J. Wilcox (Tampa Bay) signed free-agent deals elsewhere, leaving Heath as a top candidate to start next to Byron Jones next season.
Free-Agent Departures Should Open Door For Kavon Frazier - Kurt Daniels, Dallas Cowboys
In addition to Heath, Frazier is the other safety expected to see more playing time in 2017.
Depending on what the Cowboys do in the draft, Frazier should have a chance to compete for a contributing role on this defense. Losing both Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox to free agency, coupled with the fact that the Cowboys have not signed any free agents at the position, suggests Frazier at least has a shot for more playing time. This is still a rather deep draft class for safeties and it’s a good bet the Cowboys will select at least one next month. But even with one safety added to the mix, Frazier should be able to compete in the offseason practices and perhaps have an outside shot to snag the starting job if he can surpass Jeff Heath and/or a drafted rookie.
Jason Witten's extension with Cowboys about more than salary cap - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer explains that it's too simplistic to see Witten's contract extension as just a cap move. Witten's contract is structured in such a way that his base salary decreases every year, while the 46-man roster bonus increases.
2017: $7.4 million base salary
2018: $5.75 million base salary, up to $750,000 in 46-man roster bonuses
2019: $5 million base salary, up to $1.5 million in 46-man roster bonuses
2020: $4.5 million base salary, up to $2 million in 46-man roster bonuses
2021: $3.5 million base salary, up to $3 million in 46-man roster bonuses
T.J. Watt Coming To Dallas For Official Pre-Draft Visit - Jeremy Bergman, NFL.com
Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt has already met with the Cowboys and is scheduled for an official visit in Dallas.
Watt told NFL.com that in the past week he has worked out for the Cowboys, Lions and Patriots and is scheduled to work out for the Panthers.
The Wisconsin linebacker said that he has also scheduled visits in the coming weeks to meet with the Cowboys and the Redskins at their respective facilities.
The "all-business" workouts, as Watt described them, saw him play all over the field. Teams tested him at outside linebacker, where he played in 2016, but Watt was also asked to play in space at inside linebacker and line up on the defensive line.
2017 NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The first three rounds should be dominated by defense - Chris Burke, SI.com
In a thre-round mock that is ostensibly about defense at the top, Burke has the Cowboys picking offense in rounds one and two. Go figure.
28. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
In losing Doug Free (retirement) and Ronald Leary (free agency), the Cowboys’ previously unmatched O-line has taken a step back. Dropping in Robinson at right tackle would reestablish the unit’s dominance. Robinson would help keep Ezekiel Elliott on track, and he blocked for a mobile QB last year at Alabama.
60. Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State
92. Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
What Cowboys must, can't do in upcoming draft if they want to remain Super Bowl contenders - Brandon George, SportsDay
No more gambling, and shoring up the defense are two keys to the Cowboys' draft, according to George.
If the Cowboys want to remain among the top NFC contenders for the Super Bowl, they must maximize their seven draft picks and avoid the temptation of selecting another redshirt candidate in the second round.
This year's draft class is deep at cornerback and defensive line, the Cowboys' top two areas of need. Even though they draft 28th overall, the Cowboys have a legitimate shot to find potential starters with their first three picks.
Because the Cowboys lost so many defensive starters and need immediate help this isn't the year to continue a recent trend of gambling with their second-round pick by taking another injured player who won't be at full strength as a rookie.
ESPN Draft Gurus Concur: Cowboys’ 2016 Draft Was Superb - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
Mel Kiper originally gave the Cowboys a "C" for their draft, and while his regrade of the Cowboys draft shows the biggest improvement of any of team, it's still not a straight "A".
Make no mistake, it was a great draft based on Dak and Zeke alone. Hopefully, Smith can get on the field and make this an easy A+.
New grade: A-
Dallas Cowboys among those checking out Texas A&M's pro day - Kate Hairpoulos, SportsDay
The Cowboys showed up in strength at Texas A&M.
Cowboys safeties coach Greg Jackson and scouts Walter Juliff and Sam Garza were among those who took in Texas A&M's Pro Day on Thursday. Justin Evans was the only safety taking part Thursday, a position Dallas needs to address.
He led the way with a vertical jump of 41.5 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches. He was limited at the combine, testing only in the bench press there, and he's still recovering from a strained quadriceps.
Why the Cowboys must ditch Tony Romo before saga gets Favre-esque - Joel Corry, CBSSports.com
Corry explains what the Cowboys risk by keeping Romo.
The Cowboys shouldn’t want Romo participating in any of their offseason activities since he isn’t expected to be on the roster once the season starts. A serious injury could put the Cowboys on the hook for his entire $14 million salary and $24.7 million cap number.
Don’t expect Romo to renegotiate his contract to a lower salary to help facilitate a trade as some have suggested. The remaining $54 million over the next three seasons is actually a reasonable amount for a starting quarterback. Mike Glennon, an unproven commodity who has thrown just 11 passes over the past two seasons, signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Bears in free agency. His first-year salary is $16 million.
The Cowboys really should bring the Romo saga to an end before the start of offseason workouts April 17. At the very latest, Romo should be let go if a trade doesn’t materialize by the time the draft ends on April 29. Jones needs to ask himself whether the ends would justify the means if he sticks with the stated training camp timetable. There’s just too much potential for more harm than good to occur the longer the situation continues.