The NFL Combine is a big part of the draft process, but it also marks what many have called the "unofficial" start of free agency. And judging by our collection of the latest Cowboys headlines below, there must be some truth to that.
Cowboys Trade Rumors: Tony Romo, Kirk Cousins Being Mentioned In Three Way Swap With Washington And San Francisco - Blogging The Boys
Reacting quickly and swiftly to te rumor above, Ryle writes it's the time of year when lots of crazy ideas get floated.
But take a deep breath. This is the time of year when all kinds of rumors surface, often with no more real basis than agents trying to get some more money for their clients (and of course for themselves). This one was quickly countered by several credible writers, both locally and nationally.
Talk of three-way Romo-Cousins trade is "conjecture!" at this point - Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
Florio is a litle more direct than Ryle in his assessment.
Absent an actual trade rumor to shake up the Scouting Combine, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media essentially made up a potential three-team blockbuster. In fairness to Rapoport, he added the various "could be" and "may be" qualifiers, making it clear that it was all speculation.
Nevertheless, the notion that the 49ers and Washington would, in order to get Kirk Cousins to San Francisco, include the Cowboys send Tony Romo to D.C. represents implausibility at best. Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation scoffed at the idea of such a convoluted outcome; one source called it "conjecture," adding an exclamation point for effect. (Sad!)
If you think Jerry Jones will trade Tony Romo to the Washington Redskins you outside your mind, as the old folks used to say..Come on man— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 3, 2017
Tony Romo market taking shape, appears limited to Texans, Broncos, 49ers and Rams - Jason La Confora, CBSSports.com
As Cowboys blog, we've been following the developments around Tony Romo for a while now, yet this is the first time we've run across the Rams as potential suitors for Romo.
As I reported before the Super Bowl, the teams Romo covets most are the Texans, Chiefs and Broncos. And I have been thoroughly convinced by Chiefs general manager John Dorsey that Alex Smith will be his starter in 2017, so K.C. is off the list.
The other teams that I have heard are doing work on Romo, and where he could legitimately land, are the Rams and the 49ers. I’m not sure any other suitors make sense.
But if it came down to a rebuilding team like San Francisco or the Rams -- each hired new dynamic, offensive-minded coaches (Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, Sean McVay in L.A.) in the offseason -- I wouldn’t rule them out.
Rams sources say no chance they test the waters on Tony Romo.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 3, 2017
Alfred Morris might be out as Cowboys look for McFadden to return - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
Looks like the Cowboys have placed Morris on the trade block - and they seem to have a plan in place at running back.
The Cowboys will try to trade Morris and his $1.2 million base salary this season as he is not considered a good fit in spot duty behind Elliott, according to a source. Morris, who is not also not a good third-down option, needs carries to be effective and productive.
McFadden is open to a return to the Cowboys, but is also drawing interest from two other teams, per a source. The Cowboys want Dunbar back to fill the same specialty role he's had the past couple of seasons when healthy. The Cowboys are also moving Rod Smith back to tailback from fullback in hopes of being the third running back and core special teams player.
Twitter mailbag: Dallas Cowboys meeting with agents at combine - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys will have meetings with almost all of the agents of their prospective free agents at the NFL combine.
Here at the NFL combine, the Cowboys have meetings with almost all of the agents of their prospective free agents. I've been able to learn that the Cowboys have met or will meet with the agents for Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Darren McFadden, Terrance Williams and Brandon Carr. I'm sure there are others. But I think the Cowboys' focus will be on Church, McFadden, Carr and Claiborne.
Do I expect them to get deals done with any of them before free agency begins? That would surprise me. The rumblings around the combine is Church could be priced out of the Cowboys' range. The thinking here is that either Carr or Claiborne will return but it's hard to see both. McFadden will draw interest from other teams but he likes it in Dallas and has a defined role. If he can get a bigger role with a contending team, then he might like that better. As with anything, it will come down to price. Considering the money available to free agents, it's just hard to do a deal this close to the market opening.
Falcons and Seahawks have interest in free agent DT Terrell McClain - Tony Pauline, Draft Analyst
To anybody who has watched the Cowboys' defensive line closely, this will not come as a surprise at all. Others may be baffled about why a Cowboys lineman is drawing interest from two of the top teams in the league.
Defensive lineman Terrell McClain is finding a large market for his services. The versatility to line up as a one-technique, three-technique or zero-technique lineman has increased his attractiveness to teams.
Alfred Morris reportedly is being shopped around by the Cowboys - Des Bieler, The Washington Post
It may not be easy find a trade partner for the former Redskins running back who has struggled as a backup to Ezekiel Elliott.
The 28-year-old’s waning effectiveness in Washington — his per-carry average dropped every season (4.8-4.6-4.1-3.7) — was a major reason he got released by the Redskins, and he averaged a mere 3.5 yards on 69 rushing attempts for the Cowboys last season.
Those numbers likely mean that Dallas will also have to release Morris, rather than find another team willing to give up a draft pick and pay his salary. However, the team has some time before it has to make that decision, so it makes sense to gauge the league’s interest.
Cowboys Say There’s No Expectation That Doug Free Plans To Retire - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
"News" quickly made the rounds on Wednesday that Doug Free was mulling retirement, news that the Cowboys shot down in flames.
To hear it from the Cowboys, though, there’s no expectation that Free is going anywhere in 2017. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said as much when he was asked about it directly at his Wednesday media availability.
"I do not know of any talk of retirement in regards to Doug Free," Garrett said. "We had a good visit after the season."
If scouts dig deep, Cowboys can find later-round pass rushers ... and here are some names to think about - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Gosselin argues that the top pass rushers mays be gone by the time are on the clock at No. 28, and then goes on to point out that Jason Taylor, Jared Allen, Robert Mathis, and others were all late-round picks who enjoyed great success in the NFL. So who has Gosselin got as potential late-round options?
Tarell Basham of Ohio, Keion Adams of Western Michigan and Patrick O'Connor of Eastern Michigan played in various college all-star games this postseason. Basham led the MAC with 11 1/2 sacks, and Adams led the conference with 18 tackles for loss. O'Connor collected 8 1/2 sacks. Only Basham was invited to the combine.
Also on my check list would be four other players who garnered combine invites: Keionta Davis of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Dylan Donahue of West Georgia, Trey Hendrickson of Florida Atlantic and Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova. Donahue had 13 1/2 sacks, Kpassagnon 11, Davis 10 1/2 and Hendrickson 9 1/2.
Never heard of any of them? Allen, Haley and Mathis weren't household names when they were drafted, either. There are pass rushers out there. The Cowboys need to find a couple in this draft. Dig deep, beyond the obvious. There is more than one round in every draft.
Cowboys want to extend Marinelli and Linehan, key staffers - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
The Cowboys are looking to keep the gang together and working on contract extensions for some of their assistant coaches, particularly coordinators Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli.
The Dallas Cowboys are looking to sign contract extensions with the majority of their coaching staff, including coordinators Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli, per sources.
The Cowboys planned to address the coaches with expiring contracts, namely Ben Bloom, Steve Looney and Leon Lett, before working on extensions for other key staffers who have one year left on their contract, according to a source.
Cowboys athletic trainer Jim Maurer honored as best in NFL - Todd Archer, ESPN
Jim Maurer, who has been the Cowboys' head trainer since 1997, won the Fain-Cain Memorial Award as the outstanding NFL athletic trainer of the year.
Maurer joined the Cowboys in 1990 and has been their head athletic trainer since 1997.
He has long been one of the most respected athletic trainers in the NFL. He serves on the NFL combine advisory board and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society assistant athletic trainer awards committee.
Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier had foot surgery in the offseason - Todd Archer, ESPN
Turns out Frazier is another player who had offseason surgery.
He had a stress reaction during the year but had his fifth metatarsal fixed before a fracture developed. He should be ready for the offseason program
If you thought the Cowboys are going defense at the top of the draft, you might be surprised.
Clemson WR Mike Williams said he's meeting with the Cowboys tonight— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 3, 2017
DeDe Westbrook says he's met w/ the Cowboys here. Said they asked him how he thought he'd fit alongside Dez & Beasley.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) March 3, 2017
Per WalterFootball, here's an early list of the prospects the Cowboys have met with at the Combine so far:
Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
K.D. Cannon, WR, Baylor
David Njoku, TE, Miami
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston
Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Perhaps some of these players can play defense as well?