Over the last few days, the names on the Cowboys Combine interview list have trickled in from all sorts of sources. We've compiled them all in one place at the top of our daily collection of Cowboys headlines.
Looking for clues as to who Cowboys might draft? Here's who they've been talking to at NFL combine - Sportsday Staff
After starting off with offensive players only, the Cowboys scheduled interviews with a number of defensive players yesterday. Why is that important?
The player interviews at the NFL combine are as important - if not more important - in the evaluation process as an athlete's 40-yard dash time, bench-pressing skills, vertical jump , etc.
Teams sometimes draft players they haven't interviewed, but more often a player who gets drafted by a team has also had a sit-down conversation with that team.
Interestingly, of the players the Cowboys have scheduled interviews with so far, only one (WR Mike Williams) currently appears to be completely out of reach of where the Cowboys are drafting:
|Player||POS||School||Proj. Rd||Player||POS||School||Proj. Rd|
|Mike Williams||WR||Clemson||1||Takkarist McKinley||DE||UCLA||1|
|David Njoku||TE||Miami||1-2||Zach Cunningham||ILB||Vanderbilt||1|
|Dede Westbrook||WR||Oklahoma||2||Haason Reddick||OLB||Temple||1-2|
|Brad Kaaya||QB||Miami||3||Demarcus Walker||DT||Florida State||2|
|Jake Butt||TE||Michigan||3-4||T.J. Watt||DE/OLB||Wisconsin||2|
|Donnel Pumphrey||RB||SD State||4-5||Tarell Basham||DE||Ohio||2|
|K.D. Cannon||WR||Baylor||5-6||Caleb Brantley||DT||Florida||2|
|Shelton Gibson||WR||West Virginia||6-7||Dalvin Tomlinson||DT||Alabama||2-3|
|Greg Ward Jr.||WR||Houston||- -|
Note that teams have formal interviews lasting 15 minutes with up to 60 players – although they can talk informally to as many players as they want. The formal interviews are spread over six nights, so if you're worried about defensive backs missing from the list above, don't be; they'll likely be added over the coming days.
How do Cowboys get "War daddy" DE? Jerry Jones mentioned making moves, taking risks like did to acquire DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 4, 2017
A tradition like no other, Dallas' annual search for their next great pass rusher - Brandon George, SportsDay
The Cowboys have been searching high and low for a pass rusher since DeMarcus Ware left, and they haven't really been successful yet.
Despite a 13-3 regular season, the Cowboys fell short of their Super Bowl hopes in large part because their pass-rush wasn't effective enough to rattle Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
That was the same story two years ago as well. And the Cowboys still haven't fixed the problem.
Cowboys Identify Two Specific Problem Spots To Address In Free Agency & Draft - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Six starters from last year's team could end up leaving in free agency, and Jones said the Cowboys could compensate most of those losses from within their roster – at all but two key positions.
"I am not going to say which ones because it’s competitive," Jones said. "But there are two spots we get wounded if we don’t have at least that position back with that caliber of player. There are two spots."
Jones might not want to specify which positions are the most troubling, but it’s possible to read between the lines. The Cowboys run the risk of losing two of last year’s top three cornerbacks in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox are also risks to be signed away.
And of course, there’s the duo of Terrance Williams and Brice Butler – who could leave the Dallas offense without an outside receiver opposite Dez Bryant if they decide to leave.
Not saying DE isn't a need. I'm saying it's not a dire situation that you have to address before you can play a game.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) March 4, 2017
CB & WR are. https://t.co/d15vOEx8Ll
Cowboys owner approaches decision on Tony Romo with no regrets - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
Jerry Jones says no decision has been made regarding quarterback Tony Romo but he feels good about their relationship and is confident he wouldn’t sign with a division rival if released.
"It is implied that we will work in the best way we can for the mutual interest of Tony and the Cowboys. That was just implied," Jones said. "That’s important here. Now we’ve got to abide by every league rule. We can’t have agreements without it being within the boundaries of the NFL. But when you’ve got a situation like we got, we’ll do the do-right rule. That’s it. Very important. We do the do-right rule. We have that kind of relationship."
"What I’m really saying is that I do not know how, what we will end up with – whether it will be a trade, whether it will be a release, whether it will be neither," Jones said. "I do not know at this time. All scenarios have been well-considered and thought out. Now we’ve just got to see where the reality is."
Jerry Jones: 'Do-right rule' will decide Romo situation, adds he hasn't ruled out QB returning to Cowboys - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Lots of speculation in recent days about whether Romo will get traded or released. Jerry Jones maintains there's a third option.
"I have not ruled out the possibility of him being a part of the Cowboys at all," Jones said.
"He's got a high tolerance for ambiguity," Jones said. "I've got a high tolerance for ambiguity. We just don't have to have this figured as to the ultimate solution for really quite a while here."
"We're in a situation right now where we need to see some things happen," Jones said. "We need to read some tea leaves. We don't need to be overtly doing something. We don't need to do that for cap room, we don't need to do that for any reason. We just need to see some direction, and the way we'll get it is by coming together and mutually working that direction out.
"I'm not trying to be vague, all I'm trying to do is say that we don't have anything to move on at this point."
Jerry Jones said he won't rule out QB Tony Romo staying in Dallas - Jarrett Bell, USA Today
This may be nothing more than wishful thinking from Jones.
[Jones] did not wave off the possibility that quarterback Tony Romo could remain with the Cowboys.
"I have not ruled out that possibility," Jones said.
Jones spoke to reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Saturday and, as expected, did not tip his hand on what the Cowboys plan to do with Romo.
He said he met with Romo before the Super Bowl and two went over the different possibilities of what might happen in the offseason.
Tony Romo to the Texans? There’s growing sentiment within the NFL it could happen. - Mark Maske, The Washington Post
Citing "agents and coaches and executives with other NFL teams ," the Washington Post reports the Texans are the most likely destination for Romo.
"That one makes the most sense to me," a high-ranking official with one franchise said. "I don’t think anyone in the league would be surprised to see that one happen."
Why Jerry Expects "Really Dramatic Improvement" From Dak In Year 2 - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones compared Dak Prescott's work ethic to Peyton Manning and expects a "dramatic improvement" after his Rookie of the Year season.
"Peyton Manning, as talented as he was, as close to any player I’ve ever know of or ever seen, maximized a lot of his potential," Jones said Saturday from the NFL Scouting Combine. "I must say that I don’t know that anybody has ever gotten it all. We’ve all heard just how little of our potential that we really do maximize. But that’s from preparation and work.
"Everything that we have seen, Dak has those kinds of qualities that when you think of Peyton Manning, you think of how he really developed his skills, how hard he worked at it and how he really left nothing that he was aware of, how he addressed every nuance of his game.
"That’s my picture of Peyton and I know it to be accurate. I think that might be Dak’s finest quality, his ability to look for every way he can to get better and continue to do it."
In Prescott’s rookie season, he completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, and four interceptions for a 104.9 passer rating. He added 282 yards and six scores on the ground. So, he was already a resounding success in his first year, meaning if he does undergo that "dramatic improvement," he might turn into one of the best quarterbacks in all of football.
Jerry Jones: Jaylon Smith can play right now. We know the nerves are responding— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 4, 2017