In this episode of Cowboys news, we discuss Jerry's clues for the draft and free agency, the likely backup QB for Dak Prescott and the promised return of Jaylon Smith.
Yesterday, we posted an article about Jerry Jones and his thoughts on what the Cowboys need. For a while, he's been saying the Cowboys need a "War Daddy." For the uninitiated, that means a pass rusher who can get after the QB and command double teams. So when Jerry spoke about two positions of desperate need for the Cowboys, it was easy to pick that one out. The second one, however, caught some off guard.
But in assessing their priorities for the draft and free agency, the Cowboys see two positions as necessities, per a source. It’s a war daddy pass rusher, a position owner Jerry Jones has talked about all off-season, and wide receiver. The second is a surprise considering the offense is well stocked — Williams was the fourth-leading receiver in 2016 — and the obvious void the Cowboys have in the secondary.
"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, whether by that player or one of his quality. We need to replace those positions, that talent level on the roster. "
Beyond that then we are not decimated if we don’t have that individual player. We will have somebody playing the position. But out of that whole makeup and list, there are two we have to really address. We can’t come up empty. We have somebody meaningful there. They are part of our core strategy."
While he doesn't come right out and say it, reading through the clues and other statements he made has led everyone to conclude it is pass rusher and wide receiver he is discussing. So add wide receiver to your list of free agents and draft prospects. It certainly sounds like the Cowboys will make moves in that area since it will be hard retaining Terrance Williams' services with such limited free agent funds.
But, just as quickly as you hear that, you hear about cornerback, another position of need. And now we hear of a rumored player the Cowboys are eyeing.
The Cowboys could look to upgrade a few places on their defense. Last year, Dallas was close to drafting cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and corner remains a position that they look to address. Sources have said they have Adoree' Jackson graded in the first round, and he could be in play for Dallas. There were concerns about Jackson's height, but he measured in at 5-foot-10, 186 pounds, and those numbers are similar to former Chargers first-round pick Jason Verrett. Dallas likes Jackson's cover skills and ability to prevent separation. Jackson is fifth in our NFL Draft Cornerback Prospect Rankings.
That's a pretty small cornerback for the Cowboys, they generally like six-footers plus with a little more build to them than the smaller Jackson.
Everyone is wondering who the Cowboys backup quarterback will be. If you listen to Jerry, it sounds like it will be Kellen Moore.
There has been talk of them making a play for veteran free agent Josh McCown, but the Cowboys are eyeing Kellen Moore as the backup quarterback. They also could add a young developmental quarterback in the draft or free agency.
"With a signed Kellen Moore, then you might to bring in a potential future quarterback," Jones said. "Kellen would satisfy that itch. There is a relationship. He fits here real well."
Can you feel the excitement?
Just for fun, let's throw this trade out there for discussion.
With the Houston Texans reportedly interested in quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys needing a receiver, could a swap for Jaelen Strong work?
Problem solved? The Houston Texans need someone not named Brock Osweiler at quarterback and the Dallas Cowboys need affordable receivers with Terrance Williams and Brice Butler set for free agency. In Houston, they have a formerly well thought of wideout who has failed to rise up the depth charts since being drafted in 2014—Jaelen Strong.
Your thoughts, BTB?
Anybody for a flier on Johnny Manziel?
"Enough has been said," Jones added. "I certainly admire the same things all of the A&M fans have admired about him, but I recognize just as everybody does, including him, his challenges. So that's about all I can say. We are aware of him. He is a talented guy."
As the NFL stretches out the Ezekiel Elliott investigation, it really does seem like it is time for them to close the books. So far, there's absolutely no new news.
"Absolutely nothing anywhere that indicates anything other than what they told us when we left training camp," Jones said, "and that is that they have no cause."
"There is just nothing," he responded. "I know I would have heard about it. I would have the information if there were something. I know that."
With all the workout videos and the positive talk from Jaylon Smith lately, it started to feel like he was going to be back to normal. Then we had a rash of stories about how he wasn't regenerating the nerve yet and that he would have to wear the brace. Jerry makes the case that the nerve is starting to heal.
"Not one thing that I’ve seen or heard that if he was sitting there this year that we wouldn’t run to use our first pick on him, at his health condition," Jones said Saturday from the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
"The same people that advised us when we drafted him that he can play the way he has been conditioning and play right now," Jones said. "We factually know and are optimistic about more that his feeling and nerves are improving. We know that."
The Cowboys are currently last in the NFL in regards to salary cap space to spend on free agents (and other things). They have $3,279,771 in cap room. Contrast that with the Cleveland Browns who are first and have a whopping $103,624,922 available.
And how is the rest of the NFC East doing?
Cap space entering new league year for NFC East:— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 5, 2017
Redskins: $34.4 million
Giants: $13.1 million
Eagles: $8.45 million
Cowboys: $3.27 million
Cornerback draft prospect Teez Tabor says he hasn't talked to the Cowboys yet, but would love to play for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys.
Florida CB Teez Tabor grew up in Washington DC, but said he'd love to play for Jerry Jones pic.twitter.com/5EPlFDQlXc— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 5, 2017
It's starting to look more and more like the Cowboys will not be able to afford the services of defensive tackle Terrell McClain. Dallas just can't afford to get into any bidding wars at this point in time.
Source close to the situation tells me Cowboys DT Terrell McClain's market value rising. Atlanta, Washington & Seattle among suitors.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 5, 2017