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Cowboys News: Wide Receiver And Corner High On Cowboys Free Agency Shopping List

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The Cowboys remain focused on bringing back their own guys if they can, but they'll have to go out and look for help at receiver and corner.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In today's roundup of the latest Cowboys headlines we try to get a feel for how the Cowboys could approach free agency.

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Dallas Cowboys 'must-haves' entering free agency could surprise you - Todd Archer, ESPN
Despite having limited cap room, the Cowboys are likely to pursue help at receiver and cornerback this offseason to replace departing free agents.

The two spots the Cowboys must address are cornerback, where Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are free agents, and wide receiver, where Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are free agents.

"I feel confident," Jones said, "we will not lose on those two (must-have spots)."

Making The Case For Claiborne & Carr's Futures In Free Agency - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
There might not be two more intriguing free agents on the Cowboys’ radar than Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, who are set to hit the open market later this week.

Despite their ups and downs, though, the two have been the Cowboys’ preferred starters at cornerback for much of the past five years. Their potential absence would leave the team with just two viable corners in Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown.

That leaves the Cowboys in a bit of a bind. It seems unlikely they can afford to retain both players, so what do they do? In Carr they have an ultra-reliable veteran, who has never missed a game in a nine-year career – but who will turn 31 in May.

Inactive and cap-strapped Cowboys might lose all of their free agents - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
NFL free agency begins on Thursday and the Cowboys don't seem in any rush to begin negotiating.

With roughly $3.2 million in cap room available, per the NFL Players Association, the Cowboys have no plans to be active early in free agency. They will let the market come back to them, which means they could watch almost all their free agents walk.

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Cowboys Get ERFA David Irving Under Contract For 2017 Season - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys lock up one piece of their plans for the 2017 defensive line.

Irving is a key piece of the Cowboys defensive line, a player with enormous potential and who had a few outstanding games in 2016. He wrecked the Green Bay Packers during the regular-season matchup, and destroyed the Tampa Bay Bucs in the fourth quarter of that game. What the Cowboys are hoping for is consistency from Irving.

Cowboys 2017 Free Agency: Four Low-Cost Options At Defensive End - DannyPhantom, Blogging The Boys
Danny meticulously walks us through the available options and ends up with four options for the Cowboys: Devin Taylor, Andre Branch, Ethan Westbrook, and Kerry Wynn. Here's his take on Taylor:

The Detroit Lions pass rush is about as dismal as the Cowboys' and when Ziggy Ansah missed time due to injury, Taylor was the team’s best edge rushing option, logging the most playing time with 715 snaps. He is just a year removed from a seven-sack season when a healthy Ansah was manning the other side, but after a strong 2015 season, he struggled in a starting role. He’s ranked around 15th among free agent pass rushers so he won’t be expensive. He should warrant somewhere in the $4 M range which should be the most costly of this group as he’s the most talented edge rusher from this list.

Cowboys 2017 Free Agency: Which Players Will The Team Keep? - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
Which Cowboys players will the team decide to keep on the roster and how much will it cost them?

But one thing this team does like to do is retain their own talent. With so many key players hitting the free agent market this year, we’ve come to terms that we can’t keep everyone. However, there is an expectation that some Cowboys players will remain with the team. Their asking price on the free agent market will have a lot to do with whether Dallas can keep them or not, but if Cowboys’ Insider, Mike Fisher’s assessment of these contracts are any indication of what they’ll go for - we could be saying goodbye to a lot of players.

Why the Cowboys have a money problem in free agency - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm explains that the Cowboys' habit of creating contracts that are meant to be restructred from the get-go can be problematic.

The point is that restructuring (like blitzing the quarterback) should be a weapon, not a necessity or a habit. This team not only restructures everyone with routine, but then acts like it is both normal and acceptable. It isn't. Try writing one deal that you plan to pay out as you wish. Write one deal where in Year 3 of a five-year deal, if you don't like the player's performance, you can walk away because you paid him every guaranteed penny when it was scheduled.

Then, you aren't scrambling every year at this time and watching everyone else participate in team building while you try to figure out how to "June 1st" your latest money mess.

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Tony Romo continues to be talk of the town - Todd Archer, ESPN
Romo was the subject of numerous conversations at the NFL scouting combine, but there are several stumbling blocks to finding him a new team.

Over a five-day span in Indianapolis -- in the early morning hours at a Starbucks, or in the wee hours of the night turning into morning at Prime 47, a downtown steakhouse that becomes the unofficial home of all things NFL -- thoughts ranged far and wide on Romo.

One prominent agent said getting the Cowboys, Romo and a new team to agree is not an easy task.

"The Cowboys hold the cards," the agent said. "Do they want to win and get something ludicrous for him? But then it’s what does Tony want because he’s Tony Romo and you want to do right by him. I think it could take a matter of hours, not a weeklong process."

Final Thoughts As Pass Rushers & DBs Close Out The Combine - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
I’m not in Indianapolis anymore, but I had my eyes glued to the TV for these final two days of NFL Combine workouts. How could I not, when the last two days featured the Cowboys’ two biggest needs – defensive end and cornerback?

Two head scratchers for me from this defensive line group were Tennessee’s Derek Barnett and Michigan’s Taco Charlton, and how poorly they ran. I didn’t expect either of them to be in the 4.90 range and that’s exactly what happened -- Barnett was 4.88 and Charlton was 4.92. The saving grace for both players was that their 3 Cone Drill was outstanding. Barnett ranked the third-highest of the group at 6.96 and Charlton was 7.17. I currently have Barnett and Charlton both on my board as left defensive ends, with Barnett having the edge as a pass rusher that could make that transition to the right side if needed in the scheme.

How history suggests the Dallas Cowboys will disappoint in 2017 - Jon Machota, SportsDay
If the last 20 years have taught us anything, it's that the Cowboys are likely to disappoint in 2017.

Since 1996, the Cowboys have had six double-digit win seasons. The average win total the following year: 6.5. There's also that 12-year run since an NFC East team has won the division back-to-back years.