The special appreciation night the Dallas Mavericks had for Tony Romo created some decidedly mixed reactions, but Nick Eatman did an excellent job of cutting to the heart of the situation. (And, it must be added, it turned out to be the most talked about story in the entire NBA, which says something about both the Cowboys and the media juggernaut that is the NFL.)
What the Dallas Mavericks did on Tuesday was something he never saw enough in his time in Dallas.
He was appreciated.
That's it. Just a simple appreciation for what he did for the Cowboys, and choosing to ignore the things he never did.
The Romo celebration by the Mavericks had a lot to do with the real friendship that has developed over the years between the quarterback and the biggest star on the Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki.
The idea of Romo becoming a Maverick for a day was born out of a celebration of Nowitzki reaching 30,000 points earlier in the season. That Romo was in attendance speaks to the relationship he has developed with Nowitzki.
Charlotte Jones, Gene Jones, Shy Anderson, Kavon Frazier, Terrance Williams. A total of 19 players, staffers and Cowboys dignitaries https://t.co/J54usUSycK— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) April 12, 2017
There are still many who are convinced that Tony Romo will still return to play for someone this year. The fact that he has not officially submitted a retirement letter is one thing keeping that idea alive. (This also clarifies the status of Doug Free.)
In order to be placed on the reserve/retired list, a player under contract actually has to write a letter to the team notifying them of his intentions. Right tackle Doug Free, who decided to call it a career earlier this spring, has written that letter, but the Cowboys have yet to place him on the reserve/retired list. With his release from the Cowboys, Romo now would have to notify the league of his intentions, not the Cowboys.
Taylor still has a Jerry Jones centered view of how things work at the Star, but his basic conclusion has merit nonetheless. This is not a year to gamble on injured players or ones with off-the-field concerns.
Jones needs to change his approach this season. The Cowboys have lost five key contributors -- including starters Brandon Carr, Barry Church and Morris Claiborne -- off a suspect defense. They need to select players in this draft ready to contribute in 2017 instead of gambling on talented players with injury, emotional or substance-abuse issues.
This article speculates that one of the top three pass rushers will fall out of the top ten, but that does not mean much for the Cowboys at 28. However, another prediction on which non-FBS player will be the first one taken might be more pertinent.
The best of the group is Youngstown State alum Derek Rivers. Rivers, a 6'4, 250-pound pass rusher, was a third-team All-American last winter after recording 14 sacks and helping lead the Penguins to the FCS Championship Game. His legend only grew at the NFL Combine, where he ranked among the top defensive linemen in four quite different events — the 40-yard dash (4.61 seconds!), bench press, vertical leap, and three-cone drill.
The debate over whether Dallas should go with a pass rusher or a cornerback at 28 is going to be a lively one right up until the pick is in. Our Danny Phantom offers his reasons why he very much prefers a defensive end.
Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of corners that are worthy of such a high pick, but that doesn't mean they should be the players selected. With the depth of this cornerback class, that is just not the best use of resources for the Cowboys in the first round. It would be like paying for a buffet, but then only getting a salad. Sure, salads are healthy and can be delicious if you're a rabbit, but that's terrible value. For the love of all that is good, please get some meat and potatoes!
The list of pre-draft visitors to the Cowboys is always a very good indication of what the team is thinking going into the draft, and Dave Halprin and One Cool Customer are keeping it up to date as late additions come in.
Just a quick look at that list and you can tell one thing right away, the Cowboys certainly aren't hiding their intentions heading into the draft. With the loss of four players in the secondary to free agency, and their annual issues creating a consistent pass rush, this is the kind of list you would expect.
Marcus Mosher has an interesting list of potential breakout players for the Cowboys. One who may go a long way toward helping them with their biggest issue is Charles Tapper.
Tapper missed the entire season after injuring his back during camp, and he suffered a setback in September. It was later discovered that Tapper had an undiagnosed back injury, called Pars Defect, that was discovered last season.
Tapper is expected to be 100 percent for OTAs, and he's been focusing on improving his body. At the 2016 scouting combine, Tapper weighed in at 271 pounds. But he recently tweeted that he's down to 255 pounds. A quick search of his Instagram account shows that he looks much leaner this year than during his rookie season.
Everyone knows how the Cowboys have a bunch of troublemakers on the roster. But thanks to the research done by out sister site for the Las Vegas Raiders (still hard to get used to that), we now know that only that team, soon to depart Oakland, has fewer arrests over that last three years than Dallas (which has only seen one arrest in that time).
People continue to argue that the Cowboys aren't really America's team. But money talks.
Patriots QB Tom Brady had the top-selling NFL jersey last year, keeping the top spot he also had in '15, according to new figures from NFLShop.com. The Patriots QB beat out two rookies on the Cowboys -- RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott -- for the top spot.
There were four Cowboys in total in the top 10, as WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten held their spots at No. 9 and 10, respectively