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Cowboys News: Why Cowboys Will "Strike" In Free Agency After The Draft

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys get three first-rounders from 2015 draft; what Cowboys' ideal draft class looks like; is Eli Manning a little scoundrel?

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Will Cowboys strike in free agency after the draft? - Todd Archer, ESPN
In is weekly mailbag, Archer answers a reader question about whether the Cowboys are still looking at free agency or concentrating solely on the draft.

Their focus is on the draft. They don’t have any cap room at the moment to do anything, although that is somewhat misleading because the Cowboys can restructure Jason Witten's contract and turn in Doug Free’s retirement papers and gain nearly $9 million in cap room.

But there’s another reason why they won’t sign a free agent. Once May rolls around, signing unrestricted free agents does not play a part of the compensatory-pick formula. As it stands right now, the Cowboys are looking at three or four compensatory picks next year for their losses of Ronald Leary, Barry Church, Terrell McClain and Brandon Carr. Now, most of the players currently available should not get big-time deals to affect the formula anyway. By waiting until May, after the draft, the price tag drops more.

After the draft, the Cowboys will be able to survey their roster, see their remaining needs and then strike. That’s where the Cowboys currently sit.

Benching Tony Romo is Jason Garrett's defining moment as Cowboys coach - J.J. Taylor, ESPN
I'm not sure that I would call it a "defining moment" as this would pretty much negate everything he's done over the last six years, but Garrett certainly had a tough decision to make when he decided to keep Romo benched in favor of Dak Prescott.

Garrett, though, is forever preaching about the importance of the team and the meritocracy that goes into building one. There’s no way Garrett could preach the team, the team, the team every day for years and then replace a quarterback who had won nine consecutive starts and played virtually flawless football.

Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones lobbied hard for Romo, but Garrett made the difficult choice: He benched his boy.

Then Garrett told Romo he couldn’t compete with Prescott for the job. Finally, Garrett told Romo he needed to accept his new role, and Romo did.

The easy decision -- one a puppet would’ve made -- would’ve been to move Romo into the starting lineup as soon as he was healthy.

Do The Cowboys Have Three First Rounders From The 2015 Draft? - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
In a recent 2015 re-draft by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, three Cowboys show up in the first round.

12) Browns: David Irving, DT, Iowa State - Irving was dismissed from Iowa State and fell in the draft. In the re-draft, however, he's on the board and going early.

14) Dolphins: La'el Collins, OG, LSU - Collins fell out of the draft due to off-the-field concerns, but we'll slot him to guard-needy Dolphins in this do-over.

27) Cowboys: Byron Jones, S, UConn - Cowboys would be pleased to find Jones here again.

Cowboys' ideal draft class? Here's what it has to include - SportsDay
Jon Machota answered questions about the team in a live chat recently, including what the ideal draft class would look like.

Jon Machota: With their first three picks they'd get at least one DE and one CB. When the draft is over, the ideal situation would be to have added at least two pass rushing prospects and two defensive backs.

Perfect Pairs: Ideal top two draft picks for Dallas Cowboys - NFL.com
Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks reveal the ideal top two 2017 NFL Draft picks for each NFC East team, and for the Cowboys they've identified DE Charles Harris and CB Rasul Douglas.

Jeremiah on Harris: Charles Harris, to me, as an edge rusher, makes a lot of sense for this football team. Polished, great hands, he's ready to come in and make an impact right away. He can be a double-digit sack guy in Year 1.

Brooks on Douglas: Rasul Douglas is a nice, rangy ballhawk. He's a nice fit in this system. They play Cover 1 and a little man-free on early downs, but their bread and butter is to get into that Tampa 2 and allow their corners to read the quarterback. Douglas has outstanding hands -- some of the best hands in the draft, no matter what position.

Cowboys don’t hide interest in DE Charles Harris - Charean Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Dallas Cowboys are in the market for a "war daddy" pass rusher, and Missouri defensive end Charles Harris might be on the board for them at No. 28.

"Harris has the frame, get-off and pass rush promise to develop into a scheme-versatile NFL edge rusher," CBS Sportsline draft analyst Dane Brugler said.

Harris made 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles in 2015. He was expected to post even bigger numbers last season but finished with 61 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 2016. A new coaching staff and new defensive scheme played a part.

"It was pretty tough," Harris said. "But I’m a savage, so I can adjust to any type of coaching staff. I can adjust to any type of game plan, whatever it is. So I had a new coach; I had a new coordinator. I couldn’t cry about it, couldn’t throw a fit about it. I had to adjust. I had to adapt. I had to survive in my environment. So that’s what I did."

Harris had only 3.5 sacks in the first eight games last season, with three coming against Georgia. But he finished with 5.5 in the last four games.

Jerry Jones' strength, influence felt in many ways across NFL - Todd Archer, ESPN
From his critical role in the Raiders' move to his heartfelt message to the Rooney family, Jerry Jones' reach throughout the NFL is hard to match. Archer writes.

Over the years, Jones has gone from one of the NFL’s outsiders to the most powerful of insiders. His work on the Raiders’ move and his comments regarding Rooney speak to his ability to operate in the ruthlessness of the business world, while remembering how somebody like Dan Rooney shaped the game he loves so much.

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NFL head of officials Dean Blandino reportedly resigning to pursue TV opportunity - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com
Good news if you've grown tired of the NFL's chief spin doctor's smug rule explanations, bad news if you plan on watching football (on Fox?) with the sound on.

The NFL's vice president of officiating is resigning to take a job in television, according to several reports.

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‘Proof’ Eli Manning was in on Giants memorabilia scheme - Kaja Whitehouse & Bruce Golding, New York Post
The Post alleges Eli Manning was involved in a conspiracy to peddle fake memorabilia.

A smoking gun email from Eli Manning proves he quarterbacked a conspiracy to defraud collectors by pawning off phony game-worn gear as the real deal, according to court documents obtained by The Post.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP, who has a contract with memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, instructed a team manager to get the bogus equipment so it could be sold off as authentic, the papers say.

"2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli," Manning wrote to equipment manager Joe Skiba from a BlackBerry on April 27, 2010, according to the documents.

Giants say emails don’t prove that Eli Manning defrauded collectors | Newsday
Attorneys for the Giants did what they are paid to do and disputed the idea that emails between Eli Manning and the team’s equipment manager provide a smoking gun that proves the quarterback tried to defraud collectors.

"The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday," Karen Kessler, spokeswoman for Giants counsel McCarter & English, said Thursday. "The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants’ server. Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character."