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Cowboys News: At Least Seven Pass Rushers Coming In For Pre-Draft Visits, Including Watt, Kpassagnon, Basham

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys are knee-deep in pass rushers; why a safety at No. 28 is unlikely; why first 3 picks need to be defenders.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mailbag: Why a safety at No. 28 is unlikely - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer explains why the Cowboys will likely pick a cornerback or pass rusher with their top pick, and not a safety.

In Rod Marinelli’s scheme, cornerbacks, pass-rushers and weakside linebackers get paid. While there are exceptions to every rule, safeties and strongside linebackers do not. I think that factored at least a little in why the Cowboys did not make a bigger play to keep Barry Church or any play to keep J.J. Wilcox. Age and availability had a part in not keeping corners Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne.

To me, Byron Jones will be a good case study when his contract is up. Will the Cowboys stick with that philosophy? Jones has the chance to be a cornerstone player, so I think the Cowboys will sign him long-term eventually. But if you’re thinking of the Cowboys taking a safety at No. 28 next month, I’m not so sure about that. Remember, Jones was a first-round pick in 2015 as a cornerback who had a chance to play safety.

Newy Scruggs: First 3 picks need to be defenders, top pick an edge rusher - SportsDay Staff
In a "best of" from recent live chats, Scruggs explains what the Cowboys' draft priorities should be.

Question: How would you feel if the Cowboys picked an offensive player in Round 1 of the draft?

Newy Scruggs: The Cowboys need to use the 28th pick in the draft on a defensive player. They need to use their second and third-round draft picks on defense as well.

Question: What's the most important position for the Cowboys to fulfill in the NFL draft?

Newy Scruggs: Edge Rusher. The Cowboys need to draft three guys at minimum in the 2017 draft. The Cowboys leader in sacks was Benson Mayowa with six. That number is not good enough. As a team Dallas was 13th in the NFL with 36 sacks. The front four of the Cowboys have to be able to create more pass rush and havoc on a quarterback if the Cowboys truly want to talk about being a Super Bowl team.

Rod Marinelli was apart [sic] of a Super Bowl winner in Tampa Bay that had a wicked defensive line that led the NFL in sacks over ten years. His Chicago Bears units performed exceptionally well in many defensive statistical categories. All those clubs had Pro Bowl players on the defensive line. Dallas hasn't had a Pro Bowl defensive lineman since Jay Ratliff in 2011. It's time for the Cowboys to draft a boatload of edge rushers this April.

Cowboys Pre-Draft Visits: Pass Rushers & Cornerbacks Dominate Early Scheduled Vistors - Blogging The Boys
The list of pre-draft visitors is usually a good indicator of what the Cowboys will do in the draft, and the early names assembled clearly point to pass rushers and corners as primary targets for the Cowboys.

Since this article was originally published on Friday, we've added DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, CB Shaquill Griffin, CB Treston Decoud as a "30-Visit" and DE Daeshon Hall as a Dallas Day invite. That gives us 10 names from the 30-players strong official visitor list so far.

Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors per 4/1/2017
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd Source
23 Taco Charlton DE Michigan 1 Mike Rothstein, ESPN
32 Charles Harris DE Missouri 1-2 Bobby Belt
34 Takkarist McKinley DE UCLA 1-2 Courtney Fallon, NFL
36 Cordrea Tankersley CB Clemson 1-2 Ian Rapoport, NFL
41 T.J. Watt DE Wisconsin 2 Jeremy Bergman, NFL
46 Kevin King CB Washington 2 Bobby Belt
63 Tarell Basham
DE Ohio 2 Bobby Belt
124 Tanoh Kpassagnon
DE Villanova 3-4 NFL Draft Insider
184 Shaquill Griffin CB Central Florida 5 Conor Orr, NFL
222 Treston Decoud CB Oregon State 7-FA Treston Decoud

That's six pass rushers so far, and if you add Daeshon Hall, the Cowboys are bringing in at least seven edge rushers for visits tis year.

Cowboys 2017 Draft: It’s Not About Getting ‘An’ Edge Rusher, It’s About The ‘Right’ Edge Rusher - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
Even if the Cowboys will be knee-deep in edge rushers in Frisco this week with at least seven guys coming in, the challenge is finding the right one, Sisemore explains.

Harris and Lawson both have good tape that shows their abilities as edge rushers. Taco Charlton has all the measurables but many think he’s a left end or base end in a 3-4 defense. Maybe you take a chance on T.J. Watt, who is becoming a fan favorite among the SPARQ’ers, and shows supreme athleticism and bend around the edge. Watt may never become the guy his brother is but he can play and is barely scratching the surface of his potential.

Maybe it’s not even a first round guy at all. The Cowboys could always wait until Day 2, not all war daddies have to be first-round picks. What about Kansas State’s Jordan Willis? He’s certainly a guy who tested well and showed up at the Senior Bowl. Of course, there is Tarell Basham, whom the Cowboys have been linked with and will meet.

The point is that the Cowboys are searching high and low for their edge rusher and they have been clear that ‘war daddy’ is on their mind. Finding an edge rusher is a diligent and strenuous process but it’s a necessary evil for success in the NFL.

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Cowboys' Jerry Jones describes Ezekiel Elliott's recent behavior as 'not good' - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
Jerry Jones reacts to the latest incident involving Elliott.

The Cowboys owner, asked about Elliott’s decision at the NFL owners meetings, didn’t initially want to talk about it, but eventually described it as "not good."

"There is not much that I want to say other than that was unfortunate and not good," Jones said via the Dallas Morning News. "It wouldn’t be the right emphasis one way or the other to get into any communications or dialogue since that happened."

What's got to be concerning for the Cowboys is that Elliott has become a regular in TMZ headlines. Many of these headlines, by themselves, are innocent enough, but taken together they form a pattern of behavior that raised concerns as early as August last year.

The Cowboys knew about Elliott's image as a party boy in college and specifically talked to him about how his behavior would come under even more scrutiny as a Dallas Cowboy, according to this report by ESPN's Elisabeth Merril from September last year.

A person in the organization who spoke on the condition of anonymity says the Cowboys knew when they drafted Elliott that he liked to hit the nightclubs hard. There is nothing illegal about that, but they want him to be less vulnerable. There are ways to go about it, including giving a club a heads-up before he comes, entering through a side door and having security.

But that message hasn't taken as well as the team hoped, and Elliott still isn't making better decisions, J.J. Taylor of ESPN Dallas explained in March.

More than once, Elliott has been lectured about the importance of understanding he’s going to be scrutinized every time he leaves home. The Cowboys knew he liked to party when they drafted him out of Ohio State, and they have talked to him about how to party safely, whether it’s using security or arriving through private entrances.

The messages, they say, are always received well by Elliott, but his actions don’t show consistent change.

Like most 21-year olds, Elliott is likely just looking to have some fun, and it would be wrong to assume any kind of malicious intent on his part. Still, it would serve Elliott well to use his on-field situational awareness off the field as well.

"My biggest worry is ... I don't believe my son knows how to navigate in life being a superstar," Elliott's father Stacy said. "He's like a little boy who wants to play football and have fun and enjoy people. We've always said this about Ezekiel, ever since he came into the world. He's just happy to be alive. He's a happy guy. But this world is not."

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Dion Jordan could be worth a shot for Patriots, Cowboys or Steelers - Ryan Wooden, All22
Not sure whether this is an April Fool's joke or not.

Don’t expect the Cowboys to be fooled into thinking Jordan fixes their pass-rushing woes. However, again, they have a history of giving folks a second chance and, considering the cost, the potential for Jordan to find his way and provide any production, even if it’s only as a situational pass rusher, has to be enticing.

And the Cowboys are cap-strapped to boot, so creative options like Jordan have to be considered. Outside of the NFL draft, it’s their only avenue to improve at a position of need.

Coach: Eagles can win Super Bowl with Carson Wentz - Chris Wesseling, NFL.com
If this wasn't and April Fool's joke, it should have been.

Lurie is said to be "shocked and pained" that the Eagles have not won a Super Bowl during his 23 years of stewardship, according to ESPN.com's Tim McManus. For that matter, the franchise's championship drought goes all the way back to the 1960 team featuring Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik, the last vestige of the NFL's 60-minute men.

If Wentz leads the Eagles to their first title in six decades, he'll end up with his own statue to match those of Philadelphia legends Bednarik and Rocky Balboa.