Cornerback is definitely a target in the draft.
Draft Outlook: Of course, it’s also a good bet that the position sees a few changes between now and training camp. Cornerback is one of the Cowboys’ biggest needs on the roster – both for the short and long-term. (Anthony Brown, Nolan Carroll and Orlando Scandrick) form a serviceable trio of starters for the time being, but there isn’t much in the way of depth behind them.
On top of that, the Cowboys would surely like to get younger at the position. Carroll and Scandrick are both 30, which is an advanced age at one of the game’s most demanding positions.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the front office use a premium draft pick – meaning a first, second or third-round selection – to address the cornerback spot. There are many names worth considering, such as Washington’s Kevin King, USC’s Adoree Jackson, LSU’s Tre’Davious White or Alabama’s Marlong Humphrey – among many others.
The first round draft pick for the Cowboys seems to be down to a choice between a pass rusher and a defensive back. Rob Phillips has his vote for which way to go.
I say, draft me the pass rusher, for one other simple reason:
Aaron Rodgers, who, by the way, is on the 2017 list of regular-season opponents once again.
The Cowboys missed two of the last three NFC Title Games by an eyelash because the Green Bay Packers’ star quarterback made them pay with his arm and his feet.
Despite some claims the Cowboys were going to keep their pre-draft visits under wraps, they seem to have come out pretty quickly. Todd Archer notes what appear to be the final three invitees, and they continue the focus on pass rush and cornerback.
While not on the team’s initial list of visitors, Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers were late additions, according to sources.
This list of best and worst groups just confirms how well this year's draft class fell for the Cowboys, with three positions of need for them, edge rusher, defensive back, and tight end, among the strongest groups, while positions like quarterback and offensive tackle, where the Cowboys are in pretty good shape (outside of replacing Doug Free), are the weakest.
Mel Kiper's did a draft exercise where he laid out the best picks each team could make, which meant it was not a straight mock. It is behind the ESPN paywall, but thanks to our parent blog, SBNation, you can see the selections he recommends for the Cowboys.
Pass rusher, cornerback and tight end are the Cowboys’ biggest needs, and Kiper fills them all with good fits in this mock. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett was a force in college and can disrupt the passer. Cornerback Fabian Moreau would be a welcome addition after the departures of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr in free agency, and tight end Gerald Everett can develop while Jason Witten’s still around.
OCC takes a look at the Cowboys' invitees, private workouts, and Dallas Days visitors. This is loaded with info and well worth a read if you missed it first time around. And he uses his data to come up with three mock drafts, including this one relying on SPARQ scores, which we know Dallas values.
A Sparqling Secondary: The first mock goes secondary early and often and gets some of the top athletes in this draft (with their Sparq percentile rank relative to other players at their position in parenthesis):
Round 1 (28): CB Chidobe Awuzie (98.5)
Round 2 (60): S Marcus Williams(92.5)
Round 3 (92): DE Daeshon Hall (76.7)
Round 4 (133): CB Shaquill Griffin (94.9)
Round 6 (211): RB Aaron Jones(64.2)
Round 7 (228): QB Jerod Evans
Round 7 (246): CB Brendan Langley (58.9)
Archer explains that more than 20 Cowboys have de-escalator clauses in their contracts that "encourage" them to attend the offseason workouts.
The monetary amounts of the de-escalators vary from player to player, but if cornerback Orlando Scandrick does not meet 90 percent of his workouts, he would forfeit $1 million of his $3 million base salary. Dez Bryant has a $500,000 de-escalator if he doesn’t attend 90 percent of the workouts tied to his $13 million base salary.
Jason Witten, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick also have de-escalators in their deals.
A number of teams use the de-escalator provisions in their deals with players, so the Cowboys are not alone. Players can miss roughly three workouts and not forfeit part of their salary.
Well, it is hard to argue Patrik's logic here.
Releasing Romo in mid-April was the single biggest roster decision the club has exercised since doing so in 2000, with quarterback Troy Aikman being on the chopping block at the time. What the team experienced after that was a horrendous carousel of low-producing QBs who, if combined, couldn't muster enough talent to carry neither Aikman nor Romo's shoulder pads.
Luckily for the Cowboys, they'll avoid that Twilight Zone this time around -- thanks to Dak Prescott.
Is there a real anti-Cowboys prejudice in the national media? It is hard to argue that there is not when you see headscratching things like this.
At this point it should be blasphemy, but apparently Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett still isn’t getting credit for what he’s done in the Big D. Despite winning the NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2016 for his performance in the Cowboys’ 13-3 record, he scores in the bottom half of the league, ignoring him engineering a throwback offense and riding a fourth-round compensatory rookie quarterback to the NFC’s best record.
Pete Prisco of CBS is just the latest to throw shade at Garrett as he ranked him as the 17th best coach in the NFL.
We already know who the opponents are, and which will be home games. But admit it, a lot of you are going to tune in to this.
The NFL will release its 2017 regular-season schedule Thursday night during a TV show beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.