The Cowboys have been pretty open about the possibility of signing a veteran QB to back up Dak Prescott. And while the official position in Dallas seems to be, "Not a fit", Archer wonders why arguably the best available free agent QB wouldn't be a good fit in Dallas.
There has been plenty of discussion across the league about Colin Kaepernick not having a job yet. I asked around on Kaepernick, and the answer was, “Not a fit.” Why not? There would not be a significant investment required to sign him. His game would seem to be more in line with what Prescott does than what Moore does. Of course, Moore has the blessings of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, so that helps. Kaepernick went 1-10 last year with the San Francisco 49ers, but he had 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Kaepernick is still young enough and has big-game experience.
I’d like to believe the Cowboys would not be shy in signing him because of his taking a knee during the national anthem. They have taken chances on a number of players over the years -- Tank Johnson, Adam Jones, Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory -- when there was a real or perceived distraction that would come with those additions. When Kaepernick signs with a team, it will be a story for a few days and then he will proceed as a backup quarterback, a position for which headlines are few and far between.
Where Will Kaepernick Play Next Season? - Justin Hartling, Odds Shark
Nobody knows which team Kaepernick will end up with, but now you can wager on it! BetOnline.ag is offering a odds on where Kaepernick ends up when Week 1 arrives. They offer three options:
Seattle Seahawks +140 (bet $100 to win $140)
Any Other NFL Team +140
No Active Roster +250 (bet $100 to win $250)
Vet free agents for Cowboys to consider, including Colin Kaepernick - KD Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Earlier this month, Drummond wrote about Kaepernick as an option for the Cowboys. Here's his rationale:
The Cowboys are currently planning to have Kellen Moore be the backup to Dak Prescott. Moore won’t challenge Prescott in the least bit, but he will be an outstanding sounding board for the Cowboys’ second-year pro. If anything were to happen to Prescott, however, the Cowboys season would likely be lost like 2015 if they had to play Moore an extended period of time.
There are few quarterbacks in the league capable of being a legitimate backup to Prescott who can mirror many of the things he does physically. Kaepernick is one of them and is a player who has performed in the past and recently shown traits of being that guy again. He nearly has a career 2.5 TD:INT ratio, including 16 touchdown tosses against just four picks in 2016.
The Cowboys are one of the few teams in the NFL who could withstand the public backlash over signing Kaepernick and the heat of that spotlight. Erroneous reports exist about his high-salary and playing time demands. Kaepernick is a much better option than the remaining quarterbacks in free agency.
Mailbag: Would You Sign Kaepernick? - Bryan Broaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
In response to a reader question, Broaddus and Helman explain why they like the idea of Kaepernick in Dallas.
Bryan: My opinion is that he'd be a great fit for the scheme they currently run. I watched him just the other day – mobility, ball handling and getting the ball out quick are his strengths. He has proven with a solid offensive line and running game that he can win a lot of games in this league.
David: I would definitely be in favor of that signing. Kaepernick had a quietly solid season last year, and I think he’d be a great scheme fit considering his similarities to Dak. I don’t think it’ll happen for multiple reasons. Firstly is that this coaching staff likes Kellen Moore a lot more than you do. On top of that, I don’t think NFL teams want the attention that comes with signing him.
How The Cowboys Have Become More “Dak Friendly” To Avoid A Sophomore Slump - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
Many observers expecting a sophomore slump from Dak Prescott point to the fact that the Cowboys' opponents now have enough game film to prepare for Prescott. Ryle argues that while the rest of the league may have made adjustments to handle Dallas’ second-year quarterback, the Cowboys haven't stood still either.
While he has been going through the normal development NFL players have in their first real offseason with the team, Dallas has also taken some steps to reshape their offense to better suit Prescott. Last season he had to step into a team that had been built specifically to fit Tony Romo. Now, he is going to take to the field with a more Dak-friendly squad.
And beyond the personnel adjustments and acquisitions, there is the simple fact that this year the playbook is also going to be structured around Prescott’s skill set. He will have a much wider array of plays to work with at the start of the season instead of the team having to add things on as the year and his own comfort level progressed.
Other teams may have a season of video to study with Prescott, but they may notice one thing. His game expanded throughout the year. With his work ethic and proven learning ability, he is likely to be a better player this year in many ways than he was in 2016. And now, there are new targets in the mix for him. The rest of the league may be getting ready for Dak. But the Cowboys have been busy getting ready for the rest of the league as well. Doubt Dak all you want. Just know that it may be at your peril.
Why Cowboys QB Dak Prescott needs a spectacular Year 2 - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm warns that the vultures are already circling overhead, ready to strike at the slightest sign of weakness from Dak Prescott.
Dak, dealing with the first year of no Tony Romo on the roster, could really use a big year because there will be plenty of noise about him. You have to remember that across the league, there are still plenty of Dak Prescott skeptics. And, let's also be reasonable and admit that he has plenty left to prove. He was slated as a fourth-round pick because of several considerations. Included were thoughts about his ceiling and his ability to handle anything the league can throw at him. Well, this spring, teams now devour a year's worth of Cowboys data and film and look carefully at how to deal with the new QB of the Cowboys. Heck, some rivals may have even spent the offseason trying to acquire talent aimed at slowing down the Cowboys' offense. So, if he can roll through 2017 like there are no big deals in front of him, we have quite a story.
But, if he struggles to come close to comparing his 2017 to his 2016, you will not believe how quickly the Cowboys QB position will become a hot seat of discussion on every national NFL forum. But, we can assume that Prescott has already become accustomed to what being the Cowboys' QB is like. He now knows that whatever he does is "news." But, he has yet to see the job from the perspective of negativity. That will be another adjustment for him moving forward. I am interested in seeing if he has to face it and how he would handle that. But, there is no question who has a tougher road in Year 2 -- that is QB1 in the post-Romo era.
Michigan writer on why Jourdan Lewis will outlast Jabrill Peppers in NFL - Jori Epstein, SportsDay
Jabrill Peppers was taken in the first round, while teammate Jourdan Lewis fell to the bottom of the third, but the Cowboys got the superior prospect, according to Michigan beat writer Angelique Chengelis for the Detroit News.
How did he and Jabrill Peppers compare?
Chengelis: They played different positions this year but I've always thought highly of Jourdan and people always say "Who will have a longer NFL career?" I think Jourdan Lewis. His ceiling is so high. I know there's a knock on him for being shorter but I think he's shown over the last few years in particular how height is not an issue and he's a football-smart, savvy guy and doesn't let people make him feel like his height's a burden. It doesn't affect him and I've appreciated that about him.
Jabrill has amazing athletic ability but Jourdan was also capable of playing three ways at Michigan. Without injuries he was probably going to play offense too.
Ryan Switzer brings some fearlessness to the Dallas Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys have long needed a boost in their return game, and in fourth-round pick Ryan Switzer they see the attitude that could deliver one.
The Cowboys need punt-return help. They have gone 110 punt returns without a touchdown since Oct. 13, 2013, when Dwayne Harris returned a punt 86 yards against the Washington Redskins for a score. In the past three seasons, they have not had a punt return longer than 39 yards. Last season they averaged just 7.1 yards per return.
“You’ve got to have some spunk to you,” Switzer said. “When you’ve got 11 guys running down the field trying to kill you and you’re looking up, it takes some guts. But I know [special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia] coaches those guys up really well. I know they take great pride in blocking, like my guys at Carolina did. So if I’m back there, it will be up to me to make a play and trusting those 10 guys in front of me.”
Position Battles: Who Will Challenge Jeff Heath For The Other Safety Spot? - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Jeff Heath is widely seen as the front runner for the second safety opposite Byron Jones, but he is by no means assured of the starting role.
Heath will have competition. Last year’s sixth-round pick, Kavon Frazier, played well on special teams as a rookie and will push for more playing time on defense. And the Cowboys clearly feel good about rookie Xavier Woods, or they wouldn’t have traded next year’s fifth-rounder to move up and draft the former Louisiana Tech star near the top of this year’s sixth round. Second-round cornerback Chidobe Awuzie also played some safety at Colorado.
Don’t Forget About: Robert Blanton, who signed a one-year deal on April 20. This addition might have gotten lost in all the pre-draft anticipation, but Blanton brings experience to the suddenly young safety group. A 2012 fifth-round pick by Minnesota, Blanton has made 19 career starts in five seasons with the Vikings and Bills. At the very least, Blanton has an opportunity to become a core special teams contributor for Rich Bisaccia.
9 NFL players who could be traded before the start of the 2017 season - Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sport
Coming in at No. 2 overall on this list of nine players who could be dealt before the start of the 2017 season is none other than the Cowboys' Alfred Morris.
Remember Alfred Morris? He went to back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2013 and 2014. But since then, it's been a bit downhill for the Florida Atlantic alum.
He carried the ball 69 times last year for the Cowboys, but there has to be some mileage left in the former Redskin. Ultimately, with Darren McFadden returning to the fold and Zeke Elliott establishing himself as one of the best backs in the NFL last year, Morris isn't going to get the ball even 69 times in 2017.
The Cowboys could cut Morris this summer, but don't rule out a trade for a late-round draft pick.
Grading Every Team's Undrafted Free-Agent Haul - Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report
Grading UDFA rookie classes is a thing now, apparently. The Cowboys get an "A-", that's a good start.
LSU's Lewis Neal is a 272-pound "tweener" who at first glance isn't quick enough to play end or strong enough to kick inside. But his 60 tackles for the Tigers last year speaks to his motor and ability to fight through traffic. With the right coaching, Neal could become an interesting rotational player capable of playing up and down the line.
Dan Skipper is an enormous (6'10") tackle from the University of Arkansas who has experience on both sides and at guard and who owns the school record for blocked field goals. Skipper's height is actually more hindrance than help when blocking, but being able to just reach up and bat kicks from the sky may well save his NFL bacon.
The coup de grace could be Cooper Rush, who Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote, "processes as quickly as any quarterback I've studied over the last five years and has the anticipation and accuracy to counter his lack of velocity."
Rush hardly has a cannon, but he's a four-year starter who is both smart and accurate. With time, he could develop into a long-term backup for Dak Prescott.
Signing an undrafted free agent is the fastest five minutes in the NFL - Ben Volin, Boston Globe
Volin offers an intriguing insight into what UDFAs go through immediately after the draft. An excerpt:
Undrafted rookies are in many ways the lifeblood of the NFL, filling out valuable spots at the bottom of the roster and on practice squads. In 2016, 117 of 590 undrafted free agents (19.8 percent) made a Week 1 roster or injured reserve, and another 125 (21.2 percent) made a practice squad, according to the NFL Players Association.
But the process of signing with a team is the fastest five minutes in football — a mad dash fraught with exploding offers and life-changing decisions made in an instant. The highest-rated free agents have coaches and GMs calling them off the hooks, and they can have their choice of 10 or 15 offers. Others are just hoping for one concrete offer.
“It’s complete anarchy,” said Canter, an NFL agent for 21 years. “You’re talking about a young guy who just watched 260 people get drafted over three days in the most drawn-out process ever, and he has to basically decide his whole career fate in a minute or two.”
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