clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys News: Are Cowboys A Potential Landing Spot For Jeremy Maclin?

Latest Cowboys headlines: All your big-name free agents are belong to the Cowboys; Cowboys are favorites to land 2018 NFL draft; right tackle competition already over?

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs cut Jeremy Maclin, Cowboys a potential landing spot? - Sean Wagner, CBSSports.com
The Chiefs cut Jeremy Maclin two years after signing him to $55 million deal, and now speculation begins about where Maclin could land.

The Chiefs saved $10 million by cutting Maclin. The Chiefs are saving money, but I'm just not certain it'll be worth it. At the very least, it's surprising they couldn't salvage a draft pick by trading him to a receiver-needy team or a contender.

Make no mistake about it, the Chiefs will likely miss Maclin during the season.

As for Maclin, well, he probably won't be without a job for too long. At 29, he's still young and good enough to be a consistent contributor somewhere. Teams like the 49ers and Browns have cap space and a need at receiver, but I could also see him landing with a team that has actual playoff aspirations -- a team like the Redskins, Eagles, Lions, or heck, even the Cowboys.

5 Teams that should sign Jeremy Maclin following his release - Cody Williams, NFL Spinzone
Where there's a big-name free agent, an article linking him to the Cowboys can't be far.

Dallas Cowboys

This might seem like an odd addition to this list for a number of reasons. For one, the Cowboys haven’t been big players in free agency to this point, unless you count losing their secondary, due to them being financially strapped against the salary cap. What’s more, they re-signed both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler this offseason. With Dez Bryant still in the fold along with Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, they should be okay at the position.

However, Maclin is a far superior player to Williams, who has yet to pan out fully to this point. What’s more, he’d help provide a more consistent deep threat for the offense and really complete the unit nicely. Given that Butler’s deal can be voided with him being cut with little penalty, that’s not a concern either. Even better, though, is that the Cowboys have space opening up with Tony Romo and Doug Free’s contracts coming off the books thanks to retirement, opening up roughly $19 million in space.

We saw in their 13-3 season a year ago that Dak Prescott and this offense are dynamic and dangerous. With that said, Maclin would make them even more so. He’s the type of veteran addition that could take the unit to another level, which may be critical given a young defense that might experience severe growing pains.

5 potential landing spots for Jeremy Maclin - Dan Wilkins, theScore.com
More thoughts on Maclin and the Cowboys.

With Jason Witten nearing the end of his career, and Terrance Williams having failed to emerge as a reliable No. 2, Dak Prescott doesn't have much to work with in the passing game aside from Dez Bryant. Complementing their star receiver's presence with an explosive playmaker like Maclin would round out a suddenly potent Cowboys offense. Jerry Jones has shown more restraint in recent years, and that could very well end up being the deciding factor in this equation, but this is one of the rare blockbuster moves that would also make a lot of sense.

Two Cowboys receivers ranked in Top 20 - Scott Kacsmar, Football Outsiders
Football Outsiders use a metric called "Receiving Plus-Minus" to quantify how many passes a receiver caught compared to what an average receiver would have caught, given the location of those targets.

The uber-reliable Cole Basley comes in 5th overall, and the under-appreciated Terrance Williams ranks 13th overall. But where's Dez?

Interestingly enough, Dallas has two wide receivers in the top 20, but neither is All-Pro Dez Bryant. For whatever reason, rookie Dak Prescott was not nearly as efficient when throwing to Bryant, who will tend to draw the tougher defensive matchup, and who was not always 100 percent healthy in 2016. Still, Prescott was -2.0 to Bryant, tied with Brice Butler for his lowest plus-minus to any teammate. We know Cole Beasley catches the underneath routes out of the slot, but one thing Dallas changed this year was to get Terrance Williams more involved in the intermediate game. Bryant's targets were nearly a full 4 yards deeper than Williams', so that certainly had something to do with the numbers being down. Bryant has been a +21.9 in his career with Tony Romo at quarterback, but -11.0 with Dallas' other passers. Prescott will have to get better at throwing to his No. 1 receiver, but this is a minor quibble to have on a Dallas offense that seems set for a long run of success.

Mailbag: Too Much Hype About Ryan Switzer? - Bryan Broaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus and Helman are not beholden to Big Buzzkill.

Bryan: The reason you're hearing so much about Switzer is his ability to make plays. He's the one guy on the practice field that does something every day that catches your eye. It's easy to evaluate. To your point, you’re correct. There aren't many 4th rounders that create this type of a buzz.

David: Switzer’s in a bit of a unique circumstance due to the fact that he has been drafted to what was already a really good offense. It’s not like he’s being asked to revitalize a bad receiving corps or jump-start a shaky passing game. The fact that he’s slotting into a unit with seven Pro Bowlers on it is what gives me reason to think he can contribute right away. I didn’t work here in 2005, but Marion Barber was a fourth-round pick who rushed for 538 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. So it does happen.


Is Cowboys' right tackle competition already over? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer believes the Cowboys have made up their mind about who will play right tackle.

I believe the job is La'el Collins’. If the Cowboys were going to make this a competition they would have Green taking some snaps with the first team at tackle. He is on a Tuesday-Thursday workout plan because of back surgery last season, but he’s not taking first-team snaps there yet either.

[...] the Cowboys are looking at Jonathan Cooper exclusively at center at the moment. They want to give Cooper as much work at that position now to get him familiar with the spot. Knowing what we know right now, I believe Cooper will be the opening day left guard. The Cowboys have used Emmett Cleary and Joe Looney with the first group at left guard, but they want to get Cooper as much center experience as possible.

Coach’s Corner: Frank Pollack explains why most Cowoys linemen play different spots - Kristi Scales, 5 Points Blue
This is an article about 6'10" O-lineman Dan Skipper, but the thing that caught my eye is OL coach Pollack explaining why most linemen are playing at least two spots in OTAs and camp.

“These young guys, especially free agents, if they want to make the team they have to play more than one spot,” explains Pollack. “They don’t have the luxury of sticking to one spot along the offensive line.

“We really only have three guys that play at one spot, and they’ve all been in the Pro Bowl the past few years (LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, and RG Zack Martin). Everybody else has to play two positions. If I’m a tackle primarily, I have to play guard secondarily. If I’m a guard, I’ve either got to swing out to tackle or play center. If I play center, I’ve got to be able to swing out to play a little guard.

“We only dress seven offensive linemen on game day, so the backups need to have position flex. So we’re always cross-training guys. It’s also a good challenge to see how much they can handle mentally.

Has journeyman DE Damontre Moore found a home with Cowboys? - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The noble Drummond writes that what seemed like an afterthought, a throwaway signing to provide depth in case the draft didn’t fall the way they hoped, may be about to pay dividends for the Cowboys.

He still feels like the odd man out in the Cowboys defensive end rotation, but apparently he’s off to a strong start, earning first-team reps in the second week of OTAs.

With strongside defensive end David Irving facing a four-game PED suspension to start the season, Moore’s status as the fifth defensive end (including Demarcus Lawrence) seems like he has a good chance at making the opening day roster and possibly even being active in Week 1 against his former team the Giants.

He’ll have an opportunity in the season’s first month to prove his worth. That’s if he can survive training camp and if the Cowboys don’t use their newfound salary cap space to go out and add another pass rusher.

If this week’s depth charts mean anything at all, Moore seems to be on his way to proving he belongs.

Cowboys Waive WR Quincy McDuffie, Sign Center Ross Burbank - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
The roster keeps churning.


10 Best QBs in NFL History Without a Super Bowl Ring - Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead
Tony Romo comes in at No. 5 on McIntyre's list of top guns who never won a title. All four players ahead of Romo (Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts) are in the Hall of Fame.

Undrafted, barely made the Cowboys, and then ascended to become one of the best QBs in their storied history. Never made an NFC Title game, much less a Super Bowl. In his best season (2014), he threw 34 TDs and led the league in five passing categories, but it ended in controversy when Dez Bryant caught a TD and the refs screwed Dallas.

Here's what makes Jerry Jones and Cowboys front-runners to host 2018 NFL draft - Charles Robinson, Yahoo
While the NFL is unlikely to say as much publicly, awarding the draft to Dallas would be a kickback of sorts to Jones for moving some financial mountains in recent years.

Despite some looming logistical and financial hurdles, the Cowboys’ bid is the leading candidate to host the event, two NFL sources told Yahoo Sports. The sources added that the process of naming a 2018 host has been slowed by the two-venue pitch of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is aiming to split the festivities between AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and the Cowboys’ multibillion-dollar training facility in Frisco. The training facility is located about 40 miles north of the stadium, creating additional financial considerations for the league and its broadcasting partners such as ESPN.

While the NFL is unlikely to say as much publicly, awarding the draft to Dallas would be a kickback of sorts to Jones for moving some financial mountains in recent years. Most notably, helping broker a lucrative return to the Los Angeles market and building his own state of the art stadium and practice facility in Texas. In a grandiose way, Jones has been pace-setting infrastructure strides that will likely impact the NFL for decades to come – not to mention the league’s financial bottom line. The league owes Jones for both deal-building and some standard-setting moves.

Cowboys Coach Garrett Helped Push New NFL TD Celebration Rules - Mike Fisher, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Fisher explains that Garrett, among others, helped motivate the league to soften its stance on celebrations.

“It was a good discussion that we had at the owners’ meetings, and I think as much as anything else where we came at it as a coaching group was just to have a common sense approach to it,” Garrett says. “It just seemed like sometimes we had some rules in place that we didn’t really understand why those rules existed. There seemed to be some inconsistency to it. So we had a long discussion as a group and just tried to come up with some common-sense parameters for how to instill some of the fun back into the game after somebody scores a touchdown without distracting from the team concept.’’