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Cowboys news: More staff moves, and both optimistic and pessimistic takes on next year

Meanwhile, a strange case of mistaken identity happened.

Cowboys v Texans Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Bisaccia Joins Raiders’ Staff; Oakland Interested In Gary Brown, Too? | Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
We all are now aware that Rich Bisaccia is gone, but he may not be the only Dallas Cowboys assistant to yield to the siren call of Jon Gruden.

Could Gary Brown be the next to join Gruden’s staff in Oakland? According to NFL.com, Brown is interviewing for the Raiders’ running backs coach job, the same position he has held in Dallas since 2013.

Brown reportedly is one of several Cowboys assistants with an expiring contract.

Report: Will McClay officially staying with the Cowboys - R.J. Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
With all the departures from the coaching staff, the news that Will McClay was sticking around for at least another year was welcome. And the Cowboys kept him around by not holding on too tightly.

Archer notes in his report that permission was granted for McClay to interview with the Texans, the only team capable of swooping him away in many people’s minds, and that’s a pretty bold move by Jerry Jones and Co. to make. Bold moves sometimes work, as McClay didn’t even want to interview.

In a way, the Cowboys mildly tested McClay’s loyalty, at least in their own mind. “Sure Will, go interview! It’ll be good for you. We’re not panicked at all. Nope. Not at all!” However it went down, McClay’s own loyalty won out, and he’s here to stay for now.

Mick Shots: No Such Thing As An Offseason In NFL, Just No-Game Season | Mickey Spagnola, Dallas Cowboys
Among his various post-season observations, Spags adds this interesting thought on how the assistant coaching positions may be subject to more of an open search than you might have been led to believe.

Coaching Carousel: Here is exactly why you take a deep breath when replacing assistant coaches: You never know just who might come available during these first few weeks of January, and why the Cowboys are doing their due diligence before replacing assistants. Mike Shula is now available, the Panthers firing him as their offensive coordinator. Shula has experience coaching quarterbacks and also has served as an offensive assistant, along with being a head coach at Alabama. In addition, the son of former Cowboys OC Ernie Zampese, Ken Zampese, who was fired by the Bengals as their OC two games into the season, has coached wide receivers, quarterbacks and obviously been an offensive coordinator.

Dallas Cowboys: 5 biggest reasons to be concerned about the Cowboys in 2018 | Jon Machota, SportsDay
Machota has five reasons to worry about things, but one of them seems absolutely terrifying, given the history the Cowboys have of being less than completely open about the severity of injuries.

Tyron Smith's health

Tyron Smith missed three games for the second consecutive season and wasn't close to 100 percent for several others. He battled multiple injuries with the most concerning being his back. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones recently said Smith is expected to be "back to normal and ready to go next year." That's great news considering how much the offensive line play dropped off without the All-Pro left tackle. Byron Bell and Chaz Green filled in at the position but had their share of struggles. Smith is arguably the team's most valuable player. They need him back healthy if the Cowboys are going to make a playoff run in 2018.

In playoff-less season, some things went right for Dallas Cowboys -Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
A nice reminder that there were some bright spots last season, Ten are listed, but here's betting this one at the bottom will be one of the hottest topics around August.

Undrafted success -- Cooper Rush came out of nowhere to earn a roster spot with six touchdown passes and no interceptions in the preseason. He forced the Cowboys to keep him on the 53-man roster. He didn’t take any meaningful snaps in 2017, but he could be a part of the planning for the roster. With him under contract for at least three more years, the Cowboys know they won’t have to spend big for a veteran backup to Dak Prescott.

Cowboys rookies did not flash like 2016 class but show promise - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
It was not the strongest showing as a group, but there were certainly some who give us something to look forward to.

Best rookie: Unlike Elliott and Prescott, whose stats jumped off the page as rookies, the Cowboys did not have a rookie with big numbers. Perhaps this is based on expectations of a sixth-round pick, but Xavier Woods was the most consistent rookie, moving between safety and slot cornerback. The fact that he was not noticed much in coverage speaks to how he played. He had four pass deflections, four quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery. As the Cowboys go into 2018, Woods should be the leader as the nickel corner. Second-rounder Chidobe Awuzie closed the season strong, but he missed seven games because of injury.

How would drafting a 1st-round receiver shake up the current corps? | A.J. Mada, Cowboys Wire
From now until the last pick for Dallas is turned in, there is going to be wall to wall draft coverage. One of the biggest questions, naturally, is how to use the nineteenth overall selection. Here's one of what will be many opinions.

Sitting at 19, there are several directions the Cowboys could go with their first-round pick. Generally there are 15-20 first-round grades and with each team valuing prospects differently, there’s a good chance Dallas will be able to snag one of theirs where they pick in the 2018 draft. With gaps on both sides of the ball, almost every position is on the table.

Wide receiver certainly seems to be a need for the Cowboys, first round or not. Dallas needs more speed and crisp route-running ability to infuse some life into their receiver corps.

Sean Lee loses out on $2M bonus thanks to injury-ridden 2017 - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
Ouch. Two million dollars' worth of ouch.

Sean Lee missed out on a pretty hefty payday in 2017.

The dark cloud of injury again marred what could've easily been an All-Pro year for the veteran Dallas Cowboys' linebacker, with Lee missing five games this past season due to health issues. His unavailability helped cost the Cowboys several losses as they failed to adjust in his absence and it's now going to cost him individually as well, by way of his bank account.

Tony Romo mistaken for Tom Brady at Intel technology conference - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
How could you make a mistake like this? Everyone knows that Tony is the much better looking of the two.

So when former Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo took the stage in Las Vegas to help promote the latest "True View" technology from Intel, there was a bit of a mix-up.

According to Geekwire.com, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich put his QWERTY in his mouth when he referred to the QB in the replay clip used to demonstrate the new technology as New England Patriots' legend Tom Brady.

It was however, of course, Romo.

Awkward.

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