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Cowboys news: The NFL is at the Senior Bowl, and that’s where the action is

Whether it’s evaluating players or getting the quotes from the Jones family, Mobile is the place to be.

Reese's Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Senior Bowl: Everything You Need to Know About This Important Week in the NFL Offseason - Kristi Scales, 5 Points Blue
The Senior Bowl is one of the biggest events leading up to the NFL draft. If you aren't sure why, here is a nice rundown of five reasons, including this (take note, those of you who get so lathered up about the NFL Combine).

The week in Mobile includes 3 days of practice leading up to Saturday’s game.

It’s real football, real practices, and a real game. The NFL Scouting Combine the following month in Indianapolis is not real football; it’s workouts, drills and weight lifting sessions. At the Senior Bowl, current NFL coaching staffs take the players through practices and games. The chance to see players at practice is almost as valuable as watching them in the game because you get to see the technique/skill level of each senior as well as their work ethic. It’s also a chance to try players at different positions. For example, Cowboys All Pro guard Zack Martin played offensive tackle in college. During his week at the 2014 Senior Bowl, he got some practice reps at guard. His draft stock soared that week of the Senior Bowl. Ultimately, the Cowboys drafted him to play guard where he has been a perennial Pro Bowl player and All-Pro.

Who Stood Out Most At Senior Bowl Day 2 North Practice? - Kyle Crabbs, Fanrag Sports
If you are looking for players that might be on the Cowboys' radar, here are a couple of defensive linemen to consider.

Defensive linemen Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays State) and Kemoko Turay (Rutgers) were two more standouts for a second consecutive day. Shepherd did break his hand at practice, so his week is finished. But the damage is done, and Shepherd is now firmly on the national radar with his disruptive physical skill and advanced hand techniques.

Turay showed that his Tuesday performance was no fluke, as he looked quick, long and had numerous pass rush counters at his disposal to cause pressure from his outside alignment. Turay, who proved himself an engaging personality on Tuesday as well, could be one of the big winners of the week after the Senior Bowl absorbed losses at the position due to declined invitations and injuries.

Who Stood Out Most At Senior Bowl Day 2 South Practice? - John Owning, Fanrag Sports
With the questions surrounding the future of the left guard position for Dallas, OL Isaiah Wynn of Georgia is one player the scouts may be taking a close look at.

Wynn was fantastic in one-on-one pass rush drills Wednesday, showing excellent hand placement and a nice anchor to stymie power rushers. Even when he would miss with his initial strike, Wynn showed a nice ability to slide his feet to recover and regain leverage against the South Team’s interior defensive linemen.

Reading Between the Lines, Dez Situation Now Getting Interesting - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
There has been a lot of talk about what the Cowboys are going to do with Dez Bryant. This is a good look at some heavy hints being dropped by both Jerry and Stephen Jones while attending the Senior Bowl that something has to be done about his salary given the dropoff in production.

“We pay Dez a lot of money, and he knows that. He’s aware of it as anybody when he talks to Jerry and myself,” Stephen said. “He knows when you get paid that kind of money, there’s high expectations in terms of the productivity. Those are all things that we have to look at as a team, as an organization, when we start to put our team together for next year.”

Actually, that statement alone might be the most important one we’ve heard regarding this matter all offseason. Stephen basically just told us that Bryant’s production vs. Bryant’s salary is something that has to be looked at before they start to configure the roster.

The Dez situation was hardly the only topic the Jones family spoke about.

Cowboys Coach Garrett Is On Jerry’s 2018 ‘Hot Seat’ « Mike Fisher, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
A lot of fans are beside themselves at Jerry Jones' assertion that head coach Jason Garrett is not on the "hot seat". But there is often a vast difference between public pronouncements and the truth.

Un-boggle your mind. Un-jangle your nerves. Un-shake your confidence in regard to Jerry and Stephen Jones’ hunger for success. Because when Jerry was asked if ‘RedBall’ is on the hot seat, and when he answers, “It’s fair for you to ask, but he’s not on my hot seat.” …Mr. Jones is not telling the truth.

The vibe in the building, the mood inside The Star, the movement on the coaching staff, all tell a different tale.

Stephen Jones: Jason Garrett 'is the right man for the job' of Cowboys head coach - Brandon George, SportsDay
Stephen Jones is also giving the head coach a vote of confidence - and may in reality be Garrett's biggest supporter.

"This is a tough business now, when one year you're coach of the year and the next people are asking questions like this. I understand it. I understand that's the nature of our business, but we just really believe Jason is the right man for the job. He has a great way about the team, he represents the organization in a great way and we just feel like he's the right guy for our organization."

Jerry, Stephen Jones weigh in on if there is now a big gap between Cowboys and Super Bowl-bound Eagles - Brandon George, SportsDay
The Cowboys owner is green with envy when it comes to his team's success this season versus that of the Philadelphia Eagles. Jerry Jones gives his NFC divisional foe props for a great season and recognizes how they responded to adversity.

"I'm just impressed how they've overcome and addressed injuries," Jerry Jones said. "You can't do what I do and not understand the challenge it is to adjust and come up with a different way to use personnel and win the games. They did it and that's their story and it's worthy of recognition. Certainly for them to have one of the outstanding players in the playoffs that was their backup quarterback is real impressive and it's encouraging. It shows that you put the right group of guys together, they were inspired, they had a great record and while they had their young quarterback and he turns around, Foles, and he turns around and does the job for them. I'm really impressed with them.”

Dak Prescott's skills focus of 2018 - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
So what does making the Cowboys more "Dak-friendly" mean? According to the two most important voices in the organization, it is more about the staff than the roster.

“I don’t know if we need another player. You automatically will add some players at some level on offense,” Jerry Jones said. “But what you need to do is to maximize what you got and I think we can do that better with some of the things we’re doing with the staff and some of the things we’ve looked at that we’re proponents of that we’re going to be installing.”

Added Stephen Jones, “There are some things that we think we can do that would really be good for us that we’ve seen in terms of what we can do with Dak and what he can be successful doing and expanding some things here in the off-season. Scott (Linehan) has some great ideas, and Dak really likes them. So do our other guys in terms of what we can do to change some things up.”

By Adding Kellen Moore, Cowboys Eager To Keep Continuity Around Dak - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
David Helman looks at why the Cowboys wanted to bring Kellen Moore back as a coach.

Moore only took the field a handful of times in a Cowboys uniform, but he has been a fixture around the organization the last few years. His broken leg was one of several factors that opened the door for Dak Prescott to become the franchise’s starting quarterback – but that didn’t stop Moore from taking on a mentor-type position during Prescott’s rookie season.

That has clearly made an impression around the organization, given the decision to bring Moore on in a coaching role. By the time their coaching staff is in place for 2018, the Cowboys will have made eight total changes. But it’s worth noting that the coaches in direct contact with their young quarterback will stay consistent, as Moore, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and head coach Jason Garrett are all back for the coming year.

Kellen skips a bunch of coaching steps - Staff,
Boise's leading local news channel never doubted Moore's future as a QB coach, even if that may not have been so clear to most people outside of Boise.

It may not have been a widely-held belief, but around here we figured the Dallas Cowboys would lock Kellen Moore in their quarterbacks room if he decided to retire as a player.

It would have been nice to see the Boise State great return to the blue turf with a whistle, but he used his six seasons as Scott Linehan’s sounding board in Detroit and Dallas to cement his value as a football mind, and reports yesterday said the Cowboys have finally named Moore as their quarterbacks coach.

Kellen didn’t have the height, arm strength or wheels to thrive in the NFL, but he had the vision to help Dak Prescott develop into a phenom in 2016—and to help Tony Romo the season before. Moore has passed “go” in his coaching career, and he’s collecting a lot more than $200. This is an incredible beginning for the former Prosser Mustang.

In the early days of the Boise State football team’s Summer Softball Classic, players filled out questionnaires for the public address announcer (me at the time). One question had to do with where they saw themselves in the future. One year, Kellen Moore wrote, “Head football coach, Boise State University.” Bronco Nation would still love to see that someday, but if it happens, the journey will be a lot different than anyone thought. Moore won’t go the college football graduate assistant route, nor position coach. He’s skipped that. From Dallas, he could go directly into an offensive coordinator’s spot somewhere. That is, if college ball is even attractive to him down the line. He may be in the NFL for good.

Cowboys DE Lawrence 'not worrying' about contract - Kevin Patra,
Lawrence is in for a huge payday wether he's tagged or whether he receives a long-term contract.

"Franchise not bad. Contract not bad," the 25-year-old said. "So, like I said, I'm not worrying about nothing. I'll leave it up to my agent, he'll take care of me."

At the Senior Bowl this week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team would prefer not to use the franchise tag if possible.

"Our first goal is to sign him to a long-term deal, obviously," Stephen Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "To me, the only reason you use a franchise tag is to hopefully protect yourself if you can't get a long-term deal signed that you like. That's normally the route we like to go.

"Certainly, we're going to roll up our sleeves and see if we can do something with Demarcus without having a franchise tag."

The reasons Dez Bryant has played his last game with the Dallas Cowboys - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw wonders what the Cowboys think they can get from Dez in 2018, and whether they think they'll want that.

Now consider the likelihood of two things that come with that option. One is Dez's willingness to accept a cut of several million dollars. He has said he won't do it, but, that's simply the right thing to say, so don't put too much stock in that. Still, he's going to be reluctant and his agent may advise him to seek what others are willing to pay.

Second -- and this is a big one -- what kind of player do the Cowboys get if Bryant has just been paddled by the Joneses in such a public fashion? This already is a player with limited route-running skills and, according to the club's chief operating officer, an attitude problem related to his sideline behavior. Do the Cowboys get the most committed Dez they have ever seen now that they have reduced his salary?

Do they see Bryant becoming a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown receiver again while playing with Prescott? If not, then does he even fit in this new scheme?

My guess is that Bryant has played his last game with the Cowboys although it may be months before that becomes official.

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