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Cowboys news: Dez Bryant has all the leverage, more draft prospect rankings

Enjoy the latest bundle of Cowboys news...

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My odds on whether Dez Bryant is a Dallas Cowboy for 2018 season - Matt Mosley, SportsDay
What are the odds Dez Bryant remains in Dallas? Matt Mosley offers up his prediction.

Gut feeling ... Dez Bryant will or won't be a Cowboy in 2018?

Matt Mosley: I think he'll be with the team. He may have to take a pay cut, but Jerry Jones will somehow make that palatable. I think it's 80-20 that he stays at this point. If the Cowboys land a big-time receiver in the first round, that might tell us a different story. I'd be really surprised if Dez Bryant isn't with the Cowboys next season, though.

Dez Bryant is still best receiver option - Mac Engel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Mac Engel describes how the Cowboys faced a similar contract problem with Brandon Carr a few years ago. There was a time when Carr had all the leverage and cashed in on his overpaid contract. Then, leverage shifted so he agreed to a pay cut. And right now, Bryant has all the leverage.

Dez, it's not your problem your team does not like you at $12.5 mil. This is one of those 50/50 balls you are so good at catching, so go get it.

At $12.5 million due in 2018, Dez is overpaid but, like Carr in 2015, there is no one else behind him on this team, or elsewhere.

There are no guarantees in free agency, and none as a rookie in 2018. You want Terrance Williams as your No. 1? The Cowboys tried that in 2015 and the results were terrible. Do you want Cole Beasley as your No. 1?

Antonio Brown ain't coming to town, either.

Draft not likely to provide a better WR for 2018 than Dez Bryant - Jon Machota, SportsDay
If the Cowboys parted ways from Dez, what would be their plan B for a #1 WR? The still have free agency and the draft, but can the answer be found there?

If you get rid of Dez, would you say getting Calvin Ridley is the better play or pursuing a free agent?

Jon Machota: I don't believe any of the options in this draft will give you a better receiver in 2018 than Dez Bryant. With that said, if the Cowboys did part ways, Ridley is arguably the best receiver in this class, so I'd probably go in that direction. I'd rather build through the draft than pursue a free agent.

In case you missed it...

If he falls, should the Cowboys draft wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round? - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
If Ridley is there at 19, should the Cowboys race to the podium and turn in his card?

Ridley is a great talent, who not only has great speed, but is an exceptional route runner. Fans disappointed with a “limited” arsenal of routes would be happy to hear they would get the full tree with Ridley. The Crimson Tide were a run-heavy team so his numbers don’t do him justice and he’s not that big at just 6’0” 189 pounds, but he gets great separation and would give Prescott another huge weapon in the offense.

Post-Combine Mock Draft: Cowboys bombard roster with athletic freaks - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
K.D. mocks up several rounds for us, including a very popular non-Calvin Ridley WR choice at 19.

No. 19: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

Moore was already a leading candidate for the Cowboys to take with their first selection, ranking No. 19 on our pre-combine big board devoid of quarterbacks and running backs. Then, he went out and measured two inches taller than anyone expected and laid waste to the combine. Yahtzee.

Adding Moore to the receiving corps could be everything the Cowboys offense needs for a jump start. He doesn’t have the prototypical size Dallas prefers to aid in blocking, but he’ll be a benefit to the philosophy by finally adding a multi-dimensional receiver who can threaten a defense vertically.

The Athletic’s 2018 NFL Draft Board – Jeff Cavanaugh, The Athletic

The team over at The Athletic put together a nice draft board to help get an idea how the talent is spread out from this new draft class.

The board is a constant work in progress as we expand our search and see more prospects. This is our attempt to create our 'team' board much like NFL teams do.

This board is based on tape study. We don't have access to the medicals that NFL teams do or the private investigators doing background on all these players.

On offense...

They have 11 first-round graded offensive players, but keep in mind - seven of them are QBs and RBs.

On defense...

They have 13 first-round graded defensive players.

Do you think one of the first-round graded players fall to the Cowboys at 19?

Cowboys 2018 Draft: BTB big board update of the top 100 college prospects, post-combine edition - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
You want draft prospects stacked up against each other? Make sure to check out our updated draft board which is under the influence of the BTB community.

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve last examined our Big Board and some stuff has happened since then, mainly the NFL combine. With new information comes a new stacking, and this time we super-sized it and put together a board featuring the top 100 players. If there are certain players buzzing around Cowboys Nation, there’s a good chance he’s on here. If you have a pet cat, he might show up on the board as well.

2018 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Prospects - Staff,
The Sports Illustrated staffs lays out their top 100, including a couple Cowboys favorites in the trenches.


Height: 6' 21⁄2" | Weight: 311 pounds

His performance in last year’s College Football Playoffs (showing talent on both sides of the ball against Clemson, then dominating against Georgia in the title game) solidified Payne’s spot in Round 1. His brute strength and athleticism will make him a dominant run defender, though he’s still a work-in-progress as a pass rusher.


Height: 6' 23⁄4" | Weight: 313 pounds

An undersized collegiate tackle who will make the transition to guard, Wynn offers excellent athleticism on the interior. He’ll be able to handle himself as a pass protector, and might thrive as a run-blocker in a scheme heavy on outside-zone.

Drafting a left guard at No. 19 would be a waste of resources by Cowboys - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Some think it's a great idea to grab one of the stronger guards in the draft (Isaiah Wynn or Will Hernandez) with the Cowboys first-round pick. Some don't. Draft expert Dane Brugler chooses his side of the fence on this highly debated topic.

Q: Do you think Dallas would really draft an offensive lineman in Round 1? Seems like a big price to pay for a position where Dallas already has 3 big-name guys already.

Brugler: Stephen Jones said they would consider it if a Zack Martin talent fell to them. And the only guard prospect in that conversation is Quenton Nelson and he's a top-10 pick. It is my opinion that drafting a LG with a top-20 pick is a waste of resources. Yes, it is a need, but one that can be addressed in free agency or later in the draft. NFL teams don't need five first-round OL talents to be successful. They just need a capable starter and then use the first-rounder at another position.

Speaking of addressing needs in free agency...

Best Bargain Option at Each Position in 2018 NFL Free Agency - Alex Kay, Bleacher Report
Since Cowboys fans shouldn't expect big moves in free agency, it's good to look at the players out there who could be a good value signing for the team. The Bleacher Report identifies one player at each position and here are a couple positions Dallas could be looking at this offseason.

Offensive Lineman: Cameron Fleming

Fleming is the type of player every contending team needs. He can capably man both tackle positions and provides insurance in case a starter goes down. The Dallas Cowboys are a perfect example of a club that could have drastically altered its fortunes with a player like this on the roster, as they were lost when starting left tackle Tyron Smith missed time last year.

Fleming will cost about $6 million per year which is way too much money to hand out to a swing tackle. Pass.

Safety: Bradley McDougald

McDougald's top quality is his versatility, which he showcased by logging time at both safety positions, linebacker and some slot corner in 2017. He's a phenomenal run-stopper, which isn't surprising considering he tallied 178 tackles during his final two seasons with the Bucs, and he's also respectable in coverage. This do-it-all defensive back would be a welcome addition to any secondary, whether as a starter or top backup.

The Kansas product is definitely in line for a raise after earning $800,000 this past season. But he isn't likely to cash a huge check either. His jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none skill set actually hurts his value, but he's the type of Swiss army knife talent that winning teams need.

Cowboys discussing Orlando Scandrick’s future, with all options in play – Charean Williams, ProFootballTalk
Many expect veteran safety Orlando Scandrick to be a cap casualty, especially with the news that Byron Jones could be returning to corner. How will the front office deal with the Scandrick situation? We may find out the answer soon.

The Cowboys continue to discuss cornerback Orlando Scandrick‘s future, with all options still on the table, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports.

It has appeared for awhile that Scandrick is on his way out in Dallas, and he has told Anderson he could benefit from a “change of scenery.”

The Cowboys would prefer to trade Scandrick than to cut him, and they tried to do just that last year during the draft. They wanted Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro in return for Scandrick.

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