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Cowboys news: Orlando Scandrick released, Kyle Wilber signs with Oakland, a free agent visitor?

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Dallas Cowboys have released cornerback Orlando Scandrick according to a source - Staff, ESPN
The Cowboys were unable to get anything in return for Scandrick so they ultimately honored his request and cut him loose.

Scandrick, 31, is signed through 2019 with base salaries of $3 million and $4 million. If the Cowboys release or trade him, they would save $1.4 million against the salary cap.

Scandrick joined the Cowboys as a fifth-round pick in 2008 and outperformed their first-round pick from that year, Mike Jenkins. He served as a slot corner his first five years, becoming one of the best interior defenders in the league. He moved into a full starting role in 2013. Injuries took their toll in recent years with the most severe a knee injury that cost him the 2015 season.

At last year's draft, the Cowboys and New Orleans Saints talked about a deal involving Scandrick and safety Kenny Vaccaro but neither team pulled the trigger. The Saints continue to have a need for a cornerback and could go after Scandrick again.

Orlando Scandrick Reportedly Released by Cowboys After 9 Years with Franchise - Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report
The Cowboys didn't have to be in any rush to make a decision with Scandrick, but releasing him now gives him a better shot at finding a better deal with a new team.

Scandrick now has an opportunity to find a better shot of being a starter elsewhere—or at the very least a role where he can see the field regularly.

Based on his near decade of experience in the NFL, Scandrick will likely have a healthy market in free agency for his services.

The fact a back injury caused him to miss the final five games of the 2017 season could hurt his value, though. His lackluster numbers (38 combined tackles and zero interceptions) won't do him any favors, either.

Still, the free-agent market at cornerback isn't very deep with many of the big names signed. Teams looking for a more cost-effective option to address their pass defense would do well to consider a short-term deal for Scandrick.

Scandrick Designated A Post-June 1 Release; Cowboys To Save $3 Million - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
While Scandrick is free to look for work elsewhere, the team designated him a post-June 1st cut in order to free up some extra money later.

The club officially parted ways with the veteran cornerback Saturday with two years remaining on his contract. By designating Scandrick a post-June 1 release, the Cowboys will get $3 million in salary cap space after June 1 and his $600,000 signing bonus proration will go into next year.

The Cowboys have plenty of good options on the roster in the secondary.

“The young players here, Jourdan (Lewis), Chido (Awuzie), A.B. (Anthony Brown), Xavier (Woods), Byron (Jones), Jeff (Heath), they’re playing well together right now,” he said. “They’re going to continue to grow and continue to get better, and I’m not at the point in my career where I’m willing to just be an inactive guy or a guy that’s not a part of what’s going on and can’t help the team win.”

The Cowboys invested draft picks in Awuzie, Lewis and Woods last year and are eyeing a position switch for Byron Jones back to corner. The $3 million in cap space they'll gain from Scandrick's release presumably helps them sign their draft class in June.

Not many fans will be sad to see Scandrick go, which is indicative of how easy it’s been to overlook his value to the team. RJ makes it crystal clear.

Scandrick is the only player that won’t be returning to the team in 2018.

Raiders add former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber - Levi Damien, Silver And Black Pride
The Cowboys lost another linebacker in free agency as the Raiders new specials teams coach, Rich Bisaccia, has snagged one of his former special teams aces.

Wilber was a 4th round pick by the Cowboys in 2012 out of Wake Forest. The 28-year-old has played his entire 6-year NFL career in Dallas, appearing in 89 games with 16 starts at the outside linebacker spot.

In that time, he recorded 3.5 sacks and 104 combined tackles (69 solo) along with 3 forced fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries. He’s also missed just one game the past five seasons.

The 6-4, 245-pounder is mostly a special teams ace, finishing in the team’s top five in special teams tackles each of the past three seasons, tying for the team lead in 2015 with 8 combined special teams tackles, second in 2016, and last season forcing a fumble.

2018 NFL Free Agency: 1 Move Every Team Should Still Make - Chris RolingBleacher Report
Chris Roling from Bleacher Report goes through all 32 teams and identifies one move each organization should make this offseason. What did he come up with for the Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys: Restructure Dez Bryant's Deal

Bryant has a cap hit of $16.5 million in 2018 before a built-in out in his contract. It's entirely too much for wideout who turns 30 in November and hasn't hit the 1,000-yard mark since 2014.

Granted, judging Bryant on yardage alone would be silly. So let's slice it up some more. He scored six times in 2017, his lowest mark since 2015. He averaged 12.1 yards per catch, the worst mark of his career. He did this while catching 69 passes, the third-best mark of his career—but on 132 targets.

There's a conversation worth having about Dak Prescott residing under center now. Maybe it isn't fair to hit Bryant in the checkbook due to worse play under center. According to Rapoport, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't discuss a restructure with Bryant during their meeting ahead of the new year opening.

But he should.

2018 Free Agency: Cowboys to host interior lineman Marcus Martin - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Don't look now but the Cowboys are showing interest in signing a free agent.

Martin spent the first three seasons of his career in San Francisco, after being drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft out of USC.

He was with the Cleveland Browns last season but did not appear in a game. He has 24 NFL starts under his belt.

Joe Looney has handled duties as the interior swing backup the last two years for Dallas. He’s appeared in all 32 games, often as the sixth offensive lineman in heavy formations.

Best Players Available at Each Position After 1st Week of Free Agency - Justis Mosqueda, Bleacher Report
What's the best of the rest in free agency? Here is a position group breakdown of some of the best talent still remaining on the free agent market.

Linebacker: NaVorro Bowman, Former Oakland Raider

In 2013, Navorro Bowman was on top of the world. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker had made his third straight All-Pro team when he tore his ACL in the NFC Championship Game that postseason.

The result of that was missing the entire 2014, which he rebounded from with another All-Pro campaign in 2015. In 2016, he tore his Achilles and played just four games. Last season, he split time on both the 49ers and Oakland Raiders rosters.

Even on his second stint in 2017, with the Raiders, he showed promise as a starting-caliber player. He didn't play his All-Pro self one year after his Achilles tear, but he's more than talented enough to suit up as an off-ball linebacker for a team in 2018. Bowman can play anything from 3-4 inside linebacker to 4-3 outside linebacker if needed.

Six free agents Cowboys should consider in the next wave of free agency - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys have looked to former-Eagles players to address needs in free agency, but that hasn't worked out so well. Would they dare try it again? Our own Michael Sisemore identifies six targets still lingering around in free agency, including another DT from Philadelphia.

Bennie Logan, 1T Defensive Tackle

Logan’s market value is not as high as it should be for a player of his caliber. Logan is a traditional 1-tech that is active but not in the same sense of Ndamukong Suh, who is still out there as well. Logan is a nasty player that can eat up blockers and free up the under tackles and ends to get the sacks. Logan’s sack numbers will never be impressive (seven career sacks in five seasons) but he’s the type of run-stuffing tackle every defense can use.

Logan was a player that the Cowboys really had interest in back in the 2013 NFL Draft, they gave him a third-round grade. Logan was snatched seven picks ahead of them by the Eagles and he was a solid addition to their front seven for four seasons. In 2017, Logan had 25 stops in run defense, which was more than any other interior defensive lineman. The longer Logan is on the market, the better the price will be for the Cowboys.

Why Cowboys should avoid drafting this projected first-rounder - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Everyone is chiming in on who the Cowboys should take at 19, but does anyone have players on their "do not draft" list? Draft expert Dane Brugler does and he makes a good case for it.

Who are some consensus Round 1 talent guys that you think Dallas should avoid drafting?

Dane Brugler: I've gone back and forth on Washington NT Vita Vea, but if I'm Dallas, I'm avoiding him in the first round. This draft is stocked with nose tackles and I'd rather wait until the 3rd or 4th round to get my early-down run stuffer.

NFL Draft prospect to know: Deadrin Senat, DT, South Florida - Cole Patterson, Blogging The Boys
If free agency doesn’t do the trick and the team avoids a DT in early rounds, there could be some solid choices later in the draft. Our own Cole Patterson helps us get to know this defensive tackle from South Florida.

Overall, Deadrin Senat is a solid two-down defensive line prospect that could help solve a little bit of the Cowboys’ concerns in the middle. The 6-foot-1, 305 pounder plays with great leverage and burst, allowing him to get into the backfield and prevent a play from happening before it even gets a chance.

The 66 tackles he recorded over his senior jump was a +17 improvement from his junior campaign. He also wrapped up the quarterback five more times in 2017 than he did in 2016, showing that he has tools to become a solid pass rusher as well as a run stopper. The Florida native flourished in coach Charlie Strong’s system, and his final season on the division-1 level shows that he is still improving as a player.

Senat doesn’t have the ceiling as the Vea’s and the Payne’s of the world, but the USF product has more than enough ability and talent to develop and grow into a solid player in the NFL. If the Cowboys aren’t able to sign a Bennie Logan or draft one of the two aforementioned blue chip tackles, Senat is a quality option for America’s Team.

Cowboys Draft Digest: Volume 6, safeties & more - Bob Sturm, The Athletic
As Bob Sturm points out, the Cowboys haven't shown a strong interest in a Day 1 safety since Roy Williams back in 2002. Why would this year be any different? Well, one player has many people intrigued as a possible trade up option.

Derwin James — Florida State — 6-1 — 215 – 4.47

The closer James is to the line of scrimmage, the more I like him. He can probably handle just about anything you throw at him in the secondary, but he is the new-age DB who can do everything you want well and you never have to worry about hiding him in a specific situation. He will instantly change the way a team's defense looks. For the Cowboys, he's the reason to rue winning that final game in Philadelphia that slid them three spots further in the draft – as well as a reason to strongly consider using some draft currency to jump some teams to go get him. The FIRST round grade is easy here. I love the player.

Cowboys 2018 pre-draft visits: WR Calvin Ridley, OG Kolton Miller, OG Will Hernandez scheduled - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
And so it begins...

Over the last five drafts, almost half the Cowboys' draft picks (45%) were brought in for an official pre-draft visit:

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