Draft Looms After Signing Flurry, But Cowboys Keeping “Eyes Wide Open” - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Phillips recaps the Cowboys' hectic week of activity and what holes still need filling as the front office looks toward the April draft.
For the most part, the front office believes it accomplished its goals of covering their free-agent losses at linebacker (Anthony Hitchens, Kyle Wilber) and the offensive line (2017 starting left guard Jonathan Cooper) while creating more depth and competition at wide receiver.
As the draft nears, safety is one potential area of need since Byron Jones seems likely to get a look at cornerback.
“There’s a thought process we could still use a free safety if the right guy were out there,” Jones said, “but up to this point we haven’t really seen anything that makes any sense to us (scheme wise)."
Terrance Williams of Dallas Cowboys recovering from foot surgery - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
Archer provides the details on Terrance Williams broken foot, which was completely unknown to fans and media until Stephen Jones let the cat out of the bag during a radio interview Monday.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his foot, sources told ESPN.
A source said the surgery took place about a month ago. The hope is that Williams can be back by the end of organized team activities in June or for the mandatory minicamp in the middle of June.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones would not divulge the nature of Williams' injury but said he would miss some time in the offseason program.
Cam Fleming’s $3.5M max deal hardly one of a starting RT - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Drummond gives his thoughts regarding the use of new Cowboys' offensive lineman Cam Fleming.
The Cowboys are in desperate need of a swing tackle. Fleming is a career swing tackle. This level of pay is indicative of a highly-regarded swing tackle.
Collins will make far more money than Fleming in 2018, $5.78 million in cap cost, and is signed through the 2019 season. Moving Collins back to left guard is possible, though it’s hardly as important position as right tackle. Many of the league’s best pass rushers are now on the left side and although he had issues to start the year, Collins seemed to be learning the right side as the season progressed.
If Fleming was brought in to start, it would’ve made more sense to establish a longer deal. Of course, that’s if Fleming would’ve liked the deal; he could be betting on himself.
What the Cowboys will and won’t get from Allen Hurns – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Sturm weighs in on the Cowboys' newest addition at the wide receiver spot and likes what he sees in Allen Hurns.
I think the Cowboys are still trying to sort out their plans. I think this offense needed a complement to Bryant more than a replacement for Bryant, but I can see Hurns being a good candidate for either job, to be honest. He will allow Dak Prescott a better chance at success, provide younger legs that still have juice, and offer a component to the offense that wasn't here beforehand. To be honest, he could replace Bryant, Williams, or Beasley. He appears that versatile.
For me, this is exactly the type of business they needed to do this offseason. He is not a world-beater but is plenty useful and the price is absolutely right. There is still much work to be done, but I am very impressed with what Hurns could be to this offense – and perhaps what his signing tells us about ideas and concepts they would like to “borrow” from Jacksonville to shake up a scheme that has grown stale and predictable.
The next shoe to drop will offer more insight. Beasley could help them save quite a bit of money. Williams will cost them to cut. And Bryant is the one that would hurt the most to walk away from. We also have no idea what the draft will do to add even more possibilities. On its own merit, this is massive signing that gives them plenty of options and a dynamic weapon to add to the group. That said, here is one vote that he is here to complement Dez Bryant, not replace him.
Odell Beckham Jr. to Cowboys is exactly the type of splash Jerry Jones likes to make - Matt Mosley, SportsDay
Mosley ponders the unthinkable in a post that looks at the team's bewildering roster options at wide receiver.
And while it's a complete long shot, let me at least mention that Odell Beckham Jr. is apparently on the trading block with the New York Giants. The New York Daily News reported Monday the asking price for Beckham will be a first-round draft choice "plus." That "plus" will be negotiable, but I don't see the Giants moving Beckham for anything less than a first-round pick. And it's hard to imagine the Giants trading the superstar to a division rival. That said, this is exactly the type of move Jerry would love to make. He hasn't made a splash move like this since signing Terrell Owens. Beckham would give the Cowboys one of the most explosive players in the game to go with running back Zeke Elliott. Alas, I believe Beckham will end up on a different roster, if not staying with the Giants. The NFL Network is reporting that Beckham won't play until he has a new contract, and that comes on the heels of Giants owner John Mara saying no one on the roster is "untouchable."
Cowboys getting a starter or Jag in OL Marcus Martin? - Allan Uy, Cowboys Wire
Uy looks at the less-heralded offensive lineman signed recently by the Cowboys in a gif-heavy post worth reading.
His best fit is as a backup guard/center with the ability to start for an extended time if needed. His play has shown improvement from year to year and he should provide a sufficient level of execution on both zone and gap scheme runs as well as provide a clean pocket in the passing game.
Martin is a player the team can win with and is a better guard/center than Fleming is a tackle. He possesses good play strength and will solidify the Cowboys’ best position group in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys: NFL set to approve Dez Bryant rule - Clarence E. Hill, Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Hill reports on the NFL's apparent decision to bring some common sense to defining a catch. For Stephen Jones and Cowboys' fans everywhere, it's a bittersweet recognition of what we always knew to be the truth.
“A little too late,” said Jones with a laugh. “In all seriousness, I do think we’re going, in my mind, to a much better place for our fans, for the game in terms of what we’ve worked on in the competition committee. I think at the end of the day, when everyone is able to get their hands around it, I think it’s going to be better for the game.”
Again, Cowboys fans always knew that “Dez caught it.”
What makes matters worse is that it was called a catch on the field and then overturned on replay because Bryant allegedly didn’t control the ball as he went to the ground.
There is no question the call played a huge role in the Cowboys' devastating loss.
And now the NFL is acknowledging that it should have been a catch, all along.
NFL vice president of officiating Al Riveron presented multiple video examples Monday at the NFL Owner’s meeting of what the NFL planned to do in terms of changes to the catch rule.
2017 Adjusted Games Lost: By Unit - Scott Kacsmar,Football Outsiders
Kacsmar does a deep dive into injuries and finds the Cowboys offense had the second fewest of any team in the NFL.
The Dallas offense was arguably the most disappointing unit of 2017. Despite an AGL of just 7.8, the Cowboys dipped from third in DVOA to 10th. Running back Ezekiel Elliott's suspension caused him to miss six games -- almost as many as the rest of the offense missed due to injury -- but Dallas still finished No. 2 in rushing DVOA. The passing game slipped to 18th in Dak Prescott's second year. Left tackle Tyron Smith only missed three games, but one of those was against Atlanta. Adrian Clayborn took advantage of backup starter Chaz Green to the tune of six sacks on an eight-sack day for Atlanta in a 27-7 win. In a way, that game propelled the 10-6 Falcons to the final playoff spot that otherwise could have gone to the Cowboys if they had won that game and finished at 10-6. But Elliott had to serve his suspension and Smith missed that game, and Jason Garrett's Cowboys seemingly had no answers to adjust without them during a miserable three-game losing streak in November. Even in Week 17 with Elliott back, the Cowboys scored just six points against the Eagles' backups in an odd game. While the defense would knowingly struggle with the suspensions it had to overcome, the healthy offense was a bland disappointment in 2017.