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Cowboys news: Mayowa released, Eagles make a trade, and Jerry pays up

In draft news, several wide receivers are on the radar for Dallas.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboy
So long and good luck, Benson.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cowboys Create Cap Space By Releasing DE Benson Mayowa, DT Vellano | Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
It was not a major move, and not really surprising, but the Cowboys did make a personnel decision on Wednesday, releasing DE Benson Mayowa. It frees up over $2 million in cap space.

The Cowboys slotted a major contract into their 2018 salary cap this week with DeMarcus Lawrence signing his one-year, $17.143 franchise tag – and on Wednesday, the club created some extra cap space by releasing defensive end Benson Mayowa.

In 2016, the Cowboys signed Mayowa to a three-year deal worth roughly $8 million. He led the defense with six sacks last year but posted only one last season with fewer defensive snaps in 14 games (2 starts).

As Eagles make another big trade, Dallas Cowboys choose to sit back - Todd Archer, ESPN
While things remain fairly quiet in Dallas, the defending Super Bowl champions made a rather significant trade. It may increase the importance of drafting an OG and getting Zack Martin signed to an extension.

According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter, Michael Bennett will go from the Seattle Seahawks, with a seventh-round pick, to Philadelphia for a fifth-rounder and wide receiver Marcus Johnson. The Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were all in the mix to acquire Bennett, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Bennett will be added to a group that is projected to include Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Chris Long on the defensive front. Vinny Curry will likely be traded or released.

Dallas Cowboys: What DE Michael Bennett to the Eagles means for Cowboys | SportsDay staff
The implications of the Eagles trading for Michael Bennett are clear.

The Eagles powered their division title into the city's first Lombardi Trophy this season, a year after Dallas went 13-3, earned a wildcard bye and fell to Green Bay in the divisional round.

Now, the Cowboys offensive line - which already struggled in 2016 especially in games when left tackle Tyron Smith's injuries hampered him - have yet another Eagles defensive lineman to scheme against. Bennett tallied one of four Seahawks sacks of Dak Prescott in December when Seattle's 21-12 eliminated Dallas from playoff contention.

Report: Jerry Jones Reimburses NFL $2 Million For Legal Fees « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth staff
The Roger Goodell system of justice ("I'll do whatever I want") continued to operate with impunity. If there is a message for the league here, it may be to never support their players in disputes, not matter how unjust the results seem to be.

Jerry Jones has reimbursed the NFL $2 million in legal fees after the Cowboys owner threatened to derail Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension and supported running back Ezekiel Elliott’s fight to avoid a six-game suspension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

According to a statement from the NFL, “the matter of the reimbursement of legal fees has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.”

Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys will search for these four positions in free-agency bargain bin next week | SportsDay staff
We all know that the Cowboys don't like to spend big in free agency, preferring to "bargain shop" after things calm down. But they will be looking for some "hole-pluggers". The DMN staff offers their opinions of where they will be looking to do that. Here is one take.

Jon Machota: Defensive tackle, safety, linebacker, swing tackle and left guard. I'm not saying they will fill all those needs. Heck, they might fill only one or two of those positions. But those are the areas they will likely be searching the bargain bin. They've signed players recently in free agency at those positions like Stephen Paea, Robert Blanton, Justin Durant, Byron Bell and Jonathan Cooper. Some have worked out over the last few years, many haven't. You might not like it, but that's what they can afford.

Dallas Cowboys using offseason to define a 'Dak friendly' offense - Todd Archer, ESPN
There is so much talk coming from the Cowboys about making the offense 'Dak-friendly', but no real definition of what that is has been offered. Stephen Jones, Jason Garrett, and Jerry Jones all offer differing explanations. Here is Jerry's:

“It’s an offense that lets him be unpredictable. It gives him the best way to be hard for the defense in the sense of game planning for him,” Jones said. “I’d certainly love for him to be able to hurt them from the pocket. We’d love for him to be able to hurt them on the run -- and to run. We’re not necessarily interested in increasing the number of runs. I think we’ve got a lot more options as far as how to get him on the run in the passing game, and giving him a better pocket and having better blocking. You might say protection, but the way to get that done is to be imaginative in the running game. Some of the college stuff needs to be thought about here. That’s a big part of the conversation that’s going on at the office.”

NFL Combine 2018: Risers and fallers from Indianapolis | Eric Galko, NFL | Sporting News
One player who had a very good Combine has been mentioned by some as an option for the Cowboys.

Riser: D.J. Moore WR, Maryland

Entering the NFL Combine, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley and maybe SMU’s Courtland Sutton were the only first-round worthy receivers.

But after Moore’s remarkably explosive Combine, posting a 4.42 40-time with a near 40-inch vertical leap and 11-foot broad jump (the latter the best among all receivers), Moore may have solidified first-round grades across the NFL.

Report: Cowboys met with Colorado State WR Michael Gallup - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
Michael Gallup is another WR who could be a target for Dallas.

The native of Monroe, GA boasts a 6-foot, 202 lb. frame isn't the ideal height for a receiver you'd consider playing outside the hashes at the NFL level, but it's not exactly a deal-breaker, either. Used as just that during his two-year stay at Colorado State, he was able to use his improved route-running and above-average vertical to help make up for it in a big way, routinely dominating opposing defensive backs with his physicality and ability to inhale the catch from outside of his body.

He also has the speed to burst past the second level, as seen in his 40-yard dash time where he very nearly delivered a sub-4.5s sprint.

NFL Draft: Elite athletes separate from WR pack at combine | Marcus Mosher, Pro Football Weekly
Here's one more wideout that may be of interest to the Cowboys.

D.J. Chark, LSU

Since 2010, there have been just four receivers who have run a sub-4.41 40-yard dash and have averaged more than 20 yards per reception in their final collegiate season. Those receivers are Demaryius Thomas, Phillip Dorsett, Breshad Perriman and Will Fuller. Not coincidentally, all four of those receivers were selected in the first round. That will likely happen again in 2018 as D.J. Chark from LSU put on a show at the NFL combine.

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