Cowboys FA priorities on defense: It’s all about Tank Lawrence - Mike Fisher, 247 Sports
The Cowboys’ 2018 season is over and while there are certain decisions to make with regards to the coaching staff, there is also a focus on impending free agents. The most notable of those players is DeMarcus Lawrence, who played 2018 on the franchise tag.
And now to DeMarcus Lawrence. You draft a potential “war daddy.’’ Then you develop him into a star. Tank is the Cowboys’ best pass-rusher and one of the best in the NFL. He also plays the run willingly and well. He plays hurt, he leads, he contributes in the community and he’s only 27. He made $17 million on the franchise tag and kept his mouth shut about it ... and there is no reason to tag him again and risk disgruntlement. This is a $17-mil-a-year player. If Dallas can get him for less than that on a long-term deal, maybe using the logic that they’d like to slot him in there alongside his fellow stud Zack Martin, the All-Pro guard making $14 mil a year, great. But again, you get scouting boss Will McClay pounding on the table on Draft Night telling the Joneses, “Tank is a QB hunter!’’ and the story all comes true ... now you need to pay to let the story continue to its next, hopefully glorious, chapter.
Jerry Jones said an awful lot without saying much about potential offensive coordinator options - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
The Cowboys still haven’t hired their next offensive coordinator, but as Jason Garrett said last week, the final decision is always up to Jerry Jones. It was very interesting, then, when Jones answered media questions about the coaching vacancy while at the Senior Bowl.
There are many names that have been tossed out as potential offensive coordinators for the Cowboys and a lot of them have been ones that already have offices at The Star in Frisco. It’s quite possible that the Cowboys could promote from within when it comes to their new head of the offense and, in fact, it seems likely.
Keep names like Doug Nussmeier and Kellen Moore at the front of your brain. Brace yourselves.
COWBOYS WR COLE BEASLEY WANTS BIGGER ROLE, BLAMES FRONT OFFICE - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
Cole Beasley’s contract is up and the broad assumption has been that he’ll get more lucrative offers from other teams instead of the Cowboys, but when someone tweeted about that at Beasley, the slot receiver shared some of his opinions that had to do with his usage and the front office’s involvement with that.
Some might be confused by this, given that Beasley was the most-targeted receiver or tight end in the 2018 offense. Only Ezekiel Elliott got more passes thrown his way.
However, Cole’s role did diminish once Amari Cooper showed up. And in the Cowboys’ playoff loss to the Rams, Beasley only got two targets the whole game. Cooper and Michael Gallup got nine targets each.
You could see where there was some executive agenda behind getting Cooper and Gallup the ball. Dallas wanted their trade of a first-round pick for Amari to be validated. They also are invested in Michael as a future starter. What Cole said isn’t without merit.
Despite what he tweeted, though, Beasley did say that he was open to returning to the Cowboys.
3 things to know about new QB coach Jon Kitna, including his familiarity with the Cowboys’ organization - Jon Machota, SportsDay
One of the few changes that we know regarding the Cowboys’ coaching staff is that former quarterback Jon Kitna will be apart of it. Initially it was reported he’ll be the quarterbacks coach, but at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday, Jerry Jones said Kitna’s role is still yet to be determined. Regardless, there are some important things to know about the new coach.
“In terms of my offensive mind, nobody had more of an impact on me than Mike Martz during the time I got to spend with him,” Kitna told Fox Sports in 2016 of his greatest NFL mentors. ”And then in terms of game management, Mike Holmgren. I thought that he was the best game manager I’ve ever been around. He won the games he was supposed to win, and I tried to learn a lot from him.
”Then in terms of organizational development, that was Jason Garrett, with the details and the things he presented day-in and day-out, and his ability to get everybody to come under one common goal.”
Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper joining evolving Cowboys staff at Pro Bowl - Clarence Hill Jr., Star Telegram
This is the time of the year where several players who were named to the Pro Bowl drop out, either due to playing in the Super Bowl or injuries, and alternates are named to the Pro Bowl instead. And it was through this that two Cowboys stars were added to the all star game.
Quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper were added to the NFC roster, replacing Saints quarterback Drew Brees and receiver Michael Thomas, who opted not to play in the game due to injuries following their controversial NFC championship game loss to the Rams.
Prescott and Cooper will join four other Cowboys in the game: defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, cornerback Byron Jones, running back Ezekiel Elliott and rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
Darren McFadden arrested on DWI charge after falling asleep in fast food chain’s drive-thru lane - ESPN Staff
The last time Darren McFadden played in the NFL, it was with a star on his helmet. While he may have spent more time in Oakland during his career, the running back had one of his better years in Dallas. Now, the retired McFadden has found himself on the wrong side of the law.
McFadden, 31, was taken into custody early Monday morning after employees at a McKinney, Texas, Whataburger reported a sleeping man inside a vehicle in the drive-thru lane.
McFadden is facing charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, search or transport.
Xavier Woods was the best redzone safety this year - @PFF
Xavier Woods spent his first full season at the safety position in 2018 after spending a good portion of his rookie year at slot corner. And while some fans really wanted to get Earl Thomas, Woods responded with a very promising year, especially in the redzone.
Xavier Woods forced an incompletion on 80.0% of his red-zone targets this season – that's more frequent than any other safety. pic.twitter.com/ha14VIGrbC— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 20, 2019
Here’s the biggest thing Kellen Moore would bring to the table as Cowboys offensive coordinator - Jon Machota, SportsDay
While the Cowboys still think about who their next offensive coordinator will be, one of the names that’s emerged as a favorite is quarterbacks coach Kellen Moore. It’s hard to know what he’d bring to the table given he only has one year of coaching experience, but here’s an idea.
I think it has a lot to do with what they’ve seen on a daily basis behind the scenes since he arrived in 2015. Fans don’t get to see the brilliant offensive mind that players, coaches and former teammates talk about. They see a quiet guy on the sidelines who didn’t have big-time success as an NFL player, so they wonder what Dak Prescott could possibly learn from him. I’ve heard fans say that he needs to be more animated and get in Dak’s face. But that’s not his style. That is Kris Richard’s style. And fans love that. Because it’s something they can see. Richard isn’t being considered for head coaching jobs because he gets animated at times. It’s because he’s a good coach. The Cowboys believe Kellen Moore can be a good coach, too. I think the biggest thing he would bring as OC is some unpredictability.
The Cowboys’ 2018 staff had Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli in their tops positions. All three have been in the NFL for a long time and all three have strong convictions. They’ve seen their styles work for decades. But that also means decades of trends are out there for opponents to study. With Moore, no one knows what his offensive philosophy is, so it will be much more difficult to predict what the offense will do in certain situations. But Garrett will also have to be willing to adapt to some of those new ideas. I believe Marinelli’s willingness to allow Richard to have added influence was a positive for the Cowboys’ defense this season. Maybe Moore can do the same for the offense.
Tavon Austin was the NFL’s best return specialist in the post-season - @PFF
Tavon Austin is one player whose contract is expiring this offseason, and while he didn’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase his skills and how they fit with this offense, he has one particular skill that Pro Football Focus believes to be better than anyone else in the NFL this year in the post-season.