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Cowboys news: Could Dallas target former Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon in free agency?

The Monday morning links.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5 free agents the Cowboys could target at RB: Why T.J. Yeldon is a player Dallas should consider - Tyler Dragon, SportsDay
It remains to be seen what the Cowboys will opt to do in free agency this year, but could the team target a running back? T.J. Yeldon could be an option if so.

T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars (6-1, 223)

Yeldon would be a good fit with the Cowboys. He’s as much of a threat catching passing out of the backfield as he is as a ball carrier. The Cowboys could use a third down running back to spell Elliott on occasion. Yeldon played behind Leonard Fournette in Jacksonville, so he’s used to coming in for a workhorse running back and producing.

The 6-foot-1 Alabama product has 465 rushing attempts for 1,872 yards and 171 receptions for 1,302 receiving yards. He’s entered pay dirt 12 times in his career.

Another back that played last season in Florida could potentially be on the radar, too.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers (5-6, 205)

Rodgers is another running back who can catch passes out of the backfield. He’s averaged just over seven yards a reception throughout his career. The unrestricted free agent is unlikely to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 5-foot-6 Oregon State product can also be used as a return man on special teams.

Cowboys free agents most likely to depart: Why talent alone isn’t enough to save enigmatic DL David Irving - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
What about in-house free agents? It appears that David Irving will not be back in a Cowboys uniform.

Why Irving is unlikely to return: Irving’s biggest impact last season came while appearing on a television ad for a local attorney. That pretty much says it all. The Cowboys have doubts about his commitment and desire to play football. As he healed from a severe high ankle sprain suffered in practice, his presence at The Star was minimal. The 2018 season was a time for Irving to prove he deserved a lucrative contract when he hit free agency. It went the other way. The only caveat is that the Cowboys think so highly of the havoc Irving can cause that they kept open the possibility to make him active on game days into the playoffs, even though he ultimately couldn’t contribute.

Will the Dallas Cowboys pick up the option on Allen Hurns? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
While Irving is on his way out, what will the Cowboys do with their big free agent signee from a year ago, Allen Hurns?

The 27-year old suffered a broken fibula and dislocated his ankle in the Cowboys’ lone playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Hurns is expected to be able to return in August. But will it be for Dallas?

When the Cowboys signed Hurns last March, it was on a two-year deal worth up to $12 million. But Dallas does have the option to decide whether to pick up the second year of Hurns’ contract or not. That decision will have to be made by March 13th according to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.

Now the question is whether the Dallas Cowboys believe Allen Hurns is worth the potential $6.25 million salary cap hit he’d cost them in 2019. Based on the trade they made for wide receiver Amari Cooper last season, the third round investment made in Michael Gallup and Hurns’ overall lack of production last season; it seems very unlikely Dallas would be willing to pay that hefty price tag. But that doesn’t mean the team wouldn’t be willing to rework his deal in order to keep the well-liked Hurns on the roster.

Should Cowboys Address TE Need Via Free Agency? - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star
Is it possible that the Cowboys decide to grab a tight end in free agency to help Dak Prescott and the passing game?

Here’s the thing. If the Cowboys are not taking a tight end in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, are they really upgrading what they already have? I’m not sure we’ll be convinced about that if they draft a player for the position until the third or fourth round. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for the Cowboys drafting a TE in the second round, because I believe there are more pressing needs on the team. However, signing a veteran free agent might be the better option for upgrading the position.

Should a veteran TE be an option?

This year, there are quite a few interesting names in the tight end market. Veterans such as Jared Cook, Tyler Eifert and even Antonio Gates will be looking for a new team pretty soon. I know, that would be “getting older.” But it could also mean getting better. Building a solid TE committee with a veteran leading Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz could be the way to go for this football team.

4 positions Cowboys will need to attack in 2019 NFL free agency - Ben Grimaldi, Cowboys Wire
Four positions which the Cowboys need to address through free agency, including safety.


It’s fun to call Jeff Heath ‘The Goat’ and celebrate his best plays, but the team should seek an upgrade at the position. Play makers and consistency are needed. Xavier Woods improved as the season went on and he’s only getting better, but imagine what a veteran presence like Earl Thomas or the newly released Glover Quin could add at safety.

Without an influx of talent, the Cowboys can’t expect better results from the group in 2019 and an injury would hamper the defense.

Team-by-team look at potential 2019 tag candidates - Mike Florio, PFT
Will the Cowboys tag Tank?

Cowboys: Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (pictured) is on track for a second straight tag. Last year, he pounced on $17.1 million. This year, the tender spikes to $20.52 million. Which would make a long-term deal ridiculously expensive, and which would guarantee that Lawrence will hit the market in 2020, since his tag for 2020 would shoot to $29.52 million.

Why franchise-tagging DeMarcus Lawrence (again) is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys - Danny Phantom, BTB
Here is why that would be a good idea.

While playing it safe saved the Cowboys some money with Spencer, this cautious approach with Lawrence may ultimately cost them near $10 million throughout the terms of his new contract because of the rising market value of edge rushers. That’s unfortunate for the Cowboys, but Lawrence still had a lot of question marks heading into last season and the team wanted to see him stack another strong year on top of his breakout season of 2017. Sure, it will cost them more now, but it’s better to spend a little extra and get a great player than get trapped in a bad lucrative deal. Huge dead money hits can put the organization in a hole. In fact, all the house-cleaning the Cowboys have done in recent years has put them at a big disadvantage. They have been one of the worst teams in terms of wasted cap resources over the the last five years.

The good news here is that the team still scratches and claws and has won three division titles in that span despite being so handicapped by large dead money hits. The better news is all that retribution is over. The team doesn’t have any costly dead money constraints on the books this season and are one of the top teams in terms of salary cap space over the next two years. And their cautious approach will keep it that way.

But why play games and tag DeMarcus Lawrence a second time? Hasn’t he proven that he’s worth the money? Absolutely. And this second tag is merely a place holder. By tagging him, it prevents a cap-heavy team like the Indianapolis Colts from swooping in and offering Lawrence a ridiculous amount of money. I’m sure Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus would love to get his mitts on Lawrence. Instead, the Cowboys will ensure they’re the only team negotiating with Tank this offseason. While the initial reaction of getting tagged a second straight year may not seem to go over well with Lawrence, don’t sweat it. A long-term deal is coming. Lawrence is one of the most ferocious, soul-stealing defense ends in the game and the Cowboys are going to want to see him rushing the quarterback for years to come.

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