The more draft picks the better! Thank you Anthony Hitchens.
Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lose more and/or better free agents than they gain during the respective signing period. The league then uses a formula to award compensatory picks between the third and seventh rounds.
Interestingly enough, this year’s Super Bowl participants were among the biggest winners in terms of compensatory picks. The New England Patriots (four overall compensatory picks) and the Los Angeles Rams (three) each received two additional selections at the end of the third round.
Mickey Spagnola takes a look at the “best” option for the Cowboys at 58th overall.
So with the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner and the draft just a little more than two months away, never too early to focus on those other six picks the Cowboys have, gaining on Friday an extra fourth rounder as compensation for losing linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilbur while only gaining – loose use of the term – Cameron Fleming in 2018 free agency.
Meaning, the Cowboys won’t go on the clock until the 26th pick of the second round, 58th overall, that not occurring until the second day of the draft on Friday night. But then, let’s put this disclaimer on the 26th pick in the second round: That is, unless they want to wheel and deal now that they have that extra fourth to move up higher in the second. And as we know in Jerry Jones’ Cowboys history, that just might be more likely than not.
And, it’s already started. Heck, for that matter started on Sunday, Jan. 13, the morning after the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs by that 30-22 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles, again left one step away from their first NFC title game since 1995.
Who will the Cowboys take in the second round?
What’s the Cowboys greatest draft need?
With the NFL combine right around the corner, here are players expected to “win” the combine that the mothership guys covered on the draft show. Could the Cowboys target some of these workout warriors?
As always, the guys took fan questions during the second segment of the show. Those questions led to conversations about Florida defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, as well as Wake Forest receiver Greg Dortch.
There were also two fun hypotheticals: who will the New York Jets target with the third overall pick, and who would the Cowboys draft if they could have any offensive player in this draft class?
The final segment of the show featured a segment called “Who Would You Fight For,” where the guys picked out prospects they felt passionately about. The conversation included Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary, Michigan State cornerback Justin Lane and Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins.
Film room: How OC Kellen Moore and QBs coach Jon Kitna can realistically improve the Cowboys’ offense - John Owning, SportsDay
Can Kellen Moore and Jon Kitna get this offense back to it’s 2016 form?
Though some are worried about the fact that Moore spent the entirety of his NFL career working under Linehan in some form or fashion, Moore’s teams at Boise State had some of the most progressive offenses in college football. Listen to this clip of Moore discussing his college offense with now-Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to get an idea:
Boise State’s offense is actually simple when you get down to the bare bones, but it’s often dressed up with a myriad of pre-snap motions and formational diversity to make it appear complex. Says Moore:
”Our whole goal, from an outside perspective, is to make it look as confusing as possible. And, at the end of the day, it’s pretty simple for us. You know, it’s a lot of the same concepts and it’s a lot of doing the same thing.”
This is where Moore’s fingerprints can enhance Garrett’s offense. Instead of making wholesale changes to the core tenants of Garrett’s offense -- such as the route combinations, quarterback’s progression and protections used upfront -- Moore can alter the way Garrett’s offense is presented to the defense.
The Cowboys may have the most salary cap space ever. Here’s what they could do with it - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
It’s been years since the Cowboys were in a decent cap situation ahead of free agency. Are they going to cash in?
But based on a cap at $190 million, the Cowboys are projected to have roughly $50 million in cap space, when looking at the top 51 players already signed for next season and the $11.7 million in carryover from last season.
This was calculated.
Former quarterback Tony Romo’s dead money is finally off the books. The team absorbed all of former receiver Dez Bryant’s dead money on last year’s cap.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is the top priority. He is a free agent and the Cowboys have until March 5 to negotiate a new deal or place the $20.5 million franchise tag on him for 2019 and continue to negotiate.
Look for Lawrence to get a six-year deal averaging between $21 million and $23 million annually.
From there, the pecking order consists of quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver Amari Cooper, running back Ezekiel Elliott and possibly cornerback Byron Jones.
Prescott, the three-year starter and two-time Pro Bowler, is the 17th highest-paid player on the team with a 2019 salary of $2.045 million, largely due to performance bonuses. He is behind the likes of Jeff Heath, Allen Hurns, Chris Jones, Taco Charlton and Maliek Collins.
It is past time for him to get paid. And he will get full market value for a quarterback, starting at roughly $25 million annually. Book it.
Tyler Eifert could be a Cowboys option in free agency, and he looks good coming back from injury - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
A former star at tight end, could be an intriguing option for the Cowboys to target in free agency.
Many have connected the dots between the Cowboys and former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. One of the best players for the Cowboys is Zack Martin, and he just so happens to be former teammates with Eifert at Notre Dame... and his brother-in-law.
Martin is married to Eifert’s sister which is what unites the two families, and maybe soon enough the uniform they wear to work will do so as well. Eifert is coming off of a pretty horrible ankle injury last season and he’s only played in six games over the last two years (14 in the last three).
In fact, Eifert has been in the NFL for six seasons now and played in double-digit games only twice. He was a big factor in the huge season that the Bengals had back in 2015, that was when he really made a name for himself, but since then it’s been a game of ifs and buts.
Could the Cowboys starting lineup see some shuffling in 2019?
Sure, it’s not a foregone conclusion Thomas will be wearing the star on his helmet in 2019, but there’s a decent chance it could happen. Both the Cowboys and Thomas have expressed interest in each other, and there’s no denying that the former Texas star is one of the best safeties in the game.
Heath had a good season in 2018, racking up 63 total tackles, five passes defensed and one interception in 16 games. But then there’s Thomas, who recorded the same amount of passes defensed and three interceptions in just four games. Dallas got a good look at what he’s capable of in Week 3 last year when he recorded six total tackles and two interceptions against the Cowboys on the way to a 24-13 Seahawks victory. Was this somewhat of a tryout for Thomas? Was he trying to make a point? You bet.
Why more emphasis is being put on the RB position in Dallas.
Besides Elliott, Jackson is the only running back on the 2018 active roster who’s under contract in 2019. Smith is a free agent. So is fullback Jamize Olawale, who caught two passes for 13 yards and mostly played special teams.
How much will a fullback be featured under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore? That’s one question. The more pressing matter is who fills out the running back rotation. In three seasons Elliott has never missed a game due to injury. (The Cowboys went 3-3 during his 2017 suspension.) But the club needs to fill out the depth chart this offseason.
Now, to the financial side of things. Elliott, at the very least, will be under contract the next two seasons because picking up his fifth-year option is a mere formality. He’s also eligible for an extension as one of several Pro Bowl players under contract (quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Byron Jones) who will eventually be seeking new deals. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told reporters this week that the front office will be taking a “holistic” look at roster decisions, likely meaning they must balance pressing issues (such as the impending free agency of pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and wide receiver Cole Beasley) with players who will be up in a year or two. The timing of those decisions is uncertain.