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Cowboys news: Amari Cooper wants to stay in Dallas, but who else could Dallas target in free agency?

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All of the latest Cowboys coverage to get your weekend started.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Amari Cooper on free agency, future with Cowboys - Brad Crawford, 247Sports

Amari Cooper has been a stud out wide for the Cowboys since arriving in Dallas, and the Pro Bowler has made it clear that he prefers to stay in Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys’ front office will be extra busy this offseason ensuring they retain the services of two of their best offensive players in 2020 and beyond. Signing Dak Prescott to a long-term extension is top priority along with keeping free agent Amari Cooper as one of his primary weapons on the outside.

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“I haven’t talked to my agent about the contract situation,” Cooper said this week at the Pro Bowl. “I don’t want to rush it. I don’t think it’s something that’s imminent. I’m just taking it day by day.”

Asked if he wanted to stay in Dallas, Cooper said it was a no-brainer.

”I do, I mean that whole-heartedly. I love Dallas,” Cooper said. “Just to have the opportunity to play on a different team, you see the changes and stuff like that. I feel like it’s home. I feel like I want to live there for a long time.”

NFL rumors: Why Giants, Eagles could have to deal with Cowboys’ Amari Cooper for a ‘long time’ - Mike Rosenstein, NJ.com

Amari Cooper has had success against the NFC East. and Rosenstein writes that the division ‘could have to deal with Amari Cooper for a long time’.

Last season, he had 79 receptions for a career-best 1,189 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, also a career high.

Cooper’s production helped Prescott set career highs with 4,902 yards passing and 30 touchdown passes.

Cooper and Prescott, along with running back Ezekiel Elliott, figure to drive the Cowboys’ offense for years to come under the direction of new head coach Mike McCarthy.

The former Green Bay Packers coach, who won Super Bowl XLV, replaced Jason Garrett, who was allowed to walk after his contract expired this month. Garrett, now the Giants offensive coordinator, had spent 10 seasons on the Cowboys’ sideline, winning three NFC East division titles.

Mailbag: How Will Coaching Changes Impact Dak? - David Helman and Rob Phillips, The Mothership

Keeping Cooper and his quarterback, Dak Prescott, are huge priorities for the Cowboys this offseason. How will coaching changes impact Dak, though?

How do you think the change of QB coach from Jon Kitna to Doug Nussmeier will affect Dak Prescott? It seems as though Dak made great strides last year working with Kitna. - PETER MADDEN / TRENTON, NJ

Rob: Prescott did make strides under Kitna, no question. Just remember that Nussmeier has primarily worked with quarterbacks throughout his career. He coached Pro Bowler Marc Bulger with the Rams in 2006-07, and after that he was offensive coordinator/QBs coach for some major college programs, including Alabama, Michigan and Florida. Also, even though Mike McCarthy is the head coach, McCarthy has always been a teacher of the position. I’m sure he’ll be a positive influence for Prescott, too.

David: It will be different, but I’d imagine it’ll be a fairly smooth transition. Nussmeier has been here for two years and knows both Dak and Kellen Moore well at this point. More importantly, he’s been coaching quarterbacks for the vast majority of his career. I’m confident Nussmeier’s not going to do much to alter what has already been established.

Dallas Cowboys: Could tight end Eric Ebron be a target in free agency? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

On the topic of pass catchers, is there any chance that the Cowboys will have interest in tight end Eric Ebron?

With Colts quarterback Andrew Luck under center in 2018, Ebron posted an impressive 66 receptions for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first season in Indy. All of which were career-highs. Ebron also received his first and only Pro Bowl nomination due to his efforts.

But this past season, Ebron regressed with quarterback Jacoby Brissett at the helm. He posted just 31 catches for 375 yards and three scores in an injury-shortened (ankle),11-game season, starting in just two contests. Now, the 26-year old is set to hit the free-agent market in March just one year removed from his breakout season.

As for how McCarthy might utilize someone like Ebron in the Cowboys offense, the versatile tight end spent 152 snaps in the slot, 69 snaps along the outside, and just 102 snaps on the line. That according to Rotoworld.com.

As the Dallas Cowboys enter the free agency period of their offseason, most expect the team to be very conservative due to the number of their own high-profile players they need to re-sign. But not all the Cowboys needs will be filled with these signings and through the upcoming NFL draft. If Dallas decides to dip their toes into free agency, Eric Ebron may be a name to watch.

Film room: 3 under-the-radar free agents the Cowboys should target, including a run-plugging, pocket-pushing nose tackle - John Owning, SportsDay

Owning is back with the film room, detailing three under the radar free agents in which the Cowboys should be after this offseason.

Gerald McCoy, DT

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Cowboys need help at defensive tackle, and even if they sign a big-bodied run plugger at the nose tackle position (like Danny Shelton above), they will still need to find a starting-caliber under tackle (three-technique defensive tackle), especially with the current starting under tackle, Maliek Collins, scheduled to become a free agent.

One of the better options is Gerald McCoy — who, after spending his entire career with the Buccaneers, took his talents to the Panthers, where he received a one-year, $8 million deal in 2019.

If McCoy is willing to sign a similar deal in free agency this year, he could be this year’s aging veteran to target at a position of need, much like Robert Quinn in 2019 (though Quinn was acquired through trade).

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, the 31-year-old McCoy isn’t the same game-wrecking defensive tackle he was in his prime, but he still has more than enough juice to be effective. In 2019, McCoy still finished with 42 total pressures — 14th-most among defensive tackles, per PFF.

Matt Miller’s Scouting Notebook: Senior Bowl Wide Receivers Climb the Board - Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

Whether its through free agency or through the draft, adding an interior defensive lineman should be a priority for the Cowboys. Fortunately, the Senior Bowl has some really good ones.

—Auburn defensive tackle Marlon Davidson dominated in practice on Tuesday before a foot injury knocked him out of participating the rest of the week. At 6’3” and a very stout 297 pounds, Davidson showed he can handle playing on the interior or where he lined up at defensive end in Auburn’s three-man front. He looks like a first-round selection.

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—Davidson wasn’t the only defensive lineman who showed up this week. Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore was a big winner with his quickness off the snap. At 6’2” and 304 pounds, he doesn’t have elite size, but he can line up as a 3-technique and win with quickness and really good hand play.

10 Winners from the 2020 Senior Bowl Practices - Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

There probably hasn’t been a defender raise his stock more than Javon Kinlaw has thus far in the draft process. The South Carolina Gamecocks product impressed in Mobile.

2. Javon Kinlaw IDL, South Carolina

Kinlaw won’t participate in this weekend’s game and he certainly doesn’t need to — not after the performance he put on display on Tuesday and Wednesday. The interior defensive line group is stock full of gifted players but none have experience as steep of a climb as Kinlaw, who exploded onto the scene this season with a breakout year. His physicality

Cowboys have a first-round pick (unlike last year), it’s sure to have some sizzle - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys are back in the first round, which is pretty exciting. In which direction will the Cowboys go?

As the Cowboys look at who will be available at No. 17, they can truly think about the best player available because they have legitimate needs almost everywhere on the roster.

The only positions that can truly be removed from consideration are quarterback (Dak Prescott), running back (Elliott), offensive line (Smith, Frederick, Martin, La’el Collins) and potentially wide receiver with Cooper and Randall Cobb set to be unrestricted free agents.

An argument can be made that each level of the defense can be considered the Cowboys’ biggest need.

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In his first mock draft, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the Cowboys selecting Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson. The good news: he had six interceptions in three seasons and the Cowboys need somebody who can take the ball away in the secondary.

It makes sense for the reasons already stated. The good news — or bad depending on the point of view — is the Cowboys have plenty of options at No. 17.