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Cowboys news: Stephen Jones debunks rumors of moving on from quarterback Dak Prescott

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Your latest Cowboys news and notes, including the Dak Prescott and Tom Brady rumors.

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Luring QB Brady from Patriots? ‘Not Even A Thought,’ Says Dak-Focused Stephen Jones - Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated

The Cowboys are all-in on Dak Prescott, despite any of the swirling rumors surrounding Tom Brady and Dallas. Stephen Jones wants people to know that Dak is their guy.

And threatening to replace Dak with Tom Brady would certainly be an eyebrow-raising concept.

*Except that Stephen (and Jerry Jones) have for two years consistently “played nice’’ in public when talking about Dak ... but maybe in private aren’t so enamored with the lack of movement that is the equal fault of both sides of the negotiating table.

“We’re so, so all in on Dak,’’ Stephen said in that radio interview, echoing the sort of things he’s consistently said about the QB. “(Prescott) is the guy that can help us win championships.”

It’s a fine concept. Believe in Dak. Pay Dak. Win championships with Dak. And all Prescott and the Cowboys need to do to quiet The Brady Buzz is to follow up the almost two years of gentlemanly jibber-jabber with contractual action.

“Brady to the Cowboys” Rumor Debunked as Quickly as it Began - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star

It is more of a matter of when, not if, a deal gets done between Dak and the Cowboys.

For the portion of Cowboys Nation that appreciates Dak Prescott, it’s comforting to hear Mike McCarthy is “all in on Dak.” Earlier this week, Jay Glazer wrote on The Athletic that Prescott was going to be a Dallas Cowboy. “Period. End of story.” He also mentioned that he isn’t asking for $40 million per year, an overblown narrative last year.

Whether it’s through the franchise tag or a long-term extension, Prescott is the Cowboys’ 2020 quarterback. And honestly, it would be a huge surprise if he’s not the guy beyond that. My guess? Dak gets a contract extension that makes him the highest-paid QB in the league before the 2020 season.

Michael Irvin walks back his comments about Tom Brady going to Cowboys - Michael David Smith, PFT

Michael Irvin heated up the Brady-to-Dallas rumors, but the former Cowboys wideout sort of walked back his comments on the situation.

A day later, Irvin tried to calm the storm those comments created.

Irvin wrote on Twitter that the “very significant people” who told him about the Cowboys’ interest on Brady did not include Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, or anyone else associated with the team.

“I never said Jerry or anyone in the organization said this to me. It was NOT anyone with the Dallas Cowboys,” Irvin wrote.

Could Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott be the answer for the Chicago Bears? - Bryan Perez. NBC Chicago

Could you picture Dak wearing another team’s uniform within the NFC?

But a young franchise-caliber quarterback like Prescott rarely becomes available on the trade market and the Bears owe it to fans to at least put a package together to try, once an for all, to secure a player who can become the face of the franchise for years to come.

Again, the biggest impediment to any trade would be the price. It wasn’t too long ago that former Bears genral manager Jerry Angelo traded two first-round picks, a third-round pick and Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler back in 2009. Angelo had the assets to pull off a trade like that. Ryan Pace isn’t as fortunate and a deal for Prescott would likely require a similar package.

The Bears have two second-round picks in 2020 and will be back in the first round in 2021. They could package the No. 43 and 50 picks in this year’s draft, and their first-rounder in 2021 for Prescott, but that feels way short of a reasonable asking price for a franchise quarterback.

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It would be an unfortunate turn of events if the Cowboys actually do make Prescott available this offseason and Pace, because of past roster decisions and trades, can’t make a legitimate run at him.

2020 NFL Free Agency: The 10 Best 25-and-Under Players in This Year’s Class - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

The free agency class has some intriguing, talented players under the age of 25. Where does Amari Cooper rank?

2. WR Amari Cooper

The idea of Amari Cooper being a disappointment who was unable to serve as an offense’s No. 1 receiving threat seems so long ago. But that’s exactly where his career stood in 2018 before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys.

Prior to that point, Cooper managed just 960 yards during his final 20 games with the Oakland Raiders. Drops and mental errors plagued his game, and his first two Pro Bowl seasons seemed like a distant memory.

But a player’s comfort level with the system, his teammates, coaches, personal life off the field and so much more factor hugely into his performance.

”I’m definitely more comfortable. I know and understand the offense more,” Cooper said two weeks after being traded, per Rob Phillips of the Cowboys’ official site. “The guys around here have made me comfortable. They’re so cool and everything like that.”

During his 25 games with the Cowboys, Cooper has 132 receptions for 1,914 yards and 14 touchdowns. His route-running has been exceptional while simultaneously creating significant separation. His impact is obvious.

Since Cooper joined Dallas, quarterback Dak Prescott’s yards per attempt have improved from 7.4 to 8.2, because defenses have to account for the receiver, and his presence creates a cascading effect throughout the Cowboys offense.

Other franchises in search of offensive weapons can see how Cooper affects the game and opens up the field for his teammates to operate. The four-time Pro Bowler is a difference-maker in a passing league.

Dallas Cowboys: 3 Low-Cost Trade Options to Explore - Reid Hanson, SportDFW

Dallas will have to be creative building a roster after paying its guys this offseason. What are some trades that they can explore? How about one for a tight end?

O.J. Howard

TE, Tampa Bay

O.J. Howard has been on and off the trade block for about two years now. The Bucs seem to be chronically wasting him and even their own fans are calling for them to trade him rather than neglect him.

The first round pick out of Alabama has been a disappointment thus far in his pro career. The uber-athletic tight end has the traits and ability to be an elite play-maker down the field and in-line as a blocker, but he’s struggled realizing his potential and may just need a change of scenery.

In 781 snaps Howard only managed 34 receptions for 459 yards and 1 TD in Bruce Arians’ pass happy offense. Not bad numbers but not what we were expecting in what was supposed to be his “breakout season”.

While the every-down TE didn’t produce the numbers everyone expected of him this season, he did succeeded in other areas. With a 98% pass rush win rate, ESPN graded Howard as the best pass-protecting TE in the NFL last season.

The Dallas Cowboys could obviously use a true No. 1 TE to help replace Jason Witten. Blake Jarwin may be ready to assume the role himself, but his blocking is nonexistent and he’s only under contract for one more season. Howard would offer Dallas more versatility at the TE spot and give the Cowboys a chance at finding an elite answer at the TE for cheap.

Five things we learned from the XFL’s opening game: Trading gimmicks for innovation was wise - Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY

Did you enjoy the XFL this weekend?

Innovation over gimmicks

The most famous aspect of the XFL’s first iteration was “He Hate Me.” But such gimmicks are not going to cut it in this XFL, and that’s a good thing.

Instead, the new XFL is trying to differentiate itself — and therefore captivate — through more subtle innovations. The running clock is a good idea and works well. One referee dedicated to spotting the ball helps offenses go faster. The kickoffs will always look weird, but the first time a returner hits a seam and has nothing but daylight in front of him will be worth it. Even a replay delay felt somewhat refreshing because the extra time led to the right result.

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Those decisions will lead to more scoring opportunities that give the game a more enjoyable back-and-forth feel.

These players know they are on their second (or sometimes) third chances at playing professional football. The goal is to make it in the NFL. But this league offers an opportunity to not only serve themselves but create a space for future players to attempt comebacks, and that’s not lost on them.

BTB Podcast

Michael Irvin said what about Dak Prescott and Tom Brady? We react to The Playmaker’s comments on the latest episode of The Ocho.

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