A possible game-changing twist could soon alter the Dallas Cowboys’ offseason agenda - Michael Gehlken, SportsdayDFW
The NFL & NFLPA's negotiation of a new CBA might stop the Cowboys ability to tag two of their star players in hopes to buy time to work out extensions.
On March 18, Prescott and Cooper are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
Each is a candidate to receive a long-term extension. Dallas considers Prescott the higher priority.
As a last resort to retain a player with an expiring contract, teams can block or impede a player from reaching the open market by exercising the franchise or transition tag. Generally, a club cannot use both tags during the same league year. The only exception is when the 10-year CBA agreement is in its final season.
This exception applies in 2020. So, the Cowboys currently can tag Prescott and Cooper by the March 10 deadline. Prescott would be franchise tagged, and Cooper would be under consideration for the transition tag.
Regardless of CBA talks, under no circumstance will the Cowboys allow Prescott to become an unrestricted free agent on March 18.
If players accept the CBA terms that owners approved Thursday, the 2020 tag exception will dissolve, and the Cowboys will lose their ability to retain both Prescott and Cooper via tag. Only one player could be chosen, and there is little choice. Again, presuming no extensions are reached, Prescott would receive the franchise tag. Cooper would hit the market.
As it currently stands (as in this literal moment... this is all moving rather fast) the Cowboys likely feel somewhat safe (using that word loosely) with their Dak/Amari/Byron situation. It makes sense for them to accept that they are likely going to lose one, but with the door opening extremely wide for them to lose the two that they don’t tag suddenly the temperature has likely risen.
Dak Prescott already has an enormous amount of leverage due simply to the position that he plays. You can factor in all sorts of other things on top of that if you’d like, but objectively we all agree that he has far more working in his favor than either Amari Cooper or Byron Jones. Now Dak’s camp has a new factor putting wind behind their sails - if you don’t get the deal done as soon as possible now, you might lose your other two as a result of it.
NFL owners vote to accept negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement - Associated Press
NFL owners voted to accept the negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday and now it goes to the players for review Friday.
With the league eager to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players in the next few weeks — the current deal runs out in March 2021 — team representatives were summoned to New York to discuss the NFL’s proposal.
Among the items in that proposal, according to several people familiar with the negotiations but speaking anonymously because they are not authorized to release such information:
— A 17-game schedule, which always has been a stumbling block in talks with the NFL Players Association. More roster spots per team would be a must for the players.
— A reduction of the preseason.
— A higher share of revenues for the players; the current number is 47 percent.
— Even an expansion of the playoffs, something the NFL has been seeking for years.
ST Overview: Cowboys have the coach but questions remain all over special teams unit with players - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
With so many free agents, the Cowboys have question marks at all positions, but no spot on the roster has more uncertainty than special teams, especially at kicker.
Biggest Question: Who’s The Kicker?
The Cowboys have more than 25 free agents to make decisions on in the next month. While he’s not seemingly atop the list of priority, Kai Forbath can’t be too far down the list. If he’s not retained, it’ll be interesting to see what the Cowboys’ options are with the kicker. Even if Forbath is re-signed, expect the Cowboys to have a variety of options regarding this position. Last year, Brett Maher was released in early December after too many inconsistencies, especially in the 40-49-yard range. Forbath stepped in and aside from a couple of kickoffs that went of bounds, he was perfect with his 10 field goals and 10 extra point attempts in the final three games. Regardless what happens in the next month, you can expect a competition at kicker during training camp and the preseason.
Can Cowboys coaching changes make the difference with talented roster? - Rivers McCown, ESPN
Will the new staff in Dallas find a way to fit in with the young talent where the old staff fizzled out?
One of the most interesting things about McCarthy’s fit in Dallas will be just how much he and holdover offensive coordinator Kellen Moore run the ball. Dallas finished third in rush offense DVOA in 2019, just paid Ezekiel Elliott top-shelf money, and have an offensive line that can bulldoze opponents. The 2018 Packers finished third in rushing DVOA ... and they ran the ball just 333 times, the lowest amount in the NFL. Obviously, a lot of the scuttlebutt around Garrett’s offense was that it was too conservative for the modern NFL — but McCarthy may be the porridge that’s too hot rather than the porridge that’s just right. McCarthy’s offense had stagnated around some very elementary principles (slant-flat) by the end of his tenure in Green Bay, but given how Aaron Rodgers did not empirically improve at all under Matt LaFleur, that may be related to quarterback decline as much as a coaching decline. We do have evidence that points to past coaching success being an important predictor of coaching performance in the future, and McCarthy was the safest choice for the Cowboys if you view things through that prism.
Is Mike McCarthy the Next Head Coach to Lead the Cowboys to Super Bowl Glory? -Matthew Lenix, InsideTheStar
Nobody will be impressed if Mike McCarthy takes the talented Cowboys to the playoffs, it only matters if he takes them all the way.
The main thing a coach needs is a strong roster, and the Cowboys have just that. All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott is arguably the best running back in the NFL and he’s coming off of another productive season with 1,357 yards and 12 touchdowns after signing a six-year 90 million dollar extension back in September. Dak Prescott, who’s set to cash in on a lucrative long-term deal with the organization soon, just had a career year with 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. Amari Cooper, who is expected to be retained as well, just set career high’s in yards (1,189), touchdowns (8), and yards per catch (15.1) while being named to his fourth Pro Bowl in five seasons. Michael Gallup also had a career year as he doubled his production from 2018 with 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns. The offensive line is still one of the league’s best with perennial Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick. Also, La’el Collins put his name in the conversation with the best right guard’s in the NFL in 2019.
Michael Gallup replaces Dak Prescott as Cowboys' best bargain - Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report
Dak Prescott is about to be paid big money so who is now the Cowboys best bargain contract on the roster?
The player: Wide receiver Michael Gallup
The good contract: Four years, $3.5 million (expires in 2022)
Why it’s a bargain
With Amari Cooper headed toward free agency, it’s entirely possible Gallup will be the Cowboys’ top receiver in 2020. And there’s reason to believe the 2018 third-round pick can continue to emerge as a top-flight NFL wideout. His numbers skyrocketed in a 1,107-yard, six-touchdown sophomore campaign, and now the future looks bright ahead of his age-24 season.
The best part for Dallas is the Colorado State product has two years remaining on a rookie deal that has an average annual salary of just $984,995.
That could make it easier to bring back Cooper, or at least make sure there’s enough money for fellow hotshot impending free agents Dak Prescott and Byron Jones.
Dallas Cowboys roster breakdown: They have to get quarterback right - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
Nothing can be decided on the roster until the Cowboys solidify the most important position and that's quarterback.
There’s the rub, to steal a phrase. The starter and backup from last year are set to be free agents. It is not exactly the situation a team likes to face, no matter how much cap space it has available.
There is no real reason to look at outside free agents or top draft prospects. Despite the multitude of proposals floating around both social and “real” media to find someone to take Prescott’s place, there is really no alternative for Dallas other than getting a new deal done with him. He has already hinted that if he is tagged he will not report until a longer term deal is worked out. The exact gap between what the team wants and he is demanding is not known, but may include all of the major elements - per-year salary, guarantees, and length.
Many have criticized the Cowboys for not getting a deal done last year, before the price tag went up as it inevitably does each season. However, there was no real reason for Prescott to agree to a deal then unless the team was willing to up the price tag significantly. He and his agent could see where QB contracts were headed, and made the calculation that he would wind up with more money in the long run if he played out his rookie deal.
Dak Prescott suddenly has a lot more leverage against the Cowboys. We discuss on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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