Debunking trade rumors: Why it doesn’t make sense for Cowboys to make deals for Stefon Diggs or Darius Slay - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys will likely be named as a team involved in many trade rumors this offseason, John Owning does his best to debunk a few of those.
The Dallas Cowboys are the most popular franchise in football, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why they’re constantly involved in the rumor mill. They move eyeballs, and one of the easiest ways to generate traffic is to include the NFL’s most popular team in any rumor — it happens every year.
This year, with Amari Cooper and Byron Jones scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, many have suggested that the Cowboys should be interested in trading for Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs and/or Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
It’s understandable why some would connect these dots because it follows this logic: If the Cowboys lose Cooper and/or Jones, then it would be wise for them to look for a replacement with similar skill levels. Moreover, Diggs’ and Slay’s current contracts will likely be cheaper than whatever deals Jones and Cooper will agree to this offseason.
The biggest reason it wouldn’t work is because the potential cap savings of this type of move are nullified by the likely loss of draft capital. The Cowboys would essentially be losing two players (Cooper/Jones, plus the draft pick) to gain one in return.
The new CBA could have a massive impact on the Cowboys offseason plans.
If a new CBA is approved before the start of the new league year on March 18, it would be a drastic curveball for the Cowboys’ offseason plans.
Between Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones, they currently employ three impending free agents who figure to command massive salaries. Prescott has been negotiating for a new contract since last summer, and the plan all along has been to use the franchise tag on him if the two sides can’t reach an agreement before the start of free agency.
That part hasn’t changed. Starting Feb. 25, NFL clubs can place the franchise tag and/or transition tag on designated players, and they have until March 10 to use it.
The problem is with the transition tag, which can no longer be used if a new CBA is put in place. The provisions of the current CBA state that both tags may only be used in the final year of the deal.
It has long been assumed the Cowboys would use the transition tag to prevent Cooper from hitting free agency. Those contract negotiations have been talked about since last offseason, but the conversation doesn’t seem to have gotten very far.
This all leads to an obvious conclusion. If the Cowboys can’t reach an agreement with Prescott in the coming weeks, they’ll need to use the franchise tag to keep him in place. If a new CBA is agreed to while Prescott is tagged, the Cowboys will have no choice but to let Cooper hit free agency.
Former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa names the Cowboys as the team he would most want to play for.
(CBSDFW.COM) – If Alabama’s star draft prospect Tua Tagovailoa could choose the team to start his NFL career with, he says it would be the Dallas Cowboys.
The 21-year-old spoke to the NFL Network about his decision to enter the 2020 NFL Draft and his recovery from a fractured hip. However, during the interview, he was also asked about what NFL team he would like to play for as he enters the league.
He, of course, chose the team he’s rooted for throughout his life.
“If you’re saying to me, if I can choose what team I want to play on, as far as my favorite team growing up, then I probably tell you the Cowboys,” Tagovailoa told the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. “But, I mean, they’re so far down.”
The Cowboys would indeed be too far down on the draft board for a chance at Tagovailoa. Dallas has the #17 pick in the 2020 draft and the Alabama quarterback is projected to go as high as #5 to the Miami Dolphins.
Still, the scenario of Tagovailoa with the Cowboys is enough to draw interest ahead of the draft on April 23.
Is trading down the best case scenario for the Cowboys on draft night?
Let’s start with Dallas’s most pressing needs:
Sure, Dallas could also use another tight end and a receiver, but those aren’t the urgent needs they face on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s also stipulate that, ideally, the goal of your first-round pick in the draft is to snag a player with the potential to be a Pro Bowler.
This brings up both a problem and the Brugler-offered solution. The problem is that most of the players most likely to be world beaters are likely to be gone before pick No. 17.
The bluest of blue-chip defensive players, like Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young, superstar cornerback Jeff Okudah (also from Ohio State), and Auburn’s monster defensive tackle Derrick Brown are sure to be gone.
So will this year’s LSU poster-boy quarterback Joe Burrow and a bunch of super-talented wide receivers and a few gargantuan offensive linemen. These sure-thing players will be long gone by pick No. 17.
It’s also likely that South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, the consensus second-best interior defensive lineman in the draft, who many have mocked to the Cowboys, will be gone as well. I’ve seen him taken as high as pick seven or eight in some mocks.
If Kinlaw’s still there at 17, I would hope the Cowboys would throw any other plans in the circular file and take the guy. We haven’t seen a dominant defensive tackle in Dallas since maybe the glory days of the nineties. Or was it defensive tackle Randy White from the Tom Landry years? I’m not even sure. It’s been a long time.
With free agency right around the corner, are there some names we should be leery of?
4. Chris Harris Jr., Cornerback
There are going to be a lot of lists that argue a team should go after Chris Harris Jr to be their team’s number one cornerback. If you’re the Dallas Cowboys though, why would you do that when you have Byron Jones.
You’d be opting for an older player, who isn’t necessarily better, and is a worse tackler if you allowed Jones to walk and brought in Harris. Per PFF, Harris allowed a passer rating of 109.4, which was 99th in the NFL among players who played at least 214 coverage snaps in 2019. He allowed 1.12 yards per coverage snap to Byron Jones 0.62 and only had one interception on the season.
Again, what’s the point?
One of the reasons Harris is available is he believes he’s worth a top cornerback contract, much like Byron Jones. The problem is he’s heading into the downside of his career while Jones is in his prime. If you’re going to spend big in free agency, go for the better and younger player.
Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes Works out with Ex-Cowboys WR Dez Bryant on Video - Mike Chiari, Bleacher Report
Dez Bryant works out with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in Dallas, Texas.
Jon Machota of The Athletic tweeted video of the 2018 NFL MVP getting some passing work in with Bryant:
Bryant has not appeared in an NFL game since 2017, as the Cowboys released him at the conclusion of that season.
He signed with the New Orleans Saints during the 2018 campaign, but Bryant suffered a torn Achilles and never played for them. Bryant also went unsigned in 2019 while rehabbing the injury.
Could this change in the CBA help Randy Gregory get back onto the field in 2020?
One component of the NFL’s proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is still in negotiations between the owners and players, is a revised drug policy with lighter rules around marijuana use. If this new CBA is adopted and certain aspects take effect in 2020, how might this new policy help Cowboys Defensive End Randy Gregory return to active duty?
Gregory, a highly-talented pass rusher drafted in 2015, has struggled with marijuana use and been on the wrong end of the NFL’s drug policy for most of his professional career. He has missed all of the 2017 and 2019 seasons on suspensions, plus multiple games in other years.
These absent years have allowed Dallas to retain Gregory’s right well beyond the usual four-year mark. He is still under contract for 2020 and could provide the Cowboys with a much-needed pass rushing option, especially if Robert Quinn is lost in free agency.
Do you agree that bringing Robert Quinn back is a top priority?
If Dallas was to let Quinn walk, their defensive line group, which is already not in great shape, would take a huge hit. Sure the Cowboys could draft A.J. Epenesa or K’Lavon Chaisson and hope they are able to provide some of the production Quinn did, but that’s taking a huge risk. A rookie pass rusher recording 11 sacks is virtually unheard of. Even Nick Bosa, the premier pass-rusher who was drafted number two overall last season, recorded nine in his rookie year this past season.
Another factor is the Dallas offense is built to lose a starter much more than their defense is. Dallas has star power all over on their offense, on the defense they have one star in DeMarcus Lawrence. If it comes down to losing Cobb and a few other guys and keeping Quinn, the choice for Dallas should not be a difficult one.
As the Cowboys seem set to move on from Byron Jones, the same should not be applied to Robert Quinn. Without him, there is no telling how poor the defense would have performed last season. Pass-rushers in the NFL are always at a premium. The good news is that the Cowboys have hinted that they will attempt to keep Quinn.
The price may be steep, but the Cowboys need to find a way to bring Quinn back to Dallas next season.