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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott tagged, Amari Cooper agreement, Byron Jones gone - Cowboys open up unofficial free agency

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Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cowboys free agent news: Amari Cooper and Dallas Cowboys agree to five-year, $100M deal - DannyPhantom, BTB

Late last night, the Cowboys struck a deal with star receiver Amari Cooper.

When the Dallas Cowboys surrendered their 2019 first-round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders in the middle of the 2018 season, the team had already committed to keeping him in Dallas for years to come. The only thing that remained was just how much it was going to cost the team. Well, now we know.

On Monday, Amari Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $100 million. It give the Cowboys one of the top wide receivers in the league for the next five seasons. This may be a wise investment if he continues trending up after developing a great rapport with Dak Prescott, who is still looking for his own long-term deal. The Cowboys tagged Prescott earlier today.

The deal makes Cooper the second-highest paid receiver in the league, trailing only Julio Jones. Over his five-year career, Cooper has compiled 357 catches for 5,097 yards, and 33 touchdowns. He has four seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving and earned Pro Bowl honors in each of those seasons. Cooper is viewed as one of the best route-runners in the league and was going to be the wide receiver entering free agency. Getting him locked up means there will be no free agency visits with other teams, although the Redskins apparently tried!.

Slap in the face? No, the franchise tag is where the action begins for Dak Prescott, Cowboys - Tim Cowlishaw, DMN

The first domino of the day to fall was the tagging of Dak Prescott. Now, the work on a long-term deal continues.

It’s still very possible that the Cowboys and Prescott come to terms on a long-term agreement before the July 15 deadline. That’s four months away. Who knows how all of us will be viewing the world and possible reasons to commit to guaranteed dollars at that point? Regardless, Prescott knows that the worst that’s going to happen to him from a financial standpoint is he will get paid more than $31 million in 2020. It’s only going to go up from there whether it’s a long-term contract or another season sporting the franchise tag.

Quarterbacks don’t usually get franchised although it happened with Drew Brees and Peyton Manning at different points in their Hall of Fame careers. It doesn’t have to be the end of any positive relationship between the Dallas front office and their offensive leader. Now certainly it could if Prescott chooses to view it that way, and I suspect — like most franchised players — he will elect to skip offseason workouts at The Star as long as he remains without a long-term deal.

That’s not a good thing for head coach Mike McCarthy trying to see what he is putting together with coordinator Kellen Moore, but it’s not the end of the Cowboys’ world, either. I can’t remember the last team that had its playoff hopes diminished because of a star player missing offseason workouts. My gosh, in the new CBA, teams barely have workouts once they get to training camp — 16 padded practices. That’s barely more than a week’s work in the Jimmy Johnson era.

Byron Jones’ deal with Dolphins makes him NFL’s highest-paid cornerback - ESPN

The status of another of the big three was settled when Byron Jones agreed to a deal with the Dolphins that makes him the highest paid corner in the league.

The Miami Dolphins and Byron Jones have agreed to terms on a deal that makes him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, a source confirmed to ESPN.

A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Jones will make $40 million over the first two years of the contract. NFL Network first reported that the Dolphins and Jones had reached an agreement.

Jones, who moved from safety to cornerback in 2018 and was a Pro Bowl selection that season despite not intercepting a pass, started 14 of the 15 games in which he appeared for the Dallas Cowboys last season after having offseason hip surgery.

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Without Jones, the Cowboys will have to look for a replacement either in the draft — potentially with their first-round pick — or via free agency, where Anthony Brown could return on a short-term contract. The Cowboys have Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis under contract for 2020, but both players are set to be unrestricted free agents in 2021.

Jarwin Gets 3-Year Extension; Expected to Start - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

The Cowboys did get some other business done when they signed Blake Jarwin to be their starting tight end.

The Cowboys could’ve only issued a tender offer to Jarwin, who was a restricted free agent. That likely would’ve kept him on the team in 2020 but then made him an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The Cowboys chose to bypass that scenario and sign him to a deal that likely makes him the starting tight end next season.

The irony here is that future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, who has been the Cowboys’ starting tight end for 16 of the last 17 years, is expected to become a free agent this week. Witten has not only said he wants to return for another year, but has made it clear he prefers to be with the Cowboys. Even owner/GM Jerry Jones said two weeks ago he doesn’t want Witten to play for another team and still believes he can contribute.

But he also said the decision to return would hinge on Witten being able to accept his role. And while they might’ve been somewhat unclear at the time, it has become clear now with the team’s decision to lock up Jarwin.

Potential Cowboys targets in free agency: List of players that would make sense at right price - Staff, DMN

So where could the Cowboys turn to replace Byron Jones in free agnecy?

Cornerbacks

Trae Waynes: Senior defensive assistant George Edwards can continue a project he and the Minnesota Vikings began when Edwards was their defensive coordinator all five seasons of Waynes’ NFL career to date.

Bashaud Breeland: Started 15 games last season and had a Super Bowl interception for the Kansas City Chiefs. Spent 2018 with McCarthy in Green Bay.

Eli Apple: Made 25 starts for New Orleans Saints since 2018 while now-Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was linebackers coach.

Chris Harris Jr.: He played nine seasons with the Broncos and can cover in the slot and the outside. The Cowboys expressed an interest in him at the NFL scouting combine. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler with 20 interceptions in his career.

NFL Draft Still Scheduled, But No Public Events - David Helman, The Mothership

In case you missed it, some draft news.

In a press release, the league said it has worked with medical experts as well as local officials to modify the event, which was slated to be held publicly in Las Vegas this spring.

The actual selection of players will still proceed as scheduled the weekend of April 23-25, but the public component will not take place.

Per the press release, the draft will still be televised, and the NFL is exploring its options for how the process will be conducted.

”This decision reflects our foremost priority – the healthy and safety of all fans and citizens,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “While this outcome is disappointing both to the NFL and to the Las Vegas community, we look forward to partnering with the Raiders, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for a future NFL draft as well as evaluating opportunities for other major NFL events in Las Vegas in the future, including the Super Bowl.”

BTB Podcast

What do we think about Dak getting tagged, Amari agreeing to terms, and Byron heading to Miami? We discuss on the latest episode of The Ocho.

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