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Cowboys News: Covering the events of the Cowboys first day of real free agency

Plus, more on the Cowboys departures this week in free agency.

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NFL Combine - Day 2 Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

2020 Dallas Cowboys Free Agency: Rumors, reports, signings, and re-signings tracker - RJ Ochoa and Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys

ICYMI: The Cowboys had an active day on Wednesday.

Everything you need to know about Dallas Cowboys free agency.

Anthony Brown Among 2 CBs Set To Sign - David Helman, The Mothership

The Cowboys did a little work on their secondary after Byron Jones departed.

Byron Jones is reportedly off to Miami, but the Cowboys are in the process of finishing an extension for four-year veteran Anthony Brown.

Once completed, the deal is expected to keep Brown in Dallas for three years.

That comes on the heels of reports on a one-year deal with veteran Maurice Canady, who is expected to join the Cowboys after stints with the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.

Brown has become a bit of a forgotten man in the Cowboys’ secondary – likely because his 2019 season ended early after he tore his triceps in the Nov. 17 win against Detroit. He had season-ending surgery soon after and went to injured reserve after recording just 17 tackles and one pass breakup.

CB Became More of a Priority in the Draft With the Loss of Byron Jones - Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star

Cornerback is still a clear priority need in the draft.

However, there have been some losses as well. Jason Witten, Jeff Heath, and Maliek Collins all went to the Las Vegas Raiders. Veteran receiver Randall Cobb signed with the Houston Texans and Robert Quinn took his talents to Chicago to join the Bears.

Arguably, the biggest loss is Cornerback Byron Jones. Once he received a five-year 82.5 million dollar deal from the Miami Dolphins, the need for a cornerback increased dramatically.

As it stands today, the Cowboys starters at cornerback would be Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie. The former had a really good 2019 campaign, while the latter regressed and became a liability in coverage to a degree.

On the cusp of a Super Bowl? Early free agency returns have left the Cowboys with plenty to fix instead - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News

Have the Cowboys done enough in free agency?

Even if it was time for everyone to move on, Witten will be missed. We can take consolation in the fact that he won’t be the only old Cowboy in Las Vegas. Rod Marinelli, Jeff Heath and Maliek Collins are joining him. Safe travels, and here’s hoping y’all got a group rate on the moving van.

Collins might not have fit Mike Nolan’s new defense, which calls for bigger, better run-stoppers. But he wasn’t bad. Our film studies major, John Owning, notes that Quinn and Collins accounted for most of the Cowboys’ pressure up front. And from a group that had just 39 sacks last year, 19th in the league.

Without Quinn and Collins, where will the pressure come from this fall? DeMarcus Lawrence needs a big bounce back. Maybe Gregory can finally realize his potential, too. New boundaries under the CBA — only fines for marijuana use, not suspensions — could be a game-changer for a young man who’s tried to deal with anxiety issues in a manner previously frowned upon by the NFL. Jerry has always liked Gregory. Maybe his patience will pay off.

Maybe Will McClay can work some magic in the draft. He’s found some good ones in the last few years, including a couple who just walked out the door.

Amari Cooper is more than worthy of his $100 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys - Michael Renner, PFF

Is Amari Cooper worthy of the lucrative deal he received?

On 207 routes against man in 2019, Cooper caught 18 passes that went for 15-plus yards — the most of any player in the league. And that’s with four drops mixed in as well.

Mike McCarthy’s offense in Green Bay was known for its isolation routes. The receivers who had success in his system were crisp route-runners like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and, most recently, Davante Adams. Pure deep threats and big-bodied contested-catch guys never quite hung on in Green Bay. Cooper fits that route-running mold to a “T.” There’s zero reason to think his production will do anything other than increase next season if he stays healthy in a McCarthy-coached offense.

Dallas fans don’t need PFF to explain how big of an impact Cooper has had on the Cowboys offense. They’ve seen firsthand how explosive the team has been since the trade and how much Dak Prescott’s performance has improved since. For those less familiar, I’ll put some numbers to just how big of a difference Cooper has made.

Exploring defensive line options after Quinn's departure - Juwan Lee, Dallas Sports Fanatic

Some possible options for Dallas to continue to upgrade their D-Line.

Olivier Vernon, Cleveland Browns. Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon came to the team last year as part of the trade that brought WR Odell Beckham to Cleveland. Vernon is under contract through 2020, but his future with the Browns is uncertain at the moment.

He posted just 3.5 sacks last season and is due a hefty $15.24 million salary next season. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the Browns are not going to pay him that much, so he will either be released or asked to take a pay cut.

He could be another Quinn like story of a player finding redemption with another team.

Kai Forbath Expected To Return To Cowboys - Rob Phillips & Nick Eatman, The Mothership

The Cowboys have a kicker!

The Cowboys are expected to re-sign kicker Kai Forbath, who was a perfect 10 of 10 on field goals and 10 of 10 on extra points in the team’s final three games of last season.

Forbath replaced Brett Maher in December after Maher missed his 10th field goal attempt of the year in a 31-24 loss to the Bears.

The Cowboys also have Tristan Vizcaino on the current roster. Vizcaino has not kicked in a regular-season game, but he has spent offseason time with the Bengals and Jets. He tried out for the Cowboys’ kicker job in December before it went to Forbath.

When Forbath goes to training camp with the Cowboys in July, it won’t be the first time. He was on the roster back in 2011, although he was injured for all of camp and parts of the regular season. Forbath eventually signed with the Redskins in 2012 and spent three years in Washington before joining the Saints in 2015, followed by two years in Minnesota. Forbath went to Jacksonville in 2018 and played in one game for the Patriots last year before signing with the Cowboys to finish out the regular season.

BTB Podcast

The Cowboys finally have some new players. We discuss what we think about them on the latest episode of The Ocho.

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