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Cowboys news: Free agent grades and scouting report on Dontari Poe

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Carolina Panthers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Scouting Report on Dontari Poe - Bucky Brooks, Dallas Cowboys

What does new defensive tackle bring to the table? NFL Media Analyst and newest staff member over at the Mothership breaks down the Poe signing.

What are scouts saying?

Poe is coming off one of his best seasons in 2020. He is an excellent athlete with outstanding strength and power. He is primarily a disruptive interior player as a run stopper but he can get to the quarterback and provide inside pressure. Poe shouldn’t be judged by his sack numbers but he is a unique three-down nose tackle with athleticism and power.

How does he fit in with the Cowboys?

Poe gives the Cowboys a disruptive presence on the interior with the potential to play as a one-gap penetrator or two-gap force in a 3-4 or 4-3 front. The two-time Pro Bowler will join Gerald McCoy to give the Cowboys a pair of veteran beefy defenders with outstanding chemistry at the point of attack. Last season, the combination worked well with the Panthers, as they created opportunities for each other with their complementary playing styles. Poe’s inside push and McCoy’s movement skills disrupted opponent’s blocking schemes and helped front seven defenders rack up negative plays on sacks/tackles for losses.

2020 NFL Free Agency: Grades for all 32 teams - Anthony Treash, Pro Football Focus

PFF analyzes each team’s gains and losses and offers their assessment of the free agency action.

DALLAS COWBOYS

Getting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for just $4 million in 2020 is one of the biggest steals of free agency. In his career, Clinton-Dix has totaled 38 combined interceptions and pass breakups and will rarely give up multiple big plays in a single game. In fact, out of his 96 games played, he allowed more than 45 yards in coverage in just six outings and has surrendered only six touchdowns and 23 explosive plays of 15-plus yards on 3,936 coverage snaps. Clinton-Dix will reunite with his former head coach Mike McCarthy in Green Bay and be a huge addition to the Dallas defense. Getting Gerald McCoy for the price the Cowboys did is sneaky good, too. He’s not nearly as disruptive as in past years, but McCoy was still one of the 10 most valuable interior defensive linemen in 2019.

FREE AGENCY GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

Ranking the NFL’s Best Bang-for-the-Buck Free-Agent Signings - Chris Roling, Bleacher Report

Which free agent signings offer the greatest monetary value compared to the rest of the market? Bleacher Report offers up their rankings.

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Dallas Cowboys

Swapping out the struggling Jeff Heath with Clinton-Dix is a big win regardless, but it sure doesn’t hurt that the Dallas front office did so at one year and $4 million. Clinton-Dix clearly wants a prove-it deal in a good locale before trying to earn more money on the market next year. And that could certainly happen. He’s only 27 years old and coming off a season in which he graded at a 74.2 at Pro Football Focus, finding some stability in his career after splitting 2018 between the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.

A first-round pick in 2014, Clinton-Dix settled down with the Chicago Bears last year and allowed only 26 catches on 44 targets while posting 78 tackles, missing just nine over 99 percent of the snaps. If the Cowboys get this sort of production at such a cost, it will go down as one of the offseason’s biggest steals.

Byron Jones: Dallas’ lack of interest had to do with CBs on roster, not money - Byron Jones, ProFootballTalk

The Cowboys former All-Pro cornerback gave a very frank answer to why Dallas didn’t keep him around.

In a conference call with Dolphins writers Thursday, the cornerback said he thinks the Cowboys’ lack of interest in re-signing him had more to do with the other players the team has at the position than the money they don’t have.

“I don’t think so,” Jones said when asked if Cooper and Prescott’s returns was the reason he didn’t. “One thing that the Dallas Cowboys do a really good job at is drafting good, young players, and they have a whole bunch of good corners on that team – no question about that – and those guys will be just fine without me. But they believe strongly in the way they draft, and they’ve shown over the years they draft some freaking ballers no matter [if it is the] first round, seventh round, guys in between. They draft and develop really good players, so I don’t think the Dak and Amari’s situation had any effect on me. I think it’s their confidence in the people that they have on the roster now and who they’re going to get in the draft hopefully.”

Cowboys positional review: How will John Fassel fix Dallas’ special teams unit? - Jon Machota, The Athletic

In his latest series, Jon Machota examines the special teams unit going forward.

How things could continue changing this offseason:

Fassel came into the job with a good understanding of the Cowboys’ special teams contributors because the Rams played Dallas in each of the last three years. Interestingly enough, many of the top contributors from last year have been retained in free agency. C.J. Goodwin led the Cowboys in special teams snaps last season. He was recently re-signed to a one-year deal. The same happened with linebackers Justin March and Joe Thomas. Safety Darian Thompson signed a two-year contract. All three finished among the top five in special-teams snaps last season. Goodwin, Thompson and March were the Cowboys’ top three special-teams tacklers last season.

Cowboys To Sign K Greg Zuerlein - Zach Links, Pro Football Rumors

Details of the Cowboys new kicker are now available.

The kicker will receive a three-year deal with a base value of $7.5MM. That marks a pay bump for Greg The Leg, who averaged about $1.6MM per year on his rookie contract with the Rams, with $2.3MM in base salary in the final year.

Opting to Go With an Unknown Over Dak Prescott is a Bad Plan - John Williams, Inside the Star

It feels like this doesn’t require an explanation, but apparently it does.

In all of the hypotheticals that have been explored this offseason, pretty much all of them have the Dallas Cowboys downgrading at the quarterback position. Whether it’s Tom Brady, trading Prescott for draft picks then drafting a quarterback, or adding any of the other veteran free agents that are available, each of them has the Cowboys getting worse at the quarterback position.

The only reason this is getting explored is that Cowboys fans and media analysts alike are getting sticker shock when they see the numbers being discussed in connection with Dak Prescott’s negotiations. We overrate cap space when it comes to good players.