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Cowboys news: “The Cowboys need to bite the bullet and pay Dak Prescott”

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Plus the latest surrounding the Cowboys needs to address in free agency and in the draft.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys Need to Bite the Bullet and Pay Dak Prescott - Ryan Phillips, The Big Lead

Dak Prescott is up for a new deal, but has yet to be extended. There’s sentiment to just get it done.

Prescott has been a stabilizing force under center for the Cowboys. In 2019 he had arguably his best statistical season, completing 65.1 percent of his passes and finished with a quarterback rating of 99.7. He set career-highs in completions (388), attempts (596), yards (4,902), years per attempt (8.2) and touchdowns (30). He also finished fourth in the NFL in QBR (70.2) behind Lamar Jackson, Mahomes and Drew Brees.

Whether you think Prescott is a top-tier signal-caller or not, it’s clear he’s the face of the Cowboys’ franchise and, at 26, he’s certainly a franchise quarterback. If you have a legitimate franchise player at that position, you have to pay them market value. That’s how the NFL works right now and there’s no way around it.

We have to assume Patrick Mahomes’ eventual contract extension with the Chiefs will blow the top off any other quarterback contract previously signed. So it’s in the Cowboys’ interest to get Prescott’s deal done first. Given the market, he’s going to need a deal in the $33 to $35 million range per year.

The Cowboys May Have Spent Themselves Into a Bad Situation - Danny Heifetz, The Ringer

Has Dallas spent themselves into a bad situation? The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz thinks so.

Garrett’s Cowboys were characterized by their underachievement and an overabundance of underpaid stars. Quarterback Dak Prescott has started every game for the Cowboys in the past four years, but in that time he has earned less than $5 million total. As the most important player on the world’s most valuable sports franchise, Prescott may have been the most underpaid player in sports in the past decade. Not only was he cheap, but the players surrounding him were, too. From 2011 to 2014, Dallas drafted the core of the league’s best offensive line. Left tackle Tyron Smith, guard Zack Martin, and center Travis Frederick have combined for 18 Pro Bowls. Not only did the Cowboys get their prime years on cheap rookie contracts, but Dallas also signed each of those players to long-term, team-friendly extensions early in their careers.

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The Cowboys went from three of the biggest bargains to three of the most expensive players in football, and the true cost isn’t money: It’s depth and defense. In 2018, the Cowboys spent 29 percent of their adjusted salary cap on their offense. In 2020, they are on track to spend more than half of their adjusted salary cap on offense. Not only is that spending moving toward one side of the ball, but the top earners are getting more than in the past. In 2020, Dallas is set to use 47.5 percent of its budget on six players. From 2011 to 2019, Dallas never spent more than 39.5 percent of its budget on six players. A team that once was buoyed by its offensive contracts is now weighed down by them.

Why Dak Prescott absolutely deserves $40 million per year - Michael Collins, Maroon and White Nation

An opinion on why Prescott deserves a hefty contract from the Dallas Cowboys.

Prescott is more durable, has more potential upside, gives an offensive coordinator more options for a scheme, and is a proven team leader. The Cowboys respond to and respect Dak Prescott, something that can’t be overlooked in an NFL locker room. The same was true when he was at Mississippi State. A team who hungered for real leadership at the quarterback position rallied around Prescott.

The Eagles dictated that a relatively unproven quarterback who missed the last half of the regular season and the playoff run of the best season in year history was worth $32 million per year. Dak Prescott has a year (or maybe two) of using the franchise tag to prove to the NFL that he’s worth more than Wentz.

If Jerry Jones and the Cowboys don’t buy into that fact soon, you can bet that at least one franchise in a quality quarterback-starved league will happily pay for Dak’s services.

10 things to know about new Cowboys DT Dontari Poe, like his multiple TDs and why he doesn’t eat BBQ - SportsDay

The Cowboys were able to go out and add some quality free agents to help play in positions of need. One of those is former Chiefs, Falcons, and Panthers defensive lineman, Dontari Poe. Get to know a little more about the new Cowboys defender.

At 346 pounds, Poe is well-known as one of the heaviest players the NFL has ever seen. When the Chiefs needed a one-yard touchdown to put themselves ahead of the San Diego Chargers in 2015, Poe stepped up to the challenge and became the heaviest player in the league’s history to rush for a touchdown.

Poe made history again the following season. In a 2016 win over the Denver Broncos, he became the heaviest player to throw a touchdown pass.

Do DT Signings Indicate Cowboys are Done With Trysten Hill? - Jess Haynie, SportsDay

With the Cowboys adding Poe and Gerald McCoy, is the team done with their second-round selection from a year ago?

Marinelli being gone is actually part of this equation for Trysten’s job security in Dallas. While the front office is the same, nearly all of the coaches who helped pick Hill have been swept away. Only Leon Lett, an assistant to Marinelli and now to Jim Tomsula on the defensive line, remains.

That means Trysten Hill will now have to prove himself to a coaching staff with less vested interest in or loyalty to him. That may by why Gerald McCoy is here to begin with; the new coaches aren’t going to risk their own jobs on a second-round kid who had a shaky rookie year.

Without inside knowledge it would be going too far to say that the Cowboys are done with Trysten. He still has a great opportunity in 2020 to learn from an elite player and become part of the rotation. Perhaps that will set him up for bigger things in the final two years of his rookie contract.

But clearly, by loading up on talent in free agency, the Dallas Cowboys have indicated they’re not ready to trust Trysten Hill this season. Hopefully his performance in 2020, both on and off the field, helps change that in the near future.

Bargain-Bin Free Agents Who Can Still Help NFL Teams in 2020 - Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report

Who else could Dallas potentially target through free agency that should not count against their compensation picks?

DE Jabaal Sheard

Although Jabaal Sheard hasn’t had a double-digit sack season, he’s registered at least 4.5 in each of the last five years. Nonetheless, the Indianapolis Colts can go young on the edge with 24-year-olds Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu, which squeezes the 30-year-old out of a roster spot.

Yet, Sheard can help a team that needs an experienced edge-rusher by boosting a thin rotation in a reserve role. The nine-year veteran has been a solid playmaker with three franchises (Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and Colts), logging 51.5 sacks.

In 2019, Rasheem Green led the Seattle Seahawks with four sacks. Jadeveon Clowney recorded 30 quarterback pressures, but the free agent is not a lock to return.

According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times:

”One growing thought around the league is that Clowney could take a while to find a new team, with some wondering if he could even wait into training camp. ... So far, Clowney hasn’t gotten offers anywhere close to what he wanted, which is a multi-year deal in the $20 million-a season-or more range. If he had, he’d have signed long ago.”

Per Condotta, the Seahawks offered Clowney $13 million to $15 million annually, but the defensive end’s patience could force the front office to consider other options. Seattle has agreed to terms with Bruce Irvin, who could play the “Leo” role. Sheard would bookend a revamped line that needs an extra push on passing downs.

Best Landing Spots: SEA, DAL, NE

The next best free agent move the Dallas Cowboys should make - Tyrone Starr, The Landry Hat

What should the Cowboys next move be in free agency?

At this point, there is just one move left to solidify a great offseason for this team. The Dallas Cowboys need to sign pass rusher Everson Griffen.

Griffen is an expert sack artist. He has posted 5.5 sacks or more in every season since 2012. In five of the last six seasons, he’s finished with eight or more sacks.

He is also extremely durable as he has missed just eight games since 2014. As you would imagine, this has earned Griffen a Pro Bowl nod in four of his last five seasons.

The longer Griffen is on the market, the more likely his price tag will continue to drop. That should not be of concern to the Cowboys, however, as Spotrac shows Dallas still has over $22 million in cap space.

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After losing Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears, bringing in Griffen would be a move reminiscent of Quinn’s addition last season. I think a two-year deal worth $12-14 million would be enough to get Griffen to put ink to paper.

Every NFL Team’s Biggest Need This Late in Free Agency - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

What is the Cowboys’ biggest need right now in regards to free agency?

Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback

The Dallas Cowboys have a few notable needs after free agency—including cornerback, defensive end and tight end, where Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Jason Witten departed, respectively.

Replacing Jones is the biggest priority. He was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and the team’s best cover man, and the Cowboys have done little to fill his role. They did re-sign Anthony Brown, but he isn’t likely to simply pick up where Jones left off.

Dallas hasn’t exactly replaced Quinn or Witten either. However, they aren’t entering their primes—they’ll be 30 and 38 respectively this coming season—as the 27-year-old Jones appears to be. Witten is nearing the end of his career, and Dallas did bring in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to help bolster the front.

The Cowboys will likely need to replace Jones in next month’s draft.

K’Lavon Chaisson goes to Dallas in latest Mock Draft - Nick Kosko. 247Sports

One of the names trending to the Cowboys the most in mock drafts is LSU pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson.

K’Lavon Chaisson is viewed as one of the premier pass rushers coming into the 2020 NFL Draft. The former LSU product helped lead the Tigers to a National Championship.

While Ohio State’s Chase Young is the top pass rusher and could go No. 2 overall in the draft, Chaisson provides a lot of skill to his potential NFL home. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dallas Cowboys make sense at No. 17 overall in the first round.

The analysts believe Chaisson fits an immediate need for the Cowboys in their pass rush.

“I think it’s a reach, yes but I think it’s also a massive need,” PFF’s Mike Renner said. “You see it on tape with K’Lavon Chaisson. You see first round level plays, you see him beating elite college tackles with ease at times. He has all that athleticism, all the traits to do it, but the consistency isn’t there. I still think with no one else on that roster on the edge outside DeMarcus Lawrence, they might be pigeonholing themselves into the edge.”

Unfortunately for Chaisson, he did not workout at the NFL Scouting Combine and since the coronavirus pandemic suspended all sporting activities, he won’t be able to showcase his skills at LSU’s Pro Day. He spent three years at LSU but believes his best football is still ahead despite some considering him a reach in the draft.

BTB Podcast

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and it will change the future of a lot of teams. On Monday’s episode of The Ocho we look at two particular drafts this century that had interesting impacts on the Cowboys.

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