Randy Gregory hasn’t played in a while, and there’s been some confusion over his reinstatement process in the past, but it seems as if the talented defensive end is targeting a return in the 2020 season.
Following reports of his filing for reinstatement, I reached out to Randy Gregory and he says "I'm hopeful of a return to football in 2020 but papers haven't been filed yet. #Cowboys— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) February 29, 2020
Broncos’ Chris Harris drawing interest from Cowboys, Jets, Raiders ahead of free agency 2020, per report - Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports
The Cowboys have all but announced that they will let Byron Jones go elsewhere in free agency this year, which naturally sets them up for some interest in other free agents at the position. According to reports, Broncos corner Chris Harris is on the Cowboys’ radar.
Harris, 30, previously told reporters he expects to explore his worth as a free agent rather than re-sign with Denver before March 18. The nine-year vet all but said as much throughout 2019, too, leading to speculation he might be traded during the season.
The former Super Bowl champion will turn 31 this summer and wasn’t nearly as lock-down in 2019 with the Broncos, but he’s still among the most established names set to be available in free agency. Active for all but five games of his NFL career, Harris has logged at least two interceptions in seven different seasons and is also a well-regarded tackler, often thriving in the slot. He cost Denver just under $12 million in 2019 and could be seeking a contract in that annual range.
The Cowboys, Lions, Raiders, Jets, and Texans could all be perceived as having CB needs, of course, but so could plenty of other teams, so the bidding for Harris could prove contentious. Dallas, in particular, is already primed to let its own top-tier CB, impending free agent Byron Jones, test the market while attempting to lock up two other franchise pillars in quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper.
The NFL Combine draws attention for what it tells us about the players coming into the draft, but it also gives some idea of what kind of players teams are looking at. David Helman gives some notes on what he gleaned about the Cowboys’ plans.
Then there are the cornerbacks, of which there are several. If the Cowboys try to replace Byron Jones in the draft, there’s a handful of names that commonly get referenced: Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, Florida’s C.J. Henderson and LSU’s Kristian Fulton.
Coming out of Combine Week, it’s probably time to familiarize yourself with Henderson.
The Florida Gator standout has long been considered one of the best man-to-man corners in this class, and he posted the numbers to bolster that claim. Weighing in a 6-1, 204 pounds, he clocked a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, which was third-best among defensive backs. He also posted a strong 37.5-inch vertical, which put him in the top five.
For the millionth time, Combine results don’t mean everything. But those are pretty freaky numbers for a guy who already boasts really impressive college tape. If Henderson wasn’t already in consideration to be the 17th overall pick, he probably should be now.
Mike McCarthy has changed Dallas Cowboys’ approach to the draft. Jerry Jones likes it. - Clarence Hill Jr., Star Telegram
Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones are still undoubtedly the two men in control of the Cowboys roster, but it seems that Mike McCarthy will have a good amount of say in the draft. And McCarthy’s focus on talent over fit has the Joneses excited.
But the thing that excites owner Jerry Jones the most is that McCarthy’s presence will allow them to take the best player available, regardless of scheme fit.
“One thing that Mike has basically emphasized with everybody is, ‘I can change what I’m doing to the skills of the player if he’s a player,’” Jones said. “So he says ‘Get me the good player, and I’ll put him to work in what he does best.’ This is a good feeling to do this. We’re not going to make any mistakes, we’re not going to compromise. So I really would emphasize the best player here.”
McCarthy says he wants versatile players and he wants smart players who understand concepts rather than just plays because it allows them to play faster.
“From what they tell me, the way Rod [Marinelli] formatted each position on where certain guys fit, it’s going to be different here because we’re running a different scheme,” McCarthy said. “I’ve always felt that, when you’re throwing away good players because they don’t fit your system, you got to take a hard look at your system. If the guy is a good football player, he can play for me.”
Cowboys Roundtable: What’s the biggest holdup in Dak Prescott contract negotiations? - Dallas Morning News Staff
Dak Prescott wants to stay in Dallas, and the front office wants him to stay, so why hasn’t a deal gotten done yet? There are a lot of factors playing into it, but the team over at Dallas Morning News gives their best idea of it.
No player in the league has been more dramatically underpaid based on his performance and importance to the team over the last four seasons than Dak Prescott. Should the Cowboys be penalized for selecting the Mississippi State star on the third day of the draft? No.
But Prescott shouldn’t be penalized going forward because every club in the NFL underestimated his value entering the league. He’s making up for lost financial time. There’s a perception that the club is dragging its checkbook on this one. That’s not fair. Could the Cowboys have made a better offer than they have to this point? Sure. But Prescott and his representatives have all the leverage here.
This isn’t about finding some middle ground between what Prescott wants and what the Cowboys are willing to pay. It’s about the club coming near his number for substantive discussions to resume. Prescott didn’t turn down an offer that would have put him among the five highest paid players at the position to start the season to back down now. He bet on himself and won. Why does anyone believe his resolve would be less now than it was back in September? In my view, the holdup is understandable, not concerning.
The Cowboys have a lot of things on their to do list this offseason, and of course it starts with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. However, the team will have a lot of big decisions to make on the defensive side as well.
Defensively, there are two big decisions of which to make. It is very conceivable that the Cowboys lose both defensive end Robert Quinn and cornerback Byron Jones. We’ll get to Jones in a minute but Dallas should do whatever they can to focus on Quinn.
Quinn is coming off a season in which he tallied 11.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, 22 quarterback hits all in just 14 games. Even though he will turn 30 this offseason, Quinn has a proven record of productivity. With 26.5 sacks in his last three seasons, there is little to show any signs of slowing down.
That type of production will prove costly on the open market, however. If any team offers Quinn a long-term deal, it’s hard to see him turning that down as Dallas is likely to do a two or three-year deal at maximum. I would like to see the Dallas Cowboys offer Quinn two years and $22 million, just to see if that would be enough to entice him to stay.
Dak Prescott has publicly said that if he gets slapped with the franchise tag, he might not show up to offseason activities until a long term deal is signed. So what happens if he is tagged? Well, first off there’s two different kinds of tags that could be applied.
The distinction of the “exclusive” franchise tag is an important one. It would raise Dak’s 2020 salary (if he doesn’t wind up with a long-term deal) to about $33 million, while also denying him the ability to negotiate with other teams this offseason.
The non-exclusive franchise tag would be cheaper at about $27 million but would allow other teams to meddle in the talks between Prescott and the Cowboys.
Dallas appears to want to avoid that scenario, which is a good sign that they’re seeking to get a long-term deal done and are only using the franchise tag as an immediate protection. But that now means Prescott will view $33 million as the floor, or the bare minimum, for his annual salary in contract negotiations.
Using the franchise tag on Prescott also means the Cowboys will have one less option in their dealings with WR Amari Cooper and CB Byron Jones.
How are the Cowboys going to address so many needs? We discuss on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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