Source: Cowboys meet with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper’s agents again, remain in holding pattern for new CBA - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Will these two deals get done before free agency starts?
Cowboys officials have met with the agents of quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper a second time since the end of the NFL scouting combine, a source said.
For the first time in the offseason, team officials met with the two high-profile free agents at the NFL scouting combine last week. The Cowboys talked with Prescott’s agent, Todd France, either in person or by phone twice since the end of the 2019 season.
A source said the Cowboys offered Prescott an average salary of $33 million with a guaranteed contract of $105 million.
Financial proposals for Cooper are not known, but he’s seeking one of the largest contracts for a wide receiver.
The Cowboys and the agents for both players, are almost in a holding pattern waiting for a potential new collective bargaining agreement to be concluded. NFL players are now voting on a possible new CBA and have until March 12 at 10:59 p.m. Dallas time to vote.
“I don’t have a sense when they vote,” Jerry Jones said last week from the NFL scouting combine. “I do have a keen sense that we’ve got some decision with just the Cowboys. We have, for this year going forward without an agreement, we have decisions we’re contemplating making right now as though we don’t have an agreement. So we have to make those and therein lies—again, it’s a problem if you have a flat, you sometimes have to work around but at some point, which is probably now or the start of the year, at some point you say let’s just go another year and hold off.”
Could Ron Leary wear the star again in 2020?
Backup Joe Looney is a free agent. That alone could provide a spot for Leary, who tells us his health leaves him ready to compete.
”I’ve been a little banged up,’’ says Leary, who is about to turn 31. “Last year I was coming back from an Achilles and I didn’t expect to play as well as I did, but blessed to come back from that without any issues.
”And now? I Honestly can say this healthiest I’ve been the last two years. I feel great, my body feels great. This is my first offseason in two years that I’m training and not rehabbing.
”I’ve got a lot left in the tank and a lot left to prove.’’
It’s possible Dallas will remain committed to the two Connors. But if the Cowboys could acquire a guard who can beat out Williams? Then maybe the youngster becomes a utility guy here, even at swing tackle. It’s also possible that while Dallas might try to get a cap-friendly bargain here, some other bidder could look at Leary’s resume as a tough guy on the field and a chemistry guy off of it and grant him one more big bite of the financial apple.
”I love Dallas,’’ Leary tells us. “All I can really speak to beyond that is that I’m a free agent, I’m open, and we will see what happens.’’
Two potential Cowboys trade targets that are being proposed for positions of need - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
Could the Cowboys pull off another Robert Quinn trade in 2020?
Second trade target: David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
Njoku was a first-round pick but his career nose-dived last year in Cleveland. He fell out of favor with the previous coaching/management staff, but that personnel has changed this year.
Now with a new general manager and coaching staff in place, the Browns could look to move on from Njoku this offseason for a more traditional tight end. If that is the case, teams such as the Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys could be interested in his services if he were available via trade. In Washington’s case, both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are due to become unrestricted free agents, while Dallas could look to replace Jason Witten, who is also scheduled to hit the open market.
The Cowboys are likely bringing back Blake Jarwin, but Witten’s return seems much less certain. Coach Mike McCarthy would have a big say in whether he wants to bring in more tight ends that are more of the athletic, pass-catching variety.
ESPN also previously tabbed Njoku as someone who could use a change of scenery.
He fell out of favor under the previous regime, as he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch after returning from IR after a wrist injury. Had coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey been retained, Njoku almost certainly would have been out the door. Still, while Njoku would have a fresh start under a new coach and front office, it’s clear he was also losing the trust of QB Baker Mayfield. That’s why the 2017 first-round selection might be better off attempting to resuscitate his career elsewhere — especially if the Browns can get something that can help them in return.
Amari Cooper joined 105.3 The Fan to discuss his desire to remain in Dallas for the remainder of his career.
In turn, Amari Cooper has expressed a desire to remain a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Just last night in an interview with 105.3 The Fan’s Chris Arnold and Zach Wolchuck.
In the interview, Cooper didn’t mince words when asked about his desire to continue playing for America’s Team.
“Listen. I love being a Dallas Cowboy. I love everything about it. I was just thinking about that today. I think about it almost every day, really. Just primetime games. It seems like more night games than everybody and that always feels good to a football player. You know everything. The facility, I love it here in Frisco where I stay at now. Just the aura of being a Dallas Cowboy, you can’t beat it.”
He went on to say, “I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for life.”
If that isn’t a clear indication that Amari Cooper will be playing for the Dallas Cowboys and beyond, I don’t know what is. Despite the rhetoric, generally from media outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth market, there’s very little chance that Cooper is allowed to leave in free agency.
Kellen Moore or Mike McCarthy? Who ya got?
Nick: I think it’s a slippery slope there. Yes, McCarthy has called plays before and been successful doing it. Kellen Moore called plays last year for the No. 1 ranked offense, and it was his first year calling plays. So McCarthy isn’t going to just come in and pull that from him. I think they work together on setting up the offense during the week and then it’ll probably be a collective deal on game day. That isn’t unusual. Bill Parcells had guys calling the play to the quarterback but not before he’d saying something like “Give the ball to Barber inside, or let’s try to get Witten open in the flat.” I bet they work together.
With Jones likely gone, many are asking why the team won’t/can’t pay him.
From a franchise perspective, it seems counter-intuitive to let what some people have considered an elite player walk. In fact though, that’s just it.
When it comes to elite players, they expect to be paid like elite players and rightfully so. However, when the production doesn’t match the label being placed on the player, there often lies the issue.
Jones is explicitly in this category of one of those players that have been given the elite label, but his production doesn’t match. Plain and simple, you need your top dollar defensive guys to make game-changing plays, which are big sacks for rushers, big stops for linebackers and run-stuffing linemen, and deflections or interceptions from your defensive backs.
As if you need reminding, Jones has just two picks across his entire five-year career and none across the last two seasons. Some people will say, “because they don’t throw at him”, but that sounds like a bit of an excuse.
If the Dallas Cowboys want to go the next level, as far as getting back to a place to compete for Super Bowls, they need to not only use that money to get a guy who can make plays, but use that spot, the time, and the developmental effort on a guy who can do so en route to helping them win their next title. Byron Jones has not proved to be that guy in the last five years with the Cowboys and it’s time for them to cut bait.