Explaining the Dak Prescott-Amari Cooper puzzle the Cowboys are trying to solve - Tadd Haislop, Sporting News
It can get a little confusing with this whole CBA/contract thing, so the folks over at Sporting News help simplify things a bit. Here is the skinny as it pertains to the Cowboys...
Among the problems for the Cowboys (and, in turn, for Cooper) is the timing of the NFLPA’s vote on whether to accept or reject the collective bargaining agreement proposal NFL owners approved a couple weeks ago. The players’ voting period ends at midnight ET on March 13, eight hours after the tag window closes. The results of that voting will directly impact how Dallas can handle Prescott and Cooper.
CBA proposal rejected: This outcome would make Dallas’ problems go poof, at least temporarily. If there is no new CBA in place, NFL teams will proceed in 2020 through what’s called a “final league year” under the terms of the current CBA.
CBA proposal accepted: If ratified, the new CBA would be put in place for 2020, and teams would only be allowed to use the franchise tag or the transition tag rather than both. Unless the Cowboys strike a deal with Prescott on an extension before March 12, the QB likely would get the franchise tag, and Cooper would hit free agency.
So what does that all mean, then?
In theory, the Cowboys could franchise tag Prescott and transition tag Cooper now, then rescind the receiver’s transition tag if they’re forced to do so under a new CBA. That might be their only option if they can’t get Prescott extended before March 12.
Film room: Here are some contingency plans in case the Cowboys lose WR Amari Cooper to free agency - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Nobody wants to imagine life without Amari Cooper, but that’s exactly what John Owning did as he starts looking ahead at a backup plan, including replacing one Alabama receiving star with another.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama: The best route-runner in the class, Jeudy’s game is tailor-made for the NFL. Jeudy is the unique type of receiver who could step into a No. 1 role right away — that’s how developed he is as a route runner. His routes utilize a great deal of nuance and deception, which he complements with an Odell Beckham-like ability to accelerate out of his breaks to gain separation. He’s a monster from the slot, where he’s afforded a two-way go. He’s also regarded as a hard worker who will continue to hone his craft once he reaches the NFL.
I love Randall Cobb, you probably love Randall Cobb, and we know Mike McCarthy loves Randall Cobb, but that doesn’t mean re-signing him is the right football move financially.
According to Spotrac, Cobb’s expected to command $7.1 million per season on a multiyear deal. Are the Cowboys and Byron Jones less than $7.1M apart? Probably. Why not bring Byron back instead of Cobb. Dallas could use a mid-round pick on a WR to replace Cobb instead of being obligated to use a first rounder to replace Byron. This way they keep the better player and have the better pick to play with.
The team over at Fansided even offer up some options for different rounds of the draft. It almost seems criminal not to somehow capitalize on this great depth this WR draft class has to offer.
Rounds 4 and 5
Rounds four and five offer guys who can add to your team, but maybe not right away in high volume. There are quite a few names in this area with Gabriel Davis, Quintez Cephus, Michael Pittman, and Devin Duvernay. Each has some things they will need serious work on, but for what the Cowboys are looking for Duvernay might be the best option.
Duvernay is the fastest of this group and would instantly be a boon to special teams. He has really good hands and great speed, but the rest of his game will need work. His route running and release are marginal at times, and he uses his speed to beat defenders rather than technique. For a deep threat, Duvernay is the pick. He will take the top off a defense, but don’t ask him to run a lot of routes to do so. If the Cowboys would rather go a different route a name like Isaiah Hodges would be a big target that could play the jump ball.
The options at wide receiver are plentiful, and the Cowboys could get a great value guy as late as Day 3.
In his final season, Coulter caught 72 passes for 1,039 yards and found the endzone eight times in 11 starts. Averaging over 14 yards per reception, Coulter is seen by some as a developmental prospect due to a few key traits.
His route-running and attention to detail have been somewhat criticized, hurting his Draft stock. He also needs work fighting for contested footballs, a key element of excelling in the NFL.
Coulter did a decent job in the Scouting Combine, running a 4.45 40-yard dash and a 36′ vertical jump. The Cowboys have plenty of young wide receivers that could be developed into potential starters and Coulter could be a similar element in the team’s future. Of course, we’ll see how his draft stock changes prior to the NFL Draft.
Of course, Cooper and Cobb aren’t the only free agents whose future in Dallas remains in limbo.
The Falcons jumped ahead of Dallas in the 2017 NFL Draft to steal Takk McKinley (I forget who the Cowboys ended up picking), and they are in prime position to snag Javon Kinlaw at pick no. 16 right before Dallas in on the clock, so why not just take Robert Quinn from them too?
Rather than paying perhaps $15 million-plus for the 25-year-old Fowler, the Falcons might be better off looking at an older but effective pass-rusher such as Robert Quinn, who turns 30 in May but had 11.5 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys last season. Pairing a veteran such as Quinn with another pass-rusher via the draft seems sensible, considering the team cut ties with Beasley and appears unlikely to pick up McKinley’s fifth-year option.
David Helman from the Mothership continues their series where they are examining current players under contract. The team’s All-Pro left tackle is under the spotlight in this segment.
What’s been good:
Smith continues to prove his value on the left side of the Cowboys’ offensive line. Need proof? Consider the fact that Smith played 890 of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps, roughly 84%, and allowed just one sack. For an offensive line that allowed just 23 sacks on the season, that’s an especially impressive number. Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys’ run game also averaged more than five yards per carry when the ball went to left tackle or off left end. Father Time is undefeated. Smith turns 30 this year and is entering his 10th NFL season. It’s understandable if his absurdly high standard has dipped at least slightly. But even still, it’s quite obvious Tyron Smith remains one of the best left tackles in the game.
What’s been bad:
Smith was penalized eight times in 2019 – the second-most on the team. He was penalized 10 times the year before. To be fair, the bulk of those calls were for offensive holding, and it’d be very easy to argue they were bogus calls. As dominant as Smith is, it seems as though referees get a bit flag happy when he overpowers the opposition. Still, flags are flags, and they hinder offensive possessions. It’s a quibble, but it’s something that would be nice to clean up.
Who wants Trent Williams? Is there a team that can pull off a trade and pay him? - Ben Standig, The Athletic
Not only do the Cowboys have a talent left tackle who’s giving them great production for a discounted price, but he’s not asking for a trade. The same is not true for the Washington Redskins left tackle. The Athletic’s beat writers categorize their respective team’s chances of acquiring Williams, as Jon Machota politely puts him in the “No Chance” group for the Cowboys.
Cowboys — The Cowboys make no sense in regards to Trent Williams. They already have seven-time Pro Bowler Tyron Smith under contract at left tackle for four more seasons. Dallas has also made significant investments at right tackle (La’el Collins), right guard (Zack Martin) and center (Travis Frederick). The only question mark on the offensive line is at left guard and that is expected to be a training camp battle between Connor Williams, a second-round pick, and Connor McGovern, a third-round pick. The Cowboys have salary cap space, but most of that is expected to go to Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and maybe even Robert Quinn. Additionally, there are just too many holes to fill on defense to justify spending any more money on the team’s offensive line.
7-round mock draft gives Cowboys elite speed, defensive reinforcements - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
K.D. Drummond puts on his fancy pants and orchestrates some clever maneuvering to get the players he wants. Check out his draft haul, including the Cowboys landing the soon-to-become fastest player in the NFL.
Adding Ruggs to an offense with Cooper and Michael Gallup, along with RB Ezekiel Elliott seems too good to be true. With all of the defensive needs Dallas has, it would still be wise to add a weapon like this. Who needs defense if you can outscore everybody?
Can you believe that 25% of his receptions in college resulted in a touchdown? Ruggs is fast. Really fast.