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Cowboys news: Cowboys add more CB depth leading up to 2020 NFL Draft

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NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Sign Cornerback Saivion Smith - Matt Galatzan, 105.3 The Fan

More CB depth!

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback Saivion Smith on Friday, adding to their cornerback depth heading into the offseason program.

Smith went undrafted in 2019 after leaving the University of Alabama as an early draft entrant. He was then signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars but was eventually released as part of the final cuts heading into the regular season.

Smith started all 14 games for Alabama during his junior season in 2018, finishing with 60 tackles, three interceptions, five pass deflections, one forced fumble, and a defensive touchdown.

Smith likely comes to the Cowboys as a camp body or practice squad candidate.

Will Cowboys Be Forced to “Reach” for a Cornerback in First Round? - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside the Star

Have the Cowboys forced themselves to take a cornerback at #17 with their offseason moves?

This year’s cornerback class is fairly interesting. It’s a crowded room, for sure. A lot of cornerbacks will be drafted in the first three rounds of this year’s virtual Draft. However, the first round might not feature as many “worthy” prospects as one would imagine. Especially for pick #17.

However, can the Cowboys risk waiting until the second round to draft one?

Let’s not underestimate how urgently the team needs a cornerback. Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie have yet to prove they are reliable starters in the NFL and they’re both set to hit free agency in 2021. Anthony Brown signed an extension in March, but he hasn’t been consistent enough in the outside to consider playing him as a starter. Brown will likely compete for snaps as a nickel defender but nothing else.

The Cowboys don’t need a rotational player or a solid contributor that can develop into a starter. No, they need a week 1 starter.

The ideal scenario for Stephen Jones and Co. is finding C.J. Henderson on the board with the 17th pick. If the Florida prospect is still available, they’ll have their guy. If he isn’t, things can get complicated. Drafting a guy like Alabama’s Trevon Diggs or TCU’s Jeff Gladney will likely be considered a “reach.” Not by much, but the Cowboys could be passing on better players at other positions.

Cowboys’ Aldon Smith on substance-abuse issues: ‘I was in a really dark place,’ slept under cars - Chris Bumbaca, USA Today

Aldon Smith gives everyone an inside look into some of his darker days.

The worst nights for Aldon Smith came about two years ago. Engulfed in legal and substance-abuse issues that cost him his place in the NFL about three years prior, he found himself opting for the pavement instead of his own bed.

“I would say 2018 was a tough year,” Smith told Fox Sports. “In that year, I was in a really dark place. I didn’t have a lot of value for how I thought about myself. When I was in the bad spot, it got pretty bad. I was sleeping under a car for some nights because my sickness took me there, and I had a home to sleep in. But I was in such a dark place that I didn’t see myself deserving anything other than that.”

Smith, however, has been apparently sober for nine months now, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer said during the interview. Last week, Smith inked a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with the Dallas Cowboys; he hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since November 2015. Smith will have to be reinstated by the league before he can play again.

Mailbag: Which Addition Will Make The Most Impact? - David Helman,

Which free agent addition will make the most impact in 2020?

Rob: Jeff Heath was an underrated player for years on defense and special teams. But Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is more than the “box safety” description I’ve seen thrown around. He’s got some range in coverage and he’s picked off 16 career passes. The Cowboys could add another safety in the draft, but I think Ha Ha has a chance to add some more ‘ballhawk’ to the secondary.

David: Hopefully, it’s Aldon Smith. That would be a heck of a story, and it would mean the Cowboys’ gamble paid off. Realistically, I’m going to say Gerald McCoy. He’s been playing at a high level for years, and teaming up with DeMarcus Lawrence should help him see some favorable looks. It would be fun if he could notch 6-8 sacks from the defensive tackle spot.

Film room: 3 draft prospects the Cowboys should consider in the middle rounds, including a high-upside pass rusher - John Owning, DMN

Some lesser-known prospects to think about for the upcoming draft.

If the Cowboys strike out on defensive end in Rounds 1-2, Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor could be the best option in Round 3.

The Vols defender was relatively productive the last two years, posting eight-plus sacks and 10-plus tackles for loss in each season.

Measuring in at 6-4, 267 pounds with 33-inch arms, Taylor has the size and frame the Cowboys have valued at defensive end in the past.

Taylor has an explosive first step with impressive upfield burst that stresses pass sets and enables him to race by an offensive tackle’s outside hip. That vertical explosion leads into his Gumby-like ability to contort his body and bend around the edge to corner, flatten and attack the pocket. Taylor also closes on quarterbacks with ferocity after flattening at the apex of his rush, using a reach-and-run technique to orient his hips toward them while attacking the pocket. He is most effective when using a pure speed rush to race around offensive tackles in coordination with a strong rip move to clear hands as he corners and attacks the pocket.

Pre-draft position preview: The Cowboys have two important boxes to check off on the offensive line - Calvin Watkins, DMN

With the Travis Frederick retirement, the offensive line is a sneaky position of need.

Position strengths

Martin and Smith are considered the best at what they do. Martin (right guard) and Smith (left tackle) were just named to the All-Decade Team of the 2010s, putting them on a path to the Hall of Fame. Smith and Martin also battled through some nagging injuries but continued to play at an elite level in 2019. Collins elevated his game last season, which justified his five-year contract extension.

Position weaknesses

The center position must be addressed because of Frederick’s retirement. Looney is the starter, but the Cowboys could move Adam Redmond or possibly McGovern to that position as well. The Cowboys didn’t get a chance to see what McGovern could do in 2019 because of his health.

The Cowboys could always draft a center on Day 2 if they believe that player can compete for a starting job. Losing Fleming means the Cowboys need to find a veteran tackle or draft one to develop. Brandon Knight and Mitch Hyatt will be given chances as well.

ESPN analyst projects Cowboys offense to dip in production in 2020 but still be solid overall - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys

Will the Cowboys offense fall off in 2020?

The 2019 Dallas Cowboys had one of the more efficient offenses in the NFL. First-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore did wonders for Dak Prescott and Co. and helped them achieve outputs in terms of yardage and/or points at different times that had Cowboys fans excited about the future.

Of course, the goal is for consistency in that department and the hope is that Mike McCarthy can offer that. The huge output for the Cowboys offense in 2019 was surprising, but people are always trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.

ESPN’s Mike Clay has projected the 2020 Cowboys’ statistical output

Every year Mike Clay offers up statistical predictions for each NFL team. This is hardly an easy or completely accurate exercise, but it is without a doubt very interesting. There are reasons to believe in different ideas and notions.

Clay’s predictions for the 2019 Cowboys ended up being a tad low with regards to Dak Prescott. Take a look at what he thought the team would do a year ago.

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