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Cowboys news: New Dallas defense aspires to imitate the Patriots and Bill Belichick

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Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones says new-look defense will take page from Bill Belichick’s book - Jori Epstein, USA Today

A New England vibe on defense in Dallas? Yes, please.

The Dallas Cowboys are rebranding their defense with the arrival of a new coaching staff and new defensive scheme.

A shift in personnel, too, follows a free agency in which the Cowboys lost four defensive starters, including 11½-sack man Robert Quinn and sticky cornerback Byron Jones.

As the team moves toward a draft in which it’s expected to prioritize defense, executive vice president Stephen Jones offered another clue Friday about what lies ahead.

“You want to have flexibility, you want to have great players, you want to be able to scheme against the offense you’re going to play around,” Jones told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Friday afternoon. “A perfect example of that and people who’ve had tremendous success is Coach Belichick in New England in terms of how they scheme and how they use different fronts and different schemes in order to have success on the defensive side of the ball.”

Cowboys 2020 mock draft roundup: Two names have bubbled up to the top for Dallas - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys

Is there a favorite to be the 17th overall pick?

It won’t be long now. The NFL draft is just around the corner, April 23-25, and with that the Cowboys will use a first-round pick for the first time since the 2018 draft. At least we think they will, there is always the possibility of some kind of trade that will take the place of that selection. The odds, though, are that the Cowboys will have a new player once the night of the 23rd ends.

The real question is just who that player will be. There have been plenty of guesses and, for the most part, they involve areas of need. Free agency losses and previous holes on the roster combine to create a profile of need for teams. For the Cowboys, it’s generally thought of as cornerback, defensive end, safety and wide receiver.

Three of those positions make up the bulk of mock draft selections for the Cowboys, with cornerback and defensive end the clear majority. With that in mind, let’s sample 10 different mocks to see where the Cowboys might go with pick #17.

The consensus has emerged around two names. The first one we sample is K’Lavon Chaisson.


Updating Randy Gregory, Aldon Smith’s Status - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

The latest update on Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith.

FRISCO, Texas – Arguably the two most intriguing Cowboys players are the two we know the least about.

It’s clear heading into draft week that the Cowboys’ front office has a lot of optimism about the duo of Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith. The former was a first-round talent who has shown exciting potential, the latter is a former All-Pro who was among the best pass rushers in the NFL at times during his career.

The problem, obviously, is that those talents have only been seen sparingly due to a litany of off-field issues. Gregory has been suspended four times in the five seasons since the Cowboys drafted him, and he hasn’t appeared on the field since the 2018 postseason. Smith, who just signed a one-year deal three weeks ago, has also dealt with numerous suspensions and has not played an NFL game since 2015.


Possible Pick: TCU’s Reagor Can Help At 2 Spots - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

TCU WR Jalen Reagor could help the Cowboys at slot receiver and......

Where He’s Projected:

Most draft observers believe Reagor could sneak into the back half of the first round and should go off the board no later than the second round. That’s high praise given the overall strength of this year’s receiver class. Reagor’s 4.47 40-yard dash time at the Combine was not reflective of the game speed he showed at the college level, but his 42-inch vertical leap was second-best among all receivers in Indianapolis that week. Reagor posted only 43 catches for TCU last season, but according to Pro Football Focus, he saw a catchable pass on only 61.4 percent of the balls thrown his way. Inconsistent quarterback play was an issue for the Horned Frogs last season. That shouldn’t hurt Reagor’s draft stock. He’s still considered among the best wideout prospects.


Why Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray is a legit possibility for the Dallas Cowboys at pick 17 - Dan Rogers

Another linebacker in the first round.. How does that make you feel?

The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a week away so it won’t be much longer when the Dallas Cowboys will have a new crop of rookies on their football team. Unlike last season, the organization will have a first-round draft pick at their disposal. There are a lot of different directions the team can go as the list of pre-draft visitors are laced with several different defensive linemen, cornerbacks, and wide receivers. But right in the middle of that list is Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray. Would the Cowboys dare take a linebacker with their first-round pick?

For the Cowboys to show any type of interest in him means that there must be a part of them that is actually considering him as a possible draft selection. Considering Murray is one of the top linebackers in this draft, he’s likely going to be taken somewhere in the first round. Regardless of whether or not he’s a candidate for pick no. 17 or a guy they could be targeting in a trade back situation, the fact remains - he’s being considered.

Such a decision wouldn’t exactly thrill Cowboys Nation. Most are hoping for a player who ideally would make an immediate impact and certainly be a strong piece for the future, but would that be the case with Murray? He’s a talented player, but the Cowboys are crowded at the linebacker position. Not only did they invest a first-round draft resource in Leighton Vander Esch a couple years ago, but they also just extended Jaylon Smith with a $68 million deal that can keep him on the team for the next six years. Even Sean Lee got a one-year deal for 2020, and you have to figure as long as he’s healthy, he’ll see some playing time.


3 trades the Cowboys could make during the 2020 NFL draft, including scenarios for the first and second rounds - John Owning, DMN

A trade on draft day? Always a possibility.

As we creep closer and closer to April 23, a scenario in which the Cowboys trade down in the first round becomes more and more appetizing.

Because there’s a decent chance all the blue-chip prospects are gone by the time Dallas goes on the clock, trading down would be the ideal scenario because they would gain extra picks without sacrificing much in terms of the caliber of prospect. This draft class is a little thin at the top but filled with a ton of depth at key positions throughout, so the Cowboys would be wise to accumulate picks, thus getting more opportunities to strike gold.

Is picking LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson at No. 17 better than selecting (hypothetically) Clemson’s A.J. Terrell and Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara, which happened to be the case in one of our previous mock drafts?

I don’t know about you, but give me the latter.

According to Drafttek’s trade value chart, if the Cowboys traded down to the early- to mid-20s, they could potentially net extra third- and fifth-round picks. If they trade down to the late 20s, they could potentially gain an extra second-rounder, especially if they throw in their fifth-round compensatory pick.

BTB Podcast

What will the Cowboys do at 17 overall? We discuss some options on the latest episode of Brews & The ‘Boys.

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