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Cowboys news: Kirk Cousins discusses what he said to Dak Prescott about the franchise tag

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Kirk Cousins’ contract advice to Dak Prescott: Franchise tag can be your friend - Charean Williams, PFT

If any quarterback knows what Dak Prescott is going through, it’s Kirk Cousins.

[Kirk] Cousins joined PFTPM last week, and I asked him if he had shared any advice with Prescott. Cousins stressed he hasn’t talked to Prescott lately but has shared his experience of embracing the franchise tag.

“Well, the only piece I’ve said to him in crossing his path by going back maybe a couple of offseasons was just to make the point that the franchise tag can be your friend; it can be a help to you if that’s the route you choose to go,” Cousins said. “So, he played on the franchise tag this past year. I think he’s in a great spot now. Everybody knows he can play, and he’s an elite quarterback. Really, the ball is more in the court of the Cowboys and what they want to do going forward. But I think it’s a no-brainer that Dak’s the real deal and is going to have a great career moving forward. He’s in a really good spot.”

The Cowboys continue to express optimism they will get a deal done, and Prescott continues to say he wants to stay in Dallas long term. But the fact remains that the sides have had almost two years to get a long-term deal done and have yet to find common ground.

Film room: 3 potential CB targets for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL draft - John Owning, Dallas Morning News

If the Cowboys want to improve their defense, a cornerback is a likely choice in the first round.

One of the best indicators of future performance is past performance, and Surtain has yet to have a poor season. The fact that Surtain earned one of the starting CB gigs in Nick Saban’s defense as a rookie is another testament to his ability. And despite playing over 800 snaps in each of his three seasons at Alabama, Surtain never gave up more than 380 receiving yards, a 58% completion percentage, or a 72 passer rating in a season while being targeted at least 45 times each year, per Pro Football Focus. That’s uncommon in college football, especially so in the SEC.

While the term “safe” is used entirely too often in regards to NFL prospects, as no player is truly a safe pick in the draft, Surtain is about as safe of a prospect as you will find, as he possesses a higher floor than any other CB in this class.

If selected, the potential problem that Dallas could run into is that Surtain does have some long speed concerns, similar to the ones Diggs had coming out last year. With Surtain and Diggs as the team’s two primary starting CBs, there are questions as to whether Dallas will have an answer when pitted against the Tyreek Hills of the NFL. However, in Quinn’s scheme, I think Surtain’s speed concerns would be mitigated a bit since the CBs tend to play on top of receivers rather than in a trail position where long speed is more important.

What’s Next For TE: What “Jaws’” Return Means - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

The tight end group has completely changed the narrative in just one season.

Twenty-five snaps. One catch for 12 yards. That was Blake Jarwin's entire 2020 season. In the second quarter of the opener against the Rams, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and had surgery in early October, lost for the year just a few months after signing a three-year extension worth up to $24.2 million as a projected starter for the first time in his career. "I think I made a lot of headway in camp and I was headed in the right direction to have a big year. And then things happen," Jarwin said in October on the Miller Lite Cowboys Hour with Brad Sham and Dani Sureck. "It's one of those deals that I'll grow from it."

Jarwin had surgery in early October with the goal of being ready for this year's training camp and season opener. A healthy Jarwin in 2021 means yet another weapon for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and an interesting question about the offense's dynamic at this point in the offseason: How will the offense incorporate two starting-caliber tight ends?

Cowboys' Top Contracts to Consider Cutting Ahead of NFL Free Agency - Alex Ballentine, Bleacher Report

Which player do you think has the greatest chance of getting cut?

CB Anthony Brown....The Cowboys already have some key members from last season's secondary set to hit the market. But it's a unit that was bad last season, so that might pave the way for Anthony Brown to join some of his peers on the open market. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are both set to hit free agency. If the team plans on bringing either of them back or approaching the position in free agency, it's likely they will have to part ways with Brown to do it.

Cutting ties with the 27-year-old would save the franchise $2.75 million against the cap this season. It isn't much, but every dollar will count toward signing Prescott (or finding a replacement) and building a functional team around him. Brown hasn't done much to convince the team he's worth keeping around either. Availability has been an issue, he's only played 19 games over the last two seasons, and his play hasn't been stellar. He ranked 85th of the 121 corners that Pro Football Focus ranked last season.

There aren't a ton of options to save more than $1 million with one cut, but Brown is one who stands out as relatively expendable.

Troy Aikman: Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott need not rebuild in 2021 - Jori Epstein, USA Today

The former signal-caller seems to believe the Cowboys are closer to greatness than some think.

Fast forward a season to a very different scene surrounding Super Bowl 55. The injury-riddled Cowboys lost 10 games in 2020, Mike McCarthy’s first season at the helm a far cry from what owner Jerry Jones and family advertised when hiring the Super Bowl-winning coach. Aikman revisited the question: How talented are these Cowboys?

“They’re a more talented team, certainly, than what their record indicated this year,” Aikman told USA TODAY Sports over Zoom. “There were a lot of coaches, a lot of personnel people that would have probably traded rosters with the Cowboys. I think there are some holes that they’ll need to address – they know that – through free agency and through the draft. But overall, I just don’t believe that when healthy, this is a team that’s in rebuilding mode.”

3 Players Who Won't Be on the Cowboys Roster Next Season - Jason Schandl, FanDuel.com

These players could be looking for work elsewhere.

2. Tyrone Crawford, DT

The 31-year-old Tyrone Crawford is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and he hasn't done much to convince the Cowboys to bring him back. With overall grades of 53.4 and 52.6 from PFF in the last two seasons, it looks like his best years are clearly behind him.

3. Andy Dalton, QB

With the Cowboys' talented roster, the hope in signing Andy Dalton was that he'd be able to keep this team competitive if disaster struck and he had to start. Dalton wasn't terrible, but the Cowboys went 4-5 in his nine starts. At the backup QB spot, Dallas is either going to want a youngster with high upside, or a veteran that is capable of keeping them in playoff contention if Prescott (assuming he re-signs) gets hurt again. Dalton doesn't fill either role, and Dallas will likely let him walk.

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