Film room: 3 free-agent fits for the Cowboys’ defense, including one of DC Dan Quinn’s former players - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
With Dak Prescott finalized, time to fix the defense.
Another benefit to Wright is his nickel viability due to his effectiveness in coverage. If teams start to take advantage of Smith when they isolate him in man coverage (which will be harder to do when he’s the MIKE), Wright gives the Cowboys a strong backup option who can still get the job done.
Also, Wright’s decade of experience playing under Pete Carroll (and for Quinn from 2013-14) makes him an expert on the base defense Dallas will run in 2021. Wright already knows all of the run fits, coverage landmarks and formation/alignment checks, so his familiarity with Quinn could really help with the Cowboys’ transition away from Mike Nolan’s scheme.
PFF projects Wright to receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Given Wright’s familiarity with Quinn’s scheme and his proven effectiveness at multiple positions in it, that would be a bargain for the Cowboys, especially if on a low-risk one- or two-year deal.
The Cowboys are hoping that fans will return in 2021.
Jones said he not only plans on having a full training camp in Oxnard, Calif. but expects to play in front of full stadiums in the 2021 season. "I very good about saying to you we're going to play with a full house," Jones said in reference to the upcoming regular season. Ironically enough, the press conference was held on Wednesday, which also happens to be the first day that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has lifted the state-wide mandate for social distancing and face coverings in Texas.
But the Cowboys owner was adamant that the team and the NFL will not only resume to full activities, but "will do it safe." Jones pointed out the Cowboys led the NFL in attendance last season and reiterated the flexibility of AT&T Stadium allowed them to create an open-air venue with plenty of space.
"I will remind you, we were able to have fans," Jones said of the 2020 season. "We have a great facility where we can do prudent things when we need to. But we've gotten better in the NFL and the Cowboys of putting the show on, with safety in mind."
We’re entering Chapter 4 of Dak Prescott’s career, and it should be the most interesting one yet - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News
Now that Dak is locked up long-term, what will the next chapter of his career look like?
Well, Prescott isn’t going to be any less polarizing after agreeing to terms on a four-year, $160 million contract with $126 million guaranteed. He will earn $75 million in the contract’s first year, including a $66 million signing bonus. Many of the complaints about Prescott’s on-the-field performance focus on whether he’s good enough to elevate the players around him to a championship team. Too many folks, however, point to his performance in 2017, when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for six games, as evidence that he’s not a championship-caliber quarterback.
The reality is only time will tell. But if you examine the first three chapters of Prescott’s career, there’s no good reason to think it’s impossible he could take Dallas to the NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl. The Cowboys, Washington and Detroit are the only franchises that haven’t appeared in the NFC Championship Game the past 25 years. We’re about to start Chapter 4 of Prescott’s career, and it should be the most interesting.
Some silver lining from departures in free agency last offseason.
Here's a breakdown of the four compensatory picks:
3rd Round (99th overall)
4th Round (138th overall)
5th Round (178th overall)
6th Round (226th overall)
The NFL adds compensatory picks to the end of rounds three through seven. Picks are assigned to teams through a formula weighting the number of players a team lost via free agency versus the number of free agents it signed. Factors are salary, playing time and postseason honors. Seventeen teams were awarded a total of 36 compensatory picks this year.
ICYMI:Cowboys restructure contracts to create cap room for free agency, also release one player - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Dallas likely will enter free agency with about $17 million of cap space.
The first move for the Cowboys to free up some money for 2021 was getting Dak Prescott signed to a long-term deal. The franchise tag cost for Prescott of $37 million was going to hamper anything they wanted to do in free agency and would have required some serious restructuring of contracts just to get under the salary cap. With Prescott’s deal and his cap hit of only $22 million in 2021, the Cowboys were just about in line with the $182.5 million cap that was revealed today.
But that wasn’t really enough money for them to do anything serious in free agency. There was still work to do and the Cowboys made some moves today to free up money. The Cowboys have restructured the contracts for offensive lineman Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins creating roughly $17 million in cap room, according to a source. The moves get them under the cap with room to make strategic free agent signings if they choose.
ICYMI:Recap of Cowboys/Dak Prescott press conference: Prescott says he’s healthy, ready for when it matters - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
A great breakdown if you missed anything from today’s press conference.
You might have heard something about the Cowboys getting some kind of free agent deal done. No biggie, just a massive contract with quarterback Dak Prescott. Today, the team and Prescott got together for a press conference to discuss the new deal, Prescott’s recovery from his ankle injury, and all manner of Cowboys-related matters.
Here’s a recap of what was said
Not so Fast on a Reggie Robinson Position Change for Dallas Cowboys? - John Williams, Inside The Star
The fourth-round pick may get another look at safety in 2021.
Last week, Mike Fisher reported that the Cowboys were planning on moving Robinson back to cornerback, where he starred at the University of Tulsa. I hypothesized the position change as well, noting that he has the requisite length to play in Dan Quinn’s cover-3 scheme. However, now Mike Fisher is pumping the brakes on that report and predicting that the Cowboys may continue to develop Reggie Robinson at safety.
Robinson is a really good athlete that has 4.4 speed. He plays with range and has good playmaking ability. Though he didn’t play at safety in college, he was a safety in high school and was recruited by Tulsa to play safety in their program. With the Cowboys picking at 10 and several cornerbacks available to them in that range, it makes sense for the Cowboys to continue giving Robinson an opportunity at safety. And without a free safety on the roster, Robinson might find himself with a huge opportunity this spring and summer.
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