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Cowboys news: Jaycee Horn meeting with Cowboys, Patrick Surtain turns heads

The news you may have missed on Tuesday.

South Carolina v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

South Carolina cornerback to meet with Cowboys Wednesday - @calvinwatkins

South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn has earned a lot of fans during the lead-up to the draft, and apparently the Cowboys are one of them. It was reported that the team will meet with the prospect after his Pro Day on Wednesday.

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II might’ve just nailed the Dallas Cowboys’ draft pick - Clarence E Hill Jr., The Star Telegram

Speaking of cornerbacks and Pro Days, Alabama’s Pro Day occurred on Tuesday and Patrick Surtain II, a popular connection for Dallas in mock drafts, wowed everyone in attendance, including Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

But Tuesday was all about Surtain’s performance, who wowed under the watchful eye of McCarthy and the other Cowboys personnel at the workout. Other NFL coaches and executives were on hand as well. Surtain measured in at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds and produced whopping 39-inch vertical and 10-foot, 11-inch broad jump. He answered any questions about his speed in the 40-yard dash by clocking unofficial times of 4.42 seconds and 4.46 seconds.

The Cowboys were in need of a starting cornerback opposite Trevon Diggs, even before Chido Awuzie’s free agency departure for the Cincinnati Bengals. But it’s now critical that they choose a cornerback in the first two rounds.

The only problem is that Surtain performed so well on Tuesday that he could be off the board before the Cowboys pick at 10. The Atlanta Falcons at 4, the Cincinnati Bengals at 5, the Detroit Lions at 7 and the Denver Broncos at 9 could all be targeting a cornerback as well.

L.P. Ladouceur thankful for time with Dallas Cowboys, but he’s not done - Todd Archer, ESPN

L.P. Ladouceur quietly gave the Cowboys some incredible stability and efficiency for 16 seasons as their long snapper. But Dallas has decided to go in a different direction at the position, marking the end of a long and fruitful tenure for Ladouceur.

“The way it ends is sometimes the way it begins,” Ladouceur said. “They’re going in a different direction. When I signed with the Cowboys in 2005, they made a quick decision on the snapper they had and signed me. Sometimes it’s a bang-bang thing. I think they just wanted to go in a different direction. I understand that.”

Ladouceur was about to go on a spring-break vacation with his family and celebrate his 40th birthday (March 13) when the Cowboys let his agent, Gil Scott, know they would be moving on to McQuaide. He was texting with Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones before he put the phone away for some family time.

“When I was told, I was right next to my wife [Brooke] and was like, ‘All right, the Cowboys are moving on,’ and she was like, ‘What?’” he said. “Did it affect me? Sure. It always does. But you look at the positives. There’s too many positives to worry about one little negative. I still have a ton of people in that facility that I love, that I enjoy speaking to. I’ve gotten a ton of texts and calls from everybody. So that’s really cool to see there’s a relationship with a lot people, and it just shows that I was loved and wanted and needed. And that’s been nice.”

Should the Dallas Cowboys bring back Aldon Smith? - Connor Green, The Landry Hat

Aldon Smith made a triumphant return to the NFL last year and got off to a very hot start, but his play declined as the season went on and as Randy Gregory got more and more playing time. So now the decision of whether or not to bring Smith back looms large.

Smith started his career with the Dallas Cowboys by accruing an astonishing four sacks in his first three games with the team (three of which came against the Seattle Seahawks). However, after demonstrating his freak athleticism and abilities early on the veteran pass rusher seemingly faded for most of the rest of the year, only managing to get one more sack after his hot start.

Despite his struggles for much of the year the former San Francisco 49er finished his season with the second-most sacks on the team with five and tied for the most fumble recoveries with two. Obviously, those numbers are not the dominant numbers that some had hoped for from the former All-Pro, but he was still one of the better defenders on the struggling Dallas defense last year.

How much of Smith’s disappearance can be linked to the poor coaching of former Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and the lack of a true pre-season because of complications caused by COVID-19 is hard to say. However, it should be noted that the edge rusher used to put up eye-popping performances like the ones seen early last year on a regular basis early in his career.

Should the Cowboys have let Dak Prescott hit the open market? - Mike Florio, NBC Sports

When the Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to his contract extension about a month ago, there was plenty of debate about the numbers. Mike Florio thinks Dallas may have made a mistake by not letting him hit free agency.

Reflecting on the first eight days of free agency and, seven days before that, the Cowboys’ decision to give a record-shattering four-year, $160 million contract to a quarterback recovering from a badly-broken ankle, it’s fair to ask whether the Cowboys could have gotten a better deal if they’d simply waited.

Their problem, of course, came directly from waiting. Waiting to make Prescott an offer he couldn’t refuse immediately after the end of his third NFL season. Waiting to make Prescott an offer he couldn’t refuse during his fourth NFL season. Waiting to make Prescott an offer he couldn’t refuse before his $31.4 million franchise-tag salary for 2020 locked in.

The irony may be that, if they’d simply waited another week, the Cowboys may have been able to get Prescott for less than the massive contract they paid when the challenge was to get Prescott to take something other than $37.68 million in 2021 under the tag and, most likely, a shot at free agency in 2022.

2021 NFL Draft: Ranking Top 5 1st-round Targets for Dallas Cowboys - Brian Martin, Inside the Star

The Cowboys will get to select a player inside the top ten of the draft this year, and that brings both a wide range of options in which to go as well as a lot of pressure to get the right player. Here are five top targets for the Cowboys.

#5 – FS Trevon Moehrig, TCU

I know many of you will scoff at the idea of the Dallas Cowboys using the 10th overall pick on Free Safety Trevon Moehrig, but I’ll politely disagree. He’s a Top 15 player in this year’s draft class in my opinion and would be a perfect fit in Dan Quinn’s system as that single-high centerfield type of safety. I’d prefer to take him later in a trade down scenario, but if he ends up being one of the top rated players still on the board I wouldn’t hesitate writing his name down on the draft card.

#4 – OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

Unless Penei Sewell somehow slides to the Dallas Cowboys in the first-round I’m not a big fan of drafting another offensive lineman this early. But, a case can be made it’s an underrated need due to the shuffling and lack of depth Dallas had along the OL last year due to injuries. In that case, Rashawn Slater makes a lot of sense. He’s one of the few blue-chip players in this year’s draft class and can play all five positions. That kind of versatility and talent could be invaluable.

Grading each Cowboys move in 2021 free agency: Top mark for Dak Prescott, building steam with latest additions - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

The Cowboys aren’t done with free agency just yet, as they’re hosting three free agent safeties on Wednesday, but grades have started to roll in for the moves they have made already.

This is arguably the biggest retention in Dallas of a player not named Prescott. [Jourdan] Lewis had an uneven season in 2020, but so did most in the abbreviated Mike Nolan regime. For the most part, however, Lewis has been one of the team’s few defensive ballhawks and has shown an ability to not only be a physical nickel corner, but also one you can add to pass rush packages without the opposing offense having a clue as to what’s happening.

With Anthony Brown again battling injury last season, Lewis saw a hefty amount of playing time and his three-year deal — worth up to $16.5 million — hints strongly at him potentially remaining starter this coming season and, at worst, puts an eye or two on the fact releasing Brown would garner the Cowboys roughly $4 million in savings this summer.

They could keep a capable Brown around for insurance at the position, but it’s clear Lewis is in the long-term plans, and that’s the smart move by Quinn and head coach Mike McCarthy, after seeing Lewis mostly shelved in his first couple of seasons due to size concerns that never showed themselves when he took the field.

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