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Cowboys news: The great jersey number debate rages on

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Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Rank’Em: Cowboys’ Most Sacred Jersey Numbers - Nick Eatman, The Mothership

The great numbers debate rages on.

That led to many players suggesting a few changes, including Jaylon Smith, who has shown interest in wearing No. 9, his college number at Notre Dame.

That number hasn’t been given to any Cowboys player since Tony Romo retired at the end of the 2016 season.

Could Jaylon actually wear Romo’s number? Is it even Romo’s number still?

This week, longtime Cowboys equipment manager Mike McCord reiterated the team’s stance of “unofficially retiring” jersey numbers in some special cases.

There are a few jersey numbers that will never get worn again – at least in the regular season. There are a handful of others that might get issued, but for players that play different positions. And then there are some special cases, for instance with No. 88, where the legacy of the number can be passed down, but only to those who join the team with those lofty expectations.

So we identified 14 Cowboys jersey numbers that won’t exactly get passed around like Halloween candy – and some that might not get passed out at all.

4 Dallas Cowboys who should change their number - Randy Gurzi, SpinZone

How about some other players who could change jersey numbers?

In the second round, for example, they ended up taking Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs. As a rookie, Diggs was thrown in the fire and had his share of problems. But he also had his share of great plays.

He finished 2020 with 58 tackles and three picks while missing four games after a teammate injured him inadvertently. Diggs was also credited with 14 pass breakups and nearly had another two or three interceptions on the season that just went through his hands.

As for his second season, Diggs is expected to be even better with all that experience under his belt. He would look better as well if he were to switch from No. 27 to No. 7, the number he wore for the Crimson Tide. Defensive backs wearing single-digits would look nice, and Diggs should be one of the first Cowboys to take advantage.

Roster Reset: How To Feel About CB Depth? - David Helman, The Mothership

No position gets more discussion than the cornerback position for Dallas this offseason.

That’s why, regardless of who they brought back, it’s a good bet the Cowboys aren’t done adding pieces.

This is a team that could use a top-tier corner, and that’s exactly why the pre-draft process has linked them so consistently to the top cornerbacks in this draft class. Anyone who follows the Dallas Cowboys would have to be living under a rock not to have heard the names Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn. The SEC stars and NFL legacies are widely considered the best two corners in this class, and would have to be considered the favorites to the be the Cowboys’ No. 10 overall draft pick – assuming one of them is still available. Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley also needs to be mentioned, although it’s interesting to see how an offseason back surgery will affect his draft stock.

There are other routes they could go, as well. If they don’t manage to find a cornerback at No. 10, there should be other options available in the second and third rounds. Ifeatu Melifonwu, Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, Asante Samuel Jr. and Elijah Molden all fit the bill of guys that could be added later while still bolstering the level of competition at the position.

However they want to play it, the situation seems crystal clear: the Cowboys covered themselves adequately during free agency, but this is a team in need of another starter-caliber cornerback. As things stand right now, it feels like a very good bet they’ll try to find one later this month during the draft.

Dallas Cowboys: Putting the spotlight on Jaycee Horn - Lucas Mascherin, The Landry Hat

A prime candidate to answer the cornerback questions.

Every fan of the Dallas Cowboys is scrambling to decide what the team should do with their tenth overall draft pick. They have until April 29th to decide.

The player’s availability and drafting the best player on the board must be kept in mind. A late emergence to the debate is cornerback Jaycee Horn.

He is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Joe Horn. Unlike his father, Jaycee went on to play football in college. It was at the University of South Carolina that Jaycee made a name for himself.

Standing at six feet and one inch tall, the former Gamecock does not lack size. His 205 pounds is something opposing wideouts will feel as he lowers his shoulder into a tackle.

Despite being tall for a cornerback, Horn ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at South Carolina’s pro day. That’s fast enough to keep up with some of the NFL’s fastest receivers.

Pre-draft position preview: Outside of DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys are short on proven edge rushers - Michael Gehlken, DMN

A rundown of the Cowboys pass rusher position.

Position strengths

To appreciate Lawrence’s on-field production requires looking beyond the 6 1/2 figure in his 2020 sack column.

Few NFL players operate with a higher motor than him, as he’s able to disrupt both the run and pass. Pro Football Focus gave Lawrence its fifth-highest season grade of any edge defender in 2020, slotting him behind only Khalil Mack, T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett.

If the Cowboys can improve against the run and force opposing teams into more third-and-longs or late-game, two-minute situations, a double-digit sack count is entirely attainable.

Position weaknesses

It is possible the Cowboys could be in fine shape at right end.

That, however, requires a bit of a projection. Little is proven.

At times last season, then-defensive line coach Jim Tomsula showed a heavy hand when feeding Smith and Armstrong reps in lieu of Gregory and Anae, a 2020 fifth-round draft pick.

Gregory flashed brilliance in a Week 16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he must show consistency over a full season. Basham, a strong scheme fit on paper, will be transitioning to a new defense.

There are some moving pieces here. Another addition or two with some player development success stories can help solidify the group.

How Much Will Connor McGovern Impact the Cowboys 2021 Draft? - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

The Cowboys may not need to draft a guard for depth.

The guard and center positions aren’t exactly rock solid right now for the Dallas Cowboys. While an argument could be made for addressing them somewhere in the early rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, one reason the team may not is third-year prospect Connor McGovern. How could this former 3rd-round pick affect Dallas’ draft strategy?

As a rookie, McGovern was seen as a potential challenger to Connor WIlliams at left guard. Unfortunately, a pectoral injury cost him the entire preseason and any chance of making it a competition. It also robbed McGovern of valuable developmental work in his first year.

Returning healthy last year, Connor served as a backup and wound up starting eight games as the Cowboys were riddled with offensive line injuries. He didn’t do anything to vault him into a starting role in 2021, but he remains a valuable asset with his versatility and hopefully more room to grow.

We expect Zack Martin, Connor Williams, and Tyler Biadasz to be the starters at guard and center this season. At worst, McGovern should be a key backup to both positions in the role we’ve seen Joe Looney play for several years. But given his delayed start due to the injury as a rookie, Connor could potentially challenge for a starting role.

McGovern’s presence, and the two years remaining on his rookie deal, help move the interior offensive line a little further down the lost of Dallas’ draft needs. Having just spent a 3rd-round pick on Connor in 2019, adding another mid-round pick now might be redundant.

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