The compensatory pick deadline could certainly affect the Cowboys free agency plans.
The Dallas Cowboys know how to play the compensatory game as good as anyone in the NFL these days. Basically, if your team loses more quality free agents than they sign, they get compensated a year later with free mid-sound picks.
Compensatory picks were initially created to help teams with money troubles keep their rosters full during the years they couldn’t afford to sign or keep free agents. But it quickly morphed into a tool to gain extra draft resources for those willing to sit back and be opportunists. Like the Dallas Cowboys.
Which brings us to “second free agency.”
The compensatory formula spans over specific dates. Any free agent signings outside of those dates is immune to the formula. The dates this year span from the start of free agency until April 27th. That means any free agent Dallas signs after the 27th, are no longer held against the count.
The Dallas Cowboys have a history of signing players after that compensatory period ends. Just last year they inked Daryl Worley and Andy Dalton in second free agency. By waiting, Dallas was able to snag a couple extra picks in the draft.
The Dallas Cowboys need cornerbacks. So why did they turn down two proven veterans? - Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The draft will tell us a lot about the Cowboys plans.
Before veteran NFL cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and A.J. Bouye signed free agent contracts with other teams, both players expressed interest in joining the cornerback-needy Dallas Cowboys.
According to league sources, Butler and Bouye separately were essentially told “thanks, but no thanks” by the Cowboys who said they didn’t have the money sign either of them.
Butler, 31, is entering his eighth NFL season after four years with the New England Patriots and three with the Tennessee Titans. He signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, and his fully-guaranteed contract of $3,250,000 included a $2,175,000 signing bonus.
Bouye, 29, a nine-year veteran and one-time Pro Bowl player, who has been with the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos//, signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. He is getting $7 million for two years, and that includes a fully guaranteed $3.5 million for 2021.
Neither are breaking the bank with their new teams and would have considered taken even less money to join the Cowboys, according to sources.
Kyle Pitts on Rumors of Cowboys, Jerry Jones’ Interest: ‘It’s an Honor’ - Jenna Ciccotelli, Bleacher Report
Kyle Pitts, Dallas Cowboys, it’s a thing.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen originally reported that Jones had enough interest in Pitts to try and trade up from the No. 10 overall pick to select him (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
Pitts told Eisen he has “met with most teams,” but not all of them. The Cowboys are among them, and he has had a direct conversation with Jones.
The junior is currently ranked as the No. 3 player in the draft on the latest version of the Bleacher Report NFL Scouting Department’s big board. He had 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns through eight games this season.
The 6’6”, 240-pound Philadelphia native battled injuries throughout the course of the season, but he did play in Florida’s SEC Championship Game loss to eventual-champion Alabama, posting 129 yards and a touchdown.
DE Payton Turner Dominates Pro Day, Dallas Cowboys Showing an Interest - Brian Martin, Inside The Star
A position most forget about but is a need on this team, and that defensive end.
It could’ve been coincidence or just the Dallas Cowboys doing their due diligence, but the fact they sent their defensive line coaches to the Houston Cougars recent Pro Day suggests they were there to watch one player in particular… Defensive End Payton Turner.
I find it hard to believe Dallas’ DL coaches were at the Cougars Pro Day by happenstance. So, I think we can take that as a good indicator they have a relatively high interest in the former Houston DE. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Payton Turner is someone they’re targeting on Day 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the Dallas Cowboys new DL coach Arden Durden as well as Leon Lett more than likely looking on, Payton Turner didn’t disappoint and pretty much dominated every position drill he was put through. A case of turf toe kept him from running the 40, but he was absolutely impressive in everything else he did.
The Cowboys certainly have plenty of picks.
With so many high-priced players already on the roster, such as quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, linebacker Jaylon Smith and offensive tackles Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, the Cowboys need to hit on their draft picks this year to build depth and to balance out a salary-cap crunch.
To many, it might scream that using all 10 picks is the best way to help cost certainty, but there is no way 10 draft picks, plus a couple of undrafted free agents, will make the 53-man roster. Before folks get carried away by remembering sixth- and seventh-round success stories, there are far more misses and never-weres.
Despite the Cowboys’ 6-10 finish in 2020, they still believe — rightly or wrongly — they have a talented roster, and earning a spot among the 53 will be difficult for a rookie. Dallas needs to strategically pinpoint players at specific positions.
During last year’s draft, the Cowboys made that exact kind of move, giving up fifth-round picks in 2020 and 2021 to the Eagles to select Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz. They called Biadasz a “blinking light,” which meant he was much higher on their draft board than the 146th pick. This season, the Cowboys view Biadasz as their starting center.
Mock drafts, get them while you still can.
Dallas Cowboys mock draft: Round 3, 75th overall
The Cowboys draft their first offensive player in the 2021 NFL Draft when they take Walker Little of Stanford. Dallas will look to upgrade the offensive tackle position as both of its starting offensive tackles have injury issues.
Left tackle Tyron Smith has not played a full season since 2015 and only played in two games in 2020 due to a neck injury. Right tackle La’el Collins missed the entire year last season due to a hip injury.
In Little, the team gets a player with a high upside who was once projected to be a top-10 pick. That was before Little missed most of the 2019 season with a knee injury and sat out the 2020 season though.
Due to him not playing much football over the past two seasons he could fall to this point in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a prospect, he shows quick feet and has the potential to play left tackle in the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys mock draft: Round 3, 100th overall
Dallas adds its third defensive player in their top four choices this time choosing to address the linebacker position. The Cowboys will look to add a linebacker or two in the 2021 NFL Draft as they have seen up and down play from Jaylon Smith the past couple of seasons. The team could also lose Sean Lee who is currently a free agent and is considering retirement.
The Cowboys would be thrilled to see Cox still available this late in the draft and would be very wise to snag him with this pick if he is still on the board. While Cox is not the most physical run defender in the draft he is an athletic linebacker who holds up well in coverage.
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