A brief look at a signing in free agency that might be crucial for the Cowboys.
We’ve heard a lot about the Cowboys’ additions on defense, but what are your thoughts on Ty Nsekhe at offensive tackle? Does his arrival make you feel less inclined to spend a high draft pick on tackle depth? —MICHAEL SMITH / DALLAS, TX
Rob: Ty Nsekhe has been a solid fill-in starter for Buffalo and Washington in the past. The Cowboys probably did upgrade the swing tackle spot, especially considering that Cam Erving missed 10 games due to injury last year. Signing Nsekhe does cover the Cowboys depth-wise before the draft. I certainly don’t think you can rule out tackle at some point on draft weekend, but Tyron Smith and La’el Collins appear to be coming along well with their injury rehab and it’s pretty clear that defense should still be a priority.
Jonny: It does not make me confident enough not to draft an OT. I still think that’s the right move for the No. 10 pick because a future All-Pro at that position is invaluable and depth issues at the position would derail an otherwise dominant offense. Nsekhe will hopefully be a contributor, but I don’t know what about his career would make you feel confident in him starting at left tackle.
Checking in another mock draft for some value picks on the second day.
After the decision to not bring back Aldon Smith, the Cowboys have a need for edge depth. They still believe DeMarcus Lawrence is a franchise defensive end and the team is still holding out hope Randy Gregory can stay on the field and realize his potential. But that doesn’t help the rotation overall and they need a player like Ronnie Perkins to come into the mix and make a serious impact.
Perkins has top-end raw talent and versatility with the ability to play on the edge and slot inside in sub-package situations as a 5-technique. He has great burst off the line and his a strong hand-fighter. Where he needs coaching is simply with his discipline as both a run defender and pass-rusher as he often seems to be too eager to make a play as opposed to making the smart play. Overall, though, the potential is obvious for him to be an impact defender at a position of need.
Dorance Armstrong might be reaching the end of the line in Dallas.
Of the players still on the team from the 2018 Draft, Dorance is the farthest behind in building an NFL career. He’s entering the final the year of his rookie with no real case to be made for getting a second contract.
It’s even possible that Armstrong might not get to finish out that rookie deal. Dallas could save $920k in salary cap space by releasing Dorance, which starts to sound enticing if they feel good about Anae, Carter, and other depth options.
Having already added Tarell Basham in free agency to DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, it could be tough for Armstrong to make the 2021 roster as it is. And if the Cowboys add another pass rusher in the upcoming draft, that goal will become much harder to reach.
Dorance Armstrong should be back to at least compete in training camp and the preseason. But if everyone stays healthy, and especially if anyone new joins the DE position this offseason, Armstrong will probably need a tremendous July and August to remain with the Cowboys this season.
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys might wind up getting exactly what they paid for - Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star Telegram
The Cowboys are hoping some of their free agents play above their contracts.
If Jones feels that way about Prescott then what does it say about what the Cowboys have done in free agency since?
The Cowboys added a franchise-record eight unrestricted free agents, including defensive linemen Tarell Basham, Carlos Watkins, Brent Urban, safeties Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee and Jayron Kearse, tackle Ty Nsekhe and deep snapper Jake McQuaide.
But all came at bargain basement prices.
Consider that Prescott’s four-year, $160 million contract includes a first-year take of $75 million in 2021.
The eight unrestricted free agents combined will count just $12.712 million against the salary cap in 2021.
It brings us back to Jones’ kicker quote: “Anytime I’ve tried to get a bargain, I got just that, it was a bargain in a lot of ways and not up to standard.”
And that begs the question, how much better are the Cowboys now than they were at the end of the disappointing 6-10 season in 2020?
If it comes down to Kyle Pitts versus the likely field, the Cowboys have a draft decision to make - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
So you’re saying there’s a chance!
The Pros: Pitts is an athletic freak who is a mismatch waiting to happen. He could be a generational type talent that one day has everyone asking why any team passed on him in the draft. There are plenty of evaluators that have him as the second-best talent in the draft behind Trevor Lawrence. Everything would point to “best player available” at pick number 10. He could also soften the blow of possibly losing Michael Gallup in free agency next year, they could even try a trade.
The Cons: The Cowboys offense is already pretty prolific with Dak Prescott back and with what is hoped to be a healthy offensive line. Scoring points isn’t the real issue in Dallas and they already have a couple of competent tight ends on the roster. Pick number ten seems to be a perfect opportunity to boost a defense that was atrocious in 2020. The Cowboys are thin at cornerback and linebacker, a perfect place to get help is at pick number 10. Tight ends usually don’t go this high in the draft.
So, if Pitts is there, but the Cowboys also have the opportunity to take Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn, Micah Parson or Rashawn Slater, what should they do? Would you take Pitts against the field? Would you take Pitts over Penei Sewell if he is there?
Cowboys fans can hope.
Absurd lateral movement skills, foot speed is truly incredible. Gets off the ball with ease and has fantastic kick slides. Elite movement skills in open space, attacks players in the open field and able to stay engaged to drive them out of the play. Pass sets have very few weaknesses, uses his lateral mobility to his advantage rarely gets knocked back. Does not get beat around the corner, reaches the outside extremely quickly. Smooth in the run game and always keeps his legs churning, multiple instances in the Colorado game of him clearing lanes by himself. Excellent grip strength and fantastic anchor make him a nightmare for rushers. Good upper body flexibility. Effort will earn him points from coaches, never gives up on a play and will be best friends of running backs and quarterbacks alike. Ideal size, frame, and reach for the position, should have no position change concerns. Excellent recovery when he does get beat in pass sets.
Hand placement can be rough at times, makes up for it with his athleticism and pure strength but will need time to fully work out those issues in the NFL. Hands can land too far outside and lead to any reach advantage being negated. Will get too far inside on some reps and will lose some of his power. Functional strength while good could be improved. Did suffer a season-ending injury in his freshman year but is expected to check out medically.
Power: 8.5/10 Lateral Movement: 5/5 Hand Usage: 7.5/10 Overall Technique: 8.5/10 Run Blocking: 9/10 Pass Blocking: 8.5/10 Anchor: 4/5 Pulling Ability: 5/5 Frame: 4.5/5 Consistency: 5/5 Grade: 8.733/10 (Blue Chip Prospect)
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