Terence Steele went from undrafted rookie to starting offensive tackle due to a terrible string of circumstances for the Cowboys last year, and while Steele had his fair share of struggles throughout the season, he’s certainly made his money’s worth now.
Undrafted free agent tackle Terence Steele saw the field more than he could’ve ever imagined for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. Due to a season-ending hip injury to starting right tackle La’el Collins, Steele played in all 16 games with 14 starts and gained much-needed NFL experience.
That’s not the only thing the former Texas Tech Red Raider will take away from his rookie campaign. ESPN’s Todd Archer reported that Steele will pocket a team-high $487,135 due to the NFL’s performance-based pay system.
Steele logged 970 offensive snaps and added another 78 on special teams last season. While the Cowboys appreciate Steele stepping up to plate in the absence of Collins they hope it’s not a reoccurring theme. That doesn’t appear to be the case at the moment though, as it was reported back in February that both Collins and Tyron Smith were progressing well from the ailments that derailed their 2020 seasons.
Jaylon Smith has certainly taken a hit in his popularity among Cowboys fans in recent years, and he didn’t do much to change that on Tuesday. The linebacker sparked controversy at the idea of taking Tony Romo’s number amid a potential rule change regarding player numbers.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith is contemplating a jersey number change, but the challenge is many fans associate No. 9 with legendary quarterback Tony Romo. Smith is among the Cowboys players who hinted about a change on social media as the NFL contemplates relaxing the rules to allow more position groups to wear single-digit numbers.
“Know what type of time I’m on [if] they let this rule pass #Nina,” Smith said in a recent Instagram Story post.
Smith’s comments also came with a photoshopped graphic of the linebacker in a white No. 9 Cowboys jersey. As ESPN shows, the Cowboys technically do not retire jerseys.
A month ago, people were debating if Caleb Farley was the best or second-best cornerback in this draft class, but further injury complications have suddenly muddied the waters on his draft stock. But Farley feels confident it won’t affect his draft night prospects.
“When the teams look at the imaging and get the real information I don’t think it will be an issue,” Farley said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I accepted my draft invite so I’ll be in Cleveland. If a team wants the best corner in the draft, they’ll come find me.”
Farley said he originally injured his back a year ago while deadlifting and only decided a month ago to have the surgery.
“I did a great job managing over a year but that bulge is still in my S1 and unfortunately I irritated it a month ago, which caused me to pull back on my training,” Farley said. “I was trying to cut back and manage the inflammation to come out here on pro day and put up some crazy numbers. But after talking to Dr. (Robert) Watkins, getting the MRI and getting things looked at, we were advised it would be best to go ahead and fix this problem so I will be ready for training camp and ready for the season. It was not a recurring disc or anything like that. What I had previously worked on is still intact. It was great news. I’m actually excited about this.”
The Cowboys’ 2021 draft: Their biggest needs and prospects who could fill each in first three rounds - Jon Machota, The Athletic
The Cowboys are gearing up for the draft now, and it’s one where they’re expected to go heavy on defense. However, a potential run on quarterbacks early in the draft could lead to an offensive star being available as well. What might Dallas do?
In 2012, Dallas used its first four picks all on defense, trading up to take cornerback Morris Claiborne sixth overall and then picking defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford in the third and linebacker Kyle Wilber and safety Matt Johnson in the fourth.
It’s no secret that the Cowboys have had much more success drafting offensive players over the last decade. Since 2011, their offensive draft picks have combined to make 26 Pro Bowl appearances. Their defensive picks have combined to make five. During that time, their offensive picks have been named first-team All-Pro nine times. They have not had a defensive draft pick in the last 10 years make first-team All-Pro.
Linebacker Sean Lee, a second-round pick in 2010, was Dallas’ last defensive pick to go on to make first-team All-Pro. Before him, it was defensive linemen DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff, both selected in 2005.
The Cowboys will enter this draft with nine draft picks, four of them in the top 100, with a need to severely fix up their defense. The only problem is that Dallas has been really bad at drafting defense in recent years.
As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys have tried everything. All three lines of defense have been addressed. Big names. Big schools. It just has not panned out.
Seven of these fifteen guys are no longer on the team. Only one guy has earned multiple Pro Bowl selections. In total, just four players have had such an honor and no one has been named an All-Pro.
When you factor in the blueprint of the Dallas Cowboys, missing on draft picks hurts even more. This team does not spend money in free agency unless it is to re-sign their own players. Free agency is used to acquire decent veterans to provide depth or to bring in low-risk, high-reward flyers like they did this season with Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee.
Jets to Panthers: How the Sam Darnold Trade Affects the Dallas Cowboys - John Williams, Inside the Star
On Monday the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers. That means the Cowboys will host Darnold and his new team this season, but the trade also has the potential to significantly impact who the Cowboys are able to draft with the tenth overall pick.
Before the Panthers swapped their sixth round pick in 2021 and their 2022 second and fourth round picks for Sam Darnold of the New York Jets, it was assumed that Carolina would go quarterback with the eighth overall pick in the draft. They had been one of the teams rumored to be in on Matthew Stafford and we’re willing to make a big play for Deshaun Watson. It was obvious they were looking to alter their quarterback situation. So, quarterback to the Panthers at eight seemed like a slam dunk.
And for the Dallas Cowboys, that was a good thing.
The Cowboys want as many quarterbacks and wide receivers going in the first nine picks of the draft as possible because it creates more potential for a Kyle Pitts or Patrick Surtain to be available for them at the 10th overall pick.
The Panthers are expected to pick up the fifth-year option on Sam Darnold’s rookie contract giving them the 2021 and 2022 seasons to work with Darnold. It certainly doesn’t keep them from drafting a quarterback this year if there’s one they like. However, this trade might imply that they aren’t sold on the idea that any of the top quarterbacks get to them at number eight. And with holes throughout their roster, they could use the eighth overall pick to perform a trade-back with a team looking to get the fourth or fifth quarterback off the board.
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