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Cowboys news: Draft pick signings have officially begun

Plus other Cowboys news and schedule thoughts from around the league.

Tennessee v South Carolina Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Cowboys agree to terms with draft choices Israel Mukuamu, Matt Farniok - Charean Williams, PFT

As rookie mini camp is set to kick off this weekend, the Cowboys have begun to sign players from their draft class.

The Cowboys have agreed to terms with a pair of draft picks, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports.

South Carolina defensive back Israel Mukuamu and Nebraska interior offensive lineman Matt Farniok are in the fold.

The Cowboys drafted 11 players and signed 13 undrafted free agents.

Mukuamu will begin his career at safety for the Cowboys. He made 86 tackles, seven interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 22 games over three college seasons.

Farniok played 39 games with 32 consecutive starts in four years with the Huskers, playing his first three seasons at right tackle before moving inside to right guard in 2020.

5 Gut Reactions to Dallas Cowboys 2021 Schedule - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

Some initial thoughts on the Cowboys schedule.

If you’re brain is as mushy as mine is after the last 14 months, you probably forgot that the Cowboys-Steelers Hall of Fame Game from the 2020 preseason was postponed to this year. So when I first saw that Dallas had four preseason games on the schedule, I was a bit perplexed.

As you likely know, the NFL reduced the preseason to three weeks in 2021 as a tradeoff to adding a 17th game to the regular season. But just as two teams used to play five preseason games every year if they got the Hall of Fame opener, Dallas and Pittsburgh will get that extra game in 2021 on top of the standard three.

An extra preseason games certainly doesn’t hurt for this year’s Cowboys. Between backup quarterback and almost every spot on defense, there is a lot to figure out as they sift through this roster to find the best 53 players. An extra game of snaps for these players could prove very useful to the evaluation process.

Top individual matchups to watch on Cowboys’ 2021 schedule: Litmus tests galore for Dallas’ best - John Owning, DMN

There are some good individual matchups with the new schedule, including one in the first game of the season.

DeMarcus Lawrence vs. Tristan Wirfs (Week 1)

While DeMarcus Lawrence’s two matchups against Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson should be must-watch TV, his toughest matchup in 2021 should come against Tampa Bay Buccaneers RT Tristan Wirfs in Week 1.

As a rookie in 2020, Wirfs performed at an elite level, as he allowed only 22 pressures while going against elite competition. If you don’t believe me, just turn on the Wirfs’ film against New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, who is one of the NFL’s best and most well-rounded edge defenders. In those three games, Wirfs allowed only four pressures and saved his best performance for the playoffs, where he goose-egged (allowed zero pressures) Jordan and New Orleans’ other notable pass rushers.

What makes Wirfs unique is his elite combination of size, strength and athleticism to go along with refined and nuanced technique. Regardless of the type of pass rusher he faces, Wirfs has both the physical and technical tools to stymie them in pass protection and displace them as a run blocker.

Therefore, Lawrence is going to need to be on his A-game if he hopes to produce against the second-year offensive tackle. Against the run, I feel confident that Lawrence should be able to hold his own, as he is among the NFL’s best defending the run on the edge.

Dak Prescott shares feelings about opening against Buccaneers - Riley Gates, 247 Sports

Ed Werder from ESPN was able to check in with QB1 and get his thoughts about week one.

As if the Dallas Cowboys weren’t already one of the most popular teams in the sport, they had the spotlight shined directly on them on Wednesday with the news that the 2021 schedule had them going to Tampa Bay to open up the season against the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was asked about going to visit the Buccaneers to open the season and what it meant to him to play such a big game.

“I’m excited to get back on the field,” Prescott said, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. “This game means more than the opponent and their rings.”

Prescott, of course, is hinting at his return to the field, nearly 11 months after he suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle against the New York Giants in October of last year. The injury resulted in Prescott being carted off the field immediately and right into surgery, thus ending his 2020 season.

UDFA Profile: Coyle Can Add Speed To Secondary - Kyle Youmans, Dallascowboys.com

We have all heard a lot about the Cowboys draft class, Kyle Youmans gives us a closer look at an intriguing UDFA.

Name: Tyler Coyle

Position: Safety

Height: 6-0

Weight: 209

School: Purdue (Big Ten)

The Good: Speed, speed, and more speed. Coyle plays with next level athleticism and acceleration that jumps off the screen when watching film. He takes a good angle to the football more often than not and will get his hands on the football if he’s in the area. In 2019, his final season with UConn, he batted down 11 passes, led the team in tackles, and forced two fumbles in his best season to date. Finished his career with three interceptions but could’ve had more if he would have held on to the ball on a couple of occasions.

The Project: With as fast as Coyle is, he’s stuck trying to make up ground for lack of awareness too many times to be a draftable player. His slow trigger and inability to get off blocks were each knocks against his UConn film but were multiplied during his four games with Purdue this past season. If Coyle can see a considerable uptick in his recognition and reads, he could very easily make an NFL roster with all the other tools he has. But there’s a long way to go in that category.

Dak Prescott separates Dallas Cowboys from rest of NFC East - Kenneth Wilson, Thelandryhat.com

Having Dak Prescott at quarterback should give the Cowboys an advantage in the NFC East race.

The Dallas Cowboys seem whole again. Well, at least as whole as they have been in the last year or so. With a very good draft behind them, one that saw them fill quite a few needs, you can now start to look and see how things might shake out during the season.

While everyone has to make it through the necessary rigors leading up to a season in good health, providing that they do, the Cowboys have something that the rest of their division doesn’t. The Cowboys have a franchise guy at signal-caller, for certain, while the rest … don’t. That’s just it though.

Dak Prescott is what separates the Cowboys. He’s the difference, at the moment, when trying to project for the NFC East.

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