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Cowboys news: Who’s the Dallas Cowboys most exciting undrafted free agent in 2021?

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Every NFL team’s most exciting 2021 undrafted free-agent addition - Alex Kay, Bleacher Report

LB Anthony Hines III picked as Dallas’ next undrafted hidden gem.

Dallas Cowboys: LB Anthony Hines III

The Cowboys drafted one of the most exciting defenders in the class in No. 12 pick Micah Parsons. While Parsons will be instrumental in revitalizing a slumping defense, undrafted rookie Anthony Hines III can pitch in and play a role in the new-look linebacking corps.

Hines is a bit of a mystery, as he only became a starter at Texas A&M in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 campaign. His tape does show a player who makes strong reads, reacts quickly and has the athleticism to make plays all over the field.

While Hines’ relentless effort helps him overcome his narrow 6’2”, 230-pound frame, his coverage abilities left plenty to be desired. He is also not the strongest prospect and can get caught up by blockers, something that made it difficult for him to stop the run at times.

Notable NFL players to keep an eye on in 2021 offseason workouts - Chris Roling, Bleacher Report

All eyes will be on Dak Prescott’s ankle once offseason practices get underway.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is back from the ankle injury that ruined his 2020 campaign. He’s also out of franchise-tag purgatory with a long-term deal in hand.

Before getting hurt last year, Prescott was on an astounding pace. Over his first four games, he completed 68.2 percent of his 201 passing attempts for 1,690 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions to help compensate for the Cowboys’ miserable defense.

The year prior, he set new careers highs with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

Prescott returns to a Cowboys team with a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn and first-round linebacker Micah Parsons. His normally strong offensive line should be healthier than last year, and he’s still flanked by a star-studded supporting cast of Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.

The question with Prescott isn’t whether he can fit well or play at a high level again. It’s more about just how high one of the league’s ascending passers can keep climbing.

That journey starts with Prescott’s return in OTAs.

Spagnola: Backup QB Dilemma Still Brewing - Mickey Spganola, Dallas Cowboys.com

The Cowboys have a decision to make at backup QB.

Who can fill the shoes of last year’s Andy Dalton, having moved on to sign a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears, a price too rich for the Cowboys’ dwindling salary-cap blood?

The choices are rather slim at this point with Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci currently on the 90-man roster, but combined have played just 15 NFL games during their limited careers. The threesome has a combined two starts, one touchdown pass, one interception while attempting only 87 passes, with Gilbert officially entering his fourth NFL season, Rush his third and DiNucci his second.

With experience a prerequisite at this position – OK, the Cowboys were rather lucky with third-string rookie Dak Prescott taking over for the injured Tony Romo and Kellen Moore in training camp of 2016 to win 13 games – the Cowboys’ on-premise backup candidates have very little, Gilbert starting his first NFL game last year as did the rookie DiNucci.

Just considering the “what if” is enough to give you acid reflux if these are the remaining backup choices come Sept. 9.

Micah Parsons faces the burden of history & high expectations - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Dallas Cowboys rookie LB Micah Parsons is already under the microscope.

Being a 1st-round draft pick for any NFL team comes with plenty of pressure. But for Micah Parsons, joining the Dallas Cowboys as the 12th overall pick and at linebacker puts the 21-year-old in a true crucible of scrutiny. Along with the typical expectations, Parsons is a hoped-for savior as the team has long searched for a superstar at the position and remains haunted by its past failures.

If Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith had worked out as planned, Parsons would’ve never become a Cowboy. But the former 2018 1st-rounder and 2016 2nd-round selection are entering 2021 as two of the biggest question marks on the roster.

Selecting Parsons as high as they did, and then Jabril Cox in the 4th Round, indicates the Cowboys are preparing to move on from at least one or both of the current duo. This is further clarified by their decision to not exercise the 5th-year option on Vander Esch’s contract and potentially allowing him to enter free agency in 2022.

The very reason that Dallas is seemingly making over the linebacker positions are what Micah Parsons now faces; the burden of expectation. Smith and Vander Esch have had their moments but have ultimately not lived up to the promise of perceived potential.

Raiders release former Cowboys pass rusher David Irving not long after re-signing him in 2021 NFL free agency - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

A reunion between the Dallas Cowboys and former DT David Irving is unlikely.

Prior to joining the Raiders in 2020, Irving began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent of the Kansas City Chiefs who was poached as a rookie from the team’s practice squad by the Cowboys. He’d go on to spend four years in Dallas in what can only be described as an exercise in futility for the organization. His flashes on the field provided justification for the coaching staff and front office overlooking off-the-field incidences — e.g., being late to or missing meetings completely, etc. — many of which were fueled by a combination of his disdain for Jason Garrett and his own underlying admission he believed Garrett was jealous because of his ability to roll out of bed with little to no practice and get sacks.

The toxicity in the relationship eventually boiled over to the point of Irving hinting strongly at racial motivations as to why Garrett allegedly clashed with him, a rumor that was roundly dismissed by Cowboys players and personnel alike. His off-the-field issues eventually manifested into a four-game suspension in 2018 and the aforementioned indefinite suspension in 2019, the latter followed by Irving taking to Instagram Live to announce he was quitting football because of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The relationship between he and the Cowboys effectively ended just ahead of that incident seeing as they had no intention of re-signing him in free agency but, long after its conclusion, he’s never avoided a chance to throw dynamite in their direction.

“I hated going to work for the Cowboys,” Irving said, via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. ”A Cowboy is all hardy har har and all this America’s Team stuff. I belong in Las Vegas with the Raiders. You’ve got some real people here who can appreciate a unique specimen like myself.”

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