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Cowboys news: Dallas is one of several teams facing a difficult 2022 offseason

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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Saints, Packers, and 5 other NFL teams facing difficult 2022 offseasons - Alex Ballentine, Bleacher Report

The Dallas Cowboys definitely have a lot of work to do this offseason.

Dallas Cowboys

Cap Space: -$21.3 million

Draft Picks (Projected): 24, 56, 88, 125, 165, 174, 202

The Cowboys are going to feel the trade-off that comes with paying a franchise quarterback. They will enjoy the security of having a signal-caller who can do what Dak Prescott does, but it comes with a much smaller budget to take care of everyone else.

Prescott’s $34.5 million cap hit accounts for 15 percent of the team’s cap. Throw in DeMarcus Lawrence’s $27 million hit, and you have the top-paid offensive, and defensive players accounting for nearly 30 percent of the team’s cap space.

That’s going to hurt with several key free agents hitting the open market. One of the Cowboys’ strengths has been the weapons they’ve been able to surround Prescott with.

Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz and Cedrick Wilson are all set to hit free agency. The team is already in the red financially, which makes it a stark reality that all three could be gone by next season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Randy Gregory could be difficult to hold on to. He was second on the team in sacks with six this season, but his projected market value is $13.2 million per year.

These are important roles the Cowboys are going to have to fill without much money to spend and a modest supply of draft picks.

Arkansas’ Treylon Burks provides intriguing skill set but can Cowboys afford the cost? - Tyler Browning, Cowboys Wire

Would or should Treylon Burks be a Cowboys draft target at No. 24?

Fit with the Cowboys

Burks, if he fell to the Cowboys would be a flawless step in, if Gallup were to depart. He has a huge frame and a massive catch radius. He is able to make incredibly difficult catches look routine. He has surprisingly good YAC ability for a guy his size. He gets a lot of manufactured touches which offensive coordinator Kellen Moore would love scheming open. He has fantastic ball tracking ability.

As it stands now, the top two wideout spots are secure in Amari Cooper and Lamb. However even if Gallup is brought back, the depth behind him are free agents as well. Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner are all free agents as well. Dallas’ fifth-round pick in 2021, Simi Fehoko, has yet to take any real amount of offensive snaps. Burks makes sense in this regard, but considering his projection it’s doubtful he ends up in a Dallas uniform.

Dan Quinn named 2021 Assistant Coach of the Year by PFWA - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Dan the man! Being named the 2021 Assistant Coach of the Year was definitely well-deserved.

The Cowboys already knew they had a good one in Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn, but it’s nice when other recognize it as well. The Pro Football Writers of America clearly agree as they named Quinn their 2021 Assistant Coach of the Year after the dramatic turnaround by Dallas’ defense last season.

A few hours before the PFWA announced their 2021 award winners, Quinn’s return to the Cowboys in 2022 was confirmed after he officially withdrew from other teams’ hiring processes for new head coaches. Jerry Jones stated during a radio interview yesterday that Dallas has given Quinn a multi-year extension to continue his excellent work.

Spagnola: Continuity Absolutely The Right Move - Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys will try to run it back in 2022.

So here we are today, McCarthy still the head coach. Quinn still the defensive coordinator, and it is Jones’ hope, even though Kellen Moore was on his way to interview with Miami, to keep him as offensive coordinator.

“The thing I wanted to clear up, the idea of Mike twisting in the wind just wasn’t the case at all,” Jerry said Friday morning after calling to offer some clarity on the situation after Quinn pulled out these head coaching searches to remain with the Cowboys on reportedly a multi-year contract extension.

“Mike was very involved in the process, and very involved in trying to give us every chance to keep Dan Quinn.”

Oh, and what about this speculative notion you were lying in the weeds to scoop up Payton, probably knowing ahead of time he was going to walk away from the Saints earlier in the week?

“No, I did not because we are sitting here building together our future,” Jerry said. “No!”

See, the misconception about Jerry Jones is that no one seems to realize he yearns for continuity. Why do you think once again the Joneses stepped up to the plate to make sure Will McClay, vice president of player personnel, didn’t high-tail it out of here for one of the many general manager positions opening up? Why do you think Jerry keeps his two sons and daughter as executive vice presidents? Why do you think he has been loyal to so many of his folks from his oil and gas business after taking over the Cowboys?

Cowboys admitted Tony Pollard needed more touches, then did nothing. That must change next season - David Moore, DMN

Why the Cowboys didn’t use Tony Pollard more is a mystery,

The third-year running back saw just six touches during a Week 17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, including two in the final three quarters. Pollard was far and away the team’s most explosive option in the backfield. Still, in a critical game for playoff seeding, coaches got away from him.

“Obviously, we’ve got to get him in there more,” offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said on Jan. 6. “That’s certainly fair, and that’s all of us looking at it in reflection. … We want to get Tony on the field more. We’ve got to get him more involved. That game turned into one that we didn’t do a good enough job of getting him in there.”

Pollard received six touches in his next game, too, this time a Jan. 16 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. How best to balance Ezekiel Elliott and Pollard is something on which the team has struggled to get a handle. A plan must be identified this offseason as part of a larger team study on how to improve the run game and backfield usage.

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