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Cowboys news: A look at potential draft prospects in the second round for Dallas

Plus the NFL combine begins this week, Micah Parsons on the Rich Eisen show, and more.

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2020 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

3 second round steals the Cowboys could make- Jarrett Prendergast, The Landry Hat

Who should the Cowboys take with the 56th overall pick?

1. Jalen Tolbert, Wide Receiver, South Alabama

The Cowboys need to find themselves a big-time deep threat. Someone that can take the top off the defense and compliment Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. For that, look no further than Jalen Tolbert from South Alabama.

This past season, Tolbert caught 82 passes for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns. His 18 yards per reception stat was one of the best in college football and he ranked fifth in deep receptions (40+ yards) with 16.

Tolbert is 6-3, 190 pounds and is expected to run in the 4.4s for his 40-yard dash time. He can also be versatile with where he lines up. He had 322 snaps out wide and 164 snaps in the slot. Tolbert’s stock took off at the Senior Bowl.

#SouthAlabama WR Jalen Tolbert entered the week as the top WR here in Mobile. He didn’t disappoint in the first practice.

Tolbert vs. DK Kendrick pic.twitter.com/ixabEyG1IU

— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 2, 2022

Some scouts may knock Tolbert because he did not play at a Power Five school. But, that did not seem to matter in this game against Tennessee. As he showed off great ball skills and made this incredible catch.

Circle These Dates on Your 2022 NFL Offseason Calendar- Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

A few future Dallas Cowboys players will begin their journey to the draft on Tuesday.

March 1st – Scouting Combine begins

Starting this Tuesday, the NFL’s annual scouting event begins in Indianapolis, IN and will run through March 7th. After a brief scare when 155 prospects threatened to boycott over the league’s announced COVID restrictions, the NFL has since revised those plans and the combine appears to be proceeding as normal.

Obviously this is a big event for the Cowboys and their 31 competitors. Dallas has enjoyed very successful draft picks in recent years with Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, and more. With only so much they are able to accomplish through free agency this year, the Cowboys will be relying on some of their 2022 rookies to be immediate contributors.

March 8th – Franchise/Transition Tag deadline

We’re a little less than a week away from the deadline to place the Franchise or Transition Tag on an upcoming free agent. This is a significant move both in likely retaining talent but at the cost of a heavy hit to the salary cap, with consequences being felt pretty quickly when the free agency market opens.

The Cowboys have some players who might get tagged this year. We’ve seen it happen many times as a procedural placeholder during long-term negotiations, such as with Dak Prescott and DeMarcus Lawrence recently. So even if Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz, or someone else gets tagged in a few weeks, don’t be surprised if their actual 2022 contract looks much different.

Micah Parsons on what went wrong in Cowboys’ playoff loss, his relationship with Dan Quinn and more- SportsDay Staff, DMN

It would seem Micah Parsons agrees with the consensus. The penalties need to stop.

So, what happened in the playoffs?

Parsons: “Bruh, like, it was the penalties. I don’t like to blame it on defining moments because there were so many defining moments. Third-down penalties. Not handing the ball to the ref. Whatever that is. The turnovers. I don’t think we came out to play championship football ... I wouldn’t say it was a lack of preparation, but like, in games like that, playoff games, like look at this last playoffs... all the games came down to the wire. Every yard counted, and I just feel like we gave up too much free stuff. Free money. In a game like that, they should have to work for every yard and every down. Things like that. ... You could definitely feel the nerves. There was a lot of pressure. It was like, ‘Oh, they’re back. What can they do with it?” There was definitely a lot of pressure, I feel. But, I still don’t like to make excuses. You got to win that game. You know? So, that’s tough.”

Bleacher Report’s ideal Cowboys move fills Dan Quinn’s DT spot- Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Cowboys fans might want to get familiar with Michael Pierce.

Bleacher Report released a list of the most “ideal offseason trade scenarios” for all 32 teams. The author, Alex Ballentine, believes the Cowboys need to get a defensive tackle. Ballentine thinks the Cowboys should trade for Minnesota Vikings DT Michael Pierce. It’s true that Dallas could use a veteran presence in the middle of the defensive line.

Carlos Watkins is a free agent who may not be back next year. That pretty much leaves Neville Gallimore and Osa Odighizuwa. Gallimore was out most of the year with injury and Odiighizuwa showed promise but is still fresh in the league. Pierce is 29 years old and should still have good years ahead of him. Even though he only played in eight games, he had a career-high 3.0 sacks, plus four QB hits and 20 tackles.

At this moment, Trysten Hill is one of the most experienced defensive linemen on the roster and he is only entering his fourth season. Adding a player like Pierce who has five years of league time could help develop some of the younger guys on this defensive line.

After a full season off, new Vikings DT Michael Pierce had a strong start to his ‘21 campaign vs the Bengals.

He showed off his athleticism and was able to rack up 2 sacks, 7 combined tackles including 2 TFL. Making his presence felt on the DL #Skol pic.twitter.com/nCrHQtv9DA

— Matt Anderson (@MattAnderson_8) September 12, 2021

Hey Dallas Cowboys, can we cool it with the WR screens in 2022?- Reid Hanson, SportDFW

Yes, please.

But for every example of a screen pass working splendidly, we have three that unfolded horrifically. And according to Conor McQuiston at PFF, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t alone in the struggles with the WR screen. Across the league, offenses have struggled with outside WR screens.

It’s important to point out, screen passes are a useful tool in every offensive coordinator’s toolbox. They can slow down an aggressive pass rush, counterattack a blitz, and combat heavy box counts. The problem is the Dallas Cowboys screen of choice and the frequency in which they call it.

Looking at the numbers, the WR screen is the least effective screen there is in the NFL. RB screens, TE screens, and slot screens are all more productive methods of attack. Dallas happens to be one of the best TE screen teams in the NFL. Part of that is play design and part is on Dalton Schultz’s ability to navigate traffic (his best trait).

Watching Dalton Schultz navigate his blockers and dodge tacklers on a screen is like watching Le’Veon Bell circa 2017. “What are ‘things I never thought I’d say in 2022’ for $200, Alex” #DallasCowboys #CowboysNation pic.twitter.com/VZc3OauDg4

— Reid D Hanson (@ReidDHanson) January 2, 2022

NFL Free Agency: Cowboys, Packers, and Saints Are All in Salary Cap Turmoil- Andrew Kuhla, Sportscasting

While most are aware of the salary cap situation, how did Dallas land in this spot?

Dallas Cowboys – Roughly $21.1 million over the cap

Jerry Jones has spent big over the past few seasons on players like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and DeMarcus Lawrence, and now it’s time to pay the piper, as it were.

If it was as easy as restructuring contracts, the Cowboys could probably quickly push some money into the future and be done with it. They have a whopping 21 free agents potentially heading out the door to also worry about, though, which greatly complicates the situation.

We know Jones is disappointed with the way the Cowboys flared out in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, but now Dallas is facing the real possibility of losing some key contributors to the 2021 team, which otherwise looked like a Super Bowl roster.

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