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Cowboys news: Dallas does new deal with DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys cap space situation is clearer with Cooper off the books and Michael Gallup re-signed, plus unfinished business for Dan Quinn.

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sources: DeMarcus Lawrence agrees to 3-year deal, provides Dallas Cowboys with some cap relief - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys opened up even more cap space on Monday.

DeMarcus Lawrence has agreed to a new three-year, $40 million deal that includes $30 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN, in a new contract that will provide the Dallas Cowboys salary-cap relief this year.

Lawrence’s future with the team had been in question with a $27 million salary-cap figure and the Cowboys needing to find room just to get under the cap, but the sides were able to work out a deal that keeps him in Dallas through at least 2024.

Lawrence’s $27 million cap figure would have been the fifth-highest hit of any defensive player in 2022. Instead, under the new deal, the cap hit will be $14 million this year, and then $26 million in 2023 and $16 million in ‘24. He also receives a $12 million signing bonus.

Dan Quinn says he has ‘unfinished business’ with Cowboys ahead of offseason - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Retaining Dan Quinn is still the best thing the Cowboys have done this offseason.

There’s no denying that Quinn’s re-signing with the Cowboys brought a huge sigh of relief to fans of America’s Team. He’s an experienced coach and his defense helped a struggling offense win games late last season. Plus, his players love him. Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, who had a standout campaign under Quinn, constantly praised his coach and shared his love for the defensive coordinator.

Parsons isn’t the only one. Free agent DE Randy Gregory said he “brings out the best” in the defense. Cornerback Trevon Diggs called him “a player’s coach.” Defensive assistant Joe Whitt Jr. said working with Quinn is “one of the bright spots of [his] career.”

It’s nice to now know that Quinn himself is just as excited about his return. The coach seems ready and excited to pick up exactly where he left off and help the defense continue to improve:

“I have unfinished business here. We have the right people in place to accomplish the things everyone in this building is working to accomplish. We’re doing that right now. We’re doing it today – grinding toward a goal.”

Cowboys’ Updated Salary Cap After Michael Gallup’s Reported 5-Year, $62.5M Contract - Doric Sam, Bleacher Report

There’s still work to be done, even at wide receiver where CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are all but locked in as starters now.

Gallup’s deal would cut significantly into Dallas’ available cap space. The team saved $16 million and added $6 million in dead money with Saturday’s trade of wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. Gallup’s salary takes up nearly all of the money that was saved in the Cooper deal.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if more moves were coming for the Cowboys this offseason. Defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence recently declined to take a pay cut and his future with the team is in doubt, according to the Dallas Morning NewsCalvin Watkins. He is set to make a base salary of $19 million in 2022.

Gallup was limited to nine games last season because of a calf injury and then he suffered a torn ACL in Week 17. He finished with 35 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas’ long-term commitment to him indicates that the organization believes he will make a full recovery.

Mailbag: Amari’s Value? Gallup’s New Role? - Dallas Cowboys Staff

David Helman and Nick Eatman address if the Cowboys could have gotten more for Amari Cooper, and what the offense will look like without him.

David: I was hoping for a fourth-round pick, but trades get complicated by big deals. When the trade goes through, the Browns will be taking on his entire salary – and they also had the leverage of knowing that the Cowboys had a decision to make by the fifth day of the league year. It’s hard to get good value in those circumstances. As for your other questions? I don’t think his ability is diminishing at all. I’d have loved to run it back for one more year and see if the coaching staff could do a better job of featuring their best receiver. My early guess is that they’re going to miss him a lot, but they do have free agency and the draft to address his absence. It’s too early to know that answer just yet.

Nick: I think the first sentence of your question is the reason for your other questions. If you knew the Cowboys were going to cut Amari, I’m sure the rest of the NFL did, too. Gone are the days where you can really play your cards close. Everyone knows what’s going to happen so getting a fifth-round pick is probably the best you can get. Obviously, the Cowboys wanted a better deal, but there’s not one out there, at least for the AFC. I would imagine they wanted to send Cooper out of the NFC. So, from the trade standpoint, I’d imagine that was the best offer on the table. But for the decision to get rid of him, I can’t get on board with that. I think Cooper is too good of a player to let go of him right now. We’ll see what the cap space allows them to do but it doesn’t look like the best decision to me.

Monday Morning Mock Draft: Cowboys Add To Inadequate Secondary - Mario Tovar, Inside The Star

Wide receiver has shot up the board as a need for the Cowboys, but the glaring holes in the secondary can’t be ignored.

The Dallas Cowboys were in the news this past week following Amari Cooper’s trade. While wide receiver could be argued to be on the team’s “needs” list, there are spots that warrant more attention. In particular, Dallas needs help with regard to the offensive line’s interior and in the secondary.

Luckily for Jerry Jones, both positions are deep in this year’s draft class, giving him ample opportunity to stockpile much-needed talent. While drafting a defensive back in the first round is often the subject of heated debates, the team has a void to fill depending on what happens with Jayron Kearse. What about Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker? Is either of these players viable long-term options? The front office will soon need to answer that question.

When it comes to the Cowboys’ offensive line, the issue lies with their interior, more specifically at starting guard. The team’s unit has been on the decline the last couple of years, and if the Cowboys are serious about a deep playoff run, they’ll need to infuse more talent. Luckily for Dallas, they might be able to land a perennial starter in the second round.

Round 1, Pick 24 – Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan

Daxton Hill was one of college football’s most versatile defensive backs the last three seasons at Michigan. Statistically speaking, Hill was tenth in the Big Ten in terms of pass deflections with eight. As far as his snap counts, Hill demonstrated an ability to line up all over the field, totaling 580 snaps in the slot, 132 in the box, and 80 at free safety, per Pro Football Focus. It should be noted that Hill isn’t afraid to do dirty work; he’s a highly competitive player that loves to lower his shoulders and stop incoming ball-carriers despite being somewhat undersized.

While versatility is a plus, Hill excelled as a single-high safety or nickel cornerback, where his awareness and speed allowed him to be quite effective in coverage. Hill possesses excellent short-area quickness that’s on display when closing in on receivers. A true ballhawk, he consistently makes plays. This will translate well in Dan Quinn’s defense. The Cowboys’ defensive coordinator could make use of Hill’s blend of on-field toughness and natural athleticism with creative play calling.

It should also be noted that Hill’s awareness and ability to identify run plays will serve him well. Combined with his tackling, Hill might flourish in run defense at the pro level.

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