Film room: What WR James Washington brings to Cowboys’ offense, and how Dallas can get him open - Nick Kehoe, Dallas Morning News
Taking a look at what James Washington brings to the offense.
The Cowboys could add another low-risk, short-term contract at receiver via free agency if they see an opportunity. But they don’t have to. And if they don’t love whatever receivers fall to them late in the first round of the draft, they can avoid reaching and instead address another position of need. Then, they could take a receiver in the second round (or later) who could work into the rotation behind Washington during his rookie season.
As for what the Cowboys are getting on the field, Washington’s skillset doesn’t necessarily jump off the screen. He can be considered a viable deep threat, but his speed isn’t game-changing. He spent nearly 40% of his snaps in the slot last season with the Steelers (a career high), but he’s not your prototypical shifty slot who can regularly get open on short routes in tight spaces. He’s got good hands and can make contested catches, but at 5-11, he’s not tall enough to be a big-bodied possession receiver that can act as a security blanket for Dak Prescott.
Washington also doesn’t consistently create a ton of separation against press-man coverage, something the top receivers in the NFL generally do. Instead, he is at his best when he has a free release and can use his stem to set up defenders in off coverage:
It’s almost a guarantee the Cowboys will select a wide receiver in one of the first three rounds.
We expected to have plenty of news regarding the wide receiver position over the last 10 days. And that's exactly what has happened. The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to Cleveland, then signed Michael Gallup to a five-year deal. The team saw Cedrick Wilson leave in free agency to Miami, but then signed veteran James Washington.
But it seems likely the Cowboys will add more receivers to add depth, probably in the NFL Draft. And this year, there are plenty of options if the Cowboys wanted to address the position in the first two days. Here's a list of four targets in each of the first three rounds.
Which remaining free agent would you most like to see end up in Dallas?
At just 27-years-old, Flowers was the 17th highest graded guard, the sixth highest-graded pass-blocking guard, and still finished well inside the top half of run blockers. Pass-blocking has always been Flowers' strength but 2021 marked the second-best run-blocking finish in his seven-year career. And here are three things that should excite Cowboys fans about the prospect of signing Flowers:
He has been durable. The only season he didn't exceed 850 total snaps was the year he was released by the Giants before being claimed by the Jaguars. He is versatile if need be. Flowers was initially drafted to play tackle and while it didn't work out with the Giants, he has played 3,500 snaps at LT. Although he has seen more success at LG he can play tackle if the need arises.
He plays mistake-free football. Part of the reason he didn't succeed at LT was because of the penalties. But since moving to guard he has accumulated four penalties, three penalties and one penalty in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. The eight penalties since 2019 are less than Connor Williams had in the first six weeks of 2021.
NFL free-agency flips -- Who changed course on where to sign, from Antoine Winfield to Za'Darius Smith - Staff, ESPN.com
A look back at the Randy Gregory saga and some more similar situations around the league.
What happened? The Cowboys were confident they had an agreement in place and Gregory's agent even acknowledged it publicly only to make a dramatic turn in a matter of minutes over forfeiture language that is standard in every Dallas contract but quarterback Dak Prescott's. That was enough to throw the deal off, even though the Cowboys were willing to take the clause out. -- Todd Archer
How can the Cowboys pivot? They can't go after guys like Von Miller or Chandler Jones anymore. All of them were signed to larger deals than the Cowboys would have paid. The Cowboys retained defensive end Dorance Armstrong (5.0 sacks in 2021) and signed Dante Fowler Jr. (4.5 sacks in 2021) in free agency. But remember, they can always use Micah Parsons as an edge rusher depending on what they do at linebacker. -- Archer
Source: ‘No momentum’ exists between Cowboys, free agent LB Bobby Wagner - Staff, Dallas Morning News
The Bobby Wagner to Dallas dream may be dead.
A source told The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken on Tuesday that “no momentum” exists between the Cowboys and ex-Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner in free agency at this time. Wagner, who is operating as own agent, had been in contact with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn — who Wagner played for in Seattle from 2013-14 and maintains a strong relationship with — but a 2022 reunion is considered “unlikely.”
Wagner was released by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month. His $20 million salary cap hit for 2022 deemed too much for Seattle to absorb.
With the addition of Russel Wilson being traded to Denver earlier this offseason, the final two starters still around from Seattle’s Super Bowl winning team from 2013 — ones that seemed destined to be lifelong players for the team — were no longer Seahawks.
5 potential replacements for former Cowboys guard Connor Williams - Brandon Martinez, The Landry Hat
Taking a look at five potential replacements to take over at LG.
There are two guard prospects in this draft that are commonly seen as first-round worthy picks. One of them is Boston College Eagle Zion Johnson. Johnson has enjoyed a great career at Boston College and is now expected to be a mid-first to an early second-round pick in this year’s draft. There is some speculation as to if he will need to sit behind a starter for a while or if he can be a plug-and-play starter. Most say it may come down to scheme.
While the Eagle is a tad bit undersized, he makes up for it with his explosion at the point-of-attack and powerful usage of his inside hand. He had very good Senior Bowl and Combine appearances and you can see his strength and ability to match up against other interior linemen with his power.
ICYMI:Cowboys bringing free agent punter Bryan Anger back on 3-year, $9M deal - RJ Ochoa Blogging The Boys
Bringing back a punter isn’t a sexy move, but getting Bryan Anger back is certainly a positive.
We know that the Cowboys prefer to prioritize their own, and to their credit have already taken care of players like Michael Gallup and Jayron Kearse (granted they let Randy Gregory get away). The returns continued on Tuesday when it was reported that they are bringing punter Bryan Anger back on a three-year deal worth $9M.
That is top tier money for punters in the NFL as the $3M APY for Anger puts him third across all teams in the league. He is obviously very good at his job, but punter is one of the positions where you can afford (no pun intended) to go with what feels like a lower quality player in the name of saving salary cap space (you know, the theme of this offseason so far).
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