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Cowboys news: DeMarcus Lawrence discusses contract and Randy Gregory leaving

Plus other news and analysis from around the team.

Dallas Cowboys training camp Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

DeMarcus Lawrence shocked by Gregory’s switch, thankful to be Dallas Cowboy for life - Clarence Hill Jr, The Star Telegram

The media got a chance to talk with DeMarcus Lawrence fresh off a new contract and he had some interesting things to say regarding his future and the team.

And after navigating an initial offer of a pay cut — one that he summarily rejected leading to speculation that he may be cut — Lawrence is happy and thankful be able to finish his career with the only NFL team he’s ever known.

“I had high hopes that we would figure something out. It’s all in being able to negotiate and both parties really getting what both deserve out of the deal,” Lawrence said. ”Being a Cowboy for life is always a dream. I was blessed with the opportunity to do so. There is no reason why I would go against my aspirations and dream of being a Cowboy for life.”

On Randy Gregory leaving:

“It was a shock to me,” Lawrence said. “I heard the news just like everyone else. ‘Randy signed with the Cowboys,’ and after my workout, I got home and saw on Instagram Randy had signed with the Broncos. “But Randy’s a brother for life. I wish nothing but the best for him. I’m glad he got paid the way he deserves to get paid. It’s a new chapter in his life, and our life, too.”

That new chapter in Lawrence’s life will be him being able to tackle an offseason healthy for the first time in years and hopefully get back to his old dominance.

Cowboys Add Brian Schottenheimer To Staff - Pro Football Rumors, Sam Robinson

Much like the Cowboys did with Ben McAdoo prior, Schottenheimer has been brought in to assist the coaching staff.

This will be Schottenheimer’s first run with the Cowboys and first time coaching under Mike McCarthy, who is entering his third season as Dallas’ HC. Schottenheimer is expected to help on both sides of the ball.

Schottenheimer, 48, ended last season as the Jaguars’ play-caller, taking over for interim HC Darrell Bevell. Schottenheimer and Bevell were Meyer’s top offensive assistants, but they took on more responsibility after the Jags fired Meyer in mid-December. The Cowboys will be Schottenheimer’s ninth NFL team.

An NFL staffer going back to 1997, the second-generation coach has been an OC for three teams. He will join McCarthy and OC Kellen Moore among Cowboys offensive decision-makers. Ben McAdoo served as a Cowboys consultant last season, helping both the team’s offensive and defensive staffs make weekly preparations. McAdoo left recently to become Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Formerly an OC with the Jets, Rams and Seahawks, Schottenheimer worked as the Jags’ QBs coach for most of last season.

‘Meat left on the bone’: New Cowboys WR James Washington explains why he’s more than Steelers tenure showed - Jori Epstein, Yahoo Sports

With a new contract and a fresh start, James Washington is looking to make a big impact for his hometown team.

When Dez Bryant tweeted it March 14, James Washington wondered: Did Bryant know something he didn’t?

“James Washington to the Dallas cowboys just know you heard it first right here,” Bryant, a Cowboys receiver for eight seasons, tweeted of his fellow Oklahoma State receiver product.

Washington settled for a brief response: an eyes emoji.

“I hadn’t heard anything from the Cowboys at that point,” he said.

But last Friday, four days after Bryant’s prescient tweet, Washington agreed to a one-year deal with Dallas.

The Steelers’ 2018 second-round selection leaves Pittsburgh to achieve a childhood dream in Dallas, a 2.5-hour drive from his hometown and roughly 3.5 from the ranch he now lives on. He brings to the Cowboys defined goals for his development and contributions. Washington carries no ill will toward the Steelers, he insists, but he’s excited about the change.

“I feel like with everything that transpired at Pittsburgh, I didn’t really get to show my full self,” Washington said Thursday by phone from his ranch. “We had a crowded room at receiver. But nothing against anyone else, I feel like there’s a lot of meat left on the bone. I didn’t really get to fully develop myself and make strides like I wanted to.

Cowboys’ belief in Terence Steele may have helped lead to La’el Collins exit - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

A big departure has made this a very important offseason for Terence Steele.

Before free agency even began, the talk was that the Dallas Cowboys had a lot of work to do at the offensive line. Several positions throughout the OL were due for improvement and replacement. Now, a week after free agency started, there are gaps to fill. Guard Connor Williams (who we suspected wouldn’t be returning) signed with the Miami Dolphins on a two-year, $14 million deal and OT La’el Collins is reportedly heading to the Cincinnati Bengals on a three-year contract.

So, now what? Is the front office worried about these major gaps? According to Bobby Belt, a Cowboys insider for 105.3 The Fan, the Dallas execs are confident in Terence Steele (Collins’ former backup). In a radio segment, Belt went so far as to claim that the team didn’t view Collins’ exit as the release of a starter. Rather, they saw it as an opportunity for Steele to rightfully take his place at right tackle. Seems a bit far-fetched to me, but it’s nice to know that the team believes in Steele.

“They don’t think their starting right tackle is gone. I mean, honestly. Dead serious. We can all roll our eyes at it. But to be fair, they feel like they got rid of a backup player. I’m telling you that is their perspective.”

Belt went on to say that the team knows Amari Cooper was a lost starter and DeMarcus Lawrence would have been as well. But, Collins apparently paints a different picture. His co-host responded by saying Steele is just a “try-hard guy” and the team needs more than that. Belt retorted by saying that while he understands that Collins is better than Steele, the younger OL did improve and has a great work ethic. You can hear the full discussion in the video below.

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