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Cowboys news: Jerry Jones speaks about the decision to trade Amari Cooper

The Cowboys have gone through the bulk of their offseason roster changes, and are now honing in on addressing their needs in the draft.

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones on Amari Cooper trade: We made a decision that that allocation should be better spent - Charean Williams, PFT

The Cowboys owner reveals the thought process on trading Amari Cooper.

“We made a decision that that allocation should be better spent,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Monday, via Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. “We made every effort to do as well as we can do with the trade.”

The Cowboys didn’t feel Cooper’s use was worth his $20 million salary for 2022. In 2021, Cooper had the highest base salary and highest cap number at his position in the league. Yet, he ranked tied for 39th in receptions, 34th in receiving yards and tied for 37th in points among non-kickers.

“We have to make sure that any one of those players are pulling as much weight as you can,” Jones said. “No. 2, you’ve got to be judicious how you add a top 10-paid player.”

The Cowboys saved $16 million in cap space, which they used to re-sign Michael Gallup and sign free agent James Washington. Gallup, when he recovers from a torn ACL, and Washington will join CeeDee Lamb in the lineup. Lamb surpassed Cooper as the team’s leading receiver in 2021.

“Optimistically, I expect (Gallup) to give us a question mark around the first game,” Jones said. “And I see a conversation that says conservatively, you would like to have a couple more games to get him out there.”

Left Guard is Cowboys’ Biggest Weakness After Early Free Agency - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

The Cowboys need to shore up the interior offensive line to keep pressure out of Dak Prescott’s face.

Though we’re still early in the 2022 offseason, the left guard position is glaring as Dallas’ biggest weakness about a month before the upcoming NFL Draft.

The initial waves of free agency helped clear up some things at other roster spots. The Cowboys had well over 20 free agents, mostly unrestricted, and some positions like defensive end, linebacker, and safety were facing heavy losses.

But then we started to see players coming back; Jayron Kearse, Leighton Vander Esch, Dorance Armstrong, Malik Hooker, and other defenders getting re-signed. We also had a new addition in DE Dante Fowler to help supplement the loss of Randy Gregory to the Broncos.

On offense, TE Dalton Schultz got the franchise tag while WR Michael Gallup got a brand new deal. Even with Amari Cooper being traded to Cleveland and RT La’el Collins getting released, Dallas still has options to cover those spots with the promotion of Terence Steele at OT and signing free agent receiver James Washington to help round out the top three.

In all of this player movement there’s on position that sticks out for a lack of positive news. With Connor Williams moving to Miami in free agency, left guard is now a gaping hole in the offense line without a satisfying option for 2022.

Connor McGovern is the current frontrunner to take over. He started four games in the middle of 2021 when Dallas benched Williams for his excessive penalties. But after the Cowboys went 2-2 during that stretch, the starting job went back to Williams for the remainder of the season.

DeMarcus Lawrence said Rangy Gregory’s Cowboys exit ‘was a shock’ to him - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

The Cowboys couldn’t keep the defensive end duo together.

There have been a lot of shocking and upsetting changes to the Dallas Cowboys roster this offseason. The team traded star wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Browns. They released La’el Collins as a post-June 1 cut and the offensive tackle almost immediately signed with the Bengals. And, even the team itself thought they had secured Randy Gregory before the defensive end fled for the Denver Broncos at the last minute.

Gregory’s exit over certain clauses in his contract was a shock to many fans. But it was allegedly also a shock to one of his former teammates, too. DeMarcus Lawrence reworked his contract to re-sign with the Cowboys shortly before the Gregory debacle. This would have solidified the Cowboys’ edge-rushing needs. Lawrence certainly thought so.

In a press conference after signing on to stay with Dallas, Lawrence said he was shocked by Gregory’s exit. He went into his daily workout seeing that Gregory was staying. After the workout, he checked Instagram and saw that his teammate had changed his mind. Lawrence heard the news just like the rest of Cowboys Nation did.

However, the returning Cowboy didn’t seem to hold any hard feelings. He said that he wishes the new Bronco the best and even called him a “brother for life.” The two were teammates for the last five NFL seasons.

NFL Mock Draft: Possible La’el Collins Replacement at No. 24? - Timm Hamm, CowboysSI.com

This isn’t a name many Cowboys fans are familiar with, but maybe it’s time to consider a new prospect to replace La’el Collins.

24. OT BERNHARD RAIMANN, CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Profile: 6-6”, 303 | Age: 24

One of the biggest risers following the 2021 college football season, Raimann earned a 94.6 overall grade, 88.7 pass-blocking grade and 94.6 run-blocking grade with Central Michigan this year. He didn’t earn a PFF grade above 75.1 in any season prior. Expect his 2021 campaign and a strong Senior Bowl to vault him into the first round.

Two years ago Raimann was playing tight end. Now he’s a legitimate first-rounder at tackle. He earned the second-highest grade from PFF of any offensive lineman this season and allowed just 10 pressures.

The foreign exchange student from Austria didn’t allow a quarterback pressure in his final three games at Central Michigan.

Dallas has many needs, including both tackles and guard along the offensive line. If the Cowboys keep the No. 24 pick and don’t trade down then Raimann is a possibility to replace La’el Collins, who will suit up for the Bengals next season.

The Most Likely Week 1 Starters in the 2022 NFL Draft - Alex Ballentine, Bleacher Report

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner, and Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis are all potential targets for the Cowboys.

C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

There are only two knocks on Tyler Linderbaum that will impact his draft stock: the positional value of centers and the fact that he’s fairly scheme dependent.

But in the right situation, he’ll have Pro Bowl potential early in his career.

Linberbaum makes the blocks asked of him in gap schemes. He can create some vertical movement, but he thrives as a zone blocker, where his athleticism and lateral movement are allowed to shine.

In a zone-heavy team, he would be a tone-setter up front who is capable of sealing defenders in the run game. His pass protection is elite despite his shorter-than-average arms. He allowed only two sacks across three seasons at Iowa, per PFF.

There has not been a center taken in the top 15 since Mike Pouncey in 2011. Linderbaum is good enough that could change, but he should be a Day 1 starter even if he slides to the back half of the first round.

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