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Cowboys news: Dallas not likely to bring back free agent punter Bryan Anger

Your Wednesday edition of news on America’s Team.

Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cowboys plan to let punter Bryan Anger leave in free agency - Michael David Smith, PFT

The Cowboys don’t think they have the room to bring back punter Bryan Anger.

Punter Bryan Anger signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys last year and punted his way into the Pro Bowl. But that won’t be enough to earn him a second contract in Dallas.

Anger is unlikely to return to the Cowboys in 2022 as the team looks for a punter who won’t cost a lot of salary cap space, and Anger seeks a more lucrative deal, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas Cowboys rework Dak Prescott, Zack Martin deals; create $22M-plus in cap room - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys get some cap relief.

The Dallas Cowboys have started their march to salary-cap compliance.

The Cowboys restructured the contracts of Dak Prescott and Zack Martin on Tuesday, creating more than $22 million in cap room, the team announced.

The Prescott move was already planned when the quarterback signed his big deal last year. The Cowboys added two voidable years to Martin’s contract to allow them the chance to get more space this year. Prescott had a salary-cap figure of $34.45 million, and Martin’s cap number was $20.191 million.

Cowboys place franchise tag on TE Dalton Schultz - Kevin Patra, NFL.com

Dallas is keeping Dalton Schultz.

The Dallas Cowboys are ensuring they’ll have at least one top-flight tight end to open the 2022 season.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Cowboys are franchise tagging tight end Dalton Schultz, per a source informed of the situation. The team later announced the news.

The franchise tender for tight ends sits at $10.931 million for 2022, making it an easy decision for Dallas as it attempts to work out a long-term deal with Schultz.

Sides have until July 15 to agree on a multiyear deal, or the TE will play 2022 on the one-year tender.

Calvin Watkins’ 2022 NFL mock draft: Who will Dallas Cowboys select at No. 24? - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

Dallas goes defense in round one of this mock draft.

1. Jacksonville: Evan Neal, T, Alabama. Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) tosses confetti after the Cotton Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game against Cincinnati, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Alabama won 27-6.(Michael Ainsworth / AP) An impressive-looking Neal (6-7, 337 pounds) cleared up who might become the No. 1 overall pick with his interviews and measurements at the combine. If Jags want to protect QB Trevor Lawrence, this is their man.

[...]

24. Dallas: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The first step toward adding talent around LB Micah Parsons is bringing in Lloyd. The Cowboys like Lloyd’s abilities to cover TEs and RBs in pass coverage. He had impressive at pro day with 25 reps on the bench press, 33-inch arms and measured 6-3, 237 pounds. Finding a guard or center is possible, too if one is available at this spot. If not, get the linebacker.

DeMarcus Lawrence declining the pay cut is the right move for himself - Aidan Davis, Blogging The Boys

The veteran defensive end has earned his money.

Some initial reactions to the fact that DeMarcus Lawrence refused to take a pay cut might be negative and critical of the defensive end. Why wouldn't he want to help the team he plays for? But let's put ourselves in Lawrence's mind instead of focusing on the team itself.

Lawrence just finished his eighth year with the Cowboys. While it wasn't his best year due to injuries, he was still among the best defenders the Dallas Cowboys had when healthy. He finished with 30 quarterback pressures, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and 17 tackles for a loss on run defense in eight games. This production resulted in the best PFF run-defense grade, the sixteenth best pass-rush grade, and the third-best overall defensive grade, among edge defenders.

But in just one month, DeMarcus Lawrence will be 30 years old, and at some point, his production will decline. He is still among the better edge defenders in the NFL, but he is only two years younger than J.J. Watt. And Watt is seemingly facing the twilight of his career. Lawrence is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. Meaning that there are still two more years on his deal before he hits the open market again. And at 32-years-old in 2024, there are likely not going to be a lot of teams willing to sign Lawrence to a massive deal.

Meaning that if you are keeping track, Lawrence has two more years of good money he will receive from Dallas, and after that, there is no guarantee.

3 worst trades in Dallas Cowboys history - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Looking back at some of the worst deals the Cowboys have ever made.

3. Alex Barron, 2010. This story is a sad tale of promising talent that didn’t deliver. These two former first-round picks simply didn’t live up to their expectations. In May of 2010, the Cowboys traded linebacker Bobby Carpenter to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for tackle Alex Barron. Despite the fact that Barron was benched for disciplinary reasons in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 2009 and was highly inconsistent, apparently Jones still thought trading for this guy was a good move.

The Florida State product was the 19th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in 74 of 76 games with the Rams. Several false start and holding penalties (sounds like someone on the current roster… **cough cough Connor Williams**) caused frustration in St. Louis. Dallas likely figured that getting rid of a guy who didn’t do enough would mean that the person they were getting in return couldn’t be all that worse… but they were wrong.

Barron’s biggest blunder? He was called for a holding penalty on what would have been a game-winning touchdown vs. the Washington Redskins in his very first game with the Cowboys. The gorgeous pass from Tony Romo to Roy Williams that would have created a come-from-behind win against a divisional rival was erased. That play was his only appearance of the year and his last with the franchise. Dallas got rid of him before the next season, and Barron never played in another NFL game again. Ouch.

The Cowboys need to take a long look at how they build their team - Ben Grimaldi, Cowboys Wire

Roster-building is a sore subject among some Cowboys fans.

Fans of the team are not necessarily fans of the philosophy. The Cowboys are rarely aggressive with top-tier free agents who could help improve and get Dallas over the divisional round playoff hump. It has been 10 years since the organization has spent big money on an outside free agent on a long-term deal. Cornerback Brandon Carr holds that distinction when he got a five-year, $50.1 million deal with $26.50 guaranteed and a signing bonus of $10 million. The Cowboys also added defensive end Greg Hardy to a $13.1 million deal in 2015, but that was just for one year and had insulation from the inevitable blow up.

Since then, however, the Cowboys have rarely gone above $5 or $6 million a year to any outside free agent, and those are usually short-term contracts. Wide receiver Allen Hurns got a two-year, $12 million deal in 2018, while another WR, Randall Cobb, got a one-year deal worth $5 million in 2019.

In 2020, the Cowboys did use a few more cap dollars on outside free agents, defensive end Everson Griffen got $6 million for one-year, defensive tackle Dontari Poe got $10.5 million over two years and fellow DT Gerald McCoy topped out at $18.3 million for three years. None of those players finished the 2020 season or saw a second year with the team. Last offseason free agency saw just one big signing, safety Keanu Neal for $5 million and one year.

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