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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott back to work, players that could have an impact on draft plans

The Cowboys are into their offseason program and putting the finishing touches on draft prep.

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz says healthy Dak Prescott big for team’s offseason development - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys might not be done adding players at receiver or tight end, but Dak Prescott is already getting reps with the weapons on the roster.

A year ago, Dak Prescott was in the middle of a rigorous rehab from a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle suffered in Week 5 of the 2020 season. While the Dallas Cowboys’ offseason program officially started Monday, Prescott has already gotten plenty of work with his skill players.

Fully recovered from offseason surgery to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, Prescott has held numerous throwing sessions.

“I think it’s super important anytime that you can throw with your quarterback,” tight end Dalton Schultz said. “It’s invaluable, I think. You almost can’t get enough of it, and I think that’s where he’s at with his health and everything compared to last year when he was still in rehab. We’ve had ample opportunities to get out on the field, throw with guys and just kind of start that process back up. Yeah, we’re definitely ahead of where we were last year.”

WR Simi Fehoko Could be Bigger Factor in Cowboys Plans Than You Think - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Simi Fehoko will be given a chance to earn some playing time in 2022.

It’s easy to think Fehoko won’t be a factor after no offensive contributions in his rookie season. But that would be unfair given the WR depth chart he was buried under. Not only did you have the trio of CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup eating up targets, but veteran backups Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown were also next in line before the rookie.

Dallas knew this was their group before they drafted Fehoko and no doubt projected he wouldn’t be utilized much in 2021. That’s generally the idea with 5th-round picks; you’re not counting on them for immediate production but rather hoping to develop them for the future.

After a year of developmental effort with Simi the Cowboys may very well be looking to give him an opportunity this season. This isn’t to say he’ll be asked to replace Amari Cooper as a top-three receiver, but why couldn’t he be the next Cedrick Wilson?

Cowboys 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Roundup of B/R Staff, Kiper and Expert Picks - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

ESPN’s Mel Kiper adds a new name to the Cowboys mock drafts.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State

Kiper looks to the other side of the ball and has the Cowboys taking Penn State edge-rusher Arnold Ebiketie. Again, this is a sensible choice, as Dallas lost Gregory in free agency. He was the only player besides rookie phenom Micah Parsons to top five sacks for the Cowboys in 2021.

Here’s what Kiper had to say about the pick:

Todd McShay is getting tired of me talking up Ebiketie, but I’m a fan. I wanted to find a fit for him in Round 1. The Temple transfer really improved last season, putting up 9.5 sacks. He has a powerful lower body and knows how to use his hands. The Cowboys have to find a way to replace Randy Gregory, and Ebiketie could help. They could also target a guard or wide receiver here.

Ebiketie isn’t one of the biggest names in the rookie edge-rusher pool—those are Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan and late-rising Georgia product Travon Walker. However, he’s a supremely talented prospect and the 27th-ranked player on the B/R board.

Kiper has Dallas taking Washington State offensive tackle Abraham Lucas in Round 2 (56th overall). He seems much higher on Lucas than the B/R Scouting Department, which has him as its 182nd-ranked prospect.

Michael Irvin uses Aikman connection to question Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill decisions - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Irvin is never one to hold back his thoughts on the current state of the Cowboys, but sees a bigger problem with how players handle free agency now.

Cowboys legend Michael Irvin questions Tyreek Hill and Devante Adams’ decisions to leave star quarterbacks, claiming he wouldn’t have left Troy Aikman for a fancy contract

Like Hill/Mahomes and Adams/Rodgers, Irvin and Aikman had quite the connection when they played for Dallas. In ten years and 128 games together, Irvin caught 641 catches from Aikman resulting in 9,949 yards and 54 touchdowns. You could say they were an excellent duo. Both current receivers had pretty perfect setups with MVP-caliber quarterbacks but chose to follow the money instead. The new Dolphins WR even admitted it “was tough” to leave Mahomes, but also added that when someone brings you a lot of money “your feelings change.”

In 1995, Irvin signed what was then considered a massive contract for the era that was worth $15 million for five years. Irvin even told the New York Post that he specifically remembers former Cowboys wideout Drew Pearson telling him how big of a deal that salary was. The Hall of Famer knew that the numbers would continue to increase as the years went on. He even said he’s happy that players are earning more.

“That’s the nature of this game. The salary cap is over $200 million now. When I was playing, it was $60-80 million, so the money in the league has grown exponentially. No, I’m not jealous about it. I’m happy about it”

Despite it all, he doesn’t think he would’ve left Rodgers or Mahomes if he were one of these current receivers, just like he wouldn’t have left Aikman in the 1990s. Of course, Carr and Tagavailoa aren’t the worst quarterbacks, but almost anyone is a downgrade from Rodgers and Mahomes.

Do Cowboys Draft O-Line Even if Kenyon Green & Zion Johnson Are Gone? - Timm Hamm, CowboysSI.com

When the Cowboys missed out on Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn, they ended up trading back for Micah Parsons. A similar situation could play out this year with Kenyon Green and Zion Johnson.

With the top two guards in the draft, Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green and Boston College’s Zion Johnson, likely being gone by No. 24, Dallas will have to find help deeper in the draft.

And help might be there.

If you’re looking for raw talent, look no further than LSU’s Ed Ingram. It’s tough to judge his draft stock based on his 2018 suspension stemming from aggravated sexual assault charges that were later dismissed. He returned the next season to help LSU win a national championship.

Some of the things scouts like about Ingram are the way he uses his 6-3, 307-pound frame to his advantage and his ability to both pass protected and run block. He still needs to work to improve his hand work and he has a tendency to over-pursue, causing him to miss blocks on occasion.

Oklahoma’s Marquis Hayes is another consideration for Dallas in the later rounds. The 6-4, 318-pounder is being called a “sleeper” by some draft experts and should go on Day 2. He started for the Sooners for three seasons at guard. Scouts call his hands “strong and active” and consider him a strong finisher.

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