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Cowboys news: Recent history shows the Cowboys aren't done in free agency

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys 2022 free agency activity is still far from over - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

What other moves with the Cowboys make in free agency?

Looking back over the last couple offseasons, Dallas has a trend of sitting out during the first few weeks of free agency and then signing players in April, May, and even June or July as the market cools and asking prices drop. Here’s just a quick look back at some of those later signings.

2021

April 2 – TE Jeremy Sprinkle, P Bryan Anger

April 9 – LB Keanu Neal

July 22 – S Malik Hooker

Here you see three significant member of last season’s roster all added in April or, in Hooker’s case, much later later. Anger went to the Pro Bowl while Neal and Hooker were occasional starters and key roleplayers on defense. Both Anger and Hooker are back in 2022 with new contracts.

Even a guy like Sprinkle, relatively insignificant, is still valuable for depth and special teams usage. These roster-filling moves are typical once you get out of March and can generally get journeymen signed to minimal veteran deals.

Rams star Jalen Ramsey says the Cowboys broke a promise and ruined his draft night in 2016 - Cody Benjamin, CBSSports

Jalen Ramsey seems a little bitter over the Cowboys not drafting him in 2016.

Joining Ryan Clark on “The Pivot Podcast,” Ramsey said one of his top goals coming out of Florida State was to be the first defensive player selected in the 2016 draft. So the Chargers picking pass rusher Joey Bosa at No. 3 overall, after quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz went first and second, respectively, was frustrating. Even more upsetting, however, was the Cowboys, at No. 4, choosing running back Ezekiel Elliott despite apparently hinting at a “dream” team-up in Dallas.

“I always grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. So if I went to them fourth, that’s a dream come true,’’ he said, per The Dallas Morning News. ”When I was on my visit to Dallas, they told me straight up to my face, ‘If you’re there at four, we’re taking you. But, we don’t think you’re gonna be there at four.’ They said, ‘We think (the Chargers) are gonna get you at three, but if you’re there at four, if you’re on that board, we’re taking you.”

Elliott’s draft-day table was positioned right next to Ramsey’s, the cornerback explained, and his family saw the nearby camera crews zoom in on the Ohio State running back with Dallas on the clock.

“And then as soon as they announced his pick, my phone started ringing (with the) 904 (area code),” Ramsey said. “And I knew, right when my phone started ringing 904, it was Jacksonville. So, that’s why I was mad. I was mad because I didn’t go three or four.”

Cowboys notebook: Biggest draft needs, list of 28 pre-draft visitors, Dallas’ roster plans - Jon Machota, The Athletic

What are some of the Cowboys biggest draft needs?

Biggest draft needs. When asked this week, Stephen Jones mentioned wide receiver, tight end and offensive line. Jerry Jones mentioned pass rusher, offensive line and tight end.

Wide receiver is a need because of the losses of Cooper and Wilson. The Cowboys re-signed Michael Gallup and added James Washington on a one-year deal to go along with their No. 1, Lamb. But another young receiver is needed and could come as early as their first pick at No. 24 overall. London, Burks and Olave are three of the 30 visitors who could be in play at 24. All three are projected to go in the first round.

Tight end is a need because they are looking for someone to replace the loss of Blake Jarwin, who was released last month after having hip surgery. The hope is to sign Dalton Schultz to a long-term deal, but he’s currently under the one-year franchise tag. If the Cowboys don’t get a new deal done by July 15, they risk losing Schultz next year in free agency. There aren’t any tight ends in this class worthy of the 24th pick, but there could be some interest on Day 2 of the draft.

Breaking down some hypothetical Cowboys trades during the 2022 NFL Draft - Matt Holleran, Blogging The Boys

Hypothetical trades that could make the Cowboys draft a little more interesting.

Texans Receive: No. 88 overall (Third round)

Cowboys Receive: Brandin Cooks

Even after signing James Washington, it seems very likely the Cowboys will add another talented receiver to their roster in the draft. Whether they use a first-, second-, or third-round pick on a wideout, it’s clear they are going to spend premium draft capital on another pass catcher.

However, if the Cowboy were to go a different route and look to trade a draft pick for a proven commodity at the wide receiver spot, this hypothetical trade suggests Brandin Cooks.

Cooks has been one of the more consistent receivers in football since 2015. The former first-round pick has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons in the league and caught 80 or more passes four times. Last season, on an awful Texans team, Cooks still managed to put up an outstanding season, catching 90 passes for 1037 yards and scoring six touchdowns.

Cooks would come at a steep price cap-wise ($16M cap hit in 2022) and he is in the final year of his deal. When you put this in perspective with the fact the Cowboys just dealt Amari Cooper with a $22 million cap hit for a fifth-rounder, the Cooks’ deal doesn’t look like it follows the thinking of the front office.

The deal would make the Cowboys unquestionably better offensively. Cooks would be a weapon on the offensive side of the ball, and a trio of he, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup would be one of the better receiving trios in football.

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