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Cowboys news: CBS Sports ranks Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy among the bottom half of NFL head coaches

Your Wednesday edition of news on America’s Team.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McCarthy Ranked Among Bottom Half of NFL Head Coaches - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Dallas’ head coach did not get much love in a recent ranking of NFL head coaches.

From his ouster in Green Bay through these first two years in Dallas, McCarthy’s merit has been heavily questioned. Many, myself included, have struggled with how much credit he deserves for his success with the Packers thanks to having QB Aaron Rodgers.

If anything, it’s reasonable to criticize Mike for not having multiple championships and greater success with one of the NFL’s all-time greats at quarterback.

Still, even the writer admits that criticism of McCarthy may have now gone too far. He’s now one of eight coaches with a Super Bowl win and the rest of them were all ranked 11th or higher.

Despite a 12-5 record and dominating the the division last year, McCarthy wasn’t even ranked as the top coach in the NFC East. The Eagles’ Nick Sirianni was ranked 16th overall, but it’s worth nothing that the article’s author was raised in Philadelphia.

How you feel about Mike McCarthy depends a lot on how you assign weight to the criteria. If you like your team to routinely make the playoffs and win division titles then he’s definitely a good guy for the job. But if you don’t like seeing your team consistently outclassed by the NFL’s elite, you may have a problem.

15) Who Will Be The Kicker On Opening Night? - Staff, DallasCowboys.com

Who do you believe will win the kicker job?

During OTAs and minicamp, there was only one internal candidate for the Cowboys' kicker opening: rookie Jonathan Garibay.

But the Cowboys are set to add competition before they head to training camp at the end of the month. Lirim Hajrullahu is expected to sign back to the roster after appearing in one game for Dallas last season. And no doubt the Cowboys have more names on their short list depending on how camp and preseason goes.

But for now, it looks like it'll be a two-man competition between Garibay, the undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech, and the 32-year-old Hajrullahu, who made a couple of All-Star teams in the CFL before making his NFL debut with the Cowboys and Panthers last year.

Which direction will the Cowboys go by Week 1 against Tampa Bay? The staff writers peek into their crystal ball for this "20 Questions" entry.

1 Move Every NFL Team Should Make Before the 2022 Season Begins - Bleacher Report, Brent Sobleski

Taking a look at one move every NFL team should make.

Dallas Cowboys Sign TE Dalton Schultz to Long-Term Deal. The Dallas Cowboys have never been afraid of paying their homegrown stars. Three players the Cowboys originally drafted—running back Ezekiel Elliott, left tackle Tyron Smith and guard Zack Martin—went on to become the highest-paid player at their respective positions for at least a short period of time. Quarterback Dak Prescott also holds the game's fourth-largest contract.

The idea of the Cowboys now trying to nickel-and-dime this year's franchise player, tight end Dalton Schultz, is laughable. According to CBS Sports' Patrik Walker, the two sides aren't close on a multiyear contract extension.

"I want to work out a long-term deal and I think they do too," Schultz told reporters in April. "Hopefully, we can get that done. But just knowing where I'm going to be for the next year, I'm happy with." Last season, Schultz finished top five among tight ends with 78 receptions and eight touchdown catches. He also generated the highest passing grade at his position when targeted 20 or more yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. His continued development after being a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft deserves to be rewarded.

The case for/against Cowboys giving Dalton Schultz a contract extension - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys

Working out a long-term deal with Dalton Schultz could be beneficial for both sides.

The case for re-signing him. While his career as a whole has been a tale of two stories, it’s pretty evident which path is a more realistic version of what the team has in Schultz. His opportunities were limited early as Jason Witten’s un-retirement made him essentially non-existent. Schultz had just one measly catch in 2019 before bursting on the scene the following season. And who knows, had it not been for a fluke knee injury to Blake Jarwin, we might have not even seen what Schultz could do in 2020.

Regardless of the slow start, it’s clear what they have in him now. He followed his breakout 2020 season with an even more successful year last season. To gain some perspective, he had the same amount of targets (104) and touchdown receptions (eight) as four-time Pro Bowler Amari Cooper last year. That particular statistic may serve as why the Cowboys are no longer interested in shelling out $20 million per season for Cooper, yet at the same time, it also speaks to how valuable Schultz has become.

Schultz has become Dak Prescott’s BFF, and we’ve seen how valuable those connections can be. For example, future Hall-of-Fame tight end Jason Witten was in the league for 17 seasons and was targeted at least 100 times in nine of them. Only once in his career (2009) did Witten have that many targets and finish with a catch rate of at least 75%. Schultz achieved that mark last season.

Sports Illustrated argues this Cowboys safety is the most underrated player - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Malik Hooker will play an important role on Dallas’ defense this season.

But there are also players on every roster who make an impact but sometimes go unnoticed or underappreciated. Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr put together a list deciding the most underrated player on every NFC team. Names included Eagles OT Jordan Mailata, Falcons CB A.J. Terrell, and Seahawks DL Poona Ford. For the Cowboys, it was recently re-signed safety Malik Hooker.

When you think about the Cowboys’ defensive backs, the name that comes to mind is likely the league’s interception leader Trevon Diggs. Jayron Kearse and Anthony Brown also had impressive seasons last year. But, Hooker was also there proving his worth in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme.

Sports Illustrated names safety Malik Hooker the Cowboys’ most underrated player heading into 2022

After getting picked up by Dallas ahead of the 2021 season, the four-year veteran had 44 tackles, an interception, and a tackle for loss in just three games started. He started the year as a backup but had his chance to shine towards the end of the year. This season, the Cowboys hope that the former first-round pick can finally have a breakout year in the NFL.

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