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Cowboys news: Franchise tag window opening, Dallas still feeling cap crunch

The latest Dallas Cowboys offseason news.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys 2023 offseason: Everything to know about the franchise tag and who might receive it - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys

The money the Cowboys could save by moving on from Ezekiel Elliott fits perfectly into the franchise tag number for Tony Pollard.

Tag Option #2: RB Tony Pollard

The most likely recipient of the franchise tag among Cowboys players is easily running back Tony Pollard. It was obvious all season long that Pollard was among the more explosive players on the team so having him back in a season that is going to be very important would obviously be a good thing.

Unfortunately for Pollard, he suffered a fractured fibula in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. While his 2023 season does not appear to be in any sort of jeopardy, it is difficult to commit to any player coming off of a serious injury. The tag value for running backs this offseason is $10.091M which is a lot of money to commit to the running back position, although this is the Cowboys we are talking about.

There is certainly an argument for tagging Pollard, but there is also one for letting him test free agency. Perhaps other teams are nervous about the injury as well and that works out financially for the Cowboys. We simply do not know what the future has in store. There is no result that can come from his situation that would feel devastating to the team, as talented of a player as he is.

Cowboys Rumors: Reported ‘intrigue’ with CJ Stroud means absolutely nothing - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat

This rumor is rightly to be doubted.

Cowboys Rumors: Dallas “intrigued” by Ohio State QB CJ Stroud.

This is what we’re doing? The NFL offseason is exactly a week old, and we’re already connecting Dallas to a likely top-five pick? The smart money says the Cowboys are intrigued by numerous prospects, QBs and all. If Dallas has taken a shine to Stroud’s draft profile, odds are the same can be said about Bryce Young.

This is just a complete waste of time.

For starters, the Cowboys would actually have to move heaven and earth to position themselves to draft Stroud. ESPN’s Todd McShay’s latest mock draft has the former Buckeye going second overall to the Texans. (Young went first overall to the Colts, who traded up from the fourth pick).

PFF’s Michael Renner had Stroud going No. 9 overall to the Panthers in his post-Super Bowl mock draft. That’s the lowest we’ve seen Stroud fall. Trading into the top 10 from the end of the first round would cost Dallas at least three first-round picks. Trading into the top-five would cost even more capital.

Osa Odighizuwa’s needle pointing upward, named Cowboys’ MIP - Reid Hanson, The Cowboys Wire

Another year in Dan Quinn’s system could help Osa Odighizuwa greatly.

Low and behold, he did, rating as Pro Football Focus’ most improved player of the season for the Cowboys.

With a film-grade improvement of 21.3, he became a far more consistent performer and smoothed out some of the high-variance peaks and valleys from his rookie season.

Playing the exact same number of defensive snaps in 2022 (616), Odighizuwa logged 12 more defensive stops than he did as a rookie. His missed tackle percentage dropped from 16.3 to 2.3 while his sack total doubled (from two sacks in 2021 to four sacks in 2022).

He played especially well down the stretch, scoring high grades in his last three games and sacking Brock Purdy in the divisional round of the playoffs.

All of this bodes well for the future as the 24-year-old defensive tackle heads into his third NFL season. With the return of Quinn, the defensive philosophy will largely remain the same. Odighizuwa will be able to develop and grow in the same scheme and environment, giving him that all-important stability in which to build upon.

Cowboys’ Biggest Keys To Having Successful NFL Offseason - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

With veteran starters across the board on offense, how much of an issue will learning Mike McCarthy’s new offense be for Dallas?

Get the New Offense Installed Quickly

Not every offseason goal will involve the roster itself. Dallas lost offensive coordinator Kellen Moore when he took the OC job with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys replaced him with Brian Schottenheimer, who served as a coaching consultant this past season.

Head coach Mike McCarthy is expected to call the plays, and the focus appears to be on supporting quarterback Dak Prescott.

“This whole thing reflects the upside that I feel in Dak,” franchise owner Jerry Jones said, per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The fact that we’re doing this, Mike’s calling the plays, this has everything to do with the positives around Dak. It’s building around Dak.”

While many of the concepts may remain the same, offensive changes are likely coming. It will behoove the Cowboys to get those changes implemented well ahead of training camp. Dallas ranked fourth in scoring in 2022, but there is room for improvement—Prescott, for example, tossed 15 interceptions in 12 games.

The Cowboys cannot expect to start the season hot offensively if they’re still learning on the fly in the fall. McCarthy handling play-call duties while also making head-coaching decisions will take some getting used to, and the learning process could be compounded by the potential losses of players like Pollard and Schultz.

Cowboys’ Micah Parsons on why he wears No. 11, and the celeb that left him star-struck - Staff, Dallas Morning News

It’s hard to imagine one of the Cowboys’ brightest stars himself being starstruck.

You were seen hanging out with Von Miller at the Super Bowl, and you’ve been in the league now for a few years, but are there any players like Miller or maybe Tom Brady that make you go ‘whoa’?

Micah Parsons: “I don’t really think about it too much, I’m more of a childhood favorite person. So like when I see Von Miller I be like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ But no one got me more excited than when I met Steve Urkel.

“I met him at the Fanatics party last year. And I saw some pretty famous people, but when I tell you I saw Steve Urkel, I just dropped everything. I started impersonating him. … Of course I walked up to him and said, “Did I do that?” ...

“Family Matters was my favorite old-school show because it was like pure genuine comedy. Like, I genuinely know people out in the world and even some of my best friends are just that silly and clumsy like Steve. So it was my favorite. My friends aren’t that bad but they’re up there.”

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