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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy explains why he moved on from Kellen Moore

The latest news and notes surrounding the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Mike McCarthy addressed why he moved on from Kellen Moore.

Cowboys can’t let 2022 trade target get away after latest NFL rumors - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat

Time for Dallas to run it back and pursue Brandin Cooks?

The Dallas Cowboys should explore every avenue this offseason to improve their receiver room. A trade feels like the path least likely to be traveled, but it wasn’t long ago that the Cowboys explored making a big splash for an impact wideout before the 2022 trade deadline.

That player? Disgruntled Texans star Brandin Cooks.

Reports indicated the Cowboys were “close” to acquiring Cooks from Houston. However, Dallas balked at Cooks’ $18 million guaranteed salary for the 2023 season, and talks fell by the wayside. The understanding is that Dallas and Houston were on the same wavelength in terms of draft compensation.

At some point, the Cowboys are going to have to swallow their pride and absorb an expensive receiver contract. Cooks is on the books for a $18.38 million cap charge in 2023, and a $16.6 million cap hit in 2024. That’s not cheap by any means, but Cooks is a legitimate difference-maker at the position.

A nine-year veteran, Cooks has posted six 1,000-yard seasons in his career, including four straight spanning 2015-18 with the Saints and Rams. His production fell off in 2022, but that can be attributed to his trade request and frustration with the direction of the franchise.

Cowboys Seek to ‘Build Around’ Dak Prescott - Patrik Walker,

Dallas’ front office seems to be confident in Prescott and the foundation built around him.

By all accounts, Dak Prescott will remain with the Dallas Cowboys for a very long time to come. The two-time Pro Bowler enters the 2023 offseason with the possibility of seeing his contract extended, an idea the front office is not only open to but, seemingly, driven toward achieving, particularly considering the salary cap savings they’d gain from such a move.

The club could gain tens of millions of dollars toward the cap by extending Prescott, and it would also guarantee they won’t have to worry about locating another franchise quarterback anytime soon — a task that is continually proven as much easier said-than-done.

“We’re going to build it off of what he has established,” said head coach Mike McCarthy, speaking from the 2023 NFL Combine. “My decision to stay with his concepts, and so forth, is still intact because I wouldn’t have done what I did in 2020 if I didn’t believe in him. As an organization, myself included, feel very strongly about him as our future.

He’s had his downs, as all quarterbacks do, but he’s helped deliver success far more often than not, and Dallas has since taken another step toward finally ending their longstanding Super Bowl drought by advancing to the NFC Divisional Round this past season — for the first time in half a decade — with eyes on taking another step, or hopefully two, in the campaign to come.

“The overall foundation of our football team is strong — real strong,” said Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones at the Combine. “Dak is the ultimate team leader. He’s got an insatiable appetite to be great and clean up whatever he needs to clean up. It all starts with the quarterback, and I think we’ve got ours.”

Jalen Ramsey: Should the Cowboys make a play for the playmaker? - Shane Taylor, Inside The Star

Only if the price is reasonable, right? There is a need at the position.

One of the most significant needs for the Cowboys this off-season is cornerback. NFL Network reported the Rams had had trade talks regarding Jalen Ramsey, with the idea he could be dealt with within a few weeks.

Now let me be clear: nothing has been said about the Cowboys being in contact, and I am just throwing out my ideas.

This will be challenging if Dallas tries to strike a deal. A trade for Ramsey would have to be perfect. On his contract, he has a cap hit of $25.2 million, $26.7 million, and 22.7 million over the last three years.

With Dallas nearly $8 million over the cap, a number of restructures and extensions to lower the number would need to occur to get to even. Then some additional work would be necessary to afford Ramsey and other key players they have yet to sign.

With that said, a bonus I did find is that the Cowboys would be getting him for a base salary of $17 million in 2023 while having the option to cut him after the season with no dead cap on their end, but work would be needed to get that done.

If Tyron Smith and Terence Steele return, the Cowboys must decide where to play Tyler Smith - Jess Haynie, Blogging The Boys

Having depth at tackle is a good problem to have, and Tyler Smith’s future is still at left tackle.

After recent comments by Stephen Jones that the Cowboys hope to bring veterans Tyron Smith and Terence Steele back in 2023, what does that mean for young Tyler Smith? After a strong rookie season, his permanent spot on Dallas’ offensive line may not be realized.

After playing left tackle at Tulsa, Tyler was drafted by Dallas in the first round last year and immediately prepared to play left guard. But when Tyron was severely injured during a training camp practice, Tyler’s experience at tackle proved vital and he slid over to play that spot throughout most of last year.

The Cowboys did experiment at times with backup Jason Peters at left tackle and using the younger Smith at guard, but most of Tyler’s work came on the edge. It was generally assumed that he was being groomed to replace Tyron this year, but that may not be Dallas’ play after all.

In comments to the media on Tuesday, Stephen Jones spoke about both Tyron Smith and Terence Steele as if they are in the team’s plans for next season.

Could the Cowboys look at a running back in first round again? - Todd Archer, ESPN

They could, but they shouldn’t. There are other needs to be addressed first.

In 2016, the Dallas Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth pick. In 2019, they signed him to a six-year extension worth $90 million. In 2023, Elliott’s future is in question because he has a $16.7 million salary cap figure and declining production.

Would it be worth the price tag for the Cowboys to select a running back in the first round again?

“I think it depends on what part of the first round,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “If you’re up there in the top 10, it’s hard to take them there. You definitely, if you’re taking a player in the top half, you’re hoping you got a player that’s going to be here 10 years. And it’s tough for running backs to last 10 years. There’s not many Emmitt Smiths or guys that play that long.”

But do Jones’ comments represent a philosophical change in the past eight years?

“Zeke obviously did an amazing job for us. He came in right away and was dominant and helped us win a lot of football games,” Jones said. “I don’t second-guess that one but it is hard for these guys to play 10 years at a real high level.”

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