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Cowboys news: Dallas will host free agents on Monday including RB Ronald Jones

Notable headlines surrounding America’s team.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Are trade-happy Dallas Cowboys a serious NFC contender? They’re a few steps closer - Tim Cowlishaw, DMN

We have reached the point in the cycle where fans are starting to buy in again.

The Cowboys are behaving as if they actually see the writing on the wall. It’s time.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers appears to be headed for the Jets. Tom Brady’s retirement seems to be real this time. There is not a team in the NFC North or South that can even suggest it has moved into Super Bowl contender status this offseason, and the West now belongs solely to San Francisco. Yes, the 49ers remain a big problem for Dallas. They’re either a better team or a tougher one, and Dallas can either resolve that or keep going home early.

Let the 49ers figure out who’s playing quarterback and deal with them later. The Cowboys are chasing the Eagles (who have had a good March themselves by tying up Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and James Bradberry on defense), and they’re being pursued by the Giants. It’s easy to blow off New York since Dallas won both games without great concern but the Cowboys were 10-5 against everyone else and the Giants were 9-5-1. With some real receiving weapons, they may be about to reengage that rivalry.

Two trades for veteran players in one week have surely exhausted the Cowboys’ supply of creativity. Don’t expect much more until the draft, where Dallas more often plays to its strength than it does during the free-agency period. The Cowboys’ losses have been minimal. Dak will get over his melancholy, expressed this week after the release of Ezekiel Elliott.

Brandin Cooks Acquired by Cowboys in Trade Deal - Patrik Walker,

Well, look at Jerry and the front office staying busy on the weekend.

The way the Dallas Cowboys have been cooking these past few days, you’d think it was the week of Thanksgiving. Following a quiet start to 2023 NFL free agency last Monday, they’ve since made not one unexpected (and electric) trade, but now two in less than a week’s time — acquiring veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

In a deal struck with the Houston Texans, the Cowboys will receive Cooks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024, low-risk compensation for a potentially still-explosive drum of gunpowder.

Cooks, 29, is a former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints (2014) who has blown past 1,000-yards receiving in six of his nine NFL seasons, and that includes twice for a Texans team that lacked stability at quarterback.

To date, Cooks has racked up a total of 8,616 receiving yards and 49 receiving touchdowns — 8,925 scrimmage yards in all. What Cooks brings to the table for the Cowboys is speed, and gobs of it, his 4.33s 40-yard dash time proving that point in spades.

Here’s everything you need to know about Cowboys trading for Brandin Cooks - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Get to know the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Contract, cap details

Cooks has two years, $35 million remaining on his contract including $18 million for this season. Dallas currently has a little over $21 million in cap space with another $11 million available once Ezekiel Elliott’s salary comes off the books in June.

The Texans are going to pick up $6 million of the $18 million, leaving Dallas with $12 million of salary and $500,000 in per game roster bonuses.

Because Cooks played 13 games last year, his cap hit is currently $12,382,353. Dallas can walk away from Cooks after this season and not have any dead money; none of his $16.5 million cap hit in 2024 is guaranteed.

There does remain the possibility Cooks’ new base salary is converted into bonus money so that he doesn’t use almost half of the current amount of space.

This can be done simply by adding two void years to the deal, allowing Dallas to shrink his base salary almost down to $1 million and spreading the other $11 million cap hit evenly across the four seasons. This would reduce his 2023 cap to under $3.75 million, leaving Dallas with over $17 million to remain available right now.

There are a myriad of variations to this type of move.

‘OUT on OBJ!’ Cowboys WR Search Lands Brandin Cooks, Ends Odell Beckham Chase? - Mike Fisher and Adam Schultz, Sports Illustrated

And with that, the OBJ saga finally comes to an end.

The Dallas Cowboys are wise to exist in a “never say never’’ world, and so are we.

But after having finally nailed down the acquisition for that “offensive play-maker with juice’’ via the Sunday morning trade for Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks, is there any reason for Dallas to also continue chasing free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr.?

According to a source here inside The Star, there is not. The Cowboys, in short, are telling us they are “Out on OBJ.’’

The price for Beckham Jr. might not be the rumored $20 million APY, as OBJ used the weekend to debunk that. But we know the cost for Cooks, a pair of late-round draft picks and $12 million for 2023 and, if Dallas chooses, $13 million for 2024.

That represents what a Cowboys source told us on Sunday morning is “a steal,’’ and Cooks, 29, brings to Dallas none of the much-discussed baggage that OBJ travels with.

3 Cowboys headed for bigger roles in 2023 after first wave of free agency - Randy Gurzi, The Landry Hat

With every action, there is an opposite reaction. So, with recent departures, here is who is in line to see more playing time.

3. Devin Harper, LB

There was a lot of coverage surrounding the release of Ezekiel Elliott but he was far from the only player to leave Big D this past week. In fact, one very important member of the roster exited and hardly made any news when he did.

Linebacker Luke Gifford signed a two-year deal worth $4 million with the Tennessee Titans. For casual NFL fans, this might not seem like a huge loss but those who follow Dallas know what he brought to the table.

Primarily a special teams ace, Gifford had 17 tackles last season but the coaching staff believed he was ready for a larger role. That belief was due to the fact that Gifford was nearly automatic once he got his hands on the ball carrier.

With him out, Dallas will likely turn to second-year linebacker Devin Harper. A sixth-round pick from Oklahoma State, Harper is undersized at 6-foot-0 and 235 pounds and only saw the field on special teams.

His role with that unit should grow as they lean on his 4.5 speed in punt and kick coverage. Gifford left big shoes to fill but Harper has the tools to take over.


Who is your early pick to take the one seed in the NFC?


Not only will the Cowboys be going to the playoffs, but they will likely have the number one overall seed.

So much work has been put into the Cowboys lately that it seems the brightest future has been bestowed upon Dallas.

There are still some things that will need to be solved such as the quarterback problem, and the ability to win big games. Other than a few small things, the Cowboys have one of the most solid football teams out there.


The devil himself takes over the number two seed in the playoffs, as it appears that the 49ers will be strong once again, next season.

Even with their quarterback issues, the 49ers are complete and are only hungry for winning games.


This is where the world starts to become unstable. The Bears will make the playoffs this season, and may even win their own division.

With Green Bay on the decline and the Lions being, well, the Lions, the Bears have a great chance to win the division.

Not to even mention all the talk that has been surrounding that team with draft picks and talent. Quarterback Justin Fields will finally have weapons and be able to prove himself as the great quarterback he is.

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