The Cowboys can save some money against the salary cap with a few moves.
3. Ezekiel Elliott ($10.9 million)
The Cowboys really need to make a decision with Elliott, because it’s downright painful to keep writing of him in such a negative light. Either rip the band-aid off and cut him, or inform the masses he’s coming back for a last dance.
By now, you likely know we’re in favor of cutting Elliott. Dallas already tagged Tony Pollard, which means they have $10.09 million committed to one running back. Even with Elliott back on a reduced salary — say $4-6 million — you’d be talking about upwards of $15 million owed to the position next season.
2. Jourdan Lewis ($4.7 million)
The Cowboys can ill afford to lose more cornerbacks with Anthony Brown slated for free agency, and Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright struggling to cement themselves as starters, let alone trustworthy backups.
That said, cutting Jourdan Lewis would create nearly $5 million in cap room. He has one year left on his three-year deal, and will only count $5.8 million against the cap in 2023, but the potential savings and minimal dead money charge (just $1.1 million) will be hard to ignore for the cap-constrained Cowboys.
1. Neville Gallimore ($2.743 million)
Defensive tackle is arguably the weakest position on the Cowboys roster, so releasing a rotation player might not seem like good business. The thing with Gallimore, though, is he wasn’t in the rotation by the end of the year.
The Cowboys division rival has signed their quarterback to a long-term deal.
After weeks of intense negotiations and with time running out before the franchise tag deadline, the New York Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones finally agreed to a new deal.
The Giants will sign Jones to a four-year contract worth $160 million plus incentives pending a routine physical.
The agreement comes following a breakout season from Jones in which he completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,205 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. He also rushed for 708 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and scoring an additional seven touchdowns.
Jones’ play helped lead the Giants back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and pick up their first postseason win since Super Bowl XLVI.
“We’d like Daniel to be here. . . We feel like Daniel played well this season and did everything we asked him to do,” general manager Joe Schoen said at his year-end press conference
Cowboys mock draft: Todd McShay joins Mel Kiper in picking the wrong position for Dallas - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
Tight end seems to be a popular position for the Cowboys first round picks in recent mock drafts.
Last week we discussed a Mel Kiper Jr. mock draft that had the Cowboys selecting tight end Dalton Kincaid out of Utah with their first-round pick. In that article, we didn’t knock the player and his skills, just that high-quality tight ends can usually be found later in the draft. For example:
Throw in that one of the greatest Cowboys tight ends ever, Jason Witten, was a third-round pick.
Sure, there are some first-round tight ends that go on to success, but the best producing tight ends in the game right now were generally not first-round picks. Even the first-round picks like T.J. Hockenson and Evan Engram are now on their second teams.
Plus, the Cowboys have Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot on the roster, and both displayed untapped potential last season. The Cowboys should want to get those guys on the field more and put them in pass-catching situations assuming that Dalton Schultz leaves in free agency.
The XFL may be a necessary avenue for acquiring talent, but how difficult is it?
Watching some of the Scouting Combine and the XFL this weekend made me wonder what, if anything, can you learn about a player in the XFL when they are basically playing against practice squad players at best? If you see a defensive lineman who dominates, how do you decide if that may translate to playing against NFL offensive linemen? – Ed Thomas/Washington, IA
Nick:It’s not that difficult at all. You bring that “defensive linemen” in for a workout or even sign him to the training camp roster. If he continues to dominate against the guys you’ve got, you either worry about the players on your roster that are getting beat, or feel like you’ve stolen a good player. It’s no different than signing the MVP of the league last year and putting him on the roster to return punts and play receiver. Two preseason games later, he’s taking his pads off at halftime because he’s already made the roster and ends up making the Pro Bowl as a return specialist. I’m not saying they’re all going to be like KaVontae Turpin, but he’s a great example that there is some talent in that league.
Kurt: I would think scouting the XFL is a bit similar to scouting prospects from smaller colleges. Guys may light it up at schools in non-Power Five conferences, but how do you know they can make the significant jump to the NFL? Tyler Smith (2022) and Reggie Robinson (2020) were both drafted out of the University of Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference. One was able to take the next step. One couldn’t. But that’s the job of the team’s scouts, to find these diamonds in the rough. Just look at last year and KaVontae Turpin. Here’s a guy who went from actually playing football in Poland in August of 2021, to attending Dallas’ training camp in August of 2022, to playing in the Pro Bowl just this past February. Amazing. So while the odds of something like that happening again are pretty low, you can bet the Cowboys’ scouting department will still be keeping an eye on what talent might be available in the XFL. As they say, no stone unturned.
There is lots to draw from the Cowboy’s combine meetings.
Positions the Cowboys are targeting
It should be of no surprise cornerback tops the list as the Cowboys’ most interviewed position. 2022 starter, Anthony Brown, is a free agent and coming off an Achilles injury.
As things look now, Dallas is in the market for a starting cornerback and the draft is the most cost-effective place to fill that need. With Trevon Diggs looking for a new deal, cost-effective solutions are critical and many expect the Cowboys to be hunting for an immediate starter early.
Dallas scouts the entire draft
It’s important to note, just because the Cowboys are scouting cornerback, safety, and receiver the most, doesn’t mean they’re targeting those three positions with their first three picks.
Some positions they’ve scouted are made up of more middle-and-late-round players; positions like safety.
Like most teams, Dallas would like to know the players they’re selecting in every round. Ideally, they would speak to most of their future players at some point in the draft process, which means interviewing players who are predicted be late round picks.
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