The draft is coming. Plus all the other headlines you need.
Mick Shots: Cowboys Covering All Their Bases – Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com
This collection of tidbits on how well the Cowboys have done in the offseason and other odds and ends has a very pertinent factoid tucked away for those who think they know what the team is thinking about the draft.
Cowboys draft meetings began on Monday and will continue over two weeks with coaches, scouts, player personnel and front office convening for day-long meetings. No less intensive, though, even without a first-round pick.
NFL Draft 2019: Deebo Samuel is the most fearless wide receiver this year – Stephen White, SBNation.com
The prospects who the Cowboys bring in for their 30 official visits usually signal a lot about how the team will use their draft picks. So let’s dive in.
Before I get into what Deebo Samuel is, let me assure you of what he is not.
That guy would try to run through a brick wall if it was standing between him and the end zone. He isn’t exactly small at 5’11 and 214 pounds anyway, and he plays with a nice edge to him. Not only is he fearless when it comes to contact, he practically searches it out when he has the ball in his hands.
That was one thing that constantly jumped out to me about Samuel while watching his tape. Once he was in possession of the football, he always tried to get every single inch out of that play.
And he didn’t mind dishing out a little punishment in the process.
DT Trysten Hill comes with baggage, but could add a lot to Cowboys defensive line – Kevin Turner, The Athletic
Another name that was reported in Dallas: DT Trysten Hill.
In freshman and sophomore years, Hill started 26 games at UCF. When Scott Frost and his staff left for Nebraska, Hill ended up only starting one game in his final season. It was no secret in Orlando that he was unhappy with his role in 2018. The fact that he only started one game doesn’t mean he didn’t play a lot. UCF ran a rotation and he was in the game during many key moments. I believe he has a future as a starting defensive tackle in the NFL, not strictly a rotational player.
At 6’3 and 308 pounds, Trysten Hill would be able to play both interior defensive tackle positions for the Cowboys. He shows explosive traits to create disruption in the backfield. While his stat line might not look sexy, the tape was really good.
I was fortunate enough to study Hill with former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com. One thing I wrote down in my notes is this quote from Broaddus: “I’ve never seen a guy do more good and not be rewarded for it.”
Dallas Cowboys: Film room: Grading three Cowboys pre-draft visitors, including a couple of enticing Day 3 options | John Owning, SportsDay
Want more pre-draft visitors? Of course you do. This offers a trio, including CB Chris Westry.
Measuring in at 6-4, 199 pounds, Westry possesses the frame and length that Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard values in cornerbacks, though he could stand add a few pounds of bulk. On top of his impressive size, Westry is a freakishly explosive athlete, as he reportedly ran a 4.31 40-yard dash, jumped 10-foot-1 in the broad and 38 inches in the vertical.
With this type of frame, length, speed and explosiveness, he possesses prototypical size and athleticism for the Cowboys’ scheme, having the speed to match vertical concepts along with the explosiveness and leaping ability to contest at the catch point.
Christian Miller could give Cowboys one of league’s best pass rushes – Joey Ickes, Cowboys Wire
More, did you say? OK. Here’s pass rusher Christian Miller from our old friend Joey.
Miller lined up as both the left and right defensive end in Alabama’s four-man fronts, playing from both a two and a three point stance. Because of the plethora of talent on the defensive front at Bama, he wasn’t always used as a rusher in high leverage rush situations, and often wound up in coverage on running backs or tight ends underneath.
However, when he got the opportunity to rush the quarterback, his athleticism and skill was on full display and allowed him to be highly productive.
He has the ability to beat blockers to the spot with an explosive first two steps, and has the necessary flexibility and balance to turn the corner through contact and close to the quarterback.
He excels in the hand-to-hand combat aspect of pass rushing and regularly keeps blockers from getting a clean punch with his own hand usage.
5 SPARQ Score Standouts the Cowboys Should Consider Drafting ✭ Brian Martin, Inside the Star
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and our own One Cool Customer has been looking at SPARQ for years now. (His latest efforts are up now.) Here is another writer’s take on some names to watch, including a local prospect.
Ben Banogu has somehow managed to fly a little bit under the radar in this year’s EDGE draft class, but his stock is rising. According to 3sigmaathlete.com he has the best SPARQ score of any edge-rusher, testing in the 97th percentile. That in itself speaks volumes to his athleticism, but it really hit’s home when you take into consideration the players he edged out. Montez Sweat for instance created a buzz for himself at the NFL Combine, but Banogu ended up testing just a little bit better.
I can confidently say Ben Banogu is definitely someone the Dallas Cowboys are familiar with. He played right down the road at TCU where he tallied 34.5 tackles for a loss and 17 quarterback sacks in 27 games. He participated at Dallas Day for local prospects, which will give him a chance to show off his athleticism and prove why he should be a consideration for the Cowboys on draft day. His production and athleticism may be too much for them to pass up.
6 Points: Writers Debate the Next Star to Sign – DallasCowboys.com staff
The arguments abound about who the Cowboys should sign next after getting the DeMarcus Lawrence deal done. And as one of the writers here points out, there are some very practical aspects that may drive things.
Bryan Broaddus: Dak Prescott makes a lot of sense due to the fact that it’s going to be the biggest contract on their books and having that in place with allow them to map out how they structure other deals going forward when it comes to building their team in the future. With that being said, I think the next deal they come up with is Amari Cooper. It appears that they have a clearer picture of where that market is as opposed to these quarterbacks. Look for the front to take the same approach they did with Lawrence and find a slot that makes the most sense for them. If they come up with the right number for Cooper then this deal has a chance to be done quickly.
Cowboys willing to bend in contracts if players meet in middle – Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
Stephen Jones addressed how the team is attempting to balance the desire of its star players to get paid with the need to take care of several of them.
The pieces of the salary-cap pie are smaller with Lawrence’s deal complete, but not to the point where the Cowboys can’t keep their cornerstone players on large, even precedent-setting deals.
“He’s trying to get as much of the pie as he can,” Jones said. “We understand that too. But at the end of the day, I think he understood what we were trying to do. I think it’s great to get on the phone and see there is a mutual respect there. I think sometimes you feel like, ‘They’re against me,’ but we’re really not. We’re rooting for him. We want to get it done. We want to pay him, as I’ve said about all of the players. We want to pay them fairly but unfortunately, if you’re going to try to put together a Super Bowl-caliber team, not unlike the early ’90s, you can’t have everybody trying to max out their deal.
“I know deep down that’s a hard thing to get your hands around when you’re a player, but at the same time that’s our job, is to try to verbalize that to them that we’ve got to take care of other people, too.”
DeMarcus Lawrence details why he wouldn’t mimic Le’Veon Bell – Patrik “No C” Walker, 247 Sports
In the postmortem on how he and the Cowboys came to a very lucrative agreement, DeMarcus Lawrence also showed he is a pretty wise individual.
The plan this offseason was well-known for Lawrence, in that he would not report to the team this summer without a longterm deal in place. He did confess after the signing, however, that he would’ve showed up the Saturday prior to Week 1, because as much as he respects All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and his decision to pass on $14.5 million by virtue of a second franchise tag from the Pittsburgh Steelers — there was zero chance he’d pull the same move in Dallas.
There were a couple of reasons why, he explained, but one in particular supersedes them all.
“I’m not leaving $20 million on the table for nobody,” Lawrence said. “I respect what Le’Veon did, but that’s him. Running backs have way more endorsement opportunities than defensive players, so with me — I have kids — so I can’t just sit there and do that to them.”
Taco Charlton must break out for Cowboys in 2019, or else – Patrik “No C” Walker, 247 Sports
Dallas’ 2017 first round pick has fallen short so far, and last season had some odd circumstances surrounding it. Will the third year be a charm for Taco Charlton, as happens with many pass rushers?
The Cowboys relegated him to the inactives list on more than one occasion before placing him back in the rotation to close out the season, and although head coach Jason Garrett framed the decision as injury-related — defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli carried a much more exasperated tone when discussing the situation. At this point, there’s no denying attitude played a part in setting him back, but Charlton himself made it all the more confusing when he took to Twitter to proclaim he had a “perfectly fine shoulder” and that “nothing is wrong” following his short rehab stint.
Clearly there was something going on behind the scenes and, just as obviously, he was actually not perfectly fine — hence the need for surgery in January.
Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Romo-Owned Fantasy Football Convention Upgraded To SportsCon | 105.3 The Fan staff
Remember when the NFL tried to shut these guys down? They say that success is the best revenge.
The National Fantasy Football Convention is no more, but the creators of the event have bigger plans.
Tony Romo, Ezekiel Elliott and the creators of the NFFC have upgraded the event into SportsCon, a convention that will bring athletes and fans of all sports together for one big event right here in North Texas.
“After listening to fans, attendees, players, and sponsors, it was clear that everyone wanted more. They wanted more sports, more players, more companies and even more access. We really had no choice but to expand in a major way,” said SportsCon CEO, Andy Alberth. “We’re humbled by our past successes and we’re motivated to provide fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up-close and personal with their favorite athletes from all sports.”
Why Cowboys heavy attendance for Nowitzki’s home finale matters a lot – Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire
Dallas saw a true sports legend take his bow as Dirk Nowitzki played in his final home game, and among the spectators for the historic moment was a large contingent of Cowboys. And that may say something about the football team they represented.
But fans who care to look deeper might argue that there’s a larger message being sent when the Cowboys take a group field trip to a Mavericks game.
These guys are a team, both on and off the field.
Scan the headlines or scroll through NFL Twitter and it doesn’t take long to find plenty of backbiting and petty me-versus-everybody nastiness. Antonio Brown publicly shaming a former teammate. Cole Beasley trashing his previous team’s facilities. David Irving hurling claims about his ex-coach.
But there’s Garrett at the AAC, certainly appearing plenty comfortable with and relating to all of his players. There’s Prescott and Elliott cheering on the Mavs, each supposedly amidst high-stakes discussions with the front office about his paycheck. There’s the entire offensive line having beers. There’s Cobb, the new guy already bonding with his fellow wide receivers. There’s Heath, whose very job may be in jeopardy after the team went out safety shopping, hanging out away from the office with his coworkers.
Maybe all of that is reading too much into the situation. Or maybe it’s a concrete example of precisely what members of the Cowboys have said they wanted to do: get out in the community as a team.
Tweet of the Day
The Dallas Stars won their first playoff game on Wednesday night. They have the support of their in-town friends, the Cowboys.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 10, 2019