March 13: Rumors that the Cowboys were considering signing Sammy Watkins, possibly as a replacement to Dez Bryant, shake up the Cowboys wide receiver situation.
There are more defensive line options available. The Chiefs did visit with free agent Muhammad Wilkerson, but he is headed to the Packers. Sheldon Richardson is one to watch after the Jets traded him to Seattle last year.
March 7: Cowboys release defensive end Benson Mayowa and defensive tackle Joe Vellano
Chiefs to sign former Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens – Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Chiefs set to sign WR Watkins, LB Hitchens
News broke early Tuesday morning that Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens will sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. While there were rumors of the linebacker leaving town, there was still a slimmer of hope that maybe things could work out. In the end, Hitchens will now be playing in the AFC.
If not free agency, the Chiefs would look to the draft for defensive line help but without a first-round pick they cant expect much immediate help.
The Kansas City Chiefs paying huge money for Sammy Watkins likely led to one response from some fans: But what about the struggling defense?
The Chiefs plan to sign the former Dallas Cowboys linebacker to a deal worth $9 million per season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Networks Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday morning, according to sources informed of the move. He was ranked No. 50 in NFL.coms Top 101 Free Agents of 2018.
Replacing Anthony Hitchens will be difficult but Cowboys couldnt pay price – Todd Archer, ESPN
The Chiefs were also rumored to be interested in DT Star Lotulelei of the Panthers but he is headed to the Bills.
$9 million/year was too much for the Cowboys to swallow. Now, how will they replace their former linebacker?
In a plea deal, Harris was given a suspended sentence for the charge of possession of marijuana, which included two years unsupervised probation, 80 hours of community service, completion of the NFL’s drug treatment program and two days in jail. He’s already completed the NFL’s drug treatment program, according to the court, and started serving the two days in jail on March 9.
Jaylon Smith is the on-campus answer at the moment, but the spot could become a higher priority in the draft, meaning top 2-3 rounds.
The Cowboys might not have the luxury to keep Smith on a pitch count if they play him at middle linebacker. They could give him time at strongside linebacker and maybe even ask him to rush the passer, which was a strength at Notre Dame.
Replacing Hitchens wont be easy but paying him $9 million a season wasnt the answer either.
Cowboys 2018 free agency: Was Sammy Watkins going to be a Dez Bryant replacement? – RJ Ochoa, BTB
Hitchens, who The Kansas City Star reported will make about $9 million per season, would fill Johnsons spot alongside Reggie Ragland in the middle of the defense. The 2014 fourth-round pick had 84 tackles in only 12 starts last season, when a knee injury sidelined him the first four games.
Despite not making a splash on Tuesday, it turns out that the Cowboys were actually interested in a pair of receivers. What does this mean for Dez Bryant?
Among the other big moves (at this moment) are Sammy Watkins agreeing to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs and Allen Robinson doing so with the Chicago Bears. These are the two biggest wide receivers on the market, and the Cowboys have had a question about Dez Bryant.
Why does this involve Dallas? Because multiple resources have reported that the Cowboys were interested in both free agent receivers, especially Sammy Watkins.
Will things change now that Dallas has shown interest in a theoretical Dez replacement?
The possibility that Dez Bryant could be released is still real, but its just as possible that he stays. Whats apparent now more than ever is that the Cowboys might actually be settling for Dez, at least in their own eyes.
The 1 Player Every NFL Team Should Sign This Offseason – Zach Kruse, Bleacher Report
Could the Cowboys fix the interior of the defensive line in free agency? With this potential signing, it could happen.
If the Cowboys got defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, that would create a much bigger splash, but signing Bennie Logan might be the better, more realistic option.
Logan shouldnt break the bank, and hed give the Cowboys a legitimate run-stuffer to plug into the middle of the defensive line. He eats up blocks, freeing up linebackers to make plays, and he can use leverage and power to win one-on-one opportunities.
The Cowboys need to add a player along the defensive line, but they probably cant afford to get too aggressive in chasing the biggest free agents. Signing Logan to a modest deal accomplishes the goal without a massive financial commitment
When the Redskins traded for quarterback Alex Smith, it became clear that Kirk Cousins would soon be leaving the NFC East. Now, it appears that Cousins will be signing with the 2018 NFC runner-ups.
Former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, sources tell ESPNs Adam Schefter.
The landmark deal will make Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the league.
No final decisions have been made, Cousins agent, Mike McCartney, said Tuesday. The plan is to visit Minnesota first. Thats all we can say right now.
Dallas Cowboys offseason checklist: Seven steps to make it back to the playoffs – Jared Dubin, CBS Sports
Could restructuring Travis Fredericks contract get the Cowboys closer another playoff berth?
The Cowboys essentially built yearly restructures into Fredericks contract by artificially lowering his future base salaries. They clearly intend to restructure this contract in order to lower his base salary (and thus his cap hit) this season and guarantee him greater payouts in the future. Given his enviable combination of consistent excellence and durability — like Martin, Frederick has played and started every game of his career and has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons; hes also been an All-Pro three times — the Cowboys should be fully confident that he will be a stalwart in the middle of their line for years to come. Dallas can re-do Fredericks deal this offseason to knock his cap hit down to around $6 million, creating an additional $7.235 million in space.
Cowboys priorities: Zack Martins extension, speed receiver – Todd Archer, ESPN
Two of the Cowboys biggest offseason priories include extending Zack Martin and finding a speedy wideout in either free agency or the draft.
Get ahead of the 2019 market: Since the Cowboys took care of their top priority last week by putting the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, they have to sign Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin to an extension. Martin is set to play this season on the fifth-year option, but that doesnt mean the Cowboys should wait to get a deal done. The price will only go up next year for Martin, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. He should be the highest-paid guard in the NFL, which would also make him the highest-paid offensive linemen on the Cowboys roster. Without a new deal for Lawrence by mid-July, the Cowboys could find themselves losing Martin or Lawrence to free agency in 2019.
Andrew Norwells contract should set floor for Zack Martins Cowboy deal – Todd Archer, ESPN
Panthers guard Andrew Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million deal ($30 million guaranteed) with the Jaguars on Tuesday. How does that affect the Cowboys and their All-Pro offensive guard?
Martin has been everything the Cowboys could have dreamed since they selected him with the No. 14 pick in 2014. Remember all of the Johnny Manziel nonsense at the time of the draft? Martin has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. He has made first- or second-team All Pro in all four of his seasons. He has not missed a game in his four seasons. He has hardly even missed a practice as well.
The price will only go up for Martin. A year ago Kevin Zeitler signed a free-agent deal with the Cleveland Browns worth $12 million annually. Norwells deal tops that, but the guarantee is a little less. The Cowboys can surpass Norwells average per year and Zeitlers guarantee and still be in good shape against the cap in 2018 and beyond.
When the consolation prize becomes a preference: Cowboys defensive tackle targets – Jeff Cavanaugh, The Athletic DFW (subscription)
Who are some defensive tackles — besides Vita Vea and Daron Payne — to know? Cavanaugh has some named to know.
This is one of my guys. He had six sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss last year at USF. When Stephen Jones talked about drafting defensive tackles he said he wouldnt use a first-round pick on a one technique unless he has some three technique traits. Senat has that.
Senat is more than just a strong guy at the point of attack. Hes the big guy that also has some initial quickness to penetrate. One of the things that I notice with big defensive lineman is whether they are finishers. Senat is a finisher.
Whats the biggest mistake the Cowboys could make in the first round of the draft? – Dane Brugler, SportsDay
There are some fans who want the Cowboys to trade back this April. Dane Brugler isnt so sure that such a decision is the best choice.
Whats the biggest mistake the Cowboys could make in the first round of the draft?
Brugler: Trading back and not getting proper value. I know that seemed to work out in 2013 when they traded back for Travis Frederick, but more times than not, it wont work out that positively. There will be good players at No. 19. If they look to trade back, get proper value.