Cowboys news: Dallas confirmed to open in Cleveland, Christmas Day game in play

Cowboys to play Week 1 opener in Cleveland – Nick Eatman,

The Cowboys will open in Cleveland on FOX, with Tom Brady on the call for the first time.

The league is announcing a few notable games on Monday to preview the full regular-season schedule release on Wednesday.

Brady, the only quarterback to win seven Super Bowls in NFL history, officially retired from the NFL after the 2022 season. In his second year with the Bucs, Brady was eliminated by the Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card round, 31-14 in Tampa. It was Cowboys’ first road playoff win in 30 years.

After taking the 2023 season off from football, Brady agreed to join Fox as an analyst, signing a lucrative deal with Fox on the No. 1 team, alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt.

This will be the Cowboys’ first season opener not played at night since 2019 against the Giants. It’s also the first opener against an AFC opponent since 2011 at the Jets. Three years earlier, the Cowboys began the 2008 season in Cleveland.

NFL to Netflix? Network is expected to land a pair of 2024 games – Shane Taylor, Inside The Star

With new places to watch games every year, the Cowboys could make history by playing the first game on Netflix on Christmas Day.

Will The Cowboys Be Featured?

Let’s be honest; if Netflix lands these games from the other networks on Christmas day, the Dallas Cowboys have to be the early favorite for them.

The Cowboys are the world’s most popular sports team, and that will land the network so much money just by folks buying Netflix to watch one football game.

If Netflix does win the big, it shouldn’t be a surprise. His move with Amazon and others has already shown this is the way he is leading the charge.

“In each of those platforms, our average age of our audience went down eight to 10 years,” the NFL commissioner said at the draft. “So that’s where a lot of people are that we need to reach, and that’s why we’re investing in it.”

Jerry Jones would love nothing more than to be the “first,” team to do something like this.

If this deal gets done, I am sure he will be the first to reach out to the commission and offer his team to play on the network.

The full schedule is to be released in two days, so we won’t know the network they play on Christmas day, but only the opponent.

Who Might They Play?

Making an on-the-spot guess right now I would say Dallas will likely face the Eagles on Christmas day/night.

Sources: Lions signing QB Jared Goff to 4-year, $212M extension – ESPN

The latest on the QB market that could affect Dak Prescott.

The Detroit Lions are signing quarterback Jared Goff to a four-year, $212 million contract extension that includes $170 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

The deal makes the 2016 No. 1 pick the highest-paid player in franchise history.

The $53 million average annual salary in Goff’s new deal makes him the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, behind only the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow ($55 million).

Detroit has now rewarded three of its star players this offseason with over $444 million in contract extensions to Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and offensive tackle Penei Sewell.

St. Brown received a four-year, $120.01 million deal, and Sewell signed for $112 million over four years. With those massive deals in place, the Lions are aware that the standards in Detroit have been raised.

Every Team’s Biggest Needs, Remaining Cap Space After 2024 NFL Free Agency, Draft – Staff, Bleacher Report

The Cowboys seem all but locked into a RB by committee approach for 2024.

Dallas Cowboys

Key Offseason Additions: RB Ezekiel Elliott, LB Eric Kendricks, OT Tyler Guyton, Edge Marshawn Kneeland, IOL Cooper Beebe

Notable Departures: Edge Dorance Armstrong, C Tyler Biadasz, DL Neville Gallimore, WR Michael Gallup, DL Johnathan Hankins, RB Tony Pollard, OT Tyron Smith

Remaining Team Needs: RB, CB, OL

Cap Space: $4.5 Million

Realistic Targets: RB Jerick McKinnon, CB Stephon Gilmore, OT Donovan Smith

The Cowboys didn’t enter the offseason with a ton of cap flexibility, and they apparently weren’t very interested in creating space. Dallas’ lone early addition was that of linebacker Erick Kendricks. After the draft, the Cowboys brought back former starting running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The Cowboys lost several key contributors from 2023, and they’re betting heavily on rookies like Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe to help replace them.

Dallas did not, however, draft a running back. Elliott, who averaged just 3.5 yards per carry last season, has clearly lost a step. Having him lead a committee that also includes Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn and Royce Freeman is a questionable strategy. The Cowboys can afford to add more to their backfield rotation.

Receiving back Jerick McKinnon would be a fine budget add, as he’s shown in recent years that he can be impactful with a limited role. Despite being a role player, he caught 94 regular-season passes over the last three years.

Mazi Smith weight revelation will make Cowboys fans more grateful for Mike Zimmer – Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat

Year two is a complete reset for 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith.

Under Mike Zimmer, Smith is expected to transition back to a nose tackle. That’s the best-case scenario for Smith and the Cowboys. The early indications are extremely positive after Smith weighed in to start Dallas’ offseason program.

Mazi Smith’s weight revelation validates Cowboys’ Mike Zimmer hire

Per Patrik Walker of the team’s official website, Smith weighed in a 328 pounds. That’s notable because that’s the weight Smith was at during the pre-draft process. In other words, Smith is back to his Michigan playing weight, which helped him become one of the most disruptive DTs in the nation.

Smith was one of the strongest players in the 2023 class. He has the prototypical build of a nose tackle, which made Quinn’s supposed weight loss request all the more baffling. It’s not like Smith’s weight impacted his snap share, either. He averaged almost 50 snaps per game against power five schools.

It’s impossible to deny that Smith disappointed as a rookie, but we struggle to put much stock in his struggles given he was asked to perform at an unfamiliar weight and switch positions. It might not seem like much on paper, but but a 1-tech nose tackle and three-technique DT are miles apart in terms of playing styles.

Smith’s weight gain speaks to Mike Zimmer’s vision for the player and Cowboys defense as a collective. Zimmer’s defenses historically have prioritized stopping the run.


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