Cowboys news: Dallas gets most of the draft class under contract

The team has taken care of some routine business, except for one draft pick.

Will CeeDee Lamb deal exceed $30M a year? How market affects Cowboys’ extension-seeking WR – Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News

Do A.J. Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown’s recent contract extensions affect CeeDee Lamb’s price tag?

Last month’s deals for Brown and St. Brown did not raise the price tag. To argue otherwise would be to assume Lamb would have accepted a contract below $30 million in annual new-money worth, which overlooks the steep jump in the league’s 2024 salary cap and the fact Lamb is coming off a franchise-record 135 catches for 1,749 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Lamb’s agent, Tory Dandy, was never going to be influenced by the agent who negotiated Brown’s contract.

Dandy represents them both.

Whenever Lamb is signed, where his new earnings register in relation to a $30 million average— a real, not fake $30 million — will be notable. Until then, the wait continues.

Lamb has yet to attend any of the Cowboys’ spring meetings or on-field workouts while awaiting an extension. He cannot be fined for skipping since the activities are voluntary until a June 4-6 minicamp. That said, the workout program is almost universally attended.

OTA and minicamp practices are the first offseason events in which offensive and defensive players can directly compete against each other. One-on-one drills for receivers against cornerbacks, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods are among the practice periods Lamb stands to miss — not to mention rapport-fortifying reps with his quarterback.

Skipping those practices wouldn’t be ideal, but missing the start to training camp in Oxnard, Calif., is more consequential. Training camp beginning in late July can be viewed the most powerful catalyst for negotiations.

Rookies report to The Star for minicamp this weekend – Nick Harris,

The Cowboys’ rookie minicamp kicks off this weekend.

The Dallas Cowboys welcomed in their 20-member rookie class on Thursday, as the group prepares to take part in rookie minicamp this weekend at The Star.

The day included them arriving at the facility, going through medicals, meeting with coaches and later signing the paperwork that officially makes them the newest members of the team before hitting the field starting tomorrow with Mike McCarthy and the rest of the coaching staff.

“It definitely has [sunk in] already,” first-round pick Tyler Guyton said. “But once I get on the field and put in some work, I’ll understand it.”’

Kneeland on No. 94 jersey, Cowboys’ expectations – Partik Walker,

The Cowboys’ second-round draft pick pulled back the curtains on how he reacted to getting drafted by Dallas and taking on the legendary number 94.

“I was looking at [the TV] and there were two minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock, and they said there’s a delay so I said to myself, ‘Ah, there’s no way they’ll get me. They’re probably already speaking to their guy,’” he explained. “Then I’m looking at the next [teams on the clock] and I see it get down to two minutes, and my phone rings with a Texas number. I’m like, ‘Wait a minute! There must not be a delay, or we’re high-speed streaming or something.’

“I answered the call and then seeing my name across the [broadcast] was crazy.’

Reality will set in quickly now, however, and especially when veterans join rookies in two weeks for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) — beginning May 21.

“I’m just ready to be able to learn from the older guys and take in a lot, and be able to produce as much as possible.”

The last part of that statement is all but required when donning the jersey assigned to Wheeland — the heralded No. 94. It’s one that has recently been worn by Randy Gregory but is more famously known because of the Hall of Fame dominance put on display by Demarcus Ware and Charles Haley when the fabric decorated their shoulder pads and chestplate.

Kneeland doesn’t view that as an added pressure, though. Instead, he wants to make sure that, after him, the Cowboys never allow anyone else to wear it ever again.

“I just want to add on to the legacy of the number,” said Kneeland. “I wanna get the number retired. It’s been some greats that have had it.”

Dallas Cowboys point to players returning from injuries as upgrades — but how true is that? – Saad Yousuf, The Athletic

The Cowboys believe that the players returning from injury will be an upgrade to this team over last season but is that really a solid foundation for how they have addressed free agency?

“We do have some guys who didn’t play for us last year,” Stephen Jones said. “(DeMarvion) Overshown, John Stephens Jr. was on his way to making this team before he tore his ACL. You have (Trevon) Diggs who didn’t get to play but a couple of games last year, so we’re going to have him back.”

Though those players are at different levels of proving their NFL worth, the Cowboys could use a boost from their talent. It is factually correct that those players are primed to return from injuries — all three tore ACLs — and be a significant part of the equation. But presenting them as a substitute for offseason activity is flawed logic for a few reasons. Before proceeding, it’s worth acknowledging that Stephen Jones’ framing is merely to provide a public excuse for the inactivity during a major player acquisition window. Perhaps he’s aware of the agitation of the Cowboys fan base and is trying to express more optimism after pessimism took center stage because of the complete outlook of the roster to that point. That would be understandable.

But if the front office looks at Diggs, Overshown and, to a lesser extent, Stephens as upgrades in the bigger picture, that’s troubling.

To begin with the obvious: There is a level of unpredictability with how each player will return from his injury. A torn ACL isn’t the kind of physical setback it typically was a couple of decades ago, but it’s still a major injury. The Cowboys saw it with Michael Gallup the past two seasons. A 1,000-yard receiver in 2019, Gallup never really returned to his pre-injury form after tearing his ACL in the final week of the 2021 season. From a timeline standpoint, the three players above had a favorable situation. Stephens and Overshown tore their ACLs in the preseason, and Diggs tore his before Week 3. They’ll each have nearly a full year of uninterrupted rehab time with no clock ticking in front of them rushing their return to the field. It also doesn’t hurt that each player is 25 years old or younger.

It’s not a reach to expect all three to reach their pre-injury forms, if not better, but it could take time and is still not a sure thing.

2024 NFL Draft: Cowboys’ first rounder Tyler Guyton transitioning to left tackle – Cory Kinnan, Sports Illustrated

The Cowboys’ first-round draft pick, Tyler Guyton, has already begun preparing to take over the LT position.

According to Guyton’s private coach, Duke Manyweather of OL Masterminds, the Cowboys have asked Guyton to make the switch. You can see a video of Guyton working on his footwork, learning to kick his left leg first, with Manyweather…

…This would pair Guyton with All-Pro guard Tyler Smith, their 2022 first rounder. With Terrence Steele fresh off of a contract extension last summer, their starting right tackle, this makes a great deal of sense for Dallas.

Former Cowboys CB Stephon Gilmore talks free agency: ‘I know the value I still bring’ – SportsDay Staff, Dallas Morning News

Cowboys’ free agent Stephon Gilmore wants to play in 2024 and is looking for the right opportunity.

In a recent conversation with NFL insider Josina Anderson, Gilmore said he is still focused on playing next season as he continues his recovery from the torn right labrum he played through the end of the season with, but his next team “has to be the right opportunity.”

“I feel like it’s the age thing with some of these teams,” said the 33-year-old. “If I was 28, I would already have been signed by now; at the same time, I know the value I still bring. If you watch the tape, I feel like I played well the last two years, and literally almost played every snap last year. So I’m staying patient, while watching my son who’s a wide receiver and cornerback lock people up on the field with his defensive back skills too.”

NFL’s 5 least improved teams of the offseason: Cowboys or Bills more disappointing? David Helman, Foxsports

Helman believes the Cowboys had the second-worst offseason. But not all hope is lost.

This joke has been beaten into the ground, but we can safely say the Cowboys have done the opposite of going “all-in,” as Jerry Jones infamously predicted back in January. Consider this: Not only are the Cowboys dead last in money spent this offseason, at roughly $20.7 million — but that figure also falls a full $46 million short of the next-worst New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys did not make a good-faith effort to improve the roster that fell woefully flat in the playoffs.

Throw in the uncertainty surrounding Dak Prescott’s contract extension, and the angst permeating the Cowboys’ fan base makes a ton of sense.

All of that said, it’s fair to point out that the situation isn’t exactly dire. The Cowboys return eight All-Pros from last year’s roster. Prescott is in the prime of his career, and CeeDee Lamb might be the best receiver in football.

This team still has legitimate playoff aspirations. It’s just hard to make the case they’ll improve on last year’s result — and isn’t that supposed to be the goal?


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