FRISCO - COO Stephen Jones said his Dallas Cowboys finished up the NFL Draft with 11 players left on their board still deemed as "draftable.'' Soon it'll be time to take the group to Oxnard, as news keeps rolling in ...
JUNE 11: WR SHUFFLE The Cowboys have made two moves at the wide receiver spot with the signing of Reggie Davis, and the corresponding release of Stephen Guidry.
Davis was on the the Cowboys practice squad for the most part during portions of 2018 and 2019.
He’d been free since the Bears cut him in May.
Guidry had been dealing with an injury that caused him to miss some on-field practice work.
JUNE 11: OSA SIGNS The Dallas Cowboys have been busy getting signatures. First-round pick Micah Parsons and second-round selection Kelvin Joseph both signed this week. That means nine of the 11 picks have signed now that third-round pick Osa Odighizuwa has signed his four-year rookie contract.
The only Cowboys rookies left to be signed now are third-rounders Chauncey Golston and Nahshon Wright.
SUNDAY: The NFL Draft Day 3 launched Saturday with the Dallas Cowboys harboring hopes of repeating what they did on Days 1 and 2: One final day of "stick-to-the-board'' jackpots.
And then came Will McClay's personnel department chasing the UDFAs - the "eighth round of the NFL Draft,'' if you will ..
Undrafted Free Agent Signings:
Garrett Marino - DL, UAB (via Terez Paylor)
Ladarius Hamilton - EDGE, North Texas (via Tom Pelissero)
Ron'Dell Carter - EDGE, James Madison (via Bobby Belt)
Azur Kamara - Edge, Kansas (via Clarence Hill)
Francis Bernard - LB, Utah (via Josh Newman)
Luther Kirk - DB, Illinois State (via Andre DiCecco)
Sean McKeon - TE, Michigan (via Josh Henschke)
Rico Dowdle - RB, South Carolina (via Rico Dowdle)
Sewo Olonilua - RB, TCU (via Bobby Belt)
Darius Anderson - RB, TCU (via Todd Archer)
Aaron Parker - WR, Rhode Island (via Mark Daniels)
Stephen Guidry - WR, Mississippi State (via Bobby Belt)
Kendrick Rogers - WR, Texas A&M (via Mike Alzamora)
Terence Steele - OT, Texas Tech (via Jane Slater)
Charlie Taumoepeau - TE, Portland State (via Cleodis Floyd)
The Cowboys were going to add Quartney Davis, the Texas A&M receiver, but ...
The most fascinating of the signings might be EDGE rusher Azur Kamara of Kansas ... not just because of his potential at 6-4 and 250, but also because of his background.
He is, in short, a refugee from 7,000 miles away who hadn't played football, ever, in his life, until coming to America just a few years ago.
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11:59 am SATURDAY: DALLAS GETS ANOTHER PRIMO PROSPECT: What we wrote coming into Saturday anticipating Rounds 4 through 7 of the NFL Draft: About 20 or so names the Cowboys have gotten to know - and names we've gotten to know - who are still available today.
And the Round 4 winner is ... Reggie Robinson II from Tulsa.
Robinson is 6-0, 205 and last year recorded four interceptions and 17 passes defended while reportedly allowed just one TD.
9 am SATURDAY: RECAP OF 1-2-3 LUCK: On Day 1, in the first round, the Cowboys entered with Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb as the No. 6 player on their Big Board. They calculated that there was literally a zero-percent chance of him falling to their spot at No. 17.
But fall he did. What luck.
On Day 2, in the second round, the Cowboys entered with Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs carrying a grade so high that had Lamb not been available, Diggs would have been a consideration at 17. The Cowboys calculated that there was a one-percent chance of Diggs falling to them at their spot at 51.
But fall he did. What luck.
And then came Day 2's third round. The Cowboys swear that Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore was a consideration at 51, the spot used on Diggs. Could he really fall to their spot at 82?
Fall he did. Of course he did. What luck.
9 pm FRIDAY: STANDING PAT: The second-round pick "came to Dallas.'' After losing Byron Jones in free agency this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys were in need of some secondary help heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Luckily for Dallas, one of the highest-rated players left on its board at the position was still available when it was on the clock in Friday's Round 2, making the selection of Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs an easy one for Jerry, Stephen, and company.
The Cowboys loved Diggs as a candidate to be taken in Round 1. And i turn, what does Diggs think of the Cowboys?
"I love the Dallas Cowboys. I love everything about the Dallas Cowboys," Diggs said on 105.3 The Fan. "I've always been a Cowboys fan, so when they called me, it was amazing. ... I'm extremely thankful for them taking a chance on me. I'm going to make the most of it."
Diggs went on to say that he couldn't believe it when Jerry Jones was on the other end of his phone.
"I've always been a fan of Jerry,'' Diggs said. "It was amazing when I first talked to him. I was starstruck because I was like, 'This is Jerry Jones I'm talking to.'"
5 pm FRIDAY: TIME FOR A TRADE-UP: Let’s do the math. The Cowboys tell us they have first-round grades on two players still available as Round 2 is about to start. We think we can figure out who those two are ... down to a collection of five names: Diggs, McKinney, Delpit, Baun and Fulton.
Two in that bunch. Which means the Cowboys are a Trade Value Chart away from an easy deal.
Why “easy”? Because multiple teams at the top of Round 2 - including the Bengals at No. 33. and the Colts at No. 34 - want out.
Is there a TVC match for a Dallas trade? Yup. 51 + 82 = the range of 33/34.
There’s your trade. You get your guy. You get another blue-chipper. I suspect Dallas will end up waiting ... and hey, maybe Diggs, McKinney, Delpit, Baun or Fulton come tumbling down, just like CeeDee Lamb did 24 hours before.
9:20 p.m: CEEDEE TO BIG D: And one large "get'' for Dallas: A shocker, as Jerry Jones got his "flare'' with the shocking drop of Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb - the No. 6 player on Dallas' Big Board and to many the No. 1 pass-catcher in this draft - tumbling to the Cowboys at No. 17.
The debate? They had their guy in K'Lavon Chaisson, and pass-rusher was a need. He was available ... but Dallas went with "grade'' over "need'' - the sort of things teams talk about but rarely do.
7 p.m. LOOKING FOR FLARE!' What exactly is Jerry Jones talking about? We're not sure. But he's talking ...
"I’m looking for something that you can’t measure,'' he just said on the DallasCowboys.com cast as the NFL Draft got underway. "We are looking for flare. We want someone who wants it real bad."
OK. Insert "Office Space'' joke?
Seriously, this is Jerry's newest way of saying he wants to "make a splash.'' But really ... just drafting a great prospect would be enough.
5:40 p.m. WHAT'S A 'BLINKING LIGHT'? I sought to find out why the Dallas Cowboys were going to make the running back from Georgia, D’Andre Swift, a "30 Visit'' and then ultimately did interview him.
Was it "just covering our bases'' or something more?
A source tells me: "No smoke-screening. If we like a guy, we want to know him. We want to be ready for anything.''
Sure, but the 5-foot-8, 212-pound Swift, who led Georgia with 1,218 rushing yards last season, figures as a) the No. 1 back to be taken and b) to be taken late in the first round and c) you know, Ezekiel Elliott.
But then I'm reminded of something Stephen Jones said last year about the O-line pick of Connor McGovern. They got him in the third, but had a second-round grade on him..
So, "He was a blinking light,'' Stephen said.
Readiness. If a player like Swift sits too long? He "blinks.'' And Dallas wants to make sure they know that player.
8 a.m.: SIX TELL-TALE TIPS. For the Dallas Cowboys, there are six things that will go unchanged. ... virtual or not. Those six things (crafted from the long-standing smart work of colleague KD Drummond) tend to tell us plenty about what Dallas is going to do in an NFL Draft.
And "The Six Tell-Tale Tips'' are ...
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 1: Can we get best player at position? Look at the history. Ezekiel Elliott. Zack Martin. Travis Frederick. Morris Claiborne. Tyron Smith. Dez Bryant.
Over the decade, the Cowboys pinpointed who they thought was the top player at his position ... and zeroed in.
This year? Picking at No. 17, if we want to consider "Designated Pass Rusher as different from "defensive end,'' LSU's K’Lavon Chaisson qualifies - and Dallas would love him at 17. Center Cesar Ruiz (in a trade-down) surely does. Safeties Xavier McKinney (Alabama) and Grant Delpit (LSU) do as well.
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 2: Let's 'Wild-Cat' Our Way To A Risk! It truly may be due in part to owner Jerry Jones' oil-well wild-cattin' days ... but he loves the thrill of the dice roll. It's almost as if he uses Round 1 to drill for oil in a "sure-thing'' way ... and then sees Round 2 as "house money.'' And so he ...
Says "yes'' to the 2019 long-shot Trysten Hill (he didn't start in college?!), says "yes'' to the 2016 long-shot Jaylon Smith (ACL injury/nerve damage means he might never ever walk right again?!), says "yes'' to the 2015: long-shot Randy Gregory (a failed drug test AT THE SCOUTING COMBINE?!), says "yes'' to the 2014 trade-up for DeMarcus Lawrence, says "yes'' to the 2013 oddity of Gavin Escobar, says "yes'' to trading up for Claiborne, says "yes'' to the 2011 risk of Bruce Carter (ACL injury) and says "yes'' to the 2010 risk of Sean Lee (ACL injury).
That's a decade. That's a pattern.
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 3: Athleticism is everything. The Cowboys love their SPARQ. They love their RAS. Which is why they loved their Byron Jones and their Leighton Vander Esch, with all of that off-the-charts athleticism.
Find us SPARQ'y guys. The Cowboys will like 'em.
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 4: Follow the Money. The awareness of this that permeates The Star is amazing. At the beginning of this year's NFL Free Agency period, we had a staffer tell us about the concerns at cornerback. He stated the fact that Byron Jones would be gone (to Miami), that Anthony Brown was free (he did re-sign here) ... and more, that a year from now, Jourdan Lewis and Chido Awuzie might very well be gone.
This staffer is not in the cornerback business or in the salary-cap business. Yet he had an acute awareness of how the cornerback cupboard might soon be bare.
"Follow the Money.'' The Cowboys, as an organization, are on their toes as it regards which positions are about to need raises - or need to be released and replaced.
Which position is loaded with post-2020 expiring contracts? Cornerback. This is why Florida cornerback CJ Henderson is beloved by Dallas. (He'll go earlier). This is why Clemson cornerback AJ Terrell and Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs are in play at 17.
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 5: Will McClay Wants Big-School Kids. The Cowboys since 2013 - the year McClay truly rose to power - target players from powerhouse schools ... players who are used to playing in front of 80,000 people ... players who have been blue-chip for most of their lives.
When you get a chance, look at the history yourself. And look now at not just the players Dallas is known to like in this draft, but also the schools: Florida. LSU. Clemson. Alabama. Ohio State.
Cowboys Tell-Tale Tip 6: The Joneses Tell Pre-Draft Media Truths. It's a weird phenomenon, but it's true: While there are other times of the year when Jerry and Stephen play possum, the days before the NFL Draft aren't among those.
Ask them for hints and they will give you hints.
How did it happen in our virtual presser this week? Stephen talked openly about needing help at secondary, D-line and receiver. (In that order.) Jerry talked about his reluctance to trade 17 for Jets safety Jamal Adams. All involved talked about the plan to draft a QB late.
There is an openness there if we listen. In fact, there is openness in all six of these "tell-tale tips.'' All we have to do is listen ... and now wait.
NFL Draft Mock Roundup: Who The 'Experts' Peg To Cowboys
By Mike Fisher
FRISCO - I use the word "experts'' here loosely because in most cases, sportswriters aren't scouts. I see our job as being to talk to "experts,'' though, and then to analyze and disseminate information from there.
So, let's do just that with a first-round look at tonight's NFL Draft and what some of the country's most respected "sportswriting experts'' think of the Dallas Cowboys and what they'll do with the No. 17 overall selection.
Bryan Broaddus, 105.3 The Fan: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU, DE
Jeff Cavanaugh, 105.3 The Fan: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU, DE
Matthew Postins, CowboysSI.com: A.J. Terrell, Clemson, CB (See the Postins 7-round Cowboys Mock Draft here.)
Peter King, Pro Football Talk: Xavier McKinney, Alabama, Safety
Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report: CJ Henderson, Florida, CB
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Xavier McKinney, Alabama, Safety
Todd McShay, ESPN: CJ Henderson, Florida, CB
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU, DE
Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU, DE
Mike Fisher (that's me), CowboysSI.com and 105.3 The Fan: K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU, DE - and allow me to paint the scenario in which the Cowboys catch that particular break:
The Cowboys need there to be one guy who gets taken ahead of them ... one guy who they don't especially love or need - to let Chaisson fall into their laps at 17.
The two pivot points there? What if the Denver Broncos, wishing very much to take a receiver while getting shut out on the top three, reach for the fourth-best one at No. 15? (Dallas seems intent on not bothering with a receiver early). And/or what if the Atlanta Falcons, at 16, pick South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who has some injury issues that concern Dallas.