FRISCO - A 10-point look inside the Dallas Cowboys talks with free-agent linebacker K.J. Wright. ...
1) The two sides have been talking for the last few days, sources tell us. Specific dollars have not been discussed.
2) The number of years that the long-time Seattle Seahawks standout might want has been discussed. His side came to the table thinking about a two-year deal; Dallas' initial thinking was for one year.
3) "Dallas has certainly always been on my list of 'dream teams,''' Wright told CowboysSI.com on Friday. "With coach Dan Quinn there, and with other aspects of that team and that defense, I do think it's one of the teams I fit in with.''
We might suggest that Wright has a very short list of "dream teams.'' Let's put it that way.
4) Nobody here inside The Star argues against the idea that the 6-4, 246-pound 10-year vet can still play at a dynamic level. The 31-year-old remains a force even after a decade of NFL football.
5) There is some sentiment that Wright's spot as a "third linebacker'' may have just been taken up by the one-year deal with Keanu Neal, like Wright a Quinn protege. Neal has been a safety by trade but will be a "hybrid'' weapon here, with plenty of snaps at WILL.
Does that mean the linebackers room is too crowded for Wright?
6) Or ...
From one source close to the situation: "If you believe in playing your best guys, you play Wright and Neal.''
How to do that? The Cowboys have some uncertainty at linebacker right now with Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee, and could use stability and high performance. Wright has been just that for Seattle, his credentials including winning a Super Bowl as part of the “Legion of Boom” defense and going to the Pro Bowl in 2016.
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Why can't Wright and Neal both be linebackers? Why can't Wright, Jaylon and Vander Esch be interchangeable parts as linebackers? Why can't Neal rotate in as strong safety with Donovan Wilson?
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"Best 11 on the field,'' right? "Player before system,'' right?
7) His connection with former boss Quinn, now Dallas' defensive coordinator, is a factor in the thinking. Wright has labeled Quinn a "defensive mastermind.''
We're going to assume that Quinn, who has already demonstrated that he has a powerful voice in personnel here at The Star, would give the concept in general a thumbs-up.
8) However ... my 105.3 The Fan colleague points out on Monday's "Fish Report'' that maybe Quinn only has so many flexes here.
The NFL Draft is coming up. While we'll bet that Quinn has already testified in meetings on this subject that Wright isn't "only'' a strong-side linebacker ... and maybe it's Jaylon Smith who should move there, meaning fewer snaps for him and more "down-hill'' chances to make plays. ... does Quinn want to win an in-house debate to obtain a 31-year-old?
Or would he prefer to flex at the NFL Draft to influence a decision on a 21-year-old?
9) The Cowboys of today like to think of themselves as "Super Bowl-worthy.'' But how do they know? How could they know?
Wright is hailed as a leadership guy in Seattle, maybe even a championship-level culture changer, and while the Dallas locker room might not think it needs that ... averaging seven wins per season in the last two years says otherwise.
10) Money is always an issue. For both sides. Interestingly, Wright's agent is Todd France, and there are two sides to that, too.
Are the Cowboys exhausted from their Dak Prescott-related wrestling with France, so much so that they'll pass on too much more wrestling? Or is COO Stephen Jones and his staff so comfortable with France after two-and-a-half years of interaction that they can eventually get on the same page again?
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