USA TODAY Sports, Mackenzie Salmon, spoke with NFL hopeful Isaiah Simmons about how his defensive versatility will take him to the next level.
UNITED STATES TODAY
The Cowboys know what it takes to trade in the fully virtual NFL 2020 project.
Dallas made fun of Monday’s test in the league, said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. A technological problem ensued. One of the Cowboys’ various technical backup plans ensured that the operation could always be carried out successfully.
But dress rehearsal aside: don’t expect the Cowboys to distribute No. 17 choice Thursday night for anything other than alternative selections.
“Probably unlikely to draft for an established star,” Jones said in a conference call with local journalists.
The Cowboys are linked to New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, which dates back to last year’s trade deadline. Adams previously expressed dissatisfaction with the Jets and said in october he “would love to go” to the Cowboys in his hometown of Dallas, although he has maintained this off-season which he expects to see again with New York. Safety has been a weakness for the Cowboys in recent years, with the team signing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in March after Jeff Heath left for the Raiders. Jets general manager Joe Douglas said Monday he would be ready to take calls for the All-Pro.
The management of the Cowboys does not say so quickly on commercial speculation.
“The idea of swapping a very valuable number one for an existing player who is likely to cost you more is unlikely,” said Jones. “I would say that is theoretically the case. I would say that is precisely the case.
“It is very unlikely that we would have the choice to use at the top of the project or to trade in for other choices of potential drafts. “
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The team is opposed to processing their first round selection for the second consecutive year for several reasons. First, Dallas makers say they feel good about the depth of the draft in positions of need, including the defensive back and the defensive end. They believe that they can fill a gap with their choice of mid-turn, especially in a year where the first round could involve a multitude of quarterbacks and tackles that will be taken early, as happened in the fake USA TODAY Network project this week.
“I like our 17th hole,” said Jones. “I like where we are at 17. There is quality without a doubt. “
A second factor: the Cowboys believe that the depth of the first round could encourage another team to offer a capital project in exchange for choice # 17. Jones pointed out how well it worked for Dallas in 2013, when the Cowboys returned from 18 to 31 and won a third round selection from San Francisco in the process.
Their first round selection that year, Travis Frederick Center, secured Pro Bowl spots in five of their six seasons before retiring last month. Frederick started all 96 games in those five seasons (an autoimmune disorder sidelined him in 2018). With the San Francisco third round selection, the Cowboys selected wide receiver Terrance Williams. Williams has played 83 games with 68 starts, catching 232 passes for 3,377 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“There is enough here to work,” said Jones of another drop. “There are enough quality players so that, if you decide to trade, there may be someone who comes to you. … This circumstance is possible. “
But perhaps the most prohibitive reason why the Cowboys don’t want to sell a star’s working capital comes down to the salary cap.
The Cowboys signed with receiver Amari Cooper – to whom they awarded their first-round preliminary selection in 2019 – an extension of $ 100 million last month. Dallas also spent money for the newbies, including defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (five, $ 105 million) and ball carrier Ezekiel Elliott (six, $ 90 million) the last off-season. And the Cowboys have placed an exclusive franchise label on quarterback Dak Prescott.
Their goal, reiterated on Monday by Stephen Jones: to lock up Prescott long term before the July 15 deadline. If Prescott signs the tag rather than negotiating a multi-year agreement, it will count $ 31.4 million against the salary cap of $ 198.2 million 2020, a person knowing the value of the franchise tag confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The individual was asked to remain anonymous because he was not publicly authorized to discuss the ceiling figures.
All of this means that Cowboys need talent on cheaper rookie contracts to fill the gaps.
They will look at the draft – where they found Prescott, Elliott, Lawrence and more in recent years – to find it.
The Cowboys lost six free agency starters. Defensive end Robert Quinn, cornerback Byron Jones, Heath, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Randall Cobb have signed with other teams. Dallas has had several veteran starts, including Clinton-Dix and defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. The team has the right to overtake runners Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith, if the suspended player wins his reinstatement battle with the league.
But there are still holes. Regime changes in attack and defense will value personnel differently.
The confidence of the Cowboys’ brains will seek to find immediate contributors this weekend. They also said they will aim to develop another young quarterback with coach Mike McCarthy.
Jerry and Stephen Jones, as well as McCarthy, said they were not concerned about the technical difficulties in the middle of the virtual project. Organizational members have already gone through their draft chart almost several times, said McCarthy. Jerry Jones said he thinks the communication has been “transparent”.
“It was very organized,” said McCarthy. “Very productive. “
Consensus is built.
This does not mean that a virtual draft will not eliminate the camaraderie. Jerry Jones laughed at the physical appearance they would miss on the screen.
“I’m going to miss a bit of that punch around the table while we carry out this project,” he said. “One of the things I’m not going to miss is when I got out of these draft rooms over the weekend, my old shins had big bruises.
“It was from Stephen who kicked me under the table for three days straight over some of our decisions.”
Follow Jori Epstein of USA TODAY Sports on Twitter @JoriEpstein.