The Dallas Cowboys are entering somewhat of an unknown territory in 2020 without Jason Garrett as head coach for the first time in 10 years.
They have had a complete makeover with their coaching staff under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
List of new coaches on the staff
Rob Davis – Assistant head coach
Mike Nolan – Defensive Coordinator
John Fassel – Special teams coach
Jim Tomsula – Defensive line coach
Joe Philbin – Offensive line coach
Lunda Wells – Tight ends coach
Maurice Linguist – Secondary coach
Skip Peete – Running backs coach
Adam Henry – Wide receivers coach Scott McCurley/George Edwards – Linebackers Coach
Doug Nussmeier has been around the Cowboys since 2018 as the Tight ends coach but he will now be the quarterbacks coach under McCarthy.
Free agency is also inching closer and the Cowboys have 24 free agents. Here I want to discuss the top three free agents on my list because all three of these guys are going to command a bunch of money and for a team that has already committed long term to multiple guys, it’s important to make shrewd moves going forward to keep the championship window open, if there is one.
My top three 2020 Cowboys free agents are Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones.
Dak Prescott is coming off what was his best statistical season in his four years. However, there are still questions on whether or not he should be the Cowboys quarterback going forward and how much should the Cowboys be willing to commit to him.
For me, I have been skeptical to this point and the main reason is because I am not sure Dak is an elite quarterback. Once you commit $32-35 million to your quarterback, you are saying “here take us to the promise land” regardless of the talent around you because committing that much money to any position means that the talent around you will decrease by default as you can’t pay everyone.
I believe that the Prescott deal will get done this offseason before March 10th, which is the deadline for teams to designate the franchise or transition tags. The main reason i think the Cowboys get the deal done is because they believe they are in a “win now” window and a potential Prescott holdout could hijack the 2020 season before it begins.
I believe the final deal will end up around $31-33 million per season.
Alright, Amari Cooper is coming off a season where he caught 79 passes for 1189 yards and 8 touchdowns. However, the end of the season where he had one touchdown in his last 7 games and was not on the field for the 4th and 8 play in Philadelphia in the biggest game of the season presented a lot of questions about his drive, his love for football and his health. The Cowboys said several times after the game that he was not hurt and was part of a receiver rotation.
To that I ask, are Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins or Davante Adams coming off the field in that situation? I highly doubt it.
The questions about his drive and love for football are questions that people around the Oakland Raiders had about him before the Cowboys acquired him.
For me, that is enough red flags for me to move on from Amari Cooper even though they traded away a first round pick to acquire Amari in 2018. I view this as a situation where the Cowboys can get out of a situation before committing big money to him.
But, I’m not moving on from him this offseason. I am franchise tagging him, drafting a receiver out of this very deep receiver class and making sure Michael Gallup continues to grow as he did from year 1 to year 2.
Byron Jones has been a solid player through his career for the Cowboys and has done everything the Cowboys have asked of him, including playing out of position at safety his first three seasons in the NFL. Once the Cowboys hired Kris Richard, he transitioned back to his natural position of corner.
He was a very good corner the past two seasons, but never showed the playmaking ability that the top corners have.
For that reason, I am moving on from Byron Jones. I can not commit anywhere near the $12-15 million it would take to get a deal done.
I believe the Cowboys are thinking the same as I believe Will McClay said goodbye through the media at the Senior Bowl.
“He’s a starting-caliber NFL corner. He’s a really good player. And we have to figure out his financial value and if it fits for us,” McClay said.
The departure of Byron will leave the Cowboys with a huge need at corner as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will be the only corners left that have played extensive time in the NFL.
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