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Adrian Peterson Is Not A Reality For The Dallas Cowboys

RJ Ochoa

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Adrian Peterson, Ezekiel Elliott

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Adrian Peterson Is Not A Reality For The Dallas Cowboys

Adrian Peterson Is Not A Reality For The Dallas Cowboys

March 9th, 2017 marks the beginning of this year's NFL Free Agency period, but you might as well know it as December 25th in terms of how NFL fans treat it. People near and far are hoping for Player X to be wrapped and waiting under their tree, but unfortunately for them I'm here to break the news that Santa Claus isn't real, which in Dallas Cowboys circles means that Adrian Peterson isn't a reality.

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/836637248430964736

Yes, I'm talking about that Adrian Peterson. You know, the one who is currently 16th on the NFL's All-Time Leading Rushing list (Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is number one, baby) with just shy of 12,000 total yards. News trickled out on Tuesday that the only team Peterson has ever known, the Minnesota Vikings, will not be exercising his 2017 option which will make him a Free Agent.

As you can imagine, Cowboys fans immediately sent Peterson to the top of their proverbial Free Agent wish lists. AD - Adrian Peterson's nickname is "All Day" which leads to this acronym versus the commonly used "AP" - and the Cowboys are like the high school sweethearts who just never had their timing work out. There was always something there, everyone knew it, but sometimes life gets in the way and you land a rookie sensation named Ezekiel Elliott who happens to lead the league in rushing.

Can you really pair that old would-be story with your new one, though? Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Jones thinks it's possible to a degree obviously, but it isn't truly practical. Adrian Peterson is leaving a contract that saw him paid as the game's top running back as far as dollars per year are concerned, and there's no way in any kind of salary cap world that this is manageable to squeeze in next to Ezekiel Elliott.

"Adrian Peterson Will Take Less Money To Play For The Cowboys, He Wants To Win A Championship"

Adrian Peterson

It's not realistic to expect Adrian Peterson to wind up with the Dallas Cowboys this Free Agency period.

Let's get really hypothetical here for a second and say that Adrian Peterson was willing to become - this is an arbitrary point - the 10th highest paid running back in the NFL (who according to OverTheCap.com in 2016 was coincidentally Ezekiel Elliott). Now you're talking about having two ball carriers who are paid like franchise players, when in reality you can't use them effectively to the point to justify the investment. It's bad math, science, and most importantly - business.

Coming back to reality and leaving Hypothetical Land... why would Adrian Peterson do this? Would you - in your job - willingly take less money? The argument made for this point is that Adrian Peterson has surely made "enough" money to live life comfortably for the foreseeable future, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that this argument is absurd. Adrian Peterson wants to win a championship, yes, but he doesn't want to seriously compromise his financial security - a logical perspective - in order to do so.

Adrian Peterson Can Get Paid AND Compete... Somewhere Else

There are teams that were in the 2016 season's playoffs - teams that won at least one playoff game - that are in need of a starting running back. You don't think that Adrian Peterson has just as great of a shot at winning a Super Bowl in Seattle? Green Bay? Oakland? New England? Why on earth would he willingly saddle himself behind a second-year player when he can continue to be the AD we've all known for a decade while also getting paid more than he would as a Cowboy?

People point to the fact that Adrian Peterson has family in Dallas and is from the area. If this is the foundation that the pyramid of "Adrian Peterson should sign with the Dallas Cowboys" is built on, then we are in for a surprise of epically disastrous proportions. The notion of Adrian Peterson wearing a Star is a fun one to toss around with your friend, on Twitter, or in a Madden trade, but it just isn't one that bears a whole lot of validity when it comes to things that actually happen in the NFL.

Tell us what you think about "Adrian Peterson Is Not A Reality For The Dallas Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin

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Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys OT La’el Collins Could Become Major Bargain

Jess Haynie

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La'el Collins

When you talk Cowboys offensive line, you always think of Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin first. Right Tackle La'el Collins still has to prove he belongs in the same sentence with his elite teammates. If he does that in 2018, Collins could become one of the best bargains on the roster.

Making the move from left guard to right tackle last year, Collins improved with time and was playing his best football at the end of the year. This was despite ongoing back issues that had him on the injury report most weeks.

La'el started all 16 games at right tackle and did enough that the Cowboys committed to keeping him there in 2018, even despite a big hole back at left guard. They are hoping consistency and stability will allow Collins to really blossom this season, building on the strong progress shown last year.

For 2018, Collins has a $5.76 million cap hit. According to Spotrac, that makes him the 13th-most expensive right tackle in the NFL this year.

That middle-of-the-pack expense is consistent with where La'el currently rates among NFL right tackles. Bleacher Report ranked Collins as the 16th-best RT in football last year.

But that ranking was based on the season as a whole. If La'el plays all of 2018 the way he was playing towards the end of last year, he will have emerged as one of the better right tackles in the game.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

If Collins develops as we hope, that salary suddenly becomes a major bargain. The most expensive right tackles in the NFL are making $7-$9 million this season.

But this can go a couple of ways. With his 2019 cap hit rising to $7.9 million, La'el needs to next step forward.

If Collins were to struggle this year, it could make him a potential cap casualty next offseason. Dallas can save $6.5 million in cap space if Collins is released or traded in 2019.

Dallas could elect to give Connor Williams, their second-round pick this year, a look at right tackle next season. It's the position he played in college.

They could also consider veteran backup Cameron Fleming, who will still be just 26-year-old. Fleming has two Super Bowl rings and several starts, including in the postseason, from his time with the Patriots.

While we think of La'el Collins as a first-round talent, it's important to remember that he was ultimately an undrafted free agent. Dallas did not have to invest anything to acquire him, and ultimately that makes it easier to let him go.

Naturally, we prefer the other side of this coin. If Collins builds on 2017, he will join the upper echelon of right tackles in the league. And if the Cowboys' offensive line isn't already the best in the NFL, that would only cement them as the best unit in football.

If La'el makes the leap, it could mean huge things for the Cowboys' offense and team success this year.



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Dallas Cowboys

How Cowboys Could Benefit From Randy Gregory’s Suspension

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory Withdraws Suspension Appeal, Cannot Return Until Week 15

Randy Gregory is back! His suspension is officially over and he will be able to join the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California when training camp gets underway less than a week from now.

Speculation has already started as to what this could mean for the Dallas Cowboys defense this season, and shockingly expectations are rather high for a player who hasn't stepped foot on the field in over a year. But, that's not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to focus on Gregory's mess of a contract, because it is rather interesting.

Randy Gregory was signed to a four-year contract after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rookie deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season, but his multiple suspensions have now changed that expiration date.

You see, Gregory has only played in a total of 14 games in his career, 12 as a rookie and two in Year 2. His third year in the NFL was completely wiped out due to his year-long suspension. If you were to add that all up, it equates to just one accured season in the NFL. Remember that, because it could have a huge impact on his contract down the road.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

What all of this means is that the Cowboys can pretty much stretch out Gregory's contract now that they are three years in on the deal and have only gotten one accured season out of the agreement. That basically means they can push his contract back a year, meaning his 2017 salary ($731,813) gets pushed back to 2018, his 2018 salary ($955,217) gets pushed to 2019. That would essentially make him a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) in 2020.

Or does it?

Depending on how the Dallas Cowboys handled paying Randy Gregory during his suspension could actually make him an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (EFA). This is a similar situation in which David Irving found himself in after the 2017 season. The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on him in order to secure his services for another season, albeit at a $2.91 million price tag.

As you can see, the Dallas Cowboys pretty much hold all the cards when it comes to Randy Gregory's contract situation. It's all a little confusing, but that's what makes it such a unique and interesting situation.

Of course, the Cowboys could decide to extend Gregory early if he completely dominates upon his return this season. It's highly doubtful though considering his past suspensions, but still technically a possibility. If it does happen, you can go ahead and ignore everything I've written previously.



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