Final roster cuts have begun in the National Football League, and the Dallas Cowboys will have their eyes on players that get released that could help fill some final team needs. Among those needs once again, thanks to Tony Romo's injury in Seattle, is depth at quarterback behind now-starter Dak Prescott.
NEWS ALERT: Chiefs release QB Aaron Murray. (via @RapSheet)
Jameill Showers "auditioned" for the primary backup role last night against the Texans, and was anything but reassuring in the loss. The Cowboys obviously understand that Showers was playing entirely with backups, and any signing they can make at this point for a third QB would likely do little to save the Cowboys season from a similar fate suffered in 2015 should Prescott go down.
Still, one intriguing name just became available, as the QB-heavy Kansas City Chiefs moved on from 2014 fifth round pick Aaron Murray out of Georgia. While Murray does not fill the void the Cowboys have for a veteran backup with experience, his traits out of college make him an interesting option.
Cowboys personnel dept has fondness for reportedly released #Chiefs QB Aaron Murray. Stay tuned. @1053thefan https://t.co/2QbO5YTenc
Murray still holds the SEC record for passing yards and touchdowns. This preseason, Murray appeared in three games for Kansas City, failing to throw a touchdown while tossing three interceptions. Most recently, he completed 10 passes on 18 attempts against the Packers for 108 yards. Basically, he is a Murray with some potential should he come wear the silver and blue, as he hails from the same conference that Dak Prescott dominated on his way to becoming
the greatest Dallas Cowboy of all time a rookie sensation.
The Dallas Cowboys want to stay relevant at all costs until Tony Romo is ready to potentially give it one more go around for the 2016 season. With a star studded offensive line, dominant running game, and plenty of talent at wide receiver and tight end, Aaron Murray may just be the missing piece to make that happen.
Dallas has the fourth priority on the waiver wire, which puts them ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, who recently lost starting QB Teddy Bridgewater for the season. Only time will tell if they put it to use on Murray, or another quarterback that ends up without a job.
As other teams move on from players that could be targeted by the Dallas Cowboys, Inside The Star will have you updated! For Cowboys' roster moves, bookmark this Roster Tracker and follow us on Twitter @CowboysNation!
Would you like to see the Dallas Cowboys bring in Aaron Murray? Let us know! Comment below to share your thoughts, or email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
Terrance Williams Contract Creates 2018 Job Security
There's been a lot of talk about what the Dallas Cowboys will do at the receiver position this offseason. While there's a great divide on what the team should do with Dez Bryant, there's a fairly unanimous opinion that Dallas should find an upgrade over Terrance Williams. No matter where he ends up on the depth chart, though, Williams' contract should keep him on the roster in 2018.
Last offseason, Terrance signed a four-year, $17 million deal to stay in Dallas. Because we are now just in the second year of that deal, it is cost prohibitive against the salary cap to release or trade him.
Williams is scheduled to count $4.75 million against the 2018 cap. If Dallas were to cut him, it would accelerate his remaining guaranteed money and create $7.25 million in dead money this year. He would cost more against the cap off the roster than on it.
Even the June-1st provision doesn't help. Williams' dead money in 2018 drops to $4.75 million, which is a net zero against his existing cap hit. It would also push $2.5 million of dead money to 2019. There's no benefit there, and you lose an experienced player who knows your system.
If the Cowboys do like their WR depth enough to want to move on from Terrance, one option is to try to trade him. A trade would lower the cap penalty to $3.75 million and save $1 million. If he's traded after June 1st, it would save $3.5 million against this year's cap.
Of course, it takes two to tango in this scenario. Williams hasn't scored a touchdown since 2016 and has never proven he can take on a significant role in an offense. He was serviceable when Dez Bryant and Jason Witten commanded more attention, but he's a low-end WR2 at best and many teams likely wouldn't want him in their top 2-3 receivers.
Perhaps something could happen during training camps or preseason, when injuries may make other teams desperate. Then again, something could happen in Dallas that makes them less willing to part with Terrance.
As it stands, it seems unlikely that Terrance Williams won't be a Cowboy in 2018. And really, that's not bad thing.
Even if he gets pushed down the depth chart, Terrance would be a good insurance policy against injuries or any other issues that could happen between now and September. $4.75 million is more than you'd like to pay your fourth WR but it's a one-year problem.
If the Cowboys do add more WR talent this offseason, there is a trickle-down effect that strengthens the entire club. Williams, with his experience, is an upgrade over Brice Butler as the fourth receiver.
Therefore, unless circumstances both here and elsewhere allow Dallas to find a trade partner, Terrance Williams should be back next year.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
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