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Cowboys Can Sign Free Agents Without Affecting 2018 Compensatory Picks

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Able To Sign Free Agents Without Affecting 2018 Compensatory Picks

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys can now sign unrestricted free agents without affecting the 2018 compensatory formula.

Field Yates on Twitter

Note: any unrestricted free agent signed after today will not count towards the 2018 compensatory pick formula. Example: LeGarrette Blount.

This is actually really good news for the Cowboys considering they are looking to be awarded four compensatory picks in 2018, which is by the way the max number a team can receive. That is because they lost more FAs than they signed.

Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Jack Crawford, and Ronald Leary all played significant roles for the Cowboys last season and based on their salary/playing time, should net the Cowboys some pretty valuable compensatory picks in 2018. This is one of the reasons they weren't very active in free agency.

Well, that could change now that they aren't at risk of losing any of the potential compensatory picks next year. I personally don't believe they will be very active even now, but there are some available FAs still out there that can come in and upgrade the roster.

The Cowboys could use a change of pace/3rd down back behind Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden. I've already shared with you 5 running backs that could fill that role, but what about another young offensive tackle with starting experience?

Enter Austin Pasztor, formerly of the Cleveland Browns.

OT/G Austin PasztorPasztor has started 43 of 58 games at both guard and tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars since entering the NFL. It's that kind of versatility the Cowboys like in their offensive lineman and with the right tackle and left guard position currently available, he makes a lot of sense.

Pasztor is just 26 years old, and at 6'7", 308 could possibly be the player the Cowboys are looking for to fill the void left by Doug Free at right tackle. He may not have been a consideration before because it would have cost them one of their compensatory picks, but he should be now.

I know they are experimenting with La'el Collins at RT right now and Jonathan Cooper at LG, but they have always believed Collins' best position is inside at guard. I tend to agree, which is why Pasztor makes sense.

Collins has the potential to develop into an All-Pro offensive guard, but I'm not sure the same can be said for him as a tackle. If not for a foot injury last season, he could've possibly joined Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Tyron Smith in the Pro Bowl.

The Dallas Cowboys certainly have several options available to them right now to put together a starting unit for the upcoming season, so the signing of Austin Pasztor seems unlikely. But, it's definitely something I think they should seriously consider.

The good news is they can go out and sign any unrestricted free agent and not lose any of their 2018 compensatory picks. Whether or not they bring in any more free agents is still a mystery and we will all just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Are there any free agents you think the Dallas Cowboys should sign?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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23 Comments
  • John Williams

    Paztor sounds like the exact kind of player they would be interested in. Still young by OL standards and has the position flex that you mentioned. I’d be interested in him.

    • Brian Martin

      I would actually love for this to happen, but I think the Cowboys are probably going to stick with status quo for now.

  • Russ_Te

    My guess on Collins is that he will excel at RT. He could prove that wrong of course but he has the size at 6′ 5″, 322 lbs and the agility for it. And he started his last 2 years at LSU at LT.

    If so we will very likely get a pass-blocking upgrade from the years of Doug Free, who was a powerhouse run blocker but not quick laterally. As I mentioned previously when you factor in that he has not played a complete season in 2 at LG because of injuries, it’s possible the move outside will help keep him upright as well.

    Free at last! ;^)

    • Brian Martin

      I actually prefer Collins at guard because of his strength and agility. He is able to handle both the quicker and more powerful DTs because of those traits. Chaz Green is my choice at RT if he can remain healthy. I think Smith, Collins, Frederick, Martin, and Green would actually be an upgrade from last season.

      • Assassin

        Dont forget we have Bryan Bell. Was a solid RT for Panthers before injuries forced him to LT. Out in 2016 with dislocated ankle. 72 career starts over the past five seasons

        • Brian Martin

          We do have Byron Bell, but I think his better position in the NFL is at OG. We will have to wait and see if he is a consideration at RT.

          • Assassin

            He made his mark at RT. Not very good at LT but not many are. He did play some OG but on a really bad and injured line. Would like to see him get a shot at RT and LG. Between Witten and Zach on the RT and Tryon and Frederick at LG

          • Brian Martin

            The position battle between RT and LG is really going to be interesting to follow this off-season. I personally like Smith, Collins, Frederick, Martin, and Green as my starting five. But, that would mean that both Collins and Green would need to stay healthy.

          • Assassin

            not sure that we’ve seen enough of Green to know if hes good enough to be on the NFLs bets OL

          • Brian Martin

            He looked pretty good as Tyron Smith’s replacement last year when he was injured.

          • Assassin

            True, but that was only for a minute. 2 starts I think. Not long enough to see if he can stay upright and move okay over the course of a season. The fact that they’ve told La’el to get ready for a move to RT may give us a clue. Mini-camps may tell us more.

          • Brian Martin

            Two starts is a lot more than Collins has had at tackle. And Green played LT in those two contests. I just have a feeling that they are just getting Collins ready in case Green isn’t ready. But, that’s just what my gut is telling me right now.

          • Assassin

            But you go with what you have. Hes certainly part of the equation

      • Assassin

        BTW – wonder if there is any hope for 6’10 OT Dan Skipper. Normally you would want OT to get up under the pads of the DTs/DEs but he’s probably too tall for that. We had a 6’10 1/2 OT that I played ball with in college, John Massengail. Had the same issues. They finally changed the way he blocked to ‘pushing down’ instead. Had better success

        • Brian Martin

          The Cowboys worked out Skipper pre-draft, so they must like him at least a little bit. But, like you said they may have to change up his technique, which probably means he needs a year or two to develop.

  • Russ_Te

    2018 Mock Draft ~

    The Super Bowl Champion Cowboys bundle up several picks to move up the 1st round, and get that dominant RDE they couldn’t get in 2017… ;^)

    Meanwhile I project it’s Lawrence moving back to RDE. He lacks the classic first step of a Harvey Martin or Charles Haley, but he is a good player with a good motor. It’s not awful there for 2017.

    To me that is more likely than Charlton at RDE. They will probably try him there but he looks to me like a DL who’s future is inside.

    Then you have the Jaylon Smith wildcard. The big if is the knee, and then how the Cowboys deploy him. I am trying him out at SS but the team is probably not going to listen to that… ;^)

    So at MLB, does his ability come off the field on long downs? I don’t think so. I think you move him around the LOS on those downs the way the Giants did with Lawrence Taylor. He attacks the QB as he sees fit.

    • Brian Martin

      I could see Lawrence moving back to RDE. I think Charlton is a classic LDE and that will be his position for years to come.

      Smith is going to be your MLB. He’s already said that he is going to start Week 1. He is in every down LB and his value really lies in his ability to use his speed from sideline to sideline in both the run and passing game. I doubt he is used as a pass rusher much until his knee is 100%.

  • Assassin

    Thanks Brian. Interesting prospect. Also CBs Jason McCourty from the Titans and Trumaine Brock from SF are out there. And if you want to go pure OT, King Dunlap from the Chargers or Ryan Clady from the Jets. OLB Elvis Dumervil has 99 sacks. Wonder if he would be worth a flyer? Has a lot of mileage on the wheels

    • Brian Martin

      There are definitely several FAs still available that can come in and help

  • Assassin

    So, right now I would think we get two 4’s, a 5 and a 6 in comp picks next year. Will comp us for the well spent 5th to get 6th rounder LaTech S Xavier Woods. Thought we might go for him in the 3rd or maybe 4th. Not sure that I would have imagined him available in the 6th

    • Brian Martin

      Xavier Woods was definitely a steal in the sixth round. And, your guess is as good as mine on compensatory picks, but that sounds about right.

  • Wilson Torres

    for me smith cooper federiclk, martin collins

    • Brian Martin

      That’s what it’s looking like as of right now. I personally really liked what I saw from Chaz Green when he filled in for Tyron Smith last season. He would be my preference to start at RT and keep Collins at LG. To me, that’s the Cowboys best starting 5. I like Jonathan Cooper also, but he just doesn’t play with the same kind of physicality as Collins. I don’t know if that would have a negative impact on the running game.

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Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

https://twitter.com/TheSupremeTaco/status/1072203745868554240

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.



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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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