The NFL's rule change to a single cut down date at the end of the preseason has created one of the most eventful days on the league calendar. Teams around the league will be scrambling to process the replenished list of free agents that can help a roster before week one.
The Dallas Cowboys have already been active in this process, with Stephen Jones telling Cowboys Nation to prepare for additions on the offensive line as well as at safety. Dallas has already traded Cornerback Charvarius Ward to the Chiefs for former fourth round pick Parker Ehinger, a guard out of Cincinnati.
Update [12:31 PM CDT]:
The #49ers are releasing former first-round pick G Jonathan Cooper, source said.
The team's additions to the offensive line may not stop here, with the Cowboys laboring through their final two preseason games without Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick. The Cowboys deficiencies up front made it hard to truly evaluate some fringe players on offense, which will make today's roster decisions even harder.
@49ers' veteran guard Jonathan Cooper on the bubble as cuts loom (via @MaioccoNBCS) https://t.co/9zlzrlFAMt
One decision that could make sense is bringing back the services of veteran guard Jonathan Cooper, who is reportedly on the bubble with the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys allowed Cooper to depart in free agency this offseason, after he started 13 games for them at left guard in 2017.
With plenty of reasons to feel good about Cooper's replacement -- 50th overall pick Connor Williams -- the Cowboys should be solid at guard with Martin also expected to return to the starting lineup against the Panthers.
Cooper played 92 snaps this preseason for the 49ers, including a game high 60 in the team's preseason finale - an oddity for any hopeful starters or experienced players. Recovering from surgery on a knee injury suffered against the Eagles in week 17 last year, Cooper could use the reps to potentially impress a new team for 2018.
If released by the 49ers, Cooper will of course want to sign on for a starting position elsewhere. The Cowboys did offer the former first round pick the most stability he's found in his five years of professional football though. Cooper's 13 starts in the silver and blue were the most he's ever had in a season, starting a combined 14 games for the Cardinals and Browns between 2014-16.
Should this past loyalty be enough for Cooper to consider rejoining the Cowboys, the team will have to seriously consider the investment in quality depth over current interior options like Jacob Alsadek, Damien Mama, and Kadeem Edwards.
As I wrote in my Sean's Scout review of the Texans game, all three players had their struggles executing any of the blocks the Cowboys ask of their athletic linemen.
This was a strength of Cooper's game at left guard for the Cowboys, playing well in space and creating movement in the running game.
For the second year in a row, the Cowboys initial free agent acquisitions seem underwhelming in the total impact they'll have on the season. Former 49ers Guard Marcus Martin was placed on IR, and Defensive End Kony Ealy was released yesterday.
In order to get value out of Wide Receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, and to avoid a disastrous situation for Quarterback Dak Prescott in pass protection again, the Cowboys must continue upgrading their offensive line before the regular season begins.
Doing so with high value signings will be critical, and it won't get much better than welcoming back Jonathan Cooper at a reduced price as insurance for Williams, Martin, and even Travis Frederick - as Cooper did get some work at center in his first practices with the Cowboys last summer.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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