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Decision made on Free contract

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Cowboys Blog - Decision made on Free contract 2

By now we are all pretty used to hearing about the cowboys restructuring contracts, because this offseason they’ve done quite a bit on it. One contract we’ve all been waiting to hear about for some time now is Doug Free.

The veteran offensive lineman Free and The Cowboys came to a deal on Thursday, and Free is no longer the highest paid right-tackle because his pay took quite the hit.

Free took a 50 per cent pay cut to stay with the Cowboys. Free would have made $7 million and will now make $3.5 million. This helped The Cowboys stay under the salary cap by quite a bit.

In 2010 the Cowboys offered Free a four-year, $32 million extension with $17 million in guarantees. Since then Free has failed to impress many people in Cowboys nation.

In 2011 Free was ranked 44th in offensive tackles, justifying him making the move to right tackle. That didn’t help. Free was ranked 66th in right tackle last season.

So, during the off-season the Cowboys explored other options, with a big focus on Tyson Clabo, but all that time they remained interested in Free.

Now the big question remains: Now that they have free’d up over $3 million, what are they going to do with that money?

There has been some speculation behind this - some believing it will go to an extension for Lee, some believe it will go towards a player that will help this team. Either way, lets hope Jerry Jones puts the money to good use and does something that will get the ‘Boys to the playoffs for the first time since ’09.


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Dallas Cowboys Optimistic that Amari Cooper Returns Sunday

John Williams

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Report: Amari Cooper has MRI on Right Ankle

It doesn't take a deep look at the Dallas Cowboys offense over the last year and not see the significant impact that Amari Cooper has had. He's been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the last calendar year and has opened up so much for the Cowboys offense both with his impact as a pass catcher and for the attention he draws from opposing defenses. In Cooper's last 15 regular-season games with the Dallas Cowboys, he's caught 86 passes on 121 targets for 1,240, and 11 touchdowns. He's been everything the Cowboys front office could have hoped for when they made the trade with the Oakland Raiders after week seven of the 2018 season.

Amari Cooper has been dealing with foot issues since training camp and then went out on the first offensive series against the New York Jets with a thigh contusion. His absence was definitely felt as the offense struggled to find any rhythm in the first half of their week six loss.

Amari Cooper has Final Say on Trade Compensation in Cowboys Win 3

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

Though he hasn't practiced this week there is some optimism that Cooper could potentially practice on Friday and play in this pivotal week seven matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. A contusion is basically a bone bruise, which is painful and can inhibit movement and flexibility. The most important thing to judge when determining if Cooper will be able to play or not is the level of inflammation that still persists in this leg. If the inflammation is better and he has better movement and flexibility in the leg, then he should be able to go.

Amari Cooper had a field day against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 14 of the 2018 season when he caught 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Even in the week 10 contest, Cooper caught six passes for 75 yards. He's had a ton of success against the Eagles and with them still having injury issues in the secondary, there's a possibility for him to have another big game this week if he's able to play.

It's an encouraging sign that he's going to try practice today given the concern during the game in the days just after the week six contest. We'll have to keep an eye on how Friday goes and the pregame reports, but if all goes well, the Cowboys offense will be in much better shape with Cooper back on the field.


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Dallas Cowboys Sign DT Justin Hamilton to 53-Man Roster

Jess Haynie

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Justin Hamilton

After placing Tyrone Crawford on injured reserve Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys signed Defensive Tackle Justin Hamilton yesterday to fill the roster spot. Hamilton was most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason but did not make it past final cuts.

List at 6'2" and 315 lbs., Hamilton brings a big body to the defensive line. The Cowboys have had issues with their run defense lately, particularly two weeks ago against Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers, so this signing indicates a desire for more size in the trenches.

Some fans are disappointed that Dallas didn't call up preseason darling Daniel Wise from the practice squad, but Wise is another smallish defensive linemen in the same mold as Crawford and others already on the roster.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Jason Garrett said the Cowboys worked out DT Justin Hamilton a couple weeks ago, felt like he was the best fit to take Tyrone Crawford's spot on the 53. Crawford moving to IR.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Justin Hamilton has been signed to the Cowboys active roster. Jason Garrett said the team likes his size.

The Cowboys ran into issues recently when starting DT Antwaun Woods was missing time with injury. Neither Maliek Collins or Chris Covington was able to adequately replace his role as the anchor up front, taking up space and denying run lanes.

Justin Hamilton hasn't had a ton of NFL playing experience for has been around since 2015, when he went undrafted and was signed by the Buffalo Bills. Since then he's bounced between rosters and practice squad with five different teams, appearing in just eight games only one of those as a starter.

The Cowboys must have felt the need for more beef at defensive tackle. Hopefully, they also see some potential in Hamilton that other teams haven't yet unlocked.

Antwaun Woods is the latest example of Dallas being able to find diamonds in the rough. Woods also went undrafted a few years back and spent a couple of years in Tennessee before the Cowboys finally got ah old of him. Now Antwaun is arguably their best defensive tackle.

Will Justin Hamilton find similar success with his new team?  We certainly hope so!


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REPORT: Tyrone Crawford Having Season-Ending Surgery, Headed to IR

Brian Martin

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Tyrone Crawford

And the hits keep coming. Defensive Tackle/Defensive End Tyrone Crawford will have season-ending hip surgery and is expected to be placed on the Injured Reserve.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is being placed on injured reserve. He has been dealing with a hip injury since last season. He was held out of training camp because of it and has struggled to play through it this season

Tyrone Crawford is yet another player on a long list for the Dallas Cowboys who have recently succumbed to the injury bug. With the bye week still a week away and the Philadelphia Eagles up next on the schedule, all of these injuries are happening at the most inopportune time.

All of these injuries put the Dallas Cowboys in a tough position this week against the Eagles.  The NFC East division hangs in the balance and you can bet the absence of Tyrone Crawford will have an impact on the game one way or another. That's the short term though. How Crawford's injury impacts the Cowboys long-term has yet to be determined.

Replacing someone with the versatility to play either DT or DE won't be easy for Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys defense. His versatility has been invaluable over the years, which makes it all that much harder to find a replacement.

Luckily, the Cowboys had the foresight to try to address the DL this offseason. They added DT Christian Covington through free agency, drafted DT Trysten Hill, and even brought in a few undrafted free agents who showed promise in preseason. Someone out of this group will have to step up, but who?


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