The Dallas Cowboys have been in off-season mode for a couple weeks now after the unfortunate Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers.
This week Jason Garrett and his coaching staff are in Orlando, Florida coaching for the 2017 Pro Bowl, although I'm sure they would prefer being in Mobile, Alabama coaching for the Senior Bowl instead. We all know that the Pro Bowl has become somewhat of a joke, but the Cowboys coaching staff is there "coaching" nonetheless.
With the 2017 NFL off-season just getting underway, I thought it would be a good time to share with all of you some of the important dates to remember for not only the Dallas Cowboys, but the rest of the league.
January 28 - Senior Bowl, Ladd-Pebbles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
January 29 - Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
January 31 - Deadline for NFL teams to try out and a negotiate with CFL players whose 2016 contracts have expired
February 5 - Super Bowl LI, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
February 6 - 2017 Waiver system begins
February 11 - NFL Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seattle, WA
February 14 - NFL teams can sign CFL players whose 2016 contracts have expired
February 15 - NFL teams can designate Franchise and Transition Players
February 18 - NFL Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas
February 25-26 - NFL Regional Combine, Inova Sports Performance Center, Washington, D.C.
February 28-March 6 - NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
March 1 - Deadline for teams to designate Franchise and Transition Players
March 4 - NFL Regional Combine, Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
March 7-9 - Teams are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with agents of players who are Unrestricted Free Agents, but the contract cannot be executed until March 9.
March 9 - Teams must exercise all 2017 options on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts.
The change of the NFL league year
Teams must submit qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
Teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players who have expiring 2016 contracts that have less than three years of free agency credit.
All teams must be under the 2017 salary cap.
All 2016 player contracts will expire.
2017 league year in free agency begins.
The trading period officially begins.
March 11 - NFL Regional Combine, New Orleans Saints Practice Facility, Metairie, Louisiana
March 26-29 - Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona
April 3 - Teams with new head coaches can begin off-season workouts.
April 17 - Teams with returning head coaches can begin off-season workouts.
April 21 - Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheet.
April 27-29 - 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 5-8 - Teams can hold their three day rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 12-15 - Teams can hold their three day rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 15 - Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 18-21 - NFLPA Rookie Premiere. All invited rookies have to be permitted to attend by their respective teams.
May 22-24th - Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
June 15 - Deadline for teams to sign their designated Franchise Player to a multiyear contract. After this date they can only sign them to a one-year deal.
Sometime Late June - Rookie Transition Program to be held by individual teams. Attendance is mandatory by all rookies.
Mid-July - Teams can open up preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the mandatory reporting date for veterans.
July 22 - Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents and Transition Players.
August 3 - Hall of Fame Game, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
August 5 - Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
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.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
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