The NFL Scouting Combine is not only a critical part of the draft process for the prospects fortunate enough to perform in front of scouts, coaches, and general managers, but it is a great opportunity for the media to learn more about each team's mindset heading into free agency and the draft.
While the draft scout in me eagerly awaits meaningful post-Combine projections and analysis, it is always important to pay attention to what Jerry Jones has to say to the media at any time. The Cowboys may very well be in better hands with Will McClay and Stephen Jones in control of the roster, but Jerry did take the time to discuss the future of his football team in Indy - including his interpretation on what "Dak-friendly" truly means.
Dallas Cowboys bus parked in front of Lucas Oil Stadium where draft prospects are working out. Fan walking by yells: "Jerry Jones, come out, bro! I need that contract!
The Cowboys' offense failed to live up to any expectations this season. Overcoming Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, Tyron Smith's injuries, and inconsistent play from Dez Bryant along with the rest of the WRs simply proved too much for Dak Prescott to overcome in year two.
Arising from the disappointment of a 9-7 season in Dallas is the term "Dak-friendly" - nothing more than an equally simplistic approach to fixing this team's simple offense.
It is this simplicity under Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan that Jerry Jones hopes to change in 2018, which could easily be the last for this core of coaches should the Cowboys struggle once again.
What does Dak-friendly mean to Jerry? An offense that makes him unpredictable.
Jones mentioned looking back at Prescott's production in a spread offense at Mississippi State to make his third-year quarterback more comfortable. Even before the Cowboys make as many as ten picks in this upcoming Draft, Cowboys Nation can run wild with options already on this roster to create more unpredictability.
Having Ezekiel Elliott on the field for 16 games should certainly open up this entire Cowboys offense, but opportunities for Zeke to catch passes from Prescott should increase. A backfield tandem that absolutely took the league by storm in 2016 will be out to prove that they're improved collectively, with Prescott and the Cowboys finding as many ways as possible to feature their star running back.
From here, the Cowboys' passing game can complement their rushing attack, finding ways to involve second-year receivers Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown even more. Both players made the most of their limited opportunities as rookies, with Switzer flashing in the same ways he did at North Carolina - a young player with a chance to be one of the most explosive slot targets in the NFL.
These concepts match what Prescott himself has said about this offseason's buzzword, naming the Panthers and Chiefs as offenses he would like to emulate. I expanded on Dak's comments about those two teams in relation to the Cowboys being "Dak-friendly" here:
"The common theme throughout these teams is the simplicity they allow their quarterbacks to play with, scheming receivers open, utilizing backs to create mismatches both on the ground and through the air, and running their mobile QBs when needed."
Jerry Jones is many things to the Dallas Cowboys, and despite his dwindling impact on personnel decisions, it is indisputable that he is a Hall of Fame caliber businessman. Financially, the Cowboys have a window of opportunity to win their sixth Super Bowl while Prescott is still on his cheaper rookie contract.
Letting this past season slip away thanks to an inexcusable lack of execution on offense, Jones has already referred to the Cowboys' haul of draft picks as "ammunition" for a draft that Dallas will host in April.
With unleashing Dak Prescott on the NFL as their target, the Cowboys are going to use this ammo to build around their third-year quarterback even further.
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.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Should the Cowboys Restructure LB Sean Lee’s Contract?
NFL Draft1 week ago
Mauricio’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cowboys Steal Defensive Talent
Dallas Cowboys4 days ago
Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
Cowboys 2018 Free Agency: What’s Left Before Market Opens?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys Have Any Trade Assets?
Star Blog6 days ago
3 Former Penn State Alumni Cowboys Could Target in Free Agency
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Familiar Faces Remain in the Fold for Cowboys Mock Drafts
Star Blog1 week ago
Cowboys Defense: Bigger Need at Safety or Defensive End?