In addition to FS Ken Hamlin, the Cowboys have also reportedly cut LT Flozell Adams. This comes as a bit of a shock to us. Adams was due a base salary of $5 million and a $2.5 million roster bonus in June. Those numbers are less significant in an uncapped year, however.
With Adams gone, Dallas will now likely start Doug Free at left tackle. We see Free as the probable opening day starter regardless of the Cowboys’ draft plans. We have already publicly questioned Free’s ability to play on the left side. That isn’t to say he will inevitably fail at left tackle, but simply that his effectiveness there will be a huge questions mark.
Perhaps the Cowboys did not read our list of the top five reasons to not cut Flozell Adams. Heading that list was that Adams was still the best left tackle on the Cowboys’ roster.
Dallas is now virtually certain to address either left tackle or free safety in the first round of the draft. However, with the top-tier guys at both spots possibly gone by the 27th selection, the Cowboys’ draft plans are a bit murky at this point.
We presume this team has something up their sleeve. Are Ravens’ tackle Jared Gaither or Rams’ safety O.J. Atogwe possibilities? Stay tuned.
Ken Hamlin has just posted on his Twitter that he will be released. Said Hamlin “I would like to say to all of my fans that I appreciate all the love that you have showed me in Dallas. It was a good run…..Thanks.”
Four hours earlier Hamlin tweeted that he was attending a workout this morning. The team notified him of his release once he reached Valley Ranch.
The move comes at a curious time. Instead of waiting until after the draft, the Cowboys decided to part ways with Hamlin now. This may put them in a tough spot, possible forced to draft a free safety (which immediately becomes the #1 position of need).
Perhaps Dallas believes a free safety they covet, such as USF’s Nate Allen or Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett, will definitely be available with the 27th pick. They may be right, but it is never productive to show your hand. If Texas safety Earl Thomas drops, expect another team to now move ahead of Dallas to grab him (it could be argued that would have happened anyway).
Of course, those within the organization seem to love second-year man Michael Hamlin. They believe he has the necessary skill-set to be a ball-hawking free safety. It is unlikely, though, that the Cowboys are relying on someone with zero NFL experience.
Hamlin received a “B-” grade from us in our 2009 safety grades.
The Cowboys have just released their preseason schedule:
Week 1: Hall of Fame Game (Canton, OH) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 2: Oakland
Week 3: @San Diego
Week 4: @ Houston
Week 5: Miami
Don’t forget the Cowboys will have five preseason games this season due to the Hall of Fame game. This should give the coaching staff ample time to evaluate the rookies and second-year players who lost last season due to injury.
The full regular season schedule will be announced at a later date (most likely in mid-April).
A list of players with whom the Cowboys have conducted pre-draft visits (as of 3/29/10):
Taylor Price, WR, Ohio
Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Navarro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
Sean Lee, LB, Penn State
John Conner, FB, Kentucky
The National Football Post is reporting that Ohio wide receiver Taylor Price will meet with the Cowboys. The visit will begin tomorrow and will be of the two-day variety.
Price’s 4.41 forty-yard dash at the Combine was the second-fastest of any wide receiver, trailing only Clemson wide receiver/track star Jacoby Ford.
We see a player like Price as a more likely addition to the wide receiver corps than players like Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, and Demaryius Thomas. With Roy Williams in the midst of a $45 million deal and Miles Austin set to get paid in the near future, it just wouldn’t be a sound business decision to implement another fairly large first-round contract into an already expensive position.
It may not be what you’d like to hear, but Dallas is unlikely to address the WR spot until the middle or late rounds of the draft (if at all). A player with incredible return ability might be the exception.
NFL Network will be running a marathon of the 2008 edition of Hard Knocks featuring the Dallas Cowboys. It starts at tonight at 7 pm Central time.
Be sure to tune in, unless you have an intense dislike of Martellus Bennett (in which case we highly recommend you find something else to do).
A little preview is below.
- Eagles QB Donovan McNabb could be involved in a big-time trade.
- There is a lot of talk of Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant falling to the Cowboys’ 27th overall pick.
The ‘Boys playing cards
- Dallas could be a good draft away from a championship.
- Scout.com’s Draft Muncher is an excellent tool to uncover mock draft trends.
Good news for the band Free Reign, bad news for Dallas fans everywhere: Cory Procter will remain in Dallas in 2010. Procter signed his free agent tender (a second round tender), meaning he will make $1.809 million this season.
Might this affect the Cowboys’ draft strategy? It is widely believed the team is interested in Idaho guard Mike Iupati. We believe Florida guard/center Maurkice Pouncey would be a better fit, and he even won our Cowboys Draft Pick Tournament.
Nonetheless, if the Cowboys plan to retain Procter in 2010, they may look to secure an impact player at a position other than in the interior line. Procter’s versatility to play both guard and center is undoubtedly what has kept him in Dallas. Now, the team may believe they are free to concentrate more heavily on upgrading the offensive tackle position.
With the top-tier tackles projected to be gone by the Cowboys’ 27th selection, though, Dallas may have their eyes set on another position in the first round–perhaps free safety. That would make UMass guard/tackle Vladimir Ducasse a very interesting prospect for the Cowboys in the second round.
Rams’ GM Bill Devaney recently stated that St. Louis is trying to sign free safety O.J. Atogwe to a long-term deal. This might upset some Dallas fans, as there were rumors of Atogwe possibly signing with the Cowboys after the April draft.
We viewed Atogwe, who has picked off 15 passes over the last three seasons, to be a more realistic option to replace Ken Hamlin in 2009 than a rookie free safety. We discussed this possibility in a recent Mailbag.
The Rams have until June 1 before Atogwe becomes an unrestricted free agent. Other teams actually have the opportunity to sign Atogwe to an offer sheet now, but St. Louis has the right to match any offer up until that June 1 deadline.
If the Rams do sign Atogwe to a long-term deal in the near future, perhaps the Cowboys will place a higher priority on finding their free safety of the future in the draft (assuming they don’t think that player is already on the squad).
- Would you rather have Ben Roethlisberger or Tony Romo leading your team?
- BTB takes a look at what the Cowboys look for in linebackers.
Dexter McCluster Path to the Draft
- Romo, Ware, and James have all shown up to Valley Ranch early to begin their workouts.
- What are the Cowboys chances of starting a rookie at safety?