Cowboys News: DeAndre Hopkins enters the chat, Pollard tag impacts Schultz
It was widely expected, but Monday’s news of the franchise tag landing on Tony Pollard still dominated the headlines in Cowboys Nation. Apart from the obvious ramifications for the Memphis rusher, the front office’s decision also has ripple effects that will impact right end Dalton Schultz and fellow running back Ezekiel Elliott in the very near future.
Meanwhile, another marquee wide receiver is being linked to Dallas. DeAndre Hopkins caused a stir by popping up in a live stream with a former Cowboys wideout, and that comes after one network insider had a source in Indianapolis tell him the Cowboys were looking to “make a splash” with a big-name pass-catcher, coincidentally, like Hopkins. All that, plus the status of Leighton Vander Esch, Zach Thomas’s Hall of Fame induction moment will have a decidedly Dallas connection, Ben DiNucci keeps lighting up the XFL, and a Romo-era Cowboys playmaker has become una estrella once again south of the border. That’s all in this edition of News and Notes.
Why the Cowboys chose to use franchise tag on Tony Pollard and not Dalton Schultz :: The Athletic
The tight end is expected to get a deal in the neighborhood of $13 million to $15 million per season, but the Cowboys don’t seem to have any interest in paying that. (A second straight franchise tag on Schultz would have been over $13 million.) The team seems content to rebuild at the position with Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot, and possibly a 2023 draft pick. The Packers never drafted a tight end in the first two rounds while Mike McCarthy was head coach; the Cowboys haven’t done so since 2013.
Cowboys place franchise tag on Tony Pollard :: Cowboys Wire
Pollard is locked in to make at least $10.09 million in 2023 unless a longer-term deal is reached by July 15. The fact that the franchise tag came a full 24 hours prior to the deadline, though, suggests that two sides are not extremely close on any level of contract agreement.
Pollard's tag gives Cowboys unenviable record as next decisions loom :: Cowboys Wire
With Pollard’s tag, the Cowboys suddenly have more more 2023 salary cap money- over $27.6 million- tied up in their running backs room than any team in league history. That’s bound to change, though, with the club’s next move, one that will in some way involve Ezekiel Elliott.
Free agency, 2023 NFL draft buzz from combine: Latest news, rumors :: ESPN+
In Dan Graziano’s postmortem report from the scouting combine in Indianapolis, he says “it would not be surprising” to see the Cowboys release Elliott, since the two-time rushing champ has no more guaranteed money on his contract. He reminds that the team could save $10.9 million on the cap if they designate him a post-June 1 cut.
DeAndre Hopkins shoots shot with Cowboys, Dez Bryant amid Cardinals trade rumors :: ClutchPoints
The Cardinals wideout may be a trade candidate in Arizona; he showed up on social media from Dallas with Dez Bryant to make a sales pitch to the Cowboys. “I keep hearing y’all say my name around here,” Hopkins said on the live stream. “What’s up? Talk to me.”
Matthew Berry's 23 most interesting things he heard at NFL Combine :: NBC Sports Edge
The fantasy guru is totally up front about stating that his column is “not news,” but he was told in Indianapolis that “Dallas wants to make a splash on offense” because they don’t feel they have a true star in the passing game other than CeeDee Lamb. When Berry prodded with, “What about DeAndre Hopkins?” the source replied, “Yeah, something like that.”
Do the Cowboys have enough depth to replace Leighton Vander Esch? :: Cowboys Wire
Vander Esch had perhaps his best year yet as a pro and likely wants to test the market to see what that’s worth to an outside club. If Dallas loses the Wolf Hunter and Anthony Barr leaves via free agency, that will leave 1,355 defensive snaps to be picked up by second-year project Damone Clark, Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford, and Devin Harper. The Cowboys would need to add veteran help or plug-and-play talent from the draft, or both.
Former Dallas Cowboys standout resurfaces in Mexican league, appears to be absolutely balling :: Penn Live
Terrance Williams all but vanished after the Cowboys’ 2018 season. The wide receiver went on to spend time in the XFL, CFL, and Fan Controlled League… but he’s now a legitimate star once again in Galgos de Tijuana, a 10-team pro league based in Mexico.
Jimmy Johnson will have role in Hall of Fame induction of ex-Cowboys LB Zach Thomas :: Dallas Morning News
Johnson started his pro coaching carer in Dallas; Thomas ended his pro playing career there. In between, they crossed paths for 12 Hall of Fame years in Miami. When Thomas enters Canton with the Class of 2023, it will be Johnson who presents him.
XFL Week 3 scores, takeaways: Josh Gordon, Ben DiNucci, Brandon Silvers steal spotlight; D.C., Houston go 3-0 :: CBS Sports
The ex-Cowboys backup continues to make the most of his second chance in the XFL. DiNucci completed 29 of 37 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday (including a 65-yard strike to Josh Gordon on a 4th-down play with under a minute left) to give the Seattle Sea Dragons their first win. He leads all quarterbacks in passing with 855 yards and is tied for the league lead with seven touchdown throws.