News: Verdict is in on Jaylon’s value; Moore, Fassel stay with Cowboys

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Matthew Lenix
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Kellen Moore and John Fassel have recently piqued the interest of the Philadelphia Eagles for their vacancy at head coach. On Thursday that interest came to an end as they hired Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. The Dallas Cowboys lost several starters in free agency in 2020, and are now projected to receive the maximum of four compensatory picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys underachieved this season with a 6-10 record, however, ESPN predicts that with a healthier roster and improved secondary they can return to the playoffs next season. Jaylon Smith had a forgettable year, and Bob Sturm of The Athletic dives into whether or not he’s worth holding onto going forward. Amari Cooper’s value since arriving in Dallas, the future Xavier Woods, and more are covered in the news and notes.

Should the Cowboys keep Jaylon Smith? Our conclusions after watching the film :: The Athletic

Link (Paywall) Jaylon Smith saw his play decline significantly in 2020 under former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's hybrid scheme. Bob Sturm of The Athletic goes into great, must-read detail on his poorest play this season, what he can do better going forward, and if he's worth bringing back in 2021. His conclusion?

But we cannot throw the baby completely out with the bathwater. Yes, he was poor this year, but the mitigating circumstances all around him and the year-to-year style of his contract tell me that I think (unless Quinn disagrees) it would be worth the effort to give him a fresh start with many of the shortcomings around him reduced. I just cannot quite convince myself that a 25-year old who has been recognized as a very solid NFL linebacker and who is second behind DeMarcus Lawrence in positive splash plays over the last three seasons can possibly be so lost that he cannot be part of my defensive rebuild this offseason.

Is it Time for the Cowboys to Move On From Xavier Woods? :: Inside The Star

Link Xavier Woods once seemed like a promising star at free safety. Unfortunately his play has declined, and with free agency approaching, plus huge question marks concerning his skill set being able to execute Dan Quinn's single-high safety scheme, finding a replacement should be a high on the priority list this offseason.

The Cowboys landed the third-best player from the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft... well, sort of :: Blogging The Boys

Link The Cowboys traded their first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper. After his second consecutive 1,100-yard in 2020, which included a career-high 92 receptions, it's clear Cooper has been a valuable addition.

Cowboys Officially Announce 3 Coaching Moves :: Dallas Cowboys

Link The Cowboys officially announced three recent coaching moves. Joe Whitt, Jr is the team's new secondary coach, Aden Durde overtakes over as defensive line coach, and Harold Nash, Jr has the lead role as strength and conditioning coordinator after suffering as an assistant in 2020.

5 Cowboys who earned themselves larger roles in 2021 :: The Landry Hat

Link Lucas Mascherin breaks down five players who should get larger roles in 2021. The list includes Randy Gregory, Trevon Diggs, and Donovan Wilson, three bright spots from one of the league's worst defenses in 2020.

ESPN predicts Cowboys to return to playoff field in 2021 :: Cowboys Wire

Link The Cowboys missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2020. However, ESPN predicts that America's Team will go back to the postseason in 2021 with improved team health, Dak Prescott back under center, and a fixed secondary.

2021 Draft: Cowboys again projected to receive maximum 4 comp picks :: Cowboys Wire

Link The Cowboys are projected to receive the maximum of four compensatory in the 2021 NFL Draft after losing Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, Randall Cobb, and Jeff Heath to free agency in 2020.

Eagles go different direction at HC: Moore, Fassel to stay with Cowboys :: Cowboys Wire

Link The Philadelphia Eagles tried ransacking the Cowboys coaching staff as of late. They interviewed offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on Tuesday for their vacancy at head coach and showed interest in special teams coordinator John Fassel for the same role. However, the Eagles hired Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni on Thursday.

5 Bucks: Is Kellen Moore Ready To Be Head Coach? :: Dallas Cowboys

Link Kellen Moore has produced impressive offensive numbers during his tenure as offensive coordinator and has proven to be a very good teacher of the quarterback position with the progression of Dak Prescott. With the recent interest in his services as a head coach, NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks drives whether or not he's ready for that responsibility as well as other topics.

The trade value of the Cowboys pick #10 in the 2021 draft could be going up :: Blogging The Boys

Link Phillip Rivers recently announced his retirement from the NFL, and Drew Brees may have played his final game as well. There are a plethora of quarterback-needy teams around the league, and the Cowboys hold the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Will there be enough top-flight talent at quarterback for a team to trade up with the Cowboys?