Each Sunday I provide 10 quick hits on the Dallas Cowboys. The news of the week, analysis of key events and a little humor as I try not to get lost in the city that never sleeps in this edition of First and 10.
1. You'd be surprised how little they're talking about the Giants up here in New York City. I thought for sure in my travels this week I would be inundated with NFL Draft talk. Instead people are busying themselves with two playoff-bound hockey teams, two awful basketball teams and the start of baseball season. The Giants are certainly not the biggest game in town in the offseason, offering further proof how peculiar the Dallas Cowboys' position in the DFW sports market is when compared to most of the country.
2. Greg Hardy goes on ESPN to tell a reporter that he has never, ever, never put a hand on a woman. And I'm here to tell you that I will never, ever, never believe him. And I think most of the country is with me on this one. I'm tired of writing about this guy, so I'll just insert what I wrote about him a few weeks ago from a Cowboys perspective — he's not worth bringing back because the longer you keep, the more likely he inflicts long-term damage on your franchise. Let him be someone else's problem.
As for his state of denial, well, let's just say karma has a way of working itself out.
Oh, and then there is the read-between-the-lines reason Hardy is no longer a Cowboy, from the Cowboys beat guy who seems to know him best.
3. The Dallas Cowboys will play a football game in Los Angeles for the first time in 24 years. The Cowboys announced earlier this week that they would play the Rams in an exhibition game in L.A. in August. Our Mark Lane caught up with several Cowboys to get their take on the news. Anyone want to put money on whether there will be more Cowboys or Rams fans in the stands at the Coliseum that day? Didn't think so.
You know, it's weird. As savvy as Jerry Jones is, why did he never think to play a preseason game in L.A. while the city was vacant of an NFL team? Discuss.
4. This week on Mock Draft Friday I explored some trade-down scenarios in the first round for the Cowboys. Our Mike Fisher pointed out a couple of things during the week on Twitter, the biggest of which was this — he feels it would take a second- and a third-round pick to get the Cowboys to budge from No. 4, in addition to the flip of first-round picks. I tend to agree. And this week's Mock Draft Friday certainly presents a compelling case. The scenarios provide a framework for deals that involve one extra pick, two extra picks and even a third extra pick — though it comes in 2017. Of course, these scenarios are all about the quarterback, something Cowboys owner Jerry Jones swears the team isn't interested with their first-round pick.
(Psst: He's fibbing.)
5. CowboysCast catches up with Jack Crawford. He flirted with a couple of teams, but the Cowboys brought him back with a one-year, $1.1 million deal. Bobby Belt got Crawford on the line to talk to him about his decision and his happiness to be back in Dallas. Plus, our Mike Fisher talks all things Cowboys with Bobby, who is prepping a rather outstanding Dallas Draft party at The Maverick Bar on Thursday, April 28 that is set to feature a trio of former Cowboys players, safety Roy Williams, receiver Jesse Holley and running back Phillip Tanner, along with Fish and Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan. Sounds fun and yes, you're invited!
6. By the way, don't look at that Jack Crawford money so sideways. The Cowboys are fine, cap-wise. You've probably seen graphics showing the Cowboys among the teams with the least amount of cap space (right now an estimated $1.38 million). Now that's true, but that figure takes into account the rookie salary pool. Take the pool out and the Cowboys have about $7.8 million under the cap. So their ledger is just fine, especially when you take into account that there appears to be no dead money in 2017. When was the last time you heard "Dallas Cowboys" and "no dead money" in the same sentence?
7. Matt Galatzan wrote about Joey Bosa this week. Bosa, a defensive end some project to go to the Cowboys at No. 4, seems to be enjoying a bit of a love-hate relationship among scouts. Some say Bosa has the makings of a great player while others say he'll be nothing more than a rotation guy. The Cowboys have a decision to make about Bosa as he'll likely be available when the Cowboys hit the draft clock at No. 4. Perhaps that's why the Cowboys were heavy attendees at OSU's pro day, had a private visit with Urban Meyer and ventured back up to campus for private workouts with several Buckeyes. Apparently the road to due diligence runs through Columbus, Ohio.
Personally I'd feel more comfortable taking Bosa in the middle of the first round.
8. This week's Great Moments in Headline Porn? "Dallas Cowboys — why Jason Garrett needs to go" from isportsweb.com. Well it got me to click on it. The article's logic for getting rid of Garrett included referencing a game of Pictionary from an episode of "Family Guy." Because all good arguments about head-coaching employment start with Stewie Griffin.
9. I don't think the Cowboys are done in free agency quite yet. Look at the list of players that are still on the market as of Sunday — CB Leon Hall, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Prince Amukamara, SS Donte Whitner, DE Jason Hatcher, FS Dashon Goldson, DT Henry Melton and DE Jeremy Mincey. There is value in going after one of these players now because the most these players can command is a team-friendly, one-year deal, based on falling through the market. It might require the Cowboys to restructure one deal, but if you're hoping to add depth in the secondary or the defensive line, this is a good time to do it without damaging your bottom line for 2016 or the future.
10. Rest in peace, Will Smith. The former Saints defensive end was gunned down during an argument after a car accident in New Orleans Saturday night. I could say so many things, but the fact that his wife was shot as well (she is alive) and that Smith leaves behind three children says it all. Utterly senseless.