1. Tony Romo News? Well, our Mike Fisher — who is as inside The Star as anyone covering the team — found a couple of sources that told him that if Romo hits the open market then Denver will “go hard after” him.
Fish’s story is interesting. There are plenty of quotes, plenty of good sourcing and plenty of good nuggets that lead me to believe that the Broncos would go after him hard. I can tell you that from the first day it appeared Romo might not be a Cowboy anymore that I’ve felt Denver was the best destination for him. Now, my counterpart at CowboysHQ.com, Matt Galatzan, and I recently debated the point and Matt G. laid out a nice case for another AFC team that, frankly, is a little closer than Denver — Houston.
Either destination would give Romo what he needs — a top-flight defense with great skill players and offenses that could easily be adjusted to suit his strengths. But there doesn’t appear to be a lot of conversation out there right now. As of Wednesday, when Fish posted his story, Romo and his agent, Tom Condon, had not been granted permission to shop him. Maybe that has to do with Jerry Jones’ reported desire to try and keep Romo (which was reported again Saturday and is foolishness), or the Cowboys could just be waiting until the last minute to make the move to release Romo, much the same way they did when they released DeMarcus Ware. That doesn’t make much sense if the Cowboys are interested in trading Romo, but it may also mean that no one is interested in trying to trade for Romo. There are ways to find that out, you know.
March 9 is the date to watch. That’s when the league year begins and the Cowboys, most likely, would make a move to release Romo, though they’re not obligated to do so since they’re under the cap for 2017.
But Fish would like you to know one thing. No matter what you've been reading for a month ... the Cowboys and the Joneses have talked.
2. One of the biggest names at the NFL Combine wasn’t there — Joe Mixon. As you’re probably aware, Mixon spent the latter part of his 2016 embroiled in the controversy that required him to be suspended for the 2014 season — his assault of a woman in a Norman restaurant. Google the video. It’s out there and its indisputable. What is also indisputable is that the NFL didn’t invite Mixon to the NFL Combine this week.
Last year, the NFL decided that college players could be barred from competing in the combine for the following reasons — misdemeanor or felony convictions involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, a sexual offense and/or sexual assault. Technically, Mixon wasn’t convicted of any crime because he pled into community service and probation. But the NFL barred him anyway.
Our Mike Fisher, along with Scout.com’s Bill Huber, who covers the Packers and covered the Combine for Scout, filed this report about Mixon’s absence.
Now here is why all of this is interesting. Take the off-the-field stuff out of the mix and Mixon is a sought-after prospect. His ranking is all over the board. Some consider him a first-round prospect. Some consider him a second-day prospect. I saw him play against TCU and his ability to run and catch passes with equal quality is pretty rare. The Cowboys have just two running backs under contract — Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris. Mixon, especially if he could be drafted in the second or third round, would be a huge get, depth-wise, for the Cowboys.
This story backs that up, with good quotes from 105.3 The Fan’s Jeff Cavanaugh and former NFL Scout Bryan Broaddus. Broaddus went so far as to call Mixon one of the most complete backs in this draft.
So, the question is two-fold. First, would Mixon fall to a location where it would make sense for a team like Dallas to take him? Second, would the Cowboys do it, considering the baggage?
Remember what happened the last time the Cowboys passed on a player with PR baggage? Some guy named Moss?
Personally, I found what Mixon did disgusting and Oklahoma didn’t do enough to punish him. Plus, the legal process failed the victim by allowing Mixon to opt into simple probation. Technically, he’s paid his debt and should be allowed to move on with his life. Realistically, anyone who takes Mixon better hope he’s learned from his mistakes or it’s a fool’s bet.
3. In Case You Missed It — Here is Jason Garrett’s press conference from the NFL Combine. Don’t lose your mind over Garrett’s comments about him and Tony Romo not talking too much right now. Sure, they probably aren’t. But looking a few years down the road I still see those guys having a great relationship. It’s the nature of the beast right now with Romo likely on his way out and Garrett having given the keys to the offense to Dak Prescott. If you want a correlation, look at Peyton Manning’s relationship with Colts owner Jim Irsay. They’re still on good terms despite Irsay releasing Manning a few years ago. This stuff happens. It’s the NFL. It’s not personal, even though sometimes it feels that way.
4. Check out last week’s StarCast between host Jamie Horton and 105.3 The Fan’s Jeff Cavanaugh. As the NFL Scouting Combine continues through Monday, Cavanaugh’s words are still relevant. Horton and Cavanaugh take a look at some prospects you might see wearing the star next season. Cavanaugh is under the wing of former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus, and their work in the film room at The Star in Frisco offers Cowboys Nation invaluable information ... and inside this CowboysHQ.com StarCAST, you get more than your fill!
5. So the Cowboys are reportedly interested in trading Alfred Morris? Some outlets reported that earlier this week. Frankly, I don’t get it. You have Morris, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, on your books for well below market value for another year. Sure, he probably has some value on the open market for a mid-draft selection, but with just Elliott and Morris under contract for 2017, it would seem foolish to part with Morris, unless … the Cowboys value one of their free-agent backs more than Morris? That’s possible.
Remember — when they signed Morris they did so as insurance for then-starter Darren McFadden. The Cowboys had no idea if drafting Elliott was in the cards at that point. Also keep in mind that when McFadden was finally healthy and ready to play, he ended up supplanting Morris as Elliott’s backup. At the time I thought it was curious. After all Morris was averaging a solid four yards per carry behind Elliott. Why simply inject McFadden in that role, unless they believe that McFadden gives them something that Morris doesn’t. That aspect is surely McFadden’s open-field speed, plus the versatility he can give you in the passing game and on special teams.
So, if the Cowboys go this route, they’ll need to re-sign McFadden first and then pursue a trade for Morris. Hopefully a deal like that yields a fourth- or fifth-round pick. But if McFadden bolts in free agency, I would suggest that Morris would stay put.
6. Our Joey Ickes continued his series of articles on how the Dallas Cowboys might handle their 2017 offseason priorities.
Today it’s about valuing their own free agents and ginning up some interest in that back-up quarterback.
7. Congratulations to Charlotte Jones-Anderson and Darren McFadden on their induction into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. McFadden, of course, tore up the college football world as a running back at Arkansas, earning All-America status and voted a Heisman Trophy runner-up. The Little Rock, Ark., native, played three sports at Oak Grove High School in Little Rock, played two positions in football and was named a Parade All-American and the Arkansas Player of the Year his senior season.
Jones-Anderson is the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a native of Little Rock, Ark., and currently chairs the NFL Foundation, which leads league initiatives regarding youth football, health and safety and community outreach. With the Cowboys she serves as their executive vice president/chief brand officer and is one of the highest-ranking women in professional sports.
8. It’s our Tweet of the Week:
Not to be cynical, but at this time of the year you just insert team name and insert team’s current receivers coach and current wide receivers to make the point that you’d love to be there. That’s how this works.
That said, Dede Westbrook paired with Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley would NOT suck.
9. This week’s great moments in headline porn: “Dallas Cowboys: A Potential Landing Spot for Alshon Jeffery?” from thelandryhat.com (Fansided.com)
Is anyone putting any thought into this? This guy played on a franchise tag tender in Chicago last year ($14 million) and, while he did miss four games due to a PED suspension last year, there’s no way his salary drops to the point where the Cowboys could entertain signing Jeffery as a No. 2 receiver to Dez Bryant. It’s not a legitimate option. It’s just click bait. Nothing more. Someone will play Jeffery like a No. 1 guy because that’s what the market will dictate.
10. And one more thing...
Say goodbye to any chance of the Cowboys getting this guy. Fortunately they have some guy named, what, Bryant? Dez? Is that right? Yeah, I think that’s right.
Want to talk more Cowboys? Hit the CowboysHQ.com message boards or hit up Postins @PostinsPostcard or Mike Fisher @FishSports on Twitter.