Connor McGovern (Penn St.)

Cowboys Not Targeting Centers?

Don’t expect the Cowboys to find their replacement for Travis Frederick in the draft. Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that he’s optimistic about his current options at center, including Joe LooneyConnor McGovern, and Connor Williams.

“I think Travis is a player that’s had a great career,” McCarthy said (via Michael Gehlken of DallasNews.com). “Obviously, he’s to be commended on that. But when we look at our current depth with the offensive line, you start off with Joe Looney and the two Connors. I think we’ve got great competition, great depth. We’ve got Marcus Henry there, also Adam Redmond.

“We have some really good flexibility, some really good numbers. So the fact that we’re able to get started and just start going through the language and how we’re going to call things, I think the fact that we have that much experience with the veteran group that we have here, I feel very good about moving forward.”

That probably takes the Cowboys out of the running for Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz, although the team could shift their focus to LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry, Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz and Temple’s Matt Hennessy. After the 17th-overall selection, the Cowboys won’t be picking again until No. 51.

After seven years with the organization, Frederick announced his retirement last month.

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NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eagles, Williams

While the Cowboys have imported two of the 2019 Panthers’ three defensive line starters — in Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe — they are not looking to move on from Tyrone Crawford. The Cowboys have asked Crawford to yo-yo between defensive end and tackle in his career, and with the two high-profile veterans coming to Dallas, it is reasonable to wonder about their longtime lineman’s role. But as of now, it should be expected Crawford will be Dallas’ starting D-end opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News notes. Despite Crawford only playing in four games last season, the Cowboys are also not expected to ask the 30-year-old lineman to take a pay cut from the $8MM salary he is due in 2020, Moore adds. Crawford, whose contract is up after 2020, would be taking the place of Robert Quinn opposite Lawrence. Quinn signed a mega-deal with the Bears.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles entered the DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes, but the Cardinals’ offer of David Johnson and a second-round pick surprisingly won out. Howie Roseman said Thursday the deal the Texans offered him was different than what the Cardinals ended up agreeing to, per Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter). It is not known what the Eagles offered, but this marks the most recent instance of them entering the pursuit of a high-profile AFC South player and not winning out. Roseman bowed out of the Jalen Ramsey sweepstakes last year. The lofty Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson cap numbers would have made a Hopkins extension interesting for Philly to navigate.
  • Despite the Cowboys signing both McCoy and Poe to help on their interior defensive line, they are not likely to look outside the organization to help on their interior O-line. Travis Frederick‘s successor will probably be an in-house move, Jon Machota of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Considering the Cowboys drafted Connor McGovern in the 2019 third round and re-signed Joe Looney — their 2018 replacement for Frederick — it should not surprise they will look internally at center. The Cowboys placed a second-round grade on McGovern last year, and even though he missed all of last season, the Penn State product should have a good shot at succeeding Frederick.
  • Although nearly half the league used a franchise or a transition tag this year, the GiantsLeonard Williams tag may have been the most interesting decision. New York’s Williams tag will cost at least $16.1MM (the defensive tackle price) and could run as much as $17.8MM (for defensive ends), but Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes the Giants are not likely to sign the former Jets first-rounder to a deal that averages $16MM per year. If that is the case, Williams should be expected to play 2020 on the tag.
  • The Cowboys gave Kai Forbath a one-year, $1.18MM deal, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). The veteran kicker, who succeeded Brett Maher last year, will receive a $137K signing bonus.
  • The Giants‘ deal for ex-Patriots special-teamer Nate Ebner is a one-year, $2MM pact, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Ebner will receive a $950K roster bonus and a $1.05MM base salary.

Cowboys Add RB To Roster

The Cowboys are adding reinforcements as the Ezekiel Elliott saga drags. On Monday, they promoted running back Jordan Chunn to the 53-man roster. His roster spot will be freed up by placing Connor McGovern on injured reserve.

If Elliott doesn’t show for the season opener, Chunn would serve as the Cowboys’ No. 3 running back behind Tony Pollard and Alfred Morris. Dallas will also have fullback Jamize Olawale on hand to clear the way.

McGovern, a third-round pick, suffered a setback in August that will require some extra time to heal. If his torn pectoral muscle cooperates, he could still be eligible to return for the second half of the season, per league rules.

Latest On Cowboys G Connor McGovern; Cowboys Receiving OL, DL Trade Interest

The Cowboys selected offensive lineman Connor McGovern in the third round of this year’s draft with the expectation that he could compete for the team’s starting left guard job. However, Todd Archer of ESPN.com says that McGovern, who sustained a partially torn pectoral muscle during the offseason program and who participated in just two training camp practices, has suffered a setback.

It’s presently unclear if McGovern will need surgery or if he can simply rehab the injury. According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, McGovern is dealing with a smaller strain of his pectoral muscle separate from the earlier tear (Twitter link). Both Moore and Archer suggest that the Cowboys could include McGovern on the initial 53-man roster, which would then allow them to put him on IR with the possibility of bringing him back later in the season, but a source tells Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News that the team is considering keeping McGovern on the shelf for his entire rookie season (Twitter link).

After all, Dallas does have the offensive line depth to withstand a redshirt season from its Day 2 draft choice. Even with McGovern’s uncertain status, Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes that the Cowboys are open to trading players from either its O-line or D-line (or perhaps both).

“We do get calls on both offensive and defensive lines,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said yesterday. “We’ve made that a priority over the years, and it’s a strength of ours, and some teams are interested in it. Yeah, I think there’s a possibility for sure that we could move somebody.”

It seems that Dallas will go into the season with Connor Williams as the starting LG. If the Cowboys do swing a trade, Williams suggests that they would want a draft pick, not a player, in return.

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Cowboys Sign Connor McGovern

The Cowboys have signed third-round pick Connor McGovern, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). With that, the Cowboys have inked every draft pick in their 2019 class. 

McGovern isn’t practicing with the team during its mandatory minicamp due to a pectoral strain. However, once he’s healthy, he says he’ll try to crack the team’s starting lineup.

Even if McGovern isn’t a starter this year, he could provide quality support behind Connor Williams and Zack Martin at the guard spots. Eventually, Williams may be shifted to tackle and current right tackle La’el Collins may depart after this year, his final season under contract, so there’s a clear path for McGovern to start at some point. In theory, strong camps from Williams and McGovern could give Dallas enough confidence to move Collins in a trade and add some draft picks for 2020.

Here’s the full rundown of the Cowboys’ class, via PFR’s tracker:

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