- The Cowboys and guard Zack Martin were deep in extension talks over the summer, but they could not get a deal done before the unofficial late August deadline that the two sides set for themselves. However, they are expected to revisit those discussions this offseason, as Martin is only under club control through the 2018 campaign (via the fifth-year option of his rookie contract). Hardik Sanghavi of OverTheCap.com looks at Martin’s case in excellent detail and projects a six-year, $84.6MM deal for the Notre Dame product.
- When speaking to reporters at Wednesday’s meetings, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hinted that he wants to dial back the power of the commissioner’s office (Twitter link via Ben Volin of The Boston Globe). “There’s nobody that doesn’t see the need for changes in the NFL in several areas. … One of it is an antiquated constitution, an antiquated situation as to the power of his commissioner,” Jones said.
- Several teams have failed to lure Cowboys senior director of college and pro personnel Will McClay in the past, but there is a feeling that he might be interested in the Giants‘ GM vacancy, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv writes. McClay is in charge of the Cowboys’ drafts and they have had a strong track record in recent years. McClay is among the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s recommended minority candidates for GM jobs this offseason.
- Giants owner John Mara says the league will discuss changes to the “composition” of the Compensation Committee at the league meeting in March (Twitter link via Jim Trotter of ESPN.com). The Compensation Committee is currently comprised of six owners with Falcons owner Arthur Blank acting as the group’s leader. Up until recently, Cowboys boss Jerry Jones served as an unofficial seventh member.
- Jones says that the incentive-based structure of Roger Goodell‘s new contract will force him to deliver big results for the league. “If Roger comes in and knocked it out of the ballpark, he’ll really be rewarded,” the Cowboys owner told Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “You’ve got to hope that he has that kind of performance. There are no easy layups here on his bonuses. He’s got to come in there and lead the division in high scoring.” Goodell’s new contract is said to be 90% incentive-based and will take him through the 2024 season. After that, the NFL says Goodell will step aside.
Before Roger Goodell formally signed an extension that will keep him as the NFL’s commissioner until the start of the 2024 league year, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones proposed a resolution that would have delayed negotiations for six months, according to a memo obtained by Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com.
The proposal was included in an agenda for this week’s league meetings, per Wickersham, and called for a secret vote on a six-month moratorium on Goodell’s extension. While the resolution obviously failed (and Jones failed to organize any compelling level of anti-Goodell support among his fellow owners), Jones will still be able to voice concerns among Goodell’s contract when the league convenes Wednesday. Indeed, owners are “bracing” for Jones to attempt “one last play” to circumvent Goodell’s deal at the league meetings, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“I’m not going to get into details,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. “But the resolution I put in is still in place. This is why we have the meetings. I am looking forward to it. It will be a great opportunity. We will able to get some meaningful things done because of what we have been doing over the last few months.”
Jones’ battle against Goodell isn’t a new fight, of course, as the Cowboys owner has claimed the league’s owners were “misled” by the commissioner’s new deal. While Jones’ angst has generally been directed at compensation committee chairman Arthur Blank, Jones is also reportedly upset over Goodell’s decision to suspend Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- The Cowboys will be without Orlando Scandrick, David Irving and Justin Durant against the Giants on Sunday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. Scandrick suffered two transverse process fractures, while Durant and Irving remain in concussion protocol. The 6-6 Cowboys are clinging to contention and will need to complete a sweep of their NFC East rival to stay in the race.
- Cowboys coaching and scouting sources told Miller the team doesn’t expect to be holding mid-first-round picks much in the near future, and he writes the team will pursue a higher-end pass rusher “while it can.” That’s bold thinking for a team that is 6-6 and has missed the playoffs in five seasons this decade, but the Cowboys did earn home-field advantage last season. And the need for an impact end remains.
Jerry Jones offered a measured response to Roger Goodell‘s new extension when asked about it on Friday morning.
“No, I don’t really [have any comment],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan (transcript via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News). “We’re having a very important [owners] meeting here in Dallas next week beginning Wednesday. That’s very meaningful. I’m looking forward to that. That’ll be very meaningful as we go forward. One of the things that I think that has been mentioned is any role that I might have had in the extension of Roger. As you know, I’ve been on both ends of it as far as any criticism. It’s been my experience in 30 years in the NFL that to make change and to make positive change — every time we all strive to make the NFL better, I include every owner with that — it’s hard. It’s very, very hard. If you really want to make some changes, you usually end up getting a lot of criticism along the way. It’s happened every time with me when we’ve had meaningful change. … We’ll see how it goes forward, but there’s nothing that has surprised me here.”
While Jones seethes behind closed doors, let’s take a look at the latest from the East divisions:
- Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com spoke with people around the league to size up some potential candidates for the Giants‘ GM vacancy. The names he’s hearing include Eliot Wolf (Packers), Nick Caserio (Patriots), Scott Pioli (Falcons), Trent Kirchner (Seahawks), Dave Gettleman (ex-Panthers GM), Louis Riddick (currently with ESPN), and internal candidates Kevin Abrams and Marc Ross.
- Can Christian Hackenberg still be the Jets‘ quarterback of the future? The former second round pick has yet to see the field, but Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News won’t rule out the possibility that he could be in the mix next season. For his part, Hackenberg admits that he is anxious to take an NFL snap. “In order to grow and learn, you need to get hit in your mouth,” Hackenberg said. “You need to fail. Then you grow from that. There’s really no intimidation. I got to experience things. I felt like I experienced a lot of really good things this preseason and some things I need to learn from. That’s all part of the process. If you don’t experience both ends of the spectrum, you’re not getting everything out of the adventure.”
The Fritz Pollard Alliance met with the NFL this week and submitted names of suggested GM and head coaching candidates. The list, which is distributed to teams each year, recommends minority candidates for openings around the league.
This year’s candidates for GM jobs are Joey Clinkscales (Raiders), Alonzo Highsmith (Packers), Ray Farmer (Rams consultant), Will McClay (Cowboys), and Doug Williams (Redskins), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The head coaching candidates are Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Vikings DC George Edwards, Panthers DC Steve Wilks, and Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Farmer has ten years of front office experience under his belt, including two as the Browns’ GM. The team went 10-22 under his watch, so wouldn’t necessarily be an exciting choice for a team this offseason. The other four suggested candidates would be first-time GMs, if hired.
Austin has been considered a bonafide head coaching candidate for some time, but he has been left in a holding pattern. In the 2016 offseason, Austin opined that two of his four interviews were done solely to satisfy the Rooney Rule. This past year, he interviewed with the Rams and Chargers.
Absent from the list is former Bills GM Doug Whaley, who received a potentially bogus interview with the Browns this week.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- It’s no secret that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was against the NFL extending commissioner Roger Goodell, but now that a deal is officially signed, Jones doesn’t have many avenues to pursue, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If Jones attempts to rip up the contract, Goodell would likely be entitled to a hefty buyout. But Jones could still pursue a legal strategy, especially if he believes the league’s owners were supposed to discuss Goodell’s contract before it became official, per Florio.
- Filling in the for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys running back Alfred Morris could now see an increased market next spring thanks to his production through four games as a starter, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. Morris has certainly impressed — as Archer notes, Morris 307 yards in four contests would put him on pace for a 1,200+ yard campaign. However, Morris turns 29 years old next week, which will theoretically limit his market. A reunion between Morris and Dallas could make sense, opines Archer, as the Cowboys would be wise to protect themselves against another Elliott off-field incident/ban.