Joe Looney

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: Redskins, Eagles, Giants

After failing to pry Amari Cooper away from the Cowboys, the Redskins are still on the prowl for help at wide receiver, as John Keim of ESPN.com writes. However, while the 2020 draft is historically loaded with pass-catchers, Washington certainly won’t use the No. 2 overall selection on a wideout, and the club doesn’t own a second-round pick. The Redskins could theoretically pursue a trade for someone like the Rams’ Brandin Cooks, or look to the free agent market, where options such as Robby Anderson and Breshad Perriman still lurk.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins wasn’t aiming for top-end money on a reworked deal with the Eagles, reports Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead, Jenkins — who was due $7.6MM in 2020 — wanted a two-year commitment at a slightly higher salary. The Eagles rebuffed that request, per McLane, and attempted to trade Jenkins before cutting him. Jenkins, of course, agreed to a reunion with the Saints after leaving Philadelphia.
  • The Giants pursued free agent center Joe Looney before he re-signed with the Cowboys, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. New York will continue to look for help at center, where Spencer Pulley is currently the projected starter as Jon Halapio recovers from an Achilles tear. Looney, for his part, may now be a starter in Dallas following the retirement of Travis Frederick.
  • The Eagles are hoping 2019 undrafted free agent T.J. Edwards is the club’s starting middle linebacker during the upcoming campaign, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94 WIP writes. Edwards, a 23-year-old Wisconsin product, played only 112 defensive snaps a year ago, but earned an exemplary 83.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

Contract Details: Mayo, Patriots, Bailey

A handful of contract details to pass along:

  • LB David Mayo, Giants: three-year extension. $8.4MM deal, including $3.5MM guaranteed. Salaries: $1.5MM guaranteed (2020), $2.25MM (2021), $2.5MM (2022). Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • WR Damiere Byrd, Patriots: one year, $2.5MM. $1MM base salary, $350K signing bonus, $900K in receptions incentives. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.
  • S Adrian Phillips, Patriots: two years. Deal worth up to $7.5MM, $3MM guaranteed, $1.5MM signing bonus. Can earn up to $4MM in 2020. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • K Dan Bailey, Vikings: re-signed. Three-year deal worth up to $12MM. $5MM guaranteed, $3.15MM signing bonus. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • OL Joe Looney, Cowboys: signed. One-year, $2.4375MM deal. As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweets, one of the new CBA’s veteran benefits is that the deal will count $1.25MM less on the cap than it would have last season.
  • OT Shon Coleman, 49ers: one-year extension. Worth $962.5K, including $825K base salary and $137.5K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter.
  • DB Jaylen Watkins, Texans: signed. Two-year deal worth $3MM, per Wilson.
  • OT Roderick Johnson, Texans: re-signed. One-year deal worth $1.75MM, per Wilson.

Joe Looney To Rejoin Cowboys

Interior offensive lineman Joe Looney has agreed to a deal to stay with the Cowboys for at least one more season, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. With a new coaching staff in Dallas and Looney’s former head coach now with the Giants it was unclear whether Looney would remain with the team, but it appears, at least for now, that the team is happy with a reunion.

An eight-year veteran, Looney has been a solid rotational lineman with the flexibility to play anywhere on a line’s interior. In 2018, Looney started every Cowboys game at center, but otherwise, he has never started more than 6 games in a season.

Looney spent the first three years of his pro career in San Francisco before the 49ers waived him prior to the 2015 season. After a one year stint with the Titans, Looney joined America’s Team in 2016 and has appeared in every Cowboys game since.

Cowboys Pick Up Options On C Joe Looney, LB Joe Thomas

The Cowboys picked up an option on receiver Allen Hurns earlier today, and that wasn’t the only one they exercised. The team is also picking up their options on center Joe Looney and linebacker Joe Thomas, a source told Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Looney has been with the Cowboys the past three seasons, and was a backup interior lineman the first two. After starter Travis Frederick missed the entire 2018 season, Looney ended up starting all 16 games. He signed a two-year deal with the team last March, but the second year was a team option that needed to be decided on by March 13th.

Looney will get paid a base salary of $1MM in 2019 with incentives worth up to $500k, according to Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan. Assuming Frederick is able to return in 2019, which looks to be the case, Looney should return to a reserve role. He received poor marks from Pro Football Focus last year, and was ranked the 32nd best center in the league by PFF.

Thomas played sparingly on defense last season, but was a contributor on special teams. He signed a two-year deal worth up to $3.6MM last March.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Optimistic Travis Frederick’s Setback Not Season-Ending

Travis Frederick‘s become one of this generation’s best centers, but he’s encountered a rare obstacle in the form of an auto-immune disease. The All-Pro Cowboys blocker revealed the diagnosis on Wednesday and is out indefinitely.

The Cowboys are pleased Frederick finally received a diagnosis for what’s been bothering him this month, Guillain-Barre disease, and Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the team is optimistic this is not a season- or career-ending setback.

We were really so happy when it was diagnosed that this was the problem,” Jerry Jones said, via Hill. “He and we were concerned about that when we couldn’t get a diagnosis. The biggest thing we have been worried is his health, his long-term health, his individual well being as opposed to how it impacted us as a team or impacts him as a player but his well being is the most important thing.

“As it relates to football, I don’t have any definitive thing to talk about there.”

Frederick has begun taking medicine for this condition already, but he has no timetable for a return. A previous diagnosis revealed Frederick didn’t have Guillain-Barre, the sixth-year lineman merely needing rest. But once symptoms — centered around neck stingers — persisted and the accurate diagnosis emerged, per Hill.

Joe Looney has stepped in for Frederick at center. Looney’s in his third season with the Cowboys and has previously served as an interior-line backup. The Cowboys rely on their three-pronged force of 27-year-old linemen — Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith — but for the time being, Looney, also 27, will have to play with the starters. Looney made three starts last season and played in all 16 Dallas games. Hill adds Martin is an emergency option at center.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Re-Sign OL Joe Looney

The Cowboys have officially re-signed offensive lineman Joe Looney to a two-year deal, the club announced today. David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that Dallas was close to a new deal with Looney.

Looney is just one of three offensive linemen who are scheduled to sign with the Cowboys this week. Dallas has announced its addition of former Patriots tackle Cameron Fleming, while interior lineman Marcus Martin is also expected to land with the Cowboys. Looney, like Martin, looks like a clear backup, while Fleming could the opportunity to start at right tackle if Dallas opts to move La’el Collins to guard.

After stints with the 49ers and Titans, Looney has found a home as a reserve lineman the last two seasons in Dallas. He has appeared in all 32 games since 2016, starting three, and play both guard positions and center. The 27-year-old Looney is also used in the team’s jumbo formation as a sixth offensive lineman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Close To Re-Signing OL Joe Looney

The Cowboys have been busy recently bringing in reinforcements for the offensive line and reportedly are close to deals with former Patriots offensive tackle Cameron Fleming and former 49ers lineman Marcus Martin

The team is also expected to keep some of its own offensive line, as it is close to re-signing veteran Joe Looney to a deal as early as Monday, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News writes.

After stints with the 49ers and Titans, Looney has found a home as a reserve lineman the last two seasons in Dallas. He has appeared in all 32 games since 2016, starting three, and play both guard positions and center. Moore also notes Looney is used in the team’s jumbo formation when it replaces a tight end.

Though he is not expected to serve as a starter up front, Looney is well liked by his teammates and is viewed as a good presence in the locker room who can also serve as a versatile role in a pinch.

 

Cowboys Rumors: Hardy, Goff, Wentz

The latest out of Dallas:

  • Free agent defensive end Greg Hardy sat down for an interview with Adam Schefter of ESPN (video link) and claimed that he never put his hands on his alleged domestic assault victim. Hardy had another solid season as a pass rusher in 2015, recording six sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception in 12 games for the Cowboys. However, he remains on the open market thanks to his reputation for being difficult in the locker room and the PR backlash that his signing would bring for a team.
  • The Cowboys will bring in quarterbacks Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch, Christian Hackenberg, Connor Cook, and Jacoby Brissett for visits, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. Hackenberg, Cook, and Brissett could be had later in the draft while Goff, Wentz, and Lynch are likely first round picks.
  • Laquon Treadwell will visit with the Cowboys tomorrow, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Shaq Lawson‘s long anticipated visit to the Cowboys took place on Monday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Alabama running back Derrick Henry will visit the Cowboys this week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter links) has the details on Joe Looney‘s two-year contract with Dallas. The interior lineman will get $1.675MM with a $100K signing bonus and salaries of $775K and $800K. He’ll also get a $250K play time incentive in 2016 and a $500K playtime incentive in 2017.
  • Jack Crawford‘s one-year deal will pay him $1.1MM but he can earn up to $1.6MM through incentives, Clarence Hill of The Star-Telegram tweets.

Cowboys, Joe Looney Agree To Terms

The Cowboys may have the best group of offensive line starters in the league, and they look to have strengthened their front’s depth. A day after visiting the Cowboys, Joe Looney will sign a two-year deal with the team, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com.

Looney will likely fill in as the backup center/guard on game day, a slot recently vacated by Mackenzy Bernadeau after he signed with the Jaguars.

The 25-year-old Looney started 10 games the past two seasons for the 49ers and Titans, respectively. Looney filled in at guard and center for the Titans in 2015. Pro Football Focus didn’t rave about the 25-year-old’s performance in filling in for Brian Schwenke, tabbing Looney as its No. 34 center. But Looney will be backing up Pro Bowlers in Travis Frederick and Zack Martin in Dallas.

Bernadeau was active for all 32 of the Cowboys’ regular-season games the past two years and started two games. He joined Jermey Parnell in leaving Dallas for Jacksonville.

Originally a fourth-round pick of the 49ers’ in 2012, Looney did not make the team in 2015 and landed in Tennessee, where he saw action in eight games.