The Monday morning links.
Former Cowboys Coach Wade Wilson Passes Away – The Mothership
Wade Wilson was a part of the Cowboys organization as recently as 2017. He packed a lot of living in his 60-year life.
Wade Wilson, the former Cowboys quarterback and longtime assistant coach, passed away Friday at his home in Coppell, Texas. He was 60.
The Cowboys announced Wilson’s passing Friday afternoon.
A former eighth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings, Wilson had a productive 19-year playing career (1981-99) on five NFL teams, including the Cowboys as a backup to Troy Aikman for three seasons. Wilson was a member of the club’s Super Bowl XXX championship team.
Well-liked by his peers and players, Wilson was known as an excellent teacher of the quarterback position.
Wade Wilson, former Cowboys QB and assistant coach, dies at 60 – Todd Archer, ESPN
Some former Cowboys players tweeted about Wilson on Friday.
The team did not give a cause of death.
Wilson served as Cowboys quarterbacks coach from 2007 to ‘17, helping develop Tony Romo into the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, and Dak Prescott, who was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 2016.
Wilson was out of coaching last year after the Cowboys opted not to keep him on staff.
Emmitt Smith and Jason Witten were among the former teammates and players to offer their condolences on Twitter.
I am completely saddened by the loss of my former teammate, Wade Wilson… my thoughts, prayers and heart go to him and his family during this time. pic.twitter.com/Md8z06RvOv
— Emmitt Smith (@EmmittSmith22) February 1, 2019
RIP Sticks. A life well lived. https://t.co/vIftSHjF9T
— Jason Witten (@JasonWitten) February 1, 2019
It’s time the Cowboys learn from the Rams’ Super Bowl blueprint and act on these changes – Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
What can the Cowboys learn from the Rams?
The Cowboys have roughly $50 million in cap room and a number of players they want to address, led by free agent defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence as well as possible extensions for Prescott, Elliott and receiver Amari Cooper.
But the Cowboys are in a similar place that the Rams were in last year with a number of big-time contract decisions on their own team like Donald and Gurley. They won the division but lost in the wild-card round to the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike the Cowboys, who seem to be prepared to stand pat again, the Rams felt they were close and decided to dramatically alter their roster to get over the top.
“Here are the facts. We won the division,” Snead said. “What we wanted to do was win the division again. We wanted to improve upon not getting the bye last year. But we did know and were confident in the belief that we could win the division. That is step one. We felt doing these moves really gives us a chance to win the division and then we get there, actually win in the playoffs.”
Dak Prescott says he wasn’t comfortable in offense before trade for Amari Cooper – SportsDay
Dak joined 105.3 and talked everything from Amari Cooper to Kellen Moore.
Did he think the Cowboys needed a No. 1 wide receiver at the beginning of the year before Amari Cooper’s arrival?
”Guys were doing well. Honestly, I wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t the same guys at the same positions, as much as it was anything. You look out there and it was a different X than it was a play ago, there was a different Z than there was a play ago. I think what that did is create a little bit of uncertainty for me. So more so than it was getting the No. 1 (wide receiver) it was just getting a consistent lineup and group across the board. I knew who my F was … it was Beasley. I knew my X was Michael Gallup and my Z was Amari Cooper.
”So then, when I went out there and saw somebody different, I knew exactly what they were doing.
”I think that more than anything just allowed me to settle in. But when you have a guy like Amari (Cooper), his ability to get open, the way he studies and prepares for the game is second to none … and that’s what makes him a No. 1 receiver.”
Prescott calls his new offensive coordinator a “young phenom”.
On Kellen Moore being named offensive coordinator:
”He’s obvious one of these young genius phenoms in the game. Just what he knows. Obviously he knows the football that we’ve been playing and kind of where the game has been going…whatever it is, the style of play or whatever you want to call it.
”He’s special, he’s special. He knows a lot about the game. Just the way he sees the game. He’s ahead of the game. He can bring a lot to us. A lot of creativity and something we need.”
Recent decisions are an indication that stakes are high for 2019 Cowboys coaching staff – David Moore, SportsDay
This upcoming season is huge for the future of Jason Garrett and this coaching staff.
The Cowboys have stalled at the divisional round in three of the last five years. As erroneous reports about an extension surfaced, and once it became clear that Linehan would be the only sacrifice to a frustrated fan base, Jerry Jones began to come under fire. There were suggestions the owner’s gold jacket from his Hall of Fame induction, along with those three Super Bowl titles in his hip pocket, had dampened his desire to succeed.
That perception was clearly on Jones’ mind Wednesday evening when he made an impromptu call to the club’s flagship station, “The Fan” KRLD-FM (105.3). While making it clear that Moore’s promotion would be announced soon, the owner spoke about his “complete commitment’’ to the franchise and how he’s still the one writing the checks and allocating money.
The message: Don’t look at his age (76) and accomplishments and assume he’s comfortable with the status quo.
An extension for Garrett now would have been an endorsement of the status quo. That’s difficult to market, and everyone knows the role marketing plays in Jones’ decision-making process.
Report: League found no Cowboys tampering with Earl Thomas – Josh Alper, PFT
The league apparently investigated the Cowboys in regards to tampering with Earl Thomas. Nothing wrong was found, however.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Cowboys cooperated with the investigation and that the league found “no wrongdoing” on Dallas’ part.
There was plenty of chatter about a trade sending Thomas to Dallas last offseason and the safety made his own overture to the Cowboys late in the 2017 season. He’s set to become a free agent in March, so we’ll see if that’s how things finally play out.
This stems from comments Dallas coaches may or may not have made pregame to Earl Thomas. The NFL looked into it and found nothing wrong. https://t.co/LL1OXcLkbU
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 1, 2019
Projecting the Biggest Price Tags for This Year’s NFL Free Agents – Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report
Speaking of free agents, Tank is going to get paaaiddd.
At 26 years old with 25 total sacks the last two seasons, Lawrence is about to reset the defensive end market even in a loaded free-agent class.
But his primary goal is to remain in Dallas.
”I’m trying to do that long-term deal, too,” Lawrence said, per NFL.com’s Herbie Teope. “Just tell Stephen [Jones] to hit me up when he’s ready, man. I mean, he already knows what’s up with me.”
The Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald and Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack are the league’s two highest-paid defenders after signing contract extensions last year. Lawrence should become the highest-paid pure defensive end.
”The Cowboys already know what it is,” Lawrence said, per the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota. “They know where I want to be. I got big goals, not just for me, but for us as a team and as an organization. So I feel freely to tell the organization, I love being a Cowboy.”
Price Tag: $17.5-21 million per year