Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 2

April, 19, 2014
Apr 19
12:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
  • Why the Cowboys would even consider drafting offense in the first round.
  • Why the Cowboys could draft offensive line in the first round.
  • Why the coaching staff could look a lot different.
  • Why I think the Cowboys would pass on Teddy Bridgewater.

If you want to see Part 1, click here.

Away we go:

Reviewing Cowboys' free agency: 2013

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
3:00
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With free agency entering the final stages, we'll review the Dallas Cowboys' past five free-agency classes.

We end the series with a look at 2013.

Players signed: Will Allen and Justin Durant

Starts earned: Eight

Analysis: Allen was signed as a veteran to improve the free safety position. The Cowboys had some younger players at those spots and Allen was supposed to bridge the gap. Yet, Allen started just two games and the team went with rookie J.J. Wilcox as the new starter. Allen was released in October and found a home with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Allen, the Cowboys still couldn't find consistency in the free safety spot with Jeff Heath or Wilcox and they enter the 2014 season with uncertainty. Durant was also signed as a veteran linebacker in the 4-3 scheme. Durant started the season off strong with 13 tackles in the first three weeks of the season, but a groin injury suffered at San Diego cost him a game. Later, he injured a hamstring and was placed on injured reserve with two weeks to play in the regular season. Durant's replacement, much like the free safety position, involved a number of players.

Grade: C

Danny White praises Tony Romo

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
2:00
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It was interesting to listen to Danny White talk the other day on Sirius/XM radio about Tony Romo.

White and Romo are similar in some respects.

White failed to get his team to a Super Bowl, despite three consecutive trips to the NFC title game in the 1980s.

Romo has yet to get his team past the second-round of the postseason.

[+] EnlargeTony Romo, Troy Aikman
AP Photo/Julio CortezUntil Tony Romo starts winning in the postseason, his body of work will lag behind Troy Aikman, left, and the Cowboys' other great quarterbacks.
Romo has better numbers than White, because he plays in a pass-happy era.

But here was White on Wednesday talking about how Romo is the perfect fit for this Dallas Cowboys team and that blame shouldn’t be placed solely on No. 9 for the failures to reach the postseason the past four seasons.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more athletic quarterback,” White said. “People keep saying they need to get somebody else, I don’t think there’s another quarterback in the league that would be a better fit for the Cowboys and what they need, because he has to be able to move. He has to be able to improvise, with the offense he’s got.”

White had a six-year stretch where he led the Cowboys to three NFC title games, two division titles and two years of missing the postseason, 1983 and 1984.

Romo, since becoming a starter in 2006, has missed the postseason five times, won two division titles and is 1-3 in the playoffs.

Would you prefer Romo’s resume over White’s?

Overall, White went 62-30 in replacing Roger Staubach and finished his career with 12 fourth-quarter comebacks and 16 game-winning drives.

Romo is 63-45 as a starter, is the franchise-leader in touchdowns thrown, and is second to Troy Aikman in completions and yards.

White’s praise of Romo stems from watching him for several years as a radio analyst for Dallas games.

White, of course, understands the pressures of the quarterback position for the Cowboys.

For White, he replaced a Staubach, a Hall of Famer, a legendary figure in the NFL.

Romo didn’t replace a legendary figure, just an aging one. He took over for Drew Bledsoe. Yet, the expectations to succeed at quarterback for the Cowboys are very high. Staubach won two Super Bowls and Aikman three. Any other quarterback after them is judged by that standard.

Romo can’t get to the postseason, let alone a Super Bowl.

“It’s just a matter of putting a few pieces together, and Romo is certainly as capable as anybody of getting that team to the Super Bowl,” White said. “The one thing that they have made a point of is making sure that he’s paid what he’s worth, and I don’t think there’s any question that Tony’s laughing all the way to the back on that one.”

While Romo has the better numbers than White, his resume is lacking something: More playoff wins.

He doesn’t have enough.

Until he can do better in that area, White’s career should be viewed in a better light than Romo's.

Cowboys picking up Tyron Smith option

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
1:03
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys will exercise the fifth-year option on Tyron Smith's contract, keeping the 2011 first-round pick with the team at least through 2015.

Smith
Smith’s agent, Joe Panos, told 105.3 The Fan on Friday that the option has not been picked up yet but “they told me it’s going to happen.” A source indicated Thursday that the Cowboys had already exercised the option, like teams had done earlier in the day with other first-round picks from the 2011 draft, like Houston’s J.J. Watt.

Once the Cowboys pick up the option, Smith will earn $10.039 million in 2015, but it would not preclude the team and Smith from working out a multi-year deal, which is the hope. The 2015 base salary is guaranteed for injury and would become fully guaranteed if Smith is on the roster the first day of the league year in 2015.

The Cowboys took Smith with the ninth pick in the 2011 draft, and he has missed just one game in three seasons. He played right tackle as a rookie before moving to left tackle in his second year. He earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last season.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Cowboys have to pay Smith the transition tag money due to offensive linemen in 2014 ($10.039 million) because he was a top-10 pick. The Cowboys had to pick up the option by May 2 or Smith would have become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Smith, who does not turn 24 until December, is considered one of the best offensive linemen in the game. The Cowboys want to sign Smith to a long-term deal and have made him a priority, as well as wide receiver Dez Bryant, whose contract expires after the 2014 season.

Smith signed a four-year, $12.496 million deal in 2011 that was fully guaranteed and included a $7.588 million signing bonus.

Cowboys Twitter mailbag, Part 1

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
12:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
  • What I would do with the 16th pick in the draft if I was the general manager.
  • What about a quarterback in the second round?
  • What about Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne?
  • What about the salary-cap implications of letting Kyle Orton go?

Away we go:
 

Chat recap: When will Cowboys go after QB?

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
10:30
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- We had another solid chat on Wednesday with a lot of draft questions.

We talked about trading up (I don’t see it happening), selecting Anthony Barr or Kony Ealy if both are available at No. 16 (Barr), taking a chance on Dominique Easley, the extra time leading up to the draft (hate it) and my all-time favorite Cowboy.

If you want to read the whole chat, click here.

I was also asked about drafting a quarterback.

R Lank, Md.: With romo 1 bad hit, and he's finished along with the uncertainty of orton why not draft a decent qb. at romo's age along with his injuries would u say that a high risk paying him that kind of money. I mean like u and (Jacques) said why pay age?

Todd Archer: When it comes to quarterbacks and left tackles, paying age doesn't seem as problematic for a lot of teams. I understand what you're saying about drafting a quarterback, but I don't see them going after a guy in the first two rounds. Maybe the third but more likely fourth or fifth. When you're picking a guy there, it's a projection more than a known commodity. Honestly, I think when Romo is done, whenever that is, the Cowboys will draft his replacement the following year and go with the guy.

Let me go a little deeper. For the last three or four years this has been a common question either because fans want the Cowboys to move on from Tony Romo or start the process of finding his replacement before it’s too late.

I’ve been a fan of selecting a quarterback every year, similar to the way Ron Wolf worked the draft with the Green Bay Packers. Clearly the Cowboys don’t share that belief, and I’ve just now come to the realization that when Romo’s career is over, then they will go ahead and find their next starter.

They don’t believe it makes sense to draft a quarterback, give him time to develop and then hand him the keys, say, the way the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers when they decided to move on from Brett Favre. It’s a risky strategy, but it’s what the Cowboys did after Troy Aikman retired.

They drafted Quincy Carter in the second round, surprisingly, and he won the job. They cut Tony Banks in camp so as there was no doubt Carter would be the guy. It didn’t work, although Carter did help the Cowboys to the playoffs in 2003.

Finding the next franchise quarterback took time for the Cowboys, and they got lucky in Romo. They looked to baseball and got Carter, Chad Hutchinson and Drew Henson. They looked at vets like Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe.

If you look at quarterbacks now, teams draft them and play them. Andy Dalton was a Day 1 starter with the Cincinnati Bengals after he was picked in the second round. Russell Wilson won the starting job with the Seattle Seahawks as a third round pick. Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck were No. 1 picks and starters from the beginning.

Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins), Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins), E.J. Manuel (Buffalo Bills), Geno Smith (New York Jets) and Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) have been walk-in starters.

So whenever Romo is done – two, three or four years from now – that’s when I think the Cowboys go all in for a quarterback in the draft. And if (remember it’s still an if) that is the case, then there is a strong argument to take another offensive lineman at No. 16 next month.

With Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Offensive Lineman X, the Cowboys would have three first-round picks to protect an early-round quarterback. That would be a good way to break in a young quarterback. He would not be under siege behind a bad line.

Will this happen? Who knows, but it’s what I think could be the case.

Reviewing the Cowboys' drafts: 2013

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
9:30
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – We conclude the reviewing the Dallas Cowboys' last five drafts today with the Class of 2013.

If you want our thoughts on the 2009-12 drafts, click here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011 and here for 2012.

First-round pick: Travis Frederick (No. 31 overall)

Number of picks: 7

Frederick
How they did: The Cowboys moved down from No. 18 to No. 31 in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers despite having their fifth rated player on their draft board available in Sharrif Floyd. It was a strange move at the time, especially with many believing Frederick was a third- or fourth-round pick. The Cowboys picked up the 49ers' third-round selection and took wide receiver Terrance Williams.

The formula might have been flawed but the results were good because Frederick played like a veteran from his first day and Williams made big plays and will be counted as a starter in 2014. They saw contributions from Gavin Escobar, J.J. Wilcox, Joseph Randle and DeVonte Holloman to varying levels. Escobar, Wilcox and Holloman could all see starting-type roles in 2014.

Pivotal pick: Escobar (No. 47 overall). The Cowboys were set to renew their commitment to a two-tight end personnel group and Escobar was supposed to pair up with Jason Witten. The Cowboys knew he would need help as a blocker, but counted on his receiving skills to set him apart. He was not given a ton of playing time with James Hanna, a sixth-rounder in 2012, taking the bulk of the No. 2 tight end snaps. Escobar finished with nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns and showed flashes of athleticism, but questions remain just as they did on other former second-round picks the Cowboys used on tight ends in Anthony Fasano (2006) and Martellus Bennett (2008).

Best pick: The Cowboys were nearly wiped out of ready-made linemen when they got to Frederick. They had eyes on Justin Pugh and Kyle Long, but they went at Nos. 19 and 20 after they made the trade. Frederick eased any fears with a terrific rookie season. He rarely made mental mistakes and was strong at the point of attack throughout. The Cowboys worked him some in training camp at guard, but center was his best position. He is smart and can communicate well. He has the look of a 10-year starter at the position.

Worst pick: B.W. Webb (No. 114 overall). He might have the physical tools but the jump from William & Mary to the NFL was too big for him last year. When the Cowboys lost Morris Claiborne to hamstring injuries, Webb was asked to fill in on the slot and struggled. He was given one-on-one instruction in practice and never got comfortable. He eventually lost his playing time to Sterling Moore and needs to improve greatly in 2014.

Aikman concerned about Romo's back

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
4:00
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Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman knows something about back surgeries. He had one at 26 and recovered in time to start the 1993 season.

Romo
His experience gives him cause for concern over current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who is recovering from surgery similar to Aikman's.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready,” Aikman told the Cowboys' website during a charity event Wednesday at AT&T Stadium. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned."

Aikman led the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl during that '93 season, in which he completed a career-high 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,100 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He did miss two games, not because of his back but because of a leg injury.

Team officials believe Romo will be ready to start training camp. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Romo is ahead of schedule in terms of his rehab.

Romo had a cyst removed from his back last spring that delayed his work in the offseason program, and he came into training camp overweight. He was able to get his weight back down.

In December, he underwent a discectomy to repair a herniated disc that cost him the final game of the 2013 season. Romo told ESPN last month that his recovery is going fine but hasn't given much details about his recovery otherwise.

Still, concerns remain about Romo's return.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is," Aikman said. "This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April.”

Reviewing Cowboys' free agency: 2012

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
3:30
PM ET
With free agency entering the final stages, we'll review the Cowboys' past five free-agency classes.

We'll continue with 2012:

Players signed: Mackenzy Bernadeau, Brandon Carr, Dan Connor, Nate Livings, Kyle Orton and Lawrence Vickers.

Starts earned: 62

Analysis: The Cowboys needed to upgrade the talent level along the offensive line and secondary. Bernadeau and Livings were signed to become starters and each started every game. Carr signed a big money deal -- five years, $50.1 million -- to become a starter alongside Morris Claiborne. Orton was the quality backup needed for Tony Romo at quarterback and Vickers and Connor were quality veterans who started a combined 14 games. Carr proved to be versatile as he played some free safety at times. When the season ended, Carr had a team-leading three interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He finished the last four weeks of the season with five pass breakups. The Cowboys’ run game mustered just 3.6 yards per carry with a variety of running backs due to injuries. Vickers was a solid pickup for the Cowboys, and when healthy, DeMarco Murray averaged 4.1 yards per carry and did score four rushing touchdowns. There were some questions about the health of Bernadeau because he spent the offseason recovering from health issues before the start of the season. He almost lost his starting gig to Derrick Dockery, but as the season progressed Bernadeau got better.

Grade: B

Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Cowboys 

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
12:15
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- So far Mel Kiper Jr. has followed the Dallas Cowboys' draft needs in his mock drafts.

In his first two mocks, he offered up Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. In his third, he went with Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. In his Grade A mock, he went with Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

In Kiper's Mock draft 4.0 , he has gone away from the defensive side of the ball.


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Stanford's Mauro closer to Cowboys dream

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
11:20
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IRVING, Texas -- Josh Mauro was like a lot of kids growing up in the area. He was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. He even attended the final game at Texas Stadium, a loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. He hoped one day he would wear the star on his helmet.

[+] EnlargeJosh Mauro
George Frey/Getty ImagesTexas native Josh Mauro had a breakout season for the Stanford Cardinal in 2013.
Today Mauro, who played defensive line at Stanford after leaving Hurst L.D. Bell, is at Valley Ranch with other Dallas Day hopefuls -- working out for the team while his immediate family watches. Mauro will be joined by other locals like TCU safety Elisha Olabode, Missouri quarterback James Franklin (Corinth), Abilene Christian receiver Taylor Gabriel (Mesquite), Miami defensive back Kacy Rodgers (Southlake Carroll) -- whose dad was the Cowboys defensive line coach from 2003-07 -- and North Texas running back Zach Orr (DeSoto).

"It's kind of like a dream come true," Mauro said. "Playing Pee Wee football and high school, you see the Cowboys and it's like a dream to think you could play for them. This isn't a sign-up for the Cowboys, but to even have the opportunity to work out for them is something special."

Mauro, 6-foot-6, 280 pounds, played defensive end, defensive tackle and even some nose tackle for Stanford. He had 51 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, six quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and an interception for one of the best defenses in college football in 2013.

He knows the Cowboys have defensive line needs, too. He knows DeMarcus Ware is now with the Denver Broncos, Jason Hatcher is with the Washington Redskins and Anthony Spencer remains unsigned. He is aware they signed Henry Melton.

"You're talking two, possibly three starters up front in that defense that aren't there anymore," Mauro said.

Mauro met with Cowboys assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett and other coaches at the NFL scouting combine in February. He played in the East-West Shrine Game and worked out in California, with former Stanford players like Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener and other current NFL players.

"It's a great work environment, just getting to be with guys that are like minded and in the NFL," Mauro said. "I've been able to learn a lot from them."

ESPN Insiders have him as the 21st ranked defensive end, but his versatility puts him on the radar of 4-3 and 3-4 teams. Having played in a multiple defenses used at Stanford also helps. When he arrived at Stanford, Vic Fangio was his coordinator. Fangio now runs the San Francisco 49ers defense. Josh Tarver took over for Fangio, and he now runs the Oakland Raiders defense. Derek Mason took over for Tarver and he is now the head coach at Vanderbilt.

"Say a team runs a 3-4, the guys they'll have aren't just the typical big, block squares just two-gapping," Mauro said. "It's a passing league. You've got to be able to play different personnel. Look at a team like New England. They might have one down lineman and standing up the other 10 guys. The game is so different. It's not the traditional tight end, two backs, two wide receivers. It could be three, four, five wide receivers. The name of the game is to get to the quarterback. I've been able to do that at Stanford from a lot of different positions. Nowadays getting to the quarterback whether it be from the nine technique or nose guard, you've got to be able to create mismatches for people in different positions."

He worked out for the Atlanta Falcons and will work out for the New York Giants next week, followed by visits with the 49ers and Raiders.

"I still remember we wrote our goal letters at every training period at Stanford," Mauro said. "My first goal was to eventually become a starter at Stanford, an All-American defensive end and be a future first-round pick. Now coming out of high school that was a very, very ambitious goal and I wasn't heavily recruited. I had a few offers, but I always set the bar high so even if I fall short of my expectations I'd still end up in a good place. I always believed in it. Three years in the program I hadn't played very much. The fourth year I came in off the bench and was the energy guy … . My fifth year I ended up starting 11 games and was productive and helped one of the best defenses in the nation. Everything is kind of surreal. You couldn't plan it out. You just always have to believe in yourself if no one is believing in you."

Reviewing the Cowboys’ drafts: 2012

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
9:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Day 4 of reviewing the Dallas Cowboys' past five drafts continues today with the Class of 2012.

If you want our thoughts on the 2009-11 drafts, click here for 2009, here for 2010 and here for 2011.

First-round pick: Morris Claiborne (No. 6 overall)

Claiborne
Number of picks: 7

How they did: The Cowboys made a bold move by trading up from No. 14 to No. 6 to take Claiborne, whom they had given the highest grade for a cornerback since Deion Sanders. Two years later, the Cowboys are still waiting for Claiborne to pay off.

In fact, most of the draft class has yet to pay off. Third-round pick Tyrone Crawford (No. 81 overall) did not play last season because of a torn Achiiles. One fourth-round pick, Matt Johnson (No. 135 overall) has yet to play in a game in his two seasons because of injuries. It took the other fourth rounder, Kyle Wilber (No. 113 overall), almost two seasons to find his role. Danny Coale (knee, foot) and Caleb McSurdy (Achilles) never made the team. Sixth-round pick James Hanna was the No. 2 tight end a year ago.

Pivotal pick: It’s hard to say anybody other than Claiborne because of the price the Cowboys paid to get him, giving up their second-round pick. He came in with a surgically-repaired wrist that kept him out of offseason work as a rookie. He suffered through a hamstring injury that kept him out of six games last season. He has two interceptions in two seasons and has not displayed the confidence he played with at LSU. He must turn it around in 2014 or the Cowboys’ decision to move up to get him will haunt the team for a long time.

Hanna
Best pick: There isn’t one yet really. Crawford did not record a sack as a rookie but was solid. The Cowboys are banking on him in a big way to return from the Achilles’ injury. Based on expectations and playing time, Hanna (No. 186 overall) might be the best, but he has just 20 catches for 159 yards. He could see his playing time decrease in a big way if Gavin Escobar gets more work as the club intends.

Worst pick: The Cowboys have kept Johnson around because of his potential, but the patience has to be running thin. He did not play as a rookie because of recurring hamstring injuries, as well as an aching back. He did not play in 2013 because of ankle surgery. He is out of time to make something happen, which he knows. Considering the Cowboys’ need at safety, however, there is still a chance for Johnson to make an impact.
The Cowboys completed three days of their national visits with college prospects on Wednesday.

Some of the confirmed names are as follows: Tackle Zack Martin (Notre Dame), wide receiver Josh Huff (Oregon), defensive ends Scott Crichton (Oregon State) and Will Clarke (West Virginia).

In the past three days, the Cowboys have focused a bulk of their college visits on the defensive line.

Kony Ealy, Demarcus Lawrence, Timmy Jernigan and Aaron Donald are among some of the players who visited the Valley Ranch complex.

In free agency, the Cowboys signed three defensive linemen, headlined by defensive tackle Henry Melton.

The Cowboys lost two players in free agency: DeMarcus Ware, who was released and signed a deal with the Denver Broncos, and Jason Hatcher, who inked a deal with NFC East rival Washington.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said what the franchise has done in free agency wouldn't preclude the team from drafting a lineman next month. Jones said the team wants to get the best player available regardless of position with the No. 16 overall selection.

Dallas Cowboys worked out Davin Joseph

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
3:31
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- With the NFL draft at the forefront of their minds, the Dallas Cowboys are not ignoring free agency.

Two-time Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph visited with the club earlier in the week, and wide receiver LaRon Byrd will work out for the team on Thursday, according to sources.

Joseph was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before free agency began, saving the team $6 million in cap space. A first-round pick in 2006 out of Oklahoma, Joseph started 89 games for the Buccaneers and made the Pro Bowl in 2008 and ’11. He missed the 2012 season with a knee injury and struggled last season.

The Cowboys have little depth behind starters Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary. Joseph, 30, could push for a starting spot or serve as a backup at both guard spots. If the Cowboys sign Joseph, then it would seem to end the chances of Brian Waters returning. Waters has not decided whether he wants to play or have surgery on a torn triceps injury that ended his 2013 season.

Byrd, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, spent last year on injured reserve with the Arizona Cardinals because of a concussion. He was released earlier in the month and worked out recently for the New York Giants.

The Cowboys will host local draft prospects at Valley Ranch on Thursday as part of their Dallas Day workouts. Texas wide receiver Mike Davis (Skyline), SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert and TCU quarterback Casey Pachall are among the players scheduled to work out. Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is not among the group despite attending Plano West. Because his family moved to Colorado with his dad, Jim, coaching in Boulder, he is not allowed, per league rules.

Dallas Cowboys worked out Davin Joseph

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
3:31
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- With the NFL draft at the forefront of their minds, the Dallas Cowboys are not ignoring free agency.

Two-time Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph visited with the club earlier in the week, and wide receiver LaRon Byrd will work out for the team on Thursday, according to sources.

Joseph was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before free agency began, saving the team $6 million in cap space. A first-round pick in 2006 out of Oklahoma, Joseph started 89 games for the Buccaneers and made the Pro Bowl in 2008 and ’11. He missed the 2012 season with a knee injury and struggled last season.

The Cowboys have little depth behind starters Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary. Joseph, 30, could push for a starting spot or serve as a backup at both guard spots. If the Cowboys sign Joseph, then it would seem to end the chances of Brian Waters returning. Waters has not decided whether he wants to play or have surgery on a torn triceps injury that ended his 2013 season.

Byrd, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, spent last year on injured reserve with the Arizona Cardinals because of a concussion. He was released earlier in the month and worked out recently for the New York Giants.

The Cowboys will host local draft prospects at Valley Ranch on Thursday as part of their Dallas Day workouts. Texas wide receiver Mike Davis (Skyline), SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert and TCU quarterback Casey Pachall are among the players scheduled to work out. Texas outside linebacker/defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat is not among the group despite attending Plano West. Because his family moved to Colorado with his dad, Jim, coaching in Boulder, he is not allowed, per league rules.

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