Deion Sanders knows where the bodies are buried. That was the implication, anyway, as the former Cowboys cornerback responded to comments made by Alabama coach Nick Saban regarding college football’s new NIL deals for student athletes. After Saban went off on how Texas A&M and Sanders’s Jackson State program seemed to circumvent the rules, the Hall of Famer had an interesting perspective… and included a subtle warning that he knows things about paying players that the NCAA would probably not come out.
Elsewhere, the Cowboys head into OTAs next week, but their bellcow back may be stuck in a low gear, according to one new metric that paints a gloomy picture. Two Cowboys coaches have been selected for a new league initiative, and the 2021 draft class looks even better in hindsight. We check in on division rivals, too, with a Cowboys icon looking into his crystal ball regarding Washington’s new quarterback, and a Giants defender who’s now in Philadelphia and to create a much-improved Eagles secondary. Micah Parsons gets a one-of-a-kind souvenir with a message, we’re predicting 2022’s wins and losses, and we spotlight the Indiana Hoosier looking to make the Cowboys as a longshot. That’s all up in News and Notes.
Regrading the 2021 NFL Draft classes: Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins among biggest risers :: Pro Football Focus:
PFF gave the Cowboys’ 2021 draft class a B grade immediately afterward. After further review- and a season for the ages from first-round pick Micah Parsons- the outlet has decided a year later that an A is more appropriate. “We loved that selection initially – Parsons was a top-10 player on our board – and like it even more now after his 93.0 pass-rushing grade.” PFF also calls Osa Odighizuwa “a prime Year 2 breakout candidate.”
Former Cowboys CB Deion Sanders called out by Alabama’s Nick Saban over NIL deal :: Cowboys Wire:
The Crimson Tide coach lashed out at Texas A&M, claiming they “bought every player on their team” using loopholes in college football’s new NIL era. He also claimed that Jackson State “paid a guy a million dollars,” referring to top recruit Travis Hunter Jr., who had previously committed to Florida State. Sanders, the coach at Jackson State, said on social media he would “address the lie.”
Deion Sanders responds to Nick Saban’s comments about Jackson State :: Andscape:
Sanders eventually said he believes Saban’s comments were intended to send a not-so-subtle message to his own school’s boosters and alumni, instructing them on how to create more financial incentive for players to come to Tuscaloosa. Sanders went on to warn that college coaches do not want him talking about what he knows when it comes to the notion of paying student athletes. “They forget I know who’s been bringing the bag and dropping it off,” Sanders said. “I know this stuff. “I’m not the one you want to play with when it comes to all of this stuff.”
Metrics suggest Elliott’s days as Cowboys’ top back done, Pollard deserves shot :: Cowboys Wire:
If one tracks Rush Yards Over Expectation, which predicts how many yards a runner will gain given the speed and location of all 22 players on the field when he gets the ball, Elliott has been in decline over the past four years. Pollard, however, has surpassed Elliott’s efficiency in several key categories. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, “the days of: [Elliott] competing for rushing titles appear to be over. ”
Way-too-early prediction of Cowboys’ 2022 record, game by game :: Cowboys Wire:
Our own KD Drummond spitballs the coming campaign. From a Week 1 shocker to a homecoming heartbreak for Mike McCarthy and a late-December skid, see how a 12-5 finish is well within reach for the Cowboys this season.
Troy Aikman: Washington likely last shot for Carson Wentz to be a QB franchise :: Dallas Morning News:
While No. 8 thinks Tom Brady will be “fantastic” when he eventually takes over his old chair at Fox, he’s not so sure about Carson Wentz’s chances in his new gig. Speaking on a number of varied football topics, Aikman called the upcoming season in Washington “kind of a defining season, I think, for Carson Wentz and what his future is going to look like.”
Eagles secondary signing, rumors should worry Cowboys in 2022 :: The Landry Hat:
Philadelphia is making moves this offseason. The signing of cornerback James Bradberry pairs him with Darius Slay in the Eagles secondary, which should be enough to seriously concern Dallas. But CeeDee Lamb torched Bradberry last year when he was with the Giants, so maybe the hand-wringing is for naught. Apparently free safety agent Jessie Bates, who has not shown up to Bengals camp, seems to be eyeing the Eagles as well.
Eagles fan Mike Trout has special message for Micah Parsons on signed bat :: Jon Machota (Twitter)
Can Indiana’s Ty Fryfogle overcome the Cowboys numbers at WR? :: Cowboys Wire:
The undrafted free agent was Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2020, but he did not meet rising expectations last season. The Hoosiers receiver has long odds in a crowded WR room in Dallas, but a lack of elite skills and deficiency in route running means the practice squad may be his best shot with the Cowboys.
Updates: 2 nominated for accelerator program :: The Mothership:
Defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. will attend next week’s inaugural Coach and Front Office Accelerator Program. Assistant director of college scouting Chris Vaugh will also participate. Each NFL club was asked to nominate two attendees, where “diverse, prospective club-nominated head coaching and general manager prospects” will network as the league attempts to address its diversity issue in the coaching and front office ranks.
With OTAs approaching, a reset of where the 2022 Cowboys stand :: Cowboys Wire:
OTAs begin on Tuesday, minicamp starts June 14, and an Oxnard visit has yet to be announced. Twenty-nine draft picks and undrafted free agents are vying for a spot on the team. Greg Zuerlein is gone, and an undrafted newbie kicker is waiting in the wings. And Cowboys fans are still hoping for a late free agent signing to being in some veteran help.