Stew: Zach Attack

Stew: Zach Attack
Matt Stroup goes team-by-team through the West with notes on Zach LaVine, D'Angelo Russell, Jusuf Nurkic and more, in the latest Roundball Stew.
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The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota reports the Cowboys believe Byron Jones is best suited to play safety.

Jones was forced to play corner as a rookie because of injuries, and he was arguably the best cover guy on the team. Orlando Scandrick's return along with some reinforcements should allow Jones to primarily play safety next season, but Dallas will not let his coverage skills go to waste. He will likely continue to cover tight ends and slot receivers in sub packages.
Feb 13 - 10:19 AM

The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota said he "would be very surprised" if the Cowboys did not use one of their first three picks on a running back.

The No. 4 overall pick is too early to reach for a running back, but a runner could be in the Cowboys' plans in the second round. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott has expressed his desire to play for Dallas, but he is unlikely to last that long. Alabama RB Derrick Henry could be an option in the second, and Arkansas RB Alex Collins could be available when the Cowboys pick in the third. Regardless of who the they go with, Darren McFadden should expect rookie company in the backfield next season.
Feb 13 - 10:05 AM

ESPN's Field Yates reports S Nate Allen's one-year deal with the Raiders is worth $3 million.

$1.85 million of that is guaranteed, and Allen can earn $2 million more through incentives. He was originally scheduled to earn $4.9 million guaranteed before being released this week. Knee issues limited Allen to five games last season, but he should be 100 percent for the offseason program.
Feb 13 - 9:44 AM

NJ Advance Media's Jordan Raanan reports it "seems inevitable" the Giants allow impending free agent CB Prince Amukamara to test the free-agent market.

Raanan reports the Giants have yet to approach Amukamara about a new deal. That could change before March, but New York appears content to let the oft-injured corner set his value on the market. Amukamara is reportedly looking to average $10 million annually on his next deal.
Feb 13 - 9:37 AM

ESN Radio's Geoff Mosher reports the Eagles have yet to open contract negotiations with impending free agent S/CB Walter Thurmond.

The two sides are expected to talk at the Scouting Combine, but Thurmond has already admitted he chances of returning are slim. Thurmond shined in his first year as a safety and played 16 games for the first time in his career. A long injury history will ding his value, but the versatile defensive back should get plenty of interest on the open market.
Feb 13 - 9:30 AM

In five-plus games as a rookie starter, Eagles RCB Eric Rowe earned Pro Football Focus' No. 94 coverage grade among 107 qualified cornerbacks.

Famously torched by Calvin Johnson on Thanksgiving, Rowe's play was uneven at best thereafter. From Week 12 (Thanksgiving) on, Rowe held his own against the Patriots and Bills before drawing negative PFF grades against Arizona, Washington, and the Giants in Philadelphia's final three games. A 2015 second-round pick, Rowe should face stiff competition to keep his starting job in 2016.
Feb 12 - 11:47 PM

A film study of Redskins ILB Will Compton by the Washington Post observed that Compton was a liability in run defense as a 2015 starter.

The Post's Mark Bullock did an extensive tape review of Compton, praising his communication skills but noting Compton was pedestrian in pass coverage and a big liability versus the run. Pro Football Focus agreed, giving Compton poor grades in pass rush, coverage, and especially run defense. An impending restricted free agent, Compton should return to the Redskins as a backup.
Feb 12 - 11:36 PM

The Denver Post suggests Todd Davis could take over at inside linebacker if ILB Danny Trevathan walks in free agency.

24-year-old (in May) Davis was used sparingly on defense in 2015, but did excel in two games in which he got extended run, and also piled up seven tackles on special teams. Davis is a slightly better athlete than Trevathan, running 4.87 with a 35-inch vertical at 6-foot, 242 at Sacramento State's 2014 Pro Day. Trevathan showed a 31 1/2-inch vert with 4.84 speed, but at only 6-foot, 237 in 2012.
Source: Denver Post
Feb 12 - 9:26 PM
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