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Name: Taylor RappSchool: WashingtonHeight: 6’0”Weight: 212 lbs2018 stat line: 13 games Terrance Williams Jersey 2019 , 59 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensedOne of the Cowboys’ biggest needs this offseason is finding a safety who can play opposite of Xavier Woods. Luckily for Dallas, there are several talented safety prospects that could potentially be available when the Cowboys make their first pick at 58. Last week I talked about Virginia’s Juan Thornhill, and today it’s Washington’s Taylor Rapp. Rapp has spent the last three seasons as a key cog in Chris Petersen’s dominant defense. He started 10 games as a true freshman and won Pac 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. In his sophomore season, Rapp was named to the All-Pac 12 first team and he became a first team All-American prior to his junior year. That big label inevitably led to his statistics underwhelming some, which may cause Rapp to fall to the Cowboys. That shouldn’t deter anyone from thinking that Rapp is anything other than a physical defender with a football IQ better than most. In games where Rapp is asked to play the run White Tony Romo Jersey , he diagnoses things very quickly and breaks on the ballcarrier, almost always taking sound angles when initiating contact. One aspect that Rapp excels in is detecting misdirection plays, which was something that Cowboys safety Jeff Heath - and others, for that matter - was routinely confused by when playing the Rams. Unlike Thornhill, Rapp is a very physically aggressive safety who seeks out the contact and backs up that enthusiasm with great leverage when taking on blocks. In the open field, Rapp usually opts for the safer wrap up tackles, but when there’s other defenders nearby, he’ll lay out some big hits. In previous years Tony Romo Jersey 2019 , Rapp did a tremendous job of using those big hits to knock the ball loose. Similar to Thornhill, though, Rapp doesn’t possess otherworldly speed or athleticism that would make him a viable option at free safety in a single high concept. Rapp has good explosiveness which makes him very effective in shallow zone coverage and in man coverage on tight ends and smaller slot receivers. Rapp has shown the ability to, on occasion, take on those deep safety responsibilities, but relying on him in that role for a full game is not wise. As such, Rapp would work well with Woods in the backfield. Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard liked using Woods as an occasional blitzer this year, and Woods saw a lot more man coverage inside the redzone as well. In those situations White DeMarco Murray Jersey , Rapp could function well as the deep safety while Woods slides into the box, but Woods would primarily be the single high safety regardless. Rapp has a lot of great traits that fit the mold of an ideal box safety, especially in Dallas’ scheme. His biggest weakness is the speed and burst, but that might not be enough to deter teams from taking him higher than 58. The Dallas Cowboys are placing the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence for the second straight year. Their star defensive end doesn’t appear to be in any rush to sign the lucrative one-year contract this time.Two people with knowledge of the decision said Monday the Cowboys had decided on another tag while the sides keep working on a long-term deal. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the decision hasn’t been announced.The move means Lawrence has a one-year offer for $20.5 million, 120 percent more than he made under the tag last season. Even if the 26-year-old signs it, Lawrence and his representatives have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Dallas.Last year, Lawrence signed a $17.1 million contract the same day the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him. He seemed happy to try to prove a career-best season with 14½ sacks in 2017 wasn’t a fluke.Not long after another Pro Bowl year and double-digit sacks with 10½ last season, Lawrence took to Twitter to indicate he’s now looking for a long-term deal. If he doesn’t sign the one-year tender under the franchise tag Dez Bryant Jerseys 2019 , Lawrence can skip offseason workouts without being fined.Two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell missed the entire 2018 season with Pittsburgh after refusing to sign under the franchise tag.The Cowboys have plenty of incentive to get a deal done with Lawrence. He’s the centerpiece of a defense with several rising stars, including linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.Defense was a liability for Dallas in Lawrence’s injury-filled early years. But that unit helped the Cowboys and their sluggish offense recover from a 3-5 start to win the NFC East for the third time in five years. The Cowboys beat Seattle in the wild-card round before a divisional playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.A happy and healthy Lawrence could be one of the keys to the future of coach Jason Garrett as well. Owner Jerry Jones decided not to extend Garrett’s contract beyond 2019 after his second playoff win in his third postseason appearance in eight seasons.The Cowboys haven’t reached the NFC championship game since the 1995 season, when they won the last of their five Super Bowl titles.Dallas also ended up getting burned by the last long-term deal connected to the franchise tag. Receiver Dez Bryant refused to sign under the tag in 2015 before the sides finally reached a five-year deal just hours before the July deadline.Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown catches, had three subpar seasons under the $70 million contract that included $45 million guaranteed. He was released in a cost-cutting move before last season.Lawrence has 34 sacks over five seasons. The Cowboys moved up in the second round to draft him in 2014, believing he was the last pass rusher on the board with difference-making skills. He was the first defensive end Dallas drafted after releasing franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware earlier that offseason.
 
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