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If I were to give him a letter grade for his rookie season, it would be a possibly-generous “C-“, but with a qualifier. He was better in December than he was in November. Better in November than in October. And better in October than September. In other words, we saw significant improvement as the season went along. And now, we believe the sophomore year should show us substantial improvement. The optimal scenario: If David Irving, Tyrone Crawford, or Demarcus Lawrence are playing their final year in Dallas, Taco is ready to play 700-800 snaps in 2019 as a key starter.

That may not be what you want to hear about your 2017 first-round pick. He flashed. The team will need much more in 2018. But, hopefully, there is a little more context to what the public says about him. I think it is way too early to write this guy off. If Bill Walsh was right – and he generally was – Taco has a chance to develop into something pretty nice in the coming months.

Kelly was projected as a mid-round draft pick and was invited to the NFL scouting combine. But when he ran a 4.66 in his 40-yard dash at Indianapolis, his draft stock cooled. He improved his time to 4.55 at his pro day on campus, but by then, the NFL had collectively made up its mind that Kelly lacked the speed to play corner on Sundays.

While Kelly had to suffer through the disappointment of not being drafted, the calls started coming in almost immediately from teams wanting to sign him as a rookie free agent. The Cowboys, who were able to work out Kelly during the team’s Dallas Day, were a logical choice. And not just because he’d be returning to North Texas and home.

Gallup, who the Cowboys selected in the third round at No. 81 overall, signed a four-year deal estimated at roughly $3.3 million. The two-year standout at Colorado State tallied 176 total catches for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns during his college career. During his senior season he was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to college football’s top receiver.

Gallup, the last member of the Cowboys class of 2018 to sign, agreed to a four-year deal worth slightly more than $3.3 million on Monday, a source said. This means the club has all of its picks signed five-and-a-half weeks earlier than last season and two months earlier than it did in ’16.

“It wasn’t special treatment,” Bloom said. “Every player that we work with in the pre-draft process, you teach him a part of your defense, ask him to give the information back to you. So you teach him like you’re going to coach him as if he’s your own player and see how he can retain information, and you evaluate him based on that. He wasn’t the only one that got that. We just happened to draft him.”

Allen: He has a little boy, Kyng, and I’ll never forget we were on the road playing up near his hometown of Chicago and he brought his little son to the hotel with him, and we got a chance to see him and spend time with him. The little fella has got big old long fingers like his dad.

Chris is a tough dude. If you were gonna get in a fight and had to pick one player on your side, you’d pick Chris. He’s a tough old sucker now. But then when he’s got his little boy, he’s a big softie and just melts. All the toughness goes away. There was so much pride that, "Hey, this is my little guy." His fingers and even his toes show Kyng is going to be tall. You can tell. He’s got big old hands for a baby.

In his final column for Sports Illustrated’s ‘The Monday Morning Quarterback’, longtime NFL writer Peter King thanked several Cowboys greats including Jimmy Johnson, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. But the most interesting take may be this one about Jason Garrett:

But the key to it all may be the offensive line and the threat Ezekiel Elliott poses to defenses. Once the pass protection evaporated last year, the passing game went with it. Keep Dak protected, give him run-pass options, keep defenses guessing, and the offense might hit a high gear again.

Through all of this I haven’t really said anything about Dak Prescott. Many blame him for the passing game woes, saying that his accuracy was off last year. My take is that Dak didn’t change as much as the players around him. For example, was Cole Beasley open like he was in 2016 and Dak just missed him? I don’t think that’s true at all. Was Dez Bryant just as open in 2017, and did he catch all of the balls that Dak put on his hands? Was Terrance Williams open as much as he was in 2016? I don’t think so. Did the offensive line give him as much protection? Definitely not. Was Zeke always there to threaten defenses? No. That’s not to say that Dak was blameless. But it seems like other factors played a bigger role.