Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Updates: Who Fills The Empty Spots At TE & LB

Dallas Cowboys
15 Sep 2020, 20:24 GMT+10

by Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman

Don't miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' regular season. Presented by Sleep Number

Sept. 14 Updates Blake Jarwin

#89 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs College: Oklahoma State

6:45 p.m. - There's one question that will dominate the conversation heading into Week 2.

With Blake Jarwin out for the season and Leighton Vander Esch unavailable for the foreseeable future, who will fill their roster spots?

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was asked about it during his Monday night press conference, and he gave a hint about the eventual answer.

"We'll continue to work through that, but we have excellent options, and the reality is we'll take the full week to prepare and get as many players ready as possible as we put our plan together for the Falcons," he said. "We'll probably make those determinations on Saturday."

It might not sound like much. But if the Cowboys are willing to wait until Saturday, it likely means they'll look toward the practice squad to fill the holes. Francis Bernard made the practice squad coming out of training camp and could be elevated to replace Vander Esch.

Fourth-year pro Cole Hikutini is also on the practice squad and could be promoted to replace Jarwin, should the coaching staff want to continue with four tight ends.

As for the possibility of adding from outside the roster? McCarthy didn't dismiss it entirely, but it doesn't necessarily sound likely as the Cowboys begin their preparations for the Falcons.

"I think it'll be more from our practice squad," he said. "And obviously Will is always working the whole league and looking at those situations. This is an ongoing process. But I love all the guys we have here, and we'll figure it out as we go through the game plan process."

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Sept. 13 Updates CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

11:59 p.m. - Rookie CeeDee Lamb started in a three-receiver set in his NFL debut, and the first-round pick also had a 20-yard punt return at the end of the third quarter.

Lamb returned punts at Oklahoma in addition to his All-American production at wide receiver and says it's something he loves to do.

"If I can make a play and make a difference on the team, that's what I'm here for," he said.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Aldon Smith

#58 DE

Height: 6-4 Weight: 265 lbs College: Missouri

11:55 p.m. - The long wait for Aldon Smith is over.

Sunday wasn't just Smith's Cowboys debut - it was the veteran pass rusher's first NFL game in nearly five years.

Back from an indefinite league suspension, Smith recorded his first sack since Nov. 15, 2015 against the Vikings. He also tied for a team-high 11 tackles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ezekiel Elliott

#21 RB

Height: 6-0 Weight: 228 lbs College: Ohio State

11:53 p.m. - Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott worked all offseason on expanding his pass-catching skills, and Sunday he scored both of the Cowboys' touchdowns against the Rams - one passing, one receiving.

It was Elliott's seventh career game with both a rushing and receiving touchdown, tied with the Saints' Alvin Kamara for the second-most in the league behind the Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (eight).

But the offense fell one score short in a 20-17 loss.

"We have to be better as an offensive unit on third down," he said after the Cowboys went 3 of 12 on third down. "You know, kind of converting those third downs and keeping the ball moving, and when we get in the red zone scoring touchdowns. It has got to be mandatory that when we get in the red zone we score touchdowns."

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

Height: 6-0 Weight: 191 lbs College: Missouri Western State

11:50 p.m. - Kicker Greg Zuerlein made a 33-yard field goal in his Cowboys debut but lamented a 53-yard miss in the second quarter - obviously not a guaranteed conversion from that distance, but one within the veteran's range.

"I didn't do a good enough job, plain and simple," he said. "First game out there you get a field goal like that, you know, obviously you'd like it to come through. Lots to work on this week in practice. Slowing down a little bit, not going so fast, being in the moment instead of trying to rush stuff."

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Blake Jarwin

#89 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs College: Oklahoma State

9:05 p.m. - Moments after being ruled questionable, Blake Jarwin and Cam Ervin have been ruled out.

Jarwin seemed to injure his knee Sunday night while running a route late in the second quarter. Erving also seemed to injure his leg during a field goal attempt. Both players were taken to the locker room for evaluations before being ruled out of the game.

Jarwin's injury appeared to be non-contact, with his leg buckling during the route. But Jhe was able to walk to the locker room on his own.

Earlier in the game, Leighton Vander Esch was sidelined by a collarbone injury.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Leighton Vander Esch

#55 LB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 256 lbs College: Boise State

8:11 p.m. - Injuries have hit the Dallas defense after just one quarter of play.

Leighton Vander Esch injured his collarbone early in Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Rams, and he won't return.

The severity of the injury isn't known as of yet. Joe Thomas has entered the lineup in Vander Esch's place.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Dontari Poe

#95 DT

Height: 6-3 Weight: 346 lbs College: Memphis

7:22 p.m. - Veteran defensive tackle Dontari Poe was the only player on the Cowboys' roster who took a knee during the national anthem Sunday night against the Rams in LA.

Poe, who joined the Cowboys in the offseason, had said during an interview this offseason that he was undecided whether or not he would use that platform to make a protect against social injustice.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said repeatedly in the last two months that he and the organization would show "grace" for this situation.

The Rams had 14 players who took a knee during the anthem.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Terence Steele

#78 T

Height: 6-6 Weight: 310 lbs College: Texas Tech

7:32 p.m. -- Undrafted rookie Terence Steele is starting at right tackle tonight against the Rams for an injured La'el Collins.

Steele, undrafted out of Texas Tech, took a lot of tackle reps in training camp while Collins and Cameron Erving missed time with injuries. Erving signed in May as the leading candidate at swing tackle, but he didn't return to practice until late in camp.

Collins will spend at least the first three games on injured reserve.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Mike McCarthy

Head Coach

College: Baker University Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

7:05 p.m. - We knew there would be rotating captains each week as head coach Mike McCarthy has changed up the process.

As expected, there was an offense, defense and special teams captain and it should be no surprise that Dak Prescott is one of them. He's joined by Jaylon Smith and LP Ladouceur.

McCarthy said the three captains are voted on the night before each game.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Reggie Robinson II

#41 CB

Height: 6-1 Weight: 190 lbs College: Tulsa

6:06 p.m. - No big surprises on the Cowboys' first inactive list of the season.

The team announced its six inactives 90 minutes prior to kickoff against the Los Angeles Rams. They designated Ben DiNucci, Jourdan Lewis, Reggie Robinson, Luke Gifford, Connor McGovern and Sean McKeon as inactive for Week 1.

None of these names are particularly surprising. Lewis was ruled out on Friday, while Gifford practiced earlier in the week but hasn't been available for much of the past few weeks. Three of the six inactives are rookies, as DiNucci, Robinson and McKeon will all be unavailable for their first games.

With McGovern inactive for this game, look for Brandon Knight to be the Cowboys' primary backup on the interior of the offensive line. Rookie Terence Steele will also provide depth at the tackle position.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 12 Updates Brandon Carr

#39 CB

Height: 6-0 Weight: 210 lbs College: Grand Valley State

2 p.m. - The Cowboys elevated defensive back Brandon Carr from the practice squad to the Active/Inactive List ahead of Sunday's season opener at the LA Rams.

Pursuant to the new CBA, teams are permitted to elevate up to two practice squad players per week the day prior to the game, for a gameday maximum of 55 players on the Active/Inactive List. All elevated players revert back to the practice squad at 3 p.m. (Central) on the first business day following the game.

Carr, a 12-year veteran and former five-year starter for Dallas, signed to the practice squad last Sunday. He can help the defense at safety or cornerback.

According to league rules, the Cowboys can have up to 48 players active on gameday if at least eight offensive linemen are active.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 11 Updates Jourdan Lewis

#26 CB

Height: 5-10 Weight: 195 lbs College: Michigan

3:30 p.m. - Cornerback Jourdan Lewis has been ruled out of Sunday's opener against the Rams.

Lewis has not practiced this week. The other three Cowboys on the injury report - wide receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and linebacker Luke Gifford - all had full participation Friday, though that's an estimation because the Cowboys held a walkthrough.

Cooper, Awuzie and Gifford should be good to go against the Rams. Their status for Sunday is not in question, according to the official injury report.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 10 Updates Jourdan Lewis

#26 CB

Height: 5-10 Weight: 195 lbs College: Michigan

3:19 p.m. - For the second straight day, cornerback Jourdan Lewis (ankle) was the only player on the active roster unable to practice.

Lewis has been sidelined since turning his ankle early in training camp and wore a protective boot for a few days. But he appears to be making progress. He was back in pads during the open portion of Thursday's practice, doing some side work with the athletic training staff.

Click here for the full injury report.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 9 Updates Amari Cooper

#19 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 210 lbs College: Alabama

3:09 p.m. - Amari Cooper is listed on Wednesday's practice report with a hamstring injury, but the Pro Bowl receiver had full practice participation.

The Cowboys had limited Cooper's practice work late in training camp, but team officials indicated it was more of a precaution. A full practice Wednesday is a good sign for his availability in Sunday's opener against the Rams.

Click here for the full injury report.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

9:30 a.m. - The Cowboys have restructured Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin's contract to establish roughly $8 million in salary cap space, according to NFL Media and reports.

The club did a similar restructure with Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith's contract last month, converting nearly $9 million of Smith's 2020 base salary into signing bonus money.

The restructures were likely done with 2021 salary cap space in mind. The NFL's cap level is likely to drop next year due to revenue loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith is signed through 2023 and Martin is signed through 2024.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 8 Updates Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

5:45 p.m. - Defensive end Randy Gregory has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL, and on Tuesday the Cowboys gave him a one-year extension through the 2021 season.

Gregory was scheduled to become a restricted free agent next year. As part of his conditional reinstatement this season, he can begin practicing after Week 4 and return to game action after Week 6. First, the league announced that he'll first go through an acclimation period back to football.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Francis Bernard

#44 LB

Height: 6-1 Weight: 230 lbs College: Utah

5:30 p.m. - As part of this year's adjusted practice squad rules, teams can select four players a week from the 16-man practice squad who can't be signed by another team during that particular game week.

For the Cowboys in Week 1, the four protected players are linebacker Francis Bernard, defensive back Deante Burton, defensive end Ron'Dell Carter and running back Sewo Olonilua.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Trevon Diggs

#27 CB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 lbs College: Alabama

3:21 p.m. - Rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs was among a handful of players who decided to change their jersey number heading into the first game of the season. Diggs, a second round pick from Alabama, wore No. 31 throughout training camp but has decided to move to No. 27 after the team officially released veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Diggs took full advantage of extra practice reps after an injury to Jourdan Lewis. He was one of the teams most productive players in the final two weeks of camp.

Here are the rest of the jersey changes:

27 Trevon Diggs (wore No. 31) 34 Rico Dowdle (wore No. 42) 56 Bradley Anae (wore No. 51) 78 Terrance Steele (wore No. 74)

Practice Squad

31 Chris Westry (wore No. 39) 51 Ron'dell Carter (wore No. 68)

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 7 Updates Xavier Woods

#25 S

Height: 5-11 Weight: 202 lbs College: Louisiana Tech

12:22 p.m. - Cowboys safety Xavier Woods couldn't finish the team's practice at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 28 and hasn't been able to participate much on the field since then.

However, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Monday that Woods is making progress with the ankle injury and has a good shot to play Sunday night against the Rams.

"He's a question mark, but I think he's even further along," Jones said. "Feel real good about him playing."

Jones wasn't as sure about cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis and Luke Gifford, calling them both game-time decisions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sept. 5 Updates C.J. Goodwin

#29 CB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 lbs College: California (PA)

3:08 p.m. - Last year's leader in special teams tackles was among the roster cuts on Saturday. But don't be surprised if C.J. Goodwin is back on the roster by the end of the weekend.

Goodwin, who is a vested veteran having been in the league for five seasons, is not subject to waivers. He could re-sign with the Cowboys on Sunday if spots become available. And that could be the case if the team decides to designate a few players to "Injury to Return" status. However, those players have to be on the roster at least one day to be eligible for that list.

So the Cowboys had to clear the room on the roster and Goodwin, perhaps even linebacker Justin March, are candidates for players who might end up back on the roster by Sunday.

Goodwin led the Cowboys in special teams tackles with 10 last year. March was third with seven tackles.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Isaac Alarcón

#60 T

Height: 6-7 Weight: 320 lbs College: Monterrey Tech

3:04 p.m. - The rookie tackle was part of the Cowboys' official cuts on Saturday to get down to 53 players. But it's mainly just protocol as Alarcon, who is a member of the NFL's International Pathway Program, will be back on the practice squad.

Part of the program is to develop these international players all season long and that's why Alarcon not only will be on the practice squad, but won't even count towards the 16-player limit.

Alarcon has been given a few practice reps, especially with the team struggling with injuries at the position. But he certainly would've benefitted from playing in preseason games, which of course were cancelled.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sept. 4 Updates Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

11:57 a.m. - As the Cowboys get ready to trim the roster to 53 players on Saturday, one name that likely won't be on it is Randy Gregory, who remains to be reinstated by the NFL.

Gregory missed all of last year on the suspended list and has yet to be cleared by the league to rejoin the Cowboys.

On Friday, owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked about Gregory on 105.3 "The Fan" in Dallas.

"Yes, I know every detail about Randy and the league and us," Jones said. "I'm not at liberty to talk about those details, but I work on it probably every other day. And, so, the answer that is evolving and I am positive about it."

Gregory hasn't played since 2018 when he played 14 games and had six sacks.

Aug. 31 Updates Xavier Woods

#25 S

Height: 5-11 Weight: 202 lbs College: Louisiana Tech

1:58 p.m. - Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones didn't have a report yet on safety Xavier Woods' injury from Sunday night's practice, but he sounded optimistic that it won't cause an extended absence.

Woods appeared to injure his groin early in practice AT&T Stadium, went to the locker room without assistance and returned on the sideline for the end of practice.

"We felt pretty good about it yesterday," Jones told 105.3 The Fan. "He just kind of felt it a little bit but never felt a pop and never lost strength in it. Overall we feel like we'll get a good report on that, but until we actually get the final MRI on it and exam him over the next day or two, we'll have a better feel for what we're doing there."

Jones referenced the secondary's flexibility in the event of an injury at safety: cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Chidobe Awuzie have the ability to play safety if needed, and rookie Reggie Robinson has taken some safety reps.

"We've got some options there that we feel good about, but in particular Xavier is the leader of that group back there, serves on our senior leadership council, and a guy we hope is going to be just fine," Jones said.

Wide receiver Ventell Bryant also left Sunday's practice early with what appeared to be a knee injury. Immediately afterward, head coach Mike McCarthy indicated that the injuries to Bryant and Woods did not appear to be serious.

Aug. 30 Updates Ventell Bryant

#83 WR

Height: 6-3 Weight: 205 lbs College: Temple

8:34 p.m. - Battling for one of the final receiver spots, veteran Ventell Bryant went down with an injury on Sunday at AT&T Stadium that certainly seemed to be significant, especially after he could barely put any weight on his knee/ankle as he was helped off the field and into the locker room.

After the practice, head coach Mike McCarthy said the injury was "not of high concern."

Bryant suffered the injury in 1-on-1 drills while running a deep ball when he went to the ground.

Bryant is one of the team's best special teams players and likely the most experienced of the receivers in that area. He has just one career catch - for a touchdown - but has been solid as a receiver in training camp during the last few weeks.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Xavier Woods

#25 S

Height: 5-11 Weight: 202 lbs College: Louisiana Tech

8:21 p.m. - The starting safety appeared to injure his groin during the Cowboys Night practice at the stadium. Woods limped straight off the field and to the locker room. He later returned to the sideline in street clothes.

When asked about both Ventell Bryant and Woods, head coach Mike McCarthy didn't seem overly concerned about either injury.

Woods has taken most of the first-team reps all of camp. If he is to miss any time, including practice this week, the Cowboys would likely use a rotation of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darian Thompson, along with second-year pro Donovan Wilson.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 27 Updates Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

5:28 p.m. - Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith said the Cowboys had a productive practice Thursday, but their minds were also on the Jacob Blake shooting by Kenosha, Wisconsin police earlier this week, with outrage over the incident leading to the postponement of practices by some NFL teams and the postponement of games in other sports leagues.

"It's heartbreaking," Smith said. "There's only so much we can do. As a group, we have a tight group here, and so have a lot of areas where we can discuss it and handle it the best way. That's all we're trying to do."

The Cowboys planned to have conversations about the Jacob Blake incident and the topic of social injustice after practice. Asked about the team's plan for Friday's practice, Smith said, "We're still going on by our schedule that we usually do, but we're still in discussions about how we're going to handle this whole thing as a team."

Smith worked back into individual drills Thursday after experiencing some hamstring tightness a few days ago. He said "everything's looking positive and moving forward like usual" in his preparation for the season.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mitch Hyatt

#65 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 306 lbs College: Clemson

10:27 a.m. - Just a few minutes into Thursday's practice, Hyatt went down with an apparent knee/leg injury and had to be carted off the field inside Ford Center.

Hyatt, a first-year pro who spent all of last season on the practice squad, had been getting plenty of reps with the top three tackles all missing practice lately. However, on the day all three made it back to practice, Hyatt suffered the setback that forced him out of practice.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 26 Updates Everson Griffen

#97 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 273 lbs College: USC

5:40 p.m. - Everson Griffen has worked into team drills the last few practices since signing with the Cowboys early in training camp, and senior defensive assistant George Edwards knows exactly what the veteran pass rusher will add on defense.

Edwards, Griffen's defensive coordinator in Minnesota the past six seasons, was a big reason why Griffen chose the Cowboys as a free agent.

"He's going to be relentless in his effort, he's going to work the craft," Edwards said. "Understanding what we're doing schematically, I think he'll be another good piece for us to have as far as a pressure player. I've had the pleasure of working with him the last six years. Just his success on the field and just the kind of person that he is and what he brings to the table, I think will really help us down the stretch.

"He's a very caring person. That's one of the attributes that you really love about him, whether it's with young guys, trying to help them develop or him learning some new thing, technically or fundamentally, schematically, he's going to ask questions and be active and involved in the discussions and just try to make everyone around him better."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 25 Updates Darian Thompson

#23 S

Height: 6-2 Weight: 211 lbs College: Boise State

10:02 a.m. - It remains to be seen if the Cowboys show interest in free agent Earl Thomas - Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones did not rule out that possibility Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan - but the team is currently focused on evaluating the safeties on the roster, including Xavier Woods, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darian Thompson, whom head coach Mike McCarthy says is "having a great camp."

"What I like is I like the flexibility that our guys give us," McCarthy said. "I think a big part of this game is the ability to try to match up your players against your opponent. We have a number of guys that give us a lot of flexibility back there.

"I'm always looking at that group from a numbers standpoint because it's a long year. I think ideally everybody wants to fill out their depth chart and put down 11 players. To me, that's just not the way this league works. You need all those guys. And one of the things I look for from a job description standpoint is you want your players to be really good at more than one thing, whether it's two or three things. Whether it be special teams, safety position, ability to come down and cover in the slot. To answer your question, I really like the flexibility that our guys give us."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 24 Updates Stephen Jones

Chief Operating Officer / Executive Vice President / Director of Player Personnel

2:32 p.m. - While his name was never mentioned, free-agent safety Earl Thomas was certainly the topic of a question to Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones on Monday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

Asked if there were any high-profile players possibly being signed on the horizon, Jones took a route that made it at least sound as if the club has discussed the possibility. Then again, Jones has always pointed out the Cowboys will look at every option to make the team better. Either way, he wasn't that interested in discussing the nature of the talks this time around.

"Well, just as we didn't talk about Everson (Griffen) until it was done, we found that works much better for us," Jones said. "So, as I said, we're in it 365 days a year and we're always looking to get better. But it obviously is not very productive for us to talk about anything that we might be in the works on because it can only work against you."

The Cowboys have obviously been linked to Thomas for the past couple of years and nearly traded for him during the 2018 NFL Draft and had a shot to sign him in free agency last year before he signed with the Ravens. Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was recently cut by Baltimore and is a free agent once again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Blake Bell

#80 TE

Height: 6-6 Weight: 252 lbs College: Oklahoma

11:03 a.m. - If there's someone who knows what an explosive offense looks like, it would be newly-signed tight end Blake Bell, who signed with eh Cowboys after playing the last season with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

After a year running alongside Mahomes, Kelce, Hill and that group, Bell said this is a comparable set of playmakers as well.

"It was fun year," Bell said of 2019. "Lot of talent there as well. But I'm ready for a new year and new system and a new team and I'm ready to get to work and win some games. It's been awesome here. Just getting into the routine. All the power we have on offense, it's going to be fun."

Bell said he's been fitted for his Super Bowl ring but isn't sure when he will receive it but said he's "not too worried about that right now."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

7:55 a.m. - It's not exactly a definitive timeline, but it sounds like good news for some of the injured veterans.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was asked for injury updates on Tyron Smith, La'el Collins and Sean Lee on Monday morning, and the feedback was positive.

"All three of those guys are doing well," McCarthy said. "I think you're going to see them start working into maybe some individual drill work. But I don't have any serious long-time concerns for the group."

Smith left practice early with hamstring tightness last week, while Collins and Lee have yet to practice at all. McCarthy has talked frequently about managing injury concerns with regard to the season opener. Still, it would be a big boost for three of the Cowboys' most decorated veterans to get onto the field.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 23 Updates Jourdan Lewis

#26 CB

Height: 5-10 Weight: 195 lbs College: Michigan

7:44 a.m. - Sounds like cornerback Jourdan Lewis will miss a few more days of practice after appearing to twist his ankle in Thursday's practice.

"I'll probably have a better handle on it next week. He won't practice this week, but we'll see how the week goes," head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Lewis has been competing for snaps with several corners, including second-round pick Trevon Diggs and veterans Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown and Daryl Worley.

"He's done great. I really thought he made the transition of the things we're asking him to do," McCarthy said.

The Cowboys are back to practice Sunday with three more scheduled installation days.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 22 Updates Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

1:21 p.m. - The Cowboys have restructured Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith's contract, converting nearly $9 million of Smith's 2020 base salary into signing bonus money, according to reports.

The restructure means the Cowboys reportedly have added $6.7 million in cap space this year. It also means potential salary cap relief for next year with the NFL's cap likely to drop in 2021 due to revenue loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club's major offseason item in 2021 will be resuming negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott on a long-term deal. If the Cowboys have to give Prescott the franchise tag again as a placeholder to continue contract talks throughout the offseason, they'd have to fit a nearly $38 million tag figure into next year's cap.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

1:20 p.m. - Most Cowboys fans never believed CeeDee Lamb would fall to Dallas with the 17th overall pick in April's draft.

Adam Henry, the Cowboys' new wide receivers coach, felt the same way.

"At the (pre-draft) Combine I talked to him, had an individual meeting with him, the interview. And I'm talking to him and in the back of my mind I'm like, 'There's no way I'm going to get this guy,'" Henry said.

"We were fortunate enough to be in position to get him because he's a great football player."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Neville Gallimore

#96 DT

Height: 6-2 Weight: 302 lbs College: Oklahoma

1:19 p.m. - With Gerald McCoy released via injury waiver earlier this week after a season-ending quad injury, third-round pick Neville Gallimore is among the defensive tackles getting more reps in practice.

"Neville is a long, explosive, athletic guy, strong and explosive," defensive line coach Jim Tomsula said. "What does come along with that is you come into this arena and, I don't know if you guys know it, but there's some pretty good offensive linemen here. There's things you can get away with with your strength, with your explosiveness in college because you outmatch people, quite frankly. Sometimes there's a step backwards to get those fundamentals and techniques and things to get adjusted to this game. It's a great test for him because of who he goes against every day.

"Neville is doing really well. He's such a conscientious guy. I'm trying to get him to loosen up a little bit there just because he just wants to know it. He wants to do well and it's really important to him. So, that's exciting."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 21 Updates Tyrone Crawford

#98 DL

Height: 6-4 Weight: 290 lbs College: Boise State

It's not every day that a former team captain and eight-year veteran can get overlooked. But the way this defensive line has been changed over the last year, coupled with the injury that sidelined him all of last season, Tyrone Crawford doesn't get mentioned in the same breath as guys like DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen or Aldon Smith.

Yet, when asked to name a few standouts from practice, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made sure to acknowledge Crawford, who missed most of last year with a hip injury.

"But the guy that I'd note is (Tyrone) Crawford," Jones said on 105.3 "The Fan" in Dallas. "Crawford is, we know what is in his heart. You saw him down in Florida. He's a bad boy. He's who you want on your side now. Boy, he looks good on the edge here and looks excited about the makeup of his defensive group."

Crawford has bounced back and forth from tackle to end his entire career and now with Gerald McCoy gone for the season, it's likely Crawford might work himself back inside once again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 20 Updates Ezekiel Elliott

#21 RB

Height: 6-0 Weight: 228 lbs College: Ohio State

1:43 p.m. - Ezekiel Elliott has always prided himself on being a complete running back. He's a two-time NFL rushing champ, and he's also got a 77-catch season on his resume.

But the Cowboys' Pro Bowl starter says he focused this offseason on fine-tuning his receiving skills to become even more of a versatile option for the offense.

"He wants his game to evolve to that," quarterback Dak Prescott said. "He wants to be able to move all the way around, and I think that creates a new dynamic for our offense. We talk about the receivers and Blake Jarwin and the tight ends that we have. But when you can put Zeke out there and don't know whether he's going to run a route from there or motion back into the backfield and it be a run or play action, it just allows our game to be unlimited."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Everson Griffen

#97 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 273 lbs College: USC

The veteran pass-rusher has spent his entire career in No. 97 and after just two days in another jersey, Griffen is going back to his familiar number again.

Griffen switched from 96 to 97, which actually started a series of changes along the roster.

Trysten Hill goes from 97 to 72, while Cam Erving moves from 72 to 75 and rookie Neville Gallimore switches from 75 to 96.

Everson Griffen - 97 Trysten Hill - 72 Cam Erving - 75 Neville Gallimore - 96

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 19 Updates Maurice Canady

#28 CB

Height: 6-1 Weight: 193 lbs College: Virginia

3:54 p.m. - One of the players who decided to opt out of the 2020 season for COVID-19 concerns was free-agent cornerback Maurice Canady, a veteran for the Jets and Ravens.

While he would've been battling for playing time at corner, he was considered a special teams ace.

ST coordinator John Fassel said he fully respected Canady's decision and even reached out to him for that matter, but he was hopeful to have him on the coverage units as well.

"I know Maurice only from competing against him the last couple of years. I don't know him personally," Fassel said. "I told him I'll miss having the opportunity to coach him this y ear and get to know him. But I'm sure he'll be back next year and hopefully get to know him then. But I totally respect any of those guys' decision that they made for that reason. And I let him know that."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

3:48 p.m. - While it seems like rookie CeeDee Lamb is going to get plenty of chances to return punts, special teams coordinator John Fassel called it an "open game" at this point.

"I think he did it in college and he's pretty darn good at it," Fassel said of Lamb. "We haven't been able to go live full return looks. We've been caching balls and doing some punt return drills with multiple guys - CeeDee, Cedrick Wilson, Darius Anderson, (Trevon) Diggs has caught some balls. We have about five or six guys right now. Really right now, it's open game."

Last year, the Cowboys ranked 26th in the NFL in punt return average at just 5.7 yards per return. Both of the primary returners - Tavon Austin and Randall Cobb - are no longer with the team.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 18 Updates Dontari Poe

#95 DT

Height: 6-3 Weight: 346 lbs College: Memphis

4:28 p.m. - Defensive tackle Dontari Poe passed his physical Tuesday, which means he's eligible to be activated off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and return to practice.

The Cowboys signed Poe to a two-year deal in April as a key addition to the defensive line. The two-time Pro Bowler had quad surgery last year while playing for Carolina and has been working with the Cowboys' athletic training staff early in camp.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4:27 p.m. - The Cowboys signed offensive tackle Pace Murphy to the 80-man roster, adding depth to a position that's been depleted in camp so far.

Right tackle La'el Collins and swing tackle candidate Cameron Erving haven't practiced yet due to short-term ailments, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Murphy reportedly went through a scheduled workout with the team before signing. Undrafted out of Northwestern State in 2016, he has yet to play in an NFL game but most recently went to camp with the Chiefs in 2019 after spending time on their practice squad in 2018.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gerald McCoy

#93 DT

Height: 6-4 Weight: 300 lbs College: Oklahoma

10:02 a.m. -- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy posted on Instagram that he's scheduled for surgery today on his torn right quadriceps muscle - and he's staying positive about what's expected to be a season-ending injury.

"I just want to say I'm still smiling," he said. "Surgery's about to happen. To my teammates and coaches, y'all go get it. Got a championship to go win. To all my family and friends, I love you guys. To all the fans, stay tuned. Keep smiling, keep rooting, keep loving."

Head coach Mike McCarthy said he anticipates McCoy still being around helping the team during the season while he rehabs from surgery.

"That was part of our conversation," McCarthy said. "He expressed not only the desire, but he was going to be here and be a part of what we've started here."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 17 Updates DeMarcus Lawrence

#90 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 265 lbs College: Boise State

7:57 a.m. - Slowly but surely, we're piecing together what this thing might look like.

The Cowboys are playing things close to the vest at Mike McCarthy's debut training camp. But the Cowboys' first-year head coach is confirming a few juicy details.

In this instance, it's the role of DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys' pass rushers. On Monday morning, McCarthy confirmed that Lawrence is going to experiment with rushing from a two-point stance.

Here's the full, detailed quote from McCarthy:

"I think that's an excellent question, and the fact that I've had a chance a couple guys in my career go through that transition - and one that I think of right off the bat is Julius Peppers. When you're primarily playing in a four-man front - and really, Julius was in the same defense playing with Rod there in Chicago, when he came up to Green Bay. The opportunity, particularly to be in a two-point stance on first and second down - especially someone with D-Law's experience and his instincts and awareness at the line of scrimmage - it'll give him more vision to play to the tendencies and mannerisms of the offense. I think he's going to really like it. But still, at the end of the day, if it's best suited for him to put his hand on the ground in pass rush situations, then that's what we'll do. I know just watching Julius go through it, he liked it because it gives him a chance to really tap into his years of experience with more vision, and it was primarily on first and second down. Because, when it came time to hit and get it in the pass rush, he would go into a three-point stance. We'll go through that with D-Law, and I think he'll really benefit from this."

If Lawrence can enjoy Peppers' Packer productivity, the Cowboys won't have any complaints. In three seasons with Green Bay, Peppers piled up 29.5 sacks.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 16 Updates Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

8:04 a.m. - With so many new players and new coaches on the field for the first time this entire offseason, it makes sense the Cowboys would add last names to the back of the jerseys. But one player Mike McCarthy knows all about is All-Pro guard Zack Martin, who enters his seventh season.

"I've always had great respect for him from afar," McCarthy said in Sunday's press conference. "You can see the way he operates. He's one of those guys that is always in the building and does it the right away. He's a great example for the young guys."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- McCarthy said Martin "doesn't have any limitations" and said he's comfortable putting him in a 1-on-1 matchup with any defensive tackle. "You've got to have confidence with the 1-on-1 blocks and he's excellent at it."

He also praised Martin and the rest of the linemen for their ability to move in space.

Martin is the only player in franchise history to make a Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 14 Updates Tyrone Crawford

#98 DL

Height: 6-4 Weight: 290 lbs College: Boise State

Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford passed his physical and has been activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Crawford has been working back from last year's hip surgery that sidelined him for most of the season.

Crawford still counted toward the 80-man roster while on PUP, so the Cowboys didn't need to make a roster move to activate him.

Defensive lineman Dontari Poe (quad) remains on Active/PUP for now.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aug. 12 Updates CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

1:10 p.m. - What quarterback doesn't want as many great players around them? Dak Prescott is no different and he shared that excitement about the Cowboys' drafting CeeDee Lamb with the 17thoverall pick.

Even from the limited work the players have done so far before the first practice, Dak likes what he sees from the rookie from Oklahoma.

"Great guy. Great athlete. Great Player," Dak said of Lamb. "Excited for his future. He's very smart, very talented and he wants to learn. He's going to play a huge role in our success immediate and in the future. I couldn't be happier with that pick."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 28 Updates Dontari Poe

#95 DT

Height: 6-3 Weight: 346 lbs College: Memphis

4:30 p.m. -- Defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and Dontari Poe have been placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for the start of training camp.

Crawford missed most of last season due to hip surgery. Poe, who reached a two-year deal with the Cowboys in March, had surgery last November for a torn quad while playing for the Panthers.

Both players are eligible to be activated from PUP at any time during camp, and the first padded practice isn't scheduled until Aug. 17 because teams will have a gradual ramp-up period after a virtual-only offseason program.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stephen Guidry

#17 WR

Height: 6-4 Weight: 200 lbs College: Mississippi State

10:13 a.m. - Undrafted rookie wide receiver Stephen Guidry is expected to take a voluntary opt-out from the 2020 season, according to NFL Media and reports.

Once official, Guidry will be placed on a reserve/opt-out list and the Cowboys will retain his rights for 2021.

In May, the Cowboys signed Guidry as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State. He is the second Cowboys player expected to take a voluntary opt-out, along with veteran cornerback Maurice Canady.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 26 Updates Jon'Vea Johnson

#81 WR

Height: 6-0 Weight: 192 lbs College: Toledo

6:53 p.m. - The Cowboys have their first member of the NFL's new reserve/COVID-19 list.

Sunday's transaction wire revealed six players across the league who have been placed on the list. Among them was second-year Cowboys receiver Jon'Vea Johnson, who is returning from spending his rookie season on injured reserve.

It's hard to quantify Johnson's presence on the list, as it does not specify whether he has tested positive for COVID-19 or come in contact with someone who has. The bottom line, though, is that he'll need to quarantine for the time being.

With the rest of the Cowboys' roster scheduled to report over the course of the week, this will likely be a developing situation.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 25 Updates Isaac Alarcón

#60 T

Height: 6-7 Weight: 320 lbs College: Monterrey Tech

On the same day the Cowboys officially signed their seven draft picks, the club also signed offensive tackle Isaac Alarcon.

The rookie from Mexico via Monterrey Tech, is part of the NFL's International Player Pathway program. Alarcon, one of four international players signed to NFC East teams, is expected to remain with the Cowboys, at least on the practice squad, for the entire season.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 20 Updates Bradlee Anae

#56 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 257 lbs College: Utah

1:59 p.m. - With the start of training camp inching closer, the Cowboys' rookie class is starting to reach deals on contracts.

Defensive end Bradlee Anae, a fifth-round pick out of Utah, has agreed to terms. His agent tweeted the news Monday afternoon.

Quarterback Ben Dinucci, the Cowboys' seventh-round pick out of James Madison, has also agreed to terms. He'll compete for the third quarterback spot behind starter Dak Prescott and veteran backup Andy Dalton.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- July 18 Updates CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

1:47 p.m. - The NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate key matters regarding training camp and the season during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the league is moving forward with upcoming camp report dates.

Rookies are set to report as early as Tuesday, followed by quarterbacks and injured players Thursday and the rest of the rosters July 28, NFL Media reported Saturday, citing a memo circulated to clubs. Rookies for the Texans and Chiefs are scheduled to report Monday because their season opener starts earlier than the rest of the league (Sept. 10).

The Cowboys will hold camp at their world headquarters, The Star in Frisco, this year. According to NFL Media, no more than 20 players at a time will be allowed at a team facility for now.

The Cowboys haven't signed their seven-man draft class yet, but they've already reached deals with 15 rookie free agents.

While the NFL plans to start camps on time, the league is still working to finalize a number of critical items with the players' association, including testing and safety protocols and the schedule for camp and preseason.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- June 11 Updates Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner

Due to the nation's COVID-19 crisis, the NFL has informed teams that in-person minicamps won't be permitted before the voluntary offseason program period ends June 26, according to an NFL Media report.

The Cowboys and the league's other 31 teams have the option to continue their virtual programs for another two weeks through June 26. But it appears the Cowboys won't be able to fully reconvene before training camp. That schedule has not yet been announced.

Last Friday, the league gave the green light for coaching staffs to begin returning to team facilities. But non-rehabbing players are still training in virtual mode while the league continues finalizing health and safety protocols for their eventual return.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- June 9 Updates DeMarcus Lawrence

#90 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 265 lbs College: Boise State

7:00 p.m. - DeMarcus Lawrence and his fellow Cowboys pass rushers, the Hot Boyz, continue to drive relief efforts for those impacted by the nation's COVID-19 crisis.

Cowboys fans also can visit www.GetHotBoyz.com and make a donation to GENYOUth Now, a COVID-19 emergency school nutrition fund for children who depend on the USDA's school meal program.

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