FRISCO, Texas –Maybe it's a darn good thing this is the Cowboys' bye week. They probably need to sit back some and take a deep breath after these first five weeks, giving them a chance to assess their 2-3 start, time to recover from that gut-punch 35-31 last-second loss to the Packers and temporarily remove themselves from the National Anthem/flag issues swirling around.
Had a practice Wednesday, one more Thursday, both concentrating more on the younger players getting more practice snaps, and then its adios until next Tuesday as mandated by the CBA, giving the players four consecutive days off that must include the weekend. So a little housecleaning here before the break.
- The Cowboys have decided to move on from veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll. Must have felt the young corners, between Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie (when healthy), were giving them what they needed. Because the release is expensive. As a vested veteran, still counts $2 million this year against the cap and will count $2 million next year in dead money, the remaining two-year proration on his $3 million signing bonus.
- Good news from a legal standpoint for Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson. The Collin County Grand Jury decided Wednesday morning to No-Bill his case from this past July 4 at Toyota Stadium up the road from here for allegedly backing into a woman in the parking lot and then brandishing a weapon. Who knows if he'll have league matters to deal with.
- Not sure where the Cowboys will go with the roster spot if reports are accurate about veteran defensive tackle Stephen Paea retiring. He's been bothered by a degenerative knee condition, missing the Green Bay game after being unable to practice for three weeks. At the earliest, they will probably make a roster move to fill the spot when players return from the bye on Tuesday. Just a thought, but a guy who had a heckuva training camp to at least earn a spot on the practice squad would be defensive tackle Lewis Neal, the rookie from LSU. That is, if they want to replace him with another nose tackle type. Although with David Irving returning and playing well at the 1-technique against the Packers, backed by Brian Price, that might open a spot at another position.
- Speaking of Irving (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for losses and 3 QB hits), this bye week will serve him well. Since he's had no contact since the Aug. 26 Oakland preseason game and ended up playing 50 total snaps vs. Green Bay, says he's pretty darn sore. Might not have played with same quickness and speed if there was a game this weekend. Last week defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wouldn't specify where "Dino" would actually play, saying, "You never know where that dinosaur is going to land." Didn't know he was meaning on top of the Packers.