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Mick Shots: Taco's Exit, Quinn's Return & More


FRISCO, Texas – Here is how you know the Cowboys were totally done with Taco Charlton.

Tyrone Crawford's hip that kept him out of the entire training camp and preseason, that limited him to just 18 snaps in Game 2, that is keeping the defensive end out of practice so far this week, seems likely at this point to be inactive for Sunday's game against Miami.

Nose tackle Antwaun Woods could not finish this past Sunday's game against the Redskins, having sprained the MCL in his left knee, also is not practicing, and his status for the Miami game at best is highly questionable.

And defensive end Robert Quinn, returning to practice on Wednesday following his two-game suspension, would be hard-pressed to play much more than 30 snaps against the Dolphins since he missed the majority of training camp and all four preseason games with fractured bones on the back of his hand.

That means the Cowboys could use all the help they can get on the defensive front, especially at defensive end, noon Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Yet, they washed their hands of Taco. The Cowboys up and washed their hands two games that he didn't even suit up for into his third season of their 2017 first-round pick. That just doesn't happen in the NFL, or at least rarely, especially with the Cowboys.

Like this is the earliest I can think of the Cowboys giving up on a first-round pick not because of injury – see Mike Sherrard (1986) after breaking his leg twice after just one season, leaving him unprotected during Plan B free agency in 1989, and Billy Cannon Jr. forced to retire after suffering a severe neck injury his rookie season (1984) – since releasing corner Rod Hill (1982) after just two seasons.

That to me screams total dissatisfaction. No sense letting one guy mess up a good thing going, the Cowboys starting off the season as if shot out of a cannon, 2-0, and humming along on offense.

Not sure this had to solely do with his play, but maybe more so to do with is casual attitude and almost indifference to this coaching staff. And as you might expect, that doesn't fit into Rod Marinelli's room, nor aligns with what's important to him. He wants guys who love to play football. He wants guys working hard every day. And he certainly isn't appreciative of anyone wanting out, Tweeting "free me" the other day.

Well, he got his wish, and in more ways than one, since he knew whether he was here or on the streets, his $1.38 million base salary is guaranteed, and that $458,000 of next year's is guaranteed, something the Cowboys now are responsible for if he is not claimed on waivers.

And on top of all the other reasons for not cutting him, he will throw $3.15 million of dead money into the cap this year and another $1 million next year.

But they still did against all logic. And my friends, that screams volumes. 'Nuff said.

And now back to the shots.

  • Woods Update: Both of them, Xavier and Antwaun. First Xavier, who evidently suffered a sprained ankle the second to last play of the Washington game. Someone reported he had a high ankle sprain that would cause him to be out four to six weeks. That isn't so, according to the head coach. In fact, as he was making his way from the locker room to the training table eating area for lunch, Xavier had no brace on his ankle. And he must have been hungry, because he was speed walking, no limp obvious. Now he was one of six players who did not practice Wednesday, but at least he was working on the resistance cords with associate athletic trainer Britt Brown. And as for Antwaun, who suffered a sprained MCL, another guy who didn't practice Wednesday, he says he's "attacking rehab, and trying to get better each day." Says he is, too, but might not be ready in time for this one.
  • Don't Forget: So much is being made of how many players the Miami Dolphins have traded away for draft choices, heading into Sunday's game against the Cowboys with an 0-2 record. But absent from these lists is . . . Robert Quinn. Don't forget Miami traded the defensive end to the Cowboys for a 2020 sixth-round pick on March 28. How ironic he would return from his two-game suspension to face his old team the first game back. "Lots of the guys are gone, you know," Quinn said. "It's kind of crazy." But in his case, kind of lucky.
  • Imperfect 10: There is a good reason why the Dolphins have only scored 10 points in these first two games. First, they have only totaled 23 first downs in two games, an average of 11.5 a game. The Cowboys have 48. They have totaled just 384 yards in two games, 192 a game. The Cowboys average 484. The Dolphins have totaled 63 yards rushing. The Cowboys already have 302. And one last one: The Dolphins have thrown for 321 yards. The Cowboys 674. But as Captain Zack Martin was quick to point out, "Take a team lightly and you get your butt whipped."
  • Word Of Eli: Saw interview of Eli Manning in Giants locker room on Wednesday. He was smiling. The 16th-year veteran, demoted to backup this week in favor of first-round pick Daniel Jones, broke any locker room tension during the interviewing, saying, "I'm not dying. The season's not over. I'm the second-string quarterback of the New York Giants," and then pointed out, that he has to "learn how to run a scout team." Class guy. Tell you what, if I'm one of those teams who already have lost a quarterback, and I could afford his $11.5 million base salary, I'd be trying to trade for him if the price is right.
  • Short Shots: When Antwaun Woods was asked what Quinn was like, he said, "Robert is real country and loves football . . . that's a real dude right there." . . . Hanging proudly in Devin Smith's locker was a blue "FINISH" T-shirt, given to a guy who makes a huge play in the game . . . Michael Gallup tore his lateral meniscus, and while estimation has him out two to four weeks, sure have seen guys come back after missing just two weeks. We'll see . . . In light of injuries to Crawford and Antwaun Woods, and Quinn expected to play limited snaps, look for second-round draft choice Trysten Hill, twice inactive, to earn himself a jersey on game day.

Thinking back, after the Cowboys' Aug. 10 preseason game against the Niners, Taco uttered some cryptic words when asked about potentially being traded, saying he and his agents have talked about a lot of possibilities, then added in the end, "We talk and we know stuff like that around the league. We know my value and everything's good."

How good?

We're about to find out.