GRAPEVINE, Texas – Don’t let a deluge of rain completely wash out the Dallas Cowboys Annual Sponsors Appreciation Golf Classic.
This is a tough group. Even though seemingly a couple of inches of rain washed out the morning sessions Wednesday, the troopers still went out for the afternoon sessions.
And no way flood-warning rain could ever wash out this week’s shots, so let’s tee them up.
- Injury Report: Thought with the rookie minicamp this weekend, which will include eight eligible first-year players, along with the start of three weeks of three-day Organized Team Activity workouts beginning May 21, this would be a good time to go over an offseason injury update.
Travis Frederick: Shoulder and umbilical hernia surgery. Will be limited during the entire offseason, but despite having suffered through the Guillain-Barre Syndrome that cost him all of last season, he is expected to be ready for training camp.
La’el Collins: Shoulder surgery. Limited during offseason workouts, but expected to be ready for training camp.
Antwaun Woods: Shoulder surgery. Suffered a torn labrum in the playoff game against the Rams but played through it. Limited during the offseason but expected to be ready for training camp.
Taco Charlton: Shoulder surgery. Limited during the offseason workouts but expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
DeMarcus Lawrence: Surgery to repair torn labrum. Will need four to five months of rehab. Likely will be limited through training camp, but says he will be ready for Game 1. That’s the trainers’ goal.
Byron Jones: Hip surgery. Likely no better than limited during training camp, with hopes of being ready for Game 1.
Allen Hurns: Surgery to repair fractured fibula and dislocated ankle on Jan. 7. Already running and working out. Limited during offseason but surprisingly, considering the gruesome injury, should be ready for the start of training camp.
Jameill Showers: Surgery to repair torn ACL. Continues to be limited and likely limited for start of camp.
Cedrick Wilson: Shoulder surgery. Has been cleared to fully participate during offseason workouts.
- Keep An Eye On: During the Golf Classic chalk talk, Jason Garrett and Stephen Jones were asked what rookie free agent are they most intrigued to keep an eye on. For the head coach, it was offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, a four-year starter at Clemson who Tigers head coach Dabo Sweeney couldn’t say enough about. “We were excited to get him,” Garrett said. As for the COO, since Garrett went first, for him it will be wide receiver Jalen Guyton. Initially recruited to Notre Dame, the Allen, Texas, receiver finished out his career at North Texas with flying colors.
- Tin Cup: Probably heard by now that Tony Romo received a sponsor exemption to play in this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. This will be his third PGA event to participate in, trying once again to make his first two-day cut. Also, as you probably know, you can place legal bets in Vegas on just about anything. Even Romo to win this PGA event at Trinity Forest. Caesars sportsbook has made Romo a 2,000-1 favorite to win. The favorite is Brooks Koepka at 13-2. And local pro Jordan Spieth, who often plays practice rounds with Romo, is 18-1. Guess Romo, as he was in football, signed by the Cowboys in 2003 as a rookie free agent, is a longshot again.
- Welcome Back Ware?: Cowboys all-time sack leader DeMarcus Ware mentioned at Sunday’s North Texas Food Bank fundraiser at The Star that he would like to return to the Cowboys as a pass-rush consultant, maybe work two or three days a week with the defensive linemen while giving offensive tackles some tips on how D-ends like to rush. Not a bad idea. But when Garrett was asked about the possibility, he would only say, “If it works for both sides, we’ll definitely bring him back.” Key will be how well Ware would work with defensive line coach Leon Lett, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and even assistant defensive line coach Andre Gurode.
- Dez Sighting: No, not out here, but on Twitter, pointing out that he has started running for the first time since his surgery to repair a torn Achilles two days after signing with the New Orleans Saints the first week in November. Dez Bryant tweeted: “It will be a steal wherever I go . . . bet on it.” Return from Achilles surgery for a guy who makes his living running always is a long shot for a football player. And remember, Dez has not played a down of football since New Year’s Eve 2017. Wish him luck.
- Contract Talk: There seems to be this preoccupation with “Who’s Next.” No, not The Who’s song, but who is next in line for the Cowboys to sign to a new contract after DeMarcus Lawrence was signed. Dak? Zeke? Cooop? As Jones said here Wednesday, “We’re off and running” with negotiations on several fronts, mentioning Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper “and Zeke, too.” But warned it’s too early to be concerned with how negotiations are going. Plus, as he pointed out, they also know the clock is ticking on re-signing the likes of Byron Jones, Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins. “It’s a great problem to have,” Stephen said, also pointing out as the problem grows so grows the salary cap.
- Wedge Shots: Since the Cowboys are acquiring depth on the defensive line, offensive line and wide receiver, teams start calling about potential trades, and Jones said he got a call the other day from a team wanting to trade a safety for a starting-quality guard … To be clear, especially for those who still think the Cowboys should have drafted a safety with the 58th pick, Jones reiterated that “under-tackle is one of the most valued positions on our team,” and why they selected Trysten Hill instead of safety Juan Thornhill at 58 … There also is this faulty notion floating around out there that the Cowboys, who already have picked up Zeke’s fifth-year option for 2020, might just franchise him for 2021 instead of signing him to a long-term deal and be done with him. Maybe you do that with a good running back. But with a guy who would have won three consecutive rushing titles his first three years in the league if not for the 2017 six-game suspension, and one who won’t turn 24 until July 22, Stephen points out, “Our goal is to have Zeke Elliott for many years to come.”
And that’s like taking out the driver for that final shot.