Blog: With Goodwin On IR, Current Roster At 52
(Oct. 31; 2 p.m.) – The Cowboys get back to work this week with an open roster spot after placing cornerback C.J. Goodwin on injured reserve.
Goodwin, signed off the Bengals' practice squad in early October, did a nice job on special teams in two appearances. He broke his forearm against Washington.
It's uncertain how the Cowboys plan to fill Goodwin's spot. They had scheduled visits with free agent defensive backs Obi Melifonwu and Teddy Williams last week, but neither were signed. They do have three DBs on the current practice squad: Tyree Robinson, Donovan Olumba and Treston Decoud.
The team returns to practice Thursday in preparation for Monday night's home game against the Titans.
Blog: Tavon Austin Could Miss Time; Sean Lee's Status?
(Oct. 15; 4 p.m.) – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said wide receiver/punt returner Tavon Austin could miss a "little bit of time" with the groin injury that sidelined him for most of the second half against Jacksonville.
"We'll take his situation day by day, but we're not overly optimistic he'll be available this week (Sunday at Washington)," Garrett said.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley and cornerback Jourdan Lewis are the primary options on punt returns while Austin is out.
Fellow receiver Brice Butler was held out of Sunday's game with a groin injury, but Garrett said Butler will likely be ready this week. This is also the first week receiver Noah Brown (hamstring; injured reserve) is eligible to begin practicing, but Garrett said the team hasn't made that decision yet. Once a player on injured reserve starts practicing, the team has three weeks to decide whether to activate him or leave him on IR for the rest of the season.
On defense, Garrett said linebacker Sean Lee is getting "closer and closer" to a return from his hamstring injury. The Cowboys' bye is next week. Might the Cowboys keep Lee out until after the bye and give him two more weeks to recover?
"You get 16 games," he said. "If players are able to play in each of those 16 games, you play them and you worry about that other stuff later. We'll make our decision based on what his availability is for this game, independent of the bye in the coming week."
Cowboys Sign Safety Thompson; More Roster Moves
Jones Backs Garrett as "The Real Deal"
(Oct. 12; 11:40 a.m.) –If there was any doubt where Jerry Jones stood in terms of supporting his head coach, he erased it Friday in his scheduled radio interview on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
Obviously, Garrett has been criticized heavily this week for his decision in overtime to punt the ball to Houston instead of attempting a fourth-and-short inside Texans territory. Even Jones said after the game his team was being "out-played" and it was the time in the game to take a risk.
But when pressed about his stance on Garrett on Friday, Jones was very clear where he stands with his head coach.
"Jason Garrett is absolutely the real deal. There's no fraud in Jason Garrett," Jones said. "Does he have some things he could do better? Of course. But what I think we have is an asset that will get us to where we want to go, which is a championship."
Garrett, who is in his seventh season as the head coach, has obviously had some ups and downs during his time with team. He's won just one playoff game in three attempts, and none since the 2014 season. Overall, his regular-season record is 69-56.
(Oct. 10; 3:50 p.m.) – Filling their last open roster spot, the Cowboys signed safety Darian Thompson off the Cardinals' practice squad on Wednesday.
Thompson, a Boise State teammate of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, was a third-round pick of the Giants in 2017. He started 17 games for New York over two seasons, recording 67 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception.
The Cowboys also signed cornerback C.J. Goodwin off the Bengals' practice squad and added running back Darius Jackson to the practice squad, replacing Bo Scarbrough.
Cowboys Waive Campbell; Scarbrough Cut From Practice Squad
(Oct. 9; 3:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys now have two spots open on their 53-man roster after releasing safety Ibraheim Campbell on Tuesday.
The club also cut rookie running back Bo Scarbrough from the practice squad.
Originally claimed off waivers from the Texans after final cuts, Campbell appeared in four of the first five games, mostly on special teams.
The Cowboys already had an open roster spot after placing Terrance Williams on injured reserve and Travis Frederick on the reserve/non-football illness list over the weekend. David Irving filled one spot – he's back from a four-game suspension.
These open spots are likely to be filled Wednesday when the players return to practice.
Blog: Garrett Hopeful Irving Will Practice
(Oct. 8, 4:23 p.m.) – David Irving had a personal issue to tend to last week, which contributed to the Cowboys' decision not to bring him to Houston.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday that he was encouraged by the limited work that Irving got last Wednesday in his first practice back from a four-week suspension. But Irving had a family matter crop up toward the end of last week that kept him from practicing on Thursday or Friday.
Given that Irving has hardly played since last November, Garrett said that was enough to prompt the decision not to play him in Sunday's loss to the Texans.
"Ultimately, we looked at each other late on Friday and Saturday and said 'This guy hasn't practiced once in 10 months, so it wouldn't be fair to him or fair to the team to put him out there in the ball game,'" Garrett said.
Garrett said he does expect Irving to be at work on Tuesday, as the team begins its preparations for Week 6 against Jacksonville.
"Hopefully, he has that family situation resolved, we'll get him a full week of practice and give him a chance to play in the ball game this week," he said.
Gregory Back To Practice; Irving's Status?
(Oct. 5; 11:45 a.m.) – Defensive end Randy Gregory returned to practice Friday after spending Thursday in Chicago for a scheduled meeting at NFL offices.
These periodic meetings are a standard part of Gregory's reinstatement to the league. He was also excused from the Cowboys' preseason finale to go to Chicago and returned to the team the next day.
Defensive lineman David Irving was not on the field during the open portion of Friday's practice, however. Irving was excused from Thursday's work to handle a personal matter, and before Friday's practice head coach Jason Garrett wasn't sure if Irving would be able to participate.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones expects Irving to make his season debut Sunday at Houston despite these excused absences. Irving, who's coming off a four-game suspension, has only practiced once – Wednesday – this entire calendar year. The team excused him from preseason activities to handle personal business.
To activate Irving for Sunday's game, the Cowboys will have make a roster move by Saturday.
Wide receiver Terrance Williams (foot), linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) and center Travis Frederick (illness) were not on the field during the open portion Friday.
Terrance Williams, Randy Gregory Do Not Practice
(Oct. 4; 3:30 p.m.) – Wide receiver Terrance Williams did not practice again Thursday and worked on the side with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff again.
Williams was excused from practice last Friday and the game against Detroit to deal with off-the-field matters. Thursday, head coach Jason Garrett said the veteran receiver is also still working his way back from the right foot injury that required surgery in January and sidelined him during offseason workouts.
Defensive end Randy Gregory also did not practice Thursday. He was excused for another scheduled meeting in Chicago at NFL offices as part of his reinstatement to the league following a year-long suspension.
Gregory was also excused from the Cowboys' preseason finale at Houston for the same reason. He returned to the team next day.
The night of the preseason finale, Garrett said these occasional meetings are "part of the process" as Gregory moves forward with his reinstatement.
Awuzie: "I Welcome The Challenge"
(Oct. 3; 3:30 p.m.) – On at least three plays last Sunday, it looked like Chidobe Awuzie couldn't do any more – and yet the result was a Detroit catch.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 24 of 30 pass attempts against the Cowboys and was flawlessly accurate on several throws. Many were directed at Awuzie, Dallas' talented second-year cornerback.
Awuzie, credited with one pass breakup in the Cowboys' 26-24 victory, had tight coverage on some of Stafford's biggest completions: a 34-yarder to Marvin Jones in the second quarter, a 17-yarder to Jones in the third quarter and a 22-yarder to Kenny Golladay two players later.
Watching the film back, Awuzie said it was "kind of comical just how many times they could catch the ball and I'm right there, but there's always some little thing that I could do better.
"No matter how good a position you are (in), this is the league where a lot of contested catches are made. I've got to find a way to get that ball out."
Only four games into the season, Awuzie knows he'll be targeted more as the weeks go on.
"I welcome the challenge," he said. "I see it as an opportunity to go make plays. Our defense is about guys making plays. Some days, you'll get more chances."
The Cowboys like Awuzie's physical style of play and his competitiveness, including his ability to move on from bad plays.
"He'll learn from them," head coach Jason Garrett said, "and he'll make those plays as we go."
Sean Lee Not Expected Back For Week 5
(Oct. 2, 10:05 a.m.) – It doesn't sound like Sean Lee will be available for the Cowboys' Week 5 trip to Houston, to hear it from team owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
Jones said his team came out of Sunday's win against Detroit looking pretty good on the injury front, but it might take some more time for Lee to work his way back to the field.
"I don't want to be one way or the other or be too speculative about one week out, but it would surprise me to see Sean back this week," Jones said on Tuesday.
That lines up with the prognosis on Lee's hamstring injury. The All-Pro linebacker exited the Week 3 loss to Seattle, and the early speculation was that it might take him two or more weeks to recover. In his absence, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch combined for 13 tackles.
Other than that, the injury news doesn't seem too severe. Jones said he's optimistic that Jeff Heath will be available against the Texans after exiting the game against Detroit.
"We have him as likely to play and it was more of a stinger. He is very capable of playing through that stinger," he said. "I don't want to slight it in any way, but we'll see how it goes. We've got a long way to go until we play Sunday. So, right now, we're thinking he'll play."
Jones also said that Ezekiel Elliott doesn't appear to be any worse for wear after taking some knocks last week. The expectation is that the league rushing leader will be ready to go.
Garrett's Updates On Zeke, Other Injuries
(Oct. 1; 4:30 p.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett said he's optimistic running back Ezekiel Elliott will be able to practice this week and play Sunday at Houston.
Elliott, noticeably limping after the game, said afterward that he had a little ankle and knee soreness but "nothing big." Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Monday that Elliott is playing through some knee bursitis right now.
"He's a warrior. You've got to give hats off to him," Jones said.
Regarding two more injuries from the game:
-Garrett said the team is optimistic about safety Jeff Heath's stinger and hopeful he can practice this week and play Sunday.
-Garrett said the team is hopeful defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (calf) can practice as the week goes on.
Career Game For Geoff Swaim
(Oct. 1; 1:45 p.m.) – Geoff Swaim spent his first three NFL seasons learning and developing behind Jason Witten.
Now the Cowboys' starting tight end, Swaim delivered a career performance in Sunday's win over the Lions: a career-high 31-yard catch on their first scoring drive, and his first career touchdown catch in the third quarter. He finished with three catches for 39 yards.
Swaim has proven to be the Cowboys' most consistent blocker among their four tight ends, but he's also gotten involved in the passing game. His 11 catches through four games rank third on the team.
"It's been four years in the offense and to kind of get an opportunity this year and be able to capitalize on it in situations was big," he said. "But we clicked today and got that rhythm going."