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Updates: Cowboys Waive LB Chris Covington

The NFL season is here. Don't miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' off-season. Presented by Sleep Number

April 30 Updates

10:49 a.m. – The Cowboys have waived linebacker Chris Covington and defensive back D.J. White.

Covington, a sixth-round draft pick in 2018, spent most of last season on the practice squad. He appeared in three games in December with Leighton Vander Esch (neck) injured.

White spent the final two months of last season on the practice squad. He was signed to the Reserve/Future list after the season.

With two open spots, the Cowboys officially signed cornerback Daryl Worley and long snapper Joe Fortunato, who previously spent time with the Colts. Long-time long snapper L.P. Ladouceur is back for a 16th season with the Cowboys, but Fortunato provides some depth on the 90-man roster.


April 28 Updates

(1:17 p.m.)  Christian Covington has signed with the Broncos on a one-year deal that could pay him up to $1.7 million next year. 
After the Cowboys landed Neville Gallimore in the third round of last weekend's NFL Draft, there isn't a lot of room left for available defensive tackles. Before the draft, Covington had a chance to return to the Cowboys, who had signed Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy in the offseason. Antwaun Woods is an exclusive rights free agent and should return to the roster along with Trysten Hill. 
Last year, his only season in Dallas, Covington played in all 16 games, recording 25 tackles with one sack.


2:33 p.m.—  Former Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier has signed with the Dolphins.

Miami announced the move Tuesday. Frazier, a sixth-round pick by Dallas in 2016, was a reserve safety and core special teams player for the Cowboys. A pectoral injury limited him to four games last season.


April 23 Updates

2:01 p.m. – Monday after the draft, the Cowboys will get back to their voluntary offseason program, which has transitioned to a virtual format due to the nation's COVID-19 crisis. This "virtual" period for all teams will take place through at least May 15 as NFL facilities are currently closed in adherence to social distancing measures.

Time will tell when normal offseason business can resume, but head coach Mike McCarthy said the team is currently preparing two separate training camp schedules for the summer in the event that logistics remain a challenge.

In recent years, the Cowboys have held the first few weeks of camp in Oxnard, California and finished up preseason practice at The Star in Frisco.

"So that's why we've done some heavy planning on first if we're able to go to Oxnard, then if we're unable to go to Oxnard, then what it's going to look like if it's in Frisco," McCarthy said. "So that's been the starting point looking from training camp back as far as our pre-planning."


April 22 Updates

3:50 p.m. -- The Cowboys are down to two kickers on their roster after waiving Tristan Vizcaino on Wednesday.

Vizcaino was signed to a futures deal in January after trying out for the kicker job late in the 2019 season. The Cowboys still have Greg Zuerlein, a veteran pickup in March, and Kai Forbath, who was re-signed after making all 10 of his field goal attempts in three games with Dallas last December.


April 21 Updates

2:45 p.m. – The Cowboys are likely hoping it doesn't get to this point, but if Dak Prescott indeed plays under the franchise tag for the 2020 season, it will be at the price of $31.4 million. 

Originally, Dak's figure was only $26.82 million – an average of the top five quarterback salaries. But after the NFL recalculated Prescott's exclusive franchise tag number after the restricted free-agent period ended, it gave the quarterback a $4.5 million bump. That's not a major surprise considering initial projections had the franchise tag in the range of $33 million. 

Either way, the Cowboys are still hopeful to get a long-term deal done with Prescott. As it stands, the Cowboys have until July 15 to negotiate a new contract with their star quarterback. Otherwise, he would play on the tag the entire season.


April 20 Updates

2:29 p.m. – Between the upcoming NFL Draft and Monday's start to the voluntary virtual offseason program, it's a busy week for the Cowboys.

By hiring a new head coach (Mike McCarthy) this offseason, the Cowboys are able to start their virtual program a week early. With the nation's COVID-19 crisis currently keeping teams out of their facilities, this 'virtual period' – tentatively scheduled to run through May 15 – is restricted to online classroom instruction and virtual workouts, according to NFL Media and reports.

Meanwhile, Cowboys brass is prepping for Thursday's start to the draft. The Cowboys have the 17th overall pick, one of seven total selections.


April 15 Updates

1:42 p.m. – The Cowboys feel confident the free agent moves they've made – most notably on defense – have set them up nicely for next week's NFL Draft.

"Obviously that was our focus, and I think for the most part we've done a nice job again of filling our obvious needs with free agency. It's always our goal," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan. "I think between finding a couple big tackles in (Gerald) McCoy and (Dontari) Poe that we're going to have a little different, some philosophical change in how we look at players on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think McCoy would fit in any defense, but to get a big body like Poe probably wouldn't be a guy we normally would've been interested in in the (former defensive coordinator Rod) Marinelli era. But we were able to shore up some needs there in the defensive line and stepped up and put some capital into the safety position there with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix."


April 14 Updates

6:58 p.m. – In a statement published by NFL Media and other news outlets, Dak Prescott denied reports that he recently held a large birthday party for a friend amid Texas' social distancing efforts to curb the nation's COVID-19 pandemic.

"I understand and accept that there are additional responsibilities and media scrutiny that come with being an NFL quarterback, but it is very frustrating and disappointing when people provide completely inaccurate information from anonymous sources, especially now," Prescott said in the statement. "To set the record straight -- I know that we all need to do our best to socially distance and like everyone else, I am continuing to adjust to what that requires, but the truth is that I was with fewer than 10 people for a home dinner -- not a party -- on Friday night.

"I am very sensitive to the challenges we are all facing and making sure to support the first responders and medical personnel and everyone else putting in long hours. We are all at a time when we need to keep educating ourselves about the importance of health and isolation during this pandemic and I will continue to make sure to do my part by following the guidelines until we are approved to start returning to normal activities."


1:34 p.m. – The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced all NFL players to stay away from their facilities, but will that affect whether Dak Prescott stays away from the Cowboys?

It will be virtual, but the team's offseason program is set to start April 20, as Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff will begin installing their schemes via video call.

With no facility to report to, that prompts questions about whether Prescott will take part. The four-year veteran suggested back in February that he might not take part in offseason activities without a new contract, and as of right now his franchise tag tender remains unsigned.

Asked about it Tuesday, Jones said he wasn't sure what Prescott's degree of involvement would look like, though he did reiterate that the offseason program is voluntary.

"I'm not necessarily aware of that. He was sent an iPad, and I know he certainly can participate," Jones said. "For every player, it's voluntary in terms of their participation in the virtual meetings – but I'm not aware and haven't been made aware to what degree Dak's participation would be."


April 10 Updates

11:53 a.m. – The Cowboys signed cornerback Saivion Smith on Friday.

Smith started for national champion runner-up Alabama in 2018 and led the defense with three interceptions. He went undrafted last year and signed with the Jaguars as a rookie free agent but was waived at the end of training camp. He appeared in two games for the XFL's Houston Roughnecks in February, making eight tackles and a pass breakup.

Smith joins a Cowboys cornerback group that includes returning veterans Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis along with newcomer Maurice Canady. Former starter Byron Jones left in March to sign a long-term deal with the Dolphins.


April 8 Updates

9:42 a.m. – Tyron Smith and Zack Martin are part of the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team. Who else with Cowboys ties were deserving of All-Decade consideration? lists Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as two of 10 notable snubs. Bryant set the Cowboys' franchise record for career touchdown catches (73) during his eight seasons in Dallas (2010-17) and Witten became their all-time leader in catches (1,215) and receiving yards (12,977) over 16 seasons (2003-17; 2019).

Another notable omission from the All-Decade Team? Center Travis Frederick, who is retiring after five Pro Bowl appearances in seven seasons playing alongside Smith and Martin.


April 6 Updates

1:58 p.m. – The NFL Draft is still on for April 23-25. Just not how we normally expect.

With the national COVID-19 crisis keeping teams out of their facilities for an undetermined period of time, the NFL has informed teams to prepare for a fully virtual draft experience. That means, in adherence to social distancing, team officials will work the draft in separate locations and communicate via phone and internet. published commissioner Roger Goodell's memo to NFL clubs regarding this unique draft experience. Read more about it here.

The Cowboys and other teams have already been preparing for the draft remotely, holding digital draft interviews with prospects. Here's an example:


March 31 Updates

2:45 p.m. – In a conference call Tuesday, which replaced the annual owner's meeting, a vote officially passed approving a 14-team playoff, up from the 12-team format that had been in place in recent years. Starting next season, each conference will now have three Wildcard teams, and thus Wildcard Weekend will consist of three games on Saturday (Jan. 9) and three games on Sunday (Jan. 10). One significant ramification is that each conference's 2-seed will no longer receive a bye but instead will host the 7-seed on the first weekend of the playoffs. 

It is now more likely for an 8-8 team to reach the postseason. If you applied this format to last season, the Dallas Cowboys still would have missed the playoffs. However, the 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers would have grabbed the final Wildcard spot in the AFC.


March 28 Updates

2:21 p.m. – Daniel Ross could be the third Cowboys defensive free agent joining former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli in Las Vegas with the Raiders.

The defensive lineman has not received a restricted tender offer from the Cowboys and intends to sign with the Raiders, per reports. He spent last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

The Raiders reportedly are also expected to finalize deals with defensive tackle Maliek Collins and safety Jeff Heath.


March 27 Updates

11:00 a.m. – In a memo sent to NFL teams Thursday night, Roger Goodell confirmed that the NFL Draft will remain scheduled for the days of April 23-25. The Draft, which was slated to take place in Las Vegas, will no longer be open to the public due to health concerns and restrictions against public gatherings. 

Teams have been told to prepare to conduct the draft outside of team facilities and with a limited number of people. This, along with limited opportunities to scout prospects in-person in recent weeks, will surely force teams to adjust the ways in which they are used to handling their player selection process.


March 25 Updates

5:05 p.m. – Sean Lee is back with the Cowboys for an 11th season, and the veteran linebacker expects the defense to look different under new head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

"Just talking on the defensive side of the ball, I think there are going to be some changes," Lee said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "Coverages and blitzes and everything are somewhat similar, but how you do it. I think some of the personnel changing on the defensive line – I think we'll tend to be a little bigger and thicker on the defensive line. And maybe some of the scheme will be different.

"But at the end of the day, defense is defense, and scheme matters, but it's how you execute the scheme."

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