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12:51 p.m. – While the Cowboys held their annual pre-draft press conference, head coach Mike McCarthy revealed that third-year pro Josh Ball is expected to move inside at guard.
"Yeah, he'll play both guard and tackle this year," McCarthy said on Ball, a fourth-round pick in 2021.
The Cowboys have some depth at tackle in Tyler Smith, Tyron Smith and Terence Steele, along with Matt Waletzo, whom McCarthy said is "hitting it out of the park" with his offseason work so far.
Ball, who played 13 games last season as a reserve player, is likely another player expected to add some versatility and position flex. In college, Ball played mostly tackle – both left and right.
April. 20 Updates
4:21 p.m. – The Cowboys weren't expecting offensive tackle Terence Steele to sign with any other team, but the option now is off the table for this year.
Steele has officially signed his 1-year restricted free agent tender of $4.3 million. The Cowboys issued the second-round RFA tender, meaning that had any team signed Steele to a long-term offer sheet and the Cowboys not decided to match the deal, they would've received a 2023 second-round pick in compensation.
Steele is rehabbing from a torn ACL injury he suffered in early December, ending what was shaping up to be a stellar season at right tackle.
When he returns, Steele will join a mix of tackles that includes both Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith, along with youngsters Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball.
This offseason, the Cowboys will be looking at their options for a few long-terms deals for players such as CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and even Dak Prescott. But Steele should be included in that list as well as a potential long-term signee, even before the start of the season.
Mar. 27 Updates
3:25 p.m. — Will Johnathan Hankins be the next meaningful re-signing done by the Cowboys in what has thus far been a stellar run in 2023 NFL free agency? The team certainly hopes so and, to that end, they've been continually negotiating with the veteran run-stopper.
Jerry Jones, speaking from the owner's meetings in Phoenix, was asked where things currently stand with Hankins, a player they traded for in October in a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders who stepped in and made an immediate impact in upgrading a struggling defensive interior.
"We're working to get something done there with Hankins," said Jones. "That's progress. It's certainly to the extent that we have sitting right there a potential player that can help us — a big boy that can help us in the interior. We'll always keep that in mind too.
"I think, without talking about something that isn't done yet, I think we're going to be in good shape in that what we will be having, [even] without the draft. We'll be in good shape there, it's not going to put us in line where we have to have a big run-stopping interior linemen."
Mar. 22 Updates
1:15 p.m. — The Cowboys have retained a handful of their own veteran free agents so far in the last two weeks. And we can now add one of their practice squad vets to the mix.
Takk McKinley has been re-signed by the Cowboys, putting yet another former first-round pick on the roster. McKinley spent most of last season on the Cowboys' practice squad and although he was elevated once on game day, he never played in a game during the 2022 season.
McKinley, a first-round pick (26th overall) of the Falcons in 2017 when Dan Quinn was the head coach in Atlanta, has 20 career sacks, including 17.5 in his four years with the Falcons. He spent a year with the Browns, then another with the Rams before last season in Dallas.
McKinley now gives the Cowboys 11 players who were drafted in the first round, which includes the Cowboys re-signing Leighton Vander Esch and Dante Fowler, and trading for Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore.
Mar. 21 Updates
9:40 a.m. — Ezekiel Elliott is no longer with the Dallas Cowboys and that means focusing in on how to rebuild the running back position around Tony Pollard, who is currently on a franchise tag and recovering from a fractured leg suffered in the NFC Divisional Round, and that's led the club to strike a deal with Rico Dowdle in free agency.
Dowdle, a former undrafted free agent in 2020, joined the Cowboys following the draft and spent his first three NFL seasons in Dallas — establishing himself as a worthy backup who saw his 2022 season derailed by injury.
That cleared the way for rookie running back Malik Davis to shine when given the opportunity, so Dowdle re-enters the mix looking to once again compete against Davis once training camp rolls around in July. Having initially entered this year's free agency as a restricted free agent, Dowdle was not issued a tender offer and, as such, became an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any of the other 31 teams.
He has opted to remain in Dallas, however, where his career began and he feels he'll have a good shot at finally making an impact on the field.