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Dallas Cowboys Updates

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Updates: LVE to meet with Cowboys about his future

Don't miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' regular season. Presented by

March 1 Updates

6:40 p.m. — The future of Leighton Vander Esch has yet to be decided. The former Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a season-ending neck injury in 2023 that is also threatening the remainder of his NFL career, particularly considering his history of similar injuries.

Speaking from the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, owner and general manager Jerry Jones echoed the statements made earlier in the week by executive vice president and director of player personnel Stephen Jones — in that talks with Vander Esch are soon-to-come and that whatever he decides, he will be the one to communicate it to the public.

"We met with his agent today, and we understand that, in my mind, it's divorced from a decision of football," said Jerry Jones. "And, in his case, football is a big part of his life and his profession and his career, but it has to do with his long-term well-being and long-term life.

"We're not only going to support whatever he comes up with, we're going to visit and talk with the sensitivity of someone you think a lot about — to the extent that if he's taking an undue risk, the conversations will reflect that."


February 29 Updates

2:38 p.m. - As the Cowboys' front office evaluates the next crop of players in the NFL scouting combine this week in Indianapolis, there has been plenty of discussion about the team's next first-round pick, slated to be the 24thoverall selection.
But last year's first-round pick is still a topic of discussion, considering Mazi Smith was not a major factor in his rookie season in 2023. However, the team remains positive about his potential.

We have nothing but confidence in Mazi," Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said this week. "I think it was a transition for him. I think he was trying to get his hands around the technique and the way he played at Michigan and the way Dan (Quinn) was trying to incorporate his game."

Jones sounds confident Smith will be able to have a more defined role in Mike Zimmer's new defensive scheme.

"So I think Mazi can take a big jump in his second year," Jones said. "He's got all the right skill sets and all the right intangibles to go out there and get the job done. I think he's going to make a big jump in his second year."


February 28 Updates

1:41 p.m. – Comparisons to be a scary thing, especially when someone is being mentioned alongside Hall of Famers.

But on Tuesday, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was asked about Tyler Smith’s position and he couldn't help but bring up one of the greatest to ever play.

"That remains to be seen," Jones said when asked if Tyler Smith will play guard or tackle. "It's starting to feel like Larry Allen all over again. The great thing about Tyler is his versatility, he could be a great left tackle too. At the end of the day when we're through massaging it, we'll have a good spot for him. His versatility certainly brings options as we look at this team moving forward."

Allen spent most of the 2022 season at left tackle, but was moved to guard for 2023, when he made a Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro.

Allen, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, was mostly a guard in his career, but did have two seasons where he was predominantly a tackle and was able to make the Pro Bowl at that position as well.

Smith wears the same No. 73 as Allen, and both showed the versatility in the first two seasons of their career. Only time will tell if Smith can come close to matching the level of play Allen sustained for over a decade.


February 27 Updates

5:30 p.m. - Former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn – now head coach with the Washington Commanders – spoke at the NFL Combine on Tuesday and spent a moment reflecting on his time with the Cowboys and complimenting Mike McCarthy, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Will McClay.

"Certainly from Mike, I learned a lot – all the way from philosophy of the team, of a staff, of a locker room," Quinn said. "I thought he threw a hell of a training camp. Every step of how to do things and not missing it, he was super detailed in that process. Having the three years with Mike was huge, having the years with Jerry, Stephen and Will McClay, I'm a better coach because of my time with them. Those people, those players will always have a special place in my heart because without them, I wouldn't have the opportunity here."


February 26 Updates

4:38 p.m. - In a week, NFL free agency will be moving fast and furious, and the official start date will still be two days a week.

While March 13 is the start of free agency, NFL teams can start to negotiate with unrestricted free agents on Monday, March 11.

That means, unless the Cowboys strike a new deal with any of their own 16 free agents, they can work on a deal with another team and even agree to terms, although all new contracts can't be officially signed until the start of the new league year.

Among the free agents for the Cowboys include starters Tyron Smith, Tony Pollard, Tyler Biadasz, Jayron Kearse, Johnathan Hankins and Stephon Gilmore.

Today, staff writer Patrik Walker just completed a 10-part series “Open Market” to forecast each position and what direction the Cowboys might take in the next 10 days.


February 16 Updates

8:30 p.m. — It might be the offseason, but Micah Parsons found a unique way to remain athletically competitive in the offseason by not only participating in the NBA Celebrity Game, but also winning the MVP for the game after dropping 37 points and hauling in 16 rebounds.

The game was part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, as fellow NFL players Puka Nacua, CJ Stroud and Mecole Hardman Jr. also participated in the game. Parsons and Nacua helped lead Shannon Sharpe's team to a 100-91 victory over Stephen A. Smith's squad.


February 14 Updates

3:41 p.m. —In defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's introductory press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the newest defensive head said that he and head coach Mike McCarthy had a conversation about defensive backs coach Al Harris and their intention to keep him on staff under Zimmer.

"Mike [McCarthy] has made the decision that these guys are going to be here so we had a good conversation that he's going to still be with us and I'm excited to work with him," Zimmer said. "I've heard a lot of great things about the work that he does and really all the guys here."

In addition, wide receivers coach Robert Prince Jr. is expected to be back on staff in 2024 after entering the offseason not under contract, according to reports. This comes after Prince led a receiver room led by CeeDee Lamb's franchise record-setting season in 2023.


February 13 Updates

4:30 p.m. — The Dallas Cowboys announced that they will have an introductory press conference with new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer alongside head coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. CST.

This will be Zimmer's first opportunity to speak with the media since rejoining the Cowboys as defensive coordinator earlier this week, a role he is running back after running the defense in Dallas from 2000 to 2006. It will be McCarthy's first opportunity to speak with the media since the end-of-season press conference in the days following the team's playoff loss to Green Bay.


4:15 p.m. — According to reports, Dallas defensive assistant Sharrif Floyd is expected to join Dan Quinn's staff with the Washington Commanders as an assistant defensive line coach. Floyd served one season with Dallas under Dan Quinn and will follow him to Washington instead of coaching under his former head coach, Mike Zimmer, from his playing days in Minnesota.

Floyd becomes the fourth defensive coach to leave Dallas this offseason — joining Quinn, Joe Whitt Jr. (Commanders DC) and Aden Durde who is expected to be named the Seahawks defensive coordinator.


February 7 Updates

10:30 a.m. — Micah Parsons wants to prove he's not just elite at one sport, the one he's most known for being football, obviously, as the best defensive player on the Dallas Cowboys' roster. The three-time All-Pro pass rusher would like to send a reminder that he's got skills on the basketball court as well.

To that end, he's set to play in the 2024 Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, on Team Shannon, against the team coached by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

Smith's team boasts a superstar NFL player of its own, with Houston Texans' rookie sensation C.J. Stroud taking to the hardwood to battle Parsons and his celebrity teammates.

The game will be televised by ESPN on Friday, February 16 at 7 pm ET from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


February 4 Updates

5:12 p.m. - The NFL removed the actual football game two years ago for the Pro Bowl, replacing it with a highly-competitive set of games and activities, including a flag-football matchup between the NFC and AFC.

And thanks to three touchdown catches by CeeDee Lamb, the NFC not only won the final flag-football matchup, but it helped them win the overall Pro Bowl Games over the AFC.

Lamb was one of eight Cowboys in attendance in Orlando during the weekend, joining Micah Parsons, DaRon Bland, DeMarcus Lawrence, Bryan Anger, Brandon Aubrey, Jake Ferguson and Tyler Smith. Overall, the Cowboys had 10 Pro Bowlers this year as both Dak Prescott and Zack Martin opted out.


February 1 Updates

10:21 a.m. – The last two teams Dante Fowler has played for, have been both coached by Dan Quinn as the defensive coordinator.

So as Fowler is expected to be one of the 16 unrestricted free agents of the Cowboys this March, he's one to watch, especially with Quinn not set to be the new head coach in Washington.

Not only will be watching the coaches on the Cowboys' staff that might get the opportunity to join Quinn, but it's much easier for the players to follow their coach, especially if they are unrestricted such as Fowler.
Other defensive players that are free agents include defensive end Dorance Armstrong, defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore, cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Noah Igbinoghene, C.J. Goodwin and Jourdan Lewis and safety Jayron Kearse.


January 31 Updates

9:51 a.m. - Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is still a candidate for two open head coaching jobs - Seattle and Washington. Quinn visited with the Commanders for the second time on Tuesday. 

From the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked to comment on Quinn's status but he didn't provide much context, other than his opinion on his current DC.

"He's an outstanding coach," he said. "We have benefitted from Dan, and we'll see where it goes. I don't want to comment other than the fact that we think he's outstanding."


January 30 Updates

11:40 a.m. — There is a list of Dallas Cowboys headed to the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl this year, including the addition on Tuesday of DeMarcus Lawrence, Jake Ferguson and Tyler Smith, that latter two landing their first-ever Pro Bowl nod in Year 2 of their promising careers — though Dak Prescott and Zack Martin will not join them for the trip.

Prescott has opted to forego attending this year's Pro Bowl, having landed the honor for a third time in his career. His decision is not due to injury, but instead that he is expecting the birth of his newborn daughter; and he will be replaced by quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Martin will also not participate, and his decision is also due to his family expecting a new addition, the latest Cowboy to welcome a newborn into his family over the past several months; and Martin will be replaced by Smith. He joins a growing list of others that includes Prescott, who is expecting his newborn daughter in March.

In all, the Cowboys will send a total of eight players to the Pro Bowl festivities, with Prescott and Martin having opted out, but a total of 10 in all — the most since the 2007 season (13).


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