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Dallas Cowboys Updates

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Updates: 128 Players With Special Draft Eligibility

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

Jan. 25 Updates

4 p.m. – With Senior Bowl week here, the pre-draft evaluation process is in full swing. The best senior prospects in this year's class will take the stage in Mobile, Alabama.

But the NFL has also announced 98 underclassmen granted special eligibility for this year's draft, plus 30 more prospects who have fulfilled their degree requirements with college football eligibility remaining.

Click here for the full list.


Jan. 22 Updates

1:03 p.m. – Alicia Landry, the wife of longtime Cowboys head coach Tom Landry, passed away this week at the age of 91.

The Cowboys issued a statement on social media Friday to support the Landry family:

"The Jones Family and the Dallas Cowboys organization extend their deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the Landry family on the passing of Alicia Landry."

Alicia and Tom were married for over 50 years before Tom's passing in 2000.


Jan. 21 Updates

1:18 p.m. – The Cowboys can breathe easier, as it looks like they won't be losing their offensive coordinator to a division rival.

The Philadelphia Eagles made waves last week when they requested to interview Kellen Moore for their vacant head coaching job. Moore reportedly interviewed for the job on Tuesday.

It wasn't meant to be, though, as word came down Thursday afternoon that Philadelphia was poised to hire Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni for the job. Sirianni coached three seasons in Indianapolis under Frank Reich, who was formerly the Eagles' offensive coordinator.

That decision figures to keep Moore in Dallas for a third-straight season as the offensive coordinator. Moore helped the Cowboys finish first in the NFL in total offense and sixth in scoring in 2019. In 2020, with the unit ravaged by injuries, they still managed to finish 14th in total offense and 17th in scoring.

Moore signed a three-year extension to remain with the team several weeks ago, when he was being courted for a head coaching opportunity with his college alma mater, Boise State.


Jan. 20 Updates

5:57 p.m. – Maurice Linguist, Cowboys defensive backs coach in 2020, is the new co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at the University of Michigan, the school announced Wednesday.

Linguist joined the Cowboys' staff in 2020 and coached the secondary with Al Harris.

The Cowboys are expected to officially hire Joe Whitt Jr. to the defensive staff, presumably to work with the secondary. Whitt worked on new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's staff in Atlanta last year as secondary coach/defensive passing game coordinator, and he previously was on head coach Mike McCarthy's staff in Green Bay from 2008-18.


9:44 a.m. – The Cowboys are expected to hire Aden Durde as their new defensive line coach. He was previously with the Atlanta Falcons on Dan Quinn's staff. Durde will replace Jim Tomsula, who was fired along with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan after the season.

Durde has some Cowboys ties as well, spending the 2014-15 seasons in the minority fellowship program.

A native of England, Durde has been with the Falcons since 2018, as a quality control coach for two seasons before taking over as the outside linebackers coach this past season.


Jan. 19 Updates

10:14 a.m. – The Bears have requested permission to interview Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards about their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to multiple reports.

Edwards joined the Cowboys' staff last year after six years as the Vikings' defensive coordinator. He has 10 years of NFL coordinator experience on three teams (Washington, Bills, Vikings).

The Cowboys value Edwards' presence on head coach Mike McCarthy's staff. He interviewed last week for the defensive coordinator job that ultimately went to Dan Quinn.

The Bears have had interest in Edwards before. In 2018, Chicago interviewed Edwards for a head coaching position.

The NFL adopted a new rule last year that allows position coaches to interview for coordinator openings on other teams, similar to the rule allowing coordinators to interview for head coaching jobs around the league.


Jan. 14 Updates

1:45 p.m. – When the Cowboys signed Demarcus Lawrence to a contract in 2019 that pays him over $21 million per season, the expectations are obviously enormous.

While D-Law had just five sacks in 2019, he improved on that in 2020, finishing with a team-high 6.5 sacks. And that came after a somewhat slow start to the season as Lawrence battled multiple injuries. He also finished the year with a team-best 37 quarterback pressures.

By leading the team in sacks again, Lawrence becomes just the sixth player in Cowboys history to lead the team in a sack four different times, joining Jethro Pugh, George Andrie, Harvey Martin, Greg Ellis and DeMarcus Ware. Notable players not on that list include Bob Lilly, Randy White and Charles Haley, all of which in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

D-Law's efforts weren't enough to get the Cowboys in the playoffs or even a Pro Bowl honor as well. But according to the website Pro Football Focus, Lawrence was rated as No. 7 on the edge rushers in the entire NFL.


Jan. 13 Updates

4:05 p.m. – Though no official word from the team, the Cowboys are expected to hire Joe Whitt Jr. to the defensive coaching staff now led by new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, according to NFL Media and reports.

Last weekend, Whitt had a virtual interview for the Cowboys' defensive coordinator vacancy filled by Quinn this week. Quinn was the Falcons' head coach from 2015 until midway through the 2020 season, and Whitt worked on his staff last year as secondary coach/defensive passing game coordinator.

Whitt also was on Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy's previous staff in Green Bay from 2008-18, primarily as cornerbacks coach for nine seasons, including the Packers' Super Bowl season in 2010. In 2018, McCarthy's final year in Green Bay, Whitt was promoted to defensive passing game coordinator.


Jan. 12 Updates

6:57 p.m. – The Cowboys have hired a new defensive coordinator this week, and Dan Quinn can build around cornerback Trevon Diggs in the secondary next season.

In his first NFL season, Diggs became the only rookie defender in Cowboys history to lead the team in pass breakups (15) and interceptions (3) outright.

It's worth noting that the Cowboys didn't track pass breakups before 1984. But it's still an impressive stat that shows Diggs' outstanding ball skills, and he led the defense in both categories despite missing four games with a foot injury.


Jan. 10 Updates

7:44 p.m. - It's hard to give a player more praise than Jerry Jones did for Amari Cooper. 

In a recent interview with, the Cowboys' GM was asked about Cooper's season in Dallas, which included a career-high in catches with 92, followed by an ankle surgery just a few days later. 

"Amari Cooper is one of the most talented players we've ever had on the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "He has unlimited potential to go from here to a higher level. I think his surgery is going to allow him to do that. I think all of this is an experience-builder. Michael Irvin told me the single-most thing he did in his career to make him a Hall of Famer, was when he rehabbed through his injury and saw how much football meant to him. More likely than not, some of these negative experiences to injuries or setbacks, can motivate you to be a Hall of Famer. It happened to Michael Irvin."


Jan. 9 Updates

9:52 a.m. -- After parting ways with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on Friday, the Cowboys are set to begin searching for his replacement.

Falcons secondary coach/passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. is expected to interview for the defensive coordinator vacancy, according to NFL Media and reports.

Whitt worked on Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy's staff in Green Bay from 2008-18, primarily as cornerbacks coach for nine seasons, including the Packers' Super Bowl season in 2010. In 2018, McCarthy's final year in Green Bay, Whitt was promoted to defensive passing game coordinator.


Jan. 8 Updates

4 p.m. – In addition to parting ways with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on Friday, the Cowboys are also not retaining defensive line coach Jim Tomsula for next season, the team announced.

Tomsula brought experience to the position, having coached defensive line in the NFL for 11 years before coming to Dallas. But the defensive line dealt with injuries and inconsistency this season as the defense allowed the second-most rushing yards in the league (158.8). Starting defensive tackle Dontari Poe, a primary offseason addition, was released at midseason, and tackles Gerald McCoy and Trysten Hill suffered season-ending injuries. The Cowboys released McCoy via injury waiver during training camp.

"I am appreciative of my relationships with both Mike and Jim, and I am grateful for the contributions that both of them made to our team under difficult circumstances in 2020," head coach Mike McCarthy said in a statement. "These are never easy decisions to make, and we wish them, and their families, the very best in the future."


8:21 a.m. - As the Cowboys complete their first full week of the offseason, there hasn't been any news regarding staff changes, other than the new contract of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

But on the other side of the ball, the Cowboys have been non-committal about defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Friday morning on his final radio segment of the season on 105.3 "The Fan," head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about Nolan's status and if a decision has been made about his future.

"That's what we're working on ... we're working on all the coaches" McCarthy said . "That's what this process is about. You've got to take the emotion out of the disappointment of what 6-10 is, regardless of Covid, and all the other challenges we had. I think it's important to put everything on the table and that's what this process is, and it's the same one we've done every year as a head coach. I think you have to do it this way."

Earlier this week, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked twice about Nolan but wasn't specific in an answer about his return.

The Cowboys raked 23rd in total defense last season and 28th in points allowed.


Jan. 7 Updates

2:45 p.m. – It's that time of year for offseason maintenance.

As the saying goes, every player in the NFL is fighting through something, and some things are more serious than others. Oftentimes, those injuries will require offseason procedures – as was the case with Amari Cooper on Thursday.

The Cowboys' star receiver posted an update from a successful surgery to his Instagram story on Thursday afternoon. The procedure was an ankle scope that shouldn't require much in the way of rehab.

Cooper is coming off arguably the best season of his professional career. He set a career-best mark for receptions with 92, and his tally of 1,114 yards was the third-most of his six-year career. Most impressively, he did that despite playing the majority of his season without Dak Prescott.


9:34 a.m. - No matter the team, or even the defensive alignment, the safety position is demanding one, where players are asked to do a variety of things.

This season, Donovan Wilson was one of the few bright spots on the Cowboys' defense, mainly because he helped in many areas.

Wilson became just the third safety in Cowboys history to record three sacks, two interceptions and over 70 tackles in a season, joining Bill Bates (1987) and Darren Woodson (1996).

Wilson, who started just 10 games this season, had both a sack and an interception in the regular-season finale against the Giants, finished with 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two picks.

(Note: The NFL made sacks an official stat in 1982.)


Jan. 5 Updates

2:26 p.m. – Tyron Smith made only two starts this season before having season-ending neck surgery. La'el Collins had hip surgery in October and missed all 16 games.

But looking to 2021, both veteran offensive tackles are doing well in their recovery from injury.

"We feel good about both of them," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan. "We've actually been having those conversations already about guys and their future, guys who are on our injured list, and feel good that barring an unfortunate injury that the injuries that they have shouldn't be a factor in whether they can play a full season or not next year -- that they should fully recover and be ready to go."

Guard Zack Martin, who missed the final five games of the season with a calf injury, said Smith and Collins are doing well in the rehab process since surgery.

"They look good," Martin said. "They look like they've been working, obviously taking care of their bodies. Just hoping we can all get back together this offseason and start training and kind of building that continuity as a unit."


Jan. 4 Updates

2:08 p.m. – The Cowboys have signed 14 players to the Reserve/Future list for the 2021 season:

  • T Isaac Alarcon
  • DB Kemon Hall
  • LB Ladarius Hamilton
  • C Marcus Henry
  • TE Cole Hikutini
  • WR Jon'Vea Johnson
  • WR Chris Lacy
  • DT Walter Palmore
  • WR Aaron Parker
  • C Adam Redmond
  • QB Cooper Rush
  • T Eric Smith
  • CB Saivion Smith
  • T William Sweet

All 14 players spent time on the practice squad this season.


Jan. 3 Updates

6:32 p.m. – The Cowboys almost had one last chance at a comeback Sunday when Giants running back Wayne Gallman lost the ball attempting to run out the clock in the final minute. Rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs emerged from the pile with the ball, but officials ruled that Gallman was down first.

A booth review supported the on-field ruling, and the Giants ran out the clock for the 23-19 victory.

"Gotta get the ball, and we thought we had it," said linebacker Jaylon Smith, who tackled Gallman during the fumble. "But we aren't the referees, we don't make decisions. At the end of the day you just gotta live with every single play."

Said safety Donovan Wilson: "I most definitely believe there was a fumble and we came out with the ball, but it went the other way. Just got to live with the decision they made."


6:30 p.m. – Ezekiel Elliott was not on the injury report this week after dealing with a calf issue in December, but he appeared to be in some discomfort during the first half Sunday and said after the game that his quad was bothering him.

"But it's just something I have to work through. By the second half I felt fine," he said.

Elliott finished the game with 14 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, and he finishes the season with 979 rushing yards, 21 short of 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his first five years.

But with 1,317 scrimmage yards this season, Elliott is just the third Cowboys player to record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first five seasons, joining Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith.


6:28 p.m. – With four field goals Sunday, including a 57-yarder before halftime, Greg Zuerlein tied Richie Cunningham (34 in 1997) for the most successful field goal attempts by a Cowboys kicker in a season.

Zuerlein, signed by the Cowboys in the offseason, made 30 of 37 field goal tries and 32 of 35 extra points this year.

"I wouldn't say it was a good year individually. I left a lot to be wanted out there," Zuerlein said. "But as far as coming in here and getting the new system of what Bones (special teams coordinator John Fassel) has brought here … how [he is] talking to the other guys about what they had in the past, I think getting everyone up to speed knowing exactly what's expected, how we practice, that started to click after a few games. So we got going a little bit and it's unfortunate we didn't make it in (the playoffs)."


10:51 a.m. – It's a fairly straight forward group of inactives for the Cowboys' regular season finale on Sunday.

The Cowboys named Ben DiNucci, Rashard Robinson, Sewo Olonilua, Leighton Vander Esch, Bradlee Anae and Zack Martin as their seven game day inactives – none of which is much of a surprise.

Martin was moved back to the active roster over the weekend, but he is not ready to return from the calf injury that has sidelined him since Thanksgiving. If the Cowboys are able to work their way into the playoffs, it's intriguing to think the All-Pro might be available for a potential wildcard game.

On the positive side for the Dallas defense, their two questionable safeties are available against the Giants. Donovan Wilson battled an illness during the week, and Xavier Woods has been limited by a rib injury. But both starters are active and available for kickoff.


10:51 a.m. -- Cowboys captains for Sunday's game against the Giants:

OT Brandon Knight (offense)

LB Sean Lee (defense)

LB Luke Gifford (special teams)


Jan. 2 Updates

2:25 p.m. – Cowboys assistant head coach Rob Davis, assistant special teams coach Matt Daniels and offensive assistant Scott Tolzien did not travel with the team to New Jersey on Saturday while adhering to NFL protocols related to COVID-19, the team announced Saturday.

Their game day responsibilities will be handled by other members of the Cowboys coaching staff at Sunday's game against the Giants. 


Jan. 1 Updates

3:15 p.m. – The Cowboys have placed two players on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of their Week 17 trip to New York. 

Darian Thompson and Justin Hamilton have both been placed on the list, which is reserved for players that have either tested positive or had a close contact with COVID-19. 

The Cowboys used their extended protocols on Friday morning in an effort to mitigate any possible spread. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the team was conducting virtual meetings Friday.

"We're going to do the extended protocol today. So, we actually, as I'm on here right now, all of the virtual meetings are occurring with the coaches and players," he said. "And I guess we'll be back to what you call a standard Saturday schedule in the morning."

The Cowboys have been one of the league's more successful teams in combating the virus. Since the start of the season, only four players on the roster – Andy Dalton, Tyrone Crawford, Chidobe Awuzie and practice squad defensive tackle Walter Palmore – have been placed on the reserve list.


3:15 p.m. – Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (ankle) and cornerback Rashard Robinson have officially been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Giants.

Starting safety Xavier Woods (ribs) is listed as questionable for Sunday. Woods did not play last Sunday against the Eagles but has been able to practice on a limited basis this week.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Giants.


Dec. 31 Updates

3:15 p.m. – Starting safety Xavier Woods (ribs) did not play against the Eagles last Sunday but has practiced on a limited basis the last two days, an encouraging sign heading into the regular-season finale against the Giants.

Four players on the current active roster did not practice again today: Leighton Vander Esch (ankle), safety Darian Thompson (concussion), safety Donovan Wilson (illness) and cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee).

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Giants.


Dec. 30 Updates

3:04 p.m. – Four players on the Cowboys' current active roster did not practice today: linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (ankle), safety Donovan Wilson (illness), safety Darian Thompson (concussion) and cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee).

Safety Xavier Woods (ribs) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring and groin) had limited participation.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Giants.


Dec. 29 Updates

4 p.m. – The Cowboys have waived offensive tackle Jordan Mills.

Mills, an eight-year veteran, has spent most of the season on the practice squad but had been on the active roster since Dec. 17.

The Cowboys now have seven offensive linemen on the current active roster. This season, teams can carry 48 players on the game day roster (up from 46 in past years) if at least eight linemen dress.

Starting guard/tackle Zack Martin (calf) is eligible to be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this week, though Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Tuesday (via 105.3 The Fan) sounded unsure that Martin would be ready to return to game action this week.


Andy Dalton is among three finalists for the FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week award.  

The veteran QB completed 22 of 30 passes for a season-high 377 passing yards with three touchdowns in the Cowboys' 37-17 win over the Eagles.

Dalton joins Tampa Bay's Tom Brady and the Bengals' Brandon Allen as this week's nominees. 

To vote for Dalton, click here!


Dec. 28 Updates

1:04 p.m. - When the Cowboys placed Zack Martin on IR earlier this month, there was always a thought he could come back and play. That contingency rested on the chances the Cowboys would still be in the playoff hunt. 

But here they are with a game to play and needing a win and a Washington loss to claim the NFC East title. 

On Monday, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones was asked about Martin's chances of playing Sunday against the Giants with a calf injury. 

"Zack has been week to week. I really didn't think he had any opportunity, in reality, as we were working through his injury," Jones said on 105.3 "The Fan" in Dallas. "The best of the best options would be the last game of the season. We'll see how he does this week. Obviously we'll make a decision that's in his best interest and our best interest here as we see how he works during the week."

If Martin does play, he could return to his regular right guard spot, currently manned by Connor McGovern. But perhaps Martin would return to right tackle, the spot he played for two games before suffering the calf injury. 


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