2018 Writers' Blog

2018 Writers' Blog

Welcome to the 2018 Writers' Blog, your daily resource for up-to-date news and notes.

December 2018

Blog: Lee, Austin May Practice This Week

(Dec. 10, 6:07 p.m.) – The Cowboys could be getting some key reinforcements when they return to practice on Wednesday morning.

At the conclusion of his Monday press conference, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that two key veterans might return to the practice field as the team begins preparations for Indianapolis – starting with Sean Lee. 

“Yeah, we anticipate him being limited in practice starting on Wednesday,” he said.

Garrett said the same thing about Tavon Austin, who had 243 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Cowboys before injuring his groin earlier this year.

Having those two back for the final stretch of the season could be a big boost for this team, which is clearly hitting its stride in the midst of a five-game win streak.

Lee has been limited to just five games this season due to recurring hamstring injuries, but he did tally 27 tackles and half a sack in that stretch.

Garrett also said that David Irving could “possibly” be in the mix this week after missing the last six games with a high ankle sprain – although that will be a wait and see situation. He also added that Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t appear to be dealing with any further effects from the stinger he suffered on Sunday against Philadelphia.

With three games left on the regular season schedule, the Cowboys appear to be getting healthy at just the right time.

Limiting Sacks On Prescott Is A Collective Effort

(Dec. 6; 2:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys’ offense has risen in several rankings during a four-game win streak that started with a Nov. 11 road victory over this Sunday’s opponent, the Eagles.

Yet, through 12 games, Dallas also ranks atop the league with 45 sacks allowed. With a month left in the season, that’s already a career-high total for quarterback Dak Prescott, who was sacked a season-high seven times in last Thursday’s win over the Saints.

“Everybody’s got a piece of that, and we’re working hard to improve that,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “It’s not the (offensive) line protection or Dak holding the ball or any of that stuff. All of those at times are a part of that, but everybody’s got to be on the same page.

“We missed a couple opportunities where we were thinking a guy was going to be somewhere and it surprised the quarterback. So we all have a piece of that, me No. 1, and we’re just working hard to improve that area, especially these last four games.”

Prescott says the pass protection is a collective effort that “starts with me” in getting rid of the ball at times when possible.

“I wouldn’t say I’m ever just willing to surrender like that and take a sack,” he said. “If anything, it’s about taking care of the ball, and if I’ve got a guy taking me down and that’s my best option of taking care of the ball, then yeah, I’ll do that. But it’s as simple sometimes as just throwing the ball away, throwing it over a guy’s head, getting it out to the (running) back, whether it’s complete or not.”

Overall, the offensive line has made improvements since Marc Colombo was promoted to primary position coach. The run game has found its stride, in particular, with Ezekiel Elliott averaging 117.3 yards during the win streak.

And despite the sack totals, Prescott has completed 74 percent of his passes with 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“I think the identity of our room has changed over the last five weeks or whatever it’s been,” guard Zack Martin said. “I think we’re getting back to some of the things in the run game. We’ve got to do a better job in protection. But guys are working to get better each week and really grinding at practice, which is what you want to see.”

-Rob Phillips

Beasley On Sprained Foot: “I’ll Be Fine”

(Dec. 5; 2:30 p.m.) – Wide receiver Cole Beasley is optimistic he’ll be ready to play Sunday against Philadelphia despite spraining his foot in the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s win over the Saints.

“It was sore after it happened but I wasn’t really that worried about it,” Beasley said. “I’ve had a foot injury worse than this one before, I think in my second year, just pain-wise and feel. I’ll be fine.”

Beasley practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

-Rob Phillips

Good Luck Charm For Dak & Zeke?

(Dec. 5; 2:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys’ four-game win streak began on a chilly Nov. 11 night in Philadelphia.

It was also the first time Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott wore long sleeves under their jerseys.

Coincidence or a new superstition for the Cowboys’ young leaders?

“It’s really funny, because me and Dak were like, ‘Man, we’ve got to get something going. We need some new juju or something. Let’s wear long sleeves this game,’” Elliott said. “And that was that Philly game and that was the start of this win streak.

“So hopefully you’ll be seeing long sleeves through the rest of the season.”

-Rob Phillips

Jones Optimistic About Tyron Smith Returning vs. Eagles

(Dec. 4; 10:30 a.m.) – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones is confident left tackle Tyron Smith can return to the lineup this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Smith did not play against New Orleans or Washington due to a stinger. Veteran backup Cameron Fleming has been solid starting in his place.

"Well, I think that I'm just amazed that we were able to play just as well without Tyron against the Saints when I look back over the last couple of years when we haven't had him and how we've had to make due,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. “Now that

I feel we're going to have him, and I do (based on) everything you can evaluate right now, then there's no question that should give us a lift for our offense."

The Cowboys return to practice Wednesday.

Jones was asked about the status of defensive lineman David Irving, who has missed the last five games with a high ankle sprain.

“There's no rushing that one back early,” Jones said. “It's just a function of when it's ready and when you can push off on it and when you can have strength in it and all the things that go with a high ankle sprain. Make no mistake about it, he had a serious high ankle sprain. So, we're waiting on that to get better."

-Rob Phillips

November 2018

Blog: Cowboys Record vs. 10-Game Win Streaks


(Nov. 27; 2:35 p.m.) – It’s not a common occurrence by any means. In nearly 60 years of Cowboys football, facing a team with a winning streak like the Saints has only happened four other times. And the results have certainly been mixed.

The Saints will be the fifth team to play the Cowboys with a winning streak of at least 10 games in a season, and the first since Thanksgiving back in 2015. That day didn’t fare so well for the Cowboys, who played a Panthers team that began the season 10-0 and rolled through Dallas for a 33-14 victory on Thanksgiving Day.

Before that, the Cowboys actually pulled off the upset twice in these scenarios. In 2009, they upset a 13-0 Saints team in New Orleans, winning 24-17. In 1991, the Redskins were 11-0 but couldn’t beat the Cowboys at RFK Stadium. Despite losing Troy Aikman to an injury in the second half, the Cowboys upset Washington 24-21. And in 1985, the Cowboys were an absolute mismatch for the Chicago Bears were 11-0 and dominated Dallas 44-0 at Texas Stadium.

Interestingly enough, all four opponents advanced to the Super Bowl that season, with the Bears, Redskins and Saints all winning the title.

- Nick Eatman

Dak Prescott: Brees Is A Guy I Look Up To

(Nov. 26; 2:45 p.m.) – Dak Prescott is a Drew Brees fan.

Even though he was a Cowboys fan growing up in Louisiana, Prescott has always admired Brees’ talent and leadership for the New Orleans Saints. When both quarterbacks made the Pro Bowl after Prescott’s 2016 rookie season, Prescott tried to get as much knowledge from the veteran as possible.

“You do everything you can. You’re like the little duckling,” Prescott said. “You just follow Drew Brees and figure out what he does, how he does stuff.

“I was thankful to have him. And Drew opened up and shared things with me. We talked, we had a lot of conversation, and actually we stay in touch.”

-Rob Phillips

Blog: Zeke Gets A Hard-Earned Rest Day

(Nov. 25, 2:57 p.m.) – It felt a little odd to see Ezekiel Elliott jog inside at the outset of Sunday’s practice.

Throughout his time with the team, the Cowboys’ star running back has been a mainstay at practice. He hasn’t had much in the way of injury issues, and the only time he has ever been absent from practice was due to his six-game suspension in 2017.

After the work he’s been getting this month, though, the Cowboys saw fit to give him some rest at the outset of this week.

“Heavy workload, three games in 12 days, just making sure that we’re taking care of my body so I’m fresh going into this game Thursday night,” he said Sunday.

Elliott has been averaging 27 touches per game since the Cowboys got back from their bye week, and he has totaled 86 touches in the last 12 days during this three-game win streak.

It doesn’t figure to be a long absence, though. Elliott should be ready to go by the time Thursday rolls around, and he said this is as confident as he’s felt about the Dallas offense all season.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we continue to do what we’ve been doing, making sure that we’re attacking each day the same and taking it day by day and just preparing and being ready,” he said.

-David Helman

Gallup: “I Needed To Be There For My Team”

(Nov. 25; 2:30 p.m.) – Michael Gallup spent the early part of last week grieving with his family after he learned immediately after the Cowboys’ Nov. 18 game at Atlanta that his brother had passed away.

The rookie receiver returned to the Cowboys last Wednesday and helped them beat Washington on Thanksgiving Day, earning the game ball from his coaches and peers.

“I think it was just more the fact that I needed to be there for my team,” Gallup said. “They’ve always been there for me and I was there for my family.

“I sat down with my mom and I asked her, ‘Am I good to come back and play?’ And she was like, ‘Of course, go have fun.’ It was very important to me to make that game.”

After the game, Gallup flew back to Georgia to attend his brother’s funeral services. Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones provided transportation on his private jet.

Gallup said he’s received tremendous support from the team and the Jones family.

“That means everything,” he said. “Sending my mom and my family food, flowers, cards and stuff like that, just trying to bring their spirits up. And I definitely appreciate that. I couldn’t thank them enough for everything he’s done for me and my family.”

-Rob Phillips

Martin Managing Constant Knee Issue

(Nov. 25, 2:30 p.m.) – Zack Martin missed Sunday’s practice here at The Star, in what was a normal “Wednesday” schedule for the Cowboys, who play again this Thursday.

From the sounds of things, Martin probably won’t be seeing a lot of Wednesday practices from here until the rest of the season.

“This is just something I’m going to have to deal with,” Martin said of his knee injury that he sustained against the Eagles three weeks ago. “I think (the athletic training staff) has done a really good job each week of preparing me and getting me ready. So I’m confident I’ll be good to go on Thursday.”

Martin said he has been wearing a knee brace for the last three games and expects to continue that the rest of the regular season.

The Cowboys have had all kinds of issues on the offensive line, not only currently, but all season, starting with Travis Frederick. Tyron Smith missed last week’s game and now left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is banged up.

“We’ve just got to keep grinding away,” Martin said. “This is the time of year when those things really add up. We’ve just got to get our bodies ready to play. Everyone in the league is dealing with it. So you have to fight through it.”

-Nick Eatman

Blog: Gallup Returns, Expected To Play Thurs.

(Nov. 21, 12:27 p.m.) – Michael Gallup is back with the Cowboys, and he is expected to have a role to play Thursday.

“Michael got back in last night, and he met with our coaches when he returned and was part of our meetings and walkthrough today,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Wednesday.

It’s been a trying week for the rookie receiver, to say the absolute least. Gallup learned of his brother’s death just moments after the Cowboys’ 22-19 win against the Falcons on Sunday. Being from Georgia originally, he remained behind to be with his family when the team returned to Dallas.

The Cowboys have been in communication with Gallup throughout the week, but they didn’t have a firm expectation of what to expect of the situation. As Garrett reminded on Monday following the game, it’s clearly a situation where football is not the top priority.

“The thing you have to be so mindful of is this is real life,” he said. “We all put so much into football and it’s a huge part of our lives, but players, coaches and staff members have lives outside of this and they have real issues just like everybody else, so you have to be sensitive to that and – again, the biggest thing you want to do is offer support and care let him know that whatever we can do, we’re certainly willing to help. It’s not an easy time for him and his family.”

Gallup was welcomed back warmly on Wednesday, as players up and down the Cowboys’ roster have pledged their support in any way they can offer it. It remains to be seen what his role will look like on Thursday, but Garrett said the Cowboys will be mindful of the circumstances as they figure that out.

“I think all these situations are unique. The situation is unique, the individual is unique, the circumstances. I don’t know that there’s a blanket statement you can make,” he said. “I think for all of us, as you go through challenging things, getting back to routine and structure typically can help us. But we’re certainly sensitive to where he’s been the last few days and how challenging a time this is for him and his family.”

-David Helman

How Does Zeke Cope With A Short Week?

(Nov. 20, 3:38 p.m.) – Given the nature of this game, every player is going to face a challenge getting ready for a game on three days of rest.

It might be a steeper challenge for Ezekiel Elliott, though. After all, he’s tasked with preparing for a high-stakes football game, just days after handling 30 touches in the win against Atlanta.

“You just physically can’t go out there and get those physical reps – there’s just not enough time, and your body is beat up from playing two days ago,” Elliott said Tuesday.

That’s always been part of the challenge of the Thursday game. The Cowboys are historically used to it, but in this day and age all 32 NFL clubs will play a game on short rest.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said his approach varies depending on the health of his team. But in general, the goal is to get guys as fresh as possible in such a short amount of time.

“Obviously you don’t want to overwork them,” Garrett said. “Years ago on Mondays, we had full padded practices the Monday of Thanksgiving. We don’t do that anymore. I don’t think anybody does that anymore.”

Elliott is one of the guys they’ll be sure to keep an eye on. With his competitive nature, Garrett said the Cowboys’ Pro Bowl running back would prefer to be full-go, but that’s not feasible for a guy coming off a 30-touch game – not to mention his 233 total touches to this point in the season.

Instead, Elliott said he’ll focus on the film room as kickoff creeps closer.

“You’ve just got to make sure you get those good mental reps and get in that film room,” he said. “It’s really just paying attention to those plays that we’ve got cued up for this week and making sure that I’m cued in on everything and ready to go.”

-David Helman

Dalton Schultz Ready For Bigger Role

(Nov. 20; 2:30 p.m.) – Just a month ago, the Cowboys made the decision to activate Dalton Schultz against the Redskins after he had been inactive for five straight weeks.

Schultz played a role in the offense, catching his first career pass for 12 yards to help the offense get into scoring range twice in the fourth quarter.

But Thursday’s rematch should provide a much-bigger role for the rookie tight end, who expects to play more with Geoff Swaim now out with a fractured wrist.

Schultz will likely get more reps at tight end along with Rico Gathers and Blake Jarwin.

“I think everyone on this team has been working hard and finding their role,” Schultz said. “I think our role players are really stepping up.”
Schultz is definitely now in that group. He caught two passes for 21 yards two weeks ago in Philly and spent a lot of the game last week on the line blocking.

“Yes, yes that’s honestly where I feel the most comfortable right now,” Schultz said. “In-line (blocking) especially and working with Geoff, I’ve been taking a lot of the Y reps and that’s really where I’m the most comfortable.”

-Nick Eatman

Cowboys Add DT Ringo, Waive Safety Darian Thompson

(Nov. 17; 11:10 a.m.) – Needing depth on their defensive line this Sunday at Atlanta, the Cowboys announced they've activated defensive tackle Christian Ringo from the practice squad.

To make room for Ringo, the Cowboys waived safety Darian Thompson.

Ringo (6-1, 298) has appeared in 14 career games as a backup with the Packers and Lions. Detroit waived him at the end of preseason and the Cowboys signed him to the practice squad on Sept. 26.

Line depth is an issue this week. David Irving (ankle), Daniel Ross (calf), and Taco Charlton (shoulder) have been ruled out of the Atlanta game. Antwaun Woods (concussion) is listed as doubtful to play Sunday. Maliek Collins is listed as questionable, though he did practice on a limited basis Thursday and Friday.

-Rob Phillips

Blog: Dak Named Finalist For Art Rooney Award

(Nov. 14; 10.15 a.m.) – Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was this year’s team representative for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Prescott, playing his third season as the Cowboys’ starter, was among 32 nominees that included future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and longtime veterans Julius Peppers and Antonio Gates.

Each team nominates a player for the award, created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a Pro Football Hall of Famer. The award recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
The winner is determined by a vote of current NFL players. From eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
Previous winners of the award are Luke Kuechly, Charles Woodson, Frank Gore and Larry Fitzgerald.

This year's nominees:

Corey Peters (Arizona), Alex Mack (Atlanta), Eric Weddle (Baltimore), Kyle Williams (Buffalo), Julius Peppers (Carolina), Cody Whitehair (Chicago), A.J. Green (Cincinnati), Joel Bitonio (Cleveland), Dak Prescott (Dallas), Domata Peko (Denver), Don Muhlbach (Detroit), Tramon Williams. (Green Bay), Jonathan Joseph (Houston), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis), Calais Campbell (Jacksonville), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City), Antonio Gates (LA Chargers), Todd Gurley (LA Rams), Frank Gore (Miami), Danielle Hunter (Minnesota), Matthew Slater (New England), Drew Brees (New Orleans), Rhett Ellison (NY Giants), Steve McLendon (NY Jets), Derek Carr (Oakland), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), David DeCastro (Pittsburgh), Joe Staley (San Francisco), Tyler Lockett (Seattle), Lavonte David (Tampa Bay), Marcus Mariota (Tennessee), Vernon Davis (Washington).

-Nick Eatman

October 2018

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.”

-Rob Phillips

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.

-David Helman

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.”

-Rob Phillips

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.

-Rob Phillips

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.”

-Rob Phillips

September 2018

Sean Lee Discusses Hamstring Injury; Terrance Williams Doesn't Practice

(Sept. 28; 7:15 p.m.) – There’s a sense of guilt when Sean Lee talks about the time he’s missed due to injury in his career, unable to help his teammates on the field.

Lee’s current hamstring injury is “extremely frustrating,” he says, because spent all offseason working diligently to prevent the same issue that cost him multiple games last season.

Since aggravating the same hamstring during a sack on Seattle’s Russell Wilson last Sunday, the veteran linebacker says he’s made a “big jump” in his rehab. But he doesn’t have a definitive timetable for a return yet. “Week to week” at this point.

“Can’t say why it’s a recurring issue,” Lee said. “I tried to address it, whether it came to strengthening, stretching, core. Everything that can lead to a hamstring injury, I tried to address.

“It’s one of things where it’s football and stuff happens. It seems to happen to me more than a lot of people, but I’m going to continue to do what’s worked for me and try to address it and see what we can do going forward with it.”

Lee, defensive tackle Maliek Collins (knee) and center Travis Frederick (illness) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Lions. Wide receiver Cole Beasley (ankle) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods are listed as questionable for the game.

Wide receiver Terrance Williams did not practice Friday (not injury related). Speaking Friday on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team would likely lean toward activating Brice Butler against Detroit. Butler signed last week as the sixth receiver on the roster but was inactive against Seattle.

-Rob Phillips

(Sept. 27; 3 p.m.) – There was a brief moment of levity Thursday in between serious questions to Dak Prescott about the state of the Cowboys’ offense.

The topic itself was serious: the controversial increase in roughing-the-passer penalties against defensive players so far this season.

Prescott’s thoughts?

“I need to sit in the pocket and let them hit me more,” he said with a smile.

The rule penalizes defensive players for putting excessive body weight on the quarterbacks during a hit. It cost the Cowboys’ defense 15 yards last Sunday against the Seahawks when defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford hit Russell Wilson.

Crawford was adamant after the game that he felt he made a legal play.

“I don’t know any other way to hit,” he said.

-Rob Phillips

DT Caraun Reid Signed; Datone Jones To IR

(Sept. 25) – The Cowboys have signed defensive tackle Caraun Reid to the 53-man roster and moved defensive tackle Datone Jones to Reserve/Injured.

Jones missed the first two games with a knee injury and made his season debut against the Seahawks. He’s eligible to come off IR after eight weeks. The Cowboys can recall two players off IR during the season.

Reid, a fifth-year veteran, played well in preseason for the Cowboys – particularly in the finale at Houston – and was in consideration for a roster spot at final cuts.

-Rob Phillips

Garrett’s Updates On Sean Lee, Other Injuries

(Sept. 24; 4:30 p.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett said Sean Lee’s current status is “day by day” regarding the hamstring injury he suffered against the Seahawks.

Lee had tightness in his other hamstring during the Cowboys’ Week 2 game against the Giants, but he was able to practice last week and start against Seattle.

Recurring hamstring issues cost Lee multiple games last season, so it remains to be seen how long he’ll be sidelined by this latest setback. Lee did say after Sunday’s game that he was hopeful for a “quick turnaround.”

Garrett said defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford (elbow) and safety Jeff Heath (ankle) appear to be OK after suffering injuries against Seattle. Both were able to return to the game.

“We’re hopeful those guys can practice this week,” Garrett said.

-Rob Phillips

Jones Unaware Of Possible Suspension For Terrance Williams

(Sept. 21; 11:45 a.m.) -- Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he is unaware of reports that wide receiver Terrance Williams could be facing a suspension by the NFL.

In May, Williams was arrested for public intoxication near his home after wrecking his car and then leaving it at the scene. According to the Frisco Police Department report, police determined the car was Williams’ and found him in his neighborhood riding an electric bicycle. He posted bond the same day.

According to reports in August, the public intoxication charge against Williams was dropped.

As of Friday, the NFL has not announced anything regarding potential discipline for Williams.

“I don’t know about those reports, in terms of accuracy, but certainly he would be missed if we didn’t have him,” Jones said Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan. “But by the same token, we, as it turns out, have got a really – I think – top group of receivers. We’ll make adjustments as need be.”

Williams was at practice Friday. The Cowboys currently have seven receivers on the active roster, including Brice Butler, who was signed earlier in the week.

-Rob Phillips

X. Woods, Gregory Expected Back At Practice

(Sept. 18, 9:45 a.m.) – As good as the Dallas defense looked in Week 2, it might be getting some reinforcements for Week 3.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones gave his usual weekly interview with 105.3 FM The Fan on Tuesday morning, and he said he’s optimistic that both Randy Gregory and Xavier Woods could be coming back to practice this week.

“Both of them, as they practice this week, we’ll determine it,” Jones said. “But certainly the fact that they’re starting off, they’re available for the first practice. They’re going to have some limitation early as far as getting ready and practicing, but there is an eye on them being available for the game this weekend.”

That’s big news, considering that both Gregory and Xavier Woods claimed starting spots heading into the season. Gregory suffered a concussion in the season opener against Carolina, and he did not suit up against New York as a medical decision.

Woods’ absence has been a bit lengthier. The second-year safety was the Cowboys’ preferred starter next to Jeff Heath throughout training camp, but he strained his hamstring making a play on a deep pass in a preseason game against Cincinnati.

With Woods out, Kavon Frazier has been handling starting duties – and has handled himself nicely. Through two games, he has 11 tackles, a sack and a pass breakup. Adding Woods back to the lineup should provide the Cowboys with some depth at the position, which is something they have not had for much of the past month.

For a defense that is already ranked third in scoring and fourth in yards per game, adding two starter-caliber players would be another big boost.

“If you start really thinking about this defense. When you add to this defense right now, then you must have some things to bring to the table – and they do,” Jones said.

Gregory Limited In Practice, Listed As "Doubtful" For Giants Game

(Sept. 14; 11:59 a.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett says Randy Gregory has been medically cleared to return for the final practice of the week heading into Sunday night’s home game against the Giants.

Gregory suffered a concussion in the second quarter of the Cowboys’ loss to Carolina and entered NFL concussion protocol.

Before practice, Garrett didn’t speculate on Gregory’s availability for the game.

“With all of our players, whenever they’re coming back off of an injury or concussion protocol, you just take it step by step,” Garrett said. “He’s been cleared to practice today, so we’re certainly hopeful as we move forward.”

Before his concussion, Gregory rotated at right defensive end with starter Taco Charlton, who ended up playing 49 snaps against Carolina.

(UPDATE, 2:25 p.m) -- Gregory had limited participation in Friday's practice and is officially listed as "doubtful" for the Giants game.

-Rob Phillips

Suspended Defensive Lineman David Irving Returns To The Star

(Sept. 12; 11 a.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that suspended defensive lineman David Irving is back working with the team’s strength staff after missing training camp and preseason to handle personal business.

Irving is suspended three more games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He’s allowed to be at the Cowboys’ facility during his suspension but can’t participate in practice.

“He did not participate in any meetings or anything like that yet,” Garrett said. “We’re just going to try to get him acclimated day by day. There are some rules limitations about what he can do, but as we go we’ll get him more involved in the meetings and then hopefully he’ll be ready to go once he’s done with the suspension and he’ll be a full-speed player for us.”

Garrett said Irving looks to be in good shape.

-Rob Phillips

Xavier Woods “Getting Closer” To Playing

(Sept. 11, 9:52 a.m.) – It might be too soon to declare that Xavier Woods is back, but he’s getting closer.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said as much on Tuesday morning, when he was asked if he thought Woods would be able to play Sunday night against the New York Giants.

"I don't know. But he's getting closer to play," Jones said.

Woods injured his hamstring in the Cowboys’ Aug. 18 preseason game against Cincinnati and has been missing from the lineup ever since. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday he doesn’t expect Woods to practice in the early going of the week.

Kavon Frazier played well in Woods’ place on Sunday against Carolina, but the Cowboys would undoubtedly love to shore up their depth at what has been a thin position all summer.

-David Helman

Garrett Updates Randy Gregory’s Injury Status

(Sept. 9; 4:15 p.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett said defensive end Randy Gregory was feeling better Monday after suffering a concussion in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Panthers.

Garrett said Gregory entered concussion protocol as result of the injury. He accidentally collided with teammate DeMarcus Lawrence in the second quarter and did not return.

“He also had a knee situation early on in the game,” Garrett said. “We feel like he’s made progress in both those areas.”

Gregory did not start against the Panthers, but he rotated with Taco Charlton at right defensive end in the first half, substituting into the game often on clear passing downs.

Gregory tweeted this on Monday:

Elsewhere on the roster, Kavon Frazier (shoulder) started at safety in place of Xavier Woods (hamstring) without any apparent setbacks. Woods was inactive against Carolina and his status for Week 2 against the Giants is uncertain at this point.

-Rob Phillips

Parker Ehinger To IR; Kadeem Edwards Re-Signed

(Sept. 7, 11:05 a.m.) – Parker Ehinger’s season is over before he really got situated.

The Cowboys announced on Friday that they’d placed the newly-acquired offensive lineman on injured reserve after he was hurt in practice on Wednesday. The team signed Kadeem Edwards, who was on the roster during training camp, to fill the open spot.

The injury is a bitter pill to swallow, considering that Ehinger has barely been with the Cowboys for a week. They traded rookie cornerback Charvarius Ward to Kansas City in exchange for Ehinger last Thursday before their preseason game against Houston, and the hope was that Ehinger would be able to provide depth along the interior offensive line.

The Cowboys did claim Adam Redmond over the weekend to back up Joe Looney at center, and Edwards has plenty of experience with this offensive line. They’ll have to hope that’s good enough.

-David Helman

Travis Frederick Stays On Initial Active Roster

(Sept. 1; 3:30 p.m.) – As expected, the Cowboys did not put center Travis Frederick on a reserve list Saturday as they continue to monitor his recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that affects the nerves.

By keeping Frederick on the 53-man roster Saturday, the Cowboys give themselves the option to place him on injured reserve at a later date and still potentially activate him later in the season.

Earlier in the week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team would likely see how Frederick is doing through weekend and then make a decision on IR.

It’s also possible the team could carry Frederick on the 53-man roster until he’s ready to return. Currently, there’s no timetable for the Pro Bowler to get back to football activities. The top priority is his health and well-being, Jones emphasized.

The Cowboys also kept two players on the roster who have battled injuries in recent weeks: wide receiver Noah Brown (hamstring) and Datone Jones (knee). With Brown taking a spot on the 53 Saturday, veteran Deonte Thompson was a bit of a surprise cut.

-Rob Phillips

Cowboys Still Getting Info On Rico’s Arrest

(Sept. 1; 1:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys are certainly aware of Rico Gathers’ situation and will decide shortly if, or how, it affects the team’s decision to cut the roster down to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Gathers was reportedly arrested Friday night in Frisco for possession of marijuana. After posting bond, he was released from a Frisco jail in the mid-morning, and was obviously not on the field with his teammates for a Saturday walk-through.

A team official said the team is finding out all of the facts from the situation.

Gathers is considered to be on the borderline to make this final roster. He caught 10 passes in the preseason games and seemed to be right in the mix with the rest of the players at the position. It’s expected that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin will make the team. Fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz hasn’t been overly impressive but has a good chance to make it on his draft status alone. But the Cowboys will have to decide if Gathers fits into the mix.

-Nick Eatman

August 2018

Phillips: Gregory’s Visit With NFL “Part Of The Process”

(Aug. 30; 6:55 p.m.) – Randy Gregory is not with the Cowboys for tonight’s preseason finale at Houston due to a scheduled visit with NFL officials in Chicago, head coach Jason Garrett said on the Cowboys’ “Countdown to Kickoff” show on CBS-11 (Dallas).

Gregory is back from a year-long suspension for repeated violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and these types of meetings are part of his reinstatement to the league, Garrett said.

The league also approved a comprehensive after-care program for Gregory before he rejoined the Cowboys for training camp.

There was a chance Gregory could join the team in Houston prior to kickoff, but it didn’t work out logistically. He wasn’t scheduled for playing time regardless.

His meeting with league officials was not a surprise to Garrett and the Cowboys.

“We understood all along that Randy was going to have to go through these kinds of interviews,” Garrett said. “He went up last night to Chicago and had an interview today. He’s not going to be here tonight. We’ll see him in Dallas here tomorrow.

“But this is part of the process with him. The NFL is going to be thorough in handling his situation like they are with everybody’s situation.

“Randy’s done a great job for us. He’s done everything he can to get himself back. But this is part of the process. I do anticipate there being more of these kinds of things as we go forward.”

Helman: Jerry Jones Gives Updates On Woods, Frazier

(Aug. 28, 9:57 a.m.) – The Cowboys continue to be optimistic about their safeties heading into the regular season.

Plenty has been written in the past few weeks about the Cowboys’ health, or lack thereof, at the safety position. The team signed two free agents last week after Xavier Woods and Jameill Showers went down with injuries, and Kavon Frazier injured his shoulder in Sunday night’s loss to Arizona.

Speaking Tuesday morning on 105.3 FM The Fan, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was optimistic those injuries would not be long-lasting.

"Kavon looks like he is going to be set for the opener at this juncture,” Jones said. “Again, it's medical. It's got some ambiguous aspect to it. And Woods it's likely he'll miss the first game, but hopefully he'll be back for the second game."

That lines up, more or less, with the early prognosis. Frazier said following Sunday night’s game that he thought he’d be fine. The time table for Woods when he first injured his hamstring was two-to-four weeks, and a Sept. 16 return against New York fits that timeline.

Phillips: Dak, Zeke Sitting vs. Cards; Frederick With Team

(Aug. 26; 7:10 p.m.) – Days after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, center Travis Frederick is with his teammates on the sideline for Sunday night’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals here at AT&T Stadium.

Frederick has begun treatments for GBS, an auto-immune disease that affects the nerves, and he announced in a statement Wednesday that he’s feeling better from an overall strength standpoint. Prior to the diagnosis, he met with medical experts to discuss stinger-like symptoms that bothered him in training camp.

There currently is no timetable for Frederick’s return to the field. Joe Looney will start at center in the meantime.

The Cowboys are also holding out left tackle Tyron Smith (hamstring) and right guard Zack Martin (knee) against the Cardinals. Quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are also being rested.

Helman: Cowboys Hoping For Frederick Update Soon

(Aug. 22, 12:59 p.m.) – Whatever ailment is facing Travis Frederick, the Cowboys hope to have more information about it in the near future.

Speaking at an even in support of Professional Bull Riders on Wednesday morning, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked about the health of his All-Pro center, who has been undergoing evaluation in the past week.

“We’re still gathering information,” Jones said. “Hopefully we’re coming to some conclusions here. That’ll be something that, at the appropriate time, we’ll share it.”

Frederick has sought out several medical opinions since facing some problems with stingers while the team was at training camp in Oxnard, Calif. He was evaluated by a specialist at that time, and he has undergone further testing since the Cowboys returned to Texas.

Given that it’s a medical issue, the Cowboys have been reluctant to get into details about the situation. But it’s safe to say that the situation is somewhat concerning, considering it centers around a lingering health problem for one of their key players,

“Any time you’re talking about these types of things, you’re concerned. So you want to get it right,” Jones said. “Player safety is the most important, and until we find out exactly what’s causing some of the symptoms that are making him uncomfortable, we’re going to uncover every stone until we do that.”

Jones was optimistic that an update could be coming soon, adding that he thought the Cowboys might have more information as early as sometime Wednesday.

Helman: Cowboys Expected To Add Another Veteran Safety

(Aug. 21, 1:38 p.m.) – The Cowboys look set to make more roster moves to offset their injuries at the safety position.

The team is expected to sign veteran safety Jeron Johnson on Tuesday. This comes a day after the Cowboys added another safety in Dominick Sanders, helping combat injuries suffered by Xavier Woods and Jameill Showers over the weekend.

Johnson comes to Dallas after playing under secondary coach Kris Richard for five seasons in Seattle. He also spent a season with Washington in 2015. He did not play in 2017, after winding up on injured reserve during training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

For his career, he has tallied 67 total tackles in 64 games.

The team is expected to release quarterback Dalton Sturm, who was working fourth on the depth chart, to make room on the 90-man roster.

Phillips: Jerry Jones Says Prognosis Looks Good For Pro Bowl Linemen

(Aug. 21; 9 a.m.) – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones says center Travis Frederick’s follow-up examination results on his shoulder stingers looked “positive for the future” as the Sept. 9 season opener draws closer.

The Cowboys are also optimistic that right guard Zack Martin will be ready for the opener after an MRI showed no structural damage to his injured knee.

“Right at this time, it’s safe to say that we should have our starting group when we open (at Carolina),” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan.

Jones didn’t discuss potential playing time for the starters in Sunday’s preseason game against Arizona, typically the ‘dress rehearsal’ for the regulars. But with Martin and Frederick both unlikely to play, Jones suggested the team will be "sensitive about injury risk” with regard to quarterback Dak Prescott playing behind a less-than-full-strength offensive line.

Phillips: Frederick Gathering More Info On Injury

(Aug. 20; 5 p.m.) – Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick will visit more specialists about the shoulder stingers that have kept him out of practice in the past week, head coach Jason Garrett said.

Frederick saw a specialist in Los Angeles last Wednesday as the Cowboys wrapped up their final training camp week in Oxnard, California. Speaking to reporters last week, he indicated that the check-up didn’t appear to reveal anything more serious than stingers, and rest should help alleviate the issue.

“I know he’s going to see some people here today and hopefully tomorrow and then hopefully we’ll get some good answers,” Garrett said.

Frederick did not play in last Saturday’s preseason game against the Bengals. The Cowboys still have nearly three weeks until the Sept. 9 season opener at Carolina.

Elsewhere on the offensive line, Garrett confirmed that tests on Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin’s injured knee didn’t reveal any structural damage. Like Frederick, the Cowboys are optimistic that Martin will be ready for the opener.

Phillips: Sean Lee's First Preseason Work

(Aug. 18; 11:55 p.m.) – Sean Lee had been building toward Saturday.

The Cowboys’ defensive leader got his first reps of the preseason Saturday against the Bengals, a week after getting into full practice for the first time in training camp.

The Cowboys have been deliberate with Lee’s work in camp, gradually ramping up the veteran linebacker’s defensive snaps with an eye toward the Sept. 9 regular-season opener at Carolina.

If it were up to Lee, he’d probably play every snap of every practice and preseason game.

“I absolutely think there’s a need (to play) because the less you practice, the less you play, the game kind of leaves you,” he said. “You need to be out there, you need to practice, you need to play. It’s like anything. And that’s why I want to do it as much as possible, and I think I’ve done a good job this offseason setting myself up to be able to play in these games and be healthy.”

But Lee credits with the Cowboys’ staff for developing a plan to build toward the season. He missed five games with a hamstring injury last season and wants to ensure he’s ready for all 16 this year.

“He looks like himself,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “He has worked very hard throughout training camp. He plays the game the right way. He’s got great intensity, a physical nature to him, and the guys follow him.”

Lee had one tackle against Cincinnati. The starting defense forced three Bengals punts in three series of work.

Phillips: Awuzie’s Spectacular Interception “Just Like A Drill”

(Aug. 18; 11:40 p.m.) – In real time, the ball didn’t look catchable. Chidobe Awuzie thought differently.

His leaping interception of Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel in the second quarter Saturday wasn’t so much a highlight-reel play as a practice-type situation played out in a game setting.

“(Defensive backs) Coach (Kris) Richard does a great job of teaching us how to highpoint the ball,” said Awuzie, who tipped the ball with his right hand in midair and then snatched it with both. “It was just like a drill.”

The Cowboys’ defense has forced five takeaways in the first two preseason games.

“It says a lot about our mindset, us buying into the system,” Awuzie said. “And our coaches always talk about doing right. You do right longer, good things happen. I think people are running to the ball, people are in the right spots. And hopefully we can build on that to the regular season.”

Phillips: Impressive Night For Taco Charlton

(Aug. 18; 11:15 p.m.) – Taco Charlton spent the offseason trying to improve his strength, his quickness, his pass rush moves. The work paid off in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Bengals.

Charlton, the Cowboys’ first-round pick a year ago, made two dynamic plays: Near the end of the first half, he forced a fumble on Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel that Byron Jones recovered; and at the start of the third quarter, he sacked Driskel for a 9-yard loss, forcing Cincinnati to punt.

Charlton is typically working as the second-team left defensive end behind DeMarcus Lawrence. He’s tried to model parts of his game after the Pro Bowler.

“It’s all coming to fruition,” Charlton said. “Just keep on having a strong preseason and carry it over to the regular season.”

Phillips: Cowboys Make Roster Move, Sign WR Dres Anderson

(Aug. 15; 10:50 a.m.) – With several wideouts not practicing in recent days, the Cowboys have added depth at receiver.

Dres Anderson, released by the Colts over the weekend, has signed to the 90-man training camp roster. To make room, the Cowboys released defensive end Joby Saint Fleur.

Anderson, undrafted out of Utah in 2015, does not have any regular-season catches but has spent time on several practice squads around the league, including Washington and Indianapolis last season.

Cole Beasley (groin) did not make the preseason-opening trip to San Francisco last week and has not practiced since, though the injury isn’t believed to be serious. Noah Brown (hamstring) and Deonte Thompson (Achilles’ tightness) have missed a large portion of camp.

Phillips: How Tavon Austin Reminds Jerry Of Michael Irvin

(Aug. 13; 10:45 a.m.) – Dak Prescott is developing a rapport with new receiver Tavon Austin, and beyond X’s and O’s, Jerry Jones is excited about the leadership Austin has shown since coming over from the Rams in a draft-weekend trade.

“It’s Michael Irvin-ish as far as the energy that he brings,” Jones said after Sunday’s practice. “I know the guys appreciate him. I certainly do from my perspective to have that kind of impact on his teammates.”

That's, quite obviously, extremely high praise. Irvin, Hall of Famer and Ring of Honor member, was the emotional leader of the Cowboys' dynasty in the 1990s.

Austin has embraced the opportunity to mentor some of the Cowboys’ younger receivers, both vocally and by example. The Cowboys have nine new receivers in training camp, and only eight players on the 90-man roster have more NFL experience than Austin.

On the field, Austin has been productive in camp, showing a comfort level as an outside receiver in certain situations.

Helman: Garrett Gives Update On Maliek Collins

(Aug. 11, 3:28 p.m.) – Maliek Collins continues to progress in his recovery from a broken foot, but he doesn’t sound like he’ll be hitting the field before the Cowboys return from California.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spoke to reporters ahead of Sunday afternoon’s practice, and he was asked for an update on his injured defensive tackle. Collins broke his foot during offseason workouts, and he’s the only Cowboys player currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

“He's just progressing, he's done a really good job with his rehab and we're taking him day-by-day, we'll see if he's available at some point to come practice here in the next week or so,” Garrett said.

Recently, Collins has progressed toward rehabbing in shoulder pads and a helmet, but as of yet he is still recovering. The Cowboys still have two weeks of training camp when they return to Texas, and Garrett was optimistic that Collins could play a role in that.

“I hesitate to give you a timetable, but he's making progress,” he said. “We're optimistic about him, he won't be practicing in the next few days but hopefully we'll work him back here before the end of the preseason.”

Helman: Injuries May Lead To Cowboys’ Roster Moves

(Aug. 11, 2:08 p.m.) – It sounds like the Cowboys might have to do some roster shuffling this week.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett didn’t want to speak in specifics, but he allowed Saturday that the Cowboys are looking at their options after Marcus Martin and Marqueston Huff both sustained injuries against San Francisco.

“I think yes, we’ll probably need to add or at least look at adding somebody,” Garrett said. “We’ll continue to evaluate both those guys to see how they do. Each of them have had some tests here the last couple days, we’ll see what the kind of final results are of those before making any decisions.”

Martin tore a ligament in his toe during the game on Thursday, and he may require surgery to fix the issue. Huff is battling a groin injury. Garrett didn’t specify which move the Cowboys may need to make, although Huff’s injury does leave them a bit short-handed at safety.

Regardless, it may be a while before either player is back on the field.

“Suffice it to say they’re at least going to be out for a little while – a week or two at minimum,” Garrett said.

Phillips: Possible Surgery For Guard Marcus Martin?

(Aug. 11; 9:45 a.m.) – The Cowboys’ offensive line depth took a hit Thursday night against the 49ers when guard Marcus Martin left with a big right toe injury that could require surgery.

Martin left Levi’s Stadium in a walking boot and it’s uncertain how much time he’ll miss. La’el Collins, the Cowboys’ starting right tackle, had surgery in October 2016 to repair a torn ligament in his toe and was placed on injured reserve that season.

The Cowboys signed Martin in March to provide depth with Jonathan Cooper, last year’s starting left guard, signing with San Francisco. So far Martin has worked with the backup units with rookie Connor

Williams lining up at first-team left guard.

Phillips: Rush, Lenoir Lead Backup Offense

(Aug. 10; 12:15 a.m.) – Cooper Rush continued to solidify his spot as the Cowboys’ No. 2 quarterback, and Lance Lenoir kept pushing for a roster spot.

Rush (15 of 23, 145 yards) found Lenoir in the right corner of the end zone to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive in the third quarter.

“Great route,” Rush said. “(Lenoir) really sold the dig and came back out beautifully and then he made the great toe-tap catch. I made it hard on him and he bailed me out.”

Rush dominated games last preseason and became the only undrafted rookie to make the Cowboys’ roster.

“You understand our scheme better and NFL defenses’ schemes better and just watching all last year, that gained experience,” he said.

Lenoir spent most of last year on the practice squad and has stood out in this year’s training camp. He also returned punts against the 49ers.

“I definitely felt confident coming in, having a year under my belt and being comfortable in the system,” Lenoir said. “The game has slowed down for me tremendously.”

Phillips: Cole Beasley Stays Back; More Injury Updates

(June 10; 12:01 a.m.) – Veteran receiver Cole Beasley did not make the preseason trip to San Francisco due to a groin injury, though head coach Jason Garrett says it’s not serious.

“We don’t think so,” Garrett said. “He’s had a really good camp, but the last couple days that was bothering him.”

Beasley stayed back for treatment at training camp headquarters in Oxnard, Calif. Terrance Williams and Allen Hurns started at wide receiver against the 49ers.

Linebacker Sean Lee and Ezekiel Elliott were in uniform Thursday night but were held out. The Cowboys are mindful of both players’ preseason reps.

Guard Marcus Martin (toe), safety Marqueston Huff (groin) wide receiver Marchie Murdock (ankle) left the game with injuries.

Helman: Dak Opens The Preseason In Style

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – As far as beginnings go, it was about as good a start as the Cowboys could ask for.

As has happened so many times before, the Cowboys started their preseason opener with the ball in Thursday’s game against San Francisco. Even with Ezekiel Elliott on the sideline, the first-string offense looked like something out of 2016 en route to a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.

“I thought they did some good things. That first drive was good for us,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

The Cowboys have typically left their starting quarterback on the bench for the preseason opener, but Dak Prescott took the field for the first possession – and looked fantastic doing it.

Prescott completed all three of his passes for 39 yards, capped off by a 30-yard strike to rookie receiver Michael Gallup, who beat one-on-one coverage for a game-opening touchdown.

“It was good to get out there, get our feet moving and to get on the same page,” Prescott said. “We were able to get the ball to Michael Gallup on that touchdown -- who did a great job on that ‘go ball.’”

Ironically, Prescott had taken criticism through the first two weeks of training camp for his inconsistency throwing downfield. With the lights on against the 49ers, though, he had no problems at all.

After taking a sack on the fourth play of the game, Prescott dug the Cowboys out of trouble with a 12-yard scramble on a 3rd-and-9.

“Dak did a great job on the run to keep the drive alive, and we got the one-on-one on the outside and made a good throw and catch,” Garrett said.

It was a promising start, although short-lived. Prescott and several other first-teamers took to the bench for the rest of the first half. The Cowboys went into the halftime locker room with a 14-7 lead.

Phillips: Cedrick Wilson Expected To Have Surgery

(Aug. 8; 10 a.m.) – Rookie wide receiver Cedrick Wilson is expected to have surgery in the coming days to repair the shoulder injury he suffered in practice the first week of training camp.

Because Wilson was placed on injured reserve in preseason, he’ll remain on IR for the entire season. He’s been with the team observing practice and rehabbing his shoulder.

A sixth-round pick out of Boise State, Wilson suffered a similar injury in college – a shoulder subluxation – but was able to play through it that time.

Blog: Austin Returning Punts Will Have To Wait

The Cowboys have released an unofficial depth chart in preparation for Thursday’s preseason opener with the 49ers.

And while most of the projected starters are in the right spot, it doesn’t appear to be the case foe the punt return position.

No, it’s not a typo to see Tavon Austin nowhere to be found. This position was listed according to the guys likely to field punts in the game.

“Yeah, I don’t think you’ll be seeing Tavon out there in the preseason – maybe one or two but not many,” special teams coordinator Keith O’Quinn said. “He’s got a pretty good body of work out there. I don’t think we need to see him right now.”

Austin has three career touchdowns from punt returns, including a 98-yarder as a rookie in 2013 with the Rams.

Expect that in the regular season but in the meantime, the Cowboys will likely give receiver Lance Lenoir and cornerback Duke Thomas will get some returns, along with cornerback Jourdan Lewis.

At kickoff return, Deonte Thompson isn’t expected to play but would be the first option. Lewis, Thomas and running back Darius Jackson should get some work for this first game.

Cowboys "Ramp Up Reps" For Gregory; No Practice Yet

(Aug. 6; 12:50 p.m.) – Defensive end Randy Gregory won’t start practicing this week, head coach Jason Garrett said, but the Cowboys are “trying to ramp up his reps” in walkthroughs as he gets closer to making his debut in competitive situations.

The Cowboys have been diligent with Gregory’s work since the NFL reinstated him in time for camp. Gregory had been on the league’s suspended list since January 2017.

“He’s been doing some of the work in the morning, the ‘team on the grass’ sessions,” Garrett said. “You’ll see him in pads here the next couple days, but he won’t get into practice here. We’re still trying to lay that base and that foundation. He’s done a really nice job, though.”

The Cowboys will practice Monday and Tuesday, travel to San Francisco on Wednesday and play the 49ers in Thursday night’s preseason opener.

Phillips: Jason Garrett Believes Awuzie (Knee) Will Be OK

(Aug. 5; 2:30 p.m.) – Starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was seen limping near the end of Saturday’s practice and did not take part in the final set of team drills with the first-team defense.

Head coach Jason Garrett said Awuzie hurt his knee but indicated that the issue isn’t serious.

“We think Chido is going to be OK,” Garrett said. “We’ll take his situation day by day but we think he’s going to be all right.”

Awuzie was present at Sunday morning’s walkthrough, but Anthony Brown took his place at first-team corner. It’s uncertain whether he’ll take part in any work during Sunday’s practice.

Phillips: Frazier Cleared; Cowboys Cut 2, Sign 2

(Aug. 2; 3:30 p.m.) – Safety Kavon Frazier has passed his physical and the Cowboys have moved him back to the active training camp roster, off the active/non-football injury list.

Frazier has been with the team but not practicing in camp as the Cowboys reportedly waited for results on some recent bloodwork. Given the time he's missed, he likely won't be a full participant in practice right away.

The Cowboys made a few more roster moves Wednesday, releasing running back Trey Williams and defensive end James Hearns.

In their place, the team signed free agent defensive end Joby Saint Fleur and offensive tackle Korren Kirven. Both had scheduled workouts in the morning.

Phillips: Update On Kavon Frazier, Injuries

(Aug. 2; 12:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys hope to get a status update on safety Kavon Frazier within the next couple of days, head coach Jason Garrett said.

Frazier has been with the Cowboys throughout training camp but has sat out while the team reportedly awaits test results on some recent bloodwork.

“I don’t want to get into the thoughts about what our doctors are telling us, but we’ll find out more based on the tests that we’ve done,” Garrett said. “But he’s doing everything we’re asking him to do. He’s just not on the field yet.”

The Cowboys were short on available defensive linemen Wednesday, but Garrett said he’s hopeful Charles Tapper (sick) and Taco Charlton (shoulder) will be back Thursday at least on a limited basis. Tyrone Crawford was also held out Wednesday.

Phillips: Gregory Activated From Non-Football Injury List

(Aug. 1; 10:45 a.m.) – The Cowboys have activated defensive end Randy Gregory from the Active/Non-Football Injury list, though it’s uncertain when he’ll appear in his first practice of training camp.

Gregory is expected to take part in Wednesday’s walkthrough, but head coach Jason Garrett says the team will continue to take a deliberate approach in getting Gregory ready to practice.

The Cowboys have made an effort to work Gregory slowly back into on-field activities since the NFL reinstated him in time for camp. Until Wednesday's walkthrough, he had worked on the side with strength and conditioning director Mike Woicik.

Gregory has not practiced or played in a game since getting suspended in January 2017 for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

"He's doing very well," Garrett said. "He did a good job keeping himself in shape. He's done a good job since he's been here, so he's making progress. But we don't want to compromise him early on here and put him a couple weeks behind where he should be."

Gregory counted toward the 90-man roster while on NFI, so the Cowboys didn’t have to make a roster move in order to activate him.

Phillips: Brick By Brick, Sanjay Lal Puts His Stamp On The WRs

(Aug. 1; 10 a.m.) – New wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal continues to get creative during and after training camp practice.

Not only do the Cowboys’ receivers work on balance and release without the football in certain drills, Lal asks them to walk the width of the field with 25-pound bricks in each hand. The purpose is to strengthen their hands and fingers for catching and gripping the football.

As a motivational tactic, Lal participates in the drill himself.

“They never want to lose to the coach, right?” Lal said. “If the coach can walk down and back, they’re going to find a way to beat the coach.”

July 2018

Phillips: Cedrick Wilson To IR; Rookie WR Signed

(July 31; 4 p.m.) – The Cowboys placed rookie wide receiver Cedrick Wilson on Reserve/Injured Tuesday after the sixth-round pick hurt his shoulder in practice over the weekend.

Wilson played through a similar injury last season at Boise State – a shoulder subluxation – and got hurt Saturday during seven-on-seven drills. He could be facing surgery to correct the issue.

In his place, the Cowboys signed free agent receiver Ricky Jeune to the 90-man training camp roster following a workout Tuesday morning. Jeune (Georgia Tech) went undrafted in April and spent the offseason with the Rams.

Second-year wideout Noah Brown has also missed several practices with a hamstring injury, further impacting the Cowboys' numbers at the position. Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal said Brown is working his way back to practice.

Phillips: Awuzie Knows No. 24 Is Special

(July 31; 10:45 a.m.) – Chidobe Awuzie grew up wearing No. 24 and told his friends that would be his jersey number when he got to the NFL.

After a promising rookie season, the talented young cornerback has changed from No. 33 to 24 – the number worn by Everson Walls in Dallas throughout the 1980s.

Walls, one of the best defensive backs in Cowboys history, was a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist last year.

Awuzie doesn’t take the jersey switch lightly. He can recite Walls’ career interception total (57).

“I was able to watch some YouTube clips of him,” Awuzie said. “A real long corner. It seems he always had a pick every game, ever clip that I’ve seen. One hell of a corner and someone I could look up to.”

After dealing with a hamstring injury for much of his rookie season, Awuzie was outstanding as a starter in the final month as the Cowboys went 4-1 to finish the year. Kris Richard, the new defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator, prefers cornerbacks with Awuzie’s frame (6-0, 202) who can disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage.

“It fits me well,” Awuzie said. “I’m a big corner. I’m strong. Used to play safety. Used to play in the box in college. Getting my hands on receivers is my best bet to cover them. I think it’s been a great match.”

Helman: Schultz Leaves Camp For Birth Of Baby

(July 29, 12:53 p.m. PST) – Dalton Schultz has a great excuse for missing the Cowboys’ Sunday practice – perhaps the best excuse.

Schultz left the practice field on Saturday night and immediately boarded a flight to Dallas, as his wife is expecting a baby.

“He went home last night from camp, came off the practice field to try to make it there,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Garrett said he hasn’t heard an update from Schultz as of yet, but it sounds like the rookie will be at home for at least the next day or two.

This isn’t the first time the Cowboys have helped their players welcome in a new addition to the family. In 2013, Brandon Carr briefly departed camp for the birth of his son.

Phillips: Cedrick Wilson Injury Update; Plan For Sean Lee

(July 29; 12 p.m. PST) -- Rookie wide receiver Cedrick Wilson is likely to miss at least several days after injuring his shoulder Saturday in the Cowboys’ first padded practice, head coach Jason Garrett said.

Wilson, a sixth-round draft pick, got hurt while running a route in seven-on-seven drills. Second-year receiver Noah Brown (hamstring) also did not practice on Saturday.

On defense, veteran linebacker Sean Lee did not participate in team drills Saturday and isn’t expected to practice Sunday, Garrett said. As in recent years, the Cowboys are continuing to take a deliberate approach with Lee’s work because he didn’t take many snaps in offseason workouts.

Lee battled a hamstring injury last season and focused on strengthening it in the offseason.

“We’re just going to try to work him back,” Garrett said. “You’ll see him piece-meal here in the early part of camp, parts of practices, sometimes he’ll have a day off.”

Helman: Cowboys Bring Yoga To Walkthrough

28 July 2018:   Views of team yoga 
of the Dallas Cowboys during training camp at City of Oxnard Fields in Oxnard, California.   Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

(July 28, 2:32 p.m.) – For a few days this summer, at least, the Cowboys are going to trade in drag routes for “Downward Facing Dog.”

Onlookers at the team’s walkthrough on Saturday morning were bemused to see, rather than football plays, a variety of yoga poses. The group sessions are aimed at helping players get physically ready for practice, according to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

“We used to do it on the practice field during the offseason up in New York,” Garrett said. It’s such a big part of getting yourself physically ready to play, just your flexibility. Our guys work really hard in the weight room and obviously they practice hard. I do think it helps their performance and it helps their recovery as well.”

Yoga has been linked to football for a while now, to Garrett’s point. He said the team found their instructor to Tyron Smith, who has no doubt benefited from yoga in working through his back injuries from recent seasons.

Garrett said the Cowboys will put their players through yoga during special teams walkthroughs, which typically occur every third practice day. It might be an unconventional thing to see on a football field, but Garrett is hoping it will pay dividends.

“Hopefully, it’s a positive thing in terms of injury prevention,” he said. “The guys who weren’t involved in the special teams practice were out there then the special teams guys got a shot at it when they were done. Hopefully it will help our team going forward.”

Helman: Cowboys Hope To Have Gregory Ready For Preseason

(July 27, 2:23 p.m.) – Go figure that the most intriguing player at training camp isn’t currently available to play.

Randy Gregory has returned to the Cowboys’ roster, as has been well-documented. The fourth-year defensive end is back from an 18-month ban from football and appears ready to resume his football career.

Of course, the big question is: when exactly will that happen? Gregory is currently on the Non-Football Injury list, which prevents him from practicing. He is working on his conditioning with the Cowboys’ athletic training staff and has been present for all team activities. Still, the burning question centers around when the talented pass rusher will be available to strap on the pads.

“We're just take his situation day-by-day and we're not going to rush him out here,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Friday. “We're very mindful that he hasn't played football in a long time.”

That said, it is evident that Gregory has worked hard to get himself into shape. The Cowboys will surely take their time acclimating, but Garrett said he’s hopeful to ease Gregory into the flow of things soon enough.

“We will give him a chance to run on the side, run on the side and integrate him into practice,” he said. “Hopefully at some point get him playing in these preseason games.”

Helman: Frazier Undergoing Further Evaluation

(July 26; 1:01 p.m.) – Kavon Frazier is still undergoing evaluations after being placed on the Cowboys’ Non-Football Injury list, according to coach Jason Garrett.

The team announced that Frazier had been placed on NFI on Wednesday afternoon, making him ineligible to practice for the time being. According to a report, the Cowboys came across a problem with Frazier’s bloodwork during his physical at the outset of training camp.

“He’s going to continue to get some tests done today, and hopefully it’ll get resolved here in the next couple of days,” Garrett said.

Garrett added that Frazier will remain at the team’s facility for further testing. He has been part of team meetings and activities – he simply can’t participate in practice.

Frazier is entering his third season with the Cowboys, after being drafted in the sixth round during the 2016 NFL Draft.

Phillips: Terrance Williams Progressing Well As First Practice Nears

(July 25; 3:30 p.m.) – Head coach Jason Garrett didn’t commit to wide receiver Terrance Williams (foot) participating in Thursday’s first training camp practice, but he doesn’t anticipate Williams starting camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, either.

Williams had surgery in January for a foot fracture and rehabbed during the offseason program.

“Terrance ran the conditioning run this morning. He looked good, didn’t have any issues,” Garrett said at the camp-opening press conference here in Oxnard. “We’ll have discussions about what we’re going to do with him each day, certainly at the outset of camp.

“We don’t want to rush it. Those foot injuries can kind of reoccur if you’re not patient with them. But he’s done everything we asked him to do. He looked good with the work. We’ll see how he responds to that work and really take his situations day by day.”

Defensive tackle Maliek Collins (foot) will start camp on Active/PUP and safety Kavon Frazier on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. No immediate word on the reason for Frazier's designation.

Defensive end Randy Gregory has also been placed on Active/NFI as he works his way back toward practice coming off an 18-month suspension.

All still count toward the 90-man camp roster and can be activated at any point in preseason.

Helman: Maliek Collins To Start Camp On PUP List

(July 23, 1:57 p.m.) – The Cowboys appear to be fairly healthy heading into training camp this year.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett confirmed Monday that Maliek Collins will open camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. But the PUP list sounds like it will be fairly short other than the third-year defensive tackle.

“Maliek Collins will not be ready to go at the outset. We anticipate putting him on PUP,” he said. “We don’t think he’ll be ready to go for at least a couple weeks into camp.”

Garrett added: “Don’t want to make that officially, but we believe he’s going to be the only one.”

The Cowboys had relatively good injury look through the 2018 offseason. The other main injury concern is Terrance Williams, who suffered a foot injury back during the early going of the offseason.

Garrett said he’s unsure if Williams will be ready for the start of training camp, but he’s optimistic he will be back on the field quickly.

“Terrance Williams has gotten some really good reports, so we’re optimistic about him,” he said. “Don’t know if it’s going to be Day 1 or into the first week or even into the second week, but he has progressed really well. We’re excited to see him come back.”

Phillips: Cowboys Pass In Supp. Draft; 2 Rivals Pick


(July 11; 1:30 p.m.) – The Cowboys stood pat during Wednesday’s supplemental draft.

Two players were selected by Dallas’ NFC East rivals: Western Michigan defensive back Sam Neal to the Giants in the third round, and Virginia Tech defensive back Adonis Alexander to the Redskins in Round 6.

Five total players were eligible, and the three who weren’t selected – Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant, Grand Valley State running back Martayveus Carter and Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu – are now free agents.

Click Here for Bryan Broaddus’ scouting reports on all five prospects earlier this week.

June 2018

Garrett Updates Injury Status Of Terrance Williams, Maliek Collins

(June 14; 10:30 a.m.) – The Cowboys are finishing up minicamp Thursday with their next scheduled practice not until July 26 in Oxnard, California at the start of training camp.

By then, the team is hopeful that starting receiver Terrance Williams will be ready to return from offseason foot surgery, head coach Jason Garrett said.

Williams has been rehabbing with the Cowboys’ athletic training staff during the OTAs and minicamp. Cole Beasley, 2017 draft pick Noah Brown and Williams are the only returning receivers in a revamped rotation that no longer includes Dez Bryant.

Garrett said Maliek Collins, who had surgery in May for a foot fracture, “might be a little further behind” than Williams in his target return date.

The team believes the rest of the players who have been dealing with injuries should be ready for the start of camp.

Phillips: Randy Gregory’s Quest For Reinstatement Continues

(June 12; 11 a.m.) – Suspended defensive end Randy Gregory is in New York this week to meet with the NFL as part of his application for reinstatement to the league, according to and reports.

The Cowboys have been aware of Gregory’s steps toward applying for reinstatement this offseason, but they can’t have contact with him, per the rules of his suspension.

The Cowboys’ 2015 second-round pick has appeared in 12 career games and recorded 20 tackles and a sack.

Phillips: Vander Esch Dealing With Ankle Injury

(June 7; 2 p.m.) – First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch (ankle) has not been able to practice the last few days, but the injury isn’t considered serious, head coach Jason Garrett said. “His ankle’s been bothering him. We’ll see if he’s available (for minicamp) next week,” Garrett said. “We don’t think it’s a long-term thing.” The rookie linebacker has been working mostly at the middle “Mike” spot behind Jaylon Smith in OTAs. The Cowboys completed their final OTA workout last week. A three-day minicamp begins Tuesday.

Phillips: Spence/Ocampo Undercard Announced; Limited Seats Available

(June 6; 9:30 a.m.) – Limited seats are still available for the Saturday, June 16 bout at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco between welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 knockouts) and undefeated mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs). Tickets can be purchased at The event, which will air live on SHOWTIME, marks the first time in 50 years that a Dallas native has defended his title in the area. Spencer Jr. grew up in DeSoto, Texas just down the road from The Star in Frisco. Undercard bouts have also been announced: super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman against unbeaten Moises “Chucky” Flores; and Javier Fortuna against Adrian Granados.