FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys continue to be newsmakers when it comes to roster-building. Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Transaction Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort.
NOV 28: IS GETTLEMAN OUT? The New York Giants dumped offensive coordinator Jason Garrett this week. Is the dumping of general manager Dave Gettleman far behind?
NFL Network is reporting that the Cowboys' NFC East rival, is likely to make a chance in leadership for the 2022 season. Gettleman, 71, could jump into retirement. Or he could be pushed. Either way, more change – and/or instability – is coming to the Big Apple.
NOV 26 JARWIN TO COVID LIST The Cowboys have moved tight end Blake Jarwin to the COVID list, a source telling CowboysSI.com that Jarwin tested positive.
Jarwin, who has 10 catches for 90 yards and two TDs this season, has missed four games since going on injured reserve Nov. 6 with a hip injury.
NOV 25 ANDY'S TEAM Bears In Chicago this offseason, there was a great deal of talk of the Bears being "Andy Dalton's team'' and all that. It didn't quite work out that way … but now that rookie QB Justin Fields is hurt?
Dalton was again "QB1'' for today's game against the Lions Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, and he helped the Bears to a 16-14 at-the-buzzer win.
Later today, the Raiders are at the Cowboys at 3:30 and then at 7:20 it's Bills at Saints. But for a moment, Dalton was back in the spotlight.
Dalton, the TCU product who was with Dallas in the 2020 season, threw for 317 yards in a less-than-appetizing national-TV watch. But he made his first start since Week 2, the long-time Bengals "QB1'' having previously started 144 career games and entering Thursday having thrown for 34,235 yards and 221 touchdowns.
NOV 24 MOVEMENT ON THANKSGIVING EVE The Cowboys are getting good injury news regarding CeeDee Lamb as he works through concussion protocol (details here) as he practiced fully on Wednesday and is now listed as "questionable'' for Thursday's game against the visiting Raiders.
Starting safety Donovan Wilson, however, is being moved to IR with the shoulder/chest injury aggravated in last week's loss at Kansas City.
Also worth noting: Tyron Smith is scheduled to start at left tackle as he was full all week … and DeMarcus Lawrence's 21-day window to return is open as he could play as early as next Thursday at New Orleans.
NOV 24 GRIFFEN IN TROUBLE Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Everson Griffen, a long-time member of the Vikings now back with Minnesota, on Tuesday released a series of videos, social-media posts and texts insisting, "Someone is trying to kill me'' and begging for "help.''
The Vikings on Wednesday released a statement saying security personnel is on the scene at Griffen’s house, and he was safe.
Police are also at the home of Griffen, who has dealt with mental health issues in the past.
The Vikings' statement, in part:
"Our only concern at this time is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family. We will have further comment at the appropriate time.''
NOV 23 KICKER CUT The Cowboys have released kicker Lirim Hajrullahu from the practice squad. Greg Zuerlein, who kicked at KC, is healthy and in charge.
NOV 22: VASHER MOVED Rookie wide receiver T.J. Vasher, who’d spent news about new virus time the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list, is moving from the practice squad to the COVID list, a source tells CowboysSI.com.
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The 6-foot-5 Texas Tech product joined Dallas in the spring as a UDFA.
The Cowboys also have star receiver Amari Cooper on the COVID list and unavailable for this week’s game against the Raiders.
NOV 20 MOVES TO CHIEFS Cowboys As expected, Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph (personal matter) is out for the Chiefs game. And fellow rookie corner Nahshon Wright is unlikely to play. So, Dallas is fortifying the cornerback depth by calling up Deante Burton and Kyron Brown from the practice squad.
Meanwhile, in addition to Dallas' Amari Cooper (COVID) being out, the word is the Chiefs are going to activate running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the Sunday afternoon showdown.
NOV 20 JASON ON TOM has Over the years, Jason Garrett has talked glowingly about the talents of Tom Brady. “He’s the best player who ever walked'' is something Garrett said this week, as the Giants offensive coordinator getting ready to oppose the Buccaneers quarterback on Monday.
But Garrett additionally came up with a new way to say it this week.
“They’re going to make a Mt. Rushmore of football players at some point,'' RedBall said, "and the first face they chisel will be that guy’s face.''
It's a fun thought, right? Who are the four faces? Players-only, in this case. It's not empty praise, for certain, from GarBrady is surely among them.
NOV 18 WR SIGNED The Cowboys have activated rookie wide receiver Osirus Mitchell to the practice squad and, in a corresponding shift, have released veteran receiver Damion Ratley from the p-squad.
Mitchell had previously been on the practice squad-injured list with a sprained foot. The-23-year-old originally joined the Cowboys in as an undrafted free agent.
Mitchell is 6-5 and 210 and played at Mississippi State, where he caught 107 passes for 1,413 yards and 14 touchdowns.
NOV 17 COVID CHANGE The NFL – just in time for Cowboys Thanksgiving – is installing more stringent COVID protocols around Thanksgiving as a reaction to rising cases across the U.S., NFL Network notes.
The new policy includes mandatory masking and testing all players and staff twice after the holiday, while also encouraging clubs to offer testing for visiting friends and family.
The temporary protocols will involve a mask mandate indoors for all players and staff, regardless of vaccination status, between Nov. 25-Dec. 1.
Dallas plays host to the Raiders this year on Thanksgiving.
In addition to rising concerns in general, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said on a conference call Wednesday that the league is coming off its highest number of positive COVID-19 cases all season,
NOV 17 MOCK The Cowboys are planning on not picking in the 2022 NFL Draft until late, late, late into the first round.
What does SI's latest mock draft say will happen? The good news is that SI sees Dallas drafting late, late late …
No. 28. Dallas Cowboys: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
CLICK HERE TO READ SCOUTING REPORT
The Cowboys have a weak link on defense, and everyone knows about it. The second cornerback spot, manned by Anthony Brown, has been targeted early and often. Even Trevon Diggs will benefit from the addition of McDuffie as he offers a different skill set and body type for Dan Quinn to throw at offenses. McDuffie is an extremely fluid mover who triggers downhill with ease and has great instincts in zone coverage. He rarely gets beat deep and is a strong tackler, too, giving Dallas a promising young cornerback duo to build around.
We can argue about the "weak link'' designation on Brown; he's actually having a solid year. We might also suggest that Dallas already addressed improving the spot by selecting two promising corners – Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright – high in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But … food for thought, anyway.
Read more from SI's mock here.
NOV 15 AJ BROWN TALKS MENTAL HEALTH It is a cause that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has highlighted. And now other NFL players are doing so.
Since his time as a recruit at Starkville High School, former Ole Miss wide receiver A. J. Brown was always known for his outgoing and infectious persona.
In many ways, he was the voice and the personality of the program.
And after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, the world seemed to be at Brown's fingertips.
However, in the midst of a breakout rookie season with Tennessee, Brown was lost, finding himself in a mental-health battle with depression.
And as he revealed on Saturday via his social media accounts, that battle nearly cost him his life.
"I’m nervous even to be saying this,” Brown said. “A year ago from today, I thought about taking my own life. I had no more hope for better days and everything was just going wrong for me."
The purpose of Brown's message was not sympathy or attention, but awareness, urging those struggling with mental issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts to seek help and find what it is that makes them happy in life.
"The reason why I'm sharing this message with you today is, I’m still here. I’m still going. I’m still smiling. I have a lot of things to be grateful for,” said Brown. “I just want to encourage everyone to protect your mental [health]. Talk to someone. Get things off your chest. Do things that make you happy.”
Brown got the help that he needed, and now, he is in the midst of yet another excellent season with the Titans. But more important than football, and thanks to the help that he received, Brown has a new outlook on life.
Mental health issues, unlike physical health issues, are not always taken seriously by the general public. They are also rarely visible in plain sight until it is either too late or until those that are suffering choose to speak up.
Brown, however, now understands that struggle and is urging anyone else who will listen to do their best to understand it as well.
“It's so important. I didn’t think depression was real until it happened to me," Brown said. "But now I know it’s really real. Guys, talk to someone, get things off your chest, and take depression seriously.”
NOV 14 JERRY ON ROGER Jerry Jones, appearing on HBO’s Back on the Record with Bob Costas, was asked whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is worth his reported $64 million annually salary.
“I think this,” Jones told Costas (via PFT). “Certainly those numbers on the face of them are large numbers. Roger has been an excellent commissioner. I might say that back when years ago when I first came in the league they would be big numbers. I don’t know for sure what a man of your talent was making back then. But I know we could look at where we are today, and those numbers have increased a lot during that time. So everything has gotten more as opposed to maybe what we’ve looked at in the past. But I think this. I think that Roger Goodell has done an outstanding job as Commissioner of the NFL.”
PFT attempts to take issue with Jones "singing a different tune'' and "coming a long way'' in his support of the commissioner. But what PFT forgets is why Jones, right around that time, might've been upset with the judgment of the commissioner.
Ezekiel Elliott suspension, anyone?
NOV 11: OBJ VS. GALLUP? Controversial receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on the same day the Cowboys continued to accelerate hope that non-controversial receiver Michael Gallup is ready to come off IR.
Which team is making the better transaction?
“I’m excited,” said Cowboys QB Dak Prescott of the idea that Gallup might play this Sunday vs. the Falcons. “That’s a guy I’ve always counted on.”
Gallup doesn’t get the headlines that OBJ gets … but in terms of bring “- guy his team counts on” … Gallup is the superior NFL player.
“I’m excited about it,” Dak said. “I know he’s ready to go.”
The disgruntled Beckham is also always “ready to go” – away from whatever team he’s on. This time, him being a poor teammate allowed him to force his way out of Cleveland and into free agency.
A number of contenders chased him. The contenting Rams “won.”
But the contenting Cowboys did not chase him … and yet, with Gallup about ready to supplement the work of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, seem to feel they “won,” too.
NOV 11 CAM’S BACK. And no, the Cowboys never took a stab here.
Let’s start with Ron Rivera. The people who run the WFT have a full understanding of what Cam Newton is.
And yet, coach Rivera and company never bit … as the Panthers just did.
Carolina will now have a familiar feel, as the Panthers officially announced the signing of street free agent QB Cam Newton … a way to fix the team's problems at the position that sort of began when they let him go two years ago.
But in the opinion of many – and this doesn’t make the former NFL MVP a bad guy or a bad teammate – he sees himself as a starter. If he was cut out to be a No. 2, why didn’t Bill Belichick keep him in New England? Why didn’t Rivera add him to the WFT mix?
Dak Prescott’s Dallas backup is Cooper Rush, and he’s not the player Cam is … and Newton’s self-evaluation right along those lines is why he’s been a street free agent … and why it took a needy Carolina to forge an odd reunion.
NOV 6 NO RIDLEY The Atlanta Falcons on Friday placed wide receiver Calvin Ridley on the non-football injury list.
This means Ridley will miss at least three more games for Atlanta.
Ridley is battling mental health concerns and had already missed the Falcons' trip to London to face the New York Jets in September before stepping away from football last Sunday morning before the Falcons faced the Carolina Panthers.
The move to the reserve means Ridley will miss at least this week against the New Orleans Saints, at the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, and Thursday November 18 against the New England Patriots.
The Falcons then have 10 days before they would play the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 28, marking a possible return date for Ridley.
More realistically given the seriousness of the concerns around Ridley, the Falcons must prepare for the remainder of the season as if Ridley is not going to return.
Atlanta signed Marvin Hall to the practice squad earlier this week in an effort to add depth to the roster in Ridley's absence.
Ridley's 2020 production has been been sorely missed in the Atlanta offense. Ridley stepped up in place of the oft-injured Julio Jones to produce a breakout 2020 campaign that saw him post 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.
So far in 2021, Ridley has 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Compounding the problems for the Falcons offense, last year's second leading receiver Russell Gage has been out most of the season with a variety of injuries.
While the top concern is of course Ridley's mental health, it is also worth noting how the challenges on the Dallas schedule are altered by such a move. Already this season, the 6-1 Cowboys have avoided the Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (hurt), the Giants' Saquon Barkley (hurt early in their meeting) and now the Broncos this weekend without Von Miller (traded) and top receiving target Noah Fant (COVID). Additionally, Dallas plays the Saints on Dec. 7 and New Orleans will be without the injured tandem of receiver Michael Thomas and QB Jameis Winston.
It's worth noting that Dallas has overcome its own injuries and issues to build its record. But the ebb and flow of opponents' availability is a story. And now Ridley and Thomas are not going to be involved in the Cowboys' 2021 story.
NOV 3 RODGERS OUT There is no glee in any of this, as it could happen to your team as easily as it just happened to the Green Bay Packers, who will have to take on the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the game. Second-year quarterback Jordan Love will make his first start.
Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes had a chance to be special. Meanwhile, so do the Packers, who join the Cowboys as a top NFC contender.
This will be the first game Rodgers has missed since 2017, and now it's up to the Packers – who sport a 7-1 record, matching Dallas' – to try to do what the Cowboys did last week in Minnesota without the rehabbing star: Win without the QB.
NOV 2: TACO AND JAYLON The Steelers, after trading Melvin Ingram to the Chiefs, have signed defensive end Taco Charlton to the 53-man roster. So on the day one high-profile former Dallas high draft pick is re-employed …
NOV 2 JAYLON RELEASED The Green Bay Packers thought they were getting a difference-maker last month when they snapped up just released Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith.
But now they, too, have released the former Dallas second-round pick and starter.
Smith, who played 27 snaps in his first two games in Green Bay, was a healthy scratch in Week 8. He leaves the Packers, interestingly, just as …
NOV 1 COX OUT FOR YEAR Jabril Cox will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL tear he sustained Sunday in the win at the Vikings, as first confirmed by the Dallas News.
Cox, the rookie fourth-round pick from LSU, expressed an upbeat view on Twitter, writing, “Love this team. It’s all a part of God’s plan. Watch how I shake back!”
Cox' improvement as a player was one of the reasons Jaylon Smith was released by Dallas. (The same Jaylon who is now back on the street as an ex-Packer.
OCT 30 BOSSMAN UP As expected, on Saturday the Cowboys called up Kelvin Joseph to the varsity with the likelihood he will finally make his NFL debut during Sunday night’s game against the Vikings here in Minnesota.
The team activated the rookie cornerback from the injured reserve list and at least in part the reasoning is he can contribute right away on special teams.
Joseph, a second-round pick, sustained a groin injury during the Cowboys’ preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Dallas also elevated defensive tackle Justin Hamilton from the practice squad as a standard elevation.
The team plans on Michael Gallup (calf) returning to the active roster next week. Defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee, PUP) and tight end Sean McKeon (ankle) may soon get their varsity chances as well.
Meanwhile, of course, the largest personnel decision for the Vikings game involves QB Dak Prescott. Full coverage on that story, from our man Mike Fisher in Minnesota, is here.
OCT 23: NOT FINE A trio of Cowboys players paid for last week’s OT win at New England, including cornerback Trevon Diggs ($7,981 for unnecessary roughness for hitting a Patriots player in the facemask), ruffian guard Connor Williams ($16,394 for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty) and most hilariously, receiver CeeDee Lamb, who waved goodbye to Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (and hooting fans, we believe) following his walk-off touchdown catch in the 35-29 OT win.
What is costing him $10,300 for unsportsmanlike conduct? This …
Ultimately? Worth it.
OCT 21: KNIGHT EXPLAINS There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas – which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves – will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
One problem: The week began with Knight "refusing to report'' to Baltimore.
Amid speculation (from Dallas homers?) that he simply didn't want to leave the Cowboys – and that's not the way this works, as Knight's rights are now owned by the Ravens – "personal reasons'' were cited as Knight's motive.
And now Knight has explained, writing on social media:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the Baltimore ravens for allowing me another opportunity to play the game I’ve always loved. As of now I’ve decided to take a break from football to address my mental health.
“Although it was a difficult decision, it was a necessary one to be back home with my family. I look forward to returning next season.”
OCT 20 MERCILUS TO PACK Houston Texans veteran pass rusher Whitney Mercilus is joining the Green Bay Packers, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
The Kansas City Chiefs were among Mercilus' suitors, according to sources. The Cowboys, as we reported this week, were not a bidder.
Mercilus, 31, who has 57 career sacks and was released by the Texans on Tuesday, wanted to join a Super Bowl contender and now he has.
OCT 19 FB CUT A source tells us on Tuesday that the Cowboys have cut fullback Nick Ralston, the rookie from Argyle, Texas, presumably for a roster spot to use on tackle La’el Collins.
Ralston could boomerang back to Dallas practice squad.
OCT 18: KNIGHT CLAIMED There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas – which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves – will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
OCT 15: NFC EAST TRADE! Per Adam Schefter and ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles are sending three-time Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for CB Tay Gowan and a 2022 5th-round pick.
The stand-out tight end from Stanford was the 35th overall pick by the Eagles in the 2013 NFL Draft and holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end with 116. Ertz won Super Bowl LI with the Eagles.
OCT 13 BOSSMAN BACK? Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph (groin) and tight end Sean McKeon (ankle) practiced on a limited basis for the first time this season on Wednesday, thus beginning the opening of the 21-day practice window for the pair as they have been moved to the "Designated for Return from Reserve/Injured'' list.
By designating both players to return, the Cowboys can activate them at any time during that 21-day period.
Joseph, a second-round draft pick, injured his groin late in preseason. A healthy Joseph – aka "Bossman Fat,'' his musical alter ego, could eventually figure in Dallas secondary rotation. McKeon was pushing for the third tight end spot before sustaining a high ankle sprain in preseason and if he is healthy, he could solve the Dallas issue with Jeremy Sprinkle, who must be signed to the 53-man to allow another call-up.
OCT 11: RICH IN Rich Bisaccia will serve as interim coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately, the team announcing the elevation of the former Cowboys assistant in the wake of Jon Gruden’s resignation amid scandal.
Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the aftermath of an ugly email scandal that involves, in at least a trio of ways, the Washington Football Team.
Gruden’s series of notes include racist, homophobic, transphobic, and sexist remarks made over the last decade, exposed after The New York Times published an article detailing emails sent by Gruden from 2011-2018.
The investigation into Gruden’s emails stems from the NFL’s examination of what it determined to be the “highly unprofessional” workplace of the Washington Football Team, leading to a $10 million and owner Dan Snyder stepping away from day-to-day operations of the franchise earlier this year.
Some of the emails were sent by Gruden while he was employed at ESPN as an analyst, and were reportedly sent to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, among others.
And the alleged content of the emails? Gruden took shots at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, reportedly labelling him a “f——t” and a “clueless anti-football p—-y,” denounced the employment of women in the NFL, derided the drafting of a “queer” player in 2014, questioned the league’s concussion protocols and used offensive language to describe owners, coaches, and journalists in the league.
Additionally, according to the Times, “Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and other men that included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders.”
OCT 11: TEXANS TRYOUTS The Houston Texans are working out former Dallas Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier and four other players, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Frazier is a former Cowboys sixth-round draft pick from Central Michigan. The 6-foot, 217-pounder has also played for the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. He has 73 career tackles and one forced fumble. He was a force on special teams during his time in Dallas, and also, off the field, an asset in the community.
The Texans are also working out defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour and defensive backs Luther Kirk, Chris Milton and Josh Jones.
Jones (6-2, 220 pounds) is a former Green Bay Packers second-round draft pick from North Carolina State. He has 128 career tackles and one interception. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys.
Kirk (6-2, 195) is a former Cowboys undrafted free agent from Illinois State.
Milton (5-11, 190) is a former Indianapolis Colts undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech who has also played for the New York Giants and Cowboys and has 35 career tackles.
Dwumfour is a former New York Jets undrafted free agent from Rutgers. He transferred from Michigan and recorded 59 career tackles in college with 3 1/2 sacks, 8 1/2 tackles for losses and one interception.
OCT 6 ZEKE HONORED Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the Week 4 NFL Ground Game Player of the Week on Wednesday, following his breakout performance against the Carolina Panthers.
Elliott finished with 20 carries for 143 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys win.
OCT 6 NEAL IN As expected (but still helpful): The Cowboys on Wednesday have officially activated linebacker Keanu Neal, along with defensive end Bradlee Anae, from the COVID list.
Meanwhile, receiver Amari Cooper (hamstring) spend most of the media-open portion of the Wednesday workout with trainers. As as part of what could be a vet's rest day, running back Ezekiel Elliott – in good spirits during a brief visit with us as he left the practice field – did not work fully.
OCT 5: JAYLON OUT Jaylon Smith has been released by the Cowboys, a shocking Tuesday evening move that eliminates some of 3-1 Dallas’ depth at linebacker and still leaves the club owing the former star at Notre Dame $7.2 million on his contract.
An NFL source tells CowboysSI.com that Dallas this week attempted to trade Smith.
He dropped in the draft due to a devastating injury, but was drafted by the Cowboys at pick No. 34 and his rehab became a major success story.
READ MORE: 10 Cowboys Observations
But Smith has experienced ups and downs as a player, and with the newfound depth now available at the position driven by top rookie Jaylon Smith is now out.
SEPT 25: NEAL OUT Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said on Saturday that linebacker Keanu Neal has tested positive for COVID-19. Neal will therefore remain in the protocol, so both Neal and Bradlee Anae will be on the COVID list and will not play Monday night against the visiting Eagles.
SEPT 24: MORE COVID The Dallas Cowboys defensive line is down another player as of Friday as added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list is second-year defensive end Bradlee Ana.
The Cowboys have sustained an assortment of losses in the D-line room already this season. As they prepare for their Monday night matchup with the visiting Eagles, they will also be without defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong, as well as defensive tackles Carlos Watkins, Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill.
Randy Gregory has come off the COVID list and is practicing. The team is hoping linebacker Keanu Neal can do the same.
SEPT 22: NEAL TO COVID The Cowboys on Wednesday are moving Keanu Neal to the COVID list, a source tells CowboysSI.com. Mark it down as yet another reason Dallas isn't trading any of its depth at linebacker.
Neal, a former Falcons safety, has emerged as a key Nickel defender – meaning a starting defender – in coordinator Dan Quinn's attack. Quinn, who coached Neal as a safety last year in Atlanta, will now look to give more snaps to Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, who'd been bumped down on the pecking order since Quinn helped orchestrate the free-agency signing of Neal, a converted first-round safety.
SEPT 22: COWBOYS ADD CB The Cowboys are signing cornerback Holton Hill to their practice squad, as first reported by NFL Network.
The 6-2, 196-pound Hill, 24, has appeared in 28 career games while making six starts during his three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings since entering the league in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Texas. He had a tryout with the Cowboys at the end of training camp in Oxnard.
SEPT 13: COVID MOVES The good news on Monday is that the Cowboys are activating All-Pro guard Zack Martin (along with backup lineman Brandon Knight) from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The bad news? Randy Gregory is moving from the roster and has been added to COVID list, which puts in jeopardy his status for Sunday's game at the Chargers.
In another roster move, Michael Gallup (calf) has been shifted to injured reserve.
SEPT 11 New Orleans has released Jeff Heath, the former Dallas Cowboys starting safety and special-teams standout.
Heath signed with New Orleans in mid-August after having signed a big-money deal the season before with the Raiders, but Las Vegas released him in May.
Heath played in 13 games with five starts for Las Vegas, recording three interceptions and four passes defensed. In his thank three seasons in Dallas, Heath, 30 started 44 games.
SEPT 10: COLLINS SUSPENDED Offensive lineman La'el Collins has been suspended five games without pay for Violation of NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, per a league source.
Collins, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, returned to the field in Thursday night's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Collins out, Ty Nsekhe or Terence Steele will be next in line for reps at the right tackle position, though it could be argued that Dallas should kick out Zack Martin (the All-Pro guard who missed Week 1 due to COVID) out to tackle.
SEPT 10: GALLUP HURT The Cowboys didn’t just lose a game in their opener on Thursday night at Tampa Bay – they also lost wide receiver Michael Gallup for what might be a month.
The Dallas Morning News is first to report that Gallup sustained an injury to his calf during the 31-29 loss at the Buccaneers, and is now expected to miss three-to-five weeks.
Gallup, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, had four catches for 36 yards in the game for the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys.
Dallas has great star power at the position with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Cedrick Wilson will be next-man-up for Dallas.
SEPT 6: PRACTICE-SQUADDER ADDED The Cowboys on Monday signed former TCU offensive tackle Aviante Collins to the practice squad. The 6-4, 290-pound Collins, 28, spent training camp with Vikings.
SEPT 5: ANGER BACK The Cowboys have signed punter Bryan Anger back the 53-man roster ahead of Sunday's practice, as was always the plan – though him replacing All-Pro guard Zack Martin wasn’t exactly the vision.
Martin and fellow offensive lineman Brandon Knight on Sunday moved to the Reserve/COVID-19 list, opening spots for guard Connor Williams to be activated from the COVID list and for Anger – a veteran NFL punter in his first season in Dallas – to re-join the club.
SEPT 3: COWBOYS QB TO PATRIOTS So they don't have Cam Newton anymore. And Mac Jones is the only healthy quarterback on the roster. So along comes former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the rescue!
Well, actually, to thepractice squad.
The Cowboys released Gilbert on Tuesday prior to the NFL cutdown deadline, despite the fact that Dallas spent the last six months committed to the idea of Gilbert – who started one game for the Cowboys in 2020, completing 55.3 percent of his passes for 243 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh – as the "savior'' backup QB to Dak Prescott.
Strangely, in a snap of the fingers this summer, Dallas changed its mind, away from Gilbert and to Cooper Rush … only to then add Panthers ex Will Grier this week to compete with Rush.
This will be Gilbert’s second stint with the Patriots, as the much-traveled journeyman last played for New England in 2015.
SEPT 1 RB COMING The Dallas Cowboys are set at the top of their depth chart with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard at running back. But they've been seeking a third runner who can also play special teams and they've found one in the just-released Corey Clement, who was let go by the New York Giants this week.
The 5-10, 220-pound Clement, 26, played at Wisconsin but was undrafted in 2017 before becoming a contributor on the Eagles' Super Bowl team that year. He played three seasons in Philly and was New York's leading rusher in preseason.
SEPT 1: DiNUCCI STAYING The Cowboys are building their practice squad – and Ben DiNucci is going nowhere.
And we mean that in the nicest way.
The Cowboys are bringing the favorite of coach Mike McCarthy back into the building as part of the 16-man squad, which so far we know will also feature: safety Darian Thompson, running back JaQuan Hardy, defensive lineman DT Austin Faoliu, fullback Nick Ralston, offensive linemen Braylon Jones, Isaac Alarcon, receivers Brandon Smith, Osirus Mitchell and defensive backs Kyron Brown and Deante Burton.
SEPT 1: A NEW QB: The Dallas Cowboys added another potential back up QB to the mix on Tuesday morning, claiming for Carolina Panther Will Grier off of waivers.
Standing 6-2 and weighing 200 pounds, Grier is a former pupil of Garrett Nussmeier during his college days at Florida, and has two NFL starts under his belt.
AUG 31: 'FINAL 53': Of course, it's not really "final.'' But to get to the Tuesday deadline, the moves are here:
Passed Physical, Counts Towards 53
59 Chauncey Golston DE 6-5 277 23 R Iowa D3b-'21
A rumor is connecting Quinn to a job vacancy at … USC?
Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Free Agency and Trade Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort
Revert to Reserve/PUP
72 Trysten Hill DT 6-3 300 23 3 Central Florida D2-'19
Revert to Reserve/NFI
15 T.J. Vasher WR 6-6 210 23 R Texas Tech UDFA-'21
85 Noah Brown WR 6-2 215 25 5 Ohio State D7b-'17
3 Garrett Gilbert QB 6-4 228 30 4 Southern Methodist PS(Cle)-'20
23 Darian Thompson S 6-2 210 27 6 Boise State FA-'18
33 Deante Burton CB 6-2 205 27 4 Kansas State PS(Ind)-'19
44 Jake McQuaide LS 6-2 238 34 11 Ohio State UFA(LAR)-'21
67 Eric Smith T 6-6 305 25 4 Virginia FA-'20
87 Jeremy Sprinkle TE 6-5 257 27 5 Arkansas UFA(Was)-'21
99 Justin Hamilton DT 6-2 315 28 4 Louisiana FA-'20
6 Johnnie Dixon WR 5-11 200 26 1 Ohio State FA-'21
7 Ben DiNucci QB 6-2 222 24 2 James Madison D7-'20
14 Osirus Mitchell WR 6-5 210 23 R Mississippi State UDFA-'21
16 Reggie Davis WR 6-0 163 25 1 Georgia FA-'21
18 Aaron Parker WR 6-2 210 23 1 Rhode Island UDFA-'20
25 Steven Parker S 6-1 205 25 3 Oklahoma FA-'20
36 Brenden Knox RB 5-11 223 22 R Marshall UDFA-'21
37 JaQuan Hardy RB 5-8 215 23 R Tiffin UDFA-'21
39 Tyler Coyle S 6-1 210 22 R Purdue UDFA-'21
46 Nick Ralston FB 6-0 245 24 R Louisiana UDFA-'21
47 Nick Eubanks TE 6-4 255 24 R Michigan UDFA-'21
49 Artayvious Lynn TE 6-5 255 25 R TCU UDFA-'21
58 Austin Faoliu DE 6-3 295 22 R Oregon UDFA-'21
60 Isaac Alarcón T 6-6 318 23 1 Monterrey Tech IPP-'20
62 Braylon Jones C 6-3 310 23 R Houston UDFA-'21
80 Brandon Smith WR 6-1 215 22 R Iowa UDFA-'21
97 Ron'Dell Carter DE 6-3 270 24 2 James Madison W(Ind)-'20
AUG 31: COWBOYS SO-FAR CUTS: Here's the list as of noontime Tuesday: Receivers Brandon Smith, Johnnie Dixon and Osirus Mitchell, running backs JaQuan Hardy and Brenden Knox, offensive linemen Eric Smith and Braylon Jones, defensive lineman Ron'Dell Carter and Austin Faoliu, cornerback Deante Burton, safeties Darian Thompson and Tyler Coyle, and QBs Garrett Gilbert and Ben Dinucci.
AUG 31: CAM NEWTON RELEASED – The New England Patriots have cut quarterback Cam Newton, surprisingly commencing the Mac Jones era. This will start the "Cam Newton as a backup" rumors all over the league, including Dallas. The Cowboys cut Garrett Gilbert, settling on Cooper Rush as No. 2 behind Dak Prescott. Jones, meanwhile, will be the first rookie to start for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993, and his first opponent will be former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa, now of the Miami Dolphins.
AUG 30: 2 TRADES? On the day before Tuesday’s NFL cutdown to 53, our buddy Jeff Cavanaugh has a “rumor” that sounds more like fact: "If the Cowboys can find a taker,” he writes on Twitter, “you might hear trades of Brandon Knight/Bradlee Anae …”
Knight is a backup offensive lineman who the previous coaching staff had a fondness for. Anae was drafted a year ago in the fifth and has flashed this summer, but is trying to get snaps as part of a deep group.
AUG 27: SAINTS TO DFW The New Orleans Saints canceled their weekend preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals due to the approach of Hurricane Ida, and now Dallas Cowboys officials tell us, the Saints are evacuating the city and moving to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for workouts.
The Saints plan to practice at the Cowboys’ home stadium from today through Wednesday. The Cowboys will of course occupy the building on Sunday for their preseason finale against Jacksonville.
AUG 25: 2 MORE The Cowboys on Wednesday added two starters, safety Damontae Kazee and guard Connor Williams, to their COVID protocol list.
Meanwhile, safety Donovan Wilson (groin) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (non-COVID-related illness) are likely unavailable for today’s practice here inside The Star.
AUG 25: RAMS TRADE Are running backs interchangeable? Not important? The Patriots and Rams are about to find out.
On Wednesday, the Patriots traded former first-rounder Sony Michel to the Rams in exchange for two late-round picks. (Read more here.)
The Patriots selected Michel with the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then, 2,292 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also scored New England's only touchdown in their 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
Michel could be an instant contributor in Los Angeles. Cam Akers is out for the season and Darrell Henderson is dealing with a thumb sprain.
The Patriots generally think they can "get by'' at running back. The Rams seem to prioritize the spot. And of course, the Cowboys pay big there with Ezekiel Elliott.
Which philosophy is right? The one employed by the team who wins the most games.
AUG 23: 3 MORE COWBOYS IN COVID PROTOCOL The Cowboys on Monday revealed the status of receiver CeeDee Lamb, safety Malik Hooker and defensive back Israel Mukuamu, all of whom have been added to COVID-19 protocol.
On Saturday, before the preseason loss to Houston, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive lineman Carlos Watkins were sent home from AT&T Stadium and put in COVID protocol.
For all the potential negativity about the issue, Tuesday is NFL cutdown day, and now Dallas must remove just one player from the active roster to get to the mandated 80-man roster.
Additionally, they have some scheduling juggling to do. Coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys conducted virtual meetings on Sunday and Monday, with what sounds like a tentative plan to return to the field for practice here at The Star on Tuesday.
“We’re just being cautious and want to make sure that we contain this outbreak and just be smart with that,'' he said.
AUG 23: TACO CUT Kansas City announced five cuts on Monday as they got down to the 80-man roster for Tuesday’s deadline - and one of them is former Cowboys first-rounder Taco Charlton.
Charlton was Dallas' top pick in 2017 but moved onto Miami and then was signed by the Chiefs in 2020, and posted seven tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in seven games before a broken ankle ended his season.
Said coach Andy Reid of the move: “I hope he hooks on somewhere.''
Wrote Taco on Twitter: “ChiefsKingdom, Thank you for embracing me.''
Meanwhile, another former Cowboy (for a minute) Everson Griffen has re-signed in Minnesota, where he starred for a decade before falling out of favor with the organization last spring.
AUG 21: QUINN AND WATKINS OUT Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive lineman Carlos Watkins are not in attendance at AT&T Stadium for tonight’s preseason game against Houston “out of an abundance of caution under the guidelines of the NFL’s COVID-related protocols,” according to the team. Both will be medically evaluated further on Sunday.
Top defensive assistant Joe Whitt is serving in the coordinator's role tonight.
AUG 20: ON TANK, AMARI, DAK, ZEKE AND THE O-LINE VS. TEXANS Houston is at Dallas in a preseason game on Saturday and via Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, here's the notable "who's in's'' and "who's out's'' …
IN – Amari Cooper (for about 10 plays, as reported here earlier this week), the healthy starting defense (for maybe the entire first half), and offensive linemen Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, who are scheduled to participate in today's Friday workout.
OUT – Dak Prescott (the wrong decision, per columnist Richie Whitt), Ezekiel Elliott and DeMarcus Lawrence.
AUG 20: HURTS SO GOOD? Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Jalen Hurts left before Thursday night’s preseason game – a 35-0 loss to the Patriots – with a stomach infection that was discovered after he was examined at the hospital.
Hurts, the former Oklahoma star, reported pain in his abdomen. He is apparently OK, the illness is not COVID-19 related, and while Hurts has been advised to stay home and rest for a couple of days, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Hurts is “fine.”
AUG 18: GRIFFEN GETS ANOTHER SHOT: Former Cowboys defensive lineman Everson Griffen is scheduled to have a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was once a superstar.
With the injury to Neville Gallimore could he be a fit in Dallas?
Well, that answer is no. But he has emotional ties to the Vikings, and the organization feels the same way about him. So while Dallas has other ideas for how to replace Gallimore (who will miss at least a month), we wish good things for Griffen on his job search.
AUG 18: IS COLLINS OK? The Cowboys began the day practicing outdoors in the backyard here at The Star. Then the rains came and they moved inside to Ford Center.
Then trouble – maybe – arrived when right tackle La'el Collins was forced to exit the workout with trainers examining his neck area.
Collins left the practice but did remain on the sideline during the workout.
Collins, seen by the Cowboys as a premier talent, missed all of last season due to hip problems. He entered this season slimmed down and healthy … a status that Dallas hopes will continue.
CowboysSI.com is inside The Star and will update as the story unfolds.
AUG 17: COWBOYS TO 85 The Cowboys are down to today's 85-man roster limit, with two tough items of news: fullback Sewo Olonilua (neck) and cornerback Reggie Robinson (toe) are moving to injured reserve for the year.
Dallas made a trio of other moves, with a planned shift of rookie Anthony Hines (elbow) to IR following his clearing of waivers, and with the releases of cornerback Kyron Brown and receiver Brennan Eagles.
AUG 17: JAMAL IN WITH SEATTLE The Cowboys and Jamal Adams did a lot of flirting there for a couple of years. They love him. The hometown guy Adams wanted to play here.
But was Dallas ever going to pay the star safety $17.5 million APY? No.
But the Seattle Seahawks will, as according to NFL Network, the parties have agreed to terms on a large extension for Adams - a four-year, $70 mil deal (with $38 mil guaranteed) that makes him the league’s highest paid safety, I’m told. He gets $38M guaranteed.
AUG 17: INJURIES IMPACT? Injured Cowboys players not practicing on Monday night include defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, tight end Sean McKeon and tackle Josh Ball. That trio has what the club is calling "significant'' injury issues.
Tuesday is cutdown day (to 85). How will those injuries impact Dallas' moves today? The Cowboys are asking Osa Odighizuwa to do more at defensive tackle, but they will do some searching at that spot. Jeremy Sprinkle can take over for McKeon as the third tight end, so probably no movement there. And at swing tackle? Ty Nsekhe was back on Monday, having overcome a mild injury … but the search might be on that that spot.
AUG 11: ALDON CUT Troubled defensive lineman Aldon Smith, who made a notable return to football in 2020 with the Dallas Cowboys, on Wednesday is being released by the Seattle Seahawks. (Per NFL Network.)
Smith was out of the NFL for behavioral reasons for half-a-decade before signing with Dallas. But he ran into some trouble while with the Cowboys, who opted to not bring him back. Seattle signed him, but amid more legal issues, he's now again a free agent.
AUG 5: McCOY TO VEGAS Gerald McCoy, who became an organizational favorite in Dallas a year ago despite his short stint as a Cowboy, is now joining the Raiders. On Wednesday, McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman, signed with Las Vegas.
A long-time star in Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting lineup, McCoy is now signing on with his for fourth team in four years, including him coming to the Cowboys in the spring of 2020. McCoy, however, never played a down for Dallas as he was released after sustaining a torn quadriceps tendon on the first day of camp.
COO Stephen Jones continued in the offseason talked of McCoy as being a Cowboy, but Dallas eventually moved on from McCoy, the third-overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft who at 33 was praised by the Cowboys for taking a leadership role with their young D-lineman (via technology) literally while he was still in a hospital bed.
AUG 4: EX-COWBOYS CORNER OFF TO MILE HIGH The Denver Broncos have signed former Cowboys cornerback Saivion Smith.
Smith played in three games last season for the Cowboys as he shuttled back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster. He was waived following the draft after the Cowboys drafted two defensive backs and was claimed by the Seattle Seahawks before they waived him last week.
Now, Smith gets a fresh start in Denver where he will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.
AUG 1: LOONEY TO BIG APPLE Joe Looney was a well-liked figure in the Cowboys locker room. And Jason Garrett likes him, too. No wonder the Giants are signing the veteran offensive lineman.
Garrett is now the Giants offensive coordinator and of course was Looney’s head coach in Dallas. Looney remade his rep in a Cowboys uniform, becoming a starter when Travis Frederick fell ill.
Long-considered a "class clown'' (in a good way), Looney has also developed into a versatile interior O-lineman and a positive locker-room guy.
JULY 24: ANOTHER DB SIGNS The Cowboys have signed former Jets cornerback Kyron Brown to a two-year contract, which means Dallas now has a full 90-man roster – with more shuffling to come, as safety Malik Hooker remains on the radar.
READ MORE: Cowboys and Malik Hooker Plan, HERE
Brown is 6-1 and 195, a product of Akron who went undrafted in 2019 and played mostly special teams for the Jets.
Hooker is in Oxnard, as CowboysSI.com was first to report, and is going through the protocol with plans to sign with Dallas. When that happens, another roster cut will obviously need to occur.
JULY 21: GOLSTON SIGNS The Cowboys have signed third-round rookie defensive lineman Chauncey Golston. All 11 picks now under contract as training camp begins in Oxnard.
JULY 17: ROBINSON RELEASED Cornerback Rashard Robinson, who has been suspended the first two games of next season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, is now out of a job, the Cowboys having released him on Saturday.
Robinson spent most of the 2020 season on the practice squad but was signed to the active roster in December. He appeared in four games, and had three starts while totaling 21 tackles.
(As a note of clarity, Rashard Robinson is not to be confused with Reggie Robinson, the DB who remains with the Cowboys as they prepare to go to Oxnard and training camp on Tuesday.
Oh, and Rashard's response to the move?
"Ima make ya regret that,'' he writes on IG.
JUNE 6: JULIO JONES TRADED AWAY FROM FALCONS, AND COWBOYS SCHEDULE
The Atlanta Falcons always seemed willing to trade away Julio Jones. Now, he has a new home.
According to multiple reports, the Falcons and Tennessee Titans have come to terms to send the All-Pro wide receiver to the Music City for the 2021 season. In return, the Titans are expected to trade a second and fifth-round pick to Atlanta.
While the deal is not finalized, both parties are expected to come to terms in the next 48 hours, making Jones officially a Titan and perhaps fantastic news for Cowboys fans.
Jones became one of the game's top weapons when drafted out of Alabama with the No. 6 pick in 2011. As the face of the franchise in Atlanta, the 32-year-old recorded six straight 1,000-yard seasons from 2014-19. In 2015, Jones led the NFL with 1,871 receiving yards.
Last season, Jones dealt with multiple injuries but was consistent when on the field. He recorded 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games.
Jones now becomes a complement to emerging Pro Bowl target AJ Brown and another weapon for Ryan Tannehill under center.
JUNE 4: COWBOYS TO CHECK IN WITH GENO ATKINS Former Bengals All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who is recovering from a torn rotator cuff, will be visiting Dallas Cowboys team doctor Dan Cooper for a check-up in the coming weeks, according to a report from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
According to Rapoport, Cooper performed the surgery on Atkins, and this is not considered a team visit. Atkins is expected to be cleared by Cooper to return to action, with multiple teams, including the Cowboys, interested in his services.
MAY 24: COWBOYS SIGN WIDE RECEIVER Dallas adds Johnnie Dixon after a tryout last week. The former Ohio State Buckeye went undrafted in 2019 and has spent time with the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals without appearing in any regular season games.
Dealing with a number of injuries at Ohio State, Dixon totaled 60 catches for 1,091 yards and 16 touchdowns during his final two college seasons. Healthy now, Dixon has a chance to make the 53-man roster and join Dallas' deadly receiver room, consisting of; Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, Malid Turner and rookie Simi Fehoko.
MAY 21: IRVING CUT David Irving, the mercurial Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, was released by the Las Vegas raiders on Friday. Irving‘s time in Dallas was marked by colorful and controversial behavior. … in the end punctuated by a suspension and a pursuit in the business world of marijuana.
MAY 19: DRISKEL LAND IN OTHER TEXAS TEAM If the Cowboys were interested in adding another QB heading into the offseason, one is off the market officially. The Houston Texans have added former Denver Broncos backup Jeff Driskel on a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million.
Driskel, a former sixth-round pick from Louisiana Tech, has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals. Since coming out of college, he's thrown for 2,120 yards and 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions in 15 games — nine of which were starts.
The Texans now have five quarterbacks on the roster with the addition Driskel. The team added former Los Angeles Chargers Tyrod Taylor on a one-year deal and drafted Stanford's Davis Mills with the No. 67 pick in April's draft.
Driskel recently visited Dallas but no deal was forged. The Cowboys are now planning on a visit from another journeyman QB in Brett Hundley as a backup to Dak Prescott.
Houston also traded for Cincinnati backup Ryan Finley before the NFL Draft. Keep in mind the Texans still have Deshaun Watson, who currently is facing 22 civil cases of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
MAY 18: COWBOYS DECIDE ON 2 QBs The Cowboys needed two arms for last weekend's rookie minicamp … and that's as far as it's going to go for JT Barrett and Brady Davis. Dallas is not planning on signing either guy, Clarence Hill Jr. tweets of their “less than stellar showings” at the minicamp.
That leaves, as of right now, Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci on the roster behind Dak Prescott. The Cowboys have flirted with the idea of adding vet journeyman free agent Jeff Driskel and a couple of other backups of that caliber.
MAY 16: ANKOU TO ATLANTA The Cowboys acquired veteran defensive tackle Eli Ankou from the Texans last November in exchange for a late-round pick. It wasn't an impactful move for Dallas; it came after the Cowboys' decision to release Dontari Poe. But now Ankou's time here is done as he is signing with Atlanta.
Ankou has been in the league since 2017, spending time with Jacksonville, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Houston and here.
Dallas feels it has fortified the interior line with a couple of additions, including sixth-rounder Quinton Bohanna. Read more about his first weekend with the Cowboys at rookie minicamp here.
MAY 13: CAM TO DENVER The Cowboys turned the page away from swing tackle Cam Fleming a year ago, and then he took a turn with the Giants, but with Ja'Wuan James out for the year in Denver, the Broncos are turning to potential replacement Fleming, who has agreed to a one-year deal for what NFL Network says is up to "$3.67 million.''
In Dallas, both Tyron Smith and La'el Collins are back from injury, and they hope the backup issues they had last year – post-Cam – aren't repeated as they've signed 35-year-old vet Ty Nseckhe to be the swing guy along with draftee Josh Ball joining a handful of incumbent backups.
MAY 12: FORMER COWBOYS SAFETY TRYING OUT WITH TEXANS Former Dallas Cowboys safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will be trying out with the Houston Texans at their upcoming minicamp as he seemingly looks to work his way back into the NFL after missing the 2020 season.
Clinton-Dix only spent a brief period in Dallas, being cut last September before he'd been able to make an appearance for Mike Nolan's defense. Prior to last season, the 2016 Pro Bowler hadn't missed a regular-season game since entering the league in 2014.
MAY 11: WOODS SIGNS WITH COLTS Just one day after taking a visit with the Indianapolis Colts, former Cowboys starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods has signed a one-year deal with the team, per his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Woods was released last week after the 2021 NFL Draft, following the Cowboys' decision to select a pair of defensive tackles in Quinton Bohana and Osa Odighizuwa, as well as defensive end Chauncey Golston.
Woods was one of six Cowboys released.
MAY 10: WOODS VISITS INDY Antwaun Woods, the defensive tackle starter just released by the Cowboys, is visiting the Colts, ESPN notes.
Woods found himself a victim of Dallas’ desire for a new-look D-line under new coordinator Dan Quinn. Woods recently signed a one-year, $2.133 million tender offer to stay with the Cowboys … but then came the Dallas pursuit of help in the NFL Draft … and the decision to waive him.
The 6-1, 310-pound Woods – nicknamed “The Human Log” – started 32 of the 39 games he played for the Cowboys over the last three seasons.
MAY 5: DOWN TO 90: The Cowboys released six players Wednesday to shave down to the 90-man roster limit: Antwaun Woods and Saivion Smith, as mentioned below, plus center Adam Redmond, defensive linemen Walter Palmore and Ladarius Hamilton and cornerback Kemon Hall
The big news involves Woods, of course, a seven-game starter last year made expendable by the recent drafting of three D-linemen last week: third-rounders Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston and sixth-rounder Quinton Bohanna.
MAY 5: LOG OUT It was just two weeks ago when the Cowboys opted, contractually, to keep Antwaun Woods.
That was then. This is now.
The Cowboys had placed a right of first refusal RFA tender on defensive tackle Antwaun Woods for $2.133 million. On April 22, "The Human Log'' signed that deal and was to be back in the Dallas mix in the interior line. Newcomers Carlos Watkins and Brent Urban can be in that mix as well, along with young incumbents Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore.
What changed, as on Wednesday the Cowboys opted to release Woods? The NFL Draft.
Over the weekend, Dallas picked a trio of defensive lineman, among them Quinton Bohanna, who played at 357 pounds last year in college and with his bulk and long arms is – despite being just a sixth-round rookie – already being mentioned by coordinator Dan Quinn as a potential starter.
Dallas has also released reserve cornerback Savion Smith, a product of Alabama.
APRIL 22: WR RETURNS Like Antwaun Woods mentioned below, Cowboys restricted free agent Cedrick Wilson has signed his original-round tender of $2.133 million. Wilson last year got work at the fourth receiver behind Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. He helped on special teams and caught 17 passes and two touchdowns.
APRIL 22: DT RETURNS The Cowboys had placed a right of first refusal RFA tender on defensive tackle Antwaun Woods for $2.133 million. On Thursday, "The Human Log'' signed that deal and will be back in the Dallas mix in the interior line. Newcomers Carlos Watkins and Brent Urban can be in that mix as well, along with young incumbents Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore.
APRIL 8: TE FROM WFT The Cowboys are signing former Washington tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, who will fight for a backup role with Blake Bell having signed in KC. Sprinkle, who played at Arkansas, was a fifth-round pick and is 6-5, 255. In his four seasons he's played in 59 games, catching 34 passes for 301 yards.
APRIL 7: COWBOYS GRAB NEW PUNTER FROM "OTHER" LONE STAR STATE FRANCHISE The Cowboys will be looking for any punter that can add an extra element to special teams. They found their man right up I-35 for the start of the 2021 season. … or at least competition to be the man.
Dallas is signing former Houston Texans punter Bryan Anger to a one-year deal. The Cowboys released long-time punter Chris Jones earlier this offseason. Last season for the Texans, Anger averaged 46.4 yards per punt on 54 attempts with a long of 67 yards.
During his tenure with the Cowboys, Jones averaged 44.5 yards per kick. Last season, Hunter Niswander took over the duties following Jones' abdominal surgery. He averaged 47.2 yards per kick.
APRIL 2: NEW NUMBERS Cowboys newcomers mean Cowboys new numbers. We're still waiting on Keanu Neal's as his signing is not yet official. But seven signees are:
35 Damontae Kazee
42 Jayron Kearse
44 Jake McQuaide
75 Ty Nsekhe 91
91 Carlos Watkins
95 Brent Urban
98 Tarell Basham
Anything notable here? Well, they sure didn't let the locker stall even get cold before they gave away L.P.'s old 91 and Crawford's old 98!
MARCH 29: CRAWFORD EXPLAINS RETIREMENT We reported in January that Tyrone Crawford, 31, was planning to retire. That's happened now, and the long-time Cowboys D-lineman leader is explaining why.
"I just came to the decision that it's probably best for me to hang it up," Crawford told ESPN. "I don't think I'll be able to perform the way I want to perform on the field, and that was important to me. I thought it was time. I don't want those things to mess up my future as a father."
"I'm just trying to bring my body back to match with my age," he said. "I'm just trying to enjoy this and get my body back to 31 years old because those Marinelli years, those are like dog years."
Crawford actually has high praise for his old defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and as always, an interesting take on a variety of subjects in this worth-your-time read.
MARCH 28: KAZEE PAYDAY A Cowboys official tells us they believe they got a "bargain'' on new free safety Damontae Kazee. And if he does anything to replicate his best work in Atlanta? Like seven picks in a year?
A "bargain'' he will be.
Kazee's deal is official as of Monday and it looks like this: $1.127 million total, but just a $137,500 signing bonus with a $990,000 base.
The Cowboys' commitment here isn't very grand. But if he's the starting free safety? The price will have been very right.
MARCH 26: KJ WANTS COWBOYS We go 1-on-1 with K.J. Wright, the long-time Seattle standout, and get the scoop on the linebacker's Dallas "dream'' here.
MARCH 25: KAZEE NEGOTIATIONS The Cowboys has their visits with Malik Hooker and with Damontae Kazee, and one with Jayron Kearse, too.
Kearse is signed. (He is in theory a backup "hybrid'' safety/linebacker behind newly-signed Keanu Neal, and the 6-4 Kearse can help on special teams.)
Hooker is hopeful. (Though tap the brakes here. This may be all about the Achilles tear rehab.)
And Kazee? The session went well enough that, as first reported by the Dallas News, the Cowboys have made him an offer.
There are other reports that Dallas has also offered a deal to Hooker. A source tells us that a media "assumption'' more than it is a fact as of Wednesday afternoon. Logically, there will be no Hooker offer at all if the medicals didn't meet Dallas' requirements … and again, reports of an offer to Hooker are simply false.
MARCH 23: IS KEARSE ANY GOOD? Jayron Kearse is also on the list of safeties visiting the Cowboys, joining Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker, who as we first reported are scheduled to be at The Star on Tuesday before spending all of Wednesday on a visit that will include interviews and medicals.
Where does Kearse (his visit first noted by ESPN) fit?
He's 6-4, 215, but was just a seventh-round pick in 2017. He spent three years in Minnesota but was never a starter. He did start half the games in Detroit last season but was waived in December after violating team rules. He's also had a couple of run-ins with the law, and began last year suspended the first three games for violating the substance-abuse policy. He ended the year on Baltimore’s practice squad.
Was Jayron Kearse ever even a real prospect? Check out our 105.3 The Fan colleague Jeff Cavanaugh's 2017 NFL Draft scouting report on him:
Writes Cavanaugh in reaction to the news of Kearse's visit: "I’ll have to see how his career has gone but he’s my least favorite safety prospect in 7 years of study.''
MARCH 23: LP WANTS TO PLAY He put 16 seasons and …. he wants more.
L.P. Ladouceur, now 40, was pretty much perfect in his time with the Cowboys. Now Dallas will hope that replacement Jake McQuaide is as good.
And the second-longest-tenured Cowboy? Stellar long-snapper.LP says he wants to keep playing. Somewhere.
MARCH 21: COWBOYS OFFICIALLY SIGN 5: The Cowboys officially signed five NFL free agents, including pass-rush talent Tarell Basham from the Jets. It's worth noting that Basham is presently listed by Dallas as a "linebacker,'' though we figure him as an edge rusher.
Similarly, Dallas signee Carlos Watkins, formerly of the Texans, is presently listed as a "defensive end,'' though it's likely he'll play more inside.
Additionally, Dallas made official its deals with long-snapper Jake McQuaide, tackle Ty Nsekhe and defensive tackle Brent Urban.
When they officially sign ex Falcon Keanu Neal, the Cowboys PR department will face another positional challenge, as Neal is a safety by trade but will, sources tell CowboysSI.com, be a "hybrid'' player who lines up at safety and at linebacker. Neal's deal may also be announced as something more than the original "one-year contract,'' as it could feature "dummy'' voidable years tacked on.
MARCH 18: D-LINEMEN IN The Dallas Cowboys have made another Thursday addition to their defensive line via NFL free agency, as Brent Urban is coming to The Star via a one-year deal … as revealed both by him and (first) by his wife, broke the news on her Twitter account.
Urban joins former Houston Texans defensive lineman Carlos Watkins in coming to Dallas, and like Watkins was a part-time starter in his previous stop.
Urban – who happens to stand 6-7 and weighs 300 – started eight of the 16 games he played for the Chicago Bears last season and recorded 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He signed with Chicago during two seasons after stints with the Titans and the Ravens, where the 29-year-old Canadian was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Earlier in the day, the Cowboys agreed to a deal with defensive tackle Carlos Watkins. Watkins, a 2017 fourth-round pick out of Clemson, played four seasons with the Texans before becoming an unrestricted free agent after finishing out his rookie contract with the Texans. The 6-3, 297-pound defensive lineman was a starter with Houston in 2020, registering 11 first-team appearances. He recorded two of his career four sacks last season while playing about half of the snaps for the Texans.
On Thursday evening, Dallas added EDGE rusher Tarell Basham. That story is here.