<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - - Blue Star - Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Cowboys Blog]]>Copyright 2018http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sportsen-usTue, 22 May 2018 22:10:07 -0500Tue, 22 May 2018 22:10:07 -0500NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[WR Michael Gallup Signs; All Cowboys Draft Picks Locked Up]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 22:52:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy-and-JJT-Cowboys-052118.jpg

The Cowboys signed wide receiver Michael Gallup. Newy & JJT break down the importance of the Cowboys changing the way they go about signing their draft classes.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Newy and JJT on Cowboys WR Terrance Williams' Arrest]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 22:54:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy-and-JJT-Cowboys-052118.jpg

So what’s next for Terrance Williams? The Cowboys wide receiver has his version of events after his arrest. Newy & JJT ponder if the NFL will get involved.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Terrance Williams Crash Leaves Litany of Questions]]>Mon, 21 May 2018 09:16:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/terrance+williams+mugshot.jpg

Whether you believe Terrance Williams' statement about why police found his blue Lamborghini wrecked and abandoned in Frisco is totally, utterly irrelevant.

He should've never put himself in position to get suspended for a game or two by the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy.

It's dumb and inexcusable.

No one is telling players to study video 24-7 and spend their evenings reading scriptures, but Williams must do better job understanding the correlation between decisions and consequences.

Heck, less than a month ago Williams tweeted about the benefits of Lyft, a car service similar to Uber. Any NFL player who expects to consume alcohol is better off taking a car service — even if it means leaving his snazzy whip in the garage — because we all know the NFL has some draconian rules about bringing shame to the league's shield.

A one-game suspension, if it happens, would cost Williams $205,882. You gotta believe Lyft would've been cheaper.

Williams provided a timeline in a short statement released Saturday afternoon that should be pretty easy for Frisco police to verify.

Williams' statement said, "The driver in front of me slammed on his brakes and I turned to the left and hopped the curb to avoid hitting him. I got his insurance information and my neighbor picked me up when my car wouldn't drive."

Williams' statement also said he was riding a scooter to the scene of the accident to wait for a tow truck, when he was arrested.

It's pretty easy to check what time he called a tow company to see and to check every other aspect of his story.

That's not the point, though.

The Cowboys are depending on Williams to be a difference-maker this season, expectations they've never had for the former third-round pick.

We're talking about a dude who signed a four-year $17 million deal before the start of last season. His $3.5 million salary is guaranteed, and that's among the reasons he still has a roster spot and Dez Bryant doesn't.

Williams caught 53 passes for 568 yards and a career low 10.7 yards. It also marked the first time in his career he didn't score a touchdown.

Still, when the Cowboys decided to put their receivers group together without a true No.1 it automatically meant more opportunities for Williams, who's spent much of his career privately grumbling about the number of passes directed his way and the types of routes the coaching staff let him run.

This is supposed to be a year where he can surpass his career-high of 840 yards because Dak Prescott is going to throw the ball where the reads take him as opposed to forcing the ball to Bryant.

Prescott targeted Bryant 132 times last year, and he threw recently-retired tight end Jason Witten 87 passes.

You better believe Williams figures a high percentage of those 219 passes are going to be directed his way.

Williams has not been involved in the offseason because he broke his foot during a workout and needed surgery.

He's supposed to be ready at some point during training camp.

The Cowboys need him. He has more career yards (3,359) than any other receiver on the roster.

And if he has a season that doesn't meet expectations, you should expect the Cowboys to release him after the season.

It's clear from the addition of free agents Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson and the drafting of Michael Gallup in the third round and Cedrick Wilson in the sixth round that the Cowboys want to churn their group of receivers.

Cole Beasley is entering the final year of his deal. No guarantee exists that he'll return next year.

There's also no guarantee Williams returns next season. A car accident at 4:45 a.m. won't help his case. 



Photo Credit: Frisco Police]]>
<![CDATA[Chime In: Garrett Must Be More Consistent: Moose Johnston]]>Sun, 04 Feb 2018 21:45:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-900492432.jpg

I had three-time Super Bowl champion Daryl "Moose" Johnston on my NBC Sports Radio show and I wanted to talk about his former teammate, now head coach, Jason Garrett.

Garrett has missed the playoffs five of his seven seasons as head coach. I think he could be in trouble in 2018 if he doesn't produce better results, considering Doug Pederson has the Eagles in the Super Bowl in just his second year coaching in Philadelphia.


Johnston was candid, saying, "the thing that's troublesome, and Jason Garrett would be the first person to admit this, is the inconsistency from year to year...the ability to take off from a previous season and build on that or at least maintain that."

"The ups and down of a 4-12, 13-3 (season) that have been happening here. Back down to the bottom after 13-3, now 9-7. You're trying to establish some consistency," he added.

"You want it to be a steady climb like we had in the 90s. I don't know if that's possible in today in the era of free agency," Johnston said.

To hear more of Johnston discuss why Garrett should still be the head coach and his take on Dez Bryant's future in Dallas click here to listen to The Newy Scruggs Show on NBC Sports Radio.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Baby Giraffe's Debut at Dallas Zoo Moved to Thursday]]>Sun, 20 May 2018 17:05:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Giraffe-Calf-Witten.jpg

Just weeks after one famous Witten in Dallas retired, another one will debut.

A three-week-old giraffe calf named Witten, in honor of recently retired Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, will make his first public appearance Thursday at 10:15 a.m., the Dallas Zoo announced Sunday.

His debut, which was pushed back three days due to rain, will come in the giraffe feeding yard.

Witten was born on April 25, and was standing, walking and nursing less than 45 minutes after birth. He is the second calf for his mother, Chrystal.

Chrystal and other members of the herd will join Witten for his debut, with more regular appearances to follow as the calf acclimates to the herd.



Photo Credit: Dallas Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Arrested, Could Face Suspension]]>Sat, 19 May 2018 22:25:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/terrance+williams+mugshot.jpg

Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams was arrested early Saturday morning for public intoxication, according to a release by Frisco police.

Officers responded to a minor crash near Frisco Green Avenue and Lebanon Road at about 4:45 a.m. where a blue Lamborghini left the roadway and hit a light pole.

Police said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene and could not be found. Officers determined the vehicle was registered to Terrance Tyrone Williams.

Frisco officers located Williams near his home riding an electric bike and arrested him for public intoxication, a Class C Misdemeanor. He since was released from the Frisco jail on a $369 bond.


Police are still investigating the crash and no charge has been filed for striking a fixture at this time. 

Williams, a five-year veteran, signed a four-year deal last off season and his $3.5 million salary is guaranteed this season. Williams has never caught more than 52 passes or gained more than 840 yards in a season.

Last season, he caught 53 passes for 568 yards - a career low 10.7 per catch - and no touchdowns


According to our Cowboys Insider, Jean-Jacques Taylor, Williams could face a 1-2 game suspension from the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.

Willams and his attorney Chip Lewis released a statement Saturday night. You can read the statement below.




Photo Credit: Frisco Police
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<![CDATA[Randy Gregory Seeks Return From Ban]]>Fri, 18 May 2018 17:11:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/081715+Vic+Cowboys+19.JPG

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is seeking reinstatement to the NFL after missing the 2017 season over multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy, a person with direct knowledge of the application said Friday.

Gregory's application should be received by the league office within days in hopes that he will be reinstated in time for training camp in late July, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of privacy stipulations in the drug policy.

The NFL's policy says those involved in the process will work to help Commissioner Roger Goodell rule within 60 days of receiving the application. The league declined to comment.

The 25-year-old Gregory last played in the 2016 regular-season finale, when the former Nebraska standout had his first career sack at the end of his second season. He was suspended before Dallas' playoff loss , his third suspension of the season.

Gregory slid to the Cowboys at the end of the second round in 2015 because of off-field concerns that included a positive test for marijuana at the NFL combine.

The Cowboys have backed Gregory's attempt to return to the field, with several teammates writing letters of recommendation to the NFL as part of the application process. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones, whose recent second-round gambles in the draft haven't paid off, has praised Gregory's character repeatedly during the pass rusher's absence.

"I'm very aware of how hard he's working to get back in the league and get back on the field," Jones said last week. "It's concerning that he needs to be in a team environment and needs to be a part of the regime of preparing to actually compete and so all of that will be a challenge for him, but very do-able."

Gregory was considered one of the best pass rushers in his draft, and there was promise early with a strong rookie training camp. Gregory vowed that he wanted to make good on his word to Jones that he could control his issues with marijuana.

But he only made it through one season, and didn't have a sack while missing four games with an ankle injury.

The first suspension was announced in February 2016, and he was away from the team during training camp while in rehab. The second suspension came seven months later. Gregory remained with the team while serving the 14-game ban before playing in the final two games.

The yearlong suspension kept Gregory from participating in club activities and banned him from team facilities except for sessions with the person in charge of his treatment.

"We're still thinking about him and hoping he gets everything done the right way off the field and then good things will happen for him," executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said last week. "If that happens, then we all know what kind of player he can be."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Victor Dominguez, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Take Part in Home Run Derby]]>Wed, 16 May 2018 22:46:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Homerun+Derby.jpg

Several Dallas Cowboys players took part in the Reliant Energy Home Run Derby on Wednesday which benefits the Salvation Army. The event raised more than $50,000.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Sending Mixed Messages on Tavon Austin]]>Mon, 14 May 2018 11:53:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/10p+rookie+minicamp+rec_KXASHDQG_2018-05-14-10-27-25.jpg

The Cowboys completed their three-day rookie minicamp on Sunday and there wasn’t much action.

That was all part of Jason Garrett’s master plan.

“We want to make sure we get these guys integrated into our offseason program as quickly as we can,” Garrett said. “Right now, the field work is going to be all about jogging through and understanding our drills. We want to slow the process down.

“We don’t know where these guys have been leading up to this time. A lot of time these guys are traveling around and maybe their workouts have been as consistent as they need to be, so we want to slow it down and do more teaching, understanding technique and scheme in the first three days.”

Here’s some additional news and notes from the Cowboys rookie minicamp:

The Cowboys are already sending mixed messages about how they plan to use Tavon Austin, which is always a concern.

When the Cowboys acquired Austin during the draft, owner Jerry Jones and Vice President Stephen Jones lauded his ability to run the ball - not just jet sweeps and reverses - and give the Cowboys a dimension similar to the one Lance Dunbar used to provide as a change-of-pace runner.

In 2015, Austin had 52 catches for 473 yards and five touchdowns and 52 carries for 434 yards rushing and four touchdowns. If the Cowboys could get more than 900 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns from Austin they would be thrilled.

The addition of Austin is why the Cowboys didn’t draft that type of running back, but offensive coordinator Scott Linehan views Austin more as a receiver than a runner.

“He’s a receiver first,” Linehan said. “He’s really, in a lot of ways, some of his skill set is as an outside receiver, which is really unique, but he can move around to the slot.

“He can certainly have carries as well as catches from those positions. He can move into the backfield at times and, hopefully, get a matchup where he can run a route that’s typically run by a running back.”

Bottom line: The Cowboys must have a clear vision for Austin to maximize his talent.

More news:

* The Cowboys have all of their draft picks signed except third-round pick Michael Gallup. Leighton Vander Esch signed a four-year deal worth $11.6 million, including a $6.9 million signing bonus. He’s expected to start at middle linebacker.

* Defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who met with club officials on Wednesday and worked out for the Cowboys on Thursday, signed with Atlanta on Friday. The Cowboys thought he would be a nice addition to their defensive line rotation because he’s adept at playing nose tackle in their scheme. McClain spent 2014-16 in Dallas before signing a four-year free-agent deal with Washington in 2017. Washington cut him because they drafted defensive tackles in the first round each of the last two seasons.

* Secondary coach Kris Richard drew rave reviews from defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and Garrett. Richard has spent the past three years as Seattle’s defensive coordinator.

“This guy's really good. He is special,” Marinelli said. “He is one of the best things we've got. He did a terrific job in Seattle.

“The resume is in the tape. He brings energy, intensity. And he can relate well to these players. That’s what I really like. You get tickled when you get a guy like that.”

* Maliek Collins will have surgery to repair the fifth metatarsal on his left foot. He had a stress fracture in it at the end of the season. “The biggest thing he has to do is make sure he does whatever the doctors tell him to do,” Garrett said., “He just has to rehab day by day by day, be patient, stay engaged with the team and before he knows it, he’ll be ready to go.”

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Signed Their Top Two Draft Picks And More]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 19:30:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_AND_JACQUES_ON_ROOKIE_SIGNINGS_FOR_WEB.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys signed Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and Offensive Lineman Connor Williams to their rookie contracts. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor share their thoughts on the move.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Missed Out on Terrell McClain]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 20:01:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/terrell+mcclain.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys had interest in Terrell McClain but he’s headed to the Atlanta Falcons. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explain why this move didn’t hurt the Cowboys too bad.]]>
<![CDATA[How the Cowboys' Draft Picks Project in 2018]]>Fri, 11 May 2018 09:00:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/goodell-vander-esch-draft-day-dmn.jpg

The Cowboys’ rookie minicamp starts Friday. Here’s a look at the Cowboys’ draft picks and how they might fit into the Cowboys’ 2018 season.

PLAYER: Leighton Vander Esch
HT., Wt. 6-5, 256
ROUND: 1
PICK: 19th overall
PROJECTED 2018 ROLE: Starting middle linebacker
TAYLOR’S TAKE: The best thing about this pick is the Cowboys have a clear vision of what he can do, what they want him to do and what they expect him to do. That gives him the best chance to succeed.
QUOTE: “That’s why we pictured him as a unique fit for our philosophy on defense,” owner Jerry Jones on Vander Esch’s size


PLAYER: Connor Williams
HT., Wt. 6-5, 315
ROUND: 2
PICK: 50th overall
PROJECTED 2018 ROLE: Starting left guard
TAYLOR’S TAKE: When the Cowboys saw the first-round talent on the board in the second round, they couldn’t pass him up. He allows La’el Collins to stay to right tackle instead of moving to left guard, and it gives the Cowboys a strong backup in Cameron Fleming, who can play both spots. Williams’ addition gives the Cowboys an opportunity to re-claim their status as the NFL’s best offensive line.
QUOTE: “What reminded me the most to go the way we went was the Atlanta game. That’s influenced this coaching staff, and that has influenced really this selection. We don’t want to have that happen (again). That took a lot of air out of us.” - Jerry Jones on why the Cowboys took Williams.


PLAYER: Michael Gallup
HT., Wt. 6-1, 200
ROUND: 3
PICK: 81st overall
2018 ROLE: Wide receiver rotation
TAYLOR’S TAKE: The Cowboys had several receivers such as Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, Oklahoma State’s James Washington and Memphis’ Anthony Miller lumped together. Gallup was among that group, and he was the only one left, when the Cowboys grabbed him. I don’t know if he’s going to start, but he should play about 700 snaps this season and the Cowboys expect him to be a significant contributor to their revamped passing game.
QUOTE: “He's a physical type of receiver just like Dez (Bryant) was. He's a guy who's very deceptive off the line of scrimmage, good route runner. He makes a lot of contested 50-50 catches.” - ESPN’s Todd McShay


PLAYER: Dorance Armstrong
HT., Wt. 6-4, 257
ROUND: 4
PICK: 116th overall
2018 ROLE: Rotational defensive end
TAYLOR’S TAKE: Charles Tapper, a fourth-round pick at DE a couple of years ago, plagued by injuries is officially on the clock. Armstrong had 10 sacks as a junior and will get a chance to be a rotational player on the Cowboys’ defensive line. His ability to bend, a key trait for defensive ends, is supposed to be unique. If so, he could be an unexpected difference-maker.
QUOTE: "I'm a dominant pass rusher. I can play end and outside LB, whatever I need to do to help the team win.” - Armstrong


PLAYER: Dalton Schultz
HT., Wt. 6-6, 242
ROUND: 4
PICK: 137th overall
2018 ROLE: Key member of tight end rotation
TAYLOR’S TAKE: He’s a little lighter by 15-20 pounds than the Cowboys’ usual tight ends, but Jason Witten’s impending retirement meant they needed to take a tight end and they did. They’ll try to replace Witten with a committee of Schultz, Geoff Swaim and enigmatic Rico Gathers.
QUOTE: "He has played in a pro-style offense there at Stanford. It is a tight end oriented offense. If you know the history of that offensive system, a lot of guys have come out and had some success transitioning to the NFL.” - Jason Garrett


PLAYER: Mike White
HT., Wt. 6-4, 225
ROUND: 5
PICK: 171st overall
2018 ROLE: Third quarterback
TAYLOR’S TAKE: This was a good pick because quarterback is the game’s most important position and you should always be trying to develop one whether he eventually plays for you or becomes a trade chip. White will have every opportunity to beat out Cooper Rush, which won’t be easy, but he should earn a role as a developmental quarterback and a roster spot because quarterbacks are such valuable commodities.
QUOTE: “We want competition there. I think we’ve said it's been historically what we’ve done. I don’t necessarily know if that’s right, but to have good competition at the quarterback position with Cooper (Rush) is a good thing.” - Stephen Jones


PLAYER: Chris Covington
HT., Wt. 6-2, 228
ROUND: 6
PICK: 193rd overall
2018 ROLE: Core special teams
TAYLOR’S TAKE: Jerry Jones said the Cowboys need their draft picks to play, in part, to balance out the money and salary-cap space they must allot to their highest-paid players., If Covington’s going to make the team, he’ll do it by making tackles on special teams.
QUOTE: “I don’t know a whole lot about the Dallas Cowboys scheme and defense, but I know they like big linebackers that like to run and hit. I think I can do a whole bunch of that for the Dallas Cowboys.” - Covington


PLAYER: Cedrick Wilson
HT., Wt. 6-2, 188
ROUND: 6
PICK: 208th overall
2018 ROLE: Practice squad
TAYLOR’S TAKE: He has speed, and the Cowboys need a lot more big plays out of the passing game than they had last season. But the easiest way for Wilson to get on the field is by being a terror on special teams. He’s also a good candidate for the practice squad, if he can’t beat out Noah Brown.
QUOTE: “He can run by you.” - Jerry Jones


PLAYER: Bo Scarbrough
HT., Wt. 6-1, 228
ROUND: 7
PICK: 236th overall
2018 ROLE: Special teams
TAYLOR’S TAKE: Scarbrough will have a tough time unseating versatile Rod Smith for playing time, and with Tavon Austin being used more as a running back the opportunities for him to touch the ball are going to be slim. His best chance to make the team is be being a baller on special teams.
QUOTE: “I’m a physical, downhill, one cut, trying to run the guy over. I'm a bruiser. I can last the whole game and I can play all three downs." - Scarbrough



Photo Credit: Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Witten’s Presence Already Missed by Cowboys]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 22:24:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TYRONE_CRAWFORD_ON_JASON_WITTEN_FOR_WEB.jpg

Jason Witten retired from the Dallas Cowboys as the all-time leader in receptions. But it’s the mark he made off the field that will be missed the most. Defensive End Tyrone Crawford talks about how the team will carry on his legacy.]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Could Be in Line for a Big Payday]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 22:23:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-mom.jpg

Dak Prescott is entering his third season as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and he has already put up some impressive numbers which could lead to a big payday.

Right now, he's the74th highest paid signal caller in the league at $630,000 for 2018.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback and 2016 league MVP Matt Ryan just agreed to a 5-year $150-million dollar contract extension; $100-million of that is guaranteed.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is also expected to break the bank with his next contract extension.

Prescott is a 4th round pick and has made 32 starts for the Dallas Cowboys and has posted a 22-10 record.

Prescott guided the Cowboys to a playoff appearance in 2016 which earned him AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

So what does this mean for Dak Prescott when it's his time to get paid, Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones said they are prepared to take care of Prescott.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Still Have Their Eyes on Defensive Tackle McClain]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 21:37:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TERRELL_MCCLAIN_LATEST_FOR_WEB.jpg

Defensive End Terrell McClain met with the Cowboys to discuss a possible return to the team. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor have the latest on McClain and his next move.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Still Eyeing on Defensive Tackle Terrell McClain]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 21:31:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TERRELL_MCCLAIN_LATEST_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1230543939551.jpg

Defensive End Terrell McClain met with the Cowboys to discuss a possible return to the team. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor have the latest on McClain and his next move.]]>
<![CDATA[The Cowboys May Have to Show Dak Prescott the Money]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 21:22:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DAK_FINANCIAL_FUTURE_TALK_FOR_WEB.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is setting himself up for a big payday. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor have the latest on what Dak Prescott could get in the future.]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco Police Closed David Irving Investigation]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 20:46:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DAVID_IRVING_LATEST_FOR_WEB.jpg

Frisco Police closed their investigation into Cowboys Defensive End David Irving’s alleged domestic violence complaint. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs discuss why he still may not be in the clear and why he needs to come up big this season.]]>
<![CDATA[Aikman Announces Plans for Arlington Restaurant]]>Tue, 08 May 2018 15:41:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Troy%27s-Entry.jpg

No matter where in the country he is broadcasting an NFL game, Troy Aikman will have a presence near the Dallas Cowboys.

The former Dallas quarterback announced plans Monday for a restaurant called Troy's in the new Texas Live! development during a media tour of the site.

Texas Live! is located between AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Aikman's restaurant will be inspired by beer halls from across the state and feature an indoor/outdoor stage, according to a press release.

The NFL Hall of Famer said he was intimately involved in the development of the restaurant, including the selection of its space within Texas Live!, the decor and the food.

"Some of the menu items are going to be some of my favorites, there will be some healthy options," Aikman said. "Gourmet burgers is what primarily is going to drive this."

Troy's will open late this summer and be ready for football fans just in time for the season.

"You can't have a restaurant with my name on it and not have big screens to be able to watch games," Aikman said. "Especially games that I'm broadcasting."

Other bars and restaurants set to open in Texas Live! include PBR Country Bar, Revolver Brewing and Lockhart Smokehouse.



Photo Credit: The Cordish Companies]]>
<![CDATA[First Look: Texas Live! Progress]]>Tue, 08 May 2018 16:09:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Texas+Live+tour+1.jpgSet to open in 2018, Texas Live! is an entertainment development located in between AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington. On Monday, NBC 5 got to take a look at the progress inside of the site.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Garrett's Bold Approach Must Result in Success]]>Tue, 08 May 2018 09:07:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-garrett-generic.jpg

If you think about it, you really do have to admire Jason Garrett's approach to the 2018 season.

He's entering the most important season of his career with a roster full of question marks, most of which he created.

That's bold.

And it takes some courage because there's zero guarantee the moves the Cowboys have made will work, and he's not getting a pass for having a young team or team in transition.

In the last two years, Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant have disappeared from the Cowboys' roster.

Romo is the franchise's all-time leading passer, Witten owns the record for receptions and no one has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant.

Romo and Witten were locker room leaders and Bryant brought a certain passion and spirit to the Cowboys.

Now, it's time for players such as Dak Prescott, Sean Lee, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and DeMarcus Lawrence to lead on and off the field.

"To the young bucks, you men energized me. These last four or five years have been special. I am proud of what we did together," Witten said at his retirement ceremony last week. "Now it's your turn to lead. I know you are ready.

"You have earned that right and respect. I challenge you take it to the next level and do it in a way that makes all of us proud."

Garrett was the catalyst for most of this change when he picked Prescott over Romo in 2016 and he was part of the decision-making process that led to Bryant's release this offseason.

It's not our job to have hope, faith and optimism that the Cowboys' offense will work without Bryant or anything close to a traditional Number one receiver.

The top five receivers on the roster have combined for one 1,000-yard season in 22 NFL seasons. They have just five combined seasons of more than 700 yards.

Nor is it our job to believe the Cowboys, when they tell us they can turn Tavon Austin, acquired on draft day for a sixth-round pick, into a more consistent big-play threat than he was with the Los Angeles Rams.

Austin has never had more than 509 yards receiving in a season, but he has scored 24 touchdowns in five seasons and nine occurred on runs or receptions of more than 20 yards.

The Cowboys tell us they believe the four tight ends currently on the roster can adequately replace Jason Witten this season, even though they have a combined total of nine NFL receptions.

After all, this was a good draft for tight ends but they didn't grab one until the fourth round when they selected Stanford's Dalton Schultz.

We'll see, but the Cowboys job is to sell hope to its fan base and the media, but that doesn't mean we're compelled to buy it.

Change is hard because it forces folks out of their comfort zone. But change is good because it can lead to growth and success at a much higher level.

We're about to find out if it has that impact on the Cowboys' coach.

Garrett, entering his eighth full season, has two playoff appearances and one playoff win. Most dudes would be fired by now, but he has survived.

The time, however, for post-season success has arrived.

Philadelphia's Super Bowl win with a second-year head coach, a backup quarterback and a myriad of injuries has removed any and every conceivable excuse for Garrett.

In two of the past four seasons, Garrett's teams have won 13 and 12 games but have virtually no playoff success to accompany the gaudy win totals.

In the other two years, his teams have won four and nine games, respectively.

He can blame 2015 on Romo's twice-broken collarbone and 2017 on Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension.

It's time for a deep playoff run. Anything less must be considered a failed season and a sign of regression.

Then Jerry and Stephen Jones must confront the fact that Garrett isn't the coach to return the Cowboys to their glory days.

He'll be worthy of the glory if it all works out, but he must be saddled with the blame if it doesn't.

No in-between exists.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Helps to Fight Cancer This Mother's Day]]>Mon, 07 May 2018 22:36:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-mom.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is doing his part to fight cancer this Mother's Day.

The Dallas signal caller is selling T-shirts on his website with a logo that reads "MOM" across the chest, and the proceeds will go to cancer research. On the shirts, "MOM" is an acronym that stands for mind over matter.

"I want to honor my Mom by doing my part to fight cancer," Prescott wrote in a Monday tweet. "This shirt was created to show support to all mothers that we are in this fight together."


Net proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will benefit Stand Up To Cancer and Prescott's Faith, Fight, Finish Foundation.

Prescott lost his mother, Peggy, to colon cancer in November 2013.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com
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<![CDATA[Doney, Shariff on 105.3 the Fan and NBC 5 Partnership ]]>Sun, 06 May 2018 21:10:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney_shariff_on_nbcdfw_the_fan_partnership_1200x675_1227040835662.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney is joined in-studio by 105.3 The Fan host Shan Shariff to discuss the new partnership between the two media groups, the new All or Nothing documentary about the Cowboys, and the 2018 NFL Draft.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Threatens Dallas Cowboys, SWAT Team Called]]>Fri, 04 May 2018 16:46:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/The-Star-Frisco-.jpg

A Florida man called and threatened the offices of the Dallas Cowboys because he was upset the team did not sign him after the 2018 NFL draft, according to a police report.

Keyon Reed told police in Melbourne, Florida that he did not intend to harm anyone involved with the Cowboys, but he was frustrated that Dallas did not "show him the real money." Reed is a former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end who last played college football in 2012.

Cowboys security reportedly called police in Melbourne and asked officers to conduct an emergency mental health evaluation on Reed - something police officers in Florida can do under the Baker Act, according to University of Florida Health.

The reporting officer wrote that upon arrival he smelled marijuana around the front of the house. A detective then wrote a search warrant for the residence and the SWAT team was called.

Reed, 26, played college football at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 2010-12. He redshirted in 2010, played in eight games in 2011, earning Southern Conference All-Freshman team honors, and played in five games in 2012.

He was not listed on the team's 2013 roster.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Zoo Names Baby Giraffe After Jason Witten]]>Fri, 04 May 2018 13:15:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/172*120/Dallas+Zoo+Giraffe.jpg

A newborn male giraffe born at the Dallas Zoo is being named after legendary Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

The 5 foot 9 inch, 145-pound giraffe was given the name Witten after the longtime player announced his retirement Thursday.

“We’re shifting from our typical tradition of naming a baby after its native heritage to honor a Texas legend and all around great guy,” Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO, said.

The Dallas Zoo was excited to pay tribute to one of the best tight ends in history this way.

"We’re all huge fans of Jason, he’s a real role model – on the field and in our community.” Hudson said.

“Naming the newest addition after one of football’s greatest was fitting,” Dallas Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Operations and Welfare, Harrison Edell, said.

Witten will make his public debut in the giraffe-feeding yard within the next couple of weeks.



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<![CDATA[JJT: Jason Witten Represents Everything You Want]]>Fri, 04 May 2018 10:22:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-460756556.jpg

In a black, metal magazine rack stuffed with old copies of Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s The Magazine and a couple of books on writing, sits the only photograph of a Cowboys’ player in my home.

It’s a picture of tight end Jason Witten.

It shows him surrounded by three Philadelphia Eagles players in the moments after his helmet gets knocked off, but before he gets tackled 40 yards downfield on the iconic 53-yard catch-and-run that will surely be included in the video on the day he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That’s the only picture I have from 22 years of covering the Cowboys, including five Hall of Farmers and owner Jerry Jones, because that one play represents every trait you want in a football player: toughness, competitiveness and athleticism.

It also represents everything you want in a man: determination, fearlessness and the ability to fight through adversity.

Witten officially ended a spectacular 15-year career Thursday that included 1,125 catches, 12,440 yards, 68 touchdowns and a franchise record 229 games to begin a career as lead analyst for Monday Night Football.

He revealed the secret of his success during a emotional 16-minute ceremony at the Star, the Cowboys’ billion-dollar training facility, attended by players, coaches, teammates and virtually every member of the Cowboys’ organization.

“Whenever young kids come up to me and ask me, 'How do you grow up and play for the Dallas Cowboys, and have that type of career?'" Witten said. "My answer was always the same, the secret is in the dirt. I was never the most talented, never the flashiest, I relied on grit."

It’s true.

See, he really wasn’t the biggest, fastest or strongest. Maybe, you thought Tony Gonzalez, the all-time leader in receptions among tight ends, was better receiver and route-runner.

Perhaps, you thought Antonio Gates made more big plays because he scored 114 touchdowns in a career that also began in 2003 and appears to have ended when San Diego released him last week.

It’s all irrelevant because no one worked harder to make himself the NFL’s most complete tight end in an era where the position has morphed into soft, oversized receivers who have forgotten they’re supposed to block.

We’re talking about a dude that started 179 consecutive games, and missed just one game - the fifth of his rookie year when he broke his jaw. He ruptured a spleen in a 2012 preseason game and returned in time for the opener against the New York Giants, giving his teammates the ultimate example of what it means to sacrifice for the team.

He didn’t enter the offseason contemplating retirement. At the Super Bowl in January, Witten scoffed at the notion of playing fewer snaps in an effort to stay spry late in the season, and a couple of weeks ago he talked openly of playing until he was 40.

Then Monday Night Football offered him the job as lead analyst. It was an offer no sane 35-year-old refuses.

He played for an iconic team and now he’s part of an iconic broadcast.

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late,” Witten said Thursday.

“After much self reflection, prayer and faith, today I’ve decided the time has come to pass the torch to the next generation of Dallas Cowboys and retire from the National Football League.

“I never allowed my mind to drift to a place to think of what this day would look like for me. I never wanted this day to come, but it does come, for all of us," he said.

Witten waged a battle with himself for a few days, pitting his desire to compete one or two more years and the chance to win a Super Bowl against the pragmatic understanding he might not ever have another opportunity to get one of the best jobs in broadcasting.

The quest for a championship weighed heavily on Witten. He played in only eight playoff games and never made it to the NFC Championship. The Cowboys had the NFC’s best record in 2007 and 2016.

Each time they lost in the first round.

And in 2014, they were victimized by Dez Bryant’s catch that wasn’t a catch that should’ve been ruled a catch in a close loss to Green Bay.

"The hardest part of this decision,” said Witten, his voice cracking as he looked at Jerry Jones, “was knowing that I would never be able to hand you that Lombardi Trophy.

“I told you back in 2006 that I would not let you down. I hope that in your eyes, I held up my end of the bargain.”

He did.

And that’s why he received a ceremony fit for king. When he arrived at The Star, dozens of teammates and employees formed two long lines in the foyer and greeted him with hugs and applause.

As he sat at a dais with Jerry Jones to his left and Jason Garrett to his right, meaningful quotes from throughout his career flashed on the 10 video boards in the dining area, where the press conference was held.

Witten’s voice wavered off and on from the beginning. Jerry dabbed his eyes more than once, and Jason Garrett took a long swig in the middle of a story about Witten’s ability to perfect the option route to keep from bawling.

“There aren’t many decisions that come with absolute certainty, but I can tell you one thing that is certain,” Witten said, “Putting on that white jersey, that silver helmet with the navy star, seeing your name on the back of the jersey, running on the field as a member of America’s Team, it brings a certainty of pride and honor.

“The kind of certainty that comes once in a lifetime, to be a Dallas Cowboy.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[After Jason Witten, What's Next for Cowboys?]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 21:06:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/recut-witten-whats-next_1200x675_1225381443526.jpg

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten retired. NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor talks about who will fill the void now that Witten is done.]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Witten Retires After 15 Years]]>Thu, 10 May 2018 09:51:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/WITTEN_MEMORIES_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1225320515574.jpg

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten called it a career. NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Pat Doney tells us their favorite memory of Witten.]]>
<![CDATA[Is Jason Witten a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer?]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 19:35:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/WITTEN_HALL_OF_FAME_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1225312835725.jpg

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten retired. NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss if Witten is a first ballot Hall Of Famer.]]>
<![CDATA[Everyone Has a Jason Witten Story]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 17:48:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Witten-2.jpg

One look at social media Thursday revealed dozens of people recounting their interactions with retiring Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

NBC 5 staff members who have covered the team on a regular basis during Witten's career shared their memories - including one from today - of the future Hall of Famer on social media.

NBC 5 Sports photographer Noah Bullard shared a heartfelt Facebook post that read in part, "When the team lost a teammate to a tragic death, it was Witten who stood in front of the cameras to speak for the team, when Dez lost his mind in the locker room, it was Witten who stopped in the middle of his media session and walked over to Dez to calm him down, when there was any charity event Witten was always there."


The post continued, 82 is "more than just a number though, it’s everything behind the number. It’s the Jones family, it’s the great PR staff, it’s people like Emily from PR standing outside the locker room waiting for a player to discuss the next charity event, it’s his wife, coaches, players, TV staff, you name it, they’re all invested in the number 82."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dak, Dez Congratulate Jason Witten on His Retirement]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 21:29:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Witten.jpg

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten announced his retirement Thursday and praise poured in from around Dallas and across the football world.

Witten finished his career as Dallas' all-time leader in games played, receptions and receiving yards.





Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jason Witten Retires From NFL]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 21:26:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/witten-retirement-speech.jpg

Stalwart Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten announced his retirement from the NFL Thursday, closing a 15-year career that will likely be immortalized in the Hall of Fame.

Witten says the "time has come to pass the torch."

The move comes after weeks of speculation about the player's future with America's Team, including rumors he'll join ESPN's Monday Night Football as an analyst.

Those rumors were confirmed by the network Thursday afternoon, following Witten's emotional retirement speech at the team's headquarters in Frisco.

"We want to congratulate Jason Witten on a Hall of Fame caliber career with the Dallas Cowboys and we are thrilled to welcome him to ESPN and Monday Night Football. Jason's passion, his insight, and his ability to clearly communicate his knowledge of the game thoroughly impressed us. He has all the potential to be an exceptional analyst and we can't wait to get started," Connor Schell, ESPN EVP, content.

The Cowboys released Romo, the franchise passing leader, the same day of his CBS announcement in April 2017. After joining Dallas together in 2003, the pair never made it to the Super Bowl or an NFC championship game.

"There's not always a fairy-tale end," Witten said near the end of last season. "I realize that."

Just days from turning 36, Witten walks away as the leader in games, catches and yards receiving for a franchise with five Super Bowl wins, but none since the 1995 season.

Gonzalez is eligible for Pro Football Hall of Fame induction for the first time next year, which should be a good barometer for Witten's chances.

The decision by Witten, a third-round pick out of Tennessee, means the lead analyst job at three networks covering the NFL will be held by former players who spent their entire careers with the Cowboys. The other is Fox's Troy Aikman, who won three Super Bowls as quarterback in the 1990s.

The only Monday night game for the Cowboys is Nov. 5 at home against the Tennessee Titans.

While fighting back tears at times after the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention for yet another disappointing finish last season, Witten seemed intent on playing a 16th season.

Asked more recently about a report he had auditioned with ESPN, Witten went so far as to say he might play until he was 40 and declaring "absolutely" that he planned to return.

Less than two weeks later, he disappeared to ponder his future and let Jones address the ESPN report during a news conference that was supposed to be the introduction of first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch. The owner said the Cowboys were waiting for Witten to decide his future.

"I've lived a dream here the last 15 years with this organization, great ownership, great coaches and great opportunity," Witten said during one of his emotional moments after a Week 16 loss to Seattle last December that eliminated the Cowboys. "Disappointed we couldn't get it done this year."

While Witten is the only Dallas player with 1,000 catches (1,152), his career was defined more by durability and toughness than flashy stats. The 11-time Pro Bowler holds the Dallas record for consecutive games played and starts. His iconic moment came in 2007 when he ran nearly 30 yards and was tackled without a helmet after it was knocked off in a collision with two defenders. Witten only missed one game, the fifth of his career in 2003 because of a broken jaw.

When the team opened its new practice facility in 2016, a huge picture of Witten from that play hung over the players' entrance to the indoor practice field. It was the sort of gesture usually reserved for retired players. Witten spent two seasons walking under it.

In addition to 12,448 yards receiving, Witten is third on the Cowboys' all-time list with 68 touchdown catches. He trails Dez Bryant, who was released last month with 73 TDs, and Hall of Famer Bob Hayes (71).

Without Witten and Bryant, the Cowboys are missing their top two receivers from last year and essentially for the past six seasons.

Among the tight ends left behind, only one has a catch in a regular-season game: Geoff Swaim with nine over three seasons.

The Cowboys are high on Blake Jarwin and hope that former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers can develop after missing his entire second season with a concussion. Dallas drafted Stanford's Dalton Schultz in the fourth round last week.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Jones and Cowboys Not Rushing a Decision From Jason Witten]]>Wed, 02 May 2018 15:40:32 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/STEPHEN_JONES_TALKS_JASON_WITTEN_1200x675_1224251459917.jpg

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten still has not made a decision on his future. Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones shares his thoughts on Witten and why it's tough convincing him to stay.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Want Super Bowl Hosting Do-Over, and Draft Was Start]]>Mon, 30 Apr 2018 17:16:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-web-043018.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys want a do-over on hosting the Super Bowl after horrid weather and a seating fiasco ruined their first try seven years ago.

While the wait will easily be more than a decade and with no indication the big game is coming back soon, last weekend's draft at least showed the NFL that what is becoming its spring Super Bowl went off without a hitch in North Texas.

"Obviously we've got a little chip on our shoulder about that one because we had a snowstorm and it didn't go perfect," executive vice president Stephen Jones said last week, referring to the 2011 title game.

"There's a big school of thought in the league that these things should go to kind of vacational-type spots, South Florida and Southern California and Phoenix and New Orleans. I get that. We'd still like a redo there."

The Cowboys hosted the first draft in an NFL stadium, and the league said about 100,000 people showed up in and around AT&T Stadium in Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, for the first round Thursday night.

Crowd size was limited by the league to about 20,000 indoors, using just one end of the 80,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof, which was closed. The largest screens of the giant video board that hangs over the center of the field were mostly out of view.

The theater setup is still preferred by the NFL for an event that spent many years at Radio City Music Hall in New York before back-to-back drafts in Chicago and last year's popular stop in Philadelphia on the steps of the art museum in front of the Rocky statue.

This larger venue allowed officials to try something they'd been thinking about for a while. Groups of seats designated for fans of each team on the field in front of the stage were a hit. The idea derived from political conventions fed what officials thought was an energetic setting.

"It exceeded our expectations in terms of the energy down here," said Peter O'Reilly, who oversees special events for the NFL. "It's been a terrific event for us as the draft continues to evolve."

As always, the Cowboys were worried about the weather. It was just about perfect, unlike the unprecedented ice storm that paralyzed the Dallas area most of the week before the Super Bowl. Of course, that was in midwinter.

On top of that, about 400 fans ended up without a place to sit when roughly 1,250 seats in temporary bleachers were declared unsafe hours before kickoff in Green Bay's 31-25 victory over Pittsburgh.

A lawsuit faulted Jerry Jones for trying to break the Super Bowl attendance record of 103,985 (it fell 766 short), and the outspoken Cowboys owner was forced to testify in federal court.

There was no such drama this time, and the draft accomplished what the Cowboys wanted: treating their fans while showcasing Texas as one of football's cradles.

"It's understated even, as big as it is, how much the fans love the draft and love the drama and uncertainty that goes with it," Stephen Jones said. "For our fans to be able to touch it and go out there and see what it's all about and see this firsthand ... this is football country."

Stephen Jones doesn't expect the draft to come back soon because the idea now is to move it annually. O'Reilly isn't sure it will be in a stadium again because each city has ideas about how to make the draft unique.

Super Bowls have been awarded through the 2021 season , including two with new stadiums (Atlanta, Los Angeles) and another with a renovated one (Miami, which will get its record 11th title game).

But the Cowboys have this much going for them: The NFL now has a fresher memory that has nothing to do with ice falling off the roof and hitting Super Bowl workers, or fans getting crammed into standing-room areas when they were supposed to have a place to sit.

"We're just thrilled with this week," O'Reilly said. "This draft certainly reflected really well on this market and its ability to put on major events."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 2018 Draft]]>Mon, 30 Apr 2018 08:38:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951611108.jpg

Cowboys’ insider Jean-Jacques Taylor provides his insight on the Cowboys’ 2018 draft class, and what some of the picks mean.

• Scouting director Will McClay told Jerry Jones that first-round pick Leighton Vander Each is the kind of player who creates turnovers with his energy and ability to make plays sideline-to-sideline. For a team that has struggled to create turnovers and set up short drives for its offense, that’s a big deal.

• Offensive lineman Connor Williams fell in the draft, in part, because his arm-length is only 33 inches. It’s why the Cowboys are inclined to move him to guard. Tackles typically have longer arms to keep defensive ends from getting close to their body and attacking them. The prototype for the Cowboys is a minimum of 34 inches. Just so you know Zack Martin’s arms are shorter than Williams, which is why they thought he’d be a better guard than tackle.

• The Cowboys didn’t take a change-of-pace runner because the Los Angeles Rams approached them about acquiring veteran Tavon Austin on Thursday. Austin will be used as a running back. He’ll get some carries, play in the slot and the Cowboys want to isolate him and create opportunities for him to make plays.

• The Cowboys nearly used a fourth-round pick to move back into the third round and draft DE Dorance Armstrong, who had 10 sacks as a junior but struggled in a new scheme and with some injuries last season.

• Mike White, a fifth-round pick, is only the eighth quarterback the Cowboys have drafted since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989. Until the Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in 2016, Dallas hadn’t drafted a quarterback since Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee in the fourth round of the 2009 draft.

• Stephen Jones continues to praise Blake Jarwin, promoted from the practice squad in December, more than any other tight end on the roster. Dallas drafted Stanford’s David Schultz in the fourth round and he should compete for a starting job if the Cowboys can’t persuade Jason Witten to play another year instead of going to the broadcast booth.

• Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Noah Brown and rookies Michael Gallup (3rd round) Cedrick Wilson (6th round) will likely compete for five roster spots.

• The Cowboys have decided not having a true No.1 receiver will help Dak Prescott focus on going through his progression instead of forcing the ball to Dez Bryant every time he has man to man coverage.

• The Cowboys wanted a free safety in the draft to compete with Xavier Woods but they didn’t want to force it after trade talks with Seattle for Earl Woods Thomas faded away.

• Each of the Cowboys’ final three draft picks - Indiana linebacker Chris Covington, Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson and Alabama running back Bo Scarborough - were all fifth-round picks on the Cowboys’ draft board.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why the Fan's Cavanaugh Gives Cowboys A-plus Draft Grade]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 19:37:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951611108.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and 105.3 the Fan's Jeff Cavanaugh break down what they like and don't like about the Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giving the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Draft a 'Grade']]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 00:01:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor give the Dallas Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft a grade.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Changing the Wide Receiver Core]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:58:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys seem to be changing the wide receiver core. Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor break down what all the moves mean.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Trade for Rams Wide Receiver Tavon Austin]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:54:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys traded for Rams Wide Receiver Tavon Austin. Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor break down what it means for the team.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys 3rd Round Pick Michael Gallup]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:47:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

Newy Scruggs and Brandon George from the Dallas Morning News break down the Dallas Cowboys 3rd round pick Michael Gallup.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Choose Quarterback Mike White in 5th Round]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:42:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

Newy Scruggs and Jon Machota talk about the Dallas Cowboys 5th round draft pick, quarterback Mike White.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Breaking Down the Cowboys Draft Picks]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:39:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951611108.jpg

Newy Scruggs and Jon Machota break down picks made by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Post-Draft Cowboys Moving on Without Bryant, Maybe Witten]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 21:34:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951611108.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys kept talking up the receivers they already had going into the NFL draft after dumping Dez Bryant in a cost-cutting move.

They ended up having to tout their tight ends as well when ESPN reported on the draft's second day that Jason Witten was planning to retire after 15 seasons to join the "Monday Night Football" crew as lead analyst.

Even with all the talk, Dallas still addressed a pair of positions that figure to look dramatically different after years of Bryant and Witten at or near the top of the club's list of receiving leaders.

A day after drafting receiver Michael Gallup in the third round, the Cowboys traded one of their three picks in the sixth Saturday to the Los Angeles Rams for receiver Tavon Austin, the eighth overall pick in 2013 when the franchise was still in St. Louis.

The Cowboys took a tight end with the second of two picks in the fourth round in Stanford's Dalton Schultz. Their first pick in that round was defensive end Dorance Armstrong from Kansas.

"I think we're better because I think we've got a great read on where we were as we sort through Dez, as we sort through the what ifs of Witten," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "I think we've got more clarity now than we did when we started the draft."

As for those players on the roster before the draft, the Cowboys don't expect a No. 1 receiver to emerge because they don't think their offense will be structured that way without Bryant.

Dallas wants quarterback Dak Prescott to feed off the run with 2016 rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott, so free-agent pickup Allen Hurns could be the top receiver without numbers similar to what Bryant posted during his best run from 2012-14.

The Cowboys also signed journeyman Deonte Thompson to go with incumbents Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. Dallas took a receiver out of the equation Saturday by sending Ryan Switzer to Oakland for defensive lineman Jihad Ward.

"When you lose a player like Dez and what he's brought to the table throughout his career, we're remaking our receiving room," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I do think we wanted to do things that, as Jerry has said, that's Dak-friendly."

ESPN reported Friday that Witten was planning to retire to join the network, but Jerry Jones said the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving hadn't made a decision and wanted the weekend to think about it.

Without Witten, the Cowboys currently have nine career catches from the tight ends on their roster -- all by fourth-year player Geoff Swaim.

Dallas is high on Blake Jarwin and hopeful that former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers can develop. Gathers hasn't played a regular-season game and missed all of his second season after sustaining a concussion in training camp last year.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT NO. 1: Because of all the talk about Bryant and Witten, first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch was overshadowed. The linebacker from Boise State, taken 19th overall, could be a walk-in starter. Jerry Jones likes to compare him to Rolando McClain, a key man in the middle when the Cowboys won the NFC East in 2014. Dallas took another linebacker in the sixth round (Indiana's Chris Covington).

PLAN FOR AUSTIN: Rams coach Sean McVay used Austin as more of a hybrid, with some wildcat and other change-of-pace looks as a runner in the last of five disappointing seasons for the speedy receiver. The Cowboys have similar plans for him, and high hopes for more production than Austin had while the Rams surged to the NFC West title in the first year under McVay after 10 straight losing seasons.

TILTED TOWARD OFFENSE: Six of the nine picks were offensive players. The third-day choices were Schultz, quarterback Mike White of Western Kentucky (fifth round), receiver Cedrick Wilson of Boise State (sixth) and Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (seventh).

STILL NEED: The Cowboys didn't draft a safety despite moving one of last season's starters, Byron Jones, back to cornerback. At the moment, the starters appear to be Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods, a sixth-round pick last year.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Draft Tight End, With Witten Eyeing Retirement]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 18:28:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-845121998.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have drafted a tight end with Jason Witten on the verge of retirement after 15 seasons.

The Cowboys took Dalton Schultz of Stanford with the 137th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft Saturday. The compensatory choice was their second of the fourth round. Dallas selected former Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong with the 116th pick.

ESPN reported Friday that Witten is planning to retire and join the network's "Monday Night Football" crew as lead analyst. Owner Jerry Jones says Witten was taking the weekend to consider his future and hadn't made a decision.

Witten is the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving. He and Tony Gonzalez are the only NFL tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.

Schultz had 22 catches for 212 yards and a career-high three touchdowns as a senior. Armstrong had 10 sacks as a junior at Kansas in 2016.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Trade Receiver and Kick Returner Ryan Switzer]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 18:28:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-883377754.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have acquired defensive lineman Jihad Ward from Oakland for receiver and kick returner Ryan Switzer.

It's the second trade of the day for the Cowboys involving a receiver, this time with one leaving instead of coming in. Dallas got Tavon Austin, the eighth overall pick in 2013, from the Los Angeles Rams for a sixth-round pick.

Ward was a healthy scratch most of last season, playing five games despite being a second-round pick in 2016. He had his only career sack in 2017. Ward has played both end and tackle on the defensive line.

Switzer was a fourth-round pick last year with the idea that he would become the primary kick returner. The highlight of his rookie season was an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in a win over Washington.

The trade reunites Switzer with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, who left the Cowboys for the same job on new Raiders coach Jon Gruden's staff.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Witten Contemplates Retirement for MNF Gig: JJT]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:57:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason_Witten_considera_irse_de_los_Dallas_Cowboys.jpg

Tight end Jason Witten, the consummate professional, has seemingly left his football team in a lurch.

There’s no other way to say it.

Witten met with owner Jerry Jones on Friday morning to talk about retiring after 15 seasons with the Cowboys, so he can take a job as the lead analyst on Monday Night Football.

Wow.

It’s a great opportunity, the kind of job you can’t really pass up if offered.

“I've talked to Jason Witten several times this week, met with him a few hours ago and we've had great discussions,” Jerry said in a prepared statement. “He has some things to think about and discuss with his family and he'll need a few more days of consideration. No final decision made on retirement.”

Really?

There’s no way the Cowboys are going into the last two days of the draft with eight selections and no idea whether Witten is staying or leaving. That would be beyond dumb.

Witten, a third-round pick in 2003, has had a Hall of Fame career.

He has 1,152 career receptions, trailing only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald. He's the Cowboys all-time leader in receiving yards (12,448) and ranks 3rd in franchise history with 68 touchdown catches.

Few folks aside from, maybe Witten and Jerry, woke up Friday morning in Dallas-Fort Worth thinking this was going to happen.

Now, we’re left to piece together how one of the franchise’s greatest players left the franchise looking clueless and his teammates in a bind.

We have to piece it together because the Cowboys have vowed not to discuss it. Jerry said he declined to answer any more questions out of respect for Witten making the decision.

Whatever.

The truth is Witten did, as he should’ve done, what was best for his family.

Less than two weeks ago, he said he wanted to play until he was 40, when the report initially surfaced that he auditioned for Monday Night Football. Two days ago, he said he was looking forward to competing for a championship because that’s what motivated him every day.

Maybe he believed all of that when he said it; maybe he didn’t.

But the 35-year-old veteran, who’s clearly at the end of his career, has two playoff wins in his entire career. It’s OK to be selfish and take the opportunity.

But don’t let anybody tell you this didn’t take some of the organization’s most important people by surprise because it did. Perhaps, the timing threw them off. Maybe Witten broached the topic with Jerry and he kept it a secret.

Who knows?

But a lot of folks usually in the know were as acting just as shocked and surprised as you.

If the Cowboys knew Witten was contemplating retirement, it seems odd they did bring in any of the draft’s top tight ends for a visit. They recently restructured Witten’s contract to create salary-cap space, which is not something you do to players contemplating retirement.

And they had been building their draft around adding a receiver and trading for Seattle safety Earl Thomas. It’s a lot harder to do that, if they need to add a tight end.

But this is business. It’s always business; it’s never personal.

It was business when Cowboys cut Emmitt Smith, Terrell Owens and DeMarcus Ware.

It was business when the Cowboys asked former cornerback Brandon Carr take a pay cut, and it was business when the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant a month into free agency.

And It’s business - not personal - that Witten seems poised to loss the Cowboys and the other three tight ends on the roster have combined for just 12 catches.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Make Picks in Final Rounds of the NFL Draft]]>Sat, 28 Apr 2018 17:13:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-951733498.jpg

The final rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft kicked off at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Cowboys had seven picks remaining in the draft at the start of Saturday.

On Thursday, the Cowboys drafted Leighton Vander Esch with the 19th pick in the draft.

5:10 p.m.

The Dallas Cowboys have selected running back Bo Scarbrough of Alabama in the seventh round (236th overall pick) of the NFL Draft.

4:00 p.m.

The Dallas Cowboys have selected outside linebacker Chris Covington of Indiana in the sixth round (193rd overall pick) of the NFL Draft.

Also in the sixth round, the Cowboys have picked Cedrick Wilson, a wide receiver from Boise State.

2:30 p.m.

In the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys have selected quarterback Mike White of Western Kentucky. In his junior year for the Hilltoppers, White threw for 4,363 yards and 37 touchdowns. His senior year he threw for 4,177 yards, 26 touchdowns.

The Cowboys have two picks in the sixth round, following a trade for the third sixth-round pick.

2 p.m.

The Dallas Cowboys traded a sixth round pick (192nd overall) with the Los Angeles Rams for WR Tavon Austin. He has played in the NFL for five years all with the Rams (both in St. Louis and Los Angeles). Austin started nine games for the Rams in 2017 logging 13 catches for 47 yards. In 2016, Austin played in all of the Rams' 15 games averaging 8.8 yards per catch. 

The Cowboys have two additional sixth round picks and a fifth round pick left to take.

Saturday - 12:45 p.m.

Dorance Armstrong, a defensive end from Kansas, was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in their fourth round (116th overall) pick. Armstrong is a Houston native. He started all twelve games for the Jayhawks in 2017 and ranked third on the team with 63 total tackles.

Dalton Schultz, a tight end from Stanford, was also selected in the fourth round (137th overall) pick. Schultz was All Pac 12 First team in 2017 racking up 212 yards and three touchdowns for Stanford.

Another fourth round highlight, Forney native Armani Watts, a safety from Texas A&M, was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Friday - 11:25 p.m.

Michael Gallup of Colorado State is headed to the Dallas Cowboys after being selected 81st in the third round of the NFL Draft. Gallup caught a school-record 100 passes for 1,413 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season.

"I'm not really coming to replace anybody," he said from his home in Monroe, Georgia. "I'm just coming down to compete."

7:24 p.m.

Connor Williams, a guard from the University of Texas and originally from Coppell, is headed to the Dallas Cowboys in the 50th selection in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

"I'm ready to win and I'm ready to get to work," Williams said, dressed in a blue suit. "It's amazing. It's America's team ... I didn't say it but I wanted to be a Cowboy."


7:18 p.m.

Josh Jackson, of Corinth, is headed to the Green Bay Packers after being selected 45th in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson, a 6 foot, 196-pound cornerback, played college football at Iowa. At the combine, Jackson ran a 40 yard dash in 4.56 seconds and had a vertical of 38 inches.

7:10 p.m.

Ronald Jones, of McKinney, is headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being selected 38th in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jones, a 5 foot 11 inch, 205 pound back, played college ball for USC. At the combine, Jones ran a 40 yard dash of 4.65 seconds.

5:25 p.m.
The NFL said that Thursday's first round of the draft had the second-largest viewership ever for an opening night. The first round of the draft, which was televised by Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network, combined for 11.2 million viewers, an increase of 22 percent over the first round of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia which was televised by ESPN and the NFL Network. With a total of 30 million viewers, the draft easily outdrew an NBA playoff game on TNT: Bucks-Celtics had a 2.4 million average. The draft continues on Friday night with the second and third rounds.

2:45 p.m.
The NFL likes to trot out its legends. It particularly enjoys doing it for the second day of the draft. Once again it will do so, and 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers will be on hand to announce their team's pick. Quite the roster, from the man considered by many the greatest player ever, Jim Brown for Cleveland, to tackle Jerry Kramer, who enters the Canton, Ohio, shrine this summer and was the blocker for Green Bay's Bart Starr's winning touchdown in the Ice Bowl. The other Hall of Famers: Aeneas Williams (Arizona), Andre Reed (Buffalo), Mike Singletary (Chicago), Bob Lilly (Dallas), Willie Lanier (Kansas City), LaDainian Tomlinson (Los Angeles Chargers), Dwight Stephenson (Miami), Willie Brown (Oakland) and Rod Woodson (Pittsburgh).

1:45 p.m.
Lots of brothers have made it to the NFL. Some have played on the same team or been selected in the same draft. The Edmunds siblings made history Thursday night as the first brothers selected in the same opening round. Linebacker Tremaine went 16th to Buffalo. Then older brother safety Terrell, also of Virginia Tech, was chosen 28th by Pittsburgh. Older brother Trey was a rookie running back with the Saints last year. Talk about family pride. "Man, it was great," Tremaine says. "Definitely to see my other brother get drafted tonight, it was a big-time relief for my whole family. I know everybody's excited and I'm excited. It's a long time coming, but we can finally say that we made it." Tremaine is only 19 and will be one of the youngest players in the league. Terrell is 21. "I've always been a young guy, whatever team that I was on," Tremaine says. "I'm a mature guy, so I just say, just listened to my dad,  my brother because they've been through the process, try to get things from them and continue to do the things I was doing and be the best player that I can be." Tremaine and Terrell's dad is Ferrell Edmunds, who played seven NFL seasons at tight end. It was a competitive household for Ferrell's sons. "Very competitive," Terrell says. "We stayed in like a cul-de-sac with my cousins as well, so we were all out there playing pickup. We called it pick up and dive. So like you pick up the ball and then you run. It is a never-ending game. "So you pick up the ball, you run until you get tackled. If you get tackled you got to throw the ball in the air. So outside people were losing teeth, coming in with cuts all over and everything, but we just kept on playing, so it's definitely competitive. And in any sport -- basketball, too, because we were basketball players, too, so competitive all the time." Two of the brothers could meet on Dec. 23 when the Steelers are at New Orleans.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Undecided Witten Mulls NFL Future, Cowboys Say]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:00:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1520823588-WITTENAWARD_1_614283061.JPG

The immediate future of stalwart Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is unclear Friday after team owner Jerry Jones confirms the two have spoken and that the future Hall of Famer will take the next few days with his family to consider whether or not he will play a 16th season in the NFL.

Before introducing the team's top draft pick to the media at The Star Friday afternoon, Jones issued a short statement saying he'd talked with Witten earlier in the day and that no definitive decision has been reached about his future in the NFL.

"He has some things to think about and discuss with his family from a professional perspective," Jones said. "He also told me those things are going to require a few more days of consideration, at least through the weekend. He has not made any decisions that are definite at this time."

Jones said he and Witten have spoken a lot in recent weeks and that he would forever keep the details of those discussions private.

Rumors about Witten's departure have been swirling for months. NBC 5's Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor discussed the possibility of Witten leaving America's Team in March. See video of that discussion below.

Those rumors gained steam Friday morning, though, when just after 9 a.m. ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted the longtime receiver was planning to retire to join the network's broadcast team as a lead analyst, but that he would meet with team owner Jerry Jones before making a final decision.

Mortensen's tweet was followed up by one from NFL Insider Ian Rapoport who said the report about the 15-year veteran was true.

Just last week, Witten seemingly laid the rumors about his retirement to rest when he said he planned to be with the Cowboys at the start of the season and hoped to play until he was 40.

Witten turns 36 on May 6. He is signed through 2021 after agreeing to a four-year extension in 2017 worth about $30 million.

NBC Sports' Mike Florio reports that ESPN may be putting together a three-person broadcast team with Witten, another analyst and play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore.

In 15 seasons with the Cowboys, Witten, a probable future Hall of Famer, has accumulated 1,152 receptions for 12,448 yards with 68 touchdowns. In those 15 years, Witten has only fumbled the ball eight times, two of which were recovered.

Should Witten leave he'll be the team's second high-profile player to retire and enter the broadcast booth in as many seasons. Witten's longtime quarterback and friend, Tony Romo, retired before the 2017 season and joined the CBS broadcast team. If Witten heads to ESPN, it would also mean the lead analyst job at all three networks will be held by former players who spent their entire careers with the Cowboys. The other is Fox's Troy Aikman, who won three Super Bowls as quarterback in the 1990s.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Rose Baca/The Dallas Morning News
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<![CDATA[Newy and JTT on the Cowboys Next Two Draft Picks]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 12:09:32 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_and_JTT_on_Vander_Esch_Signing_042718_1200x675_1220710979639.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss what the Cowboys could and should do with their second and third round draft picks.]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Doney One-on-One With Leighton Vander Esch]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 11:47:46 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Doney_Vander_Esch_1_on_1_042718_1200x675_1220681795528.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney talked one-on-one with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch after he became the team's first round draft pick.]]>
<![CDATA[Newy and JJT Discuss Cowboys Draft Pick Vander Esch]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 11:37:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_and_JJT_Discuss_Vander_Esch_042718_1200x675_1220677187669.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the Cowboys signing of Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Not Feeling Urgency To Draft Receiver Without Bryant]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 10:59:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+on+Field.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are feeling more confident that they might have replaced Dez Bryant in free agency, so another day of the NFL draft could come and go without them taking a receiver.

After picking linebacker Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State at No. 19 in the first round, the Cowboys have the 50th overall pick in the second round and the No. 81 overall selection in the third round Friday night.

Executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones says club officials talked extensively before selecting Vander Esch about how comfortable they were with the additions of receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson in free agency.

Jones says the Cowboys "believe there's some receivers, one through seven, that have some unique traits." The final four rounds of the draft are Saturday.

The Cowboys released Bryant as a cost-cutting move earlier this month. The franchise leader in touchdown catches had three sub-par seasons after signing a big contract following an All-Pro year in 2014.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Draft 2018, the Fan Experience]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 18:07:17 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/31369388_2061951877396717_8432927419635073024_n.jpgNBC 5 checks out the fan experience outside AT&T Stadium in Arlington ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Brown, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Fanatics Fill AT&T Stadium for Draft]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 06:40:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/cowboys-nfl-fanatics.png

Fanatics, not just fans, filled AT&T Stadium Thursday night for the first night of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Take Vander Esch in Draft; Baker Mayfield Goes No. 1]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 08:49:56 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/goodell-vander-esch-draft-day-dmn.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys passed on filling a need a wide receiver during the first night of the NFL Draft and selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a late bloomer who didn't play 11-man football in high school.

Vander Esch was the first pick for the Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft and the 19th pick overall.

Earlier this week, NBC 5's Newy Scruggs predicted the team would take Vander Esch in his mock draft. Esch will bolster the Cowboys corps of linebackers led by Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith.

The Cowboys have nine picks remaining in the draft including (Round/Pick) 2/50, 3/81, 4/116, 4/137, 5/171, 6/192, 6/193, 6/208 and 7/236.

Earlier in the evening, the Cleveland Browns selected OU quarterback Baker Mayfield as the first pick in the draft.

Mayfield, of Austin, began his college career in Lubbock with the Red Raiders before transferring to OU where he sat out a year before winning the starting job. The first Heisman Trophy winner taken No. 1 overall in the following draft since Cam Newton went to Carolina in 2010, Mayfield joins a team that went 0-16 in 2017.

The Browns were sold on his leadership skills and creativity inside the pocket and outside. Most prognosticators pegged another quarterback, perhaps Josh Allen, Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen, for the Browns. Instead, it's the Oklahoma star --the Sooners went 34-6 with him-- who overwhelmingly won the Heisman Trophy last season. He is the eighth winner of the award selected first in the NFL draft following that season since 1970.

The draft order for Round 1 is below:

1. Cleveland Browns (QB Baker Mayfield, OU)
2. New York Giants (RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State)
3. New York Jets from Indianapolis Colts (QB Sam Darnold, USC)
4. Cleveland Browns from Houston Texans (CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State)
5. Denver Broncos (DE Bradley Chubb, NC State)
6. Indianapolis Colts from New York Jets (OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame)
7. Buffalo Bills from Tampa Bay Buccaneers (QB Josh Allen, Wyoming)
8. Chicago Bears (LB Roquan Smith, Georgia)
9. San Francisco 49ers (T Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame)
10. Arizona Cardinals from Oakland Raiders (QB Josh Rosen, UCLA)
11. Miami Dolphins (S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama)
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Buffalo Bills from Cincinnati Bengals (DT Vita Vea, Washington)
13. Washington Redskins (DT Da'Ron Payne, Alabama)
14. New Orleans Saints from Green Bay Packers (DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA)
15. Oakland Raiders from Arizona Cardinals (OT Colton Miller, UCLA)
16. Buffalo Bills from Baltimore Ravens (LB Tremaine Edmunds, VT)
17. Los Angeles Chargers (S Derwin James, Florida State)
18. Green Bay Packers from Seattle Seahawks (DB Jaire Alexander, Louisville)
19. Dallas Cowboys (LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State)
20. Detroit Lions (C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas)
21. Cincinnati Bengals from Buffalo Bills (C Billy Price, Ohio State)
22. Buffalo Bills from Kansas City Chiefs (LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama)
23. New England Patriots from Los Angeles Rams (T Isaiah Wynn, Georgia)
24. Carolina Panthers (WR DJ Moore, Maryland)
25. Tennessee Titans (TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina)
26. Atlanta Falcons (WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama)
27. Seattle Seahawks from Green Bay Packers from New Orleans Saints (RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State)
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (S Terrell Edmunds, VT)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (DT Taven Bryan, Florida)
30. Minnesota Vikings (CB Mike Hughes, UCF)
31. New England Patriots (RB Sony Michel, Georgia)
32. Baltimore Ravens from Philadelphia Eagles (QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville)

Pre-Draft Updates

10 p.m.
The first tight end drafted was taken by one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. The Baltimore Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome took Hayden Hurst from South Carolina with the 25th pick in the first round. The Ravens have twice traded back in the first round, first dealing No. 16 to Buffalo, then giving No. 22 to the Titans. This is the final draft for Newsome, who has failed to make a trade in only two drafts since 1996. He didn't make deals in 2001 and last year. Atlanta picked Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley at No. 26 to pair him with another former Alabama star, Julio Jones.

9:50 p.m.
Tennessee traded up with Baltimore to make the 22nd pick and went with Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, the third Crimson Tide player taken in the first round. New England made its first pick of the first round and plugged a hole on its offensive line, taking Georgia's Isaiah Wynn, who played both guard and tackle with the Bulldogs. Six offensive linemen were taken before the first wide receiver came off the board. The Carolina Panthers took Maryland's D.J. Moore at No. 24.

9:30 p.m.
A mini-run on centers. Detroit took Frank Ragnow from Arkansas with the 20th pick to help protect Matthew Stafford. Ragnow can also play guard. Then the Cincinnati Bengals took Billy Price from Ohio State, another interior lineman who can also play guard at No. 21. The Bengals' offense struggled mightily last season because of a porous offensive line. Also, the Pittsburgh Steelers have traded enigmatic wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers will receive Oakland's third-round pick in exchange for Bryant, who showed flashes of brilliance in three seasons with Pittsburgh but also regularly ran afoul of the league's substance abuse policy. Bryant caught 17 touchdowns in 36 games for the Steelers, but was suspended twice for drug violations. He missed four games in 2015 and all of the 2016 season. Bryant returned last spring but was quickly surpassed by JuJu Smith-Schuster on the depth chart. He asked for a trade in late September and was deactivated for a game after calling out Smith-Schuster in a post on social media. The 6-foot-4 Bryant has the size and speed to give Oakland quarterback Derek Carr a serious downfield threat. Bryant averaged 15.3 yards per reception with the Steelers.

9:22 p.m.
The Dallas Cowboys pick sent the fans at AT&T Stadium into a frenzy of anticipation for the home team. The Cowboys passed on filling a need at wide receiver and selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, a late bloomer who didn't play 11-man football in high school. There still has not been a receiver selected. One pick earlier, Green Bay picked cornerback Jaire Alexander from Louisville to help their secondary. The Packers traded down to add more picks later. Alexander missed much of last season with injuries, but was a lock-down corner as a sophomore in 2016.

9 p.m.
Oakland, selecting 15th after trading down from 10th, bolstered its offensive line with UCLA's Kolton Miller in the NFL draft. The 6-foot-9 tackle left the Bruins after his junior season and had strong workouts leading up to the draft.
The 16th selection also came after a trade. Buffalo, which previously moved into the seventh slot to get Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, again was dealing, swapping No. 22 overall and a third-rounder with Baltimore. Buffalo took Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who can play inside or outside and was considered by some the best at the position in this group. Safety Derwin James of Florida State also slipped a bit and wound up going 17th to the Chargers. James does his best work against the pass, but needs improvement against the run. He should find an immediate role in LA's secondary.

8:45 p.m.
Eager to add to an improving defense, New Orleans traded up with Green Bay, moving from 27th to 14th to get UTSA edge rusher Marcus Davenport. Coming off a sensational 2017 draft in which the Saints added both the offensive and defensive rookies of the year in Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore, they took a strong, tall (6-foot-6) player who can play on the line or at linebacker. Davenport was particularly impressive at the Senior Bowl.

8:35 p.m.
The Washington Redskins addressed their leaky run defense by taking Alabama defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne with pick No. 13. The 320-pound Payne was the anchor of Alabama's national championship defense last season, and the second Crimson Tide player taken in the first round. This is the 10th straight season Alabama has had a first-round pick. Only Miami at 14 from 1994-2008 has had one longer.

8:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay has plugged a major hole in its defensive line with nose tackle Vita Vea. The Buccaneers had traded down from seventh to 12th -- Buffalo grabbed Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in that deal -- and found a 6-foot-4, 345-pound man-mountain adept at stopping the run. At Washington, he often occupied or even overpowered more than one blocker. He'll team with Tampa's longtime defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy, in an attempt to improve a defense that ranked last in the league in 2017.

8:25 p.m.
The Miami Dolphins had a top-10 talent fall to them at No. 11 and took Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The versatile All-American played safety, cornerback and nickel back in three seasons with the Crimson Tide and was one of coach Nick Saban's favorite players.

8:15 p.m.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen slipped a bit, but the Arizona Cardinals jumped up to No. 10 to get him. Arizona traded with Oakland to get the 10th overall pick, moving up from No. 15. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer retired after the season. Arizona also signed former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who missed most of last season with an injury.

8:10 p.m.
The San Francisco 49ers bolstered their offensive line, picking tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame at No. 9. McGlinchey was the second Fighting Irish lineman to go in the top 10 after Quenton Nelson went to the Colts.

8:06 p.m.
The Chicago Bears selected Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with pick No. 8. Smith was an All-American and Butkus Award winner for the Bulldogs in 2017.

7:57 p.m.
The Buffalo Bills traded up to No. 7 to take Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, a 6-foot-5, strong-armed passer. Allen had no major scholarship offers out of college and went to junior college before spending two seasons at Wyoming. He needs some seasoning and to work on accuracy, but he could sit behind AJ McCarron in Buffalo for a year or two.

7:54 p.m.
The Colts grabbed the best blocker in the draft, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6. The Colts had traded down from No. 3 with the New York Jets. Indianapolis took Nelson to help protect quarterback Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

7:45 p.m.
Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State, seen as the best pass rusher in this draft, was selected fifth overall by Denver. Once Cleveland, with its second selection in the top four, went for Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, it left the dynamic Chubb for the Broncos. Chubb will bolster a defense that already has one star in linebacker Von Miller. Denver ranked third in overall defense last season, but GM John Elway couldn't pass on a game-changing end.

7:39 p.m.
The Browns surprised the experts again, picking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward No 4 overall. After passing over more classic quarterbacks to take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield with the top pick, Cleveland skipped over North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, the top pass rusher in the draft, to grab the top cornerback.

7:30 p.m.
The New York Jets, another of the NFL teams desperate for a franchise quarterback, chose Sam Darnold with the third pick Thursday night. The Jets had traded up from sixth overall with Indianapolis with the expressed mission of finding that quarterback. Southern California's Darnold, who had a superb 2016 season and was not quite so productive last year, was the choice. Darnold might sit a while and learn behind veteran Josh McCown. "There's nothing better than being on this state," Darnold said. "I think whatever the coaches what me to do, if they want me to sit, want me to play, I'll do my role. That's what I've done my whole life, not going to do any different."

7:23 p.m.
The New York Giants selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The All-American with speed, power, shiftiness and excellent hands is considered this year's best player. New York has had one of the NFL's worst running games in recent years, and Barkley is expected to boost an offense that has a veteran quarterback in Eli Manning and star receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. Barkley also is a sensational kick returner. "It's unreal, two of the biggest moments in my life in the same week," said Barkley, whose girlfriend gave birth to a girl earlier in the week.
Not surprisingly in the Cowboys' home, the pick generally was booed.

7:20 p.m.
Baker Mayfield, until the past few days considered an outsider to be chosen at the top of the NFL draft, has been taken by the Cleveland Browns to begin Thursday night's selections. The first Heisman Trophy winner taken No. 1 overall in the following draft since Cam Newton went to Carolina in 2010, Mayfield joins a team that went 0-16 in 2017. The Browns were sold on his leadership skills and creativity inside the pocket and outside. Most prognosticators pegged another quarterback, perhaps Josh Allen, Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen, for the Browns. Instead, it's the Oklahoma star --the Sooners went 34-6 with him-- who overwhelmingly won the Heisman Trophy last season. He is the eighth winner of the award selected first in the NFL draft following that season since 1970.

5:45 p.m.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be accompanied by two Hall of Fame quarterbacks who won multiple Super Bowl titles with the Dallas Cowboys, along with one of their former receivers, when he takes the stage to open the NFL draft. Quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, and former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson are all former winners of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award that recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. Staubach led the Cowboys to Super Bowl titles during the 1971 and 1977 seasons, the latter of those years with Pearson leading the NFL in receiving yards. Aikman was the quarterback when Dallas won three Super Bowl titles in a span four seasons in the first half of the 1990s. This is the first time the NFL draft is being held in a stadium. Staubach, Pearson and Aikman played their home games with the Cowboys at Texas Stadium in Irving, the team's previous home that no longer stands. The Cowboys moved into $1.3 billion AT&T Stadium in Arlington nine years ago.


5:45 p.m.
For one Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, the QB to concentrate on in this draft is Baker Mayfield. That's hardly a surprise when the speaker is Roger Staubach, the 1963 trophy winner who won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame . After all, his nickname was "Roger the Dodger." "There's something about Mayfield that's interesting," Staubach says. "He does some funky things, seems to be a leader, and they like him. He can move around and find people who come open. In the NFL, you have to do that." As Staubach did in one of the more storied careers. After playing for Navy, he spent four years in active duty, including a tour in Vietnam. After spending two weeks at the Cowboys' training camp in California the year before getting out of the service, he was told by coach Tom Landry that the team was eager to have him back the next season. From there, Staubach led the Cowboys to the top of pro football in an 11-year career in which he went 85-29 as a starter. Speaking Thursday to current and former military members at a draft event held by USAA, the official military appreciation sponsor of the NFL, Staubach offered some advice to the audience -- and to the players headed to the NFL. "The qualities you need to succeed in the military are the same as you need to succeed in sports, in the NFL," he says. "Integrity, hard work, teamwork. Those are all the attributes companies are looking for. Take advantage of the qualities you have. "You must work hard at it. Of course, for the NFL you must have the talent. But if you have the talent and don't work at it, someone with less talent will go past you. "The service taught me and all of us to learn about teamwork and hard work. It takes a lot of unspectacular preparation to get spectacular results."

5 p.m.
The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons. Amazon will stream the 11 Thursday night games broadcast by FOX this season. Those games are also simulcast on NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Through the streaming deal with Amazon, the broadcasts will be available to more than 100 million Amazon Prime members worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories. "Having over 100 million Amazon Prime members provides a massive platform to distribute Thursday Night Football digitally, not only to our fans in the United States but also around the world," said Brian Rolapp, chief media and business officer for the NFL. With 10 Thursday night games and one on Christmas last year, Amazon built on the audience Twitter had in 2016 in the first year of streaming on Thursday nights. The average per-minute audience for the 11 games hit 310,000, a 17 percent increase from Twitter's numbers.

2:45 p.m.
Bradley Chubb jokes that he's changed positions for this draft and is now a  quarterback. In reality, the North Carolina State standout is probably the best defensive prospect in this draft. When you get past all the hype for QBs, much of the first round will be devoted to guys on that side of the ball. "Yeah, don't forget about us," he says with a smile. Chubb can do it all -- stop the run, pass rush, shoot gaps, block passes and kicks. Some believe he is a better player than Myles Garrett, who was the top overall pick last year by Cleveland. Chubb could wind up with the Browns, bookending the D-line with Garrett. Cleveland owns the fourth overall spot and after taking its quarterback at the top, could go his way. "That would be awesome," Chubb said. "I don't know Myles, but I do know he's a great player." As for sending some love the defenders' way, Chubb reasons it will be coming. "I feel like I got a spotlight now," he says as reporters gather around for his views on the proceedings. "There are so many great players who can go into an organization and change it. I hope to be one."

1 p.m.
Don't look for many wide receivers to be selected high in this draft. Indeed, only Alabama's Calvin Ridley seems sure to go in the first round, and he comes from a run-oriented offense. Recent history shows that wideouts are not particularly wise choices until deeper into the proceedings. Consider that in the past three years, the likes of Phillip Dorsett, Breshad Perriman, Kevin White, Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman, Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross have gone in the opening round. Anybody seen or heard much from any of them so far in their NFL careers? After evaluating the receivers on his roster, Browns general manager John Dorsey said: "Then you have to let the other young guys fight out for their roster spot. Who's to say? We may get a receiver or two in this draft." Guaranteed it won't be with the first and fourth overall spots Cleveland owns.

12:20 p.m.
Former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen has apologized for a series of offensive tweets he sent while in high school. The potential No. 1 NFL draft pick apologized for the now-deleted tweets to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith less than 24 hours before the draft. Yahoo! Sports reported Allen sent the tweets in 2012 and 2013 and they contained racially insensitive language and offensive statements. Allen told Smith he was parroting rap lyrics and catchphrases from TV and pop culture. In his apology, Allen told Smith he was "young and dumb" at the time. According to ESPN, the tweets were removed from Allen's account when it was vetted in January. Wyoming coach Craig Bohl says Allen had "great relationships with his teammates and our fan base." The coach adds in his statement that while at Wyoming Allen "embraced diversity." Says Bohl: "We wish him all the best on his big night."

12 p.m.
This isn't just the year of the quarterback in the NFL draft. It's the century of the QB. The previous time a quarterback wasn't selected in the first round of the NFL draft was 1996, when 41 other players were chosen before the Rams selected Michigan State's Tony Banks at No. 42. Banks went 35-43 in eight seasons as a journeyman with the Rams, Ravens, Redskins and Texans. He was by far the most accomplished of the six quarterbacks selected, two of whom never played in the league and another who never started in the NFL. Third-rounder Bobby Hoying of Ohio State went 3-9-1 in five seasons for Philadelphia and Oakland. The Broncos chose Jeff Lewis of Northern Arizona with the 100th overall pick, but this was during the Elway Era and Lewis made zero career starts in two seasons in Denver and two in Carolina. Another fourth-rounder was Florida State's Danny Kanell, who would post a 10-13-1 career mark over six seasons with the Giants, Falcons and Broncos. In the seventh round, the Ravens took John Stark of Trinity International and the Packers selected USC's Kyle Wachholtz, neither of whom ever played in the pros. So, that was a total of 48-65-2 for the inglorious QB class of 1996. There have been 56 quarterbacks selected in the first round since then, including five in 1999. That mark is expected to be matched or maybe broken tonight in Dallas.

11:00 a.m.
The most inspirational story in this NFL draft, bar none, is Shaquem Griffin of UCF. A standout linebacker for the undefeated Knights, Griffin achieved all of his success despite having no left hand. He wears a prosthetic, yet Griffin stunned onlookers by bench-pressing 225 pounds a staggering 20 times at the combine, then ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. Griffin is fast, hits hard and never stops coming. Will that make him a first-rounder? Probably not, given NFL teams' concerns with any sort of physical issues for a prospect. But Griffin, whose brother Shaquill was selected in the third round last year by Seattle, insists there are no drawbacks about him as a pro prospect. "I don't see it as a handicap and I have never looked at it that way," Griffin says. "I hope I am an inspiration for people, to see I can do whatever I want. I haven't seen anything I couldn't do. I'm never going to let someone put a label on me." NFL personnel people praise Griffin to the sky for his talent, work ethic and fortitude. What they don't say is how highly they will consider him on their draft board. Griffin doesn't like hearing that, though his cheerful demeanor allows him to laugh when told he could be sitting at this draft until Saturday before being selected. "I don't have a chip on my shoulder," Griffin says. "I have chips. I have a bag of chips. Everyone else can have a chip. I need more than that."

10:40 a.m.
The Houston Texans will be bystanders deep into this draft; their first pick is in the third round, 68th overall. That doesn't mean they won't be paying attention Thursday night and during the second round Friday. Plus, the man in charge of personnel moves believes the Texans already have achieved a lot in the offseason. "Part of the process in this player evaluation is mixing the pro scouting element with the college draft process," says new general manager Brian Gaine. "As it relates to how we're going to solve some of the issues on our roster with personnel, we feel like some of the things we did in free agency are going to put us in position in the draft where you're not going to get forced to have to draft a player based on need. "The players that we acquired both on the offensive line and in the secondary give us position flexibility within the group, so at least now we feel like we're in position that if we draft players now, we're hopefully drafting the best available player in that regard. The best combination of a pick is when you take the best available player that also meets a team need." Among Houston's needs are the offensive line and tight end. Barring an unexpected run on tackles or tight ends, the Texans should find value when they finally get going. "There are certainly challenges involved with that in terms of getting blue chip talent and blue chip prospects," Gaines says, "but the focus that I have had and our staff has had here has been we are going to get a chance to get four players in the top 103 in this draft. "So, if things were standard and we had a first- and second-round pick, a third- and fourth-round pick, that would still give us four players in the top 103. "Now, although they might not be player 50 or 60, we're still going to get four players, we believe, in the top 103. So, we're very positive that we'll be able to get contributing players at any one of those picks in the third and the fourth round." Meanwhile, barring a trade, the Texans will watch.

9:50 a.m.
This year's deep draft at quarterback lacks just one thing: a consensus top pick. None of the mock drafts heading into Thursday's actual NFL draft in Dallas seems to even put them in the same order. So, let's see what the quarterbacks themselves think. All of them say they're the best of the bunch except for USC's Sam Darnold, who suggests: "That's for other people to decide." Hogwash, say Wyoming's Josh Allen, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Louisville's Lamar Jackson. They all unabashedly tout themselves as the best option at QB in this draft. "I think I'm the best quarterback here," Rosen has said. "I think every person in this draft should have the exact same answer." Allen has said every quarterback has to believe he's the best because that confidence is the cornerstone of a successful pro career. "We're all different, we all have our pluses, our minuses," Allen says. "But if you don't have the mindset that you're the best quarterback in this draft, you're not going to fare well in this league." Mayfield has concurred, saying, "If you don't have that mindset then something's wrong." When it comes to ranking the quarterbacks, most people have Jackson well behind the so-called "Big Four," going somewhere in the middle of the first round. Jackson has just as much confidence as the others, suggesting he's better than all of them. "But I don't really care about what order we're in," Jackson has said. "They're all great quarterbacks, as well. So, I know they feel the same way."

9:35 a.m.
As the traveling road show that the NFL draft has become settles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the league has added a new fan touch: the Inner Circle. More than 1,600 fans -- at least 50 from every franchise -- will be in AT&T Stadium for the selections, and the festivities that go with them. Each team selected its "draft ambassadors," and the list of attendees ranges from locals who just happen to root for, say, the Eagles or Bills or Jets, to fans who will travel to North Texas (Falcons, Ravens). Many are season ticket holders. The Inner Circle will feature team rivalry zones and chances for fans to celebrate the club's selections with NFL players and former team standouts. On Thursday night, some of these fans will be visited by their newest team  members after they are selected on stage.

Dave Gettleman has learned many lessons as an NFL executive. The new general manager of the New York Giants has one mantra in the draft room. He says teams must "stay with the value." They "can't get too cute" or hope for a player to be around in a later round. The Giants pick second Thursday night after the Cleveland Browns. The New York Jets go third, followed by the Browns and Denver Broncos. Plenty of top quarterbacks are available: USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Wyoming's Josh Allen. There's also Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb. Analyst and former NFL general manager Phil Savage says the Giants are in the "catbird seat" and can go in many directions, but he encourages them to consider Barkley.



Photo Credit: Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News
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<![CDATA[Drew Pearson Busy After Epic '17 NFL Draft Pick Announcement]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:27:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/1493435863-pearson.jpg

The Original No. 88, Drew Pearson, says his 2017 NFL Draft pick announcement on behalf of the Cowboys has kept him busy.

Let's take you back to April 29, 2017 when Pearson stole the show in Philadelphia.

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell introduced Pearson to announce the Dallas Cowboys' second round pick, the crowd filled with Philadelphia Eagles fans began to boo.

Pearson stepped up to the mic and decided to rile up the crowd even more.

"How 'bout them Cowboys," Pearson said. "I want to thank the Eagle fans for allowing me to have a career in the NFL. Thank you."

The Eagles fans booed even more, while a cutaway of the crowd showed Cowboys fans in the audience cheering.

The reaction reached fever pitch that increased with every word as Pearson's voice got louder and louder as he announced the pick.

"On behalf of the 5-time World Champion, Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame owner Jerry Jones, Jean Jones and the Jones family, coach Jason Garrett, all the Cowboys players who played before me, that played with me and played after me-- with the 60th pick in the second round the Dallas Cowboys select defensive back from Colorado Chidobe Awuzie."

He couldn't drop the mic (but we think he would have), however, he did pump his fist as he walked off stage.

Pearson reflected on the big night Thursday, the night before the 2018 NFL Draft.

"It's kept me really busy since then, and that's a good thing," he told NBC DFW's Pat Doney. "That Monday I had 25 interviews to do after that Friday announcement. And then things kept rolling, ever since then."

Pearson is a co-ambassador along with DeMarcus Ware for events at AT&T Stadium this year.

Click the video above to hear Pearson says about the Cowboys drafting a wide receiver and about honoring his quarterback Roger Staubach.



Photo Credit: Drew Pearson/Screenshot via NFL.com video
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<![CDATA[Beasley Releases Second Hip-Hop Single]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:17:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cole-Beasley.jpg

Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley has been hard at work this offseason. And he's been doing more than just running routes and lifting weights.

The six-year NFL veteran announced the release of his second hip-hop single of the year in a Tweet Wednesday night. The song is called "Shock Value" and opens with the line "I know no one expected this Little Elm resident to get to the league."

Beasley was born in Houston but attended Little Elm High School before going on to play college football at SMU.

The new song's chorus includes the lyrics: "I don't clock out, I'm locked in. So really man, so really man, how could I not win?"

The Cowboys will need Beasley to win even more battles with defensive backs during the 2018 season following the departure of former Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant. Beasley caught 36 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns last year, but led the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2016.

"Shock Value" follows Beasley's January single "80 Stings." The receiver has teased a full album on Twitter, which he wrote would be released later this spring.



Photo Credit: Dave Zangaro | CSNPhilly.com
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<![CDATA[Leighton Vander Esch Makes Sense for The Cowboys]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 07:26:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-nfl-draft-dallas1.jpg

The Cowboys' goal should be to leave the 83rd annual NFL draft at AT&T Stadium with a middle linebacker, a speedy, play-making receiver and Seattle safety Earl Thomas.

Taking care of the linebacker Thursday night with the 19th pick seems to be a good start.

Then it's a matter of choosing between the two players who will should be available when it's their turn to pick: Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch and Alabama's Rashaan Evans.

Vander Esch is 6-4, 256 pounds can make plays sideline-to-sideline and excels in coverage, a huge factor in today's NFL where the game is all about passing. Evans is 6-2, 232 pounds and comes with Alabama's championship pedigree and coach Nick Saban's blessing.

Evans is a physical player, who will be good against the run and can provide some pass rush as a blitzer. He did it on occasion from a three-point stance at Alabama, though it's unlikely the Cowboys would use him like that.

The criticism of Vander Esch is that he's not a physical player, which is generally what's required of a middle linebacker. What that means is he's not all that interested in taking on blockers, shedding them and making tackles.

Listen to enough folks who study the draft for a living and they'll tell you Vander Esch is tough enough to play inside linebacker, and they can teach him to be physical by focusing on fundamentals and techniques.

There has been a lot of chatter about Vander Esch reportedly having a neck injury. Some teams are concerned about it, a Cowboys source said they're not.

The questions about Evans center on whether he's big enough to consistently lock up with 330-pound guards and make plays.

Vander Esch's ability to cover the freak-of-nature tight ends that rule today's NFL gives him the edge over Evans. The Cowboys love his athleticism, his speed and the prospect of a big-time play-maker, an aspect of this defense that's been lacking for years.

That's why I expect the Cowboys to take Vander Esch, if they stay at 19.

There's no guarantee, of course, the Cowboys will stay put. They haven't moved up or down in four years, which is like a 100 years for other teams.

If the Cowboys move up in the draft, it probably won't be unless a player they covet - Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea or Florida State's Derwin James is available at 12. Buffalo currently has the 12th pick, but it would depend, obviously, on the price to move up.

The Cowboys are enamored with Vea, a 6-5, 340 defensive tackle, who's big enough to play over the center, command double teams and be a run-stopper, but agile enough to be disruptive.

He's not a sexy pick, but he's the kind of massive player who can impact the entire defense.

James would be a kind of hybrid safety who could cover tight ends and make plays against the run too. Any playmaker Dallas adds will be a positive.

This is not a great class of receivers and the Cowboys could very well have their pick of Alabama's Calvin Ridley, Maryland's D.J. Moore or SMU's Courtland Sutton at 19.

While the Cowboys need a receiver to replace Dez Bryant, who was released last week, there's not enough separation between those players and Texas A&M Christian Kirk, Oklahoma State's James Washington, LSU's D.J. Chark or Memphis' Anthony Miller that they'll feel the need to grab one of those players.

Besides, the odds of having a rookie receiver make a significant impact are slim. Three receivers were taken in the top 10 of the 2017 draft, and Western Michigan's Corey Davis had the best season, catching 34 passes for 375 yards and no touchdowns.

That's one more reason for Dallas to take Vander Esch.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Free Events at NFL Draft in Arlington]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:31:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfl-draft-att-stadium.jpg

North Texas is playing host to the 2018 NFL Draft and the excitement is reaching an all-time high.

According to the NFL, more than 250,000 fans from all 50 states have registered for a chance to win free tickets and more than 400,000 people have downloaded the Fan Mobile Pass to attend the free Fan Experience.


The NFL Draft Experience transforms the outdoor plazas of AT&T Stadium into a full fan zone.

“Spanning the size of nearly 26 football fields, fans of all ages and teams may participate in interactive exhibits, immersive games, virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more,” the NFL touts.

Those 400,000-plus fans who registered for the Fan Mobile Pass will have an enhanced experience, receive a personal scan code which gives them exclusive access to NFL Draft Experience attractions a chance to possibly receive standby tickets to the NFL Draft Theater.

Hours of Operation

• Thursday, April 26: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
• Friday, April 27: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
• Saturday, April 28: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Games (Fan Mobile Pass Required)

• Combine Corner, Vertical Jump: Jump as high as you can and hit the corresponding flag to discover your vertical reach just like at the NFL Scouting Combine.

• 40-Yard Dash: Race down the field against your opponents and digital NFL players on a giant 40-yard long LED wall.

• Hail Mary: Test your long-distance accuracy by throwing a deep pass over defenders into a drop-in net.

• NFL Training Camp: Race through a series of obstacles and train like a pro.

• Touch Pass: Master one of the most difficult throws for an NFL quarterback by throwing the ball on an arc over a defensive player and into a net.

• FedEx Air Challenge: Test your passing accuracy on specially designed targets.

NFL PLAY 60 Zone

• Gear Up & Go: Try on NFL equipment and feel what it’s like to get dressed for gameday.

• Kids’ Extra Point Kick: Test your ability to kick a field goal through scaled down NFL uprights.

• Kids’ Long Snap: Test your ability to snap the ball like a pro.

• Kids’ Quarterback Challenge: Test your passing skills.

• NFL PLAY 60 App Station: Run, jump and turn through a simulated world in an app designed by NFL PLAY 60 and the American Heart Association.

• NFL PLAY 60 Zone Obstacle Course: Race through agility drills just like the pros and test your high jump abilities, leap over obstacles and bob and weave through mini tackling dummies.

• NFL RUSH Gameday: Experience gameday with an app designed for kids to play fun games, customize their own avatars, watch videos, and unlock cool digital gear from their favorite teams.

• Play Football Field presented by Danimals: Watch and learn from USA Football coaches and play NFL FLAG football. On-field clinics are open to boys and girls ages 6-17. Daily clinics open on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hours of Operation

• Thursday, April 26: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.
• Friday, April 27: 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.
• Saturday, April 28: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

ONLINE: NFL Fan Mobile Pass



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[North Texas Forecast: Drafty. And No One Knows What's Next]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 12:31:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17295026033879.jpg

Anyone who thinks the draft pundits and even some team general managers have no clue what will happen in Thursday's opening round of the draft should talk to the guys likely to get selected early.

You won't get much clarity. You will get the same shrugs, the same "it's not in my control" replies.

And you can get some perspective, too.

"It's not where or when you get drafted," said Wyoming's Josh Allen, one of four quarterbacks expected to be chosen in the top half-dozen or so spots. "It's what you do after it. I can see myself in seven different uniforms; I had seven visits."

Said UCLA's Josh Rosen: "My game is not where or when I go, it's to go to the right team. If you don't think I'm right for your team, don't draft me. I want to go somewhere I think I'll do well, and if that team feels I will do well, pick me."

That team could be Cleveland at the very top. It could be the New York clubs, the Giants at No. 2 and the Jets at No. 3. Maybe Denver at No. 5, or a team desperate to get in the QB derby that trades its way up.

There is more mystery to this draft than most, and the prospects recognize it. After they tossed footballs Wednesday with youngsters and participated in some modified drills with the kids as part of the NFL's Play Football Clinic, many of the players projected as top 10 picks assessed what might happen at AT&T Stadium.

Well, they actually mostly laughed and joked about having no clue what will occur.

"There's a lot of uncertainty going into tomorrow," said Southern California's Sam Darnold, another of the quarter of highly coveted passers. "So you have to be prepared for whatever happens. I'm looking to see who was right and who was wrong (among so-called draft experts). That's fun."

The fun begins at 8 p.m. Eastern with the Browns, coming off a spotless season -- as in zero victories -- having the first and fourth choices. Not picking Allen, Rosen, Darnold or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield to start things off would be a huge shock.

Both teams that call New Jersey home come next. The Giants have a franchise quarterback in Eli Manning, but he's 37. Do they go for a young arm, or look at the players deemed the best overall talents on each side of the ball? That would be Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

"I try to keep a level head and not think about it," said Chubb, who then admitted it would be "huge" if he went fourth to Cleveland and was paired up front with last year's top overall pick, Myles Garrett. "People think this will happen and that will happen and nobody knows what will happen."

Perhaps. But it's a pretty safe bet the Jets will go for a QB after trading up from sixth overall to get Indianapolis' No. 3 spot.

"It's all about opportunity," GM Mike Maccagnan said. "We felt good about where we were originally picking and then we made the trade and moved ourselves to position ourselves, in our mind, to be in a position to have a good option and a good choice with that spot."

Denver is up fifth and recently signed free agent Case Keenum, whose best pro season helped Minnesota make the NFC title game. Having Keenum aboard doesn't rule out GM John Elway -- the first pick in the renowned 1983 draft that had six first-round QBs, three making the Hall of Fame -- going for a signal caller.

"We've stacked them, got them in order, how we think they fit, who fits us and who doesn't," Elway said of the current quarterback crop. "We've been through that process. We do that process with every position. Where they fit into our football and are they a fit for us. Even as we stack the board, we stack them talent-wise, but also if they are a fit for us."

How it all fits together makes for an intriguing spectacle, has sparked a cottage industry and has become a traveling road show.

So how will it all get going Thursday night?

"I haven't paid attention to a lot of drafts," Rosen said. "It just seems nobody knows what's going on."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Knight]]>
<![CDATA[Everything You Need to Know About the NFL Draft]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:25:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DRAFT9.JPG

At 7 p.m. Thursday night NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will put the Cleveland Browns "on the clock," signaling the start of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium.

Arlington is the third city to host the event since 2014, when the event finished a decades-long run in New York City. The NFL held the draft in Chicago in 2015 and 2016, before moving it to Philadelphia last year.


The first round will be Thursday night, with rounds two and three on Friday starting at 6 p.m. Rounds four through seven will take place on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

NBC 5's Newy Scruggs predicts Dallas, which holds the 19th overall pick, will select Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round, while Pat Doney has the Cowboys taking Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels.

Some of the top college prospects in the country are expected to attend the festivities, including Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, 2016 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville, and quarterback Sam Darnold of USC, who Scruggs has going first overall.

The only player from a school in the Lone Star State scheduled to be in attendance is University of Texas All-American offensive tackle Connor Williams. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, will not attend, according to NFL.com.

Goodell, who has publicly feuded with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the last year, will announce each team's first round selection. When he reaches the podium for Dallas' Thursday night pick, he will be accompanied by football captains from six Arlington ISD schools: Arlington, Bowie, Seguin, Lamar, Martin and Sam Houston High Schools.

In rounds two and three, Goodell will give way to current and former NFL players for the picks. Round two will feature a legend from each NFL team, including Hall of Famers Jim Brown (Cleveland), Andre Reed (Buffalo), Mike Singletary (Chicago), and LaDainian Tomlinson (Los Angeles Chargers), while round three announcements will be made by former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winners.

For the Cowboys, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly will announce the team's second-round pick and four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick will announce its third-round selection.

The NFL will recognize active duty service members, veterans and their families throughout the weekend in Arlington. Before the first round on Thursday, a joint color guard from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth will be onstage during the national anthem. When Lilly takes the stage to make the Cowboys' second-round pick, he will be accompianed by the family of Ellery Ray Wallace, a Texas native who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.



Photo Credit: Pat Doney - NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Doney Predicts Cowboys First Three Draft Picks]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:56:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-Draft-042418.jpg

I’ve spent some time the last few days trying to piece together the Cowboys draft needs, the prospects they’ve had in for visits, and the philosophy with which the Cowboys have made decisions in the past.

That led me here, to my prediction of who I believe the Cowboys will draft in the first three rounds Thursday and Friday in AT&T Stadium. Let’s begin...

With the 19th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select:

James Daniels, Iowa offensive guard/center

“Really? Another offensive lineman?!!” Absolutely. The Cowboys discovered in 2017 that it actually requires five good pieces up front to dominate like they did in 2016. Losing Ron Leary (signed with Denver) hurt more than Dallas could have imagined. Drafting an offensive guard like Daniels ensures the Cowboys will have Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin (assuming Dallas signs him to an expected long-term deal soon), and the rookie through the year 2023. The other starter, La’el Collins, is under contract through 2019.


With the 50th pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select:

James Washington, Oklahoma State wide receiver

Dez Bryant’s replacement? Kind of. But is that even necessary? In 2016, Dez missed three games due to injury, sat in a meaningless Week 17 game vs Philadelphia, and had three other games that finished with just one reception. And the Cowboys won 13 games. Clearly, elite receiver talent is a luxury and not a necessity in Dallas’s scheme. Washington made a ton of big plays at Oklahoma State, but his route running has been questioned. The Cowboys could benefit from adding a deep threat who knows how to go get the football, providing just enough of a threat to keep defenses honest.


With the 81st pick in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select:

Darius Leonard, South Carolina State linebacker

The Cowboys need to add depth at linebacker, and were interested enough in Leonard to have him in for a pre-draft visit and private workout. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones recently continued his high praise of Dallas LB Jaylon Smith as he continues to return from his knee injury, and Sean Lee remains one of the best linebackers in football when he’s on the field. But there are questions regarding the durability and availability of both players. With Anthony Hitchens off to Indianapolis, Dallas could benefit from a solid prospect like Leonard, who was clearly under-recruited coming out of high school, and finished his senior season with 124 tackles and was named the Senior Bowl’s defensive MVP.



Photo Credit: Noah Bullard - NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dumping Dez May Not Mean Cowboys Seek Receiver High In Draft]]>Wed, 25 Apr 2018 12:16:01 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-Draft-042418.jpg

With Dez Bryant gone, the Dallas Cowboys have to decide if they will use their top pick on a receiver for the first time since taking him eight years ago.

The answer on going that high to get another target for quarterback Dak Prescott, as it was before Bryant's release this month, is an emphatic "maybe." Dallas has the 19th pick in the first round Thursday night.

"I think we recognize that we've got a hole to fill with Dez," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday. "Those receivers we'll have rated first, second, third, fourth, fifth-round receivers, we'll have them rated with or without Dez at those levels."

Dallas decided that Bryant's dramatic decline in production in the three years since he signed a $70 million contract made him not worth the $12.5 million he would have been owed in 2018.

Early in the offseason, Jones also alluded to what he called the distraction of the drama that sometimes surrounded the emotional Bryant.

The Cowboys made a strong play for Sammy Watkins, who chose Kansas City in free agency. They added Allen Hurns, who showed potential as a top target in Jacksonville but never had the numbers to support that label. Dallas also signed journeyman Deonte Thompson.

Some of the top receivers in the draft visited the Cowboys, including Alabama's Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore of Maryland. Another intriguing prospect, Courtland Sutton, played a few miles from the home of the Cowboys at SMU.

Even without a few rookies, the receiver room will be crowded in the offseason and at training camp with the Cowboys trying to get back to the playoffs after missing last season coming off an NFC-best 13 wins in 2016, when Prescott was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Terrance Williams, the No. 2 receiver behind Bryant the past five years, returns, although he had offseason surgery for a broken right foot and isn't expected to be ready until camp. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, both slot receivers, figure to have roster spots, with Switzer as the primary kick return man.

Noah Brown, a seventh-round pick last year, had an increasing role late in the season.

"When you lose a player the stature of Dez, obviously he was a No. 1 receiver, he was paid like he was a No. 1, and you don't replace that," executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said on his radio show last week.

"Obviously we're not going to do it that way with the group that we have now. There's a lot of teams that go about it with numbers and with different skillsets."

Here are some things to consider with the Cowboys hosting the draft for the first time, and with the draft in a stadium for the first time:

OTHER NEEDS

Linebacker stands out because of Sean Lee's history with injuries and lingering uncertainty over Jaylon Smith's recovery from a devastating knee injury from college. The Cowboys also decided to let the steady and versatile Anthony Hitchens go in free agency, the second straight year they've turned a key defender loose. Last year, it was safety Barry Church, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Cowboys target that position first.

PICKS RUNDOWN

The Cowboys have 10 picks, with multiple selections in the fourth and sixth rounds. A trade would be more likely if they had multiple picks in an earlier round, but Jerry Jones has never been afraid to move up or down on draft night. Dallas moved up three spots to get Bryant at No. 24 in 2010.

HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS

Dallas has one of the NFL's best offensive lines because of first-round choices Travis Frederick (2013) and Zack Martin (2014). Ezekiel Elliott was the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016 after going fourth overall, the highest pick for the Cowboys in 25 years. Prescott is easily the biggest bargain as a fourth-rounder the same year Dallas got Elliott.

Defensive Randy Gregory didn't work as a second-round gamble in 2015 when he tested positive for marijuana at the combine. He was suspended all last season.

The Cowboys just picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of defensive back Byron Jones, picked ahead of Gregory. Jones, who is moving back to cornerback from safety, has two years to try to live up to first-round billing after falling short so far.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Noah Bullard - NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Newy's Mock 2018 Draft 2.0]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 22:21:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/NFL+Draft4.jpg

I had to change up my 2018 mock draft. I switched my Cowboys pick to a different LB. I think we will see three to four trades day one. I have five QBs going in the first round.

1. Cleveland; Sam Darnold QB USC

The Browns need to finally take a quarterback in the first round after passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.

2. N.Y. Giants; Bradley Chubb DE N.C. State

The Giants have to replace JPP. Chubb can get the QB.

3. N.Y. Jets; Josh Rosen QB UCLA

Might turn out to be the best QB in the 2018 draft.

4. Cleveland; Saquan Barkley RB Penn State

The best player rated in the draft will help QB Tyrod Taylor.

5. Denver; Josh Allen QB Wyoming

**trade with Buffalo. The Bills give up a boatload for a strong arm QB who has accuracy problems.

6. Indy; Quenton Nelson G; Notre Dame

The Colts get a highly graded player who can be ten year starter.

7. Tampa Bay; Minkah Fitzpatrick CB/S Alabama

The Bucs need a corner. Fitzpatrick can move around and in a division with Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Drew Brees the Bucs need better DB play.

8. Chicago; Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech

The Bears need to find a way to get to Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins. But I can see the Bears making a trade down to get more picks.

9. San Francisco; Roquan Smith LB Georgia

I can’t see Ruben Foster playing for this club after his domestic violence arrest. Time to get another LB.

10. Oakland; Derwin James S Florida State

Jon Gruden knows KC has Sammy Watkins and Tyreke Hill. Denver has Thomas & Sanders. The Chargers roll out Keenan Allen/Mike Williams. James fills a backend need.

11. Miami; Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma

The Ryan Tannehill Era may be ending with Baker coming to South Beach.

12. Buffalo; Vita Vea DT Washington

***trade with Denver. The Broncos need some beef up front because Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon & Beast Mode are in the division.

13. Washington; Daron Payne DT Alabama

Washington has to stop the run. Payne is a power run stuffing player who will probably end up showing some ability to rush the passer. They were dead last against the run last year.

14. Green Bay; Marcus Davenport OLB UTSA

The Packers need to improve their defense. Davenport will help their pass rush. The Packers were 17th in sacks last season.

15. Arizona; Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

Former Cards head coach said he would draft Jackson. New coach Steve Mills was with Cam Newton in Carolina. Arizona needs a QB of the future.

16. Baltimore; Mike McGlinchey T Notre Dame

Joe Flacco needs better protection. The Ravens have dealt with too many O-Line injuries the past two seasons.

17. L.A. Chargers; Rashaan Evans LB Alabama

Evans is the help the Bolts need at the inside linebacker spot. He excelled at Alabama.

18. Seattle; Harold Landry DE Boston College

Seattle has to replace Michael Bennett at defensive end.

19. Dallas Cowboys; LB Leighton Vander Esch Boise State

Sean Lee never plays 16 games. Anthony Hitchens left for K.C. I confirmed some in the Cowboys organization think Vander Esch is the next Brian Urlacher.

20. Detroit; Denzel Ward CB Ohio State

I don’t see how he falls this fall in the draft. I really don’t see Ward lasting to 20.

21. Cincinnati; James Daniels C Iowa

Marvin Lewis must fix his offense line. Daniels at the center spot is a good place to start.

22. Buffalo; Connor Williams T Texas

**Trade with Denver. Local DFW kid gets taken in the first round.

23. New England; Kolton Miller T UCLA

The Pats lost Nate Solder to the Giants. They must protect soon to be 41-year old Tom Brady.

24. Carolina; Mike Hughes CB UCF

Carolina has to deal with Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Michael Thomas in the NFC South and Josh Norman ain’t walking through that door.

25. Tennessee; Sam Hubbard LB Ohio State

Titans are getting old at the LB spot. Time to draft a young pup. Vrabel recruited Hubbard for Ohio State.

26. Atlanta; Maurice Hurst DT Michigan

The last man rated on LandryFootball.com’s list of first round graded players.

27. New Orleans; Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma

Drew Brees gets a legit passing target. They finally replace Jimmy Graham.

28. Pittsburgh; Josh Jackson CB Iowa

Another DFW product goes in the first round. The Steelers have needed a CB upgrade for years.

29. Jacksonville; DJ Moore WR Maryland

His old WR coach at Maryland is Keenan McCardell…now the Jags WR coach.

30. Minnesota; Isaiah Wynn G Georgia

You can’t go wrong with an offensive lineman who can play several spots.

31. New England; Jaire Alexander CB Louisville

Belichick is a DB guy. He gets the fourth best DB in the draft who has return ability.

32. Philadelphia; Derrius Guice RB LSU

First round talent. He is too good for the world champs to pass up. Big time upgrade in the run game. 



Photo Credit: Noah Bullard - NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[5 Things We Learned from Cowboys’ Pre-Draft News Conference]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 19:32:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JERRY_ON_DEZ_BRYANT_AND_RANDY_GREGORY_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1198428227836.jpg

1. Jerry and Stephen Jones each said the Cowboys have not changed their philosophy about trading up or down in the draft. They each said Tuesday they’d move up in the first round, for the right player. Just so you know, the Cowboys have not moved up or down in the last four drafts.

"If we get a really outstanding opportunity to do something really special for our team,” Jerry Jones said. “I would be giving that a lot of consideration."

2. Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have about 17 players with first-round grades just like there are every year. Interestingly, the Cowboys suggested they didn’t have five quarterbacks with first-round grades.

3. Jerry Jones said he’d like to see Commissioner Roger Goodall get a nice reception at the draft, but understands that probably won’t happen.

"I think our crowd is a football crowd,"' Jerry Jones said "There's a football view and there's a Cowboy view, so that I'm not so sure you'll see a lot of personal preferences or personal opinions about the Commissioner.

"I would hope - because I appreciate having this draft here in Dallas, this is a neat deal, I think it's very fitting that we got it - and so I hope we give him a very positive reception."

Good luck with all that.

4. Jerry Jones said he doesn’t expect to get a receiver in the draft, wherever Dallas might take one, that would be as good as Dez Bryant.

"I think we recognize that we have a hole to fill with Dez. We know we won't get a pure X receiver to replace Dez.

"I have no thoughts about the timing when we decided to move on from Dez. I think a nice, crisp time to call it a day was the way to do this. We need to move on knowing that we don't have Dez."

5. The Cowboys expect Xavier Woods to compete for a starting job at safety. You should also expect the Cowboys to make another run at safety Earl Thomas. Whether they can acquire him is another story.


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<![CDATA[NFL Legends Encourage North Texas Youth to Live Healthy]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:04:34 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL+Play+601.jpg

Nearly 500 elementary school students from around North Texas participated in the "Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown Celebration" on Tuesday at AT&T Stadium.

The program was launched by the NFL and National Dairy Council to help encourage young children to lead healthier lives.

The students who participated in the program focused on fueling up with healthy foods to have the energy to exercise for 60 minutes.

At the event, NFL legends Demarcus Ware, Bradie James, and JJ Moses were there to support the students.

“We’re really trying to teach them to not play so many video games, and to get out an exercise,” said Ware.

Ware did football drills with some of the students on the field.

“Hopefully our players here… will keep them inspired to keep eating right and exercising,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson.

At the end of the event, the schools who completed the Fuel Up to Play 60 program were awarded $50,000 dollars for their efforts.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Omni Hotel to Join In Draft Excitement]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 23:14:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/downtown-dallas-lights-0228.jpg

The NFL Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Thursday and the Dallas Skyline will also take part in the action.

The LED lights on the side of the Dallas Omni Hotel will scroll the logo of the NFL team that is currently "on the clock."

The NFL Draft logo will appear first, followed by the team logo, then text showing the team name and the words "on the clock."

During the first round of the NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday, each team has up to 10 minutes to make a decision. 

The Dallas Cowboys have the 19th overall pick in the draft.

The Dallas Omni Hotel exterior has 4.1 miles of LED lights that reach 22 stories high.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Made Dreams Come True for Fans at a Pop-Up Store Event]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:32:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zeke_Pop_up_Shop_5p_42218.jpg]]><![CDATA[Cowboys Need to Go With a Linebacker With the 19th Pick]]>Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:45:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL+Draft+01.jpg

NFL Draft is Thursday. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor address the Cowboys needs and why they should pass on a receiver with the 19th pick.

Photo Credit: Noah Bullard - NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco Police Investigating Cowboys Defensive End David Irving]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 20:20:56 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-cowboys-david-irving.jpg

Cowboys defensive end David Irving is being investigated by the Frisco Police Department after domestic violence allegations. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor have the latest and what this could mean for his future with the Cowboys.

Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco Police Investigating Cowboys DL David Irving]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 21:29:20 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-cowboys-david-irving.jpg

Police in Frisco are investigating a domestic violence complaint against Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving from a woman who later recanted.

Frisco police spokesman Radd Rotello said Monday no arrests have been made.

Rotello said a woman identified as Irving's girlfriend called police twice Sunday. After several media reports Monday, the woman wrote in a message posted on Instagram that her allegations were false. She said she was upset over an argument that led to neighbors calling 911.

"David did not put his hands on me at any time," the woman wrote.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will look into the incident. A spokesman for the team and Irving's agent declined comment.

Irving recently signed a 2018 second-round tender worth $2.9 million as a restricted free agent. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the upcoming season.

The 24-year-old Irving was suspended the first four games last season for violating the NFL's ban on performance enhancers. He had seven sacks in eight games before missing the last four games with a concussion.

The Cowboys picked up Irving off Kansas City's practice squad in 2015. He has 11 sacks over three seasons in Dallas.

You can read more about this story from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News by clicking here.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com
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<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Discusses Dez Bryants Release and More]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 23:24:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JJT_EZEKIEL_ELLIOTT_INTERVIEW_1200x675_1216864323509.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott talks with NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor about his new clothing line and Dez Bryants departure from Dallas.]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington Gets Ready to Host 2018 NFL Draft]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2018 12:08:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/att-stadium-nfl-draft.jpg

Cowboys Nation is making final preparations for the 2018 NFL Draft.

It will be the first time AT&T Stadium hosts the three-day event, which begins Thursday.

Thursday, the NFL Fan Experience will offer free entertainment for fans outside the stadium located in Arlington.

While experiencing an NFL draft is a first for North Texas, it isn’t a first for a local family.

“We went to the draft a few years ago in Chicago,” said Michael Flanagan. “It was a really neat experience.”

Flanagan said he and his son Patrick won a trip to the NFL draft in Chicago three years ago.

“It was a great energy and enthusiasm,” said Flanagan.” Everybody there is excited about the prospects of their team for the following year:”

The father and son duo stood in line for three hours on Sunday afternoon hoping to meet Ezekiel Elliott and buy some of his merchandise. Flanagan is excited and hopes to catch a glimpse of the Cowboys’ newest players on Thursday.

“We need all the defensive help we can get that’s for sure,” he said.

An estimated 60,000 people will be allowed to watch the event inside. Many more will be able to take in activities outside AT&T Stadium. The 2018 NFL Draft begins Thursday at 7 p.m. The outdoor draft experience opens at Noon on Thursday.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Fans Excited for 2018 Season]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:02:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zeke_Pop_up_Shop_5p_42218.jpg

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Zeke Elliott was in downtown Dallas today, meeting fans and signing autographs. Many of the fans at the event say they are excited for the new season and the NFL Draft, which will be held in Arlington later this week.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys TE James Hanna Retiring After Battling Knee Injury]]>Sat, 21 Apr 2018 08:39:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-457837258.jpg

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna is retiring because of a knee injury that has hampered him the past two seasons.

Hanna was placed on the reserve/retired list by the Cowboys on Friday after six years with the team. The 28-year-old played 78 games over five seasons, finishing with 37 catches for 374 yards and one touchdown.

The knee issue kept Hanna out all of 2016, but he played all 16 games last season. A sixth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2012, Hanna was primarily a blocking tight end and special teams player.

Jason Witten is returning for his 16th season. The backup tight ends include Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers, who hasn't appeared in a regular-season game in two seasons since changing sports.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Newy's 2018 NFL Mock Draft]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:56:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/192*120/usa-taven-bryan-harold-landry-rashaan-evans.jpg

  1. Cleveland; Sam Darnold QB USC  
    The Browns need to finally take a quarterback in the first round after passing on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.
  2. N.Y. Giants; Bradley Chubb DE N.C. State
    The Giants have to replace JPP. Chubb can get the QB.
  3. N.Y. Jets; Josh Rosen QB UCLA   
    Might turn out to be the best QB in the 2018 draft.
  4. Cleveland; Saquan Barkley RB Penn State
    The best player rated in the draft will help QB Tyrod Taylor.
  5. Denver; Josh Allen QB Wyoming
    **trade with Buffalo. The Bills give up a boatload for a strong arm QB who has accuracy problems.
  6. Indy; Quenton Nelson G; Notre Dame
    The Colts get a highly graded player who can be ten year starter.
  7. Tampa Bay; Denzel Ward CB Ohio State 
    The Bucs need a corner. Vernon Hargreaves was a miss two years ago.
  8. Chicago; Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech
    The Bears need to find a way to get to Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins.
  9. San Francisco; Roquan Smith LB Georgia
    I can’t see Ruben Foster playing for this club after his domestic violence arrest. Time to get another LB.
  10. Oakland; Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama 
    Jon Gruden lucks into the best DB the Raiders have drafted since Charles Woodson.
  11. Miami; Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma 
    The Ryan Tannehill Era may be ending with Baker coming to South Beach.
  12. Buffalo; Vita Vea DT Washington
    ***trade with Denver. The Broncos need some beef up front because Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon & Beast Mode are in the division.
  13. Washington; Derwin James S FSU
    James is a playmaker and will make a difference for Washington.
  14. Green Bay; Marcus Davenport OLB UTSA 
    The Packers need to improve their defense. Davenport will help their pass rush. The Packers were 17th in sacks last season.
  15. Arizona; Calvin Ridley WR Alabama 
    Larry Fitzgerald is 35-years old and 2018 could be his final year. Ridley is a need.
  16. Baltimore; Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina
    Joe Flacco loves throwing to the tight end. Hurst is the top rated at the position.
  17. L.A. Chargers; Daron Payne DT Alabama
    Payne is a power run stuffer who excelled at Alabama.
  18. Seattle; Harold Landry DE Boston College 
    Seattle has to replace Michael Bennett at defensive end.
  19. Dallas Cowboys; Rashaan Evans LB Alabama 
    Sean Lee never plays 16 games. Anthony Hitchens left for K.C. Evans fits a need.
  20. Detroit; Taven Bryant DT Florida 
    New coach Matt Patricia gets a piece for his Lions defense.
  21. Cincinnati; Mike McGlinchey T Notre Dame
    Marvin Lewis must fix his offense line. McGlinchey can be a solid RT for years.
  22. Buffalo; Connor Williams T Texas
    **Trade with Buffalo. Local DFW kid gets taken in the first round.
  23. New England; Kolton Miller T UCLA
    The Pats lost Nate Solder to the Giants. They must protect soon to be 41-year old Tom Brady.
  24. Carolina; Will Hernandez G UTEP
    Carolina has Norv Turner as their OC. He likes to pound the rock. Hernandez allows them to do so.
  25. Tennessee; Leighton Vander Esch LB Boise State
    Titans are getting old at the LB spot. Time to draft a young pup.
  26. Atlanta; Maurice Hurst DT Michigan
    The last man rated on LandryFootball.com’s list of first round graded players.
  27. New Orleans; Mark Andrews TE Oklahoma
    Drew Brees gets a legit passing target. They finally replace Jimmy Graham.
  28. Pittsburgh; Josh Jackson CB Iowa
    Another DFW product goes in the first round. The Steelers have needed a CB upgrade for years.
  29. Jacksonville; DJ Moore WR Maryland
    His old WR coach at Maryland is Keenan McCardell…now the Jags WR coach.
  30. Minnesota; Isaiah Wynn G Georiga
    You can’t go wrong with an offensive lineman who can play several spots.
  31. New England; Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
    Belichick is a DB guy. He gets the fourth best DB in the draft who has return ability.
  32. Philadelphia; Derrius Guice RB LSU
    First round talent. He is too good for the world champs to pass up. Big time upgrade in the run game.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' Schedule]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:58:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

1. The Cowboys open on the road for the first time since 2012 against the Carolina Panthers. Dallas is 1-1 against quarterback Cam Newton.

2. Dez Bryant has said he wants to play for the New York Giants. Oh what a game — what a week — it would be if he were to return to Dallas for this game in Week 2 as a member of the New York Football Giants. The ratings would be off the charts.

3. The Cowboys have six national TV games. Three are at AT&T Stadium: The New York Giants on Sunday Night Football (Sept. 16), The Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football (Nov. 5) and Washington (Nov. 22) on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys' three prime time games on the road are against the Houston Texans (Oct. 7), the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football  (Nov. 11) and the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football  (Nov. 29).

4. The trip to Seattle in Week 3 will be interesting for no other reason than Earl Thomas will still be with the Seahawks and there will be a ton of talk about the Cowboys' interest on him. Or Thomas might be in Dallas, which will make for a fascinating week.

5. A three-game homestand from Nov. 22-Dec 9, starting on Thanksgiving Day against Washington, followed by a Thursday night contest against New Orleans and concluding with a game against Philadelphia could play a huge role in determining the Cowboys' playoff fate.

6. Only one of the Cowboys' first six games is against a division opponent, which means they have time to find a groove before their most important games begin.

7. Dallas has only one set of back-to-back road games. They play Philadelphia and Atlanta on Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.

8. Only two of the last four games are against division rivals, which means they might need some help to capture the NFC East. They do end the season on the road against the Giants.

9. The Cowboys face a litany of quality quarterbacks outside the division:  Newton, Seattle's Russell Wilson, Detroit's Matthew Stanford, Houston's Deshaun Watson, Tennessee's Marcus Marriott, New Orleans' Drew Brees and Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston. By the time the Cowboys face the Colts in December, Andrew Luck could be back.

10. Coach Jason Garrett will face three first-time head coaches — Detroit's Matt Patrica, Tennessee's Mike Vrabel and Indianapolis' Frank Reich — which should be an advantage.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Announce 2018 Schedule]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:36:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/8a_v-att_stadium_globe__KXAS6Y22_1200x675_524550723852.jpg

The National Football League announced the 2018 regular season schedule Thursday.

The Cowboys regular season schedule shows five games shown nationally in primetime, with three shown from AT&T Stadium.

The regular season starts at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9 with the Cowboys playing the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. It will be the first time in six years the Cowboys open a season on the road.

The home schedule opens on Sunday Night Football on NBC in Week 2, with the Silver and Blue hosting the N.Y. Giants (Sept. 16).

The Cowboys close out their regular season home schedule with a game against Tampa Bay (Dec. 23), before closing out the regular season at the N.Y. Giants (Dec. 30)

See the full schedule below:

]]>
<![CDATA[Arlington ISD Helmet Art to Be Featured During NFL Draft]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:31:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AISD-helmets.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for next week's NFL Draft, besides evaluating draft picks, they're decorating their war room, and asking for the public's help with choosing the art.

Seventh grade students from the Arlington Independent School District have created their own works of art on football helmets.

Ten options for the Cowboys war room decor on Thursday night are up for vote on Facebook.

The helmet with the most Likes by 10 a.m. Friday will get the coveted spot.

Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware will sign all ten helmets for an NFL auction. You can bid on those next week.

The proceeds will go to future art programming in Arlington ISD.

This is all part of the stadium art program started in 2015. More than 13,500 Arlington Independent School District elementary students have visited AT&T Stadium and created artwork inspired by the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection housed at the venue.



Photo Credit: Dallas Cowboys via Facebook
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<![CDATA[Smith Surprised by Bryant’s Release but Says it’s a Business]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:41:17 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/EMMITT_ON_DEZ_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1214097987802.jpg

Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls and was still released from the Cowboys. He shares his thoughts on Dez Bryant getting bounced.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Dismiss Dez Bryant’s Claims of Fractured Locker Room]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:31:17 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5020242881.jpg

Dez Bryant said all the wrong things after the Cowboys released him Friday, blaming everyone from “Garrett Guys” to “Guys with a ‘C’ on their jersey” for his unemployment.

We shouldn’t be all that surprised.

After all, this is the first time in his football life a team has told Bryant we don’t want you.

It hurts, so he lashed out.

Well, his former coach and teammates spoke at a charity event Tuesday night where Jason Witten and Emmitt And Pat Smith were honored for their charity work.

Bryant’s former teammates took the high road, dismissing the receiver’s comments as a product of frustration.

Still, if you listen to to their words and compare them to what Bryant has said since his release there’s a definite disconnect.

While Bryant hinted at snitches and betrayals, Travis Frederick and Sean Lee said the Cowboys had a tight locker room.

So did Witten.

“Absolutely not,” Witten said of a divided locker room. “My job and everybody else’s is to go play and try to lead the best we can by example. There’s nothing to that.”

Coach Jason Garrett also spoke publicly for the first time, professing his love for Bryant - the player and the man - at least three different times.

Clearly, he had memorized his talking points.

“I love Dez Bryant. He’s one of the great players to ever play for this franchise. It’s certainly an emotional time,” Garrett said. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“We’re gonna move forward, Dez is gonna move forward, and hopefully we’ll have a lifelong relationship.”

Not until there’s a healing process. Bryant has called his release personal; the Cowboys have called it business.

There’s no singular reason why Bryant is no longer a member of the Cowboys.

He’s a free agent because his salary the past three seasons was not commensurate with his production.

He’s a free agent because his poor route-running made him a guy who wasn’t Dak Prescott friendly.

He’s a free agent because the organization had grown weary of his off-the-field antics whether we’re talking about his habitual tardiness, his lax approach to getting treatment from the training staff or his occasional sideline outbursts.

“Its a challenging situation,” Garrett said. “A lot of different factors go into these kind of decisions. The guidepost for all this is what’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He’s a special guy. I love him.”

The reality is Garrett deserves considerable blame for Bryant’s lack of development as a player and a person.

While Bryant has matured, too many times over the years Garrett has made excuses for The 29-year-old receiver.

He’s excused his sideline behavior labeling it passion. When he went MIA after suffering a knee injury in 2016 he excused that saying Bryant was having a difficult time dealing with the injury.

Garrett was the ultimate enabler, giving Bryant license to break rules other couldn’t or wouldn’t.

The result was a phenomenal talent who had a sense of entitlement that remained even after the franchise he loved abandoned him.

Why else would Bryant use the phrase “Garrett Guys” with such a negative tone?

Is it a bad thing to be a Bill Belichick guy in New England? What about a Mike McCarthy guy in Green Bay? Or an Andy Reid guy in Kansas City?

Garrett said he’s spoken twice with Bryant since Friday.

“We had a good, honest discussion. I appreciated the time that he took and how we talked through a lot of different things,” Garrett said. “He’s a special guy, I love him to death.”

But not enough to keep Bryant on his football team.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant’s Former Teammates Surprised By His “Garrett Guys” Comments]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:21:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/COWBOYS_REACT_TO_DEZ_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1213384771709.jpg

Former Cowboys receiver De Bryant had some choice words for his former team when he was released last Friday. Tuesday current Cowboy's players say Bryant's comments were out of bounds.]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Garrett’s PC Reaction To Dez Bryant]]>Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:18:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-garrett-podium.jpg

Jason Garrett addressed Dez Bryant’s comments Tuesday night. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor share their thoughts on Garrett’s company lines.

Photo Credit: Pat Doney, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Draft Needs Just Got a little more Urgent]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 20:34:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Logo.jpg

The NFL Draft is fast approaching. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor tell us who they feel the Cowboys should take with the 19th pick.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Did Jason Witten or Dak Prescott betray Dez Bryant?]]>Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:33:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-waves-goodbye.jpg

Dez Bryant is blaming Garrett Guys for his release. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss who Dez was possibly talking about.]]>
<![CDATA[Byron Jones and Jeff Heath Have Something to Say About Dez Bryant]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:51:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BYRON_JONES_ON_DEZ_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1212225603914.jpg

Reaction continues to come out after the Dallas Cowboys released Dez Bryant. His former teammates Byron Jones and Jeff Heath share their thoughts.]]>
<![CDATA[Blame Dez Bryant for His Release, Not Dak]]>Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:24:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-waves-goodbye.jpg

The hate, maybe you prefer to call it shade, directed at Dak Prescott because the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant is real.

It's also dumb.

It's not Prescott's fault Bryant is unemployed today. If you must assign blame, you should start with No. 88.

After all, it's Bryant who spent the past few months living in a fantasy world thinking owner Jerry Jones would save his butt instead of dealing with the reality that a litany of folks within the organization had grown weary of his petulance.

Prescott said he found out Friday afternoon — like everyone else — that Bryant had been released.

"I'm in my second year so as much as you want to say, I want a say and this and that, those guys get paid a lot more than me and that's what those guys are there to do," Prescott said Saturday in his first public comments. "That's not my decision."

"It's tough to see him gone...Dez is gonna be a hard guy to replace. He'll be missed," Prescott said.

Prescott doesn't wield the kind of power within the Cowboys' organization to say who stays and who goes.

When Bryant suggests "Garrett's Guys" are the reason he no longer plays for the Cowboys, and he whines about guys wearing "C" on their jersey playing a role in his release, it's one more example of how he refuses to accept any accountability for his sub-par performance.

"I'm sure he's hearing stuff and I'm sure he's getting it from a lot of different ways. I'm not gonna finger point at anybody," Prescott said "It's a business and that's part of it."

In the end, Jerry was Bryant's only ride or die guy. That's not surprising, even though Bryant caught 531 passes for 7,459 yards and a franchise-record 73 touchdowns.

It was clear to everyone but Bryant's fans and his PR flunkies that the Cowboys were ready to move on once they offered free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins nearly $16 million a year.

Frankly, the vitriol directed at Prescott the past 48 hours isn't all that different than the hate Tony Romo's legion of lovers and apologists hurled his way after coach Jason Garrett chose the youngster over Romo in 2016.

It was illogical and emotion driven, in part, because this franchise has had so little team success over the past 20 years its fan-base has an obsessive attachment to its individual stars.

And that's why Bryant and his fans and followers on Twitter and Instagram  have decided Prescott is the villain in this imaginary screenplay Bryant has concocted about his eight years in Dallas.

In this movie, written, directed and produced by Bryant, he does a fantastic job of playing the victim. He acts like he no idea why the Cowboys released him.

Whatever.

We're talking about a high-maintenance player who ended the season ranked among the top 10 in salary for the third consecutive season despite not having a 1,000-yard season since 2014.

He hasn't had a 100-yard receiving performance in 22 games and, according to Stats Inc., led the NFL with 12 drops in 2017.

In the season's final week, Bryant made it clear he wasn't interested in taking a pay cut.

A couple of months ago, he went on the team's flagship station and talked about how he didn't like to go to training room for treatment, how he shouldn't have played through injuries the past couple of seasons and why he'd counsel young players not to do it.

In the same interview, Bryant talked about how he let things affect him during the season and he wasn't as focused.

If you replace Bryant's name with Player X, do you want that guy on your team? Nope.

It's telling that so many of y'all think Prescott had a hand in the Cowboys moving on from Bryant.

You blame him for Bryant's lack of productivity the last three years because he doesn't throw Bryant open like Romo did. You say he throws too many errant passes.

That's true, but it doesn't address Bryant's inconsistent route-running or a scheme that doesn't help Bryant get open with bunch concepts or pick plays.

And just so you know, everybody can't operate out of the slot because they lack the speed, quickness and route-running to excel.

Prescott and Bryant don't fit well, but there's not a franchise in the NFL that would choose a soon-to-be-30-year-old receiver over a 24-year-old hailed as the organization's next franchise quarterback.

Prescott doesn't have to be the passer Romo was for this offense to work. He's good enough.

In his first 24 games, he averaged 228 yards passing with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In the last eight games of last season, he passed for 188 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He didn't have suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott for six of those games, and left tackle Tyron Smith missed two games and most of a third.

Bryant's supporters focus on the last eight games as though the first 24 never existed.

Prescott was never supposed to be the epicenter of the Cowboys' offense. He was supposed to be a facilitator, a good decision-maker with unique leadership skills that would help his team win at the highest level.

There's pressure on Prescott to perform, especially without Bryant, but the Cowboys' quarterback has never had an easy road to athletic success.

Shutting up the latest round of critics isn't a daunting task.

And it will be easier than you think — even without Bryant around.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Responds to Dez Bryant's Comments About Team Captains]]>Sat, 14 Apr 2018 21:18:53 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DAK_ON_DEZ_BLAMING_COWBOYS_CAPTAINS_1200x675_1211176515603.jpg

While at an event on Saturday, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott responded to Dez Bryant's claims that team captains did not work to keep Bryant on the teams roster.]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Responds to Cowboys Release of Dez Bryant]]>Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:51:36 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DAK_ON_DEZ_RELEASE_1200x675_1211161155967.jpg

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott appeared at a womens football event on Saturday where he responded to the decision by the Dallas Cowboys to release Dez Bryant.]]>
<![CDATA[Aikman Surprised Cowboys Cut Dez Bryant]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:06:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/troy_aikman_on_dez_bryant_release_1200x675_1210352707504.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman says he's surprised the team released wide receiver Dez Bryant Friday.]]>
<![CDATA[Doney: The Real Reason the Cowboys Cut Dez Bryant]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:00:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Doney_the_Real_Reason_the_Cowboys_Cut_Dez_Bryant_1200x675_1210355267866.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney shares the real reason the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Fans Show Their Love for Dez Bryant]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:57:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-stillwater-thumb.jpgOn Friday and through the years, Dallas Cowboys fans have shared their love for Dez Bryant by sending photos to iSee@nbcdfw.com by "throwing up the X" or wearing their No. 88 jerseys.]]><![CDATA[NFL Draft: Big D Is About Something Other Than Dallas]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:45:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Draft_Dress_rehearsal_2018_03_14_15_32_54.jpg

Big D is about to stand for something other than Dallas.

The NFL is bringing its Big D -- the draft -- to Jerry Jones' palace. This draft, the first in a stadium, will pay homage in so many ways to the cliche that everything is bigger in Texas.

Ever since the league decided to put the draft up for bids and move it around the country, the focus has been to make it grow even larger than the cottage industry it has become.

From an historic theater setting in Chicago, with Grant Park as the backdrop, to the front yard of the iconic Philadelphia Art Museum with the Rocky statue atop its steps, the picks have become an accompaniment to the surroundings as much as a process in team building.

Now, the draft enters a building that can hold 100,000 people, though capacity has been set at 20,000 inside for the April 26-28 proceedings.

Peter O'Reilly, the NFL's senior vice president for events and the man who oversees planning for the draft, Super Bowl and opening weekend of the season, projects another 90,000 fans daily will be outside AT&T Stadium at the NFL Draft Experience. All tickets are free, with fans having signed up via a ticket lottery for the chance to get into the Cowboys' home.

"In some ways, this is easier than building a massive structure," O'Reilly said.

The league did exactly that last spring in Philly.

"The question is how to turn a stadium into a winning draft environment. In Philadelphia, there was such a great energy and that is something we want to recreate," he said. "The draft is always special. It's the time of year, the return to spring and hope. No one wins or loses that day, there's positive vibes."

To that end, this draft will include specific cheering (and, yes, some will become booing) sections for all 32 teams. Modeled somewhat on how political convention floors look, each "Inner Circle" will have 50 fans of that club, with team signage and colors. Cheeseheads and Terrible Towels aren't likely to be optional for the Packers and Steelers fans, of course.

This special area features team rivalry zones, plus opportunities to celebrate the picks with NFL players current and past, including some Hall of Famers. O'Reilly notes that if a prospect chosen by that team is on hand, he will directly "connect with his new fan base."

Teams are using various means for choosing fans who get to sit in their exclusive club section. Buffalo, for example, has an extensive "Bills Backers" presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One of the co-presidents of the fan club in that area, Ezra Castro, is a frequent visitor to New Era Field for Bills home games, despite the distance. Castro, known as "Pancho Billa" for his game-day costume that includes a sombrero and facemask, is battling cancer.

"We thought giving him the opportunity to bring 50 fans ... would show how much we appreciate him and empathize with his situation," says Shaena Kershner, the Bills' head of marketing.

Kershner adds the team will send a "hype person to get that group rowdy, which is not very hard for our fans" when Buffalo's turns come, as well as providing merchandise and memorabilia.

The Packers also went that route, offering Inner Circle spots through a lottery to season ticket holders in the North Texas area, and then using the "Packers Everywhere" app to entice other Green Bay fans near the Cowboys' stadium to attend. It wasn't difficult rounding up 50.

"We were hitting people who were interested and could commit to (the first two days of the draft)," says Kandi Goltz, the Packers' game and fan development manager. "We have really avid fans who will be there and there will be a lot of enthusiasm."

Each Packers fan will have a cheesehead that the team is shipping to Dallas, although that might be superfluous because nearly every follower of the franchise owns one.

"It should look awesome on TV," Goltz says.

The Falcons are sending members of their independent supporters group "The Cast." Cast members are responsible for their own travel and expenses; the team blocked hotel rooms for them. At their Inner Circle will be Fatheads and drums.

Atlanta is sending cheerleaders, too.

The five finalists to host the 2019 or 2020 draft are Kansas City, Nashville, Las Vegas, Canton/Cleveland and Denver. Those two drafts will awarded at the league meetings in May.

"We see it as an opportunity," O'Reilly says "This model is never cookie-cutter, it is unique to what each town and club offers. It's not the same canvas in each place, but finding a way to bring it to life in that community."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

]]>
<![CDATA[Dez, Cowboys Part Ways After 8 Seasons]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 17:05:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-856334438_master.jpg

Dez fans -- send us your favorite photos of you in your Bryant jerysey or "Throwing up the X" and we may use it on air or in our growing online gallery of fan photos.  Email the photos to iSee@nbcdfw.com.

After eight seasons, the Dallas Cowboys are parting company with their dynamic, show-stopping wide receiver, Dez Bryant.

After weeks of speculation, and citing a source within the team, NBC 5's Jean-Jacques Taylor Dez broke the news of Bryant's release on Twitter late Friday morning.

Bryant, 29, arrived at The Star in Frisco at about 11 a.m. for a much-anticipated meeting with team owner Jerry Jones -- the subject of which, many speculated, was that the receiver's future with America's Team had come to an end.

Less than an hour later, Dez left The Star, waved to media and fans outside, and posting a series of tweets confirming he'd been cut saying "let's start the process #unbothered #ThrowUptheX" and "Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn't my decision. I will always love y'all. Forever Dallas in my heart."

He'd follow that with more tweets, thanking fans and saying "The love is real. Thank you."


A statement by Jones issued on behalf of the team said cutting Dez was not an easy decision and that it was made in the best interest of the team after collective input from "several voices."

As an organization we hold Dez Bryant in the highest regard, and we are grateful for his passion, spirit and contributions to this team for the past eight years. He will always be a valued member of our family. Dez and I share a personal and professional relationship that is very strong, and he is one of just a handful of players with whom I have become that close to over the past 30 years. This was not an easy decision.  It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We arrived at this crossroad collectively with input from several voices within the organization. Ultimately we determined it was time to go in a new direction.

Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman told NBC 5 Friday he was surprised the team cut Bryant, but certainly understands the need to make business decisions based on money.

"A little suprised," Aikman said. "I thought they would probably be able to work something out where they could make the business side of it financially work -- but unfortunately this is a big business and I've been on that end of it, I was released myself at the end of my career and decisions have to be made by the organization that's going to improve their football team."

Taylor said earlier in the week that if the Cowboys were smart, they'd cut Dez before voluntary workouts began Monday, saving themselves some money and answering a lot of questions for teammates about Bryant's future with the squad.

Bryant has been terrific with the Cowboys and a longtime fan favorite. He’s their all-time leader with 73 career touchdowns, 531 receptions and 7,459 yards as well as countless unforgettable moments, Taylor recalled.

In his eight seasons, Dez has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark three times - in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In each of those years Dez also scored more than a dozen touchdowns. Since an injury 2015, he's not been close to reproducing those numbers however.

NBC 5's Pat Doney, Jean-Jacques Taylor and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[New Era Shows Off Ballcaps for Upcoming NFL Draft]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 17:15:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-new-era-draft-cap.jpg

New Era tweeted photos of the ballcaps players will wear after being selected in the NFL Draft.

The cap for the Cowboys reaffirms the team's position as America's Team and says "Them Boys" on the inside.

Hats for most of the 32 NFL teams can be seen below.





Photo Credit: New Era
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[See the Food Coming to the NFL Draft Experience]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:03:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfl-draft-southernfried-02.jpgThe following items will be available to fans attending the free NFL Draft Experience outside AT&T Stadium from April 26-28.

Photo Credit: Legends Hospitality]]>
<![CDATA[It's Time for Jerry to Cut Ties With Dez]]>Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:49:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DEZ_BRYANT_ON_JERRY_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1014267459830.jpg

Since he’s owned the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones has cut Emmitt Smith, Larry Allen, Terrell Owens and DeMarcus Ware.

Smith, Allen and Owens are each in the Hall of Fame and Ware will soon join them.

Do you really believe he won’t cut Dez Bryant?

Jerry might not cut Bryant when they meet Friday because Jerry is the sentimental sort, but he should.

It’s time.

Every professional relationship eventually runs its course and the one between Bryant and the Cowboys is no different.

One of three things will happen when Bryant meets with Jerry: 1) he’ll be asked to take a significant pay cut from the $12.5 million he’s scheduled to earn 2) he’ll have an opportunity to see if he can get a better deal than the one Dallas offers 3) the Cowboys will release him.

It made sense for Bryant to meet with the Cowboys this week because the off-season program begins on Monday, and it wouldn’t be fair to make Bryant deal with all the questions that would occur from his ambiguous status.

Plus, if he participated in the off-season program and suffered some sort of injury, the Cowboys would be liable for his $12.5 million salary.

Bryant has been terrific with the Cowboys - he’s their all-time leader with 73 career touchdowns - but when he meets with the owner, Jerry needs to thank him for the 531 receptions, 7,459 yards and countless unforgettable moments.

It won’t be easy cutting Bryant. It’s supposed to be hurt.

Perhaps, both men will shed some tears.

Just a few years ago, Bryant was among the best in the game. It’s why he earned a five-year, $70-million contract.

But it has been three years since he had a 1,000-yard season and 22 games since he had 100 yards.

Age and injuries have stolen some of his athleticism and now he’s trying to evolve from a player who relied on strength and power to a player who runs good routes.

Not many receivers this deep into their career can successfully make that type of dramatic change.

Sure, Bryant can still make great plays and have great games, but can he put together great seasons?

And can he have them with Dak Prescott at quarterback? Few folks in the Cowboys’ organization believe he can.

Tony Romo was a spectacular passer, the kind of player who could make any throw - and would.

Prescott, a good passer, can’t and won’t. He’s protective of the ball.

So Bryant is never ever going to put up the kind of numbers or make the kind of plays for Prescott that he would for Romo.

It’s silly to think he would. Just like it’s silly to think any team is going to ride or die with a soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver over a 24-year-old quarterback who won 13 games as a rookie and threw for more than 300 yards in his only playoff game.

Understand, Stephen Jones was the first person his off-season to label Bryant’s sideline antics a distraction.

He was the first to talk about adjusting Bryant’s contract and the first to suggest Prescott preferred receivers who ran consistently good routes, something Bryant doesn’t do.

He’s leading the charge to move on from Bryant and coach Jason Garrett is close behind.

The Cowboys went hard after free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins, and they were willing to pay him close to $16 million per year.

The moment they did that, it meant they had moved on emotionally from Bryant.

The Cowboys have met with the best receivers in the draft and put them through personal workouts. They signed two free-agent receivers and Stephen Jones said they’d like to add another in the first three rounds of the draft.

Jerry has moved on from some of the greatest players in franchise history. Now, the sentimental owner should move on from Bryant.

He’s done it before and survived.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Release Pre-Season Opponents]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:30:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/073016+Cowboys+helmet+Oxnard.jpg

The National Football League released the 2018 pre-season schedule on Wednesday.

In week 3 of the pre-season, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game will be played on Sunday, August 26 at 7 p.m. and shown on KXAS NBC 5.

The Dallas Cowboys also announced that they will take on the San Francisco 49ers in week one, the Cincinnati Bengals in week two and the Houston Texans in week four. However, dates and times for those games have not yet been determined.

The NFL announcement also includes details on the 2018 NFL/Hall of Fame Game which will be played on Thursday, August 2 in Canton, Ohio. The game will be between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on KXAS NBC 5.

The defending Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles will play in pre-season week three. The team will take on the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, August 23 at 7 p.m. That game can be seen on FOX.



Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dez to Work With Local Route-Running Guru]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:57:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

David Robinson, a Dallas native who works with several NFL receivers, including Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders, is scheduled to begin working with Dez Bryant soon on the art of route-running.

Robinson appeared on J Dub City (KESN-FM 103.3) on Tuesday morning with co-host and NBC 5 Cowboys insider Jean-Jacques Taylor to discuss his relationship with Bryant.

Here are four things we learned:

Bryant hasn’t started working with Robinson yet. When he does, the sessions will last about two hours and they will probably take place four times a week.

“He texted me the other day and said he is ready to get in the lab with me,” Robinson said. “He has been out of town I believe. We have been back and forth texting the last few months. I applaud him for being open to it and reaching out to me. He hit me up. I didn't reach out to him. I like that."

Brice Butler connected him to Bryant.

“Brice Butler, who I've been training for three or four years, is the one that told Dez about me,” said Robinson, “and I work with other receivers on their roster as well.

“Brice is a good dude. Brice let Ryan Switzer, Rico Gathers, Cole Beasley, Lance Lenoir and Noah Brown know about me. I've been working with all those guys, and they all found out about me through Brice.”

Robinson said NFL teams are fine with him teaching their players?

“As a matter of fact, I've developed a name for myself. I have quite a few — 10 to 15 — NFL teams who contact me in the offseason to send me up-and-coming players on their roster they want me to work with. They’re usually Year 1-3 guys or guys they just drafted. A lot of NFL teams and receiving coaches I communicate with throughout the process, and they let me know what routes they need to work on and things like that through out the process.”

Robinson said he can help Bryant perform better against press coverage.

"He has a tendency to release wide a little bit. We are going to add a lot more tricks and press release techniques he can use to create separation. We are going to get Dez playing a lot faster at the line of scrimmage instead of messing round releasing wide and helping the defensive backs out."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[If Cowboys Are Smart, Dez Bryant Decision to Come This Week]]>Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:14:24 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5020242881.jpg

Dez Bryant's future with the Cowboys has been unresolved since club vice president Stephen Jones said the receiver's contract needed to be addressed several weeks ago.

We all know Jones wasn't talking about giving Bryant a raise.

This would seem to be a good week for Jerry Jones to finally meet with Bryant, discuss their business and come away with a decision.

That's because the Cowboys' voluntary team workouts begin on Monday. A smart organization would not want Bryant to show up for workouts with his status on the roster in question.

They wouldn't want him answering the inevitable questions from his teammates about his status and they shouldn't want the potential of any negativity affecting the other players.

"Dez is on our football team," Jason Garrett said. "Again, we talked about some of the moves we've made at the receiver position, and they're designed to create competition there. We think that's going to help everybody on our team.''

Just because Bryant is on the team doesn't mean he will be on the team a month from now.

Thus, the never-ending stream of questions about Bryant's status on the Cowboys. Every time a member of the front office publicly discusses Bryant's tenure it's accompanied by a qualifier.

This much we know: Bryant won't be with the Cowboys next season unless he takes a lot less money than the $12.5 million he's scheduled to earn.

Now, the Cowboys could tell Bryant to shop his services around the league and being back a figure they might choose to match.

But there's also a certain faction of the front office that's ready to move on from Bryant. At times, Bryant has been petulant. He can be combustible.

His passion, as coach Jason Garrett loves to call it, has been a distraction at times, according to Stephen Jones.

They wonder how Bryant will respond to adversity at a lower salary. Will he pout. Or sulk.

Will his charismatic personality create friction between players and coaches? There's trepidation on both sides. Each has some fear of life without the other.

Bryant's teammates remain in the middle.

"I stay out of it. I don't know anything about it. I don't think anyone knows anything about it," center Travis Frederick said. "We just go on like things are. That's what we do. Whatever happens, happens. Obviously, I love Dez. I love him as a teammate. I love him as a person. I just wish him the best and hope everything gets settled."

You have to remember the Cowboys tried hard to sign free-agent receiver Sammy Watkins, and they were willing to pay him close to $16 million.

So the Cowboys have already proved their willing to move on from Bryant. The question is whether the Cowboys still feel that way since they missed out on Watkins.

If the Cowboys are smart, they'll answer that question before offseason workouts begin in six days.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Garrett Gives Update on Dez Bryant]]>Sun, 08 Apr 2018 22:37:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GARRETT_ON_DEZ_AND_COWBOYS_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1206000195574.jpg

The Cowboys will come together soon to start off-season workouts. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett tells us why he's excited about it and gives us an update on Dez Bryant.]]>
<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Headlines Youth Football Camp in Mexico]]>Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:00:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/ezekiel+elliott+locker+room.JPG

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott is headlining a youth camp in Mexico organized by a fantasy football group that got its start with backing from former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

The National Fantasy Football Convention's partnership with Estrellas del Futuro and the Mexican government was announced Friday, the first day of a camp led by Elliott and Dallas teammates Jaylon Smith, Taco Charlton, Anthony Brown and Kavon Frazier.

The first of two instructional camps this year is being held this weekend in Queretaro, Mexico. There are plans for three camps in 2019 and four in 2020 as part of the three-year agreement. CEO Andy Alberth says the NFFC is "thrilled to play a part in spreading the game to our friends south of the border."

Elliott was the NFL's rushing leader as a rookie in 2016, helping the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13 wins. He served a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations last season as Dallas missed the playoffs at 9-7.

Former Cowboys fullback Keith Smith, who signed with Oakland as a free agent, is also part of this week's camp. The NFFC's second annual fantasy football convention is scheduled for July in Dallas.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[It’s the One Player the Dallas Cowboys Really Need to Consider Taking in the Draft]]>Tue, 03 Apr 2018 19:42:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/073016+Cowboys+helmet+Oxnard.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have the 19th pick in the NFL Draft, NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor tell you which game changer the Cowboys should consider taking.

Photo Credit: Noah Bullard, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Reveals Dates for Voluntary Workouts]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 16:43:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

On Monday the NFL released the schedule for all 32 teams' voluntary offseason programs and OTAs leading up to training camp.

The program for the Dallas Cowboys begins April 16 with the voluntary veteran minicamp.

After that teams take a break to allow for the NFL Draft, April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The team can then begin OTA offseason workouts, which run in three phases May 22-24, May 29-31, June 4-6.

A mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 12-14.

The team's official training camp can begin as early as 14 days before their first preseason game.



Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen, Jerry Jones in Tug-of-War Over Dez Bryant]]>Mon, 02 Apr 2018 09:04:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5020242881.jpg

This tug-of-war between Jerry and Stephen Jones over Dez Bryant is fascinating - and it's eventually going to shape the Cowboys' future.

Jerry Jones, the sentimental one, wants to keep Bryant on the roster. Stephen Jones, the pragmatic one, seems determined to move on from the Bryant Era.

Put your money on Stephen Jones ultimately winning this battle.

They've had these tug-of-wars before: in 1995, Jerry won and the Cowboys signed Deion Sanders to a seven-year, $35 million deal. After the 2008 season, Jerry relented and cut Terrell Owens because he was wrecking the franchise, despite catching 69 passes for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Remember, the Cowboys have already shown us they're capable of moving on from Bryant. They went hard after receiver Sammy Watkins the first week of free agency and they were disappointed and somewhat surprised he didn't sign with them because they offered virtually the same money as Kansas City.

Had the Cowboys signed Watkins, we wouldn't still be talking about Bryant because he'd probably already be with another team.

The conversation about whether Bryant remains with the Cowboys or continues his career elsewhere remains the hottest sports topic in Dallas.

Anywhere I go - church, the gym, the barber shop, the gas station - folks want to know whether Bryant is staying or going.

The Cowboys' all-time leader in touchdown catches (72), has had his production drop dramatically over the past three seasons.

He's scheduled to earn $12.5 million this season, and Stephen Jones has been adamant that Bryant's contract must be restructured, which means the pay cut police are coming for Bryant.

More important, none of the most powerful people in the Cowboys' organization will guarantee Bryant's spot on the roster.

"We're going to sit down," Jerry told reporters last week. "We've got a lot to talk about, and I don't want to say or not say anything that will imply Dez won't be a Dallas Cowboy."

Again, he wouldn't take that stance with any other key player on the current roster because he knows all of them from Elliott to Jason Witten will be on the team next season.

Bryant's spot on the roster is tenuous because it's clear Stephen Jones doesn't think he's a good fit for Dak Prescott.

You can choose to disagree, but the Cowboys are all-in on Prescott, who struggled the second half of last season. He passed for an average of 188 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions in the last eight games.

Too many times, he threw errant passes. The Cowboys believe the return of Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith, who missed three of the last eight games, and better mechanics will make Prescott a better passer.

Bryant has not a 1,000-yard season in three seasons and his streak without a 100-yard game is up to 22.

He's always been a player who relied more on his physical prowess than technique, so he never developed into a consistently good route runner. This offseason he's working with the same route-running coach Antonio Brown uses.

The reality is Bryant and Tony Romo had an uncanny rapport that he's never, ever going to have with Prescott.

Jason Garrett seems to understand that, which is why the Cowboys hired a receivers coach who specializes in teaching the nuance of running routes.

Stephen Jones seems to understand it too.

"We can do some things to help (Dak) more. Dak is a guy who's little different than Tony - probably more like Troy in terms of the passing game," Stephen Jones said on The Doomsday Podcast last week. "He wants precise routes. He wants to throw the ball on time to areas whereas Tony would improvise a little more.

"...Dak is a little more disciplined in terms of wanting the receivers to be good route runners and be where they're supposed to be and those types of things."

Stephen Jones also said on The Doomsday Podcast that Lal will, "hold our receivers accountable for running precise routes."

All of that sounds like Stephen Jones is referring to Bryant.

The Cowboys have attended workouts for Alabama's Calvin Ridley, SMU's Courtland Sutton and Texas A&M Christian Kirk. It seems like they're trying to figure out if there's a player worthy of taking in the first two rounds.

If they do, we'll know Stephen Jones won the tug-of-war with his dad.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Frisco Star Celebrates New 'Entertainment District' ]]>Sat, 31 Mar 2018 23:05:42 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Frisco_Star.jpg

The Frisco Star celebrated the grand opening of their new ‘entertainment district’ this weekend with a lineup of live entertainment and events.

Among them, was an outdoor Easter celebration hosted by Prestonwood Baptist Church and led in part by Tony Romo.

Increasingly, the Frisco Star hopes to become a place for not just Cowboys’ fans but shoppers and foodies looking for places to stop.

“We get a lot of families that came here and are like oh, I left my kids and my husband and I’d rather shop in here, “ said Lola Rogers.

Rogers is the owner of “Blue Jean Baby,” a boutique woman’s clothing store at The Star and one of the only small businesses. She hopes as more people come for shopping and dining her business will also benefit.

“It’s a destination,” said Rogers.

The Frisco Star still has open shop space but hopes to add another half dozen restaurants and retailers in the next year.




Photo Credit: nbc 5 news]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Expects to Meet Soon with Dez Bryant]]>Wed, 28 Mar 2018 07:27:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Appeal.jpg

Sometime soon, probably by the end of next week, Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant will have a candid conversation about the star receiver’s salary.

Bryant probably won’t like it because it’s going to involve the 29-year-old veteran making less money, probably a lot less money, than he was scheduled to make in 2018.

The receiver’s response and reaction will play a large part in whether he wears a blue star on the side of his helmet next season.

"We need to talk,'' Jerry Jones told reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "I certainly have not had a thought about talking with him that did not anticipate him being with us."

“We have a way of over the years of talking about two or three things when we have our visits. But again, obviously we'll get on point relative to this off season, this coming year, his health, how he's doing, how he feels about his conditioning, working out, all of those kinds of things.

"Certainly we'll talk about our business," Jones said

That’s the most important part of whatever conversation Jerry has with Bryant, who’s scheduled to earn $12.5 million and count $16.5 million against the club’s $177.8 million salary cap. He’s making too much for a dude who’s averaged 50 catches, 639 yards and six touchdowns over the last three seasons.

Last season, Bryant played 16 games and caught 68 passes for 839 yards and six touchdowns. He did not have a 100-yard game, and too many games ended with Bryant having a minimal impact.

There’s a chance the Cowboys could tell Bryant they want to reduce his salary to somewhere between $6 and $6.5 million, which would allow him to remain the team’s highest paid receiver, while giving the Cowboys the cap space they covet.

Allen Hurns, who signed last week, can earn up to $6 million this season. Terrence Williams ($3.50 million), Cole Beasley ($3.25 million) and Deonte Thompson ($1.8 million) are also scheduled to count more than a million against the club’s cap.

"I think that these two guys that we signed (Hurns and Thompson),” said Jones, “and what we might look at in the draft, at any level of the draft, plus what we might get worked out with Dez, gives us a good-looking receiver group.”

The key word is “might” get worked out with Bryant. Reality says Bryant’s options are limited.

More than 20 receivers have changed teams during the first two weeks of free agency, so there’s not a lot of money out there for Bryant. The teams that didn’t spend money in free agency will be looking to add receivers through the draft as opposed to spending it on a declining player who turns 30 in November.

If he gets released, Bryant will find a job quickly, but no team is going to make him among the game’s highest-paid receivers like he is now.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys WR Hurns to Wear 17 to Honor Fla. Shooting Victims]]>Tue, 27 Mar 2018 18:25:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-865106490.jpg

New Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Allen Hurns will wear No. 17 in honor of the 17 victims of the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Hurns, who had worn No. 88, can't have that jersey because that's Dez Bryant's number. Hurns tweeted about his new jersey choice.


Hurns explained the symbolism behind the choice in an interview on 105.3 The Fan's "Shan and RJ Show" on Monday.

"The Douglas shooting that was in Florida, 17 people lost their lives, so I chose that number," Hurns said.

Hurns, a free agent, agreed to a two-year deal with the Cowboys last week. He previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hurns missed 11 games over the past two seasons with the Jags because of a sports hernia and high ankle sprain.



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<![CDATA[Dez Did Catch It: NFL Owners OK New Catch Rule]]>Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:23:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_235875556922-Dez-Bryant-Non-Catch.jpg

Photo Credit: Matt Ludtke/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Boykin Released By Seahawks After Assault Allegations]]>Tue, 27 Mar 2018 19:11:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_AND_JACQUES_ON_TREVONE_BOYKIN_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1196453955710.jpg

Former TCU Quarterback Trevone Boykin is accused of domestic violence and was let go by the Seattle Seahawks. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss what’s next for Boykin.]]>
<![CDATA[Beckham And Giants At Odds?]]>Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:52:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

New York Giants Co-Owner John Mara maybe looking to trade receiver Odell Beckham Jr. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss the latest rumors on Beckham and if a trade involving Dez Bryant could be possible.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Williams Has Surgery to fix Broken Foot]]>Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:48:55 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/081715+Vic+Cowboys+05.JPG

Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams is recovering from surgery after breaking his foot. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss the latest on the break and how long he will miss time.

Photo Credit: Victor Dominguez, NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Determined to Make OL Dominant Again]]>Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:01:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-8733729601.jpg

The Cowboys know exactly what doomed their 2017 season and they’re determined not to let it happen again.

Just so you know, in their opinion, Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension wasn’t the main culprit.

Neither was Dak Prescott or the Cowboys’ broken passing game. No, it wasn’t the defense and it’s uncanny knack for not forcing turnovers either.

The Cowboys think their season cratered because the NFL’s best offensive line in 2016 was just pretty good much of last.

And when left tackle Tyron Smith didn’t play, the offense line ranged from atrocious to average.

That’s why the Cowboys are expected to sign free agent tackle Cameron Fleming, and free agent guard-center Marcus Martin, while re-signing backup guard-center Joe Looney.

The Cowboys took a similar approach two years ago.

Remember when Tony Romo’s broken collarbone forced the Cowboys to play backup Brandon Weedon and trade for Matt Cassel? Neither was any good, and the Cowboys suffered for it.

That’s why they tried to trade up and get Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook on draft day before settling for Prescott in the fourth round.

Bottoms line: They finally understood the importance of having a young quarterback ready to play whenever Romo couldn’t, so they were determined to find a quarterback.

Now, they’re taking a similar approach to fixing their offensive line.

A source said Fleming will compete for the starting right tackle job. If he’s good enough to start, the Cowboys could move La’el Collins back to left guard.

Martin and Looney are viewed as backups, which means the Cowboys could still spend a premium draft choice on a left guard if they don’t view Fleming as a starter.

Then, Fleming would become the Cowboys’ third tackle, or swing tackle, capable of being a solid contributor at left or right tackle.

The NFL, as you know, is a game of attrition. Quality depth is not optional.

The Cowboys didn’t have it last year, and they’re trying to correct that issue now. This team is built around it’s offensive line, and it must play better than it did last season for this offense to be at its best.

Think of it this way: A Porsche with a flat tire isn’t a Porsche, it’s car that won’t drive.

The Cowboys’ offensive line took some significant hits before last season began.

Left Guard Rob Leary signed with Denver and right tackle Doug Free retired, forcing the Cowboys to move Collins to right tackle, a new position.

Then Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper battled to be the starting left guard. We probably shouldn’t be surprised, given all the movement, that the Cowboys’ offensive line was less than stellar.

But its flaws were hidden until Smith, who struggled with a litany of ailments all season, missed consecutive games against Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Smith, obviously hampered, returned for a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

In the Cowboys’ first eight games, Prescott was sacked 10 times in 261 pass attempts. He was hit 27 times and pressured 87 times.

In the next three games without Elliott and Smith for two of them, Prescott was sacked 14 times in 89 passing attempts. He was hit eight times and pressured 41 times.

Wow.

It all started with the debacle in Atlanta, when Green allowed four sacks in a little more than two quarters before he was benched. Bell replaced him and gave up two more sacks to more Adrain Clayborn, who finished with a career-high six sacks.

Prescott never recovered from the beating he took in Atlanta.

He became skittish in the pocket, at times, and hurried throws because he didn’t believe his blindside was protected.

The Cowboys need Prescott to be better in 2018.

Elliott will definitely help; a dominant offensive line will help more.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Son of Cowboys Woodson Thriving on the Baseball Diamond]]>Sun, 25 Mar 2018 23:07:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/woodson_son_10pm.jpg

Darren Woodson was a powerful hitter as a safety for the Dallas Cowboys. Today, his son Jaden is also thriving as a powerful hitter as a junior at Dallas Jesuit on the baseball diamond.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Appear to Be Moving on From Dez Bryant]]>Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:50:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5020242881.jpg

Whether it was Stephen Jones, Jason Garrett or, to some degree, Jerry Jones, the Cowboys have been telling you for weeks they were hardly afraid to contemplate life without Dez Bryant.

Well, they proved it Friday afternoon when they agreed to terms with free agent receiver Allen Hurns on a two-year deal worth as much as $12 million.

A day earlier, the Cowboys signed receiver Deonte Thompson to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

The Cowboys now have seven receivers under contract: Dez Bryant ($12.5 million), Terance Williams ($3.5), Cole Beasley ($3.25 million), Ryan Switzer ($555,000), Noah Brown ($555,000), Thompson and Hurns.

Somebody’s gotta go; it should be Bryant.

Even if he agrees to a massive pay cut - the one the Cowboys’ front office has been hinting about for weeks - Dallas isn’t keeping seven receivers.

On most Sundays, only five are active and Switzer was exclusively a kick and punt returner for much of the season.

The reality is the Cowboys have grown weary of Bryant’s petulance and now they’ve made plans to overhaul their receiver core starting with the 29-year-old receiver.

Hurns, 26, is a four-year veteran, who has missed 11 games since 2015. That’s the year, he caught 64 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns, which led to a four-year $40 million contract with Jacksonville.

He’s been hampered by injuries the past two years, combining to catch just 74 passes for 961 yards and five touchdowns.

He can play outside and in the slot, and the Cowboys think his ability to catch the ball is his best attribute.

Jacksonville cut him this week, creating an opportunity for Dallas to sign him.

The 29-year-old Thompson is the epitome of a journeyman. The Cowboys are the eight-year veteran’s fourth team, and he spent last year with Chicago and Buffalo.

In Buffalo, he 27 passes for 430 yards, a 15.9 average, in 11 games.

Neither one of these players is as good as Bryant in his prime. The problem, of course, is Bryant isn’t in his prime any more.

Adding two receivers this week should come as no surprise. Don’t forget, the Cowboys were surprised Sammy Watkins picked the Chiefs over the Cowboys during the first couple of days of free agency because the offers were were similar financially.

If Watkins had joined the Cowboys last week, then Dallas would’ve released Bryant then.

Whenever it happens, sooner rather than later is the best guess, they will probably designate him as a post-June 1 cut and save about $12 million against the salary cap.

Bryant has averaged 50 catches for 639 yards and six touchdowns in the three years since he signed a five-year, $70 million deal after the 2014 season.

Last year, he caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. He hasn’t had a100-yard game in 22 starts.

And he turns 30 in November.

Now, maybe, the Cowboys could deal with all of those negatives if Bryant were the consummate professional, but he’s not.

This isn’t about practice habits or work ethic or staying in shape. He’s beyond reproach, when it comes to that.

This is about showing up on time for treatment, if he shows up at all.

This is about treating folks within the organization with the utmost of respect at all times.

This is about the occasional sideline tantrums and his bad influence on Williams and Beasley whether it’s real or perceived

If he was still averaging 91 catches for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns a lot of these things would not be an issue.

But those days are gone; his act has worn thin and his support has eroded.

Aside from Jerry there’s not many, if any, folks in the front office, coaching or training staff who will fight to keep him on the 2018 roster.

That’s why he’ll be wearing another team’s uniform next season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Add Former Jaguars WR Allen Hurns With 2-Year Deal]]>Fri, 23 Mar 2018 19:46:24 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-865106490.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have added another free agent receiver with Allen Hurns agreeing to a two-year deal.

Hurns joined the Cowboys on Friday, three days after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After initially signing with the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie out of Miami in 2014, Hurns got a $40 million, four-year contract extension after 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games during the 2015 season. But he has since been hampered by injuries.

Hurns missed 11 games because of injuries during the past two seasons with the Jaguars because of a sports hernia and a high ankle sprain.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


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<![CDATA[Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson to 1-Year Deal]]>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:34:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-830537476.png

Free agent wide receiver Deonte Thompson has signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

Thompson joined the Cowboys on Thursday, one day after veteran linebacker Joe Thomas agreed to a two-year deal and was their first acquisition since NFL free agency opened last week.

In six NFL seasons, Thompson has played 53 games for Baltimore, Buffalo and Chicago. The 6-foot receiver has 77 catches for 1,032 yards and four touchdowns, and 82 kickoff returns for a 24.8 yard average.

Thompson was cut after 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in five games last season with Chicago. He signed a week later with the Bills, and had 27 catches for 430 yards and a touchdown in 11 games.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cole Beasley Talks Life Without Dez, New Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal and Old Spice]]>Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:25:51 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JJT_beasley_1200x675_1191804995594.jpg

Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor caught up with receiver Cole Beasley to talk about the Cowboys and their off-season and why Dez Bryant is so important to the team.]]>
<![CDATA[Newy & JJT: Dak Prescott is About to Get Paid]]>Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:20:31 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_AND_JACQUES_ON_DAK_MONEY_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1190810691626.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is making less than a million dollars this season, NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explain why a big payday is coming for Prescott. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Trying To Revamp O-line In Free Agency]]>Mon, 19 Mar 2018 22:47:20 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/196*120/Dallas+Cowboys+helmet1.jpg

The Cowboys offensive line was not the best in the NFL last season. Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor and NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs describe different moves the club is looking at to improve their offensive line in 2018.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Why The Cowboys Had To Let Orlando Scandrick Go]]>Mon, 19 Mar 2018 22:47:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Countdown_to_Cowboys_Camp__24_Orlando_Scandrick_1200x675_976662083992.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor breakdown why the Cowboys had to let cornerback Orlando Scandrick go. He inked a two year deal with Washington.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Just Another Irrelevant Franchise These Days]]>Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:01:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-Roof-night.jpg

If you wondered where the Cowboys fit in the NFL hierarchy, Sammy Watkins provided a resounding answer.

These days, your Cowboys are just another NFL franchise — no different than the Tennessee Titans, the Detroit Lions or the Cleveland Browns.

They’re just another irrelevant franchise stuck on the abyss of mediocrity.

The Cowboys wanted to make a bold move last week, releasing Dez Bryant, signing Watkins and invigorating a franchise that has two playoff wins in 21 seasons.

Instead, reality hit them like a left hook.

Watkins, who has one 1,000-yard season in four years after Buffalo paid a king’s ransom to move up in the draft and select him fourth overall, spurned  the Cowboys for the Chiefs.

Watkins’ decision created quite a bit of tumult and consternation at the Cowboys’ offices. A series of closed-door meetings followed over a couple of days as the Cowboys plotted their next big move.

It has to be something more important than reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal with L.P. Ladouceur and scheduling a Monday meeting with Cameron Fleming.

Understand, the Cowboys remain a TV ratings superstar. Their humongous fan base stretches from coast to coast and an equally-large group of NFL fans love to hate the Cowboys, so they’re always going max out on national TV appearances and Jerry Jones is a marketing genius so they’re always going to be in the public conscience.

But when we’re talking about NFL free agents like the 25-year-old Watkins, who was 2-years-old when Dallas last won a Super Bowl, the Cowboys ain’t special.

If you step back and put your fandom aside, you’ll realize you don’t need a pair of binoculars to figure out why Watkins chose Kansas City over America’s Team.

Any number of reasons might have swayed him, considering a source with the Cowboys insists money wasn’t one of them.

Let’s start with the coaches.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid is an innovative offensive mind with job security.

We’d all be surprised if owner Clark Hunt fired Reid anytime in the next three years, considering he’s 53-27 with four playoff appearances in five seasons with the Chiefs. No one would say that about Garrett, who will begin the season as one of the NFL’s most scrutinized coaches.

Garrett isn’t guaranteed anything beyond 2018, and a skill position player such as Watkins doesn’t want to have to deal with possibility of a new coach and the uncertainty that accompanies that kind of change.

Then there’s the Chiefs’ personnel. Do you want to be part of a package with receiver Tyreke Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt with rookie Pat Mahomes Jr. and his powerful arm or would you prefer an offense with Terrance Willams, Jason Witten, Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott?

Right now, there’s no comparison. Kansas City has an offense built to pressure defense and create big plays. What speedy receiver wouldn’t want to play in that system?

A generation has no idea the Cowboys used to dominate the NFL unless they watch YouTube videos or their parents grew up Cowboys’ fans and passed that love down.

That generation is part of the 2018 free agent class, and that’s an issue for the Cowboys.

The built-in advantage the Cowboys had for decades is gone. Watkins' decision proved that.


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<![CDATA[Would Earl Thomas Be A Good Fit For The Cowboys?]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:19:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-460471930.jpg

Would Seattle Safety Earl Thomas be enough to get the Cowboys to the next level? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss how he would help the Cowboys.]]>
<![CDATA[Could Successful NFL Draft Lead to Another Super Bowl?]]>Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:05:20 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Draft_Dress_rehearsal_2018_03_14_15_32_54.jpg

As the latest plans for the NFL Draft set to take place in Arlington next month were announced Wednesday, growing excitement led to question of whether a successful event could bring a Super Bowl back to North Texas.

AT&T Stadium last hosted the Super Bowl back in 2011 when a rare ice storm and seating issues tainted the event in the minds of many.

Some have said this NFL Draft, which is the area's first, is expected to draw the biggest crowd yet. They expect it could be redeeming for Dallas-Fort Worth and AT&T Stadium.

With the next available Super Bowl up for grabs in 2023, many have asked if North Texas can get back in the rotation and how long it would take.

ESPN has reported it could be 2027, although the Dallas Sports Commission, which helps draw in those big events, says no one knows.

"We definitely want, whenever the NFL is ready, for Dallas to be back on that cycle to host another one. I think our main focus right now is to host the biggest and the best NFL Draft," said Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul.

Back in January, Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones told The Dallas Morning News that the Cowboys have asked to host another game and believe they will.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys to Avoid Free Agency Frenzy, Wait for Bargains]]>Wed, 14 Mar 2018 05:55:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-jerry-jones.jpg

Free agency officially begins Wednesday at 3 p.m. Expect your Dallas Cowboys to do nothing.

Again.

Philadelphia, the defending champs, will get better when they sign massive defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to team with defensive end Michael Bennett, whom they acquired in a trade last week.

The Minnesota Vikings, who advanced to the NFC Championship game, will get better when they sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year deal worth $84 million. Washington is trying to get better by signing receiver Paul Richardson to a five-year, $40 million deal.

Even the Chicago Bears will be better after signing receivers Allen Robinson (three years, $42 million) and Taylor Gabriel (four years, money unknown) for second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Your Cowboys watch and wait. Again.

It’s what they do these days. Once upon a time, the Cowboys were the league’s most aggressive team, lavishing dollars on free agents and plugging holes with players they expected to be stars. 

No more.

They haven’t really done it in a decade, when they signed guard Leonard Davis, the former Arizona star. They spent $50 million on cornerback Brandon Carr in 2012, and he wasn’t the shutdown cornerback they expected.

Now, they’re scared to sign big-dollar free agents, content to bottom feed and acquire low-risk players with little upside who, if we’re honest, aren’t going to bring them any closer to a championship.

You can’t win a title strictly by adding players through the draft in today’s NFL. Signing the occasional big-time free agent or trading for a key player is a necessity. New England won the Super Bowl in 2016, and signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a $65-million deal.

Ask the Cowboys why they observe the start of free agency instead of participating and you get pretty much the same spiel from Vice President Stephen Jones every year.

They don’t like shopping on the first day of free agency, when the prices are at an apex as teams haggle over the top free agents. That frenzy is the reason Kansas City agreed to a three-year deal worth $48 million, $30 million guaranteed, with Sammy Watkins, who has 192 receptions in four seasons.

The Cowboys believe spending money on their own free agents such as Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Dez Bryant over the years is more prudent long-term strategy.

Blame Carr, who intercepted seven passes in five seasons with the Cowboys. He intercepted one pass in his last three seasons with Dallas.

“It’s not like we got stung and had a bad taste,” Jones said last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, “so we’d do it again, but it’s got to be the right guy, the right player.”

Alrighty then.

The Cowboys didn’t want to lose linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who had 84 tackles in 12 games last season, but it made no sense to make the four-year veteran the NFL’s fourth-highest paid inside linebacker at $9 million a year, when they still have to sign guard Zack Martin to a long-term deal.

“Obviously, we’d like to have unlimited funds to improve our football team,” Jones said. “We’d like to hope and think that we’ve drafted well and we’re spending money in the right places.

“When you draft well, you want to pay the guys that you drafted well and keep them with a star on their helmet.”

The deals Robinson and Watkins, the two best free agents on the market, agreed to won’t have any impact on Bryant. He’s still going to take a pay cut whether he’s playing for Dallas or another team because his performance hasn’t been commensurate with his salary for the past three seasons.

He’s averaged 50 catches for 689 yards and six touchdowns a season, while being the league’s seventh-highest-paid receiver.

The one deal that will cause the Cowboys to react is guard Andrew Norwell, who signed a five-year, $66 million deal with Jacksonville. He received $30 million in guarantees on the contract that averages $13.3 million.

Now, we know the basement for Martin’s contract talks. Maybe, this will expedite talks which have been dragging for months, in part, because there hasn’t been much urgency on either side.

That said, Martin already plays for the Cowboys - and that’s the only kind of player they spend real money on these days.



Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBC DFW]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Free Agency Officially Starts Wednesday]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:40:55 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Appeal.jpg

NFL Free agency officially start Wednesday. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor tells us what we can expect from the Cowboys.]]>
<![CDATA[Anthony Hitchens Headed To Kansas City]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:35:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-8733729601.jpg

Anthony Hitchens is on the move to Kansas City. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explain what losing him means and how the Cowboys will replace him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Big News for Receivers as the Free Agency Frenzy Starts]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 19:22:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

Dez Watch 2018 continues. How will the moves made by wide receivers impact what happens to Dez Bryant? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor break it down.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Witten Ditching The Cowboys For TV?]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:25:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1520823588-WITTENAWARD_1_614283061.JPG

Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten is getting interest from Network TV. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss the possibility of Witten leaving the Cowboys for the broadcast booth.

Photo Credit: Rose Baca/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Scandrick Asking to be Released From the Cowboys]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:28:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ORLANDO_SCANDRICK_ON_INJURY_HELPING_HIM_1200x675_709396035726.jpg

Cowboys Cornerback Orlando Scandrick asked the Cowboys for his release. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss what's next for Scandrick and the Cowboys.]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Fox Targeting Witten for Broadcast Booth]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 14:08:56 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1520823588-WITTENAWARD_1_614283061.JPG

Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Daryl "Moose" Johnston ... and Jason Witten?

The first three are former Cowboys who are currently in the play-by-play booth for Fox and CBS. According to a report by Sporting News' Michael McCarthy, Fox might be trying to add Witten to its broadcasting ranks.

Read more from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Rose Baca/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Acquiring Earl Thomas Would Catapult Cowboys to Top of NFC]]>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 10:18:45 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-460471930.jpg

Seattle has made Earl Thomas available. Before the start of training camp, the Cowboys need to acquire him.

Now.

Do that, and the Cowboys will end their 22-year drought without a trip to the NFC Championship game.

The 28-year-old Thomas is the game's best free safety, a playmaker and a leader. And he wants to be here.

Remember, Thomas is the one who entered the Cowboys' locker room after a December win and implored coach Jason Garrett to "Come get me."

Thomas has 25 career interceptions and five fumbles recoveries in his eight-year career, and he comes at a modest price of $8.5 million over the next two seasons. Just so you know, the top three linebackers and seven defensive backs expected to play for the Cowboys in 2018 have combined for 27 interceptions and six fumble recoveries in a total of 27 seasons.

Thomas catapults the Cowboys into the NFC Championship game because he'd give coordinator Rod Marinell's defense playmakers on all three levels for the first time since Marinelli arrived in 2014.

DeMarcus Lawrence finished second in the NFL with 14.5 sacks and defensive tackle David Irving had seven sacks in eight games and is as disruptive a player as you'll find. When healthy, Sean Lee remains on the of the game's best linebackers and Thomas' has been a playmaker since he was the 14th player taken in the 2010 draft.

In the games, Ezekiel Elliott has played, the Cowboys' offense has been good enough to win most weeks.

In 25 games with Elliott, the Cowboys have gone 18-7, while averaging 26.5 points and 380.9 points per game. Last year, that would've been good for fifth in the NFL in points and third in yards.

The problem Garrett's Cowboys have had on defense have always been considerably more pronounced than their offensive issues.

Acquiring Thomas would solve those problems.

No one said it would be cheap. No one said it would easy. Seattle wants a king's ransom. And Thomas wants the last years for the four-year, $40 million deal he signed in 2014 re-worked.

So what. Get it done.

The Los Angeles Rams traded a paid of Jordans to Denver for five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib and received a pair back for pass-rusher Robert Quinn. Philadelphia gave Seattle a peanut butter sandwich and a spare receiver for defensive end Michael Bennett.

Seattle can want a booty fit for king all it wants and that doesn't mean the Seahawks are going to get it.

The Legion of Boom is kaput. The Seahawks have gotten rid of Bennett and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane. It will come as no surprise if safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril are jettisoned  before the start of training camp, in part, because of injuries they received at the end of last season.

The Seahawks are building around quarterback Russell Wilson. They don't have picks in the second or third round. Dallas has 10 draft picks - two in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds - this season. Perhaps it takes a third this season and a second or third next season.

Maybe, the Cowboys have to kick in Xavier Woods or Byron Jones to make Seattle acquiesce.

Who cares? You gotta give to get. Just get it done.

Thomas has spent his entire career playing for Kris Richard, the Cowboys' new defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator. He was a defensive assistant in 2010, Seattle's defensive backs coach from 2011-2014 before being named coordinator.

Thomas' transition to the Cowboys' scheme would be seamless. And with a secondary full of youngsters, is there anyone you'd rather have getting everybody gets lined up properly than Thomas?

He'd also give the Cowboys a player with championship pedigree. Thomas has played in two Super Bowls and 12 playoff games; Jason Witten has played in eight playoffs games in his 15-year career.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl last season, and they've already made moves such as adding Bennett and trading receiver Torrey Smith to get better. The Los Angeles Rams have made a flurry of moves and the addition of cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Talib give them the NFL's best secondary.

The Minnesota Vikings will improve if they sign quarterback Kirk Cousins as expected and Green Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans as long as they re-sign Drew Brees have quarterbacks that will place them near the top of the NFC.

The Cowboys are lying to themselves if they believe relying on the draft and free agents found at Dollar General will allow them to compete in a stacked NFC.

If Thomas wants a new contract, then give him one. Salary-cap space is a mirage. The Cowboys can do whatever they want with the cap to add whoever they want.

Dak Prescott is going to soon be making more than $20 million a year. Garrett is not guaranteed another year without a deep playoff run.

This franchise is at a crossroads. Adding Thomas ensures the Cowboys are headed in the right direction.

]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles Make a Big Move to Help Their Defense]]>Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:49:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/169*120/Cowboys+Seahawks+2+%285%29.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles have acquired Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks. NBC 5 Sports Director and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explains why the Cowboys didn't make a move for Bennett.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant Lashes Out On Social Media]]>Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:48:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Locker+Room.jpg

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant took to social media and aired out his frustrations after fans said some not-so-kind things to Bryant. NBC 5 Sports Director and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explain why this could hurt Dez going forward.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Ten Thoughts on the Cowboys]]>Tue, 06 Mar 2018 20:28:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8944747382.jpg

Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor reveals 10 things we’ve learned about the Cowboys since the combine.

1. They’re contemplating moving on from receiver Dez Bryant, which seemed unfathomable a year ago.

2. This is going to be a fascinating year because owner Jerry Jones has said he’s tired of the excuses and ready to win. There’s going to be intense pressure on Garrett to win.

3. DeMarcus Lawrence is OK with the franchise tag, which means he’s mentally ready to have another huge season.

4. Guard Zack Martin’s deal is taking longer than expected, but it’ll still get done.

5. The Cowboys believe in quarterback Cooper Rush, and he’s going to be the backup. If he’s not ready to play that won’t be a worthy excuse for a season that goes awry.

6. The Cowboys talked to several receivers - Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, Maryland’s D.J. Moore Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk - at the combine. They’re figuring out their plan in case they part with Bryant.

7. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens is probably gone. Dallas isn’t going to want to pay him what he can get on the open market, which means linebacker will be at the top of the needs list.

8. Jaylon Smith needs to have a stellar season, especially if Hitchens leaves, but less still might be more when it comes to his playing time.

9. Dallas probably isn’t signing any big-time free agents such as receiver Allen Robinson or Sammy Watkins, who didn’t get the franchise tag from Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams , respectively.

10. The Cowboys spoke with several tight ends at the combine. The second round sounds like a good time to make a move one.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Does Jerry Jones Really Want Dez Back in 2018?]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:16:53 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+X.jpg

Jerry Jones says he wants Dez Bryant back in 2018. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor break down what Jones is really saying.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Tag DeMarcus Lawrence]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:13:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-8833953441.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys put the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor talk about what this move means for the Cowboys and Lawrence.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Put $17.5M Franchise Tag on DE DeMarcus Lawrence]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:13:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+DeMarcus+Lawrence.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys placed the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence on Monday, guaranteeing the Pro Bowl defensive end $17.5 million in 2018.

The Cowboys had until Tuesday to put the tag on Lawrence, who can still sign a long-term deal with the club that traded up him to get him early in the second round in 2014.

Lawrence tied All-Pro Calais Campbell of Jacksonville for second in the NFL with 14 1/2 sacks last season. The 25-year-old's breakout year came after he struggled with injuries most of his first three seasons. He had back surgery each of the previous two offseasons.

Lawrence reacted to reports of the franchise tag on Twitter Monday, saying: "Oh wow. Glad the media knows. I still haven't heard anything haha. Either way, proud to be part of the @dallascowboys organization! Let's go chase #6"

On the one-year contract, Lawrence's salary would be the average of the NFL's five highest-paid defensive ends.

Lawrence is an important piece with the Cowboys trying to get back to the playoffs after missing at 9-7 a year after they had an NFC-best 13 wins before losing a divisional playoff to Green Bay.

The former Boise State player emerged for a Dallas defense that has lacked star power beyond 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee. Lawrence surpassed his previous career high of eight sacks in the fifth game.

Pass rushing was a problem for the Cowboys each of their past two trips to the playoffs. In 2014, they finished 28th in sacks and couldn't get to a hobbled Aaron Rodgers in a divisional loss to the Packers after Lawrence clinched a wild-card win over Detroit with a sack of Matthew Stafford.

In the rematch with Rodgers, Dallas sacked him three times but couldn't get a stop in the final minutes of a 34-31 loss in January 2017.

Lawrence broke a foot in training camp his rookie year, missing half the season. His second year was Lawrence's only full season, when he had 31 QB pressures to go with the eight sacks.

After serving a four-game drug suspension to start 2016, he had three sacks in nine games before missing the final three regular-season games with a back injury. He played in the divisional loss to the Packers.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell Spar Over Legal Fees]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:40:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Appeal.jpg

It's quickly becoming a rivlary on par with Cowboys / Eagles -- Jerry Jones versus NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

And the two will square off again Monday as they spar over who should pay for the legal fees the league accrued during the Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga.

The NFL is reportedly trying to recoup $2 million in legal fees from Jones, accusing the Cowboys owner of conduct detrimental to the league.

Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he would testify in front of Goodell Monday, as he appeals that decision.

It's no secret he was upset with how Goodell and the NFL handled Elliott's suspension last season -- which happened to coincide with the NFL owners discussing a contract extension for the commissioner.

Jones hired an attorney and threatened to sue to block Goodell's contract extension from being approved -- though he ultimately backed down.

The NFL is pointing to a long-standing rule that states team owners must reimburse the league's legal fees if they take legal action against another owner.

Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he looks forward to giving his testimony.

The latest episode in the feud comes just weeks before the Dallas Cowboys will welcome Goodell and the rest of the NFL to AT&T Stadium for the 2018 NFL Draft.

]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Appeals NFL Decision to Recoup $2 Million]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:29:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Appeal.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is battling with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about whether he should have to cover the legal fees the NFL paid during the Ezekiel Elliott saga. He plans to testify Tuesday.]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Commits to Dez Bryant, Sort of]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:35:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry_jones_goodell_contract_extension_1200x675_1107983427558.jpg

Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett have all spoken publicly in the last week about Dez Bryant’s future in Dallas.

Not one of them has committed unequivocally to Bryant.

Jerry Jones is simply the latest to do so.

Stephen Jones talked about his respect for Bryant then discussed the emotions that accompanied letting players such as Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith leave.

When asked if he wanted Bryant to stay in Dallas, Garrett said the Cowboys haven’t had all of their personnel meetings yet.

Now, you do have to interpret their words because they all respect Bryant and they’re not trying to diss a man who has scored more receiving touchdowns than any other player in franchise history.

When reporters spoke to Jerry at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, they asked him whether Bryant would be on the Cowboys’ roster

"I don't want to give any answer that implies that I have anything in mind, but he is with the Cowboys," Jerry Jones said. "He is under contract. We have not done anything that alters getting our returning contract players."

“We have not done anything that would alter counting on them being on the field next year. So, as we sit right here, yes," said Jones.

Jerry is basically saying blah, blah, blah until we get to the last sentence, “So, as we sit here, yes.”

As we sit here on the Cowboys’ tour bus. Where he had Saturday’s conversation with reporters? As he sits in Indianapolis? As he sits here in March?

Would Jerry say that about Dak Prescott or Jason Witten or Demarcus Lawrence? Of course not.

Here’s what it means: Jerry wants Bryant on the Cowboys but he knows the nine-year veteran must take a pay cut and he doesn’t know how he will react.

Plus, Jerry understands that if Stephen Jones has decided Bryant must go, then Jerry knows his son has a way of wearing him down and persuading him to acquiesce.

We’re at the point we have to talk about Bryant’s future because the combination of his salary, lack of production, chemistry with Prescott snd petulance has made him vulnerable.

Bryant is scheduled to earn $12.5 million next year and count $16.5 million against the NFL’s salary cap but he only caught 60 passes for 839 yards and six touchdowns last season. Cut him, and Dallas can save $12.5 million against their cap.

For the money, the Cowboys need more production, especially since Bryant has had three consecutive sub-par years.

“I have been very involved with not only his contract negotiation, but in many cases, his other personal business,” said Jerry, “so it's just not awkward at all to visit. We plan on visiting with him about his business. We are both very comfortable being very candid."

“When you got that kind of relationship that I do with him then I'm optimistic when I am sitting here this time next year we would have done a real good job on his business," he added.

Bryant has averaged 50 catches, 639 yards and six touchdowns over the past three seasons.

Knee, foot and ankle injuries have robbed him of some of the athletic ability that made him an elite player.

He’s also struggled to find a consistent rhythm with Prescott, who’s adverse to risk in a way Tony Romo wasn’t. Prescott isn’t all that interested in throwing passes to Bryant when he seems covered, something Romo excelled at doing.

Plus, Romo is simply a much better passer than Prescott at this point of his career.

There’s also a matter of Bryant’s attitude the Cowboys can’t ignore. A faction of the organization is tired of dealing with his occasional moodiness and petulance as well as his aversion to showing up to the training room for treatment when he should.

No one know if the Cowboys will cut Bryant before the start of next season, but we know they’re thinking about it.


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<![CDATA[Cowboys Keep Will McClay in the Fold]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 21:21:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/82070217.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys signed Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay to a two-year extension. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor tell us why this move is a big deal to the Cowboys organization.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steelers WR Could Be an Option for the Cowboys]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 21:18:51 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-873318628.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor tell us about an option at receiver for the Cowboys if Dez Bryant is not with the team in 2018.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[If Dez Bryant is Out, Who Will Take His Spot?]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 06:33:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DEZ_BRYANT_ON_JERRY_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1014267459830.jpg

Dez Bryant may not be with the Cowboys next season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs tell us a possible replacement for Bryant.]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Garrett Sidesteps Question About Whether he Wants Dez Bryant to Return]]>Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:09:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+X.jpg

The question directed to coach Jason Garrett on Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine was pointed and without ambiguity.

Do you want Dez Bryant to stay in Dallas?

“You know we haven't had any specific personnel meetings about any of our players," Garrett said.

Do you think he would say that about Demarcus Lawrence or Zack Martin or Dak Prescott or Jason Witten?

Nope.

Garrett’s non-answer tells you everything you need to know about the tenuous nature of Bryant’s roster spot.

Consider this: Try to think of any other off-season since the Cowboys drafted Bryant with the 24th pick in the 2010 draft that Garrett would’ve said anything other than, “absolutely”, when asked if he wanted Bryant to stay in Dallas.

No one knows if the Cowboys will cut Bryant this off-season, but they’re certainly considering it.

Bryant is discovering the stuff folks put up when you average 91 catches, 1,321 yards and 14 touchdowns - as he did from 2012-2014 - is considerably different than the stuff they put up when you average 50 catches for 639 yards and six touchdowns as he’s done the past three seasons.

Last season, Bryant caught 60 passes for 839 yards and six touchdowns. He hasn’t had a thousand-yard season in three years and it has been 22 games since he had a 100 yards receiving in a game.

He’s supposed to earn $12.5 million and count $16.5 million against the club’s 2018 salary cap. No team in the league is paying that kind of money for the numbers he’s produced recently.

Reality says Bryant is going to take a pay cut whether he plays in Dallas or somewhere else. The real question is whether the Cowboys even want him.

Stephen Jones has said all the right things publicly since the season ended, but he’s also criticized Bryant’s occasional sideline antics, referring to them as distractions. And Jones hasn’t been bashful about talking about potentially cutting Bryant’s salary.

The hardest part, as usual, will be convincing owner Jerry Jones that it’s time to part with the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, a player who has provided a litany of spectacular moments in his career.

That said, the worst thing a coach, GM or owner can do is fall in love with the name on the back of the jersey.

The easy thing to do is to keep Bryant and give him one last opportunity to be an elite player in a Cowboys’ uniform. The hard thing to do is release him, but that’s what the best coaches and organizations do. It’s always better to get rid of a player a year early rather than a year late.

Don’t forget, Stephen Jones convinced his father to get rid of Terrell Owens after the 2008 season, when he caught 69 passes for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Do you really think he wouldn’t cut Bryant after the awful three-year stretch he’s had? Besides, Bryant may have talked himself out of town during a 20-minute interview on the Ben & Skin Show (105.3-FM), which is on the team’s flagship station.

During the interview he talked about having a reluctance to play through injuries in the future, something he said he’d share with the club’s younger players.

Bryant also talked about how nagging injuries such as knee tendinitis slowed him down this season, but he made a point to talk about how he didn’t always get treatment during the season.

"I don't know the specifics of that interview," Garrett said of Bryant's comments. "I do know our feelings about him. He's been a great player for us for a long time."

“We have a tremendous amount of love for Dez Bryant as an organization. He's made so many contributions to our team. I personally have a lot of love for him as a player and more so as a person.

“The growth and development that he's made over the course of his career with us has been exponential and has made a huge impact on our team.

"He's been a great player for us for a long time."

But that time feels like it’s rapidly coming to an end.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Will Jason Garrett Stay Loyal To Dez Bryant?]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 23:25:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+X.jpg

NBC 5’s Newy Scruggs and Jacques Taylor talk about Jason Garrett and if he will stay loyal to Dez Bryant.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Are The Days Numbered For Dez In A Cowboys Uniform?]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 23:22:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

Dez Bryant may have to take a pay cut in order to stay with the Cowboys next season. NBC 5’s Newy Scruggs and Cowboys insider Jacques Taylor discuss Jason Garrett’s latest comments on Dez and why he didn’t give Bryant a ringing endorsement.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Pizza Hut Replaces Papa John's as NFL's Pizza Sponsor]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:57:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pizza+hut+sign.jpg

The NFL announced a multiyear marketing deal with Plano-based Pizza Hut on Wednesday, one day after the league and Papa John's said that they mutually agreed to cut ties.

The league's relationship with Papa John's frayed last year when the pizza maker's founder, John Schnatter, criticized NFL leadership over national anthem protests by players.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's says it will remain in football through marketing deals with 22 of the league's 32 teams.

Pizza Hut said its marketing partnership with the NFL will begin with the league's April 2018 draft in Arlington.

Pizza Hut is owned by Yum Brands Inc.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[There's a Chance Dez Bryant's Dallas Days Are Nearing End]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:21:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

For the first time since the Cowboys drafted him in the first round of 2010 draft, Dez Bryant isn’t among the Cowboys’ top priorities.

Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who had 14.5 sacks last season, is a priority. So is right guard Zack Martin, considered one of the NFL’s best.

Even defensive tackle David Irving is higher on the Cowboys’ priority list than Bryant.

Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones told reporters Tuesday at the NFL Scouting combine in Indianapolis that he expects to meet with the agents for Lawrence and Martin this week.

Bryant? Jones doesn’t have any meetings scheduled with his agent to discuss the pay cut everybody but Bryant seems to know is coming.

A couple of weeks ago, we figured Bryant, who’s scheduled to earn $12.5 million this season and count $16.5 million against the club’s salary cap, would take a pay cut to about $6 million and keep it moving.

Now, Jones is giving off a vibe like Bryant won’t be here next year.

“When these times come, whether it's Troy (Aikman), whether it’s Emmitt (Smith) whether it’s Michael (Irvin), when that time finally gets there it’s a difficult decision,” Jones told reporters. “You’ve seen the press conferences when Troy retires or Michael retires, it’s a lot of emotion.

“And not to say Dez is at that point but all these decisions are very difficult, especially with great players who’ve done so much for our organization."

Bryant is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $70 million deal he signed after the 2014 season. That season culminated a three-year stretch in which he averaged 91 catches for 1,321 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In the past three seasons, he’s averaged four catches for 53 yards a game.

Wow.

He hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season in three years, and it has been 22 games since his last 100-yard game.

These days, he provides more great moments than games.

That’s not good enough for a dude who’s currently the NFL’s seventh highest-paid receiver.  It doesn’t matter whether you choose to blame quarterback Dak Prescott, the offensive scheme or Bryant, the reality is Bryant isn’t producing numbers commensurate with his salary.

Twice, recently, Jones has made it clear there’s no guarantee Bryant will be on the Cowboys next season. It’s more about what he hasn’t said, than what he has said.

There’s no doubt Jones wants Lawrence and Martin back. He’s said nothing that makes you think he wants Bryant back.

Perhaps, he’s giving fans time to get used to the idea of Bryant playing for another team, so it won’t come as a shock when it happens. Maybe, he’s really giving Bryant time to get used to the idea.

“We all know this is a business where everyone has to be accountable, “ Jones told reporters at the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award dinner last week. “Certainly, everybody knows that.

“We're going to be grinding it out and trying to determine what is in the best interest of our business."

Bryant didn’t help his cause by going on the Ben & Skin show (105.3-FM) last week and blaming his lack of production last season - 69 catches for 838 and six touchdowns - on nagging injuries and a lack of focus.

Really?

Then he talked about the possibility of not playing through injuries in the future, and encouraging his younger teammates to do the same.

Does that sound like the kind of player the Cowboys want in their locker room?

“I don't even want it to sound like an excuse, but it is the truth," Bryant said of being compromised by injury on 105.3. "It's like one thing that I know, (trainer Jim Maurer) will tell you I hate going in that training room. I don't like going in that training room, especially when I needed to be in that training room.

"But this time around, I want to take care of my body. I want to get it all the way right. I want it to be right. I promise you, I ain't having nobody questioning me again. This is what I love, and I accept everything that's coming my way right now. That's OK. That's fine.

“I just want to work. That all I want to do. I want to work. I want to stay out of the way. I want to control what I can control and I want my respect. That's it."

That’s fine, but it sounds like he’s going to have to get it on another team because Jones sounds like he’s ready to move on.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Time to say Goodbye to Orlando Scandrick?]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:47:34 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Countdown_to_Cowboys_Camp__24_Orlando_Scandrick_1200x675_976662083992.jpg

Is it time to say goodbye to Orlando Scandrick? NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys insider Jacques Taylor explain why we've seen the last of the veteran cornerback in a Cowboys uniform.]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant May Not Be in a Cowboys Uniform Next Season]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:44:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

Dez Bryant's future with the Cowboys is uncertain. NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys insider Jacques Taylor break down what's ahead for him.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Donate Items to Smithsonian]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 05:00:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Dallas+Cowboys+Cheerleaders+memorabilia+donation+to+the+Smithsonian%27s+National+Museum+of+American+History.JPG

They have been called America's sweethearts. Now some of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders history will live forever in the Smithsonian Museum.

Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Dallas Cowboys Charlotte Jones Anderson was at the museum on Monday for the donation. 

The donation included two game-day uniforms, a 1977 poster of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, three Mattel Barbie Dolls all wearing the iconic uniform, an Abbey Bear, and a copy of the original sketch of the cheerleading uniform.

The Smithsonian wanted to recognize the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders due to their popularity across the nation. It was back in 1972 when the cheerleaders introduced the first choreographed dance as a team. Three years later, the cheerleaders appeared at Super Bowl X and quickly became famous across the nation. 

“The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders raised the bar for NFL cheerleaders in the 1970s, using athleticism and a strong sense of self to set the standard for what an organization of empowered women can accomplish in today’s society,” said Jane Rogers, associate curator in the museum’s Division of Culture and the Arts.

The donated items will join the previous collection of cheerleading objects in the Smithsonian.



Photo Credit: ©James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys
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<![CDATA[NFL Wants $2M From Jerry Jones Over Legal Spats]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:11:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-roger-goodell-irving.jpg

The NFL is exploring options to get more than $2 million in reimbursement for legal fees from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over his threat to derail Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract extension and support of running back Ezekiel Elliott's fight to avoid a six-game suspension, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

Many owners were consulted on seeking restitution, including members of the finance committee, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because the matter hasn't been addressed publicly.

Some of the finance committee members are on the compensation committee that was at the center of what became a legal back-and-forth over Goodell's deal.

The attempt at restitution is rooted in a 1997 resolution that states owners can seek repayment for legal fees if a fellow owner is responsible for getting them involved in legal action.

The Cowboys declined to comment on the owners' actions.

Jones' attempt to derail Goodell's extension, which came after Elliott was suspended over domestic violence allegations, led to a volley of threatening letters from lawyers for both sides.

After eventually relenting, Jones said after the owners meetings in December that he got what he wanted with an agreement to consider changes to the power of the commissioner's role through the league's constitution.

Jones denied that his attempt to scuttle the contract was tied to Elliott's suspension, but made repeated references to Goodell's power to punish players.

With Jones and Goodell in the same room for a news conference after the December meetings, the commissioner said he didn't take Jones' objections to the extension personally. Goodell also denied assuring Jones that Elliott wouldn't be suspended before announcing the punishment in August.

Jones and the Cowboys were supportive of Elliott's lawsuit, which was led by the players' union and resulted in federal court hearings in three states over a span of two months. The suit eventually failed and Elliott served the suspension.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Set New Record for NFL Draft Tickets]]>Sat, 24 Feb 2018 01:02:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-stadium-ext.JPG

Records break as the 2018 NFL Draft approaches in Arlington with the number of fans who have signed up to attend.

As of Friday morning, more than 100,000 fans from all 50 states have registered to attend the event over a three-day period.

More fans have signed up this year to attend the draft in the past three days than any other year in Draft history, 11 percent more than this time last year.

Texas leads with the most number of fans signed up with the next four tops states being Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.

The NFL said all fans who register will be entered into a free lottery and have the chance to win tickets inside the NFL Draft Theater.

More than 20,000 fans will have the opportunity to watch the Draft in person.

Registration for the Draft continues NFL.com/FanMobilePass until Wednesday, March 14 at 11:59 PM ET.



Photo Credit: Frank Heinz, NBCDFW.com]]>
<![CDATA[QB Kellen Moore Now Cowboys' Coach Moore]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:25:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-502024532.jpg

Kellen Moore is the new quarterbacks coach for the Dallas Cowboys after spending the previous three seasons as the backup to Tony Romo and then Dak Prescott.

Moore's move is part of a significant overhaul to coach Jason Garrett's staff. Although offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli are returning, eight new coaches and two promotions were announced Friday.

Sanjay Lal, who has worked with receivers for four NFL teams over the past 11 seasons, is the new receivers coach in what could be a crucial year for 2014 All-Pro Dez Bryant's future in Dallas. After spending last season with Indianapolis, Lal replaces Derek Dooley, who left to become offensive coordinator at Missouri.

The other newcomers are Paul Alexander (offensive line), Ken Amato (defensive assistant), Doug Colman (assistant special teams), Doug Nussmeier (tight ends), Markus Paul (assistant strength) and Kris Richard (passing game coordinator/defensive backs).

Ben Bloom was promoted to linebackers coach, and former special teams assistant Keith O'Quinn will take over that unit.

The staff shake-up came after the Cowboys finished 9-7 in a season marred by 2016 All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension a year after Dallas had an NFC-best 13 wins.

The 29-year-old Moore spent six seasons in the NFL, the first three with Detroit as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State. He ended up as the backup in Dallas because of his ties to Linehan with the Lions.

Moore played just three regular-season games in his career, all of them after Romo broke his collarbone for the second time during the 2015 season and the Cowboys had benched both of Romo's other backups, Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel.

Moore likely would have started in 2016 when Romo broke his back in a preseason game, but Moore broke an ankle during practice in training camp.

The injury to Moore made Prescott the backup, and the former Mississippi State star went on to have one of the best rookie seasons for a quarterback in NFL history. Moore was Prescott's trusted confidant as his backup last season.

The Cowboys gave the QB coaching job to Moore after deciding not to bring back Wade Wilson, who held the job for 11 seasons. Linehan also works closely with quarterbacks.

Matt Eberflus also was among the coaches who left the Dallas staff. The former linebackers coach and passing game coordinator agreed to become defensive coordinator for the Colts when they were planning to hire Josh McDaniels.

After McDaniels changed his mind and returned to New England, the Colts said they would honor the deals with the assistants who had agreed to come and hired new coach Frank Reich.

Former Dallas special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia took the same job under Jon Gruden in Oakland. Alexander replaced Frank Pollack, the new offensive line coach in Cincinnati. Other coaches who didn't return were Joe Baker (secondary) and Steve Loney, who retired after one season in charge of the tight ends.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Reshuffled Staff Includes Kris Richard]]>Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:53:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CowboysHelmet.jpg

The Cowboys swapped out all but one of their most important offensive position coaches, but it’s a defensive assistant who’ll have the most impact on the team.

The Cowboys announced their 21-man coaching staff on Friday.

The staff has eight new coaches, including four on offense, two on defense, one on special teams and one on the strength and conditioning staff.

The most important addition to the Cowboys’ staff is passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach Kris Richard.

That’s because the Cowboys believe the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator the past three seasons can have big impact on their collection of young defensive backs and their scheme.

Dallas expects second-year defensive backs Chido Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods to each have larger roles in the secondary as they did as rookies. Plus, they hope Richard can impact safety Byron Jones, whom the Cowboys are considering moving to cornerback.

The Cowboys need their broken passing game fixed, and they hope receivers coach Sanjay Lal can help make their current group better route-runners.

Tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier has been an offensive coordinator at Alabama, Michigan and Florida. Perhaps, he can bring some college concepts to the Cowboys’ offense.

And they think offensive line coach Paul Alexander can help in the running game and get all five starters on the offensive line to play to their pedigree.

The most intriguing new member of the offensive coaching staff is Kellen Moore, who entered training camp last year as Dak Prescott’s backup.

Now, he’s coaching Prescott.

Keith O’Quinn will be promoted from assistant special teams coach to the man in charge of that unit. He’s been an assistant special teams coach for four seasons.

Ben Bloom is in eighth season with the Cowboys and he’s being promoted to linebackers coach two years after being demoted to assistant coach/special projects.

He replaces Matt Eberflus, who is the new defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Byron Jones Seemingly Headed to CB; Long-Term Future in Doubt]]>Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:19:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BYRON_JONES_CLEATS_SOUND_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1105558595732.jpg

Byron Jones, entering his fourth season with the Cowboys, finds his career in Dallas in limbo because he hasn’t made many big plays.

If Jones moves to cornerback perhaps that will change. Or, maybe, new secondary coach and passing defense coordinator Kris Richard will have a positive impact on Jones.

The former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator likes cornerbacks in the 6-0, 200-pound range and Jones fits that criteria.

The Cowboys could play Jones and Chido Awuzie on the outside and Jourdan Lewis in the slot since Orlando Scandrick isn’t all that interested in coming back for another season.

Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath could handle the safety spots, if Dallas doesn’t add a safety in the draft.

Now, you could argue that Jones’ versatility has been a curse. He has been jack of all trades master of none, which has retarded his progress.

It’s the point folks use when discussing defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford, who has played various positions on the defensive line.

We’re three years into Jones’ career and the Cowboys have no clue whether he’s a safety or cornerback.

Pathetic.

At the end of this season, the ambiguity must be removed and the Cowboys must know whether Jones has any kind of future in Dallas.

It’ll probably depend on whether this is the season Jones finally makes some plays.


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<![CDATA[ESPN's Jaworski: Jason Garrett Needs to Step Up His Game]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:18:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JAWS_ON_JASON_GARRETT_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1165350979663.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has just two playoff appearances in seven seasons as head coach. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs went 1-on-1 with former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, turned ESPN analyst, Ron Jaworski to get his take on Garrett and why he should be concerned about his coaching future.]]>
<![CDATA[Former NFL Quarterback Says Teams Starting to Figure Out Dak]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:14:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ron+Jaworski1.JPG

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs spoke with former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski and got his take on Dak Prescott's second-year struggles and if he still has the makings to become a great quarterback.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Don’t Expect Cowboys to Reach Long Agreement With Lawrence]]>Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:50:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-8833953441.jpg

There are three reasons why it’s going to be difficult for the Cowboys to reach a long-term agreement with Demarcus Lawrence this offseason.

That’s why two sources said Monday the Cowboys will put the franchise tag on Lawrence before the March 6 deadline, if the sides can’t reach an agreement. The first day to place the tag on players is Tuesday.

A source said the Cowboys expect to meet with Lawrence’s agent at the NFL scouting combine next week.

The cost for putting the franchise tag on Lawrence is expected to be $17.5 million, which would use up virtually all of the $19.1 million in cap space they currently have available.

The Cowboys have used the franchise tag just five times on four players: Safety Ken Hamlin (2000), tackle Flozell Adams (2002), linebacker Anthony Spencer (2012, 2013) and receiver Dez Bryant (2015). The Cowboys worked out a long-term deal with Bryant and removed the tag

Understand, it’s nobody’s fault if Lawrence and the Cowboys find themselves in a stalemate. It’s just how the NFL works.

Lawrence, who had a career-high 14.5 sacks last season, will command a deal that’s worth more than five-year, $85 million Olivier Vernon signed with the New York Giants two years ago.

The Cowboys will be reluctant to sign him to a deal like that because it’s a huge monetary commitment to a player such as the 25-year-old Lawrence who’s already had two back surgeries and never had more than eight sacks in a season until this year.

Coach Jason Garrett loves the way he plays, and he’ll talk forever about how Lawrence put off having back surgery in 2016 to help the team, even though it compromised his play. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can’t say enough good things about Lawrence, ranging from his play against the run to his relentless nature on the field.

None of that has anything to do with the Cowboys’ reluctance to make Lawrence one of the game’s highest-paid players.

Among 4-3 defensive ends, Vernon’s contract ranks No.1 in guaranteed money ($40 million), average per year ($17 million) and total money ($85 million).

Just so you know, Vernon’s agent - David Canter - also represents Lawrence.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Kavon Frazier Taking Students to see Black Panther]]>Mon, 19 Feb 2018 21:27:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/blackpanthermoview_1200x675.jpg

Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier doesn’t like to talk all that much about his work in the community because he never wants to it seem self-serving.

That said, Frazier said it was important for his foundation, Frazier Cares, to team with some local judges and attorneys to make sure more than 600 students from D. A. Hulcy Middle School, located in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, had an opportunity to see the much-acclaimed movie Black Panther.

“It’s a great movie for kids to see, especially black kids,” Frazier said in a text message.

“The majority of black movies nowadays is about oppression, poverty, gang violence or sports. First time, we had a super hero who’s seen with power.”

Dallas Judges Andrea Martin and Kim Cooks helped organize the event.

Frazier’s foundation has been active since he started it as a rookie two seasons ago. He’s been involved in back-to-school events that provided school supplies and Christmas events to serve underprivileged children.

And he’s not done taking students to see the country’s hottest movie. Black Panther has earned more than $300 million during this holiday weekend.

“It’s a great movie,” he texted. “I’m taking more kids soon.”



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Greg Hardy Pursues New Career in MMA]]>Fri, 16 Feb 2018 23:20:20 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mma+hardy+prefight.jpg

Two years after his NFL career ended, former Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is taking on a new career in MMA with Legacy Fighting Alliance. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Hire TE Coach, Coaching Staff Complete]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 17:11:45 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-455422962.jpg

The Cowboys have completed their coaching staff now that multiple sources have confirmed they have hired Doug Nussmeier as tight ends coach.

Nussmeier has deep ties to play-caller Scott Linehan. He coached quarterbacks for the St. Louis Rams, when Linehan was the head coach.

Nussmeier was Florida’s offensive coordinator last season. He’s also been the coordinator at Alabama and Michigan.

Those recent college ties could help him bring intriguing concepts to the Cowboys’ offense, and make it more Dak Prescott-friendly.

Although coach Jason Garrett kept Linehan as offensive coordinator, running backs coach Gary Brown is the only offensive assistant coach that was brought back.

Sanjay Lal, who spent last season with Indianapolis, is coaching receivers and Paul Alexander, who spent 23 years with Cincinnati, is the new offensive line coach.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Doesn't Need to Worry About Financial Future]]>Wed, 14 Feb 2018 08:41:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-ATTathlete-via-Twitter.jpg

Dak Prescott doesn't have to spend any time thinking about his financial future.

He's either going to be filthy rich. Or rich beyond his dreams.

See, Prescott is scheduled to earn $630,000 ($725,848 salary-cap charge) this season, which would be a ton of dough for the average American, considering our country's
median salary is 44,148 according to  the Bureau of Labor statistics.

But it makes him only the NFL's 48th-highest paid quarterback this season, which means he makes less than a lot of backup quarterbacks.

But San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garropolo just signed a five-year deal worth $137.4 million. He joins Detroit's Matt Stafford and Oakland's Derek Carr as the only quarterbacks making more than $25 million per year.

It won't be that way for long considering Atlanta's Matt Ryan is a free agent at the end of next season and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers will be a free agent in 2020 as will Prescott.

Right now, 14 quarterbacks earn an average of $20 million per season - and that's why the 2018 season already feels like it has some pressure built into it.

The Cowboys need to win now, while Prescott is making the equivalent of chump change.

It's a lot easier to put a team around Prescott now than it will be when, he's taking up a huge chunk of the salary cap.

And you can forget about a hometown discount. Prescott is a fourth-round pick, so the Cowboys are getting him at a discount for his first four seasons.

When it's time for him to get paid, he's going to want to collect all the cash he's due.

Right now, we're not sure who Prescott is as a quarterback.

In his first 24 starts, the Cowboys were 18-6. In those games, he averaged 228 yards passing with 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a passer rating of 102.4.

In his last eight starts, he was  4-4 and averaged 188 yards passing per game with six touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 76.4.

The guy who started the first 24 games could command closer to $30 million than $20 million per season. The guy from the last eight games of last season ain't commanding nearly that much.

No one of importance in the Cowboys' front office doubts Prescott's ability or his intangibles.

They believe in his skill set and his work ethic. They believe he'll work to be a more accurate passer next season and with Ezekiel Elliott for a full season he'll return to being among the league's best young quarterbacks.

If he does, Jerry Jones will be happy to sign Prescott to a contract with a whole lot of zeroes.



Photo Credit: Dak Prescott - @dak via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Missing Fmr. Cowboys RB Found Safe: Police]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:19:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lincoln+coleman+dmn.jpg

Dallas police say a former Dallas Cowboys running back reported missing has been found safe.

Lincoln Coleman, 48, was last seen at about 4 p.m. Friday, driving on the 3500 block of Culver Street in a silver 2016 Ford Escape SUV with Florida license plate GVF-P44.

Police said Coleman has diminished mental capacity and may be in need of medical assistance.

Officers said Tuesday morning that Coleman was located and is safe.

Coleman played for the Cowboys on the Super Bowl XXVIII championship team.



Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News/NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[DMN's Robert Wilonsky on the Search for Lincoln Coleman]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:18:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Wilonsky_Coleman_4p.jpg

Dallas police say a former Dallas Cowboys running back reported missing has been found safe. Police started look for Lincoln Coleman after he was reported missing on Friday. Coleman is reportedly dealing with a number of health issues, including dementia.]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Reveals Vision for Cowboys’ Offense]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 20:59:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Cowboys+Eagles+%2810%29.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys’ offense must change this off-season.

We all know it.

Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme, which is essentially the same scheme the Cowboys used to win championships in the ‘90s, is a relic.

It’s a system based on personnel - not scheme, which works just fine when you have the proper personnel at your disposal-  and when it doesn’t the Cowboys struggle to move the ball.

When an offensive system is based on scheme - not personnel- then it can absorb key personnel losses a lot better.

All you have to do is look at the teams in the Super Bowl to prove it.

Name all the star offensive skill position players Tom Brady has had, while leading New England to eight Super Bowls.

Look at how Philadelphia won a championship after trading for its starting running back in October, losing its star left tackle midway through the season and quarterback Carson Wentz, who was in the midst of a MVP season, in December.

When an  offensive system is built on scheme it’s a lot easier to find plug-and -play players.

When the NFL suspended Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys were in the midst of a five-game stretch where they were averaing 32.4 points and 406.2 yards a game.

But when Elliott went out, they scored fewer than 10 points in three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history.

When left tackle Tyron Smith missed a game against Atlanta, the Falcons sacked Dak Prescott eight times.

Prescott has an idea of how he wants the Cowboys’ offense to look next season.

“I think it just means if you watch a little bit of maybe what the Panthers are doing or what the Chiefs did, just the RPOs, the run-pass options, just allowing me to use my feet if necessary more," Prescott told USA Today in Minneapolis. "Allow me to go out there and be more comfortable in everything I'm doing."

In five years with Kansas City, Alex Smith averaged 66 carries and 350 yards per season. Cam Newton has averaged 118 carries and 617 yards a season for Carolina.

He’s had four seasons with more than 120 carries, including two seasons with more than 130 carries.

No way, the Cowboys want Prescott running that much. He’s averaged 57 carries and 320 yards in his first two seasons.

The problem, of course, with running that much is that it puts your quarterback in jeopardy.

Run-pass options are good plays, but you can wind up taking the ball out of your best players’ hands.

That happened last December against Seattle, which is why the Cowboys had three plays inside the Seattle 5 and Elliott never touched it.

“The Chiefs do a great job of utilizing their running back’s and quarterback's feet,” Prescott told USA Today, “not always running with them, but scaring the defense with it.”

The key is to make the offense difficult to stop by giving it a variety of options.

Garrett is fond of saying the Cowboys like to attack a lot of different ways with a lot of different players. He’ll tell you the Cowboys like to attack horizontally and vertically.

But it’s also based on Prescott finding the best matchup and that player winning his matchup. When he doesn’t, the offense bogs down, the big plays disappear and the Cowboys struggle to score.

We all saw that happen too many times in the second half of the season, which is Prescott averaged 188 yards passing per game with six touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 74.0 passer rating.

In his first 24 games, he averaged 229 yards passing per game with 38 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 102.4 passer rating.

The goal should be to create more options within the offense, so it creates some easier throws for Prescott. Every pass shouldn’t have to be a contested catch. A scheme with some pick plays and rub routes and bunch concepts can give Prescott a few easy throws every game.

That might just be enough too fix the Cowboys’ broken passing game and earn Garrett another season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett Mourns Loss of Dad]]>Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:28:51 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8944747382.jpg

Jim Garrett, the father of Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and a longtime scout for the club, has died. He was 87.

The team said Jim Garrett died Friday night with his wife, Jane, and his eight children by his side.


The elder Garrett first joined the Cowboys as a scout in 1968 and spent 36 of the next 38 years coaching or scouting in the NFL, including the last 17 of his career with the Cowboys. He wrote the original scouting report on Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, the No. 1 pick in the 1989 draft.

Jim Garrett was part of four Super Bowl teams in Dallas, including the championship teams from the 1992, 1993 and 1995 seasons. He was an assistant with the New York Giants, New Orleans and Cleveland.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Romo to Play in First Pro PGA Event]]>Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:41:55 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-138613965+%281%29.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, current CBS broadcaster and longtime amateur golfer Tony Romo will compete in his first PGA event next month. 

Romo, 37, has played in numerous Pro-Am events before but will tee up with the pros at the tour's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic on March 19-25. 

The tournament is held the same week as the Dell Technologies Match Play and will not feature any of the top 64 players in the world.
The tournament is held the same week as the Dell Technologies Match Play, however, and will not feature any of the top 64 players in the world.

“As a professional athlete, the love and thrill of competition never entirely leaves you,” said Romo. “Outside of my family and football, golf is one of my greatest passions. So, playing and competing in a PGA TOUR event is a dream come true. I am grateful to the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship for giving me an incredible opportunity to test my skills against some of the best on TOUR.” 

Romo, who is playing with Will Zalatoris at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week, said he received a sponsor exemption to the new event. 

“As a first-year PGA TOUR event, we are elated to have Tony Romo accept our offer to play in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship,” said Grupo Puntacana Founder and Chairman Frank Rainieri. “Tony Romo rose to an elite level in professional football, and then quickly became a popular and well-regarded broadcaster for CBS when he retired. He has a history of achieving success in the face of major challenges. And now he’s going to face a new one, the rare opportunity to compete as an amateur against the world’s best golfers. We are very excited to see how this plays out.” 

Romo, who carries a +0.3 handicap at the Dallas National Golf Club, has attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open three times. 

"In 2010, Romo advanced to the sectional stage of qualifying for the national championship, but was forced to withdraw due to his practice schedule with the Cowboys. Last year he participated in the prestigious Western Amateur, where he was unable to advance to match play. Also in 2017, Romo finished T16 in the 89-player celebrity field at the American Century Championship, marking his return to the event in which he had played six consecutive years (2007-12), finishing runner-up three times in a row (2009-11)," organizers said. 

The Corales Championship carries a purse of $3 million and will be broadcast on Golf Channel.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What Does the Eagles' Super Bowl Mean for the Cowboys?]]>Tue, 06 Feb 2018 23:56:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-900492432.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles now have their first Super Bowl. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor explain why this could be a blessing in disguise for the Cowboys.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Still Filling Coaching Holes]]>Tue, 06 Feb 2018 23:51:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_JACQUES_WEB_HIT_ON_COWBOYS_COACHING_SPOTS_1200x675_1155236419951.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are still looking to fill holes in their coaching staff. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor discuss what's next.]]>
<![CDATA[Why The Cowboys Could Benefit From The Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII Win]]>Mon, 05 Feb 2018 05:06:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*123/20180204GettyImages-914355782.jpg

The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs tells us why this could be a good thing for Dallas Cowboys fans.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Cowboys QB Dustin Vaughan Makes Special Impact Off Field]]>Sat, 03 Feb 2018 00:01:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Dustin+Vaughan.JPG

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dustin Vaughan is transitioning to life out of the NFL, and shows what is motivating him to succeed in an exciting new venture in Plano.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles and Patriots Get Set for Super Bowl LII]]>Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:07:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/stadAP_18032006204897.jpg

Super Bowl LII is Sunday on NBC 5. Sports Director Newy Scruggs gives his take on who will win and how it will impact the Dallas Cowboys.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Moose Johnston on Dez Bryant's Future]]>Fri, 02 Feb 2018 07:58:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_120815038.jpg

It looks like the pay cut police are coming for Dez Bryant's 2018 salary.

The Cowboys receiver said he does not want to take a pay cut. Some fans and media think it is time to move from Bryant and just cut him completely.

I got a chance to talk with Daryl "Moose" Johnston at the Super Bowl on radio row and he was very candid, saying, "I think it's all up to Dez. I don't think the Cowboys are foolish to cut Dez if Dez doesn't challenge himself to become the elite receiver that he can be."

Bryant's number of games played, catches, yards and touchdowns have gone down for three straight seasons, so that is why it's a popular belief the Cowboys will ask for money back. "Dez needs to get back to the form that he had a couple of years ago and that is doable," Johnston said.

Moose said he and Michael Irvin had a long discussion about Dez. Please click here to hear the entire interview on The Newy Scruggs Show on NBC Sports Radio. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[DeMarcus Ware: How the Cowboys Can Return to Super Bowl]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:59:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Experience_2018_02_01_16_05_36.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys player DeMarcus Ware talks about what it will take for the Cowboys to make it back to the Super Bowl.]]>
<![CDATA[What's the Offseason Like for Alfred Morris?]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:42:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-894472792.jpg

Running back Alfred Morris explains how his routine during the offseason. Morris is a free agent and coming off a solid year on the field for the Cowboys.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Will Alfred Morris Return to the Cowboys Next Season?]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:38:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/morris_future_with_cowboys_1200x675_1151366211970.jpg

Running back Alfred Morris is a free agent coming off a solid season with the Cowboys. There question is- Will be return to Dallas? ]]>
<![CDATA[Alfred Morris Shares Money Story at Klyde Warren Park]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:33:01 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/alfred+morris+klyde+park.jpg

Cowboys running back Alfred Morris shares his own personal financial story growing up at the Let's Start Today Cafe event held at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas. ]]>
<![CDATA[Jerome Bettis Has Advice For Cowboys RB Zeke Elliott]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 23:54:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/usat-zeke-elliott.jpg

One Hall of Fame running back thinks Zeke Elliott has a chance to be a special player.

I know from experience that guys in the Hall don't throw around the word special unless they mean it.

Jerome Bettis thinks the Cowboys star running back can be great and has some advice for him.

Click here for the interview I did with Bettis on my NBC Sports Radio "Newy Scruggs Show" from Super Bowl LII. 

Bettis talks about Zeke at 6:23.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Witten on Dez, His Career and Coach Garrett]]>Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:38:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Witten2.jpg

NBC 5's Jean-Jacques Taylor caught up with Cowboys' tight end Jason Witten on radio row at Super Bowl LII Wednesday. He asked about Dez Bryant, where Witten is in his NFL career and head coach Jason Garrett.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Is Michael Irvin Right to Stand Behind Dez Bryant?]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:05:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/cowboys+bryant+raiders.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs discusses whether Hall of Famer Michael Irvin is right about standing behind Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Irvin Tosses Support Behind Dez Bryant]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:17:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Michael_Irvin_Holding_News_Conference.jpg

There’s no guarantee Dez Bryant plays for the Cowboys next season.

Bryant could opt to play elsewhere rather than accept a pay cut he doesn’t want to take.

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, speaking Monday on The Dan Patrick Show, said that would be a dumb move.

“We get a hold of something sometimes and we’re like a dog with a bone.,” Irvin said. “Right now, Dez Bryant is the bone. Let me tall y’all something ,man, let that bone go.

“You don’t find number one receivers hanging off trees leaves. What are you going to do? Let Dez go. Who you got to replace him? If you think you can find No.1 receivers that easy, then every team would have them. You don’t find them that easily.

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“The Cowboys would be stupid - stupid - to let this boy go right now.”

Bryant, the NFL’s seventh-highest paid receiver, signed a five-year, $70 million deal after the 2014 season. At that time, he’d averaged 91 catches, 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns over a three-year span.

Last season, he caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. In the past three years, Bryant has averaged 50 catches for 678 yards and six touchdowns in 38 games.

That’s why the topic of slashing Bryant’s salary has been broached. Players who have big salaries must provide big numbers.

Bryant hasn’t - and it doesn’t matter whether you blame Bryant, quarterback Dak Prescott or the Cowboys’ offensive scheme.

“You’ve seen what Dez Bryant can do,” Irvin said. “You’ve seen him put up 16 touchdowns in a season. Now, he has a new quarterback who we have just given the “old man” tag. It’s like Dak has been around forever and it’s just his second year. Dez has to bring Dak along.

“Tony Romo was something different. Tony knew how to handle a team’s personality. Sometimes, he would go off read just because he wanted Dez’s positivity energy. These are things a young Dak is going to learn.”

But it’s not going to happen before the Cowboys ask Bryant to take less money, which is why he might be playing elsewhere in 2018.

]]>
<![CDATA[College Decision Coming Soon for QB John Stephen Jones]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:32:17 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/john+stephen+jones+state+title.jpg

The early signing period is over with and National Signing Day is just over a week away. That being said, Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones is close to making his college decision.

The son of Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones and grandson of owner Jerry Jones has narrowed the choices to three schools- Texas Tech, Arkansas and SMU.

John Stephen Jones, considered a three-star recruit, helped lead the Scots to back-to-back state championships, including that dramatic comeback win over Manvel last month at AT&T Stadium where he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Cade Saustad with 34 seconds left in the game. Considered a three-star recruit, Jones became the first player to throw for more than 500 yards in a UIL state championship game, finishing with 564 yards and four touchdowns in the 53-29 win in the Division I state final.

Jones finished his senior year with 4,911 yards and 61 touchdowns last season through the air and is listed as the 54th-best pro-style quarterback in the nation by 247Sports.

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So who’s the favorite?

Well, Jones tweeted out a photo over the weekend wearing a Texas Tech uniform and made his official visit to SMU earlier this month.  However, his grandfather is a pretty big deal at Arkansas. Jerry Jones is an alumnus and major donor to the Razorbacks.  That could be the difference-maker.

Jones says he will make his decision next week.


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<![CDATA[Prescott Remains No. 1 on NFLPA Player Sales List]]>Mon, 29 Jan 2018 13:36:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Cowboys+Eagles+%2835%29.jpg

There comes a certain level of popularity when you’re the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman can attest to this. So can Tony Romo.

Dak Prescott has also made the list.

The current Cowboys quarterback remains No. 1 on the NFLPA’s Top 50 Player Sales List, based on total sales of all officially licensed NFL player-identified merchandise. It’s the second straight quarter Prescott was ranked No. 1. The results were calculated by tracking the year-to-date data from March 1 to November 30.

Last February, Prescott debuted at No. 8 on the list. He’s just the third quarterback to reach the top spot more than once, joining the Patriots’ Tom Brady and Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. Prescott is also the third player to hold the top spot in back-to-back quarters, joining Wilson and Cowboys teammate Dez Bryant.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is No. 2 overall, a spot he has held for three consecutive quarters. Both Elliott and Prescott have now occupied two of the top three spots on the last four lists. Bryant is No. 11 and tight end Jason Witten is No. 14.

Top 50 Player Sales Report YTD (March 1- November 30, 2017)

1. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

3. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

4. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

5. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

6. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

7. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

9. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

10. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

11. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

12. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

13. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos

14. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

15. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders

16. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

17. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

18. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

19. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

20. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

21. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

22. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

23. Alejandro Villanueva, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers

24. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

25. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

26. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

27. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

28. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

29. Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

30. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

31. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

32. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

33. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

34. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

35. Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers

36. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

37. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

38. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers

39. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

40. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

41. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

42. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

43. T.J. Watt, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

44. Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

45. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

46. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

47. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

48. NaVorro Bowman, LB, Oakland Raiders

49. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

50. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Scared Approach to Free Agency Must Change]]>Sun, 28 Jan 2018 23:25:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/usat-jerry-jones-jeff-lurie.jpg

Ultimately, Stephon Gilmore made the AFC Championship game’s biggest play with a nifty pass deflection on Blake Bortles’ desperation heave in the final seconds.

Gilmore signed a five-year $65 million deal with New England before the season.

Philadelphia used a myriad of free-agent acquisitions to beat Minnesota led by a quarterback the Vikings signed in free agency, 38-7 in the NFC Championship game.

Each of Philadelphia’s touchdowns were scored by players acquired in free agency.

New England will play Philadelphia in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

As you would expect some folks now want the Cowboys to take a different approach to free agency and spend big dollars to acquire game-changers.

Owner Jerry Jones would do it with Stephen Jones’ blessing if he could guarantee success.

That’s the problem. No guarantees exist in free agency.

All you have to do is take a deeper look at the players the Eagles signed in free agency.

Patrick Robinson, who returned an interception for a touchdown, signed a one-year deal worth $1.1 million.

Torrey Smith signed a three-year $15 million dollar deal that’s really a one-year, $5 million deal based on the contract’s voidable years, and

Running back LeGarrette Blount has a one-year deal worth $1 million.

Alshon Jeffrey signed a one-year deal worth $10 million because no other team would give him a lucrative long-term deal.

He played so well, though, the Eagles signed him to a four-year $52.2 million extension in December.

Then there’s 32-year old Chris Long who signed a two-year deal worth $4.5 million. He hit Keenum as he threw, leading to Robinson’s interception and subsequent touchdown.

Long also recovered a fumble.

If Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson were honest he’d tell that he would’ve been thrilled for any of those players to contribute in the championship game.

For all of them to make key contributions is absurd.

The Cowboys’ free agent class of 2017 produced virtually nothing.

Nolan Carroll played just two games and backup tackle Byron Bell was decent. Nobody else even mattered.

The reality is the Cowboys failed to use free agency to make their 13-3 team better, but they did watch it rob their team of some key players like Brandon Carr and Barry Church.

Carr signed with Baltimore, while Church joined Jacksonville and helped the Jaguars advance to the AFC Championship game.

Right or wrong, Carr ruined free agency for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys signed Carr to a five-year $50 million deal before the 2012 season, and he was solid. But he wasn’t the difference-maker the Cowboys thought they were getting.

They’re scared, especially pragmatic vice president Stephen Jones, of spending that kind of loot without getting a big-time return.

Stephen Jones will tell you the Cowboys are better served spending big money on their own free agents, players like Demarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin and Anthony Hitchens.

While that makes sense intellectually, the Cowboys gave

Tyrone Crawford a five-year, $45 deal and he has been solid - not the difference-maker they thought he was going to be.

Neither has Dez Bryant, who signed a five-year, $70 million deal.

But it hasn’t made the Cowboys scared, perhaps apprehensive is a better word, when it comes to re-signing their own players.

We all know this team isn’t going to get good enough just by using the draft to surpass teams such as Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta the Los Angeles Rams and perhaps a couple others.

So they can continue sifting through the bargain bin dabbling for decent players or they can sign a big-time baller.

What they can’t do is be scared to make a move because it comes without a guarantee.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Who Will Be the First QB Taken in 2018 NFL Draft?]]>Sun, 28 Jan 2018 23:02:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/181*120/usp_-_browns_helmet.jpg

The Cleveland Browns have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan discuss which quarterback they might take with the pick.

Photo Credit: Andrew Kulp | The700Level]]>
<![CDATA[Local Players Who Could Impact the 2018 NFL Draft]]>Sun, 28 Jan 2018 22:50:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney+cavanaugh+set.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan discuss which local players could be drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. ]]>
<![CDATA[What Options Do The Cowboys Have in the 2018 NFL Draft? ]]>Sun, 28 Jan 2018 22:41:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney_cavanaugh_cowboys_draft_1200x675_1148017219713.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jeff Cavanaugh from 105.3 The Fan take a look at the players who might be available at No. 19 in the 2018 NFL Draft. ]]>
<![CDATA[Drew Pearson on Draft Pick]]>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 17:28:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Drew+Pearson+042618.jpg

The original No. 88 and NBC 5 Cowboys analyst, Drew Pearson, talks about his fiery draft pick announcement at the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys, and attending an event honoring his Hail Mary quarterback Roger Staubach.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Goodell, Jones Break Ground on NFL Legacy Project]]>Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:05:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Draft_Tomorrow_4p_42518.jpg

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were side-by-side Wednesday at Workman Junior High in Arlington to announce the 2018 NFL Draft Legacy Project.]]>
<![CDATA[Will North Texas Host Another Super Bowl?]]>Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:11:42 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Draft_Dress_rehearsal_2018_03_14_15_32_54.jpg

With the NFL Draft coming to AT&T Stadium next month, some wonder when North Texas could host another Super Bowl.]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Donation to Smithsonian]]>Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:58:36 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Charlotte+Jones+Anderson+and+Kelli+Finglass+with+the+Dallas+Cowboys+Cheerleaders+memorabilia.JPGThey have been called America's sweethearts. Now some of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders history will live forever in the Smithsonian Museum.

Photo Credit: ©James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Reportedly to Get Exemption to Play in PGA Tour Event]]>Thu, 25 Jan 2018 20:37:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-138613965+%281%29.jpg

Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is back competing on the golf course.

Romo's CBS broadcasting partner, Jim Nantz, told Golf.com that Romo will get an exemption to play in a PGA Tour Event "in the next – let's just say two months. So he's going to put it out there on the line."

Nantz also described Romo as a "golf fantatic" in the interview, pointing out Romo travels with a putter on the road, "even up into the booth."

In May 2017, Romo played in a U.S. Open qualifyer at Split Rail Links & Golf Club in Aledo but didn't advance.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Winner of The Greatest Super Bowl Commercial]]>Fri, 02 Feb 2018 10:51:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/commercials-final.jpg

Some argue that Super Bowl commercials garner more attention than the game itself. With so many iconic ads that have aired during the big game, we wanted to know which one is your favorite. We culled through hundreds of commercials to get to the 16 below.

And the winner is...


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Wants Dak-Friendly Offense Installed]]>Wed, 24 Jan 2018 19:43:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8833421641.jpg

The Cowboys’ coaching staff failed quarterback Dak Prescott last season.

If you’re looking for reasons why the Cowboys missed the playoffs look no further than that.

Jason Garrett, play-caller Scott Linehan and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson couldn’t figure out how to fix the Cowboys’ broken passing game once the NFL suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

In the last eight games of the 2017 season, Prescott completed 62 percent of his passes for 188 yards a game with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He had a passer rating of 74.0 and averaged 6.56 yards per attempt.

In six of the Cowboys last eight games, he failed to pass for more than 200 yards. In four of those games, the Cowboys scored fewer than 10 points and in a 21-12 home loss to Seattle that eliminated them from the playoffs, they failed to score a touchdown.

Now, it should be clear why owner Jerry Jones has demanded Garrett, Linehan and the rest of the offensive staff figure out a way to repair the Cowboys’ broken passing game.

It’s the primary reason why the coaching staff has remained in Dallas, while the scouting staff studies players for the draft at the Senior Bowl.

Remember, when Jerry wanted the offense to be Rom-friendly? Well, that worked out pretty well.

This should too.

Prescott didn’t play as well in his second season as he did as a rookie, when he passed for 3,600 yards with 23 touchdowns and four interceptions and was named Rookie of the Year.

His footwork was too inconsistent, leading too way too many passes that were too high, too low or too wide of their target. He also made too many poor decisions, resulting in turnovers.

Some of that is the result of the Cowboys playing from behind, forcing Prescott to take chances he would’ve never taken as a rookie.

His critics, primarily those still upset the Cowboys picked Prescott over Tony Romo in 2016, point out every flaw as an example he can’t be a quality starter in the NFL.

They insist he was exposed as defensive coordinators studied him and took away his favorite routes and throws. They say his rookie year was a fluke, the result of a perfect storm.

Poppycock.

In Prescott’s first 24 starts, he passed for 229 yards a game with 38 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 102.4. He averaged 7.65 per attempt in those games.

“We just need to take advantage of what we have in Dak," Jones told reporters at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

"A part of that is expanding the playbook and becoming more problematic for defenses. That's what this offseason is about. That's what these position coaches are about.

"To change it up, change it up more during the season, from the beginning to the middle to the end of the season. I think you'll see a lot more variation in what we're doing in terms of schemes and technique."

Garrett’s offense is designed for the Cowboys to attack in a variety of ways, and it works much of the time, but it’s based almost entirely on the Cowboys exploiting a favorable matchup.

When they win that one-on-one battle, the offense looks great. When it doesn’t, the offense struggles.

Cole Beasley is a perfect example of that.

In 2016, he caught 75 of 98 passes (76.5) directed to him for 833 yards and four touchdowns. This year, he caught 36 of 63 passes (57.1) passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns.

Why?

Defensive coordinators viewed Beasley as vital to Prescott’s success because he was so good at converting third downs into first downs, so they double-teamed him. Garrett and Linehan never figured out how to get him the ball.

They couldn’t figure out how to get Dez Bryant the ball either. He failed to have a 100-yard game and wound up with only 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns.

Tight end Jason Witten averaged a career-low 8.9 yards per catch, and Terrance Williams averaged 10.1 per catch, three yards fewer than he averaged in 2016.

All of that isn’t Prescott’s fault. It’s the result of a stagnant offense and a rigid coach and play-caller, who were so stuck in their ways they couldn’t figure out how to help their quarterback escape the abyss.

“There's no question he didn't have the year he had the year before,” Jones said. "I know this: He's a better quarterback now than when he started last year.”

At the end of last season, we couldn’t tell. And if Garrett and Linehan don’t add significantly to the playbook we won’t be able to tell next year either.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Emmitt Smith: Terrell Owens Should Be in Hall of Fame]]>Wed, 24 Jan 2018 23:57:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/terrell+owens3.jpg

In an interview with the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website, Cowboys hall of fame running back Emmitt Smith backed former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens' hall of fame candidacy. ]]>
<![CDATA[Emmitt Smith's Son Gets Scholarship Offer from Florida]]>Wed, 24 Jan 2018 22:33:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/212*120/ej+smith+florida+offer.jpg

Cowboys hall of fame running back Emmitt Smith posted an exciting message on Instagram Wednesday -- his son, E.J. Smith, now has the option to play college football where he played.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Hire Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:45:53 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kris-richard-seattle.jpg

The Cowboys have hired former Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard as their passing game coordinator, a source confirmed.

Richard, fired after the season, was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2015-17.

He would replace Matt Eberflus, who handled those duties and coached linebackers.

Richard will work with the secondary.

The Seahawks finished 11th in total defense (323.2 yards per game) this season, but have been widely-regarded as one of the league’s best defenses for several seasons.

He helped develop Seattle’s Legion of Boom secondary and the Cowboys play a similar style to Seattle in the secondary.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia's Success Puts Spotlight on Jason Garrett]]>Tue, 23 Jan 2018 09:03:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-900492432.jpg

Whether he chooses to admit it publicly - or even acknowledge it - Jerry Jones must wonder how in the world the Philadelphia Eagles wound up in the Super Bowl, while his team missed the playoffs.

The Eagles lost several key starters to injuries this season, including quarterback Carson Wentz, who was playing at a MVP level, when he tore a knee ligament against the Los Angeles Rams in December.

They also lost Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, starting middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, running back Darren Sproles and special teams captain Chris Maragos among others.

None of it affected them.

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson figured out how to make it work. He adjusted. He adapted.

And he refused to let his team find ways to lose, when no one would've blamed them if they did.

When Wentz suffered a torn ACL, Pederson had to replace a quarterback with 33 touchdown passes, seven interceptions and a 101.9 passer rating with Nick Foles, a former starter, who played in one game last year with Kansas City.

Still, the Eagles finished 13-3 and posted the NFC's best record.

They manhandled Minnesota, 38-7, in Sunday's NFC Championship game with a flawless performance from Foles. Now, Pederson has his team in the Super Bowl. It's the Eagles' first appearance since 2004.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys failed to handle the adversity that every NFL must endure during the course of a 16-game season.

They went 1-4 when weakside linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) missed five games. They allowed an average of 29.8 points in those games and blew double-digit leads in home losses to Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams that ultimately kept them out of the playoffs.

They went 3-3 without Ezekiel Elliot, but lost each of the first three games he missed by at least 20 points, eliminating any margin of error when he returned.

Pathetic.

And who will ever forget Tyron Smith's missed game against the Atlanta Falcons. Tackle Chaz Green allowed four sacks to a no-name defensive end like Adrain Claiborn and the reality is Dak Prescott was never the same after that game in which the Falcons sacked him eight times.

That's Garrett's fault.

He didn't react quickly enough to fix the problem that day, and we shouldn't be all that surprised.

After all, Garrett has an analytical mind. He's a thinker, a man so obsessed with his process that he can't always see when it's broken whether we're talking about a one-on-one matchup against Atlanta or his broken offense.

Garrett, entering his eighth full season, has two years left on the five-year, $30 million deal he signed after the 2014 season.

He has one playoff win. This is the first time he's had consecutive winning seasons.

Pederson' s performance with a team ravaged by injuries puts pressure on Garrett to perform. And if the Eagles, a five-point underdog in the Super Bowl, manage to beat New England it'll simply put more of a spotlight on Garrett's failure this season.

Two years ago, Jerry blamed the Cowboys' 4-12 season on Tony Roma's twice-fractured collar bone. He blamed last season on Goodell's suspension of Elliott.

Well, Garrett has kept both coordinators, but will wind up hiring at least four new offensive coaches and two defensive coaches.

If next season doesn't meet Jerry's expectations, there is no one left to blame except Garrett.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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