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Cowboys Practice Injury News: DeMarcus Lawrence, Jayron Kearse 'Limited' - NFL Tracker

Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys NFL Transaction Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys engaged in a walkthrough workout here at The Star on Wednesday  ...

SEPT 28 INJURY UPDATE QB Dak Prescott (thumb) is listed as a non-participant today. 

Listed as limited are DeMarcus Lawrence (foot), Dalton Schultz (knee), Connor McGovern (ankle) and Jayron Kearse. Listed as full are Michael Gallup, Luke Gifford and Simi Fehoko.

SEPT 26 THREE MOVES The Dallas Cowboys moved Jason Peters from the practice squad to the active roster today, and additionally the club also elevated QB Will Grier and tight end Sean McKeon from the practice squad to the active roster for tonight’s matchup against the Giants.

SEPT 26 INACTIVES The 1-1 Cowboys are rolling along with their backup quarterback, Cooper Rush, while starter Dak Prescott continues to rehab his broken thumb suffered in Week 1.

The stitches in Dak's surgically repaired thumb and hand were scheduled to be removed on Monday, meaning the timeline for Prescott's return is sooner than later. ... and indeed, we're told that procedure has occurred.

Meanwhile, coach Mike McCarthy has named his trio of captains for tonight: Offense CeeDee Lamb, Defense Micah Parsons, Special Teams Rico Dowdle.

And the inactives: Prescott (thumb), Michael Gallup (knee), Dalton Schultz (knee), Connor McGovern (ankle), Jayron Kearse (knee), Nahshon Wright and Luke Gifford (hamstring) - which opens up Jabril Cox to play his first game since his knee injury last October.

SEPT 26 NFL BEST? “I think Philadelphia is the best team in football right now.” – Jason Garrett, the former Dallas Cowboys coach, speaking as an NBC "Sunday Night'' analyst.

And he's right.

As the Cowboys ready for a Monday nighter at the Giants, Dallas is hoping to move to 2-1 while maybe needing a "Flu Game'' Micah Parsons to keep the score low with Cooper Rush in for Dak Prescott. Oh, and maybe that will all change in Week 6, if the injured Prescott returns to the lineup just in time to play ... A Sunday nighter at the Eagles.

But for now? Philly is 3-0, the roster is loaded, Jalen Hurts is playing like a QB who can run instead of like a running back who can't throw ... and the Eagles have outscored opponents 86-50, with just seven points given up to Minnesota last week and with this week's 24-8 drubbing of Washington.

SEPT 21: SOURCE - COWBOYS WORK OUT WR The Cowboys on Wednesday are working out former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ra'Shaun Henry here at The Star, an NFL source tells CowboysSI.com. 

Earlier this week, Henry visited the San Francisco 49ers. 

The 6-3 receiver from Virginia is a rookie UDFA who had been on the Panthers practice squad.

Dallas just cut rookie UDFA receiver Dennis Houston ahead of a visit to the Giants, a game that might feature the season debuts of Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert.

SEPT 19 RIDGEWAY TO WASHINGTON The Cowboys over the weekend cut fifth-round rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway (6-5, 322), with the plan that he might slip through waivers and be re-signed to the practice squad.

Unfortunately for Dallas - but maybe fortunately for the colorful Arkansas product who upon his arrival at The Star announced that he wanted to "break necks'' - the D-line-needy Washington Commanders put in a claim and so the self-named "Vanilla Gorilla'' makes a move to an NFC East foe.

SEPT 18 HIGGINS IN Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins (concussion) is active for Sunday’s game here at AT&T Stadium against the Cowboys.

The third-year Bengals receiver last year finished second on the team with 74 catches and 1,091 yards and pairs with Ja'Marr Chase as perimeter challenges today for the Dallas D.

SEPT 16: BIG DECISIONS The Dallas Cowboys on Friday announced that receiver Michael Gallup will miss against the Cincinnati Bengals. No shocker here; Gallup is dealing with a knee rehab and the idea of playing next week, in Week 3 at the Giants, has always been a more realistic target.

“There is still a process of return to play that he has to finish,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said adding that Gallup is experiencing a "good soreness'' following his first two days of actual practice all year.

The Bengals also have a wideout issue. Tee Higgins is officially questionable with him trying to recover from a Week 1 concussion.

What to do with Dak Prescott (out for at least a month after thumb surgery) obviously tops the decision-making list otherwise. Stay tuned.

SEPT 10 COWBOYS CALL-UPS The Dallas Cowboys on Saturday elevated Kicker Brett Maher and QB Cooper Rush from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

SEPT 5 PETERS PRACTICING "Deadlines Make Deals,'' as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes to say. And now the Jason Peters deal is done - complete with plans to have him join practice on Monday here at The Star.

Coach Mike McCarthy said that adding Peters "is about adding depth,'' though obviously it can be much more than that.

McCarthy also said Peters - a Texas native - would “love to finish his career here.”

Read more here.

SEPT 4 HOW ABOUT MONDAY? Want a blow-by-blow on what's going on with the Cowboys and Peters? Here you go ... a "Still Grinding'' update from here inside The Star.

And yes, Monday remains a logical goal, timetable-wise, for reasons we have detailed in the link.

Meanwhile ... A member of the Dallas Cowboys "family'' is carrying on a tradition ...

SEPT SEPT 3 EJ SCORES EJ Smith is a junior at Stanford and is getting his first crack at being the full-time starter.

So far, so good for the son of Emmitt Smith, E.J. who recorded an 87-yard touchdown on his first carry in the season opener against Colgate.

E.J. was a top recruit coming out of the DFW area as he works to follow in the footsteps of Dad, who happens to be the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

Smith finished his first game as Stanford's starting running back with 118 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries, and also contributed five catches for 37 yards as Stanford won, 41-10 to start the year.

E.J. starred at Jesuit in Dallas before accepting an invitation to attend Stanford.

AUG 29 ZAMPESE PASSES Ernie Zampese passed away this morning at the age of 86, one of the most influential offensive coaches in NFL history.

"Ernie was doing stuff in the 70's and the 80's that people today think are new and it isn't," said star pupil Norv Turner. "If Don Coryell were here today, he'd tell you."

Zampese capped off his fine career after taking over for Turner in Dallas and helping the Cowboys’ Super Bowl XXX team. 

Said Aikman of winning that ring with Zampese: One of my favorite memories … a friend and mentor to so many.”

AUG 24 MICAH TV “Eleven From Heaven” (no, we don’t get that, either), writes FOX Sports. “Micah Parsons will be joining ‘Undisputed’ throughout the NFL season!”

Parsons, the Cowboys defensive star, confirmed the deal on Twitter, writing, “Blessings! Excited to start this journey!”

There will be Cowboys fans worried that Parsons might be spreading himself too thin here, as brilliant as he is likely to be on TV.

There will be other Cowboys fans who recognize that alining with Bayless can be a poisonous experience.

AUG TOM BRADY - 'THE MASKED SINGER'? It's been labeled a "wacky theory,'' but is it really so ridiculous that the reason Tom Brady is skipping a big chunk of training camp is so he can appear on "The Masked Singer" television show?

Brady is taking an alleged 10-day break away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is that he's expected back at some point after Saturday's preseason game at the Tennessee Titans. Coach Todd Bowles insists all is fine.

"I know exactly when Tom is coming back, and I’ve consistently said it would be sometime after the Titans game," Bowles said.

That means he's probably good for Bucs at Cowboys in NFL Week 1. But why isn't there a firm date for when the seven-time Super Bowl champion signal-caller will return?

"I’m not worried, so I don’t know why anyone else would be worried," Bowles said.

Maybe there is no reason to worry because Brady is simply filling an obligation to FOX, where he is about to make a trillion bucks as an analyst when he's done playing.

Is there any QB in football more "show-bizzy'' than Brady?

And yes, "The Masked Singer'' airs on ... FOX.

AUG 19 COMMANDERS FIRE TRAINER The Washington Commanders officially fired head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion Friday after the conclusion of a months-long investigation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Vermillion was placed on administrative leave in October 2021 after the DEA raided his home and work office. Vermillion agreed to a deferred prosecution at U.S. District Court today in Virginia, which won't see him face any charges.

The NFL responded by suspending Vermillion indefinitely and opening an investigation with the NFLPA.

AUG 17 ZEKE VS. THE HELMET Yes, Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys has spent the last two offseasons trying to make sure he's got elusiveness and "sweet feet'' as he's dropped, at different times, from 228 pounds to 218.

But can he still pound an opponent with force?

The Los Angeles Chargers, in a Wednesday joint workout in LA, just found out.

The victim is Chargers starting safety Nasir Adderley, and Zeke literally knocks the poor guy’s helmet right off his head.

"That,'' Elliott said later, "is the type of tone I'm trying to set every time I step on the field, period.''

Tone set. Period.

Ezekiel Elliott might be an elusive runner. We will see.

But he remains a punishing runner. A Chargers helmet proves it is so.

AUG 16 COWBOYS CUTS The Cowboys must cut down by Tuesday from 90 to 85 on their roster and have now done so. As first noted by the Dallas News, they are moving on from ... 

CB Kyron Brown

FB Ryan Nall

TE Ian Bunting

WR Ty Fryfogle

DL Austin Faoliu.

The first four players are being waived-injured. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they could return to the club later, which seems a possibility for Nall, a newcomer vet who has an NFL history as a special-teamer.

FATAL SHOOTING A fatal shooting at a youth football game in DFW has police searching for Yaqub Talib, the younger brother of former NFL cornerback and Amazon TV pregame analyst Aqib Talib.

A warrant has been issued for Yaqub Talib, with police in Lancaster saying there was a “disagreement among coaching staff and the officiating crew.” The argument led to coaches getting into a fight. Someone fired a gun, killing a man.

Per TMZ.com, DFW resident Aqib Talib was present at the scene of the shooting.

Aqib Talib played 12 years in the NFL for the Buccaneers, Patriots, Broncos, and Rams.

AUG 12 TWO COWBOYS DOWN Thursday’s joint practice between the Cowboys and Broncos featured far too much "chippiness'' - well, cheap shots, really - and two injury scares.

Tight end Ian Bunting was hurt while blocking on a punt return, the concern being high enough that the medical cart came onto the field. Bunting eventually was able to walk off on his own with what we believe is a neck injury not considered serious.

Rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway also limped off due to some sort of injury to his leg.

Both players were slated to play as the Cowboys oppose the Broncos on Saturday in the preseason opener for both teams, but will now be monitored.

AUG 11 LAMB AND DIGGS? CeeDee Lamb will practice today but McCarthy says Trevon Diggs won’t.

Both players have been limited with “soreness” and due to “maintenance.”

Otherwise, this should be a big day for first-teamers, with McCarthy saying that during a 16-play set, Dak Prescott and other starters “will play 10 of them.”

AUG 10 HARDY WORKOUT The Broncos brought on in a familiar face for a workout. ... and now they are signing him.

JaQuan Hardy, 24, signed with the Cowboys after going undrafted in the 2021 draft and ended up spending time on and off the Cowboys practice squad and active roster throughout the year before his off-season release..

In 2021, Hardy played in three games for the Cowboys and totaled 29 yards rushing with four carries and one touchdown.

And now that this has worked out in Denver, at least for the moment? Hardy will see more familiar faces as the Cowboys will practice against the Broncos in Denver this week before the Saturday night preseason opener.

AUG 9 MILLS FIRED In what qualifies as a most topsy-turvy weekend, Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera has just relieved Sam Mills III of his duties as an assistant coach.

This decision comes on the heels of Mills, the son of the great former Carolina Panthers star, having just watched Dad being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rivera, who called the decision “very difficult,” is moving Jeff Zgonina into the role of defensive line coach.

AUG 3 AGGIES LB CUT The Cowboys had some positive hopes for rookie linebacker Aaron Hansford from Texas A&M, who began training camp on the PUP list after having come to Dallas as a rookie UDFA. But now Hansford has passed his physical and he has been waived.

AUG 2 AMARI OK? While the Cowboys are experiencing injury issues at receiver (see here), old friend Amari Cooper won’t practice today for the Browns due to an ankle injury sustained in Monday red-zone drills at Cleveland training camp.

The difference? The Cowboys will be missing James Washington for two months following Tuesday foot surgery ... while the Browns say Cooper, traded by Dallas this offseason in a salary dump, "will be back soon.''

AUG 2 DOLPHINS PUNISHED The NFL has just came down hard on the Miami Dolphins over the subject of tampering. .. and for general violations of "integrity of the game.''

The team, a Buffalo Bills' foe in the AFC East, will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft after the investigation into tampering.

Owner Stephen Ross is suspended through October 17 and has been fined $1.5 million.

JULY 31 DEEBO DEAL

In Dallas - goofy rumors aside - it’s the deal the Cowboys always knew was coming as the 49ers are giving Deebo Samuel a three-year,$71.55 million extension to remain in San Francisco, ESPN noting the deal includes $58.1 million guaranteed.

Samuel did make some public flirtations toward Dallas, and it was suggested it might be a "warm'' possibility. But as we wrote here, the Cowboys never took seriously the idea of him leaving ... and probably never took seriously the idea of giving up premium picks and $25 million APY, either.

JULY 31 JIMMY G RUMOR

Let's label this as "unconfirmed rumor'' ... and maybe a nonsensical one, too, though it would certainly move the NFC East News needle: Jimmy Garoppolo is reportedly "in talks" with the New York Giants?

The veteran 49ers quarterback is on the outs there, of course. But don't the New York Giants already have "their guy'' in young Daniel Jones? And wouldn't Jimmy G, joining a non-contender, simply be a progress-stopper?

Oh, and while we're digging into the rumor mill: Texas ex Tyrod Taylor is also being gossiped about as being on the Giants radar.

For the record, we think Jimmy G to the Seahawks is the most sensible fit.

JULY 29 WALETZKO UPDATE

Rookie tackle Matt Waletzko injured a shoulder on Thursday, and the early evaluation has him missing the rest of this week due to the injury. The Cowboys are not revealing much more than that at this time. But ... 

Entering camp, he was running ahead of Josh Ball (who had fallen out of favor to some) as Dallas was opting to "go young'' at swing tackle. ... We'll monitor whether than plan might need to change. For now? Our recent list of potential free-agent tackle helpers is here.

JULY 28 UPDATE

Seattle Seahawks star wide receiver DK Metcalf might be one of the most talented players. in the NFL, regardless of position. 

And now, he is getting paid like it, with the 24-year-old signing a three-year $72 million extension. 

His new deal will include $58.2 million guaranteed and a $30 million signing bonus. 

Metcalf's bonus is the highest ever for a wide receiver, per reports. 

JULY 28 INJURY UPDATE

As we reported on Wednesday, receiver James Washington landed awkwardly on his left shoulder while diving for a Dak Prescott deep ball on the first day of camp. Here's the play ...

The Cowboys do not consider the issue to be serious but we will monitor. ... as in the early going today he is participating in individual drills.

Also on the wideout plate today: The arrival of newly signed KaVontae Turpin, who will start with limited work. You can read the scoop on that signing here.

Also, rookie tackle Matt Waletzko injured a shoulder and is being evaluated. Entering camp, he was running ahead of Josh Ball (who had fallen out of favor to some) as Dallas was opting to "go young'' at swing tackle. ... We'll monitor whether than plan might need to change.

JULY 27 ON TO CANTON?

A foursome of former Cowboys standouts - Chuck Howley, Everson Walls, John Wooten and the late Dan Reeves - have advanced to the finalist list for the senior class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wooten was a Cleveland Browns star who made his mark in Dallas in scouting; Reeves, of course, played and coached in Dallas before becoming a long-time NFL head coach.

JULY 26 JULIO SIGNS WITH TAMPA BAY BUCS

Former Atlanta Falcons and Tenneseee Titans receiver Julio Jones will sign a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per reports Tuesday from ESPN. 

The seven-time Pro Bowler spent 10 seasons with the Falcons before attempting a career resurrection last season in Tennessee. But he appeared in just 10 games, totaling 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. 

According to Bookies.com, the Cowboys had the third-highest odds for which team Jones would play for in Week 1, with oddsmakers placing the line at +550 and giving the pairing slightly above a 15-percent chance of happening. 

These odds are now zero following Tuesday's events.

Jones has the 17th-most career receiving yards in NFL history (13,330). He'll now join legendary quarterback Tom Brady with a shot at another trip to the Super Bowl. Brady's Patriots beat Jones' Falcons in Super Bowl LI, otherwise known as the "28-3" game.

JULY 26 JOE BURROW SURGERY It is said to "not be serious,'' though that's what we always say ... about somebody else's surgery. In this case, it's about Bengals QB Joe Burrow, who is having surgery to remove his appendix. NFL Network notes this will put the former No. 1 overall pick "out of practice for some time'' but that he will soon make a full recovery.

Why do the Cowboys care? Cincy plays at Dallas in Week 2 of the regular season. So while Burrow will likely be fine within a couple of weeks ... it's worth monitoring.

JULY 25 FORMER COWBOY IN PHILLY? Former Dallas Cowboys RB JaQuan Hardy worked out with the Eagles on Monday per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. The 24-year old from Tiffin College was signed by the Cowboys as an UDFA after the 2021 NFL Draft and bounced back and forth from the roster to the practice squad, seeing minimal game action before being waived on July 14, 2022  

JULY 24 'BAMA'S METCHIE HAS LEUKEMIA Alabama product and Houston Texans rookie wide receiver John Metchie III has announced he's been diagnosed with leukemia. His statement:

“Recently I was disagnosed with APL (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia), the most curable form of Leukemia. I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time. As a result of this diagnosis, I will likely not be playing football this season. My main focus will be on my health and recovery. Thank you in advance for your support and well-wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God bless.”

Metchie was drafted by the Texans in the second round of this past draft and was expected to compete for a starting role in the offense this season. We wish him well in his fight. Read more here.

JULY 23 SURPRISE! They are referring to it as a “surprise” in Cincinnati … but maybe a cynical Cowboys fan won’t be so surprised to learn that the Bengals have made a move ahead of training camp by shoving lineman La’el Collins to the Active/Non-Football Injury list. 

Collins was a big Bengals addition after having been cut by the Cowboys after last season … in part, as CowboysSI.com has reported, due to his alleged “lack of professionalism.”

The Bengals have yet to offer details. Maybe this is an innocuous thing, or maybe it’s something out of Collins’ control. Therefore, insightful members of Cowboys Nation would probably be wise to withhold judgment …

While also withholding being “surprised.”

JULY 20 CUNNINGHAM MOVE: Former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham has resigned as the Raiders’ team chaplain after two seasons.

“After 2 years of serving as the LV Raiders Chaplain and much prayer, I have decided to resign,” Cunningham wrote on Facebook. “I thank Jon Gruden for the opportunity to be involved. It’s just time to move on.”

Cunningham, 59, starred as a QB for 16 seasons, most of that time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings - and as a Cowboys nemesis. The four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro also spend the 2000 season with Dallas.

Gruden left as the team’s head coach last October while involved with controversy, with Josh McDaniels replacing him as head coach this offseason.

Cunningham’s connection with the Raiders stems from the former UNLV star making Las Vegas his home.

JULY 18 SWITZER RETIRES Ryan Switzer, at 27, is done playing in the NFL, citing injury issues of the sort that have plagued him since he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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LeBron James Trolled by Cowboys 'Forgotten Man' DeMarcus Lawrence Over Saquon Barkley Tweet

Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons had high praise for DeMarcus Lawrence following his three-sack performance in Week 3.

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'Hell Yeah!' Says Coach Mike McCarthy of Cowboys Schedule vs. Washington; Here's Why

"Hell, yeah!'' Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy responded this week when asked about the latest "zag,'' a rare noon start at home when Washington visits AT&T Stadium on Sunday. "Everybody loves a noon kickoff.''

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Jason Peters Big Move: Cowboys Make Permanent Change for Future Hall of Famer?

The Cowboys are raving about Tyler Smith, chests puffed over picking him in the first round. And now they are doing the same about their clever signing of the Eagles legend Jason Peters.

“Although my playing days are over, I’m looking forward to using the knowledge and experience I‘ve accumulated through the years to help the next generation of players through coaching.”

The North Carolina product spend time with the Raiders, Steelers and Browns as well.

Cowboys fans will recall our coverage of a Switzer family scare a year ago when their baby boy was enduring a mysterious health scare. But ultimately ...

"Our sweet baby boy is stable and out of surgery," Switzer wrote on social media following the March 2021 procedure. "This nightmare is over with. These wonderful people in Boston fixed our son.''

JULY 16 GREGORY PUP? The Cowboys have their own PUP list concerns as they approach camp and the regular season - see “Gallup, Michael.” But another interesting case is unfolding with a high-profile ex Cowboy. Our guys at "Mile High Huddle'' on Randy Gregory ... 

“The NFL has changed the PUP rules. Before this season, a player on the PUP list could not return to practice until after six games had been played. He would then need at least two weeks of practice before being activated. 

@Now, a player can begin practice after four games and be moved to the active roster immediately. This season, a player on the PUP list could be back in the lineup by Week 5.”

For Gregory, who dumped Dallas in favor of a $14 million APY deal in Denver, this is good news for his return … coupled with bad news as he is recovering from offseason rotator cuff surgery and is expected to miss all of training camp and the preseason.

Not that Cowboys Nation harbors any I’ll will here - even though Gregory did label you a “toxic fan base” - but it does bear watching.

JULY 14 RB CUT As CowboysSI.com was first to report, Malik Jefferson has signed on with Dallas, and he will now join a linebackers room led by the stellar Micah Parsons as he works to find a way to stick after mostly practice-squad stints as a member of six different teams in four years.

The former Texas Longhorns standout is from Mesquite, where he was among the best high school players in the country, and he was a Freshman All-American in Austin as well. At 6-2, 236, he could in theory be a prospect to help on special teams, or at least another add to the practice squad.

To make room for Jefferson, Cowboys released running back JaQuan Hardy, mostly a practice-squadder from a year ago.

CowboysSI.com also broke the story of the workout featuring a pair of USFL stars in receivers/return men Kavontae Turpin and Maurice Alexander. Read more here.

JULY 11 COWBOY TO COLLEGE Long-time Dallas Cowboys national scout Drew Fabianich is going back to school.

“I’m very proud of my years in the NFL,” Fabianich tells CowboysSI.com. “I’m excited to now work to make an impact on kids, families and football at Auburn.

Fabianich has worked as both a coach and scout, widening his circle of knowledge as he is now making a move to big-time college football. He has accepted the job of GM and director of scouting and development for Auburn Football.

Fabianich was in discussions about other NFL opportunities, with some in the NFL regarding him as capable of becoming an NFL GM.

But after 18 years in Dallas, he sounds excited about a new challenge.

Said Fabianich: “It’s going to be fun making a splash - and to try to make a difference - with one of the biggest and best programs in the sport at Auburn.”

JULY 11 NEW OWNERSHIP The new Denver Broncos ownership group has added a prominent partner in former Secretary of State and University of Denver alumna Condoleezza Rice. The Monday statement on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group: 

“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group. A highly respected public servant, accomplished academic and corporate leader, Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better. She is the daughter of a football coach and served on the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee. She moved to Denver with her family when she was 12 years old and went on to attend the University of Denver for both college and graduate school. Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”

Rice was the U.S. secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 under President George W. Bush.

JULY 8 LB SIGNED The Cowboys made a handful of roster moves Friday, officially signing kicker Lirim Hajrullahu along with linebacker Christian Sam.

The Cowboys also placed linebacker Devante Bond (knee) on injured reserve to make room for Sam.

Sam, a 6-2, 240-pound native of Allen, most recently played in the USFL, and before that was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots in 2018.

Sam, 26, has yet to play a regular-season game, having been on various practice squads since.

On Friday the Cowboys also worked out a group of free agents. Among those, as reported last week by CowboysSI.com, is linebacker Malik Jefferson, a third-round pick out of Texas in 2018 and who has been on various practice squads.

JULY 7: JAMES CAAN PASSES From "The Godfather'' to "Elf,'' James Caan did it all in Hollywood - including using his experience as a college football player to portray the ill-fated Brian Piccolo in TV's "Brian's Song,'' keyed by Piccolo's relationship with Bears teammate Gale Sayers.

The legendary actor, and former Michigan State football player, passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday.

Caan eventually moved from East Lansing to attend Hofstra University in New York, where he met Francis Ford Coppola, director of "The Godfather'' - and the rest is, very literally, film history.

JULY 6 EMMITT'S SON READY TO SHINE AT STANFORD

E.J Smith, the son of legendary Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, had a handful of top programs recruit him coming out Jesuit school in Dallas in 2019 

Big-time programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Michigan were just a few of many to offer the 6-0, 208-pound running back. Even his dad's alma mater, Florida, put its hat in the mix in hopes he'd follow in his father's footsteps. 

But instead, he chose the Stanford Cardinal. And as he heads into his junior season this fall, longtime Stanford coach David Shaw says the son of the NFL's all-time leading rusher will soon be one of the best running back in the country. 

“Over the next two years, he’ll be one of the best backs in America,” Shaw said during a recent PFF Twitter Space. 

Smith didn't get off on a consistent footing 

“E.J.’s ready,” Shaw said on the Pac-12 Network. “He’s ready to be the guy. He’s a complete running back. He’s got receiver skills that we saw last year. He’s got return skills. This guy’s an NFL back. He’s a pass protector. So anything he can do, he can do at a high level. So this is going to be a breakout year for him as well.”

“Over the next two years, he’ll be one of the best backs in America,” Shaw said during a recent PFF Twitter Space. 

JULY 5 DEZ ON CTE Former Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant has been a prominent analyst on the state of the game - including its dangers - with his well-publicized remarks on the passing of ex-Dallas running back Marion Barber making headlines.

And now Bryant is pulling back the curtain again, saying "a lot" of current and former NFL players are "living with CTE.”

His remarks come following the news that his friend, the late Denver Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas, was posthumously diagnosed with Stage 2 CTE.

"DT88 my heart weak bro … it’s a lot of us living with CTE and the NFL know it…most importantly the Athletes who have those symptoms are scared to speak… 1 thing about me ain't living no false life…my love and support for athletes are on a much deeper level than most…" Bryant wrote on Instagram.

JULY 1 AUTOPSY REPORT Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was found dead last month as a result of the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, according to an autopsy report. 

A spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death to The Baltimore Sun. The agency said the death had been ruled an accident.

Ferguson was 26.

JUNE 30 ‘TRIPLE D’s’? ‘Triple D’s? The Cowboys will soon be at training camp handing out the valued team media guides … and we’ve got our “Cover Guys” - Tank Lawrence, Trevon Diggs, and Micah Parsons.

As Michael Gehlken notes, this is the first time Dallas has done this with defensive players since 1978. And as we discussed on our Fish Report here (CODE WORD “NOVA”), maybe the trio merits a nickname. “The Triplets”? Kinda.

“Triple-D’s”? Better.

JUNE 24 TRAINING CAMP DATES SET

The NFL announced the dates for all 32 NFL teams on Thursday, with the Cowboys set to travel on July 25 and then official "report'' to their camp in Oxnard, California on July 26.

And CowboysSI.com will be in Oxnard with 'em!

You can view the list for the entire NFL below:

ARIZONA

Rookies 7/21; Veterans 7/26

ATLANTA

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

BALTIMORE

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

BUFFALO

Rookies 7/18; Veterans 7/23

CAROLINA

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

CHICAGO

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

CINCINNATI

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

CLEVELAND

Rookies 7/22; Veterans 7/26

DALLAS

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

DENVER

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

DETROIT

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

GREEN BAY

Rookies 7/22; Veterans 7/26

HOUSTON

Rookies 7/24; Veterans 7/26

INDIANAPOLIS

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

JACKSONVILLE

Rookies and Veterans 7/24

KANSAS CITY

Rookies 7/22; Veterans 7/26

LAS VEGAS

Rookies 7/18; Veterans 7/20

L.A. CHARGERS

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

L.A. RAMS

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/23

MIAMI

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

MINNESOTA

Rookies 7/24; Veterans 7/26

NEW ENGLAND

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

NEW ORLEANS

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

N.Y. GIANTS

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

N.Y. JETS

Rookies 7/19; Veterans 7/26

PHILADELPHIA

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

PITTSBURGH

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

SAN FRANCISCO

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

SEATTLE

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

TAMPA BAY

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

TENNESSEE

Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/26

WASHINGTON

Rookies and Veterans 7/26

JUNE 23 MORE MANNING:  The Texas Longhorns have earned the biggest recruiting win in the modern era of college football, with Isidore Newman (New Orleans, LA) and No. 1 overall recruit Arch Manning committing on Thursday.

After an exhaustive and highly publicized recruiting battle, Manning chose the Longhorns over the likes of Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia, Florida and Clemson.

Considering his SEC roots, Manning's commitment may come as a surprise on the surface.

However, thanks to his relationship with Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian and quarterbacks coach AJ Milwee, it was all but a formality, as Manning chose the program that was best for him and his future.

Arch is of course the nephew of two all-time NFL QB stars in Peyton and Eli Manning.

Get more on one of the biggest stories in football at SI’s LonghornsCountry.com.

JUNE 22: SIRAGUSA DEAD AT 55 Retired former Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts standout defensive tackle Tony Siragusa died in his sleep at age 55, it was announced.

The 6-4, 340-pound Siragusa played 12 NFL seasons before utilizing his playful personality as a sideline reporter for FOX Sports, often teaming with Cowboys ex Daryl Johnston - leading to fun exchanges between “Goose” and “Moose.”

Former Ravens teammate Brad Jackson tells Pro Football Network: 'He was the leader, he was our captain. He meant everything to everyone. It's a sad day.”

JUNE 19: CHANGE IS BAD The Philadelphia Eagles unveiled a new wordmark for their logo, and it has not gone over well...

"THIS IS TERRIBLE! The corporate minimalist logo trend has been ongoing for too long and now it's infected my team. No character, no personality, just ugly straight lines because it's mOdErN. Nobody asked for this. Whichever marketing schmuck thought this was good, I hope you burn," said an Eagles fan on social media.

In Dallas, of course we don't ''hope anybody burns.'' But we do recognize that the Cowboys central logo - The Star - goes unchanged ... part of the reason it's one of the most iconic marks not just in sports, but anywhere.

JUNE 15: DIFFERENT DAY Late on Tuesday night, the Cowboys decided to skip practice during Wednesday minicamp.

But not skipping work. Just conventional practice.

Said coach Mike McCarthy before the Tuesday session regarding the week's plan: “I’ll be honest with you. When I walk off here today, I’ll have a better idea of what we’re going to particularly Thursday. So, I want to get through the install phase. We didn’t have the best of weeks last week, which is normal. It’s not negative. I just think young players, veteran guys that we were resting, the different combinations. This is — six, seven, eight installs is always a tough stretch for your rookies.”

So ... a break. But still "bonding.''

McCarthy and team leader Dak Prescott talk often about bonding and brotherhood, and what McCarthy is doing here feeds into that.

Part of it is "being smart'' with veterans who have nagging physical issues. And part of it is the "tough stretch'' for guys intellectually.

But most of all, it's a break - bowling or swimming or a trip to the movies or whatever - to bond as something more than just teammates.

Or as “golfers.”

Our goal, McCarthy said recently, "is clearly to get these eight installs in just to make sure our rookies and our whole football team is totally exposed to everything that’s going to be asked of them when we get back together in Oxnard, California. We can get that done with our walkthroughs and that type of thing, too.''

Consider that - with word that Thursday's scheduled minicamp finale is now off - done. Dallas is done with official workouts for five weeks, until we get to Oxnard on July 25.

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