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Cowboys 1st & 10: Jerry's Evolution, 'Redtails' & Size Matters

Dallas Cowboys 1st & 10: The Evolution of Jerry Jones, 'Redtails' In Washington? And 'Size Matters' With NFL Rosters

FRISCO - The top 10 stories of the Dallas Cowboys week - including a couple of "Exclusive-Exclusives'' from inside The Star - fill up your Sunday Cowboys 1st & 10 ...

1) SIZE MATTERS Want some numbers that demonstrate how up-in-the-air the 2020 NFL season truly is as a result of COVID-19-caused tumult? The league can't even decide whether the threat of the coronavirus should cause teams to carry fewer roster members ... or more roster members.

Here's the most conventional (and most public thought): The NFLPA has proposed that each team slice its training camp roster members from the usual 90 down to 80. And we get it; yeah, it's fewer jobs (a strange thing for a union to propose, but these are strange times) but the idea would include players working in "shifts'' at camp - fewer players, smaller groups, and in theory, fewer illnesses.

But we've discussed with some NFL officials an alternate idea: What if teams had their usual 90 guys ... and kept them ... all season long?

Our concept: 60 players on the active roster. "Secluded'' as much as possible in their groups. A semi-traditional "practice squad'' of, say, 15 more players. And they, too, are "secluded.''

And then a third group, "Practice Squad 2.0.'' These 15 players don't even necessarily enter The Star. They work separately. And yes, "secluded,'' to be called upon when the (inevitable?) emergency rises and a handful of players get sick at the same time.

The union gets more jobs. The teams get more insurance. And while the first 60 guys on your roster might be reluctant to fully quarantine (they've got lives and wives and kids and the like) ... If you are destined to be the 90th player on the Dallas Cowboys roster and therefore to get cut early, but in this scenario are promised a job as long as you truly quarantine in a team-designated mini-bubble ... would you make the "life'' sacrifice for the chance?

This is our idea, not the NFL's. But we envision the league needing more bodies, not fewer, if its member teams are actually going to survive a season.

If there is a season at all.

2) 'BANKING ON CHANGE' Among the major NFL sponsors who have urged Daniel Snyder to dump the name "Redskins''? Bank of America.

While Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been quiet on all subjects - including, of course, the civil rights movement - CowboysSI.com is breaking the story on Jones' private meeting with a major NFL sponsor with the goal being to craft a way to deal with some of the changes that would seem to fly in the face of Jones' traditional views. (Toe the line for the national anthem and the like.)

And guess with which major NFL sponsor Jones is conferring? Yes, according to our sources, that would be Bank of America.

Given that Nike added its influence to the Washington situation, we'll bet Nike (and co-founder Phil Knight, a Jones pal) is ready to speak to Jerry, too. And that PepsiCo, which added its influence to the Washington situation, and has gigantic ties with the Cowboys, is prepped to do the same.

Click here for the scoop on Jerry and the Bank.

3) THE EVOLUTION OF JERRY JONES Once a person evolves, how much does it matter why he evolved? Or when?

Oh, “purity of motives” would be nice. But if “pressure” or “finance” is what is causing a Daniel Snyder or a Jerry Jones to reconsider long-standing beliefs - and if that offends you - ask yourself this:

Why did it take the spring of 2020 murder of George Floyd to motivate so many of us? Why didn’t we do it “sooner” and “more purely”? Even President Barack Obama's views on gay rights changed in recent years. Why are we all - yes, even Jerry Jones - not all afforded that same right to learn, grow and change?

The “right thing” doesn’t always happen along a smooth and rapid timeline. But when the “right thing” does happen, it’s still “right.”

4) CLICK-BAIT AND A BLOCKBUSTER THAT ISN'T ESPN reported that David Njoku wants the Browns to trade him, with an on-the-record quote from new agent Drew Rosenhaus.

The Cleveland newspaper wrote that the Cowboys are interested in the former first-round tight end.

That caused me to contact two sources inside The Star for responses.

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“That sounds like an agent creation,” said one.

“Nope, not interested,” said the other.

Further verifying Dallas’ lack of involvement here: The Cowboys weren’t even aware that Njoku had changed agents.

Our story resonates with most of you as "news.'' There has been some criticism, too, wondering if this is "click-bait'' or "real news.'' We'll frankly question the journalistic instincts and intellect of any colleague who thinks a follow-up, with two sources, following the reporting of Adam Schefter (ESPN) and Mary Kay Cabot (Cleveland) by advancing the ball with two sources who help run the Dallas Cowboys is something other than news. And again, we'll invite Cowboys Nation to come inside The Star for the real facts on what real reporters know is a story - even if the nut graph of the story is a "no.''

5) SPEAKING OF JOURNALISM ... Yes, Ezekiel Elliott was done wrong. There is nothing journalistically sound or ethically fair about reporting that he did something illicit while live on Twitch.

And the Dallas Cowboys running back is owed an apology.

We are in a time and place right now in which my profession is dropping the ball. One sports website uses the N-word routinely and jokes that Colin Kaepernick "is a terrorist related to Bin Laden.'' Another is so bold in its sexual-harassment practices that the editor/founder actually puts his “I'll trade you a byline for a beej’ offers in writing. A prominent writer apparently thinks the line ‘Manny the Tranny’ is hysterical. And I’ll mention Bill Simmons by name because he’s actually accumulated the sort of power that could fix so much of this ... and instead perpetuates the problem by responding in a racially-tone-deaf manner to the question of why he doesn’t seem to let black peoples do podcasts by answering, "Well, this isn’t 'Open Mic Night.”

The implication, obviously, is that down-deep, Bill Simmons thinks no black person could be as qualified to get paid to do a podcast as Bill Simmons’ cousin is! Or as his daughter is. Or as his nephew is.

The levels of embarrassment and anger here are many, and yeah, after 40 years in this profession, we view ourselves as well-qualified to address these issues while in no way absolving ourselves from having made mistakes.

One way to address it: A simple apology. Which we issue here - on reflection of the state of sports journalism in general and on this specific wrong, too - to Ezekiel Elliott.

6) "CLEAN SLATE' “They said that everybody has a clean slate,” Jourdan Lewis said in a DallasCowboys.com visit. “It doesn’t matter how big, tall, how long you’ve been here ... it doesn’t matter. If you can play ball, they want to see you in that position to go and compete for that job.”

Sounds great. We've argued for some time here that Lewis, even at 5-10, is a play-maker and shouldn't be overlooked. And yet ... look again at the Cowboys' roster of cornerbacks.

Are we sure they still don't like tall guys?

7) TWO TOO MANY The announcement that the NFL is slicing two preseason games only gets us halfway home. Read the story. ... learn about what Norv Turner and Dave Wannstedt used to do for us. Don't be scammed.

8) WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET? Going hand-in-hand with the cancellation of preseason games: Have the Cowboys given you your ticket-purchasing money back yet?

Nope. Not yet.

9) 'WASHINGTON REDTAILS' Somebody just solved a lot of issues. ...

Brilliant.

10) THE FINAL WORD How starved are with for sports-and-entertainment programming? Well, tonight, ESPN will air a thing on the Eagles. From 2018.

No, not the Philadelphia Eagles. "The Eagles.'' The band. A concert from 2018. Said an ESPN spokesman:

“Sports and music have long been at the top of the list for being able to bring people of all types together. The Eagles have been doing just that for almost half a century. We at ESPN are thrilled beyond belief to share this premiere with everyone! What a wonderful way to cap off the holiday weekend!”

That spokesman will host tonight's "Eagles'' show. That spokesman is Chris Berman.