FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys believe in stability, from QB Dak Prescott on down. But there is change afoot, as the NFL has settled into some new rules pertaining to how their front office leaders can deal with their status and availability during the year.
Under new rule agreements between the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), players put on injured reserve will now have to stay there for a minimum of four games instead of six.
This applies to any player receiving a reserve/injured or reserve/non-football injury/illness designation.
In addition to that change, NFL teams can now have eight players put on a reserve list and return with one player capable of coming back up to two times per year. Although, each return would count against a total of eight.
Along with changes to how reserve players are handled by their teams, practice squad tinkering continues to be done to try and find the right balance between team needs and player development.
Practice squads can now carry up to 16 players, up two from the 14 allowed previously.
And now teams can elevate players up to the active roster three times compared to the two times they were allowed to before.
The league and player's union also put in place new guidelines for early training camp sessions lowering the time permitted to workout players during the acclimation period.
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Previous early camp sessions that were allowed to put players through up to two hours of practice have now been restricted to 90 minutes on Day 2 and just over 100 on Day 3Some key changes in the strategy within the game of roster and player management now make it easier for teams to allow injured players enough time to heal while opening the door for further development of practice squad members as well.
How this impacts the Cowboys directly will fall in line with the annual dance all NFL teams have to do in trying to stay as healthy as possible while being as competitive as they can be. But in one particular area, the Cowboys - always boastful of their talent and their ability to judge it - might claim an advantage here.
If a team really has top-notch talent and depth? More freedom of roster movement benefits that team.
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