FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys continue to be newsmakers when it comes to roster-building. Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Transaction Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort.
JAN 26 NO DESHAUN DENIED Another potential trade destination for Deshaun Watson has now been ruled out.
New York Giants owner John Mara's message regarding the Houston Texans' wantaway quarterback is loud and clear: "We're not trading for Deshaun Watson."
Mara based his reasoning on their current salary cap situation, combined with the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against Watson, per Bob Glauber.
The Giants had become one of the more highly-rumored destinations for Watson in recent weeks, given that they have the draft capital and positional need to potentially facilitate such a trade. ... and due to the fact that Watson is rumored to wish to work with coach Brian Flores, a candidate to take over the Giants.
While the Texans would surely like to ship Watson out of the AFC, teams in the NFC - especially Dallas in the NFC East - would surely like to not have to deal with him twice a year. It seems as though that New York-related threat is now dead.
JAN 23 KC IN OT It's the Chiefs, 42-36 in OT, as Kansas City advances to the AFC Championship Game after a wild Sunday night playoff outing in which KC QB Patrick Mahomes turned on the late-game jets to outduel Bills QB Josh Allen,
The Buffalo Bills had this thing won. ... to the degree that this OT loss at Kansas City might be forever haunting.
Buffalo QB Allen's brilliance, here featuring an incredible four TD-catch night from Gabriel Davis with his last one with 13 seconds left in regulation figuring to be enough. ...
Mahomes did his thing, with two big completions in the final few seconds of regulation, setting up OT. The Chiefs then got the ball first in overtime and Mahomes calmly pushed his team downfield, eventually hitting Travis Kelce for a walk-off touchdown and a win that means the Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game next week.
Mahomes' final numbers: 33 of 44 passing for 378 yards and three TDs, plus 69 yards rushing. And, of course, a fourth straight AFC title game berth.
JAN 23 RAMS OUST BUCS We’ve been trained to believe that Tom Brady leading his team to clutch wins is inevitable. On Sunday in Tampa Bay, his Buccaneers almost did it again.
Instead, the Los Angeles Rams endured a late comeback to kick a field goal in the final second to secure a 30-27 win.
The defending Super Bowl champions played host to the Rams in the NFC divisional round on Sunday, looking to avenge a pair of losses to the one team they've played but yet to beat since Brady joined the Bucs in 2020.
That’s right: It’s actually these Rams - which just happened for a third time - beating the 44-year-old quarterback as a Buc that is seemingly inevitable.
The Rams are now a game away from the Super Bowl, with Cooper Kupp catching a deep ball from QB Matthew Stafford in the final minute to set up the upset win.”
Said Brady before the game of the Rams: “It’s a very talented football team, one of the great teams in the NFL. ... It's going to be a very, very difficult game for us.''
He was right.
The Bucs are now 29-10, including 5-1 in the playoffs, since Brady's arrival - a brilliant mark, but for one day against Stafford (who just got the first two postseason wins of his 13-year career) not good enough.
Brady threw for 329 yards, Stafford for 366. It was just that wild, and just that close.
JAN 22 NINERS BEAT RODGERS Aaron Rodgers is recognized as NFL playoffs institution, a quarterback feared for his gifts.
The San Francisco 49ers - who were unafraid in last weekend’s upset playoff win at the Dallas Cowboys, were unafraid again.
Niners 13, Green Bay 10 on Saturday at Lambeau Field once again blocks Packers 38-year-old quarterback Rodgers from a second shot at the Super Bowl.
Rodgers, the three-time MVP, oddly now owns an 0-4 playoff record against the 49ers team he grew up rooting for.
Deebo Samuel offered the Niners their offensive power, and the Packers allowing two blocked kicks played a key role.
The top-seeded Packers (13-4) now take to the couch to watch the rest of the playoffs on TV … though Mike McCarthy -who used to coach the Packers and now coaches the Cowboys - said this week he finds it too painful to watch once ousted.
Robbie Gould made the game-winning kick on the final snap, with the 49ers moving on to the NFC Championship Game next week against the winner of Sunday’s Rams at Bucs meeting.
''I think football mortality is something that we all think about,'' Rodgers said this week. ''And we all think about how many opportunities we're going to be afforded moving forward, and each one is special.''
This one turned out to be special for the Niners. And for Rodgers? Given his remarks about the Packers over the course of the last year, this might've been his last dance in Green Bay.
JAN 19 ANAE TO JETS Bradlee Anae, the defensive end who was once considered a promising pass-rusher by the Dallas team that drafted him, has been signed by the New York Jets.
Anae, 23, saw action in four games early in the season on both defense and special teams before being waived and then placed on the practice squad. Dallas this week signed an assortment of practice-squadders to futures deals, but Anae, a Dallas fifth-round pick in 2020, now has a new start in New York.
JAN 17 WATT OUT The Dallas Cowboys have company.
Defensive end J.J. Watt, maybe the Houston Texans' all-time great player, has experienced NFL pain all too many times. Often, during his decade in Houston, that pain came in the form of injury and rehab. Often, it came in the form of his Texans being good ... but not good enough.
In 2021, he changed his employer.
But the pain hasn't changed.
"It was a massive failure,'' he said following a 34-11 NFL Playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, ending his Arizona Cardinals' promising season and forcing Watt - who made a miraculous recovery from injury to allow himself to re-appear on the field here - to once again try to look forward to next year. "I mean, from what we were capable of doing, and from what we showed we can do, to today, there's no other way to describe it then as a failure.
A bit less than a year ago, Watt announced his decision to depart the losing Texans organization to start anew. Working in Arizona would give him a chance to pursue a Super Bowl dream as part of a roster seemingly capable of that.
But, in the end, "It was, for me, it was embarrassing,'' he said. "We put up an embarrassing performance. There's no other way to put it, really.''
Arizona's defense allowed Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to complete more than 75 percent of his passes - while doing so with so much Rams offensive efficiency that Stafford only had to attempt 17 throws. In his first playoff win (after a decade of failure with the Detroit Lions), he was especially effective when Watt's defense tried to blitz, as there, Stafford was 7-of-8 for a season-high 148 yards and a touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp.
The Cardinals offense, led by quarterback Kyler Murray, also stumbled, with turnovers helping to put Los Angeles ahead 21-0 early in the game.
Watt finished with three total tackles, one being recorded for a loss.
His deal with Arizona is for two years, after which time, with the five-year waiting period, his deal will be with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But at 32, Watt surely knows he's running out of time to be a champion
"I was fine, (my) shoulder held up fine," said Watt of the post-surgery concerns. "Feels good, no problems."
Unfortunately, J.J. Watt cannot say the same things about his Cardinals' loss, or his Super Bowl chase.
JAN 13 READY FOR WAR? Dak Prescott is pooh-poohing the naysayers.
“We don’t care what people believe about us outside these walls, whether they think it’s (a good matchup) or not,'' he said. "It’s gonna be a dog fight. It’s gonna be a war. We’re exactly up for that.”
And is 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo?
Indeed, as he was a full participant in his team's Thursday workout in preparation for Sunday's playoff game at Dallas. He's been dinged up for a month and was limited in Wednesday’s session as he is planning to play with a torn ligament and chipped bone in his right thumb but played through the injury in Week 18's critical win over the Rams that sent the 10-7 Niners into the meeting with the 12-5 Cowboys.
JAN 12 QB TO IR The Cowboys have moved QB Will Grier to IR. So …
It’s Ben DiNucci Time again! (But not really.)
Dak Prescott’s backup remains Cooper Rush. And come game day, the third QB (Grier) has been an inactive constant. DiNucci has been on the practice squad all year so his game status won’t be changing for Sunday’s playoff meeting with the Niners.
But if coach Mike McCarthy still harbors hopes of developing fellow Pittsburgh guy “The Nooch”? Well, maybe the kid gets a few more reps in practice now.
JAN 10 2 DBs BACK The Cowboys anticipate the entire group of their COVID or I’ll guys back for Sunday’s playoff opener vs. the Niners. That’s good news on Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Tyron Smith and more. But for now? They have activated corner Anthony Brown and safety Darian Thompson off their respective COVID lists.
JAN 9 PLAYOFFS SET Cowboys-Niners is set on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT at AT&T Stadium on CBS, Paramount+ Amazon Prime and Nickelodeon. That’s a big one, and CowboysSI.com will be there.
Also, the rest of the slate:
No. 4 Bengals vs. No. 5 Patriots/Raiders, 4:30 p.m. E.T. on NBC
No. 3 Bills vs. No. 6 Patriots/Chargers, 8:15 p.m. E.T. on CBS
No. 2 Buccaneers vs. No. 7 Eagles, 1 p.m. E.T. on FOX
No. 3 Cowboys vs. No. 6 49ers, 4:30 p.m. E.T. on CBS
No. 2 Chiefs vs. No. 7 Raiders/Steelers, 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC
No. 4 Rams vs. No. 5 Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. E.T. on ESPN
JAN 9: WATSON TRADE COMING? The Houston Texans have set a tentative "target" for the almost inevitable, a trade of Deshaun Watson before the NFL's 2022 league year - and the start of free agency - begins March 16.
What the Cowboys don't want ... Is Watson in the NFC East.
Watson remains a member of the Texans organization in large part due to the looming sexual assault and misconduct allegations he faces. As NFL Network notes, "The Houston prosecutor handling 10 criminal complaints filed against Watson is expected to make clear her stance on any potential charges sometime in the next several weeks and turn over the case to a grand jury, sources say. Depositions have also begun for the 22 women who accused Watson of sexual misconduct in civil court; Watson's deposition can take place no sooner than Feb. 22 and a pre-trial conference is set for May.''
Watson, who has denied any wrongdoing, requested a trade last offseason, before the legal entanglements. Ahead of the NFL trade deadline in October, the Texans and Miami Dolphins engaged in what TexansDaily.com sources said then were "serious trade talks'' that would've given Houston at least three first-round picks.
But in the end, the Dolphins wanted Watson's legal issues to be cleared up.
That can happen, in theory, in the coming months, at which time Miami and other potential suitors, including Carolina and Denver, might get involved in the bidding for the Pro Bowl QB.
And what about Watson to the NFC East, where Dallas would have to face him twice a year? Sources tells us he would veto a trade to Philadelphia (which had been interested in him). The idea of Watson in Washington? Coach Ron Rivera had been against overspending at QB, but the WFT - in addition to changing its name - might want to change its tune.
JAN 8: 4 RB’s? This is increasingly looking like ‘not a real game.’
The Cowboys are calling up to the varsity two running backs from the practice squad, rookie JaQuan Hardy and vet Ito Smith, to join Corey Clement and Ezekiel Elliott as available for the 7:15 kickoff at Philly. That’s a sign …
Meanwhile, the Eagles haven’t bothered to move sone of their stars off the COVID list.
Is there a way for this Week 18 to be both a “pre-playoff game” and a “post-preseason game”?
JAN 7 NON-TRAVELERS Cornerback Trevon Diggs (illness), safety Jayron Kearse (hamstring) and running back Tony Pollard (foot) will not travel with the team to Philadelphia, and all have been ruled out for the Saturday night Week 18 game.
Also, safety Donovan Wilson (illness) is not traveling with the team but remains questionable.
The playoff-bound Cowboys have already ruled out Tyron Smith and Micah Parsons (COVID) for the game.
JAN 5 NATE NEWTON HONORED Former Cowboys standout and Florida A&M product Nathaniel "Nate" Newton is going into the 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Newton played at Florida A&M from 1979-1982 and earned All-MEAC in 1980. In 1983, Newton went undrafted and signed with the Washington Football Team. He played for the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits the following two years. After the USFL folded, the large-sized offensive lineman found his way back to the NFL with the Cowboys, where he spent most of his career (1986-98).
During his time in Dallas, Newton was part of "The Wall'' and went to six Pro Bowls (1992-1996, 1998), was named to the All-Pro Team twice (1994, 1995), and won three Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX).
JAN 4 JARWIN WINDOW The Cowboys have designated tight end Blake Jarwin to return from injured reserve with his 21-day practice window beginning today. Jarwin, who has missed the past nine games to a hip injury, was seen as the first-team tight end before the 2020 emerge of Dalton Schultz - an emergence that happened in part then due to Jarwin's injury.
The two of them, close friends, talk of being a "two-headed monster'' for the Dallas offense.
It does not seem likely that Jarwin plays this week, instead prepping for the playoffs. But on Monday coach Mike McCarthy said, "Blake had an excellent workout Saturday. We’re hopeful that maybe we’ll get him on the field this week. … He's made a lot of progress here over the last 10 days.”
JAN 3 EAGLES OUTBREAK About a dozen Eagles players - including standouts Fletcher Cox, Dallas Goedert and Jason Kelce - have tested positive for COVID-19 today, NFL Network reports.
NFL Network notes that based on updated COVID protocols, all of the moved players have a chance to be cleared in time for Saturday’s NFL Week 18 game vs. the visiting Cowboys.
UPDATE: The Eagles announce they have placed LB Genard Avery, DT Fletcher Cox, S Marcus Epps, TE Dallas Goedert, G Nate Herbig, RB Jordan Howard, C Jason Kelce, CB Avonte Maddox, S Rodney McLeod, RB Boston Scott, LB Alex Singleton, and TE Jack Stoll on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
JAN 2 INACTIVES Cowboys inactives for today: Will Grier, Maurice Canady, Israel Mukuamu, Matt Farniok and Simi Fehoko.
And for the visitors? Running back James Conner (heel) is out for Arizona.
JAN 2 CONNER QUESTIONABLE The Cowboys are close to fully healthy for this Sunday late-afternoon Week 17 meeting here at AT&T Stadium. The Cardinals?
That is especially so for Cardinals running back James Conner (heel), listed as “questionable” as are wide receiver/kick returner Rondale Moore (ankle), guard Sean Harlow (illness), tight end Demetrius Harris (shoulder), defensive end Zach Allen (ankle) and safety Budda Baker (ribs).
Conner will be a game-time decision for the 10-5 Cardinals, who have
running back Chase Edmonds ready to go against 11-4 Dallas.
DEC 31 NEAL TO COVID
The Cowboys enter the weekend and the Arizona game at a season-high regarding health. But … in the COVID category, rookie defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna went on the list on Friday - and late Friday afternoon, so did linebacker Keanu Neal.
Neal’s first positive test was Sept. 25, and he missed a game then, too.
This week, defensive tackle Trysten Hill, safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Jourdan Lewis all returned off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
DEC 30 MICAH MONTH Cowboys LB Micah Parsons has been named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month - for a second straight month.
This isn’t all about the numbers; “The Eye Test” tells a better story. Statistics help, too, though.
In December, he totaled 12 tackles, four sacks, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble and a pass defensed … and the Cowboys in December went 4-0 … largely fueled by the Micah-led defense.
DEC 28 SAM OR WENTZ? For a moment there, it appeared that Texas Longhorns product and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger would be in line to get his first-career start this Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
A rookie QB carrying NFL playoff hopes on his shoulders in Week 17? Big story.
But wait …
The NFL on Tuesday afternoon informed clubs that unvaccinated players who tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days - a group that includes as headliners Colts first-team QB Carson Wentz - can now be suddenly eligible to play on Sunday provided their symptoms have improved.
Wentz, the former Philadelphia Eagles starter traded to Indy last offseason, is reportedly unvaccinated, which would have meant him being out 10 days if he tested positive.
But in the ever-changing world of sports and COVID? There is suddenly less clarity about how this all works.
The Colts (9-6) are coming of a big 22-16 win on the road on Christmas Day against the Arizona Cardinals. Wentz and MVP-caliber running back Jonathon Taylor led the charge, and if the rookie Ehlinger was to play, it would certainly be as part of a Taylor-focused offense.
Ehlinger has seen some garbage-time action this season but has yet to throw a pass. In three games this year, the former Longhorn has three rushes for nine yards.
Indianapolis is currently the fifth seed in the AFC but could drop out of the playoff race with losses in the final two weeks.
DEC 26 INACTIVES The Cowboys have their handful of COVID guys (which now includes placed practice-squad lineman Isaac Alarcón) made up of Jourdan Lewis, Malik Hooker, Simi Fehoko and JaQuan Hardy. That helps keeps the inactives list small for the Washington game tonight. Those inactives: Tyron Smith (ankle), Israel Mukuamu, Kyron Brown and Will Grier.
DEC 25 4 DB MOVES The Cowboys engineered a flurry of DB moves, placing Maurice Canady on Reserve/Designated for Return and then activated him, activated Donovan Wilson from Reserve/Designated for Return and elevating elevated Kyron Brown and Darian Thompson from the practice squad in time for Sunday's visit from Washington.
DEC 25 WFT INJURY UPDATE The month of December hasn't been very merry for the Washington Football Team, which had a COVID-19 outbreak and is losing players left and right to injury. Despite the COVID cases and injuries, Washington still has a 12-percent chance to make the playoffs.
"I really do believe all you need is a chance," head coach Ron Rivera said. "A big part of it, too, is being healthy at the right time, getting players back at the right opportunity, not having a big distraction, being able to stay focused as you trend toward something. We'll find out"
"I'm just happy to be back," Heinicke said.
As COVID cases fall, injuries rise in the nation's capitol. Safety Landon Collins is done for the regular season with a foot injury and corner William Jackson III (calf), safety Deshazor Everett (personal) and defensive end Daniel Wise (knee) won't play the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. Running back Antonio Gibson and wide receiver Curtis Samuel are questionable for this week's game.
DEC 24 OUT The Cowboys have as expected ruled out left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) for the Sunday night visit from Washington.
The WFT meanwhile has three DBs who will be missing.
Also worth noting: Jourdan Lewis has been added to the COVID list, joining Simi Fehoko, Malik Hooker and Trysten Hill.
Next man up in the Dallas secondary? Maybe rookie Kelvin Joseph.
DEC 24 WFT PLAYER IN CRASH According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia, Washington Football Team defensive back Deshazor Everett was the driver in a fatal car accident Thursday night.
The passenger in the car Everett was driving was identified as Olivia S. Peters. Peters, 29, died at a local hospital from her injuries suffered in the crash.
According to the release from the Sheriff’s Office, Everett was driving a 2010 Nissan GT-R around 9:15 p.m., when the vehicle “left the right side of the roadway, struck several trees, and rolled over.” Everett was taken to the hospital with "serious but non-life-threatening injuries," as confirmed by Washington's staff.
DEC 23 HEINICKE BACK Washington sits in 10th place in the NFC at 6-8, one game back of the Minnesota Vikings, Eagles and New Orleans Saints, who all sit at 7-7.
Helpful news to start Thursday, though: Washington Football Team QB Taylor Heinicke has cleared COVID protocols and will return to practice today, according to multiple reports.
The team faces an uphill battle, starting with this week on the road against the 10-4 Dallas Cowboys, who beat them just two weeks ago in their own building. If Washington is going to turn it around and make the playoffs, the first thing it must do is get healthy. However, when the team takes a step forward, like it did with Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat, it goes two steps back by losing linebacker Cole Holcomb and cornerback William Jackson III.
Heinicke over old friend Garrett Gilbert, the WFT emergency starter last week, is a Washington step forward.
DEC 22 WEDNESDAY REPORT The Cowboys as expected did not have Tyron Smith working on Wednesday ahead of the Sunday night visit from Washington.
Tank Lawrence and Tony Pollard get “limited” tags today, as they did late last week before both played in the win at New York.
DEC 22 OSA BACK Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa missed last week due to COVID-19 but the starting-caliber rookie is back here inside The Star today.
The Cowboys on Wednesday morning said there are no additions to protocol, with staffers Aden Durde and Matt Daniels, along with defensive tackle Trysten Hill, still away from the team and in quarantine.
DEC 21: PACKAGE DEAL? The guys at Mile High Huddle, preparing for the possible dismissal of coach Vic Fangio, have assembled a wish list.
And why not wish big with a Seahawks-related package deal of Dan Quinn as coach and Russell Wilson as QB?
From MHH: "The first of the candidates on this list with head-coaching experience, Quinn had a couple of quality seasons with the Atlanta Falcons but was fired in 2020 after five games. However, there is evidence that Quinn's struggles had as much to do with poor team-building as it was with coaching.
It's possible Quinn would do better under Paton, who had a good 2021 draft. Plus, if the reports about Russell Wilson being a fan of Quinn are true, he's a potential selling point for Wilson should he be traded. With the right coordinators and QB, Quinn might do better his second time around.''
There are obstacles here. One, Quinn is one of 15 guys named on the MHH list - though there is no doubt his miraculous supervision of a complete Dallass defense turnaround should get him interviews. And two, we're still not sure anybody has really nailed down Wilson's plans, his trade cost, his cap ramifications and the rest.
But if Denver (which also could wish to talk to Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore) wants an insta-rebuild? Quinn and Wilson, two Super Bowl Seahawks, is a dramatic-change way to go.
DEC 20 KAMARA CUT The Cowboys waived defensive end Azur Kamara today from the 53-man roster. Wideout Osirus Mitchell has also been released from the practice squad.
DEC 17 GILBERT SIGNED With eight people on the Washington Football Team roster heading to the COVID-19 list Wednesday, it's safe to say that there is an outbreak on our hands. … and now on Friday morning, more negative movement as starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke has been added to the list.
Some of the 22 who people have been placed on the WFT COVID list:
- 93 Jonathan Allen DT
- 8 Kyle Allen QB
- 56 William Bradley-King DE
- 46 Milo Eifler OLB
- 48 Darrick Forrest SS
- 29 Kendall Fuller CB
- 88 Temarrick Hemingway TE
- 47 Khaleke Hudson MLB
- 98 Matt Ioannidis DT
- 78 Cornelius Lucas T
- 51 David Mayo OLB
- 80 Sammis Reyes TE
- 97 Tim Settle DT
- 11 Cam Sims WR
- 96 James Smith-Williams DE
- 90 Montez Sweat DE
- 95 Casey Toohill DE
The COVID list is fluid as people can come on and off the list each day, making this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles extremely difficult to game-plan for … and that is especially true if Garrett Gilbert is called upon to play QB, as the former Dallas Cowboys journeyman has just been signed by the WFT.
The new WFT QB room? It’s Washington Kyle Shurmur, Garrett Gilbert and another new signee, Jordan Ta'amu.
DEC 16 DEION MAKES HISTORY Former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders has made waves in the coaching ranks since taking over at Jackson State in September of 2020.
However, none of those waves were as massive as the one he produced on Wednesday during college football's Early Signing Day, with Sanders flipping the nation's No. 1 overall recruit, Travis Hunter from Florida State.
Hunter signed on the dotted line during a shocking announcement ceremony, cementing his decision, and giving the FBS level Tigers the nation's top talent.
What is even more intriguing about Sanders though, is that his run on 2022's top players might not be over just yet...
DEC 7 DAK HONORED Dak Prescott is the Cowboys’ nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The Pro Bowl QB has been an activist for advancing social justice and a leader in the conversation about mental health conversation In addition to his focus on the fight against cancer via his “Faith Fight Finish” Foundation.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award honors players who have exhibited excellence on the field, and whose passion to impact lives extends beyond the game. Each team has one nominee leading to a league-wide honoree.
DEC 6 SPEAKS CUT “They’ve a great couple of weeks,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan, speaking of rehabbing D-linemen Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore. “They’ve got to go out there and they’ll take another step this week with full practices. Unless there is a setback, which we certainly don’t expect, we’re preparing them to play in the game. But they’ve got to finish the full body of work, which is the full preparation for the game against the Washington Football Team.”
Gregory and Gallimore’s readiness comes at the same time Dallas on Monday released from the practice squad another D-lineman, Breeland Speaks.
DEC 6 EDWARDS TO DUKE? Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards is emerged as a candidate for the head coaching job at his alma mater Duke University, sources tell NFL Network. Edwards, a long-time NFL assistant and defensive coordinator, got interviewed for that role in Dallas before taking his present assignment, which includes supervising Cowboys linebackers.
Edwards was a four-year letterman for the Blue Devils, who parted ways with David Cutcliffe last month.
DEC 5 DEION AND DM'S Deion Sanders, the former Cowboys star, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State coach, just took a ... different approach ... to teaching his players about their football life.
He recently invited Instagram model Brittany Renner, who has 4.6 million followers, to speak to his players about social-media contact and dating.
"It's my responsibility as a Coach to prepare my young men for any and everything on the field and off," Sanders wrote on IG. "I brought in (Renner) to educate them on how the game is played between man & woman at their age & stage.
"The message may not be for everybody but trust me it's for somebody.''
From Renner's message: "Honestly, when you reach a certain status, you can have the pick of the litter. I'm talking heavy hitters, some of y'alls favorite rappers, NBA players, football players. To me, once you reach that level of popularity, the world is your oyster.
"Everybody wants something," she continued. "Even if we both have our own thing going on. Me still being with you is a good look because you boost my stock. I boost your stock, it's just that simple. It's like a give and take, but you have to be aware of what you're signing up for."
DEC 2 TWO MOVES IN NEW ORLEANS Dallas activated DE DeMarcus Lawrence today from Reserve/Injured-Designated for Return; that's the headline-grabber. The club also, however, elevated safety Tyler Coyle from the practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement. Coyle, who wears No. 29, is a 6-1, 209-pound undrafted rookie from Purdue. He may be helpful in tonight's game against the Saints with fellow rookie Nahshon Wright on the long list of Cowboys employers who are out with COVID. More on that, and the game itself, here.
NOV 30 DT SHUFFLE Brent Urban, the 6-7 run-stopping defensive lineman, has been out of action for the Dallas Cowboys since injuring his triceps in the OT win at New England on Oct. 17, but now he's out for the year.
Urban’s wife, Kate, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he’d undergone season-ending surgery.
Wrote Kate on Twitter: “He tried so hard to come back but it just wasn’t in the cards. He is going to miss playing with the ‘Boys but will be as involved as possible. I have no doubt he’ll come back better than ever.”
The veteran Urban signed a one-year deal to join Dallas. He will especially be missed as the Cowboys continue to juggle at the position, with Trysten Hill facing a suspension and with Neville Gallimore still out - though Dallas believes Gallimore (elbow) could return for the Dec. 12 game vs. Washington. End Randy Gregory could come of IR that week; end Demarcus Lawrence is slated to be activated this week to play Thursday at the Saints.
NOV 29 GALLIMORE CLOCK: The Cowboys made a pair of player transactions on Monday, the key one involving Neville Gallimore as the defensive tackle - projected as a starter before his preseason elbow injury - has been moved to the "Designated for Return from Reserve/Injured'' list. That means his 21-day window to rejoin the roster begins now.
Also, defensive back Darian Thompson has been brought back to the practice squad.
Gallimore's eventual return will bolster a Dallas defense that hopes to get back DeMarcus Lawrence this week for the Saints game on Thursday, and hopes to get back Randy Gregory
NOV 28: IS GETTLEMAN OUT? The New York Giants dumped offensive coordinator Jason Garrett this week. Is the dumping of general manager Dave Gettleman far behind?
NFL Network is reporting that the Cowboys' NFC East rival, is likely to make a chance in leadership for the 2022 season. Gettleman, 71, could jump into retirement. Or he could be pushed. Either way, more change - and/or instability - is coming to the Big Apple.
NOV 26 JARWIN TO COVID LIST The Cowboys have moved tight end Blake Jarwin to the COVID list, a source telling CowboysSI.com that Jarwin tested positive.
Jarwin, who has 10 catches for 90 yards and two TDs this season, has missed four games since going on injured reserve Nov. 6 with a hip injury.
NOV 25 ANDY'S TEAM Bears In Chicago this offseason, there was a great deal of talk of the Bears being "Andy Dalton's team'' and all that. It didn't quite work out that way ... but now that rookie QB Justin Fields is hurt?
Dalton was again "QB1'' for today's game against the Lions Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, and he helped the Bears to a 16-14 at-the-buzzer win.
Later today, the Raiders are at the Cowboys at 3:30 and then at 7:20 it's Bills at Saints. But for a moment, Dalton was back in the spotlight.
Dalton, the TCU product who was with Dallas in the 2020 season, threw for 317 yards in a less-than-appetizing national-TV watch. But he made his first start since Week 2, the long-time Bengals "QB1'' having previously started 144 career games and entering Thursday having thrown for 34,235 yards and 221 touchdowns.
NOV 24 MOVEMENT ON THANKSGIVING EVE The Cowboys are getting good injury news regarding CeeDee Lamb as he works through concussion protocol (details here) as he practiced fully on Wednesday and is now listed as "questionable'' for Thursday's game against the visiting Raiders.
Starting safety Donovan Wilson, however, is being moved to IR with the shoulder/chest injury aggravated in last week's loss at Kansas City.
Also worth noting: Tyron Smith is scheduled to start at left tackle as he was full all week ... and DeMarcus Lawrence's 21-day window to return is open as he could play as early as next Thursday at New Orleans.
NOV 24 GRIFFEN IN TROUBLE Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Everson Griffen, a long-time member of the Vikings now back with Minnesota, on Tuesday released a series of videos, social-media posts and texts insisting, "Someone is trying to kill me'' and begging for "help.''
The Vikings on Wednesday released a statement saying security personnel is on the scene at Griffen’s house, and he was safe.
Police are also at the home of Griffen, who has dealt with mental health issues in the past.
The Vikings' statement, in part:
"Our only concern at this time is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family. We will have further comment at the appropriate time.''
NOV 23 KICKER CUT The Cowboys have released kicker Lirim Hajrullahu from the practice squad. Greg Zuerlein, who kicked at KC, is healthy and in charge.
NOV 22: VASHER MOVED Rookie wide receiver T.J. Vasher, who’d spent time the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list, is moving from the practice squad to the COVID list, a source tells CowboysSI.com.
The 6-foot-5 Texas Tech product joined Dallas in the spring as a UDFA.
The Cowboys also have star receiver Amari Cooper on the COVID list and unavailable for this week’s game against the Raiders.
NOV 20 MOVES TO CHIEFS Cowboys As expected, Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph (personal matter) is out for the Chiefs game. And fellow rookie corner Nahshon Wright is unlikely to play. So, Dallas is fortifying the cornerback depth by calling up Deante Burton and Kyron Brown from the practice squad.
Meanwhile, in addition to Dallas' Amari Cooper (COVID) being out, the word is the Chiefs are going to activate running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the Sunday afternoon showdown.
NOV 20 JASON ON TOM has Over the years, Jason Garrett has talked glowingly about the talents of Tom Brady. “He’s the best player who ever walked'' is something Garrett said this week, as the Giants offensive coordinator getting ready to oppose the Buccaneers quarterback on Monday.
But Garrett additionally came up with a new way to say it this week.
“They’re going to make a Mt. Rushmore of football players at some point,'' RedBall said, "and the first face they chisel will be that guy’s face.''
It's a fun thought, right? Who are the four faces? Players-only, in this case. It's not empty praise, for certain, from GarBrady is surely among them.
NOV 18 WR SIGNED The Cowboys have activated rookie wide receiver Osirus Mitchell to the practice squad and, in a corresponding shift, have released veteran receiver Damion Ratley from the p-squad.
Mitchell had previously been on the practice squad-injured list with a sprained foot. The-23-year-old originally joined the Cowboys in as an undrafted free agent.
Mitchell is 6-5 and 210 and played at Mississippi State, where he caught 107 passes for 1,413 yards and 14 touchdowns.
NOV 17 COVID CHANGE The NFL - just in time for Cowboys Thanksgiving - is installing more stringent COVID protocols around Thanksgiving as a reaction to rising cases across the U.S., NFL Network notes.
The new policy includes mandatory masking and testing all players and staff twice after the holiday, while also encouraging clubs to offer testing for visiting friends and family.
The temporary protocols will involve a mask mandate indoors for all players and staff, regardless of vaccination status, between Nov. 25-Dec. 1.
Dallas plays host to the Raiders this year on Thanksgiving.
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NOV 17 MOCK The Cowboys are planning on not picking in the 2022 NFL Draft until late, late, late into the first round.
What does SI's latest mock draft say will happen? The good news is that SI sees Dallas drafting late, late late ...
No. 28. Dallas Cowboys: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Cowboys have a weak link on defense, and everyone knows about it. The second cornerback spot, manned by Anthony Brown, has been targeted early and often. Even Trevon Diggs will benefit from the addition of McDuffie as he offers a different skill set and body type for Dan Quinn to throw at offenses. McDuffie is an extremely fluid mover who triggers downhill with ease and has great instincts in zone coverage. He rarely gets beat deep and is a strong tackler, too, giving Dallas a promising young cornerback duo to build around.
We can argue about the "weak link'' designation on Brown; he's actually having a solid year. We might also suggest that Dallas already addressed improving the spot by selecting two promising corners - Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright - high in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But ... food for thought, anyway.
NOV 15 AJ BROWN TALKS MENTAL HEALTH It is a cause that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has highlighted. And now other NFL players are doing so.
Since his time as a recruit at Starkville High School, former Ole Miss wide receiver A. J. Brown was always known for his outgoing and infectious persona.
In many ways, he was the voice and the personality of the program.
And after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, the world seemed to be at Brown's fingertips.
However, in the midst of a breakout rookie season with Tennessee, Brown was lost, finding himself in a mental-health battle with depression.
And as he revealed on Saturday via his social media accounts, that battle nearly cost him his life.
"I’m nervous even to be saying this,” Brown said. “A year ago from today, I thought about taking my own life. I had no more hope for better days and everything was just going wrong for me."
The purpose of Brown's message was not sympathy or attention, but awareness, urging those struggling with mental issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts to seek help and find what it is that makes them happy in life.
"The reason why I'm sharing this message with you today is, I’m still here. I’m still going. I’m still smiling. I have a lot of things to be grateful for,” said Brown. “I just want to encourage everyone to protect your mental [health]. Talk to someone. Get things off your chest. Do things that make you happy.”
Brown got the help that he needed, and now, he is in the midst of yet another excellent season with the Titans. But more important than football, and thanks to the help that he received, Brown has a new outlook on life.
Mental health issues, unlike physical health issues, are not always taken seriously by the general public. They are also rarely visible in plain sight until it is either too late or until those that are suffering choose to speak up.
Brown, however, now understands that struggle and is urging anyone else who will listen to do their best to understand it as well.
“It's so important. I didn’t think depression was real until it happened to me," Brown said. "But now I know it’s really real. Guys, talk to someone, get things off your chest, and take depression seriously.”
NOV 14 JERRY ON ROGER Jerry Jones, appearing on HBO’s Back on the Record with Bob Costas, was asked whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is worth his reported $64 million annually salary.
“I think this,” Jones told Costas (via PFT). “Certainly those numbers on the face of them are large numbers. Roger has been an excellent commissioner. I might say that back when years ago when I first came in the league they would be big numbers. I don’t know for sure what a man of your talent was making back then. But I know we could look at where we are today, and those numbers have increased a lot during that time. So everything has gotten more as opposed to maybe what we’ve looked at in the past. But I think this. I think that Roger Goodell has done an outstanding job as Commissioner of the NFL.”
PFT attempts to take issue with Jones "singing a different tune'' and "coming a long way'' in his support of the commissioner. But what PFT forgets is why Jones, right around that time, might've been upset with the judgment of the commissioner.
Ezekiel Elliott suspension, anyone?
NOV 11: OBJ VS. GALLUP? Controversial receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on the same day the Cowboys continued to accelerate hope that non-controversial receiver Michael Gallup is ready to come off IR.
Which team is making the better transaction?
“I’m excited,” said Cowboys QB Dak Prescott of the idea that Gallup might play this Sunday vs. the Falcons. “That’s a guy I’ve always counted on.”
Gallup doesn’t get the headlines that OBJ gets … but in terms of bring “- guy his team counts on” … Gallup is the superior NFL player.
“I’m excited about it,” Dak said. “I know he’s ready to go.”
The disgruntled Beckham is also always “ready to go” - away from whatever team he’s on. This time, him being a poor teammate allowed him to force his way out of Cleveland and into free agency.
A number of contenders chased him. The contenting Rams “won.”
But the contenting Cowboys did not chase him … and yet, with Gallup about ready to supplement the work of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, seem to feel they “won,” too.
NOV 11 CAM’S BACK. And no, the Cowboys never took a stab here.
Let’s start with Ron Rivera. The people who run the WFT have a full understanding of what Cam Newton is.
And yet, coach Rivera and company never bit ... as the Panthers just did.
Carolina will now have a familiar feel, as the Panthers officially announced the signing of street free agent QB Cam Newton ... a way to fix the team's problems at the position that sort of began when they let him go two years ago.
But in the opinion of many - and this doesn’t make the former NFL MVP a bad guy or a bad teammate - he sees himself as a starter. If he was cut out to be a No. 2, why didn’t Bill Belichick keep him in New England? Why didn’t Rivera add him to the WFT mix?
Dak Prescott’s Dallas backup is Cooper Rush, and he’s not the player Cam is … and Newton’s self-evaluation right along those lines is why he’s been a street free agent … and why it took a needy Carolina to forge an odd reunion.
NOV 6 NO RIDLEY The Atlanta Falcons on Friday placed wide receiver Calvin Ridley on the non-football injury list.
This means Ridley will miss at least three more games for Atlanta.
Ridley is battling mental health concerns and had already missed the Falcons' trip to London to face the New York Jets in September before stepping away from football last Sunday morning before the Falcons faced the Carolina Panthers.
The move to the reserve means Ridley will miss at least this week against the New Orleans Saints, at the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, and Thursday November 18 against the New England Patriots.
The Falcons then have 10 days before they would play the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 28, marking a possible return date for Ridley.
More realistically given the seriousness of the concerns around Ridley, the Falcons must prepare for the remainder of the season as if Ridley is not going to return.
Atlanta signed Marvin Hall to the practice squad earlier this week in an effort to add depth to the roster in Ridley's absence.
Ridley's 2020 production has been been sorely missed in the Atlanta offense. Ridley stepped up in place of the oft-injured Julio Jones to produce a breakout 2020 campaign that saw him post 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.
So far in 2021, Ridley has 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Compounding the problems for the Falcons offense, last year's second leading receiver Russell Gage has been out most of the season with a variety of injuries.
While the top concern is of course Ridley's mental health, it is also worth noting how the challenges on the Dallas schedule are altered by such a move. Already this season, the 6-1 Cowboys have avoided the Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (hurt), the Giants' Saquon Barkley (hurt early in their meeting) and now the Broncos this weekend without Von Miller (traded) and top receiving target Noah Fant (COVID). Additionally, Dallas plays the Saints on Dec. 7 and New Orleans will be without the injured tandem of receiver Michael Thomas and QB Jameis Winston.
It's worth noting that Dallas has overcome its own injuries and issues to build its record. But the ebb and flow of opponents' availability is a story. And now Ridley and Thomas are not going to be involved in the Cowboys' 2021 story.
NOV 3 RODGERS OUT There is no glee in any of this, as it could happen to your team as easily as it just happened to the Green Bay Packers, who will have to take on the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the game. Second-year quarterback Jordan Love will make his first start.
Rodgers vs. Patrick Mahomes had a chance to be special. Meanwhile, so do the Packers, who join the Cowboys as a top NFC contender.
This will be the first game Rodgers has missed since 2017, and now it's up to the Packers - who sport a 7-1 record, matching Dallas' - to try to do what the Cowboys did last week in Minnesota without the rehabbing star: Win without the QB.
NOV 2: TACO AND JAYLON The Steelers, after trading Melvin Ingram to the Chiefs, have signed defensive end Taco Charlton to the 53-man roster. So on the day one high-profile former Dallas high draft pick is re-employed ...
NOV 2 JAYLON RELEASED The Green Bay Packers thought they were getting a difference-maker last month when they snapped up just released Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith.
But now they, too, have released the former Dallas second-round pick and starter.
Smith, who played 27 snaps in his first two games in Green Bay, was a healthy scratch in Week 8. He leaves the Packers, interestingly, just as ...
NOV 1 COX OUT FOR YEAR Jabril Cox will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL tear he sustained Sunday in the win at the Vikings, as first confirmed by the Dallas News.
Cox, the rookie fourth-round pick from LSU, expressed an upbeat view on Twitter, writing, “Love this team. It’s all a part of God’s plan. Watch how I shake back!”
Cox' improvement as a player was one of the reasons Jaylon Smith was released by Dallas. (The same Jaylon who is now back on the street as an ex-Packer.
OCT 30 BOSSMAN UP As expected, on Saturday the Cowboys called up Kelvin Joseph to the varsity with the likelihood he will finally make his NFL debut during Sunday night’s game against the Vikings here in Minnesota.
The team activated the rookie cornerback from the injured reserve list and at least in part the reasoning is he can contribute right away on special teams.
Joseph, a second-round pick, sustained a groin injury during the Cowboys’ preseason finale against the Jaguars.
Dallas also elevated defensive tackle Justin Hamilton from the practice squad as a standard elevation.
The team plans on Michael Gallup (calf) returning to the active roster next week. Defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee, PUP) and tight end Sean McKeon (ankle) may soon get their varsity chances as well.
Meanwhile, of course, the largest personnel decision for the Vikings game involves QB Dak Prescott. Full coverage on that story, from our man Mike Fisher in Minnesota, is here.
OCT 23: NOT FINE A trio of Cowboys players paid for last week’s OT win at New England, including cornerback Trevon Diggs ($7,981 for unnecessary roughness for hitting a Patriots player in the facemask), ruffian guard Connor Williams ($16,394 for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty) and most hilariously, receiver CeeDee Lamb, who waved goodbye to Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (and hooting fans, we believe) following his walk-off touchdown catch in the 35-29 OT win.
What is costing him $10,300 for unsportsmanlike conduct? This …
Ultimately? Worth it.
OCT 21: KNIGHT EXPLAINS There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas - which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves - will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
One problem: The week began with Knight "refusing to report'' to Baltimore.
Amid speculation (from Dallas homers?) that he simply didn't want to leave the Cowboys - and that's not the way this works, as Knight's rights are now owned by the Ravens - "personal reasons'' were cited as Knight's motive.
And now Knight has explained, writing on social media:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the Baltimore ravens for allowing me another opportunity to play the game I’ve always loved. As of now I’ve decided to take a break from football to address my mental health.
“Although it was a difficult decision, it was a necessary one to be back home with my family. I look forward to returning next season.”
OCT 20 MERCILUS TO PACK Houston Texans veteran pass rusher Whitney Mercilus is joining the Green Bay Packers, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
The Kansas City Chiefs were among Mercilus' suitors, according to sources. The Cowboys, as we reported this week, were not a bidder.
Mercilus, 31, who has 57 career sacks and was released by the Texans on Tuesday, wanted to join a Super Bowl contender and now he has.
OCT 19 FB CUT A source tells us on Tuesday that the Cowboys have cut fullback Nick Ralston, the rookie from Argyle, Texas, presumably for a roster spot to use on tackle La’el Collins.
Ralston could boomerang back to Dallas practice squad.
OCT 18: KNIGHT CLAIMED There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas - which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves - will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
OCT 15: NFC EAST TRADE! Per Adam Schefter and ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles are sending three-time Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for CB Tay Gowan and a 2022 5th-round pick.
The stand-out tight end from Stanford was the 35th overall pick by the Eagles in the 2013 NFL Draft and holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end with 116. Ertz won Super Bowl LI with the Eagles.
OCT 13 BOSSMAN BACK? Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph (groin) and tight end Sean McKeon (ankle) practiced on a limited basis for the first time this season on Wednesday, thus beginning the opening of the 21-day practice window for the pair as they have been moved to the "Designated for Return from Reserve/Injured'' list.
By designating both players to return, the Cowboys can activate them at any time during that 21-day period.
Joseph, a second-round draft pick, injured his groin late in preseason. A healthy Joseph - aka "Bossman Fat,'' his musical alter ego, could eventually figure in Dallas secondary rotation. McKeon was pushing for the third tight end spot before sustaining a high ankle sprain in preseason and if he is healthy, he could solve the Dallas issue with Jeremy Sprinkle, who must be signed to the 53-man to allow another call-up.
OCT 11: RICH IN Rich Bisaccia will serve as interim coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately, the team announcing the elevation of the former Cowboys assistant in the wake of Jon Gruden’s resignation amid scandal.
Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the aftermath of an ugly email scandal that involves, in at least a trio of ways, the Washington Football Team.
Gruden’s series of notes include racist, homophobic, transphobic, and sexist remarks made over the last decade, exposed after The New York Times published an article detailing emails sent by Gruden from 2011-2018.
The investigation into Gruden’s emails stems from the NFL’s examination of what it determined to be the “highly unprofessional” workplace of the Washington Football Team, leading to a $10 million and owner Dan Snyder stepping away from day-to-day operations of the franchise earlier this year.
Some of the emails were sent by Gruden while he was employed at ESPN as an analyst, and were reportedly sent to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, among others.
And the alleged content of the emails? Gruden took shots at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, reportedly labelling him a “f——t” and a “clueless anti-football p—-y,” denounced the employment of women in the NFL, derided the drafting of a “queer” player in 2014, questioned the league’s concussion protocols and used offensive language to describe owners, coaches, and journalists in the league.
Additionally, according to the Times, “Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and other men that included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders.”
OCT 11: TEXANS TRYOUTS The Houston Texans are working out former Dallas Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier and four other players, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Frazier is a former Cowboys sixth-round draft pick from Central Michigan. The 6-foot, 217-pounder has also played for the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. He has 73 career tackles and one forced fumble. He was a force on special teams during his time in Dallas, and also, off the field, an asset in the community.
The Texans are also working out defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour and defensive backs Luther Kirk, Chris Milton and Josh Jones.
Jones (6-2, 220 pounds) is a former Green Bay Packers second-round draft pick from North Carolina State. He has 128 career tackles and one interception. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys.
Kirk (6-2, 195) is a former Cowboys undrafted free agent from Illinois State.
Milton (5-11, 190) is a former Indianapolis Colts undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech who has also played for the New York Giants and Cowboys and has 35 career tackles.
Dwumfour is a former New York Jets undrafted free agent from Rutgers. He transferred from Michigan and recorded 59 career tackles in college with 3 1/2 sacks, 8 1/2 tackles for losses and one interception.
OCT 6 ZEKE HONORED Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the Week 4 NFL Ground Game Player of the Week on Wednesday, following his breakout performance against the Carolina Panthers.
Elliott finished with 20 carries for 143 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys win.
OCT 6 NEAL IN As expected (but still helpful): The Cowboys on Wednesday have officially activated linebacker Keanu Neal, along with defensive end Bradlee Anae, from the COVID list.
Meanwhile, receiver Amari Cooper (hamstring) spend most of the media-open portion of the Wednesday workout with trainers. As as part of what could be a vet's rest day, running back Ezekiel Elliott - in good spirits during a brief visit with us as he left the practice field - did not work fully.
OCT 5: JAYLON OUT Jaylon Smith has been released by the Cowboys, a shocking Tuesday evening move that eliminates some of 3-1 Dallas’ depth at linebacker and still leaves the club owing the former star at Notre Dame $7.2 million on his contract.
An NFL source tells CowboysSI.com that Dallas this week attempted to trade Smith.
He dropped in the draft due to a devastating injury, but was drafted by the Cowboys at pick No. 34 and his rehab became a major success story.
READ MORE: 10 Cowboys Observations
But Smith has experienced ups and downs as a player, and with the newfound depth now available at the position driven by top rookie Jaylon Smith is now out.
SEPT 25: NEAL OUT Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said on Saturday that linebacker Keanu Neal has tested positive for COVID-19. Neal will therefore remain in the protocol, so both Neal and Bradlee Anae will be on the COVID list and will not play Monday night against the visiting Eagles.
SEPT 24: MORE COVID The Dallas Cowboys defensive line is down another player as of Friday as added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list is second-year defensive end Bradlee Ana.
The Cowboys have sustained an assortment of losses in the D-line room already this season. As they prepare for their Monday night matchup with the visiting Eagles, they will also be without defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong, as well as defensive tackles Carlos Watkins, Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill.
Randy Gregory has come off the COVID list and is practicing. The team is hoping linebacker Keanu Neal can do the same.
SEPT 22: NEAL TO COVID The Cowboys on Wednesday are moving Keanu Neal to the COVID list, a source tells CowboysSI.com. Mark it down as yet another reason Dallas isn't trading any of its depth at linebacker.
Neal, a former Falcons safety, has emerged as a key Nickel defender - meaning a starting defender - in coordinator Dan Quinn's attack. Quinn, who coached Neal as a safety last year in Atlanta, will now look to give more snaps to Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, who'd been bumped down on the pecking order since Quinn helped orchestrate the free-agency signing of Neal, a converted first-round safety.
SEPT 22: COWBOYS ADD CB The Cowboys are signing cornerback Holton Hill to their practice squad, as first reported by NFL Network.
The 6-2, 196-pound Hill, 24, has appeared in 28 career games while making six starts during his three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings since entering the league in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Texas. He had a tryout with the Cowboys at the end of training camp in Oxnard.
SEPT 13: COVID MOVES The good news on Monday is that the Cowboys are activating All-Pro guard Zack Martin (along with backup lineman Brandon Knight) from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The bad news? Randy Gregory is moving from the roster and has been added to COVID list, which puts in jeopardy his status for Sunday's game at the Chargers.
In another roster move, Michael Gallup (calf) has been shifted to injured reserve.
SEPT 11 New Orleans has released Jeff Heath, the former Dallas Cowboys starting safety and special-teams standout.
Heath signed with New Orleans in mid-August after having signed a big-money deal the season before with the Raiders, but Las Vegas released him in May.
Heath played in 13 games with five starts for Las Vegas, recording three interceptions and four passes defensed. In his thank three seasons in Dallas, Heath, 30 started 44 games.
SEPT 10: COLLINS SUSPENDED Offensive lineman La'el Collins has been suspended five games without pay for Violation of NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, per a league source.
Collins, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, returned to the field in Thursday night's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Collins out, Ty Nsekhe or Terence Steele will be next in line for reps at the right tackle position, though it could be argued that Dallas should kick out Zack Martin (the All-Pro guard who missed Week 1 due to COVID) out to tackle.
SEPT 10: GALLUP HURT The Cowboys didn’t just lose a game in their opener on Thursday night at Tampa Bay - they also lost wide receiver Michael Gallup for what might be a month.
The Dallas Morning News is first to report that Gallup sustained an injury to his calf during the 31-29 loss at the Buccaneers, and is now expected to miss three-to-five weeks.
Gallup, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, had four catches for 36 yards in the game for the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys.
Dallas has great star power at the position with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Cedrick Wilson will be next-man-up for Dallas.
SEPT 6: PRACTICE-SQUADDER ADDED The Cowboys on Monday signed former TCU offensive tackle Aviante Collins to the practice squad. The 6-4, 290-pound Collins, 28, spent training camp with Vikings.
SEPT 5: ANGER BACK The Cowboys have signed punter Bryan Anger back the 53-man roster ahead of Sunday's practice, as was always the plan - though him replacing All-Pro guard Zack Martin wasn’t exactly the vision.
Martin and fellow offensive lineman Brandon Knight on Sunday moved to the Reserve/COVID-19 list, opening spots for guard Connor Williams to be activated from the COVID list and for Anger - a veteran NFL punter in his first season in Dallas - to re-join the club.
SEPT 3: COWBOYS QB TO PATRIOTS So they don't have Cam Newton anymore. And Mac Jones is the only healthy quarterback on the roster. So along comes former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the rescue!
Well, actually, to thepractice squad.
The Cowboys released Gilbert on Tuesday prior to the NFL cutdown deadline, despite the fact that Dallas spent the last six months committed to the idea of Gilbert - who started one game for the Cowboys in 2020, completing 55.3 percent of his passes for 243 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh - as the "savior'' backup QB to Dak Prescott.
Strangely, in a snap of the fingers this summer, Dallas changed its mind, away from Gilbert and to Cooper Rush ... only to then add Panthers ex Will Grier this week to compete with Rush.
This will be Gilbert’s second stint with the Patriots, as the much-traveled journeyman last played for New England in 2015.
SEPT 1 RB COMING The Dallas Cowboys are set at the top of their depth chart with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard at running back. But they've been seeking a third runner who can also play special teams and they've found one in the just-released Corey Clement, who was let go by the New York Giants this week.
The 5-10, 220-pound Clement, 26, played at Wisconsin but was undrafted in 2017 before becoming a contributor on the Eagles' Super Bowl team that year. He played three seasons in Philly and was New York's leading rusher in preseason.
SEPT 1: DiNUCCI STAYING The Cowboys are building their practice squad - and Ben DiNucci is going nowhere.
And we mean that in the nicest way.
The Cowboys are bringing the favorite of coach Mike McCarthy back into the building as part of the 16-man squad, which so far we know will also feature: safety Darian Thompson, running back JaQuan Hardy, defensive lineman DT Austin Faoliu, fullback Nick Ralston, offensive linemen Braylon Jones, Isaac Alarcon, receivers Brandon Smith, Osirus Mitchell and defensive backs Kyron Brown and Deante Burton.
SEPT 1: A NEW QB: The Dallas Cowboys added another potential back up QB to the mix on Tuesday morning, claiming for Carolina Panther Will Grier off of waivers.
Standing 6-2 and weighing 200 pounds, Grier is a former pupil of Garrett Nussmeier during his college days at Florida, and has two NFL starts under his belt.
AUG 31: 'FINAL 53': Of course, it's not really "final.'' But to get to the Tuesday deadline, the moves are here:
Passed Physical, Counts Towards 53
59 Chauncey Golston DE 6-5 277 23 R Iowa D3b-'21
Revert to Reserve/PUP
72 Trysten Hill DT 6-3 300 23 3 Central Florida D2-'19
Revert to Reserve/NFI
15 T.J. Vasher WR 6-6 210 23 R Texas Tech UDFA-'21
85 Noah Brown WR 6-2 215 25 5 Ohio State D7b-'17
3 Garrett Gilbert QB 6-4 228 30 4 Southern Methodist PS(Cle)-'20
23 Darian Thompson S 6-2 210 27 6 Boise State FA-'18
33 Deante Burton CB 6-2 205 27 4 Kansas State PS(Ind)-'19
44 Jake McQuaide LS 6-2 238 34 11 Ohio State UFA(LAR)-'21
67 Eric Smith T 6-6 305 25 4 Virginia FA-'20
87 Jeremy Sprinkle TE 6-5 257 27 5 Arkansas UFA(Was)-'21
99 Justin Hamilton DT 6-2 315 28 4 Louisiana FA-'20
6 Johnnie Dixon WR 5-11 200 26 1 Ohio State FA-'21
7 Ben DiNucci QB 6-2 222 24 2 James Madison D7-'20
14 Osirus Mitchell WR 6-5 210 23 R Mississippi State UDFA-'21
16 Reggie Davis WR 6-0 163 25 1 Georgia FA-'21
18 Aaron Parker WR 6-2 210 23 1 Rhode Island UDFA-'20
25 Steven Parker S 6-1 205 25 3 Oklahoma FA-'20
36 Brenden Knox RB 5-11 223 22 R Marshall UDFA-'21
37 JaQuan Hardy RB 5-8 215 23 R Tiffin UDFA-'21
39 Tyler Coyle S 6-1 210 22 R Purdue UDFA-'21
46 Nick Ralston FB 6-0 245 24 R Louisiana UDFA-'21
47 Nick Eubanks TE 6-4 255 24 R Michigan UDFA-'21
49 Artayvious Lynn TE 6-5 255 25 R TCU UDFA-'21
58 Austin Faoliu DE 6-3 295 22 R Oregon UDFA-'21
60 Isaac Alarcón T 6-6 318 23 1 Monterrey Tech IPP-'20
62 Braylon Jones C 6-3 310 23 R Houston UDFA-'21
80 Brandon Smith WR 6-1 215 22 R Iowa UDFA-'21
97 Ron'Dell Carter DE 6-3 270 24 2 James Madison W(Ind)-'20
AUG 31: COWBOYS SO-FAR CUTS: Here's the list as of noontime Tuesday: Receivers Brandon Smith, Johnnie Dixon and Osirus Mitchell, running backs JaQuan Hardy and Brenden Knox, offensive linemen Eric Smith and Braylon Jones, defensive lineman Ron'Dell Carter and Austin Faoliu, cornerback Deante Burton, safeties Darian Thompson and Tyler Coyle, and QBs Garrett Gilbert and Ben Dinucci.
AUG 31: CAM NEWTON RELEASED - The New England Patriots have cut quarterback Cam Newton, surprisingly commencing the Mac Jones era. This will start the "Cam Newton as a backup" rumors all over the league, including Dallas. The Cowboys cut Garrett Gilbert, settling on Cooper Rush as No. 2 behind Dak Prescott. Jones, meanwhile, will be the first rookie to start for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993, and his first opponent will be former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa, now of the Miami Dolphins.
AUG 30: 2 TRADES? On the day before Tuesday’s NFL cutdown to 53, our buddy Jeff Cavanaugh has a “rumor” that sounds more like fact: "If the Cowboys can find a taker,” he writes on Twitter, “you might hear trades of Brandon Knight/Bradlee Anae …”
Knight is a backup offensive lineman who the previous coaching staff had a fondness for. Anae was drafted a year ago in the fifth and has flashed this summer, but is trying to get snaps as part of a deep group.
AUG 27: SAINTS TO DFW The New Orleans Saints canceled their weekend preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals due to the approach of Hurricane Ida, and now Dallas Cowboys officials tell us, the Saints are evacuating the city and moving to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for workouts.
The Saints plan to practice at the Cowboys’ home stadium from today through Wednesday. The Cowboys will of course occupy the building on Sunday for their preseason finale against Jacksonville.
AUG 25: 2 MORE The Cowboys on Wednesday added two starters, safety Damontae Kazee and guard Connor Williams, to their COVID protocol list.
Meanwhile, safety Donovan Wilson (groin) and cornerback Trevon Diggs (non-COVID-related illness) are likely unavailable for today’s practice here inside The Star.
AUG 25: RAMS TRADE Are running backs interchangeable? Not important? The Patriots and Rams are about to find out.
The Patriots selected Michel with the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then, 2,292 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also scored New England's only touchdown in their 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
Michel could be an instant contributor in Los Angeles. Cam Akers is out for the season and Darrell Henderson is dealing with a thumb sprain.
The Patriots generally think they can "get by'' at running back. The Rams seem to prioritize the spot. And of course, the Cowboys pay big there with Ezekiel Elliott.
Which philosophy is right? The one employed by the team who wins the most games.
AUG 23: 3 MORE COWBOYS IN COVID PROTOCOL The Cowboys on Monday revealed the status of receiver CeeDee Lamb, safety Malik Hooker and defensive back Israel Mukuamu, all of whom have been added to COVID-19 protocol.
On Saturday, before the preseason loss to Houston, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive lineman Carlos Watkins were sent home from AT&T Stadium and put in COVID protocol.
For all the potential negativity about the issue, Tuesday is NFL cutdown day, and now Dallas must remove just one player from the active roster to get to the mandated 80-man roster.
Additionally, they have some scheduling juggling to do. Coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys conducted virtual meetings on Sunday and Monday, with what sounds like a tentative plan to return to the field for practice here at The Star on Tuesday.
“We’re just being cautious and want to make sure that we contain this outbreak and just be smart with that,'' he said.