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Browns Stun ‘Unbeatable’ 49ers 19-17; Reaction for Dallas

OCT 15 NINERS UPSET! 

The Cowboys surely watched the lowly Cleveland Browns upset the previously unbeaten San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in NFL Week 6 by a stunning 19-17 score and wondered three things …

1- How, with somebody named PJ Walker at QB and including the 49ers missing a game-winning field goal to close, did the Browns do that?

2- If the Browns could do it, why, just a week ago, could we not – by an embarrassing 42-10 score, no less?

3- Does this mean maybe at 3-2 and heading to LA to see the Chargers on Monday night that all is not lost when it comes to being competitive in the NFC? That everybody – even the “unbeatable” Niners – are vulnerable?

Related: ‘The Hangover’? Dak Prescott: ‘No Time for Loss to Linger’

Film study will answer their first two questions. The standings answer the third.

OCT 13 KITTLE FINE The NFL has fined San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle $13,659 for “use of abusive language” on the T-shirt he wore under his uniform against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

The profane undershirt has gone viral since after the 42-10 Dallas loss in which Kittle caught three TD passes.

OCT 12 KYLE SHANAHAN WEIGHS IN ON KITTLEGATE San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is the latest to comment on his tight end’s controversial wardrobe malfunction. The Bay Area’s Georgie Kittle scored three touchdowns in a 42-10 shellacking of the Cowboys, one that saw him out score Dallas on his own with three touchdowns. Kittle did so while wearing an undershirt that read “(Bleep) Dallas,” adding another intriguing, salty chapter in the Cowboys-49ers rivalry

Unlike the many on-field commentators whose responses have varied from fury to agreement, Shanahan expressed relative indifference.

“Not much,” Shanahan said, per NBC Sports. “(That’s) just Kittle, WWE stuff, entertainment. Not really much, just smiled at it.”

Each side’s ensuing schedules should wash out this literally dirty laundry from the news cycle. But players in each locker room have made it clear they won’t be forgetting it any time soon, and those feelings should only intensify if they do postseason battle for the third consecutive occasion. 

OCT 10 VANDER ESCH OUT 4-6 WEEKS, SO … Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is set to miss 4-6 weeks after enduring a neck strain during Sunday night’s 42-10 shellacking at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. A trip to injured reserve is possible and head coach Mike McCarthy did not rule out the possibility of bringing in a veteran free agent.

Cowboys’ Vander Esch

USA TODAY SPORTS

“In our personnel meeting we touched on some potential opportunities,” McCarthy said, per CowboysSI’s Mike Fisher. “But we just want to make sure we have all of the information before we head down that road.” 

We might also toss out there the possibility of a trade – also worth “info gathering.”

A dangerous six-game stretch for the Cowboys does feature their bye week in between a Los Angeles doubleheader against the Chargers on Monday (7:15 p.m. CT, ABC/ESPN) and the Rams at home on Oct. 29 before the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Carolina Panthers take them into their Thanksgiving celebration.

OCT 9 COWBOYS LOSE SPECIAL TEAMS ACE The Dallas Cowboys special teams were dealt two blows in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers. 

First, Pro Bowl returner KaVontae Turpin left the game with what is now known as a high ankle sprain and could be out for six weeks. While core special teamer C.J. Goodwin is now expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.

OCT 9 TURPIN OUT, AND …  KaVontae Turpin, who scored the Cowboys’ team’s lone touchdown with his 26-yard catch in Sunday’s 42-10 blowout at San Francisco, likely sustained a high-ankle sprain and now could be out for six weeks.

Dallas is having the Pro Bowl return man undergo an MRI to confirm that likelihood … one of a number of Cowboys players who on Monday need further medical attention.

And along with the concern comes an unusual quote from a team source via the Dallas News, the source saying that Turpin’s diagnosis is “the least of our worries.”

We get it; Dallas got crushed in every way, and the “worries” are many. But we’d like to think the source doesn’t intend for that quote to sound as cold-hearted as it does.

OCT 8 TWO COWBOYS INJURED Cowboys special-teams ace C.J. Goodwin (left shoulder) is questionable to return to this “Sunday Night Football” meeting at the 49ers as he is trying to play through the issue.

Meanwhile, receiver and return man KaVontae Turpin – who has a touchdown catch in this first half, Dallas’ only offensive flash as the Cowboys trail 21-7 at the half – injured his ankle on a kick return when the 49ers aggressively went after his lower leg.

Rookie Deuce Vaughn will fill in as the return guy if needed. But at the moment? The two guys down represent Dallas’ best two special-teamers.

OCT 4 MCCARTHY LAUDS PURDY’S ‘TOTAL COMMAND’ Having seen his share of victorious offenses, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy believes Brock Purdy has made himself an essential part of the current operation in San Francisco.

Purdy, who puts his perfect regular season mark on the line against the Cowboys on Sunday night (7:20 p.m. CT, NBC), has had detractors question whether he is truly the long-term answer behind center for the 49ers. McCarthy, who is well aware of what it takes to foster a franchise man, 

“I think the biggest thing is that he has total command of the offense,” McCarthy said. ““He’s played high level football his whole life.”

Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 draft, has posted a league-best 115.1 passer rating over the first four games of this season, throwing no interceptions on 112 attempts. His 49ers are one of two undefeated teams left in the league alongside Philadelphia.

OCT 2 MICAH OK? Dallas coach Mike McCarthy on Monday rattled off the names of his Cowboys who have any sort of injury issues coming off Sunday’s 38-3 win over the Patriots …

And when Cowboys fans heard Micah Parsons’ name mentioned?

Yes, you were probably “rattled” yourself.

Micah Parsons 

During the game, Micah has the medical staff lol at his knee and ankle; he was clearly dinged up. He did play through it, however.

That matters for Week 5 as the 3-1 Cowboys play at the undefeated 49ers.

McCarthy said the issue is “not of high concern” to him. So hey, if I head coach isn’t worried … you shouldn’t be … Right?

OCT 2 DOWDLE (HIP) TO UNDERGO MRI Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle is set to undergo an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday’s 38-3 victory over the New England Patriots with what was officially declared a hip injury. Dowdle, the top spell option to Tony Pollard, had nine yards on three carries before leaving.

“I’ve got to go watch it,” Dowdle said of his ailment. “I don’t know if I fell on it or if I got hit, took a helmet to it. One of the two. It felt like I took a helmet to it.”

“I don’t think it’s something too bad. I’ll probably be out a couple days, maybe a couple weeks. We’ll see the severity of it.”

Dowdle missed the entire 2021 season due to a separate hip injury

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Deuce Vaughn took over Dowdle’s snaps over the rest of Sunday’s shellacking. The Cowboys have often tried to insert Dowdle into their systems every since he came over as an undrafted rookie from South Carolina in 2020 but bad medical luck has plagued his NFL career. A different hip injury, for example, previously cost him all of the 2020 season. Dowdle earned his first career in NFL in the prior week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cowboys believe Dowdle and Zack Martin (ankle) will both be fine for this week, but they’ll start on Wednesday in the rehab group before hopefully resuming practice.

SEPT 29 COWBOYS 3 MOVES The Cowboys have as expected signed center Brock Hoffman up from the practice squad and on to the 53-man roster. … as the club is thin there with Tyron Smith (knee) out and Zack Martin (ankle) and Tyler Biadasz (hamstring) planning to play.

Also up this week from the practice squad are Texas Longhorns linebacker Malik Jefferson (because in the roster shuffle Devin Harper was lost via waivers to the Bengals) and tight end Sean McKeon, who fills a possible need as late in the week Peyton Hendershot was moved to the injury list and listed as “questionable,” as are Martin and Biadasz.

SEPT 28 TRYSTEN TO TEXANS? The Dallas Cowboys blew it when they drafted Trysten Hill. But the Houston Texans need help along the defensive line … so the Cowboys’ former second-round bust received a tryout in Houston on Thursday, a source told TexansDaily.com.

Hill, now 25, was the apple of the eye of then-Dallas defensive boss Rod Marinelli, but the 2019 pick was approved by everyone else in the organization as well. Hill is 6-3 and 300 and has bounced around on various practice squads in recent years.

SEPT 23 THREE O-LINEMEN QUESTIONABLE The Cowboys are doing some O-line moving due to injuries to a trio of starters, as Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz are all officially listed as ‘questionable’ for Week 3 at Arizona.

Biadasz (hamstring) and Martin (ankle) were already mild concerns late in the week. But on Saturday, Tyron (knee) was added to the list.

Along with that, the Cowboys elevated centers Brock Hoffman and Sean Harlow from the practice squad.

Dallas also moved Trevon Diggs to IR and signed CJ Goodwin to the 53-man roster.

SEPT 22 BIADASZ CONCERN? Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy apepared on @1053thefan on Friday morning to offer an injury update on center Tyler Biadasz, who injured his hamstring in Thursday’s workout and needed an MRI.

“Talking with the medical staff last night, they think he’ll be ready to go,” McCarthy said. “But when you have these type of things show up late like they do, the next morning is obviously an important evaluation. But they were not of high concern last night.”

SEPT 21 BIADASZ HAMSTRING INJURY? Cowboys star cornerback Trevon Diggs was not the only player to recently undergo an MRI, as starting center Tyler Biadasz is doing to do so as well due to a hamstring injury … which has popped up as an issue via the team’s official Wednesday practice report.

While the Cowboys will not benefit from the 2023 return of Diggs following his torn ACL, the Cowboys believe Biadasz “will be OK,” according to reports.

Dallas is 2-0 and plays at winless Arizona on Sunday.

SEPT 21 DIGGS DONE The Cowboys’ worst fears were confirmed on Thursday afternoon as the MRI for star cornerback Trevon Diggs confirmed that he tore his ACL in practice, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.

Dallas team leader Dak Prescott, when asked what happened with Diggs, said, “I’m not going to speak on anything. It’s way too early. I saw what I guess a couple of you saw, him leaving the field. But prayers, hoping for the best.”

In the two games he played this season, Diggs recorded four tackles, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and an interception, with opposing quarterbacks having completed just 2 of 8 passes for 26 yards and one interception when throwing at Diggs, who has therefore earned an absurdly good 1.0 QB rating in coverage.

SEPT 20 MICAH HONORED Cowboys “Lion-backer” Micah Parsons has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his work in Dallas’ 30-10 victory over the New York Jets in Week 2.

Along with him bringing constant pressure vs. the Jets, Parsons was special on the stat sheet as well, as he recorded two sacks, forced an interception and caused a Dalvin Cook fumble that he’d forced.

Micah has repeated said that Dallas’ “statement” is, “We’re the best defense in the NFL.” And this week? He’s being recognized as being the best of the best.

SEPT 18 GUARD INJURY UPDATE Tyler Smith has missed the first two games of the Cowboys season with a hamstring strain, and he’ll be working take the field in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals. So will Zack Martin, who came up with a dinged ankle in Sunday’s 30-10 win over the Jets … and there seems to be some conservatism there.

On Smith: “We feel very optimistic about Tyler having a great chance at having a shot against Arizona,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Monday.

And on Martin, who said he could’ve kept playing in Week 2 if needed? Coach Mike McCarthy said Martin and Chuma Edoga (elbow sprain/forearm bone bruise) will likely miss the start of this practice week on Wednesday … and McCarthy made no grand promises about Martin for Sunday.

SEPT 17 OBJ INJURED Odell Beckham, once the apple of Jerry Jones’ eye, was playing in Week 2 for the Ravens before early in the second half the team announced that OBJ had been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Beckham was out for a few plays in the first half, received medical attention, and then returned … before he was shut down.

Beckham ends the day with three catches for 29 yards with the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens up 27-17 with half of the final quarter remaining against a Bengals team, led by Joe Burrow, that may fall to 0-2.

The Cowboys flirted with the idea of signing Beckham but backed off due to injury concerns. Instead, they traded for Brandin Cooks, who it is worth noting has a knee injury and is inactive in Week 2 against the Jets.

SEPT. 17 COOKS OUT? As the Dallas Cowboys look to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2019, they will likely have to do it without one of their top receivers Brandin Cooks. 

According to a report from ESPN, Cooks “is not expected to play” against the New York Jets on Sunday after sustaining a sprained knee in the season-opening 40-0 win against the New York Giants.

Cooks was acquired in the offseason by the Cowboys in a trade with the Houston Texans, which gave them a potential three-headed monster out wide as he joined CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup atop the depth chart. 

After recording two catches for 22 yards in Week 1, Cooks will watch from the sidelines and likely help coach up second-year receiver Jalen Tolbert, who is largely expected to be called upon to help fill the void.

SEPT. 14 BRANDT TO BE HONORED IN COWBOYS HOME OPENER Sunday’s tilt against the New York Jets (3:25 p.m. CT, CBS) will be the first Dallas Cowboys game without the physical prescience of Gil Brandt, as the renowned North Texas front office prescience passed away on Aug. 31 at the age of 91. 

Brandt, a Hall of Fame and Cowboys Ring of Honor inductee who served as the team’s vice president of player personnel for their first 29 seasons (1960-88), will be remembered on the field on Sunday: Dallas’ helmets will bear a memorial sticker in Brandt’s honor, the tribute featuring his first name placed upon the famed star emblem.

Dallas previously honored the passing of original head coach Tom Landry during the 2000 season, wearing a memorial batch depicting his famous fedora throughout the campaign.

SEPT. 13 COWBOYS UNIFORM GETS SUBTLE MAKEOVER Just in time for the end of New York Fashion Week, observant views of the Dallas Cowboys’ aesthetics have noticed that the team could be making a subtle change to its relatively eternal color palette. 

As noticed by sports uniform and aesthetic archiver TruColor, the Cowboys’ official style guide shows that the gray/silver pants often paired with the (supposedly unlucky) navy jersey now feature royal blue stripes. Supposedly, the new pants could be worn when Dallas dons its white jersey (traditionally considered to be their home uniform) on the road, but the team dressed in its light blue/silver pants for Sunday’s 40-0 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. 

Football fashion aficionados will no doubt keep an eye on any changes. As it stands, Dallas appears scheduled to wear its navy jersey for the first time on Oct. 29 when it faces the Los Angeles Rams at home. Dallas’ next road game lands on Sept. 24 in Arizona.

SEPT. 12 AARON RODGERS ‘CAREER OVER’? After an offseason of hype, Aaron Rodgers left the New York Jets’ highly anticipated Monday Night Football opener against the Buffalo Bills with what we now know is a serious Achilles injury. His status for the Jets’ next game? Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium against the Cowboys? He’s out. But it’s much worse than that …

The Jets first announced that the 39-year-old Rodgers was out the rest of Monday’s game, which in the end became an OT win over the Bills.

The four-time MVP was sacked on the Jets’ fourth offensive play. After a seemingly innocent tackle by Buffalo’s Leonard Floyd for a 10-yard sack, Rodgers briefly stood up but then went back to the ground. He limped to the sideline and into New York’s medical tent, but was soon carted to the locker room and put into a walking boot for further evaluation.

Zach Wilson is in for the Jets at quarterback. Rodgers officially went 0 of 1 in his Jets’ debut.

And yet … somehow the Jets win in OT, 22-16, when Dallas’ own Xavier Gipson returns the punt for a 65-yard game-winning touchdown. 

But back to Rodgers: It’s a full tear. He’s done for the year. And informed media folks are already suggesting he’s done for his career.

And now comes more speculation about a Jets pursuit of QB help. … which includes guessing at names involving everybody from Tom Brady to Colin Kaepernick.

SEPT 10. ‘GOOD TO BE BACK’ – Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin was never fired by NFL Network and in fact continued to collect his normal paycheck for the last seven months even while not being allowed to work while involved in a sexual harassment controversy.

But this weekend a settlement was reached with Marriott in his $100 million defamation lawsuit, and as the Dallas News has noted, suddenly he is set to re-appear on NFL Network on Sunday morning.

And here is that appearance …

“Good to be back,” Irvin said in the morning show intro.

A woman’s accusation in February at the start of Super Bowl Week in Arizona caused him to be removed from his on-air assignments. He also ceased appearing on ESPN and has since taking a job on “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless on FS1.

“I did nothing wrong!” Irvin reiterated to CowboysSI.com recently. … and now it seems that debate is behind him.

SEPT 8 COACH OUT The Dallas Cowboys are about to unveil their new running backs room in the post-Ezekiel Elliott era … but there a position coach will not be here in New York to be a part of it 

As the team boards the plane at DFW for its trip here to the New York area, position coach Jeff Blasko will be staying behind, having been granted a “medical leave” by the team.

Blasko is in his first year working with Tony Pollard and the running backs after spending three seasons here as an assistant offensive line coach. In New York against the Giants in Week 1, his duties will be shared by a group of others on Mike McCarthy’s staff.

SEPT 6 NEW FOR NEVILLE The Cowboys have restructured the contract of defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, on Tuesday having agreed to a reworked deal to free up cap space ahead of the regular season.

As first noted by ESPN, Dallas reduced Gallimore’s base salary from $2.7 million for 2023 down to $1.5 million. Gallimore, 26 and a third-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2020, can earn back $750,000 through incentives in this re-do of his rookie deal.

Gallimore, thought to be on the roster bubble this year, appeared in 16 games for the Cowboys and recorded 33 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack and figures as part of Dallas’ D-line rotation this year. 

SEPT. 5 JERRY JONES TOASTS DEION VICTORY – The folks in Boulder and throughout HBCU Nation weren’t the only ones watching in amazement last Saturday as Deion Sanders orchestrated Colorado’s exhilarating 45-42 upset of TCU. Sanders, who helped the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXX almost 30 years ago, also caught the attention of his former owner.

“I was watching and … Deion is exciting and good for college football,” Jerry Jones said Tuesday morning on his 105.3 The Fan radio show. “Anybody with any kind of orientation toward the Cowboys has got to be excited, too.”

Jones’ current Cowboys open the season Sunday night against the New York Giants. In the same stadium in 1998, it was Sanders who single-handedly beat the Giants with an epic Monday Night Football – “Prime Time” – performance. He became the first NFL player since 1966 to return a punt and an interception for touchdowns in the same game. Just for fun, Deion added a 55-yard reception as a receiver to set up another score in Dallas’ 31-7 win.


SEPT 3 DEION SANDERS DELIVERS EMPHATIC PRE-GAME SPEECH AS COLORADO UPSETS TCU Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders has been at the forefront of headlines this weekend after guiding the University of Colorado to a dramatic 45-42 win over TCU, last year’s national runner-up, in his debut as the team’s coach.

Following the game, Sanders made waves with his remarks to the media, as he spoke at length about “keeping receipts” from takes made by certain reporters … but it’s perhaps more noteworthy what the former Jackson State coach said before the victory.

“We ain’t got tomorrow, we got now!” Sanders said. “We ain’t got next, we got now! We ain’t coming no more – we’re here!”

Here’s an expanded look at Sanders’ motivational pre-game speech …

SEPT 1 COMMANDERS PRESIDENT: RETURN TO REDSKINS ‘NOT BEING CONSIDERED’ – If the Washington Commanders opt to change their identity again, they won’t be reverting to their longest-running nickname. 

While some have felt that the team could restore its “Redskins” nickname, retired in 2020 due to racial concerns, upon the team’s sale to New Jersey Devils/Philadelphia 76ers boss Josh Harris, team president Jason Wright squashed the idea in comments from Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

“It is not being considered,” Wright said of “Redskins.” “Period.”

That previous identity first appeared in 1933 and lasted nearly nine full decades despite some viewing it as insensitive and racist toward Native Americans. The team went by the simple moniker of the “Washington Football Team” for two seasons before introducing the Commanders branding last season. 

AUG. 30 COLE BEASLEY SIGNS WITH NEW YORK GIANTS – Former Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley is staying in the NFC East, on Wednesday signing onto the practice squad of the New York Giants. Beasley didn’t make their 53-man roster, but was re-signed a day later.

A product of Little Elm and a graduate of SMU, Beasley became a DFW fan favorite by being one of Tony Romo’s favorite targets in the 2010s. In seven seasons in Dallas, he caught 319 passes for 3,271 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Now 34, he has bounced around the NFL including stints with the Bills and Buccaneers. In Buffalo he worked under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, now Giants’ head coach.


AUG 30 RAMS SIGN EX COWBOYS KICKER The Los Angeles Rams have reportedly found the solution to their kicker problem.

Per reports, the Rams are signing former Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher, who the Denver Broncos recently released after he finished the preseason making four of his six field goal attempts without missing any extra points.

Maher, 33, lost his job in Dallas after making just one of his five extra-point attempts in the Cowboys’ wild-card win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, despite bouncing back a week later in the division-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers, where he both of his two field goals. 

He will now be looking to rebuild his reputation as a once as a reliable kicker in Los Angeles.

AUG 29 JAYLON CUT The Saints are releasing veteran Jaylon Smith, the former Cowboys second-round pick who rehabbed from a devastating college leg injury career to forge an NFL career than NFL Network suggests will continue as Smith “will have other options.”

AUG 26 BRADY TO THE ‘BOYS “Go ruin their night!” That was the Tom Brady pregame message to QBs gives Jimmy Garoppolo and Aidan O’Connell of the Raiders as they left the AT&T Stadium locker room and headed to meet the Cowboys here in the Saturday preseason finale.

Why is Brady popping off? And why is he dressed like the late Al Davis? And why is he even here? Oh yeah … he’s a Raiders ownership guy now … so, the all-time quarterback GOAT, now retired, is also doing stuff like hobnobbing with Jerry Jones before the game.

Hey, Tom … it’s only preseason! … Though maybe it is this level of intensity that makes Brady the greatest.

AUG 23 SMITH-NJIGBA TO UNDERGO WRIST SURGERY Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll announced this week that rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will undergo wrist surgery in Philadelphia after sustaining an injury in Saturday’s preseason victory against the Cowboys. The ailment leaves Smith-Njigba’s status for the Week 1 opener against the Los Angeles Rams in doubt.

“He’s got a slight fracture that we just want to make sure we do the right thing to ensure that he gets back as soon as possible and as safe as possible,” Carroll said, per Brady Henderson of ESPN. “We’re going to be optimistic about it. Three, four weeks, we’ll see what happens. We don’t know yet.”

Smith-Njigba is one of the more touted rookies of this incoming class, landing in Seattle as the 20th pick in last spring’s draft. The Ohio State alum posted 58 yards on a trio of receptions in Seattle’s 22-14 win over Dallas, most of it coming on a tally of 48 that set up the Seahawks’ first touchdown of the game.

AUG 23 WASHINGTON INJURY The Washington Commanders played host to the Baltimore Ravens in a second preseason game on Monday, and when Washington beat the Ravens 29-28, it snapped Baltimore’s 24-game preseason win streak.

That’s a fun one for the record books. Not so fun? The Commanders starters on offense played the first half, and on their last drive together, standout Terry McLaurin exited with a toe injury. 

X-rays came back negative, but there is speculation that the injury could be “turf toe,” which sounds innocuous but which could represent trouble for a Commanders team hoping to keep pace with the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants in the rugged NFC East.

Top receiver McLaurin might miss some time. … a story worth monitoring in the division.

AUG 21 JONES CALLS MARTIN “INDISPENSABLE” As the football world around them continues to lose familiarity, the Dallas Cowboys secured the future of one of their offensive staples by inking Zack Martin to a contract extension that will keep him in a starred helmet through at least 2025. Despite the initial summer tensions, team owner Jerry Jones made his thoughts on Martin’s continued longevity quite clear during an appearance on KTVT’s pregame show prior to the Cowboys’ Saturday showdown against Seattle.

“Speaking on the CBS11 pre-game show, Jerry Jones said Zack Martin is “in a league of his own,” Todd Archer wrote about Martin’s appearance. “(He) is indispensable to the Dallas Cowboys,” (Jones said) when asked what it meant to have the All-Pro right guard back in the fold.”

Martin, who turns 33 in February, is set to enter his 10th NFL season after coming to Dallas as their first-round pick in 2014. In that time, he has started 137 games and has earned six first-team All-Pro nominations. 

AUG 15 ‘I’M NOT WORRIED!’ The Cowboys are going through an injury scare from the Tuesday workout at training camp in Oxnard as Micah Parsons was forced to exit the practice with an apparent injury to his lower leg. He got his calf area taped up by the training staff and remained on the sideline, not returning to the workout itself.

Parsons indicated that he got kicked in the leg and that he would have the medical staff take a closer look.

“It’s just something that happened to me, its football,” Parsons said. “I’m not worried about it.”

AUG 14 ZEKE’S NEW ‘DO Free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott is working toward a new job … with a new look.

Elliott, who was released by the Cowboys after the 2022 season, is making a change in his appearance. … with those luxurious locks now pictured on the floor via his IG, the result of a big-time haircut.

Hey, your parents always told you to get a haircut before a job interview … so we will keep you posted as to the next stop for Zeke, who is not presently in the Cowboys plans – especially with rookie Deuce Vaughn’s in-game debut – but who did recently visit the Patriots.

AUG 13 BRILES HIRED? Former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles, who lost his head coaching job amid the school’s sexual assault scandal in the 2010’s is apparently back in the game – and back in Dallas.

Briles, now 67, will reportedly be coaching in a new football league – “The International Football Alliance.”

The new spring league plans to put teams in Mexico, Texas and California, according to a tweet from college football writer Dave Wilson, who adds that Nick Rolovich, Hal Mumme and Noel Mazzone will also coach teams.

AUG 12 WILD VS. COWBOYS! Who is Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nathan Rourke? Heck, we don’t know. But we watched in person as Rourke did what he could to make a name for himself in the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason-opening loss.

During the fourth quarter of what would be a 28-23 Jags win, today’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, Rourke somehow avoided one, two three forceful sack attempts, avoiding the triple swarm to eventually find Qadree Ollison for a 21-yard touchdown.

The best play of the entire preseason? A chance for Rourke, the Jags’ third-string QB (with Trevor Lawrence as the No. 1) to do it again? That we don’t know. But a highlight play like this? It was cool, even though it came against Dallas.

AUG 9 MAZI UPDATE Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive tackle Mazi Smith is projected to be a top-of-the-rotation player and maybe even a starter, but he missed Tuesday’s training camp practice in Oxnard and to get an MRI on his knee.

The team calling the move “precautionary.” … and we suggested that before we accept that “everything’s fine,” we’d sure like to see him back on the practice field.

And on Wednesday in the walkthrough in Oxnard, he’s there, as is center Tyler Biadasz, who rolled his ankle on Tuesday but is working through it.

The Cowboys picked Smith in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of Michigan, and they view the 6-3, 330-pounder as an instant-impact contributor. On the just-released depth chart, the rookie is listed behind run-stopping vet Johnathan Hankins. But in practice in camp in Oxnard, he’s at times worked both ahead of and alongside Hankins.

And in Saturday’s preseason opener against the visiting Jags? Dallas wants to see Mazi in action – team owner Jerry Jones is excited to observe him in “combat,” as he put it – so we assume, if he’s truly healthy, we’ll see that, too.

AUG 8 BARR SIGNS Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Barr is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints pending a physical, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini … though it seems that deal may have fallen through …

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Barr joined the Cowboys last offseason. He started 10 of the 14 games he played, recording 58 total tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a pass defended. He previously spent eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, when he was a staple of the defense for most of his tenure.

AUG 7 MICAH TOP 10 Dallas Cowboys star Micah Parsons has been selected by his peers as the No. 9 best player in the NFL. The Defensive Player of the Year runner-up in each of his two seasons, Parsons last year ranked top-10 in sacks (13.5), QB hits (26) and forced fumbles (3) in 2022, with all three matching or setting career highs.

The rest of the top 100: 10. DL Chris Jones; 9. LB Micah Parsons; 8. QB Josh Allen; 7. WR Tyreek Hill; 6. QB Joe Burrow; 5. Travis Kelce; 4. DE Nick Bosa; 3. QB Jalen Hurts; 2. WR Justin Jefferson; 1 and QB Patrick Mahomes

AUG 7 SCHOON BACK Luke Schoonmaker, the Cowboys rookie tight end, is being activated from the Non-Football Injury list and could today practice for the first time in training camp.

Schoonmaker, the second-round pick from Michigan, has been dealing with a partial tear to his plantar fascia

“Schoon” will now try to make up time with a “Four Horsemen” position group that includes Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot.

AUG 5 HOWLEY TO HALL The Pro Football Hall of Fame finally welcomed linebacker Chuck Howley, the Dallas Cowboys legend being represented on the Canton stage by teammate Bob Lilly and by Howley’s son Scott.

“I know dad is honored to be a part of this 2023 class,” said Scott of his father, who is 87 and suffering from dementia.

Howley, honored on this day along with another Dallas legend in DeMarcus Ware, made six Pro Bowls in 13 seasons with the Cowboys, starred on the team’s “Doomsday Defense” and became the only player on a Super Bowl-losing team ever voted the game’s MVP. 

“Chuck was one of those players who always knew where the ball was going to go,” said fellow Hall of Famer Lilly, Howley’s presenter. “Chuck had that special talent.”

Scott Howley said he hoped his father was at home watching the ceremony and guided the crowd to yell out a special “Hello Chuck!” shoutout.

AUG 4 DEZ TV Dez Bryant seems to us to be an easy pick for the favorite as the Dallas Cowboys ex is about to jump into the world of reality TV.

FOX says of season two of the reality competition series: “It’s FOX’s ultimate celebrity social experiment, ‘Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test,’ returns … enlisting a troop of household names to endure some of the harshest, most grueling challenges from the playbook of the actual Special Forces selection process. … The recruits will be faced with the harsh reality of winter warfare training on the mountains of New Zealand where the terrain and freezing temperatures are brutal and the tasks will feel like torture.”

Who is on the show competing against Dez? The collection of mostly Hollywood types: Tyler Cameron, Savannah Chrisley, Blac Chyna, Brian Austin Green, Robert Horry, Erin Jackson, Bode Miller, Jack Osbourne, Tara Reid, Kelly Rizzo, Tom Sandoval, JoJo Siwa, and Nick Viall.

We don’t know all those people and we’ve never watched the show. But yeah … we like Dez’ chances,

AUG 1 TACO SIGNS Former Cowboys pass-rusher Taco Charlton has found a new home, signing a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.

Charlton, the Cowboys’ first-round pick in 2017, struggled to find his footing during his brief tenure in Dallas. The 6-6, 270-pound defensive end had just 46 tackles and four sacks in two seasons. He was also inactive for five games in 2018 and lost his starting job halfway through the season. 

Two weeks into the 2019 season, the Cowboys released Charlton after failing to find a trade partner. The Miami Dolphins claimed him on waivers soon after, and he recorded five sacks in 10 games with them. Charlton has spent each of the last three seasons with different teams, the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020, Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021 and Chicago Bears in 2022. He has 11.5 sacks in 60 career games, including just 13 starts.

Now, the former Cowboys joins a lethal 49ers pass rush as a reserve option, hoping to get his career back on track.

JULY 28 NO ZEKE DEAL Former Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in Foxboro on Saturday to visit with Patriots, but with the visit over, he’s apparently exited town.

Why? As we have tried to explain, Elliott – who remains a free agent and could obviously end up with New England even after his exit – is a backup plan to the Patriots’ wishes to sign Dalvin Cook.

Last season, Elliott had 876 yards and 12 touchdowns on 231 carries. He also had 17 receptions for 92 yards. The two-time NFL rushing champ can still help somebody … and maybe that somebody is the Patriots, who currently have Rhamondre Stevenson listed as their starting running back, with Ty Montgomery, Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris behind him on the depth chart.

But this was an exploratory visit. And now the Patriots want to further explore the idea of Dalvin Cook, who is visiting with the Jets this weekend.

JULY 28 COWBOYS EX SIGNS WITH BUFFALO Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kyron Brown has signed with the Buffalo Bills, the team announced Friday.

Originally an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets, Brown spent time on the Cowboys practice squad in 2021 and was elevated before appearing in Dallas’ 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Nov. 2021, contributing on special teams.

He spent training camp with the Cowboys last offseason but was eventually released in Aug. 2022. Brown then signed to the Tennessee Titans practice squad last October.

In his career, Brown has posted five solo tackles.

JULY 26 WILSON OUT Safety Donovan Wilson, part of the Cowboys’ “3-Headed Monster” at the position, was carted off of the practice field here on Oxnard during the team’s first training camp workout. We’re told he sustained a calf strain while working through Day 1.

The Cowboys will likely list this as being a “day-to-day” issue, but patience will likely be needed before Wilson – the hard-hitting box safety who last year registered five sacks – is back to 100 percent.

JULY 24 AMARI HURT The Browns enter the 2023 NFL season with high hopes. but are experiencing downers at the receiver spot as their training camp opens. On Sunday, No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper left practice early on due to an injury. Cleveland.com is suggesting that it is a “minor tweak,” and it is being reported that the injury is not related to the core muscle surgery the former Dallas Cowboys receiver – traded last offseason to Cleveland – had in February.

The issue for Cleveland does come on the heels of another vet, Marquise Goodwin, being sidelined with blood clots in his lungs and legs, a condition Goodwin – a former University of Texas star – has said is “frightening.”

JULY 21 MAHER SIGNS The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher, part of the game of NFL “Musical Chairs” at the position.

The Broncos’ new kicker worked for the Cowboys last season and was automatic until a postseason meltdown. He suffered from “the yips” during the playoffs as he only made 1 out of 6 extra-point attempts. 

Dallas has signed USFL standout Brandon Aubrey, a Plano native and soccer star with only two years of football experience, to go to Oxnard to compete with Tristan Vizcaino for the job.

JULY 20 TALIB GUILTY Yaqub Talib, brother of former NFL star Aqib Talib – agreed to plead guilty to a murder charge for the fatal shooting of a youth football coach Lancaster last year.

Talib was accused of shooting Michael Hickmon, 43, in August. He faces a 37-year sentence, according to the Dallas County district attorney’s office.

According to Lancaster police, witnesses said the Aug. 13, 2022, fight began because of a disagreement between coaching staffs over a call made by referees. Video of the incident showed a group of men fighting, followed by the sound of several gunshots.

Aqib Talib – a five-time Pro Bowl player who retired from the NFL in 2021 and began a now-stalled career in broadcasting – is a defendant in a $1 million suit filed by the Hickmon family as it is alleged that Aqib instigated the brawl that resulted in the shooting, which allegedly featured Hickman being shot multiple times, including in the back.

The argument allegedly occurred when Aqib walked onto the field to argue with officials during a scrimmage for 9-year-olds

JULY 6 KICKER SIGNED Tristan Vizcaino is getting some competition for training camp, as the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday signed USFL kicker Brandon Aubrey. Kicking for the Birmingham Stallions in 2023, Aubrey – a Plano, Texas native – made 14 of 15 field goals and all 35 extra points.

Aubrey was a soccer star in college at Notre Dame and briefly played professionally in the MLS. Last Summer the Cowboys fared well with their USFL signee, as KaVontae Turpin made the Pro Bowl as the NFC’s best kick returner.

Meanwhile, Brett Maher – the kicker who made Cowboys Nation cringe with four missed extra points in the playoff win over the Buccaneers last January – remains a free agent.

JULY 2 MICAH FAVORED Per SI Sportsbook’s betting odds for the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year, Dallas Cowboys “Lion-backer” Micah Parsons is running away from most of the competition with the best odds (+600) to win the award. 

Other notable names after Parsons include Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (+650), Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (+700), San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (+900), Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (+1100) and New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (+1200).

Wait. What about the Rams’ Aaron Donald, the three-time DPOY winner who Micah is saying he wants to model himself after in terms of “dominance” over stats? Donald is tied for the seventh-best odds (+1800) with Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns.




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