Dallas Cowboys Birthdays: Jerry Jones Turns 81

OCT 13 JERRY JONES TURNS 81 Jerry Jones is entering his Terrell Owens/Rocket Ismail year.

The tenured owner of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates his 81st birthday on Friday and his 24th since purchasing the team back in 1989. Jones’ tenure continues to serve as a rollercoaster but there is no denying the business impact he has had on the team, which continues to surge in popularity in terms of views and online discussions. In his tenure, Jones has also partly overseen three Super Bowl championship efforts and the opening of both AT&T Stadium and The Star training facility in Arlington and Frisco respectively. 

Dallas has had a game on Jones’ birthday on seven occasions since he took over, posting a 4-3 record in such contests.

OCT 11 POST MALONE, COWBOYS UNITE FOR TASTY TRIBUTE The Dallas Cowboys are embarking on a new kind of run game along with Grapevine-raised rapper Post Malone. 

A Dallas-based Raising Cane’s fast food restaurant will serve as a joint tribute to the accomplishments of both the Cowboys and Malone, respective winners of five Super Bowls and three American Music Awards. Drive-thru customers will place their order under an illuminated 32-foot structure made to resemble the Cowboys’ famous star emblem.

“We’re very proud to be part of this innovative new store and concept,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a release. “Seeing that big Cowboys star in position to greet everyone will be a great reminder and reflection of how much we value and celebrate our continued collaboration.” 

Pairing Malone with the Cowboys is perhaps ironic with the former’s family, as his father Richard Post has served as the team’s manager of concessions. 

OCT 10 BB OUT, DQ IN? It’s his 24th season at the helm of the New England Patriots, but it’s not going well for Bill Belichick. “Fire Bill!” is a social media thing, as fresh off their first loss of at least 35 points since 1993 (to the Cowboys) Belichick and the Patriots did it again, as the New Orleans Saints put up a 34-point shutout in the early portions of the NFL’s Week 5 action.

And so along comes our guys at at SI, with a list of possible BB successors. And on that list? DQ – that would be Dan Quinn, the Cowboys defensive coordinator. Read more here.

OCT 9 COWBOYS, 49ERS FANS GET ENGAGED AFTER SNF DEBACLE Matchups between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have routinely had rings on the line. One couple brought the concept to the regular season. 

Shortly after San Francisco’s 42-10 battering, NBC cameras caught a male 49ers fan successfully proposing to a female Cowboys fan, a happening that earned humorous commentary from analyst Cris Collinsworth at the end of the broadcast.

“Would he have done it if the Cowboys had won? I don’t think so!” Collinsworth happily declared to play-by-play man Mike Tirico. “You can’t start a marriage like that, with her having the upper hand. But 49ers win, ‘Here you go, let’s get married.'”

The two fans were respectively clad in Dak Prescott and Christian McCaffrey replica jerseys in sharing their special moment. 

Cowboys contests have been uncannily common places for families, particularly those who root for dueling squads, to lay down their foundations in recent weeks: last week’s win over New England saw a female Cowboys fan go into labor before she gave birth at a nearby hospital with her Patriots-supporting husband by her side.

OCT. 5 FORMER COWBOY, ‘HARD KNOCKS’ STAR ARRESTED FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY – Former Dallas Cowboy Dwayne Missouri has been arrested over animal cruelty and is said to have allegedly left a puppy in a 100-degree storage unit in Helotes. According to arrest reports obtained by CBS Austin, police were dispatched to a unit owned by Missouri on June 20 and found the dog in the non-climate-controlled unit along with clothes and shoes. The dog survived and is now in the custody of Helotes Animal Control.

Missouri, 44, played two regular season games with the Cowboys during the 2001 season. He is perhaps best known for his starring turn on the original edition of the NFL/HBO training camp docudrama “Hard Knocks” as his attempt to make the defending champion Baltimore Ravens’ roster served as one of the subplots for the debut showing. Missouri previously played high school football with Theodore Roosevelt High School in San Antonio.

OCT. 3 PARSONS PRAISES EAGLES’ ‘TUSH PUSH’ – Dallas Cowboys defender Micah Parsons has taken a side in the debate surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles’ “Tush Push” play, claiming that it’d be “sucker-ish” for the NFL to take any action to outright ban it.

“We just have to deal with it, we have to adjust, we have to prepare to stop it,” Parsons said on his Bleacher Report podcast. “It’s not up to the league to say, ‘Hey, just because you can’t stop it, we have to take it away.’ No, we have to get better, we have to get stronger up front and we have to stop it.”

In the wake of the Eagles’ success with the play, which involves backfield blockers pushing Jalen Hurts across the goal line or first down marker, Parsons noted that the Cowboys were able to stop an imitated effort from the New England Patriots during Sunday’s 38-3 victory. Parsons said that the power of the Philadelphia offensive line allows them to pull off perfect pushes.

“It’s all about who you have,” Parsons said. The Eagles have the best o-line in the game, so yes it’s a cheat code, they’re unstoppable at it.”

Parsons and the Cowboys will have their first chance to stop Hurts’ gambit on Nov. 5 when the teams do battle at Lincoln Financial Field. 

OCT 1 DAK AND JERRY ARRIVE The Dallas Cowboys are rolling into AT&T Stadium today for Week 4 … and Dak Prescott and Jerry Jones have just arrived in style for the visit from the Patriots.

First, the Cowboys owner Jones did it his way, via helicopter – or “Air Jer”’, as we like to call it  …

And then QB Dak arrived and showed himself to be “a man of the people” as he headed to the home team locker room …

All in preparation for today’s 3:25 p.m. kickoff here in Arlington.

SEPT 29 PARSONS PLEADS JETS TO STICK WITH ZACH WILSON Micah Parsons is standing up for a fellow draft cat from the same collegiate litter.

Parsons, formerly of the Penn State Nitanny Lions, begged the New York Jets to stick with BYU Cougars alum and 2021 draft classmate Zach Wilson on the latest episode of his Bleacher Report web series “The Edge with Micah Parsons.” Wilson, the second overall pick chosen 10 slots prior to Parsons, has failed to pick up the New York Jets’ offensive slack since stepping in for the injured Aaron Rodgers, leading to many imploring Gang Green to seek help from elsewhere. Parsons, however, preached patience and called the Jets to support their embattled teammate under center.

This isn’t a walk-in-the-park job. There are only 32 starting jobs in the NFL for a reason. Defensive ends, you can be rotatable,” Parsons noted. “Quarterback is one of the hardest positions in the NFL and you expect a third-year guy who got benched last year…? His team needs to give back to him and pour into him so he can be the guy they want him to be.”

Micah did offer a but: “And if they can’t, there’s a bunch of free agent guys.” 

Parsons got to know Wilson on a personal basis during the Jets’ Week 2 visit to AT&T Stadium, as he earned two sacks and four further hits on the No. 2 pick in a 30-10 Dallas victory. The road gets no easier for Wilson and the Jets (1-2), who face the Kansas City Chiefs at home in this week’s Sunday nighter (7:20 p.m. CT, NBC).

SEPT 28 JOHNSTON’S USFL CONFIRMS XFL MERGER PLAN The war for spring football is on pace for a peaceful resolution: the United States Football League, headed by president and ex-Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston formally announced its intentions to seek a merger with the XFL. The rebooted leagues ran concurrently for several weeks last spring.

“Subject to customary regulatory approvals and if the transaction is consummated, the new league will establish best-in-class operations based on the most recent seasons of both leagues,” a statement from the USFL reads. “This historic combination will anchor professional spring football with substantial capabilities and resources to ensure future growth and continue to enhance the development of the collective players, coaches, and staff that are coming together.”

Further developments, such as the league’s new name and the retained teams, will be announced at a later date.

SEPT 26 EX COWBOYS MOVE – SEAHAWKS TO SIGN TAVON? Amid all their injury issues, the Seattle Seahawks could be showing interest in making some additions to the roster via free agency.

The Seahawks hosted workouts Tuesday featuring veteran receiver Tavon Austin, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Also in the session: running back Darrell Henderson along with former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Anthony Brown, former New England Patriots running back J.J. Taylor, and former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Cody White.

Austin and Henderson are the most significant names among the group. Austin, a former first-round pick by the then-St. Louis Rams in 2013, played against the Seahawks multiple times in the NFC West.

The same goes for Henderson, who the Rams took in the third-round of the 2019 draft. He won a Super Bowl with L.A. in 2021.

The Seahawks could add a few of these players to the practice squad or the active roster ahead of Monday’s game against the New York Giants, but that remains to be seen.

SEPT 25 KEN GRIFFEY JR. PHOTOGRAPHS COWBOYS-CARDINALS GAME Ken Griffey Jr. has gone from wearing red to filming red: the MLB legend’s latest post-retirement venture took him to Glendale on Sunday, as he was one of several photographers on hand to document the Dallas Cowboys’ shocking 28-16 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals. 

A former outfielder, the 53-year-old Griffey has ventured into a new kind of “catching” industry. Griffey was previously seen snapping photos at high-profile events like the Fiesta Bowl, MLB’s Home Run Derby, and Lionel Messi’s MLS debut with Inter Miami. As if his Hall-of-Fame resume wasn’t enough, Griffey likely had no issue getting sideline access for Sunday’s game: his son Trey, a former receiver who played with the University of Arizona, is part of the Cardinals’ community relations department, listed as a “youth football manager.”

SEPT 23 USHER AT SUPER BOWL Dallas native Usher will be the headlining performer at the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime show, it was announced on Sunday. 

“It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list. I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before,” said Usher. “Thank you to the fans and everyone who made this opportunity happen. I’ll see you real soon.”

The game takes place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 11, 2024, and is airing on CBS.

SEPT 18 RYAN CLARK APOLOGIZES TO COWBOYS MCCARTHY The Cowboys’ first two showings of the 2023 season will likely have some observers eating crow. ESPN’s Ryan Clark ordered one of the first servings during Monday’s edition of “Get Up!,” offering apologies to both the team and head coach/newly-installed offensive playcaller Mike McCarthy.

“Mike McCarthy, I apologize. In the offseason, when you said some things about Kellen Moore not running the football, I thought it was fodder … The game plan was excellent,” Clark said after the Cowboys earned a 30-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. “Absolutely phenomenal!”

Outscoring opponents 70-10 over their first two games, Dallas is one of eight undefeated teams left in the NFL over the opening weeks of the new year. They’ll put that unbeaten mark on the line next Sunday when they face the Arizona Cardinals on the road (3:25 p.m. CT, Fox). 

SEPT 17 COACH FAINTS Cowboys assistant defensive line coach Sharrif Floyd, the former Vikings star, fainted on the sideline during the Jets at Dallas game here at AT&T Stadium and has now been moved to the locker room for further medical evaluation.

Floyd did reportedly make his way to the locker room under his own power.

SEPT 17 STAR TO HOSPITAL A much-hyped college football game featuring Cowboys icon Deion Sanders is being marred by a pregame dustup and now a dirty hit on University of Colorado star cornerback and wide receiver Travis Hunter, who has been taken to the hospital.

Hunter took an illegal hit from Colorado State’s Henry Blackburn in the first half. Hunter, a two-way star for “Coach Prime” and the Buffs, returned to action, playing on both sides of the ball, but was eventually removed from the game by the medical staff, which thought it necessary he receive emergency treatment.

Here’s the play in which Blackburn was handed a 15-yard penalty for his hit on Hunter. …

Earlier in the nationally televised event, the two sides scuffled …

And right now, entering the fourth quarter in Boulder, CSU is trying to pull a large upset and is up 21-14.

SEPT 13 GIANT HANGOVER? It is being alleged that Giants head coach Brian Daboll hosted a “huge party” on the eve of Sunday night’s blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. … and that one thing has to do with the other.

“I have it on good authority that Brian Daboll had a huge party at his house on Saturday night,” New York radio host Michael Kay said, (as transcribed by “You’re not throwing a big party if you’re about to get your butt kicked by the Cowboys … They thought that they were going to play with them and they didn’t even show up.”

It’s a heckuva story … the Giants were so cocky that they partied into the night and then lost 40-0 to Dallas?

But there’s a problem with the “party” story. It’s not true. Kay later came on the air, tail between his legs, to apologize to Daboll. Why? The “huge party” in question was for Daboll’s 6-year-old son.

“I’m really sorry to Brian Daboll, (his) family and the Giants as well,” Kay said in the third hour of the show.

In the end, the Cowboys didn’t win because of a Giants “party.” The Cowboys won, in part, because they always do. Dallas has now beaten the Giants 12 out of the last 13 times that they’ve played.

SEPT 11 CONTRACT EXTENSION Former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick and now-turned-ESPN analyst Marcus Spears continues his success off the football field as he has signed a contract extension with the major media network. 

In a press release Monday, ESPN announced that not only will Spears continue to be on their programming, but he will make his debut on the “Monday Night Countdown” show ahead of the Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game that will be aired on the network as part of “Monday Night Football.”

SEPT 11 PACMAN ARRESTED Former Dallas Cowboys and NFL star Adam “Pacman” Jones is again in trouble with the law, this time having been early Monday morning at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. 

Police were called to assist a flight crew with an “unruly passenger” prior to takeoff of an outbound flight at around 6 a.m., according of WCPO.

Jones was booked into jail for intoxication and allegedly making terroristic threats. … a bad look at anytime but certainly also concerning to all involved on 9/11.

Jones played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos during a fine 12-year NFL career, but his off-field challenges – including suspensions, the missing of the entire 2009 season after being involved in a Las Vegas strip club shooting, an arrest for beating a man in 2021 and other airport incidents – have marred his reputation, even as he works on “The Pat McAfee Show” as an in-studio NFL analyst.

SEPT 10 POLLARD TD The Dallas Cowboys are in control through a quarter and a half in MetLife Stadium as they lead the New York Giants 26-0 following a two-yard rushing touchdown for running back Tony Pollard. 

The touchdown by Pollard was set up by a second takeaway by the Cowboys’ defense. This time veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore picked off a Daniel Jones pass intended for his tight end Darren Waller. 

SEPT 10 HOOKER SICK, BUT … The Dallas Cowboys going into the weekend updated their injury report for Sunday night Week 1 at the Giants … and Malik Hooker has a designation: ‘Questionable’ with an Illness.

So add him to a Dallas injury report that also includes another starting safety in Donovan Wilson (calf) and also features questions about the availability of starting office of lineman, tyron, and Tyler Smith.

Except … now that the Cowboys are here in the Big Apple? Hooker is apparently feeling better. A Twitter note suggesting he is going to play drew a response from the standout safety.

“Abolutely!” Hooker replied to the idea of him being available at New York.

SEPT 6 LAMB TALKS TO FISH ON CONTRACT EXTENSION Notes from ESPN have speculated on CeeDee Lamb’s future with the Dallas Cowboys as it relates to contract talks.

That’s one way to cover it. A better way? On Thursday, our Mike Fisher of simply asked the star wide receiver about his mindset …

Is he juggling thoughts on both the contract and the season? Nope, Lamb told Fish.

“I’m out,” Lamb said to Fish on the subject of in-season contract concerns. “I’ve got a Super Bowl to win and touchdowns to catch!”

Lamb is due to play the 2024 campaign on a $17 million fifth-year option, earned after more than satisfying the Cowboys’ requirements for the top aerial target’s spot (1,359 yards and nine scores). He’s expected to reprise that role this season, albeit with some extra assistance in the form of Brandin Cooks and rising young talents like Jalen Tolbert and Jalen Brooks.

And speaking of “expectations,” Lamb is expecting to ascend to the very top of the NFL wideouts rankings.

I’m there,” Lamb told us, looking forward to Week 1 on Sunday in New York. “I’m there. I’ll show you.”

SEPT 5 DEPTH CHART RELEASED The Dallas Cowboys call it an “unofficial depth chart” for reasons that have always escaped us.

It might not come directly from the pen of coach Mike McCarthy, but we know the roster and we’ve seen the practices and well … it was just sent to us by the Cowboys themselves …

And that seems official enough to us! So, Cowboys Nation, there you have it!

SEPT 4 WARE’S NUMBER RETIRED AT TROY Newly-minted Pro Football Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware earned another accolade over the weekend, as his No. 94 was retired by his alma mater Troy University. The honor came during Troy’s 2023 kickoff game, a 48-30 triumph over Stephen F. Austin.

“It was my stepping stone to get me to where I needed to be,” Ware said, per WDHN. “I think it was a place where I got nourished.”

Ware played four seasons with the Trojans, amassing 27.5 sacks and a program-record 55 tackles for a loss. The Cowboys then drafted the 2004 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year with the 11th pick of the ensuing draft, commencing an NFL career that proved historic.

The modern Trojans could perhaps use Ware’s services come Saturday, as they head to Manhattan to battle No. 16 Kansas City on Saturday afternoon (11 a.m. CT, FS1).

AUG 31 NEW NUMBERS Cowboys QB Trey Lance has grabbed No. 15, taking the old uniform of the departed Will Grier. And who else gets new numbers now that the 53-man roster has been formed?

Jayron Kearse, who once announced that he wanted No. 0 (as did Micah Parsons, before realizing that new jersey numbers require the player to buy the NFL’s old stock of his previous number) changed his jersey number from 27 to 1.

But wait … Kicker Brandon Aubrey was No. 1 (as was just-traded Kelvin Joseph.) But Aubrey is now No. 17.

Markquese Bell is out of 41 and has taken Jabril Cox’s (now in Washington) No. 14. Hunter Luepke is switching from 43 to 40. And Noah Igbinoghene, who comes over in the Joseph trade, gets No. 19.

AUG 30 INDY CLAIMS LAND Now former Cowboys undrafted rookie standout Isaiah Land was claimed off the waiver by the Indianapolis Colts, according to a report from The Athletic’s Jon Machota

Land, an edge rusher out of Florida A&M, finished the preseason with five tackles, one for a loss, one sack, and one quarterback hit as he played in all three games for the Cowboys. 

AUG 30 GRIER LEAVES Former Cowboys’ QB Will Grier — of whom Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said, “I’d love to have him back as a fourth quarterback” – is heading in another direction. Grier, who threw for 305 yards and ran for 45 more in his final game with Dallas, a preseason outing against the Bengals during which he knew he’d be replaced on the roster via the Trey Lance trade  — is signing with the Bengals’ practice squad, per NFL Network.

AUG 27 NO. 15 Dak Prescott, a “coach for a night,” arrived for the Cowboys’ preseason finale against the Raiders dressed in tribute to No. 15 … wearing Ezekiel Elliott’s old college jersey from Ohio State.

Prescott and Elliott are best friends, having entered the league together in 2016. Zeke is now playing for the Patriots, and after wearing No. 21 in Dallas, he’s No. 15 again.

Prescott said earlier this summer, “Love that guy. Proud of him. No. 1 supporter of him no matter what.”

Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ win was keyed by backup QB Will Grier, who played brilliantly while knowing he’s about to be cut in favor of new third-stringer Trey Lance, just acquired in trade from the 49ers.

And guess what number Will Grier wears?

“I love that guy to death!” Dak said as part of an emotional postgame that had Grier in tears.

Oh, and one more thing about No. 15: That’s the number Dak wore in college at Mississippi State.

AUG 25 49ERS GM JOHN LYNCH REACTS TO TREY TRADE While most of the NFL roasts the 49ers for trading a quarterback that only two years ago they gave up three first-round picks to acquire, San Francisco general manger John Lynch addressed the deal with the Cowboys during Friday night’s preseason game against the Chargers.

“We took a shot and it didn’t work out,” Lynch said. “We own that.”

The Niners salvaged something out of Lance, getting a 4th-round pick from Dallas. Lynch said his club fielded multiple offers for the quarterback.

“Dallas stepped up and really wanted him! They came after him,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great landing spot for him. Trey’s story is still very much unwritten.”

AUG 25 TREY LANCE TRADED TO COWBOYS The Dallas Cowboys are acquiring Trey Lance in a trade for a fourth-round pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This adds another layer to the Cowboys vs. 49ers rivalry, which resumes in Week 5 on Sunday Night Football.

While Dak Prescott is likely to play for the Cowboys, Lance could have a chance to get revenge on his former team.

AUG 24 GIANTS TRADE FOR ISAIAH SIMMONS The Arizona Cardinals are trading their linebacker/safety hybrid Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In exchange for the former first-round NFL Draft pick, the Cardinals will get the Giants’ 2024 seventh-round pick, as Simmons will play the final year of his rookie deal in New York.

Simmons played in all 17 games for the Cardinals last season, totaling 99 tackles, five for a loss, four sacks, two interceptions, seven passes defended, and one forced fumble.

The addition of Simmons is the second blockbuster deal that the Giants have made this offseason, as they also acquired former Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller in a trade. 

There are Cowboys fans who wonder if Dallas should’ve been in on this chase. The likely feeling inside The Star is that even with Sam Williams’ legal troubles, the depth where Simmons could best help is solid. That goes for edge, a group led by Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. And as Simmons is a sort “linebacker/safety,” Dallas feels good about the hybrid guys even with the season-ending injury to DeMarvion Overshown.

AUG 21 DREAM AND NIGHTMARE BREAKING: Michael Irvin has been pushed into TV limbo while he tries to clear his name regarding a harassment lawsuit, with NFL Network and ESPN moving (too) slowly to allow him back on the air.

So in that sense, the legendary Dallas Cowboys star and Hall of Famer taking a job with FS1 makes sense; that network can use all the credibility it can guy.

But in a dream/nightmare combo, the re-entry of Irvin, who will be joining Sherman and Keyshawn Johnson on the rotating cast of the “new Undisputed” Ishow means that he will be partnering with …

The disreputable Skip Bayless.

Politics, and TV, and money, make for strange bedfellows. To a degree, Irvin cannot be blamed for wanting to work. Hey, it’s just a TV job! On the other hand – speaking as someone who has known and admired the electrically talented Irvin for more than 30 years, and speaking as someone who has known and not admired the ethically empty Bayless – yes. Maybe Irvin’s choice can be questioned here. – Fish

AUG 21 OVERSHOWN IN GOOD SPIRITS The Dallas Cowboys lost rookie linebacker DeMarvion Overshown for the season with a torn this past weekend in just his second preseason game. …

And while it was certainly a disappointing turn of events for Overshown, Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian shared that the rookie remains in good spirits. 

AUG 20 STEPHENS OUT The first bad news of the preseason has been confirmed for the Dallas Cowboys as undrafted rookie tight end John Stephens Jr. suffered a torn ACL in the 22-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.

The Cowboys got the same bad news on another rookie as DeMarvion Overshown (knee) is also out for the year.

Stephens was a standout for the Cowboys despite going undrafted out of Louisana, and after flashing in training camp, he managed to record a team-high team-high five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in the first preseason game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Prior to Saturday’s game versus the Seahawks, Stephens looked to be in a position battle with Peyton Hendershot for the third spot on the depth chart at tight end. Yet now the Cowboys will forced to go without their standout rookie tight end.

AUG 19 OVERSHOWN HURT? Cowboys rookie DeMarvion Overshown made a good play on defense in the early going against a Seahawks team that sticks with Geno Smith and company for another series … but Overshown went down down with an apparent left knee injury.

There is now concern from the Cowboys that Overshown may have torn his left ACL … with an MRI planned.

AUG 18 EAGLES ISSUES The story of the Thursday night game is that the Eagles had three players carted off during the night, as cornerback Zech McPhearson, receiver Tyrie Cleveland and defensive tackle Moro Ojomo all left with injuries that required extra attention. Additionally, rookie Nolan Smith and receiver Olamide Zaccheaus went back to the locker room with injuries but returned to the sidelines. 

AUG 16 ANOTHER TE? UDFA rookie John Stephens Jr. is a small-college wide receiver-turned-tight end who caught the eye in Dallas’ preseason-opener against the Jags with his five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Stephens Jr. was the Cowboys leading receiver on the night, and coach Mike McCarthy feels that the rookie is off to a good start in his NFL career.

“You look at his skillset, he definitely brings a lot to the table,” McCarthy said. “He’s just young and needs the work. He’s doing good, getting better.”

Stephens Jr. is 6-5 and 225, a different body type than Dallas usually collects at the position. Can he put 53-man roster pressure on blocking tight end Sean McKeon and/or athletic tight end Peyton Hendershot for a fourth position in the “Four Horsemen” group?

Jake Ferguson is the starter and rookie second-rounder Luke Schoonmaker, barring injury, isn’t going anywhere. And for now? With roster cuts not due until August 29, John Stephens isn’t going anywhere, either.

AUG 13 AIKMAN ON SKIS Troy Aikman is, as you might know, a bit of a fitness freak. He’s also a Pro Football Hall of Fame QB, the power behind EIGHT Beer, a Dallas Cowboys legend … Oh, and he can water-ski, too … as he recently established on a recent business-and-pleasure visit to Austin.

View the original article to see embedded media.

A shirtless Aikman looks jacked, of course, causing one observer to wonder, “What’s in that beer?!?!”

AUG 12 DQ’S D The Cowboys are sitting 25 starters today in the preseason opener here in Arlington against the Jaguars … But the guys on coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense – guys fighting for jobs – are off to a good start.

On the first series of the game …

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence tried to pick on safety Juanyeh Thomas, and the backup youngster wasn’t having it, recording an interception for the “Legion of Doomsday” Dallas defense.

Follow along all day on our Live Cowboys Blog here!

AUG 10 WASHINGTON WHINERS? The Washington Commanders, from head coach Ron Rivera down to some whiny players, embarrassed themselves this week as news of their complaints about new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy became public knowledge.

He is intense and loud and enthusiastic and demanding and animated.

Bieniemy defended his approach by saying simply, “If I’m not doing my job, my (butt) gets fired.”

As the Cowboys look on from afar at their often-dysfunctional NFC East enemy, coach Ron Rivera is admitting an error in airing the dirty laundry, saying, “I put my foot in my mouth.” But But to Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, the explanations for the mess just add to the mess. … as he ponders whether the Commanders failed to do their homework here.

“Did the Commanders do ANY research on Bieniemy before they hired him?” Dungy tweeted, putting Rivera and company on blast. “Did they talk to ANY Chiefs or Vikings players or coaches? He didn’t just suddenly become an intense and demanding coach. That’s been his M.O. forever and it’s been successful. It shouldn’t be a surprise.”

Read more on Commanders SI here.

AUG 9 GILLY’S BEST Cowboys newcomer cornerback Stephon Gilmore has his top-five ranking of NFL receivers … and we’re sure CeeDee Lamb will trash-talk his way through workouts when he finds out he’s not on it.

We’re kidding, of course. Gilmore’s list is a good one, as he digs Stefon Diggs. … and tells Fox Sports that his other toppers include guys like Jefferson, Chase, Adams and Tyreek Hill. … 

And so let’s give Lamb an honorable mention, shall we? … especially because we know there is great mutual respect there.

“He’s the smartest defensive back that I’ve ever lined up against,” said Lamb of Gilmore, comparing their camp battles to a chess match. “He knows certain routes off of my alignment. It’s tough going against him, but I like it.”

AUG 7 A youth-league argument in a DFW suburb led to the shooting death of Michael Hickmon, 43, and now the brother of former NFL star Aqib Talib, Yaqub Talib, is heading to prison.

Talib was sentenced on Monday and will spent 37 years behind bars for murder after agreeing to a plea deal in July.

Talib was accused of shooting Hickmon, who was one of the opposing coaches, during a kids’ event in Lancaster. Aqib Talib – who is being accused of having instigated the conflict – is along with his brother being sued by Hickman’s family.

The Talibs issued a statement to “convey … condolences to the family of the victim and to everyone who witnessed this unfortunate tragedy.”

AUG 5 D-WARE TOUCHING MOMENT DeMarcus Ware touched all the right bases in his induction speech as he went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with the classy Cowboys All-Pro pass-rusher Ware literally reserving three seats in the Canton audience for former teammates Marion Barber, Ronnie Hillman and Demaryius Thomas.

“I held some seats in my heart for you guys here today,” Ware said in his 16-minute presentation.

Barber came to the Cowboys in the same year as Ware and they were teammates together in Dallas for six seasons. Barber passed away in 2022.

Hillman was teammates with Ware for two years on the Denver Broncos. He was the team’s leading rusher in 2015 when the Broncos won the Super Bowl. Hillman passed away in 2022 after battling cancer. Thomas was with Ware for three seasons in Denver and was the team’s leading receiver during their 2015 Super Bowl campaign. He passed away in 2021 and was later found to have CTE.

DeMarcus Ware – on his day – thinking so graciously of others is typical of what made him a special player and what makes him a special person.

AUG 4 MALIK STAYING LONG-TERM Cowboys safety Malik Hooker is signing a three-year contract extension worth up to $24 million, a deal that includes an $8 million signing bonus.

Hooker – a playmaker as part of Dallas’ “Three-Headed Monster” at safety – will get $16.5 million guaranteed as part of the deal, which locks the former Colts first-rounder in through the 2026 season.

JULY 27 TWO OUT Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy revealed on Thursday morning here at camp that safeties Donovan Wilson (calf) and Israel Mukuamu (hamstring) both suffered “multiple-week injuries” in Wednesday’s first practice of training camp.

Wilson, we’ve been told, could miss a month as he gets rest and rehab.

As it happens, Wilson and Israel Mukuamu earned offseason awards for their work in the strength and conditioning program this spring.

Said McCarthy: “You know they’ve done the work.”

JULY 24 POLLARD ZOOMS Some star NFL running backs, including the Cowboys’ Tony Pollard, got together for a Zoom call over the weekend to discuss how players at their position are now “underpaid.”

Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs. Barkley and Jacobs are central to the debate as they’ve refused to sign their $10 million tag tenders. reports that Austin Ekeler organized the meeting.

As has suggested, there is action the players can take. But it’ll require work by their union, the notoriously weak NFLPA. In the meantime, PFT suggests that among the ideas discussed was that players could fake injuries in games in order to bring attention to the cause. That seems … not smart.

“Right now, there’s really nothing we can do,” Chubb said Sunday. “We’re kind of handcuffed with the situation.”

True. Except for demanding that the union step in. Or fake some injuries. Or conduct some more meaningless Zoom calls.

JULY 21 DEION’S PROMISE Deion Sanders on Friday underwent another surgery to remove blood clots in his right leg, the Cowboys legend being represented by girlfriend Tracey Edmonds on social media as she spread the “Coach Prime” via her Instagram.

“Thank you Lord for another successful surgery!!,” Edmonds wrote. “We thank you for giving #CoachPrime @deionsanders the strength to fight these challenges and we have Faith that you will give him the VICTORY! We are so GRATEFUL for all the doctors, nurses, and staff who have blessed him on his road to recovery!”

The Hall of Famer Sanders has been in the news all offseason due to his condition, which doctors at the University of Colorado – where he is now the head coach – have told him could result in the amputation of his foot.

Sanders, however, has used his Instagram page to make a promise to all Colorado fans. … and really, all of his fans in DFW and beyond, too.

“I promise you that when we go out to TCU,” looking forward to his Buffaloes debut in Dallas-Fort Worth when CU plays here on Sept. 2, “I’m running out in front of our team. I promise you that.”

JULY 20 SNYDER OUT A big day in Washington … but a big penalty for the outgoing owner.

Cowboys boss Jerry Jones told us not long about that everything between him and pal Snyder was not “lovey-dovey.” And while one big number today is about $6.05 billion – that’s the approved sale price of the Washington Commanders from Snyder to a group led by Josh Harris that includes Magic Johnson – there is another big number in play.

Snyder is also being fined $60 million as he departs, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stating, “The conduct substantiated in (an investigation’s)  findings has no place in the NFL … We strive for workplaces that are safe, respectful and professional. What (a Snyder victim) experienced is inappropriate and contrary to the NFL’s values.”

In Snyder’s 24 seasons as owner, Washington made the playoffs just six times, with two wins. In the end, he “wins”; He purchased the franchise in 1999 (with Jones as an ally) for $800 million … and now sees a 700-percent return on his investment …

Minus $60 million worth of embarrassment. Should he care.

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