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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys vs Dolphins "Doesn't Count, But It Matters."

Latest Cowboys headlines: Tony Romo, Ryan Tannehill ready for dress rehearsals; Jerry Jones says Cowboys' estimated worth doesn't win Super Bowls; Cowboys in the market to add a linebacker?

Ronald Martinez

Romo, Tannehill ready for dress rehearsals - Yahoo Sports
''It doesn't really count, but it matters,'' Miami's quarterback Ryan Tannehill said of tonight's game.

For the starters like Tannehill and his Dallas quarterback counterpart Tony Romo, it's the first and likely last time they'll get extended time in game situations with their fellow first-stringers before the season starts for real next month.

2014 NFL Bold Predictions: Brandon Weeden will start eight games for the Cowboys ... -
Will Brinson hypothesizes that the more passes Tony Romo throws, the more likely he is to get injured, and argues that with the bad Cowboys defense and Romo's back, the chances are high that Romo gets injured (again). The good news?

Unnecessarily piling on Romo is a September/October/November/December tradition like no other. But he might deserve MVP consideration if he makes it [to] midseason with his arm intact.

Injury updates: Melton sits, McClain to play, Mo undecided - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Stephen Jones said Henry Melton (groin) will not play tonight; Rolando McClain will play against the Dolphins; The team hasn't decided whether Morris Claiborne's will play or not.

Twitter mailbag: QB Dustin Vaughan headed to practice squad? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer answers a Twitter question on the Cowboys' chances of getting Vaughan safely onto their practice squad.

The Cowboys have to keep a quarterback around in some capacity behind Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden. The question is if the Cowboys could sneak Vaughan through waivers at the final cuts. He has done well in his preseason work, so perhaps a team would gamble a roster spot on him early in the season. The Cowboys don't want to lose Vaughan, but they might not have a choice, considering the moving parts they could be facing on defense for Week 1. My guess right now is Vaughan will be on the practice squad to start the season, not the 53-man roster.

Jerry Jones: Cowboys' estimated worth doesn't win Super Bowls | Jon Machota, FOX Sports
Forbes recently estimated the value of the Dallas Cowboys to be $3.2 billion, the second highest value of any sports franchise in the world, which many fans take as a sign that it's all about the money for Jerry Jones. Jones disputes that.

"I really didn't get into this thing for the financial aspect of it," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "As a matter of fact, I had to overcome getting into it because of the financials, because it was in such poor shape, and some of the challenges that not only the team had, but the league had and what was going on around town here."

"I don't know that [the Forbes] ranking has helped us make a first down, but if there's a way to try to figure out how to leverage it, I'll do it."

Stephen Jones: Dallas Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer ‘ahead of schedule’ in rehab; PUP decision TBD | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Sabin writes that the Cowboys are leaning towards putting Spencer on the active roster for Week 1 even if he may not be ready for the season opener. The alternative, keeping Spencer on PUP, would mean Spencer wouldn't be eligible to play until week 7.

What Sabin omits to note is that if the Cowboys put Spencer on PUP, Spencer will not be allowed to practice with the team for the first six weeks of the season. Every player, even a player of Spencer's caliber, needs practice time to be effective in an NFL game. If Spencer isn't able to practice with the team until after week 6, that would probably push his return to action to around week 10 - putting him on the active roster could see him return much earlier.


Rookie LBs Making Mark; Hitchens Gets Starter Reps - Rowan Kavner,
Anthony Hitchens has been getting first-team snaps at middle linebacker in practice this week, which "could potentially mean a starting role," Kavner writes. In a similar vein, seventh-round pick Will Smith could squeak onto the 53-man roster due to the mounting injuries at linebacker and after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out of the first preseason game.

Scout's Eye: Injury leads to opportunity at linebacker - Bryan Broaddus,
Broaddus previews what to watch for in the Miami game, and turns his attention to the linebackers.

In the halls of Valley Ranch the saying is that injury leads to opportunity. Anthony Hitchens has been getting plenty of work both on the outside, but now inside as well. Will Smith has been on the opposite end of that workload because he was injured early in training camp, and he is just now working his way back into the conversations. I have always believed that when the pads came on, Smith would be able to show these coaches the type of ability he has. He is not going to be the smoothest-moving player, but he does have a knack for physically playing at the point of attack and getting to the ball. He is now getting more work with the second defense and with the unfortunate injury to DeVonte Holloman he now has a real opportunity to make this team.

Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys in the market to add a linebacker | Jon Machota, DMN
Jones said Friday that the team remains in the market to add another linebacker, though the focus would likely be more on that guy's special teams capability.

"You like to go a little long with linebackers,"Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "Consequently the answer is yes, we would’ve been looking anyway for a potential player that can run, that can play some linebacker if called upon, but would potentially really help us on special teams. [Cameron] Lawrence is a guy like that, and he’s having a good camp. But you got your eyes open for a player like that."

Rolando McClain: I’m excited to be with the Cowboys, but getting back into shape has been a ‘very steep hill’ | Jon Machota, DMN
McClain recently sat down for an interview with Steve Dennis of in which he reflects on the challenges of coming back to football after sitting out for 20 months. The interview is well worth your time (follow this link for the full interview). Here's an excerpt:

"It’s been a very steep hill," McClain said of his return to football after his long absence. "It’s something new every day, just from that fact that you haven’t been doing football related stuff. It’s one thing to run and drop, do drills, but it’s another thing when you got to hit a guy. You got to hit the ground when you hit a guy. You got to cover. You got to break. And then when you’re in a game, everything is naturally faster than what it is when you’re doing that drill because now the pressure is on."

McClain acknowledges that he retired because football wasn’t his top priority. He has since reassessed his life and put everything in the following order: God, family, football.

"I can say it smiling now because I made it so much harder the first time around, and now, it’s so much simpler," McClain said. "Now that I got my foundation set, football is right where it needs to be, and I’m excited to be a Cowboy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a Cowboy?"


Cowboys still unsure what’s causing safety Matt Johnson’s hamstring injuries | Brandon George, DMN
Matt Johnson’s doctor’s visit a week ago with a back specialist in Dallas didn’t uncover any definitive answers to Johnson’s prolonged hamstring injuries.

Matt Johnson plagued by bulging disk in back but still unsure what’s causing hamstring issues | Brandon George, DMN
Johnson is suffering from a bulging disk as a result of an injury he suffered while lifting during his rookie season, but doctors haven't identified that as a cause of his hamstring problems. The first round of cuts is a week away, and Johnson is fully aware that his time with the Cowboys could be about over if they decide it’s time to finally move on from the 2012 fourth-round pick.

"I want to get out there so bad," Johnson said. "I love playing the game. I think I can be good at it. It wears on you a lot mentally, two and a half years of this. It’s tough when you feel like you can’t control it. I’m trying to do everything I can."


Dean Blandino expects penalties to decrease -
Penalties have skyrocketed in the preseason. NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino says the league anticipated the uptick because of new rules of emphasis, but he doesn't expect the boost to last.

"We expected it. I think there's an adjustment period for our officials, for the coaches and our players," Blandino said Thursday night on NFL Network. "When the regular season rolls around, I think everybody will be on the same page and I think you'll see those foul totals go down."

This sounds like the NFL will soon promote Blandino to King of Wishful Thinking.

Football is about to rule our lives again. |
Despite all the negative press football has gotten recently, we still can't help but plan our lives around its games. So buckle up, people, because this will be the last weekend for a long time we don't set our clocks to pigskin.

Are You Ready For Some (Maps About) Football? | Estately Blog
Here's a way of looking at the popularity of NFL teams in a slightly different manner. Notice how the "Cowboys Belt" spans from coast to coast?


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