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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Talent Search Continues As Roster Cuts Near

Latest Cowboys headlines: Jerry Jones admits long odds for Cowboys in 2014; Cowboys looking at LB by committee; Youth and ‘work in progress’ defense are reason Dallas Cowboys are facing uphill battle.

Tom Pennington

Dallas Cowboys' talent search will continue - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Echoing a sentiment we've been pushing hard on BTB all week, Archer writes that the Cowboys' talent acquisition process will continue beyond today's roster cuts.

The Cowboys have said several times that they will actively scour the cuts across the league in an attempt to improve the bottom and in some cases the middle of their roster.

"We’ve always said that the competition is among the guys who are on the team trying to make the roster but also with guys all around the league who may or may not be available to us," coach Jason Garrett said. "This is a day when we’re cutting from 75 to 53 and 31 other teams are doing the same thing, so there will be a lot of good football players out there and our guys do a really good job finding out about these guys and knowing about them and seeing if they fit. That’s been something we’ve been able to do the last few years. I think it’s helped our team. So we’ll certainly go through that process once this day gets going."

Jerry Jones admits long odds for Cowboys in 2014 | Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Williams writes that the Cowboys aren't throwing in the towel despite a young team still trying to find its way defensively.

The Cowboys fielded the league’s seventh-youngest roster last season with an average age of 25.58. Their opening-day roster had 13 rookies and first-year players. When the Cowboys finish cutting players to reach the magic 53 by Saturday afternoon, they will likely get even younger.

"I think we’ve brought some really good cornerstone-type players into this organization, and some guys are in their prime now and some guys are entering their prime," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday. "There are some young guys who are going to play significant roles for us, and that’s what we’ve been doing over the last couple, three years, and that’s a good formula to have."

"There are some challenges that you go through when you have a younger team. You obviously are not as experienced, so you learn from all of the experiences that you do have and hopefully you grow, and you have the right kind of guys."

Dallas Cowboys looking at LB by committee - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Garrett said the competition for a starting linebacker spot will continue throughout the season, and Archer provides a quick rundown of the options.

It is possible Durant could be the only three-down linebacker with him taking over as the middle linebacker in the nickel defense if he is on the weak side in the base defense. McClain has not played in a regular-season game since 2012. Carter has moved between the strong and weak sides this summer. Wilber will have to play some defensive end. Hitchens has played middle linebacker and on the weak side.

Jerry Jones: Youth and ‘work in progress’ defense are reason Dallas Cowboys are facing uphill battle | Rainer Sabin, DMN
In a radio interview, Jones talked about the challenges a very young Cowboys team faces this year.

"When we had our initial team meeting in Oxnard, at training camp, we had 90 players there and I think 48 or 49 of the players had never been in that meeting," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "In other words, they were new players, over half of them. So I know they have been challenged and this is a pretty wide-eyed experience to come in, even if you’re not a rookie. I know they were challenged."

"We’ve got an offense that basically needs to execute, but that offense can be real good. The defense is a work in progress. And that’s a challenge. I don’t see that that means that we won’t be successful at all. I just think there’s probably more of a challenge than when you got DeMarcus Ware at one end and you got [Anthony] Spencer healthy at the other and you got all the guys in between, [Jason] Hatcher and the rest of them, or a healthy Sean Lee."

Cowboys' Ahmad Dixon fined for hit - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Dixon was fined $22,050 for a defenseless hit of a wide receiver in the Dolphins game. Archer points out that once Dixon appeals the fine, the fine will be lowered to 25 percent of Dixon's weekly salary.

If Dixon makes the roster, he'd make a base salary of $420,000, paid out in 17 weekly installments of $24,705. 25 percent of that equals a fine of $6,176. Should Dixon end up on the practice squad, he'd get $6,300 a week, and 25 prcent of that would be a fine of $1,575.

Scout’s Eye: Notes On Standouts Vs. Denver, Roster Cuts - Bryan Broaddus,
Broaddus offers a handful of observations from the game film against the Broncos, in which he saw McClain "finally looking like that player I studied in 2012 while he was with the Raiders." Broaddus also likes what he saw from rookie defensive linemen Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop.

When camp opened, this defensive staff had an idea of what kind of players Coleman and Bishop could potentially become.

Now with all this game action, they have a much better understanding of where these players are both mentally and physically along with how they might respond if they are put in roles where they have to start or where they fit in a rotation. Both Coleman and Bishop played the entire game against the Broncos and were just as strong and active in the fourth quarter as they were in the first when it came to playing with power and technique. They could have become tired and sloppy but that was not the case at all.

Claiborne To Get Shot For Shoulder; D-Line Healthier - Rowan Kavner,
Jason Garrett expects three key defensive linemen to get a full week of practice next week: Henry Melton, Terrell McClain and George Selvie have all dealt with injuries, but are healthy now. Morris Claiborne is a different issue, as he continues to be bothered by a shoulder injury

Claiborne’s expected to play through it, but he anticipates needing a shot before the game. That may need to be the ritual for a while, as he anticipates the shoulder pain is something he may have to deal with all season.

"I have all my range of motion now," Claiborne said. "The biggest thing is going to be the pain – can you handle it, can you tolerate the pain? The pain is there and it’s not going anywhere, so that’s going to be the biggest thing."

Does Jemea Thomas have staying power? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The one-man show at ESPN Dallas named Todd Archer was in fine form yesterday, delivering four articles for today's news roundup. In this article, Archer wonders whether Jemea Thomas is more than just a space-filler for the Cowboys.

The Patriots played him at cornerback, but the Cowboys used him at safety and will not have Jakar Hamilton for the first four games because of an NFL suspension.

Jerry Jones regrets trading for Detroit Lions' Roy Williams in 2008 | Detroit Free Press
No kidding.

Steelers Claim Cornerback B.W. Webb -
A day after the Cowboys released B.W. Webb, the Steelers put in a waiver claim for the former fourth-round pick.

Kyle Orton reaches deal with Bills | ProFootballTalk
So Kyle Orton pulls a Jay Ratliff after all.

Cowboys Editorial: Orton+Bills = Bigger Issue - KD Drummond, Scout
The Cowboys waited for Kyle Orton to retire as long as they thought they could. But in the end, gave him his release. Now, he'll be suiting up for another organization.

This is the second player within the last year that has basically snaked his way out of playing for the Dallas Cowboys; and that might be a sign of a much deeper issue. What is it about this regime that people are feigning career-ending injuries (Ratliff) and plans to retire (Orton) that make people want to jump ship so badly? What kind of precedent does it set for future disgruntled employees?

Eli Manning holds Reddit AMA, answers fan questions -
Eli Manning joined the website Reddit on Friday to answer fan questions. The results were quite entertaining, including this hilarious take on what makes an elite quarterback.

I think if you're playing in the NFL, you're an elite quarterback.

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