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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: La'el Collins Named Starter, Christine Michael To Get More Playing Time And More...

It's bye week but the Cowboys have already made their fair share of headlines, Wednesday was no different as changes have begun at Valley Ranch.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Cowboys' Pass Rush Gets Another Boost As Gregory Returns To Practice- Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are excited as the return of rookie pass rusher just further bolsters a unit primed for big returns.

"I think it’s still kind of early to determine that (returning for the next game against New York), but I’m doing all the right things off the field to get back on the field and I think the progress is right on track for what we set it on beginning after the injury."

Productive Debut Gives Hardy An ‘Invincible’ Feel - Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
Greg Hardy had two sacks, a forced fumble and five tackles in his Cowboys debut last Sunday against the New England Patriots.

"Like coach says, things change, we don’t change," Hardy said. "We’re not a product of our circumstance. I’m glad to be in a situation where I can ball out with my guys. I think it’s awesome."

Cowlishaw: Can You Really Blame Tony Romo For His Cocky Quip To Tom Brady? -Tim Cowlishaw- Dallas Morning News

It just goes to show that it really doesn't matter what has transpired thus far, this team believes in their ability to right the ship and win big.

He can't really back down now, just because the team is 2-3 and has at least four more games to play without him. The Super Bowl? It's probably a 100-1 shot for this Cowboys team right now but, hey, if Greg Hardy can promise to come out "guns blazing" against the Patriots (and he did, figuratively), can anyone fault Romo for sticking to his guns?

Matt Cassel Has Extra Week To Learn Playbook And Prepare for Giants -Todd Archer- ESPN
Cowboys QB Matt Cassel says the team's bye week will help him better learn the playbook before his first game as a starter.

"I think it’s a huge help for me to have one more week underneath your belt then to have the whole next week of practice is important because obviously I’m still growing in everything that we’re doing," Cassel said. "Today was the first time I took snaps with the first team, the first time I threw the ball to Beasley and Witten and those guys since I’ve been here. Building that rapport, building that chemistry is important that I take advantage of the next few weeks."

Cowboys Claim RB Rod Smith From Seattle - One.Cool.Customer- Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys add another running back to their roster. BIG dude.

Smith is the prototype of the big, bruising back many fans have been calling for. Listed at 6'3 and 231 lbs he looks more like a linebacker than a running back. But it's unlikely that the 2015 UDFA will be the immediate answer to all the Cowboys' running back issues.

Garrett Confirms Changes to Starting Lineup; Cassel To Replace Weeden- Nick Eatman- Dallas Cowboys
The bye week is typically a time to make some adjustments and even big changes. And the Cowboys are apparently doing just that.

"We decided (Tuesday) to do this and spoke to both of the players," Garrett said. "There are a lot of different reasons you make a decision like this. You evaluate the quarterback and what we’re asking them to do on a daily basis and weekly basis. Also at this position, you look at how the offense is performing and this position has an impact on the entire offensive unit. It certainly has an impact on how the team is performing. Sometimes it’s fair and sometimes it’s unfair but it’s the nature of the position."

Brandon Weeden ‘Pissed’ About Cowboys Demotion -Drew Davison- The Star-Telegram
Brandon Weeden didn’t need long to express his feelings about being demoted from starting quarterback to backup.

"How do you think I took it? Obviously I’m pissed," Weeden said. "But, you know, nature of this business."

Cowboys Promote Rookie LG La'el Collins To Starter, Move Christine Michael Into RB Mix -David Moore- Dallas Morning News
Matt Cassel isn't the only player to be elevated into the starting lineup during the bye week, lots of mixing in order to spark this stagnant offense.

"We really just watched the tape,'' Garrett said. "We evaluated his tape vs. Ron's tape over the last couple of weeks and we just feel like he's deserving of this opportunity right now."

"We're going to give LC an opportunity at that spot this week and the chance to start against the Giants next week.''

Dallas Cowboys To Work Out Running Backs, Defensive Tackles -Todd Archer- ESPN
Isaiah Pead and LaMichael James, both second-round picks in 2012, will visit with the Cowboys this week, as will a handful of defensive tackles.

LaMichael James, who was most recently with the Miami Dolphins, and Isaiah Pead, who was with the St. Louis Rams, will be at the team’s Valley Ranch facility Wednesday for workouts. James was a second-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers, while the Rams took Pead in the second round. Neither lived up to the expectations with just 271 yards rushing combined in their careers.

But they could bring some help in the return game to the Cowboys if not the running game.

Patriots @ Cowboys: What Did We Learn? - Danny Phantom- Blogging The Boys
After a tough loss to the Patriots, the team still has plenty to be optimistic about.

Good News: The Cowboys have been knocking them out of the park in recent years when it comes to making first-round picks and Jones is slowly starting to show signs, that he too, may be a big playmaker for this team.

Bad News: The safeties struggled all day making open field tackles. While Jones is always a viable option if the need arises, he is flourishing in his current role and needs to stay there.

Collins: "Great Opportunity" To Start; Ready To Show He’s Earned It -Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
According to PFF, La'el Collins has yet to allow a quarterback pressure in 57 pass blocking snaps, he'll now see an increase in work.

"Definitely the start of showing I'm becoming the player I want to be," Collins said Wednesday after practice. "Just taking that approach every day."

Reeling Cowboys Remain Confident -Clarence E. Hill- The Star-Telegram
The Dallas Cowboys are reeling but that doesn't change the feeling that they can accomplish something good over the next few weeks.

"I mean, it's weird. But I don't feel like anything is falling apart," Mincey said. "I just think right now we're a little discombobulated, but I think we will get it together with this group of men. It's still the same guys. Bend, but don't break. We're just a little wounded right now, but the wounds will heal. Once we get those wounds healed, we'll be right back to where we need to be."

National Writer: Cowboys Blew It By Not Going After Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick, others | Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Cowboys have made a change at starting quarterback, choosing to replace Brandon Weeden with Matt Cassel. However, the national media isn't happy and one writer believes Dallas made a mistake in the beginning.

"Mark Sanchez was on his way to a guaranteed release by the New York Jets in the 2014 offseason, something that occurred a little over a week after the Cowboys signed Weeden. And while Sanchez carried his own ball security and accuracy issues, he also had a 33-29 record as a starter (and was 4-2 in the playoffs). He was a better option than Weeden. Instead, he's one of the NFL's best backups - for the division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Is Dallas Cowboys' Defensive Look A Gimmick Or Here To Stay? - Todd Archer- ESPN

Will the Cowboys keep using the defensive look that got to Tom Brady for half a game?

"For a number of different reasons we wanted to play that style, our personnel against their personnel," coach Jason Garrett said. "We tried to create some matchups up front and on the back end. I think it was effective for us... We won some one-on-ones. One of the biggest things we needed to do in this game was try to affect the quarterback and try to hit him. He’s a really good quarterback and has been for a long time. When teams have had moderate success against them is when they’ve affected him. We tried to do that. Give him a tremendous amount of credit because he did get hit a lot in the ballgame."

Cowboys Fans Help Explain Tony Romo's Advice To Brandon Weeden In Top 25 Fan-Made Memes-Joshua Friemel- Dallas Morning News
Even if the Brandon Weeden era is over with the Dallas Cowboys, the memes are not getting benched. I know it's a sensitive subject but funny nonetheless.

Meme

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