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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Do Cowboys Have Deepest D-Line In The NFL?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys are "absolutely" NFC East favorites; for Cowboys, attention turns quickly to New York Giants; Roger Goodell under fire; the latest from Washington Dysfunction Central.

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Sturm’s observations: Cowboys absolutely NFC East favorites | Dallas Morning News
In response to a reader question, Sturm outlines why he considers the Cowboys NFC East favorites.

I think everybody walked away from 2014 thinking the Cowboys were a team that was legitimately in the Super Bowl mix last year. Then, we all looked at their offseason and saw the pass rush that was added and the talented draft and walked away thinking they probably plugged most of their holes. You put those two things together and I don’t see any reason why they should enter this season suffering from a lack of confidence.

I think this preseason, with the exception of the Orlando Scandrick injury, went about as smoothly as you would hope. They won the division last year; I think they’re absolutely the favorites to win the division this year. If they can do that, everything else becomes a possibility in the postseason.

Cris Collinsworth says Cowboys may have lost their best defensive player in Scandrick | Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News
Cris Collinsworth will be calling the season opener against the Giants next Sunday, and Barry Horn got a few soundbites about the Cowboys out of him.

"I think the Cowboys believed in their offensive line enough to spend money elsewhere," he wrote. "The defensive line benefited and has depth now. With the hustle (coordinator) Rod Marinelli expects from them, you need depth. When Greg Hardy is eligible, this defensive line could be intimidating. Marinelli made this defense good with less talent last year, I can’t wait to see what he can do with the return of Sean Lee and the Hardy, Randy Gregory additions."

Bottom line: "I really like this team. I think they have a legitimate shot to do anything this year."

Sabin: Why Cowboys fans should take heart in the tough cuts club must make along defensive line | Dallas Morning News
Sabin compares this year's crop of defensive lineman to the 2013 campaign, where the Cowboys scoured "the NFL’s junk bins for reinforcements" and ended up using 20 different defensive linemen that year.

The Cowboys are now stocked with rangy edge rushers and stout tackles who can plug the interior and penetrate the offensive backfield. Including Gardner, there were 14 defensive linemen on the roster after it was reduced to 75 players last week. All of them merited consideration for continued employment. But Marinelli prefers to use an eight-man rotation, and the team has to allocate resources to other positions.

"It’s amazing," said Davon Coleman, a tackle who joined Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2014. "I think we have the deepest d-line in the league."

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For Dallas Cowboys, attention turns quickly to New York Giants - Todd Archer, ESPN
What preseason? The Giants are going to be at AT&T Stadium at 8:00 PM on Sunday. And the Cowboys have to get ready for them.

Training camp is over. The preseason games are over. The players get a quick three-day respite as the front office, scouts and coaches make their decisions on the final 53-man roster. But the Giants are at least close to the top of the list with the Sept. 13 opener approaching quick.

"I've already been thinking about it for three weeks," Tyrone Crawford said. "Like really, really thinking about it. But I've been thinking about it for the longest time."

Dallas Cowboys' Zack Martin to return to practice Monday - Todd Archer, ESPN
When the Cowboys begin preparations for the season opener against the Giants, Zack Martin will be on the field.

Early Week 1 prediction - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer look ahead to the Giants game in his Twitter mailbag.

Hopefully you will allow me to change my mind as we get closer to the game, but even if Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle were healthy, I'd probably pick the Cowboys in the opener. The Cruz match would be difficult without Orlando Scandrick, but I come back to the Cowboys offense: How do the Giants stop Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the running game? To me the Giants have more questions than the Cowboys right now. So give me the Cowboys in Week 1.

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Lucky Whitehead is a Dallas Cowboy - INSIDENOVA.COM: Sports
According to this source, Lucky Whitehead made the roster.

The Osbourn High School graduate was informed of the news Friday. He made the team as a wide receiver and return specialist. Whitehead was an undrafted rookie free agent by Dallas out of Florida Atlantic University.

Some of Cowboys’ bubble players figure no use to sweat cut-down day | The Star-Telegram
Williams takes a closer look at Dustin Vaughan, Davon Coleman, and Lucky Whitehead as they await word about whether they made the roster.

[Coleman] isn’t sweating cut-down day, because he surmises, he has no control over it.

"I’m going to say yes [he’s done enough to make the team], but I really don’t think too much about it," Coleman said. "I’ll let them handle that. That’ll just stress me out."

Dallas Cowboys Roster Cuts 2015: DE Ben Gardner Is The First To Go; RB Ben Malena Second - Blogging The Boys
The roster cuts are trickling in. So far, five players are confirmed cuts: DE Ben Gardner, RB Ben Malena, FB Ray Agnew, RB Gus Johnson, C Shane McDermott.

Babe Laufenberg: The two Cowboys that stood out to me this preseason | Dallas Morning News
Laufenberg liked what he saw from Randy Gregory and Gavin Escobar. Yay for second-round picks.

Randy Gregory just seems to get better and better each day. Difficult for rookie pass rushers to have an immediate impact- you have to have such great technique to beat some of these really skilled offensive tackles- but he seems to be adding elements to his pass rush tool box. Would be surprised if he does not have an immediate impact. Second on that list would be Gavin Escobar. He really was outstanding throughout camp, and I just sense that his confidence is growing, and in turn, the confidence for OC Scott Linehan to call his number, especially in the red zone.

Back from ACL injury, LB Sean Lee never really left the Cowboys | The MMQB
Jenny Vrentas scores a nice interview with Sean Lee. The interview focuses a lot on Lee's injury history and how he's dealt with his latest injury, but also offers a glimpse of things to come.

VRENTAS: When middle linebacker Rolando McClain returns from his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, how can the two of you play off each other?

LEE: Watching ‘Ro’ last year was a ton of fun. The way he played, the passion he played with, how well he played. Any of those two positions, [middle and weakside linebacker], we have to be able to go out and make plays, and I think the two of us can do that. Hopefully when we get him back, that whole room can produce. We have a ton of guys in our linebackers room who I think are great football players and who want to fulfill their role.

Ranking the Dallas Cowboys’ top offseason moves | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
Sabin ranks the Cowboys top 10 offseason moves, a ranking that is notable for the fact that the first free agent signing doesn't show up until No. 6 (Greg Hardy). The top five spots: Re-signing Dez Bryant, extending Garrett, locking up both coordinators, a strong draft, and La'el Collins.

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Broaddus: Projecting The Cowboys’ 53-Man Roster | Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus takes a stab at a roster projection, which he limits to 52 players, leaving out Ken Bishop in anticipation of a late acquisition by the Cowboys. He also has QB Jameill Showers making the roster instead of S Danny McCray.

Nailing Down Cowboys Final 53 (I Think) - Mike Fisher, CowboysHQ.com
CowboysHQ.com thinks it's nailed down the Cowboys' final 53 for Saturday's 3 p.m. cutdown, even going so far as calling it an "inside scoop." Get your clownface cake ready: Fisher has the Cowboys going short on the O-line with just eight guys, and long on the D-line with 11 guys.

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NFL owners to discuss changing Roger Goodell’s role in disciplinary process - The Washington Post
It's never been more obvious than during the Deflategate disaster that the NFL's disciplinary process needs to be changed. Specifically, Roger Goodell's role in that ongoing FUBAR needs to be changed. The only question is when it will change. Mark Maske writes that NFL owners already "plan to discuss" changing the process.

"There will certainly be discussion about that," one owner said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. The owner said he is "not sure where it will lead."

Despite another embarrassment, Roger Goodell isn't going anywhere - USA Today
Nancy Armour writes that Goodell's job is safe because he excels at the one thing the owners really care about: he's raking in the money like there's no tomorrow. And he's also the league's fall guy.

The guy has botched every significant discipline decision he’s made, the last one so badly it was out and out ridiculed by a federal judge. Even his former boss has said he’s gone too far. NFL players can’t stand him, and Goodell probably shouldn’t waste his time waiting for an invite the next time his (former?) BFF throws a pre-AFC Championship party.

And yet, he still has a job. Goodell takes the hits so the owners don’t have to. He is, in the words of Cris Carter, their Fall Guy.

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2015 NFL Preview: The Eagles, Cowboys And Giants Look Good Compared To The Disaster In D.C. | FiveThirtyEight
FiveThirtyEight's NFC East division preview has nice things to say about three of the four NFC East teams. But not about the Redskins.

Washington is, as always, a disaster. The team’s Elo rating hit its all-time10 nadir in mid-November of last season, and Washington promptly built on that to set new record lows each of the next four weeks. It had the worst passing defense in the league last year by multiple metrics. Former starting quarterback Robert Griffin III is, when healthy, one of the worst in the league. Coach Jay Gruden will sit him in Week 1 in favor of backup Kirk Cousins … who also is one of the worst in the league.

Did we say "disaster"? This is a cordoned-off federal Superfund site. And it all starts with toxic mismanagement.

Washington's preseason countdown reaches 10, things get weird - CBSSports.com
The Redskins have been posting pictures to Twitter with the player whose number corresponds with the amount of days left until the season opener. Except when they reached No. 10, Robert Griffin's number, they went into full dysfunction mode.

Wife of Redskins GM Tweets ESPN Reporter Trades Sexual Favors For Info, Deletes Her Account | The Big Lead
More dysfunction in Washington: When the wife of the General Manager posted a suggestion on Twitter that an ESPN reporter obtained inside information from the Redskins by trading sexual favors, the team first tried lying and said the account was fake. It wasn't.

Robert Griffin III says intern 'liked' Instagram post criticizing Redskins - CBSSports.com
More good stuff out of D.C.