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Dallas Cowboys News And Notes: Mara And Giants Provide Cowboys Cap Savings!

All the news that's fit to link. Today's top storylines: more practice squadders added; Michael and Mills, redux; Hitchens ready for action; Todd Archer is a god; roster rankings; season previews; depth chart released; Brinkley signing gives Cowboys cap relief.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

On their off day, the Cowboys added four players to the practice squad...

Cowboys Sign 5 More To Practice Squad, Including Gus Johnson, WR Mayle - Rob Phillips, The Mothership

The addition of wide receiver Rodney Smith and linebacker Joe Thomas to the practice squad gives the Cowboys 9 of the allotted 10 squadders.

Dallas Cowboys add four to practice squad - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Archer shares some good intel re: new practice squad member Vince Mayle:

Mayle was among the Browns’ final cuts over the weekend after catching five passes for 52 yards in the preseason. He had surgery to repair a broken thumb after the draft and did not catch passes again until training camp started. He struggled in his return after catching 106 passes for 1,483 yards last season. In two seasons at Washington State he had 148 receptions for 2,022 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Dallas Cowboys add an intriguing, much-needed WR to practice squad in talented Vince Mayle - Brandon George, DMN

George piles on, offering an interesting twist on the Mayle acquisition:

An argument can be made that the Cowboys lack depth at receiver more than any other position on the roster, especially now that they have Michael on the roster and running back Gus Johnson on the practice squad.

The Cowboys love big outside receivers; at 6-2, 225, Mayle certainly fits the bill. He's not ready to be considered depth at this point; can Derek Dooley bring him to that level during the season?

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Continued fallout from the Michael and Mills acquisitions:

What additions of Christine Michael and Jordan Mills mean to Cowboys David Moore, DMN

Wesseling polls NFL Media's Michael Robinson, a former NFL fullback who blocked for Michael two years ago, about CMike's prospects in Big D:

Robinson pointed out that Michael was asked to do a lot more in Seattle than he will in Dallas behind a dominant offensive line with No. 1 receiver Dez Bryant drawing safeties out of the box.

"He's going to be able to really get to the line, get a clean entry point to the line of scrimmage, and he is explosive," Robinson explained. "... He's never seen some of the holes that this line can provide for him.

A look at the Cowboys’ depth chart; Christine Michael fills key void - Bob Sturm, DMN

With roster cut weekend behind us, The Sturminator shares a depth chart and opines on the two new additions to the 53. Here's what he has to say about the former Texas A&M runner

..make no mistake, he has plenty of ability, plenty of potential, and right now fills an obvious void when it comes to the question of how the Cowboys plan on getting tough yards this year. Joseph Randle looks capable on 1st and 2nd down, Darren McFadden seems a reasonable 2nd, but who is going to go get 3rd and 1? 4th and Goal? And who is the likely battering ram to bring home a 4-minute drill to kill off a game? Nobody on the roster until this deal.

I am not sure how soon we will see him get a lot of responsibility, but I think the acquisition matches the public view of this group and how they needed that guy for the tough yards.

What additions of Christine Michael and Jordan Mills mean to Cowboys - David Moore, DMN

The Cowboys, Moore writes, "tied up some loose ends on the offensive depth chart" this weekend. Here's his take on the teams new OT:

The Cowboys hope Mills, who started 29 games over the last two seasons with Chicago, never steps on the field. That means left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle Doug Free are healthy.

But if one of those players misses any time, Mills is a proven option. Darrion Weems isn’t.

Scouting Report: Judging Jordan Mills' Credentials For Swing Tackle - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

Broaddus goes to the film room to watch tape on new Cowboys OT Jordan Mills, and comes away with this final assessment:

In watching Jordan Mills play, I don't believe you have a swing tackle here. I see a right tackle only -- which means that Darrion Weems will likely just focus on that left side and work to improve there.

Dallas Cowboys work out former Saints 2nd-round OT Charles Brown - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

A day after claiming offensive tackle Jordan Mills off waivers from the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys worked out Charles Brown, a second-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2010. Brown started 22 games in his four seasons, including 14 starts in 2013. He played sparingly for the New York Giants last season, went to training camp with the New York Jets this summer and was among their final cuts over the weekend. Interesting...

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Linebackers Closer To Full Strength With Hitchens Expecting To Practice Rob Phillips, The Mothership

Good news: the Cowboys’ linebacker group is getting back to full strength just in time for the season opener, Phillips reports, with Anthony Hitchens expecting to work back into practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his foot in training camp.

Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (foot) expects to return to practice Wednesday - Jon Machota, DMN

But how effective can Hitchens be in a game after only a few days of practice, Machota asks? Hitchens responds:

"I’ve been doing a lot," Hitchens said. "I’ve been with the trainers on the sideline doing a lot with the [resistance] bands, cutting and running and linebacker drills. They’re going to take it easy, ease me into practice and see how it goes."

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A couple of hits from the super-prolific Archer:

Dallas Cowboys taking running back roles down to the wire - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

This pretty much sums it up:

After nine organized team activities, three minicamp practices, 20 training camp practices in Oxnard, California, two more in Texas and four preseason games, the Dallas Cowboys still don’t have an idea how their running back situation will shake out in 2015.

Wondering if the Dallas Cowboys would look at deal for Greg Hardy - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN

Archer's excellent Five Wonders series returns as a weekly installment. Here's a good one to kick things off:

Greg Hardy. He's on a one-year deal and will miss the first four games due to a suspension. The Cowboys have lauded Hardy's work. His teammates like him. You don't get a chance for pass-rushers like Hardy often or at all in free agency. Does it make sense for the Cowboys to do a deal with Hardy sooner rather than later? It doesn't need to be out-of-this-world in terms of guaranteed money, but enough to make Hardy open to wanting to be a Cowboy for the long-term.

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Dallas Cowboys QB Kellen Moore on why he signed with Cowboys: ‘I felt like a little change might work’ - Rainer Sabin, DMN

Apparently, Kellen Moore had an opportunity to go back to Detroit and rejoin the Lions’ practice squad, but he saw more opportunity in Dallas, with Scott Linehan:

"I could have gone back to Detroit," he said. "I felt like a little change might work…We’ll see what happens. The first priority is to understand how things are run here. The offense here is not going to be the same that we had in Detroit, when Scott was there. There are ways they do it here.

The first word to learn, Kellen, is "process."

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Dallas Cowboys roster ranking, numbers 55-40 - Jon Machota, DMN

As we head toward the opener, Machota concocts a roster ranking series. Here, he shares players ranked 55-40 (he has 55 because of Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain). Who is the Cowboys current Mr Irrelevant, you ask? Machota abides:

55.) Keith Smith, LB. A solid special teams contributor who adds valuable depth to the linebacker position.

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2015 season preview: No. 6 Dallas Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Archer pens the ESPN season preview piece, which has the Cowboys as the league's sixth-best team. Here, he opines on the season's most important match-up:

The Cowboys knew they had to bolster the pass rush after they were unable to get to a gimpy Aaron Rodgers in the playoff loss to the Packers. They signed Greg Hardy as a free agent and will have him for at least 12 games instead of six with a reduced suspension. They drafted Randy Gregory in the second round and he has been one of the best defenders in training camp. They also believe second-year defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will blossom as well. Marinelli's defense is built on pressure from the front four. He has more to work with this year and that should help overcome the loss of Scandrick.

2015 Dallas Cowboys' game-by-game predictions - Todd Archer - ESPN Dallas

Toddzilla cranks out a game-by-game prediction post to go with his season preview. I'll let you go there to see the Cowboys' final record; in the meantime, here's a little music for your Iggle-hatin' ears:

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:25 p.m.

Murray’s return to Arlington will not go so well. Will Sam Bradford make it this deep in the season? The Cowboys defense will be much better in the rematch for Chip Kelly’s scheme and the offense does just enough to stay above .500 at the midway point. Cowboys 30, Eagles 20. Record: 5-3

NFL divisional-round predictions: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys are on collision course - Alex Marvez, FOX Sports

Marvez not only makes season predictions but plays out the playoff scenarios. Here, he has the second-seeded Cowboys hosting the fourth-seeded Panthers in one NFC second round game:

Remember the days of Kerry Collins, Sam Mills and Wesley Walls in Panthers uniforms? There will be plenty of reminiscing heading into this showdown as the first postseason victory in Panthers history came 20 seasons ago when Carolina defeated the visiting Cowboys in a second-round playoff game. The present won't be so kind for Ron Rivera's squad. Carolina's defensive line, which struggled to gain traction throughout the regular season, will get exposed by the blocking of the Cowboys' outstanding offensive line. Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy also will wreak havoc against his former squad with two of the six sacks Dallas registers on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. For the third straight season, Carolina falls in the second round.

Final: Dallas 27, Carolina 14

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2015 Dallas Cowboys Official Depth Chart For Week 1 vs. New York Giants - O.C.C., BTB

Of course The Cool One can turn a simple depth chart release into a lesson on recent history:

The top three picks from each of the three drafts from 2012-2014 (2014: Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Anthiny Hitchens; 2013: Travis Frederick, Gavin Escobar, Terrance Williams; 2012: Morris Claiborne, Tyrone Crawford, Kyle Wilber) are all penciled in as the No. 1 at their respective positions, even if those positions may be the No. 2 receiver, tight end or corner. If the 2015 draft class can move up the depth chart in similar fashion next year, good things will happen for the Cowboys.

Nice!

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There's only one reason this story matters, and it's this:

Giants snatch up Cowboys LB Jasper Brinkley days before their NFC East clash - David Moore, DMN

[Brinkley] received a $2 million guarantee from the Cowboys that included offset language, meaning that number will now be reduced on the Cowboys salary cap now that he’s signed with the Giants.

Mara gives the Cowboys cap savings! The world is being turned on its head!

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