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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Zeke Signs His Contract, Cowboys Bringing NFL Back In Time?

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The Cowboys have started signing some of their rookies, starting with Ezekiel Elliott. Is the rest of the NFL starting to follow the Cowboys' lead back to running the football?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys' OL Confident It Can Live Up To The Standard It Sets For Itself -Dave Helman- Dallas Cowboys
For roughly a month, the Cowboys’ vaunted offensive line has been the topic of nearly-endless conversation.

"For us, there's no pressure because everything that we do has to live up to our standard in our room," Frederick said. "So, everything that we do is geared to making sure that we're the best individually that we possibly can be and then collectively as a group the best that we can be."

Can The Cowboys Pull Off A Return To Smash-Mouth Football In A Passing League? - Dave Halprin- Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys, along with a couple of other teams, are looking to turn the clock back and play smash-mouth football. Can it work in a pass-happy league?

To make it work, you have to have a talented offensive line, which the Cowboys have. You also need a running back who can make teams pay, which the Cowboys now believe they have. But the big thing is you have to be able to run out of "spread" formations. You can't just line up with two blocking tight ends and a fullback and expect it to always work because the mismatches won't be there as teams will substitute. Being able to run from a three-wide set, or from the shotgun, are things you need to be able to do. It also helps if you have a running back that can be a danger in the passing game, that forces the defense to keep coverage linebackers or safeties in the game. Thankfully Elliott has that skill.

Dallas Cowboys to hold Dez Bryant out of OTAs -Clarence Hill- The Star-Telegram
The Dallas Cowboys will be careful with receiver Dez Bryant and hold him out of OTA workouts when they start next week.

"We’ll just take Dez day by day," Garrett said. "He’s done a really nice job in his rehab. He’s been working on his conditioning the last couple of weeks. He’s moving around well. We’re not going to rush him.

Safety J.J. Wilcox fighting for roster spot with Dallas Cowboys- Jean-Jacques Taylor- ESPN
J.J. Wilcox, who has started 29 games in the last two seasons, will likely be competing for a reserve role in training camp.

"It's competition. It's the way the business goes. It's the way of the world," Wilcox said. "You have to go out and put your best foot down and maybe on film and every time the camera is on. So, like I said, there's competition all over the field, the strong safety spot, free safety spot."

"Still, you never know what might happen because of OTAs and camp. So, I'm going to do my best from the beginning from the start."

Sherrington: If Cowboys do let Byron Jones play safety, he's going to show how good he really is | SportsDay
Sherrington thinks that Byron Jones is ready to leap off the screen to Cowboys' fans in the 2016 season.

I don't know if I'd call it a break-out, because he's just getting here, but I think most fans would be disappointed if Elliott isn't ROY. He's got all the earmarks of it: great talent, work ethic, intelligence and the right OL. After Elliott, I'd probably say Byron Jones. He's going to play safety only this season, according to the Cowboys, and I think if he gets to do that, he's going to show how good he really is. Jason Garrett always talks about the right kind of players. Byron Jones fits that bill. Just not enough like him.

Ezekiel Elliott, Three Other Cowboys 2016 Draft Picks Sign Rookie Deals- Rob Phillips-Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys got an early start on signing their 2016 draft class Wednesday, reaching deals with first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott and sixth-round picks.

Terms have not been disclosed, but reports say Elliott's four-year deal is worth nearly $25 million with a signing bonus of more than $16 million.

Four Cowboys Players Who May Not Be On The Bubble As Much As We Think - Tom Ryle- Blogging The Boys
Fans may be eager to see some veterans get pushed down the depth charts or off the roster entirely, but are we jumping the gun?

Early as it may be, there are some players from last year's roster who have begun to be favorites, if you will, to lose their jobs. But at this point, we may be jumping the gun just a bit. The Cowboys have already done a good bit of pruning through not re-signing players who entered free agency. Matt Cassel, Tyler Clutts, Greg Hardy, Nick Hayden, Danny McCray, Jeremy Mincey, and Robert Turbin are all gone. Most of them were players who many are quite glad to see leave, while Mincey was just getting too old for a team that has gone with a clear youth movement on the defensive line.

ESPN analyst Shannon Sharpe: Ezekiel Elliott won't make Dallas Cowboys better -Jeff Caplan- The Star-Telegram
Don’t count ESPN analyst and former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe as an Ezekiel Elliott believer. To be more precise, don’t count him as a believer that the rookie running back from Ohio State will suddenly make the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl contenders.

"But you’re thinking, because you get Tony Romo... here’s a guy who is 34, 35 years of age, coming off his third surgery on a collarbone in the last three years. Last I checked, having played this game before, as you get older you don’t get healthier. So you want me to believe and you want all the people that are watching this show today, because they drafted [Ezekiel] Elliott, now all of the sudden they are the beasts of the East? ...

For the past four years they have been nothing. I’m riding with Eli. I’m going to ride with Eli. Eli Manning and Beckham. I’m going to ride with those two guys. They will have a better record than the Dallas Cowboys."

Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne have 'unfinished business'- Todd Archer-ESPN
Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are both returning to the Dallas Cowboys with reduced salaries but unwavering loyalty.

"It feels good to have my brother with me, man," Carr said Tuesday at Reliant's Fifth Annual Home Run Derby to Benefit Salvation Army, held at Frisco RoughRiders Dr Pepper Ballpark. "Similar mindsets. We both have chips on our shoulders. Got some unfinished business right now."

Dallas Cowboys: Terrance Williams plans to let his play do the talking in 2016; Tyrone Crawford's shoulder surgery already paying off in weight room-Jon Machota SportsDay
The Cowboys held their annual home run derby on Wednesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. The players all stopped and talked to the media about their excitement to start the 2016 season.

"I try not to worry about that, and I think a lot of people have said a lot this past year and since I've been here," Williams said. "Now, I'm just ready to be quiet and just work and let my play speak for it, because you can always talk what you're going to do and then if it doesn't go as planned, it's like a slap to your face. So I'm just ready to work and just show my play."