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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Why Cowboys Are Poised For Big Rebound Season

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Early signs point to rebound season for Cowboys; Jason Witten says Tony Romo is better than ever; selection of Elliott leaves Cowboys stacked at running back.

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Early signs point to rebound season for Dallas Cowboys - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Gil Brandt writes that there's something different about this year's Cowboys team, something that was clearly evident at their OTAs.

What really stood out to me was [Tony Romo's] attitude. We had a chance to catch up after an OTA practice last week, and he showed a lot of enthusiasm. I'm sure it feels great to get back to football after an injury-riddled season that saw him play in only four games.

Romo wasn't the only one. Tight end Jason Witten could have passed for a player coming into his second season. He came into the OTAs in great shape, maybe the best I've seen him, and had no problem syncing right back up with his quarterback.

This is a team that's going to challenge for a division title, maybe more. You can't say that about too many 4-12 teams. There's still a long way to go before the season starts, but the signs in the offseason are pointed in the right direction.

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Jason Witten, Gil Brandt say Romo is better than ever - Drew Davison, Miami Herald
Tony Romo is throwing as well as he's ever done at this point in the offseason, Jason Witten said.

"He does look really good. His tempo, the energy he is bringing, everything he is doing at the line of scrimmage, he looks really well," Witten said. "That excites us to see him back healthy, even better than what he was before. I know he's worked really hard to get to that point."

Earlier on Thursday, former Cowboys vice president of player personnel Gil Brandt posted on Twitter that Romo was "really throwing the ball well. Looks ready for season."

Tony Romo has a very different perception about his injury history than everyone else - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
"Everyone else" here obviously refers to A) people who mindlessly regurgitate every tired meme they come across, B) Eagles fans, C) Will Brinson.

Romo is incredibly optimistic about what happened last year, calling the duel [sic] collarbone injuries "an anomaly."

"I guess what I'm trying to say, basically, is I feel like last year was an anomaly," Romo told DallasCowboys.com. "If we're going to base it all on that, you have to come back and prove differently. But the fact that we went 4-12, whether I was playing or not -- we have to do better. I think part of that is me being healthy, I think part of that is guys getting better and improving."

"I understand where I'm at in my career. I also understand that -- I was hurt and banged up last year, but it's a collarbone," Romo said. "I don't think my collarbone is going to be anything that takes you out every year that you play football."

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Better believe it, Dallas Cowboys sticking with Kellen Moore - Todd Archer, ESPN
Jerry Jones said he believed his team could win games with Kellen Moore. Stephen Jones also threw his support behind Moore. As did Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan. Yet the football public continues to pretend none of this ever happened.

It seems nobody wants to believe Moore will be Romo's backup in 2016. They scream either on televisions, radios or with all caps on the internet: Don't the Cowboys know Romo turned 36 in April and hasn't played a full season since 2012?

Mailbag: Veterans On The Bubble? - Dallas Cowboys
In response to a reader question, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman explain which veterans they think are on the bubble.

Bryan: Devin Street and JJ Wilcox would be my two guys.

David: This is an interesting conversation, because there are a lot of positions where you could see a veteran lose his roster spot to a younger guy. Receiver and safety come to mind, as I think Devin Street and J.J. Wilcox both need to have impressive camps to keep their jobs. Maybe the most surprising possibility would be Darren McFadden. One year after he ran for 1,089 yards, it would not surprise me if the Cowboys opted for youth and parted ways with McFadden.

Wilcox is a three-year starter in the fourth year of his rookie contract. I'd like to see how many players fitting that description the Cowboys have released before.

Escobar Can Lean On Teammates’ Advice In Recovery From Achilles Injury - Rob Phillips
Escobar is the third Cowboys player in recent years to suffer the same Achilles injury. Barry Church tore his Achilles in 2012, Tyrone Crawford tore his in 2013, but both made a full recovery, and are now helping out Escobar.

"They’ve been real helpful just telling me their progress, how they recovered and it just takes time – just to stay positive and everything," he said.

QB Jameill Showers Gets Off Special Teams Duty - Scott Crisp, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Cowboys quarterback Jameill Showers won't have to work on special teams this year, as he did as a rookie.

"We feel and believe, and Jameill does as well, that quarterback is the position for him," Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told the team’s official website. "It’s hard to be able to compete at quarterback if you’re not doing it full time. That’s the logic behind it. He’s done a nice job out here and he’s got a year in the system, so it helps him to have a little bit of a leg up."

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Selection of Elliott leaves Cowboys stacked at running back - Shuyler Dixon, AP
Shuyler writes that despite Elliott taking first-team snaps in OTAs (McFadden was out for personal reasons) the Cowboys are tight-lipped about the depth chart at RB.

As for how the depth chart will look at running back in three months going into the opener against the New York Giants, the Cowboys are tiptoeing around the question in an age when No. 4 overall picks are almost always walk-in starters, regardless of position.

"Those things work themselves out," executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said. "If you ever think you're going to go into a training camp and think that people aren't trying to take your job, then you've got a surprise coming in the NFL.

"I know that Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar certainly know that Zeke didn't come in here to watch."

Mikel Glennon trade rumors are false - Mike Fisher, CBS DFW
Fisher puts a stop to some half-baked rumors circulating around the Cowboys.

Reports that Dallas has already put on the table a trade-in-waiting for Tampa QB Mike Glennon are false. These reports — so specific they even include the claim that Dallas has agreed to sacrifice two third-round picks in a trade — are denied to me by two of Valley Ranch’s most powerful sources.

Again, that doesn’t mean Glennon is a poor player, or that Moore is locked in, or that the Cowboys won’t keep searching here. But there is no "done deal’’ [...], and be reminded: Trades on Twitter happened almost infinitely more often than they happen in NFL real life.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visits the Dallas Cowboys new headquarters The Star - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
Goodell toured the Dallas Cowboys new headquarters in Frisco Thursday and "was blown away" by the Ford Center at the Star.

Per a source, Goodell was not only impressed with the training facility but also the team’s connection and relationship with the Frisco Independent School District. He liked the connection to youth sports, the source said.

Goodell’s visit could also be considered a good sign for the Cowboys and their efforts to lure the 2018 NFL draft to North Texas.

Chasing League Winning Play Callers: Scott Linehan - Jacob Rickrode, RotoViz
Interesting take from Rickrode, who examines Scott Linehan's coaching history and how he's turned mediocre WR/RBs into good ones and good into great.

While researching the history of PPR I noticed a lot of the same coaches names coming up with the top 12 scorers by year. Talent and quarterback are a large factor of these seasons but the play calling shouldn’t be discounted.

The premise of this series is to show how play calling can elevate talent. Chasing play callers like Scott Linehan by targeting the right positional groups can be vital when finding the next late round/waiver wire gem, or even a career year for a player like Dez Bryant.