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Cowboys News & Notes: Will Justin Durant Return? Bounce Back Year For Romo And Dez?

Dallas also has two rookie running backs, and both may have important roles to play in the league. And did Troy Aikman have the worst vocal performance by an NFL player ever?

The General will be looking to school a rookie, no matter how hyped.
The General will be looking to school a rookie, no matter how hyped.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cowboys Talking To Justin Durant As Possible Fill-In For Rolando McClain - Blogging The Boys

As our own OCC posted, the Dallas Cowboys are looking at former team member Justin Durant as one option to get through the suspension of linebacker Rolando McClain. He was a team captain during his previous tenure with the team, and although he is older, his familiarity with the defense may be a plus.

If nothing else, Durant will provide the Cowboys with some cheap insurance and an additional option as they head into camp. The Cowboys wanted him on a 2-3 year deal a year ago, so why not try him out now on a 1-year deal?

Mailbag: Possibility Of Bringing Back Justin Durant? Jason Witten's Future? - Dallas Cowboys

The mothership addressed the interest in Durant, and Bryan Broaddus looked at some of the questions that would come with signing him.

I'd be interested to see where they would play him? When he was here in 2014, he played on the outside as a Will. I am not sure they want to play him at Mike? You currently have Sean Lee as the Will, but as you know he has played his majority of his career as a Mike. I have not heard this from anyone in the front office or coaching staff, but maybe they're considering moving him back to the middle and letting Hitchens and Durant battle on the weak side?. Need to get him signed first before any of this happens.

Predicting the NFL's eight most improved offensive players -

Although preseason lists are not always the most accurate indicators of what is to come, it is always good to see a Cowboy make one of the positive ones. And this one includes not one, but two Dallas players - who are logically linked together.

4. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Poor Romo got the short end of the stick twice last season after he sustained two collarbone breaks within a matter of only a couple of months. His injuries were a definite gut-punch to the Cowboys after the quarterback completed a career-high 69.9 percent of his passes and helped lead the team to the postseason in 2014.


3. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Logic would stand to show that if Romo returns in full health then naturally Bryant will follow in suit with a more productive season.

PFW Super 50: No. 12 Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant - Pro Football Weekly

The guys at Yardbarker are not the only one who see a return to dominance for Bryant, as he come in as the number 12 player in the league for Pro Football Weekly.

Bryant is fiercely competitive, sometimes to a fault, but it's that same unbridled fury that makes him nearly unstoppable in between the white lines.

Whether Bryant returns to top-five receiver status, he's No. 3 at the position on our Super 50, depends largely on the health of his right foot. At age 27, he should have several years of his prime left, and his ranking is based not only on career production but his remaining upside and irreplaceable role in the Cowboys offense.

Views From The 6: Part 4 Features Revis Island, Willie Mays & More - Dallas Cowboys

Speaking of which, David Helman is running a fun series ranking all of Dez Bryant's career touchdowns. It is a fun way to whet your appetite for the coming season.

Barry Church thinks Ezekiel Elliott will help Cowboys defense 'a lot' - The Sports Daily

The theory for the Cowboys this season is that Ezekiel Elliott will help them return to the run-oriented, game-controlling offense of 2014, which will help the defense in turn. Safety Barry Church fully buys into the idea.

"He's definitely a three-tool player that can just play on every single down," Church said Sunday on Sirius XM NFL Radio, via Pro Football Talk. "And it helps out the defense a lot. It takes up our play downs by a lot. That also happened in 2014 when we had DeMarco Murray. He was punishing defenses and we were three-and-out here, three-and-out there and we were fresh in the fourth quarter."

NFC East Q&A: Best newcomer to division? Josh Norman or Ezekiel Elliot - ESPN

This one likely won't sit as well with Dallas fans, because Josh Norman beats out Elliott three to one in this poll of NFC East beat writers.

John Keim, Redskins: I want to say Elliott because I know the Redskins are worried about his potential overall impact, giving Dallas a situation like it had two years ago. But I'm going to go with Norman, whom Washington quickly signed in late April after Carolina removed the franchise tag.

Led by Ezekiel Elliott vs Sean Lee, Cowboys Top 3 training camp battles |- Cowboys Wire

Many of us think of training camp battles as the contest between two players to make the roster. But our old friend KD Drummond looks at it a different way, savoring some of the contests between starters on each side of the line. The one between savvy and talented veteran Lee and rookie Elliott should certainly be worth watching.

In prior years, the matchup between Demarco Murray and Lee made for epic camp battles, but that action has been missing from the last two training camps. Lee missed 2014 with an ACL and Murray was languishing in Philadelphia in 2015.

Now, Zeke and his myriad of talents will get to lock horns with the Cowboys best defender.

Darius Jackson More Valuable To Cowboys Than Lance Dunbar - TPS

Zeke wasn't the only running back drafted by the Cowboys. While Elliott is the projected starter, sixth round pick Darius Jackson may have been taken with an eye to filling the change of pace role, with Lance Dunbar having so many problems with injuries, and being questionable to be ready to start training camp as he recovers from his latest.

Jackson is a big ball of clay that is ready for the Cowboys coaching staff to mold. At 6-foot and 221 pounds, Jackson has a great build for position to go along with freakish athletic ability. At his pro day, the sixth-round pick ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash, a 4.27-second 20-yard shuttle, a 6.82-second three-cone drill. He also jumped a 41-inch vertical and an 11-foot-1-inch broad jump, which put him amongst the 97th percentile among running backs since 1999 per's Ethan Young.

Pass Rush Isn't Always Key To Success - Cowboys Nation

Count this as another endorsement of the "run 'em into the ground" approach for this year. And remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Getting pressure on the quarterback helps you win games, but it isn't the only way to prosper in the NFL; something the Cowboys know first-hand. Dallas won 12 games two years ago by having a good offense, converting in the red zone and creating turnovers. The team was woeful at causing turnovers last season, but history tells us that will even out and the offense appears primed for excellence.

That's how the Cowboys will try and win games again this season. It's one thing to depend on getting sacks to win games and come up short; it's another to know your strengths and play up to those abilities to be successful.

The definitive all-time ranking of musical performances by NFL teams & players -

Finally, one ranking that it is kinda hard to argue about.

863. Troy Aikman, "Oklahoma Nights"

Back in 1993, Troy Aikman joined up with some of his Cowboys teammates to form a group called the Super Boys, and they made a country album entitled Everybody Wants to Be a Cowboy, featuring this song, "Oklahoma Nights."

They shouldn't have. They really, really, REALLY shouldn't have.

We're not really ranking 863 songs on this countdown, but this one comes in at No. 863 because we can say with certainty that this is the worst song ever recorded by an NFL player. Aikman was a good quarterback, but it's impossible to apply that same adjective to his singing voice.

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