The recovery of Jaylon Smith, specifically his regenerating nerve, is one of the most watched things for fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones gave an update, and we are hoping that no news is actually good news.
"The rejuvenation of the nerve that would help him get in the position to actually hit the playing field is not complete, but it is not behind - it was to be expected," he said. "Our doctors are not dismayed at all - I'm not."
Another injury recovery being watched is that of change-of-pace running back Lance Dunbar, who was off to a career year before he went down in 2015. Despite the severity of his injury, there is now a chance that he may be ready to go at or near the start of training camp, a topic Jerry Jones also addressed.
"It's a long year for him, and we want to do things the right way with him. But gosh, I commend him," Jones said on Monday. "He's worked so hard and come so far, so fast -- a lot faster than anyone dreamed he could come."
There is a current narrative that Jones is just about the only supporter Rolando McClain has left in Dallas, but he disputed that when asked about whether keeping McClain on the roster would undercut head coach Jason Garrett and his message.
"To a man everybody lobbied to have McClain on the team. Every coach that's associated with the team lobbied for that. Now, to be fair to everybody concerned, we didn't know that he was going to get suspended. But he certainly, his issues were potentially recognized, maybe not to the extent he would lose the games that he's got in this suspension. But make no mistake about it. With all of his warts, he was still considered a potential asset to the team by the coaches."
Jerry may be projecting a positive view of McClain's situation, but his son paints a less certain picture.
Vice president Stephen Jones said a final decision has not been made on McClain's status, although they'll discuss that next week when the coaches begin their meetings to prepare for training camp. The Cowboys have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with linebacker Justin Durant to give them options.
"It's not really costing us anything right now," Stephen Jones said of McClain's roster spot. "We will continue to monitor and see where he is and make a decision from there."
With three of their top defenders suspended to start the season, the Cowboys are already facing some unpleasant parallels to last year, when they seemed to be waiting every week for someone to return from suspension or injury. Jones says it will be different this time around.
"I think we all probably will not be depending as much on people coming back whether it would be from injury or whether it would be from suspension," Jones said. "That promise of ‘we are going to be better, let's hold it together. Let's get one or two wins.' Just that attitude. We have all gotten current on how good that worked. I think we are going to just line them up with what we got and empty the bucket with the players that are there and if we get other players back then fine."
Star receiver Dez Bryant is no stranger to various legal issues, and is currently facing a lawsuit by Royce Brown, his former adviser, over alleged damage to a house Bryant rented from him. Bryant has now filed his own lawsuit, alleging that Brown and others basically helped themselves to Bryant's money.
Bryant alleges that West breached his fiduciary duty, exhibited gross negligence and performed fraud, among other infractions. The accusations paint a picture of West and his associate David Wells, a former bail bondsman who served as a Bryant confidante, as essentially taking advantage of Bryant and stealing his money. Bryant had given Wells Power of Attorney, thanks to advice from West.
I suppose it would have been foolish to hope West would say "my bad" and try to make things right.
West responded in kind Tuesday, calling the allegations "lies and frivolous." He said he plans to file a defamation suit against Bryant and his attorney.
Alfred Morris has become something of a forgotten man in the running back room, with the excitement over Ezekiel Elliott, last year's performance by Darren McFadden, the possible return of Dunbar, and some buzz over sixth-round pick Darius Jackson. Morris was a late round pick himself, and has never cashed in big. Still, he has made a fair amount of money, but it has not changed his behavior, which some might uncharitably call "cheap".
He did, however, earn more than $3 million in those four seasons with the Washington Redskins. And now with $1.8 million guaranteed coming his way, Morris has earned himself plenty of money. Yet, he still won't give up his 1991 Mazda 626, which he bought from his pastor for $2 as a college junior.
Just how high is the excitement level for Zeke?
The Dallas Cowboys rookie running back has the No. 1 selling jersey since he was drafted fourth overall in April.
The appalling dearth of takeaways last season was just one of the symptoms of what ailed Dallas, but it was a big one. The staff at the mothership take on the question of how they can fix it, and David Helman thinks it is doable.
I have to assume they can, considering this group managed to force 31 takeaways during the 2014 season - good enough for second in the league. Last year that fell all the way to 11 takeaways, which was dead-last in the entire NFL. So how do they fix it? Well, with any luck, a healthy offense in 2016 will lead to more second-half leads, which means teams will be playing aggressively to catch up. If the opposition is throwing and hurrying in the second half - rather than trying to grind down the clock - then the likes of Sean Lee, Byron Jones and Orlando Scandrick should have more opportunities at interceptions. On top of that, this pass rush can only be helped if it's playing with a lead - as it'll have to focus less on the run and more on getting the quarterback.