Day two of rookie minicamp is in the books, but our summary of the latest Cowboys headlines below has much more than just that on offer.
Stephen Jones: Cowboys have cap space to go after a veteran - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Are the Cowboys looking for a trade?
On June 2, an extra $5 million will hit the Cowboys’ cap thanks to the Tony Romo release. While a lot of that money will be used to fill out the 53-man roster, sign the practice squad and compensate for injury settlements and future signings, Jones said it frees them up to be sign or trade for a veteran if needed.
"I will say this, we’re not strapped to the point where we couldn’t do something. You never know when a trade might pop up."
I wonder which player "might pop up" that would generate trade interest from the Cowboys ...
Why first story on ESPN's new-look 'E:60' is about Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, his mother Peggy - Barry Horn, SportsDay
A new-look E:60 will debut on ESPN today at 9:00 am ET, and the first story will be about Prescott. Why?
"It's pretty simple," E:60 host Jeremy Schaap said in a phone interview this week. "We asked who are the biggest names in sports. If it's not Tom Brady, it's Dak. He is the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys and has an amazing story."
The piece is scheduled for a relatively short 10-minute segment [...]. Schaap promised that E:60 plans a more expanded look at Prescott down the road. It will include some of what is being left on the cutting room floor and fresh fodder.
Dak Prescott does not plan on altering approach in Year 2 - Todd Archer, ESPN
An excerpt from Prescott in today's E:60 segment.
With the Cowboys releasing Tony Romo last month -- and the franchise's all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yards off to a new job with CBS -- Prescott does not plan to change his approach.
"Continue to do what got me here, don't change a thing now," Prescott said in an interview with E:60's Jeremy Schaap. "I got here by hard work, trusting in others and being selfless, and I just got to continue to do that no matter what the circumstances are -- [Romo] in the NFL; him not in the NFL; this is my team or not. Just continue to do what I've done."
"I really just genuinely hoped that he was happy," Prescott said. "I hoped that's what he wanted. As I said, he had a great career, so he can hang his hat on that. And going into CBS, getting to wear the suits every day and getting to play as much golf as he wants, I hoped that he was happy."
Here are two segments from the show:
These Cowboys could lose starting jobs to rookies, UDFAs to watch - Kristi Scales, SportsDay
Scales stops short of saying which players will get released, but wonders which players could lose their starting jobs.
Which of the newly drafted CBs might take a starting spot from Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Brown, and Nolan Carroll? In my opinion, there are three starting CBs because the nickel is used more than the base defensive package. Will Auzie make enough of a mark in the offseason and training camp to move into the starting lineup?
Will the coaches let 1st round pick Taco Charlton settle in at RDE, or will they move him around the line. And if he stays on the right side, what about DeMarcus Lawrence? Will he go to LDE? If he does, will Tyrone Crawford get work again inside at DT?
Lucky Whitehead should not rest easy, not with the selection of a Ryan Switzer in the 4th round (he was a dynamic punt returner in college).
So many questions, so few training camp practices.
Five Veteran Cowboys Players In Jeopardy Of Losing Their Roster Spot - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
Danny goes one step further than Scales, and looks at five players he believes are at risk of losing their jobs, including this very surprising take on James Hanna.
The veteran tight end has two things working against him. First, his health is a great unknown because of the bone bruise he has in his right knee. While that alone is a cause for concern the team has $5 M in base salary on the table for him over the next two years. Hanna has been one of the most underrated players on the team in recent years, but there is no way he’s remotely close to warrant that type of reckless spending. Especially since the Cowboys were able to replicate his contributions by drafting another blocking specialist tight end in Geoff Swaim.
Prediction: CUT - Because of future savings this really should be at the top of the list. It’s a much cheaper version of the Tony Romo contract ordeal, only Romo was in better health. That doesn’t bode well for Hanna. Cut now, save now, and save even more later.
Stephen Jones "Impressed" With DBs - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Jones the younger shared his thoughts about the rookie class after the second day of practice.
Jones said the draft picks all showed them "what you’d thought you’d see." He said the staff was pleased with Taco Charlton, Ryan Switzer and Joey Ivie among the others. But he said the "DBs were really impressive – all of them." Jones cited the quickness and awareness that were on display from rookie draft picks Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Marquez White.
Arkansas rookie Dan Skipper was supposed to sign as undrafted free agent but the Cowboys held off to check on a previous medical condition. Skipper, a 6-10 lineman who played tackle but is listed at guard, instead went through the practices on a tryout basis. Stephen Jones said he is hopeful Skipper can be signed to fill the open roster spot.
Following Camp, Rookies Begin Working With Cowboys' Vets On Monday - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Helman offers a brief outline of what will happen over the next couple of days for the rookies:
"They’ve just got to keep growing," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "We’ll come back in here tomorrow, we’ll do meetings and a walkthrough. There won’t be any real extensive on-field work."
That shouldn’t be a problem, because there won’t much of a break before their next opportunity to get on the field. Unlike past years, this rookie class will stay in town after rookie minicamp. That means they’ll begin working with the Cowboys’ veterans as soon as Monday – and they’ll integrate into the offseason program when the veterans hit the field on Tuesday.
Cowboys see big improvement in ex-basketball player Rico Gathers - Michael Smith, ProFootballTalk
Gathers make national headlines (even if it's only on PFT).
Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan loved what he saw of Gathers at the team’s first minicamp practice.
"It’s night and day for [Gathers] in a good way from last year," Linehan said. "When you know what you’re doing and you’ve got your body in football shape, it’s amazing what you can do, and that’s the biggest difference from where he was a year ago until now."
Gathers and linebacker Jaylon Smith are two Cowboys 2016 draft picks who didn’t play at all as rookies but could be in for big years in 2017. Dallas already has two big hits from the 2016 draft in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. If Smith and Gathers are able to live up to their promise, that Cowboys 2016 draft class could be legendary.
Taco Charlton has high expectations for himself - Todd Archer, ESPN
Rookie defensive lineman Taco Charlton sets specific season goals for himself, but his approach every game is the same - get to the quarterback.
The Cowboys’ biggest need of improvement is with their pass rush. They had 36 sacks a year ago and were led by Benson Mayowa’s six. Charlton was the biggest addition to the pass rush, with the Cowboys using their biggest free-agent signing (Nolan Carroll) on a cornerback and then drafting four secondary players two weeks ago.
The Cowboys need Charlton to perform right away.
"It’s not really pressure -- it’s just what I do," Charlton said. "I play football and I’m good at this game. I feel like I’m put in a good situation. I’ve got great coaches, and with the coaches I have I feel like the sky’s the limit for me. I keep the highest expectations for myself. People say, ‘I need to do this,’ but my bar is set higher than what people think I can do."
Chidobe Awuzie: 'Crazy, surreal' to have my name part of Drew Pearson's memorable draft speech - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Imagine if your name had been included in Drew Pearson's draft announcement ...
"That was crazy," Awuzie said Saturday before his first rookie minicamp practice. "That was surreal. Two picks before I got the call and I was hugging everybody and dropped some tears and I stepped outside to get some fresh air, think, reflect.
"Then I come back inside for my pick and I'm staring at the screen while he's talking, like what's going on? Did he say my name? I was like dang what's going on and all of a sudden he said my name. I was like dang, that was crazy. Especially when I heard my name from a legend like that, to play for a great organization like this it was really surreal."
Chidobe Awuzie makes Cowboys rookie minicamp debut after attending Colorado graduation ceremony - Jon Machota, SportsDay
Awuzie was happy to have attended his graduation, even if it meant a very late arrival in Dallas on Saturday.
The second-round pick was in Dallas on Thursday to take part in physicals and a team meeting. He was scheduled to board a flight back to Colorado at 10 p.m. A delay moved that departure to midnight.
Awuzie arrived in Denver at 3 a.m. and was at his morning graduation ceremony by 8.
He then walked the stage for a business school graduation later that evening. By 5 a.m. Saturday, he was back in Texas. A couple of hours later he was at The Star.
Does anybody know what the heck they're talking about with Jaylon Smith's health? - Kevin Sherrington, SportsDay
Sherrington wonders who to trust about Smith's health.
On one hand, you've got a doctor that California's medical board once tried to sanction for gross negligence and failure to disclose a drunk driving conviction; a doctor considered a symbol of the NFL's screwed-up medical mission, according to the union boss; a doctor investigated for his potential culpability in the suicide of Junior Seau.
On the other hand, you've got Jerry Jones.
So just whom are we supposed to believe about Jaylon Smith anyway?
Mike Golic: 'The sky is the absolute limit' for Cowboys' Jaylon Smith - SportsDay Staff
Golic recently joined 103.3 FM's and had this to say about Jaylon Smith:
If the nerve damage heals, I think he'll be fine. Players have come back from blown-out knees before and played well.
If that heals up -- I'm telling you guys, I have rarely seen an athlete move the way he does on the football field. How quick he is sideline to sideline -- what an athlete he is. Man, I was so looking forward to him -- he would have been one of the top five picks in the draft had he not gotten hurt, top five, top 10. And I think probably top five. The sky is the absolute limit for him... Holy smokes I can't wait to see what he can do. If the nerve damage is healed, I don't see why he can't get back to that athlete that he was. Now he's got a lot of rust to knock off, but oh my did I love watching that guy play.
Miles Austin: Romo on same tier as Staubach, Aikman - Conor Orr, NFL.com
Former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin said Tuesday on Good Morning Football, he personally considers Tony Romo as talented as Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. But he recognized that Romo meant something unique to him.
"I think you've got to put him up high," Austin said. "Obviously we didn't get a chance to win a championship. But as far as statistically and what he did for the franchise, I think you've got to stack him up there, right among Troy, right among Staubach. I think you've gotta put him right on that tier. And you can stack them however you want based on championships and other things, but for me personally, what he's done for me in my life and what I know he's done for the organization, you've gotta respect that. And I do."
Tony Romo's jersey number and locker aren't being used. Makes it easier for a possible return. I'm kidding. But maybe not. But maybe.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 14, 2017
Stephen Jones: Cowboys have made a bid to host 2018 NFL Draft - Todd Archer, ESPN
Looks like the Cowboys have submitted an official bid for the next draft.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team has made a bid to host next year's NFL Draft at both facilities, AT&T Stadium and The Ford Center at The Star, but there has not been a timeframe on when the league might make an announcement.
"They know how we can configure for X amount of people," Jones said, "and then they'll come back to use what they want which night."