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Cowboys News & Notes: The Dallas Cowboys Have Signed A Mountain.

The latest Cowboys headlines, plus some goings-on around the NFC East

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys' latest signing is quite a mountain of a man - SportsDay staff
After a medical question was cleared up, the Cowboys got a deal done with a man who, for now, is the tallest player in the NFL. Imagine the basketball team they could put together with him, Gathers, and dunkmeister Cole Beasley.

The team announced the signing of 6-10, 311-pound offensive lineman Dan Skipper out of Arkansas. Skipper, who was a workout player at last week's rookie minicamp, was a big part of the Razorbacks' physical run game.

He also might be able to contribute on special teams after blocking seven kicks in his college career.

Cowboys rookies get first chance to work with veterans this week - Jon Machota, SportsDay
It's getting a little more real for the newest Cowboys.

The Cowboys completed their three-day rookie minicamp on Sunday. The rookies are now working with the veterans in Phase Two of the offseason program.

It's similar to Phase One, but now all coaches are on the field and individual drills are allowed. However, there are no helmets and still no offense vs. defense or one-on-one drills allowed.

That will not change until organized team activities begin on May 23. The last day of OTAs is on June 7.

Why Cowboys rookie Taco Charlton calls fellow Michigan draft pick Jourdan Lewis 'The Mirror' - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The Cowboys drafted several players who had teammates already on the team or that were taken elsewhere in the draft. That includes Jourdan Lewis, who got a mini-scouting report from his fellow former Wolverine Taco Charlton.

"He's a great cover corner," Charlton said. "I call him a mirror because wherever a receiver is, he's probably right there, too. He's a two-time All-American for a reason. He does some great things. He's got the best feet I've seen as a corner.

"I'm happy to have him back on the outside of me again, because when he's on the outside of me, I know I've got maybe an extra second or so [to get to the quarterback]."

Recent History Says Don’t Overlook Marquez White As Third CB Selected - Jonathan Auping, Dallas Cowboys
Marquez White has not gotten the buzz that surrounds Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, but that hardly means you should count him out.

As a sixth-round pick out of Florida State, and the third cornerback the Cowboys selected in the 2017 draft, the sentiment means one thing for White: He’s going to be given every chance to contribute.

The Cowboys’ draft history suggests that this isn’t just empty rhetoric, either. It’s easy to get caught up in the draft hoopla of ‘who gets drafted where,’ but once players hit the field it’s important to remember that the Cowboys don’t look at draft order like it’s a depth chart.

Rico Gathers looking to become more than a legend for Dallas Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN
Is this the year Rico Gathers becomes a key part of the offense? His chances look good as he is getting plenty of reps with James Hanna and Geoff Swaim still on the mend from injuries - and he certainly seemed to have a good idea who to learn from last year.

“Having a guy like Tony Romo in your corner, believing in you, seeing your potential and maximizing it during that time we had? That was another surreal moment, playing with No. 9, man,” Gathers said. “Then going back and watching some of the film and going back to some of the things he’d tell me, he’d keep me after practice and work on certain routes. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than having him work with me and just taking the time to mold me into somewhat of a basic tight end.”

Sitting next to Jason Witten, Gathers said he learned by osmosis.

“I’d be sitting next to him in our coaching sessions and I see him jotting down notes, OK, I’ve got to jot that down, too,” Gathers said.

Why The Dallas Cowboys Don’t Deserve A C+ On Their 2017 Offseason Report Card - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Our leader here at BTB took some issue with the C+ grade Bill Barnwell gave the Cowboys for their offseason work.

I think Barnwell might have been more accurate if he would have dinged the Cowboys for other issues. Personally, there are things like linebacker depth that are troubling. What if Jaylon Smith just can’t perform? Also, could the Cowboys have made a bigger effort to obtain an established pass rusher? On offense, is Kellen Moore really the solution at backup QB?

Overall, though, the Cowboys had a pretty good offseason. Many people panicked about the free agency losses, but really, it was time the Cowboys revamped their secondary. It wasn’t getting any younger or healthier, and it wasn’t like they were setting the world on fire anyway.

The Cowboys deserve a B for their offseason. They remained fiscally smart, they collected some draft picks for the 2018 season, and they injected a ton of defensive talent through the draft.

Are the Dallas Cowboys the team to beat in the NFC East? - Todd Archer, ESPN

On the other hand, Barnwell also didn't see much better performances elsewhere in the NFC East.

When you look at the rest of the division’s grades, however, Barnwell does not believe the Eagles, Giants or Redskins closed the gap significantly enough on the Cowboys. Philadelphia had the best offseason grade with a B-minus. The Redskins came in with a C and the Giants had a C-minus.

NFL IR rules set to change again, one year too late for the Cowboys? - Khari Murphy, Cowboys Wire
The NFL is often a bit stodgy about things, but this rule change would be a nice bit of added flexibility.

The NFL has been adjusting the injured reserve rules on the fly in recent years. Initially, once a player was placed on IR, freeing up a spot for hte club to sign another player to their 53-man roster. That was deemed outdated as clubs were having to decide whether or not to carry a guy who was out for lengthy stretches but who could return late in the season. In 2012, the league began allowing teams to designate one player, at the beginning of his IR stint, to be eligible to return. In 2016, the rule was again altered no longer requiring teams to identify said player in advance.

Moving forward, the NFL will likely change the rule again, allowing two players to come off of IR.

Travis Frederick Announces Two New Initiatives To Help Feed DFW Children - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Travis Frederick is a big, mean man on the football field. He's also pretty big off it, but far from mean.

For several years, Frederick’s foundation has worked to provide support for inner-city and low-income children throughout Dallas who struggle with hunger. It’s a cause that has been important to him since he started with the Cowboys and had a chance to see the impact he could have on area children.

“When you get to see those kids that are just so excited to have a meal, it’s heartbreaking knowing that, oftentimes, they’re not getting that meal – today might be a special day that they get that meal,” he said. Knowing that they can’t be at their fullest without having food really sunk into my heart. From there we started building up a little bit to do as much as we could to try and bring more awareness to it – but also to help feed these kids.”

Garrett Hosts 15th Annual “Play it Smart” Football Camp & Leadership Forum - Dallas Cowboys staff
The head coach also makes an impact through the Jason Garrett Starfish Charities.

During the one-day, free, non-contact football camp, student athletes from schools in New Jersey and New York are coached by Garrett, current and former NFL players and coaches, as well as area high school coaches. The purpose of the day is to inspire the participants to excel and to focus on having college as part of their future plans.

Camp coaches and volunteers help the participants with both football and life skills that will prepare them for the next season and beyond with an emphasis on making good choices on and off the field.

Meanwhile, around the division:

LeGarrette Blount gives the Eagles the bruising running back they were missing - Christian D'Andrea,
Our friendly and respected rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, are trying to get more punch for their running game, signing LeGarrette Blount, formerly of the New England Patriots. But he is now 30, and that makes his likely productivity questionable.

Blount’s age isn’t the only caveat that comes with his signing. He’s had his share of character problems stemming back to his college days, when he punched a Boise State defensive lineman in the face after a season-opening loss. That led him to go undrafted the following spring. His brief tenure with the Steelers was marred by an arrest for marijuana possession and an incident where he left the field before the game ended.

Bob Marley’s grandson signs with the Washington NFL team - James Dator,
Yep, that other friendly and well-respected NFC East rival in Washington actually signed Nico Marley, grandson of the legendary reggae musician. We'll leave the jokes up to you.

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