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Cowboys News: Training camp can’t get here too soon for the Cowboys

Zeke is not the only news.

6th Annual NFL Honors - Show Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Ezekiel Elliott remains in the wrong kind of spotlight - Todd Archer, ESPN

Archer gives an overview on Zeke.

Bill Parcells was talking about Terrell Owens in 2006 when the coach remembered a line his father used to tell him when Bill got in trouble.

"'It's never your fault but you're always there' -- that's what he used to say to me," Parcells said then. "Some people just seem to have a penchant."

That’s the line Elliott has walked early in his NFL career. At some point he will have to pay the consequences, on and off the field.

When the Cowboys' offseason program ended in June, coach Jason Garrett left his players with a brief message about doing the right things and staying out of trouble.

“This is an important time,” tight end Jason Witten said after the final minicamp practice. “You see it all around the league. You do all this work and then school’s out. What’s going to happen? I think our team understands that, and I think the biggest thing is you just have to use good judgment and understand that we’re pursuing something bigger than any individual in this room, so you don’t want to do anything that is going to cost us with accountability. Coach has touched on it. I think we’ve done a good job all offseason talking about, it but it’s important. You’ve got to make it important over the next five weeks."

Elliott, who turns 22 Saturday, doesn't seem to have heard that message. He needs to be held accountable.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' reaction after latest Ezekiel Elliott altercation: Your actions affect entire team - Kate Hairopoulos, DMN

Jerry has had his talk with Zeke, but it would seem appropriate for the leaders in that locker room to see if they can get through to him.

Of Elliott, Jones said:

"It's like a rock star wherever he goes. ...Certainly anybody that's experienced that knows that takes some getting used to to have to learn many aspects of that. So certainly Zeke is evolving and being subject to needing to learn how to deal with the media and social media the way it is today."

Asked about the distractions heading into training camp, Jones downplayed the impact, saying that this time of year has long held distractions, from contract negotiations to off-field developments.

Cowboys' Elliott appealing conviction for speeding 100 mph on tollway in Frisco - Valerie Wigglesworth, Dallas News

More Zeke.

The 21-year-old is appealing a misdemeanor conviction for speeding after a state trooper clocked his 2016 Dodge Charger traveling 100 mph on the Dallas North Tollway near Lebanon Road in Frisco earlier this year.

Despite the Ezekiel Elliott situation, Dak Prescott is why the Cowboys are still optimistic - Tom Ryle, BtB

If Zeke does miss time, Dak Prescott will likely have to help pick up the slack. Last year, he didn’t flinch when Dez Bryant went out. He’s unlikely to flinch in any situation.

The continuing string of headlines about Ezekiel Elliott are casting a pall of gloom over fans of the Dallas Cowboys. With the still unfolding reports of a possible physical altercation between him and another person at a Dallas nightspot, it is feeling more than likely that he is going to be facing some kind of suspension to start the season.

Take heart. At the moment, it looks like the suspension will not be a long one (although Elliott is not by any means helping his case, by all appearances). And the Cowboys have another strength that should mitigate that, and keep them firmly in contention to repeat as the NFC East champion: They have the best quarterback situation in the division.

What they're saying about Jaylon Smith's recovery: LB is 'balling out'; Cowboys painted him into a corner - Staff, DMN

The Cowboys have some new blood too.

Jaylon Smith is the biggest wild card of the upcoming Cowboys season. The linebacker missed all of 2016 while recovering from a serious knee injury -- which, of course, he's still working hard to come back from -- but that hasn't stopped certain members of the organization from being optimistic about his potential in 2017.

With training camp on the horizon, interest in Smith's recovery is sure to spike again, especially once the 22-year-old straps on the pads for the first time alongside his teammates.

Only two of 15 Cowboys players with highest 2017 cap hits are former free agents! - OCC, BtB

Very nice analysis of how the Cowboys have built their team, and how they compare to others.

The Bengals and Steelers are two other teams, along with the Cowboys, who seem to have embraced the idea of building through the draft, perhaps not as rigorously as the Packers, but they have drafted well enough to not have to go to the free agent market for help.

The Cowboys of the last few years are a team that values retaining its own draft picks, and re-signed a small armada of former draft picks to second contracts.

When you succeed in drafting talent, you can focus on re-signing your own talent and you can then use free agency to improve the depth across your roster. By sheer force of numbers, the draft remains the main source of new (and cheap!) player material. Get it right in the draft and you are golden. Get it wrong and you may struggle to compensate through other means.

How Tony Romo helped the Cowboys build a roster that can win the Super Bowl - Joseph Hatz, BtB

We’ll finish with one writer’s take on the value of Tony Romo.

Most will only remember those three years for the three failed opportunities to clinch the division in the season finale, but I look at it a little differently. During that time the Cowboys had one of the worst running games in the league, along with a mostly putrid offensive line outside of Smith and Free on occasion. Now combine that with one of the worst defenses in the league that continually gave up leads late in games, and then add in a head coach who was one of the most inexperienced in the league and who was prone to inexplicable game management mistakes, as well a propensity to pass the ball over 60% of the time.

A terrible running game, mediocre at best pass protecting offensive line, Swiss cheese defense and an inexperienced head coach prone to gaffes in critical situations is no way to win in the NFL.

Yet despite all of that Tony Romo was able to keep those teams competitive and in the thick of the playoff hunt, often times single-handedly with nothing but his right arm, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and not much else. He was able to keep them competitive despite Garrett’s game management mistakes, despite the several years that it took to rebuild the offensive line and the running game, and despite the fact that Garrett’s first two defensive coordinator hires, Rob Ryan and Monte Kiffin, ended up being unmitigated disasters.

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