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Cowboys News: Tyron Smith returns to practice, Justin Durant off NFI list

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Tyron Smith is back, Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal process news, Justin Durant gets off the NFI list.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, Brice Butler return - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Left tackle Tyron Smith has battled back issues early on in training camp, but he returned to practice on Monday as did Brice Butler.

Smith has missed two practices in each of the past two weeks with back tightness. Smith and the Cowboys don’t view the back issue as too serious and were holding him out more as a precaution. Also expected to return to practice is wide receiver Brice Butler, who has been slowed by an ankle injury.

Elliott Case Just Getting Started, Dez The Athlete & More Thoughts - Jeff Sullivan, Dallas Cowboys
Others weigh in on the Zeke investigation.

The NFL is not a criminal investigation operation, nor should it be. It should let those who do that sort of thing, you know, the police, FBI and the like, do so and then react to their findings. How this was handled, from the start, was absurd. Also, there is a 0.0 percent chance Zeke sits out the six games, whether it’s this season or next.

Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal will center on accuser’s words and testimony - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The latest on Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension.

Elliott’s appeal game plan includes highlighting [the accuser’s] already chronicled text messages encouraging a friend to lie to police about an alleged domestic assault on July 22, misleading testimony to NFL lead investigator Lisa Friel, and repeated threats to ruin his career after breaking off the relationship, per documents obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Ezekiel Elliott filed incident report in September against accuser alleging harassment - Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will file the appeal of his six-game suspension on Tuesday or Wednesday, Ian Rapoport reports.

The report details that police were dispatched to Elliott's house because he received "50-plus" phone calls from his ex-girlfriend between 2:39 a.m. and 10 a.m. She called from a blocked number and Elliott answered several times, he told police, informing [her] she was not supposed to be calling him, per the report.

In addition, Elliott told police that Thompson hacked into his email account, found phone numbers and called them to leave "untruthful things that can hurt his image." Thompson told league investigators that she contacted women Elliott was "messing around" with.

Tyrone Crawford speaks out on violence, has Jason Garrett's support - Todd Archer, ESPN

Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford takes to Twitter with a call to end racism and show love for the sake of future generations.

Jerry Jones Issues Statement On Losing “Life-Changing” Mentor Frank Broyles - Dallas Cowboys
One week after thanking him in his Hall of Fame induction speech, Jerry Jones' former mentor and coach at Arkansas has passed away.

Coach Broyles was a life changing influence for me both from a personal and professional perspective.

He taught me, and he taught all of his players, how to be prepared for the fourth quarter, both on the field and in life. He then displayed to all of us how to handle that fourth quarter with the care and devotion he so lovingly provided for his wife Barbara as she faced Alzheimer’s in her final years.

He was the singular most important man of sports in the history of the State of Arkansas, and his impact on the game of football across our country was just as significant.

Cowboys Camp Day 13: All your highlights from the 13th practice of training camp - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
If you missed yesterday's practice updates, the defense punched back with Nolan Carroll getting his hands on two passes.

This first one was negated by an offsides penalty:

However, this one was all Carroll, who admittedly needed this type of practice:

Jaylon Smith ready for game action, ends practice with sack and celebration - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith had a would-be sack on Monday and celebrated with the “swipe" move, his patented college celebration.

“It’s a celebration I created my sophomore year in high school – self-made and I stuck with it,” Smith said. “It got very popular throughout the college years. All the guys on the sidelines were telling me to do it. It’s going to be a great feeling to be able to do it in a Cowboys uniform.”

Xavier Woods hoping to find his groove - Todd Archer, ESPN
Rookie safety Xavier Woods made the most of his chances in the game against the Rams, posting a team-leading seven tackles and a bone-jarring hit.

“I’m not in a groove right now,” Woods said after the game. “I did all right, but it just takes games, takes experience to be at the level I want to be at.”

“You’re just playing, you’re flowing, you’re kind of getting in a zone to where nothing can bother you,” Woods said. “You make a bad play or something like that, it just brushes off. I’m not at that point yet.”

Rookie Xavier Woods “Became A Different Player” With The Pads On - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
As training camp wears on, the Cowboys’ coaches are looking for the rookies to establish their identity in practice and games. Xavier Woods is doing just that.

“He’s one of those players that when he put the pads on, he became a different player,” Garrett said. “We saw that. He was finding his way a little bit in the spring, learning what we’re asking him to do. But ever since we’ve been out here and we’ve put the full gear on and practicing and playing in these games, you really see a more aggressive, physical player.”

Justin Durant activated off NFI - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Justin Durant is ready to get back into football activities as the Cowboys' activate him off the NFI list.

Durant, 31, played in 13 games with the Cowboys last season. He was credited with 54 tackles, one sack, six quarterback pressures and four passes defensed. He has spent three of the past four seasons with the Cowboys, playing the 2015 season with Atlanta.