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Cowboys news: David Irving talks about OTA absences; Zeke ready for heavy workload

David Irving set the record straight on the drama of his personal life that he had to fix before he could focus on football. Ezekiel Elliott is ready for the heavy workload coming his way.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

David Irving Opens Up On A Trying Offseason - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Cowboys star defensive tackle. He took center court to answer questions about his offseason.

“I tried to stay with her because we were high school sweethearts and we had a kid together. But it is what it is,” he said. “I’m not worried about anything domestic. The stuff I’ve been dealing with has nothing to do with that, at all. It’s the least of my worries.”

That’s not to say Irving is care-free. While talking to reporters, he touched on the fact that he was recently granted full custody of his daughter. That added responsibility is just another factor he said he’s taking into account.

“I have to make a lot of changes,” he said. “My whole life basically changed this offseason, quickly – all at once, in a lot of different aspects. But hell, I’ve just got to change and I have been.”

“I feel like I’m getting it all together. This offseason – to be honest, I know I should have done some things differently,” he said. “It’s been a tough OTAs and all this stuff, but I’m moving through it. I’m feeling better – much better.”

Cowboys DL David Irving addresses OTA absence, weight goals, domestic situation - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
David Irving opened up about his absence during voluntary workouts saying that it was all about getting his personal life right.

”I wasn’t here because I chose not to be here,” Irving said. ”If I could’ve come I would’ve, but I couldn’t for certain days, so I didn’t. It has nothing to do with me being out of shape. The media, or coaches even, probably put it out there. But the real reason is really none of the public’s business right now.”

Irving allowed that he could’ve handled things better and does need to be more consistent -- as linebacker Sean Lee said earlier this week. He’s talked with Lee. But he said it’s impossible for his sole focus to be on football.

”I do have a daughter... and some other things to deal with,” he said. “There’s a balance to everything. Everyone questions my commitment and this and that. When I’m on the field, I don’t really get too much questioning.”


Ezekiel Elliott ready for heavy workload - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Elliott is well aware of the plans the Cowboys have to make him carry the heaviest load in the offense and he’s thrilled.

“I’m all for it, you know what I mean?” Elliott said as the Cowboys wrapped up minicamp on Thursday.

”A lot is asked from the running back for the Dallas Cowboys, a lot has been asked for me the past two seasons, and I think I’ve had some great strides this offseason getting ready to carry that workload this season.”

Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott ready for break, knowing big workload awaits - Todd Archer-ESPN
With distractions behind him and a bigger workload expected, Elliott is focused on having a monster season.

“I think he’s someone who’s obviously been a very good player for us right from the get-go, and I think like with all players as they come into the league, I think the more they go, the more they understand what’s required of them as players, and as people,” Garrett said. “I think they grow. Hopefully, we’ve put a good structure around him that can help him continue to grow as both a football player and as a person off the field. And really we try to do that with all of our players. That’s part of our job as coaches.”


Cowboys 2018 minicamp: All the sights and sounds from the final day - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys had their final practice until they meet again for training camp in late July.

Though the defense has been winning most of the early battles, the play of the day belongs to Dak Prescott and Allen Hurns:

Scout’s Eye: Dak Impresses On Minicamp Day 3 - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Broaddus’ final notebook of the spring offers ten observations from minicamp; here are three of them:

It was crazy to watch Chidobe Awuzie stay with Tavon Austin in coverage on the goal line. Austin must have darted five different directions trying to shake Awuzie, but he couldn’t do it. The overall coverage was so good that Prescott was forced to pull the ball down and try to score on his own.

I believe Jeff Heath is taking over the role of the safety that’s handling tight ends in the passing game. It was a role that Byron Jones had the last couple of years. Heath did a nice job of staying with Blake Jarwin in the red zone. Prescott couldn’t fit the ball in to him due to the coverage.

Michael Gallup continues to find ways to separate in coverage. This time he took Jourdan Lewis across the field and had a good three yards on him, but Cooper Rush was too high and wide with the ball. It’s a shame that he missed because it would have been a big gain.

5 takeaways from last day of Dallas Cowboys' minicamp - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Thursday was the final day of the three-day minicamp, and Davison provides us with an injury update.

The Cowboys are hopeful that most of their players will be ready to go when training camp begins next month. Garrett said wide receiver Terrance Williams, who underwent foot surgery this offseason, is progressing well and should be ready to go on Day 1. So should the rest of the players who have been given time off this offseason such as Leighton Vander Esch (ankle).

The only known player who will still be rehabbing when camp opens is defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who underwent foot surgery. Collins is expected to be ready in the middle of camp with the hope of him being available when the regular season starts.


Cowboys change up their conditioning work in practice - Todd Archer- ESPN
Jason Garrett was clear that he demands every player to stay conditioned and ready by training camp. He's even changed a few things about how the Cowboys condition.

“Everybody knows conditioning can’t hurt you,” Prescott said. “A lot of games in the NFL, most games in the NFL, are won in the fourth quarter, so the most-conditioned team from Quarter 1 to Quarter 4 wins the game. That’s what it’s about, getting ourselves in that position to win.”

‘That’s how you win’: What Dak Prescott thinks about Cowboys’ new wrinkle to end practices - Brandon George, SportsDay
The Cowboys have added sprints to the end of each offseason practice to maintain tip-top conditioning and QB Dak Prescott welcomes the change.

“Yeah, it’s definitely different, but everyone on this team is embracing it,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “That’s how you win. You have to be conditioned first and know what you’re doing. That’s kind of the main reason we’re doing it. How do you perform when certain blitzes are coming? Can you still perform well when you’re tired? Know what you have to do mentally to still be effective and productive.”


Kris Richard talks Earl Thomas, why he has zero concerns about what the Cowboys have at safety - SportsDay Staff
Kris Richard recently joined the "Doomsday Podcast", and when asked if he had any concerns about the Cowboys' current safeties, Richard said he had "none."

"I'm confident. I feel really good at this point in time and it's because the level of character of our guys," he said. "We're going to get better. That's the deal because our guys are young, focused, I think the hunger's there. I love the look in their eyes. I love how everyone is buying in, is focused and paying attention to the detail. It makes a difference when guys care. It makes a difference when each one wants to teach one. We're trying to build something special. We want to be tribal-like. We want to be more than a team."

Michael Irvin responds to Terrell Owens - Peter Dawson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Michael Irvin chimed in with some advice for Terrell Owens, who announced that he would be skipping his own Hall of Fame induction. T.O. fired back at "The Playmaker" and Irvin responded.

“T.O. and I have had, I don’t know, a good friendship, relationship and hopefully it’s still that. I don’t have any issue with T.O. I’m sorry, obviously he feels the way he feels right now and I don’t know how we miscommunicated whatever happened. Because the first thing I texted T.O., and I haven’t talked to him in a while, the first thing I text him was ‘Hey T.O., you know I’ve got to go on the air. I’ve got to address your decision.’ And then I asked him questions. I said, ‘I just want to get clarification before I go on. Get clarity about, you know.’ He said ‘What is there to get clarity about?’

”I said, ‘Well you said in a statement after visiting the Hall, I decided not to attend. So is there something that happened at the Hall? Or is this just a decision you’re making?’ All of this stuff.

”And I guess here it comes back. I guess he said that these were private texts that he didn’t want me to talk about the things that we talked about. But I said in the first text that I have to go on the air to address it and my job is, ‘Let me call and find out if there’s something I need to know.’

Cowboys tight ends working out of Jason Witten's shadow - Todd Archer, ESPN
If we're honest, it's a void that can't simply be filled, but the Cowboys have to find a new tight end in their offense for the future even if Jason Witten still casts a huge shadow.

“I don’t know what tape you can bring up of the Cowboys in any sort of relevant way that Witt is not on the field,” Geoff Swaim said. “I still look at his play as something that’s a model in a lot of ways for what I want to do in terms of technique and his finish on plays and stuff like that. His nuances and the way he played the game as a route runner really stuck out to me. So it’s real evident when you watch tape and it’s always him, him, him, and it’s that way for a reason.”

“If we have any kind of install, it’s usually him that we’re watching, whether it be his footwork or what step he’s taking on which route,” Jarwin said. “So even though he’s not in the room, we still learn from him and always look up to him.”

Go Behind-the-Scenes As Zack Martin Signs New Deal - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Martin is happy about his new contract, and just as happy that the process is behind him.

Martin officially signed his six-year, $84 million extension on Thursday in Jerry Jones’ office at The Star. The deal also gives Martin $40 million in guaranteed money.

“I’m just relieved to get this out of the way,” Martin said. “It’s been pretty stressful as we’ve worked to get this done. I’m glad to get focused only on football again.”

What was Derek Dooley doing in Dallas if it wasn’t teaching how to run routes? - R.J. Ochoa-Blogging The Boys
We’re searching for answers on the tenure of Derek Dooley.

Much of the receiving room’s shortcomings lately have been isolated to Dez Bryant, but it’s worth noting the Cowboys basically purged themselves of anything Dooley touched in it this offseason. Dez is gone, Brice Butler wasn’t retained, Ryan Switzer was traded, Dooley himself obviously has been moved on from, it’s like getting rid of an ex.

Dallas kept the aforementioned Cole Beasley around, but that makes sense considering he’s their most proficient route-runner (perhaps why he craves intellect in this art). Sanjay Lal even acknowledged this himself just a few weeks ago.