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Cowboys news: Randy Gregory’s back - sort of

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Gregory participates in his first walk-through, plus more of the news you want from Oxnard.

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

Cowboys take Randy Gregory off non-football injury list – Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk
Defensive end Randy Gregory can practice with the team from now on.

Gregory was placed on the non-football injury list at the start of camp and has not done any on-field work with the Cowboys since he was reinstated from a year-long suspension in July. That is set to change now that Dallas has activated from the NFI list.

Randy Gregory’s first training camp practice - Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Gregory practiced on the field for the first time in over a year during Tuesday’s morning walk through.

Coach Jason Garrett said there is no specific timetable for Gregory.

“We’re still going to be very deliberate with him,” he said. “He’s making progress. But we don’t want to compromise him early on here and put him behind where he should be. We’re just going to watch him and see if he can handle the different things we’re asking him to do.”

Mailbag: Who Replaces Dez Bryant’s Intensity? DallasCowboys.com staff
The hire of Kris Richard just looks better and better.

Question: In the past, Dez Bryant has always been a guy who brought the intensity to camp, even causing skirmishes at times. Now that he is gone, who is stepping up to bring that intensity and light the fire in some of these younger guys?

Bryan: I would have to say that Kris Richard has become that guy. I have never seen a coach talk as much noise as Richard. He was stirring it up with the receivers from the word “Go” during practice. The more plays his guys made, the louder he became. It was fun to watch.

Rob: I mentioned Richard as a name to watch in this regard before camp, and as Bryan said, Tuesday’s practice was something to see. He was everywhere: talking to the receiver group, running with Justin March-Lillard the entire way for a pick-six. Lot of talking going on, but he said afterward, “Iron sharpens iron.” It’s about motivating both sides to compete and get better.

Kris Richard coaching style has Cowboys reaching next level - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
Count Byron Jones as a big member of the Kris Richard fan club.

"The wide receivers can't do nothing on us. So ...we're just having fun with his energy and the talent he brings. He brings a lot of juice to this team and we all appreciate that."

Jones went on to note how intense things quickly get in the aforementioned drills when Richard beats one of his players to a spot, describing it with a look of awe as he floats the thought of Richard still potentially having enough in his tank to suit up right now -- if he wasn't so valuable a coaching commodity. Even better is the fact everything Jones is describing has now become available for public consumption, with training camp practices in Oxnard, CA rapidly becoming a "How To" for defensive coaches everywhere. Richard is all over the field motivating players, to the point of chasing them down after great defensive plays are made.

He was seen challenging the offense by yelling out "who's next?!" to make it clear no one was getting the best of his defensive backs, and he even stopped a drill so he could step in and defend tight end Geoff Swaim himself.

Scout’s Notebook: Big Wins All Over The D-Line - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboy.com
These are Broaddus' observations on Tuesday's practice, a big win for the D. Here's something about a rookie we haven't talked about much.

Dorance Armstrong has had a good camp so far. He has been lining up primarily on the right side, but Rod Marinelli thought he’d take a look at him on the left side on Tuesday. I liked what I saw from him -- especially when they put him on the move using him on twist stunts. He has feel for how to work through those gaps and cracks to get to the quarterback. Armstrong had several good rushes where he has shown some nice juice getting off the snap.

Don’t look now, but Michael Gallup is forcing himself into WR1 convo - Marcus Johnson, Cowboys Wire
Remember all the angst about the dreadful state of the Cowboys WR corps just a week or so ago? Yeah, that seems to have really quieted down, and third round rookie Michael Gallup is one of the reasons.

Building a serious buzz, Gallup has been making a case for playing time since the start of off-season work in OTAs and minicamp, and continued to carry this momentum with him into Oxnard.

He is not a burner that will win with elusive speed, but Gallup is clean route runner with great hands. His route-running ability will be a breath of fresh air for Prescott who desires an outside receiver who can win constantly against man-to-man coverage.

Cole Beasley takes initial lead as Cowboys potential No. 1 WR - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
The whole idea of WR1 may come down to a matter of definition. If it is seen as your most effective receiver, then maybe Cole Beasley is going to be it.

Enter 2018 and Beasley is as focused as he's ever been, showing early on in training camp that he's the wideout to beat for the No. 1 role going forward. The Cowboys have proclaimed they don't need one, mind you, but football wisdom dictates one will likely rise organically to take the throne. The obvious assumption is it'd be rookie third-round pick Michael Gallup or newly-signed Allen Hurns, who both look great in camp, stepping up to fill the void left behind by the now-released Dez Bryant. That may be the case down the road but, at least for now, this is shaping up to be Beasley's show -- the elder statesman and now longest-seated Cowboy in the WR room.

For those who couldn't see beyond his Top 10 album to understand how it has zero impact on what he did during work hours, ask the Cowboys' defensive backs if he's in prime form.

Can WR Lance Lenoir Make Cowboys' 2018 Roster? ✭ Jess Haynie, Inside the Star
He may not be in line to become WR1, but Lance Lenoir is fighting to get on the roster.

With the passing game shifting strategies to a more spread look, and adjusting to the departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, so much is still up in the air. There is great opportunity for young guys to come in and break through the usual walls, and Lance Lenoir is a prime candidate to do just that. The pecking order is hardly solidified these days.

The fact Lenoir also has return ability is another big plus. Even though Tavon Austin will likely be the main guy, Lenoir could offer a more exciting backup than Cole Beasley.

Why Dallas Cowboys need more catches from Ezekiel Elliott - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
There is a somewhat widely held belief that Ezekiel Elliott has been very underutilized as a receiver. This is one of several articles in recent days addressing that.

The Cowboys are going with committee approaches at wide receiver and tight end to replace those two, but the biggest change in the passing game might be with the player already shouldering a large offensive role.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"I'm ready for whatever they throw at me. Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to go out there and do it. That's it," Elliott said. "All I want to do is go out there and win, so if they need me to do more, I'll do more. If they need me to do less, I'll do less. It's whatever this team needs. Whatever is best for the team."

What is best for the Cowboys is keeping Elliott involved.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams clear of further charges stemming from May arrest after Lamborghini crash | SportsDay staff
Let's hope the team is right in their belief.

Terrance Williams will face no further charges from the Frisco police from when he was arrested in May on a public intoxication charge, according to the wide receiver's attorney. Williams' Lamborghini was found crashed near The Star shortly before police stopped him on an electric scooter near his home.

Williams attended an alcohol awareness education course to have the misdemeanor public intoxication charge dismissed and paid the City of Frisco for property damages and labor costs.

The Cowboys are not expecting further discipline from the NFL under the personal conduct policy.

How Close Is The Cowboys' LB Group To Being Great? ✭ Kevin Brady, Inside the Star
Optimism abounds during training camp. For the Cowboys, there does seem to be some real foundation for it.

Overall, 2017 was a promising season of first action for Jaylon Smith. Sure, he struggled early on taking on blocks and playing sideline to sideline, but as the season progressed so did his play. Once getting comfortable within the defense, and clearly getting healthier, Smith saw his play improve down the stretch.

Playing in more of a rotational role beside Sean Lee, rather than a starting MIKE role, also improved Smith's play. This not only alleviated some of the pressure, but also kept him fresh throughout the game. And, at least in 2017, less was more for Jaylon Smith.

If all three of Smith, Lee, and Vander Esch are healthy, this has the chance to be one of the top linebacker groups in all of football.

Several Cowboys Players To Fill Witten’s Leadership Void « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth (via Associated Press)
The leadership question is being asked again this year. The head coach put it his way.

Asked specifically about what Witten’s departure meant for Lee’s leadership role, coach Jason Garrett almost cut off the question.

“Witt was the guy who was out in front, the most veteran guy, incredibly well-respected guy,” Garrett said. “But all these guys have been grasping that mantle for a long time. There’s no one guy that can lead as a player. It just doesn’t happen that way. You have to have it throughout your team.”

The Cowboys had some tangible proof during the first week of training camp.

The Dallas Cowboys aren't going crazy over the NFL's new helmet rule ... yet - Tim Colishaw, SportsDay
Will the new rules on contact with the helmet be the next "Is it a catch?" for the NFL?

The Eagles are somewhere in that vast expanse between bothered and apoplectic about the NFL's new helmet rule, one that has not been fully explained to most NFL teams and produced contradictory statements by officials at Philadelphia's camp.

The Cowboys seem curious but less troubled about this whole thing. The new rule, which can result in 15-yard penalties or even ejections for any player leading with the crown of the helmet, isn't generating much dismay in camp. Yet.

Perhaps the explanation for all of this is that the Super Bowl champs have so little to worry about that they have time to dissect new rules while the Cowboys are simply trying to rediscover the road to relevance after a 9-7 season.