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Cowboys News: Dallas making moves at safety, but what about Earl Thomas or George Iloka?

Plus, practice recaps, Travis Frederick’s injury situation, Dak to sit out dress rehearsal?

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys sign a safety but will there be movement on George Iloka or Earl Thomas? - Clarence Hill, Star Telegram
Despite the recent additions at safety, the prospect of adding Thomas or Iloka still looms as a very appealing idea to some fans. But does it to Jason Garrett?

“You have to have enough guys at the position,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough guys to practice and to play in these preseason games and hopefully the guys we bring in have a chance to make our team and contribute. We’ll see.

“So you have to look at all possible guys. Young guys, more veteran players. You have to overturn every stone that you can to see if we can address that position because we’re thin there right now.”

“I think you’re looking at everybody available and you’re deciding how they fit from a football standpoint, how they fit from a business/financial standpoint and if it makes any sense,” Garrett said when asked about Iloka.

The Cowboys are signing a safety, but no, not the one you’re thinking - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Xavier Woods might end up missing the first game or two of the regular season. While many fans have been calling for an Earl Thomas trade or, more recently, signing George Iloka, the Cowboys opted to instead sign a different former Seahawk, Boise State alum Jeron Johnson. Johnson worked out for the team Tuesday and last played in a regular-season game in 2016 for the Seattle Seahawks.

Johnson is the second safety that the Cowboys have signed this week as they inked Domenick Sanders on Monday. Dallas is obviously addressing the position because, well it’s one of need, and due to injuries sustained by Xavier Woods (hamstring, a few weeks) and Jameill Showers (torn ACL, gone for the year).

There’s definitely logic to the Cowboys signing someone like George Iloka who just found himself a free agent only a few days ago, but then again there has been logic to them trading for Earl Thomas ever since they could and they haven’t done that yet.

Not reading too much into things here, but the signings of some lower-caliber safeties could indicate that the Cowboys aren’t planning on pursuing George Iloka. He’s a free agent so if they wanted him they’d likely have him. They wouldn’t be bringing in Sanders or Johnson if there was a bigger plan in all likelihood.

Tony Dungy: Seahawks trading Earl Thomas to Cowboys would be 'foolish' - Jori Epstein, SportsDay
Abandon all hope, ye who entered Earl Thomas-country. So sayeth Tony Dungy.

"Don't bank on things that aren't there," Dungy said by phone Tuesday. "You can't wait for a savior there.

"Seattle would be very foolish to trade for Earl Thomas. So if I were a Cowboys fan, I wouldn't think he's the knight on a white horse. Players and coaches better get on with making decisions."

Why Travis Frederick’s back injury could be more than just a “stinger” - One.Cool.Customer, Blogging the Boys
Cowboys officials and coaches have been adamant that Travis Frederick’s recent stingers aren’t serious, even as the All Pro center visits Peyton Manning’s neck doctor for evaluations. Our own OCC details a conversation with Mr. Medical Source for more (and potentially terrifying) details on the situation.

Another Cowboys player had disc issues that did not require immediate surgery, Tony Romo. After the exacerbation of his lumbar disc in Washington during the Week 16 game of the 2013 NFL season, he noted that his back had been sore for quite some time. He took steroid injections to play, something that Frederick will now likely do.

The injections may deaden the abnormal sensation and make it easier to play, but I do not believe that tingling and discomfort prompted his visit to the surgeon. Frederick noted the strength loss in his arm after his visit to Dr. Watson. A herniated disc can cause weakness throughout the affected innervated area, just as a brachial plexus injury can result in similar weakness.

When patients experience weakness due to a disc derangement, the clock starts running on when to schedule surgery. According to the research, patients will have the greatest chance for a full recovery of strength if the surgery is performed within three months from the time weakness is first detected. In other words, if Frederick does not significantly improve with rest and conservative treatment (physical therapy) before Thanksgiving, he may miss the final five or six games to go under the knife.

Is surgery still a possibility for Travis Frederick? Here's the latest on the Pro Bowler's injury - David Moore, SportsDay
We'll probably know what's next for Frederick once all the test results are in.

Frederick met with Dr. Robert Watkins, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, last week while the Cowboys were in training camp in Oxnard, Calif. Club officials characterized the consultation as a precaution, something that made sense because Watkins' offices are in nearby Marina Del Ray.

Frederick told reporters after the visit that he was assured the stingers were his only issue and could be addressed with rest. Indications were he would shut it down for the remainder of the preseason with the belief he would be ready for the Sept. 9 opener at Carolina.

But on Monday, Garrett dropped that Frederick was going to see "some other people today and hopefully tomorrow and hopefully we'll get some good answers.''

One person informed of what's taking place with the Pro Bowl center said the primary purpose of the tests is to rule out any potential issues. But a level of concern does exist, and sources said surgery can't be ruled out until the results of those tests are reviewed.

Jerry Jones: No need for Dak, Zeke to play in remaining preseason games; surprised Dez Bryant is not on a team - Jon Machota, Sports Day
With all the injury scares to the offensive line lately, some fans have questioned if Dallas should be sending their star QB and RB duo out there in preseason games without top tier protection. Jerry Jones seems to agree.

Because of the injury risks, Jones has made it clear over the last few days that he does not want to see Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott playing in the team’s final two preseason games. Dallas’ third preseason game is Sunday night against the Cardinals. NFL starters usually play most of the first half of their team’s third preseason game.

Garrett thinking through dress rehearsal plans - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Injuries to Travis Frederick and Zack Martin have the Dallas Cowboys possibly re-thinking their plans for Dak Prescott in the dress rehearsal for the season, Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Earlier Tuesday, owner Jerry Jones offered up the trial balloon of possibly sitting quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott until the Sept. 9 season opener because of the absences of Martin and Frederick. But he said that coach Jason Garrett had the final call.

Garrett didn’t run from the suggestion. And if Prescott sits on offense, look for left tackle Tyron Smith to sit as well. Garrett said those are among the discussions the team will have this week. None of the starters will play in the preseason finale at the Houston Texans on Aug. 30.

Garrett says having enough reps aren’t an issue if they did sit Prescott the final two preseason games, thanks to the 29 plays the first team offense had in a 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Saturday. He said they are already ahead of where they normally would be in the past.

Practice Recap: Reinforcements Arrive At Safety - Staff,
The Cowboys held their second training camp practice from Frisco on Tuesday, and the Cowboys’ newest safety, Jeron Johnson, made his appearance. Other quick hits from practice:

Managing injuries: It’s interesting watching the Cowboys manage these practices with the number of injuries they’re facing. Tuesday was a second-straight unpadded practice – which makes sense, given that they can ill-afford to lose anyone else heading into Sunday’s game against Arizona. Still, they also need to get their players ready to play. With two more practices left this week, it’ll be interesting to see how the coaches opt to handle the workload.

Deep ball sighting: Throw and catch of the day: Cooper Rush’s deep ball to recently-signed receiver Dres Anderson, who laid out for a tightly-contested catch down the left sideline.

Depth at safety: With the injuries at safety, the Cowboys are working rookies Kam Kelly and Tyree Robinson with the second-team defense. Robinson showed good instincts in seven-on-seven drills when he picked off a deep pass by Rush that was intended for Lenoir.

Cowboys 2018 training camp: Tyree Robinson makes late push for roster spot with INT in practice - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
Sisemore’s practice recaps are always a visual treat, and his recap is all about how the defense won the day in Frisco, making it tough on the offense every step of the way.

Tight end snap count from Bengals game - @PFF_Cowboys
The competition at tight end to fill the void left by future Hall of Famer Jason Witten hasn’t produced any surefire bets. However, a look at the snap counts for the four tight ends in the conversation gives a clearer idea of where each player stands.

Randy Gregory reveals what grade Rod Marinelli gave his return to field in Cowboys vs. Bengals - Jori Epstein, SportsDay
Marinelli with some tough love for Gregory.

Randy Gregory didn't take home an 'A' report card Saturday night.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli didn't even declare Gregory's explosive 10-snap performance against the Bengals worth a B.

"Marinelli gave it a C minus," Gregory said Tuesday after practice. "He grades pretty hard."

Gregory hopes to play more snaps Sunday vs. Arizona. He has his eyes on starting the Cowboys' Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Carolina. With defensive tackle David Irving suspended until October and Maliek Collins recovering from foot surgery, Gregory's chances are realistic. But first, he wants to improve that C minus from Marinelli.

"D's get degrees technically," Gregory joked. "But it wasn't good enough."

George Andrie, member of Cowboys’ original Doomsday Defense, dies at 78 - Brandon George, Sports Day
Andrie, who played defensive end opposite Mr. Cowboy himself, has passed away at age 78 after recent complications.

Andrie’s health had declined in recent years, his daughter Mary Brooks said, and he died from congestive heart failure. He also suffered from dementia that he believed was caused by his playing days. He and Brooks had shared their story with The Dallas Morning News last year as a means of highlighting the ongoing problems with the NFL’s concussion lawsuit settlement with former players.

Andrie had a standout 11-year career with the Cowboys, playing most of it at defensive end alongside “Mr. Cowboy” Bob Lilly. Andrie, whom the Cowboys drafted out of Marquette, ranks among the franchise’s top five all-time in sacks. He scooped up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown in the famous “Ice Bowl” in the 1967 NFL championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

VIDEO: Dak Prescott says the Cowboys are a “true brotherhood” - Clarence Hill, Star Telegram
As many of us saw on All or Nothing, last season had plenty of tensions between players and coaches, and a lot of it seemed to stem from Dez Bryant. But Dak Prescott went so far as to say this year’s team is a “true brotherhood.”

“We’ve created a true brotherhood around here,” Prescott said. “You can see this atmosphere, you see team meetings at night, just being around each other at practice, we all love to hang around each other, we all like to see each other do well and succeed in individual drills and team drills, it’s the competition heated up, each side getting at each side every day, it’s fun. We’ve got this great comradery that we’ve got going on on every side of the ball and it’s fun.”

What is holding TE Rico Gathers back? - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Gathers is still struggling with the nuances of football. Coach Jason Garrett said Gathers struggles with understanding his assignments and alignments, especially when the defense changes.

Coach Jason Garrett delved further into Gather’s challenges in his third year of playing the game after stopping in the eighth grade to focus on basketball.

Garrett lauded Gathers for making a big-time athletic play on the underthrown ball from White. He also acknowledged that Gathers might have run a bad route on the play by releasing inside instead of outside.

He also ran into a teammate on a route earlier in the game.

More pointedly, Garrett said Gathers struggles with understanding his assignments when the defense changes and he has to make a decision on the fly.

Brugler: The inaugural Top-32 NFL Draft Board is dominated by defensive linemen – Dane Brugler, The Athletic
Consider this more of a public service announcement than required reading: Dane Brugler has joined The Athletic as their NFL Draft analyst. This is his first article, and highlights a deep, deep class of defensive linemen: Brugler has 16 defensive linemen in his Top 32 and six in his top 10.

From the FanPosts

Our FanPost section is where Blogging The Boys members have the opportunity to write their own posts about the Cowboys. Take a little time to write a post about your thoughts regarding the Dallas Cowboys, and there’s a chance it will be linked right here in our morning News roundup.

53 Man roster prediction (After Week 2 preseason) - ZVPlatinum, Blogging the Boys FanPost
It’s about that time of year where everyone is making 53 man roster predictions, including all the writers at BTB. But ZVPlatinum also has his own take on who makes the final cuts for America’s Team.

Noah Brown and Deonte Thompson are both hurt and missing very valuable time during training camp. Noah will probably get put on the practice squad. Thompson has a good chance on the team though if he can fight his injury and show he is the best deep threat on this team. I hope he becomes the new Brice Butler, which I think will be a crucial role for how the offense is going to work.

Check out RJ’s recap as he gets into all kinds of Cowboys news.

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