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Cowboys News: Zack Martin returns to practice, Travis Frederick hangs out at the facility

Plus, what’s happening with those Randy Gregory rumors?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Martin back at practice for Cowboys - Josh Alper, NBC Sports
Zack Martin gave fans a scare when he hyperextended his knee a week or so ago. He’s been holding out of practice and the Cardinals preseason game, but the word was he’d be ready to go in Week One. On Tuesday, fans were given reason to believe that.

According to multiple reports, Martin took part in practice for the first time since hyperextending his knee in the team’s preseason game on August 18. Martin had done conditioning work in practice last week, but moved up to work with the first team in the team’s last practice before Thursday’s game against the Texans.

Martin will join the rest of the team’s starters on the sideline for that game, but his presence at Tuesday’s practice bodes well for him being ready to go against the Panthers.

Good signs: Cowboys’ Travis Frederick attending team meetings, watching practice from sideline - Stefan Stevenson, Star Telegram
Travis Frederick’s status has been very much up in the air ever since he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre disease. There’s still no announced timetable for the All Pro center, but his presence at practice is a positive sign.

“He seems in good spirits. I know he’s working his way back into some workouts,” Garrett said Tuesday morning before practice. “I don’t want to get into how he’s feeling on that. You’d probably have to ask him about that directly. But it’s great to have him here. He’s been at meetings. He was at our meetings the other night before the game. He’s been around our football team, and that’s a really good thing.”

Cowboys to make IR decision on Frederick next week - Jeremy Bergman,
Speaking of Frederick, the positive signs still don’t translate to a timetable and the Cowboys have decisions to make with roster cuts fast approaching. A big question centers around whether or not to place Frederick on the injured reserve/designated to return.

Since being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome last week, the Dallas Cowboys center has worked out with the team and was out watching practice on Tuesday. But NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that it’s too early to tell if Frederick will be placed on injured reserve. The team will make a decision next week whether to do so.

A source told Rapoport that Frederick’s recovery could be measured optimistically in weeks, not months. In that case, Frederick could be placed on IR with a designation to return after eight weeks or stay on the active roster until he’s ready to return.

Jason Garrett speaks on Randy Gregory availability vs. Panthers - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
Randy Gregory looked awesome in the Cardinals game, but while he was terrorizing quarterbacks, a cryptic tweet from Jason La Canfora led some to doubt the status of Gregory heading forward. Jerry Jones said after the game that it will always be a day-to-day thing, and now Jason Garrett and Stephen Jones have given more clarity.

“Absolutely,” said Garrett, when asked if Gregory would suit up against the Panthers.

In all of their confidence though, and justifiably so, Jones is well-aware of just how finicky the NFL can be -- especially when dealing with a case they’ve applied so many stipulations to.

”You know, I think, in fairness, we all realize that the guys that have had suspensions are vulnerable -- certainly the ones that have had recent ones.”

Jerry Jones says players would benefit physically from 18-game schedule - Khadrice Rollins, Sports Illustrated
It seems these days the NFL is always trying to innovate - sometimes for good, and sometimes not so much - and Jerry Jones suggested on Tuesday that shortening the length of the preseason and lengthening the regular season would add to player safety.

“My solution is real simple, cut back on preseason games,” Jones said. “Have one at each team’s home, play a couple of them and then add two games to the regular season, which I’ve been a proponent of for several years. That’s a better equity or a better way of players using what they bring to the table, their talents, their skills, their professional time in pro sports. That’ll give them a bigger pay day that’s fair. The other thing it does is it certainly gives our fans what we all think they deserve and that is a competitive game.”

“I think, candidly, it’s probably physically better for players than it is to have the longer preseason, the longer practicing,” Jones said. “Our studies show that we actually have a ramped-up injury situation with players during preseason as opposed to the injury factor in the regular season.”

Cowboys add depth at offensive line - @ToddArcher
Of course, part of the fallout of Frederick’s absence is churning the bottom of the roster at center. Joe Looney has been taking first team reps, which means the players behind him on the depth chart must make their mark.

Why Lance Lenoir’s great camp might not be enough to earn a spot on the Cowboys 53-man roster - DannyPhantom, Blogging the Boys
Lance Lenoir has been a pet cat of many fans, and the receiver seemed to a near lock to make the 53 man roster after impressing in training camp. But some truly awful special teams work in the Cardinals game might be changing that.

And we should ask ourselves this - is Lenoir that special of a talent where having to comb the waiver wire (should a WR get hurt) is that much more of a downgrade that having Lance in their back pocket? I don’t think he is. In fact, we might be overselling him a bit. Lenoir is practice squad eligible and it’s not inconceivable to think they could cut him, wait for him to clear waivers, and then slide him right back on the practice squad as insurance. Some might think he’d be claimed, but the Cowboys are just one team of many that have some young WR candidates who won’t make their squad. And who knows, his sloppy punt-dropping episode on national television might help improve his chances of not being claimed.

Maliek Collins taking snaps in 11-on-11 drills again - @ToddArcher
With Maliek Collins spending most of the preseason rehabbing his broken foot, Antwaun Woods rose to the top of the depth chart. But Collins was back in practice on Tuesday in 11-on-11 drills for the first time, as he tries to get ready to play in Week One.

Jaylon Smith impressing with pass coverage skills in practice - @Alicia_Bostic
Jaylon Smith seems to raise expectations every time he breathes these days, and Tuesday was no exception. The linebacker displayed excellent pass coverage and nearly came down with the interception.

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.

Turnovers could be a major boost to Cowboys’ season - VAfan, Blogging the Boys FanPost
There seems to be some optimism growing around the Cowboys defense throughout this preseason, and understandably so. Our own BTB’er VAfan thinks turnovers are one of the reasons to be optimistic.

Not since 2014 have the Cowboys gotten more than 10 interceptions, which is the main area where teams make hay in the turnover department. The leading number of fumble recoveries since 2013 has been 16 twice, 15 twice, and 14 once. Teams leading in interceptions, on the other hand, routinely get into the 20s.

Can this change in 2018? If the first two preseason games have any value - they probably don’t - the Cowboys have so far forced and recovered 5 turnovers, and committed none.

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