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Cowboys News: CBS Sports picks Dallas to win Week 1, “stun” Panthers

Plus, what’s the latest on Travis Frederick?

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

NFL Week 1 picks: Cowboys stun Panthers, Browns shock Steelers for first win since 2016 - John Breech, CBS Sports
As the regular-season opener fast approaches, attention has drifted away from roster cuts to how the Cowboys will fare in their first game against the Panthers in Carolina. John Breech of CBS Sports seems to think Dallas will do just fine.

On the Cowboys’ end, they’ve had so much drama going on this offseason that I think I briefly forgot about the fact that they might actually be good this year. If you ignore the fact that they cut one of their all-time leading scorers over the weekend (Dan Bailey) and ignore the fact that their starting center is out indefinitely due to a rare disease (Travis Frederick), then what you have left is a team that could win the NFC East.

I like the Cowboys so much that I’m picking them to win their division and this game. Of course, if the Panthers sign Dez before Sunday, then I’m switching my pick to Carolina.

The Pick: Cowboys 23-17 over Panthers

Why are the Cowboys optimistic about an earlier return for center Travis Frederick? - Clarence Hill Jr., Star Telegram
Some people were surprised that Travis Frederick was not placed on the Injured Reserve list, as the Cowboys instead kept him on the active roster. This seems to indicate optimism in Frederick’s ability to return earlier than the first eight weeks of the season, and Jason Garrett seemed to echo as much when explaining the decision.

“We feel like, with the information we have right now, it was important to keep him on the 53 and give him the chance to come back as soon as he can,” coach Jason Garrett said. “If we get different information, we can make a different decision. With the information that we have right now, we thought that was the right decision for him and for our football team.

“It’s a day-by-day situation. All the reports I’ve gotten from him and from our doctors have been positive up to this point. I’ll say it again. We’re most concerned about him as a person in making sure he comes back healthy, as a husband, as a father, as a human being, before we get into the football thing. He’s been engaged with our football team. He’s been around us. He’s been in meetings. He traveled with us to Houston. He’s certainly been a part of our team. But we’ll take his situation day by day.”

Inside the Cowboys roster moves: Are Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook options at backup QB? - Clarence Hill Jr., Star Telegram
After both Cooper Rush and Mike White struggled mightily in the preseason, rumors of the Cowboys adding a veteran backup quarterback have popped up, most notably after Paxton Lynch got cut by the Broncos and Connor Cook’s release from the Raiders. Both of these players have drawn interest from Dallas in the past.

Remember, Dallas coveted Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, so much so that they tried to trade up with Seattle to get him the first round but was beaten by a better deal from the Broncos. Owner Jerry Jones expressed immediate regret that the Cowboys didn’t do more to get him. Lynch was the third quarterback taken in the draft.

They also had it bad for Cook that same year and would have taken him in the fourth round if the Raiders hadn’t traded up to get him. So the Cowboys had to settle for Prescott as the consolation prize with the 37th pick of the fourth round. He was the seventh quarterback taken in that draft.

Jerry Jones: No interest in available backup QBs - Staff,
Despite the history Jerry Jones has with wanting both Lynch and Cook to be his quarterback, it seems that the team is content with both Rush and White as their backups to Dak Prescott.

Asked about it Tuesday morning, though, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said there’s no interest at this time.

“Dak was so fortunate to be able to get those snaps, and one of the reasons he was able to get those snaps is if we didn’t have a veteran quarterback out there to take them,” Jones said. “Had we had a veteran quarterback after Romo went down, and we had had an obvious place to go with one that we thought would give us a better opening game quarterback, Prescott would have never got to see the light of day, more than likely.”

We’re going to have a lot of new Dallas Cowboys captains this season - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
The Cowboys certainly made some shocking decisions when they announced their final roster cuts, and now the Cowboys enter the season with only three of their six team captains from last year.

It makes sense for DeMarcus Lawrence to be a team captain, but he isn’t the only defender that’s worthy considering Jaylon Smith exists. DLaw has been there and done that though whereas Jaylon is still a bit unproven. If I had to guess between the two I’d give the nod to Lawrence.

As far as offense goes if Travis Frederick isn’t the second captain next to Dak there’s potential for a bit of a dark horse in my opinion. We could see Tavon Austin be voted as a captain by his peers.

Before you scoff, just know that Tavon has already been leading the Cowboys. Consider that he is one of the older players in a relatively young and new room. This is an admitted wildcard.

With Dan Bailey gone we’ll need another special teams captain, and there are two that make sense. Chris Jones could inherit the role as the other elite specialist, but it’s possible that this particular captain’s patch goes to the GOAT - Jeff Heath.

Zack Martin: Something feels different about Ezekiel Elliott this season; “I think he’s ready for a big year.” - Jon Machota, Sports Day Dallas
Ezekiel Elliott has more than lived up to the lofty expectations he earned from being drafted fourth overall. He led the league in rushing as a rookie and was tenth in the league last year despite only playing ten games. Apparently, Zack Martin thinks Elliott will make all that look like child’s play this year.

“Just the way he’s running, the way he’s approaching every day,” Martin said. “Something just feels different. I think he’s ready for a big year.”

“He’s always been a hard worker, but it’s just something different about this year,” Martin said. “He’s coming each day, running hard. Although he hasn’t played in the preseason, I don’t think there’s any question that he’s ready for this week.”

Michael Irvin predicts Ezekiel Elliott will break NFL record in 2018 - Jeff Smith, Heavy
Zack Martin isn’t the only one expecting big things from Zeke this year. Michael Irvin made a bold prediction on Tuesday that would put Elliott at the top of the record books for rushing yards in a single season.

Thomas not expected to play for Seahawks in Week 1 -
The standoff in Seattle continues: Earl Thomas is not expected to play in Week 1, and reports emerge suggesting the Cowboys are willing to trade third-round pick for Thomas.

Thomas has stayed away from Seattle all offseason as he awaits a trade out of town, preferably to the Dallas Cowboys. The All-Pro safety was in the city this week to see his daughter off to school, but NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Thomas is unlikely to return in the coming days unless Seattle changes its hard stance.

"Until something changes," Rapoport elaborated on NFL GameDay Season Preview on Tuesday, "my understanding is Earl Thomas is not expected to show up and play for the Seahawks."

Rapoport added that Dallas is willing to trade a third-round pick for Thomas, but not the second-rounder “and change” that Seattle is demanding. Multiple teams are also reportedly interested in trading for Thomas, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported over the weekend, but as with the Cowboys, no team has met Seattle’s demands.

Report: Cowboys only willing to give 3rd round pick for Earl Thomas not “2nd and change” Seahawks want - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Cowboys are apparently willing to give a third-round pick for Earl Thomas. The Seahawks want "a second and change."

Who knows what this “change” is at this point. I’m sure collectively we’ve all got plenty of quarters and dimes to throw at the cause. For now we know that the Cowboys and Seahawks each have a price, plus that the Seahawks and Thomas really haven’t been negotiating much as far as a contract over the course of his holdout.

Will one team blink before the other?

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.

Evaluating the new Cowboys 53-man roster - did Dallas make the right cuts? - VAfan, Blogging the Boys FanPost
Now that the shock of the 53 man roster cuts have subsided, people have the chance to assess the roster decisions for themselves. VAfan breaks down the cuts and asks if the right moves were made.

Defensive Line: This was the deepest group on the roster. Not only did the Cowboys keep 10 guys, they cut guys who would have been used a lot in recent years - Kony Ealy, Jihad Ward, Charles Tapper - with Caraun Reid and Lewis Neal potential depth guys. And we’re not counting David Irving. My only question here is how did the Cowboys accumulate such talent on the defensive line yet still look weak depth wise in other areas of the team?

For example, Charles Tapper was a 4th round pick, and Jihad Ward was brought in by trading a 4th round pick. Wouldn’t it have been a better use of resources if Dallas had drafted some offensive line depth with those two 4th round picks? Maybe we’d have a viable swing tackle and viable backup guard aside from Joe Looney?

Right move. I can’t attest to Daniel Ross, but the rest of the guys look solid to amazing as a group. When David Irving returns, this group may help elevate the entire defense. Wish we could have turned some of the guys cut here into players who could have helped the roster elsewhere.

2018 BtB Pick 'em - Join here and kick off a new season - revellyre, Blogging The Boys
If you're looking to join a pick 'em league this season, revellyre has the details in this Fanpost.

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