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Cowboys News: The man in the middle, Travis Frederick, expected to practice at start of camp

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Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Travis Frederick to be active for start of Cowboys camp - Kevin Patra, NFL.com

Center Travis Frederick will not be on the Non-Football Injury list as he was cleared for full activity on Tuesday.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that center Travis Frederick is expected to be active for the start of training camp, will avoid the NFI list, and is ready to go.

The 28-year-old ramped up participation during the spring workouts after sitting out the year. He participated with the starting group in walkthroughs during OTAs and minicamp but sat out team drills. Having him full-go for the start of camp is a big step towards the pivot being ready for the start of the 2019 campaign.

The Cowboys could decide to bring the center along slowly at the start of camp, but how Frederick responds when the pads come on will be a big indicator as to how he’s progressing.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones not expected to practice in California - Darin Gantt, NBC Sports

DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones both had surgeries over the offseason to repair injuries they played through in 2018, and while it was expected that they would both begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, that became official on Tuesday.

We’ve known for months that Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and cornerback Byron Joneswere expected to open camp on the physically unable to perform list.

But they may not participate at all until the team returns to Texas.

According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the two Pro Bowl defenders aren’t expected to practice while the team is at camp in Oxnard, Calif., though they still hope to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Lawrence had surgery on his left shoulder in April, after signing his five-year, $105 million contract. Jones had hip surgery in March.

Cowboys to cut Hurns, save $5M against cap - Todd Archer, ESPN

Much has been said about the deep wide receivers room in Dallas, and Allen Hurns was one of those players who was trying to earn his roster spot. However, the Cowboys announced on Tuesday that they will cut Hurns after asking him to take a pay cut.

Days before the team will travel to California for the start of training camp, the Dallas Cowboys will be releasing wide receiver Allen Hurns, he confirmed to NFL Network on Tuesday.

”Just wished they did this earlier,” Hurns told NFL Network. “They asked me for a pay cut Monday ... couple of days before camp.”

Hurns suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the Cowboys’ wild-card win against the Seattle Seahawks in January that required surgery to repair a dislocation and broken fibula. He was able to return to work in a limited fashion during the offseason program and said he was close to “90 percent” in his recovery in June.

What releasing WR Allen Hurns could mean for the Cowboys - Mark Lane, WFAA

As the Cowboys enter training camp, they’re getting ready to hand out some potentially massive contract extensions to several star players, but they need some wiggle room to do that. The decision to cut Hurns seems like it could play a role in Dallas being able to do just that.

According to Over the Cap, the Cowboys have the 14th-highest salary cap space in the NFL at $14.9 million. However, they need to pinch their pennies given the fact they have four significant players on expiring deals this season: quarterback Dak Prescott, linebacker Jaylon Smith, cornerback Byron Jones, and receiver Amari Cooper.

Heck, throw in running back Ezekiel Elliott, even though his fifth-year option has been picked up. The reality is the two-time NFL rushing champion will want a seat at the table when the Cowboys are doling out extensions.

Where could the Cowboys find a little extra money? Try Hurns’ contract. The former Jacksonville Jaguar costs $6.25 million against the Cowboys’ cap. Cutting Hurns has the price of a $1.25 million dead money cost, but it saves Dallas $5 million in 2019.

Cowboys Rumors: Amari Cooper in ‘No Rush’ for New Contract, Will Report to Camp - Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report

Speaking of those contract extensions, Amari Cooper is in line to potentially become the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. While negotiations aren’t particularly close, there’s reportedly no inclination of a holdout from Cooper as training camp gets ready to begin.

Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper is heading into the final year of his contract, but he’s in “no rush” to sign an extension and is expected to report to training camp, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

Cooper reportedly plans to wait for receivers like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Tyreek Hill to get extensions to “raise the market” for his eventual new contract, per Robinson.

Thomas is also heading into free agency after this season, but the New Orleans Saints are reportedly willing to make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.

Uncertainty on whether Ezekiel Elliott will actually skip training camp per Mike Garafolo - @rjochoa

Ezekiel Elliott, on the other hand, is reportedly considering a holdout. However, as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo points out, there were rumblings earlier this season about Elliott skipping practices that didn’t turn out to be true.

Why paying Ezekiel Elliott now makes sense for Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN

As everyone waits to see if Ezekiel Elliott really will skip training camp in favor of a holdout, it’s fair to wonder if the Cowboys should give the star running back an extension now or kick the can down the road. ESPN’s Todd Archer argues that addressing it sooner rather than later is best for everyone involved.

Elliott has been exceptional. The Cowboys are 28-12 in games he plays. His off-field issues are concerning, but executive vice president Stephen Jones said the May incident in Las Vegas would not affect negotiations. The team can protect itself from future missteps with the contractual language.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has maintained the Cowboys do not have a pecking order when it comes to re-signing Prescott, Elliott or Amari Cooper -- even if Prescott and Cooper are going into the last years of their contracts. The Cowboys have the cap room to sign all three, and they would save money against the 2019 cap once Cooper signs.

There is a deal to be done with Elliott. One that gives the player financial security and protects the team from the inevitable downfall all running backs face.

Holding out is not the answer. Neither is not paying out.

TONY POLLARD, SUPPORTING CAST OR A CO-LEAD WITH EZEKIEL ELLIOTT? - Brian Martin, Inside the Star

As Ezekiel Elliott’s contract drama continues to unfold, training camp will offer fans the first real look at Tony Pollard with a star on his helmet. Pollard’s skillset has many wondering if he could become more than just a backup running back and potentially split carries with Zeke in a meaningful way.

Suggesting Tony Pollard has a chance to be more than just supporting cast with Ezekiel Elliott is a lot to put on a rookies shoulders, but that’s the kind of hype he’s receiving already. He hasn’t even put on the pads yet with the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s already receiving Alvin Kamara type comparisons due to the versatility he’s expected to bring with him to the NFL.

Living up to those Alvin Kamara comparisons might be even more difficult than becoming anything more than just an extra behind Zeke anytime soon, but it’s doable. After all, Kamara immediately stepped in as a rookie and became a costar with Mark Ingram in New Orleans. It’s certainly feasible to think Pollard can do the same.

There’s of course only one problem with this way of thinking. Mark Ingram is no Ezekiel Elliott. And, no RB on the depth chart behind Zeke the last three years has been good enough to cut into #21’s heavy workload. Is the hype surrounding Tony Pollard justified? Is he talented enough to cut into Zeke’s playing time?

Awkward Interviews

The fine folks over at the mothership put together an incredible video of “awkward interviews” that they released on Tuesday. You’ll enjoy it.