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Cowboys news: DE Robert Quinn suspended two games by NFL

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It’s been a bad week for Robert Quinn, first he breaks his hand, now the NFL suspends him for two games.

NFL: JUL 27 Cowboys Training Camp Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Already Injured, Quinn Gets 2-Game Suspension-Nick Eatman - DallasCowboys.com
On top of suffering a broken hand this week, now Robert Quinn has been suspended for two regular-season games by the NFL.

Defensive end Robert Quinn will definitely miss the first two regular-season games now. The NFL has announced the veteran pass-rusher has been suspended for two games for a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Quinn had recently returned to Dallas to undergo surgery on a fractured left hand that he sustained in practice earlier this week.

While there were questions on Quinn’s availability for Week 1 before this news because of the injury, it’s likely Quinn should be fully healed when he comes back. He is allowed to practice in training camp and even play in the preseason games, although it’s unlikely that is injury would allow him to participate.

Cowboys DE Quinn suspended 2 games for PEDs- Todd Archer- ESPN
The Cowboys plans at right end become a little more cloudy as Robert Quinn is handed a two-game suspension. His agent tries to explain.

Quinn’s agent, Sean Kiernan, released a lengthy statementdefending his client, saying the failed test was a result of Quinn’s use of a preventative medication for seizures.

”Rob has a medical history with seizures that requires him to take multiple doses of preventative medication daily to regulate them,” Kiernan wrote. “He was tested on April 2nd under the NFL Steroid Policy. He failed the test for a substance called probenecid, which is classified as a masking agent under the policy. He does not take any supplements and took nothing else during this period that would create a positive test for probenecid, in fact, he had no idea what probenecid was or what it was used for.”

Cowboys DE Robert Quinn suspended first two games for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy - Blogging The Boys
Can the Cowboys survive the early schedule?

It’s not ideal for the Cowboys to ever be operating without any of their players, and Quinn isn’t even the first defensive end on their roster to be suspended given everything that’s happened with Randy Gregory. It does help that the first two opponents for Dallas this season are the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, but this is not good.

Quinn’s agent released a statement shortly after the news broke in defense of his client. Sean Kiernan alleges that the substance Quinn tested positive for has to do with something he takes due to suffering from seizures and likens the amount that the NFL found to one kernel of rice within a gigantic bag, but a positive test is a positive test, unfortunately.

Cowboys DE Robert Quinn suspended 2 games, agent blasts NFL for decision to uphold- Alaina Getzenberg- SportsDay
Robert Quinn's agent spared no choice words in defending his client and the pettiness of the NFL.

“... I’ve been working with NFL players for 20 years, and I can’t think of a situation where I’ve been personally involved where the league was as tone deaf as it was here. Now, Rob will be punished for something that would have been impossible for him to prevent, and even though the NFL admitted during the hearing that it did not believe Rob was intentionally doping, they still suspended him. The arbitrator gave us a fair hearing, but the strength at which the league argued against Rob was incredibly disappointing. I was especially disgusted by the actions of NFL Attorney Kevin Manara both prior to and during the hearing. I feel bad for Rob and his family because he did nothing wrong, yet they still had to go through this excruciating process where his character and integrity were ridiculed. I hope the league office will be more thoughtful and conscious in the future if this ever happens to another player.”

Why you can't compare the Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon holdouts to Le'Veon Bell's- Dan Graziano-ESPN
It's not so easy to compare one player’s holdout to the next, that's the same case for comparing Zeke and Gordon to Le'Veon Bell.

Start with Elliott, the only one of the Dallas Cowboys’ three contract-hungry stars who is sitting out of training camp until he gets a new deal. As our Todd Archer pointed out a few days ago, the main reason it wouldn’t make sense for Elliott to sit out the whole season is that it would have no impact on his contract situation. His contract would “toll,” meaning the $3.853 million he is scheduled to earn this year would become his 2020 salary, and the $9.099 million he is scheduled to earn in 2020 would become his 2021 salary. He would end up right back where he started.

La’el Collins and Trysten Hill fight at Dallas Cowboys camp-Clarence Hill- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The first fight of Dallas Cowboys training camp happened this week with offensive lineman La’el Collins and rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill.

The easiest way to know if the Dallas Cowboys are ready to play preseason games is if they start to get chippy with one another.

That day arrived on Wednesday when right tackle La’el Collins and rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill engaged in the first official fight of training camp.

Hill got knocked down by guard Joe Looney and then Collins fell on top of him. The two then exchanged punches.

“That’s one thing about football. You hit each other enough, it’ll come out,” Collins said afterward.

Maliek Collins had a rest day so Hill worked with the first team for the first time.

Film room: Why rookie WR Jon'Vea Johnson looks like the Cowboys' latest undrafted gem-John Owning- SportsDay
There's something special brewing with rookie receiver Jon'Vea Johnson.

Nevertheless, there is one UDFA who has put himself squarely in position to make the regular-season roster and would likely make the team if it was cut down to 53 players today: Toledo product Jon’Vea Johnson.

Now, it’s important to note that Johnson hasn’t been perfect in his bid to make the roster, having dropped two passes in the Sunday’s Blue-White scrimmage and having shown some growing pains as he’s gotten accustomed to the playbook. He’s still an unfinished product who needs to limit his focus drops and improve his releases at the line of scrimmage against press-man coverage.

Having said that, Johnson has been, so far, the most impressive UDFA on the Cowboys’ roster and it’s apparent the coaching staff agrees, as Johnson has spent some time running with the first team while Amari Cooper has been injured.

The Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott problem is actually a Dak Prescott problem - John Clayton-The Washington Post
Prescott has won a lot of games as Dallas's quarterback. History tells us that, once he gets paid, winning will become much more difficult.

Reports surfaced Tuesday that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has been holding out of training camp, is unwilling to return to the team without a contract extension. It’s not a surprising development, given Elliott’s success in his first three NFL seasons and the difficulty running backs have had in earning lucrative contract extensions from teams wary of the track record of veteran backs.

The Cowboys have said they want to extend Elliott’s contract, but they need to be smart about it, given their other roster concerns. The biggest among those is quarterback Dak Prescott, who is poised for a big payday. After being one of the NFL’s lowest-paid quarterbacks, earning less than $700,000 per year since he was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, Prescott is hoping to become the seventh NFL quarterback to earn a contract worth $30 million or more per year.

It’s easy to argue Prescott has earned the raise. He has won 66.7 percent of his regular season starts and completed 66.1 percent of his passes. Last season, he won his first playoff game, and he and the Cowboys gave the eventual NFC champion Los Angeles Rams a stiff test on the road in the divisional round.

Ezekiel Elliott is using the only leverage he has (and it’s not much) -Geoff Schwartz- SBNation.com
Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz weighs in on where things stand now that Elliott is threatening to miss games during the regular season.

This is an issue with the rookie wage scale and the franchise tag. Both of these were put into place thinking it would help out veteran players, and I’d argue neither has done that. The rookie wage scale didn’t drive up contracts for veterans, especially those in the middle class. The franchise tag has hurt player movement and is used against players in contract negotiations.

So when I read about Elliott and/or his representation saying he’s not going to play or even report until he gets a new deal, I know it’s the only leverage play they have. But it’s close to an empty threat. If he sits out this season, or doesn’t return by a certain date, his contract just rolls over.