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Cowboys news: Rams become fourth road opponent for Cowboys to announce limited attendance or no fans

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ season opener in Los Angeles may be played without fans in attendance - Joey Hayden, DMN

We’re starting to get an idea of what games on the road for the Cowboys will be like in he upcoming season.

The Los Angeles Rams have joined the list of Cowboys road opponents to alter attendance policies ahead of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rams announced on Tuesday that the organization expects their stadium capacity to be limited to about 15,000 fans for the upcoming season, if they are allowed inside SoFi Stadium at all.

The team also said it expects the NFL to cancel the entire preseason, which means the stadium’s first scheduled game is now the Rams’ Sunday night season opener against Dallas on Sept. 13.

The Rams are now the fourth road venue on the Cowboys’ schedule to announces changes to attendance policies this season.

The New York Giants announced on Monday they will not have fans at home games this season “until further notice” because of the pandemic.

Last week, city officials in Philadelphia announced the Eagles would not be playing games in front of fans this season.

The Baltimore Ravens — also on the Cowboys’ schedule — were the first NFL team to announce plans for reduced capacity. The organization plans to allow fewer than 14,000 fans at home games at M&T Bank Stadium in 2020.

NFL agrees to cancel 2020 preseason, reduce team roster sizes to 80 for training camp - Mike Jones, USA Today

As the NFL gets closer and closer to an attempt at beginning their season in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, two big changes have been made to the way training camp and the preseason will happen.

The two sides agreed to eliminate all four weeks of preseason one day after the owners offered to meet the demands of the players to do so. Owners originally wanted to reduce the preseason from four to two games (and were later willing to stage just one per team), but the NFLPA argued that a full August schedule would make it impossible for them to have the adequate acclimation period recommended by the joint medical task force and that it was unnecessary to subject players to travel-related risk of contracting the coronavirus for exhibition games.

Each team will field rosters of 80 players, down from the usual 90, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.

The owners and NFLPA executives had discussed reducing roster sizes for some time due to social distancing concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did McCarthy ‘Pound The Table’ For Dak? - Mike Fisher, Cowboy Maven

The Cowboys had a long time to work on a contract extension for Dak Prescott, but the franchise tag deadline came and went with no new deal. Some have now questioned whether new head coach Mike McCarthy is sold on his new quarterback.

“Did McCarthy ‘pound the table’ for Dak?’’ Cowherd asked.

My answer to the question as a guest on “The Herd’’ was and is a qualified “yes.’’ Yes, McCarthy has power inside The Star, exactly as Jason Garrett before him. Yes, McCarthy is supportive of Prescott.

But specifically “pounding the table’’? I don’t believe McCarthy got involved in contract stuff ... nor should he, a lesson learned long ago by Jimmy Johnson, who did so in his first season here, 1989, before realizing the contradictory difficulties of telling a player one day from behind a desk, “You’re not good enough for that salary’’ and then the next day telling him from behind a whistle, “You can conquer the world!’’

But I do believe that the future of Dak Prescott as the quarterback of “America’s Team’’ is one of the reasons McCarthy actually signed on here.

Jimmy Johnson says it’s ‘wait and see’ with Prescott, Cowboys - Nick Kosko, 247 Sports

Speaking of Jimmy Johnson, he recently spoke about his take on the Dak Prescott contract saga. Given that Johnson is the most successful head coach to work with Jerry Jones, he gave a bit of perspective into the owner’s frame of mind.

“I really don’t think we got into anything (quite like that),” Johnson said. Of course we wanted to sign Emmitt (Smith) to a long term contract...he held out, but we got it done and we won the Super Bowl. One time Jack Del Rio, when we had to Plan B in free agency, I didn’t think he’d leave and I had a good relationship with Jack. He was upset. I exposed him on Plan B and he left and went to Minnesota. For the most part it (contracts and signings) was smooth throughout my career.

“I think (Jerry Jones) tried to give him a long term deal. I don’t know who filed up the thing, was it the agent, was it Jerry, was it Dak? Jerry is a hardline negotiator. Because it is a new head coach, I don’t know how much McCarthy loves Dak. I think it’s a wait and see type of process. We’ll wait and see how he plays this year. But they didn’t want to overpay him or pay him like a Patrick Mahomes. They want to pay him like a very, very good player. That’s what he is, he’s a very, very good player, he’s a great leader, great person, but it’s a wait and see type of process this year.”

NFL training camp 2020: Most important position battles for each NFC East team, including Cowboys DBs - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

The Cowboys went into the offseason with their defensive backfield as the biggest question mark, and despite adding some talent in both free agency and the draft, it’s still a question mark. The position battles here will be key in determining how this defense looks.

Byron Jones is gone.

While that’s no longer headline news months after he took his talents to the Miami Dolphins to become the richest cornerback in NFL history, the void he leaves behind is a question mark that needs answering for the Cowboys, and training camp will be where it starts to get hashed out.

That’s also just one part of the equation in Dallas, because the Cowboys also have a pressing need to figure out what’s going on at the safety position. A trade for Jamal Adams is more unlikely than it’s ever been, and they can only hope the signing of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix returns him to prime form, by way of a reunion with Mike McCarthy.

They also need to figure out what to do with Chidobe Awuzie though, who could be on his way from corner to safety — in a contract year, no less — along with the positioning of a newly-signed Daryl Worley and rookie Reggie Robinson, while 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs will be tasked with stepping in and immediately filling the shutdown shoes of Jones.

Mailbag: Changing Next Year’s Draft Strategy? - Nick Eatman and David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

As football season gets closer, the uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic is casting a dark cloud over the prospects of any football at any level being played this year. If this were to affect college football, how might it impact the Cowboys and their draft strategy?

With uncertainty around the college football season due to COVID-19, could teams (Cowboys included) be more open to trading 2021 draft picks for established players? It seems like evaluating players for the 2021 draft may be very difficult and the safer approach could be to add established players.— JEFF GALLO / BROOMFIELD, CO

Nick: That’s an interesting question and concept. My gut tells me “no” and that teams are still confident about their evaluations and the process that they can make educated decisions regardless if there is a season or not. It doesn’t make sense for a team to just drop a lot of their picks for vets because they THINK something strange is going to happen. All I know is that Sam Bradford missed most of his final season at OU and still went No. 1 overall. So teams aren’t going to just give in because they didn’t watch a final season of tape.

David: That’d probably depend on the cost of the established player. The real value of a draft pick is that it gives you the opportunity to find quality production at a fraction of the price. So not only are you trading away a pick, you’re trading away the cheap salary that comes with it. Now think about the fact that the Cowboys are paying an absurd premium for their franchise tagged quarterback, and combine that with the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys trading for an overly pricey player in this current situation. I think it’s much more likely that the front office puts its faith in the scouting department to make the best of bad circumstances and find them some good players, regardless of what this college season looks like.

Michael Bennett Announces Retirement From NFL - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

While Michael Bennett’s time with the Cowboys was incredibly short, his midseason acquisition brought a lot of excitement and vocal leadership to a team in need of both. Now, Bennett has decided to retire from the NFL.

Bennett, 34, played 11 NFL seasons, including nine games with the Cowboys last year after Dallas traded a conditional seventh-round pick to the Patriots just before the deadline.

Despite playing only half the season in Dallas, Bennett’s 4.0 sacks tied for third on the team and his 8 tackles for loss ranked second. He also had 18 tackles and 24 quarterback pressures. He became a free agent this offseason.

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