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Cowboys news: Randy Gregory reinstated by NFL, can play after Week 6

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NFL: NFC Wild Card-Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory wins reinstatement appeal: ‘It’s go time’ - Jori Epstein, USA Today

Welcome back Randy Gregory!

Friday morning, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said any answer to questions about Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory’s indefinite suspension was “evolving.”

By Friday afternoon, that answer had evolved quickly.

Five hundred and fifty-six days after the NFL suspended Gregory indefinitely for violating its substance-abuse policy, the league notified him he had been reinstated.

Gregory called Friday “a day of celebration and thanks.”

“I am in a good place and plan to use this second chance to be a great father, player, citizen of Dallas and teammate,” Gregory tweeted in a lengthy statement. “Let’s get this!!!”

He’s eligible to report on Monday for COVID-19 testing followed by a football acclimation period. The earliest he could play in a game is Oct. 25, per league policy.

Brandon Carr Visits; Possible Safety Fit? - Nick Eatman,

Could the Cowboys reunite with Brandon Carr?

FRISCO, Texas – A familiar face met with the Cowboys on Friday and might be an option for them as they figure out the 53-man roster this weekend.

Former cornerback Brandon Carr, who has spent the last three years in Baltimore, visited with the team on Friday. He actually has some experience at safety, playing the position some last year for the Ravens.

Carr is a 12-year veteran at the age of 34, has never missed a game in his career. He’s played a full 16-game schedule for a dozen seasons but has been a free agent this offseason the Ravens decided not to pick up his option.

Carr’s 192-game streak is the longest active streak for a defensive player. But that streak is in jeopardy with the season starting next week and Carr not on roster.

He played in Dallas from 2012-16, mostly at left corner but he did move around to the safety position at times in Rob Ryan’s scheme.

It’s time for Cowboys to bring Earl Thomas to Dallas. As long as they set some ground rules first - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News

Are the Cowboys going to bring Earl Thomas in?

As you may be aware by now, Jerry Jones has occasionally gambled on the merits of a player’s character as it relates to production and hit more than a few dry holes as a result. Doesn’t mean the old wildcatter’s learned his lesson. For Earl Thomas’ sake, not to mention the Cowboys’ secondary, let’s hope not.

Consider recent developments: The Cowboys need a safety now that they’ve paid Ha Ha Clinton-Dix $2.5 million not to play it.

And Earl’s available. Like, for two weeks now.

Not so long ago, this would have been a no-brainer. Say what you want about Earl at 31. No longer the best safety of his generation. That title now belongs to Jamal Adams. Just the same, Earl’s still pretty good. Last season, his first on a new team and in a defense that moved him all over the field, he put up an 86.1 coverage grade. Quarterbacks posted a 24.2 rating when targeting him, the lowest figure of 263 defenders who qualified. Quarterbacks’ completion percentage of 44 percent against him was the second lowest. No, Earl’s no longer No. 1, but Pro Football Focus still rates him the seventh-best safety in the league.

NFL Cowboys Cutdown Tracker: Sean Lee To IR? Could Brandon Carr Help? - Mike Fisher,

The Cowboys continue to make cutdowns to 53. But the Sean Lee injury could be more serious than not.

FRIDAY 3p - HOW INJURED IS SEAN LEE? Linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Jourdan Lewis are of course in no danger o being left off this weekend’s 53-man roster. But they could be “temporary casualties’’ after that by being placed on IR.

So in addition to IR candidates like receiver Ventell Bryant and linebacker Luke Gifford, Lewis (ankle) and Lee could come back soon enough.

However, the Dallas Morning News reports that Lee’s injury is “characterized as a sports hernia.’’ And this could be more problematic.

Depending on the severity of that injury, the oft-sidelined Lee - the standout veteran who did play in all 16 games last year - could need only a month to heal from an injury the team suggests was sustained in early August. But if the injury is serious enough to require surgery? Recovery could take six to 12 weeks.

Bryant and Gifford are not roster locks. Lewis is, and his situation is not serious.

But Lee’s situation is too unknown to as yet be described as “not serious.’’

FRIDAY 227p - A QUARTET OF MOVES The Cowboys continued the slice-down on Friday afternoon with a quartet of not-unexpected moves:

Darius Anderson, Cole Hikutini, Joe Jackson and Cody Wichmann are gone for now. Jackson is a former draft pick; Wichmann could be attractive as a practice-squadder due to his flexibility.

After Early Cuts, Who’s Left on Cowboys Roster Bubble? - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

Who else’s job could be in trouble as the team works to cutdown to 53.

There are a few other players who I highly doubt would be cut.

QB Ben Dinucci – I expect Dallas will keep the developmental prospect on the 53-man roster, as has been Mike McCarthy’s pattern throughout his head-coaching tenure. This seems especially prudent with both Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton on one-year contracts.

OL Brandon KnightHe’s played well in real games and has flexibility as a guard or tackle. Unless someone like Terence Steele or Isaac Alarcon really wowed in camp, Knight is a virtual lock.

DT Antwaun Woods I could see him leaving if the Cowboys really want to hang on to more pass rushers or linebackrs, but he’s the best option as a nose tackle or 1-tech of Dontari Poe gets hurt. And given Poe’s recent history, they need that insurance.

LB Francis BernardThe undrafted rookie has been one of the stars of camp and has value on special teams as well. He’s the new Luke Gifford, and that’s why Gifford’s now on the bubble.

DB Daryl WorleyWith more experience than a lot of our DBs put together, plus flexibility between corner and safety, Worley probably isn’t going anywhere. But given what we just saw with Clinton-Dix, perhaps he also gets pinched in a youth movement.

How Concerned Should Dallas Cowboys Fans Be About This Mysterious Amari Cooper ‘Injury’? - Luke Norris,

Is Amari Cooper banged up again?

The word coming out of Cowboys camp is that Amari Cooper has missed four straight days of practice as he’s dealing with some sort of injury. But Dallas isn’t saying anything about what the injury, if it’s even an injury at all, might be.

Cooper was seen working with resistance cords on the sidelines on Thursday as opposed to participating in the regular practice, which could be cause for concern. Yes, there are always nagging injuries leading into the start of the season but that’s sometimes due to something that occurred in a preseason game. The Cowboys have obviously not played any preseason games this year so seeing Cooper out of practice isn’t the greatest sign in the world, especially with the start of the regular season just nine days away.

However, Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy have been downplaying the issue over the last few days, saying that keeping Cooper out of practice is more about preventing an injury than rehabbing one (h/t

“We have some of the most sophisticated health measuring systems in place. And, so, some of them are as sophisticated as they can tell you how you’re literally, in layman’s terms, how your muscles are firing.

“If you’ve got a player that maybe has been tearing their — just been tearing it up and has been performing at an extraordinary level for him or his measurables in the background, you pull him back some because those are times you could be vulnerable to a pull. That’s come into play.”

Out with the old, in with the new: Jason Garrett and Mike McCarthy - Terence Watson, Blogging the Boys

This is Mike McCarthy’s team now.

The New: Mike McCarthy

If you were looking for a coach to take over the Cowboys right now, then Mike McCarthy was the perfect fit for owner Jerry Jones and this team. His extensive history is one that not many have in the NFL including leading a team to a Super Bowl win; it appears the Cowboys have found a great replacement for the respected out-going head coach Jason Garrett. McCarthy, like Garrett, specializes on the offensive side of the ball but is much more enamored with the passing game.

He also is a very skilled game manager, a skill Garrett lacked while being the head coach of the Cowboys. That skill cost the Cowboys at least one game a season, but with McCarthy now at the helm those instances should stop. He will also bring a new mentality to this team as he is trying to foster a new environment that is focused on utilizing the talents of the players, instead of fitting them to a scheme.

That change in culture has already taken hold as the players have come out and said they have been given more of a voice to give suggestions to the coaches. So far, with all the reports and how he’s performed in the past, it’s safe to assume that the Cowboys are in good hands going forward.

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