A trio of Dallas Cowboys who could be surprise cuts before the regular season - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys may be looking to clean out some of the past regime's players.
Trysten Hill, DT
Entering his third NFL season and being two defensive coordinators removed from the one who played a large role in drafting him to Dallas in the first place, Trysten Hill is entering the make-or-break portion of his Cowboys career.
After a poor rookie season where everything was a struggle, Hill looked like a new man in 2020. He was motivated, played hard and made some critical strides in terms of his skill and technique. Sure, he still had some bouts of struggles, but he was finally flashing high-end physical traits while combining it with a high-effort level, which likely gave the Cowboys hope that he could actually develop into the DT they thought he’d be after selecting him in the second round in 2019.
Unfortunately, a torn ACL in his right knee halted all progress and forced him to miss the last 11 games of the season.
Making matters worse for Hill was the fact that Dallas fired Mike Nolan before hiring Dan Quinn as its latest defensive coordinator, meaning that Hill would once again need to earn the favor of a new coaching staff instead of building on the trust/scheme with the coaching staff from the prior year. Hill will have to do so while battling better competition to make the roster — the Cowboys added a plethora of interior defensive linemen, including Brent Urban, Carlos Watkins, Osa Odighizuwa, Quinton Bohanna and Austin Faoliu since Quinn was hired — and learning a new scheme.
Some observations from Wednesday morning's practice.
Having said that, the Cowboys' secondary still seemed to enjoy a productive day. Across the various periods of practice, the defense got involved in breaking up several passes. The best of those probably came from Leighton Vander Esch, who broke on a comeback route from Prescott to Dalton Schultz and dove in front of it for the breakup.
Reggie Robinson continued what looks like a strong spring with tight coverage and a couple breakups as well. Also worth noting was undrafted rookie Tyler Coyle, who broke up two passes in the end zone during red zone reps.
Veteran safety Jayron Kearse also enjoyed some big success working with the first-team defense. Early in the day, Kearse batted away a potential touchdown that Prescott intended for Sean McKeon. Later on, Kearse received a nice gift when Ezekiel Elliott slipped coming out of a break and the ensuing pass from Garrett Gilbert floated right to him. Kearse had a free run at the end zone while Elliott watched in frustration.
Michael Gallup wants to remain with the Dallas Cowboys, but can he? - Lucas Mascherin, FanSided's The Landry Hat
There seems to be a good chance 2021 is Michael Gallup’s last season in Dallas.
According to Over the Cap, the Dallas Cowboys are almost $20 million over the salary cap. That is with a $208.2 million cap. With how confusing things have been during the pandemic, that number can increase or decrease. The tightrope means owner Jerry Jones doesn’t have much room to fit Michael Gallup into the team’s payroll. That is unless the Colorado State product proves he deserves a spot on the team despite the circumstances.
There might not be too much hope with that route, considering the talent on the team. Cooper has been one of the more underrated players in the NFL, and Lamb is heading into his sophomore season with a lot of momentum.
The likelihood Gallup earns a spot on the Dallas Cowboys next season is slim to none. It’s not that he is not good enough, but rather the opposite. The wideout is too good for Jerry to re-sign him.
Randy Gregory focused on future, emerging as a Cowboys leader - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
The defensive end has taken some big steps on and off the field in the past year.
Gregory is someone on whom the Cowboys are counting in 2021. His goal is to deliver. “This year, I think for me, is about really finding my role on this team,” Gregory said. “Not as somebody who’s here and then leaves for a certain amount of time. Somebody who’s here to stay and somebody that wants to be a leader, not only vocally but on the field with my play.
“I think that’s one of the biggest things for me that I’ve always struggled with is my leadership skills on and off the field, so this year, I’m trying to be a little bit more invested because I am one of the older guys in the group. I think me, [DeMarcus Lawrence] and [Brent Urban] are the three oldest guys in our D-line group. Naturally, I feel like guys are looking at me for input and advice or looking at me to make a play and show people how it’s done.”
Gregory can do so with peace of mind. Last September, the NFL conditionally reinstated Gregory, allowing him to play in his first season since 2018, which was his first since a two-game season in 2016. The conditional provision of that reinstatement was removed earlier this offseason, a source said Tuesday. Strings no longer are attached. Gregory is simply back, part of this team.
Do the Cowboys have the best group of receivers in the NFL?
I absolutely love the top three Cowboys receivers! Are they the best WR trio in the league, or is there another team with a better set? — JOHN BROWN / SANTA FE, NM
David: If you weigh the total package, I think they're the best. You could make a strong case for Tampa Bay's trio of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, but Brown has only played nine games since 2018 and isn't what you'd call reliable, given all his off-field issues over the years. Not only are Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb fantastic receivers, but they're shockingly drama-free for a position that is famous for having diva personalities. That combination of talent and reliability gives Dallas the edge, for me.
Jonny: They're definitely up there and might prove to be the best with a full season of Dak Prescott. But the Titans just entered that conversation by adding Julio Jones to put opposite A.J. Brown. Stefon Diggs was the best receiver in the league last season and Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and Emmanuel Sanders are all playmakers, so the Bills have a say in the matter as well.
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