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Cowboys news: Dan Quinn heaps praise on Jaylon Smith for his camp performance so far

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Notebook: How Jaylon Smith Has Impressed Quinn - Staff, DallasCowboys.com

After a few rough season, Jaylon Smith is impressing his new boss.

So far, we can tell that rookie Micah Parsons is going to line up all over the place. But what about Smith?

Dan Quinn was asked about Smith’s progress and the new DC highlighted the area that is standing out.

“One thing that has jumped out to me is I feel like his stride extension has improved,” Quinn said of Smith. “I feel every bit of his speed. There has been a couple of plays where he was flying. He is working extremely hard and he is closing. Vroom. You feel that speed. That is one of things that I have seen.”

Quinn also said Smith is being used on more blitzes than before.

“I think he is a physical player,” Quinn said. “He has always had a run and hit factor to him. That is something I looking forward to seeing come to light for him.”

Giants add former Cowboy center Joe Looney to their 90-man roster - Nick Falato, Big Blue View

Joe Looney signs with a division rival after spending a few years in Dallas.

Looney has been in the league since 2012; he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round out of Wake Forest, but has been a depth piece on the Cowboys since 2016.

Looney was forced into action after injuries along the Cowboys offensive line. He has played the majority of his snaps at center, but also has significant work at both guard positions. That kind of versatility at the age of 30 is still valued, especially with the current state of depth with the Giants mostly unproven offensive line.

Looney’s 2018 season was really solid; he played in 729 pass blocking snaps, surrendering only one sack, albeit he also gave up 27 pressures. Last year, Looney gave up 16 pressures and 3 sacks in 490 pass blocking snaps. He played a total of 764 snaps in 2020 with solid experience in both power and zone blocking schemes.

Jason Garrett is quite familiar with Looney and the familiarity may provide a level of comfortability to both the player and the coordinator. The offensive line is far from set and there are backup positions that could be earned with an impressive camp. Even so, Looney may have to outplay Zach Fulton and/or Jonotthan Harrison to make this roster.

Buckeyes reunion; Former teammates praise Cowboy signing of Malik Hooker - Matthew Lenix, Cowboys Wire

Ezekiel Elliott and Noah Brown reunite with former Buckeyes teammate Malik Hooker in Dallas.

The former Indianapolis Colt may have a new NFL home but joining Dallas reunites him with two players he’s very familiar with. Ezekiel Elliott and Noah Brown were college teammates of Hooker’s at Ohio State and they were all members of their 2014 National Championship squad.

Hooker and Brown both arrived at Ohio State in 2014 and were roommates. They’ve remained close friends to this day, and Brown recently described what Hooker brings to the Cowboy’s defense.

“He’s a playmaker,” Brown said, via the team’s website. “He can cover the whole field. He’s not scared to come down and hit either. I expect him to make a lot of big plays.”

Brown got to see Hooker’s skill set on full display during their final college season in 2016. Hooker tallied seven interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns while garnering Consensus All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten honors.

Can CeeDee Lamb pass Justin Jefferson as NFL’s best sophomore WR? - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson competing to be NFL’s best WR in Year 2.

The Dallas CowboysCeeDee Lamb appears to be on the precipice of asserting himself as one of the league’s elite wide receivers.

Before he can do so, he must first show he’s the best wide receiver from the 2020 draft class—no small feat considering Justin Jefferson shattered rookie receiving records last season.

The two aren’t necessarily on the same trajectory, though.

Lamb’s ascension seems all but guaranteed, while Jefferson will have a difficult time building upon what he accomplished a year ago.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy reacts to what he’s seeing from Michael Gallup - Chris Rosvoglou, The Spun

Entering a contract year, Michael Gallup may be saving his best for last with the Cowboys.

On Saturday afternoon, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that Gallup has taken a “huge step” this offseason.

“Michael is playing all three receiver positions.” McCarthy said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “It gives him more opportunities.”

Gallup will be playing for a new contract this upcoming season. He addressed his contract situation during an appearance on NFL Network earlier this year.

“You’re obviously going to think about it. You can’t really do anything about it but go out on the field and do what you’re supposed to do,” Gallup said. “You’re not going to get that contract if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do on the field first.”

Randy Gregory: I Still Have A Lot To Prove - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

Randy Gregory is on a mission.

“Look, I still have a lot to prove,” [Gregory] told reporters Saturday. “There’s a lot of talk going around right now, and I really believe I’m having a good offseason. But there’s still a lot to prove on the field. So don’t want to sit here and say, “Did you ever doubt that you could get here?’ I still feel like I still haven’t really, truly arrived. There’s a lot for me to do.

“With that said, I still want to give myself a pat on the back. I really feel like I deserve it and I’ve worked hard to get to this point. From this point on I’ve just got to put some good play on the field and stay out of trouble, which I’m trying to do, and be the guy that everyone expects me to be and I expect myself to be.”

Through the suspensions, through all his time away from the team, the Cowboys stuck with Gregory, believing firmly that his situation was the result of a medical condition. The NFL once again conditionally reinstated Gregory last September, and after a required football acclimation period he returned for the final 10 games, ranking third on the team in quarterback pressures (16) and tying for third in sacks (3.5). Pro Football Focus gave him the second-best overall defensive grade (80.5), behind only DeMarcus Lawrence (88.6), among Cowboys players in the regular rotation despite playing only about 40% of the snaps.

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