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Cowboys news: Troy Aikman ‘would bet everything’ on this free agent signing in Dallas

The latest news on the Dallas Cowboys for your Saturday morning.

Troy Aikman Photo by James D. Smith/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Troy Aikman Predicts Odell Beckham Jr. Signs with Cowboys: ‘I’d Bet Everything!’ - Mike Fisher, Cowboys Country

If anyone knows how persuasive Jerry Jones can be with signing coveted free agents, it’s Troy Aikman. He was cheering for the team to bring Deion Sanders along in the 90s, and look how that turned out.

“I think it happens,’’ Aikman said. “If I was betting, I would bet virtually everything I have on it.”

“It,’’ of course, is the Cowboys’ desired signing of NFL free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr., which the insights from Aikman - the Hall of Fame QB now the lead analyst on ESPN - are surely based mostly on his experience with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

For years around Valley Ranch, the former team headquarters (but arguably less so recently for the team that now calls The Star in Frisco home), observers have been fond of noting that if Jones desires a player, he signs that player.

That’s part of Aikman’s reasoning here.

Said Troy in his KTCK visit: “As soon as I heard that (Jones) was interested, this was about three or four weeks ago, whenever it was, I told people, ‘If Jerry wants him, I’m telling you he’s gonna be a Cowboy.’’”

Colts rule out two starters in Week 13 vs. Cowboys - Kevin Hickey, Yahoo! Sports

The Cowboys are dealing with some injuries and illnesses of their own, but it looks like most of the players in question will be okay for Sunday. The Colts, however, already ruled out a few.

With a tough matchup on both sides of the ball, the Colts will be without starting right tackle Braden Smith (illness) and cornerback Kenny Moore II (shin/ankle).

Smith popped up on the injury report Thursday with an illness and didn’t practice Friday. The Colts were already mismatched against a vaunted Cowboys pass rush. That becomes even more so regardless of whether it’s Dennis Kelly or Matt Pryor at right tackle.

Moore was expected to miss this week and potentially further games after suffering a shin injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There is some positive news in that Kwity Paye (ankle) should be making his return after battling an injury for the better part of the last two months. Paye practiced in full all week.

Tight end Jelani Woods will be listed as questionable for the game after being listed on the report with shoulder and quad injuries.

Deion Sanders is capable of being NFL head coach, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says - Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Speaking of Deion Sanders, his name has become the topic of head coach vacancies at the college level. However, Jerry Jones believes he could cut it in the NFL if given the opportunity.

“Deion is very capable of being a head coach in the National Football League,” Jones said Friday on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “You couldn’t be talking to anybody that knows him any better than I do.”


Jones, who remains close with Sanders, said he is not surprised by the success the former Cowboys superstar is having as a coach.

Sanders is 23-5 since he took the job two and half seasons ago.

He is drawing interest from Colorado, South Florida and Cincinnati among others and could make a decision on his next move soon after Saturday’s Southwest Athletic Conference Championship game against Southern.

“Deion has such a positive enthusiasm about him, and a real genuine ‘one and one is three,’” Jones said. “It’s a positiveness about him. He has a real understanding of what a player’s mentality can and should be. Of course, he’s actually been around and gotten the benefit of some of the greatest people in sport, and look what he brings to the table.

DeVonta Smith, DB? Eagles star nearly played defense with Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs — and he’s better off for it - Jori Epstein, Yahoo! Sports

Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban is known for trying his players out at different positions. Trevon Diggs of the Cowboys went through something similar at Alabama, but another teammate of his found himself in the same scenario but on the opposite side of the ball.

Smith rolled with the first-team offense as a receiver to start practice, then threw a yellow pinnie over his offensive jersey to line up with the secondary. He remembered his calls and assignments without asking for reminders. No hesitation, no complaints about extra responsibility. Smith even had fun.

“Being in the receiver room, we all think that we can play corner,” Smith told Yahoo Sports. “It felt kind of natural.”

Smith ultimately would injure his hamstring in the Missouri game before Saban could throw him on defense for third down, but the plan was there — and had been since at least the spring.

After all, this wasn’t the first time the only college football coach to win seven national championships was toying with the idea of shuffling his players.

NFL fans are far more familiar with another recent Alabama receiver-turned-cornerback tale: that of Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, who arrived in Tuscaloosa as a four-star wideout in 2016 but was moved to full-time defender his sophomore season. By 2021, he was intercepting passes at a rate the NFL hadn’t seen in 40 years, with a league-best 11 picks.

But Diggs, Smith and their Alabama coaches shared with Yahoo Sports memories of the practices, most often during spring, when Smith was tasked with playing defense. They considered: How would each player have fared as a pro on the other side of the ball? And why was Alabama so eager to consider the move?

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