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Cowboys news: Dallas may be ready to roll with an undrafted rookie kicker

Your Wednesday edition of news on America’s Team.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Is Texas Tech’s Jonathan Garibay the next Mexican kicker in line to play for Cowboys? - Abraham Nudelstejer, Dallas Morning News

The rookie kicker has at least a decent shot at winning the job.

Fast forward to today, and Garibay is competing to become the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. “This is like a dream, something incredible,” the Texas Tech graduate said during a recent practice with the Cowboys.

Garibay was born in Riverside, but his mom took him to Mexico when he was five months old. In Mexico, Garibay became a soccer fan, and he never dreamed his future would be on a football field.

Back in Riverside, Garibay’s friends told him Rubidoux High School was trying out players for its football team. “I said, ‘órale, let’s go’. But I was just playing along,” he said.

Once on the practice field, Garibay thought it would be a good idea to attempt a field goal since he had played soccer as a child in Mexico. “There were a number of players trying to get the kicker slot. But when the high school coach saw my kick, he said: ‘It’s over. I’ve already found my kicker,’” he said.

That single kick led Garibay to play with the high school team, and later to win a college scholarship.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy hints at more mobile Dak Prescott in 2022 - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

Dak Prescott’s mobility may have still been a bit hindered last season.

McCarthy addressed the media Tuesday, just before the team was to take the field for their first practice of minicamp. And the starting signal-caller’s status as fully healthy for the entire offseason was a hot topic.

“It’s been huge,” the coach said. “It’s been huge for him, it’s been huge for everybody. All the little things that we do- particularly the meetings, the walkthroughs and all of that- they’re important, obviously. But just for him to have no limits has been outstanding, and I think you clearly see it in the way he’s moving this year. You look at his body: he’s clearly different than he was last year.”

In June of 2021, Prescott was coming off a total ankle dislocation and compound fracture suffered the previous October. While optimism was high, no one truly knew what they’d be getting from the veteran as training camp neared.

Then he overdid it in early practices. A shoulder strain shut him down for the rest of training camp and the preseason; it wasn’t until opening night and a three-touchdown, 400-yard performance against Tampa Bay that Cowboys Nation could be sure he was back.

Cowboys Dalton Schultz will be at minicamp, contract talks ‘picked up’ - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

The tight end may be close to signing a new deal.

Last week turned a bit interesting for the Dallas Cowboys when it was reported that tight end Dalton Schultz would skip the remaining portion of voluntary activities due to dissatisfaction with his contract situation. This situation was interesting because Schultz just signed a new contract with the team a few months ago. While the contract was technically the franchise tag that Dallas placed on him, Schultz did sign it (valued just under $11M for this season) which locked him in for 2022. It isn’t uncommon for players to not enjoy the process of the tag, but Schultz signed it and sort of forfeited whatever leverage he would have by sitting out any part of the offseason (especially considering Schultz had previously shown up to voluntary activities).

It was always going to be interesting to see whether or not Schultz showed up when things got mandatory and fines became a possibility. That time has come and we have our answer.

Tony Pollard Ready To Maximize Role On Offense - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

It’s time for Tony Pollard to have a much bigger role on offense.

Pollard has emerged as a dynamic complement to starter Ezekiel Elliott within the Cowboys' offense, particularly last season. As Elliott dealt with a nagging knee injury for all but three games. Pollard delivered career highs in rushing yards (719), yards per carry (5.5), catches (39) and receiving yards (337) while also posting the first kickoff return touchdown of his career.

Elliott is back healthy from a partially torn PCL in his right knee that did not require surgery and is again expected to be the featured running back. But there's still room for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to feature Pollard's explosiveness.

The wide receiver group is in transition following the Amari Cooper trade to Cleveland. Michael Gallup is still working his way back from February ACL surgery, third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert is just starting to build a rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott, and veteran free agent signing James Washington has been sidelined by a foot injury in OTAs.

Perhaps 2022 is the perfect time to fully tap into Pollard's do-everything skill set. He has proved capable of it since college. In three seasons at Memphis, he averaged 6.8 yards per carry, posted 114 career catches with nine receiving touchdowns and returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns.

Cowboys most important 2022 camp battle isn't what you are expecting - Mitch Larson, The Landry Hat

Taking a look at a more under-the-radar training camp battle.

In 2021, Dallas selected Josh Ball out of Marshall with their fourth-round pick. At the pro level, Ball is still a big unknown. Last year, an early ankle injury derailed his rookie year and forced him to sit out the season without so much as a preseason snap.

Ball has flashed talent before, but he also has a long history of violent and disturbing off-the-field behavior that calls into his question his place on this roster. Notably, he started his college career as a left tackle for Florida State University before being removed from the team, heading to community college, and then ultimately being drafted by the Cowboys out of Marshall. It’s unclear whether he can turn things around with Dallas. Another option is Hard Knocks fan-favorite, Isaac Alarcón, who is still with the team and will try and push for a spot on the roster. He joined the Cowboys in 2020 as part of the International Player Pathways Program and spent 2021 on the practice squad.

Additionally, the Cowboys brought in tackle Aviante Collins. He was waived by the Steelers early last season but he does have a single career start to his name. That is more than we can say for anyone else competing for playing time at swing tackle.

Who will Emerge as the Cowboys Best Player Next Season? - Shane Taylor, Inside The Star

Who do you think will be Dallas’ best player next season?

With many moving parts in the off-season, the question remains, who will be the best player next season? There is a handful to choose from, but one guy stands out for me more than the rest. We all know injuries happen, and it’s a part of the game, but I believe next season, the best player for the Cowboys is going to be Ezekiel Elliott.

He looks incredible this off-season, and many say he is running faster currently than before he wore a Cowboys uniform. I will pump the breaks on the pre-Cowboy talk until week one against the Tampa-Bay Buccaneers rolls around.

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