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Cowboys news: Dallas releases veteran Takk McKinley

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Training Camp Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys release Takk McKinley - Josh Alper, PFT

The Cowboys have given up on their reclamation project of Takk McKinley.

Defensive end Takk McKinley will be looking for a new place to play in 2023.

The Cowboys announced that they have released McKinley from their 90-man roster. The move comes a couple of days after the signed defensive end Ben Banogu as a free agent.

McKinley signed onto the Cowboys practice squad last November and did not appear in any regular season games for the team. He did make four appearances for the Rams and recorded one tackle.

The Falcons took McKinley in the first round of the 2017 draft and he had 79 tackles, 17.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery while in Atlanta. He spent the 2021 season with the Browns.

Cowboys DL Coach: Sam Williams Is Primed for ‘23 - Patrik Walker,

Sam Williams showed a lot in his rookie year, but wants more in 2023.

“I need 10 sacks,” Williams said during Cowboys OTAs. “Ten sacks will open up a lot of opportunities for me. Obviously, the team goal is to win a championship, but my personal goal and what I’m working towards is getting better with my hands, and I need 10 sacks.”

Given his pace last season, more opportunities should easily equate to more sacks, so his goal isn’t exactly far-fetched to anyone who paid attention to Williams’ instant impact and progression over the course of last season.

Better still is the fact he’s not only taking well to the teachings of his coaching staff and fellow pass rushers, e.g., Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, but he’s also using his time away from the building to make improvements so that when he returns for practice, he’s made that much more progress over the previous day or week.

That mindset isn’t going unnoticed, as defensive line coach Aden Durde so pleasantly pointed out as minicamp concluded on Thursday.

“You can see that he’s learned how to develop himself, and that’s not to say that we don’t develop them, but the biggest jump for Sam is he’s becoming a true professional,” said Durde. “I see the work that he puts in and the structure that he’s put in off of the field. He comes in and you see his flexibility has changed, his coordination has changed, his stance is better. The things he’s needed to work on, he’s gone out and worked on and improved.

“I’m excited for him.”

Cowboys Signing Free Agents? Jerry Jones is ‘Wide-Open’ with ‘99%’ Statement - Mike Fisher, Cowboys Country

Is Jerry Jones really going to make some more moves?

Jones told us in a visit here inside The Star that “There’s an active free-agent market ... some pretty talented people out there. We want to keep a close eye on that. I never shut the door.’’

That is standard stuff; “Personnel is a 24/7 business,’’ and all of that. It’s also standard stuff to say that a team is “wide-open’’ in terms of its thinking on adding talent ... and Jones used that phrase as well.

But then Jerry added something new - and this is a quote that in our 33 years in covering Jones’ Cowboys we’ve never before heard him utter.

“I would tell you,’’ regarding spending and budget and the cap, “that 99 percent of my thinking is for this year.’’

The release of former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has turned a lot of heads. Considering the Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott and haven’t made a big addition to replace him, adding the former Florida State star feels like a possibility.

If Jones is thinking about winning this season, adding someone like Cook could be the difference between another early playoff exit and a much more fruitful postseason run.

Tony Pollard on hip-drop tackle: It would be hard to take it out of the game - Charean Williams, PFT

Tony Pollard comments on the tackle that injured him in the playoffs.

In a divisional round playoff game, 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward caught Tony Pollard from behind and grabbed the Cowboys running back around the waist. Ward meant no harm, but the tackle — nicknamed a “hip-drop tackle” — ended with Ward’s body rolling over Pollard’s left leg.

Pollard fractured his fibula and required surgery to repair ligaments in his ankle.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured an ankle on a similar tackle in the postseason, with the injuries to Mahomes and Pollard leading to a closer look at the tackle.

The National Rugby League in Australia banned the tackle because of the injuries it causes. Despite talk about a possible move to do the same in the NFL, neither the Competition Committee nor any team offered a proposal regarding the tackle. The league ultimately decided the tackle is hard to define clearly and enforce consistently.

Pollard understands and agrees with that decision.

“It was an unfortunate tackle,” Pollard said, via Jon Machota of “Any tackle where a guy gets hurt, I seen they were trying to take it out. I feel like it will be hard to do that. I see where the league is going. It’s in the right direction. It’s looking out for the players. I like the idea of it, but I feel like it’ll be hard to actually stamp that and take it out.”

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