The Cowboys second-year player will need to be ready at two spots, and he says he’s fine with that.
“It can’t (matter),” Smith said this week at a youth flag football camp at The Star. “The best thing for me – Zack (Martin) talked about it last year – is just being comfortable at both spots. I feel like having those reps last year, being in those situations last year where I was switching back and forth, it really helped me as a player.”
Last season, Smith was predominantly at left tackle during the season, but don’t forget that he was at left guard for most of the offseason, battling with Connor McGovern for the starting job. It wasn’t until Tyron Smith suffered a severe hamstring injury that required surgery that put Tyler Smith at left tackle just before the start of the seasons.
And then when Tyron Smith returned in December, he went to right tackle, but there were times when the Cowboys would slide Tyler Smith into left guard just to get him ready for all possibilities.
“Being put under those high-stress situations where you might not have practiced it or used to it, but it’s good being able to adapt to that sudden change,” Smith said. “That could be the difference in losing by one and winning by one. That’s the most important thing.”
Armstrong had his best year last year, and now he looks for more.
DeMarcus Lawrence makes the most money among the Cowboys’ pass rushers. Micah Parsons gets the most publicity.
But Dorance Armstrong quietly has become an important cog in the Dallas defense.
Armstrong’s career-high 8.5 sacks last season ranked second on the team behind only Parsons’ 13.5. He also totaled 16 quarterback hits, 12 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
“It was one of the best seasons of my career so far,” Armstrong said this weekend at a youth football camp, via Aaron Wilson of KPRC. “I’m looking to come back better and stronger.”
The Cowboys recognize how much Armstrong means to their defense having rewarded the former fourth-round pick with a two-year, $13 million contract a year ago.
We knew him as Ryan Russell when he was a Cowboys player.
60) RK Russell
Author, advocate, former player, NFL
RK Russell, the first NFL player to publicly come out as bisexual, has been an advocate for LGBTQ inclusion for years. This spring, he published a memoir about his life, in which he delves in detail about his grief, struggles as a closeted Black man, and ultimately, how he found joy. “For marginalized people, and specifically young, Black queer people, I want them to feel not only that they’re not alone, but that they can do anything,” Russell said in an interview earlier this year. Now living his dream as a creative artist in L.A., Russell is showing that’s the case. — Alex Reimer
The cornerback who was drafted late is already making a name for himself.
CB Eric Scott Jr.
The rookie sixth-round pick worked some with the first-team defense during the offseason with Trevon Diggs in and out of workouts and Nahshon Wright dealing with a minor knee issue. Scott impressed defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
“When you see a guy wanting the moment to go compete, like, you know, I’m balling my fists up and saying, ‘I ain’t leaving here,’ that’s what I’m looking for specifically for the rookies,” Quinn said. “That kind of mindset and attitude is really what it takes for a young player to assert themselves into these moments because that responsibility is really to say, ‘Hey, man, can we count on you when it’s there?’ Them learning to do that early on, that’s a big deal, knowing that like the amount of work that goes into to say, ‘I’m down for this challenge.’ I’ve seen that from Eric so far.” — Todd Archer
A reunion with Zeke is looking less and less likely.
The Cowboys are starting to close the door on a potential reunion with running back Ezekiel Elliott.
“I circled back to one of my sources today and was told quite frankly they’re just not thinking about [re-signing Elliott],” Jane Slater of NFL Network said Monday on “NFL Total Access.” “When I asked if there was a situation where they would bring him back, it sounded like the same answer I’ve gotten from a number of teams. It would basically require another injury to another one of their RBs.”
Dallas and other teams probably don’t want to re-sign Elliott, who was released in March, because he’s viewed as a declining player. In 15 games last season, he rushed for a career-low 876 yards on 231 attempts (3.8 yards per carry). The 27-year-old also hasn’t made a Pro Bowl appearance since 2019.
The Cowboys already have an upgrade at RB1 after the emergence of Tony Pollard. The 25-year-old rushed for a career-high 1,007 yards in 16 games and made his first Pro Bowl last season. Even though Elliott complemented Pollard as a solid RB2, Dallas has young, intriguing prospects, such as Deuce Vaughn, who could fill this role.
Vaughn, a sixth-round selection (No. 212 overall) in the 2023 NFL Draft, impressed quarterback Dak Prescott. “I think he’s going to be a talented player, who can help us immediately,” Prescott said recently of the 21-year-old via The Dallas Morning News.
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