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Cowboys news: More chatter about Ezekiel Elliott returning to Dallas

Enjoy your Sunday morning news about the Dallas Cowboys. 

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys ‘Leaving Door Open’ for Ezekiel Elliott Signing - Drake Toll, Sports Illustrated

After releasing running back Ezekiel Elliott earlier this offseason, rumor has it the Dallas Cowboys aren’t willing to say their final goodbyes just yet. The team may be willing to bring Elliott back if the running back is open to a reunion.

Now a free agent following Dallas’ salary cap-savvy decision to cut Elliott, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo says the Cowboys are in the market to resign the 27-year-old ballcarrier. ”Perhaps a return to Dallas, in the long run, can be where this is headed,” Garafolo said on NFL Network.

Garafolo cited Mike McCarthy as saying the decision to part ways with Elliott was pure ‘caponomics,’ or a move based on money (Zeke’s release meant a $10.9 million cap savings) more so than skill or fit. And while this rings true, it doesn’t change that Elliott ... was cut.

To Garafolo, though, the idea of Zeke’s return to the Cowboys - to back up Tony Pollard - is worth clamoring about. ”Dallas still believes that he’s got football left,” Garafolo continued. “Now he’s not going to be the lead back there, obviously, if he does return there.”

But, from Garafolo’s standpoint, the demand to add Elliott to an NFL roster has been scarce enough to point toward a mutual rekindling between Zeke and Dallas.

Cowboys Rumors: Trevon Diggs, Dallas Discussed Contract Extension in ‘Recent Weeks’ - Adam Wells, Bleacher Report

Are the Cowboys close to backing up the Brinks truck for Trevon Diggs? It is being reported that the Cowboys and Diggs’ representatives have discussed a new contract for the All-Pro cornerback.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on SportsCenter on Saturday morning that the Cowboys have had some talks in “recent weeks” with Diggs about a new deal:

“This is a top cornerback in the league, one of the best, 17 interceptions the last three years. I’m told that the Cowboys and Diggs have had like some check-in moments about a potential contract extension over recent weeks this offseason. And so, certainly both sides could be open to that. The market now for cornerbacks at the top, about $21 million per year, so we’ll see how close Diggs could get to that in the next few months.”

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus recently projected a four-year extension for Diggs worth $81 million total. The $20.25 million average annual salary would rank second among all cornerbacks, behind Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers ($21 million).

A second-round pick out of Alabama in 2020, Diggs was immediately inserted into the starting lineup as a rookie. He had a solid debut year with 14 pass breakups and three interceptions in 12 games.

The 2021 season was a breakout year for Diggs. His 11 interceptions were tied for the 14th-most in a single season in NFL history. It was also the highest single-season total since 1981 (Everson Walls: 11). He was named to the All-Pro first team.

Focusing On This Offensive Picture - Mickey Spagnola,

This year’s trio of Cowboys receivers are poised to have a profound impact and improvement on a middling passing attack.

No. 88, CeeDee Lamb, Pro Bowl wide receiver who grabbed that No. 1 receiver mantle last year, leading the team with 107 receptions for 1,359 yards, nine touchdowns and five 100-yard games, giving him 10 in his first three seasons, trailing only Bob Hayes’ 13 during that span in franchise history.

No. 13, Michael Gallup, who tried his darndest to be Michael Gallup of old coming off his 2021 season-ending torn ACL injury, you know, the one in 2019-20 combining for 125 catches, 1,950 yards, 11 touchdowns and averaging 15.6 yards a catch – in other words, Big Play Mike. Well, if these two OTA practices we’ve witnessed so far mean anything, the sixth-year receiver is back.

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to the quarterback. Dak Prescott should know better than most: “Starting to come back into who Michael Gallup is. … He’s getting his feet under him and he’s going to be better.”

And finally, No. 3, Brandin Cooks, an offseason trade acquisition and established nine-year veteran, with six 1,000-yard seasons in the last eight years, relegated to just 12 games in 2019 with the Rams in one of the sub-1,000 yards seasons (583) and only 13 games this past season with the quarterback-challenged Texans (699).

Again, from what we’ve seen so far, this guy is exactly what the Cowboys lacked a year ago. And again, don’t just listen to me, let Lamb speak up: “Love his speed. … That’s my boy. … He’s a professional to a T.” Telling you, a budding new “Triplets.”

Tyler Smith’s development, versatility critical to Cowboys 2023 season - Jess Haynie, Blogging the Boys

Only in his second season, Tyler Smith’s continued growth will be a major indicator in the success of the Cowboys’ 2022 season.

When Smith was originally drafted a year ago, the plan was to play him at left guard while Tyron Smith and Terence Steele handled the tackle positions. But a preseason injury to Tyron forced the younger Smith into immediate duty at left tackle, where he stayed for the majority of the season. Dallas did try some things with veteran Jason Peters, but Tyler predominantly played on the left edge.

It’s generally assumed that Tyler will eventually become the full-time left tackle whenever Tyron’s gone, or when Dallas decides he’s the better option. That could even happen as soon as 2023; Tyler was running with the first-team offense in last week’s practices while Tyron played on the right side. Steele is still recovering from last year’s ACL injury.

If the Cowboys want their five best offensive linemen on the field, assuming they’re all ever healthy at the same time, it’s possible that could move Tyler back to guard for now. But given Tyron’s increasing lack of dependability, plus now Steele coming back from a major surgery, it’s entirely possible that Tyler Smith may have to wear multiple hats to get Dallas through this upcoming season.

Ideally, someone will step up at left guard to give the Cowboys more comfort there. Perhaps free agent Chuma Edoga, third-year prospect Matt Farniok, or rookie Asim Richards will get a chance to compete for the starting job. We’re still waiting to see exactly how Edoga and Richards will be utilized as either tackles or guards, but both have versatility.

But again, that’s the beauty of having Tyler Smith on the team right now. He can be your starting left tackle or left guard with ease; whatever makes the most sense based on the other personnel He covers a lot of ground and room for talent evaluation errors, injuries, or whatever else could limit Dallas’ options.

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