Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas is comfortable with their quarterback group, clarity on the 53-man roster, an update on the La’el Collins injury, and more.
With the signing of Will Grier, the odds that Cam Newton landed in Dallas seemed even lower. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirms the team is not considering another quarterback addition at the moment.
On Monday, the New England Patriots released former MVP QB Cam Newton, and almost immediately – because this is the way NFL media works – the Dallas Cowboys were mentioned as a potential landing spot.
Did the Cowboys, arguably in need of an upgrade behind Dak Prescott, examine the idea? Surely, as the the personnel department must do with every idea.
“I had a chance to compete against Cam, and chance to watch some of his tape in New England,’’ Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday. “So I still think he has a ton of football left …
“But,’’ McCarthy concluded, “we’re very excited about the group that we have.’’
The Cowboys “group’’ is really about the healthy Pro Bowl QB Prescott. But behind him now are Cooper Rush and newcomer Will Grier (along with practice-squadder Ben DiNucci).
The Cowboys were able to get through the preseason relatively healthy. But recent news with La’el Collins has not been encouraging.
La’el Collins missed all of last season recovering from hip surgery, and the various quarterbacks that took the field for the Cowboys in 2020 undoubtedly noticed his absence. The team was hoping for healthy returns from both their starting tackles, Collins and Tyron Smith, who missed nearly all of 2020 as well.
So, you wouldn’t blame the fans, Dak Prescott, and especially Mike McCarthy if they felt a tinge of panic seeing La’el Collins battling a nagging injury before the start of the season. Collins experienced a stinger in his neck for the second time in training camp, and the Cowboys are not rushing him back this time around.
“LC is dealing with a neck issue,” McCarthy said before Friday’s practice. “We’re in a holding pattern right now. He will not practice.”
That would mean that Collins will have three more opportunities to practice before the Cowboys kick off the NFL season Thursday, Sept. 9 against the Buccaneers. His next chance will be this coming Sunday (which will effectively serve as a Wednesday practice if it were a normal NFL week with the Cowboys playing a Sunday game). McCarthy has recently said that he anticipates Collins being ready for Thursday’s game.
With the season opener against the Buccaneers less than a week away, the roster still has glaring holes that need to be filled.
Right now the Cowboys have 52 players signed and none of them is a punter. That’s because veteran Bryan Anger, who’s been with the team since April and was awarded the job over incumbent Hunter Niswander, was cut on Wednesday in a procedural move to allow Dallas to claim QB Will Grier off waivers.
Anger, like other veterans, didn’t have to go through waivers and has a handshake deal with the Cowboys to rejoin them for Week One. That could happen as soon as today.
But while adding the punter will give Dallas a full 53-man roster it isn’t the last move that they’ll have to make before heading to Tampa. Starting Guard Connor Williams and Wide Receiver Noah Brown are still on the COVID-19 list and don’t currently count against the roster limit.
McCarthy eager to ‘be more genuine’ leading up to Cowboys’ opener with ‘Hard Knocks’ crew gone- Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys head coach was not thrilled with the constant media attention during the filming of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
The Cowboys skipper was clearly happy to have the ship back under his sole command, without the distraction of a camera crew and live microphones underfoot. The teams from HBO and NFL Films have pulled out of The Star in Frisco, having collected all the footage necessary to put together the season finale, which will air Tuesday night.
With less than a week to go before the season opener against the defending champs, McCarthy said that the crew’s absence allows show business to finally take a backseat to the business of football around the facility.
“I would say it gives you a chance to be more genuine,” he told the media members assembled. “I think a lot of things we do in life, especially in professional sports and specific to the Dallas Cowboys, it’s about time and place. There are things you’re able to do and say in particular spaces that are important to the individuals in that space. And you clearly wouldn’t say it, probably, exactly how you would or maybe behave exactly how you would or respond exactly how you would. And I think it’s human nature if there’s 15 cameras in the room. I think we all understand that.”
After weeks of speculation surrounding Dak Prescott’s ability to return from injury, the Cowboys quarterback confirms he is ready for week one.
The two-time Pro Bowler has his sights on another sensational start to this year.
“I have high expectations for myself. I plan to come out starting fast,” he said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “I plan to come out better than I was last year, to be honest.”
With his comeback from the ankle injury in full swing, Prescott hit a speed bump in the form of a muscle strain in his right shoulder on July 28.
Thereafter, Prescott’s progress has commanded the news cycle as the Cowboys carefully brought him along in practice.
Prescott has been on track to be ready for the season opener for a few weeks now and was not on any “pitch count” during practice.
Now, all eyes, ankles and shoulders (knees and toes) are set on Tampa Bay.
“I’m excited to have that behind me,” Prescott said of his ankle injury. “I don’t think about the time that I’ve missed. I was just laughing the other day with a teammate about the moment that it happened. To be that far beyond it, I’m just excited to get back to football.”
JaQuan Hardy became a fan favorite with his appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the Cowboys may have not seen the end of the undrafted running back. Despite singing Corey Clement, Hardy could play a role in the upcoming season.
With Clement, you have a guy that you, kind of, already know what he is in the league. While you would like to get a good look at him for yourself as an organization, to see what he has or simply as the depth he was signed to be, he isn’t necessarily for long in the organization, one would imagine.
This is where things get even stickier. Who says Clement makes it through the season or further than that… more than a couple of weeks with the team? Also and even if Clement sticks around, who says another injury doesn’t happen among the backs (lord forbid)? That would create an instant need and a hole for a guy like Hardy.
Of course, though, it gets even deeper. Per the rules of the NFL, they can bring along two practice squad players to each game, making the active roster on game day 55, including those two players.
On keeping him that way, you sign Hardy to the practice squad because he would actually take that role, while a veteran like Clement would have taken another job elsewhere. In Clement’s case, it’s obvious as to why that’s the case but for Hardy, he chose to sign with Dallas’s practice squad over other opportunities, so there is something there about it all.
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