Cowboys News: Big ask of Dak, swing tackle options, kick-for-kick competition

·6 min read

The main storylines of the Cowboys offseason are still creating tension with fans as the preseason chugs along. With seemingly no help coming for the team’s largely-unproven crop of wide receivers, it looks as if it will fall on Dak Prescott’s shoulders to turn them into legitimate weapons. Offensive line depth is an even bigger worry after Josh Ball’s troubling outing; is it time to go shopping for a veteran swing tackle? The kicking competition is still unsettled and will now enter a match-me-if-you-can phase. And it’s anyone’s guess as to who will emerge from the defensive line rotation as this year’s new star.

Elsewhere, last season’s penalty bugaboo is still hanging around; there’s an interesting new theory as to who may be to blame. Mike McCarthy reveals how he plans to divide the workload over two scrimmages and a game in Los Angeles, and Tyler Smith isn’t letting the bright lights of his NFL debut get in the way of improving his game. All that, plus Mike Zimmer and Deion Sanders reunite, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders face a turning point in their incredible 50-year history, and the organization says farewell to a beloved extended family member. That’s all up in News and Notes.

Dallas Cowboys banking on Dak Prescott's leadership to elevate inexperienced receivers :: ESPN

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For their $40 million a year, the Cowboys expect their starting quarterback to also turn the likes of Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko, rookie Jalen Tolbert, and undrafted Dennis Houston into A-list options at wide receiver. It’s similar to the committee approach taken by the club in 2018; the Cowboys failed to crack 20 points in five of their first seven games and went 3-4 over the stretch. For what it’s worth, though, Prescott believes this group of pass-catchers is “very, very different.”

McCarthy reveals rinse-and-repeat plan for Cowboys starters vs Chargers :: Cowboys Wire

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The club will take the same approach in Los Angeles as they did in Denver: the starters will take the majority of snaps in joint practices with the Chargers on Wednesday and Thursday, while backups and rookies will get the bulk of playing time during Saturday night’s actual preseason game. Will Grier and Tyron Smith should be good to go. Jayron Kearse will likely not play at all. Anthony Barr is expected to finally get into the mix.

Cowboys’ Tyler Smith understands strengths, areas to improve after loss to Broncos :: Dallas Morning News

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The first-round pick already sounds like a seasoned veteran, focusing more on where he can improve than on any sense of accomplishment after his first NFL preseason game. “I am never going to praise myself,” Smith said. “I’m not going to act like something I am not. It has to improve. It has to be better regardless if I had a good game or bad game. Be better than you were the day before.”

Battlegrounds: Wanting "kick for kick" competition :: The Mothership

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Mike McCarthy will try to give Lirim Hajrullahu and Brett Maher the same opportunities in both practices and Saturday’s preseason game so he can evaluate the kickers on as equal a footing as possible. Hajrullahu missed his only attempt last weekend in Denver, a 56-yarder; Maher hasn’t missed since coming back to Dallas… not even in practice.

6 free agent tackle options for Cowboys to challenge Josh Ball :: Blogging the Boys

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The team’s current swing tackle didn’t do himself any favors Saturday night in Denver. Should the Cowboys go shopping at the position? Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Eric Fisher, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Peters all deserve a look. Even bringing back Ty Nsekhe is worth consideration.

Top 10 QB-pass catcher duos in 2022: Cowboys' Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb rank seventh :: NFL.com

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Maurice Jones-Drew notes that Prescott and his new WR1 are heading into this season with better chemistry than Lamb “can even ask for.” That’s according to the wideout himself. The pair ranks just ahead of Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen on this list. Prescott comes off a year in which he recorded career highs in completion percentage and passing touchdowns in the league’s top-scoring offense.

The Cowboys’ next impact pass rusher is on their roster. We just don’t know who it is. :: D Magazine

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The organization has a knack for finding pass rushers who play Robin to DeMarcus Lawrence’s Batman. Michael Bennett, Aldon Smith, Everson Griffen, Robert Quinn, and Randy Gregory all filled the role for a time. This year, will it be Dante Fowler? Dorance Armstrong? The rookie Sam Williams? With all three in a rotation, the Cowboys defense could be a top-five team once again in getting to the pocket.

Is Dan Quinn to blame for the Cowboys penalties? :: 105.3 The Fan

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Cowboys Nation may be hanging the team’s penalty-prone ways on the wrong guy. Mike McCarthy’s teams in Green Bay were- apart from his first year- actually guilty of very few infractions. But the Seahawks during Dan Quinn’s Legion of Boom years? League-worst. The Cowboys in Quinn’s first year as defensive coordinator? Also league-worst. That may be just a coincidence, but it’s also worth noting as the team works to clean up its act.

Mike Zimmer to work for Deion Sanders at Jackson State :: HBCU Gameday

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Zimmer once famously took a phone call from Sanders during a press conference when he was head coach of the Vikings; this time, the call turned into a job offer. The former Cowboys defensive assistant will be reunited with Sanders, who he coached in Dallas for five years. “The pay’s not good,” Zimmer joked about his new analyst job at the small Mississippi school where Sanders is head coach. “But I do love Deion and I’d do anything for him.”

Jones family issues statement on Janet Hill :: The Mothership

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Janet Hill, the wife of former Cowboys running back and team consultant Calvin Hill, passed away Monday. “She was a wonderful grandmother, mother, wife, and a cherished member of the Dallas Cowboys Family,” the Jones family said in a statement. “She uniquely served and benefited our community and our country in very special ways over the course of her amazing life journey. Our prayers are with Calvin, Grant, the entire Hill family.”

Sex, Scandal, and Sisterhood: Fifty years of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders :: Texas Monthly

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The history books give Tex Schramm credit for launching the most iconic cheerleading squad in sports in 1972. But in truth, it was a few brave and ahead-of-their-time women who changed the face of the franchise forever by putting sexy dancers in revealing uniforms on the sidelines. One famous wink during a Monday night game in 1975 helped catapult the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders into superstardom that often surpassed that enjoyed by the players, but it hasn’t all been sparkles and sequins in the years since. From run-ins with fans to an infamous porn lawsuit to the recent in-house peeping scandal, the singularly bold experiment of the DCC is one of the NFL’s most incredible- and still controversial- stories.

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Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire