Cowboys News: Ezekiel Elliott ‘something to prove’, Tolbert update, trade for backup QB?

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The Cowboys’ third set of OTA sessions is about to kick off, and injuries will likely start to creep into the picture as practices get more intense and recovery time starts to shrink. The injury bug has already affected a few players. In this edition of News and Notes, we hear how one of the team’s weapons is planning to come back from his 2021 injury, we get an update on when one rookie may return from a hamstring issue, we look at another rookie learning two positions just in case of an injury this season, we examine who needs to step up as a veteran pass-catcher continues his rehab, and we explore the team’s overall depth with an eye toward adding emergency depth (especially at quarterback and wide receiver, with a veteran trade target named for each spot).

Meanwhile, Micah Parsons is getting some heavy-duty summer tutoring from a Cowboys legend, Trevon Diggs will be staring down some steep competition this season, and Tony Romo pays tribute to his fallen teammate. All that, plus the Cowboys stars come out at a weekend concert inside the team’s home stadium, and a familiar face on the Dallas sidelines lives out a dream come true with the world-famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott still feels he has 'something to prove' after injury-hampered season :: NFL.com

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“I think I knew I could play through injuries,” Elliott said this week regarding the partial PCL tear he suffered in Week 4 last week and his decision to play 14 more games afterward. “It was definitely tough, but hey, it’s my job.” Now he looks to prove that he’s still a backfield terror after back-to-back down (by his standards, anyway) seasons.

Micah Parsons juggling celebrity, 1-on-1 study with Cowboys legend to prep for second season :: Cowboys WIre

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The young linebacker will be spending time with DeMarcus Ware in the coming weeks, looking to hone his skills as he enters his sophomore season in the pros. Parsons has been open to taking coaching from all kinds of sources; he admits to trying to take it all in off the field, too, as he enjoys his new celebrity status in Dallas. Head coach Mike McCarthy says that makes his second-year jump even trickier; he looks for Parsons to take the next step to become a truly elite player who can improve an entire locker room.

Updates: Limited practice work for Jalen Tolbert :: The Mothership

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The third-round draft pick missed participating in Week 1 of OTAs with a hamstring injury, but he was fielding punts in Week 2. Tolbert could take another step forward and take part in regular drills during the coming week’s work sessions, according to Coach McCarthy.

Tony Romo pays tribute to fallen teammate Marion Barber :: Tony Romo (Twitter)

Ranking the 5 toughest WRs Trevon Diggs will have to face in 2022 :: The Landry Hat

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The star cornerback will face some steep tests this season. He got the better of Terry McLaurin in 2021, but the Washington wideout will have two shots at revenge in 2022. Mike Evans will provide a Week 1 challenge, reigning Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp will look to continue his hot streak, rising star Ja’Marr Chase will face Diggs for the first time, and Justin Jefferson will be waiting when the Cowboys visit Minnesota in November.

McCarthy: Tyler Smith's 'alpha personality' helping him learn two OL spots at once for Cowboys :: Cowboys Wire

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The 21-year-old rookie is taking snaps at two positions in OTAs. The hope is that Tyler Smith will be ready to go in Week One as a guard, but then also be ahead of the curve to someday take over at left tackle for Tyron Smith, perhaps even this season in an emergency situation. Coaches and veterans alike are impressed so far with the rookie’s double duty.

13 questions reveal whether Cowboys have enough roster depth :: Blogging the Boys

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Using a 2014 checklist to ascertain team depth, the 2022 Cowboys- at least currently- may not be quite as deep as fans would like to believe. Questions like “Does your team have a capable backup QB that can go at least 2-2 in a four-game stretch?” and “Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punts and kick returns or contribute as a real position player?” force even the most rose-colored Cowboys optimists to admit that there are still some major questions with this roster.

3 Cowboys who have to step up with Gallup missing from passing game :: Cowboys Wire

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As Michael Gallup continues to nurse his ACL back to playing strength, it’s easy to say newly-acquired James Washington needs to become a go-to guy right out of the box. But there’s also an opportunity for second-year receiver Simi Fehoko to shine, and even running back Tony Pollard stands to see some extra touches in the meantime.

Proposed Cowboys trade sends DT to Patriots for ‘towering’ WR :: Heavy.com

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The Cowboys’ wide receiver situation still feels precarious, and the Patriots’ N’Keal Harry needs a change of scenery. Swapping the 6-foot-4 target for former second-round pick Trysten Hill could bolster the arsenal for the Dallas offense while unloading a player who’s never quite fit in with the Cowboys’ defensive line.

Should the Cowboys trade for Gardner Minshew to solve their backup QB dilemma? :: Inside the Star

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Setting aside Cooper Rush’s magical fairytale of a start last year against Minnesota; how comfortable should the Cowboys feel with him, Will Grier, and Ben DiNucci behind Dak Prescott for anything longer than one game? The gritty Minshew has starting experience, is cheap, and wouldn’t require a whole different offense if he had to step in in Dallas.

Kenny Chesney rocks Cowboys' home stadium over weekend with help from Dak, McCarthy, Jason Witten :: Jake Harris (Twitter)

Erin Andrews lives out Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders dream :: Calm Down with Erin and Charissa

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On her podcast with Charissa Thompson, Andrews recaps a weekend getaway where she cornered a former Cowboys cheerleader and, after professing her undying love for the squad, talked her way into an impromptu tryout of sorts. Andrews also admits that she frequently gets distracted by the cheerleaders while doing live hits during Cowboys broadcasts because she’s trying to watch their performances.

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