The Cowboys seem to be taking full advantage of the bye-week reset. On the first day back to work, the team opened up two practice-squad spots with a pair of cuts. They announced encouraging news on the injury front and even climbed a few spots in the power rankings despite not strapping on a helmet. We’ll look back at the good and bad surprises that the first one-third of the season brought to Cowboys Nation, and we’ll look ahead at the key factor that could help the team gain some ground in the East over the next one-third.
Elsewhere, we’ve got a look at DaRon Bland’s continued rise at cornerback, why Markquese Bell is creating his own label, the key figure in Neville Gallimore’s turnaround, and the unlikely designer behind some of the trendiest cleats in the Cowboys locker room. All that, plus Dallas’s top competition in the division makes a major move, and one ex-Cowboy set to return for a rematch is going through a rough patch. Here’s the News and Notes.
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Updates: Cowboys release two players from practice squad :: The Mothership
Offensive tackle Alex Taylor-Prioleau and Linebacker Mikel Jones were released on Monday. Dallas now has four open spots on the practice squad; they are expected to be filled soon.
Cowboys' top rival trades for safety Kevin Byard, who terrorized Dak Prescott last season :: Cowboys Wire
The Philadelphia native comes home just in time for Week 9’s Cowboys visit. As a Titan, Byard picked off Dak Prescott twice in Week 17 last year. In 2018, his interception at AT&T Stadium ended with him doing a T.O.-style celebration at the midfield star. The Eagles obtained Byard on Monday in exchange for Terrell Edmunds and two future late-round draft picks.
Micah Parsons calls Byard move 'good trade' for both Eagles, Titans :: B/R Gridiron
Micah Parsons reacts to the Kevin Byard trade 👀 pic.twitter.com/ozxjZO5ySx
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 23, 2023
14 trade candidates, ideas for Cowboys to consider as deadline approaches :: Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys have around $7 million to play with, and they have multiple areas where they could use real help. Derrick Henry, Parris Campbell, Trent Brown, and Hunter Henry are among offensive names to consider. Josey Jewell, Jordan Hicks, and Adoree Jackson are just a few names that could bolster the defense’s thin spots.
With 4 of next 6 games at home, Dallas Cowboys season could be decided over next month :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
After opening with four of the first six on the road, the Cowboys have four of the next six at AT&T Stadium, starting Sunday against the 3-4 Rams. With only two opponents with winning records on the slate, the goal for the next stretch is simple: go at least 5-1. They’ll then have 10 days off before finishing with three of the final five on the road in December and January. “No place like home, right? It’s important for us to maintain the home-field advantage that you can establish,” Mike McCarthy said.
Rams' Brett Maher misses 3 more kicks with Cowboys rematch on deck :: Cowboys Wire
The kicker struggled again on Sunday, blowing two field goals of 50-plus yards and a PAT try. He’s had at least one miss in six of his last 10 games, dating back to his meltdown in the Cowboys/Buccaneers playoff game. Now he’s set to come back to AT&T Stadium… maybe. After Maher’s shaky performance Sunday, all Sean McVay could promise of his kicker was, “We’ll look at it, and we’ll see.”
Markquese Bell happy to create his own position :: Todd Archer
Is Markquese Bell a safety or a linebacker? Yes. “I consider myself a hybrid," he said. "That’s what I tell the guys all the time. They try to tell me I’m a linebacker, they tell me ‘oh you’re still a [safety],” I’m a hybrid. The more versatile I can be, the more I can help.”
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 23, 2023
Cowboys CB DaRon Bland has 'met all the challenges', but missed opportunities put ceiling even higher :: Cowboys Wire
Cornerbacks coach Al Harris acknowledges how nicely Bland has filled in for the injured Trevon Diggs, but also points out there have been dropped interceptions. Still learning under Stephon Gilmore, Bland is bringing a businesslike approach to shutting down passing lanes, it has Dallas tied for the third-most interceptions in the NFL.
4 biggest surprises of Cowboys 2023 season, so far :: Cowboys Wire
Not all surprises are the good kind. The Dallas running game hasn’t lived up to expectations, and despite finally getting their dream lineup, the offensive line has been a letdown. But the secondary has weathered the loss of a superstar well, and Brandon Aubrey has been a revelation.
Cowboys getting healthier after 2023 bye week :: The Mothership
Leighton Vander Esch and C.J. Goodwin have joined Diggs on injured reserve, but Cowboys athletic trainer Jim Maurer doesn’t have anyone on the active roster who’s of high concern for Wednesday’s return to practice.
NFL power rankings Week 8: Lions, Bills drop big, which 6-win team is No. 1? :: Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys jumped two spots just sitting on the couch. Coming in at No. 8 last week after beating the Chargers, Dallas climbs to sixth, mainly because of Week 7 clunkers turned in by Detroit and Buffalo.
Cowboys DT Neville Gallimore’s resurgence on field starts with anchor at home :: Dallas Morning News
Gallimore and his wife just celebrated their one-year anniversary. Chelsie has been a major influence in getting the defensive tackle to drop some weight, eat better, and stick to a heavy-duty workout routine. “She’s definitely a major shoulder that I can lean on,” Neville said. “Talk about my best friend but also someone who holds me accountable. You’re talking about the ultimate hype person. A lot of my game ultimately starts with her.”
How daughter of former Cowboys QB began customizing cleats for current players :: The Athletic
Jon Kitna’s daughter started with personalizing some Air Jordan 1s that Dak Prescott gave out to friends for Christmas. Customizing shoes and cleats has since gone from a hobby to a full-time job for Jada Kitna Henderson. And the kicks aren’t just mockups to be admired from afar; Prescott wears his one-of-a-kind cleats in games. Several Cowboys teammates and players from other teams have also signed on as clients.