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The big guys up front lead the pack in this edition of News and Notes. Many are wondering if the six-time Pro Bowler recently released by Pittsburgh is worth a look in Dallas. This comes just as the Cowboys’ own perennial Pro Bowl guard is revealed to be in rarefied air among NFL players. And the need for depth along the O-line is leading one Cowboys scribe to scour other team’s rosters for trade targets.
Elsewhere, a Super Bowl MVP is mentioned as a possible backup to Dak Prescott, a spot of considerable concern for one ESPN writer. There’s linebacker talk as one current star looks to return to form while a rising star calls to mind more than one Cowboys great. Dalton Schultz spent the weekend getting tips from the league’s best tight ends, and Kelvin Joseph vows he’ll be ready for opening day. Emmitt Smith leads the charge in vaccination efforts, Herschel Walker may be running again (for office), and NFL cheerleaders find themselves in a uncertain time. All that, plus a farewell to a former team staffer.
Mailbag: Interest in DeCastro? Pollard punt returns? :: The Mothership
Link Guard David DeCastro was released last week by the Pittsburgh Steelers after three All-Pro selections and six Pro Bowl nods during his nine-year stint there. Although the team has pretty decent depth at the position, David Helman and Nick Eatman discuss him as a possible option for Dallas. Also, they speak on whether Tony Pollard should get snaps returning punts, even with only 11 attempts doing so during his days at Memphis. -ML
PFF50: The 50 best players in the NFL right now :: Pro Football Focus
Link Zack Martin is the 13th-best player in the NFL, according to the outlet's latest rankings. The perennial Pro Bowl guard "earned a PFF overall grade of 91.3 at the time of his  injury," Sam Monson points out, "allowing just 13 total pressures across 10 games. He has now allowed just one sack in two years for the Cowboys." Quarterback Dak Prescott had previously been revealed to come in at No. 50 as the only other Dallas player on the list. -TB
3 trades that make sense for the Cowboys, including a Super Bowl MVP to back up Dak Prescott :: Dallas Morning News
Link Making a deal for one of Lamar Jackson's blockers to bolster offensive line depth? Shipping off a big-name linebacker to get a second nose tackle on the roster? And, most shocking of all, former enemy quarterback Nick Foles wearing the silver and blue? John Owning has suggestions for personnel moves to be made before training camp. -TB
The NFL's most vulnerable spots: 16 teams that have depth issues behind their stars, including the Cowboys, Titans, Bucs :: ESPN
Link That backup quarterback spot behind Dak Prescott could be a real issue, says ESPN's Bill Barnwell. Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush "have a combined 80 career pass attempts, yielding a 52.5% completion percentage while averaging 5.2 yards per attempt. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore might have been a better option than DiNucci and Gilbert for spot starts last season," Barnwell writes. -TB
Dallas Cowboys: Why Leighton Vander Esch can be a star again :: Sport DFW
Link Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has had two consecutive injury-plagued seasons after taking the NFL by storm in 2018. Despite several setbacks, Reid Hanson dives into why he can be very effective once again, with health being the key reason why. -ML
DeMarcus Ware sees Micah Parsons as a blend of Bradie James, Zach Thomas, and Sean Lee :: Blogging The Boys
Link Micah Parsons was the prized pick of the 2021 NFL draft for the Dallas Cowboys with his ability to play the run and rush the passer from the linebacker position. It's caught the eye of former Cowboys great and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware, who sees the 12th overall pick as a blend of several of his old teammates. -ML
Cowboys CB Joseph prepared for rookie season, 'I'm going to be ready' :: Cowboys Wire
Link Kelvin Joseph was one of the most talented cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL draft. Many had a first-round grade on him, even though he fell to the Cowboys at 44, in the second round. Despite a small setback with a 10-day quarantine and currently being behind veteran Anthony Brown on the depth chart, the former Kentucky Wildcat says he'll be ready when September rolls around. -ML
Updates: Dalton Schultz attends inaugural TEU :: The Mothership
Link Dalton Schultz was one of nearly 50 NFL tight ends in attendance at Tight End University, the three-day summit meeting for the position created by the 49ers' George Kittle, the Chiefs' Travis Kelce, and recently-retired Greg Olsen. The group met at a Nashville high school for a weekend of training and drills. -TB
Dak Prescott supports alma mater at College World Series :: Mississippi State Football (Twitter)
Emmitt Smith joins forces with Jill Biden for a vaccination push in Texas :: ProFootballTalk
Link The NFL's all-time rushing king took a handoff of sorts from First Lady Jill Biden on Tuesday, touring a vaccination site in Dallas as part of an effort to increase awareness and participation in the nation's fight against COVID-19. -TB
Trump: Herschel Walker will run for Senate in Georgia :: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Link The legendary Cowboys running back may be making a play at a Senate seat in his native Georgia in 2022, according to former President Donald Trump. "He told me he's going to [run], and I think he will," Trump said in a radio interview. Walker would have to relocate from Texas in order to be a Republican challenger to Georgia's recently-elected Democratic incumbent. -TB
NFL cheerleaders’ fight to be heard :: Sports Illustrated
Link Cowboys visionary Tex Schramm helped usher in the modern era of NFL cheerleaders when he reinvented the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders into mainstream sex symbols in the 1970s. Now as the league evolves in the arenas of inclusion and equality, many cheerleaders wonder if their squads are being brushed aside unfairly by the men who run the teams. -TB
Past/Present: Former strength coach passes away :: The Mothership
Link Bob Ward, one of the NFL's first strength and conditioning coaches, and a member of the Cowboys staff for 14 seasons, passed away this week at the age of 87. Ward created equipment and techniques that revolutionized football training, thanks to his own experience on the U.S. Olympic Committee and in track and field. During Ward's tenure, the Cowboys had 10 winning seasons, including a Super Bowl title in the 1977 season. -TB