News and Notes: Cut and trade candidates,Texas law to affect Cowboys cheerleaders?

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders may actually be a bigger and better-known entity worldwide than the football team they’re attached to. But a bill up for debate in Texas could soon make it illegal for them to perform on gameday, according to one interpretation. We’ll get into that in this edition of News and Notes. We’ll also do some last-minute noodling over the 2023 schedule in the final hours before its release; see what we’ve already pieced together about a few key weeks, based on Wednesday’s leaks.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel Elliott’s old position coach has a hard truth for the two-time rushing champ, hear which Cowboys defensive mate Leighton Vander Esch is thankful to have back, and find out which Cowboy is the most underrated on the roster. We’re looking at possible cut or trade candidates, Emmitt Smith points out the thin spots on his old team, and a Dallas wide receiver hauls in a big catch of a very different kind in his quarterback’s backyard.

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Cowboys won't travel to London, won't host Aaron Rodgers for Thanksgiving :: Cowboys Wire

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The Cowboys weren’t mentioned in the first batch of games leaked on Wednesday. The only option for an international trip was a London date with Buffalo, but Jacksonville will take that slot instead. And with the revelation that the Jets will host Miami for the first-ever “Black Friday Football” matchup, we know the Cowboys won’t welcome Aaron Rodgers back to AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. If Dallas appears on the Christmas Day tripleheader, it won’t be against the Giants or Eagles; they’ll play each other on Dec. 25.

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NFC Championship Game rematch vs. 49ers set for Week 13 :: Philadelphia Eagles

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The Cowboys will square off against both teams who played in last year’s NFC title game, but they won’t do it in Week 13. It was announced Wednesday night that the 49ers and Eagles will clash once again in Philadelphia on Sunday, Dec. 3.

How many miles will the Dallas Cowboys travel during the 2023-24 season? :: Dallas Morning News

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Now that a London trip is off the table, the Cowboys know exactly how far they’ll have to travel over the course of the upcoming season. The team is scheduled to log 22,620 miles, according to one outlet. That figure puts the Dallas franchise right outside the projected top 10 in total mileage. Seattle will go the farthest, covering 31,600 miles and crossing 36 time zones to play their 17 games.

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Cowboys tease another star turn for schedule release video :: Dallas Cowboys (Twitter)

Ezekiel Elliott will need to accept a lesser role: Bucs’ backs coach :: Tampa Bay Times

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Former Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete is now with the Buccaneers. If Elliott is going to join him, as has been rumored, Peete says the two-time rushing champ would need to “be the second and third guy… That is what it is going to be.” Peete does believe that Elliott is still “a good, quality back,” even if his numbers aren’t what they used to be.

Cowboys Legend Emmitt Smith still has major concerns surrounding Dallas’ offense :: Cowboys Wire

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The all-time rushing king thinks Dallas’s backfield is too thin, especially considering the way Tony Pollard was carted off the field in his last outing. But Smith also wants to see more from the tight end position and believes the offensive line could still use some shoring up, “just in case somebody goes down and we don’t miss a beat because when we go up against a team like Philadelphia and they’re bringing in that defense… we have to be able to hold up against that pressure.”

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Updates: What Wilson's return means for LVE :: The Mothership

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“Huge,” Vander Esch said of Donovan Wilson’s re-signing on a three-year, $21 million contract. “He’s always gonna be a ball magnet, and having a guy like that on your team is extremely valuable. His energy, his character, and what he brings every single day: I love being on the practice field with him and especially when it comes to gameday.”

The most underrated player on all 32 NFL teams :: PFF

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Malik Hooker was one of 29 safeties last season to log at least 1,000 defensive snaps. Among that group, he ranked fourth in overall grade and was just one of two within that group to have both a coverage grade (74.8) and run defense grade (76.0) north of 70.0. Hooker ranked first among safeties last season by allowing just 0.19 yards per coverage snap.

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Cowboys' potential trade, cut candidates after 2023 NFL draft :: Bleacher Report

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Not all of Dallas’s current active players will make the season-opening roster.  A few may not even make it to training camp if the team elects to stay active in free agency. Jourdan Lewis could be the odd man out at cornerback and might draw interest from a trade partner. Mazi Smith’s arrival could signal the end of Neville Gallimore’s tenure; cutting him would save the Cowboys $2.7 million against the cap. And with Sean McKeon seemingly destined to be the fourth tight end at best, it may be time to cut him loose to free up a roster spot for someone who’ll play more snaps.

Cowboys WR Simi Fehoko shows off a different kind of big catch made at Dak Prescott's house :: Simi Fehoko (Twitter)

Could proposed Texas bills to ban drag shows also ‘criminalize’ Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders? :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Senate Bill 1601, currently being deliberated, could levy a fine up to $10,000 against any business owner hosting a “sexually oriented performance” with anyone younger than 18 present. Apart from drag shows, one reading of the bill could also include R-rated movies, restaurants like Hooters, and even the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders performing on the sidelines at home games. One state rep says, “The problem or concern with this kind of law is if you did decide to take your kids to a Dallas Cowboys game, we have to be careful because it could be illegal… That’s a slippery slope.”

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire