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Darren McFadden Injured: 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit

I used to be a huge fan of the popular TV show Grey’s Anatomy. I say used to because I no longer am. At its peak the show had some insane drama that sucked me in. This was pre-DVR so I watched this bad boy live. Ultimately I gave up on it, like most of the show’s iconic actors coincidentally, because it became too unreal.

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Headlines - 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit From Darren McFadden's Injury 1

I used to be a huge fan of the popular TV show Grey's Anatomy.

I say used to because I no longer am. At its peak the show had some insane drama that sucked me in. This was pre-DVR so I watched this bad boy live.

Ultimately I gave up on it, like most of the show's iconic actors coincidentally, because it became too unreal. The storylines were too difficult to believe. I mean, I know it's primetime television but at some point there is a line, Shonda Rhimes!

When I found out Darren McFadden broke his elbow trying to save his cellphone from falling in the pool I could've sworn Meredith Grey herself appeared out of thin air right in front of me to rub my face in the unbelievable.

In all seriousness I hope that Darren McFadden is alright, and he will reportedly be back in a little over two months. That's only two weeks before the regular season, no big deal!

My fellow Staff Writer Brian Martin dropped some knowledge earlier today on how this setback could cost Darren McFadden his spot on the 2016 Dallas Cowboys Roster. He made a lot of sense, and he got me thinking.

Say that the Dallas Cowboys were considering carrying four Running Backs on this year's roster. It's not that far out of the realm of possibility when you consider that Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris, and Darren McFadden were all practically locks to make the team. If you want to debate that you can go ahead, but not here! Not today! Let's move on.

So McFadden was making this team, and what if Brian is right? What if this injury really does cost him his roster spot? That leaves a spot up for grabs! It's my belief that this hypothetical spot could prove prosperous for a few different Cowboys.

Here are three surprising examples.

Rico Gathers

I don't know which narrative I'm more sick of: basketball players playing tight end in the NFL or the fact that Rico Gathers hasn't played "competitive" football since he was 14 or whatever.

Cowboys Headlines - 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit From Darren McFadden's Injury

Regardless of the circumstances, when he last played, what color my socks are (black FYI) Rico Gathers is a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. While it was long thought that the transition he's undergoing, admittedly a necessary one, would take some time that might land him on the Practice Squad this year... that might not necessarily be true anymore.

If this spot is indeed open, why not exercise it on Gathers? If you're really afraid that someone else is going to snatch him up from your Practice Squad, a legitimate fear mind you, then prohibit that. You've got the spot to burn.

Like a great Disco Inferno let it burn, baby burn.

Ronald Leary

"RJ, what in the world are you talking about? Have you lost your damn mind?!"

To be fair I started this whole dealio off with a Grey's Anatomy reference so maybe. Good news is I could literally lose my mind, like have it fall out of my skull, pick it up, shove it in my pocket, and walk into the fictional Grey's Anatomy hospital only to have a miracle surgery save my life. That's how they roll.

Look. Ronald Leary is, based on his own talents, making this team. We all agree there.

Cowboys Headlines - 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit From Darren McFadden's Injury 2

We all also know that Mr. Leary is, for reasons beyond the understanding of my pocketed brain, discontent wearing the Dallas Cowboys Star. He wants out.

With so many roster decisions to make maybe it made structural sense for the Cowboys to deal Leary. We never wish for injuries, but Training Camp is full of them and that could have been when someone called up Jones & Co. to swing a deal.

Now that there's an extra roster spot just chilling there like my brain, it's the perfect place to stash a guy like Ron Leary for 2016. Isn't Leary just the Darren McFadden of the Offensive Line anyway? He is to La'el Collins what DMC is to Zeke, a veteran backup who's being pushed out. Salt-N-Pepa's here!

Jaylon Smith

I've been very vocal about the fact that I do not believe that Jaylon Smith will ever suit up or play a down of football for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. But my brain is all messed up so let's party.

The brain trust of the Dallas Cowboys seems to believe that Jaylon is going to defy modern medicine and prove me wrong. Cool. I hope they're right.

Cowboys Headlines - 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit From Darren McFadden's Injury 3

If they believe that to a legitimate degree they're going to be faced with some interesting roster decisions. Sure the NFI list offers a duct tape sort of solution to the Jaylon problem, but ultimately they're going to have to address it firmly.

Hello open roster spot. You sure are shaped just like Jaylon Smith. Let me just plug him in here.

This roster spot could be the way that Jaylon finds his way onto the 2016 Cowboys. It might not materalize in September, but as the little kid in Angels In the Outfield said, "It could happen."

Bam. Jaylon'd.

What are your thoughts? Who do you think is a surprising Dallas Cowboy that could benefit from DMC's injury? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Darren McFadden Injured: 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!


Player News

Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason

Matthew Lenix



Report: Amari Cooper Likely out Until Week 1

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.

The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.

"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."

The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.

However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith

Kevin Brady



Jaylon Smith, Eagles

The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.

ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...

Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.

Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.

And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.

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Player News

Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List

John Williams



Auto Draft 6

Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.

"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."

Todd Archer -

This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.

It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.

The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.

While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.

With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.

With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.

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