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Dorance Armstrong Turning Heads at Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

John Williams

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Dorance Armstrong

The Dallas Cowboys defensive line depth is being tested this training camp with notable players missing. DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, and Randy Gregory have been out for the entirety of training camp and it remains to be seen when they'll return. Robert Quinn will be out for some time after suffering a fractured right hand in Tuesday's practice. All of those absences at the defensive end position have created opportunities for others.

One player who has been showing out quite regularly in training camp is Defensive End Dorance Armstrong. Last week during the team's individual pass-rush drills, Armstrong beat All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith with a nasty counter spin move.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

From earlier in the day Dorance Armstrong beats Tyron Smith. https://t.co/N2MrKUIW8T

Then Tuesday, the second-year player added another starting tackle to his ledger in La'el Collins with this outstanding rush in the compete period.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Dorance Armstrong vs. La'el Collins https://t.co/Wf6I7JGL3J

If you haven't noticed a theme yet, Dorance Armstrong is good. Here, he gets La'el Collins with a fake spin move.

https://twitter.com/JohnOwning/status/1159253299071049728


Armstrong's efforts have vaulted him ahead of former first-round pick Taco Charlton. In the last couple days of practice, Dorance Armstrong has received the first-team reps at left defensive end, where Charlton had been filling in for DeMarcus Lawrence. Now with Quinn out, Armstrong may see reps at both defensive end spots with the first-team defense.

Though a lot of players are missing that might otherwise be ahead of Armstrong on the depth chart, he's been excellent all offseason. Even if Lawrence, Gregory, Crawford, and Quinn were available, Armstrong's offseason performance has earned him snaps against the first team. However they've come, he's making them count. Aside from Maliek Collins, there isn't a player on the defensive line that has been as good as Armstrong has through the first couple weeks of training camp.

In his rookie year, Armstrong had a really nice camp and even played well at the start of the 2018 season, but wasn't able to maintain that level of play. Heading into his second season, he's been one of the best players throughout the OTAs, minicamp, and now training camp and his stock continues to rise.

DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn are still your starting defensive ends once they're available. However, Dorance Armstrong is going to force the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to find him a substantial role in 2019. With Quinn only signed through the 2019 season and Gregory still under an indefinite suspension from the NFL, it's very likely that Armstrong is your starting right defensive end in 2020.

The Dallas Cowboys scouts and front office decision-makers continue to hit home runs in the draft and Dorance Armstrong is just another in a long line of mid to late-round selections that have blossomed for the Cowboys. Armstrong is trending in the right direction and if he can continue this trajectory will be a tremendous asset for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 and beyond.


Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Cowboys’ Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

John Williams

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Cowboys' Tight End Marcus Lucas with Huge Opportunity vs the Houston Texans

With only two preseason games remaining, opportunities to make a statement are growing thin. The Dallas Cowboys have very few spots on the roster available, especially at the tight end position where Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz appear to have the depth chart locked down. The problem is, Jarwin and Schultz have been dealing with injuries and missed the second preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams and probably won't play against the Houston Texans tonight.

Enter Marcus Lucas.

Marcus Lucas hasn't been a member of the Dallas Cowboys for very long, but he's already made an impact.

In his first preseason game with the Dallas Cowboys, Lucas caught four passes on four targets for 20 yards. His receptions went for two, seven, five, and six yards for an average of five yards per reception. He did have a holding penalty that cost the Dallas Cowboys 10 yards on a first down play that didn't go anywhere anyway.

Though Lucas has bounced around NFL practice squads, he's never really found a home. After going undrafted in 2014, Lucas was signed by the Carolina Panthers in May of that year but wasn't able to stick on the 53-man roster and was released and placed on the practice squad. In 2015, he was on the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears practice squads. In 2016, the Panthers brought him back in the summer after the Bears released him from their 90-man roster. That September after cut-down day, the Seattle Seahawks signed Lucas to their practice squad where he spent all of 2016. From 2017 to the end of 2018, Lucas spent time with the Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, the Seattle Seahawks again, and the San Francisco 49ers. He was with the 49ers in 2019 before joining the Dallas Cowboys about two weeks ago and will get an extended run in these final two preseason games.


At Thursday's practice, Lucas was the only tight end available with Jason Witten getting a rest day and Jarwin, Schultz, and fellow Tight End Cody McElroy dealing with injuries.

Todd Archer on Twitter

With Jason Witten getting a day of rest, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Codey McElroy injured, the Cowboys have one tight end practicing today: Marcus Lucas, who has been with the team for about two weeks.

It's possible that Lucas may get an extended amount of playing time tonight with an opportunity to show the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL that he's ready to land on a 53-man roster. With likely only Jason Witten being the only other tight end active for the game against the Houston Texans, Lucas will get a lot of playing time. If his last preseason exposure is any indication, he'll get the chance to display his receiving prowess.

At 27, Lucas likely has few opportunities left to make his mark for an NFL franchise. On a team that proclaims the "next man up" as a battle cry, after Witten, Lucas is the next man up for tonight and depending on his performance could make the Dallas Cowboys front office or another front office around the league take notice.

Depending on the long-term health of the Dallas Cowboys' tight end position, Lucas may find his path to a roster spot simply dependent upon the health of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. Though a job may not come with the Dallas Cowboys, tonight is an extremely important audition for his next suitor. How he performs tonight could land Marcus Lucas a job after the Dallas Cowboys trim the roster to 53 next week.

They say "preseason games don't matter," but to Marcus Lucas, this might be the most important game of his career.


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REPORT: Signs Point to Elliott, Cowboys Finalizing Contract Extension

Jess Haynie

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Will No Preseason Work Hurt Ezekiel Elliott's Early Season Production?

Our long Cowboys National nightmare may close to ending. According to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan, there's news coming in that points to Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys soon reaching an agreement and ending Zeke's holdout.

The following was just tweeted this morning from Turner's account:

Kevin Turner on Twitter

BREAKING: Hello, talented media personality KT here, same source tells me Zeke is booked to return from Cabo tomorrow. Another source tells @Shippyfunsports the Cowboys and Zeke were in contact late last night, and that a deal could come together over the weekend. @1053thefan https://t.co/hdiGHoaiVb

We had just heard yesterday that Dallas offered Zeke a deal that would make him the second-highest paid RB in football behind Todd Gurley. Was that enough to get Elliott to sign, or perhaps the basis that Zeke's team used to make a final counteroffer which Dallas agreed to?


Hopefully we'll find out all those details very soon. For now, we can just take hope in these signs of light at the end of this contract dispute tunnel.

The Cowboys aren't the same team without Ezekiel Elliott. With so much at stake in this 2019 season, it's time to get this deal done and get ready to win.


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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL’s Second Highest-Paid RB

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Cowboys Offer Ezekiel Elliott a Contract to Make him the NFL's Second Highest-Paid RB

Negotiations are picking up in Dallas. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Dallas Cowboys have offered All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott a new contract that would make him the second-highest-paid running back in the NFL.


Ed Werder on Twitter

Sources: The most recent offer in negotiations between holdout Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys came from the team. Elliott has been offered a contract making him one of the NFL's 2 highest-paid RB. That would suggest team offering more than LeVeon Bell and less than Todd Gurley.

This would put Elliott just below Todd Gurley's four-year 60 million dollar deal and just ahead of Le'Veon Bell's four-year 52.5 million dollar deal. He's currently set to make 3.9 million in 2019 under his current contract. Deadlines make deals and it appears the Cowboys understand this. More to come.


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