For the Dallas Cowboys, the start of mini-camp was supposed to be a relatively exciting time. Cowboys Nation was eager to cross off another item on the checklist that will lead up to the 2016 season. While the now-mandatory practices will still closely resemble the light OTA work the Cowboys were doing, the team was also planning on slowly accumulating the likes of Dez Bryant and Orlando Scandrick back onto the football field.
This morning, Dallas received even more good news, as Rolando McClain and Ronald Leary reported to practice. By the early afternoon though, the day had taken a sour turn for Jason Garrett's squad.
Benson Mayowa is going to have a knee scope this afternoon. Garrett says it's minor. He should be ready for "close to the start of" camp.
First, the newly acquired defensive end Benson Mayowa was ruled out until training camp after having his knee scoped. The procedure is considered minor, and with no further setbacks Benson will work through training camp and the preseason as scheduled.
While this is obviously a big blow for the unproven Mayowa to further prove himself in front of Rod Marinelli, the Defensive Coordinator can now get a look at the other waves of pass rushers he has to deploy on opposing quarterbacks.
Randy Gregory may be suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season, but has been worked hard all throughout the early summer. Gregory along with guys like rookie Charles Tapper and second-year player Ryan Russell will all get even more snaps now over the next three days of camp.
In other injury news, things are not so bright for running back Darren McFadden.
Darren McFadden broke elbow over Memorial Day at his home and will be out for two months.
The veteran back has suffered setbacks with injuries all throughout his NFL career, but had a healthy resurgence behind the Cowboys offensive line in 2015. Still, the aging back preparing to enter the final year of his contract in 2016 did not prove enough to stop Dallas from drafting the better backfield scheme fit in Ezekiel Elliott at fourth overall.
McFadden will now be sidelined until near the end of training camp. Not only will this likely immediately bump Elliott up to the top of the depth chart, but it will allow Scott Linehan and the Cowboys to evaluate their other zone-blocking runners in an expanded role.
Alfred Morris could look at this as a huge opportunity to become the veteran presence at his position that the Dallas Cowboys originally wanted Darren McFadden to be this season. Rookie Darius Jackson should also see some more snaps, as he tries to fight for a roster spot by proving himself as a versatile and explosive play maker.
In the end, Jason Garrett and the Cowboys are all about competition, and these two injuries will open up plenty of that at two positions that feature a solid amount of depth on the current roster.
Comment below with your thoughts on these two Cowboys' injuries to start the conversation.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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