Like clockwork, the Dallas Cowboys are preparing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to get his only work of the preseason for 2017 this Saturday against the Raiders at home - as they did in Elliott's rookie season during the Cowboys' week three dress rehearsal game in Seattle. Eerily similar is another black cloud that hangs over Elliott's head now, as last year's Seattle trip brought along the controversy of the fourth overall pick visiting a legal marijuana dispensary before debuting against the Seahawks.
Check out every rush by Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot as he took on the Seattle Seahawks during week 3 of their 2016 preseason matchup. Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Subscribe to the NFL YouTube channel to see immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, daily fantasy football updates, all your favorite NFL Network podcasts, and more!
Now, there is the ongoing discussion over his six game suspension for the start of the season due to "conduct detrimental to the league" that will hold Elliott back as he prepares to potentially tease Cowboys Nation by looking like the reigning NFL rushing champion he is for some time Saturday, only to be absent for a significant stretch of meaningful football come September.
Unlike in his first preseason, Elliott has been healthy enough to play in the first three preseason games for the Cowboys, being held out simply because of his value - with added necessity thanks to his suspension not being enforced should Zeke end up injured and unable to play.
Availability updates aside, as Elliott will have his suspension appeal hearing on Tuesday, Cowboys' Head Coach Jason Garrett interestingly said that, "having the mindset of preparing him for week one of the season," is the goal for #21 ahead of playing for the first time this weekend.
Ezekiel Elliott set to play Saturday in #OAKvsDAL: https://t.co/bnmqndIC6V
Until officially announced otherwise, Ezekiel Elliott is not the starting running back in week one for the Cowboys against the Giants, but he will be at AT&T Stadium against a Raiders team that should present a good challenge to the Cowboys on both sides of the ball.
Perhaps more importantly, QB Dak Prescott will play the most he has this preseason after looking incredibly sharp against the Colts last week.
Should Prescott and Elliott pick up right where they left off, the notion that the Cowboys can't contend in the NFC with Elliott suspended could quickly go away - and be much more than an arbitrary preseason hot take.
As down-the-roster battles inevitably unfold later in the evening on Saturday for the Cowboys, with plenty of fans admittedly holding their breath to see Cooper Rush, the hope for this team has to be that Dak and Zeke can once again ignite a spark of hope for a torch they carried all the way to the NFC Divisional Playoffs just a year ago. There are in fact plenty of positive things that happened with the defending NFC East champions through the offseason and into this preseason, and one of them is set to be Ezekiel Elliott carrying the ball for America's Team tomorrow.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
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