Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones called a press conference for Friday at noon yesterday, just the latest development from an unusually busy Cowboys team as they continue to prepare for week nine against the Tennessee Titans. With one new player added in Amari Cooper and one first-year coach fired this week, the Cowboys looming announcement has Cowboys Nation on high alert.
They should expect the Cowboys to use this time to announce their latest ring of honor inductee(s), according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.
Sources: Cowboys will announce unknown addition to Ring of Honor in news conference https://t.co/auWHbOJJxl via @sportsdaydfw
This report lines up with early speculation that the Cowboys would be addressing their ring of honor at today's presser. So too do the schedules of both former Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo and Tight End Jason Witten.
Jones confirmed with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas last month that Romo would indeed be a Cowboys ring of honor member.
In the last three weeks, Romo has called the Cowboys emphatic home win against the Jaguars and brutal loss at the Redskins before working a Bears home game against the Jets last Sunday - earning a week off this Sunday.
Romo's availability to return to AT&T Stadium once again could reunite him with Witten, who followed in his quarterbacks footsteps to enter broadcasting this year. Witten is working his first Cowboys game for ESPN, as the team will appear on Monday Night Football for the first time since week three of 2017.
Cowboys vs. Titans will be the first Monday night game at AT&T Stadium since the Cowboys defeated the Lions in week 16 of 2016. In that game, Witten caught a touchdown pass from Dez Bryant as the Cowboys rolled 42-21.
Witten and Romo are the obvious candidates to join the 21 other current members of the Cowboys ring of honor. They are Darren Woodson, Bob Lilly, Don Meredith, Don Perkins, Chuck Howley, Mel Renfro, Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, Tom Landry, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Bob Hayes, Tex Schramm, Cliff Harris, Rayfield Wright, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Drew Pearson, Charles Haley, and Larry Allen.
In the hallways of The Star, where the Cowboys will make today's announcement, there is hardly a divide in respect that both players warrant as former cornerstones to the franchise. Such a split may occur when the two are considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, putting impetus on the Cowboys to honor both very shortly after their retirements.
The current 2018 Cowboys are serving as a great reminder of how quickly rosters can turnover in the NFL, needing to make a move to help their new quarterback immediately after Dak Prescott's 22 of 35 performance with one turnover-turned-touchdown in Washington.
Amari Cooper will make his Cowboys debut in front of his home fans against the Titans.
Even less prepared to enter this season without Witten, Cowboys Tight End Geoff Swaim has yet to practice this week, leaving the team with only rookie Dalton Schultz, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers at TE for Witten's return to Dallas.
Still, with the NFC East in reach at 3-4 and the Cowboys 3-0 home record positioning them for a win on Monday, an inspiring ceremony for two players that much of the Cowboys roster has taken the field with could be all this young team needs to respond off the bye week.
Such a plan from the Cowboys will not be publicly known until later today, but the team certainly knows how to remain relevant in the news cycle, set to dig into their past to carry them through the weekend - having not played a game in 12 days.
Friday is shaping up to be one of Cowboys nostalgia.
Taco Charlton Isn’t Going Anywhere After Strong Preseason Week 3
Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Taco Charlton might be turning things around. The former first round draft pick didn't have a great couple of seasons to start his career off, which forced him to be in a battle to earn a spot on the Cowboys 53-man roster this offseason. Three weeks into the preseason, it looks like he's a lock to make the team. In a "Dress Rehearsal" game that went great for the Cowboys, Charlton's performance was among the best players.
A couple of weeks ago, I discussed how the Cowboys' younger defensive ends could force the team to move on from Taco. From Dorance Armstrong to Jalen Jelks, there's a handful of promising players that were participating in a positional battle that one way or another, included Taco Charlton.
However, the Michigan product showed up to play versus the Los Angeles Rams with two passes batted down. Despite making such plays, we still hadn't seen much from him in the pass rush department.
That changed against the Houston Texans last Saturday when he managed to get two sacks (one strip-sack), two forced fumbles and a recovery. This was undoubtedly Taco's best game in his career. He still has a lot to prove, but it was definitely good to see him have a "breakout" preseason game.
With such performance, it doesn't seem like he'll be going anywhere in 2019. Charlton won't be a starter for this team, but he could become a very important rotational piece for Rod Marinelli's defense. He has a great opportunity to find playing time during the first two weeks of the season before Robert Quinn returns from suspension.
One unfortunate note was that in his best game yet, Taco went out injured twice (ankle). The first time he went back to the field to get some more but had to walk off the field for a second time. Hopefully, he's able to play next Thursday but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't after having a breakout game versus the Texans.
Taco Charlton still has a very long way to justify being a first-round pick, but his play against Houston was a start. It will be very interesting to see how he plays in the 2019 regular season. He'll have to fight for playing time and he'll have to make every snap count to turn his career around.
Cowboys’ Taryn Christion Gets Time at QB; More Coming?
Last night was the first time we've seen Taryn Christion, the Dallas Cowboys' fourth quarterback on the current depth chart, actually playing the position in preseason. Could we see more of Christion at QB in this Thursday's finale, and at what point should Mike White be worried?
Signed just a few days before training camp began, Christion has been tried at running back, receiver, and various special teams units while the Cowboys were in Oxnard. But last week he started getting more time at quarterback, and last night's win over the Houston Texans saw him playing a few drives at QB to close the game out.
Sure, Taryn came in fourth behind White in the rotation. But that Dallas thought to give him reps in that game, the critical dress rehearsal game, is telling.
Jason Garrett doesn't get cute with rotations and playing time. He's old school, and there's meaning in every decision he makes about when and how guys get time in preseason.
Ironically, the decision came following Mike White's best preseason game this year. He went 6-of-9 for 56 yards and a touchdown, plus avoided any sacks or turnovers.
Rather than let White keep building on that, though, Dallas pulled him for Taryn Christion in the 4th quarter. It seemed as if the Cowboys were determined to get him some time at QB.
An even better showcase will come this Thursday night. The Cowboys host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final preseason game; we know Dak Prescott won't be playing, and the team may even protect Cooper Rush with limited time on the field.
Dallas likely intends to give Christion some significant playing time on Thursday. And to help make that easier, they played him last night to get some of those butterflies out of his system.
No, Taryn Christion probably isn't going to make the 53-man roster. Neither is Mike White, for that matter. It feels like the battle for the number-three QB is more about the practice squad now.
But whatever the case, the battle seems to be heating up. Dallas appears more invested in Christion now as a quarterback than at any other point since he arrived; some added intrigue for Thursday's final preseason game.
HOU 0, DAL 34: Defense Dominates in Dress Rehearsal Game
The Dallas Cowboys couldn't have scripted a better result in tonight's dress rehearsal game against the Houston Texans. All three phases of the game made big plays as they dominated 34 to 0.
The night belonged to the defense as they terrorized Houston's starters and reserves along the offensive line with 8 sacks. Taco Charlton, a former first-round pick turned outcast was the star of the night with 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. In my opinion, if there were any doubts about him making the roster he put them to bed tonight.
Kerry Hyder showed once again why he's one of the smartest free-agent signings of 2019. After being a lost man in the 3-4 defensive scheme with his former team the Lions, he's done a really good job applying pressure even though he hadn't recorded any sacks in the first two preseason games. However, tonight he recorded 2 sacks and reminded everyone of the player who had 8 sacks in 2016.
The young guys weren't to be left out in this defensive clinic. Dorance Armstrong, Trysten Hill, Daniel Wise, and Joe Jackson all had half sacks. Rookie Safety Donovan Wilson had one of the plays of the night with a beautiful interception as he tapped both feet before heading out of bounds. Cornerback C.J. Goodwin, who will probably make the roster on his special teams ability, got in on the interception party himself high pointing a contested pass.
Dak Prescott was only 2 for 5 (11 for 14 in the preseason) but managed to escape what looked like a sure sack and roll to his left and threw a rope to Michael Gallup for a touchdown. The two have shown a lot of growth and chemistry during training camp, something that was missing at times in 2018.
Wide Receiver Devin Smith had 6 receptions for 79 yards while Cedrick Wilson snagged 3 passes on 4 targets. Both receivers are fighting for the final roster spots in the receiver group which they'll have to continue to do next week against the Buccaneers.
Tight End Marcus Lucas had a very solid game with 4 catches for 50 yards. He will definitely be a player to watch in the final preseason game before final cuts are made. Cooper Rush went 15 for 25 and further solidified his position as the primary backup to Prescott. Mike White was also solid going 6 for 9 and tossing a touchdown.
Special teams got in on the action themselves when Linebacker Joe Thomas recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Now the Cowboys have only one more preseason game before the 2019 season begins. All that's left now is figuring out the last few roster spots and staying as healthy as possible. September 8th is right around the corner.
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