The Dallas Cowboys are getting ready to head to Oxnard, California to begin their 2019 training camp to prepare a team that has the look of a Super Bowl contender as we sit here in late July. Several things will have to go well for the Dallas Cowboys to hoist their sixth Lombardi Trophy next February. A lot of their success will rest on the shoulders of their two highest-profile players in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Both Prescott and Elliott have been in the news a lot this offseason with both hoping to get big-time contract extensions this offseason ahead of their fourth seasons in the NFL. Yesterday, a couple of nuggets came out of The Star addressing both of these players.
Dak Prescott Extension Coming
The debate has raged about how much the Dallas Cowboys should pay their franchise quarterback. Initial expectations put Dak Prescott at anywhere from $25 to $28 million annually in an extension and now it looks like he's going to be sitting around $32 million a year or more after several quarterbacks reset the market this offseason.
Now it sounds like a contract extension will get done while the Dallas Cowboys are in Oxnard, California for training camp. Jane Slater from NFL Network is reporting that a source close to the negotiations believes that a contract is coming soon for Dak Prescott.
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) July 24, 2019
There's never been a doubt that Dak Prescott was going to get signed to a massive deal at some point prior to the 2019 season. The only questions have been about money and when. We'll still have to wait for the contract terms to come down, but the time is nearing for the contract to finally come to fruition.
Ezekiel Elliott Expected to Report
Ezekiel Elliott's been in the news a lot this offseason. His potential contract extension and whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should pay for their elite running back has been debated at length this offseason. There have been reports, though questionable in nature, that Elliott is planning on holding out of training camp when the Dallas Cowboys open with their first practice on Saturday, July 27th.
The Dallas Cowboys' star running back is also hoping to land a contract extension though he still has two more years under his rookie contract.
With Head Coach Jason Garrett talking to the media yesterday in anticipation of the team's departure for training camp, he's expecting his bell-cow back to be with the team when they make the trip to Oxnard.
Rob Phillips from DallasCowboys.com is reporting that Jason Garrett hasn't been made aware of any changes to Elliott's status for the start of training camp and he anticipates the two-time Pro Bowler to be on the field for the start of training camp.
Elliott doesn't have a ton of leverage unless he's planning to sit out the entire season. If he doesn't report by August 4th, the 2019 season will not count toward his years of service and his ability to become a free agent in 2021.
Any report of a hold-out has been largely overblown. While it's a possibility that's been on the table for Elliott and his team, it's always seemed really unlikely that he'd sit out training camp and the 2019 season in search of a new contract. This time next year, however, is a different story.
If Elliott doesn't get a contract this before the Dallas Cowboys go to training camp in 2020, I'd fully anticipate him holding out in search of a contract that should make him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.
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With training camp finally upon us, the news is going to be coming hot and heavy and I'd anticipate Dak Prescott's contract getting signed any day now. With the NFL getting going in every city this week, it would be just like Jerry Jones to steal the headlines by giving his franchise quarterback a very rich contract.
Dallas Cowboys Optimistic that Amari Cooper Returns Sunday
It doesn't take a deep look at the Dallas Cowboys offense over the last year and not see the significant impact that Amari Cooper has had. He's been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the last calendar year and has opened up so much for the Cowboys offense both with his impact as a pass catcher and for the attention he draws from opposing defenses. In Cooper's last 15 regular-season games with the Dallas Cowboys, he's caught 86 passes on 121 targets for 1,240, and 11 touchdowns. He's been everything the Cowboys front office could have hoped for when they made the trade with the Oakland Raiders after week seven of the 2018 season.
Amari Cooper has been dealing with foot issues since training camp and then went out on the first offensive series against the New York Jets with a thigh contusion. His absence was definitely felt as the offense struggled to find any rhythm in the first half of their week six loss.
Though he hasn't practiced this week there is some optimism that Cooper could potentially practice on Friday and play in this pivotal week seven matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. A contusion is basically a bone bruise, which is painful and can inhibit movement and flexibility. The most important thing to judge when determining if Cooper will be able to play or not is the level of inflammation that still persists in this leg. If the inflammation is better and he has better movement and flexibility in the leg, then he should be able to go.
Amari Cooper had a field day against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 14 of the 2018 season when he caught 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Even in the week 10 contest, Cooper caught six passes for 75 yards. He's had a ton of success against the Eagles and with them still having injury issues in the secondary, there's a possibility for him to have another big game this week if he's able to play.
It's an encouraging sign that he's going to try practice today given the concern during the game in the days just after the week six contest. We'll have to keep an eye on how Friday goes and the pregame reports, but if all goes well, the Cowboys offense will be in much better shape with Cooper back on the field.
Dallas Cowboys Sign DT Justin Hamilton to 53-Man Roster
After placing Tyrone Crawford on injured reserve Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys signed Defensive Tackle Justin Hamilton yesterday to fill the roster spot. Hamilton was most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason but did not make it past final cuts.
List at 6'2" and 315 lbs., Hamilton brings a big body to the defensive line. The Cowboys have had issues with their run defense lately, particularly two weeks ago against Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers, so this signing indicates a desire for more size in the trenches.
Some fans are disappointed that Dallas didn't call up preseason darling Daniel Wise from the practice squad, but Wise is another smallish defensive linemen in the same mold as Crawford and others already on the roster.
Jason Garrett said the Cowboys worked out DT Justin Hamilton a couple weeks ago, felt like he was the best fit to take Tyrone Crawford's spot on the 53. Crawford moving to IR.
Justin Hamilton has been signed to the Cowboys active roster. Jason Garrett said the team likes his size.
The Cowboys ran into issues recently when starting DT Antwaun Woods was missing time with injury. Neither Maliek Collins or Chris Covington was able to adequately replace his role as the anchor up front, taking up space and denying run lanes.
Justin Hamilton hasn't had a ton of NFL playing experience for has been around since 2015, when he went undrafted and was signed by the Buffalo Bills. Since then he's bounced between rosters and practice squad with five different teams, appearing in just eight games only one of those as a starter.
The Cowboys must have felt the need for more beef at defensive tackle. Hopefully, they also see some potential in Hamilton that other teams haven't yet unlocked.
Antwaun Woods is the latest example of Dallas being able to find diamonds in the rough. Woods also went undrafted a few years back and spent a couple of years in Tennessee before the Cowboys finally got ah old of him. Now Antwaun is arguably their best defensive tackle.
Will Justin Hamilton find similar success with his new team? We certainly hope so!
REPORT: Tyrone Crawford Having Season-Ending Surgery, Headed to IR
And the hits keep coming. Defensive Tackle/Defensive End Tyrone Crawford will have season-ending hip surgery and is expected to be placed on the Injured Reserve.
Source: Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is being placed on injured reserve. He has been dealing with a hip injury since last season. He was held out of training camp because of it and has struggled to play through it this season
Tyrone Crawford is yet another player on a long list for the Dallas Cowboys who have recently succumbed to the injury bug. With the bye week still a week away and the Philadelphia Eagles up next on the schedule, all of these injuries are happening at the most inopportune time.
All of these injuries put the Dallas Cowboys in a tough position this week against the Eagles. The NFC East division hangs in the balance and you can bet the absence of Tyrone Crawford will have an impact on the game one way or another. That's the short term though. How Crawford's injury impacts the Cowboys long-term has yet to be determined.
Replacing someone with the versatility to play either DT or DE won't be easy for Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys defense. His versatility has been invaluable over the years, which makes it all that much harder to find a replacement.
Luckily, the Cowboys had the foresight to try to address the DL this offseason. They added DT Christian Covington through free agency, drafted DT Trysten Hill, and even brought in a few undrafted free agents who showed promise in preseason. Someone out of this group will have to step up, but who?
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