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Watch: Jaylon Smith’s Sack Ends Monday’s Practice

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith

It’s been a long hard road for Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Jaylon Smith. The speculation about his recovery time, his ability, his return, his nerve, his ankle, and his foot-drop have long been discussed. Finally we’re beginning to see Jaylon on the practice field.

The hard work he and the Dallas Cowboys’ training staff have put in is coming to fruition. No longer do we have to speculate if Jaylon Smith will come back. We can speculate about his impact now that HE IS BACK!!!

At practice yesterday, Jon Machota captured Smith using his #ClearEyeView to snake through the offensive line on a blitz to sack quarterback Kellen Moore.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys end practice on a Jaylon Smith sack https://t.co/UVP50bH8Hd

Jaylon Smith is still working his way back and has things he can continue to improve on, but the signs are immensely encouraging.

For a career that looked really bleak after the 2015 college football season, Jaylon Smith no longer has to rely on the enormous optimism that has carried him through his recovery. He can now rely on the fact that he is practicing and making plays to encourage him moving forward.

Week one is still about a month away, which gives Jaylon more time to rest and recover from his debilitating knee injury.

All signs are pointing to Smith being ready to contribute vs the New York Giants.

I didn’t start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I’ve now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America’s Team.

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La’el Collins’ Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise

Brian Martin

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La'el Collins' Toughness And Availability Earning High Praise 1

The decision by the Dallas Cowboys to move La’el Collins from left guard to right tackle was met by some skepticism by quite a few members of Cowboys Nation during the off-season. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of those skeptical of the move, but I’m not afraid to admit he has exceeded my expectations.

In all honesty, I always believed that La’el Collins’ best position in the NFL is on the interior of the offense of line as a guard. I thought he could use his strength and athleticism to his advantage when working in a phone booth against slower and less athletic defensive tackles. That’s not to say I didn’t think he would make a good right tackle, I just thought he had Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

Strangely enough, Collins has probably put together a Pro Bowl caliber season in his first season starting at the right tackle position for the Cowboys. He has become an upgrade over the previous starter Doug Free, and is really starting to earn high praise from the brass. Stephen Jones in particular has been impressed with Collins, especially considering how he has played after missing two full weeks of practice.

Mark Lane on Twitter

DallasCowboys COO Stephen Jones told @1053thefan La’el Collins has answered the bell after his contract extension.

I personally agree with everything Stephen Jones said about La’el Collins. I’ve really enjoyed watching his progression this season, but I have been really impressed how he played the last two weeks after missing so much practice.

You might not of known, but Collins has missed two full weeks of practice due to a herniated disc in his back. This is put his availability to play against the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in jeopardy, but somehow he has toughened up and played considerably well.

This unfortunately will be something he has to continue to battle through the rest of the season, but I’m not going to bet against him playing. He absolutely makes this offensive line better and I would hate to see Chaz Green or Byron Bell back on the field after the way they played as feel-ins.

La’el Collins has without a doubt earned my respect and I think it’s about time we all recognize the player he is turning into. I know the Dallas Cowboys appreciate all that he does and believe that his recent contract extension is money well spent.

What do you think about La’el Collins?

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Cowboys’ DE DeMarcus Lawrence Fed Up With NFL Officiating

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Crossroads: Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Team? 2

The Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a 30-10 victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon in what was described as a must-win situation in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Typically, when these two teams square off against one another there are sure to be some kind of fireworks in the ballgame, but the final volley of explosions didn’t go off until after the completion of the game during an interview with DeMarcus Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t hold back in his post game interview, especially in regard to the NFL officiating. He let his frustrations known that he is fed up and that he’s not going to take it anymore. At least not quietly that is.

Lawrence, the NFL’s sack leader, ripped the officiating crew after the Giants game Sunday afternoon for not calling any holding penalties. There was actually one holding penalty called against the Giants, but the point Lawrence was trying to make still rings true.

Joe Trahan on Twitter

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence goes on an explosive rant about officiating, in particular, a lack of holding calls by linemen against him. And yes, Lawrence realizes he a fine is coming, whether he’s got a point, or not. And yes, he probably does. https://t.co/UU51xQi05p

DeMarcus Lawrence certainly has a right to be mad and I don’t blame him at all for voicing his frustrations about the lack of holding calls against opposing offensive lineman. This actually adds more fuel to the fire that there is indeed an officiating conspiracy against the Cowboys.

In fact, you may or may not be surprised to learn that there have only been two holding penalties called on Cowboys’ opponents in the last 10 games, including the one against the Giants Sunday afternoon. For comparison sake, the Cowboys offensive line have been flagged 18 times during that time span.

It’s gotta be a coincidence, right? Maybe, maybe not. But, one thing is for sure… DeMarcus Lawrence has had enough!

Of course, Lawrence’s outburst will surely earn him a fine from the NFL, but it may be worth it if it draws more attention to the poor officiating the Cowboys have been receiving. I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad #90 will not “go gentle into that good night“.

Do you think DeMarcus Lawrence’s frustration is justified?

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Travis Frederick Nominated For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick

Every year since 1970, the National Football League has honored a player that goes above and beyond to give back to their community while excelling on the field of play. Known as the Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award since 1999 (the year the Chicago Bears’ Hall of Fame RB passed away), the Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 nominee is starting C Travis Frederick.

Next month, three finalists will be chosen out of the current field of 32 nominees, and Cowboys Nation will know further if their three-time Pro Bowl center can become the fourth Cowboy to win this award.

TE Jason Witten is the most recent member of America’s Team to take home this prestigious honor back in 2012, meaning that he will play the rest of his career with this sleek jersey decal that was revealed last night.

Brian McCarthy on Twitter

New tradition starting tonite: Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners to wear special patch on their jerseys to recognize their contributions to their communities. @saints @drewbrees among the 5 current winners

As their 2017 nominee, Frederick will sport the same logo as a helmet decal. The issue Travis Frederick has grappled with the most since being drafted by the Cowboys is hunger among school children and low-income families.

Frederick’s Blocking Out Hunger Foundation includes a pantry that provides over 10,000 meals a year and his Nourish2Flourish program is on pace to provide students 90,000 meals by the end of this year.

Travis Frederick Walter Payton Man Of The Year – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This video from the NFL’s release of the 2017 Walter Payton Man Of The Year nominees shows the full range of people Frederick has impacted with his generosity and outreach as a star for a Cowboys team that consistently strives to lead the league in these efforts.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

@dak, @tfrederick72 & @DCC_Tasha visiting @MedicalCityKids, spending time with patients and staff. #CowboysGiveBack

On the field, Travis Frederick has dealt with multiple LGs starting next to him, anchoring the Cowboys’ offensive line through these transitions with his steady play and leadership. Originally seen as a reach of a draft pick, Frederick has blown past most draft projections for him out of Wisconsin in 2013 thanks to his intelligence at the center position.

Taking this same approach to his community service efforts, Frederick is now at the center of an award that all 32 teams would be proud to have on their team for the Dallas Cowboys.

Congratulations to Travis Frederick and the 31 other nominees from around the National Football League.

Tell us what you think about “Travis Frederick Nominated For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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