The Dallas Cowboys kicked off their mini-camp practices yesterday and the good news is that they nearly had perfect attendance, including a couple of players that decided to skip organized team activities (OTA's) earlier this off-season.
Disgruntled offensive guard Ronald Leary asked for a trade from the Cowboys earlier in the off-season after learning that he will most likely be regulated to backup duties in 2016, but despite his trade request he was in attendance for the mandatory mini-camp.
Linebacker Rolando McClain also made an appearance for the kickoff of these mini-camp practices after he decided to skip OTA's in order to deal with some family issues back in Alabama.
The attendance of these two players is encouraging because despite their status on the team, both players are valuable to the organization whether as a backup or as a starter.
Unfortunately, it seems every time there is some good news, there is some bad news to accompany it.
Cowboys RB Darren McFadden suffered a broken elbow in a home accident & will have surgery today. Should be back by the end of training camp
This could possibly be really bad news for Darren McFadden and his chances to stick with the Cowboys for the upcoming 2016 season.
The end of training camp is a long ways away and that is still a lot of time to miss in hopes of being ready for the start of the season. Of course, that's if there aren't any setbacks with his recovery.
It gives other players the to chance to step up and prove their worth, and it puts McFadden at a disadvantage of not being able to practice and get into football shape for the upcoming season.
The Cowboys truly value McFadden's veteran experience and his leadership qualities. He has already taken rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott under his wing and tried to show him the ropes.
McFadden can still offer up his knowledge to Elliott, but it will have to be from the sidelines instead of on the actual field.
McFadden's injury opens the door for former Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris and sixth round draft pick Darius Jackson to prove that they are better options then McFadden and that they are worth keeping around.
The Dallas Cowboys knew that when they signed McFadden that he had his fair share of injuries throughout his NFL career, but this particular injury had absolutely zero to do with football. It was just a freak accident, but an accident that could be extremely costly for both McFadden and the Cowboys.
Cowboys RBs coach Gary Brown said Darren McFadden fell Memorial Day weekend on his right elbow trying to keep from dropping his cell phone.
Really? I can't really fathom how McFadden managed to break his elbow because he was trying to keep his cell phone from dropping.
I mean, was he on a second story balcony and jumped off landing directly on his elbow?
No matter how it happened, McFadden's job may now be in jeopardy if the other running backs can distance themselves from him.
The fact the matter is, that McFadden was never really the best fit in the Cowboys zone blocking scheme, but he still managed to finished fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1089 rushing yards.
Now, you can contribute that to the Cowboys impressive offensive line or you can just try to give credit where credit is due and say that McFadden had a really good season. Of course, it could be a little bit of both.
I've said all along that I think it will ultimately come down to either Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden when it comes to final roster cuts. I just can't really see a scenario where the Cowboys can afford the luxury of keeping two veteran running backs, especially when neither one of them contribute on special teams.
Unfortunately, that means that the writing may just be on the wall and that McFadden's time with the Cowboys maybe coming to an end.
Do you think Darren McFadden's job is in jeopardy due to his latest injury?
Please for free to use the comment section below to add your thoughts and opinions so that we can discuss this topic further.
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.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
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