NOV 23 TP WINS AWARD This much is indisputable: Tony Pollard has become maybe the scariest weapon on the Cowboys offense, and this week is being recognized for it. He’s been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his stellar contributions to Dallas’ 40-3 win at Minnesota.
TP’s numbers? He had a career-high 189 scrimmage yards (109 receiving, 80 rushing) and two TDs on Sunday.
Our buddy at PFF, Marcus Mosher, writes: “The Tony Pollard breakout season is upon us. That has suddenly turned Dallas into one of the NFL’s most dangerous offenses, one feeding off a player who is arguably the league’s best right now.”
Over the last four games, the Cowboys have scored 141 points per game and they are averaging 412.8 yards of offense. That’s better than where they were a year ago when they were the NFL’s No. 1-ranked offense.
That has something to do with the return of Dak Prescott, of course. But as the Cowboys prep to host the Giants on Thanksgiving in a battle of two 7-3 NFC East teams? Yes, it has a lot to do with Tony Pollard as well.
NOV 22 BRADY IN TEXAS TROUBLE? The Texas State Securities Board has reportedly advanced its investigation into cryptocurrency platform FTX’s operations and bankruptcy to now include the activities of celebrities like the NFL’s Tom Brady and the NBA’s Stephen Curry.
Bloomberg News first reported the latest in the investigation, which is looking at possible securities-law violations.
“Anyone who renders investment advice in Texas typically needs to be registered and they typically have to truthfully disclose all known material facts,” said the Texas State Securities Board via The Texas Tribune. “In Texas, there is not a different system of justice or regulation for people who are celebrities.”
This comes on the heels of news of a class-action lawsuit being filed that names Curry and Brady and other celebrities and claims they, among others, “either controlled, promoted, assisted in, and actively participated” in the alleged scheme where they “aggressively marketed” FTX – which the filing describes as “truly a house of cards” and “a Ponzi scheme.”
NOV 21 RUSSELL WILSON ANOTHER HERSCHEL After all the dust had settled and after all the onion skins were peeled, the NFL world came to a universal agreement: There would never, ever again be another trade like the Herschel Walker deal, so cleverly created by the Cowboys that it became the foundation of a three-time Super Bowl champ.
Is “never ever” happening again in Seattle?
The 1989 Walker trade – viewed as the greatest heist in football history – netted the Cowboys the Vikings multiple premium-round picks for the star running back. Among the players drafted with the picks acquired from Minnesota: Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Darren Woodson and Kevin Smith.
And now? The Denver Broncos, like those Vikings, thought they were “one star away.” The Seahawks obliged, unloading quarterback Russell Wilson for two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and three veteran players.
How is that looking for the Broncos? Wilson, as our man (and veteran Seahawks watcher) Corbin K. Smith writes, is “playing the worst football of his career in the Mile High City, as he has completed less than 60 percent of his passes and thrown just seven touchdown passes in 10 starts as Denver has disappointed with a 3-7 record and currently sits in last place in the AFC West.”
And how is Seattle doing with retread Geno Smith at QB? He is, Smith writes, “a viable MVP candidate leading an upstart 6-4, NFC West-leading squad.”
And that doesn’t even count all the guys and all the picks and … Well, dig into Corbin’s in-depth look at how “The Herschel Heist” was never ever going to happen again … except that maybe it just did.
NOV 20 TP NO. 1? Tony Pollard matters. Ezekiel Elliott matters. And as Dallas prepares for today’s Cowboys at Vikings showdown, there is the as-always insistence that both running backs matter, with a forever nod to the notion that “As Zeke goes, so go the Cowboys.”
But NFL Network is suggesting a new wrinkle for Week 11, the idea that Zeke – “light years ahead” of where he was after having missed two games with a sprained knee – will be “eased back” into the lineup, with Pollard “to get more touches,” it seems, than the knee-braced Elliott.
Our gentle suggestion: Game script, at least as much as any pregame concepts, will be the determining factor in who does what.
NOV 18 TANK INJURY ISSUES Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday morning that DeMarcus Lawrence (feet, knee) will be limited in his work today here at The Star.
But, he added, “I have all intention for him to play” in Sunday’s game at the Vikings.
Lawrence, who has a history of playing through serious injuries, is indeed prepared to do it again.
“Right knee hurts worse than the feet,” he said. “I’m dealing with so much right now. Just trying to stay focused on the task at hand.”
But … you’re playing on Sunday?
“Of course,” he said.
Ezekiel Elliott (knee) and Anthony Barr are also on track to return to the field this weekend.
McCarthy on Zeke: “I anticipate him going.”
McCarthy on Barr: “He’s on a trajectory to play Sunday.”
NOV 17 NEW GUYS AT WORK The Cowboys have added two “name” players to their roster via the practice squad, and on Thursday the new guys – defensive end Takk McKinley and receiver Antonio Callaway – took the field here at The Star.
And here’s your FIRST LOOK …
Callaway, the former Browns starter, is wearing No. 14.
Takk, the former first-round starter with the Falcons, is No. 59.
The ex-Cowboy, a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft taken by Dallas, played two seasons with before being cut. Charlton’s time with the Cowboys was a disappointment, racking up just four sacks in 27 games.
His new deal with the Bears now reunites him with now-head coach Matt Eberflus, the former linebackers coach for the Cowboys when Charlton was drafted.
NOV 16 TAKK IN The Dallas Cowboys have made another move. The Cowboys have signed defensive end Takk McKinley to the practice squad after hosting him for a workout over the summer.
McKinley is a former first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft taken by the Atlanta Falcons under then-head coach Dan Quinn. McKinley played four seasons in Atlanta before playing his lastest two with the Browns and Rams.
This move comes on the heels of Tuesday’s signing of another “name” player looking for a reboot as former Browns wideout starter Antonio Callaway has joined the club via the practice squad.
NOV 15 CENTER TRYOUTS The Cowboys have moved rookie UDFA center Alex Lindstrom to (practice-squad) IR and are now in need of help there, a source tells CowboysSI.com, with a trio of prospects now getting tryouts here inside The Star.
Beau Benzschawel played for Wisconsin and was undrafted in 2019.
Brock Hoffman is a rookie UDFA from Virginia Tech.
Michal Menet was drafted by Arizona in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Penn State.
Dallas’ starting center continues to be Tyler Biadasz, and Lindstrom had been working as a backup.
NOV 15 ROCK-BOTTOM RAMS The Los Angeles Rams will be without their top offensive weapon for at least four weeks, after designating star wide receiver Cooper Kupp to injured reserve, Rams Sean McVay announced.
Kupp was injured during the Rams’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday with a high ankle sprain he suffered late in the game.
Kupp will miss at least four weeks and will undergo tightrope surgery to repair the injury. Recovery from tightrope surgery is typically five to six weeks, per reports.
McVay did not rule out Kupp for the season.
Kupp is the Rams overwhelming leader in most receiving stats, and currently sits second in the NFL in receptions (75), fifth in targets (98), fifth in yards (812) and fifth in touchdowns (6).
NOV 13 DALLAS TIED 7-ALL Cowboys at Packers has been mostly about Dallas’ ability to get close to the goal line … but also about scoring just one time in the first quarter-and-a-half.
CeeDee Lamb has a TD catch from QB Dak Prescott as the receiver came swinging out of the backfield … but with a change for Dallas to go up 14-0, Prescott tossed an end zone interception.
And with 4:54 left in the first half at Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers answered with a deep TD pass to rookie Christian Watson tie the score at 7-all.
NOV 12 COWBOYS AND TILLERY? The Los Angeles Chargers are waiving former first-round defensive tackle Jerry Tillery – and the Dallas Cowboys, always looking to fortify a good defense (albeit with some run-stopping challenges as they prep for Sunday at Green Bay) would like a piece of the action.
But there’s a problem – a problem of being too good.
The 6-6, 295-pound Tillery fell into disfavor with the Chargers coaching staff this year as he recorded just eight tackles before being waived on Friday. So the 2019 NFL Draft first-round pick will get a fresh start somewhere …
But the way the waiver order works, the worst teams get the first claims. And Dallas – with its 6-2 record – is going to way at the bottom of teams with a shot at him.
That process can begin at the start of the upcoming week, and teams like the one-win Texans seem like the most logical coming winners here.
Taken 28th overall in 2019, Tillery, 26, was in his fourth season with the Chargers after having started 29 of 54 games played, with 106 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
NOV 2 TRYOUT SCOOP The Cowboys on Wednesday conducted 10 workouts at The Star in Frisco and we’ve got the list …
Scoop: #Cowboys BIG FA workout at The Star …
Harris, Tim DB
Hill, Brian RB
Moore, George T
Simmons, Jordan G
Stephens, Linden DB
Taylor, Alex T
White, Zaquandre RB
Wilcox, Chris DB
Scroll to Continue
Williams, Dexter RB
White, Willie G
More info as we gather if. …
NOV 1 SUSPENDED RIDLEY … GET TRADED?! The bizarre story of Calvin Ridley keeps getting a little more bizarre.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, very much in need of difference-makers, were about a year ago exploring the idea of trading for unhappy Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley.
But a few problems got in the way.
First, the talented receiver left Atlanta citing mental health reasons; he was seemingly considering retirement.
Then, the Falcons engineered a trade of him to the Eagles – but voluntarily pulled out of the deal because the Falcons had knowledge that Ridley was about to get a one-year suspension for betting on NFL games.
The Falcons did that in good faith. And now they do something else: He’s been traded to the long-interested Jags in what NFL Network terms a “complicated” deal that could eventually net Atlanta second- and fifth-round picks.
NOV 1 WR DEAL Put this in the category of the “Do Something” moves that don’t actually make much sense – or, at least, wouldn’t have made sense for Dallas.
The Bears just traded a second-round pick for a receiver in Chase Claypool who has has some middling production (including just one TD catch this year and zero catches on two targets for the Steelers last week) but who was at some level on Dallas’ radar …
But no. Not for a second-round pick. … which might end up being too pricy for Dallas to consider in discussions with Brandin Cooks, a far more proven pro than Claypool.
NOV 1 CHUBB TO MIAMI Bradley Chubb has been traded into the AFC East as the Dolphins again enter their Buffalo Bills ‘Arms Race. Full story here.
NOV 1 TJ TO MINNY TJ Hockenson is about to see a lot of the Cowboys. His Lions just played in Dallas … and now, later this month, his Vikings – as the tight end just got traded there – will see the Cowboys again. Full story here.
NOV 1 DE COST The Cowboys continue to be connected to pass-rush trade rumors (see Bradley Chubb) … not that we completely see the logic.
But just in case, it is instructional to know the price.
We know it because the Los Angeles Rams offer for Panthers edge Brian Burns is, via. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, consisting of two-first round picks.
It seems likely that the Panthers turned down the Rams’ offer of those two first-rounders because they would come in 2024 and 2025; that’s all the Rams have.
But it might also indicate how much Carolina really doesn’t want to lose their premier sack artist.
And it might suggest how unlikely it is that Dallas travels this path.
NOV 1 JOKER Kareem Hunt had just pitched in to Cleveland’s 32-13 win over Cincinnati on “Monday Night Football” and it was Halloween. So it made perfect sense that he would celebrate in his way.
“I mean, I’m down for whatever, man,” Hunt said, per NFL.com. “I’m a football player and this is a business. So I’m ready to do whatever they decide with me.”
“That’s either go somewhere else or here, anything it don’t matter. I love the game of football,” said Hunt, who must also love being “The Joker” on Halloween, given that he conducted his postgame interview in his “Batman”-related mask.
OCT 31 HUNT TO NFC EAST? The Philadelphia Eagles, according to a volume of rumors, are interested in Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt. It’s being suggested that the Browns would move the former NFL rushing champ and their backup runner for maybe just a fourth-round pick, and that Hunt would serve in Philly as the backup to Miles Sanders.
NFL insider Jay Glazer has noted that he could see the Eagles trading for a running back, which adds credence – if not logic – to the rumor. Assuming part of the reason for Hunt’s unhappiness in Cleveland is that he’s the caddy to starter Nick Chubb … why would he be happy as Sanders’ backup?
Say this about Philly, though: at 7-0, the roster that’s been build is the product of many, many right moves.
OCT 31 ‘EMBARRASSED’ ROQUAN TRADED The Chicago Bears were handed a 49-29 loss by the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, something star linebacker Roquan Smith found “embarrassing.”
And now Smith is being traded to the Baltimore Ravens. … and in doing so jumps from a 3-5 NFC loser to a 5-3 AFC winner.
The Bears reportedly get a second-rounder and a fifth-rounder as the Ravens will work on a long-term extension for the young talent.
OCT 31 BRANDIN COOKS TIES In our two recent conversations with Texans sources, the organization continues to downplay the idea of trading receiver Brandin Cooks.
And there are prohibitive reasons for him moving, as 1) we believe Houston would ask for a second-round pick in exchange and 2) he’s got an $18 million price tag locked in for 2023.
But would he help Dallas or another contending team? No doubt, the “take-the-top-off” vet succeeding in Houston (in seven starts this year the 29-year-old has 32 catches for 354 yards and one touchdown) despite shaky QB play.
But then Stephen added: “And then there’s some guys that don’t belong to anybody that are out there.”
There are? At receiver? Who?
OCT 31 DANCING TO DEADLINE DEALS? The Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL face a Tuesday afternoon trade deadline … and CowboysSI.com’s one-on-one with Jerry Jones leaves our Mike Fisher believing Jerry has “The Itch.”
“My 32 years of chronicling the Jones era in Dallas does not come with guarantees regarding what the Cowboys will do between now and Tuesday’s deadline. The “who”? The “what”? The openly-discussed wide receiver”?
“Those dances cannot be danced alone; Jerry – and Stephen Jones and Will McClay, most directly involved – need willing partners.
“But this I can say, after a couple of post-game at-large media sessions and then a festive elevator ride on the way to Jones’ AT&T Stadium suite:
“Jerry Jones wants there to be an opportunity where he can utilize his trust in his “feel and guts and instinct and willingness to go on out there and take that risk.”
OCT 31 NAMING NAMES IN NEW ENGLAND Amidst multiple reports that the Patriots have been fielding calls on numerous players, names such as right tackle Isaiah Wynn, running back Damien Harris and safety Jabril Peppers have been mentioned among the latest rumors surrounding the Patriots. It’s also being reported that New England had recently received inquiries on all the Pats vet wideouts, including Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
Is Jerry Jones reading this?
OCT 31: 10 NAMES Sunday was a big launch day for rumors, with the Buffalo Bills very much in the news. The Buffalo News created a top-10 list, and here are our responses at they relate to the Bills and beyond …
1) Rams running back Cam Akers. Sources in L.A. have told us the two parties are “done” with one another. Problem: Akers doesn’t seem to be running with much “juice,” rendering him less dangerous than the top two backs on the Buffalo roster.
2) Texans receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks is a take-the-top-off weapon, but the Texans, per a source, would only listen if a second-round pick was offered. That, and Cooks’ 2023 salary of $18 million makes this a non-starter.
3) Panthers guard Austin Corbett. He has a tie with the Bills coaching staff and the Panthers are in fire-sale mode. (Even though they insist they’re not.)
4) Panthers offensive lineman Cam Erving. Erving is a former Cowboy and is, respectfully, just a guy.
5) Lions safety DeShon Elliott. Based on his time with the Lions – with a defense that seems to give up 35 points at the drop of a hat – this isn’t very appealing.
6) Commanders running back Antonio Gibson. The Washington front office is on the record as denying wishing to deal Gibson. (We would throw Cleveland’s Kareem Hunt into this category as well – as a name to explore, at least.)
7) Falcons center Matt Hennessy. A depth piece for the Bills? Sure. But keep in mind that entering Week 8, the Falcons – rather amazingly – are in first place in the NFC South … meaning they have no reason to be sellers.
8) Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy. A 2020 first-round draft pick, Jeudy would probably love to exit the Denver mess. The Broncos, though, would be wise to ask an exorbitant trade price here.
There is Cowboys-related gossip here but we say more smoke than fire.
By the way, and this goes for Cooks and for the Steelers’ Chase Claypool and maybe for free agent Odell Beckham Jr., too: We wonder if the Bills front office is as obsessed with the idea of adding to Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis as the public obviously is?
9) Bears running back David Montgomery. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, so this would be a rental. Do the Bills need to add a “power back”? And if so, don’t they already have one in the mothballed Zack Moss?
10) 49ers safety Tarvarius Moore. The 49ers view themselves as contenders, not “sellers” – as evidenced by their willingness to pay a price for Christian McCaffrey that the Bills wouldn’t meet.
OCT 30 AIKMAN SEES NEED A member of the Dallas Cowboys “family” is trying to help with an opinion – and his name happens to be “Troy Aikman.”
“You better have some offense in today’s NFL if you’re going to win games,” Aikman told TMZ when asked if his old team should look to add a wide receiver. “The way you have offense is you have weapons, and you’ve gotta have more than one or two.”
Aikman contemporary Michael Irvin has a feel for another idea, the signing of rehabbing free agent Odell Beckham Jr.?
That’s Irvin’s pinpointed guy, it seems. Aikman doesn’t have a name; he’s just got an educated opinion. A receiver trade, Aikman said, “would help them for sure.”
Worth noting: Aikman issued these comments about Dallas “needing some offense” before the Cowboys beat the Bears 49-29 to move to 6-2 at the bye.
OCT 26 ONE-UPPED? We’ve got to mention that Dallas’ deal for Johnathan Hankins actually preceded theEagles’ trade for Robert Quinn. So no, Dallas did not “respond” to the “arms race” there. But that doesn’t mean some aren’t calling for another response, especially as rumors surface that Philly might be chasing Saints superstar running back Alvin Kamara.
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