Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie to miss time with hamstring injury
On the plus side, rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs returned to the practice field after missing some time with a shoulder injury. They’ll need the Alabama product more than ever given the Cowboys’ injuries on the defensive side of the ball.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
Jerry Jones is still on board, but Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is less-than-enthusiastic about the prospect of signing Earl Thomas, Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears. McCarthy, who places a major emphasis on locker room culture, is concerned about the veteran safety’s fit in Dallas. © Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports Is Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy pushing back against signing Earl Thomas?
Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowler, left his past two clubs on bad terms. As one league source told Werder, “Contact anyone you know with the Ravens or the Seahawks and ask if the positives outweigh the negatives.” In Seattle, Thomas literally left the team with an extended middle finger as he was carted off of the field. In Baltimore, Thomas failed to grasp the playbook in his first year and wore out his welcome last week when he got into an altercation with a teammate.
Cowboys' La’el Collins facing potential season-ending surgery
Collins was placed on IR after the September roster deadline, so he’s theoretically eligible to return at any time. But, right now, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be ready for live action anytime soon. The former LSU standout has become one of the NFL’s better right tackles, doing so after making a mid-career move from the guard spot. Since 2015, Collins has appeared in 62 games (61 starts) as one of Dak Prescott’s trusted protectors. Last year, Collins finished as the fourth-highest graded offensive tackle in the league, according to Pro Football Focus, making his five-year, $50M deal look like an absolute bargain.
Still, the final decision ultimately lies with Jones, who has made no secret of his fondness for the safety. Thomas has reciprocated, on several occasions through multiple channels. Thomas might not be the prototypical team player, but his potential as a game-changer is undeniable. Thomas has spent the bulk of his career as one of the NFL’s very best safeties, resulting in 713 tackles and 30 interceptions over the course of his career.
For now, the Cowboys are set to start the season with new addition Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Xavier Woods and Darian Thompson as the leaders of the group.
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How Dak Prescott earned a contract extension in Sunday’s epic comeback
Prescott is no longer the young quarterback who surprised everyone by replacing Romo. He’s now the veteran who leads with toughness, skills and intelligence. Performances like Sunday’s against the Falcons will go a long way in silencing the doubters and earning him that huge pay day.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
- Jerry Jones shoots down reports that Cowboys are out on Earl Thomas
- Cowboys' Mike McCarthy: 'We're in this to win a championship'
- The 'All Pro First Team wide receivers' quiz
Related slideshow: The best and worst moves of the NFL offseason (Provided by Yardbarker)
The best and worst moves of the NFL offseason
It was a wild NFL offseason despite the COVID-19 pandemic. With training camp underway, here's a look at the best and worst moves.
Best: Broncos trade for A.J. Bouye
Denver moved on from Chris Harris Jr., but got an extremely capable replacement in Bouye. The former Texan and Jaguar is coming off a sub-par year, but he's a strong fit for Vic Fangio's defense and was had for only a fourth-round pick. He was in need of a change of scenery and has the supporting cast to help him rebound at age 29.
Worst: Bears sign Jimmy Graham
Graham was a bust in two seasons with Green Bay, but the Bears are taking a risk that the five-time Pro Bowler has something left. However, this is more than a flier, as Chicago handed Graham a two-year, $16 million contract after he had only 38 catches last season. The fact the Bears followed up that signing by using a second-round pick on tight end Cole Kmet is even more puzzling.
Best: Browns sign Jack Conklin
For all the criticism Baker Mayfield received last season, the fact was that Cleveland's offensive line was below average. The Browns fixed that issue in a big way, signing Conklin to a three-year, $42 million contract. Soon after, the Browns used a first-round pick on Jedrick Wills to play left tackle, shoring up both tackle spots. Mayfield now has everything he needs to succeed in his third season.
Best: Buccaneers sign Tom Brady
When Brady decided to leave New England, signing him was a no-brainer for all quarterback needy teams. Despite struggling last year, Brady is just one year removed from winning the Super Bowl and has a better offensive supporting cast in Tampa Bay than he did with the Pats in 2019. The cost of $50 million over two years looks reasonable for Brady, as well.
Worst: Bills sign Josh Norman
Can you recall the last time Norman was a quality NFL cornerback? Some would argue it was all the way back in 2015, his last season in Carolina and only Pro Bowl year. He became a well below average player in Washington by the end of his tenure, but the Bills are betting on his familiarity with Sean McDermott with a one-year, $6 million deal.
Best: Cardinals trade for DeAndre Hopkins
Arizona made the trade of the offseason, acquiring Hopkins and a fourth-round pick from the Texans for David Johnson and a second-round pick. It became clear late last season that Johnson wasn't a fit for the Cardinals offense, while Hopkins is arguably the best wide receiver in football. Arizona has gone a long way in speeding up young quarterback Kyler Murray's trajectory.
Worst: Buccaneers sign LeSean McCoy
The one area the Bucs should be worried on offense is the running back position. Assumed starter Ronald Jones has had a lot of mishaps in his two seasons, and it's unclear what the team can expect out of rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn. That said, the recent addition of McCoy clearly isn't a solution. McCoy is set to make only $1 million, but he's clearly lost a step and couldn't find the field late last season in Kansas City. If the Bucs are looking for answers, this isn't it.
Best: Eagles trade for Darius Slay
Cornerback has been an issue in Philly for the last few seasons, and the Eagles finally found an answer. Slay was acquired from Detroit for just a third- and fifth-round pick. He's made three consecutive Pro Bowls in Detroit, and should make an instant impact on his new team.
Best: Jets trade Jamal Adams
Adams' long quest to get out of New York finally came to fruition recently, as he was sent to Seattle for Bradley McDougald, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick. The Jets are clearly a worse team in 2020 without Adams, but they received a viable replacement and an incredible trade return for a safety. If New York can use the picks properly, the trade could set them up for the next decade.
Worst: Falcons sign Todd Gurley
Gurley was diagnosed with a chronic knee issue just a year ago, and saw his workload and production plummet with the Rams in 2019. Yet, Atlanta gave Gurley $5 million to effectively replace Devonta Freeman. After averaging 4.2 yards per touch last season, it's not clear that the Falcons are a better team with Gurley.
Best: Falcons trade for Hayden Hurst
After losing Austin Hooper in free agency, the Falcons bought low on Hurst via trade, sending second and fifth-round picks to the Ravens for Hurst and a fourth rounder. Hurst is just two years removed from being a first-round pick, and he showed great improvement in his second season with 349 yards and two touchdowns. It remains to be seen how much of a downgrade Hurst will be compared to Hooper.
Worst: Packers draft Jordan Love
Green Bay shocked they world when they selected Love, a quarterback out of Utah State, in the first round. The Packers had a clear need at wide receiver, with Aaron Rodgers' window starting to close at age 36. The team also fell just short last year, getting blown out by San Francisco in the NFC Championship. It's understandable that the Packers would think about the future, but not before taking advantage of their current opportunity.
Best: Patriots sign Cam Newton
Newton sat on the free agent market for nearly the entire offseason after playing only two games in 2019 due to a foot injury. The lack of interest very well could be a red flag for the former MVP, but he looks like an incredible bargain on a one-year deal for up to $7.5 million. Still just 31, Newton has the ability to transform the Patriots offense if he still proves mobile.
Best: Ravens trade for Calais Campbell
Baltimore was willing to "take on" Campbell's contract from Jacksonville for a fifth-round pick before giving him a two-year extension. The only knock on Campbell at this point is his age, turning 34 in September. He's made three consecutive Pro Bowls and had 25 quarterback hits and 6.5 sacks for a Jacksonville team that often played from behind last season.
Worst: Texans trade for Brandin Cooks
Speed is the name of Cooks' game, but he didn't look the same last year following concussion issues. Houston was willing to not only take a chance on his contract but send the Rams a second-round pick in the process. The Texans effectively traded DeAndre Hopkins for Cooks and David Johnson. That's a deal that would have made sense a few years ago, but both Johnson and Cooks are coming off major down years.
Best: Raiders sign Cory Littleton
Linebacker has been an issue for the Raiders recently, but Littleton has the ability to fix it. The former Ram is masterful in coverage and has been an elite inside linebacker since he became a starter for the Rams in 2018. Last season he finished with 134 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two picks, and two forced fumbles, so a three-year, $36 contract seems reasonable.
Worst: Texans trade for David Johnson
NFL trades aren't always a zero sum game, but they certainly were in this case. Houston shipped DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick to Arizona for Johnson and a second-round pick, effectively moving an elite wide receiver for a running back who has had recent injury issues and lost his starting job last season. Johnson hasn't averaged four yards per carry since his one and only Pro Bowl year in 2016, and the cost of NFL running backs in today's league is usually minimal.
Best: Saints sign Jameis Winston
The Saints couldn't afford to keep Teddy Bridgewater around, but they found a terrific replacement in Winston. The former first overall draft choice led the NFL in passing yards last season, yet he signed for only $1.1 million. He has the incentive of learning behind Drew Brees, and can certainly be a viable replacement if something happens to Brees again this season. Winston also should get great instruction from Sean Payton, who will hopefully teach the former Bucs quarterback to better protect the all after throwing 30 picks in 2019.
Worst: Texans sign Eric Murray
Not to keep bashing Bill O'Brien, but it was a rough offseason for the Texans head coach and front office decision maker. Houston desperately needed help in the secondary, though Murray was their only significant addition. The Texans gave Murray a three-year, $20.25 million contract after missing a large chunk of 2019 to injury, and he struggled as a starter previously with the Chiefs.
Best: Steelers sign Eric Ebron
Pittsburgh has been looking for an answer at tight end seemingly since Heath Miller retired. Ebron had an injury-plagued 2019 season after a career year for the Colts in 2018, finishing with 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's a proven Red Zone threat for Ben Roethlisberger and comes at a minimal cost for two-years, $12 million.
Worst: Titans sign Vic Beasley
Beasley's production has been disappointing since he led the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016. Needing a pass rusher, the Titans took a chance on Beasley with a one-year, $9.5 million deal, but he's already become a headache, failing to report to training camp on time. Beasley has averaged only six sacks over the last three seasons, and the start to his Titans career is a clear red flag.
Ezekiel Elliott takes blame for fumbles, Cowboys' blowout loss: 'I want to say I'm sorry' .
Ezekiel Elliott said he let his Cowboys teammates down by losing two fumbles for the first time his career in Monday's loss to the Cardinals.At this late hour, it wasn’t the ball.