And then there was one. Two more of the Cowboys’ 2022 draft picks have made it official by signing their contracts in Dallas, leaving just one still unsigned. While the coaching staff is encouraged by this year crop of rookies, it remains to be seen who among the group will have the biggest impact as they start their pro careers. Not so for three of the biggest biggest playmakers, who have been spotlighted among the 25 best players under the age of 25 for the upcoming season.
Also in the news, head coach Mike McCarthy is staring down the barrel of a pressure-packed campaign, first-year linebacker Damone Clark shares how the Cowboys may have extended his playing career before they even drafted him, and we look at how dramatically the quarterback landscape has changed in just a few years. Ezekiel Elliott is off to a fast start, Micah Parsons shows off his pitching arm, one former Cowboy hangs them up, and two ex-Cowboys find a new home along the shores of Lake Erie. All that, plus the mayor of Dallas seems serious about landing a second team in some sport, the Cowboys defense could see a regression in one key stat, and one of the winning beat writers earns national recognition. News and Notes, coming right up.
Cowboys sign Williams, Tolbert to 4-year contracts :: The Mothership:
Second-round pick Sam Williams and third-rounder Jalen Tolbert officially put pen to paper on Tuesday, finalizing their rookie deals in Dallas. Fourth-round tight end Jake Ferguson is the last member of the Cowboys’ 2022 draft class to remain unsigned. This week, the rookies are allowed to stay and participate in practices and the offseason conditioning program.
‘Everything happens for a reason’: Cowboys doctor discovered rookie LB Damone Clark’s injury :: Cowboys Wire:
It was a Cowboys team physician who first saw the herniated disc on an MRI at the combine in Indianapolis. It was the son of Troy Aikman’s surgeon who performed spinal fusion surgery on the LSU linebacker. So Clark believes fate led Dallas to draft him in the fifth round, and he is confident the March procedure that’s going to delay his debut will ultimately end up extending his Cowboys career.
Three head coaches facing the most pressure in 2022 :: The 33rd Team:
No surprise here, but Mike McCarthy is facing a pressure-packed season. It might even be make-or-break. The Cowboys roster is definitely in the upper echelon rosters in the league, but even if they win the NFC East again, losing in the first round of the playoffs would probably be viewed as yet another unsuccessful season. In fact, anything short of a Super Bowl could make McCarthy’s seat especially toasty. (And that does not even factor in a certain coach whose name rhymes with Pawn Shayton.)
NFL’s quarterback movement shows no sign of slowing down in the future :: The Athletic:
How quickly do things change these days at the most important position in football? Just three quarterbacks- Dak Prescott, Aaron Rodgers, and Derek Carr- have been their current foreign starter for five or more seasons. At least 22 of the NFL’s 32 teams are expected to have a different starting quarterback in 2022 than in 2019. It’s still a quarterback-driven league, but QBs are clearly no longer the sacred figures they once were. Tom Brady’s move has ushered in a new wave of annual turnover that seems here to stay.
Youth is served: Cowboys’ under-25 young guns rank among NFL best :: Cowboys Wire:
The Cowboys have three players under the age of 25 on this list from Pro Football Focus: Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb, and Trevon Diggs. It’s a statement about the future of the franchise, in a league where youth is often a greater commodity than experience.
Updates: Zeke “looks great” in offseason work :: The Mothership:
The Cowboys coaches are encouraged with the progress their lead running back is making as he comes off a partially torn PCL suffered early last last season. Elliott played through the injury but did not require surgery this offseason. Now that rest appears to be paying off. “I was looking at the GPS of the workouts: [last] Tuesday: [and] 22 miles an hour in May is pretty damn good, ”head coach Mike McCarthy said.
NFL: Britain’s Jack Crawford announces retirement after 10-year career :: BBC Sport:
The veteran defensive end has announced his retirement after 109 games played for five different clubs. Crawford joined the Cowboys in 2014 and saw three seasons in Dallas. The native Brit says his career highlight was returning home as a Cowboy that season to record a sack and a forced fumble in his hometown of London. That memory, he says, even tops sacking Tom Brady in a Dallas home game the following season.
Browns claim two players off waiver wire :: Orange and Brown Report:
Cleveland has two new defensive backs, both with Cowboys connections. Cornerback Reggie Robinson II was a fourth-round draft pick by Dallas in 2020; he was most recently with Houston. Safety Luther Kirk was an undrafted free agent in 2020. He spent time with both the Vikings and Falcons after a short stint in Dallas’s camp.
Eagles writer suggests Cowboys fans temper takeaway expectations in ’22: Jimmy Kempski (Twitter)
Redeeming the puck drop: Cowboys’ Micah Parsons throws first pitch before Rangers game :: Dallas Morning News:
Parsons aced the ceremonial first pitch in Tuesday’s MLB game between the Angles and the Rangers in Arlington. It was a far cry better than his (quite literal) puck drop in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. “Yeah, they just told me to go out there and drop the puck and just wave, and that’s what I did,” Parsons said of the now-viral moment. “I did not know any better but now I do, so I need a chance to redeem myself.”
Dallas mayor to lead panel that looks to add pro teams to Cowboys, Mavs, Stars lineup :: Dallas Morning News:
Eric Johnson is apparently serous about bringing more pro teams to Dallas. His new five-member panel (of which he named himself the head) is meant to help Dallas proper be more competitive in attracting more sports business; he noted that several teams, like the Cowboys, bear the city name but are based in other areas around the Metroplex.
Jori Epstein selected as PFWA 2022 Terez A. Paylor Emerging Writer Award winner :: Pro Football Writers of America:
The Cowboys reporter is the second winner of the award, which recognizes a rising star in pro football writing who exemplifies the qualities of Paylor, the former Yahoo Sports and Kansas City Star: football writer, who passed away in February 2021 at the age of 37. Epstein has covered the Cowboys for USA Today since 2018.