Shark Bites

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talked up RB Tony Pollard after the rookie ran for 42 yards and a score on 5 carries in Saturday's preseason game. "If he goes out there and he plays to that level he's going to be [at] for the next several weeks, he's going to be right in the middle of it early," Jones said. "That will really complement what we're doing with Zeke ... I can picture those guys [having] success at the same time out there really giving the defense some fits." Elliott was a 3-down workhorse last year, excelling both on the ground and as a pass-catcher. We doubt Pollard would see enough action behind Zeke to be a real fantasy option. But the longer Zeke's holdout lasts, the more intriguing a late-round flier Pollard becomes.

ESPN's Ed Werder considers it "likely" that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott reports to the team before Week 1. Werder guesses that'll happen between the preseason finale and the regular season opener. This sounded more like an opinion than a report. But Werder remains 1 of the industry's most plugged-in reporters, so the opinion carries plenty of weight. Zeke carries elevated risk in fantasy drafts until he actually shows up. But we're willing to gamble on him at any point from pick #4 on.

Cowboys WR Amari Cooper has missed the last few days of practice with what sounded like a minor heel injury. But Cowboys insider Mickey Spagnola reports the injury is “more of a ligament thing” than a bruise. That's obviously a generic explanation -- but it makes the issue seem more serious than we thought. This has become a situation to monitor closely over the next couple of weeks.

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones singled out RB Tony Pollard as a standout in training camp. "Tony Pollard has done a real nice job out there," Jones said. "He's getting a little bit of everything. He's probably one that has stuck out for me if I were going to pick one." The 4th-round rookie played behind Darrell Henderson at Memphis but averaged 6.8 yards per carry and 12.4 yards per catch on 104 grabs over the last 3 seasons. The 6'0, 210-pounder clocked a 4.41-second 40 time at the Combine and registered a 72nd percentile SPARQ score. Pollard has been getting 1st-team reps in camp -- a sign that he's set to play a real role this season. How big that role is obviously depends heavily on whether RB Ezekiel Elliott shows up. We'll continue to monitor the Zeke situation, but Pollard is certainly worth a late-round flier in upcoming fantasy drafts.

The Cowboys will miss DE Robert Quinn for the 1st 2 games because of a PED suspension, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The news comes in the same week that Quinn broke his left hand, which will require surgery. On the plus side, the 2 games give him a little more time to recover from that. Assuming the suspension holds up, Quinn would return for an upside home matchup with the Dolphins in Week 3.

Cowboys DE Robert Quinn broke his left hand Tuesday and will need surgery, according to multiple outlets. He's expected to return in time for the regular-season opener. We'll keep an eye on the situation.

A source tells ESPN's Josina Anderson that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's holdout is "not likely" to last into the regular season. Anderson hears that Zeke won't play without a new contract but that owner Jerry Jones wants to get a deal done before Week 1. Of course, "not likely" doesn't mean there's no chance Elliott misses games. Until he reports to the team -- presumably with a new contract in hand -- he carries elevated risk in fantasy drafts.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott remains away from the team and in Cabo. But at least he's training. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Elliott has been working out at the Diamante Resort with his trainers and doctors. That's the same place Zeke trained when he was serving his 6-game suspension in 2017. He returned from that time off to rack up 259 total yards over the season's final 2 games.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys have agreed to terms with RB Alfred Morris. The veteran spent 2016-17 in Dallas before a year with the 49ers. He had also reportedly talked with the Saints this week. Morris could just turn out to be a camp body for the Cowboys, who are missing starter Ezekiel Elliott during a contract holdout. We're certainly not factoring Morris into fantasy football drafts yet. The Morris signing, though, could also signal a lack of handcuff value for rookie RB Mike Weber.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott boarded a flight to Cabo on Monday, according to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. It doesn't sound like Zeke is planning to report to training camp any time soon. Insider Mike Fisher adds that the 2 sides "aren't yet close" on agreeing to a new contract. The important date here is August 6. Holding out past then would mean Elliott forfeiting an accrued season toward free agency. We'll continue to keep a close eye on this one. If you're drafting in the meantime, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and even Alvin Kamara are certainly safer picks.

Pro Football Talk hears that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott "has privately said" that he'll hold out of training camp absent a new contract. Zeke has made no public mention of a hold out. He still has 2 years left on his rookie deal, with salaries of $3.85 million this season and $9.09 million next. The problem for Elliott is that Dallas figures to prioritize re-signing QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper, who are both entering their final seasons under contract. Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, meanwhile, hears that Elliott might ultimately show up to camp if he feels the Cowboys "are making a serious push to get an extension worked." We'll see where this goes over the next couple of weeks. We're not adjusting our projections for Elliott right now, but consider Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara safer picks at the top of drafts.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo hears that a suspension is not expected for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott after Tuesday's meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell about an incident with a security guard at a Vegas music festival back in May. Garafolo described the meeting as more of a "warning" to Elliott, who's been no stranger to off-field drama. We're keeping Zeke at 16 games in our projections -- and he remains a top 2 pick across fantasy formats.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday to discuss Elliott's confrontation with a security guard at a Las Vegas music festival in May, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Elliott wasn't arrested or charged for the incident, but that doesn't preclude the league from handing down discipline. Elliott, of course, was previously handed a 6-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The Las Vegas incident doesn't seem like something that warrants a suspension -- but you never know with Goodell. We'll continue to monitor the situation.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has been impressed by TE Jason Witten this spring. “I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.” Witten won't be out-athleting any defenders this season, but it's still nice to hear he's looking good at 37 years old after taking 2018 off. We'll see how he holds up throughout training camp and the season. Witten posted a 63-560-5 line and 9th-place PPR finish when we saw him last in 2017. We'd bet against that level of production this year, but Witten could be a useful spot-start option for fantasy squads.

The Cowboys added RB Tony Pollard in Round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Pollard was a do-it-all weapon for the Tigers, amassing 941 rushing yards with 9 TDs, 1,292 yards and 9 scores receiving and 7 kick-return TDs over the past 3 years. The 6’0, 210-pounder helped himself by registering a 72nd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. With only Darius Jackson behind Ezekiel Elliott on Dallas’ depth chart, Pollard will have a shot to win the #2 RB job out of camp.

NFL Network reports that the Cowboys and Dolphins have worked out a trade for DE Robert Quinn. That should position Quinn as Dallas' starting right DE, opposite Demarcus Lawrence. Quinn led Miami with 6.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss last season. Among Cowboys, only Lawrence beat either number. Settling at DE in Dallas' 4-3 front helps Quinn's IDP value and makes him a potential DL2. His arrival also helps a team D that has upgraded over the past couple of years.

The Cowboys have signed WR Randall Cobb to a 1-year, $5 million deal. Since his 1,287-yard 2014 campaign, Cobb has averaged just 46.7 yards per game and missed 11 contests over the past 4 seasons. Turning 29 in August, his best days are clearly behind him. Cobb figures to step into Cole Beasley's slot role in Dallas. Beasley averaged 80.8 targets across the last 4 years -- a fair projection for Cobb in 2019. He figures to struggle for more than WR4 value.

The Cowboys are placing the franchise tag on DE Demarcus Lawrence for the 2nd straight year. Although it'd obviously be nice for the player to secure his longer-term status, IDP owners can continue expecting the high-level production we've gotten from Lawrence the past 2 years.

The Cowboys announced that TE Jason Witten will return to play in 2019. He retired last May and bombed in the Monday Night Football booth. Now he'll head back to the field, where he's been much better. "This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship," Witten said in a statement. He'll turn 37 in May and averaged a career-low 8.9 yards per catch when we last saw him in 2017. But he still caught 63 balls that year and finished 9th among TEs in PPR points. We'll see what the year off did but won't rule out Witten being at least a spot-start option for fantasy teams in 2019.

Cowboys QBs coach Kellen Moore has been promoted to OC and will call plays in 2019, HC Jason Garrett said over the weekend. “I said to everybody, ‘I want those new ideas. I want them thought through far. And if they are not being implemented call me.’ But let’s get in there and do the kinds of things to get the most out of a very talented roster," owner Jerry Jones said. "Kellen has the skill and the right attitude and style to make this work.” This is a huge step for a guy who was a player just 2 years ago. Moore's play-calling ability will be a legitimate question mark heading into 2019.

 
 
 

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