The Cowboys on Tuesday activated DE DeMarcus Lawrence from the PUP. He had missed all of training camp after April surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The joint had reportedly bothered him for 2 seasons. We'll keep an eye on reports of his progress, but Lawrence returning a couple of weeks before the start of the season is a good sign that the star pass rusher will be able to help the Dallas defense and our IDP lineups.
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.
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.
The Bears on Tuesday activated S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from the PUP list and he took part in his 1st training-camp practice with the team. Clinton-Dix should be in line to start next to FS Eddie Jackson.
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.
Bears GM Ryan Pace expects S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to begin training camp on the PUP list because of a knee sprain he suffered "at the very end of the offseason program," the team website reports. This doesn't sound like a big issues that will challenge the safety's regular-season status. We'll keep an eye on Clinton-Dix's status, though.
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.
Bengals rookie OT Jonah Williams will "likely" miss the entire 2019 season after undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, the team announced. It's a massive blow to a team that was planning on its 1st-rounder stepping right in at LT. Cordy Glenn is now expected to move back to that spot. He ranked 60th among 80 qualifying OTs in Pro Football Focus' 2018 grades.
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.
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has signed a 1-year deal with the Bears. He'll take over the SS role vacated by Adrian Amos' departure for Green BAy. Clinton-Dix spent the final 9 games with Washington after Green Bay traded him away last season. He delivered top-10 fantasy scoring, at least his 3rd season in DB1 scoring range, depending on your format. Clinton-Dix should have another shot at solid IDP production with the Bears. Amos didn't post big stats last year but scored as a DB1 the season before over 13 games.
The Patriots have reached a deal to acquire DL MIchael Bennett from the Eagles for a mere swap of picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. Philly gets a 2020 fifth-rounder in exchange for a 2020 pick in Round 7. New England gets a veteran D-lineman capable of playing on the edge or inside. Bennett played the large majority of his snaps in edge spots for the Eagles last year. Pro Football Focus credited him with 68 total pressures, tied for 5th most among edge players. And that came with Bennett turning 33 in November. He has played all 16 games the past 2 years and 6 of the past 7 years. Bennett hasn't posted big sack numbers -- reaching 10 just once and never exceeding that total. But he's a real-life asset and capable of DL2 production. He'll help a New England front 7 that might yet lose DE Trey Flowers to free agency.
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.
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.
The Cowboys have fired OC Scott Linehan. Dallas finished better than 14th in total yards or points in just 1 of Linehan's 4 seasons. And the offense took a big step back in 2018, ranking 22nd in both yards and points. We'll see who the 'Boys tab as Linehan's replacement. They have a young core in place with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper.
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