SI Grades the Cowboys in Their NFC East Off-Season Report Card

Sports Illustrated has released their grades for the offseason to this point, including of course the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East.

Here’s some of what the site had to say about the Cowboys to this point in the offseason.

The reason the Cowboys didn’t address their secondary in the draft’s first round is that they badly needed pass-rushing help. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli doesn’t like to blitz. Instead he favors four-man D-line rush tactics like stunts, twists and grouped slants. Part of the reason he does this is he has a lot of mediocre front-four players who can’t consistently win on their own and need aid from the scheme. Marinelli will still have to lean on these tactics in 2017, but the hope is that with No. 28 overall pick Taco Charlton aboard, it won’t be quite as heavily. A lot is riding on Charlton. With Demarcus Lawrence battling back problems in recent years and David Irving being only a part-time player, the Cowboys really don’t have another pass rusher who can bend the edge snap after snap.

Grade: C+

You can read the rest of what SI has to say about the Cowboys, as well as the NFC East by clicking HERE

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Back on the Field After Missing OTA’s Due to Injury

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott took part in Tuesday’s OTA after he was forced to sit last week after being involved in a minor car accident, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.

Coach Jason Garrett said Elliott was complaining of body and neck stiffness after the car, in which he was a passenger, was struck on May 21. The Cowboys opted to keep Elliott out of action, but he was able to do some conditioning work on the side.

The Cowboys resumed their second week of OTAs on Tuesday. The media has access to Wednesday’s workout.

Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports Makes an Interesting Pick on Who Would Play QB If Prescott Goes Down

Never one to mince words, Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock today went on record stating who he would think the Cowboys would turn to if starting QB Dak Prescott went down with an injury.

It’s a name that Cowboys fans know all too well.

CBS Sports Video: The Cowboys Got Lucky with QB Dak Prescott

Will Brinson joins Nick Kostos to discuss how the Cowboys got lucky with Dak Prescott.

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Given a Warning for Giving Gifts to North Little Rock Officers

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave improper gifts to North Little Rock police officers but will be given a warning for the violation of Arkansas ethics laws since it was the first violation, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Jones went to high school in North Little Rock, where he was a running back, before going on to play football at Arkansas and later owning businesses in the state.

How nice was Jones? Nice to the tune of treating over 100 officers plus friends and family members to Dallas Cowboys games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington late last season and paying for hotel accommodations and travel, at a cost of more than $300,000, the Arkansas Times’ Max Brantley reported.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission ruled 3-2 Friday that Jones committed an “unintentional violation” by conferring a gift to North Little Rock police detective Michael Gibbons and other officers, ArkansasOnline.com reported.

Gibbons is president of the North Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police. He and other officers were not sanctioned, according to ArkansasNews.com, since it was a first offense and they are not lobbyists.

The Cowboys owner could have accepted an offer of settlement and agreed to the commission finding but chose to appear before the commission and explain his position.

Russ Racop, who publishes a blog, “Bad Government in Arkansas,” filed the complaint on Nov. 2. He reported on the hearing.

The North Little Rock City Council had passed a resolution Oct. 24 accepting the gifts and passing them along to the officers as an employees benefit, ArkansasOnline.com reported. (The Ethics Commission dismissed Racop’s complaint against the North Little Rock mayor and council members.)

In the hearing, it was noted that “Jones provided the tickets, travel and accommodations to show his appreciation to NLRPD officers.”

And, “there was no evidence that anything was exchanged for the gift nor was anything expected.”

Jones made it clear he wasn’t helping the officers for their “day job,” but for their off-duty volunteer work in helping children in programs such as a police athletic league.

The Cowboys owner, according to Racop’s blog report, gave an “emotional appeal” to the Ethics Commission.

“Holding back tears, with trembling hands,” Jones said he was moved to do something for NLRPD officers after seeing a story on CNN touting good works done by officers.

Cowboys Looking to Host the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium and The Star in Frisco

The Cowboys have submitted a bid to host next year’s NFL draft with a plan that would split the proceedings between AT&T Stadium in Arlington and The Star in Frisco, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Stephen Jones, the Cowboys executive vice president, said the club made it clear in its bid that both facilities would be available to use however the league sees fit during the three-day event.

“They know how we can configure for X-amount of people,” Jones said. “Then they’ll come back to us with what they want which night.

“We don’t know exactly what they’ll want to do. We’re waiting to hear on that.’

Cowboys Move La’el Collins to Right Tackle with a Shot to Win the Starting Job

The Cowboys have moved left guard La’el Collins to right tackle, giving him a shot to win the job vacated by Doug Free, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

While the Cowboys caution things could change before the season opener in September, Collins relishes the opportunity to move back to tackle.

“Oh, man, it’s awesome actually,” Collins said during the team’s 13th annual Taste of the NFL to tackle childhood hunger. “I actually forgot how good it felt to be out on the edge, to kind of be out there on an island. Right now we’re not doing too much, just kind of working plays against the air. That’s about it. But it feels good.”

Collins, signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, started at left guard his sophomore season at LSU before moving to left tackle his final two seasons in Baton Rouge. He began his pro career at right tackle as a rookie in the Cowboys’ off-season program while Doug Free was rehabbing from off-season surgery.

Free retired after the 2016 season, ending a 10-year career and leaving big cleats to fill.

“That’s huge pressure. That’s a lot of pressure,” said Collins, who has 14 career starts. “You’re out on that island. Doug was overlooked a lot, but Doug was a hell of a player, man. Ten years in the game. Even though he was hurt — you know he was hurting — he always said he felt great. That’s one thing you learn from an older guy like that and respect that. He was a great player, man.”

“I just kind of feel like I can play anywhere,” Collins said. “I feel like I can play all positions other than center. I don’t know if I can do that. Travis [Frederick] has got a tough job. It’s harder than it looks. I really feel like I can play anywhere.

“I have the mentality of I don’t care where I’m at, whoever’s in front of me I’m going to move them off the ball and that’s how it’s going to be. That’s the way I feel.”

Podcast: Cowboys Draft Reaction, Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie Scouting Report

Josh takes a look at the Cowboys draft as a whole and what it does to the state of their broken down defense. He also gives a scouting report, based off of his own film study, on Taco Charlton and Chidobe Awuzie.