Cowboys Ink Punter Chris Jones to a Four-Year Extension

The Cowboys have signed punter Chris Jones to an four-year extension through 2021, Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports.

Jones was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Jones was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys in 2011 and was released before the season started. He was signed to the team’s practice squad and filled in for an injured Mat McBriar in two games, recording a 42.6-yard gross average.

Last season he punted 58 times, averaging 45.9 yards per punt.

Under New Rules, Ezekiel Elliott’s Kettle Celebration Would Be a Penalty

Ezekiel Elliott’s jump into a Salvation Army kettle would still draw a penalty this season, even after the NFL’s decision in May to relax its celebration rules, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com reports.

Elliott’s spontaneous leap, which came during the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is featured in a video that the league is showing all players and coaches during training camp. The relaxed ruled allow players to use the ball but nothing else as a prop. In the Elliott scenario, the kettle is considered a prop.

ESPN earlier reported that “dunking” the ball over the crossbar after a score will remain illegal because it uses the goal post as a prop.

Jerry Jones Says the NFL Has All the Info They Need to Make a Decision Regarding Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott has met with NFL officials concerning his case, which is why Jerry Jones has said a decision regarding the running back is imminent, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports.

The Cowboys owner divulged early Saturday evening that Elliott traveled to New York within the past month for the meeting. He declined to say whether or not commissioner Roger Goodell was involved.

“I don’t want to get into details,” Jones said. “But they (NFL) were certainly represented by key league officials as well as Zeke’s representatives and Zeke.

“They have had their hearing and they have had all of the responses, so everything is in place to make a decision.”

Terrific Tailgating Tips For The Upcoming NFL Season

Football season is around the corner. That means it’s time to begin planning for the ever so fun tailgating parties. Some tailgating parties are tremendously lavish affairs with huge recreational vehicles rolling out a spread of cocktails and appetizers on white linen covered tables with candelabras. On the other hand, the trunk of a car and folding tables and lawn chairs usually suffice for creating a fun and memorable tailgating experience. Whatever your means, be sure to take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and order a hat or visor from your favorite team from the huge selection available at Lids.

The best tailgating parties are generally the result of advanced planning. Determine the number of guests you plan to have join in the fun. This count is needed in order to begin the planning process for the menu. Select items that can be prepared well in advance and easily transported to the venue. It’s always fun to grill at a tailgate and hotdogs and hamburgers are typically enjoyed by most guests. Plan to have several large coolers. Freeze water bottles several days in advance to use in lieu of ice to prevent foods from getting soggy or wet.  Purchase the condiments needed for hotdogs & hamburgers as well as buns and have them on hand.  Prepare several salads and store in air tight containers for transport in the coolers. Chips and salsa or a tray of appetizers prepared in advance will always be welcome as appetites grow with the smell of dinner on the grill.

Plan on having plenty of paper products for the meal. Paper plates & plastic cutlery will make clean up muck easier. Do bring sturdy utensils for grilling and serving. Have several trash bags and rolls of paper towels on hand for easy cleanup. Ask guests to bring their own lawn chairs or collapsible chairs. A large folding table for serving can easily be set up adjacent to the trunk. Have a separate cooler and paper cups with a large selection of drinks on hand. Have a grand time at your tailgating party!

Cowboys Sign Veteran Running Back Ronnie Hillman

The Cowboys today made a roster move at the running back spot, a move made with issues surrounding star running back Ezekiel Elliott and his off the field issues.

The team is bringing in Ronnie Hillman, the 25-year-old who has totaled 1,976 career rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns over five seasons with the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers.

It’s probably a signing to ensure they have a vet in the backfield in case something does happen with Elliott, and one that could be a great diamond in the rough pickup just in case.

Cowboys Rookie CB Jourdan Lewis Acquitted of Domestic Assault

SI.com

A jury has acquitted Cowboys rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis of domestic assault, the Associated Press reports.

The panel deliberated for slightly more than an hour Tuesday before finding the former Michigan star not guilty.

Lewis said he was “elated” with the verdict.

The 21-year-old Lewis was accused of assaulting his former girlfriend at his Ann Arbor apartment in March. Lewis didn’t testify, but the jury saw a video recording of a police interview in which he said he was asleep when the woman woke him to complain about finances, and he hit her with a pillow.

The woman testified he struck her in the face so hard she was forced into a wall.

Cowboys Dump WR Lucky Whitehead Following Larceny and Shoplifting Arrest

USA Today Sports

The Cowboys released wide receiver Lucky Whitehead on Monday, hours after the team learned that he was charged with larceny after a shoplifting arrest and then failed to appear for a court hearing earlier this month, resulting in another charge, ESPN reports.

According to the Prince William County Police Department, Whitehead was arrested at approximately 1:30 a.m. June 22 after an employee at a Wawa noticed that he left the store without paying for some items. He was charged with shoplifting/petit larceny — under $200, a misdemeanor — and then failed to show for his arraignment on July 6, which resulted in a failure to appear charge, according to Prince William County General Court records.

Whitehead’s agent, David Rich, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the crime is a case of mistaken identity and Whitehead committed no crime, as he was not in Virginia when the incident occurred.

On June 22, Whitehead was in Dallas, per his flight ticket. His United flight left at 7:18 a.m. direct to Washington D.C. that morning and landed at 11:30 a.m., 10 hours after the alleged crime occurred.

Whitehead has told the Cowboys that it wasn’t him. Rich told the Cowboys that Whitehead didn’t appear in court because he never received the citation and summons. The reason he didn’t receive the citation and summons is because he wasn’t in the state when the crime occurred, Rich said.

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Loves What He Sees From LB Jaylon Smith

DallasCowboys.com

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn’t in the business of managing expectations, and that’s particularly evident when it comes to Jaylon Smith, Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News reports.

The linebacker will be limited when he takes part in the first training camp practices of his career. But that hasn’t diminished Jones’ enthusiasm for the player he picked in the second round in the 2016 draft despite Smith having suffered a severe knee injury in college.

Jones pointed out again Sunday that he believes he took a player who could have been at the top of the draft.

“To me he’s just like looking at a No. 1 draft pick coming out here for the first time,” Jones said during the annual State of the Cowboys news conference. “We all know his circumstances and what he needs to overcome. He looks really good – all testing, all feeling looks as good as I could hope that it would look. We’ll see.”

Jones said that Smith’s damaged nerve continues to regenerate. Smith is expected to continue to wear a customized brace on his ankle and foot that can evolve with his condition.

Smith, who attended training camp last season but rehabbed and couldn’t practice, will likely continue the pattern of practicing every other day and will mostly be limited to individual drills as camp gets underway.