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.

A Rundown of All the Dallas Cowboys 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Cowboys 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 28 (No. 28 overall)

Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan: The hype on Charlton peaked around pick No. 9 (Cincinnati). This is a far more appropriate range for him, considering that he has shown flashes of brilliance but is still very much a work in progress. And if that’s your scouting report as a defensive lineman, there are few coaches better to help mold your development than Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. While Charlton is steady enough against the run that he can be trusted on early downs, Marinelli figures to unleash him most often bending the edge vs. the pass. This fills a need for Dallas, and at a good value.? GRADE: A-

Round 2, Pick 28 (No. 60)

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado: Awuzie is a very good football player. He belonged in the second round—despite a little Round 1 hype—and he doesn’t bring the natural gifts of others in this class, but he gets the job done. The Cowboys absolutely had to have an upgrade at the cornerback spot, and Awuzie gives them a player they can count on without hesitation. He’ll be helpful outside and in the slot.? GRADE: A–

Round 3, Pick 28 (No. 92)

Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan: Lewis is undersized and doesn’t have great speed, but he still might have been a top-50 pick were it not for his pending trial on a domestic violence charge. Like Awuzie, the Cowboys’ pick at 60, Lewis can handle himself outside but might be a better fit in the slot—those two together might be interchangeable. It’s an “A” range pick with a dark cloud hanging over it.? GRADE: INC.

Round 4, Pick 27 (No. 133) Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

Round 6, Pick 7 (No. 191) Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech

Round 6, Pick 33 (No. 216) Marquez White, CB, Florida State

Round 7, Pick 10 (No. 228) Joey Ivie, DT, Florida

Round 7, Pick 21 (No. 239) Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State

Round 7, Pick 28 (No. 246) Jordan Carrell, DT, Colorado

Cowboys Go Defense in 2017 NFL Draft; Take Michigan DE Taco Charlton

The Cowboys drafted for defense as expected Thursday, taking Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton with the 28th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Charlton, who led the Wolverines with 9 1/2 sacks in 2016, is the first defensive end taken in the first round by the Cowboys in 10 years. Pass-rushing is the biggest need for Dallas, which was the top seed in the NFC last season but struggled to pressure the quarterback.

It’s the third time in four years that the Cowboys have taken a defensive end in the first two rounds, but DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory have fallen short of expectations.

Though he was a full-time starter just one season, Charlton was a first-team All-Big Ten selection after collecting 9 1/2 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. At 6-6, 277, Charlton has superior length with 34-inch arms and can wreak havoc up front. He has to be more consistent, so the challenge for the Cowboys defensive staff is to help him develop into an every-down starter.

“He’s got length, he’s got power, he’s got athletic ability. He doesn’t have the twitch,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said of Charlton. “What you see on tape is what I saw at the combine where he doesn’t quite have the twitch of an elite edge rusher, so I think he’s more of a base 3-4 end. And there is nothing wrong with that. You can be a good football player that plays eight to ten years in the league.”

Video – Time to Schein: London Fletcher talks NFL Draft

CBS Sports Network analyst London Fletcher joins Adam Schein to discuss the top prospects heading into the NFL Draft.

A Look at the 2017 Cowboys Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out as well as the 2017 Dallas Cowboys Schedule, and here’s a look at the slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 New York Giants 7:30 PM

Sep. 17 at Denver Broncos 3:25 PM

Sep. 25 at Arizona Cardinals (Mon) 7:30 PM

Oct. 1 Los Angeles Rams 12:00 PM

Oct. 8 Green Bay Packers 3:25 PM

Oct. 15 BYE

Oct. 22 at San Francisco 49ers 3:05 PM

Oct. 29 at Washington Redskins 3:25 PM

Nov. 5 Kansas City Chiefs 3:25 PM

Nov. 12 at Atlanta Falcons 3:25 PM

Nov. 19 Philadelphia Eagles * 7:30 PM

Nov. 23 Los Angeles Chargers (Thu) 3:30 PM

Nov. 30 Washington Redskins (Thu) 7:25 PM

Dec. 10 at New York Giants 3:25 PM

Dec. 17 at Oakland Raiders * 7:30 PM

Dec. 24 Seattle Seahawks 3:25 PM

Dec. 31 at Philadelphia Eagles 12:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: The Cowboys have an interesting stretch as they have their annual home Thanksgiving game and then another home game the following Thursday at home against the Redskins. Before these two games, they host the Eagles, meaning it’s a three-game home stretch.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: Three of the last four on the road and it won’t be easy, with the Giants, Raiders and Eagles being the three road games, with the Seahawks another tough team in the mix as their only home game on Christmas Eve.