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.

Woman Who Claims Ezekiel Elliott Got Physical with Her Speaks Out

One year after posting photographs on her Instagram account of bruises to her body and filing a police report in Columbus, Ohio, the woman who says Ezekiel Elliott beat her reportedly has broken her silence, Mark Sanchez of the New York Post reports.

According to TMZ, the accuser released a statement on her Instagram page Saturday, this time not using the Cowboys star’s name, but making it apparent who she is talking about. She has alleged that Elliott got physical with her five times between July 17 and July 22, 2016.

Exactly 1 year ago today my life changed forever,” she wrote. “Loving someone as much as I did, putting my all in no matter what happened. I finally got the strength to be the strong woman I was and got myself out of a very toxic relationship. Ladies never think you’re too in love or too scared to leave because at one point that was me. There’s plenty of opportunities out there for you. Love yourself first. Speak up and stop domestic violence.”

The accuser has said she was in a relationship with Elliott at the time. Elliott has referred to her as a person with whom he had a “sexual relationship.”

The accuser’s statement comes while the NFL is believed to be close to disciplining Elliott for the allegations. Last week, ESPN reported Elliott was facing a “short suspension” — one or two games — after the league’s investigation. The baseline suspension for a domestic violence incident is six games.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott in Hot Water Again After “Late Night Altercation” in Dallas

The last thing Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott needed this summer was to be back in the headlines, but today that’s exactly where he finds himself after an ‘altercation’ last night at a restaurant in Dallas.

Here’s a quick clip from the story which hit early Monday morning.

As the football world awaits word from the NFL regarding potential punishment for running back Ezekiel Elliott after accusations of domestic violence last year, it turns out the Dallas Cowboys star may now have another legal situation brewing.

According to a report from Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan, Elliott was involved in a “late night altercation” at a restaurant called Clutch in Dallas on Sunday night.

And here’s a tweet which goes further into detail on the incident:

Elliott is already facing issues from his past issues outside of football, and it’s hard to think that the league is going to be very happy about this latest incident.

Right now while he hasn’t been officially sat by the league, one would think that it’s likely the Cowboys will be without him for a least 2-4 games at the start of 2017.

CB Byron Jones Gives High Praise to Rookie Taco Charlton and Second-Year LB Jaylon Smith

Cowboys third-year cornerback Byron Jones isn’t worried about being an elder statesman on a depleted defense with low expectations, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports.

That’s mostly because he’s high on a pair of players Dallas fans have yet to see on the field.

On NFL Total Access on Monday, Jones said rookie Taco Charlton and second-year linebacker Jaylon Smith are way ahead of expectations. Smith, who missed all of last season while recovering from a serious knee injury he suffered at the end of his college football career, has been especially impressive.

“He’s healthy, he’s 100 percent,” Jones said. “His mind — he doesn’t worry about what happened two years ago. He doesn’t care about that. What he’s trying to do, I think his motto is clear-eyed vision. He’s doing well at that. He’s balling out for us so far. He’s learning the playbook and he looks healthy running around.”

On Charlton, Jones said, “We like him. He’s a big dude. I didn’t realize he’d be that big. He’s a solid guy. We’re excited to have him coming off the edge. We’ve got some good pass rushers so far and we have good young talent as well. So we’re excited about what we’ve got on our d-line and they’ll be a good unit for us this year.”

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