Dallas Cowboys: Miami Dolphins

OAKLAND -- While the Cowboys' offensive line was being praised for a solid job in the 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders, there still could be some pending moves.

Multiple sources indicate the Cowboys have an interest in guard Brian Waters, who hasn't played since 2011. The Cowboys have turned to Waters after guard Brandon Moore backed out of a verbal agreement and decided to retire.

Injuries and ineffective play have forced the Cowboys to search for some help.

"Again, it's just an overall look see on what we are doing in the interior, and he is an outstanding player," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday night about Waters. "That's about all I can say about that."

Jones said he's not concerned about trying to sign a player who is retired, especially after missing out on a player who elected to retire instead of playing.

"Well, I would just say that the quality of the people we are talking to, if they decide to come play, they will play," Jones said. "That's not a concern of mine at all. Fact that they are considering not playing, knowing the quality of the people we are talking to, I respect that. I also respect the fact that if they decide to come, they will come and be a good player for us."

If Waters signs, he could move into the right guard spot, currently held by Mackenzy Bernadeau, who made his preseason debut against the Raiders after missing the first game last week against the Miami Dolphins.

"I'm just going to continue to work hard and be the best player that I can be no matter who they bring in or who they don’t bring in," Bernadeau said. "I'm going to work hard and of course they have to do what they have to do. We're short on the offensive line so, I can only worry about what I can control."

Injury report: Claiborne gets nicked up

August, 6, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. --Dallas Cowboys starting cornerback Morris Claiborne missed the last hour of practice on Tuesday after he jammed his left knee.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said there wasn't anything serious.

“You know you get that first initial pain when you do something, it scares you a little bit,” said Claiborne, who expects to practice Wednesday.

Also, rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams expressed frustration with missing practice due to a concussion. Williams suffered the concussion in last Friday's practice and missed the first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

Williams has to be symptom-free for seven days before he's cleared to practice. He hasn't had any headaches or other concussion-related issues, but it appears he still won't play in Friday's second preseason game at Oakland because the game is fewer than seven days away from when he suffered the concussion.

"Got mental reps," Williams said after practice. "It's just frustrating, that's all. I'm going day by day. It's hard just to watch everyone. I can't just watch football and not being out there. I have to be patient."

Also, cornerback Brandon Carr missed practice because his fiancée delivered a baby. LB Alex Albright (back), guard Ray Dominguez (shoulder), S Matt Johnson (foot and ankle), G Kevin Kowalski (knee), G Nate Livings (knee), T Jeff Olson, T Jermey Parnell (hamstring), DE Anthony Spencer (knee), DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring) were missing as well.
OXNARD, Calif. -- If there were any questions about second-round pick Gavin Escobar, the rookie tight end helped answer them during the Cowboys' first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

Todd Archer joins Galloway and Company live from Oxnard, Calif., to discuss the latest Cowboys news and which players they will keep on their roster.

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After all, the Cowboys could have selected Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert, who many experts said was the best tight end in the draft, in the first round.

The Cowboys liked Escobar's pass-catching ability and said he can become better as a blocker. It sounded a lot like how they had described tight end James Hanna, a sixth-round pick from Oklahoma whom the Cowboys selected in 2012.

The Cowboys most likely will keep four tight ends on the roster. As camp started, Hanna was ahead of Escobar on the depth chart in the two-tight end sets. When Hanna suffered a strained hamstring, Escobar was matched with Jason Witten on the first-team.

Escobar made his debut as the Y-tight end, lined up closer to the tackle with his hand down, where he caught one pass for three yards and was targeted twice.

"He's capable of doing it," Garrett said of Escobar playing the Y position. "He blocked OK. He needs to be able to take the technique work that he's using in practice into the game."

Old habits have been hard to break for Escobar.

"I thought at times he reverted back (with) his hand placement, footwork," Garrett said. "He's a tough kid. He wants to be a good player. He's a very natural receiver. We saw that he had a couple of completions in the game -- one was called back -- but you could see he could run out of things (and) catch the ball. ... It was a good game for him because he had to stick his nose in there and block a little bit and play that spot. We did that on purpose and he responded well to it."
OXNARD, Calif. -- NBC announced the Cowboys-Dolphins Hall of Fame game drew 10.1 million viewers.

Todd Archer joins Galloway and Company live from Oxnard, Calif., to discuss the latest Cowboys news and which players they will keep on their roster.

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It was the highest audience for a preseason game since the Cowboys-Chargers game in 2011 that had 10.7 million.

"People love football," coach Jason Garrett said. "I think our country loves football, certainly the state of Texas loves football and there's a great following. I think people were antsy to see football again and that's fun and it's fun to be a part of something like that."

The Dallas TV market produced the top rating for the game with a 17 share followed by the New Orleans market (15.1) and Austin (12.2).

The Cowboys face the Oakland Raiders Friday at 9 p.m. CT.

Depth along the Cowboys roster is good

August, 6, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- After one preseason game it was easy to tell the Cowboys have better depth on their roster than last season.

You never want to know what type of depth you have with your team unless something happens and in 2012, the depth was bad given the injuries to the roster.

Todd Archer joins Galloway and Company live from Oxnard, Calif., to discuss the latest Cowboys news and which players they will keep on their roster.

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We take a look at the depth at each position:

Quarterback: There were some concerns about Kyle Orton in training camp, especially after a few bad passes and interceptions, but he led the Cowboys on a productive first drive against the Miami Dolphins and made a nice throw to tight end Dante Rosario.

Running back: Any concerns about finding a replacement for DeMarco Murray were eased after watching Lance Dunbar, Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle. Each handled the ball well and read their holes to get yards. Tanner left the game briefly with a forearm injury, but returned. Dunbar, as he's done in practices, has ran hard and fast and Tanner and Randle displayed good vision while hitting the holes.

Wide receiver: With the Cowboys running so much, 32 run plays in the preseason opener we really didn't get a good look at the wideouts. Terrance Williams missed the game with a concussion and he's status for Friday night in Oakland is in question. Eric Rogers and Jared Green are long shots to make the 53-man roster, but have practiced well. Tim Benford did make a nice catch on a slant.

Tight end: There was some solid blocking from the backups and Andre Smith impressed the coaches with his skills. Not sure if that's enough to make the roster. Gavin Escobar needs more work on his blocking skills but that will come in time.

Offensive line: Here's what you need to know about the line, the Cowboys ran three of their first four run plays to the left side with Ronald Leary and Tyron Smith paving the way for some nice yardage totals. Leary is off to a solid start in his quest to become the starter at left guard. Center Travis Frederick played well at center and right guard.

Defensive line: Nick Hayden with a fumble recovery from the defensive tackle spot, defensive end George Selvie had two sacks and defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton with a pass breakup and a tackle for loss were the highlights. Yes, the Cowboys would love to get Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer back, but considering the health at this position, it's good to have some quality. While Kyle Wilber didn't get in the stats sheet with big numbers, he was very active at pushing the pocket.

Linebackers: DeVonte Holloman wasn't on the bubble to make the roster, yet his 75-yard interception return for a score bolstered his cause. Middle linebacker Brandon Magee picked up four tackles and made a case to become the backup to Sean Lee.

Defensive backs: You always need cornerbacks and Brandon Understood and Sterling Moore have performed pretty good in camp, though, Moore has the edge as the No. 4 corner. J.J. Wilcox did some nice things at times, but needs to improve in pass coverage. The third-team safety play was inconsistent but that was mainly to the soft zone the defense played in the last 12 minutes of the game.

Specialist: The three spots on this unit are secure. We didn't like Cole Beasley returning a kick seven-yards deep but that might be more about him trying to make a play.

Live in-game chat: Dallas Cowboys-Miami Dolphins

August, 4, 2013

Most starters to sit vs. Dolphins

August, 4, 2013
CANTON, Ohio -- Not only will Tony Romo sit out tonight’s Hall of Fame Game against Miami, but so will most of the Cowboys’ other starters.

In addition to Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Barry Church, Will Allen, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Jason Hatcher and DeMarco Murray went through a series of 100-yard sprints two hours before kickoff, which is a sign they will not play.

The only projected starters for the regular-season opener who are currently healthy enough to not take part in the sprints were tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free, center Travis Frederick, and linebacker Justin Durant.

With an extra preseason game, the Cowboys are being cautious with their starters, especially after a number of injuries to their offensive and defensive lines since training camp started. The Cowboys lost Witten to a lacerated spleen in the first quarter of last year’s preseason opener.

The starters are expected to play in the Cowboys’ second preseason game at Oakland on Friday. After a long return to Oxnard, Calif., from Canton, the players will be off Monday and have two full practices before playing the Raiders.

Rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams will not play against the Dolphins and is doubtful to play against the Raiders because of a concussion.

Romo expressed a desire to play against the Dolphins. He did not do any work in the offseason because of surgery to remove a cyst from his back in April. He has not missed a day of work in training camp and even took full part in a practice in which he was supposed to sit last week.

Mail call! Ready for some (exhibition) football?

August, 2, 2013
Well, another week of training camp is in the books for the Dallas Cowboys. Next up: the Hall of Fame Game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night.

Sean Lee joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Cowboys' upcoming season and his role on the team.

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But we're sure you have questions about a number of topics, with injuries -- especially on the offensive line -- leading the way. So, as the Cowboys steamroll toward the regular season, we want to know what's on your mind.

We're asking you guys to weigh in. What concerns you? What about the team do you like? What are your expectations?

You can let us know by hitting up the mailbag today. Calvin Watkins will answer your questions on this blog Sunday so get them in quickly.

W2W4: Cowboys training camp Day 11

August, 2, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- This is the Cowboys last practice before they head to Canton, Ohio for Sunday's Hall of Fame game against the Miami Dolphins. Here's what we expect on Friday.

Full practice: Barring a sudden change, the Cowboys will have a full-padded practice on Friday afternoon. The Cowboys most likely will continue working on situational drills such as the 2-minute warning, Hail Mary, special teams and driving the ball the length of the field. Coach Jason Garrett wants the Cowboys to practice game-like situations, especially as it gets closer to an actual game.

Who won't practice: There's a laundry list of players who haven't been at practice for a variety of injuries. Here's the list: Guard Kevin Kowalski (knee), center/guard Ryan Cook (back), Ray Dominguez (shoulder), Nate Livings (knee), Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring), Demetress Bell (conditioning), Jermey Parnell (hamstring), James Hanna (hamstring), Jay Ratliff (hamstring), Landon Cohen (scratched cornea), Anthony Spencer (recovering from minor knee surgery), Tyrone Crawford (torn Achilles), Jeff Olson (face) and Alex Albright (back).

New guy hurt: The Cowboys signed two offensive linemen Thursday and inserted James Nelson at right tackle and Jeff Olson at left guard. Olson was nicked up during practice so the rotation at guard continues. Ronald Leary and David Arkin are expected to start the preseason opener. If Olson is unavailable, look for the Cowboys to move Travis Frederick to left guard with the second- or third-string units.

Backup middle linebackers: Backing up Sean Lee is no easy task. The Cowboys will work Caleb McSurdy and Brandon Magee into that spot during practices and the early portions of the preseason. McSurdy missed all of last season with a torn Achilles and the Cowboys have said he's moving around well. Magee was an undrafted free agent, whom the Cowboys wanted to draft in the late rounds this past spring. Magee is a physical player who can play several different spots.

Time change: The practice time has changed to 4 p.m. from 4:45 p.m.

IRVING, Texas -- Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys are still working on the mechanics of who'll call the offensive plays during the 2013 season.

Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.

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It's an interesting discussion given how this has turned into a bigger deal than it should be. Garrett has called plays since arriving here from the Miami Dolphins in 2007.

After last season, owner/general manager Jerry Jones said changes were needed to the offensive structure and he was leaving those decisions to Garrett.

Garrett was asked Tuesday to explain why it still hasn't been finalized.

"I think we have a pretty good plan, and we'll execute it as the offseason progresses," Garrett said.

Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan seems like the perfect candidate because of his experience, but it seems nobody is saying the job is his. Quarterback Tony Romo has also been given more input and, while it's not expected he'll call plays himself, his influence will be felt.

The wild card is quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, who has a strong relationship with Garrett and Romo. Wilson could be telling Romo the plays through his headset on game days.

But who actually calls the plays themselves? That's another story.

"Whatever coach wants me to do, whatever role he wants me to fill, I'm more than happy to do that," Callahan said. "We're working through a lot of things right now. ...

"When that play goes in, they're all types of options that we build into the play itself. They can be checks with me, they can be packaged with another run, run-to-run, pass-to-pass. A lot of that (goes) on when the play goes in. You have to, from the people that I've spoken with around the NFL. There's a lot of teams that use that mechanism, use that procedure. That's one way of doing it."

Cowboys preseason schedule released

April, 4, 2013
The Dallas Cowboys released their preseason schedule Thursday.

ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Tony Romo's contract extension and what needs to happen for Romo to lead the Cowboys to a championship.

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The Cowboys will kick off the preseason against the Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

The Oakland Raiders will host the Cowboys in the second preseason game the weekend of Aug. 9-11. The Cowboys will then visit the Arizona Cardinals the weekend of Aug. 16-18.

The first preseason game at Cowboys Stadium will be the weekend of Aug. 23-25 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The finale will most likely be Aug. 29 when the Cowboys host the Houston Texans.

Exact dates and game times haven't been determined. The Cowboys will open training camp in mid-July in Oxnard, Calif.
PHOENIX -- The Cowboys will play the Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 4, it was announced Tuesday morning.

ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins joins Galloway & Company to discuss the latest from the NFL owners meetings, Tony Romo's contract situation and much more.

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The Cowboys have played in the Hall of Fame Game four times, with the last appearance coming in 2010, when they earned a 16-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

There are some positives and negatives with playing in this game:

  • It's a chance for the Cowboys and their fans to honor former Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen, who will be inducted with the Class of 2013. Former Cowboys coach and Dolphins executive Bill Parcells also is a member of this year's Hall class.

  • Because they'll now have five preseason games, it'll allow starters to become familiar with the new 4-3 defense. On the offensive side, it'll allow players to get used to a new playcaller (Bill Callahan?), if the Cowboys decide to go that direction.

  • The Cowboys can now open training camp early because of the Hall of Fame Game. Because you can start at least 15 days before the first preseason game, the Cowboys can kick off camp July 21 in Oxnard, Calif.

  • Traveling to play in five preseason games can be an emotional and physical drain. The Cowboys most likely will open camp in Oxnard, then travel to Canton for the first preseason game. The Cowboys could then return to Oxnard for another week of camp and play a road preseason game on the West Coast against San Diego, Oakland or even Seattle. After the second preseason game, the Cowboys can break camp and come back to Dallas to finish the rest of the preseason. Lots of airline miles and hotel nights in July and August.

  • Having that extra preseason game should help some players recovering from injuries to get two or possibly three preseason games of work. Injured players such as Barry Church (Achilles), Jay Ratliff (sports hernia), DeMarcus Ware (shoulder) Sean Lee (toe) and others might not be cleared to participate in the first preseason game but could be ready to go for the second.
  • CBS Sports is reporting that Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett has applied for the head coaching job at the University of Delaware.

    Cowboys officials couldn't be reached for comment.

    The Cowboys have released two assistant coaches, Rob Ryan and Skip Peete, since the end of the regular season and didn't retain assistant strength and conditioning coach Walt Williams.

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported last weekend that the Cowboys were trying to encourage Garrett, the older brother of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, to seek other employment.

    Garrett has spent the last six seasons with the Cowboys as a tight ends coach, but he has looked into other opportunities in the last two years. He interviewed for the offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins last season. He was given an additional title of passing game coordinator with the Cowboys last season.

    Cowboys work out WR Anthony Armstrong

    November, 22, 2012
    PM ET
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- Former Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, who also played for Dallas' Arena League team, worked out Wednesday afternoon at Valley Ranch.

    The Cowboys lost wide receiver Miles Austin to a hip strain in Thursday's 38-31 loss to the Washington Redskins. The Cowboys had some health issues, with Kevin Ogletree missing the Redskins game with a concussion.

    Armstrong could be signed if Austin is added to the injury list.

    "That would be really looking at where we are health-wise with our receivers and looking ahead with what we might need to do," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. "But we'll have to see what Miles looks like."

    Armstrong, who is from Carrollton, Texas, was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars after his release by the Dolphins in October. But he was cut this week by the Jaguars on Nov. 12.

    He didn't play in any games for the Jaguars but had three catches for 12 yards for the Dolphins this season.
    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys received some good news regarding injuries.

    *Cornerback Mike Jenkins (shoulder) has been cleared by doctors to practice and is expected to participate Saturday.

    *Coach Jason Garrett said he's hopeful wide receivers Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dez Bryant (knee) can practice Saturday.

    *Tight end Jason Witten (spleen) is healing but still 50-50 for the regular-season opener at the New York Giants. "He had a positive report from the doctors yesterday," Garrett said. "His spleen is healing, it is getting better. His work on the field has become more extensive, he's been running, he's been catching balls. We're hopeful that he can do something as the practice week starts on Saturday. We'll just continue to make that evaluation. He's going to be evaluated by doctors for a while."

    *Nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) remains questionable for the season opener next week.

    *Linebacker Dan Connor suffered a minor hip injury during the game against Miami, but said if this were a regular-season game that he would have played through it.

    *Wide receiver Andre Holmes (knee) left the game briefly, but later returned.

    *Cornerback Lionel Smith (concussion) left the game in the third quarter and didn't return.

    *Guard Daniel Loper was taken out after tweaking his hamstring and didn't return.