La’el Collins Jersey

La’el Collins might be the best draft steal the Dallas Cowboys will ever make, and he still may only be with the team for a total of five seasons.

In one of the strangest plots of recent draft memory, Collins went undrafted in 2015 after spending months being considered one of the best offensive line prospects of the year. The reason? His ex-girlfriend was murdered, and he was considered a person of interest. He was never considered a suspect, but the mystery just a few days before the draft sent him plummeting.

He and his agent, knowing the windfall of cash he had lost, declared that no team should draft him, and all 32 clubs listened. From Sports Illustrated:

In Baton Rouge, Collins sweats out the second day of the draft while his agents unfurl a new plan. Rather than lobby for him to be drafted, they issue an ultimatum to teams: Draft La’el in the second or third rounds, or don’t draft him at all.

The hardest part, Gilmore says, was selling Collins on the idea: “I’m explaining it to this young man and he’s having a hard time accepting it. We’re trying not to get drafted? He had to have a lot of trust in us.”

Collins signed on with Dallas after a whirlwind recruiting pitch by Jerry Jones that included a lavish dinner with Tony Romo, Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin.

It didn’t take long for him to see action, entering in just his second game as a replacement for injured starter Ron Leary.

In Collins three seasons, he’s started 30 of 48 possible games. After playing left tackle for LSU, he switched to left guard when he joined the Cowboys and was moved to right tackle last season.

Injuries have caused him to miss plenty of time over his first two seasons, though he played through back injuries to start and finish all 16 games in 2017.
Per Spotrac, the Cowboys’ offensive line recently eclipsed the Falcons as the highest allocation, $47,330,201, with Zack Martin’s extension. With the offensive line taking up 26.6% of the team’s cap space, the unit is expected to produce at an enormous level.

Over The Cap has Dallas as third in the league with just under $44 million spent on the line.

Collins is no doubt a huge key to the success of the offense, but with so much money tied up with Smith, Frederick and Martin for the foreseeable future can the Cowboys also sign Collins to a contract that will be equal to his level of talent?

Collins has two seasons left on his contract with a cap hit of $5,758,333 this season and $7,408,334 in 2019 before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

This season Collins is responsible for 2.9% of the team’s total cap space and 12.2% of the offensive line’s total salaries.

On the horizon the Cowboys have another two key players whose contracts will be expired: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott becomes an unrestricted free agent the same year as Collins, and Elliot is to become a UFA in 2021.

Just how much more can the Cowboys look to invest in their offensive line? The club has already started on a path where the receiving options aren’t going to be heavily invested in, so there will be some savings there, but four highly-paid offensive linemen seems difficult to fathom.

A new deal of course depends on Collins playing the next two seasons like he did the last handful of games of the 2017 season. It was certainly a rough thing to watch as Collins got acclimated to the right side while facing a murderer’s row of defensive ends through the first two-thirds of the season. He faced off against Jason Pierre-Paul, Chandler Jones, Robert Quinn, Ryan Kerrigan and Justin Houston to start things off.

Pro Football Focus was not kind in their grading over that stretch, including a -11.8 grade against the Broncos. He leveled out over the last six games of the season, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

His performance did lead to the possibility of Dallas moving him back to left guard, especially with the way Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper failed at the position last season. The possibility was escalated when Dallas signed swing tackle Cameron Fleming, who played very well at right tackle for the AFC champion New England Patriots.

Eventually Dallas would draft Texas’ tackle Connor Williams to play left guard and Collins looks to be the entrenched starter for 2018.

If he can continue his upward trend, the conversation will need to change to what happens for him after 2019, as Dallas would be dealing with a world of riches at what they consider their most important position group.

In this series, Cowboys Wire will be counting down the days until the regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers with a profile of the player whose jersey number matches the days remaining. On July 1, 71 days remain. Next up, No. 70 Zack Martin.

Cornerback Byron Jones and newly-paid defensive end Demarcus Lawrence won’t be the only big-name Dallas Cowboys sidelined until training camp, as right tackle La’el Collins is reportedly recovering from a torn rotator cuff.

According to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Collins “will be sidelined throughout the offseason rehabbing from surgery” and “said the Cowboys plan to be cautious with him throughout OTAs and minicamp.” He apparently suffered the torn rotator cuff late in the 2018 season and had it repaired shortly after the team’s final playoff game in January.

He promises, however, to be on the field for training camp in July, per Hill.

Jones and Lawrence had already been scheduled to miss most of the Cowboys’ offseason program, with the former undergoing hip surgery in March and the latter expected to rehabilitate for three to four months from a shoulder operation. And while the pressure is on Lawrence to live up to his new $100 million contract, there might be even more on Collins, who’s entering a contract year and has produced mixed results since moving from guard to right tackle in 2017.

A coveted tackle prospect out of LSU, Collins went undrafted in 2015 after an apparent legal misunderstanding off the field before landing a three-year, fully-guaranteed deal with Dallas. After 14 starts through his first two seasons, he converted to right tackle following the retirement of Doug Free and inked a two-year extension with the Cowboys through 2019.

Kavon Frazier Jersey

While it’s the negative stories that always catch the headline wave, there are actually many more positive ones that come out of the Dallas Cowboys’ organization but rarely go heralded — for obvious reasons. The organization is well-known for its ties to the community and outreach services that are partnered with Salvation Army, but it’s also what the players do on a regular basis that deserve a hearty salute. Frazier is one such individual, who goes above and beyond at every turn to help uplift the less fortunate.

His latest efforts are aimed at supplying schools with much needed technology upgrades, having partnered with Conn’s HomePlus and Hewlett Packard to donate 120 laptops to four separate Dallas ISD schools in 2019 — according to The Hub.

The schools to receive Frazier’s gift are William H. Attwell Middle, Patton Academic Center, Adelle Turner Elementary, and South Oak Cliff High, and each will receive 30 laptops a piece.

“At Conn’s HomePlus, we recognize today’s youth as tomorrow’s future,” said Norm Miller, CEO of Conn’s HomePlus in the official press release. “Similar to our partners at HP, we believe in the power of modern technology. We hope our donation will help inspire students in the Dallas ISD to excel in academics and push themselves to new limits.”

This is far from the first time the veteran Cowboys’ safety has done outreach, with his Frazier Cares Foundation having also hosted summer football camps and taking hundreds of kids to the debut screening of the blockbuster movie “Black Panther” in 2018. Dallas ISD is quite familiar with Frazier’s generosity, and he recently partnered with Under Armour and basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman to give children of single-parent homes in Dallas ISD a holiday shopping spree just a few months ago.

“It’s my favorite time of the year because I really get to show an impact on these kid’s lives and you know, give back,” Frazier said in December. “We gave 50 kids a $150 gift card to get whatever they want, if they want to get themselves something, if they want to get their family something for Christmas — we are giving back to what God has blessed us with — yeah it’s my favorite time of the year.”

Frazier is entering his fourth year in the NFL and has been an impact special teams player and more-than-solid rotational safety for the Cowboys, having stepped into the role of starter in impressive fashion last season when Xavier Woods was absent with injury. He’s done everything the team has asked of him and more, and continues to follow the mantra of being the “Right Kind of Guy”. That’s something he’s prided himself on since being selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, continuing to build his resume both on- and off-the-field following his days at Central Michigan.

“HP is proud to work with Conn’s, Dallas ISD and Kavon Frazier and Frazier Cares Foundation in this important community initiative for the Dallas ISD,” said Quyen Phan,
HP Sales Manager. “Education and the enrichment of learning through the application of technology is a cornerstone to building a better future for the next generation. Congratulations to Conn’s HomePlus and Frazier Cares Foundation for making this happen for the children of the Dallas ISD.

“HP is thrilled to have participated.”

Frazier and his wife welcomed their first child in May 2018, and while he’s realized the ultimate goal of raising his own in a two-parent household — something he didn’t have himself — Frazier hasn’t forgotten about those who don’t have that privilege and struggle on a tilted world stage.

For those children, Frazier will keep fighting, because he knows firsthand what they’re up against.

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch remains sidelined at the team’s organized team activities because of a pelvic injury.

Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News reported the update Wednesday and noted cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) and safety Kavon Frazier (knee) are also absent from OTA session.

Vander Esch is coming off a terrific rookie campaign after the Cowboys selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He registered 140 total tackles, which ranked third in the NFL, along with seven passes defended and two interceptions while playing all 16 games.

The 23-year-old Boise State product earned a Pro Bowl selection and was ranked as the league’s fourth-best linebacker by Pro Football Focus.

“There’s a lot of ways I can improve,” Vander Esch told reporters in April. “Getting off blocks, striking with my length and building coordination with that, getting my foot in the ground and just running and making plays. You’ve got to be in shape. You’ve got to be able to run and finish.”

He previously dealt with a groin injury during last year’s training camp.

Awuzie became a full-time starter for the Cowboys last year after spending most of his 2017 debut season as a reserve. He tallied 71 total tackles, 11 passes defended and an interception in 15 games.

The San Jose native missed one contest with an ankle injury.

Frazier’s injury required a knee scope that’s expected to keep him out of practice until training camp, per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram.

His recovery timetable is crucial because he’ll likely be battling for a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster during the preseason since the team has a lot of depth at safety.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Before Kavon Frazier made a name for himself on the gridiron, the Dallas Cowboys rookie and Central Michigan University alumnus had another love.

The Grand Rapids native grew up playing both football and basketball at the Seidman Boys & Girls Club, but he favored the hardwood. Even after being advised to pursue football by his first coach and mentor, Grand Rapids Police Officer Percy Brown, Frazier was hesitant.

Now getting set to suit-up for his first 2016 NFL playoff game, Frazier is reminded of the positive impact officers like Brown had on his life growing up on the city’s Southeast Side.

“Before coach Brown passed away, he told me my key to making it out of there was football,” Frazier said. “And sure enough, he was right. He was a father figure in my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for him.”

Frazier joined the club when he was 7, regularly visiting the Crofton Street location after school with his sister. He didn’t have a father at home, but said Brown – and later Officer Michael Harris – were some of the men at the youth center who were his male role models.

“Time is the biggest thing with them,” Frazier said. “Those guys just believed in every kid and they never gave up on anyone, no matter their background or what they did.”

Harris, who took over the Seidman Center 15 years ago, still keeps in touch with Frazier.

He called Frazier a good example of the positive impact officers can have on youth in the community, helping them make good decisions and keeping them out of trouble.

“Kavon was a kid who was always very talented. He was a hard worker and he was very intelligent,” Harris said. “It takes a village to raise a kid. Lots of people influence you along the way.”

Each of the three Boys & Girls Club locations in Grand Rapids is supervised by a GRPD community policing specialist, who provides guidance and support for hundreds of children annually.

For $5 a year, children can attend any of the clubs on weekdays after school. There, they have access to a study room, basketball gym, art room, and video game area, as well as a daily meal.

“Even though Seidman isn’t in the best neighborhood, you could go there and not have to worry about the negative influences or any trouble coming your way,” Frazier said. “It was a positive influence in my life.”

Frazier graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School before going on to be a three-year starting defensive back at Central Michigan.

He was selected by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, making the active roster and recording six tackles in limited playing time during his first season.

Since moving to Dallas, Fraizer’s respect for law enforcement officers has continued.

In July, the Cowboys safety took to Twitter to show his support for the Dallas Police Department after five officers were killed and another seven were injured in an ambush at a peaceful protest.

“Some of the stuff going on in the world is wrong, but I don’t think violence is the answer, especially toward police officers,” he said. “They’re trying to make communities safe, and they’re putting their lives on the line.

“Not all officers are bad people and it hurts that this stuff is going on, especially how I grew up.”

Frazier said his experience at the Seidman Center inspired him to give back to children.

Just before Christmas, Frazier took 35 members of the Boys & Girls Club of Dallas to his sponsor company, Under Armour, where each picked out a pair of new shoes. Afterward, he spent time with them at the club, posting a video to Twitter afterward.

Once his playing career is over, Frazier plans to put his child development degree to use by opening his own youth center.

“That’s down the road. I want to have time to plan but I definitely want to start one and give back,” he said. “(Harris and Brown) helped me stay out of trouble. I want to do that. If we can get these kids who don’t have fathers in their lives and get them those positive figures, that would go a long way.”

Damien Wilson Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs added to their linebacker corps on Thursday, signing free agent Damien Wilson.

Here are five things to know about the newest member of the Chiefs’ defense.

A fourth-round pick out of Minnesota in 2015, Wilson racked up 98 tackles (69 solo), eight tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks in 64 career games (22 starts) with Dallas over four seasons.

He started seven games for the Cowboys in 2018, tallying 32 tackles (25 solo), two tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and a sack.

His lone sack was the fourth-fastest in the NFL last season at just 2.04 seconds.

Wilson played outside linebacker in Dallas’ 4-3 defensive scheme and primarily did so as the strong-side, or SAM, linebacker. Nineteen of Wilson’s 22 career-starts for the Cowboys were at the SAM position.

Essentially, a 4-3 defense includes three linebackers while in its base formation: the weak-side linebacker (WILL), middle linebacker (MIKE) and strong-side linebacker (SAM). It remains to be seen how he’ll be used in Kansas City.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that Wilson was taught all three positions while in Dallas.

Wilson and Hitchens were teammates for three years in Dallas from 2015-17, sharing the field as starters 13 times. Hitchens lined up at middle linebacker while Wilson was on the strong-side for most of those occasions, but both players did a little bit of everything.

The duo is now reunited in Kansas City.

Wilson logged 345 special teams snaps last season – or 82.9 percent of the Cowboys’ total – to lead the team by a wide margin. He also led the team in that category in 2017 and finished second in 2016 by just four snaps.

The guy is comfortable contributing on special teams.

Wilson’s journey to this point began as a virtually unknown recruit in rural Mississippi. He caught the eye of Alcorn State and thrived as a defensive end before transferring to Jones County Community College the following year in the hopes of landing at a bigger school.

That goal was realized as a junior when Wilson transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he became a linebacker and finished second on the team with 78 tackles. His senior season was even better, highlighted by a team-leading 119 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks.

His efforts earned him a First-Team All-Big 10 selection by the media after the season.

While at Minnesota, Wilson played alongside Chiefs’ safety Eric Murray from 2013-14. The former Golden Gophers swapped jerseys after Kansas City’s matchup with Dallas in 2017.

The two players are now back together on the Chiefs’ defense.

A year after Anthony Hitchens left Dallas to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, another Cowboys linebacker plans to do the same.

A source confirmed Tuesday that former Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson intends to sign with the Chiefs when the new league year begins on Wednesday.

Wilson tweeted Tuesday: “The cowboys will always be in my heart and the fans have been unbelievably classy and supportive every year that I have been apart of the team. You will be missed dallas.”

Wilson, a fourth round pick in 2015, played in every game over his four seasons in Dallas. He started seven games last season at strongside linebacker, playing 28 percent of Dallas’ defensive snaps. He finished the 2018 season with a career-high 37 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.

But his departure doesn’t come as a surprise. The Cowboys are returning six of the linebackers that were on their roster last season, including standout starters Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Veteran Sean Lee recently restructured his contract to remain with the club and play in a reserve role after being a starter for the past nine years.

The position group has become one of Dallas’ greatest strengths.

Wilson was also a significant special teams contributor, playing 82.5 percent of the special teams snaps last season.

Reserve linebackers Joe Thomas, Justin March-Lillard and Chris Covington are expected to compete for the extra snaps.

Wilson was arrested on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police said he backed his truck into a woman and flashed a rifle at a man outside Toyota Stadium in Frisco on July 4, 2017. He was cleared of the charges three months later.

Linebacker Damien Wilson is set to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs at the start of free agency Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

Wilson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played his college ball at the University of Minnesota. He has bounced back and forth between being a starter and a backup during his four year career in Dallas.

Last season Wilson started seven games, racking up 37 tackles and a sack. It is expected that he will play strong side linebacker in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 scheme, just as he did for the Cowboys. He could also be a contributor on special teams.

Wilson’s deal is for two seasons. Things could of course change between now and the start of the regular season, but Wilson projects to be an early favorite to start at SLB.

Wilson is a thumper who plays with high energy. He was limited in Dallas due to the amount of nickel defense it plays. The Chiefs probably feel there is untapped potential in Wilson and that he just needs more opportunities. At just 25 years old his best football could very well still be in front of him.

Damien Wilson might be a smaller linebacker, but his exceptional length allows him to make plays many other “small” linebackers couldn’t. He’s a productive, very active player with a high tackle count in each of his two starting seasons and a nose for the ball. Wilson is agile enough to survive in coverage and off the ball, and he’ll attack and run down the ball outside the hashes.

Wilson doesn’t do well with blockers in his face and can shy away from a power-run game at the second level. He’ll get caught out of position and can take himself out of plays too often for a 4-3 inside linebacker. His vision is good, but his follow-through is not.

Rod Smith Jersey

For most of his 14-year career with the Broncos, wide receiver Rod Smith simply watched Pat Bowlen from afar, noticing him on the sideline at practices but not really getting to know him. After all, Bowlen was the owner. Smith was a player.

“I’m always cautious of who’s the boss,” Smith said. “I’ve always been cautious of who’s running things. Pat always had this real mysterious-type presence, especially when I was younger.”

But as Smith’s career as a Bronco started to wind down, the wall between him and Bowlen began to fall. Smith began peppering his boss with questions — about the team, about running the franchise, about life.

The business relationship evolved into a friendship.

“The thing was,” Smith said, “he was paying attention the whole time. He watched me grow up in the organization he built.”

Throughout his career with the Broncos, in which he set franchise marks in receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389) and touchdown catches (68), Smith also earned three Pro Bowl appearances. He was a starter on the Broncos’ two Super Bowl-winning teams, in 1997 and 1998. He was inducted in the team’s Ring of Fame in 2012.

But one of his fondest NFL memories doesn’t involve a ring or a trophy or any kind of personal accolade. It involves Bowlen. And it came after Smith retired.

“I was over there watching practice one day and, I can’t remember who it was, but he came over and said, ‘Hey, man, Pat wants to see you in his office,’ ” Smith recounted. “I had been retired for a couple years at that point, so when I hear Pat wants to see me in his office, I’m like ‘Ah, man, what’d I do?’ I’m scared walking up there, like I’m going to the principal’s office.

“We sat there for like 45 minutes just talking about life and kids and the team. It was the coolest 45 minutes. That will always be one of my fondest memories in the NFL, sitting down with the owner of the Broncos, having a family conversation.”

Smith played his entire career with the Broncos. In talking to other players throughout the league, he learned how unusual Bowlen was in his approach to the job and the team.

“The owner usually only shows up when there’s a problem,” Smith said. “Pat was always around, but he’d let you do your job. He let Coach (Mike) Shanahan coach the team. He let John Elway do his thing. To me, that’s what made the organization great, because the owner isn’t in the way. He’s not in the spotlight, but he makes sure things got taken care of.”

Even in retirement, Smith has found the Broncos have ensured the focus stays on the players. The alumni, he said, are regarded as family.
“I honestly believe I’m living the way I am right now because of that man and the way he handled things,” Smith said.

Cowboys backup running back Rod Smith made a name for himself during Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension in 2017. Here are 10 things to know about the Cowboys’ backup running back.

Rod Smith was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Jan. 10, 1992. He starred at Fort Wayne’s Paul Harding High, rushing for 6,625 yards and 66 touchdowns to earn All-State honors. He then played for Ohio State and bounced around NFL rosters, joining the Cowboys in October 2015 after the Seahawks waived him. Seattle had initially signed Smith as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2015.

Rod’s younger brother Jaylon Smith plays linebacker for the Cowboys, you might have heard. Smith’s dramatic knee injury in Notre Dame’s bowl game dropped him from a top pick to the Cowboys’ second rounder in 2016. As he worked his entire year for his nerve to regenerate, Jaylon received much press. All along, Rod flew under the radar.

“We understood it was going to be possible when Jerry [Jones] called me that night [of the draft], but for it to really happen, it’s a great feeling,” Rod said of playing with his brother.
Smith didn’t get much playing time in his first two years as an NFL player, or even in much of this year. He carried the ball 23 times for 99 yards in his first 28 games. But the last three games, he’s exploded. Beginning with the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving loss to the Chargers, Smith has four touchdowns in three games. He’s carried the ball 24 times for 115 yards averaging 4.6 yards a carry.

“I was stoked, super excited for him, happy for him, proud of him,” Jaylon told him after his first career TD. “That’s what I told him when he came to the sideline. He’s worked so hard, he’s been through so much, he’s always kept his eyes on the prize.”

Here’s a look back at that push:

Rod has been with the Cowboys – at least on the practice squad – since October 2015, before the Cowboys took Zeke with the fourth pick overall in 2016. But the two running backs’ team bonds date back further. Smith played for Ohio State from 2011-14, with Elliott joining the team in 2013.

Zeke was exuberant on Twitter after Smith’s two touchdowns against the Giants, tweeting “BOOBIE !” first followed by an explanation. He also tweeted “LET HIM SPINNNN!”

Smith’s response, per SportsDay Cowboys insider Kate Hairopoulos: “Can’t wait til you get back, brother. Just waiting on you. I know you ready, let’s do it.

Smith played four full seasons at running back, totaling 549 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground plus another 94 yards and two scores in the passing game. But he also ran into trouble as a Buckeye. Per an Oct. 2014 article in The Columbus Dispatch, Smith was kicked off the team for failing a drug test. He’d already missed much of spring practice for academic issues but, the article said, he “worked his way back into good graces this summer. Coaches had praised his maturation and described him as a leader among the running backs.”

When Elliott began dominating the offense at Ohio State, Smith began making more of his name on special teams — something he’d continue to do in the NFL.

“Rod’s getting experience,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said the Monday after Smith’s first career TD. “He hasn’t played a lot. He’s really coming along as a running back in his pro career at times and he was pretty raw coming out of college.”

Linehan said Smith has become effective not just in the run game but also on third downs and in pass protection. Throw in special teams, and he’s contributing to the roster meaningfully.

“He’s a good matchup in the pass protection game, has good hands and a nice feel of the passing game,” Linehan said. “So his experience that he’s getting is on the job. He was doing a little bit of that for us when he was below Zeke but now he’s got kind of a full-time role.”

Smith set an NFL record in the Cowboys’ 30-10 victory over the Giants. He became the first player in league history with a touchdown reception for over 80 yards and a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter of a single game.

Smith has a pretty unique touchdown dance. After he scored a touchdown in Dallas’ 38-14 win over the Redskins, Smith laid down in the end zone and acted like he was taking a nap in the end zone with the ball as a pillow. Jaylon even wanted to get in on the fun.

The Cowboys had options at running back after Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension began. Many thought the team would split the reps at running back between Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. The Cowboys ended up going with Smith over McFadden and never looked back after he scored his first career touchdown against the Chargers on Thanksgiving. McFadden was released a few days later.
“Rod is versatile,” Stephen Jones said during his regular radio interview with 105.3 The Fan’s G-BAG Nation. “He obviously brings some explosiveness back there. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield, has some speed, and then of course he has the dimension the other two don’t have, which is he’s a really good special-teams player playing his role.

Smith wasn’t always a running back for the Cowboys. The team tried to move him to fullback early in his career. Dallas even cut Smith midway through the 2016 season.

Tavon Austin Jersey

Tavon Austin is where he needs to be to finally realize his full potential, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones couldn’t be happier with the team’s new offensive weapon.

Jones made a surprising comparison when discussing Austin at training camp.

“I like the energy that No. 10 is bringing,” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota. “That’s inordinate because just by the nature of how we got him here and his pedigree, for him to bring along that really, it’s Michael Irvin-ish as far as the energy that he brings. I know the guys appreciate him.”

The Playmaker isn’t walking through the door at 52 years old to solve the Cowboys’ wide receiver problems. But Austin is now mentally and physically ready to become a dynamic threat.

The fact that Austin is drawing positive reviews shows how far he has come in a few months. The Los Angeles Rams were ready to release the failed draft pick, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, before finding a trade partner.

Jones’ reference was a nod to Austin’s on-field demeanor and not his skill set. Comparing any current player to a Hall of Famer is always a mistake. Yet, a larger-than-life personality is exactly what the Cowboys need among a nondescript group of skill-position performers.

A take-charge version of Austin is a far cry from the previous incarnation that played for the Rams organization. Calling the receiver’s first five seasons a disappointment is an understatement. The Rams traded up to the eighth overall pick in the notoriously awful 2013 draft and chose the West Virginia product. He’s never managed more than 907 total yards from scrimmage in any season yet signed a $42 million contract extension before the 2016 campaign. In March, the Rams and Austin agreed to void the last three years of his contract, which made him easier to trade.

A month later, the Cowboys flipped a sixth-round pick to the Rams for Austin. He’s been everything the team wanted upon agreeing to the deal.

“He’s a steal,” Dak Prescott said during minicamp, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer.

The quarterback could already see what Austin brought to the offense as a hybrid runner/receiver. However, Austin’s turnaround in the blue and silver occurred long before he ever put on the team’s uniform.

His misusage within the Rams offense under previous head coach Jeff Fisher from 2013 to 2016 is not a secret. Fisher’s staffs lacked creativity and didn’t continually place Austin in a position to create, which is amazing after they paid a stiff price to draft him. It’s not like his skill set changed from West Virginia to the professional ranks.

This doesn’t excuse the 28-year-old target, who is equally culpable in his disappointing play. Austin never committed himself. Other priorities superseded what happened on the field.

“I didn’t respect the game enough,” Austin acknowledged, per the Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George. “That’s what I’m doing again. I’m getting back to leaving the money and all that stuff alone and coming in and playing the sport that I love.”

Reporters pressed Austin on what he meant about not respecting the game.

“For one, my work ethic,” he said. “My work ethic went out the window. I’m not saying I wasn’t working hard, but it went out the window. I didn’t work as hard as I used to do.”

It didn’t take long for Tavon Austin and the Cowboys to show their true colors and disrespect the red, white and blue on national television, again. Dak “MAGA Seneca Wallace” Prescott got Dallas on the board early with a deep bomb to Austin, who’d burst right past New York’s defense in an absolute blaze of glory.

Austin was traded to the Cowboys from the Rams in the offseason in exchange for a sixth-round pick. The move was hardly objectionable as he didn’t score a receiving touchdown all of last season (he scored once rushing). This season wasn’t off to the greatest start either as he only recorded one rushing yard of total offense Week 1 against the Panthers. This game seems to be going a bit better. Not only has he burned a safety nicknamed “The Jackrabbit,” he also had a throwback performance that allowed some fans to bring up Rams-era Nick Foles.

Cowboys fans will certainly hope the fever of throwback performances becomes contagious, and gets Dak Prescott to back to his Offensive Rookie of the Year heights.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Tavon Austin’s fresh start with the Dallas Cowboys wasn’t much different than the stale final season the versatile receiver endured with the Los Angeles Rams.

The difference is that Austin has a chance to change the feeling — against his former team, in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The Cowboys traded for Austin during the draft, but he missed nine games after injuring a groin. While he was out just one game last season under first-year Rams coach Sean McVay, Austin was hampered by wrist and hamstring issues while simply getting buried on the depth chart.

He’s trying not to view Saturday night’s game in LA as a matchup of a team that wanted him against a team that didn’t .

“You’re always going to feel disrespected because you’re getting traded,” Austin said. “If you get traded, evidently you’re not doing something right. Or you ain’t getting it done, or they don’t believe in you. I felt disrespected, but at the end of the day it’s the business side.

“(McVay) talked to me on the phone about it and told me he was going to give me a chance to go somewhere else and finish my career. And that was good enough for me.”

Austin had the first long play of the season for the Cowboys, a 64-yard touchdown catch from Dak Prescott in a Week 2 win over the New York Giants before getting injured four weeks later. He returned in time for the regular-season finale at New York, setting up a strong showing in the 24-22 wild-card win over Seattle.

An 80-yard punt return for a touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty that didn’t make any difference in Austin breaking free. He added a 51-yard return early in the fourth quarter to set up a drive that ended with Prescott throwing an interception in the end zone.

The Cowboys haven’t had much of a threat in the return game without Austin, and haven’t been able to utilize many gadget plays on offense without the hybrid receiver/runner.

The eighth overall pick in 2013 when the Rams were still in St. Louis, Austin had five disappointing seasons, including the franchise’s first two after moving back to LA. The former West Virginia player heard the “bust” talk, but tried to ignore it. He’s still trying to ignore it.

“Every game is emotional,” Austin said. “Not really a difference between games. It’s just the fact that I played over there for so long. I’m all right. I’m not going to make it a Tavon against the Rams thing.”

It wasn’t so much the Rams wanting to dump Austin as it was simply not having a spot for him two years after he signed a four-year, $42 million extension.

The 28-year-old Austin was a good fit for Dallas because offensive coordinator Scott Linehan likes gadget guys. Linehan just never got to use him much.

“Tavon has the unique ability of making big plays with not playing every game,” Linehan said recently. “He’s going to feel like a guy with fresh legs on the field.”

And Austin has a fresh outlook, even after another stale season marked by an injury that led to career lows in games and catches.

“You always want to show out. That’s the point,” Austin said. “We’ll see when we get over there. Hopefully I do, but if I don’t, hopefully we just get the win.”

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – The Dallas Cowboys have re-signed receiver Tavon Austin to a one-year deal, according to 105.3 The Fan’s Mike Fisher.

It’s unknown how much Austin will earn.

105.3 The Fan reported last week that Austin had been working out at The Star with Cowboys trainers.

With the departure of Cole Beasley, Austin could see more opportunities in the slot along with Allen Hurns.

Austin had 8 receptions for 180 yards in seven games played with Dallas last season. He suffered a gruesome groin injury that cost him half the season.

The Cowboys also reportedly signed defensive end Christian Covington to a one-year deal on Thursday.

Marcus Martin Jersey

Amidst a flurry of roster moves on Thursday, which included releasing two franchise icons in Doug Baldwin and Kam Chancellor, the Seattle Seahawks quietly signed free agent guard Marcus Martin.

Martin, 25, was a second-round pick in 2014 by the 49ers. The former USC product appeared in 26 games (24 starts) for San Francisco from 2014-2016, before he was cut.

He spent the past two seasons bouncing around the Browns and Cowboys, spending all of 2018 on the injured reserve.

Now, he’ll get a chance to crack the roster on Seattle’s very crowded offensive line.

Martin’s biggest skill set for the Seahawks will be his versatility, as he has played center, guard and tackle in the NFL – although he is primarily a center.

Seattle is set in the starting five, with Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi. Phil Haynes, Jamarco Jones, George Fant, Joey Hunt, Jordan Simmons and Ethan Pocic all seem likely to occupy a roster spot, and Joey Hunt, Jordan Roos and Elijah Nkansah have NFL experience as well, giving Seattle one of the deepest offensive lines in recent memory.

However, it is worth noting Seattle is bringing in a veteran who has experience playing guard and center, as that could be a sign that Pocic, Seattle’s 2017 second round pick, doesn’t have a secure roster spot.

Martin has a long road ahead of him to make the roster, but his invitation into camp is proof that coach Pete Carroll remains committed to his intense culture of competition – especially during training camp when no one’s job is safe.

BALTIMORE — The Rams have made a roster move on the eve of their first practice with the Ravens, signing defensive end Marcus Martin.

A college free agent out of Division-II Slippery Rock, Martin initially signed with the Seahawks following the spring’s draft. Even though Martin recorded a record-setting 56.0 sacks in college, he joined the Seahawks to play as a fullback. That ultimately did not work out, as Martin was waived in late May.

Martin is the all-time NCAA leader in sacks irrespective of division with his 56.0 quarterback takedowns. He holds the record for Division-II career tackles for loss as well, with 92.5.

Los Angeles announced Margin’s signing as a defensive end, meaning he will likely go back to playing defense.

The Rams will practice with the Ravens this week before taking on Baltimore for Los Angeles’ first preseason matchup on Thursday evening.

While the Seattle Seahawks roster went topsy turvy on Thursday by releasing two of their legends; the roster spots cleared by waiving strong safety Kam Chancellor and wide receiver Doug Baldwin were put to immediate use by signing three lesser-known players.

Much lesser known players.

By waiving Chancellor and Baldwin due to failed physicals along with their last remaining open roster spot, the organization created the room to sign cornerback Jamar Taylor, fullback Nick Bellore and guard Marcus Martin. It was known the Seahawks planned to add Taylor as presumably a veteran option for their nickel cornerback competition featuring Akeem King and Kalan Reed but Bellore and Martin weren’t known until the Seahawks made the move official.

Taylor has considerable experience at corner.

Well, Bellore and Martin also boast similar experience at positions with different degrees of difficult to make the team. Although the Seahawks worked out a few fullbacks during rookie mini-camp last weekend; they had no full-time fullback on the roster, as two-year starter Tre Madden remains a free agent with no sign the Seahawks will re-sign him. With Bellore filling the void now, he’s no spring chicken — so Madden’s veteran pricing wasn’t the issue.

One would think the Seahawks would skew younger or go through 2019 sans fullback but at this point, they aren’t.

An undrafted player out of Central Michigan in 2011, Bellore brings special teams versatility to the table, which likely helped him earn the job. Another recent Detroit Lions player who played with the organization from the past two seasons, he also has a two-year stint with a Seahawks division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, before signing with the Lions. Rounding out, his NFL experience is the team that gave him his start — the New York Jets. Signed following the drafted in 2011, he spent his first four seasons in New York.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had plenty of success over the years with finding defensive talent from small schools. From Donnie Shell and Jack Lambert to Greg Lloyd and Javon Hargrave, they unearthed gems that most teams overlooked. The Steelers believe they found promising talent at outside linebacker last year with Keion Adams from Western Michigan. This year’s small school talent pool includes someone from the Steelers own backyard. West Mifflin High School graduate Marcus Martin, a defensive end from Slippery Rock University, should be on the Steelers radar. Why? Because he capped off an amazing college career with a historic senior season. Martin’s senior year proved he belongs with his big school counterparts.

The 2018 NFL Draft is just around the corner. One of the Steelers main needs is an inside linebacker who can cover ground and tackle. Martin is someone who can do just that, with a whole lot of heart and a non-stop motor. Despite his small school status, Martin is one of the most productive defensive linemen in NCAA history. Prior to his legendary Division II career, Martin was a standout defensive player at West Mifflin High School. In addition to football, Martin made a name for himself participating in track events such as running the 200m, javelin and shot put.

Martin isn’t the most imposing player in college football, but he’s made a name for himself with his production. He’s the all-time sack leader in college football with 56, and owns the all-time Division II record with 92.5 tackles for loss. Martin was a dominant force for Slippery Rock from the moment he stepped on the field in 2014. He started every one of his 48 games. The West Mifflin native racked up 302 tackles (139 solo), 56 sacks, six forced fumbles, and six passes defended. Slippery Rock’s coaching staff appreciated Martin’s unrelenting effort and hustle.

“There’s no question he could be starting at Pitt or anywhere else in the country,” Slippery Rock coach Shawn Lutz said. “The myth is that a defensive end in a 4-3 (defense) has to be 6’4″ or 6’5″. A lot of these teams are saying if you can pass rush, we can’t coach that. I don’t care what defense we play.” Considered short for a defensive lineman at 6’1″, Martin did not receive a Division I scholarship. Slippery Rock offered him a home and he rewarded them with 16 sacks, earning the PSAC West Freshman of the Year award. “I don’t know that there are many of him at any level,” said Cal (Pa.) coach Gary Dunn, “He’s the total package. He plays nonstop.”

To say Martin accomplished a lot at the Rock would be an understatement. His awards are a testament to his athletic ability, superior work ethic, and a genuine love for the game. “One thing I’ve definitely gotten better at is football IQ: understanding offenses and being able to predict things before they happen and being able to read backfields,” Martin said. Despite major schools holding his stature against him, Martin proved them wrong. “That’s just something I keep in the back of my head,” Martin said. “I am a shorter guy, so I gotta work on my other (skills). I can’t change my physical attributes, I’m as tall as I’m going to get. The things you can get better at is your quickness, your strength and everything mentally. So that’s the things I focus on.”

Deonte Thompson Jersey

Adam Gase has kept himself busy as the Jets’ interim GM.

On Tuesday, Gase signed one of his former wideouts in veteran WR Deonte Thompson, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, to help bolster the Jets’ wide receiver room. Thompson brings a winning pedigree with an outside shot at making the Jets roster.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Deonte Thompson said on Wednesday that the team’s receiving corps is looking to exceed expectations after the release of Dez Bryant.

According to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News, Thompson said: “I’m excited to be in a group of guys who are hungry and want to prove the world wrong. I don’t really have too much social media stuff, so I barely hear it, but we know what they say. But we’ll be having this discussion in November, and it will be totally different.”

Thompson is part of a revamped wideout group for the Cowboys that will look significantly different in 2018 with Bryant out of the fold.

Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Noah Brown are the holdover receivers in Dallas. Williams was arrested for public intoxication last week and is recovering from surgery on his broken right foot.

Aside from that trio, the Cowboys signed Thompson and Allen Hurns, traded for Tavon Austin (who is listed as a running back on the team’s depth chart) and drafted both Michael Gallup (third round) and Cedrick Wilson (sixth round).

None of the pass-catchers on Dallas’ roster have ever been a true No. 1 at the NFL level, but there is strength in numbers.

Hurns is no stranger to success, as he registered 64 receptions for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.

Thompson has had something of a nomadic career featuring stints with the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears.

The 29-year-old veteran enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017 with 38 catches for 555 yards and two touchdowns split between the Bears and Bills.
While there are major question marks among Dallas’ wide receivers, quarterback Dak Prescott will likely be forced to lean even more heavily on his wideouts in 2018 following the retirement of tight end Jason Witten (63 receptions, 560 yards, five touchdowns).

The Jets and interim general manager Adam Gase are at it again.

New York has signed veteran wide receiver Deonte Thompson, the team announced Tuesday. Thompson’s agents, DEC Management, had revealed the deal on social media earlier in the day. Terms were not disclosed.

Thompson’s signing comes after Gase completed his first deal as interim GM last week by sending linebacker Darron Lee to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick.

Thompson, 30, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Ravens in 2012. He has since had three stints with the Bills and also spent time with the Bears and Cowboys.

He totaled 17 catches for 161 yards in 13 games for the Cowboys and Bills in 2018.

Should he survive the cut, Thompson will compete for a spot behind Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder on New York’s depth chart.

Quann Shears is a Steelers fan, but he wasn’t going to pass up the chance to meet pro football players.

Even if they were from the Baltimore Ravens.

Quann left Monday night’s youth football clinic at Fort George G. Meade with defense tackle Brandon Williams’ hat — something he had to concede was “pretty cool.”

The 12-year-old was of 150 children from military families to take part.

Ravens players Kamar Aiken, Will Hill, Jeromy Miles (who attended the Naval Academy for one year), Steve Smith, Deonte Thompson and Williams provided pointers on football fundamentals, as well as the importance of physical activity.

FRISCO — The Cowboys’ plan all along was to keep veteran Deonte Thompson as their sixth receiver on the roster, but they had to be calculated in their approach.

The Cowboys initially released Thompson on Saturday as part of their final cuts and kept injured second-year receiver Noah Brown, who missed the preseason with a strained hamstring. On Monday, the Cowboys placed Brown on the injured reserve list and re-signed Thompson.

The reason the Cowboys kept Brown initially on the 53-man roster instead of Thompson came down to waivers. If the Cowboys would have released Brown, he would have been exposed to waivers and any team could have claimed him. Thompson is a vested veteran and doesn’t go through the waivers process, therefore he was free to sign with any team.

However, the Cowboys talked to Thompson before the release and told him they planned to re-sign him so he didn’t look for another team, knowing it would come soon with Brown being moved to injured reserve.

Thompson battled a strained groin throughout training camp but over the last week of practices looked healthy and ready to contribute. The Cowboys value him as a deep threat because of his speed and he’ll likely be the club’s primary kickoff returner.

Here are five things to know about new Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson.

Deonte Thompson was born on February 14, 1989 in Belle Glades, FL. Thompson attended Glades Central High School followed by the University of Florida. The 6-foot, 200-pound wide receiver is a six-year NFL veteran and has played for the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears.

Thompson has the rare distinction of winning a championship in college and the NFL.

He was a member of the 2008 Florida Gators squad that won the BCS National Championship under head coach Urban Meyer. Thompson finished his Florida career with 1,446 yards and He was later part of the Baltimore Ravens team that beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Thompson may only play football now, but he used to be a track and field star as well. He ran track in high school and was a member of the Gators’ track and field squad in 2008, according to Florida’s official website. Thompson’s track and field prowess clearly helped him as a wide receiver — he ran a 4.30 40-yard dash before the 2012 NFL draft when he went undrafted.

Thompson spoke more about his track and field experience in the video below for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thompson might not be a major weapon in the Cowboys’ passing game — his best season as a receiver came last year when he caught 38 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns for the Bears and Bills.

But Thompson may provide the Cowboys with a boost in their special teams unit. Thompson doesn’t have any kick or punt return touchdowns, but has accumulated a total of 3,059 all-purpose yards in his career. Look for him to immediately contribute in the Cowboys’ return-game. This missed field goal during the preseason is a good example…

The Cowboys have seen Thompson’s big-play ability firsthand. Thompson returned a kick at AT&T Stadium 108 yards for a touchdown against Dallas in a 2013 preseason game. Perhaps Cowboys fans will see more of that in 2018.

Antwaun Woods Jersey

For Cowboys defensive lineman Antwaun Woods, the journey from growing up in Los Angeles to America’s team has not always been an easy one.

“I grew up in the jungle, probably one of the most-dangerous parts of L.A.,” Antwaun said. “I got into some trouble.”

“It lives up to its name, the jungle,” Antwaun’s father Phillip Woods said. “There is poverty, low income, no income, drugs. One day you have a friend, the next day they’re gone.”

Because of the crime-filled environment at home, Antwaun’s father, Phillip, made the decision to bus his son almost two hours each way out of the jungle for school, sending him to Taft Charter High School in Woodland Hills, California, north of Los Angeles.

“He was mad, he was hot about that one,” Phillip said. “It taught him there was more than just the neighborhood. There was more out there for him to go out and get.”

“That ended up being the best decision (my dad) ever made,” Antwaun said. “He raised me in a society that not a lot of fathers raise their child, and for that, I respect him. He means a lot to me.”

Phillip’s decision to send his son to Taft opened the door for Antwaun to attend his dream college, playing football for the USC Trojans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the same stadium he will play in Saturday night now as a starter for the Dallas Cowboys.

Antwaun Woods shared a photo on social media of him preparing for an operation. It turns out he was undergoing surgery for an injury suffered during the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff game last weekend.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Woods tore a labrum during the second quarter of Dallas’ game against the Los Angeles Rams and played the rest of the game with the injury.
Woods was undrafted coming out of USC and began his career with the Titans, playing in one game in 2016. He surprisingly made the Cowboys’ roster this year and had 34 tackles in 15 games as the starting nose tackle.

It’s moments like this that help a young player earn profound respect and admiration from his teammates and coaches. Woods already earned much of their respect with some of his play on the field this season, and this should only strengthen that among his peers.

According to the report, Woods underwent surgery to repair the torn labrum on Thursday. Hopefully he is able to make a full recovery and be healthy for the final year of his contract before becoming a free agent in 2020.

Now this is what you call adding insult to injury. After the Dallas Cowboys roughed up ​Jameis Winston en route to a 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that won them the NFC East, a Dallas D-lineman thought it would be a perfect opportunity to troll the Bucs’ QB. So that’s what Antwaun Woods did, “eating a W” right in Winston’s face.

​​”Eat a W” of course became famous when this ridiculous video surfaced of Winston’s pregame speech to his Bucs teammates.

​​Man, talk about egg on your face — almost as bad as crab legs in your pockets.

Winston has played well during the second half of the season after playing terribly when he returned from his suspension, forcing Tampa Bay into a tough decision regarding whether or not to keep their quarterback. But ​considering how much money he’s owed, it’s likely that Tampa Bay will move on from Winston.

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods has been fined by the NFL for taunting.

Woods was fined $10,026 for celebrating Dak Prescott’s two-point conversion pass to Michael Gallup last Sunday against the New York Giants. The pass gave the Cowboys a 36-35 lead with just over a minute left on the clock.

Many of USC’s defensive players are shifting to new positions in the Trojans’ “52” scheme.

Morgan Breslin and Devon Kennard are morphing from ends to hybrid linebackers. Leonard Williams moves from tackle to end.

Meantime, third-year sophomore Antwaun Woods keeps working at his craft as a nose tackle.

“No difference in my world,” he said Tuesday.

The 6-foot, 310-pound Woods started the first four games last season and then played as a reserve, finishing with 4 1/2 tackles for losses, including three sacks.

Coaches and teammates said Woods is among the Trojans’ most knowledgeable players.

“He’s a very smart kid,” defensive line coach Ed Orgeron said.

Woods’ has a simple goal this season.

“Just being accountable,” he said. “Knowing that I’m in there, I’m going to get the job done.”

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is facing up to 60 days in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor unlawful assembly charge stemming from a March bar fight.
On March 15, Crawford was filmed at the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, Florida, fighting with bouncers. He reportedly also pushed two police officers:

The brawl reportedly occurred after Crawford and his party were told to stay outside the bar since members of Crawford’s party were allegedly bothering a female bartender.

The 29-year-old Crawford is coming off a strong 2018 season that saw him register 34 tackles, four tackles for loss and a career-high 5.5 sacks.

Crawford, who can play anywhere on the defensive line, ranked third on the team in sacks behind only Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

The Windsor, Ontario, Canada, native has spent his entire seven-year NFL career with the Cowboys since they selected him in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft out of Boise State.

Crawford is penciled in as a key part of Dallas’ defensive tackle rotation entering 2019 along with Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods and rookie second-round pick Trysten Hill.

With veteran Robert Quinn joining a defense end group that already includes Lawrence and 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, Crawford will primarily be tasked with generating pressure up the middle, which is something he has excelled at throughout his career with 22 sacks to his credit.

Crawford is next scheduled to appear in court in June.

Allen Hurns Jersey

ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas receiver Allen Hurns was in surgery for a broken left ankle, a gruesome injury sustained in the first quarter of the Cowboys’ 24-22 wild-card win over Seattle.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Hurns was “probably in surgery at this time” after the game Saturday night.

Hurns was being dragged down by Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald at the end of a 14-yard catch for a first down when his lower left leg appeared to buckle.

The 27-year-old Hurns writhed in pain on the turf as medical personnel rushed out to immobilize his leg. He was taken off the field on a cart after being placed on a stretcher, tears streaming down his face.

Several players from both teams crowded around the stretcher as Hurns was wheeled off. Hurns held up his left fist as the crowd cheered while the cart was driven off the field.

The Cowboys signed Hurns as a free agent in the offseason after waiving franchise career touchdown catches leader Dez Bryant in a cost-cutting move. With the catch against the Seahawks, Hurns had 21 catches for 309 yards with two touchdowns this season.

On the inside of Allen Hurns’ left ankle are the marks from where the bone broke through. On the outside, evidence remains of the plate and screws that are helping the ankle and fibula again support the Cowboys wide receiver as he runs routes and makes cuts and catches, like he always has.

Hurns took part in individual drills Tuesday during the first day of Dallas’ mandatory three-day minicamp at The Star, a true sign of progress since the gruesome injury he suffered during the Wild Card playoff win over Seattle on Jan. 5 at AT&T Stadium. After his ankle snapped, his foot pointed the wrong direction. Coach Jason Garrett held his hand as the medics worked, Hurns’ teammates gathered nearby as a show of respect. Tears ran down Hurns’ face and he raised his fist as he was carted off the field.

“I have a lot of faith in God,” Hurns said. “I knew that I would make it back.”

Hurns, who hopes to be full-go by the start of training camp in late July, returns to a crowded receiving corps. The Cowboys projected starters at receiver are Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb. In the final year of his two-year, $12 million deal, Hurns could be considered expendable. He has dealt with worse.

“My main thing is to get healthy, put together a great training camp,” Hurns said, “and go from there.”

Hurns had earned respect from the coaching staff and teammates with his ability to play all over the field, accumulating a mostly quiet 20 catches for 295 yards and two touchdowns in his first season in Dallas before the injury. Oh, the injury.

Not far into the Cowboys’ wild-card game against the Seahawks, receiver Allen Hurns went down on the field after suffering a gruesome ankle injury.

The game was stopped for several minutes as team doctors and athletic trainers placed Hurns on a stretcher and then onto a cart to be removed from the field and immediately transported by ambulance to a hospital. Tears flowed down the side of Hurns’ face on the stretcher and he raised his fist in the air as he left the field.

“The surgery went well,” Garrett said Sunday night. “He seems to be doing well and seems to be in good spirits. There is an expectation of a full recovery.”
The reaction to Hurns’ injury continued on Sunday morning after NFL Network’s Jane Slater posted photos of her friend’s son, Luke, who wrote a letter to Hurns after seeing the injury.I saw the Cowboys-Seahawks game last night. I saw you get hurt, I hope you are okay. Don’t worry, you have the best doctors in the world. I prayed four times for you. You will get way better shortly.

His mother, Kim McSwain, responded to Slater’s tweet saying her son was looking for his football card to fill the spot marked with an orange sticky note.

Hurns underwent surgery immediately after exiting the field and is expected to return to football by August, barring any complications. He spoke out on social media on Sunday for the first time since the injury and also thanked Luke for his letter.

Cowboys wide receiver Allen Hurns suffered a gruesome left ankle injury in the team’s 24–22 NFC Wild Card win over the Seahawks on Saturday.

USA Today’s Jori Epstein reported owner Jerry Jones said Hurns was most likely in surgery after the game and that Hurns dislocated his ankle and fractured his knee.

Hurns was injured with 7:28 remaining in the first quarter. Medical staff came out to attend Hurns as teammates gathered around to show support. Dallas head coach Jason Garrett came out to hold Hurns’s hand.

Medical staff placed an inflatable boot over Hurns’s left ankle and foot, and the sellout crowd cheered as Hurns was carted off. Hurns gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was taken off the field. He did not return.

The 27-year-old receiver had 20 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns this season. Hurns signed with the Cowboys in March after playing for the Jaguars since 2014.

Three games into his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Allen Hurns is frustrated by the team’s slow start.

Speaking to Calvin Watkins of The Athletic, Hurns said his role in the offense has been trying to this point.

“The majority of my snaps, I feel like I can get separation,” Hurns said. “You will get frustrated, that’s part of it. The main thing for me is just staying positive in the head and control what I can. I can’t let that affect how I am. If I let it affect how I am then I won’t be getting open and I will be dropping the ball when it does come my way.”

The Cowboys signed Hurns to a two-year deal in the offseason. He was trying to rebuild his value after playing just 21 games over his previous two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hurns has appeared in each of Dallas’ first three games. The 26-year-old ranks fifth on the team with nine targets, sixth with four receptions and he has yet to catch a touchdown.

“I don’t do nothing,” Hurns said. “Hopefully they see it on film.”

The Cowboys enter Week 4 ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per game (277.7) and 31st in points per game (13.7) and passing yards per game (145).

Dallas is searching for an offensive identity in 2018 after releasing Dez Bryant and seeing Jason Witten retire. Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out of action for the foreseeable future after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.

The Cowboys have a favorable matchup on Sunday against a Detroit Lions defense that is allowing the seventh-most points per game.

When Allen Hurns takes the field in 2018, he will be doing so both in a new uniform and a new number.

Hurns moved on from the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, but his decision to switch his uniform number from No. 88 (which Dez Bryant currently wears in Dallas) to No. 17 goes much deeper.

The Miami native told 105.3 The Fan that he made the change to honor the 17 victims of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida:

Classy move.

Jamize Olawale Jersey

The Dallas Cowboys spent the first day of the new league year by agreeing to contract terms with a pair of offensive players.

Fullback Jamize Olawale agreed to a three-year, $5.4 million deal with $2.8 million guaranteed to remain with the Cowboys, according to a source. Offensive tackle Cameron Fleming agreed to a two-year deal.

A fullback has been a consistent part of the Cowboys’ offense since Jason Garrett became head coach. Olawale helped block for Ezekiel Elliott as the Pro Bowl back rushed for a league-high 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in 2018.

Olawale, who Dallas acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders last March, played in all 16 games last season. He did not get any carries, but he caught two passes for 13 yards.

He was also a significant special teams contributor, playing 63 percent of the snaps and leading that unit in tackles with 13.

The Dallas Cowboys have been relatively quiet during the early parts of the 2019 NFL free agency negotiating period. The Cowboys will stick with one of their own, which means their love for fullbacks will continue in 2019.

The team has agreed to terms with fullback Jamize Olawale on a 3-year deal worth $5.4 million in total. The deal will contain $2.8 million in guaranteed money.

Olawale came to the Cowboys in 2018 after the team sent their 2018 fifth-round pick (No. 173 overall) to the Oakland Raiders. In return, Dallas obtained a Oakland’s sixth-round pick (No. 192).

He will lead the way for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott once again this coming season, when the team uses the fullback of course. Olawale, although playing in every game during the 2018 season, he only played a total of 114 offensive snaps.

Olawale had been hyped up as a fullback who can also catch the ball out of the backfield, but in 2018 he only recorded 13 receiving yards on two receptions. He had zero rush attempts in 2018, but the hope for Cowboys fans is that new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can change how he was utilized.

The talk about the Dallas Cowboys’ offense has covered many topics. Will Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott return to the high levels of play they showed in their rookie season? Does the addition of Connor Williams mean the offensive line will once again be among the elite in the league? Can the team find the answers they need at wide receiver? How will the tight end situation shake out? Can Scott Linehan incorporate do-everything wide receiver/running back Tavon Austin successfully into his scheme?

That covers everything – almost. As has become the norm in the NFL, the fullback position is overlooked. The Cowboys are a team that still employs one, and the only FB on the roster according to DallasCowboys.com is Jamize Olawale, acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. Even in Dallas, the fullback has a limited role, primarily as a lead blocker. But with the expected emphasis on making the offense less predictable this season, that may change. Because Olawale is not your normal fullback.

Earlier this month, our Connor Livesey took a detailed look at Olawale’s play with the Raiders, and came away impressed.

While stats scouting is not a reliable way to evaluate a player, combining the video analysis Connor did with his numbers in Oakland paints an intriguing picture. While they did not hand him the ball much, he was surprisingly effective as a runner in 2015 and 2017, averaging 4.6 and 4.8 yards per attempt, respectively. Those are big numbers for a fullback. And he showed real breakaway talent as a receiver in 2016, averaging an impressive 18.9 yards a catch (a number that was admittedly skewed by the 75-yard touchdown reception he had that season). It also should be noted that the sample sizes were pretty small in all cases, as the Raiders did not employ him extensively as a runner or receiver.

When the Cowboys first acquired Olawale, I noted how he could be an unexpected part of the new plan for the offense. Now, with training camp just a few days away, it seems a good time to revisit that. Especially because of something else the team did.

One thing that was not known at the time Dallas completed the trade for Olawale was that they would also execute a trade during the draft to get Tavon Austin from the Los Angeles Rams. Austin has been described as a “web” back, who can line up in the backfield, the slot, or out wide, and who can run jet sweeps as well as a pass route. That sounds rather like what Connor said about Olawale. He, like Austin, can fill multiple roles, and his presence in the lineup does not necessarily tip that he is going to lead block or pass protect. Olawale could be used much the same way – except that instead of being a speedy and elusive 5-8, 179-pounder like Austin, he is a 6-1, 240-pound load that can still move with alacrity. Imagine being a corner tasked with defending the jet sweep, only instead of Austin coming at you, it could be Olawale with a full head of steam and violence in his eyes.

Business decision time, anyone?

It all depends on just how creative and out-of-the box Linehan is willing to get, but in the past he has shown he can do just that, as he did with Reggie Bush as the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. If he is willing to try and maximize Olawale’s talents, there are some fascinating ideas.

These are just ideas off the top of my head, and in no way a prediction of what Linehan will actually try. But Olawale makes them at least possible. And Linehan was willing to occasionally call Keith Smith’s number in the passing game. Olawale is, by all indications, a much more capable receiving threat than Smith. Put him in the pattern a few times a game, give him a couple of handoffs, and he becomes a credible threat. Again, it is all about getting the defense in the wrong position or keyed on the wrong player. Olawale makes that easier.

Although preseason games tend to have vanilla game plans, it will be interesting to see if Linehan tries a few wrinkles with his fullback. If nothing more, it would put those ideas in the heads of opposing defensive coordinators. And since Olawale is the only fullback currently listed on the roster, those experiments could come at any time in a preseason game – which could lead to some big plays and a little more entertainment than we normally see. And it is also something to watch for during training camp. If they are practicing plays that put the ball in Olawale’s hands, we are much more likely to see those in the regular season.

There has been a lot of talk about how Austin is an X-factor type player, but Olawale can be another. A hidden X, if you will. While he is not going to be a major factor in games, he could provide a handful of plays during the season. That would make getting him a good move by the Cowboys.

The Oakland Raiders have traded fullback Jamize Olawale and a sixth-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fifth-round pick in April’s NFL draft in Arlington, Texas.

On Tuesday, the Cowboys announced the deal.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network initially reported the news.

Olawale, 28, has spent his entire six-year NFL career with the Raiders, though this does represent something of a reunion. The Cowboys signed Olawale as an undrafted free agent in 2012 before cutting him at the end of training camp, allowing him to land in Oakland off Dallas’ practice squad.

The Cowboys and Raiders essentially swapped their respective fullbacks this offseason. Keith Smith, who has been a fullback for Dallas each of the last two campaigns, signed with Oakland as a free agent.

Olawale is a converted wide receiver who has become a reliable blocking fullback and an occasional ball-carrier.

“I enjoy winning,” Olawale said in November, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports. “Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m all for it. That’s my goal every week. Sometimes I’m focused on blocking or catching passes or running the ball.”

The Cowboys will be responsible for Olawale’s $1.5 million base salary in 2018. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the campaign.

Dallas will likely choose to use Olawale in the same role as Smith, keeping him almost entirely as a blocker for Ezekiel Elliott. Smith recorded just two carries over the last two seasons.