Sat, 16 Oct 2021

Updates: Connor Williams Moves Closer To Return

Dallas Cowboys
04 Sep 2021, 04:24 GMT+10

by Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman

Don't miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' regular season. Presented by Sleep Number

Sept. 3 Updates Connor Williams

#52 G

Height: 6-5 Weight: 298 lbs College: Texas

12:20 p.m. - Guard Connor Williams has been cleared to go through conditioning work with the athletic training staff as he moves closer to a return from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

"My understanding is he can work in rehab mode, make sure everything checks out," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Williams, the starting left guard who also worked as the second-team center in preseason, has been on Reserve/COVID-19 since last week.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 2 Updates Trevon Diggs

#7 CB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 lbs College: Alabama

11:13 a.m. - This is nothing new this time of year, but maybe a little more enhanced now with the NFL's new number rules, which allow more players a wider range of jersey numbers to wear in games.

Second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs is one of several players that will be switching numbers this year, moving to No. 7. Last year, Diggs wore No. 27 as a rookie but wore No. 7 in college at Alabama.

Other players expected to be on the move with their jerseys include rookies Jabril Cox, who is expected to wear No. 14, Osa Odighizuwa should be moving to No. 97 and Nahshon Wright is headed to No. 25.

As of now, the Cowboys' equipment staff is in the process of getting those players into their jerseys for practice so it's not official just yet. And there could be even more jersey switches between now and the start of the season.

--------------------------------------- Garrett Gilbert

#3 QB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 230 lbs College: Southern Methodist

9:22 a.m. - For a moment during camp, it seemed rather certain Garrett Gilbert would be the No. 2 QB, considering he started the first three preseason games. Now, it appears he will be on the Patriots practice squad.

The Cowboys currently have four quarterbacks on the team, including the practice squad.

Gilbert was among the roster cuts this week as the Cowboys decided to keep Cooper Rush as the backup to Dak Prescott, claim Will Grier off waivers and then bring back Ben DiNucci to the practice squad.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 1 Updates Bryan Anger

#5 P

Height: 6-3 Weight: 202 lbs College: California

12:22 p.m. - This definitely falls into the "roster management" category. Just like they did with veteran deep snapper Jake McQuaide, the Cowboys have also released Bryan Anger from the 53-man roster as more of a procedural move.

The Cowboys are expected to re-sign Anger, as well as McQuaide, at some point this week.

In order to place certain players on the NFL's IR-Return list, they must be on the roster for at least 24 hours. The Cowboys can cut vested veterans such as Anger, with an agreement they will return to the roster with major changes to their contract.

The Cowboys have done this same move in the past with players such as Kellen Moore, Joe Thomas and Brandon Carr.

Anger is entering his 11th year, having spent time with the Jaguars, Bucs and Texans throughout his career.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 31 Updates Chauncey Golston

#59 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 268 lbs College: Iowa

3:24 p.m. - Defensive end Chauncey Golston, who spent training camp on the Active/Physically Unable list, passed his physical and counts toward the initial 53-man roster.

Golston, a third-round draft pick, did not play in preseason due to a hamstring injury.

The Cowboys placed wide receiver Noah Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. Currently, the club has five players on Reserve/COVID: Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Carlos Watkins, Damontae Kazee and Connor Williams.

--------------------------------------- Dallas Cowboys

9:55 a.m. - The Cowboys won't officially announce their roster reduction to 53 players until later Tuesday, but reports of cuts have begun to surface.

Below are a few players who reportedly will be released or put on waivers:

QB Ben DiNucci QB Garrett Gilbert RB JaQuan Hardy RB Brenden Knox WR Brandon Smith WR Johnnie Dixon WR Osirus Mitchell OT Eric Smith C Braylon Jones DE Ron'Dell Carter DE Austin Faoliu S Darian Thompson S Tyler Coyle

Speaking Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones confirmed that the club is going with Cooper Rush as the backup quarterback over Gilbert and DiNucci.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 30 Updates Dak Prescott

#4 QB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238 lbs College: Mississippi State

4:15 p.m. - Quarterback Dak Prescott had a strong week of practice participating in competitive drills for the first time since straining his shoulder July 28 in Oxnard.

Prior to kickoff Sunday, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Prescott looks "good to go" for the start of the season.

"He really turned it loose and was none the worse for it," Jones said on Cowboys Countdown to Kickoff. "...I think that we really have done the right thing easing this along."

After final roster cuts, the players will return to work Thursday - and finally, they'll be able to turn their full attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Sept. 9 season opener against the defending Super Bowl champions.

"We've lost some opportunities to practice with Dak, so now that he's back our focus really, part of (offensive coordinator) Kellen's focus and Dak's focus, has been this past week," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "We need to get as much in between now and the Tampa Bay game, so our focus is on Tampa."

--------------------------------------- Aug. 29 Updates La'el Collins

#71 T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 320 lbs College: LSU

4:40 p.m. - Head coach Mike McCarthy is optimistic that right guard La'el Collins (stinger) will be ready when the Cowboys return to practice later this week in preparation for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Bucs.

Collins exited Friday's practice early because of a neck/shoulder stinger and was among the 30 or so players who were held out of Sunday's preseason finale for rest.

"Just held him out of practice (Saturday) and then wasn't available today," McCarthy said. "So I would think that he would be available next week. I have nothing to think differently at this point."

--------------------------------------- CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

4:40 p.m. - Head coach Mike McCarthy is also optimistic that the four players currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 list - wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, guard/center Connor Williams, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins - will be cleared to return by Thursday when the team is scheduled to reconvene.

"My understanding is if this stays clean up through this point forward, I think come Thursday we'll have everybody in the building," McCarthy said.

--------------------------------------- Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

Height: 6-0 Weight: 191 lbs College: Missouri Western State

4:39 p.m. - Greg Zuerlein's first and only field goal attempt of preseason was a 56-yard attempt just before halftime against Jacksonville that sailed just wide left.

But the Cowboys feel good about where Zuerlein is in his return from offseason back surgery.

"I just wanted to see the ball come off his foot," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Frankly, from my angle I thought it was in. So just getting a couple kickoffs, to me that's exactly what we needed. So it was good to get him out there."

--------------------------------------- Malik Hooker

#28 S

Height: 6-2 Weight: 212 lbs College: Ohio State

4:11 p.m. - You didn't see many former first-round picks in the game, especially from the Cowboys, who didn't even dress most of the starters.

But Hooker is an exception as he returns from an Achilles injury and has been limited this past week with the Covid-19 protocols. He ran with the starters into the second quarter.

While the defense wasn't great early on, yielding two touchdowns, Hooker said after the game the reps were vital to his rehab as he works back into football shape.

Kelvin Joseph

#24 CB

Height: 6-1 Weight: 192 lbs College: Kentucky

While not many starters and key players are actually in the game Sunday, one of them has already sustained an injury.

Second-round pick Kelvin Joseph started the game at left cornerback but left the game with a groin injury.

He slowly walked to the locker room late in the first quarter with his official status listed as "questionable" for return.

Joseph, a rookie from Kentucky, will obviously make the team but the Cowboys were hoping to get him extra reps, especially against Jacksonville's starting offense.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 28 Updates La'el Collins

#71 T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 320 lbs College: LSU

10:20 a.m. - La'el Collins did not finish Friday's practice because of a neck/shoulder stinger, and head coach Mike McCarthy says the issue "doesn't seem of a serious nature, but it's something we're watching."

Collins also had some discomfort in the neck/shoulder area during practice last week but returned the next day and played against the Texans on Aug. 21.

"I think it's part of some of the things he's dealt with in the past, so based on the information I have currently, it doesn't seem to be a long-term concern," McCarthy said.

Collins is at Saturday's practice but not practicing. He's unlikely to play in Sunday's preseason finale against Jacksonville, as McCarthy said about 30 players will be held out of the game for rest.

--------------------------------------- Donovan Wilson

#6 S

Height: 6-0 Weight: 204 lbs College: Texas A&M

10:15 a.m. -- Safety Donovan Wilson will not practice again Saturday because of a groin injury, but head coach Mike McCarthy says he isn't concerned about Wilson's availability for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Bucs.

Wilson left practice early Wednesday because of the injury and was held out of Friday's practice, too.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 27 Updates Malik Hooker

#28 S

Height: 6-2 Weight: 212 lbs College: Ohio State

10:08 a.m. - Safety Malik Hooker has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and is eligible to return to practice Friday.

Hooker went on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, joining defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and Israel Mukuamu.

Watkins, Lamb, guard/center Connor Williams and safety Damontae Kazee are still on Reserve/COVID-19, and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is still in the league's COVID-19 safety protocol as well. Mukuamu was activated and practiced Wednesday.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 26 Updates Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

Height: 6-0 Weight: 191 lbs College: Missouri Western State

3:41 p.m. - Greg Zuerlein acknowledged that this is the latest he has ever ramped up for a football season.

That said, this is still a "doable" timeline. Zuerlein is officially off the PUP and practicing, so he's got just more than two weeks to get himself ready.

With any luck, that will include a healthy workload on Sunday. Zuerlein is expected to kick in the preseason finale against Jacksonville. And while the Cowboys' focus might be getting into the end zone, Zuerlein's hoping he'll have plenty of opportunity to get some kicks in.

"Hopefully we score touchdowns, but I'm not going to complain. I would like to get some field goals and some extra points," he said.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 25 Updates Lirim Hajrullahu

#7 K

Height: 5-11 Weight: 205 lbs College: Western Ontario

2:45 p.m. - The Cowboys waived kicker Lirim Hajrullahu to reach the 80-man roster limit by Tuesday's deadline (counting the roster exemption for offensive lineman Isaac Alarcon as part of the NFL's International Pathway Program).

The Cowboys signed Hajrullahu last week for depth after waiving/injured punter Hunter Niswander. Waiving Hajrullahu is a sign that veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein (active) is close to returning from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

The Cowboys only needed to make one roster cut Tuesday because they placed four players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list: CeeDee Lamb, Malik Hooker, Israel Mukuamu and Carlos Watkins. Once they're eligible to be activated from Reserve/COVID-19, more moves will be required to make room for them on the active roster.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 23 Updates Dak Prescott

#4 QB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238 lbs College: Mississippi State

3:48 p.m. - Quarterback Dak Prescott will continue building up his volume of throws this week in practice as he works back from the minor shoulder strain he sustained early in training camp, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

"Just moving the numbers, continue the volume of throws," McCarthy said, "and continue to build the workload capacity we're working to get back to."

McCarthy said the staff hasn't determined yet whether Prescott will work back into competitive drills this week. Prescott did not play Saturday against the Texans but went through a successful pre-game throwing routine featuring about 50 passes.

All signs point to him being ready for the Sept. 9 season opener at Tampa Bay.

"If you watched the throws on Saturday night, he's making all the throws, the timing throws and so forth," McCarthy said. "...I just think when he's able to cut it loose and we're not worried about the velocity of throws or the distance of the throws and all that, that's what we're building up to. When we get to the level that Dak and (associate athletic trainer/director of rehabilitation) Britt (Brown) and the training staff feels like it's time to go, we'll go."

--------------------------------------- Aug. 21 Updates Mike McCarthy

Head Coach

College: Baker University Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

11:50 p.m. - The final scoreboard says the Cowboys lost to the Texans, 20-14, at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night.

But there's a silver lining: the Cowboys had no injuries to report following the game.

"Outside of losing, that's the No. 1 positive, I think, coming out of the game," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "I hope it stays that way."

Starting defensive end Randy Gregory reportedly had some ice on his knee after finishing up his playing time in the first half, but clearly that's not a cause for concern moving forward.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 20 Updates Connor McGovern

#66 G

Height: 6-5 Weight: 308 lbs College: Penn State

3:51 p.m. - The Cowboys obviously saw more offensive line combinations last year than they ever wanted, so it seems rather odd to think they'll have more than enough in 2021.

According to reports, the Cowboys have received some trade offers for backup guard Connor McGovern, a third-round pick in 2019 who has yet to become a regular starter.

On Friday, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was asked about the possible trade scenario during his radio segment on 105.3 "The Fan" in Dallas.

"As we all know, and as we saw last year, just because you might have your starting five, which certainly hadn't ruled Connor McGovern out starting," Jones said. "He's still competing his ass off, but you got to have seven or eight of these guys to make it through a season. So, I find it really hard to see us doing anything that would hurt us in that area right there."

McGovern missed all of his rookie season due to injuries but returned last year to start eight games as the Cowboys dealt with a surplus of injuries across the line.

--------------------------------------- Dak Prescott

#4 QB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238 lbs College: Mississippi State

10:27 a.m. - Sounds like quarterback Dak Prescott will begin to do more in practice next week as he continues to work his way back from a shoulder strain that has limited him since July 28.

Head coach Mike McCarthy didn't commit to a full plate of reps for Prescott, but it does sound like he'll begin to ramp up some.

"To be honest with you, we're just trusting the training staff on this one. They're counting every throw," McCarthy said. "This is a volume regulation, endurance. There's a big-picture outlook to this. He'll definitely be involved in some form of practice more than this week. To stand here and tell you he'd be full go and take all the reps, I'm not there yet."

Prescott has been held of team-drill reps to this point as a precaution. He's not expected to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans or the Aug. 29 preseason finale against the Jaguars. Instead, the Cowboys are building up his volume of throws in preparation for the Sept. 9 season opener at Tampa Bay.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 19 Updates La'el Collins

#71 T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 320 lbs College: LSU

10:34 a.m. - Offensive tackle La'el Collins did not finish Wednesday's practice because of some apparent discomfort in his neck/back area, but the Cowboys don't believe it's a significant issue.

Midway through practice, Collins exited drills but stayed on the field with the team, speaking with the athletic training staff. He will be further evaluated this week.

It seems unlikely that the Cowboys would play Collins in Saturday's preseason game against the Texans, instead exercising caution with a full three weeks before the Sept. 9 season opener against the Bucs.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 18 Updates Lirim Hajrullahu

#7 K

Height: 5-11 Weight: 205 lbs College: Western Ontario

3:12 p.m. - The Cowboys are seemingly just trying to get through the preseason with their kicker and punter situation. When they face Tampa Bay on Sept. 9, the plan remains to have Bryan Anger as the punter and Greg Zuerlein as the kicker.

But in the meantime, the Cowboys are making some changes to the backup spots. Hunter Niswander, who handled all of the kicking duties while Zuerlein rehabs his back surgery injury, and has split reps with Anger at punter, is dealing with "an issue," according to head coach Mike McCarthy said in his press conference Wednesday.

Niswander struggled in the first preseason game vs. Pittsburgh, making one of three field goal attempts, but hit all three of his kicks last week in Arizona.

But the Cowboys are reportedly expected to sign Lirim Hajrullahu to handle the kickoffs and field goals this week. As of late Wednesday, the Cowboys have yet to make any official roster moves on the matter.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 17 Updates Leighton Vander Esch

#55 LB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 256 lbs College: Boise State

4:30 p.m. - Back at the draft, so many questions surfaced about the competition at linebacker and what Micah Parsons' arrival meant for Leighton Vander Esch's role and future with the team.

But Vander Esch says he's enjoying playing alongside the first-round draft pick, and he's embraced a leadership role with the younger linebackers as he prepares for his fifth season.

"It's been fun having him in our room," Vander Esch said. "Obviously the personality the personality that he brings, the personality he brings. He brings a lot of laughs and he keeps you on your toes.

"Just helping him along knowing that Sean (Lee) and Jaylon (Smith) helped me when I was a rookie. And being that guy there for him if he has anything that he needs, knowing that I'll be there to help him. ... There's a lot of stuff on him, and I know he can handle it. He's still getting there, but he's making huge strides every single day and I think it shows what kind of playmaker he is on the field."

--------------------------------------- Sean McKeon

#84 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 238 lbs College: Michigan

6:02 p.m. - Second-year tight end Sean McKeon has a "significant" ankle injury that will sideline him multiple weeks, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

McKeon sprained his right ankle in the first half of Friday's preseason game at Arizona and did not return to the game.

McKeon was having a strong training camp, pushing for the third tight end spot behind Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 14 Updates Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

1:23 a.m. -- Defensive end Randy Gregory did not make the trip to Arizona for Friday's preseason game due to a foot issue that he's been working through in training camp, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the Cowboys decided to send Gregory and a group of players in the "injury category" back to Dallas early for rest and treatment rather than making the trip to Arizona for a game they were going to sit out.

The club took the same approach with tight end Dalton Schultz, who sprained his ankle in Wednesday's practice.

--------------------------------------- Sean McKeon

#84 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 238 lbs College: Michigan

1:20 a.m. - Tight end Sean McKeon sprained his right ankle in the first half of Friday's preseason loss to the Cardinals and did not return to the game.

McKeon made the team last season as an undrafted rookie and has had a strong start to this year's training camp, pushing for the third tight end spot behind Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 13 Updates Neville Gallimore

#96 DT

Height: 6-2 Weight: 302 lbs College: Oklahoma

7:40 p.m. - Defensive tackle Neville Gallimore will miss the rest of Friday's preseason game with an arm injury suffered in the first quarter against Arizona, according to a press box announcement.

Gallimore appeared to injure his left arm on the defense's second series. After being down on the field for several minutes, he walked to the locker room with the Cowboys' medical staff for further examination.

Gallimore, a third-round draft pick last year, emerged as a starter at midseason in 2020 and has been working with the first-team defense in training camp.

--------------------------------------- Connor Williams

#52 G

Height: 6-5 Weight: 298 lbs College: Texas

7:18 p.m. - While it was expected to see Williams get a few reps at center at some point, like he did in the first preseason game, Williams got the start Friday night against the Cardinals.

On the second drive, Williams had a high snap that resulted in a rushed throw by Garrett Gilbert. Later in the drive, on fourth-and-3, Williams' shotgun snap was short and low, causing Gilbert to dive on the ball before getting up and firing an incomplete pass.

All camp, Tyler Biadasz has worked with the first-team unit, but the Cowboys apparently wanted to give Williams a quicker look against some of the Cardinals' first-team defense.

The Cowboys offensive line consisted of Ty Nsekhe, Connor McGovern, Williams, Brandon Knight and La'el Collins, who started at right tackle for the second straight week.

--------------------------------------- Blake Jarwin

#89 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs College: Oklahoma State

7:05 p.m. - After missing all but a few snaps of the 2020 season, Jarwin is back on the field Friday night, getting the start at tight end.

Jarwin suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 of the last season's opener and has been limited this offseason and training camp, but he played in the first two drives.

Tight end Dalton Schultz had a minor ankle injury and is not playing Friday night.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 12 Updates Kelvin Joseph

#24 CB

Height: 6-1 Weight: 192 lbs College: Kentucky

1:22 p.m. - Even though this year's stay in Oxnard has come to a close, the Cowboys still have a lot of training camp and preseason left, starting with Friday's preseason game at Arizona.

For second-round draft pick Kelvin Joseph, it's a chance to keep improving.

"Learning every day," he said. "Learning from my mistakes and achieving the goals that I set every day for myself. And hopefully at the end of camp I get the big reward that I've been putting in this work for."

That reward would be a starting spot at cornerback, he said.

"It would mean everything because it's something I've been working for all my life, and a lot of people thought I wouldn't be here to dress in a Dallas Cowboys uniform," he said.

Trevon Diggs is widely expected to start again in his second season, which means veteran Anthony Brown is Joseph's main competition for starting snaps. Joseph said they have a good relationship and the competition is just part of business in the NFL.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 11 Updates Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

3:43 p.m. - Randy Gregory wants some work.

It'd be easy to forgive a seventh-year veteran for wanting to rest up before an 18-week regular season, but that's not the case here. Asked how many snaps he thinks he needs this preseason, Gregory was blunt.

"A lot, I think. If it was up to me I would've played last game," he said. "I obviously want to play this week and next week and the week after that, but that'll be more of a game time decision."

Gregory did acknowledge that decisions on preseason snaps aren't up to him, but he is hoping for a chance to knock the rust off soon.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 10 Updates C.J. Goodwin

#29 CB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 lbs College: California (PA)

2:38 p.m. - Cornerback C.J. Goodwin, a core special teams contributor, is making progress with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him in training camp the last few days, special teams coordinator John Fassel said.

"I think he'll be fine, hopefully by (the Aug. 29 preseason finale against) Jacksonville. If not, for sure (the season opener against) Tampa," Fassel said.

--------------------------------------- The Cowboys re-signed Goodwin in the offseason after he led the team in special teams tackles each of the past two years.

"He's a special teams ace in my opinion," Fassel said.

--------------------------------------- Amari Cooper

#19 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 210 lbs College: Alabama

9:17 a.m. - Amari Cooper (ankle) has passed his physical and has been removed from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Cooper has continued to count toward the 90-man roster limit because of the Active/PUP designation. Now he's eligible to return to practice.

The veteran wide receiver recently said his injury rehab with the athletic training staff is going well. He had clean-up surgery after the 2020 season to remove bone spurs but has also experienced some bone inflammation this offseason, which is improving. Cooper said his goal is to be ready for the season opener against the Bucs.

"I'm close to 100 percent. I wouldn't say I'm quite 100 percent yet, to be completely candid. But I'm real close," he said last week.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 9 Updates Michael Gallup

#13 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 198 lbs College: Colorado State

1:45 p.m. - Michael Gallup's only focus is training camp and the upcoming season, not the fact that he's entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Cowboys.

"For me, if I do everything I'm supposed to do on the field, things are going to come for me off the field," he said. "I'm not too worried about that. It's going to happen regardless. Just got to make sure that I put myself in the best position on the field so everything can fall into place off (the field)."

--------------------------------------- Aug. 8 Updates Sewo Olonilua

#45 FB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 240 lbs College: Texas Christian

5:30 p.m. - The weekend wasn't without some injury news, unfortunately.

Word surfaced Sunday afternoon that the Cowboys will be without second-year fullback Sewo Olonilua for some time after he suffered a neck injury during Thursday's Hall of Fame Game.

There isn't currently a timeline for his return, but the expectation is Olonilua could be out for a while.

It's a tough setback for a guy who had been having a great camp up to this point. Olonilua had consistently flashed during his opportunities with the second and third-team offense, and he managed a nifty, 17-yard catch against the Steelers during the preseason opener.

The Cowboys' running back depth chart is obviously fairly crowded with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard sitting at the top of it, but Olonilua's 6'3, 240-pound frame give him a unique opportunity to make the roster as both a fullback and an H-back.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 7 Updates Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

6:23 p.m. - The veteran guard was back on the field Saturday, along with the rest of the O-line starters to face the Rams. Martin got a few reps against Aaron Donald, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"Obviously, he is a great player. He's the best we're going to see all year," Martin said. "Anytime you can get good, quality reps versus a guy like that, it's great to have before the season."

Martin has been held out of action at times to limit his reps, including Thursday's preseason opener against the Steelers in Canton.

Martin, who missed a total of six games last year due to injuries, did not make the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. Ironically, when healthy, Martin played at an All-Pro level, showing off his versatility to play tackle on two occasions during the season.

So far during this camp, Martin's only reps have been at guard.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 6 Updates Trevon Diggs

#7 CB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 lbs College: Alabama

5:47 p.m. - Trevon Diggs will be back in action on Saturday when the L.A. Rams get to training camp.

As Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has explained, the coaching staff is trying to use this 48-hour stretch as one opportunity. The Cowboys sat a lot of their starters during the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night, and the plan is for them to get the majority of the work in this Saturday scrimmage.

That'll be the case for Diggs, who didn't play a snap in Canton, but figures to feature heavily on Saturday.

"We looked at those, the two opportunities as one and how we can rep our guys because of the quick turnaround, frankly because of the travel," McCarthy said.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 5 Updates Mike McCarthy

Head Coach

College: Baker University Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

10:54 - It was a mostly forgettable night, but it did come with one important caveat - a clean bill of health.

The Cowboys seem to have gotten through their preseason opener without any injuries of note. Given that they're one of just two teams in the NFL playing four preseason games this year, that counts as a win despite the ugly, 16-3 score.

That's also important to note for their return to Oxnard, Calif., as they'll likely want all hands on deck for a Saturday afternoon practice agains the Los Angeles Rams.

--------------------------------------- Connor Williams

#52 G

Height: 6-5 Weight: 298 lbs College: Texas

8:56 p.m. - After two series, Connor Williams is probably done for the night. But he started at left guard, helping the offense drive for a field goal.

On the next series, Williams replaced the starter Tyler Biadasz and took over at center for the first time in any game. A couple of the shotgun snaps were off target, including a high snap that led to a quick throw. But he settled down enough to help move the offense into the red zone.

Williams was out of the game after that, getting replaced by rookie center Matt Farniok.

--------------------------------------- Hunter Niswander

#7 P

Height: 6-4 Weight: 243 lbs College: Northwestern

8:38 p.m. - It was an up-and-down start for Niswander as he takes over the kicking duties in place of the injured Greg Zuerlein. After leading the team in punting last season, Niswander is now the kicker and he made a short field goal on the first drive, hitting a 29-yarder.

But as the Cowboys got into the red zone on the next drive, Niswander's second attempt was blocked by Tre Norwood at the line of scrimmage.

--------------------------------------- Micah Parsons

#11 LB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 245 lbs College: Penn State

8:14 p.m. - All through training camp, Micah Parsons has seemingly found the ball. In his first preseason game, the ball found him. The rookie linebacker pounced on a loose fumble by the Steelers after a botched exchange between the quarterback and a receiver.

--------------------------------------- Parsons' recovery led to a field goal. And on the second series, he made a big second-down stop that eventually led to a punt.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 3 Updates DeMarcus Lawrence

#90 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 265 lbs College: Boise State

11:23 a.m. - Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has passed his physical and has been taken off the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Lawrence has continued to count toward the 90-man roster limit because of the Active/PUP designation. Now he's eligible to return to practice here in Oxnard.

The veteran pass rusher had a clean-up procedure on his back in the spring and has been rehabbing on the side with the athletic training staff during practice.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 1 Updates Amari Cooper

#19 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 210 lbs College: Alabama

1:53 p.m. - Wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence have yet to be activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but head coach Mike McCarthy likes the progress they're making.

"They're both in really good shape," McCarthy said. "Amari, he looks great. Everything's been extremely positive from the strength staff. I know him and (athletic trainers) Britt (Brown) and Jim (Maurer) were trying to talk about a potential timeline of when he thinks he'll come off of PUP. We're still working through that. His weight is as low as it's been since I've worked with him. He looks great.

"And D-Law, same deal. He's in tremendous shape. Those timelines will be discussed here probably in about a week."

Cooper had minor ankle surgery after the 2020 season, and Lawrence had a clean-up procedure on his back in the spring.

--------------------------------------- Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

1:30 p.m. - Zack Martin, after missing a couple of days of practice, was back in action Sunday, getting the majority of first-team reps.

The Cowboys are obviously limiting his work, especially in consecutive days of practice.

Without Martin in the lineup, the Cowboys have used both Connor McGovern and Brandon Knight at guard.

--------------------------------------- July 31 Updates Michael Gallup

#13 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 198 lbs College: Colorado State

10:14 a.m. - A few days after flipping over the fence in the middle of practice, injuring his ankle, wide receiver Michael Gallup will be back in action on Saturday.

Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Gallup is returning to practice. He'll get first-team reps with CeeDee Lamb as Amari Cooper continues to rehab from offseason ankle injury.

McCarthy said Gallup has "expanded his route tree" this offseason and has learned to play both outside and in the slot.

Behind the "big three" at receiver, the competition is heating up between Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson and now Malik Turner. Also, fifth-round pick Simi Fehoko is certainly in the mix.

Gallup's return will make those second-team reps even more valuable here over the weekend.

--------------------------------------- Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

10:11 a.m. - From what we've seen so far, Randy Gregory is ready to have a big season, especially when it comes to rushing the quarterback.

In Saturday's press conference, McCarthy said Gregory is ready to do even more than that.

"Randy has ability to play in all three areas - run, rush, and coverage," McCarthy said. "We haven't played a game yet. He did some things last year. His path was different last year. I'm very pleased with everything Randy has done to this point."

--------------------------------------- July 29 Updates Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

11:10 a.m. - Starting left tackle Tyron Smith will not practice Thursday due to some elbow tendinitis, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Smith is off to a good start in training camp, returning healthy from season-ending neck surgery in 2020. But the Cowboys will be smart with any player dealing with a minor issue in camp. Quarterback Dak Prescott will avoid throwing in practice for the next few days because of a strained throwing shoulder, and wide receiver Michael Gallup didn't practice Wednesday because of a tweaked ankle.

--------------------------------------- Dak Prescott

#4 QB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238 lbs College: Mississippi State

8:11 a.m. - Head coach Mike McCarthy didn't sound too worried about Dak Prescott's shoulder strain, which emerged as a big story on Wednesday. During his radio hit on 105.3 "The Fan" Thursday morning, McCarthy reiterated that mindset, but said he won't be throwing for a little bit.

"It's minor. I saw him (this morning)," McCarthy said. "I don't know if you put him in a limited category. He'll do all the run-game stuff and all the footwork stuff. But we've got to shut him down from throwing for a few days."

The Cowboys have another padded practice on Thursday before a day off Friday. They will have a couple more practices this weekend, but it's unlike Prescott will be cleared to throw until next week. The Cowboys travel to Canton, Ohio on Wednesday, Aug. 4, but it's unlikely Prescott will play in that game, making it possible that he doesn't even make the trip. But no details have been announced on the players going to or playing in Canton.

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