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Year after year the Dallas Cowboys try to do their best to create competition at every position, especially since Jason Garrett has taken over as head coach. Creating competition throughout the roster has actually become one of his coaching mantras, which is no surprise coming from a former backup quarterback. Believe it or not, this year could be more competitive than in years past.

The Dallas Cowboys current roster is pretty deep from top to bottom. It’s one of the more impressive groups of talent they’ve been able to put together in recent memory, which is why training camp and preseason games could be much more competitive. One position though that doesn’t typically receive a lot of competition is in the kicking game, whether it is at punter or kicker. That might not be the case this year if you believe Mickey Spagnolo, a columnist with the Dallas Cowboys.

Spagnolo suggests we could have another Brett Maher situation on our hands. You know, a “camp leg” brought in to provide some modest competition, but not really expected to be a serious contender. The new Maher this year could be Kasey Redfern, who is currently listed as a punter on the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Here’s what Spagnolo recently had to say about Kasey Redfern after the most recent practice open to the media:

“Always good to have some semblance of competition this time of year, and one reason why the Cowboys signed Kasey Redfern, listed as a punter. But Wednesday he showed he is a place-kicker, too. During special team drills, he drilled all five of his field-goal attempts and then, with the first and second teams participating in play-it-out sessions, the offense needing at least a field goal to tie the score in the final 1:24, the first-year kicker with two seconds left made his 38-yard attempt and then on a fourth-and-1 with no timeouts left with the second offense, nailed a 53-yarder. Guess we should pay attention since this time last year we basically ignored backup kicker Brett Maher, only for him to win the job over Dan Bailey”.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really intrigued by what Spagnolo said about Redfern. That’s because I really wanted to see the Dallas Cowboys bring in some serious competition to compete with both Chris Jones and Brett Maher this offseason. Neither player had a great 2018 season, which is why I was hoping for a kicking competition. Maybe, just maybe, Kasey Redfern is the answer.

So far in Redfern’s career he’s been mostly a journeyman punter. He spent time on several different rosters after finishing his career at Wofford College, where he handled both punting and kicking duties. He was even involved in a trade between the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns. The Panthers traded Redfern and a 2018 fourth-round pick to the Browns for Punter Andy Lee and a 2017 seventh-round pick.

It wasn’t until he landed with the Detroit Lions that it looked like his career was finally starting to take off. He was named the starter after Sam Martin sustained an injury that would sideline him for several weeks, but unfortunately Redfern had a run of bad luck himself. He sustained a serious knee injury in the season opener, tearing his ACL, MCL, and a partially torn patellar tendon.

Now with the Dallas Cowboys, Kasey Redfern is hoping he has literally landed on his feet with the chance to finally show the NFL what he can do when given the opportunity. There’s no doubt it’ll be an uphill battle for him to outperform Chris Jones or Brett Maher, but he might just be somebody that Cowboys Nation wants to keep an eye on anyways.

Do you think Kasey Redfern can provide some serious kicking competition?

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Dallas Cowboys Will McClay: This late rounder jumped off the tape! – Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
Which late-round rookie stood out to Will McClay in the 2019 draft process?

Here’s what McClay told Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Oregon defensive end Jalen Jelks, the team’s final selection (241st, seventh round) in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“[Jelks] just jumped off the tape. The length, the ability, the effort, the motor. You see it all on tape. He played a multitude of positions at Oregon so he never got to hone in on one. But he was competitive everywhere. He battled in there, even against the guards and was productive and disruptive.”

There is plenty to be excited about when it comes to Jelks. Possessing a tall but thin frame at 6-foot-5, 256 pounds, the rookie defensive end needs to add some bulk and strength to find success on the next level. But he possesses the raw traits, tenacity, and mobility that could land him a spot on the active roster in his first season. Especially with the questions surrounding the availability of both suspended pass rusher Randy Gregory and veteran Tyrone Crawford.

Three rookies who might just fight their way onto the Cowboys 53-man roster – Danny Phantom, Blogging the Boys
BTB’s own Danny Phantom gives three under-the-radar rookies who may push for a roster spot.

CB Chris Westry, Kentucky – undrafted

The Wildcats backup cornerback has been on our radar as he was one of the 65 players on our final big board as a potential late-round pick. His size and press ability just seems to fit perfect with what Kris Richard likes in his corners. At 6’4” and 33 3⁄4 “ arms, Westry presents an imposing wingspan, and when you combine that with his 4.3 speed, he can provide quite an obstacle to throw over.

What I’m excited about: He’s a wild card wildcat, but you have to love the traits. He might not amount to anything, but then again – he could be a mold of clay Richard can work with. Westry is smothering, and if he can work out some of his balance issues, he might be a nice depth guy for the future.

What I’m interested in seeing: Can he be more disciplined with his hands? Westry is a grabber and as nice as it is to see him all over the receiver throughout the route, but if he can’t control his hands, he’ll be a liability out there.

Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott not on board with reduced workload – Colton Pickard, NFL Spin Zone
There has been a ton of talk about reducing Ezekiel Elliott’s workload in 2019. Is that something he’s okay with?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott isn’t too happy about the possibility of him being pulled off the field more often in 2019, something running backs coach Gary Brown mentioned last week. Elliott is an All-Pro running back, so it makes sense that he would want to stay on the field more often than not.

However, he is extremely valuable to the Cowboys and it looks like the coaching staff is going to try to protect their star running back. In the past couple of years, Elliott has been the reason the Cowboys offense has had success — and he knows that. Elliott touched the ball on over 35 percent of the Cowboys’ play in 2018, so his importance to the Cowboys offense is not understated.

Brown said last week that Elliott would eventually slow down if he continued to take on his current workload. Elliott didn’t like those comments, and in response at the Cowboys’ annual charity fundraiser on Wednesday, he said “I haven’t worn down yet”:

Cowboys safety Jeff Heath has a chip on his (healing) shoulder – Mike Fisher, 247Sports
Fisher’s latest on Jeff Heath, and the noise surrounding his name and job.

FRISCO – Jeff Heath is lining himself up to hit some golf balls at teammate Travis Frederick’s “Block Hunger’’ charity event at Top Golf when it occurs to me that just 20 minutes earlier the Dallas Cowboys safety told me he would not be hitting golf balls on this night.

”I’ve got a minor shoulder thing,’’ Heath told me, “so I’m going to be careful with it.’’

But here he is, swinging away, albeit “carefully.’’

”I was just working on my short game,’’ Heath later jokes to me. “No big swings.’’

Twenty-four hours later, Heath is part of the lineup for the Cowboys Home Run Derby to raise money via Reliant Energy for The Salvation Army. And here he is again, taking his swings — again maybe “carefully,’’ but swings nevertheless.

SOURCE: Cowboys begin talks with Jaylon Smith, projected deal – Patrik Walker, 247Sports
Could the Cowboys be looking to lock up Jaylon Smith ahead of his 2020 RFA? A source close to the situation thinks so.

A source close to the situation tells me the Cowboys have begun talks with linebacker Jaylon Smithas well — one no one outside of the organization saw coming.

Smith is set to become a restricted free agent after 2019, meaning the Cowboys have the right to issue a tender that could be original round, second-round or first-round. Seeing as his original round is the second round — being the 34th-overall pick in 2016 — that leaves just two options, in reality. There is a difference between those two tenders from a financial aspect, and we’ll get into that momentarily. Logic dictates they’d put a first-round tender on him, though, considering he was a consensus top-5 talent before suffering a catastrophic knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl nearly five months ahead of the draft.

Smith was told by many he’d never play football again, but the Cowboys’ medical staff didn’t agree, and rolled the dice on him. Following a redshirt rookie season, which is why he’d be an RFA in 2020, Smith had a mix of growing pains and awe-inspiring plays in his 2017 return to the field and debut in the NFL.

Rank ‘Em: Where’s Beasley Among Opposing WRs? – Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Where does former Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley land on the receiver rankings the Cowboys will face in 2019?

Yes, the Cowboys still have 10 offseason practices to go through. But with the draft out of the way, we’ve seen most of the excitement until training camp finally starts in late July.

With that in mind, I’m thinking ahead to this year’s schedule. It’s way too early to know how the NFL pecking order will shake out, but we do know the Cowboys will be going against some great players this fall.

Over the next couple weeks, I want to preview the best of the Cowboys’ opposition at each position – starting today with receivers.

Cowboys News: Jason Witten Says Current Team Has ‘The Most Talent I’ve Seen’ – Adam Wells, Bleacher Report
Check out what starting TE Jason Witten had to say about the current state of the Dallas Cowboys roster!

Per Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Witten said the Cowboys roster has “the most talent I’ve seen” in his time with the organization.

Dallas certainly has enough talent to be among the best in the NFC in 2019. Its defense ranked sixth in the NFL with 20.3 points allowed per game and seventh with 329.3 yards allowed per game last season.

Quarterback Dak Prescott has had his ups and downs, but the 25-year-old completed 67.7 percent of his attempts in 2018 and has thrown at least 22 touchdown passes in each of his first three seasons.

The Cowboys also have Ezekiel Elliott, who has led the league in rushing yards twice in the past three seasons, and Amari Cooper, who notched 725 receiving yards and six touchdowns in nine games last year after he was acquired from the Oakland Raiders.

Christian Covington called “under-the-radar move to love” for the Cowboys this offseason – Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
This offseason has been a whirlwind for the Cowboys, that the signing of Christian Covington has flown under-the-radar. Don’t forget about the intriguing iDL.

When talking about the Cowboys defensive tackle position this offseason, most of the conversation is around Trysten Hill. The Cowboys chose Hill with their first pick of the 2019 draft (58th overall) to supplement the middle of the defensive line. Hill’s tabbed to play the 3-tech spot, and will be asked to use his athleticism and quick-twitch get-off to create havoc in the opposing backfield. That’s something the Cowboys need, especially now that David Irving will no longer be with the team.

But there’s another aspect to the middle of the defensive line, and that’s clogging the middle and stuffing the run. The Cowboys got worked toward the end of the season in that department, here’s how John Owning explained it:

Against the Colts and Rams last season, Cowboys defensive tackles were thoroughly dominated by opposing interior offensive linemen, enabling blockers to get to the second level quickly to inhibit the effectiveness of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Cowboys defensive tackles failed to hold their ground at the point of attack as they were easily displaced from their gaps, opening giant alleys for opposing ball carriers.

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There is something noticeably different about Cowboys QB Dak Prescott this off-season – Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Can the Cowboys franchise quarterback make a big leap in year four?

Heading into his fourth year, it is his place, his team, and his locker room more than ever.

And it has little to do with the fact that he and the Cowboys are in deep negotiations on a long-term contract extension that will pay him at least $30 million annually.

That’s simply a byproduct of the work, growth, leadership, and production that Prescott has put over the last three years since joining the team as a throw-in fourth-round pick in 2016 that has him feeling comfortable, relaxed and more emboldened than ever.

It is showing on the field as Prescott has been sharp, decisive and accurate during OTA practices, which he credits to a light coming on during last season’s run to the playoffs that has continued to shine in the offseason, almost like a Rubik’s cube opening up for him.

Dallas Cowboys: Undrafted rookie linebacker flashes early at OTAs – Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
It may not be Leighton Vander Esch, but this 2019 rookie sure is impressing early in OTA’s.

In this year’s draft, the Cowboys didn’t select a single linebacker with their eight total picks. Instead, the team brought in a trio of undrafted rookie free agents including Michigan State’s Andrew Dowell, Northwestern’s Nate Hall, and Nebraska’s Luke Gifford. The latter has been earmarked by DallasCowboys.com’s Bryan Broaddus as his kiss of death player to watch through OTAs.

Here’s what Broaddus had to say about the undrafted rookie linebacker’s play so far.

” … keep an eye on Luke Gifford – the linebacker out of Nebraska … there is something about his game that translates to this scheme … It appears the defensive staff is asking him to play more inside, which has allowed his instincts to shine. Gifford has some slippery traits to him. He has a feel for how to play through gaps and avoid blocks.”

Cowboys impressed with rookie who told team to ‘come get me’ – Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
More rookies impressing in OTA’s! This one in the secondary.

You can count head coach Jason Garrett in as a passenger on the [Michael] Jackson train.

”He certainly has all of the physical tools,” he said, via The Dallas Morning News. “He’s big, long, fast, physical — all the things we like in our guys. He’s best in press [coverage], and you’re talking about drafting a guy in the fifth round at a premium position with all the traits you’re looking for. Again, we liked him a lot.

”Strongly endorsed by the people in Miami on the kind of guy he is. All those things are very favorable.”

For his part, Jackson could not have been more vehement ahead of the draft regarding where he wanted to play. Whereas other prospects are keyed in on where they’re selected, for a variety of reasons, the former Miami standout had a unique take on it all. It’s likely this rare type of maturity that nudged the Cowboys’ over the line when considering who to select with the 158th-overall pick.

Next week will be a final check-in for Travis Frederick on his Guillain-Barré Syndrome – Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
Travis Frederick has made great strides to get back on the field, but there’s one more appointment to be 100% sure.

Travis Fredrick has, by all accounts, made great strides in his recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The disease robbed the All-Pro center of his 2018 season, and threatened to do more than that but it was caught early giving Fredrick a much better chance at a full recovery. Next week, he’ll get what is described as a final check-in to determine if everything is good to go.

He has an appointment next week for a “sort of final check-in to make sure there’s no permanent damage there.” Doctors will put Frederick through a battery of tests to confirm he is good to go.

While he will have to wait until then to be sure, Frederick thinks he’s well on his way to recovery and will be ready for 2019.

“I’m just glad to be back and be able to write the next chapter in this story,” Frederick said Wednesday.

Spagnola: This Team Sure Is Picking Up Speed – Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com
The Cowboys have finally invested in some burners on both sides of the football.

We know about the linebackers, right – Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch can really run, and even at age 33 in two months Sean Lee is no slouch.

Same in the secondary with Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, Jeff Heath and now adding corners Mike Jackson and Chris Westry and surprisingly quick for a safety Donovan Wilson.

But up front, where defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli values speed, man oh man. We know about the quickness of DeMarcus Lawrence, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, Dorance Armstrong and maybe Taco Charlton if he can stay healthy. But the Cowboys have added to that group Robert Quinn, Trysten Hill, Kerry Hyder, Jalen Jelks, Joe Jackson and depending on what the commissioner thinks, maybe even the indefinitely-suspended Randy Gregory if he returns.

An Ezekiel Elliott suspension feels unlikely, but his off-field mishaps continue to be problematic – Tim Colishaw, Sports Day
It’s hard not to agree with this…

It’s always dangerous to prowl around inside the head of Goodell in search of a future suspension or penalty. But with no arrest and about the most minimal violence one is likely to find in one of these incidents, Zeke didn’t do anything other than act like an entitled idiot.

That’s not a first for him or anything close to a first, frankly, but it’s also not grounds for suspension.

It does, as I said, represent a problem, however.

On the one hand, Elliott shows no recognition that his public behavior will be recorded and that he will be held accountable. That may not seem fair — most of us go through our lives without our worst moments being recorded on iPhones — but it’s the game modern athletes and celebrities are forced to play. It’s also not that hard of a game to play. When your cap hit is $7.9 million and you’re 24 years old, you ought to be able to figure it out, even though Zeke clearly hasn’t.

Cowboys’ Connor Williams Feeds Homeless in Dallas – NBC 5 Sports
Connor Williams is ready for year two, but first he’s taking care of some people in need off the field.

Cowboys’ offensive lineman Connor Williams fed the homeless in Dallas on Friday.

”Most of us are very fortunate, we don’t even realize that we know where our next meal is coming from and most of these people don’t,” Williams said.

He’s talking about the people at the Second Chance Cafe inside The Bridge Homeless Assistance Center. It’s a place where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served 365 days a year thanks to the facility’s partner agency — The Stewpot.

”When a celebrity like Connor Williams comes,” executive director Brenda Snitzer said. “It just really touches them because it makes it real that there are other people out in the community that want to come and give back and let them know that they care and hope they’ll get some help and get off the streets.”

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FRISCO, Texas – As we wrap up this final week of OTAs, I filled up another notebook with observations from the practice fields.

Here’s some thoughts on what the Cowboys worked through on Wednesday afternoon:

Talk about having the ability to put a bad play behind you. Amari Cooper had an uncharacteristic drop of a perfectly thrown Dak Prescott slant. How’d he bounce back? With an unreal, one-handed reception over the top of Jourdan Lewis, who was in perfect position. Cooper, tracking the ball the entire time, felt that it was going to be a little short and slowed up. Lewis was late getting his left hand up to defend the play, which allowed the ball to cradle right into Cooper’s left arm. Somehow Cooper managed to hang onto it as Lewis hung his head in disgust.
It’s not often that young guys get the chance to work with the first units, but Reggie Davis took advantage of his shot. Davis was thrown into the mix with Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb and executed a “go” route with Donovan Olumba hanging all over him. Prescott was outstanding, holding Darian Thompson in the middle of the field and giving Davis the space he needed for the reception. Olumba tried to play with his off-hand, but he didn’t catch enough of the ball to knock it away from Davis. It was a perfect throw by Prescott and a tremendous finish by Davis.
I haven’t written much about Jameill Showers and his comeback from his knee surgery last season, but he made a heck of a play on Dalton Schultz in coverage. Schultz was lined up wide right and went vertical at the snap, with Showers following him one-on-one. Showers was running step-for-step with Schultz, never looking back for the ball. At the same moment that Schultz put his hands up, so did Showers — knocking the ball away. This is a make-or-break season for Showers, who doesn’t have any practice squad eligibility left with the club.

I noticed a nice use of Chris Westry as a safety on a fourth down attempt just outside the red zone. Westry lined up in the deep half just off the goal line. When the ball was snapped, he took three steps back and waited. Devin Smith went on the out-and-up to try and get behind him, but Westry read the route the entire way. When Cooper Rush attempted to throw the ball to Smith, Westry was in perfect position to high point it and knock it down.
Speaking of “Hail Mary” plays, Jon’Vea Johnson almost pulled in a pass from Mike White that appeared to bounce through a sea of hands. There were seven defenders in the end zone when White let the ball fly. Donovan Olumba was first to touch the ball, but instead of knocking it to the ground, it glanced off his hands toward Johnson, who was standing in the back of the end zone. Johnson did his best to grab the deflection but he just couldn’t quite adjust to it.
Give Donovan Wilson some credit for paying attention during the individual portion of practice. Every day, Kris Richard has the defensive backs working on punching the ball loose from the receiver and then making the recovery. Fast forward to team period, where Jon’Vea Johnson caught a deep curl and was heading up the field as Wilson came to meet him. In one quick motion, Wilson punched the ball out of Johnson’s arm and managed to get on top of it for the turnover. It’s the result of a simple drill that turned into a big play.
Tony Pollard continues to impress folks with his quickness carrying the ball. I also noticed another trait Pollard displays and that’s his vision. Pollard took a handoff from Mike White and was dead to rights with Chris Covington and Nate Hall sitting in the hole, unblocked. Instead of just finishing out the play and getting tackled, Pollard put his right foot in the ground and exploded around the left end. Hall tried to chase him down, while Covington got caught in the trash. What looked like a sure negative run turned into a seven-yard gain.
With no Joe Looney or Connor McGovern at practice, that meant Adam Redmond had to take the entire practice at center for both the first and second offensive lines. Redmond was able to hold his own with the high volume of snaps and appeared no worse for wear. He looked just as solid passing off stunts to Xavier Su’a-Filo and Cody Wichmann as he did to Zack Martin and Connor Williams. It was a good day overall for Redmond with the work load.

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Three weeks ago, I wrote to you with Tesla (TSLA) trading lower, and used Bob Lilly’s (Dallas Cowboys) 29 yard sack of Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins) in Super Bowl VII to get my point across. As the stock, and CEO Elon Musk twisted and turned from last December through early June, the shares kept moving lower. What if Elon Musk is not Bob Griese, but Steve Young instead. Late October of ’88. San Francisco QB Steve Young dropped back to pass into a pocket that collapsed too quickly. Nearly sacked at the line of scrimmage, Young broke at least five tackles, and left a couple of other Minnesota Vikings faked out of their socks, as he ran a lot more than 49 yards on what went down as a 49 yard touchdown run. Maybe, that’s who Elon Musk is. Maybe, he does stumble over the goal line in the most unlikely but triumphant way.

The Rising Sun

“I want to be clear, there is not a demand problem. Absolutely not.” CEO Elon Musk could not have made a more definitive statement from Tesla’s annual meeting with shareholders on Tuesday (last) evening. Musk went further… “Sales have far exceeded production and production has been pretty good so we’re actually doing well.” Really? I thought the narrative around this company had been rather negative. You may recall Morgan Stanley lowering the firm’s worst case scenario for the TSLA share price from $97 to $10, and Citi’s “full bear” scenario price of $36, while both of these banks maintained much higher target prices. That came after Q1 earnings released in late April that showed a ghastly negative EPS surprise of -$2.90 on revenue that missed expectations by well more than $600 million.

While the consensus still seems to be that the firm can be profitable over the course of a full year by 2020, one might think that those longer-term views might be at least somewhat reliant upon success in Chinese markets based on building vehicles to be sold there, in Shanghai. Shorter-term there is hardly consensus across the analyst community. Tesla will report the current quarter in late July. EPS estimates across 23 industry analysts for the quarter span a range of anywhere from -$1.69 to +$1.87 on revenue that lands between $5.42 billion to $7.19 billion. In other words, nobody really knows anything except that there will indeed be substantial year over year growth. That print will be up from a $4 billion number of the same quarter last year.

Fundamentally, the company remains in poor condition. Levered Free cash Flow is deeply negative, Margins are negative. Debt-load is massive, leaving the firm with a Current Ratio of 0.84, which is awful. As if that were not bad enough, sans inventories, the Quick Ratio lands at an incredibly anemic 0.37. Hard to find anything lower than that. For the sake of comparison, General Motors (GM) stands with a Quick Ratio of 0.77 (still terrible), and Ford (F) would be relatively healthy at 1.06.

By the way, 37.57 million shares are still held in short positions, out of a public float of 128.46 million shares. Roughly 29% of the entire float has to be bought back at some point.

The Chart

 

While Fibonacci style traders might hope for a rebound in these shares that approached the $278 level, the harsh reality of this chart would be the Wednesday morning high of $223 holds for the entire session, this will reinforce the idea that the name is still mired in a downward sloping Pitchfork model. While I enjoy being able to pull these models out of the closet when they fit, it really is a whole lot more fun when they point in the other direction.

The enormous short interest makes this stock less predictable than it might otherwise be. My end of day thesis is this: One can trade this stock in the way a mercenary goes about their job. Short-term, no heartfelt taking of sides. For the buy and hold crowd, I find this name way too risky, and will likely remain for me that way until the day that the fundamentals look very different. Until then, short-term trades off of Relative Strength and MACD are the order of the day.

Idea (minimal lots)

– Purchase one August $220 call for a rough $20.35.

– Sell one August $250 call for a rough $9.60.

Net Debit: $10.75. In other words the trader would be risking $1,075 to try to win back $3,000 in August, after Q2 earnings are released in late July. Best case… profit of 279%. Worst case… the loss of the $1,075.

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FRISCO, Texas — Jason Witten talks a lot about just wanting to blend in now that he’s back for a club-record 16th season with the Dallas Cowboys following a year in retirement.

Ask about playing time among a group of decidedly younger tight ends, and, well, the franchise leader in catches and yards receiving doesn’t seem quite sure what to say.

In other words, an 11-time Pro Bowler many consider an easy choice for the Pro Football Hall of Fame whenever he retires for good just isn’t comfortable accepting the idea of fewer snaps when he took almost all of them for 15 years.

“Those coaches work long hours; they’re smart,” Witten said a week before getting all the first-team reps in the only offseason practice reporters saw in which he participated. “I think that I can’t worry about how that plays out. My job is to kind of make it tough on them. We all benefit if that’s the case.”

Witten is back after just a year as lead analyst on “Monday Night Football” because he missed playing and thought the Cowboys looked like future contenders for a Super Bowl something he could never deliver despite a divisional playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams last January.

The 37-year-old is also back because, unlike best friend and former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, the Cowboys hadn’t replaced him. Dak Prescott sent Romo into retirement/broadcasting with a debut worthy of the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award after the 10-year starter got hurt in 2016.

The only experienced tight end trying to replace Witten last season, 2015 seventh-round pick Geoff Swaim, is in Jacksonville now after another injury-plagued year.

Blake Jarwin, an undrafted pass catcher from Oklahoma State lacking Witten’s blocking ability, had the biggest impact by tying the club record for tight ends with three touchdown catches in a game, but not until a meaningless regular-season finale.

And then there’s Dalton Schultz, drafted in the fourth round about a week before Witten announced his sudden retirement last year. He went from thinking he’d have a year to learn from one of the best, to not, to Witten leading the tight end room and probably taking a lot of the snaps.

“There’s nothing he hasn’t seen,” Jarwin said. “It’s always incredible just trying to get some input from him. Even the small stuff and what he sees and when we do things right and when we do things wrong, he’s always there to help us along. It’s been great so far.”

With Witten, the Cowboys have one of two tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards. The other, Tony Gonzalez, will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in August after being voted in on his first try.

A third-round draft pick by Dallas in 2003, Witten figures to build on the club records of 1,152 catches and 12,448 yards. The 16th season will break a tie with defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones, safety Bill Bates and late offensive lineman Mark Tuinei for the most among Cowboys.
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While Witten never has been a prolific scorer, he needs six receiving touchdowns to break Dez Bryant’s team record of 73. Of course, numbers have nothing to do with why he came back.

“I kind of like that the back’s against the wall for the whole football team, the whole organization,” Witten said. “I want those guys to know that I’m just a part of that. I want to be a part of it. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t overthink it. The fire was too strong.”

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One of the most entertaining football players in American sports history has to be Deion Sanders. Few have had the success he had on the gridiron, but he also did it in baseball. To nobody’s surprise, he’s succeeded since his retirement as well.

For a man who played two professional sports, is a successful sports analyst, coaches football, and much more, Prime Time has built quite the reputation and bank account with a crazy net worth.
Deion Sanders once hit a home run in the MLB and scored a NFL touchdown in the same week (@mlb) pic.twitter.com/bQQEXK4gpU

— Baseball Lifestyle™ (@BsbLifestyle__) January 14, 2019

RELATED: 9 Incredible Florida State Football Records That Won’t Be Broken

High School
Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Sanders attended North Fort Myers High School and was All-State selection in football, basketball, and baseball. He was selected to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team, which chose the top-33 players in the 100-year history of Florida high school football.

Sanders was a talented enough baseball player that he was selected in the sixth round of the 1985 MLB Draft as a senior in high school.

Professional Sports
In honor of Deion Sanders turning 51, here are some of Prime Time’s most memorable highlights!

(: @NFL) pic.twitter.com/wjqChwPfLF

— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) August 9, 2018

After such a successful college career at Florida State, Sanders was selected with the fifth-overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1989 NFL Draft. He spent five seasons in Atlanta before playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins. He retired and then returned three years later to play for the Baltimore Ravens at the age of 37.

In his long career, Sanders won two Super Bowls. One came in his lone season with San Francisco and the next came a season later in his first season in Dallas. During the 1994 season with the 49ers, he was also named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

 

In the 1988 MLB June Amateur Draft, Sanders was taken by the New York Yankees in the 30th round. He played two seasons with the Yankees, playing in 71 games and hitting .178 in 199 at-bats. He also played for the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Francisco Giants in nine seasons from 1989-2001.

In nine seasons, Sanders made a total of about $12.8 million, according to Baseball Almanac. His top salary season was in 1995 with the Reds when he made $3.66 million.

Personal Life
In 1989, Sanders married Carolyn Chambers and had two children with her before divorcing in 1998. His children from that marriage were his son Deion Sanders Jr. and Deiondra Sanders.

He was married again in 1999 to Pilar Sanders, having three children with her before a messy divorce in 2011. The children he had with her are sons Shilo and Shedeur, along with a daughter Shelomi Sanders.

He currently lives in Texas with his girlfriend, Tracey Edmonds, who he has been with since 2012.

Television Career
Deion Sanders has been an entertainer, even when he was on the field. So transitioning to television was natural for the superstar. He is a sports analyst for NFL Network and has appeared on other sports networks like ESPN and CBS Sports since the early 2000’s. His annual salary is $65,000 a year.

Speaking Engagements
Sanders has taken his ability to speak and turned it into a really solid career as a public speaker. He is available to hire as a speaker for events like product announcements, keynote speeches, and autograph signings. Hiring Sanders for an event costs $50,000 to $100,000.

Deion Sanders Net Worth
As one of the top defensive players in the NFL, and a solid Major League Baseball player, Sanders was making a lot of money during his playing days. Additionally, he was part of ads for Nike, Pizza Hut, and American Express.

During 14 seasons in the NFL, Sanders made a total of $33.6 million. That is made up of a combination of salary, signing bonuses, and roster bonuses. His salary accounts for $17.5 million while $12.7 million was made for signing bonuses and $3.325 million were roster bonuses.

Sanders made a seven-figure salary in five of his 14 seasons, his highest salary of his first five seasons being $825,000. In his first nine seasons, he had a salary over one million dollars just once. That came in his one year for the 49ers at $1.13 million. For comparison, the 97th cornerback in salary in 2019 is Isaiah Oliver and has a salary of $1.159 million.

So a giant estimated net worth of $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, really shouldn’t’ surprise too many since not many have ever done as much as Neon Deion has.

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Cheap Roger Staubach Jersey

As a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman knows the scrutiny of being a high-profile athlete.
It was intense in the 1990s when the Cowboys were the toast of Dallas and the focus of the nation for their on-field success and off-the-field exploits.

And that was before the advent of social media.
He said the scrutiny the players have to deal with today is on another level, especially when it comes to quarterbacks and the money they are being paid.

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During an exclusive interview on 1310 AM The Ticket, Aikman said a lot of factors have to be considered when choosing a franchise quarterback in terms of how they carry themselves and handle things off the field.

To that end, Aikman gave approval to a big-money contract extension for Dak Prescott, whom he called the perfect quarterback for the Cowboys.

 

“I think that when you’re evaluating quarterbacks coming to a team and essentially being the CEO and the face of your franchise, how do they handle a lot of different situations?” Aikman asked rhetorically during an interview that also included Hall of Fame Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. “But now, that’s another layer that they have to concern themselves with — how do they deal with social media?

“When we were playing, the criticisms were from the media, and sometimes that was a little bit intense. But now, everyone has a platform, everybody can fire off whatever it is they’re thinking, and I think it does take a really mature person, someone who’s wired the right way in order to be able to handle all that.

“And when you’re talking about — I thought I got paid a lot when I played — but the money is a lot. You’re making a real commitment to these players when you commit those kinds of dollars, and I think everything has to be looked at, and that’s why I think Dak, for a lot of reasons, I think Dak is perfect for this franchise, for this city in the way he’s able to handle himself.”

Aikman made $55.5 million in salary during 12 years with the Cowboys, according to overthecap.com. His best deal included a $20 million signing bonus, though he only received $13 million as the Cowboys cut him before the final $7 million was due because of injuries.

The Cowboys are in active negotiations with Prescott on a new deal that could pay him at least $30 million annually, making him the highest paid player in franchise history. The former 2016 fourth-round pick is in the last year of a rookie contract that he has clearly outperformed, starting every game over the last three seasons and leading the Cowboys to two NFC East titles.

Vice president Stephen Jones has said he wants to sign Prescott to a new deal before the 2019 season and owner Jerry Jones said they are ready to invest in the former Mississippi State star for the long-haul because of his leadership and work ethic as well as his play.

Aikman seems to be on board as well.

The only question is when will Prescott get paid?

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Cheap Trysten Hill Jersey

Now that you’ve had time to digest what the Cowboys did and didn’t do in the draft, now that grades have been assigned and roster spots projected, what’s left to be said?

Plenty.

Players report for rookie minicamp later this week. Until then, until coaches get a better feel for the class of 2019 and the promise it holds, a few observations from the last 10 days warrant discussion.

In the interest of brevity, let’s restrict this to the draft and push the players’ latest side trip to Durham, N.C. to soak in the wisdom of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and others to another day.

A tepid acceptance of the Cowboys’ decision to select Trysten Hill in the second round rests on two factors: He’s not a safety, and friction with the coaching staff at UCF led to him starting only one game in his final season.

Let’s table the safety debate. You may disagree, but Dallas officials are not only clear but unified in their positional preference for a three-technique defensive tackle over a strong safety. The attitude issue is more interesting.

A player talented enough to be taken in the second round of the NFL draft shouldn’t start the game on the sidelines for UCF. The Cowboys acknowledged the red flag, did their due diligence and said they’re comfortable. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli went as far as to say that he and Hill have clicked.
The Cowboys didn’t ignore the input they got from Josh Heupel’s staff. But it’s fair to say the organization put more weight in what Scott Frost had to say.

Frost, now the head coach at Nebraska, was UCF’s head coach for Hill’s first two seasons. Hill started all 26 games he played under Frost, who had good things to say about the defensive tackle.

Was this a case of the Cowboys only wanting to hear the good about a player at a position they value? No.
Frost spent six years in the NFL as a safety before becoming a coach. His last stop was Tampa Bay in 2003. The assistant head coach on that team who oversaw the defense was Marinelli.

Frost knows how Marinelli operates and what he demands from players. He knows what makes Hill tick. If Frost was unsure that the two could co-exist, do you think the Cowboys would have used a second-round pick on Hill?

Hill is one of three defensive linemen the Cowboys selected in the draft. Hill weighs 315 pounds. Daniel Wise, a defensive tackle from Kansas, is one of seven undrafted rookie free agents signed who had a spot on the Dallas draft board.
Why so many linemen? No one talks about it much, but the Cowboys’ defensive line was worn down and exposed late last season. The exclamation point was the playoff loss to Los Angeles, when the Rams rushed for 273 yards.

A Dallas defense that allowed only one 100-yard rusher in the first 13 games allowed four in its last five games. Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson both went over 100 yards for the Rams in that playoff loss.

A defense that had 33 sacks in the first 12 games finished the regular season with only six in the final four games. The Cowboys scraped together only one sack in two postseason games. That came from Maliek Collins.

That’s why the Cowboys continue to address the defensive line.

Third-round pick Connor McGovern was rated higher on the Cowboys draft board than Hill. The club didn’t target him — which explains why only scouts spent any time with him leading up to the selection — but he was too good to pass up at No. 90.

“You keep drafting into strengths and you know what your strength is on a football team,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “You don’t want a strength to become something that’s average quickly.”

Makes sense. Still, the Cowboys went with McGovern because the safety or cornerback they hoped to land was gone.

Boston College safety Will Harris went to Detroit at No. 81. Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne went to Pittsburgh two picks later. The loss of those two is why McGovern was a blinking light, in the words of Cowboys officials, when Dallas was on the clock.

The Cowboys traded back near the end of the fourth round and again early in the fifth because the player they wanted went off the board immediately in front of them.

Atlanta jumped ahead of Dallas at No. 135 to take defensive end Johnathan Cominsky. The Cowboys were primed to take Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw 13 picks later in the fifth but San Francisco beat them to the punch.

There was speculation the Cowboys would come out of this draft with a tight end, but the possibility of that evaporated with Jason Witten’s return.

Dallas isn’t short-sighted. If the Cowboys could have gotten one of the top tight ends in this draft, one to take over for Witten going forward, they would have done it. But the board didn’t break that way.

Witten won’t consume as many snaps as he did during his first tour of duty, but he’ll likely get the majority. Blake Jarwin came on strong at the end of last season, and the club doesn’t want to impede his progress. Dalton Schultz showed enough late to lead the Cowboys to believe he could be part of a rotation going forward.

Throwing a rookie into this mix wouldn’t have provided much return on investment and may have forced a decision on Schultz earlier than the club desired. Look for a tight end to be taken next year, even if Witten decides to return.

It’s fair to say the Cowboys are intrigued with unrestricted free agent Mitch Hyatt. Dallas lured the Clemson offensive tackle to The Star with a $20,000 signing bonus and by guaranteeing $130,000 of his base salary.

There are players around the NFL taken in the final two rounds of this draft who won’t receive that level of financial commitment.