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Cowboys in NFC Race: Impact of Bucs QB Tom Brady Divorce from Gisele Reports? NFL Tracker

Cowboy Maven on FanNation 10/4/2022 Cowboys Country Staff
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Updated by the minute, our Cowboys NFL Moves, Free Agency and Trade Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort

FRISCO - Tom and Gisele are in the (Cowboys?) news ... 

OCT 4 BRADY FALLOUT There is no joy in divorce. But there are realities.

There is no joy in divorce of public figures. But in the cases of Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen, they have made highly crafted public images for themselves, meaning the fact that they are reportedly taking steps toward getting a divorce is fodder for rumors ...

And fodder for speculation about what the "distraction'' might mean to the NFL.

The Bucs, especially during Brady's time there after his departure from the New England Patriots, where he won six of his seven Super Bowl rings, have largely been in charge of the NFC South. At this moment, though, the divisional lead is shared by the Bucs and by the Falcons, both at 2-2, and they play in Week 5.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 - and their only loss came in Week 1, at the hands of Brady's Bucs.

Brady was a near-perennial champion as the main man on the roster of the dynastic Patriots, and then won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers upon leaving New England. But now? As with injuries and arrests, "things happen'' ... and Tom Brady, famous for focus and execution and excellence, surely has a great deal on his mind as he and the Bucs joust with the Cowboys and other NFC contenders in an effort to stay on top.

OCT 4 GREGORY OUT The Denver Broncos are going to be without defensive end Randy Gregory, maybe for as long as six weeks, as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Gregory, in the first year of his five-year $70 million deal in Denver after leaving the Dallas Cowboys amid contractual controversy, got carted off the field with the injury during Sunday's loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Gregory had been playing well, in four games recording nine tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles.

OCT 3 INJURY UPDATE The Cowboys Monday afternoon Injury Update

Micah Parsons - No back issue

Zack Martin - no ankle issue

Noah Brown - neck

Quinton Bohanna - shoulder 

Coach Mike McCarthy said that Brown and Bohanna should practice this week in prep for the Rams in Week 5.

Parsons and Martin got dinged up in Sunday’s win over Washington, but both did finish.

“It’s just football,” Micah said.

OCT 2 MARTIN EXITS Zack Martin - the future Hall of Famer - has hobbled to the sideline and is getting his right ankle re-taped in the late-going of the third quarter of the Dallas Cowboys' Week 4 home game against Washington. Martin appeared to have collided with teammate Tyler Smith at the end of a play.

Matt Farniok is now filling in for him at right guard.

OCT 2 LEWIS OUT A Cowboys injury sustained in pregame warmups means Dallas has a rookie starter today in DB DaRon Bland.

Jourdan Lewis is the usual starter as the nickel corner, but his groin problem in pregame pushes Bland, a fifth-round rookie who experienced a good training camp, into the Sunday spotlight against Washington.

OCT 2 INACTIVES The Cowboys have named their captains for today vs. the Commanders and have released their inactives.

The captains: RB Ezekiel Elliott (offense), S Donovan Wilson (defense) and CB Kelvin Joseph (special teams).

The inactives: QB Dak Prescott (thumb), S Jayron Kearse (knee) WR Jalen Tolbert, LB Devin Harper, T Matt Waletzko and CB Nahshon Wright. ... which of course means Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz and, in a bit of a surprise, Connor McGovern, are officially active today.

OCT 1 QB UP The Cowboys are elevating QB Will Grier from the practice squad, a move that is significant in a couple of ways.

One, the Cowboys need a No. 2 for Sunday’s Fame against Washington, with Cooper Rush still starting and Prescott (thumb) still rehabbing.

Two ….This is the team’s third and final standard elevation that can be used on Grier this season. So from now on, he’ll need to be signed to 53-man roster to be active for the Cowboys … possibly a moot point if Dak can return next week.

SEPT 29 DAK IN RED No, Dak Prescott isn't really practicing on Thursday here inside The Star, and no, he's almost certainly not really playing on Sunday against Washington.

But as you can see here, he is dressed out ...

And he is "gripping'' the football in his surgically repaired right hand.

We still think Week 6 at Philly is the realistic target date for his return. But stay tuned ...

SEPT 28 INJURY UPDATE QB Dak Prescott (thumb) is listed as a non-participant today. 

Listed as limited are DeMarcus Lawrence (foot), Dalton Schultz (knee), Connor McGovern (ankle) and Jayron Kearse. Listed as full are Michael Gallup, Luke Gifford and Simi Fehoko.

SEPT 26 THREE MOVES The Dallas Cowboys moved Jason Peters from the practice squad to the active roster today, and additionally the club also elevated QB Will Grier and tight end Sean McKeon from the practice squad to the active roster for tonight’s matchup against the Giants.

SEPT 26 INACTIVES The 1-1 Cowboys are rolling along with their backup quarterback, Cooper Rush, while starter Dak Prescott continues to rehab his broken thumb suffered in Week 1.

The stitches in Dak's surgically repaired thumb and hand were scheduled to be removed on Monday, meaning the timeline for Prescott's return is sooner than later. ... and indeed, we're told that procedure has occurred.

Meanwhile, coach Mike McCarthy has named his trio of captains for tonight: Offense CeeDee Lamb, Defense Micah Parsons, Special Teams Rico Dowdle.

And the inactives: Prescott (thumb), Michael Gallup (knee), Dalton Schultz (knee), Connor McGovern (ankle), Jayron Kearse (knee), Nahshon Wright and Luke Gifford (hamstring) - which opens up Jabril Cox to play his first game since his knee injury last October.

SEPT 26 NFL BEST? “I think Philadelphia is the best team in football right now.” – Jason Garrett, the former Dallas Cowboys coach, speaking as an NBC "Sunday Night'' analyst.

And he's right.

As the Cowboys ready for a Monday nighter at the Giants, Dallas is hoping to move to 2-1 while maybe needing a "Flu Game'' Micah Parsons to keep the score low with Cooper Rush in for Dak Prescott. Oh, and maybe that will all change in Week 6, if the injured Prescott returns to the lineup just in time to play ... A Sunday nighter at the Eagles.

But for now? Philly is 3-0, the roster is loaded, Jalen Hurts is playing like a QB who can run instead of like a running back who can't throw ... and the Eagles have outscored opponents 86-50, with just seven points given up to Minnesota last week and with this week's 24-8 drubbing of Washington.

SEPT 21: SOURCE - COWBOYS WORK OUT WR The Cowboys on Wednesday are working out former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ra'Shaun Henry here at The Star, an NFL source tells 

Earlier this week, Henry visited the San Francisco 49ers. 

The 6-3 receiver from Virginia is a rookie UDFA who had been on the Panthers practice squad.

Dallas just cut rookie UDFA receiver Dennis Houston ahead of a visit to the Giants, a game that might feature the season debuts of Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert.

SEPT 19 RIDGEWAY TO WASHINGTON The Cowboys over the weekend cut fifth-round rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway (6-5, 322), with the plan that he might slip through waivers and be re-signed to the practice squad.

Unfortunately for Dallas - but maybe fortunately for the colorful Arkansas product who upon his arrival at The Star announced that he wanted to "break necks'' - the D-line-needy Washington Commanders put in a claim and so the self-named "Vanilla Gorilla'' makes a move to an NFC East foe.

SEPT 18 HIGGINS IN Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins (concussion) is active for Sunday’s game here at AT&T Stadium against the Cowboys.

The third-year Bengals receiver last year finished second on the team with 74 catches and 1,091 yards and pairs with Ja'Marr Chase as perimeter challenges today for the Dallas D.

SEPT 16: BIG DECISIONS The Dallas Cowboys on Friday announced that receiver Michael Gallup will miss against the Cincinnati Bengals. No shocker here; Gallup is dealing with a knee rehab and the idea of playing next week, in Week 3 at the Giants, has always been a more realistic target.

“There is still a process of return to play that he has to finish,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said adding that Gallup is experiencing a "good soreness'' following his first two days of actual practice all year.

The Bengals also have a wideout issue. Tee Higgins is officially questionable with him trying to recover from a Week 1 concussion.

What to do with Dak Prescott (out for at least a month after thumb surgery) obviously tops the decision-making list otherwise. Stay tuned.

SEPT 10 COWBOYS CALL-UPS The Dallas Cowboys on Saturday elevated Kicker Brett Maher and QB Cooper Rush from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.

SEPT 5 PETERS PRACTICING "Deadlines Make Deals,'' as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes to say. And now the Jason Peters deal is done - complete with plans to have him join practice on Monday here at The Star.

Coach Mike McCarthy said that adding Peters "is about adding depth,'' though obviously it can be much more than that.

McCarthy also said Peters - a Texas native - would “love to finish his career here.”

Read more here.

SEPT 4 HOW ABOUT MONDAY? Want a blow-by-blow on what's going on with the Cowboys and Peters? Here you go ... a "Still Grinding'' update from here inside The Star.

And yes, Monday remains a logical goal, timetable-wise, for reasons we have detailed in the link.

Meanwhile ... A member of the Dallas Cowboys "family'' is carrying on a tradition ...

SEPT SEPT 3 EJ SCORES EJ Smith is a junior at Stanford and is getting his first crack at being the full-time starter.

So far, so good for the son of Emmitt Smith, E.J. who recorded an 87-yard touchdown on his first carry in the season opener against Colgate.

E.J. was a top recruit coming out of the DFW area as he works to follow in the footsteps of Dad, who happens to be the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

Smith finished his first game as Stanford's starting running back with 118 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries, and also contributed five catches for 37 yards as Stanford won, 41-10 to start the year.

E.J. starred at Jesuit in Dallas before accepting an invitation to attend Stanford.

AUG 29 ZAMPESE PASSES Ernie Zampese passed away this morning at the age of 86, one of the most influential offensive coaches in NFL history.

"Ernie was doing stuff in the 70's and the 80's that people today think are new and it isn't," said star pupil Norv Turner. "If Don Coryell were here today, he'd tell you."

Zampese capped off his fine career after taking over for Turner in Dallas and helping the Cowboys’ Super Bowl XXX team. 

Said Aikman of winning that ring with Zampese: One of my favorite memories … a friend and mentor to so many.”

AUG 24 MICAH TV “Eleven From Heaven” (no, we don’t get that, either), writes FOX Sports. “Micah Parsons will be joining ‘Undisputed’ throughout the NFL season!”

Parsons, the Cowboys defensive star, confirmed the deal on Twitter, writing, “Blessings! Excited to start this journey!”

There will be Cowboys fans worried that Parsons might be spreading himself too thin here, as brilliant as he is likely to be on TV.

Replay Video

There will be other Cowboys fans who recognize that alining with Bayless can be a poisonous experience.

AUG TOM BRADY - 'THE MASKED SINGER'? It's been labeled a "wacky theory,'' but is it really so ridiculous that the reason Tom Brady is skipping a big chunk of training camp is so he can appear on "The Masked Singer" television show?

Brady is taking an alleged 10-day break away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is that he's expected back at some point after Saturday's preseason game at the Tennessee Titans. Coach Todd Bowles insists all is fine.

"I know exactly when Tom is coming back, and I’ve consistently said it would be sometime after the Titans game," Bowles said.

That means he's probably good for Bucs at Cowboys in NFL Week 1. But why isn't there a firm date for when the seven-time Super Bowl champion signal-caller will return?

"I’m not worried, so I don’t know why anyone else would be worried," Bowles said.

Maybe there is no reason to worry because Brady is simply filling an obligation to FOX, where he is about to make a trillion bucks as an analyst when he's done playing.

Is there any QB in football more "show-bizzy'' than Brady?

And yes, "The Masked Singer'' airs on ... FOX.

AUG 19 COMMANDERS FIRE TRAINER The Washington Commanders officially fired head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion Friday after the conclusion of a months-long investigation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Vermillion was placed on administrative leave in October 2021 after the DEA raided his home and work office. Vermillion agreed to a deferred prosecution at U.S. District Court today in Virginia, which won't see him face any charges.

The NFL responded by suspending Vermillion indefinitely and opening an investigation with the NFLPA.

AUG 17 ZEKE VS. THE HELMET Yes, Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys has spent the last two offseasons trying to make sure he's got elusiveness and "sweet feet'' as he's dropped, at different times, from 228 pounds to 218.

But can he still pound an opponent with force?

The Los Angeles Chargers, in a Wednesday joint workout in LA, just found out.

The victim is Chargers starting safety Nasir Adderley, and Zeke literally knocks the poor guy’s helmet right off his head.

"That,'' Elliott said later, "is the type of tone I'm trying to set every time I step on the field, period.''

Tone set. Period.

Ezekiel Elliott might be an elusive runner. We will see.

But he remains a punishing runner. A Chargers helmet proves it is so.

AUG 16 COWBOYS CUTS The Cowboys must cut down by Tuesday from 90 to 85 on their roster and have now done so. As first noted by the Dallas News, they are moving on from ... 

CB Kyron Brown

FB Ryan Nall

TE Ian Bunting

WR Ty Fryfogle

DL Austin Faoliu.

The first four players are being waived-injured. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they could return to the club later, which seems a possibility for Nall, a newcomer vet who has an NFL history as a special-teamer.

FATAL SHOOTING A fatal shooting at a youth football game in DFW has police searching for Yaqub Talib, the younger brother of former NFL cornerback and Amazon TV pregame analyst Aqib Talib.

A warrant has been issued for Yaqub Talib, with police in Lancaster saying there was a “disagreement among coaching staff and the officiating crew.” The argument led to coaches getting into a fight. Someone fired a gun, killing a man.

Per, DFW resident Aqib Talib was present at the scene of the shooting.

Aqib Talib played 12 years in the NFL for the Buccaneers, Patriots, Broncos, and Rams.

AUG 12 TWO COWBOYS DOWN Thursday’s joint practice between the Cowboys and Broncos featured far too much "chippiness'' - well, cheap shots, really - and two injury scares.

Tight end Ian Bunting was hurt while blocking on a punt return, the concern being high enough that the medical cart came onto the field. Bunting eventually was able to walk off on his own with what we believe is a neck injury not considered serious.

Rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway also limped off due to some sort of injury to his leg.

Both players were slated to play as the Cowboys oppose the Broncos on Saturday in the preseason opener for both teams, but will now be monitored.

AUG 11 LAMB AND DIGGS? CeeDee Lamb will practice today but McCarthy says Trevon Diggs won’t.

Both players have been limited with “soreness” and due to “maintenance.”

Otherwise, this should be a big day for first-teamers, with McCarthy saying that during a 16-play set, Dak Prescott and other starters “will play 10 of them.”

AUG 10 HARDY WORKOUT The Broncos brought on in a familiar face for a workout. ... and now they are signing him.

JaQuan Hardy, 24, signed with the Cowboys after going undrafted in the 2021 draft and ended up spending time on and off the Cowboys practice squad and active roster throughout the year before his off-season release..

In 2021, Hardy played in three games for the Cowboys and totaled 29 yards rushing with four carries and one touchdown.

And now that this has worked out in Denver, at least for the moment? Hardy will see more familiar faces as the Cowboys will practice against the Broncos in Denver this week before the Saturday night preseason opener.

AUG 9 MILLS FIRED In what qualifies as a most topsy-turvy weekend, Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera has just relieved Sam Mills III of his duties as an assistant coach.

This decision comes on the heels of Mills, the son of the great former Carolina Panthers star, having just watched Dad being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rivera, who called the decision “very difficult,” is moving Jeff Zgonina into the role of defensive line coach.

AUG 3 AGGIES LB CUT The Cowboys had some positive hopes for rookie linebacker Aaron Hansford from Texas A&M, who began training camp on the PUP list after having come to Dallas as a rookie UDFA. But now Hansford has passed his physical and he has been waived.

AUG 2 AMARI OK? While the Cowboys are experiencing injury issues at receiver (see here), old friend Amari Cooper won’t practice today for the Browns due to an ankle injury sustained in Monday red-zone drills at Cleveland training camp.

The difference? The Cowboys will be missing James Washington for two months following Tuesday foot surgery ... while the Browns say Cooper, traded by Dallas this offseason in a salary dump, "will be back soon.''

AUG 2 DOLPHINS PUNISHED The NFL has just came down hard on the Miami Dolphins over the subject of tampering. .. and for general violations of "integrity of the game.''

The team, a Buffalo Bills' foe in the AFC East, will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft after the investigation into tampering.

Owner Stephen Ross is suspended through October 17 and has been fined $1.5 million.


In Dallas - goofy rumors aside - it’s the deal the Cowboys always knew was coming as the 49ers are giving Deebo Samuel a three-year,$71.55 million extension to remain in San Francisco, ESPN noting the deal includes $58.1 million guaranteed.

Samuel did make some public flirtations toward Dallas, and it was suggested it might be a "warm'' possibility. But as we wrote here, the Cowboys never took seriously the idea of him leaving ... and probably never took seriously the idea of giving up premium picks and $25 million APY, either.


Let's label this as "unconfirmed rumor'' ... and maybe a nonsensical one, too, though it would certainly move the NFC East News needle: Jimmy Garoppolo is reportedly "in talks" with the New York Giants?

The veteran 49ers quarterback is on the outs there, of course. But don't the New York Giants already have "their guy'' in young Daniel Jones? And wouldn't Jimmy G, joining a non-contender, simply be a progress-stopper?

Oh, and while we're digging into the rumor mill: Texas ex Tyrod Taylor is also being gossiped about as being on the Giants radar.

For the record, we think Jimmy G to the Seahawks is the most sensible fit.


Rookie tackle Matt Waletzko injured a shoulder on Thursday, and the early evaluation has him missing the rest of this week due to the injury. The Cowboys are not revealing much more than that at this time. But ... 

Entering camp, he was running ahead of Josh Ball (who had fallen out of favor to some) as Dallas was opting to "go young'' at swing tackle. ... We'll monitor whether than plan might need to change. For now? Our recent list of potential free-agent tackle helpers is here.


Seattle Seahawks star wide receiver DK Metcalf might be one of the most talented players. in the NFL, regardless of position. 

And now, he is getting paid like it, with the 24-year-old signing a three-year $72 million extension. 

His new deal will include $58.2 million guaranteed and a $30 million signing bonus. 

Metcalf's bonus is the highest ever for a wide receiver, per reports. 


As we reported on Wednesday, receiver James Washington landed awkwardly on his left shoulder while diving for a Dak Prescott deep ball on the first day of camp. Here's the play ...

The Cowboys do not consider the issue to be serious but we will monitor. ... as in the early going today he is participating in individual drills.

Also on the wideout plate today: The arrival of newly signed KaVontae Turpin, who will start with limited work. You can read the scoop on that signing here.

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