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Updates: Zimmer 'harping on details' in reunion

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

May 17 Updates

2:00 p.m. — A lot has been said about the toughness and matter-of-fact coaching style of Mike Zimmer, who is returning for a second stint as TV' defense coordinator this year.

What shouldn't be lost in the conversation, however, is just how much the Super Bowl-winning coordinator loathes in-game mistakes on a rep-to-rep basis.

Cannon Matthew, formerly the overseer of Dallas' defensive quality control but now the safeties' coach, gave his first impression of Zimmer as the team speeds toward OTAs.

"In the short period of time I've been around him — just harping on the details," said Matthews. "He's making sure everyone is accountable so, that way, little things come back into play. So, the [more] tightened down we can get on those, I think that's where you'll see a big change, right there."

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May 16 Updates

11:00 a.m. — John Stephens Jr. went from the ranks of the undrafted last spring to all but promised a final roster spot with the TV before he went down with a season-ending torn ACL in late summer.

Tight ends coach Lunda Wells isn't simply optimistic about the redshirt talent going into 2024 — he's brimming with excitement at how Stephens looks now and how rehab was attacked.

"I think he's ahead of schedule, physically," said Wells. "He's been working his behind off with Britt [Brown] all season. And one of the best things that happened for him was God took away his legs to force him to get into the weight room and build that upper body strength. If you look at his physical structure right now – he's built pretty good right now going into Year 2.

"His biggest [attribute] is his athleticism and being able to stretch the field vertically. He understands route details, how to get in and out of breaks and he's tough, which gives him the added ability to develop as a blocker for us. His skill set in the passing game is gonna be really good for us going forward, and I'm excited to get him back on the grass and get to work."

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May 14 Updates

2:00 p.m. — DaRon Bland was moved to the outside in his second season with the TV, and it was due to the season-ending injury suffered by Trevon Diggs in early September.

The latter went down in practice with a torn ACL that he is currently working his way back from, but all signs point toward the First-Team All-Pro cornerback making great progress.

"He looks good," said assistant head coach and defensive backs coach Al Harris. "I was just watching him. Britt [Brown] is doing a great job. As far as timeline-wise, I'll leave that up to Britt and [his] staff. But, for what he did today, I thought he did a great job. He looks good."

Diggs will rejoin Bland and Jourdan Lewis as the three-headed hydra at cornerback for the Cowboys in 2024, looking to quickly regain the form that made him one of the best in the league at his position.

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May 11 Updates

11:00 a.m. — Ezekiel Elliott has reported to voluntary offseason conditioning and will soon retake the field in OTAs for the TV, having re-signed with the team following the 2024 NFL Draft after spending the 2023 season with the New England Patriots.

Speaking from rookie minicamp on Saturday, head coach and offensive play caller Mike McCarthy described the team's reunion with the former two-time NFL rushing champ.

"It's as natural of a transition that you'll ever see," said McCarthy. "he walked in and he had that unbelievable smile. It's like he never left. Huge personality in the locker room. … But some things have changed for him as well — like protection systems — so he has some new learning, but it's great to have him back."

Elliott will lead a group of RBs that are mostly unproven behind him, though Rico Dowdle is returning as well following a career-best season.

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May 10 Updates

3:45 pm — After taking a handful of visits this week – including one to The Star to meet with the Cowboys on Wednesday – veteran wide receiver Zay Jones decided to sign with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday on a one-year, $4.25M deal.

If the Cowboys would like to add a veteran wide receiver to the mix, free agents such as Michael Thomas, Mecole Hardman, Hunter Renfrow and Marquez Valdes-Scantling still remain on the market, although that market is continuing to dwindle.

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3:00 pm — There is potentially more competition on the way to the TV' quarterbacks' room, that is if the team opts to move forward with Mike Hohensee, formerly of Northwest Missouri State — where he finished the 2023 season having passed for 1,974 yards and 22 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in nine games played..

Hohensee was brought in on Friday for a tryout at the outset of rookie minicamp, and it appears he's impressed head coach and offensive play caller Mike McCarthy.

"I do not recall a young QB coming in here on a tryout and commanding a huddle," said McCarthy following the afternoon walkthrough. "... And his understanding being this high."

As it stands, the battle to back up Dak Prescott revolves solely around the sure and steady Cooper Rush and former third-overall pick Trey Lance, but Hohensee might find himself joining the mix this summer.

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10:32 a.m. - The Cowboys are starting their rookie minicamp on Friday at The Star. It's the first time to see all eight draft picks, plus 12 more undrafted free agents on the field together.

The Cowboys were able to sign seven of their eight draft picks on Thursday, including first-round pick Tyler Guyton, who signed a four-year, $13 million contract. First-round picks have a fifth-year option that teams can choose to pick up after the player's third season.

The Cowboys were able to sign six other draft picks to four-year contracts.

Only second-round pick Marshawn Kneeland remains unsigned at the moment, but he's still allowed to participate this weekend. Technically, draft picks can be unsigned all the way to the start of training camp and still participate in all practices and meetings at the team facility.

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May 8 Updates

1:00 pm — There's a bit of a shakeup on the TV' depth chart at wide receiver this week, just one day ahead of their incoming 2024 rookie class arriving for minicamp.

Having hosted a meeting with veteran wideout Zay Jones, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in late April, the Cowboys decided to move on from Martavis Bryant — releasing him to free agency on Wednesday.

Bryant originally signed with the Cowboys in 2023 following reinstatement to the NFL, released later in the year before being re-signed by Dallas earlier this offseason.

He will now look to land elsewhere for the 2024 season, and the Cowboys continue to work on sorting out their depth chart behind CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks.

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May 7 Updates

1:00 pm — Having initially restarted his career with the TV wearing his familiar No. 21 jersey in offseason conditioning, Ezekiel Elliott ultimately decided to pivot to No. 15 — a throwback to his championship-winning days at Ohio State — having also worn the latter in his one year away from Dallas.

That move has now been made official, with the two-time former NFL rushing champ formally moving to his new number on Tuesday.

Elliott first donned the No. 15 for the New England Patriots in 2023, where he went on to produce nearly 1,000 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns in only five starts. His production there carved his path back to the Cowboys, who sorely missed his gritty running style last season.

A new era now begins for Elliott, in familiar digs with an unfamiliar NFL number, or rather one that isn't nearly as familiar to most as the No. 21 that he set records in.

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May 2 Updates

10:00 a.m. — The Reliant Home Run Derby served as an opportunity for ten players to compete at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco for The Salvation Army and various charities that the players chose to represent. The participants included Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Brandon Aubrey, Jake Ferguson, DaRon Bland, Bryan Anger, Jalen Tolbert, Sam Williams, Eric Kendricks and Brandin Cooks.

Bryan Anger took home the crown after raising $22,800 with his swings at the plate. In all, the Cowboys raised $104,900 for The Salvation Army for their efforts at the ballpark on Wednesday night.

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May 1 Updates

3:00 p.m. —The TV have signed wide receiver Tyron Billy-Johnson to a one-year/$1.055M contract on Tuesday, as he rejoins the locker room after being cut from the practice squad going into the playoffs to make room for depth and more needy position groups.

Johnson hauled in seven receptions for 102 yards in the preseason last year in his first year with the team. The native of New Orleans has played in 26 career regular season games and has hauled in 32 receptions for 422 yards and three touchdowns.

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April 29 Updates

6:15 pm — Michael Gallup and the TV parted ways this offseason, and it didn't take long for the former 1,000-yard receiver to find a new NFL home.

With the 2024 NFL Draft now in the books, teams know what their remaining needs are and, for the Las Vegas Raiders, that is apparently at wide receiver.

Gallup and the Raiders have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal for the 2024 season.

A former third-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018, Gallup finished his career in Dallas with 3,744 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns on 266 receptions.

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