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Cowboys news: Dallas bringing in UFL linebacker Willie Harvey Jr. for a workout

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Cowboys news: Dallas bringing in UFL linebacker Willie Harvey Jr. for a workout


The Cowboys will take a look at the UFL linebacker talent pool.

Check out our writeup from last week suggesting the Cowboys take a look at Harvey Jr.

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Lewis on Zimmer scheme: ‘It’s our job to perform’ – Patrik Walker, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys don’t have the deepest group of cornerbacks, but all of their expected starters are proven playmakers including veteran Jourdan Lewis.

It’s the resurgence in late 2023 that showed the Cowboys what Lewis was still capable of, but now he’ll have to adapt to yet another change at defensive coordinator. The hiring of Mike Zimmer following the departure of Dan Quinn marks the fourth coordinator change for Lewis in his eight-year career.

In other words, averaging a coordinator change every two seasons, he knows what it takes to embrace a new scheme and thrive as if he’s been in it for years.

“There is definitely going to be a learning curve whenever you play for a new coordinator,” he said. “But at the same time, we’re professionals. That’s our job to go out there and perform in any scheme that we’re in.”

That task effectively ramps up when the Cowboys depart for training camp in Oxnard on July 22, and there’s little time for the defense to find their land legs in Zimmer’s scheme.

One thing is for certain: Lewis is ready.

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Cowboys safety Juanyeh Thomas called “a starter in the making” – Jess Haynie, Blogging The Boys

It will be very interesting to watch what Mike Zimmer makes of the Cowboys group of safeties.

Thomas’ ascension has been enough, and is apparently continuing in the Cowboys’ spring practices, that Patrik Walker of the team’s official website has him competing for a starting job in 2024. In the piece, Walker refers to Thomas as a “starter in the making” and even declares him “potentially being a full-time starter in 2024.” The article includes some glowing remarks from coaches Mike McCarthy and Al Harris as well.

That’s high praise, especially with a solid pair of veterans in Hooker and Wilson returning. Kearse wasn’t re-signed in free agency by the Cowboys and remains untouched by the rest of the NFL. But while Dallas did play all three safeties regularly in Dan Quinn’s scheme, the arrival of Mike Zimmer is expected to curtail the hybrid LB/S role that Kearse played in favor of more traditional linebackers. That would seem to leave Hooker and Wilson as the favorites to be the typical starting duo with Hooker at FS and Wilson in the SS role.

Though they’re far more familiar to us, neither veteran should be considered a lock to start. While their trio with Kearse was a fun story and all played well, none of them were stars for the Cowboys. Being adequate leaves plenty of room for improvement, and there seems to be a lot of momentum building behind Juanyeh Thomas as a potential upgrade to one of their positions.

Thomas has the size to play strong and the athleticism to play free, giving him two avenues to a starting role. And with both Hooker and Wilson getting older and more expensive, the Cowboys could jump at a chance to pivot to a younger, cheaper option even if he just maintains the level of play. If Thomas gives them a reason to think he could elevate one of those positions, either now or in the near future, that will only incentivize the team more.

Don’t balk at Thomas’ potential just because he was undrafted, either. Wilson was only a sixth-round pick himself in 2019, and just look at what DaRon Bland is doing for the Cowboys as a former fifth-rounder. The margin between Day 3 picks and undrafted guys can be really slim, and Thomas has as much right to NFL success as any of them.

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‘Bill Belichick Told A Friend …’ Dallas Cowboys ‘Hot Seat Watch Goes NFL ‘Official’ – Mike Fisher, Athlon Sports

The Mike McCarthy on the hot seat talk will never end.

Earlier this spring, after the Dallas Cowboys chose to retain head coach Mike McCarthy for the final year of his contract, a bombshell report by ESPN revealed that former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is already zeroing in on his next job.

That would be McCarthy’s job.

As ESPN wrote it, Belichick “told a friend that he liked the idea of sticking it to the Krafts (Patriots ownership) by working for Jones.”

Could the all-powerful Belichick really work for the all-powerful Jones? If it’s true that Belichick is eyeing a 2025 move to The Star, he’s already answered that question for a doubting public.

From our perspective? We covered the Cowboys when Jimmy Johnson worked here and we covered the Cowboys when Bill Parcells worked here. So the idea that Jerry must be a “puppeteer’’ of a weak coach is historically proven to be untrue.

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How much traction is this idea gaining? Enough that NFL.com is writing about it as if it’s going to happen. From Judy Batista: “This doesn’t even really seem like that bold a prediction. … With another early playoff exit in the offing, Jerry Jones does what many expected him to do this offseason: let Mike McCarthy go. McCarthy is coaching in the final year of his contract, so that won’t even be a surprise. Neither will Jones hiring Bill Belichick. …’’

Panic Meter for Potential 2024 NFL Training Camp Holdouts – Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report

It still feels like it is hardly time to panic when it comes to the Cowboys keeping CeeDee Lamb around.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Like Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb’s eyes probably lit up when he saw reports about wideout Justin Jefferson’s market-setting extension.

According to NFL insider Josina Anderson, Jefferson’s contract will speed up negotiations between the Dallas Cowboys and Lamb’s camp.

The 25-year-old has the production and accolades to command a lucrative pay raise. He’s hauled in 395 passes for 5,145 yards and 32 touchdowns in 66 games. The fifth-year pro has earned three Pro Bowl nods and is coming off an All-Pro season in which he led the league in catches (135).

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With Micah Parsons willing to wait on his extension and Dak Prescott stating that he’s comfortable betting on himself in a contract year, the Cowboys can focus on Lamb’s new deal.

Lamb skipped mandatory minicamp, which makes him subject to fines, but Dallas can waive those financial penalties because he’s still on a rookie contract.

Soon, Lamb will be one of the league’s highest-paid receivers.

Panic Meter: 1

Reason for optimism for all 32 NFL teams in 2024 – Dalton Wasserman, Pro Football Focus

Can the Cowboys still be trusted to keep their winning ways of the regular season alive in 2024?

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They are talented at all the right spots and consistently win (in the regular season, at least)

For as much criticism as the Dallas Cowboys get, they have won 12 games in three straight regular seasons and are loaded with talent at premium positions. They posted top-five offensive and defensive grades last season, joining San Francisco and Baltimore as the only teams to do so.

Dak Prescott finished third in passing grade. CeeDee Lamb finished fourth in receiving grade. Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence were dominant off the edge, per usual, and the team returns arguably the best pair of cornerbacks in the NFL in DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys may lack depth, but they certainly don’t lack the high-end talent needed to win games.

Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson: How he plans to take the next step after a Pro Bowl season – Jon Machota, The Athletic

Ferguson wants to improve in all aspects of his game, but being a better blocker in the running game tops his list, and he provides a quote that sure endear him to Cowboys fans everywhere.

“Half the run game is training and getting stronger,” [Ferguson] said, “and then the other half is just being pissed off and trying to kill somebody.”

“Consistency in his passion and energy,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said of what has impressed him the most about Ferguson. “But really, just his growth as a football player. We talked a little bit about his weight; I think he’s done an outstanding job in the strength and conditioning phase of it. He’s having a great offseason. Very, very comfortable with the little things we’ve asked him to do on top of what he did last year.”

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The tight end has been a big part of the passing game throughout Dak Prescott’s career. From Witten to Dalton Schultz to Ferguson last year, the Cowboys’ quarterback has had a strong connection with one of his tight ends. The 2024 season should be no different.

“Obviously, you see the jump he made from Year 1 to Year 2,” Prescott said of Ferguson, “and he’s improved his intensity in his preparation just in this offseason, the way that he’s treated his body, the way that he’s been communicating with me throughout the offseason, whether it’s catching and throwing. He’s a big-time playmaker for this team, for this offense. As long as he continues to get better, the sky’s the limit for his potential and what he can do for this team.”





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Dallas, TX

Big Al’s Smokehouse Has Been a Family Affair for 50 Years

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Big Al’s Smokehouse Has Been a Family Affair for 50 Years


Off Inwood Road, and just to the east of Love Field, lies a Dallas barbecue institution that has been quietly smoking meat for half a century. Big Al’s Smokehouse was opened by Al Plaskoff in 1974. These days, his daughter Lauren Weiner runs the place, along with pitmaster Pedro Garcia, who has been there since 1979 when he was 18 years old, and general manager Jonathan McZeal, who has stuck around for the last 16 years.

“For this year, we’re trying to celebrate Big Al and that we’re open 50 years later,” Weiner tells Eater Dallas. We’re not an investor group, we’re a woman-owned business.” Weiner says there “wasn’t a plan” for the business. She recalls always working on things for Big Al’s, even from afar, when she left Dallas, by building its website or handling its marketing. “Then, when he got sick, I was here all the time, and it evolved from there. Without selling or closing, this was always going to be a family business.”

Being the second-generation owner hasn’t always been easy. “A lot of these people worked for, respected, and knew my dad. He’s Big Al and I’m very small Laurie,” she says with a laugh, referring to her petite stature. “They knew me so well that they knew I was going to do everything I could to make it work.”

In honor of the milestone, Big Al’s has partnered with another local company celebrating its golden jubilee, J&R Manufacturing. The restaurant exclusively uses its Oyler smoker, a commercial-sized smoker that uses hardwood and offset to smoke its meats. Big Al’s has used hickory wood to smoke for five decades.

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“My dad wasn’t a quick to change guy,” Weiner says, noting that when the restaurant was newer, her dad and the staff would joke about doing inventory by counting how many buns they sold. The restaurant’s biggest change under Big Al was adding sweet tea in the ‘90s, which Weiner says “was really hard for him.” Eventually the menu grew to be more family-style dishes and catering. “We didn’t switch to [using] the rubs and bark until the early 2010s. We were purists [who] smoked dark meat and trimmed it on the block.”

Under Weiner, the biggest change to the menu is fresh-cut, twice-fried french fries. “I don’t like frozen fries,” she says in complete seriousness. “So we hand cut all our fries.”

Weiner notes the restaurant is doing several events to give back to the community, mentioning Second Chance, a program from the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association that helps reintroduce incarcerated people trained in food service back into the work force. “Honestly, hiring and maintaining my staff is the biggest challenge I have,” Weiner says. “If somebody goes into the system and comes out with some training and a passion for food service, they’re somebody I’d like to meet. We’re very open to people who have made mistakes in the past and now want to do something different with their lives.”

Big Al’s will host deals and celebrations all year, leading up to something “big” that Weiner is planning for September — and that will include adding a Sunday brunch. It has added a Big Al’s margarita and spiked sweet tea to the menu and a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily.



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Dallas hosts Minnesota United after shutout win

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Dallas hosts Minnesota United after shutout win


Associated Press

Minnesota United FC (8-4-5, fourth in the Western Conference) vs. FC Dallas (4-8-5, 13th in the Western Conference)

Frisco, Texas; Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. EDT

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BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE FC Dallas +108, Minnesota United FC +236, Draw +241; over/under is 2.5 goals

BOTTOM LINE: A game after shutting out Saint Louis City SC 2-0, Dallas faces Minnesota United.

Dallas is 4-5-5 in conference play. Dallas is 4-0-0 when it scores a pair of goals.

United is 5-3-4 against Western Conference opponents. United is ninth in the league drawing 98 corner kicks, averaging 5.8 per game.

The matchup Wednesday is the second meeting this season between the two teams. The last meeting ended tied 1-1.

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TOP PERFORMERS: Petar Musa has scored five goals and added two assists for Dallas. Asier Illarramendi Andonegi has one goal and two assists over the last 10 games.

Tanitoluwa Oluwatimikhin Oluwaseyi has scored seven goals with three assists for United. Robin Lod has three goals and five assists over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Dallas: 3-4-3, averaging 1.4 goals, 4.1 shots on goal and 3.9 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.5 goals per game.

United: 5-2-3, averaging 1.8 goals, 5.2 shots on goal and 5.3 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.4 goals per game.

NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Dallas: Geovane Jesus (injured), Alan Velasco (injured), Paxton Pomykal (injured).

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United: Hugo Bachrach (injured), DJ Taylor (injured), Teemu Pukki (injured).

___

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.




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Mavericks vs Celtics Preview: Down 1-3, Dallas must take it one game at a time

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Mavericks vs Celtics Preview: Down 1-3, Dallas must take it one game at a time


The Dallas Mavericks are back in the northeast to play the Boston Celtics for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The game starts at 7:30 pm CST and will be broadcast nationally by ABC. Dallas forced Game 5 with a dominating performance in Game 4, blowing the Celtics right off the floor. Now that Boston is back at home, they’ll have the crowd at their backs and the pressure to win now. Dallas is playing bonus basketball at this point. They played for their lives once, won, and are now trying to do so again. It’s a different kind of pressure entirely. But I think this team lives for pressure. Here’s the main things to know before the game:

  • WHO: Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics
  • WHAT: Game 2 of the NBA Finals
  • WHERE: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. CST
  • HOW: ABC

On the injury report, Luka Doncic is listed as probable with his array of nagging injuries. Kristaps Porzingis is questionable with his bizarre ankle injury. Expect Luka to play and I expect Porzingis will sit. Or at least he won’t play much and only in specific circumstances.

They lost games two and three just so. Dallas won Game 4 with a classic team performance. Game 5 might require perfection. But not the kind you’re thinking of, they don’t have to hit every shot or make every play. But like in the clip above from the Friday Night Lights movie, they must play for each other and within the scope of what got them here to begin with. If they do that, it they lay it all out there again, I believe they will win. If they do this and don’t win, well, that’s enough for me.

We’ll be back after the game with our usual stuff. Thanks so much for hanging out here at Mavs Moneyball. Till the end. Let’s go Mavs.

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