The Dallas Cowboys continue to be newsmakers when it comes to roster-building. Updated by the minute, our Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Transaction Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort.
OCT 23: NOT FINE A trio of Cowboys players paid for last week’s OT win at New England, including cornerback Trevon Diggs ($7,981 for unnecessary roughness for hitting a Patriots player in the facemask), ruffian guard Connor Williams ($16,394 for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty) and most hilariously, receiver CeeDee Lamb, who waved goodbye to Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (and hooting fans, we believe) following his walk-off touchdown catch in the 35-29 OT win.
What is costing him $10,300 for unsportsmanlike conduct? This …
Ultimately? Worth it.
OCT 21: KNIGHT EXPLAINS There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas – which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves – will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
One problem: The week began with Knight “refusing to report” to Baltimore.
Amid speculation (from Dallas homers?) that he simply didn’t want to leave the Cowboys – and that’s not the way this works, as Knight’s rights are now owned by the Ravens – “personal reasons” were cited as Knight’s motive.
And now Knight has explained, writing on social media:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the Baltimore ravens for allowing me another opportunity to play the game I’ve always loved. As of now I’ve decided to take a break from football to address my mental health.
“Although it was a difficult decision, it was a necessary one to be back home with my family. I look forward to returning next season.”
OCT 20 MERCILUS TO PACK Houston Texans veteran pass rusher Whitney Mercilus is joining the Green Bay Packers, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
The Kansas City Chiefs were among Mercilus’ suitors, according to sources. The Cowboys, as we reported this week, were not a bidder.
Mercilus, 31, who has 57 career sacks and was released by the Texans on Tuesday, wanted to join a Super Bowl contender and now he has.
OCT 19 FB CUT A source tells us on Tuesday that the Cowboys have cut fullback Nick Ralston, the rookie from Argyle, Texas, presumably for a roster spot to use on tackle La’el Collins.
Ralston could boomerang back to Dallas practice squad.
OCT 18: KNIGHT CLAIMED There are those here inside The Star who believe young tough guy offensive lineman Brandon Knight has a future in the NFL, but Dallas – which waived him on Saturday to facilitate other moves – will not be able to bring him back to the practice squad, as on Monday the Ravens were awarded Knight on waivers, adding him to their 53-man roster.
OCT 15: NFC EAST TRADE! Per Adam Schefter and ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles are sending three-time Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for CB Tay Gowan and a 2022 5th-round pick.
The stand-out tight end from Stanford was the 35th overall pick by the Eagles in the 2013 NFL Draft and holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end with 116. Ertz won Super Bowl LI with the Eagles.
OCT 13 BOSSMAN BACK? Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph (groin) and tight end Sean McKeon (ankle) practiced on a limited basis for the first time this season on Wednesday, thus beginning the opening of the 21-day practice window for the pair as they have been moved to the “Designated for Return from Reserve/Injured” list.
By designating both players to return, the Cowboys can activate them at any time during that 21-day period.
Joseph, a second-round draft pick, injured his groin late in preseason. A healthy Joseph – aka “Bossman Fat,” his musical alter ego, could eventually figure in Dallas secondary rotation. McKeon was pushing for the third tight end spot before sustaining a high ankle sprain in preseason and if he is healthy, he could solve the Dallas issue with Jeremy Sprinkle, who must be signed to the 53-man to allow another call-up.
OCT 11: RICH IN Rich Bisaccia will serve as interim coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately, the team announcing the elevation of the former Cowboys assistant in the wake of Jon Gruden’s resignation amid scandal.
Gruden has resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in the aftermath of an ugly email scandal that involves, in at least a trio of ways, the Washington Football Team.
Gruden’s series of notes include racist, homophobic, transphobic, and sexist remarks made over the last decade, exposed after The New York Times published an article detailing emails sent by Gruden from 2011-2018.
The investigation into Gruden’s emails stems from the NFL’s examination of what it determined to be the “highly unprofessional” workplace of the Washington Football Team, leading to a $10 million and owner Dan Snyder stepping away from day-to-day operations of the franchise earlier this year.
Some of the emails were sent by Gruden while he was employed at ESPN as an analyst, and were reportedly sent to former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen, among others.
And the alleged content of the emails? Gruden took shots at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, reportedly labelling him a “f——t” and a “clueless anti-football p—-y,” denounced the employment of women in the NFL, derided the drafting of a “queer” player in 2014, questioned the league’s concussion protocols and used offensive language to describe owners, coaches, and journalists in the league.
Additionally, according to the Times, “Gruden exchanged emails with Allen and other men that included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders.”
OCT 11: TEXANS TRYOUTS The Houston Texans are working out former Dallas Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier and four other players, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Frazier is a former Cowboys sixth-round draft pick from Central Michigan. The 6-foot, 217-pounder has also played for the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. He has 73 career tackles and one forced fumble. He was a force on special teams during his time in Dallas, and also, off the field, an asset in the community.
The Texans are also working out defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour and defensive backs Luther Kirk, Chris Milton and Josh Jones.
Jones (6-2, 220 pounds) is a former Green Bay Packers second-round draft pick from North Carolina State. He has 128 career tackles and one interception. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys.
Kirk (6-2, 195) is a former Cowboys undrafted free agent from Illinois State.
Milton (5-11, 190) is a former Indianapolis Colts undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech who has also played for the New York Giants and Cowboys and has 35 career tackles.
Dwumfour is a former New York Jets undrafted free agent from Rutgers. He transferred from Michigan and recorded 59 career tackles in college with 3 1/2 sacks, 8 1/2 tackles for losses and one interception.
OCT 6 ZEKE HONORED Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was named the Week 4 NFL Ground Game Player of the Week on Wednesday, following his breakout performance against the Carolina Panthers.
Elliott finished with 20 carries for 143 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys win.
OCT 6 NEAL IN As expected (but still helpful): The Cowboys on Wednesday have officially activated linebacker Keanu Neal, along with defensive end Bradlee Anae, from the COVID list.
Meanwhile, receiver Amari Cooper (hamstring) spend most of the media-open portion of the Wednesday workout with trainers. As as part of what could be a vet’s rest day, running back Ezekiel Elliott – in good spirits during a brief visit with us as he left the practice field – did not work fully.
OCT 5: JAYLON OUT Jaylon Smith has been released by the Cowboys, a shocking Tuesday evening move that eliminates some of 3-1 Dallas’ depth at linebacker and still leaves the club owing the former star at Notre Dame $7.2 million on his contract.
An NFL source tells CowboysSI.com that Dallas this week attempted to trade Smith.
He dropped in the draft due to a devastating injury, but was drafted by the Cowboys at pick No. 34 and his rehab became a major success story.
READ MORE: 10 Cowboys Observations
But Smith has experienced ups and downs as a player, and with the newfound depth now available at the position driven by top rookie Jaylon Smith is now out.
SEPT 25: NEAL OUT Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said on Saturday that linebacker Keanu Neal has tested positive for COVID-19. Neal will therefore remain in the protocol, so both Neal and Bradlee Anae will be on the COVID list and will not play Monday night against the visiting Eagles.
SEPT 24: MORE COVID The Dallas Cowboys defensive line is down another player as of Friday as added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list is second-year defensive end Bradlee Ana.
The Cowboys have sustained an assortment of losses in the D-line room already this season. As they prepare for their Monday night matchup with the visiting Eagles, they will also be without defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong, as well as defensive tackles Carlos Watkins, Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill.
Randy Gregory has come off the COVID list and is practicing. The team is hoping linebacker Keanu Neal can do the same.
SEPT 22: NEAL TO COVID The Cowboys on Wednesday are moving Keanu Neal to the COVID list, a source tells CowboysSI.com. Mark it down as yet another reason Dallas isn’t trading any of its depth at linebacker.
Neal, a former Falcons safety, has emerged as a key Nickel defender – meaning a starting defender – in coordinator Dan Quinn’s attack. Quinn, who coached Neal as a safety last year in Atlanta, will now look to give more snaps to Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, who’d been bumped down on the pecking order since Quinn helped orchestrate the free-agency signing of Neal, a converted first-round safety.