Trevon Diggs

Latest On Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs

Trevon Diggs‘ 2023 campaign came to an unexpected end. The Cowboys’ highest-paid corner suffered an ACL tear during a September practice, sidelining him and leaving the team shorthanded in the secondary.

The 25-year-old is making progress in his recovery. To little surprise, though, Dallas will take a cautious approach with him in terms of usage during this offseason. It remains to be seen if Diggs will be available once training camp begins in July.

“Maybe,” the former second-rounder said when asked about his training camp readiness (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News). “Maybe not. But I’m feeling comfortable. I feel good.”

Diggs’ injury left the Cowboys notably thin at the cornerback spot even with Stephon Gilmore playing at a high level and DaRon Bland enjoying an historic season in terms of pick-sixes. The latter is still on the books for two more years, but the former is among the most high-profile players still on the open market. Gilmore has expressed a willingness to re-sign in Dallas, but little movement has been seen in his case this offseason.

Even if the former Defensive Player of the Year lands elsewhere in free agency, expectations will be high for the Cowboys after they ranked fifth in the NFL in passing yards against last season. A healthy Diggs would certainly help the team given his status as one of the league’s top ballhawks. The Alabama product has racked up 18 interceptions and 52 pass breakups in 47 games, figures which helped him secure a five-year, $97MM extension last summer.

Three other Cowboys – linebacker DeMarvion Overshowntight end John Stevens and receiver David Durden – also suffered ACL tears last year. Like Diggs, their respective rehabs are progressing with an eye on a patient approach from the team’s perspective. Diggs is nevertheless currently in a good place with respect to his recovery.

“We’ll respect the timeline, but Trevon looks great,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s in a good spot…. As far as when he gets back, let’s be honest, we’re going to be very cautious with those guys. We’re not going to put them out there too soon. Better later than too fast.”

If Diggs is not fully recovered by the beginning of training camp, he will be a candidate for the active/PUP list. Players can be activated from that list at any time during the summer, and the point at which the Cowboys do so with Diggs (if necessary) will be a key storyline to follow.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/23

Here are the various practice squad elevations and other minor moves from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

  • Signed to active roster: LB Sam Eguaveon
  • Elevated: OL Chris Glaser

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs Suffers ACL Tear In Practice

Trevon Diggs suffered a knee injury in practice Thursday, and it will deal a considerable blow to their vaunted defense. The All-Pro defender left Dallas’ facility today on crutches and went through an MRI, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports the MRI revealed an ACL tear. The Cowboys have since confirmed Diggs is expected to miss the season’s remainder.

Diggs went down during a one-on-one drill, per ESPN’s Todd Archer, and an NFL.com report minutes earlier expressed the fear of a serious injury. The Cowboys gave Diggs a five-year, $97MM extension during training camp. While this development highlights the importance of Diggs locking in that deal when he did, it strips Dan Quinn‘s defense of a quality starter.

Through two games, Diggs had intercepted a pass and notched a forced fumble. He is two years removed from an 11-interception season — the most in a single slate since Everson Walls’ Cowboys rookie year produced 11 in 1981 — and had just begun his age-25 season. Diggs turned 25 on Wednesday.

The Cowboys began to build their cornerback group around Diggs early, drafting him after letting Byron Jones walk in 2020. A second-round pick out of Alabama, Diggs became an immediate starter. He has developed an earned reputation as a gambler; Pro Football Focus has yet to assign him a top-40 grade for a season. Nevertheless, the 6-foot-1 cover man resides as a key starter for a Cowboys team that entered the season carrying Super Bowl aspirations.

Routs of the Giants and Jets gave the Cowboys a staggering plus-60 point differential ahead of Week 3. The team had assembled a stronger cornerback group this year, acquiring Stephon Gilmore via trade. The Cowboys will depend on the 33-year-old corner remaining in form this season, as they no longer will have Diggs teaming with the former Defensive Player of the Year. Gilmore’s Colts-constructed contract expires after this season.

This also continues a trend for the Cowboys, who lost Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown to season-ending injuries last year. Brown is now with the 49ers; Lewis remains with the Cowboys. Lewis, 28, suffered a Lisfranc fracture in October 2022. The seventh-year veteran made his season debut in Week 2, playing 10 defensive snaps. In addition to Lewis, the Cowboys have Noah Igbinoghene — acquired in a corner-for-corner trade that sent Kelvin Joseph to the Dolphins — and sixth-round rookie Eric Scott Jr. rostered. DaRon Bland remains as Dallas’ top slot corner. Nahshon Wright is on Dallas’ IR; he can return in Week 5.

Bland moving outside to team with Gilmore, while Lewis steps back into the slot, represents a potential course of action for the team, Archer adds. This plan looks set to be how Dallas will align their corners after this injury, with Moore and NFL.com’s Jane Slater adding Lewis is on track to move back into the starting lineup. Lewis, who will kick Bland outside, played at least 74% of Dallas’ defensive snaps from 2019-21. Lewis remains attached to a three-year, $13.5MM deal agreed to in 2021. This will be new territory for Bland, in the NFL at least; he stepped in for Brown in the slot when the latter suffered an Achilles tear in December of last year.

The Cowboys identified Diggs as an extension candidate going into camp; he joined CeeDee Lamb and Terence Steele as such. Steele followed Diggs by signing a lucrative extension. Lamb’s fifth-year option always made him a more logical 2024 extension target. The Cowboys guaranteed Diggs $33.3MM at signing; an additional $9MM is guaranteed for injury. Diggs’ $19.4MM AAV ranks fifth among corners.

Signing the deal effectively ties Diggs to the Cowboys for two seasons, with 2025 representing an escape hatch. The Cowboys will presumably hope for a longer-term partnership, but Diggs now must go through a several-month rehab process. Considering the opportunity the Cowboys have this season, it would not surprise to see them dig deeper into the trade market to see if an upgrade exists. For now, they are without one of their core performers.

Injury Notes: Zylstra, Cowboys, Giants, Kancey

Shane Zylstra will likely miss the upcoming season thanks to a knee injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Lions tight end suffered a “serious and significant” knee injury that will keep him off the field for six months.

Rapoport notes that Zylstra is set to undergo more tests “but there isn’t a lot of optimism.” As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets, the tight end suffered the injury while taking a “low shot” during a red zone drill.

Zylstra emerged as one of Jared Goff‘s favorite red zone targets in 2022. The tight end finished the season with only 11 catches for 60 yards, but four of those receptions were touchdowns. The Minnesota State product had another three catches during his rookie campaign.

Fortunately for Detroit, the team has some depth at tight end. The organization used a second-round pick on Sam LaPorta, and the rookie is expected to slide right into the starting lineup. The team is also rostering the likes of Brock Wright, James Mitchell, and Derrick Deese.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • A bruised toe has kept Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs off the practice field, Mike McCarthy told reporters (via Jon Machota of The Athletic on Twitter). The injury isn’t serious, and it sounds like the coaching staff is simply playing it safe with the star defender. Elsewhere in Dallas, tight end Luke Schoonmaker revealed that he’s dealing with a partial tear of his plantar fascia (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News on Twitter). The rookie said the injury is more challenging to deal with than a complete tear, but the player is still hopeful he’ll be able to return to the practice field in a week or two.
  • It sounds like Giants backup offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer is set to miss a significant chunk of the upcoming season, if not the entire campaign. Coach Brian Daboll told reporters that Hassenauer injured his triceps and will require surgery (via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News on Twitter). The lineman is expected to be sidelined “long term.” Second-round rookie John Michael Schmitz is expected to lead the depth chart, but Hassenauer’s injury could open opportunities for Jack Anderson and Shane Lemieux.
  • There was a scare at Buccaneers practice today when first-round defensive tackle Calijah Kancey was carted off the field with a leg injury. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that an MRI showed nothing serious, but the Buccaneers may still take it easy on the rookie so he’s ready to go for the start of the season. Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers organization had been thrilled with Kancey’s preparation for his first professional season. “He’s adapting to the scheme mentally, and then he was adding his physical part to it,” coach Todd Bowles said (via Laine). “He’s putting it together quicker than normal rookies do. So hopefully it’s not that bad and he can get back.”
  • Texans fullback Troy Hairston was carted off the field today with an undisclosed injury, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston (via Twitter). The former edge rusher went undrafted out of Central Michigan last year but caught on with the Texans. He changed positions to fullback and beat out Andy Janovich for the starting gig, resulting in Hairston getting into 16 games for the Texans last season.

NFC East Notes: Barnett, OL, Cowboys, Giants

Derek Barnett is coming off a season that ended one game in due to an ACL tear. The Eagles also used a first-round pick on edge rusher Nolan Smith, crowding their depth chart. Barnett remains on the roster, but the team has since reached a pay-cut agreement with the former first-round pick. Barnett agreed to reduce his base salary from $7.5MM to $3.5MM, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, noting that the $3.5MM figure will be guaranteed. That marks a bump in guarantees from Barnett’s previous locked-in number for this season ($1.5MM), but the max value of the new deal is $6MM — down $2.5MM from its previous number.

Barnett signed a two-year, $14MM deal to stay with the Eagles in 2022. Even though the team has since re-signed Brandon Graham and drafted Smith to join a group housing Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat, Barnett’s contract should give him a decent chance to stay on the team. Due to the void years the Eagles included in his deal, a release would lead to a $12.7MM dead-money charge. Should the 27-year-old defensive end indeed make the 53-man roster, this will be his seventh season in Philly.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • In a bit of news that might prove relevant re: Joe Burrow, the Cowboys are going to be without one of their starting safeties for a stretch. Donovan Wilson suffered a calf strain that ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes could sideline him for 4-6 weeks (Twitter link). Wilson, who re-signed with Dallas this offseason, still has a chance to return in time for the opener. After years with questions at safety, the Cowboys — when at full strength — have a nice setup with Wilson, Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse.
  • The Cowboys did not use void years in Trevon Diggsfive-year, $97MM extension, and the cornerback’s cap number will vault from $5.8MM to $16.3MM from 2023 to 2024. Additionally, Archer notes Diggs’ 2025 base salary ($9MM) will become guaranteed in March of that year (Twitter link). Should this deal not pan out, that March trigger gives the Cowboys an escape hatch of sorts. They can cut bait for $12.8MM in dead money in 2025.
  • While the Eagles will provide Cam Jurgens with some competition — from third-round rookie Tyler Steen — Zach Berman of The Athletic notes the 2022 second-rounder is the frontrunner to replace Isaac Seumalo at right guard (subscription required). Jurgens is viewed as the Jason Kelce heir apparent, a title that briefly belonged to now-LG starter Landon Dickerson, but his 2023 place is at guard. Steen is attempting to convert from a college tackle, having started outside at Vanderbilt and Alabama. Jurgens played just 35 offensive snaps as a rookie, working behind the Dickerson-Seumalo-Kelce trio.
  • On the subject of positional frontrunners, it looks like the Giants‘ inside linebacker spot alongside Bobby Okereke is Darrian Beavers‘ to lose. Now that Jarrad Davis is on IR, the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy offers that Beavers is favored to win the job over fellow 2022 draftee Micah McFadden. Beavers was informed Tuesday he would have the first crack at the job, Dunleavy adds. Because Beavers suffered a torn ACL during the preseason last year, McFadden — a fifth-round pick — started seven games. A sixth-rounder, Beavers will have a chance to turn his offseason rehab into a starting role.
  • The Giants also recently worked out linebackers Nick Vigil and Sam Eguavoen, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Big Blue, which worked out Deion Jones this spring, also recently placed linebacker Elerson Smith on IR. Vigil is a seven-year veteran with 53 starts — for the Bengals, Chargers, Vikings and Cardinals — on his resume. Eguavoen spent the past four seasons with the Dolphins.
  • Offseason Giants signee Rakeem Nunez-Roches suffered a concussion in a car accident this week, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. The accident occurred when the veteran defensive lineman was leaving the team facility. No other injuries emerged from the crash. Nunez-Roches accompanied A’Shawn Robinson as veteran D-linemen to join the Giants in free agency.

Cowboys, Trevon Diggs Agree To Extension

5:10pm: Providing an update to the max value of the pact, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets that is it actually $100MM, rather than $104MM. While that lowers Diggs’ ceiling slightly, he is still assured of a signficant windfall through this deal. ESPN’s Todd Archer notes that the extension includes $43.2MM in guaranteed money (Twitter link).

2:28pm: The Cowboys have taken care of an important piece of business with one of their top young players. Cornerback Trevon Diggs has agreed to terms on a five-year, $97MM extension (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero).

Pelissero adds that the contract has a maximum value of $104MM, and that Diggs will receive a signing bonus of $21.25MM. The 24-year-old is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract, so today’s deal means he will now be on the books through 2028 as one of the league’s highest-paid corners.

The $19.4MM annual base value of the pact matches that of the Saints’ Marshon Lattimore. By reaching incentives, Diggs will be able to join the three-member CB group which averages over $20MM in annual compensation. His three-year tenure in Dallas has established himself as one of the league’s top ballhawks, and the team has recognized that with this deal.

Diggs has racked up 17 interceptions in his career, including a league-leading 11 in 2021. His ball production has resulted in 49 pass deflections as well, making him an obvious candidate for a lucrative pact. The Alabama product earned a second straight Pro Bowl nod last season, despite his coverage statistics taking a step back from what they were in his first two years.

The former second-rounder was named as one of the up-and-coming producers the Cowboys intended to extend ahead of training camp. To no surprise, they have worked out a deal just in time for camp to open up, and Diggs can be penciled in for a continued starting role opposite trade acquisition Stephon Gilmore in the short-term, and as an anchor of Dallas’ secondary for years beyond that.

Wideout CeeDee Lamb and right tackle Terence Steele are also names to watch with respect to new deals being worked out in the near future. The former is on the books through next season via the fifth-year option, which likely helps explain why Diggs’ deal has been worked out first. The team’s corner room has its leader in place for the long-term future as a result. While the Cowboys have a more complicated situation on their hands with one of their veteran leaders, a member of the team’s young core has been rewarded with multi-year stability.

Cowboys Eyeing CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, Terence Steele Extensions In 2023

The Cowboys’ top extension candidates have come up on multiple occasions this year. While the team has options with each beyond this year, the goal looks to be new deals before heading into the 2024 offseason.

CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele remain on Dallas’ extension radar, and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer notes the team will look to use training camp to hammer out deals with each. Lamb’s contract runs through 2024, via the recently exercised fifth-year option, while Diggs is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Steele is tied to a second-round RFA tender.

This will not be an easy mission. Diggs’ reputation as a boom-or-bust gambler in coverage notwithstanding, the former second-round pick has a first-team All-Pro nod on his resume — for an 11-interception season — and does not have an extensive injury history. Diggs has missed one game over the past two years. Going into his age-25 season, Diggs will certainly want his second contract to land in the top cornerback tax bracket.

With three corners earning at least $20MM per year and five attached to contracts worth at least $19MM on average, the Cowboys have a high bar to clear. Dallas passed on going into the $16MM-AAV range for Byron Jones three years ago, drafting Diggs shortly after letting its previous top corner walk (for a record-setting Dolphins deal) in free agency. If Diggs is unsigned going into the ’24 offseason, he will likely be positioned as the Cowboys’ top franchise tag candidate.

The Cowboys have a history of extending core performers despite two years remaining on their rookie deals. They did this with Tyron Smith in 2014, with Travis Frederick in 2016 and Ezekiel Elliott in 2019. That said, no team — in the fifth-year option era, that is — has extended a wide receiver with two years left on his rookie contract. Justin Jefferson is also a candidate to become the first wideout since the 2011 CBA to be extended with two years remaining on his rookie deal, though the Vikings are not certain to proceed down this path. That could force Jefferson to contemplate a hold-in effort, and Lamb might be fine waiting until Jefferson raises the booming receiver market further before committing to a second contract. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones mentioned players’ willingness to wait earlier this offseason.

Lamb, 24, may not be a threat to eclipse Tyreek Hill‘s $30MM-per-year pact now, but if Jefferson raises the positional ceiling and the top Cowboys wideout builds on his 1,359-yard season, the price in 2024 stands to come in higher than it likely does now. Ely Allen assessed Lamb’s extension value last month. The Cowboys cut bait on Amari Cooper‘s five-year, $100MM extension after two seasons; as the salary cap keeps rising, Lamb’s value will be much higher.

Steele is still rehabbing the ACL tear that ended his season early, and his being an extension candidate would point to the Cowboys planning an O-line configuration that keeps him as the starting right tackle. Jerry Jones mentioned the prospect of Steele being a swingman behind Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith, but the notion of the younger Smith sliding to left guard — which he did late in the season — and having the All-Decade blocker back at left tackle (and Steele at right tackle) has also surfaced. How the Cowboys proceed would have a big impact on Steele’s value.

A former UDFA, Steele, 26, can certainly enhance his market by putting together a strong contract year post-injury. Nine years after signing what has become the NFL’s longest-running active contract, Tyron Smith is due for free agency in 2024 as well. Steele’s status would seemingly factor into the Hall of Fame candidate’s Dallas future. Center Tyler Biadasz also could land on the Cowboys’ extension radar, Archer adds, though the fourth-year blocker is likely behind the above-referenced players in the queue.

The Cowboys’ ability to extend Diggs and Steele this year could affect Tony Pollard‘s future with the team. The Cowboys not entering into serious negotiations with the Pro Bowl back led to him joining Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs in being tied to the $10.1MM franchise tag this season. Because of this, Archer adds it is “highly likely” this season will be it for Pollard in Dallas. The Cowboys can tag Pollard again in 2024 — at 120% of his current tag number — but higher-end tag options could be in place by then.

That raises the stakes for prospective Diggs negotiations this summer, though the increasingly grim running back market may also allow the Cowboys to re-sign Pollard if no extension is reached before the 2024 legal tampering period.

Cowboys Eyeing Multiple Extensions

The Cowboys have made a few notable outside additions this offseason, including the trade acquisitions of wideout Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. A number of internal extension candidates are in place, though, and getting deals done with several of them remains a priority.

EVP Stephen Jones indicated on Monday that the Cowboys have “in general touched base” with players in line for new contracts, such as quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs and offensive lineman Terence Steele (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic). Each of those names have been linked to potential extensions during this offseason, with Prescott representing an obvious priority given his current financial situation.

The 29-year-old restructured his contract in March, a move which freed up considerable cap space for what has been an eventful offseason in Dallas. As a result, however, Prescott’s 2024 cap hit is scheduled to be $59.4MM, a figure which will need to be lowered significantly via a new contract. Team owner Jerry Jones made it clear (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, on Twitter), however, that a new Prescott accord doesn’t necessarily need to be worked out before extensions for other key players.

Both Lamb and Diggs have been in Dallas for the past three years; while the former is under contract for 2024 via the fifth-year option, the latter is entering a contract year. The pair have each earned two Pro Bowl nods and are foundational pieces of the team’s long-term core. In came as no surprise, then, when it was learned in March that extensions for both were among the Cowboys’ priorities. Given the value of the WR and CB markets, second contracts for Lamb and Diggs will require a sizeable multi-year commitment.

In Steele’s case, a smaller deal may suffice to have him on the books beyond 2023. The former UDFA has emerged as a valued member of their offensive front, and will play on a $4.3MM RFA tender this season. Steele’s likeliest position this year appears to be at left guard, with both Tyler Smith and Tyron Smith in place to occupy the tackle spots. A strong season on the interior would add further to his value, and thus his asking price on the open market. Avoiding that situation with any or all of the aforementioned players over the coming months is front of mind for the Cowboys.

“The timing has got to be right for those guys and it’s gotta be right for us,” Stephen Jones said, via Machota. “Our goal would be to hopefully start to chip away at this… No specific order. It’s just kind of when opportunity arises. They gotta be motivated to want to do it. It seems like more and more guys want to wait… because usually the price goes up from one year to the next. People don’t seem to be as in that type of hurry, but if the opportunity is there we sure would like to get 1-2-3 of these guys signed. We’d love to do more than one.”

Cowboys Aim To Add Another Weapon; Team Eyeing Extensions For CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs

The Cowboys have Michael Gallup entering the second year of his five-year extension, and the team’s No. 2 wide receiver is now more than a year removed from his ACL tear. The team is also expected to use the franchise tag to keep Tony Pollard off the market. But it is eyeing an addition to its skill-position corps as well.

Dallas will pursue a “dynamic weapon” this offseason, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News notes. This will naturally reconnect the Cowboys to Odell Beckham Jr., but Gehlken cautions nothing is imminent there. The addition could also come in the draft.

It also might come at tight end, as Dalton Schultz is likely to leave in free agency. Headlined by Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer and Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, this tight class is viewed as the best in many years. Both those options could well be gone by the time the Cowboys’ No. 26 overall pick arrives. This draft’s receiver class is not viewed as highly, at least compared to the past few, and Stephen Jones‘ comments of the team readying to use the franchise tag almost certainly point to Pollard being the recipient. It would cost just $10.1MM for the Cowboys to keep Pollard. It would be the sixth straight year in which Dallas has used the tag.

As far as veteran receivers go, Beckham headlines a free agency crop not viewed glowingly. It would be interesting to see the Cowboys pay Gallup, tag Pollard and spend on another wide receiver. The team also has designs on extending CeeDee Lamb, with Jones indicating (via the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins) both he and Trevon Diggs are in the team’s long-term plans.

Lamb’s fifth-year option will be picked up, Gehlken adds, as could be expected given his status as a cornerstone player for the team. This would lock in Lamb through 2024, with his price rising next year. Without a fifth-year option available regarding Diggs, a second-round pick, the Cowboys will soon see their top cornerback enter a contract year.

Beyond Beckham, the market stands to include JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jakobi Meyers, DJ Chark and Allen Lazard. Michael Thomas also looks to be available, but the former Saints All-Pro has missed much of the past three seasons. At close to his best, Beckham would qualify as a dynamic weapon. He showed that during the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl run, one that included an explosive Beckham Super Bowl LVI start before his ACL tear. Beckham did not play last season, healing the second of his two ACL tears sustained during the 2020s, and will turn 31 during the 2023 slate. The Cowboys, Rams and Giants are expected to resume their pursuits of the eight-year veteran, and while Dallas was viewed as the favorite during the late-season sweepstakes, this will be one of the harder price projections to make in recent free agency history.

The Cowboys ended up selling low on Amari Cooper, collecting late-round picks from the Browns for their former No. 1 receiver, and Gallup did not show his previous form after returning from the December 2021 ACL tear. Third-round pick Jalen Tolbert did not acclimate as quickly as the team hoped, Gehlken adds. The South Alabama alum did not see much action last season, and the Cowboys cut James Washington not long after he recovered from his summer foot fracture. Lamb, Gallup and Tolbert are the top receivers under contract; six-year Cowboy Noah Brown is also a free agent. Gallup also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery a few weeks ago but is expected to be ready for OTAs.

Cowboys target Brandin Cooks is again available via trade, though the Texans’ new price point remains to be seen, but Gehlken adds the team is not close on trading for a pass catcher. DeAndre Hopkins joins Cooks in being on the trade block. Jonathan Gannon stopped short of guaranteeing Hopkins will be a Cardinal in 2023, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com notes, and the former All-Pro’s 2022 PED suspension voided his no-trade clause.

Dallas’ recent big skill-position swings have moved the needle significantly. Cooper made two Pro Bowls as a Cowboy and reeled off three 1,000-yard seasons, while Lamb — chosen after Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy but before Justin Jefferson — broke through for a career-high 1,359 yards and nine touchdown catches in 2022. It appears a serious effort to complement Lamb and Pollard will commence soon.

Cowboys Rule Out Three For Week 18

More names are being added to the list of players the Cowboys will be without for Saturday’s regular season finale against the Eagles. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that cornerback Trevon Diggs, safety Jayron Kearse and running back Tony Pollard will not travel with the team to Philadelphia. As such, they have been ruled out. 

The news comes after Dallas learned of multiple other key pieces they will be without on Saturday. Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Micah Parsons tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and it was announced that the same was true of left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Anthony Brown on Thursday. A non-COVID illness is listed as the reason for Diggs’ absence, while hamstring and foot injuries are ailments sidelining Kearse and Pollard, respectively.

The loss to the secondary is huge for the Cowboys. Diggs has had a breakthrough second NFL season, with a league-leading 11 interceptions (two of which have been returned for touchdowns) along with 21 passes defensed. Kearse, meanwhile, has registered 101 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defensed in 16 games in 2021. Without these two starters, options to fill in include Kelvin Joseph at corner and Donovan Wilson at safety.

As for Pollard, Dallas will miss his production as well. His third season has been his best, posting 719 yards and two touchdowns on 130 carriers (for a 5.5 yards per carry average) along with 39 catches for 339 yards in the passing game. Without him, the Cowboys may need to lean more heavily on starter Ezekiel Elliott just one week before the playoffs start. In the event they want to keep him as fresh as possible, though, Corey Clement could see a big uptick in usage.

Of course, all of these absences would matter much more to the Cowboys if they extend beyond this week; Dallas has already clinched the NFC East, while the Eagles are also guaranteed a postseason berth regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game.