Gallup’s return, Sam Williams’ mentors, Tony Romo’s back

Right now, the Cowboys depth chart has many gaps just waiting to be filled with names as Week 1 draws near. A Dallas star may get good news about when his name might be registered. Michael Gallup may not be ready for the season opener, but he could be back in action in the team’s first few games, an insider says.

Meanwhile, we look at three defensive starters who may not be starters for long, we examine who coached the club’s second-round draft pick, and we highlight a young passer trying to close chances at camp hit. We also have news on several Cowboys graduates, including the former rusher who now runs his own program, the marquee star whose back still plays on the field, and the colorful legend who was given immortality at football weekend. All of that, plus we go into one of the Cowboys’ most visible marketing assets, and we ride along with No. 8 as he pours one out for more of his fans in the Lone Star State. It’s all in messages and notes.

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Among Todd Archer’s favorites for the 53-man roster is an encouraging nugget on wide receiver Michael Gallup. While it’s almost certain he won’t have recovered enough from his cruciate ligament rupture to play in the season opener, “he should be ready sometime in September.”

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The second-round draft pick has big shoes to fill in hopes Cowboys fans will forget about losing Randy Gregory in the free hand. But he has the support of some great mentors. Williams says Micah Parsons helped him capitalize on his quickness, while Hall of Famer Charles Haley taught “old school” basics like dismounting and handwork.

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Sure, guys like Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and DeMarcus Lawrence can now be added to the starting lineup. But Neville Gallimore, Dorance Armstrong and Jourdan Lewis could see enough challenge at camp to bench them in backup roles.

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It’s not that the Cowboys were wrong when they got out of their deal with Amari Cooper, it’s that they showed their hand way too early and therefore got way too little for him. The Cowboys should have been able to pull at least one Day 2 pick out of a team for Cooper. Coincidentally, they traded him for prospects who might not even make the 53-man list.

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After going undrafted at Florida A&M and spending two years in the USFL, “The Kitchen” cooked up a stellar career in Dallas. From waving a big weight-loss bonus to legendary fried chicken runs to the infamous debate over whether he actually hid a Snickers bar in his uniform on the field, Newton was quite literally one of the greatest Cowboys personalities.

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Dennis Houston was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference attendee in Western Illinois. But the undrafted free agent will have his hands full competitively, battling five other rookie and first-year receivers to make it to the Cowboys. However, thanks to other injuries, he got some first-team representatives with Dak Prescott during OTAs and minicamps.

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The 2003-2021 Cowboys continue their countdown of teams that were reasonably good…but not good (or lucky) enough to win it all, coming in at No. 11, the highest-ranking active Heartbreak dynasty. Come to a Super Bowl and there’s always a chance you’ll win it. The Cowboys have cleverly avoided the impending end of their heartbreaking dynasty by making sure they say goodbye a little early. Tony Romo was a hopeful, finishing in the DVOA top 10 in all but one qualifying season. But Dallas doesn’t have a reputation for falling short if Romo isn’t there to keep them competitive from the start. And since he’s gone, they’ve only had an awkward setback in January.

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The ex-QB did well in the matchplay championship, even playing under par on Tuesday’s 14th hole. But what he did during his opponent’s putt made the rounds on social media. Romo’s back seemed to be acting up, so he dropped to all fours right on the green for a little cat-cow stretch. “My back definitely pops up more often than I’d like to,” Romo said. “But I played 36 holes yesterday. I do this whole routine beforehand. I can’t just show up and play.”

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Count Phillip Tanner as the latest Cowboys grad to rise into the coaching ranks. The running back, who played at Dallas from 2011-13, was tapped as the new head coach at Southwest High School in Fort Worth. He had been an assistant to former cowboy Jon Kitna at nearby Burleson High for two seasons.

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The Cowboys are still the only NFL team with their own custom tour bus, and they have two of them. The newest bus is nine years old, but absolutely up to date. It accommodates 19 passengers in two separate lounges and features a full-function kitchen, half-bath and nine flat-screen TVs. This bus has 200,000 miles on it; Still a long way to go to catch the original 1998 model whose odometer has clocked over 2 million miles and is still running well.

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Continuing his Texas tour, Troy Aikman promoted the new beer (which takes its name from its old shirt number) by pouring and posing for fans. “I thought we had some good spectators, but this exceeded my wildest expectations,” he said El Paso times Monday’s stops at three local bars.

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