Smith (knee) has experienced "no significant improvement" in his injured nerve thus far and is deemed "unlikely" to play in 2016, per ESPN's Ed Werder.
Smith (knee), a product of Notre Dame, tore both the ACL and MCL in his left knee during the Fighting Irish's Fiesta Bowl appearance on Jan. 1. Consequently, Smith is experiencing nerve damage in the same knee, as well as his left ankle. Now, nearly six months removed from the catastrophe, the responsiveness in his knee doesn't seem to have improved. Once a candidate to be selected within the top-10 picks of the draft, Smith fell to Dallas in the second round because his recovery is reportedly contingent on the nerve tissue repairing itself. In other words, there is no timetable for his recovery, and until the rookie begins to evidence progress in any capacity, Smith's chances of lacing up in 2016 will continue to diminish.
Bryant (foot) will be a full go July 28 when training camp begins, The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Though fully recovered from January surgery, Bryant has only been a partial participant at minicamp, with the Cowboys unsurprisingly opting for an abundance of caution. Bryant made an interesting admission Thursday, saying he doesn't think he worked hard enough last year, when he missed most of the team's offseason program due to a contract holdout. He now plans to significantly increase his activity level during the six weeks between minicamp and training camp, with his docket including some individual work with Tony Romo, who has already been cleared for all activities.
Church (arm) enters training camp with 100 percent health, Rob Phillips of the Cowboys' official site reports.
A tough son of a gun, Church brushed off a high ankle sprain for the last two months of the season, but a broken arm in Week 16 was too much to overcome in his quest for a third consecutive complete campaign. Despite the sprain and missing one game, the strong safety totaled 117 tackles (78 solo), which ranked third among defensive backs behind the Dolphins' Reshad Jones and the Bills' Corey Graham. Entering his age-28 season, Church is still within the window to produce elite numbers, and reaching triple digits in tackles would mark his third such occasion in four years.
Collins (foot) signed his contract with the Cowboys on Wednesday, Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com reports.
Collins' signing puts the the Cowboys' entire draft class under contract. The rookie defensive tackle will have to sit out for at least some of Dallas' upcoming training camp, potentially hurting his position on the depth chart.
Crawford says his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery is going well, David Helman of DallasCowboys.com reports. "It's extremely helpful to just have the strength back that I didn't have last year," Crawford said Friday. "I'm back up to almost where I was before the injury. I'm feeling real good. I'm feeling confident about it as well."
He also said he's prepared to move to defensive end for the first month of the season to cover for suspensions to Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence, a position he has played in the past before moving to the three-technique DT spot in coordinator Rod Marinelli's defense. "I'm going to do what I have to do. It's definitely a possibility if needed," Crawford said. "We can't have guys taking on such a big role they haven't taken on before, so it's all of us working together helping each other out." If Crawford does see significant snaps at DE over the first four weeks, he could be sneaky source of sacks in deep IDP leagues.
Dunbar continues to make good progress in his rehab from knee surgery, David Helman of DallasCowboys.com reports. "He's worked so hard and he's come so far so fast - a lot faster than anyone ever dreamed that he could come," executive VP Stephen Jones said Monday. "But we've also got to do what's in his best interest and certainly not jeopardize any of the hard work that he has put into this."
While it's encouraging news, Jones stopped short of suggesting that Dunbar would be ready to play by Week 1, something Jones did do with tight end Gavin Escobar (Achilles). It still seems likely that Dunbar will begin the season on the PUP list.
Cowboys executive VVP Stephen Jones said Monday that Escobar (Achilles) could be recovered in time to play Week 1 against the Giants, David Helman of DallasCowboys.com reports. "I think Gavin will be ready to start the season," Jones said.
Escobar tore his Achilles tendon in mid-December last year, but he appears to be well ahead of schedule in his rehab. Even if he is in the lineup to begin the regular season though, he's still stuck behind Jason Witten on the depth chart and would be little more than an occasional red zone option in a stacked passing game.
Lee (knee) expects to be ready for training camp, Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com reports.
Lee underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee at the start of May. His initial recovery timeline was only two weeks, so it comes as no surprise he expects to be ready for training camp. Lee was quoted saying he's "right on track" in his recovery, so it appears everything is going as planned. With Lee expected to start on the weak side again during the upcoming season, his knee shouldn't force him to miss any valuable reps moving forward.
McFadden (elbow) is on track to be ready for Week 1, after receiving good news from a recent bone scan, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports.
McFadden had surgery in mid-June on his fractured elbow, with the recovery timeline estimated at 2-3 months. He should still be considered questionable for the start of the season and will presumably miss the majority of training camp. McFadden figures to start camp on the Non-Football Injury list, as he broke his elbow in a unfortunate off-field accident this summer, trying to prevent his cell phone from falling off a counter.
Already suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, Gregory is now facing a longer suspension due to another violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Gregory has checked into a treatment facility and won't report to training camp. He'll presumably now be suspended for at least half the season, and might end up missing the whole year. Gregory was one of the top pass-rushing prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he dropped to 60th overall due to off-field concerns that included a positive marijuana test at the Combine. He then had a quiet rookie season, failing to record a sack in 12 appearances.
Lawrence's four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy has been upheld, Todd Archer of ESPN reports.
Lawrence received the four-game suspension back in April and filed an appeal in May. Now that the suspension has been upheld it's clear that Dallas will be without Lawrence, Randy Gregory (suspension), and Rolando McClain (suspension) to start the year, three significant players on the team's front seven. With Lawrence out, Ryan Russell, David Irving, and Benson Mayowa figure to see some extra snaps to start the year.
The Cowboys have yet to decide on whether or not to release McClain (suspension), reports.
There are some minor financial implications from cutting McClain, namely that the team wouldn't be able to recoup his signing bonus, but the bigger issue seems to be that Dallas isn't comfortable with any of their options to replace him at middle linebacker. If they sign a reliable free agent (a reunion with Justin Durant has been rumored) or one of their younger LBs, such as Anthony Hitchens or Mark Nzeocha, takes a big leap forward in their development though, McClain could wash out of the NFL for good.
Romo (collarbone) is expected to be a full participant when the Cowboys start OTAs in late May, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Romo has reportedly recovered from his March 8 surgery a bit faster than expected, allowing him to take part in offseason workouts the past couple weeks. Meanwhile, Dez Bryant (foot) may not be ready for OTAs or June minicamp, but there's been no indication that he's behind schedule. Assuming Bryant avoids any major setbacks, Romo will have an excellent supporting cast in what figures to be a balanced Dallas offense.