Sep 22, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) and quarterback Dak Prescott (4) watch a pass against the Miami Dolphins at the end of the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys gain $18.9M in OL restructures

Sep 27, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins (20) against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Three of the five starting offensive linemen for the Dallas Cowboys adjusted their contracts to free up a total of $18.975 million on Thursday.

The Cowboys officially restructured the contracts of left tackle Tyron Smith, right tackle La’el Collins and guard Zack Martin, per multiple reports.

The Cowboys were down to around $1 million in available cap prior to the moves, NFL Network reported.

Injuries impacted all three blockers last season.

Smith, who played in only two games, was rumored to be considering retirement, but the Cowboys are planning for his return.

Martin played in 10 games but wound up on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Collins played 15 games last season after starting all 16 his previous two seasons.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2020; Fort Worth, TX, USA; The Mississippi State Bulldogs and Tulsa Golden Hurricane teams fight after the game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame brawl mars Tulsa-Mississippi State bowl game

An ugly postgame brawl erupted after the Armed Forces Bowl between No. 24 Tulsa and Mississippi State on Thursday and at least one player was injured.

Tulsa safety Kendarin Ray was helped off the field after reportedly being hit in the head by a helmet. Golden Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said Ray is being treated for a concussion.

Video of the brawl show players from both sides throwing punches and even a few are seen delivering kicks. Coaching staffs of both teams were powerless to stop it and Fort Worth security and law enforcement personnel were on the field trying to calm the situation.

After Tulsa safety Tieneal Martin threw some punches and fell to the ground, Mississippi State receiver Malik Heath can be seen delivering a kick to Martin’s facemask.

Montgomery says his players were just sticking up for one another.

“The one thing I’ll say is our program, our guys, we’re a team that is going to stand up for each other and we’re going to battle,” Montgomery said. “We’re a team that has battled all year long. We battled again today.”

The teams also had to be separated prior to the game, so tensions were high throughout Mississippi State’s 28-26 victory.

Afterward, Bulldogs coach Mike Leach implied his team wasn’t the cause of the incidents.

“I’m not sure what exactly caused that,” Leach said of the postgame skirmish. “There was something before the game, too. We never had any problem with that the entire season, so you know, I can only guess without seeing the film.

“But prior to this game, we’ve never had any trouble with that.”

Asked how he would address it with this team, Leach said, “Don’t do it anymore. It’s just dumb. There was some of that stuff going back and forth in the course of the game.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is hit by Washington Football Team inside linebacker Jon Bostic (53) and knocked out of the game in the third quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton in protocol, Cowboys get OG Martin back

Dallas Cowboys All-Pro guard Zack Martin is back at practice after missing last week’s game with a concussion.

But starting quarterback Andy Dalton, who attended a team meeting at the team’s Frisco headquarters on Wednesday, remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. He is unlikely to be cleared until the “end of the week at the earliest,” head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Dalton is not permitted to attend position meetings with the team’s quarterbacks while in concussion protocol.

Martin and center Joe Looney, who has been out since Oct. 4 with a sprained MCL, are both expected to play for the Cowboys (2-5) on Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1).

Offensive line play has been a problem for the Cowboys, who are without left tackle Tyron Smith (neck) for the rest of the season.

Dalton was concussed in the Week 7 loss to the Washington Football Team on a hit by linebacker Jon Bostic. Dalton went into a slide and, with his knee on the ground, Bostic plowed his shoulder into Dalton’s facemask. The result was Dalton’s first documented NFL concussion, and an ejection from the game for Bostic.

Rookie Ben DiNucci is Dalton’s backup and finished the 25-3 loss to Washington on Sunday. He’s in line to start if Dalton isn’t cleared.

Dalton started the past two games with Dak Prescott (ankle) out for the season.

–Field Level Media