"[Cowboys] source on how much interest [in Brian Urlacher]: 'Not much.'"
- ESPN's Ed Werder
Early Monday morning, Ed Werder of ESPN reported that the Dallas Cowboys were looking into the possibility of signing linebacker Brian Urlacher to replace the recently injured Sean Lee. He backtracked shortly after, tweeting that the Cowboys had little interest in the former Chicago Bear.
Urlacher hasn't played since the Bears let him walk after the 2012 season. He spent 2013 in the studio with Fox.
Lee, one of the best interior linebackers in the league, went down with a torn ACL in OTAs last week and is expected to miss the entire 2014 season.
"Just an emphasis on stretching, giving our players the opportunity, whether it's with ballet bars or V-sits or back systems …"
- Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett
Surely no one will be making fun of this all summer. As reported by the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys are installing ballet bars at their team facilities.
At the expense of a bunch of really terrible Cowgirls jokes, the team had them installed to increase flexibility and cut down on the rash of injuries that handicapped the roster in 2013.
"We've put a big emphasis on addressing, as an organization, some of the injuries that we've had," head coach Jason Garrett said. "It's always been an emphasis for us. We have to look at ourselves and what we're doing to help our players stay as healthy as possible."
The Cowboys had 12 players sidelined with some degree of hamstring injury last year and are hoping the new equipment can alleviate the issue.
"I think every day, we'll be out there with him with caution. We'll be watching him a little bit kind of standing on pins and needles."
Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones won't be in OTAs as he recovers from foot surgery that ended his 2013 season. Judging from the coaching staff's concern over the lingering injury, it could be a while before he's back on the practice field.
Receivers coach Terry Robiskie voiced trepidation over the star's durability while speaking to ESPN.com, saying he'll be worried whenever Jones leaves his feet.
"I think if he jumps in the air to catch the ball, if he jumps on top of some [defensive back] and some DB is under him, you're nervous."
Robiskie tried to backtrack a bit, saying he's worried about all of his players getting injured, but considering how flat Atlanta's offense was without Jones down the stretch last season, the concern is warranted.
Darin Gantt at Pro Football Talk noted that Jones may not be back until training camp.
"I'm very confident in my ability, first and foremost. I feel like I have the complete package as a safety."
- Jets rookie Calvin Pryor
The New York Jets are one step closer to fixing their shaky pass defense from a season ago. The team announced Monday that it has signed first-round NFL Draft selection Calvin Pryor to a four-year deal with a fifth-year option.
The dollar amount of the contract has yet to be announced.
Pryor voiced confidence in his ability while speaking to the team's official website, and he has good reason to do so. A hard-hitting playmaker out of Louisville, he was the first safety and the third defensive back taken in the draft. He'll be expected to make an immediate impact on a defense that ranked 22nd against the pass last season.
The Jets have now signed 11 of their 12 draft picks, with cornerback Dexter McDougle the only one left to ink.