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Once the NFL approved a proposal to change the way jersey numbers are assigned, it was expected plenty of players would take advantage. Jaylon Smith, who wore No. 9 at Notre Dame, will switch back to that number, which caused an uproar among Tony Romo loyalists within the Dallas Cowboys fan base. Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are back from major injuries in 2020, and Pro Football Focus, shockingly, has both ranked in the ’20s in their lastest rankings for offensive tackles.

The Cowboys were atrocious against the run last season and needed reinforcements. Quinton Bohanna, a 330-pound behemoth standing 6-foot-4, has a chance to be a space-eater at nose tackle with his power and explosion off the line of scrimmage. Finding roles for the Cowboys offensive rookies, how Dan Quinn’s scheme will affect DeMarcus Lawrence, an in-depth breakdown of the 2021 schedule and more are featured in this edition of the news and notes.

Film room: 3 Cowboys who should thrive under Dan Quinn, including Trevon Diggs’ expedited development :: Dallas Morning News

Link Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be putting his stamp on the Cowboys defensive unit, and not just by virtue of the free agents he helped to attract or the rookies he had input on drafting. John Owning explains why Quinn’s schemes should allow cornerback Trevon Diggs to think less and execute faster in his second campaign, why edge rusher Randy Gregory could have a career year in 2021, and how Osa Odighizuwa’s skill set may be put to use in ways that UCLA never imagined. -TB

Will the scheme help Tank? Going heavy at WR? :: The Mothership

Link Nick Eatman and Jonny Auping get into what edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence needs from his teammates to play up to his contract figures. And they bust the myth that the Cowboys seem to be disproportionately loading up at wide receiver at the expense of other positions. -TB

2021 Stat predictions for every projected starting NFL QB :: Bleacher Report

Link At this stage, it’s just making up imaginary numbers, but Bleacher Report is predicting that Dak Prescott will lead the NFL in passing yardage in 2021. Their stat predictions say Prescott will throw for 5,295 yards in the team’s 17 games this season, besting the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes by 47 yards. -TB

Adidas OUT, Nike IN: Dak Prescott may be switching brands :: Patrik Walker (Twitter)

Tyron Smith, La’el Collins return to Cowboys OL with mediocre PFF grades :: Cowboys Wire

Link It’s no secret that the Cowboy’s offensive line was devastated by injuries in 2020. Tyron Smith and La’el Collins missed 30 games combined, and Pro Football Focus has both ranked in the ’20s among all offensive tackles heading into the 2021 season. -ML

Dressed to the 9s: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith takes over Tony Romo’s jersey number :: Cowboys Wire

Link The NFL approved a proposal on how jersey numbers are assigned in April. For linebackers, they can now wear numbers 1-59 or 90-99. One member of the second level of the Cowboys defense is taking full advantage of this change. Jaylon Smith, who wore No. 9 during his collegiate days at Notre Dame will do so in 2021, a number made famous by former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for a decade. -ML

Quinton Bohanna looks like he could be the run-stuffer that the Cowboys need :: Blogging The Boys

Link The Cowboy’s defense finished 31st against the run in 2020, mainly due to not getting good production from the defensive tackle spot consistently. They addressed it in the NFL draft by adding Quinton Bohanna out of Kentucky, a true nose tackle that can stuff the run at 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds. With his combination of power and explosion off the line of scrimmage, Bohanna could be the anchor in the middle the Cowboys have desperately needed for some time. -ML

Dallas Cowboys 2021 schedule: Toughest stretch, opponent preview, key matchups, predictions and more :: CBS Sports

Link The Dallas Cowboys have some interesting matchups which include facing the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. Patrik Walker of CBS Sports breaks down the entire 2021 schedule for the Cowboys highlighting the team’s toughest stretch, record prediction, and more. -ML

Finding Roles for Cowboys 2021 Draft Class: Offense :: Inside The Star

Link The Cowboys used eight of their 11 picks in the 2021 NFL draft, and after their lackluster performance on that side of the ball in 2020, it’s not hard to see why. The offense didn’t get completely ignored though. The Cowboys added wide receiver Simi Fehoko as well as offensive lineman Josh Ball and Matt Farniok. Sean Martin of Inside the Star discusses possible roles for the three rookies. ML

Cowboys full speed ahead in OTAs while much of the NFL is slowing down :: Blogging The Boys

Link The regular protocol for preparing for an NFL season was altered severely in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most teams have modified how they handle OTAs, while the Cowboys are full speed ahead and approaching it more like years past and getting a jump start on the competition. But is this an advantage for the Cowboys? Tom Ryle of Blogging The Boys discusses if that’s true or not in this piece. -ML

The Dallas Cowboys should not let Jaylon Smith wear Tony Romo’s No. 9 | Opinion :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Link An uproar within the Cowboys fan base happened Tuesday afternoon when it was announced that Jaylon Smith would switch from No. 54 to No. 9 which is his old college number, and one that was worn by former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram goes into detail on why the switch is a bad idea. -ML