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Dalton in Protocol; Key Veterans Return This Week


FRISCO, Texas – As expected, veteran quarterback Andy Dalton is in the concussion protocol on Monday and will likely remain there most of the week as the Cowboys continue to monitor after the vicious hit he took late in Sunday's game.

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones commented on both Dalton and the hit by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic on his weekly show on 105.3 "The Fan" in Dallas.

"Obviously Andy is in protocol. He'll have to work through that, said Jones, who also serves on the NFL's Competition Committee. "Of course, the lick that he took, the hit that he took when he was sliding is exactly what we don't want in our game. I think the refs handled it accordingly and ejected the player, and probably what you would fully expect on a situation like that. So, it's never going to be perfect. This is a fast game, and as we know, levels are changing. It's very unfortunate obviously. Andy is a pro and thinking about him, and he'll be in protocol, and we'll see how he progresses."

If Dalton doesn't play this week, the Cowboys would likely turn to rookie Ben DiNucci, who finished the game on Sunday. The team also added veteran journeyman Garrett Gilbert two weeks ago and he will probably get a few more reps this week.

Whoever starts at quarterback should welcome back All-Pro guard Zack Martin, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion he sustained the week before against Arizona.

"We get Zack Martin back this week," Jones said. "We get Chidobe Awuzie back this week. Looks like Joe Looney may have a chance to come back, and then we've got the guys who are going to work every day. That's what we have to do as a team."

Awuzie has been out since Week 2 with a hamstring injury that landed him on IR. Looney suffered a sprained MCL on the first play of the Cleveland game on Oct. 4.

While Martin should slide back into the right gaurd spot and Awuzie is expected to start at corner, it's uncertain if Looney would regain his starting spot at center over rookie Tyler Biadasz.

With all the changes on the O-line, the Cowboys will probably work a few different rotations that might involve Looney at guard and/or Martin even playing right tackle as he did to finish the Seattle game.

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