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Blog: Gil Brandt To ROH; Lewis Steps Up; More

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Follow along with the very latest Cowboys updates as staff writers David Helman, Rob Phillips, Nick Eatman and Bryan Broaddus provide in-depth news and analysis.

Gil Brandt Formally Inducted Into Ring Of Honor

(Nov. 30; 1 a.m.) – Gil Brandt’s name now stands proudly with the other 21 Cowboys Ring of Honor member plaques high above the field at AT&T Stadium.

The Cowboys formally inducted Brandt as the newest Ring of Honor member during a halftime ceremony Thursday. Surrounded by previous Ring of Honor inductees, Brandt addressed the sellout crowd after being introduced by Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones.

As Cowboys vice president player of personnel from 1960-89, Brandt had an essential role in bringing many the franchise’s all-time players to the organization. Fifteen Ring of Honor members originally joined the Cowboys on Brandt’s watch.

Brandt is also a contributor finalist for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Before kickoff, the Cowboys also honored members of their 1993 Super Bowl team in a pregame ceremony.

-Rob Phillips

Jourdan Lewis Makes Winning Play Late For Defense

(Nov. 30; 1 a.m.) – Growing up in Detroit, cornerback Jourdan Lewis played wide receiver in high school. Thursday night, he used wideout instincts to seal the Cowboys’ upset victory over the Saints.

Showing incredible balance and concentration, Lewis made a fingertip interception against Drew Brees late in the fourth quarter, just barely keeping the ball off the ground. The Cowboys ran out the clock for the 13-10 victory.

It was only the third time all season that Brees had been picked off.

“I don’t think people even realize how tough a catch like that is, kind of just scraping your knuckles on the ground to grab it,” safety Jeff Heath said.

Lewis nearly intercepted Brees in the second quarter deep in Saints territory. Getting extra reps in the Cowboys’ dime package Thursday, he added a tackle and pass breakup against Saints star running back Alvin Kamara.

The Cowboys’ third-round pick a year ago, Lewis’ defensive snaps this season have dropped significantly behind cornerbacks Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown. But the coaching staff has continuously praised his talent and preparation.

He delivered Thursday.

“It’s just a testament to who I am and the guys around me,” Lewis said. “They believe in me, so they put me out there and I really appreciate the opportunity to go out there and execute. I’m just glad I did.”

-Rob Phillips

Tyron Smith Ruled Out For Saints Game

Tyron Smith will be absent when the Cowboys take on the Saints on Thursday night.

The Cowboys released their seven game day inactives Thursday prior to kickoff, and they listed their All-Pro left tackle among them. Smith suffered a stinger in the Nov. 18 win against Atlanta and has now missed two consecutive games.

The team’s other six inactives are Mike White, Tavon Austin, Sean Lee, Chris Covington, Geoff Swaim and David Irving.

The rest of those aren’t surprising. Austin, Lee and Irving were ruled out with injuries on Thursday, while White and Covington have been healthy scratches throughout the season.

Smith was the name to watch coming into this matchup. He did not practice this week, but the Cowboys said repeatedly they’d carry the decision up until game time in the hopes their perennial Pro Bowler could get himself right.

In Smith’s place, Fleming will make his second-consecutive start at left tackle. The veteran backup struggled early in last week’s win against Washington, as the Cowboys allowed four sacks in the first half. He seemed to rebound, though, as the Dallas offensive line did a much better job protecting Dak Prescott after halftime.

With Fleming in the starting lineup, Connor Williams figures to function as the Cowboys’ swing tackle for the time being.

The Saints listed two prominent players among their inactives, as Brandon Marshall and Terron Armstead were both ruled out. Armstead is the Saints’ preferred starter at left tackle, while Marshall was signed to bolster the receiving corps after the injury to Dez Bryant. Marshall has yet to play a snap for New Orleans, however.

-David Helman

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