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.
Maher Makes History With 62-Yard Kick
(Dec. 9; 9:45 p.m.) – Brett Maher normally doesn’t try 62-yard field goals in pre-game warmups.
“The chances of a kick like that actually happening are pretty slim,” he said.
Sunday, slim became reality.
Maher drilled a 62-yard attempt just before halftime of Sunday’s 29-23 home win over the Eagles, setting a Cowboys franchise record. The previous mark was 56 yards, held by four players.
Maher said the full kicking operation (holder Chris Jones and long snapper L.P. Ladouceur) typically doesn’t try longer than a 58-yard field goal in warmups. But the Cowboys have confidence in his leg strength. His 57-yarder in the preseason finale contributed to the team’s decision to keep the first-year NFL kicker over veteran Dan Bailey.
Maher’s 62-yard kick is now tied for the seventh-longest in NFL history and tied for third-longest based on yardage. It also atoned for his miss from 45 yards on the previous drive.
Maher had made nine straight field goal attempts since a 42-yard miss at Philadelphia back on Nov. 11.
“I did the best I could to try and flush that one away and go through my process for that, stay in the moment and be ready for the next one,” he said.
No Structural Damage Feared For Martin’s Knee
(Dec. 9, 10:16 p.m.) – At the very least, the Cowboys are optimistic Zack Martin didn’t do any additional damage to his injured knee.
The All-Pro guard went down early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against Philadelphia and immediately headed to the locker room. It’s been a recurring theme for Martin, who has been battling this problem for weeks now – but there’s at least optimism that it’s not any worse.
“I think he’s about where we were the last time that he had that,” said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones. “Of course, he’s played through. It’s an MCL. I didn’t get a report of additional damage to the MCL. I would put it comparable to where we were last time.
It’s a testament to Martin’s toughness that he’s playing at all. He injured the knee just before halftime of the Oct. 21 loss against Washington. He also fought through it in the first meeting with the Eagles on Nov. 11, as well as the Thanksgiving Day win against Washington.
The long weekend after the win against New Orleans gave Martin some extra time to recuperate, but it’s fairly obvious that he’s been battling through the injury for some time – a fact that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett touched on after the game.
“Talk about a tough individual. Talk about a guy who inspires his teammates and his coaches. He’s something else. We’ll see how it is tonight and tomorrow and make the assessment going forward.”
Despite Witten Rumors, TE’s Shine Bright
(Dec. 9, 9:29 p.m.) – Maybe it was the fact the Eagles were so focused on stopping Ezekiel Elliott and/or Amari Cooper. Maybe it was just part of the game plan.
Or maybe, just maybe, it was these guys hearing the recent rumors of Jason Witten returning to the field starting to resurface before the game.
Eitehr way, the Cowboys’ tight ends had their best game of the season, including Blake Jarwin. Ironically enough, it was the Eagles who tried to sign him from Dallas’ practice squad last year that forced the Cowboys to create roster spot for him. But Sunday, he had his best, catching all seven of his targets, for 56 yards. Even Dalton Schultz had a nice day, getting three receptions for 37 yards.
The Cowboys continue to play without starter Geoff Swaim, who has been out with a broken bone in his wrist.
And for the record, Jerry Jones denied Witten returning to the playing field, stating, “that’s just not correct, period. There’s nothing that is there enough to comment on at all.”
Tyron Smith Active For Week 14 vs. Philly
Tyron Smith will be in the lineup when the Cowboys face the Eagles for the NFC East lead on Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys announced their seven inactive players prior to kickoff, and Smith was not included among them after missing the last two games with a stinger.
The seven inactive players are Mike White, Tavon Austin, Sean Lee, Chris Covington, Geoff Swaim, David Irving and Taco Charlton.
Most of these names should be familiar by now, as the Cowboys have several players dealing with long-term injuries. Austin is still working his way back from the groin injury he suffered in October, while Sean Lee is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Irving has been absent since the bye week with a sprained ankle, and Swaim is still recovering from the wrist injury he suffered in the win against Atlanta on Nov. 18.
Smith is expected to return to his starting left tackle role, but the Cowboys aren’t sitting any offensive linemen – likely due to injury concerns. In addition to Smith’s stinger, left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is dealing with an ankle injury, which is likely why both Adam Redmond and Connor Williams are active for this game.
Mike White and Chris Covington have been regulars on the inactive list throughout the season, but the addition of Charlton as a healthy scratch is a bit of a surprise. The second-year defensive end battled a shoulder injury for several weeks, but he returned to the lineup last week against New Orleans.