GameDay Blog: Lineup Change At CB; Jaylon Shines

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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.

Awuzie Sidelined In Second Half vs. Texans

(Oct. 8; 3:30 a.m.) – Starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was replaced by Anthony Brown in the second half against the Texans.

Awuzie was listed as questionable for the game on Friday after being limited by a sore ankle during the week of practice. He started the first half but was held out after halftime.

"Just wasn't handling that as well as he had, so gave those other guys an opportunity," head coach Jason Garrett said.

Jourdan Lewis, who had played two defensive snaps in the first four games, took Brown's normal spot on nickel downs and recovered a fumble that led to the Cowboys' only touchdown against the Texans.

After the game, Awuzie said he was prepared to keep playing if needed.

"I'm 100 percent behind any decision that was made," he said.

-Rob Phillips

Jaylon Smith "All Over The Place" vs. Texans

(Oct. 8; 3:30 a.m.) – Since the day the pads came on in training camp, Jaylon Smith has looked like a different player in his second season back from the career-threatening knee injury he suffered in college.

Sunday night against the Texans, Smith showed a nationally-televised audience just how far he's come.

He posted a full stat line as the Cowboys' starting middle linebacker: 12 tackles (three for loss) three hits on Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, a pass breakup and a key sack on fourth down at the Dallas 1-yard line that prevented a would-be Texans scoring drive.

"Jaylon was all over the place chasing their quarterback down," head coach Jason Garrett said. "Their quarterback is a challenge. Very good in the pocket, can get out and make plays with his feet both running and throwing it. A number of times down there we just stayed after him, and stayed after him, and stayed after him and prevented him from getting in the end zone. Jaylon seemed to be a big part of a lot of those plays."

The Cowboys played their second straight game without defensive captain Sean Lee (hamstring). First-round draft pick Leighton Vander Esch started again at weak-side linebacker and tallied a game-high 13 tackles.

-Rob Phillips

Blog: Stephen Jones On David Irving Situation

(Oct. 7; 6:30 p.m.) – Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones joined "Pregame Live" on DallasCowboys.com and discussed the Cowboys' weekend roster decisions ahead of Sunday's road game against the Houston Texans.

On the decision to place wide receiver Terrance Williams (foot) on injured reserve and center Travis Frederick on the reserve/non-football illness list as he recovers from Guillain-Barre Syndrome:

"With Travis we just got our hands around, it was going to take some time. We didn't have our hands around it when the season first started. I think we're comfortable that it's probably going to be a solid eight weeks before we get him back. It takes a lot of pressure off everybody and lets him focus on getting better.

"With Terrance, I think he had a litany of things had some things going on. But in particular, I don't think he was ever 100 percent with that foot and probably pushed to get back. He's a competitor and we felt like taking him off where he could get 100 percent was in his best interest."

On moving defensive lineman David Irving back to the active roster, though Irving will not play against the Texans:

"It's great to have him. Obviously he's dealing with some personal things. He hasn't practiced football really in 10 months, other than the one day. We felt like it was in everybody's best interest to get back to work next week hopefully and get some practices in before he gets on the field."

-Nick Eatman and Rob Phillips

Two DTs Headline Week 5 Inactives

(6:00 p.m.) - The Cowboys' inactive list is just six players long in Week 5, as they deal with some roster juggling heading into Sunday night's game against the Texans.

The Cowboys placed Travis Frederick on the Non-Football Illness list on Saturday, and they placed Terrance Williams on injured reserve, freeing up two roster spots in the process. They added David Irving to the active roster, but they didn't fill the other roster vacancy. Playing with 52 men means that only six inactives are required to get to the game day limit of 46.

With that in mind, this week's list is comprised of Mike White, Sean Lee, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Dalton Schultz, Irving and Maliek Collins.

It's a pretty straightforward list. Irving and Collins were both ruled out on Saturday afternoon and did not make the trip to Houston. Irving is coming off a suspension and only practiced once this week leading into the game, while Collins is still not completely recovered from the knee injury he suffered in Week 2 against New York.

Lee was ruled out on Friday, as he continues to work his way back from a hamstring injury. In his place, Leighton Vander Esch will once again get the start on the weak side after making 10 tackles in his first career start against Detroit.

White, Su'a-Filo and Schultz have been mainstays on the inactive list for the majority of the season. As the third quarterback and eighth offensive linemen, respectively, White and Su'a-Filo don't have much of a game day role. Schultz was active for the season opener but has since been replace by Rico Gathers as the team's third tight end.

It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys' defensive tackles hold up with both Irving and Collins unavailable for this game. Antwaun Woods has been limited by a calf injury throughout the week, but he is expected to play alongside Tyrone Crawford, Daniel Ross and Caraun Reid as the Cowboys try to work through some depth issues along their interior.

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