Dallas Cowboys Updates

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Updates: Woods Situation; Evaluating Kicker; More

The NFL season is here. Don’t miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' 2019 season. Presented by Sleep Number

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Dec. 6 Updates

5:07 p.m. – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the team will continue to evaluate the kicking situation after Brett Maher missed his 10th field goal attempt of the season Thursday against the Bears.

“We’re going to continue to address that situation,” Garrett said. “There’s been nothing finalized on that, but there’s no question that we have to do a better job of making those kicks, and Brett Maher will be the first one to tell you that.”

The Cowboys worked out three free agent kickers last week but opted to stick with Maher against the Bears.

Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan earlier Friday, “You are very unlikely to make a dent in or do your field goals better by going out on the street right now. They're just not available, and I'm talking about kickers.”

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5:06 p.m. – Head coach Jason Garrett commented on reports that defensive tackle Antwaun Woods was arrested and charged for marijuana possession in Frisco on Tuesday during a traffic stop.

Garrett said he spoke to Woods before the team left for Chicago on Wednesday. He opted to have Woods stay back home on the road trip due in part to a sprained knee that has sidelined him the last two games.

“Obviously those two (situations) were factors,” Garrett said. “We just thought that was the right thing for our team to do.

“Obviously a disappointing situation. I don’t know all the details of the situation right now, but certainly not something that we want from any of our players.”

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Dec. 5 Updates

10:59 p.m. - Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson will undergo an MRI on Friday for a knee injury he sustained in the final minute of play. 

Wilson, who played for the first time in six weeks because Tony Pollard (ankle) was ruled out, hurt his knee on a deep ball that was nearly a big play down the sideline. Wilson couldn’t come up with the catch and had to be helped off the field. He left the locker room on crutches. 

Wilson didn’t have a catch but had three kickoff returns for 63 yards.

11:45 p.m. - One of the key plays in the game occurred in the second quarter when fullback Jamize Olawale and Dak Prescott were not on the same page for a third-and-4. Olawale read the coverage one way and darted up field while Dak dumped it off short to the fullback who never turned around. 

After the game, questions arose why the Cowboys had only two backs available with Tony Pollard (ankle) ruled out right before kickoff. Both practice squad backs - Jordan Chunn (toe) and Mike Weber (death in the family) missed practice time this week and weren’t available to play had the Cowboys decided to move them up to the roster.

Jason Garrett said both Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin would’ve been used at running back in emergency situations.

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11:02 p.m. - Despite the defensive issues, one player had stood out the most was safety Darian Thompson, who started his second game with Jeff Heath (shoulder) out.

Thompson led the team with nine tackles, including two for loss. He also had a sack, a quarterback hit and also led the team with two special teams tackles.

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The Cowboys running back not only scored on a 2-yard TD to open the game, but surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in the process. He entered the game with 990 yards. That gives him his third 1,000-yard rushing season in his four-year career. He is now in third place on the Cowboys’ all-time list of 1,000-yard seasons behind Emmitt Smith (11) and Tony Dorsett.
Zeke is likely to have a heavy workload in this game with backup Tony Pollard out of the game with an ankle injury. Fullback Jamize Olawale will serve as the backup if needed.

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5:54 p.m. -- The Cowboys will be without Tony Pollard on Thursday night in Chicago.

Pollard injured his ankle Tuesday in practice, and the team officially declared him inactive 90 minutes prior to kickoff. The Cowboys’ full list of inactives features Pollard, Devin Smith, Jeff Heath, Leighton Vander Esch, Joe Jackson, Caleb Benenoch and Antwaun Woods.

The loss of Pollard creates a curious situation for the run game. Jamize Olawale is the team’s only backup behind Ezekiel Elliott, so this game figures to feature a larger workload for the veteran fullback -- or that much work for Elliott, who is averaging 22 touches per game.

With Pollard down, Cedrick Wilson will be active for the first time in several weeks. Heath is also absent for a second-consecutive week, which means another start for veteran safety Darian Thompson.

Trysten Hill will once again play in place of Woods. The rookie defensive tackle spelled Christian Covington last week and recorded two tackles and a tackle for loss.

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9:30 a.m. – Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods was arrested and charged for marijuana possession and tampering with evidence in Frisco earlier this week during a traffic stop, according to multiple reports.

Woods, the team’s starting nose tackle, reportedly is no longer in police custody but has been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Bears due to a sprained knee that also sidelined him on Thanksgiving against Buffalo.

The Cowboys have not made an official comment about Woods’ arrest.

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Dec. 4 Updates

1:26 p.m. — The Cowboys have ruled out linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee) and safety Jeff Heath (shoulder/shoulder) against the Bears on Thursday.

Running back Tony Pollard (ankle) is questionable to play Thursday.

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Dec. 3 Updates

2:39 p.m. -- Rookie running back Tony Pollard was added to Tuesday's practice report with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice.

Four other Cowboys did not practice Tuesday: safety Jeff Heath (shoulder/shoulder), linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee), and linebacker Sean Lee, who had limited participation with a pectoral strain Monday but was given a typical day of rest Tuesday.

A final practice report with game status for both teams will be announced on Wednesday.

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2:15 p.m. – The Cowboys’ slot receiver returned to practice on Tuesday after missing Monday due to an illness. Cobb is expected to be on the field Thursday against the Bears. 
The Cowboys need him to continue his stellar play against NFC North opponents. The former Packers standout has had his two best games this year against the Vikings and Lions.

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2:00 p.m. – Dak Prescott needs just one touchdown pass this year to set a new career-high in TD passes for a single season. He’s got 23 with four games to play, likely to do that this week in Chicago. Ironically enough, the Bears was the first team to allow a touchdown pass from Prescott. In 2016, Dak went two games before finally connecting on touchdown in a Week 3 win over the Bears.

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Dec. 2 Updates

3:16 p.m. – Wide receiver Randall Cobb (illness), safety Jeff Heath (shoulder/shoulder), linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee) did not practice Monday, the team’s second practice of the week leading up to Thursday night’s road game against Chicago.

Defensive tackle Michael Bennett, who suffered a foot injury against the Bills last Thursday, was able to practice on a limited basis Monday.

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12:04 p.m. – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told 105.3 The Fan on Monday that the team is sticking with kicker Brett Maher as they continue prepping for the Bears this week.

The Cowboys worked out three free agent kickers after practice Sunday – Nick Rose, Austin MacGinnis and Tristan Vizcaino – but did not make a signing.

“Obviously Brett has missed some kicks here. He’s missed some makeable kicks,” Garrett said. “He’d be the first one to tell you that he needs to make those kicks. And so you have to see what’s out there.

“We bring different position players in all the time to work out and just kind of see where we are. So we wanted to bring those three guys in. They did a nice job for us. But Brett’s going to be our kicker going forward.”

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Dec. 1 Updates

11:44 a.m. – Amari Cooper was on the field for the open portion of Sunday’s practice, three days after taking a helmet to the knee against the Bills.

Garrett said Cooper, defensive tackle Michael Bennett (foot) and safety Jeff Heath (shoulders) will be limited at best in practice Sunday.

Linebacker Sean Lee (pectoral strain) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (thigh contusion) were banged up against the Bills, but Garrett on Friday sounded optimistic both would be OK this week. They were on the field during the open portion.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), who has missed the last two games, is not expected to practice Sunday.

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Nov. 29 Updates

4:21 p.m. – Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett sounded optimistic about wide receiver Amari Cooper’s health status after the star receiver took a helmet to his left knee in the fourth quarter against the Bills. Cooper missed two plays and returned for the rest of the game.

“Hopefully he'll be ready to go this week. Looked good today coming in,” Garrett said.

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (foot), linebacker Sean Lee (pectoral strain) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (thigh contusion) had injuries in the game, but Garrett also sounded optimistic about their availability moving forward. The Cowboys play at Chicago next Thursday.

Asked if linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) is closer to returning to action, Garrett said, "We'll see. Taking his situation day by day and really just kind of getting his feedback as we go forward."

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4:21 p.m. – Chief operating officer Stephen Jones does not anticipate a kicking change.

Brett Maher was 0-for-2 on field goal tries from 35 and 47 in Thursday’s 26-15 loss to the Bills, though it appeared his first attempt just before halftime got blocked. Maher is 19-of-28 on field goals this season.

“I think one of the kicks was blocked as it turned out,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “There was a hand on the ball that probably affected the trajectory of the ball.

“We’ve got confidence in Maher. … You look at what’s out there and you see what we have and we do like his mindset, the way he responds to adversity. We’re going to stick with him.”

Head coach Jason Garrett also expressed confidence in Maher on Friday, saying, "He’s made a lot of big kicks for us over the last couple of years. Obviously, you need to make the kicks from the game yesterday and some of the other ones that he's missed over the course of the season. We’ll always continue to evaluate that situation. We believe in him. We believe he can do the job for us. And that's an ongoing process for us."

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