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
Dec. 30 Updates
3:42 p.m. – In the wake of the Cowboys' final meeting of the season, Sean Lee acknowledged the difficulty of the situation.
The day after the end of the season is always tough, no matter when it ends.
"These teams change every year," Lee said. "Saying bye to some guys and knowing that you're never going to be teammates for some guys. It can be very challenging."
Lee could be part of that transition this year. He is 33 and just finished the 10th year of his career. And while Lee enjoyed some of the best health of his career, appearing in all 16 games, he's not quite ready to make a decision on his future. That will come later.
"I'm going to take some time, talk to the wife, talk to the family and see where I'm at physically in a month or two and make a decision then," he said.
If he does decide to keep playing, Lee will be a free agent in March and could be one of many decisions for the Cowboys to make going forward.
9:42 a.m. -- The day after the regular season ended on Sunday, head coach Jason Garrett said he will meet with the Joneses Monday after his team meeting with the players around noon.
On 105.3 "The Fan," Garrett said he expects to sit down with both Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones. "We'll have a good visit and we'll see what's next."
Garrett's contract expires after the season, his ninth year as the Cowboys' head coach. Overall, Garrett is 85-67 in regular-season games with a 2-3 postseason record. This is the sixth year his team failed to make the playoffs.
Dec. 29 Updates
8:24 p.m. - Dak Prescott's 303 passing yards in a 44-17 win over the Washington Redskins left the Cowboys quarterback exactly 1 yard short of Tony Romo's record for most single-season passing yards by a Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Prescott finished with 4,902 yards this season compared to the 4,903 yards that Romo recorded in 2012.
After the game, Prescott managed to see some poetic justice in falling just a yard shy of Romo's record.
"I didn't make the playoffs, so I deserve to be second," Prescott said. "I don't play the game for stats I play the game for wins. I'm OK with being 1 yard short of him."
In 2012, the Cowboys also finished 8-8, missing the playoffs.
5:27 p.m. – DeMarcus Lawrence has been ruled out of Sunday's game with a back injury.
Lawrence left the game with a rib injury in the first half, but he briefly returned. Cowboys sideline reporter Kristi Scales reported after halftime that this back injury would end Lawrence's day.
5:34 p.m. – For the sixth time in his career, Ezekiel Elliott has both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. After catching a 13 yard pass from Dak in the second quarter, Zeke ripped off a 33-yard touchdown run two drives later. It was the longest touchdown run by Elliott since a 55-yard run as a rookie in 2016 against Detroit.
Zeke also scored his 40th rushing touchdown, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach that plateau. His 48 career scores ranks 11th in team history. Watch Highlight
4:34 p.m. – Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence returned to Sunday's game against Washington after missing a few plays with a rib injury suffered in the second quarter.
Lawrence was getting looked at by the Cowboys' medical staff on the sideline as the defense held the Redskins to a field goal early in the second quarter. Michael Bennett and Dorance Armstrong rotated in at defensive end on that drive.
Lawrence started the game despite working through a shoulder injury during the week. It remains to be seen how limited he'll be the rest of the game. Watch Highlights
3:45 p.m. - Jaylon Smith didn't wait long to make an impact in the Cowboys' must-win regular season finale. Smith recorded his first career interception during Washington's initial offensive drive. With 12:41 left in the first quarter, Smith picked off Case Keenum in the middle of the field, giving the Cowboys the ball at the Washington 36-yard line.
The advantageous field position allowed the Cowboys to score the game's first points after Kai Forbath connected on a 28-yard field goal. Watch Highlight
2:02 p.m. – The Cowboys will be without three key starters on Sunday against Washington.
Weekly inactives were announced prior to kickoff, and the team confirmed that Tyron Smith, Byron Jones and Antwaun Woods will be unavailable for this regular season finale.
That confirms reports that have been circulating since earlier this week, as Smith was held out of practice with a back injury all week, while Jones hurt his ankle during a practice on Christmas Day. Woods also injured his hip during practice this week.
In addition to those three, the Cowboys also ruled Devin Smith, Joe Thomas, Joe Jackson and Wyatt Miller out of the game.
The loss of Thomas is another blow for this Dallas defense, as he has been a major contributor in the time that Leighton Vander Esch has been sidelined by a neck injury.
For Washington, Dwayne Haskins, Landon Collins, Josh Norman and Terry McLaurin have all been ruled inactive.
Dec. 28 Updates
12:01 p.m. – With Byron Jones limited by an ankle injury, the Cowboys addressed their cornerback depth on Saturday.
One day before the regular season finale against Washington, the team released veteran safety Josh Jones and signed cornerback Donovan Olumba from the practice squad.
Olumba's name should sound familiar. He signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and has hung around the practice squad ever since. As a second-year player, he made a legitimate push to make the 53-man roster this past summer, though he was eventually released at the end of training camp.
This will be Olumba's first stint on the active roster, and he stands a chance to earn some playing time. Jones injured his ankle on Wednesday, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Dec. 27 Updates
2:59 p.m. – Left tackle Tyron Smith (back), cornerback Byron Jones (ankle) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (hip/ankle) are listed as questionable against Washington.
Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan that Jones has a traditional ankle sprain and is expected to be a game-time decision. Jones didn't practice Friday. Woods has sat out the last two days and Smith hasn't practiced this week.
Quarterback Dak Prescott (right shoulder) and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) look set to play, as their game status is not in question, according to the official injury report.
Linebacker Joe Thomas (knee) has been ruled out.
11:00 p.m. - For the third straight day this week, Dak Prescott isn't expected to do any major throwing at practice. Jason Garrett said his quarterback again is limited in practice, just like he was most of last week.
The Cowboys will try to increase his workload this weekend to get him ready for Sunday. When asked if he's worried about Dak missing the game against the Redskins, Garrett reiterated the team is taking his status "day by day" but said Prescott's toughness both physically and mentally is unmatched.
10:45 p.m. - The Cowboys' left tackle will miss practice for three straight days this week with a back injury. Jason Garrett wouldn't speculate if Smith would play this weekend against the Redskins, but said Smith is doing everything he can to manage the injury and get on the field for this weekend.
If he doesn't play, Cameron Fleming would likely start at left tackle and Brandon Knight would serve as the swing tackle to both positions.
Dec. 26 Updates
3:10 p.m. – Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (hip/ankle) was added to Thursday's injury report and did not practice.
Cowboys players unable to practice Thursday were Woods, quarterback Dak Prescott (right shoulder), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder), left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Chris Covington (illness). Linebacker Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh) returned to practice on a limited basis.
12:00 p.m. - Dak Prescott (shoulder) was present for the portion of Thursday's practice that was open to the media, but head coach Jason Garrett said Thursday morning that the starting quarterback would be "limited if he does anything at all" in Thursday's practice. Garrett also confirmed that during an afternoon Christmas day practice Prescott did not participate in "any of the team stuff." Prescott suffered a sprained AC joint in the December 15 Cowboys victory over the Rams.
Garrett confirmed that Tyron Smith (back) and DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) "probably won't do much" in Thursday's practice. Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh) appeared to be working with an athletic trainer near the sideline away from the other linebackers during the portion of practice open to media.
Dec. 25 Updates
3:39 p.m. – Quarterback Dak Prescott (sprained right shoulder) is not listed as a participant in Wednesday's practice on the official injury report -- an estimation with practice set for later in the afternoon. The Cowboys pushed back their normal Wednesday schedule because of the Christmas holiday.
Via conference call before practice, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Prescott did take part in Wednesday's walkthrough but would be "limited at best" in practice.
Prescott was a limited participant in practice last week and was able to play the entire game last Sunday against the Eagles.
"Last week we really took it day by day and this week we'll do the same thing," Garrett said. "Obviously he was able to play in the ball game, so hopefully we can get him on the same path where he's able to go on Sunday (against Washington)."
3:39 p.m. – Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) and left tackle Tyron Smith (back) are not expected to participate in Wednesday's practice, according to the estimated injury report.
Head coach Jason Garrett said Lawrence was dealing with a shoulder issue against the Eagles last Sunday but was able to play through it. Smith's back isn't believed to be a long-term issue, Garrett said.
"It's something that he has dealt with at different times throughout his career," Garrett said. "We'll probably work our way through practice and the practice week this week with him."
Dec. 24 Updates
1:18 p.m. – The Cowboys addressed some injury concerns on Tuesday afternoon.
As Jason Garrett indicated Monday, the team moved Leighton Vander Esch and Xavier Su'a-Filo to injured reserve. Vander Esch injured his neck back in October and is slated to undergo a small surgery to fix the issue, while Su'a-Filo broke his leg in Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.
To fill those roster spots, the Cowboys made two signings on Tuesday. They added veteran linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, and they signed tackle Wyatt Miller to address their offensive line depth.
Armstrong has had a long and winding road in the NFL. Since going undrafted in 2013, he has spent time with five NFL clubs, tallying 83 appearances, 12 starts and 144 career tackles. His longest stint came in Oakland, where he played 21 games.
Miller is a rookie who went undrafted out of Central Florida. He spent the preseason with the New York Jets, though he did not make the final roster.
Dec. 23 Updates
4:30 p.m. – Left guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is having surgery Monday to repair a broken bone in his lower leg and will move to injured reserve, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
Su'a-Filo was injured in the second half of Sunday's 17-9 loss to the Eagles and did not return to the game.
Joe Looney replaced Su'a-Filo in the lineup for the rest of the game. Garrett said the team will look to sign an offensive lineman once Su'a-Filo goes on IR.
Dec. 22 Updates
9:20 p.m. – The Cowboys' starting left guard had a rough second half, with two injuries to his ankle that had him leaving the stadium in a walking boot.
Su'a-Filo suffered a knee/ankle injury on his left side in the third quarter, forcing him out for the rest of the series. But he did return to action moments later, only to suffer an even worse-looking left ankle injury. He did not return the rest of the game, replaced by Joe Looney.
Su'a-Filo said he'll know more about the severity of the injury on Monday, but there's a chance he could need season-ending surgery.
5:20 p.m. – Michael Gallup is the only player providing a spark in the passing game Sunday against the Eagles. But he's doing it all season, evident by him surpassing the 1,000-yard mark in this game. Gallup gives the Cowboys two wide receivers over 1,000 yards for just the third time in franchise history. Gallup and Amari Cooper join Terrell Owens & Terry Glenn (2006) and Tony Hill and Drew Pearson (1979) as the only receiver duos in club history. Tight end Jason Witten has hit the 1,000-yard mark with other receivers in his career.
3:01 p.m. – It's a fairly routine group of inactives going into this crucial game against the Eagles.
The Cowboys announced their list of seven inactive players, and it was mainly healthy scratches – with the obvious exception of Leighton Vander Esch.
Vander Esch is still recovering from the neck injury that has held him out for the past month. But the other six inactives were Devin Smith, Donovan Wilson, Joe Jackson, Mitch Hyatt, Brandon Knight and Trysten Hill.
That's a clear indicator of the Cowboys' overall health, as injury concerns like Dak Prescott, Sean Lee, Joe Thomas, C.J. Goodwin and La'el Collins will all be able to suit up.
The Eagles can't say the same, as Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard and Lane Johnson were all ruled out for the game.
Dec. 20 Updates
2:24 p.m. – Dak Prescott's playing status for Sunday's showdown against the Eagles is not in question, according to Friday's official injury report.
The Cowboys are listing CB C.J. Goodwin (thumb), LB Joe Thomas (knee) and WR Devin Smith (knee) as questionable to play against the Eagles. LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) has been ruled out Sunday.
Prescott (right shoulder) practiced on a limited basis again Friday. He said Thursday he'll be "good to go" against the Eagles.
12:09 p.m. – Head coach Jason Garrett said Dak Prescott will again be "pretty limited" in his practice work Friday as the starting quarterback continues to manage a right shoulder injury.
"He might do a little bit more than he's done," Garrett said, "but don't anticipate a full practice from him today."
Prescott has had limited participation the last two days, but he said Thursday he'll be "good to go" against the Eagles on Sunday.
Dec. 19 Updates
2:55 p.m. -- Left tackle Tyron Smith, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and linebacker Sean Lee returned on Thursday after not participating in Wednesday's practice.
Smith was dealing with an eye issue that was forcing one of his eyes shut. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Thursday that Smith would practice with a shield.
Bennett was battling an illness that sidelined him on Wednesday. Lee (thigh/pectoral) is ramping up his practice work after managing those injuries last week and playing against the Rams.
12:18 p.m. – Dak Prescott (right shoulder) is not expected to throw much in practice again Thursday, per head coach Jason Garrett. But Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones doesn't sound concerned about Prescott's availability Sunday against the Eagles.
"You like for everybody to be out there practicing, but I'm totally convinced that he'll be in top form," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "And we've got to have him in top and he will be in top form. So, I think the situation has been described accurately. These are things that guys play with and they practice with. So, I think we're in good shape. Not worried about it."
10:45 a.m. -- For the second straight day, Dak Prescott isn't expected to do much if anything at practice on Thursday. Prescott is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder and head coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys opting to rest their starting quarterback over pushing the issue right now.
"He probably won't throw very much today," Garrett said Thursday morning. "I think rest is the best thing for him right now. He's progressing, but he hasn't tested it that much."
Cooper Rush continues to take the first-team reps. Practice squad quarterback Clayton Thorson is expected to get more snaps in practice as well.
Dec. 18 Updates
4:29 p.m. -- Five Cowboys players had limited participation in Wednesday's practice: quarterback Dak Prescott (right shoulder), cornerback Jourdan Lewis (knee), guard Zack Martin (ankle), right tackle La'el Collins (knee) and punter Chris Jones abdomen.
Six Cowboys did not practice Wednesday: defensive lineman Michael Bennett (foot/illness), cornerback C.J. Goodwin (thumb), linebacker Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh), left tackle Tyron Smith (eye), linebacker Joe Thomas (knee) and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck).
2:14 p.m. – Dak Prescott (shoulder) was expected to have limited participation in Wednesday's practice, per head coach Jason Garrett, meaning backup Cooper Rush got reps with the first-team offense.
Rush, who normally handles the scout team work, took his first and only snaps of the season (2) last Sunday in the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead over the Rams. Now in his third year, Rush knows the importance of playing within the offense if ever called upon.
"It's your job as a backup. You don't have to rewrite the offense or anything," he said. "We've got a lot of good players. Just stay within in the system, you trust your coaches and you'll be fine."
12:06 p.m. -- Sean Lee and Joe Thomas were working with athletic trainers on the sideline away from the linebackers group during the portion of Wednesday's practice open to media.
Thomas hurt his knee during the first half of Sunday's game against the Rams and did not return. Lee had been dealing with a pectoral injury but played a key role in the Cowboys' victory over the Rams.
Leighton Vander Esch, who has missed the past four games with a neck injury, was not participating in Wednesday's practice. Dallas signed linebacker Malcolm Smith on Tuesday to replace rookie Luke Gifford, who was placed on the Reserve/Injured.
Defensive end Michael Bennett did not participate in practice as he battles an illness.
Dec. 17 Updates
3:19 p.m. – The Cowboys have signed offensive tackle Tyler Jones to the practice squad.
Jones, an undrafted rookie out of N.C. State, was released by the Jets in training camp.
The Cowboys now have one open spot on their practice squad. Linebacker Chris Covington was promoted to the active roster last Saturday. Jones fills his spot, but the Bucs announced Tuesday that wide receiver Cyril Grayson has been signed off the Cowboys' practice squad.
11:00 a.m. - The Cowboys are working out a pair of veteran linebackers, including former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, who starred for the Seahawks and has played for Kris Richard in the past.
Since his first four years in Seattle, Smith has bounced around from the Raiders to the 49ers and even Jacksonville for two games this year.
Smith has played 102 career games with 51 starts. In Super Bowl XLVIII, he was named MVP against the Broncos, returning an interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery.
The Cowboys have also worked out Ray Ray Armstrong, who has played 83 career games with five different teams since 2013, including five this year with the Saints.
The Cowboys need some depth at linebacker with Luke Gifford going to IR with a broken arm and Joe Thomas banged up in the last game. Leighton Vander Esch is still out with a neck injury.
10:29 a.m. - Ezekiel Elliott is one of the three nominees for FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week. With 160 all-purpose yards, including 117 on the ground and two rushing touchdowns, Elliott helped the Cowboys power over the Rams en route to a 44-21 win.
Zeke is joined by Arizona's Kenyan Drake and Seattle's Chris Carson as the Ground Nominees.
Fans can visit NFL.com/FedEx or the NFL Twitter page to vote for their favorite performances of the week, with FedEx awarding a $2,000 donation in the winning players' names to The USO.
Dec. 16 Updates
4:53 p.m. – The Cowboys could be on the lookout for linebacker depth.
Rookie linebacker Luke Gifford sustained a fracture in his arm against the Rams and is expected to have surgery that could sideline him 6-8 weeks.
The Cowboys haven't made a final decision on Gifford's roster status. If he goes on injured reserve, it would create a spot to add another linebacker.
Leighton Vander Esch remains sidelined with a neck injury, and backup Joe Thomas injured his knee in the first half Sunday and did not return to the game. Garrett said the team will take Thomas' injury situation day by day.
4:53 p.m. – Cornerback C.J. Goodwin is having surgery Monday to repair a thumb fracture suffered against the Rams.
"Hopefully that will be better," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "We'll see what he's able to do with that here in the next couple days leading up to this ballgame (at Philadelphia this Sunday)."
Goodwin is a core special teams contributor who ranks third on the team in tackles this season (6).
Dec. 15 Updates
9:15 p.m. – After three straight frustrating losses, it almost seemed fitting that the coin toss prior to the Cowboys contest against the Rams would somehow go wrong for Dallas.
The Cowboys won the coin toss and Dak Prescott told the official that the team wanted to "defer" implying that they were deferring the opening kickoff decision to the Rams, and would therefore have the right to make that decision to begin the third quarter. Unfortunately, he also used the word "kick" when the official asked him to clarify, and thus the official, upon hearing the word "kick" mandated that the Cowboys were choosing to kick in the first half and that the Rams would be allowed to make the kickoff decision to open the third quarter.
This mandate meant the Rams would be able to receive the opening kickoffs in the first and third quarters. The NFL intervened before the start of the third quarter, and actually reviewed the audio tape to change the decision, allowing the Cowboys to receive the second half kickoff.
When asked after the game what he said exactly, Dak responded with "A little bit of everything. There's audio."
Fortunately, he said the word "defer" and that helped reverse the decision. "Dak had told me they used the word 'defer' out there," head coach Jason Garrett said after the game. "So, we felt like we had a case there."
Prescott called it a "weird start" to a game. After the win, he was able to laugh off the confusion. "Just a bad use of words by me. "We listened to the audio and got it figured out, but it just wasn't the cleanest coin flip I've been a part of."
9:03 p.m. - Rookie linebacker Luke Gifford injured his left arm in punt coverage during Sunday's game against the Rams. He did not return and after the game head coach Jason Garrett confirmed the injury seemed pretty serious. "It doesn't look good for Luke. I think he has a fracture up on his arm, so we will get more information on that. It doesn't look good for him."
While Sean Lee played an excellent game in his return from a pectoral injury, Gifford's absence will still leave the Cowboys thin at linebacker as Leighton Vander Esch continues to be out with a neck injury. Backup linebacker Joe Thomas also left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but it is not expected to be serious.
4:35 p.m. – What a time for Tavon Austin's first touchdown of the season. Playing against the franchise that drafted him in the first round back in 2013, Austin managed to get wide open for a 59-yard touchdown where he basically jogged the final 30 yards.
It was Austin's first TD catch since early last season with the Cowboys. He played the first five years of with the Rams and had 12 touchdown catches in that span. He did have a. 20-yard rushing touchdown earlier this season with the Cowboys.
4:21 p.m. – Jason Witten's first quarter touchdown against the Rams on Sunday was his 72nd touchdown reception as a Dallas Cowboy, which leaves him only one shy of the franchise record currently held by Dez Bryant, who played for Dallas from 2010 through 2017.
The play was one of Witten's flashier touchdowns. The veteran tight end made a one-handed catch along the right sideline before crossing the goal line. The 19-yard play put the Cowboys up 7-0 with 1:53 left in the first quarter.
4:11 p.m. – The Cowboys' linebacker depth continues to be tested.
Backup Joe Thomas left the game late in the first quarter with a knee injury and his return is questionable.
Rookie Luke Gifford was ruled out of the game in the first quarter with an arm injury. Sean Lee is starting today for Leighton Vander Esch (neck).
4:00 p.m. – Linebacker Luke Gifford injured his left arm in punt coverage during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Rams. He will miss the remainder of the game.
With second-year linebacker Leighton Vander-Esch already out with a neck injury and his return this season undetermined, the Cowboys remain thin at linebacker. Fortunately, Sean Lee returned from a pectoral injury Sunday and the team covered themselves by adding Chris Covington up from the practice squad.
2:01 p.m. – Sean Lee will be active for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cowboys released their game day inactives on Sunday afternoon, and Lee was not among them. The veteran linebacker missed practice all week while he battled pectoral and thigh injuries, but he's going to try to give it a go against the Rams.
The list of inactives features Devin Smith, Deante Burton, Leighton Vander Esch, Joe Jackson, Mitch Hyatt, Brandon Knight and Trysten Hill.
Vander Esch was ruled out Friday as he continues to work his way back from a neck injury. The rest of the inactives are healthy scratches.
Dec. 14 Updates
The Cowboys are giving themselves some insurance at linebacker this weekend in Chris Covington, who was signed to the roster Saturday from the practice squad.
A sixth-round pick in 2018 who has played in only five career games, Covington will add some depth to a position that already will be without Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and possibly Sean Lee, who has missed practice this week with pectoral and thigh injuries. The Cowboys are still hoping Lee will play Sunday against the Rams.
To make room for Covington, the Cowboys released guard/tackle Caleb Benenoch.
Dec. 13 Updates
4:04 p.m. – Linebacker Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh) is officially listed as questionable to play against the Rams.
Lee did not practice this week but is making progress, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Friday morning. Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday afternoon that the team is optimistic about Lee's game availability at this point in the week.
Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) has been ruled out Sunday, as expected. If Lee doesn't play against the Rams, Joe Thomas and rookie Luke Gifford both could be in line for more snaps at linebacker.
1:31 p.m. – The Cowboys may have been pressing a bit, to hear it from DeMarcus Lawrence.
For a team that played such sound defense last season, the Cowboys have been undisciplined in recent weeks – highlighted by a performance that saw them miss 19 tackles against the Bears last week.
Lawrence said Friday that's a result of simply trying to do too much.
"Our tackling was off — I could say last week and a couple more weeks, our tackling was off," he said. "It was all about trying to get takeaways, instead of trying to wrap the guy up and bring him down."
The key to fixing that, he added, is to get back to the basics.
"The main focus is worry about us, worry about running to the ball and hitting and knocking the ball out like that," he said.
Dec. 12 Updates
5:27 p.m. – Linebackers Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh) and Leighton Vander Esch (neck) were the only players unable to practice for the second straight day this week.
Safety Jeff Heath (shoulder/shoulder) and running back Tony Pollard (ankle) had full participation after being limited Wednesday.
4:56 p.m. -- While Sunday's game between the Rams and the Cowboys may be a playoff rematch, it will be an entirely new individual matchup for Amari Cooper, who will face a new set of cornerbacks. Gone are Aqib Talib and Sam Shields, who started for the Rams last season. In their places are Troy Hill and the newly acquired Jalen Ramsey, who is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.
"Jalen Ramsey is a pretty good corner," Cooper said on Thursday. "He's long. He's fast. He has all the intangible things that you want in a corner."
Ramsey has been known to pair his shutdown abilities with an uncompromising degree of trash talk. It's quite the juxtaposition of Cooper, who keeps a more quiet demeanor on the field. Asked if he'll have to remind himself to keep his composure if and when Ramsey becomes vocal, Cooper made it clear he isn't exactly worried about the possibility. "I don't think I have to remind myself of nothing," Cooper said. "I'm just going to be me. Go out there and play football and let the chips fall where they may."
4:43 p.m. – Jason Garrett believes in his team and knows what they're capable of accomplishing on the football field.
That's why earlier this week the players watched a compilation of successful plays they've made over the last couple of years.
"It was a good reminder as you start the week of, this is who we are," tight end Jason Witten said. "When you reference that, I think that's what Jason was getting to. It was a great visual."
Garrett believes showing positive plays on film is just as important as correcting mistakes.
"You're always trying to reinforce what's right, doing it the right way," Garrett said. "The best examples are the ones of your own players doing it the right way. And then you're also saying, 'This is the wrong way, this is the difference between those two things.' Each and every day as a teacher, as a coach, you're trying to reinforce what you want by reaffirming what that is and also showing what it isn't and what the differences are."
Dec. 11 Updates
3:51 p.m. – Dak Prescott was a full participant in practice on Wednesday despite suffering minor injuries to both hands in last Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears. Prescott had hurt his index finger on his right (throwing) hand and sprained his left hand, but Monday on 105.3 The Fan he contended that he is "good to go" for Sunday's game against the Rams.
Eight players were limited participants in Wednesday's practice, including Michael Bennett (foot), Byron Jones (hip) and Zack Martin (elbow/ankle). Sean Lee (pectoral/thigh) did not practice.
10:08 a.m. – The Cowboys have signed wide receiver Cyril Grayson to the practice squad, filling the open spot created Tuesday when offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt was promoted to the active roster.
Grayson (5-9, 183) is a former track standout at LSU who has spent time with the Seahawks and Saints. The Cowboys were looking for receiver depth with Cedrick Wilson (knee) on injured reserve.
Dec. 10 Updates
12:29 p.m. -- Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson has been placed on Reserve/Injured with a knee injury suffered in the fourth quarter of last Thursday's 31-24 loss to the Bears.
The Cowboys have filled Wilson's spot on the 53-man roster by signing rookie offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt from their practice squad.
Hyatt, undrafted out of Clemson, has been on the practice squad all season after competing for a roster spot in training camp.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said last Friday that Wilson's knee injury turned out to be less severe than an ACL tear, which the team initially feared, but he's still expected to miss several weeks. Wilson left Chicago with the team on crutches after the game.
Wilson has appeared in six games this season, catching 5 passes for 46 yards. He also returned 3 kickoffs for 64 yards and 2 punts for 13 yards.
Dec. 9 Updates
7:22 p.m. – Quarterback Dak Prescott says he's feeling "good to go" this week despite sustaining injuries to both hands last Thursday against the Bears.
Last Friday, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Prescott hurt the index finger on his right (throwing) hand and sprained his left hand at Chicago but "seemed to come out of the game OK."
"Just part of the game, honestly," Prescott said on the Miller Lite Cowboys Hour on 105.3 The Fan. "My hands, they usually take a beating. That is the one place … I don't know if it's when I throw, I bring them back in and then I get hit or I'm protecting myself, whether it's throwing a stiff arm or not. But my hands are usually what gets beat up and just got beat up a little bit more."
Prescott finished the game and didn't appear to have any physical limitations with his throws.
6:33 p.m. – It speaks to the current state of affairs that January feels so long ago.
The Cowboys faced the Rams in a big-time playoff game just 11 months ago, with the Rams advancing to the NFC Championship Game in a 30-22 win.
But as the Cowboys sit at 6-7, mired in a three-game losing streak, it feels much longer ago than that.
"Yeah, it does. This year has felt like one of the longest years ever," said Jeff Heath. "We'll look at that game a little bit, but obviously they do some different stuff and we do some different stuff. But it does feel like a long time ago."
Heath finished with eight tackles in that playoff loss, but his status is uncertain for Sunday's game. He has been out for three of the last four games with injuries to both shoulders, though he said he's making progress.
"It's just something that I'm working through," he said. "Rehab as much as possible and just taking it week by week."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."