Dallas Cowboys Updates

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Updates: Cowboys Rework D-Law's Contract 

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Mar. 15 Updates

3:41 p.m. – More cap space was created on Wednesday, just a few minutes after the start of the free-agent signing period. The Cowboys opened up nearly $9 million by reworking the numbers on DeMarcus Lawrence's contract.

The Cowboys gave D-Law a restructured deal just last year, guaranteeing him the next two seasons (2022 & 2023). But now, the team has reworked the deal even more, opening up some room for the Cowboys to make a few more moves here in 2023 free agency.

Lawrence made his third Pro Bowl this past season, recording six sacks but also 45 QB pressures, which ranked second on the team behind Micah Parsons (69).

The Cowboys also saved some cap space on Wednesday by reworking the deal for Tyron Smith.

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9:59 p.m. — There are still some things to work out before the Cowboys can know, definitively, if Terence Steele will anchor the right side of their offensive line going forward. The 25-year-old enters this offseason as a restricted free agent, and the Cowboys have officially made their first move in the situation.

Steele has received a second-round tender in Dallas, which means the Cowboys have the right to match any offer sheet he might receive in negotiations with other teams.

If they choose to not match the highest bid, they'll lose Steele but gain a second-round pick as compensation from the team that acquires him. There is currently no long-term deal on the table between the two sides, and Steele is working to return from a torn ACL suffered in late December.

With Connor McGovern set to join the Buffalo Bills in free agency, and things not yet solidified with Tyron Smith, the flux surrounding Steele adds more question marks to the state of the Cowboys offensive line.

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Mar. 14 Updates

5:30.m. — It's been a blockbuster day for the Cowboys on Day 2 of NFL free agency, with Leighton Vander Esch getting in on the action from what's been a very, very busy day in Dallas.

After a willfully inactive first day, the Cowboys have agreed to terms with Vander Esch on a two-year deal, per multiple reports, that will keep him in Dallas through the 2024 season. This news comes on the heels of re-signing impact safety Donovan Wilson to a three-year deal and acquiring All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore via trade with the Colts.

Vander Esch, a former first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018, burst out of the gate as a rookie linebacker en route to Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro honors in his first year out. His career was then slowed by injury, leading the team to forego his fifth-year option and instead to re-sign him on a one-year deal in 2022.

He found his prime form again last year, flying all over the field and showing there's still a ton of tread left on his young tires, also playing in 16 games (14 regular season and 2 postseason), earning a third contract in Dallas.

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11:20 a.m. — Dominoes are starting to fall in free agency for the Dallas Cowboys, and that includes getting clarity on veteran wide receiver Noah Brown, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.

That appears to no longer be the case, however, with Brown agreeing to terms with the Houston Texans on a one-year deal, per multiple reports, that will see him suit up in South Texas for the 2023 season, and that will mark the first time Brown has ever worn an NFL jersey that didn't belong to the Cowboys.

The former seventh-round pick became a core special teamer for the Cowboys over the course of his career thus far, also contributing in a major way to their success in 2022 following the loss of Dak Prescott for five games due to injury.

Brown's production as a receiver slowed as the season went on though, leading to the decision to sign T.Y. Hilton. Having been with the Cowboys since entering the league in 2017, he'll now try his hand with the Texans and new head coach DeMeco Ryans.

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9:47 a.m. – The Cowboys have said all along their focus in free agency will be to retain some of their top players. And with that, Donovan Wilson falls into that category.

As of Tuesday morning, the Cowboys are still working on a contract with Wilson that will keep him in Dallas. For now, he has not signed or even agreed to terms, despite multiple reports of a three-year deal being finalized.

Wilson led the Cowboys in tackles last season with 101, to go along with five sacks and two forced fumbles and an interception.

Bringing him back would further solidify the safety position that already includes veterans Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker under contract, along with youngsters Israel Mukuamu and Markquese Bell.

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9:31 a.m. - The Cowboys leading tackler on special teams is headed out the door. Gifford is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Titans, according to multiple reports.

Gifford had a career-high 12 special teams tackles for the Cowboys in 2022. Throughout his four years in Dallas, he played mostly on special teams, recording just 10 total tackles on defense.

The Cowboys don't have a lot of linebackers on the current depth chart now with Gifford expected to leave. Also, veterans Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr are both unrestricted free agents. That leaves just Micah Parsons, Damone Clark, Jabril Cox and Devin Harper as linebackers on the roster.

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Mar. 13 Updates

4:36 p.m. — The Cowboys are in the process of freeing up millions in salary cap space as the start of 2023 NFL free agency takes hold, and Michael Gallup's contract is the latest to help their cause.

The team has restructured their deal with Gallup in a move that will free up $7 million toward the salary cap, per reports, a trigger that was built into the contract when Gallup agreed to the five-year deal in 2022.

The restructuring of Gallup's deal comes only days after the Cowboys did the same on deals with Dak Prescott and Zack Martin — freeing up $30 million from those two moves. Initially sitting around $15 million in cap space to begin the week, the front office is now closer to $22 million and with the ability to free up more space in the coming days/weeks, should they need it.

An extension for Prescott is not off of the table, nor is a restructuring of Tyron Smith's deal, as things continue to get sorted with the hopes of making waves in free agency this offseason.

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1:03 p.m. — The first domino of the NFL legal tampering period, which began on Monday, March 13, that impacts the Dallas Cowboys has landed, and it's by way of starting left guard Connor McGovern.

The 25-year-old has agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills on a three-year deal, per multiple reports, that will secure him in Upstate New York through the 2025 season. McGovern joined the Cowboys as a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, ascending to the role of starting left guard under the tutelage of head coach Mike McCarthy and his staff.

Versatility was the name of the game for McGovern in Dallas, and especially over the last two seasons, often deployed as a fullback in jumbo packages to help the rushing attack from time to time.

He'll now head to Buffalo to protect quarterback Josh Allen, assuming the deal is finalized when the league year opens officially on Wednesday, and the Cowboys will likely look to rookie sensation Tyler Smith as an option to fill the void at left guard in 2023.

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Feb. 28 Updates

1:31 p.m. – When Tyron Smith injured his hamstring before the start of last season, there were doubts he'd not only return to the field in 2022, but maybe not again for the Cowboys.

Not only did he come back last December and finish the season, but according to Stephen Jones on Tuesday, he is expected back to the team again in 2023.

The Cowboys chief operating officer said "yes" when asked if Smith was expected back and didn't sound too eager in changing his contract, which includes a $13 million base salary and cap charge over $17 million.

"We'll always do reworks and things of that nature," Jones said. "We have the ability to do that. Right now, we're comfortable where we are."

And it's still unclear where Tyron Smith will play, especially with Terence Steele expected back at right tackle and Tyler Smith spending most of his rookie season there. Either way, Jones applauded Tyron Smith's ability to to help the team last year.

"Obviously, Tyron is the ultimate team player. There's really not a lot of conversation with Tyron. It seems like he's very content to do what it takes to help the team."

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Feb. 22 Updates

2:23 p.m. — Brett Maher is set to return to NFL free agency in 2023 as the Cowboys prepare to move forward by heading back to the drawing board at the position, and they've now signed Tristan Vizcaino to the active roster in the hopes of seeing more from him this time around.

The 26-year-old is entering his second stint with the Cowboys, having initially signed to a futures deal in 2020 — Mike McCarthy's first season as head coach in Dallas — but was subsequently released in April of that same offseason.

Vizcaino went on to spend time with four teams in 2020 and another three in the two seasons to follow, returning to Dallas in what will be his fifth season in the league.

Formerly an undrafted free agent out of the University of Washington, the former Husky has been unable to establish roots in the NFL, but now gets another chance at achieving that goal.

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Feb. 9 Updates

11:32 a.m. — One of the more pressing decisions facing the Dallas Cowboys this offseason is in how they'll manage the situation involving Ezekiel Elliott's contract.

The two-time NFL rushing champ is set to hit the team's salary cap for $16.72 million in 2023, a number they'd like to reduce to allow for the possible re-signing of Tony Pollard along with several other top-shelf in-house free agents.

You can count two-time Pro Bowl wideout CeeDee Lamb in as one who believes it'll all be smoothed over in a manner that keeps Elliott [and Pollard] together in Dallas for next season.

"Yea, of course," Lamb told NFL Network's "Super Bowl Live" this week. "Zeke has always been a weapon here. I feel like his work that he does for this team and this offense is underappreciated. He does a lot of the dirty work and, man, this offense goes through him."

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Feb. 3 Updates

12:57 p.m. — Brett Maher had a resurgent season with the Dallas Cowboys after they re-signed him during training camp in July, but he ran right into an iceberg at the worst possible time; and the front office took notice.

Maher missed four PATs in the wild card in over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what turned out to be the final game for Tom Brady, suffering a rash of missed PATs that stretched back to the Week 18 loss to the Washington Commanders and into the NFC Divisional Round loss against the San Francisco 49ers (blocked) — setting an unfortunate league and franchise record in the process.

He went on to make two field goal attempts against the 49ers, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones had apparently seen enough to know he will not bring back Maher in free agency for a third stint in Dallas, months after he bested disappointing camps from both Lirim Hajrullahu and rookie Jonathan Garibay.

"We are back to the drawing board," said Jones from the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama this week, the Cowboys having both free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft to find a long-term solution.

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Feb. 1 Updates

6:12 p.m. – Veteran tackle Tyron Smith has dealt with numerous injuries over the past few years. After returning from hamstring surgery to play the final month of the season, Smith underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee this week.

That shouldn't affect his chances of coming back next year – if indeed that is the plan for the Cowboys and Smith moving forward.

There has been plenty of speculation, especially after Smith's injury last August, that he might have played his last snap in Dallas. But he returned to play right tackle and give the offensive line a needed boost.

When asked about Smith returning for 2023, Jerry Jones said "right now, yes. Ok? Yes." And minutes later, Stephen Jones said "I have no reason to believe he won't be."

Smith has one year left on his contract and will count $17.6 million on the cap. The Cowboys would save about $5 million if he's not on the roster in 2023.

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Jan. 31 Updates

10:11 pm - Wide receiver Michael Gallup reportedly had two arthroscopic surgeries on Tuesday, to his right knee and right ankle.
Gallup should be able to recover in time to participate in some offseason practices with a chance to be fully healthy by the start of training camp.
Gallup is coming off a torn ACL on his left knee he suffered last January. After missing the first three games this year, Gallup played in 14 games, catching 39 passes for 424 yards and four TDs.

Gallup signed a five-year, $57 million contract before last season. His 2023 base salary of $11 million is guaranteed.

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Jan. 26 Updates

5:21 p.m. – While free agency doesn't officially begin until mid-March, all teams can begin signing players to Reserve/Futures contracts.

The Cowboys have signed 11 players this week, bringing them back from the practice squad.

Among those is offensive tackle Isaac Alarcon, who has been with the team for three seasons on the NFL International Pathway program.

Until now, Alarcon has not counted towards the 90-man offseason roster or the 16-player practice squad. But his eligibility for the program is up, meaning Alarcon will be among the 90 players on the roster and if he makes the team or the practice squad, there will be no roster exemption.

Other players signed to futures contracts this week were: WR Antonio Callaway, TE Seth Green, WR Dennis Houston, OT Alex Taylor, C Brock Hoffman, C Alec Lindstrom, S Tyler Coyle, S Juanyeh Thomas, DB Sheldrick Redwine and WR Dontario Drummond.

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2:10 p.m. — One of the two biggest dominos has seemingly fallen for the Dallas Cowboys, as the team waits to see what fate awaits them regarding the status of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Quinn continues to be in the mix for several NFL teams to this point, but Moore's dialogue with the Panthers may have come to an end, with Carolina having announced Frank Reich as their new head coach for 2023 and beyond.

That decision might keep Moore in Dallas for now, leaving only the future of Quinn in question, and on the heels of his defensive unit again topping the league in several categories.

On Thursday, the Cowboys announced the decision to part ways with several position coaches, creating a shakeup beneath head coach Mike McCarthy; but there does appear to still be continuity in the OC role, a position Moore has held since the 2019 season. That is, of course, barring an unexpected decision on Moore by the team's front office.

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Jan. 25 Updates

2:18 p.m. – When it comes to the performance awards, the Cowboys will have just one chance for an individual honor during the NFL Honors Show on Feb. 9 (NFL Network).

Micah Parsons, for the second straight year, is among the finalists, listed as one of three for Defensive Player of the Year. Parsons joins 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa, who is deemed the favorite after posting a league-leading 18 sacks, along with Chiefs DT Chris Jones.

Parsons had 13.5 sacks, just topping the 13 sacks he had last year when he was the unanimous winner for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

But this year, the Cowboys had no other finalists for awards such as MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year. Also, the Cowboys had no nominees for Assistant Coach of the Year after Dan Quinn won the award last year.

One player who could gain some hardware is Dak Prescott, who once again is among the 32 finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

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Jan. 22 Updates

8:32 p.m. — One of the biggest storylines of the week centered on Brett Maher and the team's confidence in the veteran kicker despite his four missed extra points.

As it turned out, Maher's issues carried over to Sunday. Maher's extra point attempt was blocked appeared to be offline anyway.

He did eventually make two field goals, which ironically ended his season with 12 straight made field goals. But the lack of confidence in Maher seemed to affect the play-calling as the Cowboys elected not to attempt a field goal before halftime.

Maher's issues were not lost on the 49ers and their fans, who went into a frenzy every time he lined up for a kick. In fact, the 49ers players tried to get into Maher's head before the game. Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams were among the players who interrupted Maher's practice-kicks before the game, causing an altercation that was eventually broken up by injured long snapper Jake McQuaide and 49ers kicker Robbie Gould.

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8:18 p.m. — After recording just one catch in last year's playoff loss to the 49ers, CeeDee Lamb wasn't about to be a non-factor in this year's rematch.

While it wasn't enough to secure a win, Lamb had one of the most productive games in Cowboys playoff history with 10 catches for 117 yards. With Tony Pollard getting hurt before halftime, Lamb was the only real threat for the offense and he made sure to deliver.

The 46-yard reception in the third quarter was the longest reception of Lamb's season. His 10 catches were the most by a Cowboys receiver in the playoffs since Michael Irvin in the 1994 NFC Championship Game against the 49ers.

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8:01 p.m. — Tight end Dalton Schultz had an up-and-down performance despite securing the only Cowboys touchdown of the game.

Schultz scored in the second quarter to put the Cowboys on the board. It was his third TD of the playoffs, becoming the first tight end in franchise history to score three times in one postseason.

But he had some untimely drops and errors, including late in the game when he failed to go out of bounds moving forward. While getting knocked backward, the clock didn't stop and the Cowboys wasted precious seconds. Later, he couldn't get both feet down on a pass to the sideline that would've given the Cowboys a chance at a Hail Mary throw to the end zone.

Schultz, who played this season on the franchise tag, will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

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2:10 p.m. — As noted on Friday's injury report, the Cowboys have ruled out Jason Peters and, as such, he headlines this week's list of inactives as they battle the 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.

Joining Peters is rookie tight end Peyton Hendershot, who suffered a hamstring injury in practice on Saturday. Though he traveled with the team to Santa Clara, Hendershot will not suit up, a decision that will likely create more reps for Sean McKeon behind Dalton Schultz and Jake Ferguson.

Though inactive last week, Neville Gallimore returns to the field for the Cowboys against the 49ers, but Quinton Bohanna is again inactive. With Chauncey Golston playing well, it's truly become a numbers game for the Cowboys defensive line; as well as their secondary, with Nahshon Wright again being inactive to allow Israel Mukuamu the start in rotation with Xavier Rhodes.

The remaining inactives for the Cowboys are Jabril Cox, Jalen Tolbert and Will Grier.

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Jan. 21 Updates

12:40 p.m. — Trayvon Mullen has been officially waived by the Dallas Cowboys ahead of their trip to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.

Mullen was claimed off of waivers in December and active in just one game, struggling to make an impact for a CB unit in need of assistance. The team has since signed Xavier Rhodes, who has been elevated on Saturday for a second time, leaving one elevation available for Rhodes from the practice squad.

The vacant seat created by divorcing Mullen will be filled by offensive tackle Aviante Collins, who was signed to the active roster today after losing Jason Peters to a hip injury.

Brock Hoffman, a backup interior offensive lineman, joins Rhodes in being elevated from the practice squad.

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Jan. 20 Updates

2:50 p.m. — When the Cowboys take the field against the 49ers with a chance to shock the world and punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game, it'll be without Jason Peters in uniform.

Peters has officially been ruled out by the Cowboys on their final injury report of the week.

The 40-year-old exited the eventual win against the Bucs in the third quarter with a hip injury and did not return, having also not practice once this week.

Without Peters, it's likely the Cowboys return to their default front five that puts Tyler Smith back at left tackle and Connor McGovern at left guard, likely elevating someone from the practice squad for depth — e.g., Aviante Collins.

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Jan. 19 Updates

4:56 p.m. – The one player to keep an eye on the most this week for the Cowboys is safety Jayron Kearse, who suffered a knee injury late in Monday's win over the Bucs.

If there is someone hurting the most with a short week, it could be Kearse, who was listed as "limited" in practice on Thursday's injury report, despite walking out to the practice field during the "media portion" of practice without any pads or helmet.

Kearse got an interception off Tom Brady on Monday night and should be a huge factor in Sunday's game with the 49ers if he can get healthy enough to play.

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11:53 a.m. — Adding a new kicker to the practice squad was the first of several transactions the Cowboys had on the menu in the days ahead of their NFC Divisional Round matchup against the 49ers, with others landing on Thursday.

The 21-day practice window has been activated for both wide receiver Simi Fehoko and linebacker Devin Harper, allowing them to return to practice for the first time since suffering their respective injuries. Fehoko was a star in training camp in July and Harper has also shown flashes, both providing possible depth if ultimately activated to the 53-man roster from IR.

The team also signed defensive back Sheldrick Redwine to the practice squad, a former fourth-round pick of the Browns (2019) who also spent time with the Jets, Panthers, Dolphins and Colts before now landing with the Cowboys.

To make room for Redwine, a decision was made to place Mackensie Alexander on Practice Squad-Injured Reserve. Alexander was signed in December and active in just one game for the Cowboys.

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11:15 a.m. — Tristan Vizcaino was added to the Cowboys practice squad on Wednesday, raising the obvious question on if the team made the move based upon the bad day at the office had by Brett Maher against the Buccaneers.

Maher missed his first four PATs before making his fifth to end a streak of five missed PATs, stretching back to Week 18 against Washington. The team has voiced confidence in Maher, particularly considering the fact he's won games for them during his otherwise resurgent 2022 season, but Vizcaino has been signed, nonetheless.

For head coach Mike McCarthy, the move isn't a slight to Maher, but instead ensuring each position has depth.

"It doesn't take anything away from our trust in Brett," said McCarthy. "Player acquisition is 365 days and this is really nothing out of the norm for us, but I think … Tristan is a talented kicker. We just wanted to make sure we always have depth on our football team."

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Jan. 18 Updates

5:00 p.m. — The status for Jayron Kearse versus the San Francisco 49ers is a very optimistic one, labeled as "100%" by the veteran safety himself, but there is concern Jason Peters may not be ready to go on Sunday.

The 40-year-old offensive lineman suffered a hip injury in the third quarter against the Buccaneers and did not return to the game. On Wednesday, he did not participate with his teammates in the walkthrough to start this week's slate of practices.

Working against Peters is the obvious: it's a short week for the Cowboys after playing Monday evening against Tom Brady and the Bucs. That means, with only five days before he'd need to be healthy enough to take the field again, the odds aren't great.

Peters' status and rehab will be monitored closely by the Cowboys, who'll make the ultimate determination on his game status later this week, or possibly just ahead of gametime.

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11:47 a.m. — If you're concerned about the coming availability of Jayron Kearse in the coming NFC Divisional Round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, you can put it to bed.

Kearse, speaking from inside the Cowboys locker room on Wednesday, had no worries whatsoever regarding the knee he injured in the third quarter against the Buccaneers, leaving the game with assistance from the training staff and not returning.

Three days later, he's walking without a limp and gave the odds of being on the field as the Cowboys compete for the right to appear in the organization's first NFC Championship Game since the mid-1990s.

"100%," he said with a smile. "Yea, 100%."

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Jan. 17 Updates

4:37 p.m. — There won't be much time to rest and recover, if any, in the short week to come for the Dallas Cowboys but, given the alternative, they'll take it. After demolishing Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, they'll face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round, hoping to be whole when they do.

Jason Peters suffered a hip injury that owner and general manager Jerry Jones has at least some optimism about, but head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear the 40-year-old will not practice when the Cowboys have their walkthrough on Wednesday.

Tasked with taking the role as starting left tackle on Monday, the Cowboys would have to shuffle their offensive line once again if he's unable to play in San Francisco.

Jayron Kearse, however, is expected to be on the practice field, despite leaving the battle with the Buccaneers in the third quarter with a knee injury that held him out for the remainder of the contest. Kearse grabbed Brady's lone INT on the evening and nearly had another before exiting the game, and his presence is paramount to containing the 49ers offense.

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12:07 a.m. – Outside of Dak Prescott's legacy-changing playoff performance against the Buccaneers in the Cowboys' 31-14 win on Super Wild Card Weekend, Dalton Schultz had an argument as the best offensive player on Monday night.

Schultz became the first tight end in franchise history with multiple touchdown receptions in a single playoff game with his two scores, while racking up seven catches for 95 yards in the process. He also tapped into the run-blocking portion of his game as well, helping pave the way for the Cowboys' 128 rushing yards.

The performance was easily the best of the season for the tight end, who also posted seven catches for 62 yards in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. But big games by Schultz against the Buccaneers is nothing new. If you go back to Week 1 of the 2021 season, the tight end posted six catches for 45 yards.

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Jan. 16 Updates

11:21 p.m. – The Cowboys have a short week ahead of them as they now turn things around for Sunday's game in San Francisco.

Injuries will play a huge factor once again and for the Cowboys, the biggest could be at the safety position. Jayron Kearse suffered a knee injury late in the game and was held out for precautionary reasons. He did have a noticeable limp on the way out of the locker room but the Cowboys are optimistic he could be ready to play next week.

Israel Mukuamu also had a hamstring injury but should be able to practice this week.

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11:08 p.m. – Veteran tackle Jason Peters, who started the game at left tackle, suffered a hip injury that will keep him out this weekend against the 49ers.

Peters left the game in the first half, forcing the O-line to shuffle yet again. Tyler Smith went back to left tackle and Connor McGovern went to guard.

But Peters gave them depth and experience and now the Cowboys will again have to play with a thinned-out line, especially in backup spots.

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11:04 p.m. – Outside of Dak Prescott's legacy-changing playoff performance against the Buccaneers in the Cowboys' 31-14 win on Wild Card Weekend, Dalton Schultz had an argument as the best offensive player on Monday night.

Schultz became the first tight end in franchise history with multiple touchdown receptions in a single playoff game with his two scores, while racking up seven catches for 95 yards in the process. He also tapped into the run-blocking portion of his game as well, helping pave the way for the Cowboys' 128 rushing yards.

The performance was easily the best of the season for the tight end, who also posted seven catches for 62 yards in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. But big games by Schultz against the Buccaneers is nothing new. If you go back to Week 1 of the 2021 season, the tight end posted six catches for 45 yards.

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10:53 p.m. – Some of the records Dak Prescott set on Monday night were both franchise marks, as well as NFL milestones.

With another rushing TD, Prescott became the first player in NFL history to record a rushing score and passing score in four straight games.

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6:45 p.m. — It's just ahead of kickoff in Tampa as the Cowboys visit the Buccaneers on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, and Dallas is welcoming back several starters to try and extend their postseason and, in the process, end Tom Brady's season and undefeated streak against the franchise.

Count Leighton Vander Esch, Tyler Biadasz and Johnathan Hankins in for the playoff matchup, all three having practiced fully this week and Hankins having been activated from injured reserve to the 53-man roster on Monday afternoon.

That leaves the Cowboys list of inactives for the wild card clash filled with several depth players, such as Trayvon Mullen — who was ruled out on Saturday with illness — along with Will Grier, Jalen Tolbert and Jabril Cox; but some surprises as well.

Nahshon Wright is listed as a healthy scratch, which thrusts Israel Mukuamu onto the main stage along with Xavier Rhodes (making his debut for Dallas) and both Neville Gallimore and Quinton Bohanna are inactive to make way for the return for Hankins and a surging Chauncey Golston in the most important game of the season for the Cowboys.

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12:25 p.m. — Given the fact this is easily the biggest game of the season for the Cowboys, having the cavalry arrive in time to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the wild card matchup is huge news.

Johnathan Hankins, placed on IR in early December with a pectoral strain, returned to practice on Wednesday and, just hours ahead of kickoff on Monday, has been activated from IR and will start at nose tackle in Tampa.

The news is expected and comes on the heels of both Leighton Vander Esch and Tyler Biadasz returning this week as well, and it's all hands on deck to combat a Bucs team that will see Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Jensen suit up for Tampa; for the first time this season.

Adding to the Cowboys side of the arsenal is Xavier Rhodes, the two-time All-Pro cornerback set to make his debut for Dallas — his first test being a massive one against Tom Brady, with the season on the line.

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Jan. 12 Updates

3:01 p.m. — It's a fairly healthy Cowboys team heading into their first matchup of the playoffs, a trip to Tampa to take on Tom Brady, but they did add cornerback Travyon Mullen to their second injury report of the week.

Mullen did not participate in Friday's practice, which is technically a Thursday when considering the work schedule for Monday Night Football, with an illness. It's an issue that's recently made its rounds in Dallas over the past several weeks, and it's now found its way to Mullen.

The veteran cornerback was claimed off of waivers in December after he was waived by the Arizona Cardinals, making his debut for the Cowboys in the Week 18 loss to the Commanders.

The team has since added other veteran talent at the position, headlined by Xavier Rhodes, but Mullen remains a depth piece at a position of need.

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10:59 a.m. — For those wondering, and some outside of the building certainly are, the Cowboys are practicing and preparing for Sam Williams to be on the field when they visit Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Super Wild Card Weekend.

Williams was involved in a traffic accident in December that resulted in both drivers being transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, the Cowboys rookie defensive end going on to miss the following game in concussion protocol.

He has since been cited for reckless driving and an arrest warrant issued, but while the litigation in that case runs its course, Williams will continue to play as the playoffs get underway.

Speaking on Friday to 105.3FM the Fan, owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed Williams' availability for Monday evening.

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4:13 p.m. – The Cowboys have just four players on the initial injury report, and none of them were completely held out of practice.

The most significant is likely Tyron Smith, who was limited on Thursday with a knee injury. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was also limited with a foot injury as usual, while center Tyler Biadasz and Leighton Vander Esch were both practicing in full after missing some time at the end of the regular season.

The Bucs, meanwhile, listed 14 players on their injury report.

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Jan. 10 Updates

8:47 a.m. — There was no expectation the Cowboys would lay an egg against the Washington Commanders, but the reality is they did, and with a slim chance at improving their playoff position.

Now locked into the No. 5 seed, they'll head into their matchup on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay Buccaneers hoping to bounce back and show the resiliency they've demonstrated all season in not having suffered two consecutive losses in the regular season.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones views the outcome of the regular season finale as medicine the Cowboys didn't want to take, but probably needed to — in a way that might increase their chances of handing Brady his first-ever loss against the franchise.

"I don't believe we're going to go into the playoffs overconfident," Jones told 105.3FM the Fan. "I think we're sober. We can remember last year or we can remember last week. … It was sobering [in Week 18]."

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8:38 a.m. — Quiet as it's kept, there was some experimentation occurring in the Cowboys secondary that helped lead to Sam Howell making plays downfield in Washington, and that included a healthy amount of snaps for Trayvon Mullen, who was acquired via waivers in December.

The team has recently signed former Pro Bowler and All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes, however, and though Rhodes arrived just last week, there's a solid chance of seeing him debut against Brady and the Buccaneers.

That is a discussion being had in Dallas right now, and justifiably so, considering it's now win or go home for the Cowboys. When asked if Rhodes has a shot, Jerry Jones was optimistic on Tuesday.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all for him to be in the active group," said Jones. "We'll see how this week goes."

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Jan. 8 Updates

8:38 a.m. — Quiet as it's kept, there was some experimentation occurring in the Cowboys secondary that helped lead to Sam Howell making plays downfield in Washington, and that included a healthy amount of snaps for Trayvon Mullen, who was acquired via waivers in December.

The team has recently signed former Pro Bowler and All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes, however, and though Rhodes arrived just last week, there's a solid chance of seeing him debut against Brady and the Buccaneers.

That is a discussion being had in Dallas right now, and justifiably so, considering it's now win or go home for the Cowboys. When asked if Rhodes has a shot, Jerry Jones was optimistic on Tuesday.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all for him to be in the active group," said Jones. "We'll see how this week goes."

8:55 p.m. — The Cowboys walked into FedEx Field hoping to build momentum for the playoffs and to also possibly move up from the No. 5 seed, but it became clear neither would happen in what quickly devolved into a flat, disappointing outing by the offense and special teams. From there, it was about leaving Washington whole, but they couldn't do that, either.

DaRon Bland, the team's leader in interceptions, left the game in the second quarter with a chest injury and, listed as questionable to return at the time, ultimately remained on the sideline for the remainder of the contest.

It's unclear if that speaks to the severity of the injury or if the Cowboys were simply being extra cautious, given how important the rookie sensation has been in replacing Jourdan Lewis (out with a season-ending Lisfranc injury), but time will tell. Bland is expected to undergo further testing and evaluation on Monday morning.

The Cowboys will have a better idea of their cornerback situation once the results of those tests are in but, given the uneven and sometimes poor play of cornerbacks not named Bland or Trevon Diggs, they're holding their breath that the former can take the field against Tom Brady in a few days from now.

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8:47 p.m. — Overshadowed by the unfortunate performance in Washington was what Tony Pollard was able to achieve.

In what's become a breakout season for the running back, one that's led to first-time honors as a Pro Bowler, Pollard entered the fight against the Commanders having rushed for 988 yards and needing only 12 to log 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his careerThe Cowboys were very keen on making sure he got it, and he did, despite the team's overall struggles to get the rushing attack going against a dominant Commanders run defense.

Pollard finishes the regular season with 1,007 rushing yards and his return from a week off demonstrates his thigh injury is likely behind him, and the Cowboys will need every ounce of his home-run ability when they visit the Buccaneers with their season on the line.

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6:32 p.m. — Despite the ugly performance from the offense, CeeDee Lamb finished one of the greatest seasons by a receiver in Cowboys history.

With five catches for 52 yards and the Cowboys' only touchdown on Sunday, Lamb finished the season with 107 receptions, the third-most in team history behind only Michael Irvin (111) and Jason Witten (110).

And Lamb also showed a level of consistency throughout the year, finishing the 17-game season with 15 games with five catches or more, the most in the NFL this season.

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6:18 p.m. — Ironically enough, despite playing one of his worst games of his career statistically, Dak Prescott still moved past a Cowboys legend in the record books.

His second-quarter TD pass to Lamb moved him into second place in team history ahead of Troy Aikman (165) for most touchdown passes. Dak will finish the 2022 regular season with 166, still way behind franchise-leader Tony Romo's 248 career TDS.

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2:55 p.m. — It's the final dance for the 2022 regular season, and the Cowboys have released their list of inactives ahead of their kickoff against the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field, one that does not include running back Tony Pollard.

Pollard is officially active as he returns from a week of rest granted to him against the Tennessee Titans, a full participant in each practice this week with a now-healed thigh issue. Sitting at 988 rushing yards on the year, the first-time Pro Bowler has a chance to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his NFL career.

Not joining Pollard on the field will be Leighton Vander Esch and Tyler Biadasz, as expected, with the two nursing a pinched nerve and high ankle sprain, respectively, the plan being for both to return when the playoffs get underway.

The remaining inactives against the Commanders include Will Grier, Jalen Tolbert, Markquese Bell, Israel Mukuamu and Quinton Bohanna.

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Jan. 7 Updates

1:01 p.m. —Starting guard Connor McGovern, who was expected to start at center this week against Washington, popped up on the injury report Saturday with an illness. He is now listed as questionable to play.

That could lead to even more shuffling across the line this week. The Cowboys have signed Dakoda Shepley from the practice squad to the active roster, filling an open spot created when James Washington was released this week.

Either way, the Cowboys need to replace McGovern at left guard, likely being either Tyler Smith or Jason Peters, with the other playing left tackle. Both players have had time at guard and tackle this year.

On Friday, the Cowboys added return specialist KaVontae Turpin to the injury report with an illness. Like McGovern, he is also questionable to play.

The Cowboys also elevated safety Tyler Coyle and tackle Alex Taylor to the roster for this game.

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Jan. 6 Updates

2:30 p.m. — The final injury report of the regular season has arrived for the Cowboys in preparation for their battle against the Commanders, and KaVontae Turpin has been added to the short list on Friday.

Turpin did not participate in the team's practice, which was actually a walkthrough, on Friday with illness — the latest Cowboy to combat a seasonal virus.

He is listed as questionable to play against the Commanders, still having a chance to play in the final regular season matchup of his rookie Pro Bowl season.

The Cowboys effectively ruled out both Tyler Biadasz (ankle) and Leighton Vander Esch (neck), as expected, with both eyeing a return for the playoffs.

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10:40 a.m. — You can ask the question all you like, but the Cowboys are not resting any starters with a chance at improving their playoff seeding and increasing momentum going into the playoffs, so expect to see Tony Pollard return from a thigh injury against the Washington Commanders.

Pollard was rested against the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 by the team, but he's since returned to practice this week and been a full participant in each of them.

Currently sitting at 988 rushing yards on the season, having already earned his first-ever Pro Bowl nod in 2022, there's no chance head coach Mike McCarthy keeps a healthy Pollard sidelined with a chance to see the running back break the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

"I think there's definitely some common sense to a player going over 1,000 yards for the first time," said McCarthy on Friday. "I definitely will be engaged in that."

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Jan. 5 Updates

11:20 a.m. — The Cowboys are expecting Kelvin Joseph back at practice on Thursday for what will be their heaviest workload of the week in preparation to take on the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field on Sunday.

Joseph was one of only two active players who did not participate in practice on Wednesday, absent with a tooth issue. The only other player who was sidelined was/is Tyler Biadasz with a high ankle sprain that will keep him absent until the playoffs — is the expectation.

For Joseph, it's all about showing the coaching staff he continues to have value even if, at the moment, it's solely in the capacity of special teams.

The original frontrunner to replace Anthony Brown, he's since been replaced by Nahshon Wright and again relegated mostly/solely to special teams duties under John "Bones" Fassel.

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Jan. 2 Updates

3:46 p.m. — Tony Pollard is well-rested and ready to return for the Cowboys. The Pro Bowl running back was rested against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night with a thigh issue that kept him out of practice on a short week ahead of the trip to Nashville.

He'll return to practice on Wednesday though, per head coach Mike McCarthy on Monday, adding one-half of the Cowboys' dynamic running back duo back into the equation against the Washington Commanders.

Pollard is having a career season that has earned him the aforementioned nod as a Pro Bowler for the first time since being selected in the fourth round by the Cowboys in 2019. He's been dubbed "The Sword" by running backs coach Skip Peete, who labels Ezekiel Elliott "The Hammer" — both being used in tandem to make life difficult for opposing defenses.

Having rested Elliott several weeks ago to ensure his health heading into the most critical part of the season, the Cowboys extended the same courtesy to their other star RB, and there's a good chance he'll take the field against the Commanders in a contest the Cowboys are treating "like a playoff game".

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11:40 a.m. — Help is on the way for the Cowboys as they carry no fewer than 12 wins into this year's postseason. The cavalry will include Johnathan Hankins, the big-body run-stopper acquired via trade with the Las Vegas Raiders in October.

Hankins has been absent the previous three outings with a pec injury suffered earlier in December, and was placed on injured reserve thereafter — a move that forces him to sit out a minimum of four games before being allowed to return.

The coming matchup against the Washington Commanders will mark his fourth absence, and the Cowboys recently echoed their initial prognosis on Hankins: he's expected to return for the start of the postseason (along with Leighton Vander Esch and, likely, center Tyler Biadasz).

"Yeah, we're feeling really good about him for the playoffs," Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Monday. "We'll be welcoming back three really good football players: Leighton Vander Esch, certainly Hankins, and then if we get Biadasz back, you know, that will be a big plus for our group out there. We all know what Hankins does for that run game."

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Dec. 30 Updates

2:50 p.m. — It's more good news on the Tyler Biadasz front, one day after the Cowboys got a very real scare from their starting center in Nashville against the Titans.

Biadasz left the second half with what's been deemed a high ankle sprain, and while that isn't good news in and of itself, it appears there is no structural damage that would've potentially ended his promising 2022 season.

The team received the results of Biadasz's tests, including an MRI, on Friday and believe they could see him back under center as early as the first round of the NFL playoffs — a return that would keep them from having to shuffle three players in and around as they did in Tennessee.

"We feel like he's got a real chance to make it back for our first playoff game," Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel told 105.3FM the Fan. "He's had that high ankle before and, believe it or not, when it's the second time around, those guys tend to recover a little faster, a little quicker than the time before. We'll just have to see."

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10:41 a.m. — Tyler Biadasz left the eventual victory over the Tennessee Titans with an ankle injury suffered in the second half, and did not return to the game.

But despite wearing a boot to exit the stadium and having been carted from the sideline to the locker room to receive out, the Cowboys are optimistic about his prognosis — though more tests will be conducted on Friday.

"I'm hopeful that it may not be as bad as we think, but we'll see how he responds," said owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Dak Prescott, speaking from his postgame press conference, said Biadasz gave him a positive initial report as well, and those are good signs the starting center may have dodged a major injury.

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Dec. 29 Updates

11:32 p.m. - Last week against the Eagles, the second-year cornerback posted a career-high eight tackles. This week, Wright keeps improving as he led the team with nine tackles.

But cornerbacks aren't really judged by their tackles, but rather the interceptions, something Wright also notched for the first time in his young career when he snagged a ball headed to the sidelines in the fourth quarter. Wright's 6-4 frame helped him leap into the air to snag the pick to secure the Cowboys' win.

Wright has played more on defense now that both Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis are out for the season. The Cowboys are leaning on Wright and rookie DaRon Bland to play opposite of Trevon Diggs in the base and nickel defenses, keeping 2021 second-round pick Kelvin Joseph to mostly special teams.

Wright did leave the game on two occasions due to injuries but returned both times.

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11:24 p.m. - While he didn't quite have the memorable impact he made in his Cowboys debut last week, T.Y. Hilton made a difference Thursday, from start to finish.

Targeted five times, Hilton had four catches for 50 yards, including three catches on third-down to move the chains.

"Absolutely, that's the money down," Hilton said when asked if he gets more hyped to make plays on third down. "That's where you go get the money. If you're gonna double(team) CeeDee, then well, let's go. If you're gonna double me, then well, let's go CeeDee. You have to pick and choose your battles."

Hilton had one catch for 52 yards in last week's win over the Eagles, but on Thursday, he caught a nine-yard pass on third-and-7 to set up a touchdown. Later in the game, Hilton avoided a tackle short of the first-down marker and ran for 28 yards that helped set up a second touchdown.

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11:20 p.m. - The do-it-all safety was at it again Thursday night, coming up from coverage to sack Josh Dobbs in the first half for a big momentum-changing sack.

Wilson now has five sacks on the season, the most by any safety in the entire NFL.

Coming into the game, Wilson is one of just two safeties in the league to have a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception this year.

And with two more tackles, Wilson extends his lead over Leighton Vander Esch for the team-high in tackles. LVE has missed most of the last three games and remains at 100 tackles, while Wilson now has 103.

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10:44 p.m. - While the focus of Dak's game Thursday night will likely be on the two interceptions he threw, continuing his streak of six straight games now with a pick, he also bounced back to throw two touchdowns in the second half - both to Dalton Schultz.

Quietly, Dak's two touchdowns tied him with Troy Aikman for second-most TD passes in franchise history with 165.

It remains to be seen if Dak will get the chance to surpass Aikman this year with just one regular-season game to play and the Cowboys might be locked into their playoff seeding.

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10:37 p.m. - While other players were hitting milestones or setting records, kicker Brett Maher continues to rack up the points - more than any other player in Cowboys history to be exact.

With two field goals and two extra points, Maher now has 137 points scored, the most by any kicker in the NFL this year and the most by any kicker in Cowboys history.

Maher is 29 of 32 this season on his field goal attempts, with two of the three misses occurring from 59 yards out.

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7:41 p.m. – For the ninth straight game, Ezekiel Elliott has found the end zone with a rushing touchdown. Zeke scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter against the Titans for the Cowboys' first TD of the game.

The nine-game streak is not only the longest in the NFL by a running back this season, but the second-longest in franchise history, only behind Emmitt Smith, who had 11 straight games with a rushing TD in 1995.

This marks the third time in his Zeke's career to have 12 rushing TDs in a season. He had also 12 in 2019 and a career-best 15 in his rookie season of 2016.

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5:50 p.m. — Tony Pollard will get the same benefit of the doubt received a few weeks ago by Ezekiel Elliott, when the latter was rested by the Cowboys to recover fully from injury to ensure his health for the back end of the season along with the playoffs.

Pollard, who showed up on the injury report with a thigh issue this week, did not participate in practice and the team having a short week following their victory over the Eagles on Christmas Eve only lessened the odds of his playing against the Titans.

He's now officially listed as inactive in Nashville, clearing the way for Malik Davis and Qadree Ollison to play alongside Elliott.

Joining Pollard on the inactives list is Leighton Vander Esch, an expected absence as he continues to recover from a pinched nerve, along with the following healthy scratches: Leighton Vander Esch, Jalen Tolbert, Will Grier, James Washington, Travyon Mullen and Markquese Bell.

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He's now officially listed as inactive in Nashville, clearing the way for Malik Davis and Qadree Ollison to play alongside Elliott.

Joining Pollard on the inactives list is Leighton Vander Esch, an expected absence as he continues to recover from a pinched nerve, along with the following healthy scratches: Leighton Vander Esch, Jalen Tolbert, Will Grier, James Washington, Travyon Mullen and Markquese Bell.

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1:40 p.m. — The Cowboys have a decision to make on Tony Pollard in their Week 17 bout against the Titans, as Pollard nurses a thigh injury heading into the matchup.

Pollard, named a Pro Bowler this season for the first time in his NFL career, was listed as questionable on Tuesday but did not participate in practice this week — leading the Cowboys to elevate running back Qadree Ollison for depth at the position.

Ollison would join Malik Davis, who is already on the active roster, and Ezekiel Elliott as the active RBs against the Titans in the likely event Pollard is officially ruled inactive.

Brock Hoffman was also elevated for OL depth, his third elevation in as many weeks

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Dec. 28 Updates

3:51 p.m. – The Cowboys held a short practice on Wednesday before departing for Nashville.

Running back Tony Pollard (thigh) did not participate for third straight day and he's listed as questionable to play against the Titans.

Pollard needs 12 yards for his first career 1,000-yard rushing season.

Also, Micah Parsons is questionable with a hand injury after being limited on Wednesday. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) has been ruled out for the second straight week on the final

injury report, that includes several Titans players being ruled out.

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3:45 p.m. – The Cowboys are expected to have defensive end Dorance Armstrong in uniform for Thursday's game with the Titans.

However, Armstrong did not accompany the team to Nashville because of a personal matter.

Armstrong ranks second on the team with 8.0 sacks.

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Dec. 27 Updates

3:00 p.m. — On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy made it known the Cowboys escaped their win over the Eagles fairly clean on the injury front, with no major issues to report. They are keeping an eye on some minor issues, though, and that now includes Micah Parsons.

Parsons was added to the injury report on Tuesday with a hand injury, and was seen wearing a hand wrap in the locker room following practice. No tests are/were required, per Parsons, and he describes the issue as more of a "football" thing.

He joins Tony Pollard as the other headline name on this week's report, dealing with a thigh ailment that held him out of practice on Monday and again on Tuesday.

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3FM the Fan the Cowboys expect Pollard will play against the Titans, a sign there's not much (if any) concern regarding Pollard, but it'll be Malik Davis taking the bulk of RB2 reps in the event a decision is made to rest Pollard in much the same way the team did Elliott a few weeks ago.

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Dec. 26 Updates

3:05 p.m. — It's been a rash of injuries to key players over the past several weeks, but the Dallas Cowboys are happy to report a glaring positive coming out of Christmas weekend.

They not only plucked the Eagles with a 40-34 victory on Christmas Eve but, per head coach Mike McCarthy, they suffered no additional injuries of any significance during their effort, the opposite of what the Eagles experienced in losing cornerback Avonte Maddox indefinitely with a toe injury and four-time Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson to a reported abdominal tear.

It's unknown if Leighton Vander Esch will have a shot at returning for the Thursday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans, but the pinched nerve suffered in Week 16 is labeled a short-term injury — one that happened on the heels of Johnathan Hankins being placed on IR until the postseason.

But, at least for this week, the Cowboys have no new injuries to concern themselves with as they begin practicing to clash with the Titans.

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Dec. 24 Updates

7:41 p.m. – Sure, T.Y. Hilton made the biggest catch of the game. Michael Gallup's touchdown on the side of the end zone was a huge play as well.

But the Cowboys don't win this game without CeeDee Lamb's huge day – and he did it all game long.

Lamb had 10 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns, but he was working the Eagles' secondary from all spots on the field. His first TD came out of the slot, he also lined up on the left and right side to slice up the Eagles.

Lamb, who made the Pro Bowl earlier this week, now has a shot to get a 100-receptions, sitting at 91 with two games to play.

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7:23 p.m. – This fifth-round pick just keeps making plays. DaRon Bland not only recoded his fifth interception of the season, but the diving pick set up the Cowboys' game-winning field goal drive.

With five picks on the year, Bland has the most interceptions by a Cowboys rookie in the last 20 years, when both Roy Williams and Derek Ross finished the season with five. The Cowboys' rookie record is 11 – also an NFL record - set by Everson Walls in 1981.

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7:02 p.m. – The big storyline of the week was who would fill in for the Cowboys as the third cornerback behind Diggs and Bland.

The defense used a couple of options, but Nahshon Wright had arguably his best game of his young career.

He finished with eight tackles, one for loss and two pass breakups. His tackle on the Eagles' final drive kept the ball in bounds and the clock running.

Wright's only real miscue occurred on special teams when his holding call negated a huge return by KaVontae Turpin to open the second half.

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5:12 p.m. – While he's not the Cowboys' leading rusher this season, Ezekiel Elliott is still achieving milestones.

He does lead the Cowboys this year in rushing touchdowns, racking up with 11th this season on Saturday. The 1-yard run was also the eighth straight game for Zeke with a rushing touchdown, becoming just the second player in franchise history (Emmitt Smith with 11 in 1995) to score a rushing TD in eight consecutive games.

Zeke led the Cowboys on Saturday with 55 rushing yards, including a big 22-yard run on fourth down to set up a field goal.

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1:55 p.m. — On Friday, rookie defensive end Sam Williams was ruled out of the Cowboys matchup against the Eagles after a vehicle accident caused a neck strain and for the second-round pick to enter the concussion protocol.

He headlines the Cowboys list of inactives on Sunday, alongside Leighton Vander Esch, another expected absentee for Week 16, as LVE recovers from a pinched nerve in his shoulder suffered against the Jaguars on Sunday.

Vander Esch's injury pushes former fourth-round pick Jabril Cox to the gameday roster on Christmas Eve, a big opportunity for the young upstart, as the Cowboys add him for depth to battle Gardner Minshew and Miles Sanders.

With T.Y. Hilton set to make his debut for the Cowboys, James Washington is inactive and the elevation of cornerback Mackensie Alexander from the practice squad pushes Trayvon Mullen to the inactives for yet another week. Williams, Vander Esch, Alexander and Washington are joined by Jalen Tolbert, Will Grier and Markquese Bell.

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Dec. 23 Updates

2:01 p.m. — Sam Williams was involved in a vehicle accident on Thursday and transported to a local hospital as a precaution, released with no major injury, releasing a statement via Twitter noting that he is OK.

The Cowboys, however, are exercising added precaution for the rookie second-round pick, officially ruling him out of the Christmas Eve matchup against the visiting Eagles.

Williams will miss the game with what the team is labeling as a neck strain and concussion, the latter leaning toward comments from owner Jerry Jones to 105.3FM the Fan on Friday that there was a "concussion question" to be answered on Williams before the Cowboys would make a decision on his gameday status for Saturday.

Having become a key rotational player in Dan Quinn's pass rush, others will be asked to step up to produce in a way Williams might have. The rookie has three sacks on the season, but many more disruptions and QB hurries under his belt.

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1:59 p.m. — There is indeed now an open competition at cornerback outside of Trevon Diggs and rookie fifth-round pick DaRon Bland, and it involves several veterans in a matchup with younger talent in Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright.

This week, the Cowboys have elevated former second-round pick Mackensie Alexander from the practice squad which, along with the presence of Trayvon Mullen on the active roster after having been claimed last week from waivers, gives the team a veteran presence when Gardner Minshew goes under center at AT&T Stadium.

It remains to be seen if Alexander will take on slot/nickel duties in rotation with Bland and/or see reps on the outside, at times. It's an equation Dan Quinn is looking to solve with only three regular season games remaining.

Also elevated from the practice squad was offensive lineman Brock Hoffman, to add depth in front of quarterback Dak Prescott.

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Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones didn't have a lot of new information regarding Sam Williams when he spoke to 105.3 "The Fan" on Friday morning.

Williams was involved in a car wreck Thursday afternoon that resulted in the rookie DE going to the hospital for a brief time for precautionary reasons.

"I haven't talked to him, but I do know that from the standpoint of the wreck, I think it's fair to say that he's okay," Jones said. "Now, I say that without having talked with him or frankly analyzed to the extent of his injuries. But they were discussing whether or not he could play (Saturday) or not. So, that maybe gives you an idea of the status of the injury. But it would be purely a concussion question. I don't have that. I don't know where he sits and don't know anything other than the timing of the accident got him within a pretty sensitive time frame of playing in this game this week, because we do need him."

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9:40 a.m. — The wide receiver equation in Dallas will see T.Y. Hilton added to it, officially, when the Cowboys host the Eagles on Christmas Eve. The four-time Pro Bowler, for the first time in his illustrious NFL career, will suit up for a team that isn't the Colts when he debuts for Dallas on Saturday — Jerry Jones telling 105.3FM the Fan on Friday that Hilton will be active against Philadelphia.

The 33-year-old was made inactive against the Jaguars one week prior, days after signing a deal with the Cowboys and then being tasked with learning the playbook and nuances of the offense before a game-time decision was made to give him another week of preparation and practice.

But while the Cowboys are excited about what Hilton's presence might mean for others like CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, it appears that level of excitement no longer exists (or, at minimum, is hanging by a thread) regarding potential signing to Odell Beckham, Jr. to the roster.

Jones has gone from telling the media to "stand by" because "this thing could break at any moment" to a wildly different tone on Friday. When asked about the latest on Beckham, Jones said "let's just leave it where it is", doubling down on pessimism from last week fueled by Jones' belief that the longer it takes to happen, the less likely it does.

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Dec. 22 Updates

4:11 p.m. – As if the Cowboys need any more issues at cornerback. Not only are they having competitions this week to see who will play as the third cornerback, but now Trevon Diggs missed Thursday's practice with an illness, according to the injury report.

Diggs has been the only consistent cornerback on the team, evident by his second Pro Bowl selection earlier this week.

But they'll need him on the field if possible Saturday against an Eagles team that has Pro Bowler A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

Even if Diggs can play, the Cowboys have big question marks at the position, with rookie DaRon Bland expected to play but then it'll be wide open with Nahshon Wright, Kelvin Joseph, Trayvon Mullen and then possible practice squad elevations in Mackenzie Alexander and Kendall Sheffield.

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10:32 a.m. — You can go ahead and pencil in Micah Parsons for the upcoming battle against the Philadelphia Eagles, a matchup that still has implications for playoff seeding in the NFC.

Parsons was absent from practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday with illness, the latest Cowboys player to combat the issue over the past several weeks.

The two-time Pro Bowler — having recently been awarded the honor again for 2022 — is back in the building on Thursday, however, and head coach Mike McCarthy says Parsons will have a "full workload" during the final practice of the week.

Having Parsons on the field, regardless of if the quarterback is Jalen Hurts or Gardner Minshew, will be paramount in helping decrease the odds of the Cowboys suffering their first two-game losing streak of the 2022 season; and keep them alive for a shot at the top seed and division crown going down the stretch.

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Dec. 21 Updates

6:11 p.m. – Health is going to play a big factor in Saturday's showdown between the Eagles and Cowboys. One might argue that it also affected the first meeting between the two teams.

Just like that game back in October, there's a chance both starting QBs might not play in this game.

But for the Cowboys, their injury report on Wednesday included two linebackers sitting out, including Micah Parsons, who is still out with an illness.

Jayron Kearse was limited with a shoulder/back injury, along with four others for the Cowboys.

Here's an updated injury report for both teams heading into the Christmas Eve game.

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11:05 a.m. — The illness bug that's made its rounds at the Cowboys facilities this winter simply won't relent, and this time it's Micah Parsons who is tasked with battling it.

The First-Team All-Pro linebacker missed practice on Tuesday with illness designation and, per head coach Mike McCarthy, will also be absent from practice on Wednesday as he continues to recover and rest on a short week with the Philadelphia Eagles preparing to descend into Dallas on Saturday.

Parsons is hoping to not only be available on Christmas Eve, but to also help snap the usually stout Cowboys pass rush out of its recent slump; and against a less-mobile Gardner Minshew, assuming Jalen Hurts doesn't not play due to a sprained throwing shoulder.

The Cowboys did welcome tight end Jake Ferguson back to practice this week, however, albeit in a limited capacity on Tuesday. The rookie fourth-round pick is hoping to clear concussion protocol so as to be available against the Eagles, the team he scored his first NFL touchdown against earlier this season in Philadelphia.

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Dec. 20 Updates

4:21 p.m. — The Cowboys held a lighter practice on Tuesday, which is typically an off day for the players. But Saturday's game has altered the schedule somewhat. Still, the Cowboys were without some key players on Tuesday, including linebacker Micah Parsons, who did not practice because of an illness, according to the team's official injury report.

The Cowboys were down two linebackers on Tuesday with Leighton Vander Esch (neck) also out. He's not expected to play this week against the Eagles.

As for Philly, they were down two quarterbacks for their practice, including MVP candidate Jalen Hurts, who is dealing with a right shoulder sprain. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni isn't ruling him out for the game just yet. Backup QB Gardener Minshew was out Tuesday for personal reasons.

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12:30 p.m. — A familiar face is back in the building this week for the Cowboys, and that face belongs to Malik Jefferson.

Jefferson, waived from the team's practice squad following the injury to Johnathan Hankins to make room for AnthonyRush, a mandatory move for depth at nose tackle, has been re-signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old former Longhorn initially joined the Cowboys ahead of training camp in mid-July, but has yet to see game reps in 2022. With the short-term injury to Leighton Vander Esch and no one at the position on the practice squad, however, the decision to reunite with Jefferson makes perfect sense — though it remains Jabril Cox and Luke Gifford as frontrunners to rotate with Damone Clark and Anthony Barr alongside Micah Parsons.

A corresponding practice squad move has not yet been released.

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Dec. 18 Updates

5:59 p.m. — The rookie cornerback was already having a strong game with two key pass deflections on third down, but he added a third-quarter interception that gave him the team-lead with four.

Bland became the first rookie cornerback since Terence Newman (four in 2003) to have four interceptions in a season, and to think he's only really played significant snaps here in the second-half of the season, thanks to injuries to Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown.

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5:45 p.m. — The second-year cornerback continues to have struggles in pass coverage, to the point he was benched in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys are already thin at cornerback depth, but opted to play safety Israel Mukuamu in certain coverages, along with Nahshon Wright, before he was injured.

Rookie safety Markquese Bell had to play in the fourth quarter with Mukuamu playing closer to the line of scrimmage.

Joseph was beaten on a double-move by Zay Jones for the 59-yard touchdown that helped the Jags climb back in the game in the third quarter.

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5:41 p.m. — After tying his career-high with six catches and scoring his first multi-TD game of his career, Noah Brown chose not to talk to reporters after the game.

The disappointed wide receiver had no interest in recalling the final play of the game, with the ball ricocheting off his hands into the Rayshawn Jenkins, who returned it for the game-winning touchdown for the Jags.

Brown also was the intended receiver on the Cowboys' controversial third-down pass in regulation instead of running the ball to burn the Jags' last timeout.

All in all, it was an active day for Brown, whose reps for this game were in question after the Cowboys signed veteran T.Y. Hilton earlier in the week. Hilton was inactive for the game but it's expected he will play this week against the Eagles, likely cutting in Brown's snaps.

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5:32 p.m. — While Ezekiel Elliott has produced way more yards in previous seasons, he's never had a seven-game touchdown streak before this year. Zeke had a touchdown run in his seventh straight game, joining Emmitt Smith (11) as the only players in franchise history with such TD streaks.

Zeke also leads the Cowboys now with 10 rushing touchdowns, marking the fourth time in his career with double-digit TD seasons.

More than just scoring, Zeke also showed his durability, becoming the ninth running back in team history to play in 100 career games.

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5:18 p.m. — With his 20-yard touchdown catch on Sunday, rookie Peyton Hendershot now has two scores on the season. The significance there is that, coupled with fellow rookie Jake Ferguson, who also has two TD catches this year, they become the first rookie duo in 10 years and just the third in NFL history to each have multiple touchdown catches in a season.

Ferguson did not play because of a concussion last week, which gave more snaps to Hendershot, a rookie free agent from Indiana. Hendershot also has a rushing touchdown, becoming just the second tight end in Cowboys history to record a rushing TD from an offensive formation.

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11:30 a.m. — Tyron Smith is officially back in the lineup for the Cowboys after being activated from injured reserve on Saturday and not being listed on the inactives on Sunday. The eight-time Pro Bowler will make his 2022 debut against the Jaguar, but T.Y Hilton, who signed with Dallas less than one week ago, is being made inactive.

Hilton immediately got to work in learning the playbook and was a full participant in each practice this week, but there were questions on if the Cowboys would toss him into the mix quickly — the answer having now arrived.

Hilton is joined on the list of inactives by Jake Ferguson, the rookie tight end having suffered a concussion in the battle against the Texans in Week 14, unable to clear concussion protocol this week. With no elevation at the position from the practice squad, the Cowboys will run just three tight ends in Jacksonville, a rare occurrence in 2022.

The inactives list is rounded out by Will Grier, Jalen Tolbert, Jabril Cox and newly acquired cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

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Dec. 17 Updates

1:21 p.m. – Linebacker Micah Parsons was back to practice on Saturday and made the flight to Jacksonville with the team after missing Friday with a non-injury/personal issue.

Parsons leads the team with 12 sacks, but hasn't recorded one since Thanksgiving Day.

As for official roster moves, the Cowboys elevated center Brock Hoffman from the practice squad. They also moved Tyron Smith from IR to the 53-man roster.

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Dec. 16 Updates

3:11 p.m. – The Cowboys will be without rookie tight end Jake Ferguson, who was ruled out by the team Friday in the final injury report.

Ferguson suffered a concussion last week against the Texans and did not practice all week. Other injury news for the Cowboys include DE Dorance Armstrong, who is questionable with an ankle injury.

Micah Parsons showed up on the injury report with a non-injury/personal issue, but he is expected to play.

12:42 p.m. – When Tyron Smith suits up and plays this Sunday in Jacksonville, it will be the first time he'll be on the field since the 2021 season.

But there's a chance he'll actually be drawing from experiences from 2011 – his rookie season – when he faces the Jaguars.

Smith could return to the lineup and actually play some at right tackle, a spot he played for one season in 2011 before becoming one of the NFL's greatest left tackles.

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Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked on 105.3 "The Fan" on Friday if Smith has that kind of position flex.

"Absolutely he does. Yes, sir. It's like riding a bicycle," Jones said. "Now, you do need reps. Don't get me wrong. The more reps you got, the more you should play. And that's a fact. But still, you have the experience he's got, the skill that he's got, the physical attributes he's got, as well as the experience that he had years ago of playing that position, all of that will kick in here."

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Dec. 14 Updates

11:15 a.m. — When the Cowboys signed T.Y. Hilton on Monday, it was with the understanding that he's ready to play right now, and he's proving them right in his first week of practice, which gives him a solid chance at making his debut for Dallas when they visit the Jaguars this weekend.

The four-time Pro Bowler, who told media he could "run for days", participated full in yesterday's walkthrough and will continue to be acclimated over the remainder of the week — head coach Mike McCarthy loving what he's seeing from a "refreshed" Hilton.

"We had a walkthrough and the offensive perimeter had a full workout yesterday," said McCarthy. "We probably technically did a little more than we'd normally do on a Wednesday, as far as numbers. We threw full-speed routes on air, and I think T.Y. did a nice job. …

"He'll be on a rep count [on Thursday]. We've got a gameplan to beat the Jaguars. … He's ready. He has a really good understanding of what's asked of him."

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11:13 a.m. — The needle continues to point toward a likely return for Tyron Smith when the flight departs the tarmac for Jacksonville, as he puts the finishing touches on his recovery from a severe knee injury suffered prior to the 2022 regular season.

Smith was designated to return from IR on Wednesday, Dec. 7, allowing him 21 days to practice before the Cowboys would be forced to make a decision on either activating him to the roster or reverting him to season-ending reserve but, by all accounts, he appears ready to roll.

The eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle will again take on a full workload in practice when it gets underway on Thursday, a sign he's progressed well physically. Should he return as expected (owner and general manager Jerry Jones having also said Smith will likely play on Sunday), he'll join an offensive line that is now without starting right tackle Terence Steele.

That makes questions of which five will get the nod more prevalent than ever, but the timing of Smith's possible return couldn't possibly come at a better time.

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4:49 p.m. – Jake Ferguson is still a big question mark to play this week in Jacksonville. The rookie tight end did not practice on Wednesday and remains in the concussion protocol.

Ferguson left the game Sunday against the Texans and did not return.

The Cowboys have routinely played with four tight ends this season, so if Ferguson can't go, it's likely they will use Dalton Schultz, Peyton Hendershot and Sean McKeon for the Jaguars game.

However, they still have tight end Seth Green on the practice squad and he could get elevated on game day.

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2:10 p.m. — In an expected move, Terence Steele has been moved to injured reserve by the Cowboys, ending the 2022 season for the talented starting right tackle after he suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the matchup against the Texans in Week 14.

He's joined in move to IR by Johnathan Hankins, though there is optimism the starting nose tackle might return for the playoffs in January. With four games remaining in the regular season, Hankins will now be required to miss them all — the IR move deleting a player from a team's active roster for a minimum of four games anyway — as he recovers from his injury.

Following the loss of Hankins, the Cowboys signed Anthony Rush to the practice squad and released linebacker Malik Jefferson, adding depth to a position of need in exchange for sacrificing a position of wealth.

Rush is a former undrafted free agent of the Eagles (2019) who went on to total three stints in Philadelphia before being tasked with backup up Quinton Bohanna and others on the interior of the Cowboys defensive line.

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10:30 a.m. — The loss of Johnathan Hankins might be felt by the Cowboys over the remainder of the regular season, the big-body nose tackle having a chance to return for the playoffs but not until then after suffering a pectoral injury in the battle against the Texans.

The team is hoping to soften the blow of the loss, however, having now worked out Anthony Rush following the injury to Rush and ultimately deciding to add him to the practice squad. Rush is a former undrafted free agent of the Philadelphia Eagles (2019) who had three stints with the Cowboys rivals before now landing in Dallas.

To make room on the practice squad for Rush, the Cowboys waived linebacker Malik Jefferson, having the flexibility to part ways at the latter position due to the debut of Damone Clark and the return of Anthony Barr to the field.

Rush will serve as depth/insurance at the moment, with the return of Quinton Bohanna likely being the true safety net to the loss of Hankins but, should they need to call upon his services, Rush will be just an elevation away.

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Dec. 13 Updates

8:50 a.m. — The run defense has vastly improved over the last several weeks, and that's in solid part due to Johnathan Hankins, who was acquired in an October trade with the Raiders.

The team will have to figure out how to remain consistent in that category without Hankins going forward, however, or at least for the remainder of December.

The veteran nose tackle exited the bout against the Texans with a shoulder/pec injury and did not return, and more tests were being run on Monday but, on Tuesday, owner and general manager Jerry Jones effectively ruled Hankins out until the postseason.

"You could see Johnathan back for the playoffs, he won't be back before then," Jones told 105.3FM the Fan, stopping short of identifying IR as an option.

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Dec. 11 Updates

5:21 p.m. – The biggest part of Zeke's fourth-quarter touchdown was that put the Cowboys in the lead for good, letting them escape with a 27-23 comeback win.

But the touchdown also marked the sixth straight game in which Elliott has scored a rushing TD, making him just the third player in franchise history to do so. Zeke joined Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett as the only three Cowboys to have a rushing score in six straight. Smith holds the record with 11 consecutive games.

With nine rushing TDs this year, Zeke is looking for his fourth season of his career with double-digit touchdowns.

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4:51 p.m. – Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was credited with just two tackles a week ago in a blowout win over the Colts.

But LVE responded in a major way against the Texans, leading the team with 14 tackles, including one for loss.

Vander Esch entered the game with 85 tackles, tied for the team lead with Donovan Wilson, who was credited with four on Sunday.

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4:28 p.m. – Second-year safety Israel Mukuamu had to fight off his teammate for it, but he wound up getting credit for his first-career interception on the final play of the game.

Mukuamu was able to come down with Houston's Hail Mary attempt at the end zone, getting his arms around the ball, as did cornerback Trevon Diggs. But when the dust settled, Mukuamu came away with the ball, and the Cowboys came away with the win.

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10:30 a.m. — Despite a late-week scare for Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys can count on him taking the field against the visiting Texans in Week 14. Vander Esch popped up on the Friday injury report with an illness, the latest to battle the bug, but is active and will suit up on Sunday.

The Dallas defense will also see the return of Quinton Bohanna, the talented interior defensive lineman having been sidelined for multiple games recently with a knee issue. With Damien Pierce on the menu, the Cowboys are going for bulk on the offensive line and Bohanna certainly provides that alongside Johnathan Hankins.

The return of Bohanna pushes Chauncey Golston to the inactives for the matchup against the Texans as a healthy scratch, and Golston is joined by Will Grier, Markquese Bell and Jalen Tolbert.

Tolbert, similar to Golston, lands on this week's inactives due to a return — James Washington having been officially activated from injured reserve on Saturday with plans of making his 2022 debut for the Cowboys on Sunday.

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Dec. 10 Updates

1:30 p.m. — The wait is officially over for James Washington, who has yet to take the field for the Cowboys in 2022 after suffering a broken foot early in his first training camp with the club.

The long road back for the former second-round pick has led him to this point, wherein he's been officially activated from injured reserve and to the 53-man roster — setting the stage for his likely debut when the Texans enter AT&T Stadium. Despite the ongoing interest in Odell Beckham, Jr., the Cowboys are hopeful for what Washington's explosiveness might provide.

This addition comes accompanied to a subtraction, however, with starting cornerback Anthony Brown now officially moved to injured reserve after suffering a torn/ruptured Achilles in the blowout win over the Colts on Sunday; an injury that is season-ending.

Brown will begin his journey back to the field in the same breath Washington ends his. The team also elevated offensive lineman Aviante Collins from the practice squad for their Week 14 matchup.

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Dec. 9 Updates

4:12 p.m. – The only player who is questionable to play Sunday vs. Houston is linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who was added to the injury report on Friday due to an illness.

LVE did not practice with the team in its afternoon walk-through at The Star. The Cowboys listed him as "questionable" but the rest of the players who had been on the injury report, including Kelvin Joseph and Sam Williams – both dealing with illnesses – were back to practice and expected to play.

The only player on the roster who is "out" is cornerback Anthony Brown (Achilles) and he will likely be moved to IR on Saturday, freeing up a roster spot – likely for James Washington.

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10:45 a.m. — James Washington has been quietly working his way toward making a 2022 debut for the Cowboys, something that's flown under-the-radar due largely to the saga surrounding Odell Beckham, Jr.'s free agency.

But as Washington puts the finishing touches on his second official week of practice, it appears the Cowboys are ready to unleash him.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday that the former second-round pick looks "good to go" and that sentiment was echoed loudly by owner and general manager Jerry Jones — who told 105.3 FM the Fan that Washington is likely to take snaps against the Houston Texans.

Barring any setbacks, Washington will finally get his shot at helping Dak Prescott and the league-leading offense take another step forward, though he'll likely be eased into the mix.

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10:40 a.m. — Washington isn't the only player who might return for the Cowboys this week, with Quinton Bohanna having a good shot at doing the same when the Texans march onto the field at AT&T Stadium.

Bohanna has missed time recently with a knee injury that's ailed him, but McCarthy said the talented young defensive lineman has made progress and looks better this week than he has since suffering the injury.

The run defense has been much improved with the addition of Johnathan Hankins via trade — bottling up Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor in consecutive weeks — but the battle against rookie sensation Damien Pierce presents another challenge in the team's end-of-season gauntlet at running back.

If Bohanna is good to go on Sunday, his presence will immediately help their chances of putting Pierce on ice.

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Dec. 8 Updates

3:55 p.m. — The illness bug might finally be nipped in the bud for the Cowboys in Week 14, after a weeks-long battle to get it under control and eradicated once and for all.

This week, it was Kelvin Joseph and Sam Williams who fell victim to it, both sidelined on Wednesday due to it. On Thursday, they both returned and weren't limited in their workload — getting a full slate of team reps in preparation for the Texans.

Johnathan Hankins also returned to the practice field today, after being excused for personal reasons yesterday, and participated fully. The veteran nose tackle is coming off of a five-tackle game against the Colts that saw him help bottle up First-Team All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor and with eyes on trying to do the same to rookie sensation Damien Pierce.

Joseph is tabbed as the frontrunner to replace Anthony Brown opposite Trevon Diggs, as Brown is likely headed to injured reserve with a torn/ruptured Achilles tendon suffered on Sunday.

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Dec. 7 Updates

11:52 a.m. – Back in September, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said he anticipated Tyron Smith could return from hamstring surgery and be ready by December.

Here we are, and as expected, Smith is nearing his return to the field. On Wednesday, the Cowboys activated Smith's 21-day window, meaning he could return to action as early as Sunday against the Texans, but could continue to practice for as long as he needs over the next three weeks.

Whether or not Smith plays this Sunday is unclear, it seems likely he would at least get some snaps in Jacksonville on Dec. 18 and be fully ready to go against the Eagles on Dec. 24.

The Cowboys have claimed all along Smith would return to left tackle and rookie Tyler Smith would slide to guard and compete for snaps with current starter Connor McGovern.

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Dec. 6 Updates

9:21 a.m. – While most of his interview Tuesday morning centered on Odell Beckham Jr. and his visit to The Star, Cowboys owner/GM did make a point regarding his starting running back.

Ezekiel Elliott did not start on Sunday night against the Colts, as Jones said after the game stemmed from a minor disciplinary action involving a cell phone in a meeting.

Jones said his only reason for bringing up a topic that is usually handled by the coaching staff internally, was to diffuse any talk about Zeke losing his starting job.
"I just wanted to make the point ... there was no demotion there," Jones said. "It's really something I shouldn't be talking about, frankly. It's a coaching internal thing."

Zeke still got a team-high 17 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown while Pollard had 12 carries for 91 yards and two scores.

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Dec. 5 Updates

3:07 p.m. — Anthony Brown is likely out for the remainder of the 2022 season with what is suspected to be a torn/ruptured Achilles suffered in Sunday's defeat of the Colts, per owner and general manager Jerry Jones, leaving the team to figure out options going forward.

The first nod has gone to Kelvin Joseph, but he'll not only see competition from former fifth-round pick Nahshon Wright, he'll also be pushed by Kendall Sheffield — a former fourth-round pick of the Falcons who was reunited with Dan Quinn in October.

Sheffield has been on the practice squad since joining Dallas, but head coach Mike McCarthy "likes him a lot" and expects him to be a part of "the group" the Cowboys look to for production in the absence of Brown.

While the Cowboys are stacked at every position on all sides of the ball, the lone exception is their CB room, which is now without both Brown and Jourdan Lewis until 2023, two starters whose production and impact can't be easily replaced. DaRon Bland is stepping up to fill one of those roles, but he'll need assistance in complementing Trevon Diggs.

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10:46 a.m. Getting the start ahead Sunday night, Tony Pollard had another big week for the Cowboys, rushing for 91 yards on 12 carries (7.6 yard average) with two touchdowns.

The performance has made Pollard one of three finalists for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week, along with Cincinnati's Samaje Perine and Raiders RB Josh Jacobs.

Pollard also added 15 receiving yards, putting him over 100 all-purpose yards for the sixth time this year.

Fans can also vote on Twitter via the @NFL published polls and on the NFL Mobile App.

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Dec. 4 Updates

10:41 p.m. – What a big game for the rookie cornerback, who picked off two passes in the second half as the Cowboys rolled past the Colts.

But Bland's biggest play of the game doesn't even out on the stat sheet. With the Cowboys leading 21-19 and the Colts looking to tie it up with a two-point conversion, Bland broke up a pass at the goal line to keep the Cowboys in the lead and the rout was on after that.

Bland now has three interceptions this year and could get more playing time depending on the severity of Anthony Brown's injury.

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10:34 p.m. – Dak Prescott entered the game tied for fifth all-time in franchise history in touchdown passes.

A few hours later, he's now in third by himself behind only Tony Romo and Troy Aikman.

With three touchdown throws Sunday night against the Colts, Prescott broke hist tie with Roger Staubach (153), and then not only tied Danny White (155), but passed him with his third TD throw in the second half.

Dak can now set his sights on Aikman (165), possibly this year but will have some work to do to catch Romo (247).

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5:50 p.m. — Anthony Barr hasn't taken a snap since the Cowboys' defeat over the Bears in Week 8, forced out of that contest after suffering a hamstring injury, but is officially active and ready to roll in the coming battle on Sunday night against Matt Ryan, Jonathan Taylor and the Colts.

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker neared a return to action against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings, but reaggravated the injury the day prior and was instead forced to the inactives list for that matchup.

His return pushes linebacker Jabril Cox back to the inactives list for the Cowboys this week, and gives Dallas a chance to experiment with an LB rotation that now features Barr, Leighton Vander Esch and talented rookie fifth-round pick Damone Clark.

Cox is joined on this week's inactives by Will Grier, Nahshon Wright, Markquese Bell and Quinton Bohanna. Despite battling illness this week, both Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup are active — as expected.

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Dec. 2 Updates

3:00 p.m. — Things are looking much healthier for the Dallas Cowboys as they near kickoff against the Indianapolis Colts for Sunday night. The team's latest bout of illness didn't attach itself to as many as it has in recent weeks, but it did lead to at least Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup operating virtually on Wednesday and Thursday.

Both returned to practice on Friday, however, and though it was in a limited capacity, it supports the expectation that they'll take the field in Week 13 — along with Diggs saying he "feels a lot better" than earlier in the week — while DeMarcus Lawrence is a full-go with injury designation at all on Friday.

Diggs and Gallup were officially listed as questionable on the final injury report, along with Jayron Kearse, Quinton Bohanna, and Anthony Barr, the latter three expected to play as well which will mark a return from injury for Barr — his first game action since hurting his hamstring in Week 8, assuming no setbacks in Saturday's practice to come.

Terence Steele is also a full-go against the Colts after missing practice on Thursday with what's now being labeled a personal matter, back on Friday as a full participant and ready to help Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard try to set a tone for the offense against a talented Indy defensive front.

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10:44 a.m. — Odell Beckham, Jr. is currently on a bit of a tour as he works through the process of determining his next NFL home, and the Cowboys now know exactly when he'll visit Dallas — the meeting to occur in-person on Monday, Dec. 5, following the team's Week 13 matchup against the Colts.

The itinerary for the visit is still being hashed out by the Cowboys' front office, per head coach Mike McCarthy, but will definitely feature a physical/medical evaluation to determine Beckham's health following his second torn ACL (suffered in Super Bowl LVI in February).

McCarthy will also sit down with Beckham as well, as will owner and general manager Jerry Jones, the latter having been in continuous contact with the two-time All-Pro wide receiver. McCarthy is hopeful "everything comes together" on Monday, in competition with the Bills and Giants to land Beckham, and Jones obviously feels the same way.

"I'm excited he'll be coming in on Monday," Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Friday. "In the meantime, we're doing a lot of work regarding [his] physical conditioning — things like that — so all of that is working."

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Dec. 1 Updates

2:59 p.m. — It's an ongoing battle this winter for the Cowboys, and not just on the football field — the team doing its best to finally get past a rash of seasonal illnesses that took hold of their locker room in November. And now Terence Steele is now joining the list of those who've dealt with it.

The starting right tackle was absent from practice on Thursday with illness, one day after both Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup were tasked with going virtual because of it. Neither Diggs nor Gallup practiced on Thursday, either, and it's yet unknown if Steele will be tasked with going virtual as well on Friday.

The silver lining is this list of three is markedly shorter than what it was a few weeks ago, so the Cowboys and their added precautions are at least taking hold in a major way.

There's still a little bit of work to go in this arena though, and that goes for every team in the NFL right now — as the Colts and others also fight the same or similar battles.

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11:12 a.m. — The "trajectory" for Anthony Barr went from being aimed due north and toward a possible return against the Vikings, his former team, to a reaggravation of his existing hamstring issue that instead relegated him to the inactives list that week; and again four days later against the Giants on Thanksgiving.

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker was back at practice on Wednesday though, a limited participant working his way back onto the field with the goal of suiting up this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts.

When asked about Barr's potential of achieving that mission, head coach Mike McCarthy said Barr "looks good" for a shot at rejoining the mix this coming weekend, but the team will continue to monitor the linebacker's progress.

In the absence of Barr, it's been rookie fifth-round pick Damone Clark seeing a surge in reps following his return from neck surgery.

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11:07 a.m. — The Cowboys have nearly put the kibosh on the illness bug that's run rampant at team headquarters over the month of November, but not completely, as both Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup open the month of December battling the bug.

Neither practiced on Wednesday due to it, and they won't be on the field for Thursday's practice either. Both Diggs and Gallup are operating virtually at the moment, per McCarthy, to keep them up to speed on game preparation for the Colts.

Gallup has come on strong as of late as he continues to ramp up following his return from injury, reeling in several critical receptions that helped consistently move the chains for Dak Prescott in the Thanksgiving victory over the Giants.

Diggs continues to be one of the best cornerbacks in the league, arguably the best, and the Cowboys are allowing him physical rest with the hopes of avoiding being without him on Sunday.

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Nov. 30 Updates

2:59 p.m. — It's no secret there's a bug going around the Dallas Cowboys headquarters over the past several weeks, and it severely impacted their practice participation and, at times, their game day roster; and even the mini-bye week hasn't completely eliminated it.

Trevon Diggs and Michael Gallup both missed practice on Wednesday with illness, though they are the only two who did — a drastic reduction in how many battled the virus as recently as two two weeks ago.

As it stands, Diggs and Gallup are expected to have plenty of time to rest and recover in time to face the Colts on Sunday, and linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) has a chance at joining them for what would be his first game snaps since Week 8 after reaggravating his injury recently.

Barr was limited on Wednesday, as was DeMarcus Lawrence and Jayron Kearse, with Kearse stating he'd continue fighting through what ails him (shoulder) to try and remain available for the Cowboys during the most critical stretch of their regular season.

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11:18 a.m. — On a defense that has Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and DeMarcus Lawrence, getting overlooked is expected.

But if Dorance Armstrong is getting overshadowed by fans and media, that's not the case for his head coach. Mike McCarthy praised not only Armstrong, who is second on the team with eight sacks, but the Cowboys' scouting and coaching staff for developing him from a fourth-round pick in 2018.

"You talk about draft-and-develop. You want to see a player grow each and every year and he's done that," McCarthy said. "He's been a very consistent player. Now, he's playing pretty much in a starting role capacity. He's so consistent. Has a great motor, his ability to make plays ... he's as good of a defensive player as we have on our roster."
And it's not just making plays on defense, Armstrong also has a blocked punt and blocked field goal this year on special teams.

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9:58 a.m. — It's been a long time coming, but the Dallas Cowboys have officially designated wide receiver James Washington to return from injured reserve, a move that will open a 21-day window wherein he'll be allowed to participate in full team practice, effective Wednesday.

Washington will not yet count against the 53-man roster tally however (meaning it's not a corresponding move to the decision to waive Tarell Basham a day prior), as the team gets the aforementioned 21 days to either activate him fully or to revert him back to IR. If the latter occurs, it would be season-ending.

The 26-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys in the offseason before suffering a fractured foot early in training camp, having been sidelined since. A few weeks back, Washington admitted to being 100% physically but, considering he was working to return from the first major injury of his football life, he was working through the mental aspect of the rehab process.

As the Cowboys continue "full steam ahead" in their negotiations with Odell Beckham, Jr., should they successfully land him, they do so knowing Washington is potentially ready to start contributing for quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore as well.

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Nov. 29 Updates

8:27 a.m. - While the majority of Jerry Jones' radio interview on 105.3 "The Fan" involved another veteran receiver, the Cowboys owner/GM said he's expecting Washington to return from a foot injury sooner than later.

Jones said Washington has a "good chance to be joining us here real soon."

Washington suffered a broken foot in the first week of camp back in July and has been on IR ever since. The Cowboys would need to start his 21-day practice window this week, meaning Washington would have three weeks before he could return to active roster.

A second-round pick of the Steelers in 2018, Washington signed a 1-year deal with the Cowboys this offseason in free agency.

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Sept. 20 Updates

8:42 a.m. – It'll be a late-week decision on Dalton Schultz's availability for the coming divisional matchup against the New York Giants on Monday night.

The starting tight end exited the 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals with an apparent knee injury, putting his status for Week 3 in question. On Tuesday, owner and general manager Jerry Jones gave insight into the injury.

"I don't have anything definitive there," he told 105.3FM the Fan. "We'll see how it works. This is the news. This is the plan. We'll see how he works this week.

"Just got a sprain there, but the issue is whether he goes this week or not. I don't look for this to be — my assessment of it is it's not long-term, but it will be a question of whether or not he'll be affected this week. I know that we're all trying to see if he can do that."

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Sept. 19 Updates

5:11 p.m. – The Cowboys should have a much better idea on a return date for Dak Prescott this week.

When asked about the timetable for his quarterback, head coach Mike McCarthy said the team would know more in a few days.

"Let's get the stiches out first," McCarthy said, referring to a procedure that should occur this week.

Prescott underwent surgery on his right thumb earlier this week and the initial prognosis is anywhere from 4-8 weeks but the Cowboys opted not to put him on IR, which would immediately sideline him for four games.

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4:29 p.m. – The Cowboys were hoping to get fifth-round pick John Ridgeway back on the practice squad this week but he was claimed by Washington.

A rookie defensive tackle from Arkansas, Ridgeway spent the first week of the season on the 53-man roster but was waived on Saturday to make space for players needed for injuries.

Ridgeway could face the Cowboys when the Commanders come to AT&T Stadium on Oct. 2.

With him going to Washington, Ridgeway is now the only player in the Cowboys' 2022 draft class not to be with the team. Damone Clark is currently on NFI (Non-Football Injury) and the rest of the class is on the active roster.

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Sept. 18 Updates

8:48 p.m. – With the absence of Tarell Basham – placed on injured reserve this week with a thigh contusion - the Cowboys were looking for players like Dorance Armstrong to step up and make an impact against the Cincinnati Bengals, and he took the challenge head-on.

Armstrong, an unsung talent on the Cowboys defensive line over the past several seasons, made it his personal mission to help Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence and others across the defensive line in bullying Joe Burrow and, as such, to shut down a potentially lethal Bengals offense.

In the harrowing 20-17 win at AT&T Stadium, Armstrong took Burrow down not once, but twice en route to his first-ever multi-sack game. It showed just why owner Jerry Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy have maintained so much confidence in the veteran pass rusher, leading to the club re-signing him this past offseason to a two-year deal.

After finishing the 2021 season with a career-high five sacks and nearly getting half of that entire year's production in just one game, the needle is pointing due north for Armstrong and a defense that has shown it can shut down some of the best arm talent in the NFL – sacking Burrow a total of six times on the afternoon.

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8:40 p.m. – With no Jayron Kearse on the field against the Bengals, the veteran safety sidelined with a knee injury suffered in Week 1, the expectation was the Cowboys would deploy second-year talent Israel Mukuamu and impressive undrafted rookie Markquese Bell in sort of a two-for-one deal to replace the production of Kearse; but it was Donovan Wilson who stole the show at the position.

Wilson finished the fight with the Bengals as team leader in tackles, eight in all with six of them solo, and several of them were timely in shutting down critical third-down attempts by Burrow and the Bengals offense.

The former sixth-round pick had a breakout season for Dallas in 2020 before seeing his 2021 season mostly derailed by injury, but he showed on Sunday that he's not only completely healthy, but that he's back to being an impact player as well. This will serve the Cowboys well both now and when Kearse returns - because the more special players on the roster, the better.

Look for Wilson to be a key part of what defensive coordinator Dan Quinn looks to do against Daniel Jones and the New York Giants in Week 3 as well, seeing as it's unlikely Kearse – who is progressing well but still a big question mark for that contest – may not be available to return quite yet.

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8:21 p.m. – Backup linebacker Luke Gifford was used in a different role Sunday against the Bengals, lining up on offense for the first time in his career.

In need of a fullback, Gifford was inserted into a goal-line package, leading the way for Tony Pollard's 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Gifford played mostly on special teams, but could have a role in the short-yardage situations, especially with Connor McGovern (ankle) out for a few games.

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1:59 p.m. – It's almost time for kickoff in the coming matchup between the Cowboys and the Bengals, and that means both teams have to decide which players won't suit up in Week 2 - instead being inactive for the contest.

For the Cowboys, three of the slots were named early in the week before becoming official on Friday with Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup, Connor McGovern and Jayron Kearse having all been ruled out with injury.

The team went on to add rookie third-round pick Jalen Tolbert to the list, marking the second time he's been inactive in as many games to start the season. Tolbert is "crushing it" in practice the last two weeks - per head coach Mike McCarthy - but is also "a step behind" others in the WR group after suffering a hamstring injury that slowed him in training camp before now being "full go" once again.

Tarell Basham was initially ruled out as well but having now been moved to IR for the signing of Cooper Rush to the active roster negates the need to list him as inactive, and it is instead linebacker Jabril Cox joining Tolbert in not suiting up for a second consecutive game as he continues to ramp up from a torn ACL suffered in 2021; and cornerback Nahshon Wright rounds out the list.

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Sept. 17 Updates

12:50 p.m. – As expected, the Cowboys officially signed quarterback Cooper Rush from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, with Rush set to start in place of Dak Prescott (thumb) Sunday against the Bengals.

The Cowboys also signed kicker Brett Maher from the practice squad to the active roster. To make room for Rush and Maher, the club waived rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway and placed defensive end Tarell Basham (thigh) on injured reserve. Basham was injured in the second half last Sunday against the Bucs and will now miss a minimum of four weeks.

With their two available practice squad elevations, the Cowboys elevated quarterback Will Grier and rookie center Alec Lindstrom.

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Sept. 16 Updates

2:44 p.m. – The Cowboys have officially ruled wide receiver Michael Gallup out of Sunday's game against the Bengals, though Gallup continues to move closer toward a return to game action.

Gallup was again a limited participant in practice this week but progressed to seven-on-seven drills after doing only individual drills last week. He has not played in a game since tearing his ACL this past January. Thursday was his first padded practice since the injury.

"Michael's done an excellent job of hitting those (injury rehab) targets and I think we're kind of in the final stages here," head coach Mike McCarthy said.

As McCarthy said earlier in the week, quarterback Dak Prescott (thumb), safety Jayron Kearse (knee), guard Connor McGovern (ankle) and defensive end Tarell Basham (thigh) also have been ruled out of Sunday's game.

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Sept. 15 Updates

11:01 a.m. – The determination on when Jason Peters will make his debut for the Cowboys remains rooted in how quickly he can both reacclimate to the rigors of regular season football - having participated in no training camp reps for any club - and his acclimation to the offensive scheme and personnel in Dallas.

That said, he's continued to make progress toward said debut, and that includes having taken on more work in practice on Wednesday, per McCarthy, and there's a good chance he'll be tasked with doing a bit more on Thursday as well.

One day after the nine-time Pro Bowl lineman did some work in individual drills, expect more of that on Thursday, at minimum, but if you're wondering where Peters will play when given the green light - having already declared he's willing to be whatever the Cowboys need - you won't find that reveal coming from McCarthy just yet.

"I can't tell you that," McCarthy said with a smirk and hint of gamesmanship. "Not yet."

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11 a.m. – Wide receiver Michael Gallup again had limited participation in Wednesday's practice but did take part in seven-on-seven drills, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

That's continued progress for Gallup in his recovery from offseason knee surgery. The Cowboys are in pads Thursday – another chance for him to take a step forward.

"This will be his first padded practice since last year. … If he crosses that hurdle today, then hopefully we'll do more next week," McCarthy said.

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10:59 a.m. – Quiet as it's kept, James Washington is progressing well in his recovery from a fractured foot suffered in training camp. The veteran receiver made an appearance at Cowboys practice on Wednesday - doing rehab work off to the side on resistance bands - with no visible aid on his surgically-repaired foot.

"He's moving forward," said head coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday.

He remains on injured reserve for now, unable to return until Week 5 at the earliest, and would be a welcome addition for a Cowboys receiving group that floundered out of the gate but could soon see Washington join a nearly-ready Michael Gallup on the field with Cooper Rush and eventually Dak Prescott.

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10:42 a.m. – The Cowboys drafted a receiver in the third round to provide immediate help to a position of need. Yet, Jalen Tolbert was no active for Sunday's game with the Bucs, passed over by an undrafted rookie and a fifth-round pick from last year.

But head coach Mike McCarthy explained why Tolbert has if further behind the others but doesn't sound discouraged by his development.

"He's a young player that a lot has been asked of him," McCarthy said of Tolbert. "We were so impressed when he arrived. The hamstring (injury) really played a factor in this. Having him play all the positions, we treated him like we did with CeeDee (in 2020)."

But McCarthy said special teams is what is currently holding Tolbert back, stating that playing all the positions at receiver didn't allow him much time to learn the spots in the kicking game.

"He's a step behind the other guys (on special teams). That's really all it is. It's just where Jalen is. You have to recognize Dennis and Simi for what they've done. The last few weeks, he's been crushing it. I look for him to get more opportunities."

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Sept. 14 Updates

4:27 p.m. – Rookie Tyler Smith has received praise for his NFL debut at left tackle against the Bucs, but the first-round draft pick wants to build on those 69 snaps heading into this Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

"They said it was good to finally get my toes in the bucket, but to constantly improve," he said. "We're never pleased. We're never satisfied. … Just keep getting better every day."

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4:25 p.m. – After a productive week returning to practice on a limited basis, wide receiver Michael Gallup could progress to some group drills this week, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Gallup continues to work his way back from offseason knee surgery. The Cowboys did not place him on short-term injured reserve to start the season, which means there's optimism he could return to game action sometime in the first four weeks. But it's uncertain at this point whether Gallup could be available for this Sunday's game against the Bengals, as he would likely need to put some full practices together first.

Gallup had limited participation in Wednesday's practice, according to the official injury report.

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10:55 a.m. – Quarterback Dak Prescott is back at The Star after undergoing right thumb surgery Monday, and head coach Mike McCarthy echoed Jerry Jones' comments that the team is optimistic about Prescott's return timeline following the procedure to repair the thumb fracture.

But McCarthy didn't want to speculate on a return date for Prescott until he gets through the "first stage," which is the healing process after surgery.

"Let's get over that hurdle first," McCarthy said. "I know at the conclusion of the surgery, the surgeon was very optimistic. … We need to get past these seven days, then we'll have a better idea."

Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that Prescott is not expected to go on short-term injured reserve, which would mean a minimum four-week absence according to IR rules.

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Sept. 13 Updates

12:33 p.m. – All indications point towards Cooper Rush getting the start this Sunday in place of Dak Prescott. But backup Will Grier shouldn't be dismissed in the equation.

In fact, on 105.3 "The Fan" on Tuesday, owner Jerry Jones mention both Rush and Grier when asked about the direction the team is going to replace Dak, and if signing an outside veteran is possible.

"Consequently the people that are ready to play quarterback for us are the ones that played preseason for us, Cooper Rush and [Will] Grier. They had a real competition," Jones said. "Grier got slowed there right at the end with a hamstring issue. But should be through that now. So, we got a lot of good snaps for those guys both in our practice session as well as all the preseason games for the most part. Those guys know the offense well. They've had a lot of reps in it, and consequently give us our best shot."

Grier is currently on the practice squad, as was Cooper Rush last week. But the Cowboys can elevate players on Saturday before the game.

In two preseason games, Grier completed 18 of 32 passes for 186 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions (94.0 QB rating). Grier also has some mobility, rushing for 35 yards on six attempts.

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Sept. 12 Updates

11:07 a.m. – Dak Prescott, by all accounts, will not take the field again for the Cowboys anytime soon, having suffered an injury to the thumb on his throwing hand in the fourth quarter of the team's 19-3 loss to the Buccaneers in Week 1. The keys will now be tossed to backup quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Will Grier for the foreseeable future, that is unless the Cowboys entertain the addition of an outside talent to aid in their effort to weather the storm.

In speaking with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, chief operating officer Stephen Jones didn't rule out the possibility of the latter being in consideration - also making clear that both Rush and Grier have the inside track.

"Certainly, we'll be evaluating all options," Jones said. "Cooper [Rush] stepped in and did a great job for us last year when Dak had to sit out a game. He knows the system. Will Grier knows the system."

Rush finished the regular-season opener for an injured Prescott and went on the complete seven of 13 pass attempts for 64 yards, but he'll be more rightfully judged on what he can or cannot do after having a week of preparation with the first team in practice. He and Grier locked horns in a fiery battle for QB2 during training camp prior to Grier being slowed with a groin injury, and the Cowboys look to have one eye on possibly giving both a shot while also understanding what's at stake for the 2022 season.

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10:57 a.m. – Without Amari Cooper, the onus expectedly falls onto CeeDee Lamb to be the definitive WR1 for the Cowboys in 2022 and beyond, but that campaign is off to a rough start. In the Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium, the former first-round pick was not in Pro Bowl form - to say the very least - ending the contest with just two catches for 29 yards on 11 targets.

"We've certainly got to step up and do better," Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan. "...We've got to be better there. CeeDee has got to improve and work his way into being the No. 1 receiver. We think we can."

Lamb will get a chance to redeem himself when the Bengals claw their way onto the field in Week 2, but the degree of difficulty has increased by way of injury to Prescott's throwing hand that could sideline him for several weeks. That means Lamb will have to find chemistry with backups Cooper Rush and Will Grier - Rush to get the initial nod as starter - to help lead a WR unit that looked completely out of sorts in the regular season opener.

And while some of the incompletions tossed at Lamb was accountable to Prescott having a struggle-filled evening, others were noticeable drops that could've helped an offense that couldn't mount so much as a sputter on Sunday evening. Lamb has proven he can be explosive when he has two other 1,000-yard receivers on the field but, with Cooper gone and Gallup not yet returned, he has to prove he can do it with only a cast of young, unproven talent.

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10:55 a.m. – Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said left guard Connor McGovern will probably be sidelined "a week or two" with the high ankle sprain he suffered in the first half against the Bucs.

"It's one he's had before, which, believe it or not, sometimes helps them get back sooner," Jones said.

Second-year lineman Matt Farniok filled in for McGovern at left guard.

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12:51 a.m. – While the team had a disappointing night overall, Micah Parsons did not. He notched two more sacks on Tom Brady, putting him in elite company to begin his career.
Parsons is now tied for second in NFL history with most sacks (15.0) in his first 17 games of his career. Parsons had 13 last year as a rookie but picked up two more.

He also has the most multi-sacks game in the first two years of a career in Cowboys history, and that's just one game into his second pro season.

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12:46 a.m. Jayron Kearse exited the Cowboys home opener with a knee injury that needs to be further evaluated, but the good news for the safety unit in Dallas is they're deeper than they have been in several years and that was evidenced by Donovan Wilson in Week 1 against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

Wilson, who had a breakout season in 2020 before being slowed by injury in 2021, is again healthy and flew around the field en route to grabbing an interception against Brady in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, as was often the case throughout the evening, the offense failed to turn the takeaway into points, but it did serve as a reminder of what a healthy Wilson brings to the team.

Even when Kearse is on the field, the Cowboys often deployed three-safety sets in Week 1 that allowed Wilson to play alongside Malik Hooker and it proved to be an effective strategy in flummoxing and otherwise unshakable Brady - who showed signs of frustration at times in being unable to capitalize on drives with touchdowns, instead often settling for field goals.

Should Kearse miss any amount of time, Wilson will be looked upon to help Hooker keep the safety unit churning in the right direction, and to help mentor young talent such as rookie Markquese Bell and second-year safety Israel Mukuamu. He finished Week 1 with five combined tackles to go along with his INT.

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Sept. 11 Updates

7:48 p.m. Starting left tackle Connor McGovern injured his ankle on the Cowboys' first offensive series against the Bucs and is questionable to return to Sunday's game.

McGovern limped off the field with help from the Cowboys' athletic training staff, but soon returned to the sideline testing out the ankle. Matt Farniok has replaced him at left guard.

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6 p.m. – Despite a late-week neck issue that landed him on Friday's injury report, Cowboys starting safety Jayron Kearse is active for Sunday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here's the full Cowboys' inactive list for Sunday: wide receiver Michael Gallup (knee), who was ruled out on Friday; linebacker Jabril Cox; rookie wide receiver Jalen Tolbert; cornerback Nahshon Wright; safety Markquese Bell; rookie defensive tackle John Ridgeway; and safety Israel Mukuamu.

Kicker Brett Maher and backup quarterback Cooper Rush were elevated Saturday from the practice squad and are active against the Bucs. Rush will be the only backup to starter Dak Prescott on Sunday. Will Grier is still on the practice squad.

Bucs star wide receiver Chris Godwin is active for Tampa after having limited practice time during the week in his return from January knee surgery.

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Sept. 10 Updates

As expected, the Cowboys elevated kicker Brett Maher and backup quarterback Cooper Rush from the practice squad ahead of Sunday's season opener against the Bucs.

Since 2020, the NFL's practice squad rules allow teams to elevate two players to the roster each game week. This year, a player can be elevated up to three times and return to the practice squad following the game.

Maher is expected to handle place kicks and kickoffs, and Rush will be the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Dak Prescott.

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Sept. 9 Updates

3:07 p.m. — The Cowboys added safety Jayron Kearse (neck) to Friday's injury report and officially listed him as questionable for Sunday's opener against Tampa Bay.

Kearse practiced Wednesday and Thursday but did not take part in Friday's walkthrough.

As expected, quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) was a full participant in Friday's walkthrough. Prescott and cornerback Jourdan Lewis (hamstring) do not have injury designations for Week 1, which means they're set to play Sunday.

Wide receiver Michael Gallup (knee) has been ruled out of Sunday's game as he inches closer to a return from offseason knee surgery.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Bucs.

10:22 a.m. - The impact of adding Jason Peters to the roster is already being felt by the Cowboys, and before he's had a chance to take a single snap for the team. The nine-time Pro Bowler signed on Labor Day to the practice squad to allow time for him to ramp up for the regular season, but his ability to mentor - another valuable reason he was sought after - is something Tyler Smith is benefiting from in Week 1.

"Jason has made us better," said head coach Mike McCarthy on Friday. "He's done an excellent job communicating with Tyler [Smith]. It's been a really good fit - the young players enjoy their time with him."

Smith is benefiting from the tutorials of two future Hall of Famers in both Peters and an injured Tyron Smith, a unique situation for a first-year player but one that could help him acclimate quickly to the professional level; and the sooner the better with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to AT&T Stadium on Sunday.

The younger Smith spent the entirety of training camp at the guard position after being drafted as a former tackle at Tulsa, so reacclimating to the edge could potentially take a moment, but the learning curve could be shortened by Peters and, of course, the elder Smith.

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Sept. 8 Updates

4:21 p.m. – Wednesday marked another milestone in Michael Gallup's recovery from February knee surgery, as the fifth-year receiver practiced on a limited basis for the first time since tearing his ACL in January.

"I thought his workout was excellent really the last two days," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "… He has checked every box the whole way. ... Physically he looks really good. But we don't have a timeframe (for his return). That will answer itself. But we've been very encouraged by the work."

McCarthy was asked if he might be tempted to play Gallup in Sunday's season opener against the Bucs.

"Well, if he practices today, we'll talk about it," McCarthy said.

Indications have been that Gallup will not play in Week 1, however. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said in late August on 105.3 The Fan that Gallup would play if Sunday were the Super Bowl, but added, "We want to be conservative with him. … He won't be out there, more than likely, against Tampa."

Gallup practiced on a limited basis again Thursday. So did cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who appears to be on track to play against Bucs. Quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) was also limited in practice Thursday, saying he had a minor issue with new cleats he was wearing, but emphasized that he's "good to go" for Sunday's game.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Bucs.

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Sept. 7 Updates

2:52 p.m. – Only two players are listed on the Cowboys' first official injury report of the season: wide receiver Michael Gallup (knee) and cornerback Jourdan Lewis (hamstring). Both had limited participation.

This is Gallup's first practice since undergoing knee surgery in February to repair a torn ACL. Although indications throughout training camp were he's not expected to play Sunday against the Bucs, Gallup clearly continues to be on track in his rehab with the athletic training staff and could return to game action sometime this month. The club opted not to keep him on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would have meant a minimum four-game absence on PUP.

Lewis has been dealing with a hamstring strain suffered during a joint practice with the Chargers in mid-August, but Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said the team feels good about where his in his recovery from the injury.

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10:37 a.m. - There is good news coming out of The Star in Frisco on Wednesday as it relates to the Cowboys secondary. Kelvin Joseph, the former second-round pick expected to take a step forward in his development in 2022, returned to practice on Monday. Joseph suffered a concussion in the preseason finale against the Seahawks and was relegated to concussion protocol to that point.

The availability of Joseph adds depth to a cornerback room that is readying to face Tom Brady and his stable of offensive weapons on Sunday evening, and while it's unclear how much Joseph would be tasked with doing in Week 1 - he'd become one more tool in the toolbox of Dan Quinn (assuming no setbacks between now and game day).

Joseph had a mostly solid camp in his second offseason with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and cornerbacks coach Al Harris, at times showing the coverage ability that led to the Cowboys giving him the nod early on Day 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft.

He'll simply need to build momentum going forward, because the better he can be at his position, the more dangerous the secondary – as a unit - can become in Dallas.

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10:35 a.m. - There's a great chance you'll see Jourdan Lewis on the field when the Cowboys host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular season opener at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11.

The veteran cornerback is working through a hamstring tweak suffered in mid-August, but while he had already returned to doing individual drills at practice, he hadn't yet been cleared to return to team reps.

That changed on Monday, per head coach Mike McCarthy, who confirmed Lewis' appearance in team drills earlier this week. As things get underway on Wednesday, Lewis will again be a full go in practice - a strong sign he experienced no setbacks following Monday's work.

Lewis is returning with the hopes of building on what was a career-best season in 2021, and as one-third of a triumvirate that includes Anthony Brown and is headlined by First-Team All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs. The Cowboys appear to be whole in the CB room to begin the regular season, and that will be key when facing the likes of Brady on Sunday night.

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Sept. 5 Updates

10:14 a.m. The good news regarding the progress of Michael Gallup in his recovery from a torn ACL continues to pour in.

Gallup has not yet been cleared to return to practice, but he has passed his physical and, as such, avoided being placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to begin the season - a move that would've deleted him entirely for the first four games.

Instead, per head coach Mike McCarthy, Gallup continues to progress well and with no setbacks.

"He'll be in the rehab group [in Week 1]," McCarthy said. "That's all I can really tell you. He's hit every target to date. He looks really good. I mean, every medical report is extremely positive about Michael."

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10:09 a.m. Jourdan Lewis is rapidly approaching a return to the field for the Cowboys. On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy gave an update on where Lewis stands in his recovery from a hamstring tweak suffered during the week of scrimmaging in Los Angeles.

"I know he had really good work last week with [Cowboys trainer Britt Brown]," said McCarthy. "The goal is to kind of introduce him to today and hopefully have him cleared by the end of the week. It's the goal, we'll see how he does in the pre-practice work."

Lewis was moving very well in individual drills,, a sign he's likely close to being 100% – barring an unexpected turn of events. This is great news for a Cowboys secondary that is suddenly one of the team's biggest strengths under the watchful eye of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

As for Lewis himself,, who is coming off of a career-best season in most categories, it's about ramping back up quickly to prepare himself for a battle with Brady and a stable of offensive weapons.

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Sept. 2 Updates

10:46 a.m. Michael Gallup continues to progress in his recovery from a torn ACL suffered in 2021 in "outstanding" fashion, as owner and general manager Jerry Jones labeled it on Friday, but the Hall of Famer wanted to clear the air on recent comments regarding the Super Bowl that were viewed as a hint that Gallup is potentially ready to play in the regular season opener - the veteran wideout still needing some time to become game-ready.

"If he gets hurt in the Super Bowl, you've got an entire offseason," Jones told 105.3 FM the Fan. "If you're doing it the first game of a long season – that's stupid. You can't take that risk. ... He's capable of going out and catching passes, but [the risk]."

It's reasonable for Jones to ensure the appropriate expectation is set for Gallup, who also effectively ruled himself out of Week 1 in a post-practice conversation in Oxnard. This means there is no change in plans for Gallup and no setbacks have been suffered, hence the team carrying him on the active roster versus placing him on PUP that would see him unable to return until October.

Instead, Gallup is allowed to begin practicing with the team as soon as he receives complete medical clearance, having already passed his physical on Tuesday. The timeline for his return is still to-be-determined, but the Cowboys are obviously eyeing a September debut in 2022.

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10:34 a.m. – The decision on whether Jason Peters will join the Cowboys could be imminent, or it could take a while - the nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle currently in the building at The Star in Frisco to continue talking with team leadership.

"He's here getting a physical," owner and general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Friday morning. " ... We're very familiar with him. We're gonna sit down here – I'm going to meet with him in just a few minutes."

That means, for all intents and purposes, Jones was set to sit down with Peters literally moments after concluding his weekly in-season radio segment, and the Cowboys will review the outcome of Peters' physical and potentially begin negotiating a compensation package; but that's not all.

They'll also have to explain to the six-time All-Pro what his role with the team would be in 2022, considering rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith is expected to start at left tackle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 following injury to Tyron Smith. That could mean Peters playing backup duty as he also works to ramp up - having not participated in a football contest since Jan. 9 for the Chicago Bears.

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Sept. 1 Updates

2:38 p.m. – It's almost time for Jabril Cox to make his return for the Cowboys. The former fourth-round pick saw his rookie season mostly derailed in 2021 by a torn ACL, but has now been available for much of training camp after not being placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in July.

With an eye on the regular season opener against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sept. 11, Cox's journey toward potentially becoming the impact player the Cowboys expect him to be will resume and, for his part, he feels the only thing to overcome now is finding his regular season lungs - making it clear his knee is back to 100% health.

"I'm feeling great," Cox said after practice on Thursday. "… I think I'm there [in top form]. Game reps will definitely help because there's no better way to get ready for a game than to play in a game - getting in game shape will be one of the main things - but right now I'm prepared for Week 1."

He'll take the field for a linebacker corps that now features both First-Team All-Pro Micah Parsons and four-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr, along with Pro Bowler Leighton Vander Esch; and the more quickly Cox can again find his stride the more dangerous the Cowboys already dominant defense can possibly become.

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2:27 p.m. With head coach Mike McCarthy making it official on Wednesday - naming Cooper Rush as the QB2 entering the 2022 season - the veteran quarterback again prepares to be the insurance policy for Dak Prescott as the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers approaches.

Rush is certainly no stranger to the role, having eventually earned the nod after joining the club as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and proving he was a viable option. As he enters his sixth season in the league, the 28-year-old

"Grinding it out in the offseason and preseason to get that job," said Rush. "That's my goal every year - to get that job. It obviously feels good [to get the nod]."

The competition for the role of QB2 was a bit more fiery than initially anticipated as Rush found himself working to hold off Will Grier, who made waves throughout training camp before being slowed by a groin injury. As it stands, both have rejoined the club as members of the practice squad following Tuesday's roster deadline, but expect Rush to be on the sideline on Sept. 11.

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11:36 a.m. – During Thursday's practice, wide receiver/kick returner KaVontae Turpin was still sporting his No. 2 jersey. But that will probably be for the last time.

Expect several number changes over the next few days, including Turpin, who is expected to wear No. 9.
He'll be the first offensive player to wear the jersey since Tony Romo, and the first receiver in franchise history with No. 9.

Turpin signed early in training camp and was given No. 2, the same as cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who will keep his number. Other multiple numbers include No. 3, worn by both Anthony Brown and Dennis Houston, who is expected to change numbers as well.

As the Cowboys continue to shuffle the roster and practice squad over the week, the full list of changes will be announced by Monday.

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11:30 a.m. – With two seats still vacant on the practice squad, the Cowboys made moves to fill them - adding an offensive lineman and a running back to the mix. On Thursday, the team signed Qadree Ollison and Dakoda Shepley to the unit, officially filling out the 17-man group, with both players set to join the final practice of the week.

Shepley, 27, is a former fifth-overall pick of the Canadian Football League (2018) who went on to become an NFL undrafted free agent that same season, signing on with the New York Jets before returning to the CFL by way of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He'd make his return to the NFL by joining the San Francisco 49ers in 2020 and ultimately the Seattle Seahawks in 2021.

The decision to sign Shepley is to help add depth to a needy offensive line, while Ollison will join a running backs room that is far from deficient. A former fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2019, it was current Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who drafted Ollison - during Quinn's time as head coach in Atlanta - and the 25-year-old will compete with rookie halfback Malik Davis on the practice squad.

Ollison is a former ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year (2015) who could make things interesting in the RB depth battle behind Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle. For Shepley, it'll be about finding a way to show he can be productive on the interior offensive line.

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Aug. 31 Updates

3:26 p.m. – The feel in the air is that Jourdan Lewis will, in fact, be on the field when the Cowboys host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 11 - barring any unexpected setbacks.

Lewis has made great strides in his recovery from a hamstring injury suffered in mid-August, and recently noted he'd begun running and remains on track for the regular season opener, and this sentiment was mirrored by head coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday.

"Doing very well," said McCarthy. "…The goal is to hopefully get him out there on Monday… he's doing really well."

The veteran cornerback participated in individual drills on Wednesday but not team drills, with McCarthy also leaving the door open for Lewis to potentially return to the field for team work as early as Thursday. Lewis is coming off of a career-best season in nearly every category and will be key in trying to keep a lid on Tom Brady and the Bucs offense.

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3:31 p.m. – The battle for the seat behind Dak Prescott has effectively ended one day after both Cooper Rush and Will Grier were both set free during roster cutdowns on Tuesday. As expected, the Cowboys re-signed both to the team's 17-man practice squad as they continue to finalize their roster, but McCarthy has already penciled in who'll be on the sideline in Week 1.

"Cooper [Rush] will be our No. 2," said McCarthy.

Grier applied some very real pressure to Rush in training camp but was slowed by a groin injury in August that held him out of reps against the Denver Broncos before he eventually returned to play against both the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.

Rush was solid enough to hold off Grier in the battle for QB2, aided by his familiarity with the system run in Dallas by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, having been with the Cowboys since joining as an undrafted free agent in 2017 - his only stint elsewhere being a short stay with the New York Giants in 2020 before returning to North Texas that same season.

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2:45 p.m. – After sitting out last week with a sprained ankle, rookie offensive lineman Tyler Smith was practicing again during the portion open to the media on Wednesday.

Smith appears to be the leading candidate to replace left tackle Tyron Smith (hamstring) in the starting lineup Sept. 11 against the Bucs.

The first-round pick from Tulsa spent most of the offseason practicing at left guard but is back to tackle, the position he played in college.

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2:40 p.m. – Cornerback Jourdan Lewis was not practicing during the open portion Wednesday, still recovering from the hamstring strain he suffered during a joint practice with the Chargers two weeks ago. Lewis has not gone on short-term injured reserve, though, which indicates the Cowboys are optimistic he won't miss much more time.

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Aug. 30 Updates

8:41 a.m. – There are some very difficult decisions awaiting the Cowboys on Tuesday, and they have only until 4 p.m. ET to make them. The cutdown from 80 players to the mandatory count of 53 must happen today, but it's unclear which positions will run rich on the roster and which will run lean, although owner and general manager Jerry Jones did give insight into which category the defensive line will likely fall into.

"I'm going to go to the center of the defensive line," Jones told 105.3 FM the Fan on Tuesday morning. "Trysten Hill has really had a great camp and has come back with the kind of energy – he's always had the skills and the quick-twitch that we wanted. And [Quinton] Bohanna, the big nose tackle in there. If you look at where we are inside, we're beefed up. And that's what we wanted."

Hill, a former second-round pick entering the most pivotal season of his young NFL career, has flashed in this year's training camp and stands to be a contributor for the Cowboys in 2022. The same goes for Bohanna and others like Chauncey Golston, Osa Odighizuwa and Neville Gallimore, to name a few.

It sounds as if the defensive line in Dallas may be willing to run plus-one or plus-two to keep one of the strongest units on the team whole, but it's a numbers game, and that means reducing the number of bodies in one of the other position groups.

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Aug. 29 Updates

2:11 p.m. – Michael Gallup isn't putting a timetable on his return to practice and game action.

"That's all up to the trainers," he said at last week's Season Kickoff Event.

But the fifth-year receiver continues to make progress in his rehab from February ACL surgery. He's currently still on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, a designation that has kept him out of preseason practice and games.

Last week, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones indicated that Gallup won't have to start the season on PUP, which requires a minimum four-game stay on the reserve list. If not, that means Gallup could be ready to return to the lineup sometime in September or early October.

"I'm back to running routes now, actually getting to catch balls now," he said. "There's not a whole lot more I've really got to do."

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