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2017, Week 7: Cowboys-49ers Injury Report

Jess Haynie

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The Cowboys are coming off their bye week looking to correct course after starting the year 2-3. They will have to do that on the road, albeit against a 49ers team that has yes to win all season.

Both teams come into this game about as healthy as you can want near the midway point of an NFL season. Here's a quick look at who could be missing, though, when they do collide on Sunday.

Chidobe Awuzie

CB Chidobe Awuzie

Dallas Cowboys

  • LB Justin Durant (groin) - Questionable
  • CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) - Doubtful

The biggest news for the Cowboys is that Sean Lee, who missed their last two games with a hamstring injury, was a full participant in practices this week and will definitely return for the game. He was arguably the swing factor in Dallas losing to the Rams and Packers, as any team's best defensive player can be.

Justin Durant missed Wednesday's practice, was limited on Thursday, and missed yesterday dealing with a groin issue. The 32-year-old veteran doesn't need much practice time to be ready to play, but he could be inactive now that Anthony Hitchens is back and after the signing of linebacker Justin March-Lillard earlier this week.

The one guy you can guarantee being out is rookie defensive back Chidobe Awuzie, who didn't practice all week with a hamstring injury. Jason Garrett is a firm believer in the rule that you have to practice to play, and that goes double for rookies.

Kyle Juszczyk, 49ers

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

San Francisco 49ers

  • FB Kyle Juszczyk (back) - DNP
  • DE Aaron Lynch (calf) - DNP

The biggest injury news for the 49ers is that Arik Armstead, their 2015 first-round pick and a key part of their defensive front, was just placed on Injured Reserve with a broken hand. They have also been without DE Tank Carradine, another starter, for a month with a high ankle sprain.

As far as guys on the active 53 go, the 49ers are pretty healthy right now. They will likely be without fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was out all week with a back issue. That will hurt the run game, which San Francisco may have been counting on as they're starting rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard for the first time tomorrow. Juszczyk also has some versatility, having eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown this season.

Defensive end Aaron Lynch should miss the game with a calf injury but was at the bottom of the depth chart anyway. He has one sack this season in limited duty.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstatement Decision Due Soon

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory's  10 Game Suspension Official, DE Sidelined Until Week 16

The Dallas Cowboys should know by the end of this week if Defensive End Randy Gregory will be reinstated by the NFL from his indefinite suspension.

Gregory, who has missed nearly two seasons with drug-related bans, requested in May for Roger Goodell to allow him to return to football. The exact date of the request isn't known, but multiple sources put it somewhere around May 18-20.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL has 60 days to rule on a reinstatement request. That would put the approximate deadline no later than this Friday, July 20th.

Gregory was a second-round pick for Dallas in 2015. He was considered to have potentially elite pass-rushing skills but red flags about behavior and drug use hurt his draft stock.

Obviously those warning signs were warranted. Over three seasons, Randy has missed 30 out of 48 games due to suspension.

But reports from around the Cowboys organization and others who've dealt with Gregory rehabilitation efforts are positive. His appeal request appears strong, backed up by several testimonials that he's turned his life around.

Will Roger Goodell agree? Will Randy Gregory return to the Cowboys 2018?

We should know the answer soon.



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Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott Ranked as Third Least Consistent QB in NFL

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Jekyll or Hyde: Year 3 "Prove It" Season For Dak Prescott?

Last season could've gone a lot better for Dak Prescott. After a remarkable rookie season, he wasn't able to meet the very high expectations put on him after leading the Dallas Cowboys to the #1 seed in the NFC in 2016.

Inevitably, the "sophomore slump" managed to get to Dak, even though the numbers make it seem worse than it really was. From his 13 interceptions in 2017, not even half can be completely blamed on him. However, even though he made improvements in his game, it's fair to admit that there was indeed, a slump in his second year in the NFL.

Earlier this week, NFL.com published an article listing the most and the least consistent quarterbacks in the league last season. The way the list works is measuring "their average 2017 swing in week-to-week passer rating." In the list, Dak Prescott is listed as the third least consistent QB in the league, with only Cam Newton and Derek Carr behind him.

Just like the Dallas Cowboys' had a roller coaster for a season, constantly shifting between winning and losing, Dak Prescott also struggled at remaining consistent. It makes a ton of sense, of course, for the Cowboys' 9-7 season had a lot of swings throughout the year.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News)

At times, the team was missing its most important defender in Sean Lee. At others, Tyron Smith and/or Ezekiel Elliott weren't on the field either. This is not an attempt to excuse Dak, for he is partly at fault here, as is the entire team.

From week 10 to 12, Dak failed to throw for a touchdown but ended up throwing five interceptions. Later in the season, failing once again to get a TD pass in two straight weeks, he threw for two interceptions at Oakland then another two when hosting the Seahawks in Dallas.

In a season that will likely determine his future with the Dallas Cowboys, Dak needs to find a way to be more consistent week after week regardless of circumstance. Hopefully, with an improved offensive line and with Ezekiel Elliott leaving every suspension drama behind him, his offense will put him in position to have his best year yet.

In 2016 and in 2017, his Total Quarterback Rating has been in the top 4 among all quarterbacks, per ESPN. Now, this is not a stat that tells the whole story, but it does give you an idea of each quarterback's play. In a run-first offense and with a safe passer like Dak, I'm sure consistency will not be hard to deal with for the young QB next season.

As long as he takes advantage of the new set of targets he'll have at his disposal and his offense's powerful running back with recently-signed draftee Connor Williams, this offense will look a lot more like the one we saw in 2016.

We know Dak Prescott has a lot to prove. He has to make longer throws, throw more aggressively to get his receivers open, and more. But consistency is just as important. In order to be continuously successful and to be a contender year after year, you need that in your signal-caller. Even if key players on the team are down, he needs to be able to shine. It's a sixteen-game season, after all.

It's time for Dak to prove he can handle that.

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott Ranked as Third Least Consistent QB in NFL" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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