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Cowboys, Chargers Injury Report for Thanksgiving Game

Jess Haynie

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The Dallas Cowboys will host the Los Angeles Chargers tomorrow for their annual Thanksgiving Day game. As always with Thursday games, the short week presents some extra challenges for teams in terms of the health and availability of their players.

The final practice reports are now in for both Dallas and Los Angeles.  Here's a look at their injury issues for tomorrow's game.

Dallas Cowboys

  • OT Tyron Smith (back/foot) - Questionable
  • OT La'el Collins (back) - Questionable
  • DT Maliek Collins (foot) - Questionable
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - OUT
  • LB Anthony Hitchens (groin) - Questionable
  • K Dan Bailey (groin) - Questionable

On the positive front, safety Jeff Heath and tight end Geoff Swaim were both full participants after dealing with injuries in previous weeks. Heath missed last Sunday's game with ongoing concussion issues. DeMarcus Lawrence was limited in Monday's practice with a shoulder issue but participated fully yesterday and today.

Sean Lee will miss another game with his hamstring injury. Dallas' defense continues to struggle with Lee's presence, but at least they shouldn't also be without Anthony Hitchens. Though listed as questionable, Hitchens appears ready to play tomorrow after a good report from his MRI and no major injury to his groin.

Tyron Smith may also return tomorrow, though nothing is yet confirmed. Byron Bell was a major improvement from Chaz Green last week and would get the start if Tyron can't go. It's a little concerning that La'el Collins has now shown up on the injury report with his own back issues, but there's no indication he will miss the game.

There is talk that Dan Bailey could make his return after several weeks. It will be interesting to see if Dallas hangs on to Mike Nugent, perhaps even keeping him active, just in case Bailey has a setback.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • WR Travis Benjamin (abdomen) - Questionable
  • WR Mike Williams (knee) - Questionable
  • OT Russell Okung (knee) - Questionable
  • DT Corey Liuget (toe) - Questionable
  • LB James Onwualu (quad) - Questionable

Since most of us probably aren't too familiar with the happenings of the Chargers, here's a quick recap of their key players on injured reserve. Veteran guard/center Matt Slauson and second-round pick Forrest Lamp both had season-ending injuries. Both likely would have been offensive line starters this week if healthy.  Also, cornerback Jason Verrett was injured in week one and lost for the year.

Of the active roster, nobody is ruled out for tomorrow. Rotation receivers Travis Benjamin and Mike WIlliams were both limited. Starting left tackle Russell Okung is dealing with a knee issue. Defensive standout Corey Liuget and backup linebacker James Onwualu are also dinged up.  All five players participated in practices this week but were limited.


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!

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: RB Alfred Morris

Jess Haynie

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Alfred Morris

After two seasons of providing veteran depth for the Dallas Cowboys, running back Alfred Morris is about to be a free agent again. Does the 29-year-old still have value for the club, or will Dallas go with younger options in 2018?

Morris was signed in March of 2016. At the time, it was assumed he would be the backup to incumbent starter Darren McFadden and perhaps even split carries.

But a month later, Dallas drafted Ezekiel Elliott and drastically changed the landscape at the running back position.

If Alfred suddenly seemed expendable, that quickly changed in June when McFadden broke his elbow. Morris wound being the number-two back after all, but he was rarely used as Elliott immediately became the workhorse RB and held that role for all of his spectacular rookie season.

Last year, we all know what happened with Ezekiel Elliott. Morris became the primary RB during Zeke's suspension and had solid numbers, averaging 4.35 yards on his 99 carries during that six-week stretch.

By Week 16, though, not only had Zeke returned but Rod Smith had started to break out from the depth chart. In the Cowboys' pivotal game that week against the Seattle Seahawks, Alfred didn't even get a touch behind Elliott and Smith.

Alfred Morris

Dallas Cowboys RB Alfred Morris

Considering Smith's emergence last year, and him only being 26, it's easy to see why Dallas may not be looking to bring Alfred Morris back. They seem to have their one-two punch already set at the top of the RB depth chart.

What's more, Morris isn't likely to settle for a likely third-place role. He may not be interested in coming back to Dallas given the situation.

Thankfully for Alfred, he enters the free agent market with some good tape from 2017 showing that he can still produce. It's not a loaded crop of free agents this year and, despite his age, Morris could still find a good job somewhere. He's earned an opportunity to compete, if nothing else.

That opportunity likely won't come in Dallas, though. As I wrote about last month, the Cowboys have enough power already and need to add a speed option in their RB rotation.

That said, Alfred Morris spent the last two years giving Dallas good value for the money. He was a solid free agent pickup and his time as a Cowboy should be remembered fondly. At this point, though, I doubt that relationship will continue.


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Dallas Cowboys

Though Promising, We Need To Relax About Safety Kavon Frazier

Kevin Brady

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Evaluating The Future Of Kavon Frazier, Byron Jones, And The Safety Position

With the addition of former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard to the Cowboys' defensive coaching staff, fans are hoping that Dallas will create their own "Legion of Boom." Of course this is a lofty goal, but one worth pursuing nonetheless.

If the Cowboys are to recreate the Legion of Boom they will need their version of two vital pieces: Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

The Seahawks defense works, in many ways, because of these two players. Thomas' ability to play centerfield and literally defend sideline to sideline gives the Seahawks the freedom to use Chancellor where he's best, as a box safety. Chancellor is a big, physical safety who defends the run effectively in the box and can blanket tight ends in man coverage with his size and athleticism.

These safeties are arguably the most critical pieces to the Legion of Boom, though having a shutdown corner in Richard Sherman certainly doesn't hurt.

Realizing Chancellor's importance, Cowboys fans are hoping that current safety Kavon Frazier can fulfill this role in Dallas. Since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2016 Frazier has made his home on Special Teams. As an impressive tackler in both punt and kick coverage, Frazier earned himself time at safety down the stretch of the 2017 season.

Kavon Frazier

S Kavon Frazier

All in all, Frazier played rather well. Against the Washington Redskins he stepped in and made a few splash plays at the line of scrimmage, causing Cowboys Nation to lose their minds. After that impressive Thursday night game, however, Kavon Frazier didn't really reach that same level of performance.

Frazier is still a liability when asked to cover, especially when asked to play as a two deep safety. He also struggles when taking angles at times, though playing downhill as a tackler is his best attribute. Frazier actually reminds me a bit of Barry Church, though over time Church became more refined in coverage than Frazier currently is.

Some have argued that Kavon Frazier's presence should stop the Cowboys from considering a first round safety. I would disagree, and actually believe that if Florida State's Derwin James is available, the Cowboys should consider making that pick.

If you could combine the athleticism and coverage abilities of Byron Jones with the physicality and "box safety" qualities of Kavon Frazier, you'd have a fantastic safety. Unfortunately, this isn't the Marvel Universe and we are left without any super heroes in the back-end.

Hopefully Kris Richard will figure out how to correctly place all of these pieces in the Dallas Cowboys secondary going forward.


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Dallas Cowboys

Maverick Carter: LeBron James Considered Cowboys During NBA Lockout

Kevin Brady

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1
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Maverick Carter is a pretty important man in the world of sports. As a business man, entrepreneur, and manager of one of the best basketball players of all time in LeBron James, Maverick Carter is certainly used to making headlines.

This week, while on former NFL running back Arian Foster's podcast "Now What? with Arian Foster," Carter claimed that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once attempted to negotiate a contract with LeBron James.

During the 2011 NBA lockout, Carter claims that Jones contacted LeBron James and discussed bringing him in as a Cowboy while the NBA was without games.

"Jerry Jones, being the smart marketer he is...one day out of the clear blue sky LeBron got a contract I think it was for like one year, a couple million bucks to play for the Dallas Cowboys." - Maverick Carter.

Carter then states that LeBron may have the paperwork framed in his house to remember these discussions with Jerry Jones. LeBron's fandom for the Cowboys has been well documented, as has been his high school football prowess.

We may never know how "real" these discussions were, and of course it is long over now, but just imagining LeBron James getting a chance to play for the Dallas Cowboys would break the internet.

You can check out the full episode of the podcast here, and I highly suggest listening to the other episodes Arian Foster has to offer.


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