The Dallas Cowboys play their most important football game of the season versus the Washington Redskins today on national television. It’s Thanksgiving, and Cowboys' are ready to watch their favorite team take on the NFC East leaders for the #1 spot in the division. To be quite honest, this should be an easy win for the Cowboys.
This could’ve been a very interesting game but it’s managed to get less and less attention ever since the Redskins’ starting QB Alex Smith suffered a season-ending injury last Sunday. His place will be taken by good ol’ Colt McCoy.
Smith’s performance for Washington in 2018 had been decent, yet nothing special. However, this won’t be an easy game for a backup quarterback. McCoy will be facing a pretty tough defense. The same defense that managed to limit an offense with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu to only one touchdown. They’ve been impressive all year long but thanks to Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and a few others, this unit has put itself on the map.
They have yet to face an offense like the ones we witnessed on such an amazing Monday Night between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, but we’ll see if this defense can take the next step when they line up against Drew Brees and company a week from now.
For now, all eyes are on the Redskins. Forget about Colt McCoy being QB1… Washington’s offensive line is seriously injured. Their two offensive guards are not even on the active roster anymore. Offensive tackle Trent Williams is listed as questionable for today’s game although Ty Neskhe did a great job last week versus the Texans.
The Cowboys’ front seven is a real, legitimate threat for such a week offensive line and a backup quarterback. Prior to his injury versus the Texans, Smith was sacked three times during the game. Colt McCoy was sacked twice. Allowing five in total, the OL better get ready for DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory and company. Don't be surprised if McCoy is sacked five or six times today.
Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith continue to be a dominant presence from sideline to sideline and the secondary, despite a few struggling players, has been successful with Byron Jones at cornerback.
Overall, this defense should have a great day against a weak team like the Redskins. In fact, this should be a blowout for the Cowboys. I’m talking about a scoreboard similar to the one we saw when Dallas played the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the year.
The defense will perform. The unit is just too talented not to against an injury-plagued team like Washington. It will continue to shine throughout the year as the Cowboys make a push for the playoffs. The relevant question mark is whether or not the offense will be consistent enough to win tomorrow. If they want the NFC East title, it’s now or never.
Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason
Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.
The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.
"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."
The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.
However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.
Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith
The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.
ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.
The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...
Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.
Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.
And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.
Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List
Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.
"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."
Todd Archer - ESPN.com
This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.
It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.
While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.
With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.
With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.
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