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Cowboys in “Very Good Shape” as Key Players Expected Back This Week

The Cowboys were missing lots of key players, particularly on defense, in last week’s blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles. But according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy, Dallas is in “very good shape” with these players all due back and a playoff game coming Sunday.

Highlighting last Saturday’s absences were Offensive Tackle Tyron Smith (COVID), Running Back Tony Pollard (foot), Linebacker Micah Parsons (COVID), Cornerbacks Trevon Diggs (other illness) and Anthony Brown (COVID), and Safety Jayron Kearse (hamstring).

Linebacker Keanu Neal left the Eagles game with arm and shoulder issues but isn’t expected to miss Dallas’ playoff meeting against the San Francisco 49ers. He and others with injuries to nurse will benefit from an extra day off between last Saturday’s finale and the Wild Card game on Sunday.

Jon Machota on Twitter: “Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Keanu Neal (arm) is expected to participate later in the week.By Wednesday, they expect to have all of their players back who are currently on the COVID-19 reserve list.McCarthy: “Feel like we’re in very good shape from a health standpoint.” / Twitter”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Keanu Neal (arm) is expected to participate later in the week.By Wednesday, they expect to have all of their players back who are currently on the COVID-19 reserve list.McCarthy: “Feel like we’re in very good shape from a health standpoint.”

Brianna Dix on Twitter: “LB Keanu Neal (arm, shoulder) will “do some work Wednesday,” Mike McCarthy said. “We feel we are in very good shape from a health standpoint.”Goal is to have all players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list back in the building by Thursday. Noted, S Jayron Kearse “may be longer.” / Twitter”

LB Keanu Neal (arm, shoulder) will “do some work Wednesday,” Mike McCarthy said. “We feel we are in very good shape from a health standpoint.”Goal is to have all players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list back in the building by Thursday. Noted, S Jayron Kearse “may be longer.”

The one player that McCarthy expressed concern about returning this week was Kearse. But Jayron, a starting safety and surprising leader of this year’s defense, did practice in a limited capacity all last week and was reportedly held out in Philadelphia for more precautionary reasons. That’s a positive sign for him getting back for the 49ers.

To be fair, there are no guarantees for the other players despite McCarthy’s optimism. We were burned earlier this year when reports had Tyron Smith returning for the Kansas City game but then saw him declared inactive in the hours leading up to kickoff.

And of course, with still nearly a full week between now and kickoff, who knows what the surge in COVID issues nationwide could do to player availability for both Dallas and San Francisco?

Whatever happens on that front, the Cowboys will hopefully enjoy the services of Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, Tyron Smith, and others as they attempt to advance in the 2021 Playoffs.11

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Written by Jess Haynie

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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