The Cowboys can clinch a division title and perhaps more with a win over the Giants tonight. They also seek to avenge their only loss so far in 2016.
After playing a Thursday night game a week ago, Dallas has a few extra days rest going into this game. Still, they will be missing one of their defensive starters.
The following is based on the teams' final Friday practices:
DNP - Did Not Practice
LP - Limited Participant
OUT - Already Ruled Out
- OT Tyron Smith (back) - LP
- OT Chaz Green (back) - OUT
- DE DeMarcus Lawrence (back) - LP
- DE Jack Crawford (foot) - LP
- LB Justin Durant (hamstring) - LP
- CB Morris Claiborne (groin) - OUT
- CB Orlando Scandrick (foot) - LP
- SS J.J. Wilcox (thigh) - OUT
Morris Claiborne remains out with his groin injury and will certainly be missed against the Giants' receivers. He would have likely matched up with Odell Beckham Jr. on many plays. With Orlando Scandrick battling plantar fasciitis, we will likely see rookie Anthony Brown covering OBJ more than any other corner.
DeMarcus Lawrence missed the last two days of practice with back issues. This could be a major blow for the Cowboys if he can't go. Though he only has one sack so far in 2016, Lawrence has been the most consistently disruptive pass rusher and getting pressure on Eli Manning is critical.
The extra rest will be critical for veteran battling chronic issues. Tyron Smith and Orlando Scandrick will greatly benefit and have critical responsibilities in their matchups against New York.
Although not injury related, it's worth noting that receiver Lucky Whitehead will miss the game after a violation of team rules. We will likely see Lance Dunbar handling kickoff returns and Cole Beasley on punts.
New York Giants
- WR Dwayne Harris (ankle) - LP
- G Justin Pugh (knee) - LP
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (core) - OUT
- DE Owa Odighizuwa (knee) - LP
- DT Jonathan Hankins (quads) - LP
- LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) - OUT
- CB Coty Sensabaugh (ribs) - LP
- S Nat Berhe (concussion) - OUT
Obviously, the injury to JPP looms large for New York. He has seven sacks this year and is the catalyst for their defensive line. He would normally line up against the right tackle, so this is huge as Doug Free has been struggling in pass protection as of late.
The absence of Pierre-Paul will allow Dallas to focus on Olivier Vernon. They will likely trust Tyron Smith to handle business but may be able to give him some help if needed. None of the Giants reserve pass rushers are proven, but they will still want to make sure that Free isn't making one of them a breakout star.
No other injury is nearly as significant, but there are a few notables. Former Cowboy Dwayne Harris missed most of the week and was limited on Friday. He is their return man on kickoffs and punts and had a 100-yard touchdown against Dallas last year.
Guard Justin Pugh is expected to return after missing the last four games with a knee injury. He is the Giants' best offensive lineman and a key to any rushing success they hope to have.
Starting defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins only practiced on Friday and was limited with a quadriceps injury. If he can't go or isn't playing at full speed, that only compounds the defensive line issues they already have with JPP's absence.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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