Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Dez Bryant Is Ready To Rock And Roll

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: There's talk about Dez Bryant possibly being targeted over 20 times a game, Stephen Jones confirms J.J. Wilcox will start at safety, and things are looking pretty grim for the other NFC East teams.

Bryant probable for Rams - Tom Orsborn, MySA.com
Dez Bryant was a full participant in yesterday's practice, prompting the Dallas Cowboys to list him as probable for Sunday’s game with the St. Louis Rams.

Dez Bryant is feeling fine and ready to "roll" Sunday - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Dez Bryant's back is feeling better, and he said his missing practice Wednesday and being limited Thursday was simply precautionary.

"I can roll," Bryant said Friday. "We were just watching the situation. Don’t want to go out there and do anything crazy. We’ve got a long season."

Could Dez Bryant get 20-25 targets in a game? Jason Garrett: ‘If the opportunities present themselves’ - Jon Machota, DMN
Could Garrett ever see Bryant getting 20-25 targets in a single game?

"I think if the opportunities present themselves, you just want to keep attacking," Garrett said. "Dez is a guy you want to attack with. But you have other guys that you like to attack with as well. Dez is a guy that we have a tremendous amount of confidence in, but we have confidence in other guys, too."

And this is a sentiment echoed by Bryant:

"I just feel like we’ve got a lot of playmakers on this team," Bryant said Friday. "Versus man coverage you can basically go either way. You’ve got me and [Jason Witten] on the same side. You’ve got Terrance Williams. You’ve got Miles Austin. You’ve got Dwayne [Harris] also coming in. All of us can make some plays. That’s what you deal with each and every week. It’s all good. My number’s called, I’ll do my job."

Garrett warns against altercations with feisty Finnegan - Dallas Cowboys and the NFL
Garrett warned his receivers about getting into an altercation with Cortland Finnegan, who has history of baiting opposing players into " jawing matches or shoving matches", as Garrett said.

Stephen Jones: Dallas Cowboys will start rookie safety J.J. Wilcox on Sunday against St. Louis in place of veteran Will Allen - Brandon George, DMN
It's official then: Wilcox will become the third rookie after Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams to notch a start on the game sheet this season.

J.J. Wilcox set be first rookie to start at safety for Cowboys since 2006; Garrett says he’s ready - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Hill summarizes why rookie Wilcox gets the nod over veteran starter Will Allen:

Wilcox is faster than Allen. He covers better and plays better in space as well as being a ferocious hitter. Church said the rookie will bring more play-making skills to the secondary that will be under fire the next few weeks.

And Barry Church concurs:

"His coverage skills are great and his hitting across the middle is going to have receivers scared and have alligator arms," Church said of Wilcox. "He brings that physical presence to the secondary. It should help create a lot of turnovers and be a boost."

Rod Marinelli is a tough teacher - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Despite getting two sacks last Sunday, DeMarcus Ware remarkably still hasn't been credited with a single tackle this season. And Rod Marinelli is none too pleased about that:

"I was like, ‘I hit the dude a couple of times last week,’ and he’s like, ‘That’s not a tackle,’" Ware said. "There’s nobody without a loaf. Everybody’s going to have a loaf. He says a loaf is a change of speed. You can grade out as like 70 but have a A-plus effectiveness grade, so that effectiveness grade is the main thing you want."

"The standards are high, there’s no question about that," coach Jason Garrett added. "A lot of those grades for the defensive linemen are low, and I think that’s a reflection of the grader. And that’s a good thing."

Kicker Dan Bailey's improved leg strength making him a high-percentage play for Cowboys - Rainer Sabin, DMN
Early in his career, Bailey struggled on kickoffs, but as he increased his leg strength that aspect of his game has improved. His .769 touchback percentage on kickoffs is the 10th best in the NFL, and his extra leg strength is also paying dividends on long field goals: Bailey is 2-for-2 on field goals of more than fifty yards and leads the league in that category.

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Cowboys' injury report: Anthony Spencer to be game-time decision - ESPN Dallas
Anthony Spencer will be a game-time decision for the game tomorrow. Spencer did not practice yesterday as the Cowboys chose to be cautious with him: With the field at Valley Ranch wet from rain, they did not want to put Spencer at risk.

Official Injury Report (via the NFL Media department) from Friday's practices:

Cowboys
Probable WR Dez Bryant (back), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), QB Tony Romo (ribs), DE DeMarcus Ware (neck)
Questionable
DE Anthony Spencer
Out LB Ernie Sims (groin)
Rams
Probable
CB Cortland Finnegan (nose), DE William Hayes (hip), DE Chris Long (hip), RB Daryl Richardson (foot), DE Eugene Sims (foot), G Chris Williams (foot)
Questionable
TE Mike McNeill (chest), S Darian Stewart (thigh)
Out
T Roger Saffold (knee)

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Chip Kelly Kool Aid has soured: Eagles' loss to Chiefs brings a reality check - Philly.com
After the high of beating the Redskins, the Eagles' latest loss shows there are plenty of problems on the team. Ed Rendell succinctly summarizes how the Chip Kelly Kool Aid has soured:

I admit it - I drank the Chip Kelly Kool Aid. After the Redskins game, I allowed myself to daydream about February in the Meadowlands and the Birds beating the Broncos, 48-42, to win the Super Bowl. Even after our loss to the Chargers, I thought that was just a bump in the road.

[...] after the Eagles' awful loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night, and as I write this, I am filled with despair [...] because I'm not even sure we can stay competitive and contend for a playoff berth.

If it's Week 3, it's a must-win for New York Giants - ESPN New York
Sunday's game against the Panthers in Carolina is a must-win for the New York Giants, because 0-3 is practically a death sentence to the playoff hopes of NFL teams. Since 1990, only three teams with a 0-3 start reached the playoffs, and none in the last 14 years.

Redskins, Jim Haslett say tackling issues are reason for "some ugly football" - The Washington Post
Missed tackles plagued the Redskins during an 0-2 start as opponents pile up yards at a near-record pace.

"The defense has yielded 1,023 yards in the Redskins’ first two games. That is tied for the second most in league history through two games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two yards fewer than the 1967 Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins rank last in the league in run defense, based on yards allowed, and last in total defense."

Slice and dice, Mr. Stafford, slice and dice.

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