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Cowboys News & Notes: Dez Bryant Doesn't Travel To New York, Likely Out Vs. Giants

Latest Cowboys headlines: The chances of Bryant playing on Sunday are fast approaching zero; Cowboys may have fewer injuries than you thought; what to expect from Cowboys QB hunters?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dez Bryant didn't fly to New York yesterday, not officially ruled out yet - Todd Archer, ESPN
Bryant did not practice Friday and is officially listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Giants. Though that's likely to change, and not for the better.

Bryant did not travel with the Cowboys in order to rest, according to a team spokesman. If Bryant does not travel to New Jersey on Saturday, he will have to be downgraded to out, per injury report rules.

Even though coach Jason Garrett has said Bryant will have to practice in order to play, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan left open the possibility of Bryant playing a limited role. Bryant has yet to take a snap with Sunday's new starting quarterback, Matt Cassel.

Cowboys’ Bryant doesn’t make trip, unlikely to play against Giants - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Bryant is not officially out (yet) , Williams explains.

The Cowboys left a sliver of hope that their star receiver will return to the lineup this week by listing him as doubtful, but after not practicing all week, Bryant is expected to miss his fifth game.

While the Cowboys, who are on a three-game losing streak, need Bryant, they also want to make sure Bryant is fully healed and in football shape. He missed all of the off-season while seeking a new contract and missed much of training camp and all of the preseason games with a hamstring injury.


Cowboys @ Giants Final Injury Report: Dez Bryant Doubtful, Victor Cruz, Prince Amukamara Out - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Dez Bryant is listed as doubtful. The Giants will be without Victor Cruz and Prince Amukamara. Odell Beckham is listed as questionable but the Giants think he'll play.

Ranking the most banged-up NFL teams from 1-32 - ESPN Staff
ESPN ranks teams by "total starts missed," which counts the games missed by a starter or integral special-teams player. Somewhat surprisingly, the Cowboys barely make the top 10.

8. Dallas Cowboys

Every team has injuries, but it's hard to imagine anyone being hit with two more significant blows than the Cowboys. Tony Romo has missed the past three games with a broken left collarbone and will not return until Nov. 22 at the earliest. Dez Bryant has missed the past four games and could return Sunday vs. the Giants. The offense has wilted without its two top players, leaving little margin for error for the defense. Changes are at hand with Matt Cassel at quarterback and La'el Collins at left guard, and the team hopes those tweaks will lead to more big plays and more points. -- Todd Archer

Players out for season: CB Orlando Scandrick (knee), RB Lance Dunbar (knee), DT Terrell McClain (toe)

Players injured: QB Tony Romo (collarbone), WR Dez Bryant (foot), TE James Hanna (ankle), G Ronald Leary (groin), DE Jeremy Mincey (concussion), DE Randy Gregory (ankle), WR Brice Butler (hamstring)

Total starts missed: 44 -- Scandrick (16), Dunbar (12), Romo (7), Bryant (4), Hanna (2), Leary (2), Mincey (1)


The Dallas Cowboys are ‘America’s Team’ again -
A new survey says the Cowboys are America's team - for the umpteenth time.

When the Harris Poll first began ranking NFL teams in 1998, the Cowboys were the top team in popularity and recently took the crown for six years in a row before the Denver Broncos were listed as No. 1 in 2014, while Dallas dropped to No. 4. They swapped places in 2015 though, with the Cowboys back to No. 1 and the Broncos down to No. 4.


Cowboys To Set Their Quarterback Hunters Loose On Giants' Eli Manning - Blogging The Boys
On Sunday, with Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy both playing, the Cowboys will finally see their pass rush vision come to life as they set their quarterback hunters loose on Eli Manning.

Best Pass Rush Combo Among Final Thoughts - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
The inside rush will be the key to disrupting Eli Manning, much more than the outside rush. And the Cowboys think they may have found an opportunity against the Giants' right guard Geoff Schwartz.

I believe you are going to see several different players take a shot at Giants guard Geoff Schwartz in this game. One of the best traits of this scheme is that defensive ends can slide down inside and rush from a tackle position. Schwartz really struggles one-on-one and Rod Marinelli will work to get as many of those matchups as he can. I can see Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey and even Demarcus Lawrence getting those snaps inside.

Slow down on the pass rush expectations - Todd Archer, ESPN
In response to a reader question about whether to expect 4, 5, or 6 sacks against the Giants, Archer counsels caution.

Slow down a little bit there. I understand everybody came away from the New England game believing the Cowboys are about to set the world afire with sacks after dropping Tom Brady five times in the first half. But that's far from normal. And Eli Manning doesn't take sacks, he gets rid of the ball.

He was sacked a season-high three times Monday by Philadelphia. It's not just the sacks. The Eagles were able to get him off his spot and uncomfortable. That's what the Cowboys will have to do. To me, in order to do that, the defensive backs will have to be good at the start of the Giants' receivers' routes to disrupt the timing. They can't play soft. If they do, then the pass-rush will have a hard time getting home because Manning will get rid of the ball.


I guess we'll find out tomorrow who jumped the gun on this topic.


Special Returns Would Help Cowboys’ Offense In The Field Position Game - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Phillips notes that field position is one key area for the Cowboys on Sunday against the Giants.

On special teams, the Cowboys are seeking their first big kickoff or punt return of the season. So far, the longest totals have been a 32-yard kickoff return from Lance Dunbar and a 12-yard punt return from Cole Beasley.


Examining the 2016 NFL draft from the Cowboys' perspective - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm takes a super early look at the 2016 draft, and surmises the Cowboys will be looking for a QB, a WR, and a RB with their high picks.

Here's how to fix the NFL's confusing catch rule -
Nobody knows what a catch is anymore. SB Nation NFL contributors Stephen White and Danny Kelly have an easy way to fix that.

To me the "two feet down and a football move" should always be the overriding factor into whether a ball is caught. If a guy catches the ball and gets two feet down and either takes a third step, stretches the ball out or anything else that could be considered a "football move," then it's a catch, plain and simple, no matter if he ends up on the ground or not. I think I could live with that.

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