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Cowboys News & Notes: Lost Year For Cowboys Winding Down

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Dez Bryant out and Tony Romo on IR crown lost year for Cowboys; Kellen Moore wasn't highly recruited, but still a 'baller'; Will Rex Ryan's Bills quit against the Cowboys?

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Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, Morris Claiborne will not play against Buffalo - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Bryant, who has been battling foot and ankle injures, didn't make the trip to Buffalo on Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys announced. Claiborne, still laboring with a hamstring strain, also stayed in Dallas.

Dez Bryant out and Tony Romo on IR crown lost year for Cowboys - Jarid Dubin, CBSSports.com
Dubin summarizes the Cowboys season now that Bryant is out and Romo is shut down.

All in all, it's basically a lost year for the Cowboys.

Expected to be one of the best teams in the NFC, they instead have the conference's worst record (along with the 49ers) and third-worst point differential. As it stands, they are set to pick sixth in the 2016 draft, the earliest they'd have picked with their own selection since 2003, when they selected Terrence Newman at No. 5 overall (they picked perpetually struggling cornerback Morris Claiborne sixth in 2012, but that was the result of a trade-up). That, plus the continued excellence of their offensive line, the emergence of defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, and the play of rookie DB Byron Jones, are basically the only good things Dallas can take away fromt his nightmare season.

Cowboys to evaluate young talent in final games - Clarence Hill, Amarillo Globe-News
Coach Garrett says the team wants to play its best, but the are also looking to evaluate some of their younger players.

“Well, you absolutely want to finish everything you do the right way,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We talk about that finishing plays, finishing drives, certainly finishing games, and that applies to seasons as well.”

The Cowboys also hope to use the final two games as a sort of internship for some young players to get them some experience and get a good evaluation for the future.

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Kellen Moore wasn't highly recruited, but still a 'baller' - Jon Machota, SportsDay
After high school, Moore received scholarship offers only from Idaho, Eastern Washington and Boise State.

"There are better-looking guys than him when it comes to just doing drills and things like that," said Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin, Moore's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons at the school. "But the first scrimmage we had, there was no doubt ... you popped on the tape and you were like, 'OK, this dude is a baller.'

"When the lights came on, that's when he did his best work. He's got a lot of those intangibles that you can't coach. It's him. It's who he is. It's what he's made up of."

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Bills-Cowboys scouting report: A battle of weaknesses - Jay Skurski, The Buffalo News
Skurski doesn't mince words in his scouting report

If you’re coming to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday, don’t expect to see much pressure on the quarterbacks. Both the Cowboys and Bills have struggled to establish much of a pass rush this season. Dallas ranks tied for 23rd in the NFL with 27 sacks. Rookie Randy Gregory has earned more playing time recently, but is still looking for his first sack, while embattled edge rusher Greg Hardy has 5.5 sacks this year. Dallas has gotten a boost lately from DeMarcus Lawrence, who has six sacks in his past six games. That’s more than anyone on the Bills, who have just 20 sacks, which ranks 30th in the league.

Bills Playing for Pride in Final Two Games - Justin White, Pro Football Spot
Marcellus Wallace thinks pride is overrated. "Pride only hurts, it never helps."

Will Rex Ryan's Bills quit against the Cowboys? - Matthew Fairburn, Syracuse.com
With so little on the line, will the Bills roll over like they did against Washington or will they keep fighting?

Not only have the Bills been eliminated from postseason contention, they are also dealing with a long list of injuries that will make it tough for them to field an entertaining product. At the beginning of the season, fans circled the home game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 as a marquee matchup. Now, with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo out for the season and the Bills playing without LeSean McCoy, the star power in this game is lacking.

Even the possible story line of a Matt Cassel return to Buffalo was ruined when the Cowboys benched him in favor of Kellen Moore last week.

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A practice squad call up turns into Christmas payday for two young Cowboys - Kristi Scales, SportsDay
Scales explains how being called up th the 53-man roster has been a small financial windfall for QB Jameill Showers and DT Casey Walker.

Practice squad members receive $6,600 per week during the regular season, up to 17 weeks (16 regular season games plus the bye week). That's a total of $112,200 for a player who sticks for an entire season.

Showers was making $6,600 weekly, but when he was signed on Christmas to the 53- man roster, his weekly check increased significantly to $25,588.24. That's because the rookie minimum in the NFL is $435,000 which, prorated over 17 weeks, is $25,588.24. That's nearly a four-fold increase over a practice squad weekly check.

Here's an offer I'd be OK with to re-sign Greg Hardy - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm with the cornerstones of what he thinks could be a deal for Hardy.

They certainly may have a chance to bring him back given how he sabotaged his attractiveness to the rest of the league. I would be ok with 3/$25 or something for him because he is still a game-wrecker and he still has his prime, but the days of $12m per season are gone, I should hope.

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Looking back on Christine Michael's time in Dallas - Brandon George, SportsDay
George recently answered questions in a chat. Here's an excerpt about Christine Michael, who was allegedly released for not wearing a suit. George clarifies.

Question: Christine Michael had himself a game on Sunday -- what else went into his departure from the Cowboys, other than suit-gate? Obviously McFadden has claimed that No. 1 spot, but still...

Brandon George: Michael never did learn the offense well and had a sense of entitlement about him that really didn't sit well at times. Not wearing the suit on the road trip was the final straw.