Twitter mailbag: Dallas Cowboys need to keep playing - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer weighs in on whether the Cowboys can afford to take their foot off the gas over the final two games in his Twitter mailbag.
Jason Garrett has never asked for my opinion on anything (smart move) and he won’t ask me about this, either, but I’m not resting anybody, especially this week. It’s all hands on deck. The Cowboys need to win. They might see the Lions in the playoffs, so why give them incentive if there is a rematch? Plus, the Cowboys' next "meaningful" game will not come until Jan. 14 or 15. That’s a long time to shut it down and expect players to turn it back on.
These aren’t the New England Patriots, who make the playoffs every season and understand what January football is all about. The bulk of this team was 4-10 a year ago at this time. Now, Week 17, against Philadelphia, I’d consider limiting some snaps of guys with injuries, like a Tyron Smith or Tyrone Crawford. But look at the tight end position. The Cowboys have only two on the roster. You can’t sit Jason Witten.
And if you want to play Tony Romo some against the Eagles, then you have to play the starters. What good would it do him to play with Emmett Cleary and Joe Looney on the line and Vince Mayle and Lucky Whitehead at receiver?
Cowboys keep focus on Lions with division, home field secure - Shuyler Dixon, Associated Press
Jason Witten explains how the Cowboys will approach the next two games.
"I believe you want to build on the way you play in December and go into the playoffs," Witten said. "I think that's how good teams handle this situation. As I said before, that's for people to talk about at the barber shop. Our focus is just on what's going to allow us to win."
And if there is a plan to start resting players as early as Monday night, the coaches aren't saying. Dallas finishes the regular season at Philadelphia.
"I think you've got to do exactly what we're doing," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "When you put the pads on, you're going out there to win the football game. It doesn't matter what the implications are. We approach it the same way regardless."
Protect Cowboys LB Sean Lee in final 2 games? 'It's going to be hard to take me off the field.' - David Moore, SportsDay
Sean Lee does not take kindly to suggestions he sit the final two games.
"It's going to be hard to take me off the field,'' Lee said. "I love playing. I love being around this time of year and I want to play as much as possible.
"I think playing has always made me better. Playing in games makes you better. I love playing. I think it can only help me going into the playoffs.''
No pitch count for Randy Gregory vs Lions - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
In his final thoughts before the game, Broaddus surprises a little with his take on Gregory's likely playing time.
Look for Randy Gregory to get significant snaps Monday night against the Lions -- there will be no pitch count here. With the injury to DeMarcus Lawrence, Gregory and Benson Mayowa have been splitting reps in his spot. My guess is that Mayowa will start, but we have seen Jack Crawford open the game in the past, then give way to the others. I could see Crawford focusing more on tackle duty than end with the injury to Cedric Thornton.
Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay doubtful for MNF against Dallas Cowboys - Michael Rothstein, ESPN
The Lions will likely be without their best cornerback in Monday night's game against the Cowboys.
Cornerback Darius Slay, who was named the NFC's second alternate to the Pro Bowl at his position earlier this week, is doubtful against the Cowboys after suffering a hamstring injury in last week's loss to New York and not practicing at all this week.
Scott Linehan a possible candidate for Jacksonville head coaching vacancy? - Adam Shefter, ESPN
The Jaguars have hired a headhunter to help spearhead their search for a new head coach, and one of the early names being discussed is Scott Linehan.
Initially, the Jaguars were expected to zero in on candidates such as former New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
Cowboys rule out four defensive players for Monday night's game - David Moore, SportsDay
Four defensive players have been ruled out of Monday night's game and a fifth is doubtful.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle Cedrick Thornton, linebacker Justin Durant and cornerback Mo Claiborne won't play against the Detroit Lions. Defensive end Tyrone Crawford, who didn't practice all week, is listed as doubtful.
Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk: Ezekiel Elliott should win NFL MVP - Jon Machota, SportsDay
An addition to being the current favorite in Vegas, Elliott is favored also favored by the NFL Gameday crew. Here's Kurt Warner's take on Elliott.
"For me it comes down to Matt Ryan, Derek Carr and Ezekiel Elliott, and I'm going to give it to the rookie. I know it doesn't happen very often but I'm giving it to Ezekiel Elliott. Here is a team that is tied for the best record in the National Football League, and I don't believe they're there -- as well as Dak Prescott has played -- I don't believe they're there unless they're able to hold the line of scrimmage and this young guy comes into his own.
"He's going to lead the NFL in rushing, very well could beat Eric Dickerson's rookie record. This kid has been dynamic, he's been a difference-maker. He's taken pressure off every other part of that team and has helped them get to 12 wins. I go with Ezekiel Elliott."
Cowboys NFC East championship gear hits Houston stores - Chance Linton, CBSSports.com
Texans fans won't be happy about this.
We have these displays in Houston. This doesn't happen in other cities. This is what annoys people here. pic.twitter.com/Xzkl9SjP6j— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) December 24, 2016