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Cowboys News: NFL owners challenge Jerry Jones; injury updates

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Finding the brights spots in ugly Falcons loss

Dallas Cowboys v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Group of N.F.L. Owners Warns Jerry Jones and Threatens Penalties - Ken Belson, New York Times
Fines, taking draft picks and a suspension are possible penalties for Jones, the Cowboys’ owner, who has escalated a fight over Roger Goodell’s contract.

Several fellow owners of N.F.L. teams have given Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones a cease-and-desist warning, threatening to punish him over his efforts to block a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.

The warning to Jones, which was issued by the six owners on the N.F.L. compensation committee after the group held a conference call Monday, comes less than two weeks after he threatened to sue the league and the owners on the committee who have been working for months on a new contract for Goodell.

Hamstring strain likely to sideline Cowboys' Sean Lee at least two games - Todd Archer, ESPN
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday that linebacker Sean Lee might be out a while with a hamstring injury. Sources tell ESPN's Todd Archer that Lee will likely miss at least two games.

The Dallas Cowboys' schedule will play a big part in when linebacker Sean Lee can return to the field.

The Cowboys have three games in 12 days, starting Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, with a quick Thanksgiving turnaround against the Los Angeles Chargers. They play the Washington Redskins Nov. 30 at AT&T Stadium.

According to sources, the best hope is that Lee can return against Washington.

Jerry Jones on Tyron Smith returning for Eagles: 'I hope so' - Patrik Walker, 247Sports
The Cowboys will keep their fingers crossed as the week progresses for their All-Pro.

Having so many key players injured has put the Cowboys in the precarious position of possibly losing out on a playoff berth with -- offensively speaking -- Smith down and running back Ezekiel Elliott suspended for a minimum of four games. The latter isn't returning anytime soon and honestly wasn't the reason the Cowboys got bludgeoned by the Falcons anyway.

The absence of the former was more telling, and now come an 8-1 team boasting one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. It's safe to say Jones is praying beyond prayer that Smith can take the field in Week 11.

Lord help the Cowboys if he can't.

"I hope so," said Jones of Smith playing this coming Sunday, via Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. "I hope so."

You're not the only one, Mr. Jones.

Scout’s Notebook: Re-Evaluating The OL Play - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
The Broad one provides his scout’s eye analysis of what went right and what went wrong against Atlanta.

Terrible break for the offense right before the half on the Chaz Green holding call. Cole Beasley ran a beautiful route to escape from Brian Poole. Prescott slid a little to his left in the pocket to put the ball right on Beasley as he scooted out of bounds at the Falcons’ 35-yard line. That gain not only secured a first down, but it conserved their final time out. Green was unable to sit down on Brooks Reed, who just lowered his head and drove him all the way back to Prescott. Green had no choice but to put his hands on the outside of Reed’s shoulder pads in order to control him. As Reed went past Prescott, he did what all smart defenders do -- flopped on the ground in order to draw the flag, which he got. Two plays later, Adrian Clayborn beat Green for a sack/fumble to end any threat of scoring.

Cowboys Get Timely Perspective During Salvation Army Thanksgiving Meal - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Perhaps the best way to follow Sunday’s debacle on the field was for Cowboys’ players and staff to spend Monday helping less fortunate folks. It’s a terrific tradition and shows how the organization contributes to the community.

It was a logical date on the Cowboys’ calendar, but it could count as fortuitous timing. The morning after their worst loss in two months, Dak Prescott gave back, as he and his teammates served an early Thanksgiving meal to those in need at The Salvation Army.

“After a performance like that, after the way we played and just after a tough loss, it's easy to just lay in bed and pout and be sad,” Prescott said. “But, as I said, you come and do events like this, it brightens my day. As I said, it puts it into perspective how important life is outside of the game of football and my impact on it.”

Sorting through wild NFC playoff field through Week 10 of 2017 NFL season - Bill Barnwell, ESPN
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are suddenly in big trouble, while the Falcons could make another run. Bill Barnwell sorts the nine teams competing for six playoff spots in the NFC.

Linebacker is also becoming a concern for Rod Marinelli's defense. Sean Lee is unsurprisingly struggling with injuries, with a reoccurrence of a hamstring injury knocking him out of Sunday's loss. The Cowboys haven't been the same defense with Lee off the field this season; former Notre Dame star Jaylon Smithhas been an inspiring story in returning from a serious knee injury, but teams have taken advantage of him in the passing game. The Cowboys have allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a passer rating of 85.6 with Lee on the field, which has risen all the way to 107.8 with Lee sidelined.

Lack of scoring frustrates Dak Prescott - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dak Prescott’s first-quarter touchdown run was the only touchdown of the game for the Dallas Cowboys.

Going into the game, Prescott had been sacked just 10 times in the first eight games – never more than twice in a game.

“Certainly, protecting the quarterback is where it all starts in the passing game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “If you don’t do that very well you are going to have a hard time moving the ball through the air, and it really doesn’t matter what’s going on down the field. You have to protect first, and we didn’t do as good a job as we typically do in that area. We certainly have to look at it and find a way to get better.”

5 glaring holes in Cowboys roster following embarrassing Atlanta loss - K. D. Drummond, CowboysWire
Dallas' front office is already knee-deep in preparations for the business season. Here are five positions we think they should focus on.

Dez Bryant is still a dynamic player, but his physical style and the injuries he has suffered in being a dominant force appear to have caught up to him somewhat. Terrance Williams hasn’t been able to show consistency from week-to-week and will always struggle to attack the ball in the air, limiting the trust a QB can have in him. Cole Beasley is limited to the slot and the occasional deep route when everything aligns. Brice Butler hasn’t been able to win the confidence of the coaching staff.

The Cowboys are going to have to get another wide receiver in the fold. Bryant will be entering his ninth year. It’s time to give him the Roddy White treatment and go get him a Julio Jones. With 2018 seeming like a deep draft for wideouts, now might be the time to make the investment.

Youngsters Provide Bright Spots For Cowboys In Lopsided Defeat - John Owning, FanRag
Among the wreckage from Sunday’s loss were some solid performances. Owning outlines them here in his usual insightful fashion.

After placing Brian Price on injured reserve, the Cowboys decided to call up Lewis Neal from the practice squad and make him active against the Falcons.

At 6-foot and under 300 pounds, Neal is an undersized defensive tackle who relies on his quickness, use of leverage and powerful hands to be effective. In 18 snaps against Atlanta, Neal was able to make his presence felt.

As far as O-line backups, Cowboys merely hoped for the best, failed to plan for the worst - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
The Sturminatior provides his day-after analysis. It’s not pretty.

Even though the game was over in the fourth quarter (after a few more sacks), the staff that evidently had their brains suspended for the game are calling timeouts down 27-7 to try to get the ball back so they can call more plays in shotgun and get their star QB blindsided a few more times by Clayborn and friends who have savaged the left tackle spot long after Chaz Green was gone and Byron Bell (their other idea) was being served up on a platter.

They should have been running the ball or even taking a knee - not calling timeouts to prolong the destruction - but Jason Garrett is going to never stop being Jason Garrett. They never really helped out Chaz Green, nor did they modify their strategies to protect him from getting Dak killed, but instead wanted to get the ball back to rerun their same poor strategies. Madness.