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Cowboys news: Zeke gives in, the value of Sean Lee

And Jerry Jones and Jason Witten are on opposite sides of the Thursday question.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
Benched for the full six weeks now.
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott drops his appeal, will serve all six games - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The legal battle about Ezekiel Elliott serving his full six game suspension is finally over. Although he does not admit to any actual guilt in the case, he has finally conceded that, with the previous court rulings as precedent, the NFL and Roger Goodell's draconian powers under the CBA have won. He will return from his suspension for the December 24th contest against the Seattle Seahawks. Hopefully, the Cowboys will still have hope for the playoffs then.

Originally there was an appeal hearing scheduled for December 1st, which would have occurred after he had already served four games of the six-game suspension. It would have been conceivable that he could win an injunction at that time, and resume playing after the Cowboys play Washington in a couple of weeks. But the courts haven’t been favorable recently, and many experts doubted he would win.

Dallas Cowboys: Drop-off from Ezekiel Elliott to Morris-Smith-McFadden is like going from a Ferrari to a Kia | Newy Scruggs, SportsDay
This is a colorful but very accurate description of the impact of Elliott being out.

The drop-off from Zeke Elliott is so far it's not funny. It's like going from a Ferrari to Kia. Nothing against Kias, but you know it's not an exotic, unique car that will make you stop and look.

I don't think the Eagles will be intimidated by any of the running backs the Cowboys line up Sunday night.

Ultimately, I think it has to be a team effort by the backs and offensive line. Don't look for a 100-yard game from any one running back.

Cowboys' goal minus Ezekiel Elliott: Stay in playoff chase - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
Let's just cut to the chase about Elliott being out.

Jason Garrett often tells his players to control what they can control. He repeated that message to Elliott throughout the running back's legal odyssey. It's up to the coaches to control what they can control, and that is putting together a plan that better fits the strengths of Morris, Rod Smith and McFadden and not so much what Elliott did best.

The Cowboys now know they will not have Elliott until the day before Christmas.

To make sure the final two games of the season matter, the coaches have to find a way to better adjust to life without Elliott.

Dallas Cowboys: Peter King: 'Ridiculous' to think NFL would ever rip Cowboys away from Jerry Jones | SportsDay staff
Peter King appeared on KTCK radio in Dallas, and he doesn't put much stock in talk about the NFL trying to take the Cowboys away from Jerry Jones.

I don't think there's a nuclear button. I don't mean this to minimize how important what is happening is going on.

I remember times where Al Davis was suing the NFL and the league was countersuing Al Davis, and I never once heard the NFL say, 'Al, if you don't stop this, we're taking your franchise away.' That's why I kind of wink and nod when I hear things like that. I think it's absurd.

I agree with what Stephen Jones said, I read it this morning in The Dallas Morning News, that it's 'laughable' or 'absurd,' which it is. They're not going to try to take Jerry Jones' franchise away. It's ridiculous. But having said that, you really get the feeling right now that Jerry at least at this point is a lone wolf against Roger Goodell's contract and against Roger Goodell's commissionership.

Dallas Cowboys: Why Sean Lee is clearly Cowboys' talisman; the important development happening with another LB | Bob Sturm, SportsDay
This is a really great explanation of just what Sean Lee means to the Cowboys' defense.

It is pretty difficult to analyze the job of the defense in the 27-7 loss to Atlanta on its own. Honestly, the defense has put together quite a month since the bye week, in which they didn't allowed any of the previous three opponents to get to 20 points or 325 yards of total offense. In dispensing the 49ers, Redskins and Chiefs, the Cowboys started to find their form and it wasn't lost on anyone that the team seemed to feed off the presence of their leader and best player, Sean Lee.

In following the European soccer scene, it is always enjoyable to pick up on the differences in vernacular and the overall way of explaining some components of their game. One thing they routinely use to communicate the meaning of one player to a team's success is the term "talisman," which is defined by Google Dictionary as "an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck."

"So-and-so is our talisman." Without him, we are a different team, but with him, we can conquer the world. I think we should steal it. And, perhaps it best explains the place the Cowboys are currently in. Because clearly, Lee is their talisman.

Anthony Hitchens hoping to pull off a Sean Lee imitation - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
With Lee out for what looks to be several games, the team is going to have to rely on Anthony Hitchens to try and fill his shoes.

“Communication is huge, getting the guys lined up, and I'm going to be the guy making the calls if he’s out,” Hitchens said. “I’ll just try my best to imitate him and get everyone lined up. He's going to help me throughout the week. At the end of the day, if he's out, I've got to step up and play the Sean Lee role.”

Jones And His Cowboys Players On The Dangers & Joys Of Short-Week NFL Games « Mike Fisher, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
There is clearly a difference of opinion between the NFL and the owners on one side and the players and many fans on the other about the effects of playing games on Thursday. But we all know what Thursday games are really about. Jerry Jones makes no bones about it.

One thing all sides agree upon: The driving force of the existence of all these games on all these days, highlighted in the TV world by the Cowboys being on this Sunday night in prime time against the visiting Eagles, and then again in front of a national audience in the traditional Thanksgiving game against the visiting Chargers.


“Thursday night football, to be direct, increases the number of eyeballs that watch television,’’ Jones tells 105.3 The Fan. “I can understand networks issue over where each network wants available the highest quality game, and the NFL does, too. But the way for the most eyeballs to see the game is to have Thursday night football.”

“Eyeballs’’ equal “popularity’’ which equals “revenue.’’

Jason Witten on longevity, mental toughness and Thursday football | Peter King,
King had Jason Witten as one of his guests on his MMQB Podcast, and here's what the Dallas great had to say about playing Thursday games.

“It is hard to go produce and play at a level Sunday to Thursday. It’s not much recovery overall and certainly makes it more of a challenge, especially for older guys like myself. At the end of the day, you have to get out there and find a way to make plays and execute. If they roll the ball out, you have to be able to play. It is more challenging, and I don’t think the game is at the highest quality just from a performance and execution standpoint, because it is such a quick turnaround. I know there are a lot of different feelings and emotions on [Thursday Night Football], and I don't know what the stats say as far as injuries. I'm not really affected by it. It doesn’t really matter when, where, how, the opportunity to play the game, sometimes you get a little more rest and other times it is cut short. It is one of the greatest feelings to play on Thanksgiving on that holiday in front of the whole country and put that star on your helmet.”

David Irving standing out for right reasons for Dallas Cowboys - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
Since coming back from suspension, David Irving has been a standout on the Cowboys' defense. He is having a very good NFL career - that almost never happened.

Irving never thought he would receive this kind of attention, on or off the field.

"I look back all the time," Irving said. "It's crazy. All the time. I never thought I'd be in the NFL, regardless, once I left Iowa State. It's been crazy, man. It's changed my life."

Irving was kicked out of Iowa State before his senior season after he was charged with disorderly conduct, fifth-degree theft and criminal mischief in the second degree. He was caught on camera carrying a stop sign.

He was not invited to the combine. He had his pro day at his high school in San Jacinto, California. Only one team called him after the draft. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him as an undrafted free agent, liking what they saw more than what they knew.

Irving was among their final cuts but signed to the practice squad. The Cowboys signed him off the Kansas City practice squad on Sept. 29, 2015.

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