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Cowboys News: Pity the Chiefs defense, Elliott to play on Sunday.

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins defends Elliott; Chiefs-Cowboys odds swing back in Dallas’s favor; more

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pity the Chiefs Defense: Ezekiel Elliott Will Play for the Cowboys on Sunday - Teddy Cutler, Newsweek
The Chiefs were probably just as surprised as everybody else by Elliott's sudden eligibility - but not in a positive way.

The Cowboys ride a two-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, who hold a commanding lead in the AFC West. While Andy Reid’s team rushes the quarterback effectively and has a shutdown cornerback in Marcus Peters, there is a soft underbelly to its defense. The Chiefs have reached 6-2 despite a 28th-ranked rushing defense. The uncertainty around Elliott’s status also has the potential to upset Reid’s plans. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton would have been forgiven for expecting a load of Prescott with a dash of Alfred Morris. Now the Chiefs have to scramble to scheme for the NFL’s premier running back.

The Cowboys have Elliott on the field, for one more week at least. And the Chiefs may be cursing their luck.

Chiefs say they prepared for Elliott playing for Cowboys - Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star
Almost nobody expected Elliott's latest legal move to work, but the Chiefs say they always expected Elliott to play on Sunday.

Elliott’s status had been uncertain most of the week, but not to the Chiefs.

“We didn’t even talk about it as a defense,” linebacker Derrick Johnson said. “We had to prepare like he is playing."

“And their scheme for the last few years, even without Zeke, has been at the top of the food chain when it comes to running the ball.”

“Listen,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “We planned on it anyway. He’s a good player. We look forward to the challenge of playing him.”


Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins opposes six-game suspension for Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins came to the defense of Ezekiel Elliott on Friday.

“I never want to see anybody going through what Zeke is going through, especially when there are no charges against him,” Jenkins said. “I don’t understand that.”

“The hard part about being an athlete in the spotlight is that people know and sometimes are looking for a reason to make you look bad,” Jenkins said. “Whether you see fans out and they purposely agitate you just to try to get you on tape and extort you really. Or they can just say you did something in an attempt to ruin your reputation.

“Don’t get me wrong: Domestic violence or any kind of violence or sexual assault needs to be looked into and should be taken seriously. But at the same time, we don’t want to create an environment in which somebody can cry wolf and get you suspended for six games.”

“You’re talking not only about his season and his livelihood, but his whole team, and it’s over something that he has not been charged with or found guilty of doing,” Jenkins said. “As a Buckeye, I’m sad for him, and just as a player in general, it’s unfortunate.”

“Being in his division, you’re like, ‘Hey, it obviously helps us,’ but I want to go against their best players,” Jenkins said. “There’s no doubt he’s a huge piece of what they do offensively and why that team has had success. That’s not to say they can’t have success without him, but he’s a huge chunk.

Elliott’s restored eligibility hardly fazes backups Morris, McFadden - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Morris was in line to start, and McFadden to be active for the first time this season, until the legal tables turned in Elliott’s favor again.

“I’m just taking it and rolling with it,” McFadden said. “It is what it is. I stay even keeled. I wasn’t going to get too hyped until Sunday got here, where I knew something for sure.”

“Nothing changes,” Morris said. “It’s like, ‘All right, back to business as usual.’ So nothing changes.”

How Cowboys intend to get Ezekiel Elliott up to speed for Sunday's game - David Moore, SportsDay
Elliott will likely have some additional meetings to catch up, but otherwise it's business as usual for the Cowboys.

Garrett maintained working Elliott back into the mix is no different than a player missing practice in the days leading up to a game in which he eventually plays.

"Guys have to get themselves ready to play based on the reps they have," Garrett said. "Now Zeke wasn't in meetings. I get that for the last couple of days, but he's a smart guy. He knows our system and he'll pick things up quickly this week.

"There are a number of times throughout a normal practice week where we don't have guys practicing on Wednesday or they're limited on Thursday and they're getting their work in on Friday and they're still able to function in the ballgame. This is not something that is that much out of the ordinary for us."

Ezekiel Elliott suspension would not exclude playoff games, Super Bowl - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
The league maintains the suspension will carry over into the postseason, despite language saying 'regular-season games' in his suspension letter.

The argument Elliott's case will likely make is that in the letter to Elliott announcing the suspension, the NFL used the phrase "regular-season games." According to CBS Sports Radio legal analyst Amy Dash, Elliott's team would fight any suspension that carried over into the playoffs.

It may be another uphill battle for Elliott -- during the Tom Brady case, and previously in the Elliott case, it has been widely assumed that appealing a case like this runs the risk of missing playoff games.

If the playoffs do come into play, we may have a legal battle within a legal battle on our hands.


Chiefs-Cowboys odds swing back in Dallas’s favor after Ezekiel Elliott news - Joel Thorman, Arrowhead Pride
Not even the Vegas sportsbooks could escape the will-he-won't-he nature of the Elliott case.

The Kansas City Chiefs are now UNDERDOGS headed to Dallas this weekend. The line opened up earlier this week with Dallas a 1-point favorite and then quickly shifted to the Chiefs as a 1-point favorite.

With today’s news on Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott now playing in the game, the Chiefs are back to being underdogs.

Five questions with Arrowhead Pride - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Dave gets the down low on the Chiefs from Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation's Chiefs site.

BTB: If you were the Cowboys OC and DC, how would you scheme for this game?

AP: If I were the Cowboys offensive coordinator, I would come in with three receivers and spread the Chiefs out and run from there. The Chiefs can be vulnerable to the deep ball so take your chances there and set them up with a double move. On defense, if I were the Cowboys I would take Travis Kelce out of the game. In Kelce's last nine 100-yard games, the Chiefs are 8-1. I believe he is the key. That said, you'll still have to watch out for Tyreek Hill deep and on the crossers as well as Kareem Hunt running the ball. If I had to pick one this week, however, I would stop Kelce.


Final Thoughts: Touchdowns instead if field goals - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus points out how important it will be for the Cowboys to be successful in the red zone.

We all know how important it is for teams to operate in the Red Zone both offensively and defensively. The Cowboys have been one of the best when it comes to 3rd down conversions in that area at 47%. It’s been that ability to keep drives going that’s allowed them to score touchdowns 62% of the time. On the flip side of that the Chiefs might struggle defensively in several areas but that’s not one of them. Opponents have only converted an incredible 9% of the time on 3rd down in the Red Zone. It appears that when the field shrinks the Chiefs are able to tighten up their defense and force their opponents to settle for field goals. For the Cowboys to win this game, they’re going to need those four point plays and hope for stops on defensive of their own.


Jerry Jones among NFL owners to be deposed in Colin Kaepernick's collusion grievance vs. league - SportsDay Staff
This could get interesting ...

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is set to be deposed in relation to former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick's grievance against the NFL alleging collusion to keep him from being signed, according to a report.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Texans owner Bill McNair are expected to be deposed a long with Jones, according to an unnamed NFL source. The three, and others, will be asked to turn over any cell phone records and emails connected to the case.