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Cowboys News: Updates on Zack Martin’s injury; is Dallas as good as its winning streak?

Plus, what’s up with Taco?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones says Zack Martin is day-to-day, provides the latest on Tavon Austin, Sean Lee and David Irving - Jon Machota, SportsDay Dallas
A lot of people were probably holding their breath when Zack Martin went down during the game on Sunday. He has been playing through a sprained MCL most of the season, and it was the same injury that took him out of the game. But Jerry Jones gave some positive news on Tuesday, as well as giving updates on other injured players.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones repeated Tuesday morning what head coach Jason Garrett said at his Monday news conference: Martin is day-to-day.

“He’s just going to have to work through it,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and RJ show [KRLD-FM]. “It’s been suggested that maybe it would be good to give him a week off. Any time you’re dealing with an injury, you’re fortunate if a week off can help it, or two weeks off can help it. On the other hand, every snap is critical to us right now, so we’ll just have to see how he’s doing at the end of the week.”

Taco Charlton will have to “earn opportunity” to play - Charean Williams, NBC Sports
Charlton seemed to be coming into form earlier in the season and starting to live up to his first-round pedigree, but an injury kept him out for three weeks and since then he hasn’t had many chances to see the field at all, and was one of the Cowboys’ seven inactive players on Sunday despite being healthy. Jason Garrett seemed a bit cagey in explaining the reasons behind it, and Charlton’s recent social media activity suggests something is going on.

“He had been dealing with that shoulder for a few weeks and didn’t play many snaps last week,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We want to make it competitive. We want to make sure guys earn their opportunity. Some of the other guys have done a good job in his absence. We’ll see how he practices this week and if he gets an opportunity to play in the game.”

The Cowboys kept fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong active over Charlton against the Eagles.

On Monday, Charlton tweeted a photo of Allen Iverson with his college coach, John Thompson, and wrote, “Every player needs that one coach to believe in him.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones not concerned with Tyron Smith’s play vs. Eagles despite some struggles - Brandon George, SportsDay Dallas
After missing two games with an injury, Tyron Smith returned to the field for the game against the Eagles. While it was nice to get the All Pro left tackle back out there, Smith had his struggles against Philadelphia’s defensive line. Jerry Jones clarified that there’s no reason for concern.

“That’s a tough spot out there at left tackle, and you can get some holding,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I’m just thrilled that he was in there the whole game and the level of play. I watched him, too, and I liked his level of play. I’m not concerned about it.”

Why the Dallas Cowboys might not be as good as their winning streak - Kenneth Arthur, Field Gulls
Our friends at Field Gulls try to analyze their likely wildcard opponent. You be the judge on how accurate their analysis is.

And that’s a review of the five-game winning streak. Oddly, I don’t see a strong defensive performance in any of these games other than against by far the best offense they faced. How do you quantify the value of that? These are five wins over four teams, three of which are bad teams, and one of whom is great. Three of the wins are also at home, where the Cowboys are 6-1 outside of that weird loss to Tennessee. Four of the wins were close enough to go either way, and I actually wouldn’t say Dallas played great fourth quarters in any of them. The offense could have done more in the game in Philly, the game in Atlanta, and at home vs New Orleans, while the defense couldn’t get a stop in the rematch against the Eagles.

This is not me telling you the Cowboys are overrated, this is me going over why DVOA might suggest they are overrated with an evaluation of their five-game win streak. At home they are certainly better and that’s where any wild card playoff game will take place ... which could be the Seahawks, unless maybe the Chicago Bears fall a notch.

Dak beats Wentz in more than just head to head games - @FO_ScottKacsmar
For the second time this season, Dak Prescott’s team beat Carson Wentz’s team in a head to head matchup that was capped off with a game-winning drive from Prescott. Football Outsiders’ Scott Kacsmar pointed out the stark difference between the two quarterbacks when playing in the clutch.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott reacts to his helmet-lowering penalty, the NFL’s first against an offensive player this season - Jon Machota, SportsDay Dallas
Ezekiel Elliott is used to making history at this point, but on Sunday he made the wrong kind of history when he became the first offensive player to be flagged for helmet to helmet contact in a game. Zeke’s reaction to the penalty was one of measured frustration.

“When you’re on that sideline, man, I got to protect myself,” Elliott said. “If a guy is going low, I got to go low, too. The rule is for the betterment of the game, the rule is for our safety. If there was illegal helmet-to-helmet contact, that’s something I need to go look at and work on. That’s not OK. It’s a tough play.”

This season, the NFL has emphasized penalizing helmet-to-helmet hits when they can be prevented. But until Sunday, the flags had all been against defenders.

This time Jason Garrett went for it on 4th down and Cowboys won in OT - Stefan Stevenson, Star Telegram
Jason Garrett received a lot of backlash for his decision to not go for it on fourth and one in overtime in what ended up being a loss to the Houston Texans back in early October. When faced with a nearly identical situation on Sunday, Garrett made a different decision and it paid off in a big way.

The Cowboys had the ball for a team-record 45:33, including overtime. The previous record was 43:43 against the Eagles in October 1983. That dominance, in part, helped Garrett make the decision to go for it in overtime.

“I felt like we were wearing them down,” he said. “We feel like our runner is the best runner in the league. Guys came off the ball and moved them and Zeke did the rest of it.”

“I never doubted that Coach Garrett would go for it. Our backs have been against the wall for a few weeks now,” Prescott said. “He talks about going forward, going around, going over our obstacle, whatever we have to do.”

By the numbers, the trade for Amari Cooper is measuring up - Todd Archer, ESPN
Maybe Amari Cooper is just on a mission to prove that the Cowboys were geniuses for giving up a first-round draft pick to acquire the receiver from Oakland. Maybe that’s not his motivation. Either way, the former Alabama star has been doing everything the Cowboys could hope for and more, which has made the once-derided trade deadline deal look brilliant.

Cooper has 40 receptions for 642 yards and six scores since the Cowboys gave up a 2019 first-rounder to get him. With three games to play, he has a chance to have 1,000 receiving yards in nine games with the Cowboys.

Over a 16-game schedule, Cooper’s numbers project to 107 catches, 1,712 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Dak Prescott was cool under pressure Sunday - @jonmachota
A lot of Dak Prescott’s struggles this season have stemmed from the pressure he’s faced this season with some issues in pass protection, but on Sunday he put up some phenomenal numbers when facing pressure.

49ers rob Cowboys practice squad for new safety - Cam Inman, San Jose Mercury News
Tyree Robinson was added as reinforcement to the 49ers injury-ravaged safety unit Tuesday as they signed him away from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

The 49ers raided the Dallas Cowboys practice squad for free safety Tyree Robinson on Tuesday. Robinson signed a two-year deal and took the roster spot of wide receiver Pierre Garçon, who went on injured reserve because of a lingering knee issue.

Robinson (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent this year out of the University of Oregon, and he was inactive for Dallas’ first two games before being dropped to the practice squad. He played at Oregon with 49ers defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead.

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