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Cowboys news: Coach Garrett drops hints about Rico Gathers, but will he be active?

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Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Could Cowboys TE Rico Gathers be active for his first regular-season game Sunday against the Giants? - Kate Hairopoulos
The Cowboys seemed to lack some firepower in the passing game last week, Could a certain polarizing tight end finally see some action and possibly create a spark?

As Gathers developed in a sport he hadn’t played since junior high before the Cowboys drafted him in 2016, Garrett has often noted that the tight end could practice several times a day and it still wouldn’t be too much. He spent 2016 on the practice squad and 2017 on injured reserve after suffering a concussion in training camp.

So is Gathers, who hasn’t been available to the media since his arrest, finally ready for the 46-man roster?

”Absolutely he is,” Garrett said, “he’s certainly in that competition.”

The Cowboys went with three active tight ends against the Panthers, with Geoff Swaim (58) and Blake Jarwin (22) getting the majority of the snaps. Dalton Schultz, the 2018 fourth-round draft pick out of Stanford, played only two offensive snaps, and one on special teams.

Spagnola: Dak Shows He’s Made Of Right Stuff - Mickey Spagnola, The Mothership
Someone who could benefit from help in the passing game is Dak Prescott, but are we being over-critical of him? Even with everything coming his way, he’s handling it like a professional off the field.

But, oh my gosh, lose the season opener this past Sunday to Carolina, 16-8, and now the sky is falling. Seems everyone is looking at Dak Prescott cross-eyed. Seems this performance, 19 of 29 for 170 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, has wiped out any cred Dak has built up over his first 32 games, and especially that over his first 24 NFL starts when his record stood proudly at 18-6.

Why, the guy can’t throw accurately, even though he did complete 65.5 percent of his passes. He can’t read defenses. He’s not seeing the field. Scared to throw deep. Gripping the ball too tightly.

Yeah, all of that.

Well, Thursday Dak stepped to the plate in the locker room. Answered questions for a good 12 minutes. Did not shy away from any. Accepted blame for the performance as he normally would after the game, falling on his sword as he repeatedly did those final eight games last season when the Cowboys finished out 4-4. Looked everyone in the eye.

The heat was not too hot in the kitchen.

Gut Feeling: Predictions For Cowboys-Giants - Staff, The Mothership
What’s the feeling heading into the game? The Mothership staff took a shot at some predictions.

David Helman: Look, here’s the thing: even if you aren’t a believer in Prescott, it’s a proven fact that he isn’t as bad as he looked on Sunday against Carolina. He might not ever be a top-flight quarterback in the NFL, but we know he can make the plays he missed in Week 1, because we’ve seen him do it a million times. The Cowboys don’t need Dak to be great to win games, they simply need him to be good enough. He wasn’t good enough against the Panthers, but I think he can be better this time. This Giants front isn’t as good as Carolina’s, so I’m optimistic that Elliott can be a bit better. New York’s secondary is going to be a challenge, but if Zeke is doing his thing, then there should be plays there for Dak to make. He’s just got to make them. The Giants’ offense has a ton of talent, but I like the Cowboys’ chances to disrupt the passing game. And I think their linebackers will play a better game to help limit Barkley. The Cowboys can limit the Giants to 20 points or fewer, it’s just going to be on Dak to score more than that. This week, I think he bounces back in a Cowboys win – something like 23-17.

Here’s where the Cowboys rank in the NFC East going into Week 2 matchup vs. New York Giants - Matt Mosley, SportsDay
I’ll take “Knee-jerk Questions” for $200 Alex.

Question: Can the Cowboys afford to keep playing Connor Williams?

Matt Mosley: They drafted him in the second round to start immediately What’s the alternative? You could move Collins over to left guard, but that compromises you at right tackle. I think we need to see Williams for more than just one game. He’s getting overpowered. There’s only so much you can do to help the guy. Let’s see if he can bounce back and have a better game. It’s not like the rest of the line was knocking folks off the ball.

NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys: How they match up in Week 2 for Sunday Night Football - Art Stapleton, NorthJersey.com
Hey, remember B.W. Webb? Fourth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2013? Looks like he’s going to be a key piece of the Giants defense on Sunday. Cowboys fans will probably take that action.

Giants CB B.W. Webb vs. Cowboys WR Cole Beasley: Beasley will present the toughest matchup within the Cowboys’ offense. No Dez and no Witten, but Beasley gave Big Blue fits last season in the opener. Webb has been OK, but really wasn’t challenged much by the Jaguars. If Prescott has a big game, Beasley will be a significant part of it.

Cowboys DeMarcus Lawrence answers Giants shade thrown at Dak with some at Eli - Stefan Stevenson, Star-Telegram
Earlier this week, Landon Collins threw some shade at Dak. Looks like Tank decided to return the favor.

The New York Giants defense aren’t the only ones throwing shade. Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said he dreams of games like the Cowboys’ home opener against the Giants Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.

Specifically, facing a pocket passer such Eli Manning who is less mobile than others when he’s under pressure.

“You dream of nights like this. Sunday night football, all the lights … No. 10 just sitting back in the pocket,” Lawrence said, with the proverbial drool dripping out of his mouth. “But we have to stop the run first in order to get to third down. We can sit here and wish, hope and pray but we have to go out do that work.”

“He’s a Super bowl champ so you can’t sit here and talk bad about Eli,” said Lawrence, who has been nursing a groin injury this week. “but then again he is a pocket quarterback and he’s going to look down his targets and once they’re not there he’s got to take the sack.”

The Dallas Cowboys need this duo to show up Sunday night against the New York Giants - Stefan Stevenson, Star-Telegram
Immediately after the game it was a big deal, but the discussion around kicker Brett Maher faded as the terrible offensive performance sucked up all the oxygen in the room. He’s got to make it right this week.

4. Kicker Brett Maher’s second chance

Kicker Brett Maher is still looking for his first-career NFL field goal. His lone attempt, a 47-yard try against the Panthers last week, was wide right by a few feet. Maher has said all the right things after the game and during the week and claims his confidence hasn’t waned. But if he has another miss against the Giants the Dan Bailey debate will undoubtedly explode again.

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