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Cowboys news: Matthew Stafford OUT vs Cowboys

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Lions rule out Matthew Stafford against Cowboys - Justin Rogers, The Detroit News

Cowboys won’t have to deal with Matthew Stafford on Sunday.

Allen Park — If it wasn’t clear already, the Detroit Lions officially ruled out quarterback Matthew Stafford for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Asked if there was any scenario he could see Stafford suit up, Lions coach Matt Patricia said, “Not this Sunday.”

Without going into specifics, Patricia said Stafford remains on a medical plan and progressing well.

”I’m not going to go into the details of that,” Patricia said. “There are different things our doctors are doing, that everybody is doing, to hit those markers.

”He’s going great,” Patricia continued. ”He’s fine, grinding away, studying, getting ready to go, helping everybody around him and preparing, which is great. It just keeps everything consistent to us. Same old getting ready to play the game.”

After starting 136 consecutive games, this will mark the second consecutive week Stafford will be sidelined by a back injury. Jeff Driskel will make his second start with the Lions.

Safety Darian Thompson Set to Start in Place of Injured Jeff Heath - John Williams, Inside the Star

With Jeff Heath banged up, Darian Thompson gets the start. Addition through subtraction?

Thompson’s challenge this week will come in the passing game against the Detroit Lions plethora of receiving targets. Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard expressed confidence in Thompson’s ability to fill in for Heath because of his mental and physical makeup.

While it’s intriguing to see what Thompson has to offer, many who follow the team continue to wonder when Donovan Wilson will get the chance to play.

Wilson’s preseason was as good as you could hope for from a rookie. He had three interceptions playing part-time snaps in four preseason games. The Cowboys have been in desperate need of a guy who has the knack for making plays on the ball that Donovan Wilson showed in his limited playing time during the preseason.

Thompson, with more years of experience under his belt is the more trusted option right now for the Cowboys and he has an opportunity to carve out a role with another start this week. Though he may not be the safety that we’ve been clamoring for, this could be a net positive for Dallas this week and moving forward depending on how he plays. How the defense looks with Darian Thompson in the lineup will be one of the big questions facing the Cowboys secondary in this week’s matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Jason Garrett optimistic on La’el Collins and Zack Martin playing - David Halprin, Blogging the Boys

The Cowboys OL should be good to go for week 11.

Will La’el Collins and Zack Martin be able to play

We just have to see how they do today, but we’re optimistic on those guys.

Don’t buy the stats. These two high-profile Dallas Cowboys defenders have regressed. - Mac Engel, Star-Telegram

This is a key reason the defense has struggled throughout 2019.

If Smith and LVE don’t return to how they played in 2018, then 2019 is going to finish poorly for the Cowboys. For a team to be successful, your best players have to be your best players.

For the record, Cowboys defensive coordinator Kris Richard said Thursday that both linebackers are playing well this season. In this day’s NFL, Richard has no choice but to say that.

“They are playing well. They are out there; everyone is working as a cohesive unit,” he said. “That’s all we can ask for.”

That’s what you ask for from the backups. You ask for more from guys who are special players. Smith and LVE demonstrated in 2018 that they have special abilities.

“There is always room for improvement,” LVE said Thursday. “They are going to scheme against you and do everything they can to beat you, but you have to find ways to make plays.”

I asked Richard, what if I were to write that the pair is not playing as well a season ago. Would I be right or wrong?

“Wrong,” he said, professionally I should add. “We can sit down and watch it together.”

Jason Witten thinks he might know reason behind Dallas Cowboys’ slow starts - Jori Epstein, USA Today

Jason Witten comments on the consistent “slow starts” from the Cowboys offense.

Against the division-rival Eagles in Week 7, the Cowboys’ defense quickly forced and recovered two fumbles in the first quarter. The offense promptly scored rushing touchdowns on each short field and Dallas went on to blow out Philadelphia 37-10.

Beyond that, the Cowboys have not scored a first-quarter touchdown since Sept. 22 against the Dolphins. While they’re fourth in scoring overall, 17 teams have a better rate in the first quarter. Despite Dallas limiting opponents to the sixth-fewest points across four quarters, 25 teams are stingier in the first quarter.

Coaches and players largely repeat a need to eliminate errors and execute better when asked about the slow starts on both sides of the ball. The reasons for falling behind have varied each week, they say. But tight end Jason Witten offered one concrete suggestion for why the Cowboys are so much more productive after the first period.

“Sometimes when you go through opener (drives), you’re using that to see how they’re going to play certain other things,” Witten said. “It may be, in the midst of that, sometimes if you have a three-and-out, yeah, it may have opened our eyes to what we can do in the next series down the road, what we want to get to. But it may have had a negative impact on that possession not scoring early in the game.”

The next two weeks could go a long way in deciding the NFC East - RJ Ochoa, Blogging the Boys

These next two weeks are huge regarding who will win the NFC East. Here’s why.

There are two NFL weeks remaining before Thanksgiving Day. Time is flying way too fast. Nobody is flying in the NFC East as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are tied (Dallas has the tiebreaker currently) for the division lead with a 5-4 record beside each of their names.

There’s no denying that the Week 16 matchup between the two in the City of Brotherly Love is going to go a long way in deciding who gets some hats and t-shirts before the playoffs begin, but so will the next two weeks.

By now you’ve likely heard several people on whatever NFL talk show you listen to or watch note that the Cowboys have a tougher schedule than the Eagles do over the remainder of the regular season. It’s not easy for America’s Team, no doubt about that.

Special Feature: Collins is the Quiet Wrecking Ball - Brad Sham,

Brad Sham shines a light on Maliek Collins the player and the person.

When Maliek was trying to establish his pro football career. Again after breaking his foot in his rookie OTAs and missing training camp. Just in case you thought any of this was easy.

And how is his son today?

“He’s fine. Strong. That fueled me, his fight. The way he fought through that. He’s still a fighter.”

What Collins wants, besides winning, is to take care of his family. Wants to buy his mother a house. Take care of those kids. He embraces being a leader, for his kids and for his young teammates. He knows when he’s the one who needs guidance, and he knows that when he has something to say, it’s best to say it.

“I’ve experienced that before,” said Collins. “Bad things can happen when nobody speaks to somebody who’s going down the wrong road.”

BTB Podcast

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Here’s how Cowboys fans are feeling at Week 11.

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