Cowboys News: Amari Cooper Says He Wants to Stay in Dallas Ahead of Free Agency - Mike Chiari, Bleacher Report
Amari Cooper reiterates that he wants to stay in Dallas, despite questions regarding his health and performance.
According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, one of the biggest reasons why Cooper wants to return to the Cowboys is the fact that he enjoys playing with quarterback Dak Prescott.
Cooper and Prescott are the Cowboys’ two biggest pending free agents, but it seems likely that Dallas will place the franchise tag on Dak if it is unable to sign him to a long-term deal.
In 15 games this season, Cooper has made 75 catches for 1,097 yards and eight touchdowns as Prescott’s No. 1 target.
Dallas acquired Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders last season, and he made an instant impact on the offense. In nine games, Cooper registered 53 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns and helped the Cowboys win the NFC East.
Cowboys starters DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones dealing with injuries - Calvin Watkins, The Dallas Morning News
Heading into week 17, and possibly a playoff run, the Cowboys are as banged up as they’ve been in some time.
FRISCO – Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence hasn’t missed much practice time this season due to his health, but it’s clear he’s not 100%.
Lawrence is playing with a separated AC joint in his left shoulder.
This is the same shoulder that was surgically repaired in the offseason for a torn labrum, but the AC joint issue for Lawrence isn’t considered serious.
Also, starting cornerback Byron Jones missed Friday’s practice with an ankle injury. Jones, who hasn’t missed any games in five NFL seasons, was in a walking boot.
“He was out here Christmas day running pass drills, and came down funny. Unfortunately, he had a traditional ankle sprain that ballooned up on him, and it’s going to be a question mark whether he can play or not,” Stephen Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “It’ll be a game-time decision.”
If Jones is unable to play in the regular season finale against the Washington Redskins, expect Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie to start at corner with the possibility of C.J. Goodwin or Deante Burton getting some key snaps.
“You just got to prepare and be prepared,” Lewis said after practice. “I feel like that’s what we’ve been doing, preparing and trying to get this win. It’s the next guy up, that’s what the mindset is.”
Terry McLaurin ruled out for Sunday’s game, just 8 yards away from Redskins rookie receiving yards record - Megan Plain, WTKR.com
The Redskins will be without their best offensive player and their best defensive player on Sunday.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Washington receiver Terry McLaurin came so close to setting the new Redskins rookie receiving yards record, but concussion protocol left him just eight yards shy of the mark.
Gary Clark holds the record with 926 yards.
Through 14 games, McLaurin finished with 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history to have five or more receptions and a touchdown through each of his first three NFL games.
McLaurin is currently first among NFL rookies this season in catches, second in yards and tied for second in touchdowns.
Do the Cowboys have any chance to get lucky this weekend?
David Helman: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Cowboys should be able to pull out a win against an injury-depleted team. I know we said that last week, but it’s probably even more true on Sunday. Washington isn’t a great team when fully healthy, and they are anything but that. They have something like 27 guys on injured reserve heading into this weekend, and they’re starting their backup quarterback — along with a secondary full of backups. It probably won’t be pretty, but the Cowboys should be able to take advantage. I’ve got Dak Prescott throwing for 244 and a touchdown, while Zeke Elliott runs for 85 yards and another touchdown, and the Cowboys grind out a 20-16 win. It won’t be enough, unfortunately, as I think Philadelphia will handle its business in a 24-14 win against New York that knocks the Cowboys out of the playoffs.
NFL head coach candidates to know before carousel gets going - Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City chiefs offensive coordinator, 50: The former NFL running back has climbed the coaching ranks over 18 years, spending the last two as Andy Reid’s right-hand man with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. Bieniemy had interviews for four jobs (Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, Bucs) and turned down a fifth (Cardinals) last year. He figures to be in the mix again.
Dan Campbell, New Orleans Saints assistant head coach/tight ends, 43: A 10-year NFL veteran as a player who learned a lot from Bill Parcells, his coach when he played for the Cowboys, Campbell is heavily involved in the Saints’ running game and addresses the team weekly on opponent looks, keys to victory, etc. He’d need to hire strong coordinators and focus on setting the program. Campbell, who served as interim head coach in Miami in 2015, interviewed with the Colts two years ago and the Browns, Cardinals and Packers last year.
Brian Daboll, Bills offensive coordinator, 44: Few can beat Daboll’s resume, which includes five Super Bowl rings over two stints as a Patriots assistant plus a national title on Nick Saban’s staff on Alabama. Now, Daboll is grooming young QB Josh Allen, who has been a breakout star for the playoff-bound Bills.
Matt Eberflus, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator, 49: This year’s sleeper, Eberflus is a 27-year NFL/college assistant who has a ton of supporters in the league. He commands fast, disciplined football from his players. The Browns interviewed him last year.
Don “Wink” Martindale, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, 56: A longtime linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to DC before the 2018 season and has guided one of the NFL’s top defenses two years in a row, despite significant roster turnover. He’s highly regarded by players.
Greg Roman, Ravens offensive coordinator, 47: One of the architects of the 49ers’ unique scheme in which Colin Kaepernick thrived, Roman is doing it again in Baltimore with NFL MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson. No one questions Roman’s offensive acumen. He’s a unique personality who teams will want to get to know better.
Are we overrating or underrating the changes that need to happen inside the star?
Third, there will be changes made to the coaching staff and inevitably the roster. That is where we are today, the changes or the lack thereof that should and need to occur. As with anything else, let’s start at the top.
A former and reborn Jason Garrett neutralist, neither loved him nor necessarily thought he should have been fired at any point across his tenure as of Week 7 earlier in this season, I now wholeheartedly feel he should be shown the door.
Garrett has had too many opportunities this season where a direct decision that is up to him or that he has made has costed the Dallas Cowboys a victory or their best chance to achieve one. There is nothing else that can be said for him, except that the Red Clapper must go.
When looking immediately below him on both sides of the ball, you then have the coordinators, Kellen Moore on the offensive side and some combination of Kris Richard and Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball. They should all be safe.
Cowboys rookie report: Tony Pollard’s usage in game plan drops in disappointing loss - Cole Patterson, Blogging the Boys
Tony Pollard’s usage has been strange all season, but to not use him after a breakout game, is borderline insanity.
The Cowboys let a grand opportunity of winning consecutive NFC East titles and locking up a playoff spot for the third time in four seasons slip away in the loss to the Eagles. It was an overall disaster, as the team could not get anything going against an injury-plagued, short-handed Philadelphia squad on the road. It was a win-and-in game, and the Cowboys did not rise to the occasion.
Now, the Cowboys have no control of their own destiny. Dallas has to hope that they not only defeat Washington, but that the Giants are also able to knock off the Eagles in MetLife Stadium. In that scenario, the Cowboys would limp into the postseason with a banged up quarterback and a team that doesn’t look to have much, if any, confidence in themselves or their head coach.
Regarding the 2019 rookie class, there wasn’t much new to report. As has been the case for the majority of the season, just one rookie saw any real action for the Cowboys; though, even he was limited in the game plan — just a week after we asked if he was the key to unleashing the Dallas Cowboys.
Rookie Tony Pollard, who was coming off his best performance of his rookie campaign with a 12-carry, 131-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Rams, was almost nowhere to be found in Philadelphia.
Sunday could be the final time we see Jason Witten wear the Star. How does that make you feel?
It’s been quite the two-year journey for Jason Witten.
The future hall of fame tight end had hung it up after the 2017 season, seeing the writing on the wall for his career and no immediate winning with the Dallas Cowboys in sight. He went into broadcasting, being gifted the Monday Night Football job and a chance at the biggest stage in football through the booth.
Of course, things didn’t go as planned up there, leading Witten to consider coming back to football earlier this year. And once he saw what the Cowboys were building for 2019, he believed this could be his final chance at achieving Super Bowl glory.
Things haven’t gone as planned on the field either.
Witten has mostly looked like a shell of his former self this season, as should be expected for someone his age (37) and coming off a full season of retirement. While he has scored 4 touchdowns and caught 59 balls, Witten has offered next to nothing after the catch as a playmaker, and has become a liability as a run blocker.
Here are our final thoughts ahead of what could be the last game of the season.
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