Dallas has ventured elsewhere in search of backups for Andy Dalton.
On Saturday, Detroit made a series of roster moves that included activating guard Joe Dahl from injured reserve, promoting David Blough from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, elevating tight end Isaac Nauta to the active roster and waiving cornerback Chris Jones.
According to The Athletic, “The Lions signed David Blough to their active roster to match an offer from the Cowboys, who wanted to poach him off the practice squad.”
Per a league source, the Lions signed David Blough to their active roster to match an offer from the Cowboys, who wanted to poach him off the practice squad.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) October 17, 2020
It’s a great sign for Prescott to have a clean slate post-surgery, especially given the high possibility - and previous occurrences (see Alex Smith) of infection with operations like these.
Doctors were concerned that an infection could set in and were closely monitoring the situation to guard against it. Prescott was sent home from the hospital Monday afternoon after undergoing surgery Sunday night.
Sources expect Prescott to need four to six months of rehab, but Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the quarterback is “going to challenge any timeline.” In a video posted Thursday to Instagram, Prescott said he is “ready to start this road to come back” and is in “great spirits” after the season-ending surgery.
Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan that he’s likely to slap another franchise tag on Prescott.
The Cowboys and their 2016 fourth-round pick had been in tenuous negotiations for over a year, during which time the team signed defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence, linebacker Jaylon Smith, tackle La’el Collins, running back Ezekiel Elliott, wide receiver Amari Cooper to contract extensions, in addition to signing backup quarterback Andy Dalton. Around the league, quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes inked their own long-term extensions for four years, $156 million and 10 years, $503 million, respectively.
The team applied the $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag as a one-year stopgap in March and long-term talks were ultimately stalled in July. Prior to 2020, Prescott had earned an average of $680,848 per year under his rookie deal.
Exercising the franchise tag for a second year would cost the Cowboys 120 percent of Prescott’s salary in 2020, or approximately $37.7 million. Teams are allowed to use the franchise tag on a player a total of three times, with the third time incurring a cost of 144 percent of the player’s previous salary, or $54.3 million in this case.
Dalton has the chance to get PAID.
Dalton will make $1 million if he leads the Cowboys to the playoffs and plays in 35% of their regular-season plays. He will make an additional $500,000 if he leads Dallas to an opening-round postseason win and plays half the snaps.
Dalton will make an additional $500,000 if he leads Dallas to a second-round postseason win and plays half the snaps. He will make $750,000 if he leads Dallas to an NFC Championship Game win, and another $1.25 million to lead them to a Super Bowl win.
Dalton, 32, is scheduled to be a free agent after this season and figures to garner attention from multiple teams if he is successful with the Cowboys. The three-time Pro Bowler replaced the injured Prescott last Sunday and rallied Dallas (2-3) to a victory over the New York Giants.
Mike McCarthy’s focus is on Cowboys backup QB Ben DiNucci, not Andy Dalton - David Moore Dallas Morning News
DiNucci took some snaps with the first team this week.
“Andy has a lot of experience being in the No. 1 chair. I think this will be a seamless transition for him, to get ready and prepare and for us to get the whole offense prepared with him in front. But we need to make sure Ben advances in his new role.”
DiNucci, the team’s seventh-round pick out of James Madison, had been the team’s No. 3 quarterback until Prescott’s injury. He didn’t have the benefit of preseason games to get any snaps under his belt.
The rookie’s gotten more work than usual in recent days. In addition to getting DiNucci the limited practice work that normally went to Dalton, McCarthy has been sure to carve out a few reps for him with the first team. DiNucci has also played Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray as the defense prepares for this game.
Moving forward without #4 is going to be tough. But it’s more than doable.
The Cowboys still have running back Ezekiel Elliott, who took on a larger role in the second half of last Sunday’s win over the New York Giants. At this point, ‘Feeding Zeke’ should take on the look of an all-you-can-eat buffet. It would do nothing more than help the Cowboys’ offense overall and the passing game in particular, opening up more play-action passing options. For that matter, the Cowboys should be running plenty of run plays to the right side. It’s time to take advantage of that All-Pro right guard Zack Martin and that rookie center, Tyler Biadasz.
The defense? Well, Ok, it still has issues. But help is coming. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch could be back this week, as he’s been a full participant in practice all week. His return would be welcome help for Jaylon Smith. Defensive end Randy Gregory is, in Elliott’s words, playing “lights out” in practice this week and should return to the field the following week against Washington. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is working his way back from injury, and when he returns, barring any other injuries, the defense will be about as full strength as its going to get this season.
Meanwhile, if the offense becomes more run-heavy with Elliott and helps chew up more clock, that reduces the amount of time the defense is on the field and, theoretically, makes the team better in the short term.
The rookie receiver is not shaken. Not in the slightest.
“Being in the right position at the right time for the quarterback,” Lamb said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in. As long as me and the quarterback are on the same page at any given moment then a spark can happen.”
Lamb has been lighting that spark early and often with the Cowboys this season. The NFL record for most consecutive games with at least five receptions to start a career is five. As of now, Lamb shares that record with former Dallas Cowboy Terry Glenn. That can change this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. If Lamb can manage to bring in five catches against the Cardinals, he will set a new NFL record.
When Lamb fell to the Cowboys, who held the 17th overall pick in last April’s draft, fans clamored over the possibility of a game-changing playmaker. The rookie has certainly delivered on a little bit of that highlight-reel potential, but perhaps more surprisingly is his general consistency. Amari Cooper has been a strong number one receiver for Dallas, and Michael Gallup has come up clutch multiple times, but Lamb has played almost like a veteran in his ability to always be ready to make the play that keeps his quarterback in rhythm.
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