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Cowboys news: La’el Collins out for the season; Browns/Cowboys key matchups and game predictions

Here is your game day edition of Cowboys news!

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cowboys T La’el Collins set to undergo hip surgery Wednesday, will miss remainder of 2020 season - Jelani Scott, NFL

Well, the La’el Collins mystery is finally over.

The Dallas Cowboys right tackle is set to have surgery on Wednesday to address the hip and is expected to miss the rest of the 2020 campaign, NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Saturday, per an informed source.

Slater added that the decision to opt for surgery came after Collins’ pain had become intolerable despite him wanting to play through it. The 27-year-old began training camp on the PUP list and was limited to mainly individual drills for most of the practices he participated in.

Final Injury Reports for Cowboys, Browns Ahead of Week 4 Matchup - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

In other injury news, here is the team’s final injury report and what it could mean for the Cowboys on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys

OT Tyron Smith (neck) – Questionable

DE DeMarcus Lawrence (knee) – Questionable

CB Trevon Diggs (shoulder/knee) – Questionable

After missing the last two games with neck stingers, Offensive Tackle Tyron Smith is expected to return. That should push Brandon Knight over to right tackle in place of still-injured La’el Collins, who has missed every game so far while on injured reserve.

Collins was technically eligible to return this week after spending three weeks on IR, but Stephen Jones confirmed earlier this week that La’el would need more time. Based on some reports, there is rising concern that Collins may not return at all in 2020.

That makes Tyron Smith’s all the more vital and hopefully permanent. The perennial Pro Bowler has never missed more than three games in a season, but these two early absences could put that stat in jeopardy.

Dallas should also have two key defensive starters on Sunday in DE DeMarcus Lawrence and CB Trevon Diggs. Tank was able to practice in a limited capacity on Friday after missing the rest of the week.

His knee issue has had a clear on-field impact on his own production, but Lawrence’s presence has still helped Aldon Smith become the NFL’s current sack leader. That said, we could see a higher snap count for Everson Griffen while Dallas manages Tank’s reps with this lingering injury.

Trevon Diggs played last week with a shoulder issue and has since picked up a knee injury to go with it. However, the rookie stud didn’t miss practice this week and should be to help cover Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.

Francis Bernard promoted, many are excited about his Cowboys prospects - Asa Henry

The Cowboys promoted a fan favorite on Saturday, but what will that mean for Sunday?

The majority of Bernard’s opportunities will likely come from special teams, but with the way this season is going the Cowboys need their backups to be ready for an increased role at a moment’s notice, especially at the linebacker position.

Linebackers Luke Gifford and Justin March each played over fifty percent of special teams snaps last week, but neither player was used to give Thomas or Smith a break on the defensive side of the ball.

It remains to be seen the level of opportunity the rookie will get this Sunday in Dallas, but the hungry Bernard will look to make the most of whatever snaps he’s given.

Browns vs. Cowboys - Game Preview - October 4, 2020 - Associated Press, ESPN

ESPN provides their weekly game preview.

HOT PRESCOTT

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year joined Jameis Winston (last season) as the only quarterbacks with consecutive games of at least 450 yards.

For Winston, those were two of Tampa Bay’s wins in a 7-9 season. Prescott has just a 1-1 record to show for his after a 38-31 loss in Seattle. While Prescott did plenty to give the Cowboys a chance to win, his three turnovers proved critical. Dallas is tied for the third-worst turnover margin at minus-4.

“I thought Dak had a great command,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “When the result is what it was, you have to talk about the negative plays. But he clearly understands the importance of ball security. We’ll continue to stress that.”

NICK OF TIME

Browns star running back Nick Chubb has gone over 100 yards the past two games by breaking off long gains and some tougher, “dirty” runs for minimal yardage.

Already one of the NFL’s best, Chubb said the chance to play against an elite back such as Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t give him any more motivation. Chubb is fourth in the NFL with 292 yards. Elliott, a two-time rushing champion, is tied for ninth at 219.

“I go out there and play my game,” Chubb said.

The Winning Mix: 3 key ingredients for a Browns victory over the Dallas Cowboys - Nathan Zegura, Cleveland Browns

Over at Browns base camp they provide three key ingredients for a Browns win on Sunday.

1. Throw it all over Jerry’s World

The Browns’ winning formula in 2020 has been to limit pass attempts and feature the incredible running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb and Hunt are the only running back duo with more than 200 yards rushing each and the Browns are running on 52.7 percent of their plays, second-most in the NFL. That formula will bring success against many teams, but in Week 4, the Browns may have to open up the passing game to keep pace with the explosive Dallas offense.

The good news for the Browns is Baker Mayfield comes into this game very hot, completing 70 percent of his passes with three touchdowns, one interception and consecutive quarterback ratings of 100-plus over the last two weeks. Mayfield will look to post a third consecutive quarterback rating over 100 for the first time in his career and will get help from a struggling Dallas pass defense that is arguably the most generous in the NFL.

In their last two games, the Cowboys have allowed 792 yards passing, nine passing touchdowns, an opposing quarterback rating of 128.1 and have not recorded a single interception. The nine passing touchdowns in consecutive games is the most given up by Dallas sine the 2006 season.

For the year, Dallas is allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw a touchdown every 12 pass attempts, by far the highest rate in the NFL. In fact the 8.3 touchdown rate allowed by the Dallas pass defense is the worst the NFL has seen since the 1969 season. Odell Beckham Jr. has a great history against the Cowboys with five career touchdowns against them in seven games. This is the game to count on Beckham and Jarvis Landry, who has caught 11 of his 12 targets this season, and air the ball out in a race to 30-plus points in a shootout in Dallas. By the way, if the Browns score 30-plus points this week, it will be the first time they have scored 30 or more in three consecutive games since 1968.

3 Matchups to Watch in Cowboys vs Browns Week 4 Battle - John Williams, Inside the Star

Three matchups to keep an eye out for in this game.

1. Jarvis Landry vs. Jourdan Lewis

The Dallas Cowboys have problems in the secondary because of the injuries they’ve suffered to Anthony brown and Chidobe Awuzie. They’ve been stretched thin and have been taken advantage of in the first three weeks of the season. With Daryl Worley and Trevon Diggs on the outside, Jourdan Lewis is the primary slot cornerback. This week he draws the unfortunate task of attempting to guard Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver, Jarvis Landry.

Landry comes into the game having caught every pass thrown his way when lined up in the slot, per Pro Football Focus. Nine of his 12 receptions on the season have come from the slot where he lines up 62.2% of the time.

Per PFF, Jourdan Lewis has done a pretty solid job in coverage when lined up in the slot. Among players with at least 20 slot coverage snaps, Jourdan Lewis’ passer rating allowed ranks fourth in the NFL at 57.6. He’s allowed the fewest targets and receptions allowed per snap in slot coverage in the NFL.

The Cowboys need Jourdan Lewis to keep Jarvis Landry from being an easy target for Baker Mayfield to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Mayfield’s held the ball longer than anyone in the NFL this season per Next Gen Stats at 3.23 seconds per throw. Jourdan Lewis needs to hold up early and often against one of the best slot wide receivers in the NFL.

Gut Feeling: Predictions For Cowboys-Browns - Staff, Dallas Cowboys

The staff over at the Mothership let us know what their gut is saying for today’s game.

Nick Eatman: The longer this week goes, it closer I keep seeing the final outcome. Earlier in the week, I had Dallas winning this one by 10-14 points but the more I recall what happened last week in Seattle, coupled by the fact the Browns do have some experienced playmakers over there, this one could be a lot closer. I do think the Cowboys will get the job done, thanks to a much-improved secondary. I’m calling for not one, but two interceptions this week – and let’s get specific and give one to the rookie Trevon Diggs. On the other side, I can see a huge game for CeeDee Lamb. Watch for him to make some plays down the field, including his first career touchdown. I think it’ll be closer than expected, but I’ll take the Cowboys 28-23.

Expert predictions for Cowboys-Browns: Nothing comes easy for Dallas, and this won’t be different - Staff, Dallas Morning News

More thoughts on who will emerge victorious.

John Owning

For the second time in my life — the first being in 1994, when I was a cute 2-year-old — the Browns are a legitimate threat to beat the Cowboys. The key for the Cowboys will be figuring out a way to slow Myles Garrett and Cleveland’s potent pass rush. If they can do that, I think Dak Prescott should pick apart Cleveland’s back seven en route to another explosive performance. I also think Baker Mayfield will gift the Cowboys a turnover or two that will be just enough for Dallas to secure the victory. Cowboys 31, Browns 26.

Cleveland Browns score predictions vs. Cowboys in Week 4 - Randy Gurzi, Dawg Pound Daily

Even more predictions for the game.

For the first time in nearly six years, the Cleveland Browns own a winning record. After making it look easy against Washington in Week 3, they have an even tougher test this coming weekend as they travel to Texas to play the Dallas Cowboys. Don’t let the 1-2 record for Dallas fool you, this is the toughest team Cleveland has faced since Week 1 when they took on Baltimore.

The Cowboys were defeated in Week 3 by the Seattle Seahawks in a close game but they still managed to drop 31 points and had nearly 500 yards passing. It was the second week in a row Dak Prescott was about 450 yards which is less than encouraging for the Browns, who are banged up in the secondary. What is encouraging is the fact that Dallas’ defense is a dumpster fire. Seattle and Atlanta moved the ball at Will over the past two weeks and there’s no doubt that Baker Mayfield will have his share of easy completions in this one. The ground game should also have its share of opportunities but where Cleveland can really hurt Dallas is by dumping it off to Kareem Hunt.

The Cowboys are hurting at linebacker and that leads to struggles in trying to contain the running back out in the flat. Having said all that, look for the Browns to keep this one closer than many expect. In the end, the aerial attack in Big D will be too much but Cleveland will win some doubters over still.

Prediction: Dallas 34, Cleveland 27

Dallas Cowboys’ Trysten Hill fined $13K for actions vs. Seattle Seahawks - Todd Archer, ESPN

The league did not take kindly to Trysten Hill’s antics last Sunday.

Hill was fined $6,522 for a hit on quarterback Russell Wilson and $6,522 for a gator-roll tackle of Chris Carson that has left the running back questionable for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

Hill makes roughly $42,000 each week as part of his $716,736 base salary. He has been credited with 11 tackles and three quarterback pressures in three games after being credited with just six tackles and one quarterback pressure in seven games as a rookie.

Check out the TV coverage map (courtesy of 506 Sports) to see if the game is being televised in your area.