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Cowboys news: Andy Dalton & Chidobe Awuzie practice; more Ezekiel Elliott debate

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton Clears Both Protocols; Returns To Practice - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys got Andy Dalton back for a practice on Monday.

Andy Dalton is out of the concussion protocol. He’s also off the reserved/Covid-19 list.

With that, the veteran quarterback was back at practice Monday at Ford Center in The Star.

The Cowboys returned from a week off during their much-needed bye week and started preparation for next Sunday’s game in Minnesota.

“He was cleared to participate in practice,” head coach Mike McCarthy said of Dalton. “He had a good day. We had a mock game type of practice. And he was a full participant.”

McCarthy Updates Status Of Crawford, Awuzie - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

A health update on a couple of vets.

Crawford, a regular part of the defensive line rotation, has eight tackles and ranks fourth on defense with nine quarterback pressures.

“I’m hopeful it’s not too much longer, but I do not have an exact date,” McCarthy said regarding a timetable for Crawford’s return.

Elsewhere on the roster, McCarthy said cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is pointing toward a return to game action after being activated from Reserve/Injured last week.

Awuzie hurt his hamstring in Week 2 against Atlanta and hasn’t made a game appearance since.

“He practiced today and he looks great, so I anticipate him being ready to go,” McCarthy said.

Can the Dallas Cowboys overcome the Ezekiel Elliott contract? - Ben Davila, Sports Dallas Fort Worth

More speculation on Ezekiel Elliott’s future.

But Elliott’s backup, Tony Pollard–also running behind that same line–averages 4.4 yards a carry, which is over a half yard better than Elliott’s 3.8. And while the fumbles have been cleaned up, they certainly didn’t do anything to help while the Cowboys were playing from massive deficits earlier this season.

There’s also the lack of yardage after contact. Elliott used to shake tacklers loose and make guys miss. He simply doesn’t do that anymore. He doesn’t appear to be fighting through an injury, save for the wonky hamstring that was giving him trouble last week. So it does beg the question: is Ezekiel Elliott already washed up?

If he is, then that’s a massive problem. It’s not just because he’s looked upon to be a team leader. It’s because of that ridiculous contract extension he signed prior to last season. Of course, the absurd amount of money the Cowboys sunk into Elliott isn’t his fault. He’s within his right to seek every nickel coming to him. It’s just that the conventional wisdom is that you do not pay running backs that kind of cash. A player must be transcendent to be worth that kind of investment, and as good as Zeke has been for large stretches of his career, the Cowboys had no business shelling out that much money to a player who already has as much mileage on his tires as Elliott.

Cowboys’ Next Opponent, The Minnesota Vikings, Take On The Bears On Monday Night - Kevin Brady, Inside The Star

The Vikings running game is on point.

Offensively it’s been a weird, but productive year for the Vikings. Minnesota ranks 7th in offensive DVOA and 8th overall in EPA per play this season, led by Dalvin Cook and their dynamic rushing attack. Cook is already on the verge of 1,000 yards rushing this season, and has scored 12 rushing touchdowns through 8 games. Insane.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is still…Kirk Cousins. Overall he can be an efficient quarterback operating within a play action passing offense, but when asked to do to much as a dropback passer we’ve seen him fail time and time again.

Not for a lack of weapons, though.

Dak Prescott still leads some big names in passing yardage despite missing the past month - Chris Cwik, YahooSports

The numbers show just how good of a year Dak Prescott was having.

While Prescott deserves credit for his strong numbers in 2020, his immense yardage total was a result of the Cowboys’ porous defense. Dallas gave up at least 34 points in four of the team’s first five games. Prescott had to throw the ball to keep the Cowboys in those games.

Though he did his part, it didn’t lead to many wins. The Cowboys went 2-3 under Prescott to open the season. While that’s not impressive, the team has been much worse without Prescott, going 0-4 in the four games since Prescott dislocated his ankle.

Dallas’ struggles could help Prescott in the long run. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season and is eligible for the franchise tag one more time. The Cowboys, however, could commit to Prescott long-term by signing him to a massive extension. Either move will be a tough decision with Prescott coming off the injury.

Why Dallas Cowboys Should Consider Adding CB DeAndre Baker - Brian Martin, Inside The Star

Never a bad thing to at least kick the tires on a former first-round pick.

The Dallas Cowboys could be a logical destination and one of the interested parties in adding DeAndre Baker. With Trevon Diggs out 4 to 6 weeks and possibly the rest of the year with a broken foot the Cowboys could use more CB depth this season. But, Baker could possibly be part of their future as well.

This would be one of those risk/reward type of situations the Dallas Cowboys have had no problem justifying in the past. It worked out with Aldon Smith this season and could possibly work again with DeAndre Baker. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a win-win to me.

Of course, like everything it’s going to come down to money. Another team could be willing to offer Baker more than what the Cowboys could, but that shouldn’t stop them from at least trying. We all know they need more CB help beyond the 2020 season and DeAndre could potentially scratch that “need” off the list.

This Dallas Cowboys player is crucial to their future - Lucas Mascherin, The Landry Hat

The pairing of Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore could be productive in the future.

Dallas Cowboys: Neville Gallimore’s motor is revving

When you read his scouting reports, you would notice a couple of positive notes. People raved about his competitiveness and his workhorse mentality. Joe Marino of The Draft Network was one of those raving about Gallimore’s hustle.

“Some really impressive reps of secondary effort and making plays simply on account of hustle.”

We saw that level of competitiveness against the Steelers. He was so impressive that if you google his name, you will see a ton of articles raving about his performance and his potential. Well, add this article to the list.

While there aren’t many “great” interior linemen in the NFL, those that are in that category get praised. They have a large role in a team’s run defense and can make a quarterback very uncomfortable.

Most interior linemen specialize in either run-stuffing or pass rushing. Gallimore showed success in both areas despite not sacking Roethlisberger.

The Dallas Cowboys have had a poor run defense for a couple of years now, in part because of the lack of stud players at defensive tackle. If Gallimore develops as those writing articles praising him and I believe, then it will help solidify the Cowboys’ defense.

Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order After Sunday’s Week 10 Results - Joe Tansey, Bleacher Report

We keep moving on up.

1. New York Jets

2. Jacksonville

3. Dallas

4. Washington

5. Los Angeles Chargers

6. Miami (from Houston)

7. Cincinnati

8. New York Giants

9. Carolina

10. Atlanta