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Cowboys news: Jerry Jones throws Ben DiNucci under the bus

All the Tuesday news you might have missed

NFL: NOV 01 Cowboys at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jerry Jones: Broncos’ competitive disadvantage with Kendall Hinton equal to Cowboys starting Ben DiNucci - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

Ben DiNucci’s lone start this year was obviously not very good, as the rookie quarterback hasn’t so much as suited up since then, but Jerry Jones may have overstated the Nooch’s struggles on Tuesday when he compared it to the Broncos’ situation this past week.

In a Tuesday morning interview with 105.3FM the Fan, the Hall of Fame owner used the comparison to crutch a point regarding the integrity of the game, and his belief that competitive disadvantages still exist in a season ravaged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t know that Denver had any more of a challenge than we’ve had with [Ben] DiNucci or with the young quarterbacks that we’ve had,” Jones said. “And, by the way, two or three of those [Broncos] quarterbacks will be back from the [COVID/Reserve list].”

It’s a bold comparison, if not a downright inaccurate one that takes a swipe in both directions, seeing as the Broncos wished they had a QB of any sort to take on the Saints, while DiNucci would rather not be compared to a practice squad wide receiver.

Dak Prescott’s price tag keeps growing, but a future without him is too bleak for these Cowboys to consider - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News

With each game that the Cowboys lose, it becomes more and more clear just how valuable Dak Prescott is to this team. While Prescott is on the franchise tag this year, he’ll be in a very good position to get a massive contract after the season is over.

Now, if the Cowboys were going to finish with the NFL’s worst record and draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, then you could make a legitimate argument about whether it’s better to start over with the best prospect at quarterback since Andrew Luck.

But that’s living in a world of gumdrops and lollipops because the New York Jets may not win a game this season. So Prescott should be the Cowboys’ quarterback for the foreseeable future.

And he will as long as Jerry and Stephen Jones understand they’re not winning this negotiation. In fact, they’re going to get their butts kicked. The sooner they accept that, the better. Quarterbacks have all the leverage in negotiations, which is why they sign the most absurd of contracts. Besides, we’ve seen Andy Dalton play a few games now and he’s an average-at-best NFL quarterback.

He’s a solid backup but nobody thinks Dalton is going to take your favorite team to the Super Bowl. Think about it, all those howling for Dalton at various times since he signed with Dallas have been awfully quiet after each of his starts.Dak has the ability to make Dallas a contender, but it’s not a Dallas Cowboys birthright to have a championship contender.

Cowboys’ Jerry Jones: First year with Mike McCarthy similar to inaugural season with Jimmy Johnson - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

Mike McCarthy’s first year in Dallas definitely hasn’t gone according to plan - an offseason shortened by a pandemic, followed by a rash of injuries to key players, saw to that - but Jerry Jones likened this to Jimmy Johnson’s miserable first year with the Cowboys.

“Yeah, I sure can [remember a time when a coach was as handicapped as McCarthy] — Jimmy Johnson,” he told 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday as the team waits to finally face the Baltimore Ravens. “I sure can. Jimmy had a lot of handicaps when we first came in here. By the way, we won the one football game, too. And he was accused by one other coach for sure of making it look like [we were] a high school program.”

Before Johnson’s version of the Cowboys went on a tear and dominated the NFL en route to two Super Bowl wins — three, realistically speaking, seeing as Barry Switzer simply held the road with Johnson’s construct in 1995 — there were a couple of very lean seasons in Dallas. Jones hired Johnson following the 1989 purchase of the team and immediately suffered through a 1-15 season in Year 1, followed by an improvement to a still-losing record of 7-9 in Year 2.

Needless to say, this simply fueled the venom being hurled toward he and Johnson after the controversial firing of NFL legend Tom Landry, who himself battled through a 17-30 record in his final three seasons with the club.

“Yeah, I can remember those kinds of challenges,” Jones said. “Coach Landry was challenged the year before when he only won three games. So, sure, I can recollect real challenges that we’ve experienced and by the way, to those guys’ credit, they took that adversity, they made adjustments, they didn’t [give up on] the team — the spirit, the heart of the team. They were able to take parts of those times in Jimmy’s case and take those times.”

Dallas Cowboys continue to work through grief after death of Markus Paul - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys had to play their Thanksgiving game just a day after the tragic passing of their strength and conditioning coordinator, Markus Paul. But with their next game being pushed back several times, it’s provided a moment for players and coaches to process it.

It’s been a week since Paul was rushed to the hospital from his weight room office. In some respects, playing Washington could have masked some of the grief and served as a momentary distraction.

The moving of Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens to Tuesday (8:05 p.m. ET, Fox) has given the Cowboys’ players, coaches and staff more time to process what happened. They had the weekend to spend with family to get away and will not be allowed back at The Star until Wednesday, per a league memo regarding a change in COVID-19 protocols following the holiday.

Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith said having the time off has been “critical” to healing the mind and the body.

“At the end of the day, it’s football and we’ve been playing for our whole lives,” he said. “You’ve got to find a way, and it’s going to take everyone’s effort. In the midst of all this, we’ve got to come together.”

Why Dallas Cowboys Should Treat Remaining 5 Games Like Preseason - Brian Martin, Inside the Star

The Cowboys may not be openly admitting it, but their season is done. Obviously, Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff will still try to win every game, but perhaps they should treat this as more of an opportunity to evaluate everyone rather than shoot for a playoff spot.

After such a disastrous season the Dallas Cowboys will have their work cut out for them one way or another. Getting a jump start on the self-evaluation process could actually help speed things up. Ben Franklin put it best, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Wise words from a wise man and fitting ones for the Cowboys if I do say so myself.

One thing for sure, changes are coming for the Dallas Cowboys. Adjustments will be made to hopefully improve the roster as well as the coaching staff and that’s the way it should be. Knowing exactly the best course to take though will require countless hours of work, so why not go ahead and get started as soon as possible?

Odds are the Cowboys already have a pretty good idea of their “problem areas”. They probably already know which coaches are receiving a pink slip and which players they will be letting go and which ones they will be trying to retain. However, using the remainder of the season to make sure isn’t exactly a bad idea.

Should Cowboys consider trading Dak Prescott for Trevor Lawrence? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

With the Cowboys likely to have a very high draft pick, and with Dak Prescott not under contract for next year, there will be endless debate about potentially working out a tag-and-trade deal to secure Trevor Lawrence in the draft. But should Dallas pursue the highly touted quarterback prospect?

Adding Prescott’s potential $40 million+ per year contract to the mix will only further limit the team’s options, not only for adding talent to the roster, but also keeping it. A perfect example took place this offseason when Dallas opted to sign their pending free agent quarterback to the exclusive franchise tag, at a cost of $31.4 million.

The Cowboys elected to ink wide receiver Amari Cooper to a five-year, $100 million extension as well. That left no pie leftover to retain the team’s Pro Bowl cornerback, Byron Jones, who moved on to join the Miami Dolphins as a free agent.

So while the idea of not re-signing a known commodity like Prescott, who is a well-respected leader in the locker room, is almost unthinkable, the cost to retain him will absolutely limit the amount of talent the Dallas brass can surround him with. And remember, this is already a Cowboys’ team that’s posted a 2-3 record with Dak under center this season, and an 8-8 record last year.

Jerry Jones ‘couldn’t be happier’ former Cowboys WR Bryant back in NFL - Matthew Lenix, Cowboys Wire

Dez Bryant finally returned to the NFL for the first time since 2017, and now he’ll be facing off against his old team when the Cowboys play against the Ravens. But there’s no bad blood here, as Jerry Jones is happy for his former star receiver.

“Dez has an eternal light of good,” Jones said. “If you love a competitor, or if you love somebody that his whole being is about getting to compete. He’s got his teammate’s best interests, great teammate. Dez is a eternal light of positiveness for our game. I couldn’t be happier to see him on the field. Now, I’m going to be a little worried because I do know how that rascal can go up there and get a ball.”

Bryant was targeted five times and caught four passes for 28 yards in the Raven’s 30-24 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 11 which was his first bit of production since Week 17 of 2017. When Week 13 comes about, he’ll look to make an impact against his former team, especially considering things didn’t end on the best of terms. Also, the Cowboys have another 88 making waves in the NFL these days in CeeDee Lamb who is proving to be one of the brightest young stars at the receiver position. Unquestionably, that’ll add a little fuel to Bryant’s fire.

The Cowboys will have all eyes on them, per usual, as their battle with the Ravens will be the only game slotted in the NFL on December 8. With the Bryant factor now in the mix, it could set up quite the show for football fans everywhere.

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