We have reached the penultimate Sunday of the regular season and naturally the morning time was filled with reports from around the national media.
The Dallas Cowboys are operating at a rather interesting time for their organization as they are alive in the NFC East but in need of help by way of the Washington Football Team. In order to keep up their “we win NFC East titles in even years” routine (2014, 2016, & 2018) the Cowboys will have to win out and need Washington to lose out.
As far as Washington is concerned, there has been speculation as to whether Alex Smith will play at quarterback for them against the Carolina Panthers. There is still no level of full clarity, but it appears as if things might be on track for Dwayne Haskins to make the start. That’s good news for the Cowboys because, well, duh.
Speaking of the Cowboys, what about news concerning them? There is never a shortage in that department after all. As far as the Cowboys on the field are concerned it was reported on Saturday evening that running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to play today (after missing a game due to injury for the first time in his career last week). What’s worth noting though is that NFL Network reported there will be a “timeshare” of sorts at the position between Elliott and Tony Pollard.
From @NFLGameDay: #Cowboys RB Zeke Elliott (calf) is expected to play today, while #Chargers WR Keenan Allen is a game-time decision similar to last week. Fantasy finals loom for many (including me). pic.twitter.com/sLUVLLQhzr— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2020
Pollard had a very solid day in the production department last week, a performance that was capped off by a 40-yard touchdown that effectively won the game. Many have been petitioning to see him utilized more and last week’s game showed what a higher volume can be for him. Whether it is by design, by adjusting to Elliott’s current health status, or somewhere in between, that appears to be the case.
With regards to the design of things offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has seen his name pop up in the news cycle lately as well. There is an opening at head coach at Boise State University, Moore’s alma mater and place where he is one of the greatest players in the program’s history, and he is a natural thought to be the next man in charge of the Broncos (Dallas would likely go on to draft some of his players if that became the reality because, well, Boise Cowboys).
While there have been reports that Moore has interviewed for the Boise job, Sunday morning’s report from NFL Network noted that he had not... yet. There is no question that there is a lot of smoke here, the level of fire remains to be seen.
#Cowboys OC Kellen Moore is one of the top targets for the vacant HC opening at Boise St, his alma mater, sources say. He has not interviewed, but the school would like to talk to him, perhaps after today. Andy Avalos, #Oregon DC who coached at Boise, is a key candidate, too.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2020
These are obviously the notable storylines as they relate to the Cowboys besides the fact that the team is in the mix for a division title. There has been a lot going on around the Cowboys all season long and Mike McCarthy’s job will be to navigate it all and still find a way to win.
In non-Cowboys news, it was reported on Sunday morning that the NFL does appear on track towards a 17-game regular season starting in 2021 and that next year’s salary cap is in fact going to diminish. These will be things to monitor moving forward, but we have two weeks left to go before all preparation for next season truly and officially begins.