Zack Martin has been on the injured reserve since the Thanksgiving game against the Washington Football Team, but a return this season has never been ruled out. With Week 17 coming up, it appears any return for the future Hall of Famer will be dependent on a playoff berth.
The Cowboys’ owner/general manager made his regular appearance on 105.3 FM The Fan on Tuesday morning, where he was asked about the availability of his injured All-Pro guard. And while Jones wasn’t so sure about Martin returning in time for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, he didn’t rule it out as a future possibility.
“I’m dubious that he can be there this week, but I’m not about the future weeks,” he said. “We’ve got a chance in the future. He will make, and can make, such a difference in this football team.”
Obviously, that would hinge on a pair of success results this weekend. If the Cowboys beat the Giants on Sunday afternoon, they can clinch the NFC East with a Washington loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night.
Cowboys’ Kellen Moore on Boise State rumors: Dallas OC does ‘want to be a head coach,’ Jerry Jones weighs in - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
The Boise State Broncos have been pretty openly courting Kellen Moore to be their next head coach, and the tea leaves seem to suggest he will take the job whenever the Cowboys’ season is over. But Moore was pretty tight-lipped when asked about it this week.
For his part, Moore readily admits his already well-known affection for the Broncos and what the opportunity might mean for him, but he also knows he has to stay focused on the task at hand, which is namely trying to defeat the New York Giants in Week 17 to have one final shot at possibly stealing the NFC East crown and landing a seat in the playoffs because of it; two things no one expected the Cowboys to have a chance at doing a few weeks ago.
“Obviously, Boise is a unique one for me, special to me,” Moore told media one day after helping to lead the Cowboys in a blowout must-win over the Philadelphia Eagles. “I love that place. Obviously, just going through the process right now. I’m just focused on this game.
“Yeah, I think I just got to go through this process,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to comment right now too much about it. I think I just got to go through the process and see where it’s at. Obviously, [I’m] really focused on that we have — this awesome chance to win the NFC East, as crazy as this season has been.
Jerry Jones not against Cowboys OC Kellen Moore accepting opportunities to become a head coach - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Kellen Moore has quickly become one of the biggest offensive coordinators in the NFL in his two years running the Cowboys offense, although some inside Dallas have assumed he was being groomed to one day become the head coach. But Jerry Jones didn’t reflect that thinking on Tuesday when he suggested Moore take the Boise State job.
Stephen Jones, the Cowboys executive vice president, said Monday on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] assistant coaches must be patience before taking head coaching jobs. Jerry Jones isn’t against patience, however, he’s also not against taking a head coaching job.
“But I’ll say this to anyone. Remember the two buzzards sitting on the limb and one’s got his neck turned around looking at the other and says, ‘Patience my ass. I’m going to kill something.’ As they surveyed the landscape,” Jones said on The Fan.
In a follow up question about Moore leaving, Jerry Jones said, “I’m not really demeaning patience. You’ve got to have it, I guess. But the bottom line is that when it’s there, take it, and when it’s not there sometimes we’ll rustle it up.”
Could Kellen Moore leave the Cowboys? What’s next if he does? Decoding Kellen - Bob Sturm, The Athletic
The Cowboys finished last year with the second most efficient offense in the NFL, and while they’ve regressed significantly this year, Kellen Moore has received praise for adjusting to all of the injuries his unit has endured. So what will the team do if/when he leaves?
Where will this leave the Cowboys? Well, probably back at the start with why they hired Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy was hired for his ability to run a tough, successful organization at his last spot with a specialty in offensive tactics. He certainly was on a roller coaster of perception during his time, but his offense never had real production issues until the very end of his tenure, when they appeared to lose their depth between the primes of Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams at wide receiver.
The Cowboys hired him because wanted an offensive mind who had won a lot to run things. Then, when McCarthy was hired, he approved Kellen Moore staying on.
It appears to have worked well, as every week I think this offense has some very solid attack ideas. Some succeed, and some don’t, but you don’t have to drill very deep to see Dallas is a well-coached team offensively. Heck, they have managed around their shambolic offensive line situation somewhat seamlessly since October. That alone is a credit to the coaching staff.
The offseason saw a change in mindset with regards to the defensive tackle position in Dallas, with Mike Nolan and Jim Tomsula looking for bigger nose tackles. While there was chatter about Damon Harrison, Dontari Poe ended up being the guy they pursued. But now that Harrison is a free agent again, that chatter may pick up again.
The Seattle Seahawks have waived veteran defensive tackle Damon Harrison, at his request, coach Pete Carroll saying that “Snacks’’ is “done playing.’’
But Harrison tells CowboysSI.com a slightly different story - a story that causes us to suggest (again) that the Dallas Cowboys should contact one of the NFL’s best run-stoppers of his generation.
Despite Carroll suggesting the 6-foot-5, 350-pounder is retiring, Harrison said he doesn’t wish to be claimed off waivers, preferring of course to pick a contender to join - which means his mind remains somewhat open.
Jaylon Smith has drawn the ire of many Cowboys fans throughout the season, but now he’s getting some negative attention from the Eagles, too. After a potentially dirty hit on Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata that led to a concussion, the Eagles have sent tape to the league office suggesting Smith be punished.
Was this a dirty play by Jaylon or just part of how things go?— KD Drummond (@KDDrummondNFL) December 28, 2020
I get the argument the OT was tiptoeing and should've engaged, and upon looking closer can't tell if Smith tried to lead with a shoulder based on the angle.
Mailata left the game with a concussion. pic.twitter.com/LCHboV7FS4
The Cowboys are entering Week 17 with a very real chance at winning their division, though they need some help from the team they just beat, but it’s very possible that the offseason could begin next week. And with that in mind, it’s time to look at potential free agent targets.
The Dallas Cowboys will head into 2021 with one of the youngest secondaries in the NFL. Adding former Washington cornerback Quinton Dunbar this offseason would add a veteran presence to the unit and possibly provide some valuable intel of the team’s rival.
The 28-year old is currently playing for the Seattle Seahawks and has been plagued with injuries this season. Dunbar has only played six games this year and has only managed to nab one interception. To make matters more complicated it was recently announced that the veteran defender will have to undergo season-ending knee surgery.
Dunbar was coming off a very successful season in Washington in 2019. He managed to accrue an impressive four interceptions in eleven games for Washington and headed into 2020 with high expectations for the Seahawks. Hopefully, Dunbar makes a full recovery this offseason and is ready to play next season.
Cowboys, Giants or Washington will make history in Week 17 by ending historical 0-for-258 streak by NFL teams - John Breech, CBS Sports
History will be made on Sunday by one of the three NFC East teams still left in contention.
The three teams still alive in the NFC East race all started the season 2-7, which is notable, because no team has ever made the playoffs in a year where they came out of the gate with a 2-7 record. Since the Super Bowl era started in 1966, there have been a total of 258 teams that have started the season at 2-7 and none of them rebounded to make the postseason, which means NFL teams are a combined 0-for-258 in that situation. After Sunday, that record will improve to 1-for-263 (A total of five teams started 2-7 this season with the Texans and Chargers joining the three NFC East teams).
Out of the three teams left standing, a division title by the Cowboys would have to be considered the most improbable. At one point this season, the Cowboys had a record of 3-9 and looked to be left for dead. As for Washington and the Giants, they were both 5-7 after 12 games because they bounced back after their 2-7 start. Washington went on a four-game winning streak after their ugly start and got up to 6-7 before losing two in row to fall to their current record of 6-9. On the Giants’ end, they rode a four-game winning streak to 5-7 before losing three straight to drop to 5-10.
The worst nine-game record that any team has ever recovered from to make the playoffs is 3-6, which has happened multiple times. The first time it happened came in 1970 with the Bengals. The most recent time it happened came in 2012 with Washington. Eight years ago, Washington rebounded from its ugly start to win the division with Robert Griffin III.
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