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Cowboys news: Gerald McCoy done for the season, who will step up in the wake of his injury

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Washington Redskins v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Cowboys’ Gerald McCoy leaves practice with torn quad, requires season-ending surgery - Patrik Walker, CBSSports

This is a big blow to a hyped-up Cowboys defensive line.

That has now occurred and it’s the worst-case scenario for the Cowboys. McCoy has suffered a torn quadricep in his right leg, the team announced, and will undergo season-ending surgery. He will now head to injured reserve, and it’s not yet determined how the team will utilize his vacated seat on the roster.

McCoy joined the Cowboys on a three-year deal worth $18.3 million, a financial nod to how Mike McCarthy plans to utilize him in 2020, which is to say quite a bit. For his part, the six-time Pro Bowl pass rusher is looking forward to just that, noting how his final year with the Carolina Panthers left him starved for snaps.

“I have never rotated as much as I did last year in Carolina,” McCoy admitted, not long after agreeing to terms with the Cowboys in March. “That’s not what I was used to. I can play all game if I have to. ... I’m an every down guy.

“That hasn’t changed, and I don’t plan on it changing this year.”

It’s seemingly a perfect situation for McCoy in Dallas, and for several reasons. The first being the fact he’s set to be awarded major playing time as both a starter and cornerstone piece of an almost completely revamped defensive front, but he’s also a huge fan of McCarthy.

Practice Points: Undrafted Rookie Makes Big Play - Rob Phillips & David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

Nice to see Cowboys players are stepping up early in the practice schedule.

One of the most buzzworthy undrafted players on this year’s team is linebacker Francis Bernard, and he showed why on Monday. Early in practice, the offense ran a drill using bunch formations. The defense countered with three defenders in order to practice covering three receivers running out of a bunch. On one particular rep, Dak Prescott targeted Ventell Bryant on a six-yard curl. Bernard read Prescott the entire way and made contact with Bryant as the pass arrived, intercepting it for what would’ve been an easy pick-six.

The Cowboys want to avoid tipping their hand by limiting the amount of detail coming out of these practices. But it’s doubtful anyone will be surprised to learn that CeeDee Lamb is an explosive player. Lamb had two opportunities to show his stuff in the open field on Monday, and he didn’t disappoint. His speed and elusiveness look to be as advertised.

Greg Zuerlein got his first opportunity of training camp on Monday. The Cowboys went through field goal drills for the first time during these open practices, and Zuerlein connected on all six of his kicks from approximately 28, 31, 33, 38, 40 and 34 yards.

With McCoy Out, Who Steps Up On The D-Line? - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

Whoever steps into the position formerly occupied by McCoy will have some big shoes to fill.

“Two young players that we will need to come through for us,” Jones said. “… Obviously both those guys are high picks for us that we certainly have high expectations for. Both of them play the same position as Gerald and we’re looking forward to seeing how they can do.”

Hill played 121 defensive snaps in five games last year, posting six tackles and one quarterback pressure, while veterans Maliek Collins (now with the Raiders) and Antwaun Woods took most of the interior line snaps.

“You always hope that players can continue to get better, and Trysten was a young player last year and had some vets in front of him,” Jones said. “It’s time for him to step up. I know our current coaching staff feels really good about him. They’ve been encouraged with him in the meeting rooms and how he’s digesting the system and certainly also are encouraged by what they’ve seen so far.”

The Cowboys felt Gallimore, an All-Big-12 selection last year at Oklahoma, was value pick at the end of the third round in April – an athletic 300-pounder who can get up the field quickly.

Crawford, back for his ninth season in Dallas, has played everywhere on the defensive line over the years. The hip injury limited him to four games last season, but he was activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list in time for last Friday’s opening practice.

Dallas Cowboys 2020 Training Camp Preview: Guard & Center - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Until the McCoy injury, center/guard was going to be the biggest question going into the season.

Guard Pre-Camp Rankings

Zack Martin

Connor Williams

Connor McGovern

Adam Redmond

Cody Wichmann

Center Pre-Camp Rankings

Joe Looney

Tyler Biadasz

Adam Redmond

Marcus Henry

Interior O-Line Competitions

Connor Williams is practicing but not at full speed as he’s eased back in from ACL surgery. Williams tore the knee ligament in last year’s Thanksgiving game and went on injured reserve. This has created 1st-team rotation right now between him and Connor McGovern during practice.

Even if WIlliams was fully healthy we might still be seeing this rotation and a competition between the two Connors. It was rumored last year that if McGovern hadn’t had his pectoral injury the coaches were considering him to start over Williams, or at least get a real crack at the job.

Williams shouldn’t be dismissed, though. He’s only entering his third season and has been transitioning from a college tackle to a guard during these first two NFL years. It is more likely that he will keep the job to start the season, but with McGovern not far from getting a look if Williams struggles.

Ezekiel Elliott shares first thoughts on Dak Prescott’s contract - Brad Crawford, 24/7 Sports

Only a matter of time before people started asking questions.

“Everyone in our locker room knows who our quarterback is,” Elliott said Monday during Cowboys’ media availability. “They know who our quarterback long-term is gonna be. Just keep grinding. Head down, do what you been doing. It’s going to work itself out.”

The Cowboys placed Prescott on the franchise tag back in March in hopes of reaching an agreement this summer, but the two sides couldn’t get there by the deadline. The biggest snag in the negotiations process was the number of years. Multiple reports indicated that the Cowboys wanted to sign Prescott to a five-year deal, while the former Mississippi State star was adamant it be a four-year deal so he can re-negotiate his contract sooner.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this month that Prescott has been business as usual around the team despite not agreeing to terms on a long-term extension this summer.

“With us being around each other for the first time, I’ve really enjoyed his personality ... he’s very upbeat and very driven,” McCarthy said. “I would say he’s kind of picked up where he’s left off based on what I’ve been told about him and how he operates. He’s very detailed in his preparation and is a lot of fun to be around.”

Video Exclusive: QB Andy Dalton On Faith, Family, Football - And Pilates - Mike Fisher, SI.com

Some good insight into the life of Andy Dalton.

“As soon as I signed here,’’ Dalton says of his one-year deal, “I was like (via text) “Hey man, I’m here to help you in any way I can. ”I’m trying to serve and help him as much as I can. Just getting to know him and being around him, we’ve got a great relationship. He is really talented and I’m excited to see what he is going to do this year.’’

But Dalton is also excited about how he’ll be able to contribute in the event the $31.409 million man Prescott is sidelined - and how that opportunity could provide the veteran an NFL springboard after this season.

I feel like I’m a starter in this league and I feel like I have a lot of football left,’’ he said. “We’ll see how it all shakes out this year. I’m excited for this year and what’s to come.’’

And if he’s called upon in a Cowboys uniform in 2020?

“If anything happens to Dak, I will be able to come in,’’ Dalton says, “and I’ve got a good team around me. The roster is so talented. From top to bottom there’s talent everywhere.’’

Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin Poised for an Impactful 2020 - John Williams, Inside The Star

If Jawrin is able to give the Cowboys another reliable target then this offense will be a juggernaut.

Arguably, no player will have a more significant impact per opportunity ratio than Blake Jarwin. With so much attention focused on the other members of the offense, and rightfully so, Jarwin is going to find himself in terrific matchups all year long. And one could argue that Jarwin’s ability to stretch the field vertically down the seem will create a host of opportunities for other members of the offense as well. Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy is excited about the potential of Blake Jarwin in this offense. When asked about what kind of impact Jarwin might have in 2020, he said:

“Well I think Blake is, he’s going to make a real impact on our offense… the ability to attack the middle of the field is always critical in my view to the success of a passing game in this league.

The fastest way to the end zone is through the post route. So the ability to get up on that second level as far as challenging the second level of defenders, he has that.

I tell you, he can really get it, I’ve been so impressed with him and really the whole tight end group. It’s a good-looking group, it has a group with a lot of depth, so I think Blake will definitely make an impact with his opportunities this year.”

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy via DallasCowboys.com

Mike McCarthy press conference: Comparing DeMarcus Lawrence to Julius Peppers - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

Man that’s one hell of a compliment from head coach Mike McCarthy.

DeMarcus Lawrence standing up

The Dallas Cowboys using more 3-4 looks has been discussed at length and obviously that would change the way that someone like DeMarcus Lawrence is used. Mike McCarthy chimed in with his thoughts on the matter.

“I’ve had a chance to watch just a couple of guys in my career go through that transition and the one that I think of right off the bat is Julius Peppers. When you’re primarily playing in a four-man front, and really, Julius was in the same defense. He played for Rod there in Chicago when he came up to Green Bay. The opportunity to particularly play in a two-point stance on first and second down, especially someone with DLaw’s experience, and his instinct and awareness at the line of scrimmage, it’ll give him more vision to the tendencies and the mannerisms of the offense. I think he’s going to really like it. But still at the end of the day if it’s best-suited for him to put his hand on the ground in a pass rush situation, then hat’s what we’ll do. I know just watching Julius go through it, he liked it, he enjoyed it because it gave him a chance to really tap into his years of experience playing with more vision and it was primarily more in the first and second down. Because when it came down to the hit it and get it in the pass rush, he would go to a three-point stance. But we’ll work through that with DLaw and I think he’ll really benefit from this.”

BTB Podcast

The Cowboys lost Gerald McCoy for the season on Monday. We discussed right here.

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