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Cowboys news: Anthony Brown to IR; Ron Leary paying a visit; Falcons/Cowboys game predictions

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Cowboys place starting CB Anthony Brown (ribs) on injured reserve - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

Dallas will face a tough Atlanta passing attack without one of their starting cornerbacks.

The Cowboys placed starting cornerback Anthony Brown on injured reserve with a rib injury Saturday morning. Brown was first listed on the injury report on Friday and listed as questionable for Sunday’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. The Cowboys had a walkthrough practice and conditioning day on Friday.

Saturday morning, after a practice, it was determined Brown wouldn’t be ready to play vs. the Falcons. On the surface, Brown could return after three weeks, if healed, which is the case with several players already on the injured reserve, such as linebacker Sean Lee and right tackle La’el Collins.

Cowboys CB Shuffle: Jourdan Lewis Returns as Anthony Brown Goes on IR - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

One corner out, another one in.

Injuries have become the dominant theme for the Dallas Cowboys so far this year. Just when it looked like the cornerback position was about to get deeper with Jourdan Lewis returning from an ankle issue, veteran Anthony Brown is now headed to injured reserve with a rib injury suffered in practice.

Lewis was one of the Cowboys’ inactive players last week in Los Angeles, having missed the latter part of training camp with the ankle injury. He was able to practice fully all this week though and should serve as Dallas’ third CB against the Falcons.

Jourdan Lewis’ return is valuable as Dallas prepares to stop Atlanta’s potent receiving weapons. While some of the production came in garbage time of their loss to Seattle, the Falcons did put up 450 passing yards last week.

“All Options On The Table” If Tyron Can’t Go - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys fans are holding their breath that Smith can play on Sunday, but we have to ask ourselves the question - what if he’s unavailable?

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was asked if Connor Williams could be considered as a last-ditch option to man the tackle job.

“I think once you start to have injuries, you look at all your options,” Jones said. “Obviously, when we draft players, if they have flexibility to play multiple positions, that’s important. Whether it’s a Zack Martin, whether it’s a Connor Williams, whether it’s a La’el Collins – who’s been a guard and a tackle – I think all those things are on the table when you start to have multiple injuries at one position.”

It’s interesting to note that Jones mentioned both Williams and Martin. Williams has long been speculated about as a possible tackle, largely because he was a two-time All-American left tackle during his college career at Texas.

Because of his ridiculous success at guard, people tend to forget about Martin’s own history at tackle. During his career at Notre Dame, Martin was a four-year starter at left tackle, making 52 career starts and also earning All-America honors. He has never had to play tackle at the professional level, but it stands to reason that he probably could.

Falcons vs Cowboys: Atlanta pass rush could devastate a depleted Dallas OL in Week 2 - Kevin Knight, The Falcoholic

The potential for disaster is there if Smith can’t go.

Can Atlanta’s defensive line continue their hot streak against the Cowboys, who were once known for having best OL in the NFL?

The answer is: absolutely, but not because the offensive line is a strength for Dallas. It’s actually quite the opposite: the Cowboys still have some talented players up front (Zack Martin remains one of the best guards in football), but they have been absolutely ravaged by injuries early in the season. Center Travis Frederick was forced to retire before the season due to health reasons, and RT La’el Collins was put on IR to start the season.

Compounding those losses, swing tackle Cameron Erving was also lost to IR during Week 1’s game, forcing UDFA Terence Steele into the lineup. It also seems like LT Tyron Smith sustained a neck injury during practice this week, as he did not participate in practice on Thursday or Friday. Smith is officially questionable heading into Sunday’s game, but his absence would leave the Cowboys incredibly short-handed at OT. If Smith were to miss the game, it looks like another former UDFA, Brandon Knight, would be the only other OT available on the roster.

Even if Smith manages to play, there’s a tremendous opportunity for the Falcons pass rush to continue their strong start. Steele managed just a 49.8 overall PFF grade in Week 1 and gave up a sack, making him a clear target for both Takkarist McKinley and Dante Fowler. LG Connor Williams was victimized by the Rams DTs last weekend, grading out as just a 49.5 overall, showing that he could be vulnerable to a matchup with Grady Jarrett.

Constant pressure on Dak Prescott might be the only way to prevent the Cowboys from putting on a show on offense.

Ten Cowboys notes: Injuries, McCarthy responds to Rodgers, Jimmy Johnson on Dak - Jon Machota, The Athletic

Some Cowboys notes heading into Week 2.

8.) Why are they running so much?

Maybe I spend too much time on Twitter or listening to sports radio, but it’s clear that many in the Cowboys fan base would like to see the team throw more often and focus less on the running game. The Cowboys were middle of the pack through Week 1, running the ball 27 times for 136 yards. Their 5 yards per carry average is currently sixth in the NFL.

The Cowboys haven’t had an elite defense for a while. The running game has to be a factor because they must chew up clock time to limit how much their defense is on the field. Dallas’ defense played 35:38 against the Rams. Anything over 30 minutes has proven to be too much since the start of last season.

Last year, the Cowboys were 1-7 when their defense was on the field for more than 29 minutes, 30 seconds. The lone win was Week 9 at the New York Giants. In 2018, the Cowboys actually won three games when the defense was on the field for more than 30 minutes. The victories came in Week 2 against the Giants, Week 4 against the Lions and Week 16 against the Buccaneers. They lost the other six games when that happened. Most teams are going to be in trouble if their defense plays too much, but it is especially dangerous with this current group of Dallas defenders.

Ronald Leary to work out for Cowboys following rash of offensive line injuries as possible reunion looms - Patriik Walker

Speaking of running the football, guess who’s coming in for a visit?

Sometimes it makes sense to revisit the past to help save the present and ultimately the future, and this could be one of those times for the Dallas Cowboys. Having already doubled back and signed defensive back Brandon Carr to a second stint with the team with the goal of upgrading the safety position, they might dip their toe yet again in the waters — this time to help an offensive line ravaged by injury. They’re scheduled to meet with/work out Ronald Leary, per the league’s transaction wire, a former starting left guard who was once a part of what many dubbed the best offensive line in all of football.

Leary parted ways with the Cowboys following the 2016 season, parlaying his ascent from the ranks of the undrafted into a four-year, $36 million deal with the Denver Broncos that included $20 million guaranteed. It was a price the Cowboys deemed too steep for them at the time, and Leary went on to log 29 starts, which included flexing between right and left guard. Seeing as the Cowboys are more than fine at the former, thanks to the durability and continued Hall of Fame play from Zack Martin, a reunion would see Leary slide back into his previous role left of center.

He’s had his bout with injury over the past several seasons, including a torn Achilles in 2018 that landed him on injured reserve and cost him 10 games, but he returned in 2019 to participate in 12 — sidelined the final four with a separate injury. Leary insists he is “feeling great” in 2020 and would love a return to the Cowboys. As a matter of fact, he never sold his house in North Texas, making for an easy transition.

Gut Feeling: Staff Predictions For Cowboys-Falcons - Staff, Dallas Cowboys

What is your gut feeling telling you? The guys over at the Mothership provide their weekly game prediction.

Kyle Youmans: With the uncertainty surrounding a banged-up offensive line, the linebackers, and the overall health of the Cowboys entering Week 2, things look grim against a high-powered Atlanta attack. However, I think Dallas’ coaching staff will flip the script and make the necessary adjustments, with the injuries in mind, to have success on both sides of the ball. During his time in Green Bay, there were very few coaches better than Mike McCarthy with early season adjustments as he was 3-1 in Week 2 games following a loss. After an abbreviated offseason under a new coaching staff, last week understandably served as a learning point for both the players and coaches. Sunday will look closer to the Cowboys team that we all expected to see in the opener, despite the injuries involved. I believe Dak Prescott will have a better game through the air, the defensive line will take advantage of a sub-par Atlanta front, and the Cowboys open the home slate with a win, 41-21.

Week 2 NFL odds, picks, schedule, how to watch, streaming: Expert picks against the spread, survivor, more - R.J. White, CBS Sports

Six of the eight experts at CBS have the Falcons winning on Sunday.

Falcons at Cowboys

Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX), stream on fuboTV (Try for free)

Open: Cowboys -6.5, O/U 51 Current: Cowboys -4, O/U 53.5

Since 2014, Dan Quinn-coached teams are 5-1 against Mike McCarthy-coached teams. That total includes two wins that Quinn picked up while he was defensive coordinator of the Seahawks and three wins that he picked up with the Falcons. If McCarthy had impressed me against the Rams on Sunday, I would probably ignore the head-to-head coaching stats, but instead, he did the opposite of impress me. ... The Cowboys are also dealing with some serious injuries (Blake Jarwin, Leighton Vander Esch), and yup, I think I’ve just talked myself into picking against them. Also, the Falcons never lose in Week 2. In what might go down as the weirdest stat in NFL history, the Falcons are 5-0 in Week 2 since 2015. Basically, you should always pick against the Falcons, except in Week 2.” — John Breech on why he has the Falcons winning outright

NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 2: Seahawks clip Patriots; Steelers, Packers keep on rolling - Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Sporting News predicts a close one, but has the Cowboys coming out on top.

Falcons at Cowboys (-5.5, 52 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Cowboys have three great wide receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and now CeeDee Lamb. The Falcons have two great wide receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and have shown a promising No. 3, Russell Gage. Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan should have no issues spreading the field and lighting it up. The question comes down who will get better three-down support from a back. Advantage Ezekiel Elliott over Todd Gurley.

Pick: Cowboys win 31-27 but fail to cover the spread.

Is the game televised in your area? 506 Sports provides a coverage map for all the games, including FOX’s early game.

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