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Cowboys News: Brandon Carr returns and the latest injury news heading into week 1

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Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Brandon Carr reunites with Cowboys in 2020: Unique strategy in play as veteran opts to join practice squad - Patrik Walker,

Brandon Carr’s back, but is he here to play safety or cornerback?

One caveat behind the caveats is that Carr (or any practice squad player) can be activated due to a COVID-19 injury at their respective position and it won’t count toward the maximum two promotion limit, which is also key to note.

That’s not all, though.

As far as strategy goes, adding Carr to the practice squad keeps his cost to the team minimal, seeing as he’s not on an active player’s salary, and is expected to earn only $12,000 per week with no guaranteed money in 2020. Should (or rather when) he’s moved up to the active roster for any prospective game day, his salary will be adjusted to 1/17th of the minimum annual salary for a player with 12 accrued seasons — which amounts to $60,588.24 — a nice bump in pay. The impact of deploying such a strategy for Carr will mostly be of no consequence to the Cowboys salary cap, and yet there are even more benefits to the move, such as the likelihood of Carr being named a protected player on the practice squad.

To put it plainly, usually each player on the Cowboys practice squad can be poached by another team, but that new team has to put said player on their team’s active roster — where he must remain for at least three weeks — if the player agrees to leave his current team. In 2020, however, the NFL allows a club to protect four players from being poached, and you can probably pencil in Carr as someone the Cowboys won’t allow to field any offers.

Cowboys injury news: Jourdan Lewis & Luke Gifford are game-time decisions, Xavier Woods a question mark - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

You’d hope the Cowboys would be able to come into week one healthy, but that’s not the case.

Jourdan Lewis and Luke Gifford will be game-time decisions against the Rams, Xavier Woods is a question mark

It has been a minute since cornerback Jourdan Lewis practiced for the Cowboys. According to Stephen Jones, he and linebacker Luke Gifford will both be game-time decisions on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Safety Xavier Woods is a question mark, but he is apparently further along than the rest.

“Certainly as we got down to it, it’s a long season, and La’el and Sean have been battling some things that we think it’s just in their best interest to really focus on getting 100% well. So they were obvious. And then of course Jourdan Lewis and Gifford will be game-time decisions in terms of whether they make it this week or next, felt like at the latest it would be the second game. Didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do to put them over there. Two good players that we can certainly use to win games with. Obviously Xavier’s a question mark as well, but I think he’s even further along than all of them. So I feel real good about him playing. And just barring some setback we feel good about it.”

None of this is shocking, but thinking about the state of the Cowboys secondary at the moment isn’t exactly a whole lot of fun. Of course, the Cowboys do have veteran Brandon Carr back in the fold and can trot him out either at corner or safety if Lewis and/or Woods are unable to go.

Due to the new collective bargaining agreement put in place over the offseason, there can now be 48 players active on game day as opposed to 46 (as it was previously). The only stipulation is that one of the two new active players must be an offensive lineman. So at the very least the Cowboys could carry one more extra defensive back if they’d like to.

Cowboys preview: Under new coach Mike McCarthy, Dallas embarks on a season unlike any other - David Moore, DMN

An overview of the Cowboys heading into 2020.

A season unlike any other is right around the corner for the Cowboys and the NFL. Uncertainty always mixes with expectations when the calendar turns to September. But this year the volume is turned up to 11.

A new head coach in McCarthy and a different approach on both sides of the ball. A quarterback the organization swears is the future while failing to secure him with a long-term contract. A franchise that hasn’t nudged its way past the divisional round of the playoffs since Bill Clinton was in his first term as president.

All of this is set against the backdrop of a global pandemic that offers no assurance the league will be able to finish the regular season it starts and a social movement that threatens to alienate a portion of the league’s fan base.


“Every time you turn the corner, it’s something different,” said McCarthy, who became the ninth coach in Cowboys history in January. “I think it’s really our life in general. It’s more about what’s going on in our society, and frankly, if you’re able to navigate and function from doing things the right way the best you can, I think it definitely carries over to your professional life as far as getting a team ready for a football season.

“It’s an understatement to say it’s been different. But at the end of the day, it’s what everybody is going through right now.”

The Deadspin 2020 NFL Previews, NFC East: Can Anyone Break Up This Two-Horse Town? - Dustin Foote, Deadspin

The state of the NFC East heading into the season.

Where’d he go?: The Cowboys offensive line has been one of the best in the NFL. But All-Pro center Travis Frederick retired this offseason at 29, and will leave a hole up front. Dallas also lost two starters on defense, Robert Quinn and Byron Jones.

Fans in the stands: Of course there will be fans — it’s Jerry’s World. How many? We have yet to find out, and likely won’t know until the home opener on September 20. But Jones says he expects “a great crowd” when the Falcons come to town.

What to expect: This year is always the year, according to Cowboys fans. The annual hype train is running on schedule. But if history is any indication, this team finds a way to squander a promising first-half record and miss the playoffs by the end of the regular season or lose in early January. With all that said, expect the Boys to compete for a division crown and playoff spot. Lamb is an exciting prospect who could give starting QB Dak Prescott another weapon on offense. The Cowboys definitely have a shot to avenge their late-season debacle from last year.

2020 NFC Fantasy and Reality Predictions: Cowboys are Super Bowl bound, while Packers take step back - Dalton Del Don, Yahoo Sports

Amazing how everyone is choosing the Cowboys this season.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys 12-4

2. Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 (Wild Card)

3. Washington Football Team 5-11

4. New York Giants 5-11

Comments/Fantasy Predictions:

Cowboys: The Cowboys led the NFL in yards per play (6.5) and yards per game (440.9) by wide margins last year and then made big offseason upgrades with the addition of CeeDee Lamb and Blake Jarwin having a larger role and the subtraction of Jason Garrett as coach. Dallas is going to smash its over (9.5 wins), and Dak Prescott is an MVP candidate … DeMarcus Lawrence at 40/1 to win DPOY is nice, while Jarwin finishes as a top-10 fantasy tight end … Amari Cooper is the third-most valuable Cowboys WR, with Lamb grabbing double-digit touchdowns in a dominant rookie season, as Dallas wins the NFC.

Eagles: DeSean Jackson is a top-25 fantasy wide receiver and goes down as one of the biggest bargains in 2020 drafts, while Dallas Goedert is a top-12 tight end with top-three upside should Zach Ertz go down … Boston Scott is treated as an RB1 during the weeks in which Miles Sanders is sidelined, while Jalen Hurts is a top-five fantasy QB (in Philly) by the end of 2021.

Washington: I rank Terry McLaurin as the No. 6 WR on my board, and the only way he isn’t a second-round fantasy pick next year is if he’s going in the first … Steven Sims and Logan Thomas are two of the better sleepers at their positions, while Dwayne Haskins outperforms his ADP in Superflex leagues … Antonio Gibson finishes with more fantasy value than David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley.

Giants: The rest/prep inequality in the NFC East this year does the Giants and Eagles no favors when compared to the Cowboys. Daniel Jones is a much better fantasy player than he is quarterback for the Giants (and his early season schedule is brutal) … Saquon Barkley bounces back with a huge campaign, while Sterling Shepard emerges as the Giants’ WR alpha.

Cowboys preview: Silencing the haters? For Ezekiel Elliott and DeMarcus Lawrence, 2020 is about redemption. - Calvin Watkins, DMN

Two Cowboys stars are ready to silence their critics.

Players call criticism hate.

In some cases, the person delivering the harsh critique is described by players as “hatin”. The Urban Dictionary describes hatin’ simply as “putting someone down because they have something that you want.”

Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys’ starting running back, and DeMarcus Lawrence, the starting defensive end, felt the hate this offseason.

The two star players heard the criticism loudly and expect to silence critics in 2020.

“I mean, every year I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I’m going to come in, do my thing. Yeah,” Elliott said with a laugh.

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