Strength in numbers: Dan Quinn says ‘a lot of trust’ goes into Cowboys’ defensive success - Michael Gehlken, DMN
Dan Quinn doesn’t mind playing a lot of people for significant snaps on defense, showing that Dallas has depth this year.
The number stood at 29 through the first three games.
Last Sunday, Cowboys rookie defensive tackle Austin Faoliu played 10 defensive snaps against the Carolina Panthers, pushing the figure to a clean 30. Thirty different players have taken at least one defensive snap for the Cowboys in their first four games.
Safety Darian Thompson, out since a Week 1 hamstring injury, sits at one snap. Cornerbacks Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown share the team lead at 175.
“I think it’s a really big deal because it takes a lot of trust,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said.
The Cowboys have embraced a group-first approach on defense. Quality contribution from up and down the roster, including a promising rookie class, has been a subject of pride entering Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
“I would hope that the players feel how much we believe in them,” Quinn said. “There is a lot to gain when you play this many players this early. I can’t think back to a time this early in the season when we played this many players this early, and I’m absolutely thrilled about that because there is more to come.”
Stephen Jones talks Cowboys’ defensive depth: ‘You can’t have enough good football players’ - Staff, DMN
If Dan Quinn is playing all those guys, someone must have gone out and gotten them. The Cowboys front office is responsible.
When is the last time that you felt this good about the Cowboys’ defense?
Stephen Jones: “I think when we [Mike Zimmer] we had the No. 1 defense in the league. And of course, Bill [Parcells] was our head coach there with Sean [Payton] and thought we really had some good balanced teams during that run. Really felt like we had a team could win. We were obviously young with Tony [Romo] at quarterback and he was just getting going. Reminds me of some of those great defenses we had when Mike Zimmer was our defensive coordinator.”
Will it be difficult for players like Neville Gallimore and Donovan Wilson to step in given that their replacements are doing so well?
Jones: “You can’t have enough good football players in this day and time. It’s a long season and all of those things tend to always work themselves out. We certainly feel good about our roster now. We have some good players that are going to be joining us as the season goes. But, unfortunately in our game, and it goes for all 32, you’re going to have injuries along the way. And it’s great to know we have some depth, not only on the 53, but on some of our reserve list but different lists that are going to come back and join us. Those things always work themselves out.”
‘I saw pain on his face.’ Brother of Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott on ankle injury - Clarence Hill, Star Telegram
Everyone is talking about Dak Prescott's injury last year given this week’s opponent and the week of the season. But Prescott is done talking about it.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wants no part of this conversation. He has no interest in reliving the memory that ran on loop in his head for months. But it is a moment in time that he, his teammates and others close to him will never forget.
Not just because of what he went through, but how he endured it and how he overcame it to get to a point where he’s better now than he was before. Two surgeries, and countless hours of rehab later, Prescott has picked up where he left off. Sunday’s game against the New York Giants is 364 days removed from the date of the ankle injury. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the Week 5 opponent and location of the game is as it was a year ago.
For the team, perhaps the biggest difference is that Prescott’s Cowboys are 3-1 and sit atop the NFC East with an offense that is averaging a hefty 31.5 points per game and a ball-hawking defense that is ready to welcome the 1-3 Giants back to AT&T Stadium. But Sunday will be about much more than the game. It is a milestone marker, and one that at least one person is kind of done addressing.
Cowboys legend speaks, the Giants take notice.
Via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Cowboys Hall of Famer and lead Fox analyst Troy Aikman said Tuesday that the Giants “aren’t in Dallas’s class.” The Giants are aware of his observation.
“It’s all over the place,” an unnamed player told Vacchiano.
Coach Joe Judge laughed off the possibility that the comment from Aikman gave players “bulletin board” material.
“We don’t even have a bulletin board in there, to be honest with you,” Judge said, via Vacchiano. “Everything’s screens and magnets and stuff now. We’re in the future now. We don’t have bulletin boards anymore.”
But as they exist in said future, they check (as Judge said) “Twitter and all that type of junk, so I’m sure they see stuff all the time.”
Judge then downplayed the possibility of Aikman’s remarks having an impact.
“I don’t think we really need any external motivation to show up and do our jobs, to be honest with you,” Judge said. “I think you need to understand the magnitude of every game you play. If we need somebody else to kind of get us in a mind frame to play, I think we have other issues at hand.”
Not exactly news, but more confirmation that Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper will play versus the Giants.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with a knee injury, is expected to play against the Giants, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper, questionable due to a hamstring injury, is also expected to play, the source said.
Elliott was limited in practice to end the week but said on Wednesday he would be able to play.
The Cowboys weekly roster move.
The Cowboys have elevated tight end Jeremy Sprinkle and fullback Nick Ralston from the practice squad as standard elevations ahead of Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Sprinkle was active for each of the first four games, and Ralston was active for the past two games.
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