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Cowboys news: Jerry Jones wonders if NFL officials should use more discretion on penalties

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Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Jerry Jones wants to see “discretion” in how NFL games are officiated - Michael David Smith, PFT

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones delicately criticized the officiating from Thursday.

[Jerry] Jones said he can’t fault the Raiders for the way their deep balls drew so many pass interference penalties, but he does think the NFL’s rules incentivize under-thrown passes to draw flags, and that the officials don’t need to throw a flag on every bit of ticky-tack contact.

“To their credit, I think [the Raiders] just did a real good job of getting their big plays, and a bunch of them were penalties in the throwing game,” Jones said, via the Star-Telegram. “They took advantage of it, and I think it influenced the win. We had some plays go with us too, it wasn’t like it didn’t go against them. So again, this is really not a criticism of the rules. It is a criticism of the discretion of how you use them and what play. Everybody knows you can call a penalty on every play many different ways, every time the ball snapped. And so you have to have a feel for what you’re trying to do in the ball game and this one turned out that way.”

The officials didn’t quite call a penalty on every play on Thanksgiving, but at times it felt that way. Still, until the officiating affects the popularity of the sport, the league doesn’t have much incentive to change things.

Cowboys will consider sitting RB Ezekiel Elliott to heal injured knee - Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star

To sit or not to sit Ezekiel Elliott, that is the question.

Ezekiel Elliott is quietly having a productive season for the Dallas Cowboys. He currently ranks sixth in the NFL with 720 rushing yards on 4.5 yards per attempt, his highest average since 2018. However, the two-time rushing champion has been hobbled a bit lately.

Elliott has been dealing with a knee issue for the last several weeks. He’s been able to grind out the last few games, but with the Cowboys having plenty to play for late in the season, he may get some rest soon. According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Cowboys will consider giving Elliott time to heal his knee and sit him against the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.

When asked last week if he would consider taking time off to let his knee heal, Elliott insisted that he could play through the issue.

“It’s football,” Elliott said. “You get hurt. You aren’t going to be 100 percent. I’m tough. Play through it.”

As December beckons, Cowboys need more from Dak Prescott - Todd Archer, ESPN

As Dak Prescott goes, so goes the Dallas Cowboys.

In the regular season, December and January is when quarterbacks make their names in football.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has to hope the final six weeks of the season, starting next Thursday against the New Orleans Saints, is better than what happened in November.

The Cowboys went 1-3 after Prescott’s return from a calf strain with November losses to the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders, 36-33 in overtime on Thanksgiving. For the month, Prescott completed 103 of 160 passes for 1,119 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

November marked his lowest yards per game average (280), lowest completion percentage (64.4%) and most sacks (eight). In the final eight quarters of the month, he did not have receiver Amari Cooper, who was on the reserve/COVID-19 list. In the final six quarters, he did not have his leading receiver, CeeDee Lamb, because of a concussion.

Every NFL team’s best buy of the 2021 offseason - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

Is Jayron Kearse the Dallas Cowboys best buy of the 2021 offseason?

The Dallas Cowboys’ signing of Jayron Kearse was nothing more than an afterthought.

After all, the Detroit Lions released the safety last December for a violation of team rules. He found his way onto the Baltimore Ravens practice squad before wading into free agency.

The 27-year-old defensive back signed a one-year, $1.13 million deal to join the Cowboys.

Since then, he’s been a defensive leader and one of the unit’s most versatile components. Kearse can play either safety spot, cover the slot and play in the box. He leads the team with 65 total tackles while contributing five defended passes and an interception.

Oh, the safety took over as the defensive play-caller as well, which allows Micah Parsons to thrive without overthinking everything.

Examining Cowboys’ The 3rd & 18 Coverage Call - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys chose to go man on a critical play and it didn’t work.

Facing a 3rd-and-18 at the Las Vegas 43-yard line following a Micah Parsons sack of Derek Carr, Dan Quinn opted for man coverage on the play that ultimately incurred a critical defensive pass interference flag on Anthony Brown that helped decide the outcome.

Given Brown’s struggles with defensive pass interference on Thursday, four infractions for 91 yards, it was a play call that has drawn criticism from a lot of outside observers – though Quinn did note that Brown has not struggled much with that issue this season.

“You certainly hope it’s an outlier, because this has not been something through the past that has kind of crept back in,” he said. “First thing that I had talked to him about was how much belief we have in him.”

Asked specifically about his rationale for the play call, Quinn said it was influenced by Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson. The Raiders’ fourth-year veteran turned in an MVP performance on Thursday night, connecting on five-of-five field goal attempts – including a booming 56-yard kick near the end of regulation.

“In my mind, I’m thinking ‘Ok, he hit a 56-yarder with some space to go,’” Quinn said. “You really had to defend in the low 40s thinking of where he was capable of hitting it from.”

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