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Cowboys news: Ezekiel Elliott says team has not talked to him about resting against the Saints

Plus, the Cowboys will meet virtually for the first few days of practice, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are expected to return this week, and more.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott: Dallas Cowboys haven’t asked me to sit vs. New Orleans Saints - Todd Archer, ESPN

It would be news to Zeke if he wasn’t in the game against the Saints.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott does not want to take a game off despite a bruised right knee.

“No one’s came to me and asked me to rest,” Elliott said Sunday as the Cowboys opened up preparation for Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

If they do, Elliott said he would listen.

“I’ve just got to go with what they believe is best for the team,” he said.

Elliott said he has been dealing with the injury since banging it in the Oct. 3 win against the Carolina Panthers.

A day after the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, coach Mike McCarthy expressed concern for Elliott’s health after Elliott had just 25 yards on nine carries. The running back has not topped 51 yards in his last four games, the lowest-output of his career.

Cowboys going virtual with COVID-19 infections on rise again- Schuyler Dixon, AP News

With Dallas playing on Thursday again, the week of preparation becomes even more difficult as the Cowboys move online.

The Dallas Cowboys are going virtual with meetings leading into Thursday’s game at New Orleans with COVID-19 infections on the rise again within the team.

Right tackle Terence Steele was among the positive COVID-19 tests and won’t play against the Saints, coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday.

Offensive line coach Joe Philbin and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith, who missed the Thanksgiving Day loss to Las Vegas after testing positive, won’t make the trip to New Orleans.

Three more members of the staff will be out against the Saints in strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash Jr., assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko and offensive assistant Scott Tolzien.

The Cowboys will be missing members of their staff because of the coronavirus for the third time in four games. Running backs coach Skip Peete was out against Atlanta on Nov. 14.

Cowboys RT Terence Steele placed on Reserve/COVID, to miss Saints game- K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

We hope for nothing but the best for Terence Steele, but it looks like La’el Collins will get the start at RT.

On Sunday, while they recuperate from their Thanksgiving Day game defeat and prepare for the final stretch of their season and six straight NFC games, those two trends collided. Dallas rolled out their intended starting five OL for the first time since mid-2019, but shocking to most observers they preferred to have Terence Steele at right tackle instead of La’el Collins. That luxury lasted exactly one game as Steele has now been placed on the COVID list.

Steele had started 10 straight contests, taking over in Week 2 after Collins was hit with a five-game suspension for trying to bribe an NFL drug tester. He kept the starting job in Week 8 after Collins was eligible, but then shifted to left tackle as Tyron Smith was out with an ankle injury.

Smith returned last week and most observers felt Steele would return to swing tackle status but the Cowboys planted Steele back next to Zack Martin, who missed Week 1 with COVID.

Now Collins will return to the starting lineup, having been a part of a weird rotation last week where he and demoted left guard Connor Williams replaced Steele and Connor McGovern respectively for the third series of the Raiders game on Thursday.

CeeDee Lamb Back At Practice, Amari To Follow- Jonny Auping, DallasCowboys.com

The reinforcements have arrived.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said during a conference call with media members Sunday morning that both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb are expected to return to practice this week ahead of the Cowboys’ matchup with the Saints.

Cooper has missed two straight games but is expected to practice on Monday after spending 10 days on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

“As far as Amari, he’ll be back in tomorrow,” McCarthy said Sunday. “We’ll work him back in and see where he is as far as conditioning.”

McCarthy later clarified that the team would have to assess Cooper’s conditioning on Monday before implementing him into full practices or making any promises about his status on Thursday.

“That’s obvious for any player coming off a 10-day stretch [of being away from the team],” McCarthy said.

Lamb, on the other hand, suffered a concussion just before halftime of the Cowboys’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and was unable to complete the league’s concussion protocol before the short turnaround of the Thanksgiving game against the Raiders.

“I see CeeDee Lamb going through the full work day today,” McCarthy said of Sunday’s practice.

Big Facts: November To Forget; 3 Trips In A “Road”- Nick Eatman & Kyle Youmans, DallasCowboys.com

It wasn't a great November for the Cowboys, but there was no lack of storylines.

Newbie November

Micah Parsons’ November sack total was the second-most by a player during a single-month in Cowboys history. The rookie finished with 6.5 sacks in November over the course of four games. Only DeMarcus Ware in October of 2011 (7.0) had more in a calendar month and Parsons tied DeMarcus Lawrence’s performance in September 2017.

Rodgers, Romo ... Dak

As Dak Prescott gets ready to start his 80th career game this week in New Orleans, he’s in some elite company when it comes to QB rating. Through 79 starts, Dak has 41 games of a 100+ rating, including Thursday’s loss to the Raiders. Only Aaron Rodgers (47) and Tony Romo (43) produced more 100+ games in their first 79 starts than Dak.

Greg Zuerlein is a less accurate kicker for the Dallas Cowboys than Brett Maher was- RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

Things have not gone well lately for Greg the Leg.

You will recall that the Cowboys moved on from Brett Maher before the 2019 season even ended because things had become so erratic as far as his reliability was concerned. How would it make you feel if I told you that, to date, he was a more accurate kicker in a Cowboys uniform than Greg Zuerlein currently is?

Brett Maher with Cowboys (29 games):

68 of 69 on Extra Points (99%)

49 of 66 on Field Goals (74%)

Missed at least one kick in 13 games (45% of time)

86.7% overall accuracy

Greg Zuerlein with Cowboys (26 games and counting)

55 of 61 on Extra Points (90%)

53 of 65 on Field Goals (82%)

Missed at least one kick in 12 games (46% of time)

85.7% overall accuracy

It’s true that Maher struggled at the money kicks (field goals) but was at the very least consistent as far as extra points are concerned. Zuerlein is a more reliable field goal kicker than Brett Maher was overall, but the thing is that he is shaky at both of them. It’s impossible to know the ultimate impact of Zuerlein's missed PAT on Thanksgiving.

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