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Cowboys news: Dallas is close to full strength heading into Washington

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NFL: DEC 13 Cowboys at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 14 Preview: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team - Kevin Rice, Inside the Star

Welcome back Neville Gallimore and Randy Gregory.

The Cowboys will be getting back Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore barring any setbacks, and DeMarcus Lawrence returned last week against the New Orleans Saints. The return of these three players should help Dallas in their attempt to stop the Washington rushing attack.

However, it should be asked how big of an impact Gallimore realistically makes, as he will be playing his first snaps of the season. There is a good chance he will be on a pitch count.

The addition of Gregory should help this pass rush out that has already been playing well, averaging 2.7 sacks per game over their last three games. Washington has allowed five sacks combined their past three games and sport a pass-block win rate of 67% on the season, which is fourth-best in the NFL.

Another huge matchup to watch for is Trevon Diggs on Terry McLaurin. McLaurin is a true number one receiver and can cause the Cowboys fits. Although Diggs has nine interceptions on the season, he has allowed the eight most catches in the league of any cornerback with 47 and only has a 59.6 coverage grade per PFF.

When the Cowboys are on offense, they will need to be very aware of their two heavy hitters up front defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, who have combined for nine sacks on the year and do a great job clogging up the middle on the run game.

Cowboys at Football Team final injury report: Micah Parsons good to go; Tony Pollard questionable - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys

The final injury report favors the Cowboys by a lot.

When Micah Parsons’ name popped up on the injury list yesterday for the Dallas Cowboys, there must have been a hint of trepidation in every Cowboys fans’ mind. The idea that Parsons could miss time was far from a pleasant thought. Fortunately, it looks like the Cowboys stud rookie is going to be just fine.

To carry that a little further, Parsons did not have a designation on the injury report for Friday, meaning he is fine to play on Sunday. He was limited in practice today, but that was just a precaution.

We already knew that Tony Pollard would be a game-time decision as he has not practiced all week. His questionable designation reinforces the fact it will be a Sunday decision.

The Cowboys full injury report is pretty much as expected.

It may be until Saturday when we will officially hear if Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore will both be active on Sunday. The Cowboys will have to officially activate them to the game roster for that to happen.

Mailbag: Passing Or Running Game More Important? - Rob Phillips,

Which is more important?

Most of the NFL analysts keep saying that the Cowboys are a running offense and that they need to get back to pounding the football in order to get back on track. However, from what I can see from my chair, it looks like the Cowboys are better off when they go with a faster-pace offense and let Dak get into a rhythm and pick the defense apart — especially with Zeke not 100% and now Tony Pollard banged up too. What do you think? — MARK SOMMA / GAINESVILLE, VA

Rob: I agree that a strong passing game can, literally, throw defenses out of that Denver blueprint we’ve seen. (Think the 40-point win over Atlanta, which sort of gets lost in this recent stretch of games.) And yes, the offense seems to find its rhythm when they’re playing with a little pace and tempo. That said, I think we’ve seen exactly what the run game means to the offense. The Cowboys have averaged only 93.7 yards per game in six games since the bye week. The record’s been 3-3. I’m not saying that’s the only key to winning, but the beauty of the offense early in the season was its versatility, its pick-your-poison quality. If they’re having success with the run, it should open things up outside a little more, too.

Amari Cooper notes Cowboys WR trio hasn’t played full game together: Ds don’t ‘know what to expect’ - Kevin Patra,

This will be the first time this season the Cowboys big-three WR’s will start, and finish a game fully healthy (hopefully).

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had their star-studded receiver trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup on the field together much this season.

Since midway through the third quarter of Week 1, one or more of the receivers have been out of the lineup or on a snap count.

On Thursday, Cooper noted on 105.3 The Fan that the three haven’t been on the field with Dak Prescott for an entire game this season.

“I don’t know if defenses really know what to expect from us out of a full game together,” he said, via David Helman of the team’s official website.

Gallup suffered a calf strain in Week 1 and was sidelined for the finish. The pending free agent went on injured reserve, missing the Cowboys’ next seven games. He returned in Week 10 — a blowout of Atlanta in which no one played a full complement of snaps.

Cooper missed Weeks 11-12 on the reserve/COVID-19 list and was held to spot duty in his return in Week 13 (24 snaps).

Lamb sat out Week 12 after suffering a concussion.

“If we go out there and play to our potential, which I know we will, it’s just gonna be real hard to stop,” Cooper said, per Jon Machota of The Athletic.

Does Ron Rivera Have Washington Prepared to Upset Dallas? - David Harrison,

Did Mike McCarthy write a check that he couldn’t cash?

While the Washington Football Team entered the year as one of the more hyped teams in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys were starting off with a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In that Week 1 contest, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones referred to his team as the ‘David’ facing the defending Super Bowl Champions on opening night, in the role of Goliath.

Now, the tables have turned, and Dallas plays Goliath this weekend to Washington’s rendition of David.

Perfect timing though, as the WFT has taken to literally throwing stones, during its impressive four-game winning streak.

“It all really evolved more so than anything else and fortunate enough for us, it was the right team,” head coach Ron Rivera said about the growing tradition of throwing a rock following wins this season. “I got so much respect for who Tom Brady is, and for Bruce Arians. If you can get a victory off of a team like that, we most certainly felt we had to get it going. And I think we have something that we can rally around and believe in.”

Dallas Cowboys: Time of possession will be key statistic vs Washington - Cole Patterson, A to Z Dallas

How important is time of possession?

Sunday’s week 14 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team is a key game within the NFC East. Dallas has had a comfortable lead in the division for much of the season. However, Washington is making a move with a four-game winning streak.

The Cowboys’ offense has struggled over the last month or so. Teams have taken advantage of Dallas’ miscues on third down and in the red zone. That has led to the Cowboys stumbling and losing three of its last five games.

Washington has the defense that is capable enough to make life hard for Dallas. Despite being without Chase Young and Montez Sweat, the Football Team has used clock control and strong defense to get on a late-season roll.

Tom Brady had one of his worst games of the year in Washington’s win over the Buccaneers. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks scored just 17 points in Washington’s win over Seattle. Washington certainly presents a challenge to the Cowboys’ offense.

Time of possession will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game. If the Cowboys cannot convert on third down or red zone opportunities, it could be difficult for Dallas to put up many points.

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