The Dallas Cowboys are talented, but can they stay healthy enough to be title contenders? - Fox Sports, Matt Provencher
With key reinforcements returning, health seems like less of a concern moving forward.
The Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of a promising playoff run and enter the weekend with the fourth-best record in the NFC.
Their matchup Sunday against the Washington Football Team (1 p.m. ET on FOX) gives the Cowboys an excellent opportunity to strengthen their hold on the NFC East.
But Dallas has had to deal with a number of injuries throughout this season and has also had several high-profile players working their way back from injuries suffered last year. Those health issues have led to plenty of ups and downs this season.
How “Banged Up” a team is — even a team as talented as the Cowboys — can have a direct influence on the outcome of the game. That’s where the BUS™ comes in. The BUS — or Banged Up Score — is a score from 0-to-100 that delineates the health of the team. The score is built on a lot of proprietary data analysis that we have tested for years to help understand how injuries can impact your team.
‘Big Mistake!’ Washington coach Ron Rivera rips Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy for ‘we’ll win’ prediction - Sports Illustrated, Mike Fisher
Who else wants to see a Mike McCarthy versus Ron Rivera Battle Royale?
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy channeled his inner Jimmy Johnson by (kinda) “guaranteeing” a victory over the Washington Football Team ahead of the Sunday Week 14 face-off at FedEx Field.
“We’re going to win this game,” McCarthy said. “I’m confident in that.”
Washington coach Ron Rivera then fired back, ripping McCarthy’s ploy as “a big mistake.”
“You do that for a couple of reasons,” Rivera explained. “One, you want to get in our head. Secondly, he’s trying to convince his team. He’s now made it about him. I think it’s a big mistake.
Cowboys’ offensive and defensive lines are key to a Week 14 victory.
The Cowboys will win if…
The Cowboys are the more talented team on the field and they simply need to take care of business to get a tough win on the road. The offense must dominate the action with the offensive line controlling the trenches. The Cowboys’ trench warriors will need to move defenders off the ball to create holes for Elliott and Pollard at the line of scrimmage. Additionally, the offensive line must keep Prescott upright and protected to give him a chance to attack down the field against the WFT zone. If No.4 gets time, he could carve up a defense that is content playing “bend but don’t break” football between the 20s.
On defense, Micah Parsons, Demarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory (if active) need to destroy the timing of the WFT passing game with consistent pressure. The constant harassment will force Heinicke into making a mistake at a critical juncture. The Cowboys simply need to keep up with McLaurin’s whereabouts and make someone else come up with the big plays. Based on their track record this season, it is hard to expect a secret weapon to emerge for WFT in a divisional game with playoff implications.
The Cowboys certainly proved they could play with the Bucs earlier this season.
8-4 · NFC No. 4 seed
Don’t laugh at the sight of the Cowboys being included on this list despite their recent struggles. America’s Team has a collection of all-stars with the talent and swagger to take the defending champions down in a win-or-go-home scenario in the postseason. Dallas has the potential to attack Tampa Bay with a hard-nosed ground game and a dynamic aerial attack. Dak Prescott showed his ability to carve up Bowles’ defense back in Week 1, and that could be problematic for the Bucs with injuries impacting their secondary. Defensively, Dan Quinn is familiar with Arians from their previous battles in the NFC South when he was the leader of the Falcons. That intelligence and experience could serve the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator well as he puts together a game plan to throttle the Brady-led unit in a rematch. The Cowboys have certainly suffered some head-scratching losses recently, but their exceptional talent gives them a chance to win against the defending champs.
Cowboys activate Randy Gregory, Neville Gallimore as part of Week 14 roster moves - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire
With Randy Gregory and Neville Gilmore back, Dallas’ defense is at full strength.
The Cowboys have made it official: defensive end Randy Gregory and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore are once again on the active roster and eligible to play Sunday in Washington.
Both were removed from the Reserve/Injured-Designated for Return list on Saturday.
Gregory has missed the past four games with a calf strain. Gallimore will make his regular season debut after suffering a dislocated elbow in the preseason.
The Cowboys did a bit of further shuffling to prepare for the Week 14 divisional showdown in the nation’s capital, elevating safety Darian Thompson, tight end Ian Bunting, and running back JaQuan Hardy from the practice squad. Defensive tackle Justin Hamilton was waived.
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