Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: ‘Very optimistic’ Tyron Smith will return vs Arizona - Todd Brock, CowboysWire
Getting Tyron Smith back will just give the offense more confidence moving forward.
Speaking on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was encouraged about No. 77’s imminent return to action.
“The great news is [we] feel it’s very optimistic that Tyron’s going to be back against the Cardinals,” Jones told the K&C Masterpiece show.
Smith missed three earlier games- Weeks 9 through 11- with what was referred to then by many around the team, including owner Jerry Jones, as bone spurs. The injury was later classified as an ankle sprain. He returned to make the next three starts, but then left Dallas’s Week 14 game versus Washington early. He’s been working his way back since, but has not been cleared for game play yet.
Smith remains one of the most dominant forces in the league when healthy. But after missing all but the first two games of 2020 and having not played a full regular-season slate since 2015, there have been concerns about the lineman, who turned 31 earlier this month.
“Certainly his injury this year that he’s been fighting, with his ankle, has nothing to do with past injuries,” Jones continued in his radio interview. “It’s a part of the game, these injuries. And sometimes you go on a run where you’re fortunate and you’re able to play consecutive games consecutive seasons. And other times, it just seems to bite you. But right now we’re so fired up that Tyron’s going to be back against Arizona. He brings so much to the table in terms of solidifying that left side, giving Dak confidence to step up in the pocket and make the throws that he needs to make. And to have him back is going to really be a great addition back with this offensive line that I think can only help improve us.”
The Cowboys have bigger goals than what they have accomplished.
The Cowboys are now 11-4 with two regular season games remaining. That puts them in second place in the NFC, where only Green Bay has a better record.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he’s pleased with the effort but there is much more for his team to accomplish.
“This is a season that has an excellent opportunity to be that special season. And I think with that, I think you guys are doing a great job trying to knock me off my focus here, but I think it’s important for us to stay truly in the moment, stay where we are. We have a playoff team coming here Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals. You know, we had a really nice time in the locker room, but this is… we knew this was the starting line. This is not the goal. This isn’t the ending. We feel like the real football starts now,” he said.
It might be hard for the Cowboys to hold on to both their coordinators once the year is done,
To be fair, it’s still a bit early in that process. Only two NFL clubs currently have head coaching vacancies, and it’s not clear how many more jobs will open in the next two weeks. With all of that said, it’s hard not to look ahead and think that Cowboys coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn will be intriguing names in this NFL hiring cycle.
“I think you have to acknowledge the guys that may have the opportunity,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on Monday. “It’s definitely well deserving and they’re ready, so you embrace that.”
It’s easy to read the tea leaves as why either coach might get an opportunity in the coming weeks. Quinn, in his first year as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, is at the epicenter of the Cowboys’ staggering defensive turnaround.
One year after being regarded as one of the worst defenses in the league, the Cowboys are seventh in points allowed and lead the NFL in takeaways with 33 on the year. It’s understandable if other clubs would be interested in talking to Quinn, who has plenty experience after a lengthy head coaching stint with the Atlanta Falcons.
For his part, Quinn said Monday he’ll be ready if “the right scenario” presented itself, but emphasized that he’s having plenty of fun in his current role with the Cowboys.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys picks, predictions: Who wins NFL Week 17 game? - Jeremy Cluff, AZCentral
Looking ahead to the Cardinals game.
Pro Football Network: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 23
Ben Rolfe writes: “Based on recent events, this looks set to be a one-sided affair. The Cardinals’ offense simply looks out of sorts. It is tough to see them getting enough points to compete with Dallas. The Cowboys are rolling right now — that likely won’t end this week.”
Sportsnaut: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 23
The site predicts that the Cowboys will get a 4-point win over the Cardinals in Week 17.
Draft Kings: Take the Cardinals with the points vs. Cowboys
It writes: “Even with the Cardinals trending down, Arizona’s offense should be able to get back into gear. The Cardinals have clinched a playoff spot and can play more lose in this game. The Cowboys have also clinched a playoff berth, so they might be more inclined to take the foot off the gas against an opponent currently struggling.”
SB Nation: Cowboys favored over Cardinals in Week 17
Dave Halprin writes: “The Cowboys had an offensive awakening against the Football Team by scoring 56 points, but one touchdown came on a pick-six and the other on a blocked punt. Still 42 points by the offense is a full games work no matter how you slice it. Dak Prescott was phenomenal in the game, and if he is truly having a return to form, the Cowboys are a very dangerous team. Arizona will tell us a lot about where this team is at on Sunday.”
Trolling the Nation for Cowboys vs. Football Team: ‘They are getting crushed faster than I can get drunk’ - One.Cool.Customer, BloggingTheBoys
Man, this is soo good!
The franchise with no name came to Dallas carrying their own benches, which must have been exhausting. How else do you explain the game being basically over by halftime?
And as sweet as a win against a formerly bitter rival is, it is so much sweeter when on Victory Monday you get to relive the agony and even utter despair of Washington fans watching their team crumble, with the occasional snide remark from other NFL fans thrown in for good measure.
So here’s your chance to relive Sunday’s prime time smackdown of a divisional rival via the comments made by NFL fans around the league while watching the game.
Disclaimer: All quotes are taken directly from the open game threads from the SB Nation team sites as indicated in front of every comment. Some minor edits have been made to improve the overall legibility of the quotes and to satisfy our site guidelines, but no other changes have been made, no commentary added.
It felt so good to see Prescott rounding back into form this week.
Dallas ended up winning 56-14 as Prescott completed 28 of 39 throws for 330 yards and four passing touchdowns. Even more remarkable than the numbers, Prescott set an NFL regular season record, becoming the first QB in history to complete scoring throws to a wideout, tight end, running back and offensive lineman.
It was clear this offense, led by OC Kellen Moore, wanted to silence the doubters. No points were scored on the opening drive but promise was shown. Getting the ball right back on a Trevon Diggs’ interception, Prescott would hit his most reliable targets in WR Amari Cooper and TE Dalton Schultz twice respectively to march the offense downfield with ease. This set up a beautiful play design and break in the Washington defense setting Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott up for the walk-in touchdown.
More of the same would occur on the offense’s third drive of the evening. Prescott would target RB Tony Pollard and WR CeeDee Lamb consecutively while adding WR Cedrick Wilson to the mix midway through the drive. After Prescott’s first incompletion of the game targeting Pollard, he’d return to his safety blankets in Schultz and Cooper, the former for yet another beautifully-designed score.
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