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Cowboys news: Ezekiel Elliott says they will have to “drag me off the field” for him not to play

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Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys will ‘have to drag me off the field,’ says a hobbled Ezekiel Elliott - Clarence E. Hill Jr, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Ezekiel Elliott has been playing beat-up over the past several games. Despite that, the Cowboys feature back says he has no plans to take any time off.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t deny that his injured right knee has limited his play and production. He says it’s more serious than the bone bruise that the Cowboys initially reported but he wouldn’t divulge the exact nature of the injury. What is most important, as far as Elliott is concerned, is that he injury is getting better, according to an MRI exam taken on Friday. He takes pride in being out there for his teammates and there is no chance of him missing a game to rest.

“You are going to have to drag me off the field,” Elliott said.

The latter is even more important with backup Tony Pollard now battling a foot injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday.

Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat on COVID-19 reserve list, will miss game vs. Cowboys - The Associated Press, Dallas Morning News

The Cowboys offense has been in a bit of a funk as of late, but they won’t have to face Montez Sweat.

Washington put Montez Sweat on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list Wednesday after the third-year pass rusher tested positive for the coronavirus.

He was expected to return to practice this week and play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday after missing the past four games with a broken jaw. Sweat was one of Washington’s few unvaccinated players and therefore is ruled out of the Cowboys game.

Despite missing the past month, Sweat ranked second on the team with four sacks this season. Washington’s pass rush is already without reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young, who tore the ACL in his right knee.

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy returning to work after 10-day COVID-19 protocols - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys are finally getting their head coach back.

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, who tested positive for COVID-19, will be back to work Thursday as his team continues preparation for Sunday’s big NFC East game against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

“The protocol experience has been an education to say the least, but I feel great. I’m ready to go,” McCarthy said. “Frankly, I think it’s more of a technicality with the testing process that’s keeping me out the full 10 days. So my arrival will be first thing in the morning. Actually I think I might go at midnight, 12:01 tonight.”

McCarthy watched from a Frisco hotel as the Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2. Since being placed in COVID protocols, he has run the meetings with players and coaches virtually. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn served as the head coach against the Saints.

Offensive line coaches Joe Philbin and Jeff Blasko, offensive assistant Scott Tolzien and strength and conditioning coaches Harold Nash and Kendall Smith have been back at The Star after they missed the Saints game as well.

Terrence Steele & La’el Collins both expected to play at Washington Football Team - Sean Martin, Inside the Star

The Cowboys offensive line is essentially back at full strength at last as Terrence Steele makes his return. We can only hope a capable run game accompanies his return.

Steele did not play against the Saints, after starting the last four games filling in for Tyron Smith at left tackle. Week eight was the last time the Cowboys had both Steele and Collins ready to play, as well as Smith at LT. The Cowboys deemed La’el Collins unready to start in his first game back from suspension, and gave this game to Steele at RT. Both Steele and Collins would start the next four games, three of which losses. The Cowboys started both Smith and Collins again in their win at the Saints last week.

In their first showing that perhaps this team was regaining its early season form, the Cowboys offensive line featured Smith, Collins, and Zack Martin for the first time since week one. OL Coach Joe Philbin has been absent from The Star as one of the Cowboys coaches impacted by last week’s COVID breakout, but should be returning to coach the best version of this line with five regular season games left to play.

Cowboys roundtable: Potential plans for Micah Parsons, plus a playoff matchup Dallas should not want - Michael Gehlken, David Moore, and Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

As we approach the final five games of the regular season, playoff seeding and potential match-ups become more and more relevant. But who would be the best potential opponent for the Cowboys? The DMN roundtable discusses.

We discussed this previously, but a lot has changed for the Cowboys in the past month. What is your updated NFC playoff outlook? What’s the best early playoff matchup for Dallas?

David Moore: Three losses in four games did the Cowboys no favors in pursuit of the No. 1 seed. Let’s take that off the table for the moment. So where does that leave Dallas? The Cowboys currently occupy the No. 4 seed, meaning they would face the LA Rams in the first round. That’s a matchup the Cowboys, and every other team with home field advantage in the first round, wants to avoid. There’s a significant drop off from the top five teams in the conference to the final two that will make the playoffs. Jockeying for the second and third seed will be intense. If Dallas can land in one of those spots, they should beat whatever team they face in the first round.

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