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Cowboys news: Cowboys lose preseason game 19-16, and injury bug bites

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Prater’s 47-yard FG lifts Cardinals over Cowboys 19-16 - David Brandt, AP

A quick recap of the loss.

Matt Prater kicked two field goals in the final two minutes, including a 47-yard game winner with no time remaining, to lift the Arizona Cardinals over the Dallas Cowboys 19-16 on Friday night in a preseason game.

Prater kicked a 48-yard field with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter to push the Cardinals into a 16-all tie. The Cowboys’ ensuing drive quickly fizzled, giving the Cardinals enough time to drive downfield and set up Prater’s game-winning kick.

There is no overtime in NFL preseason games.

Ben DiNucci threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Smith midway through the fourth quarter to give the Cowboys a 16-13 lead. DiNucci played in three games for the Cowboys last season, starting one.

It was the first preseason game for the Cardinals and second for the Cowboys, who lost to the Steelers 16-3 in the Hall of Fame game last week.

Most of the stars from both teams — including Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott — didn’t play on Friday. Prescott has been bothered by a right shoulder sprain that’s limited his time on the field in camp.

Cowboys DT Neville Gallimore (elbow), TE Sean McKeon (ankle) leave Cowboys-Cardinals game early - Michael Gelhken, Dallas Morning News

Just what you don’t want in preseason.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Cowboys lost two promising second-year players on Friday evening.

Defensive tackle Neville Gallimore suffered a left elbow hyperextension during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The team’s medical staff heavily wrapped Gallimore’s arm while he laid on the ground in visible pain. Several teammates kneeled around the former third-round pick in concern. Tight end Sean McKeon exited the second quarter with a right ankle, needing assistance to walk off the field.

McKeon joined the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie from Michigan.

He earned a firm lock on the team’s No. 3 tight end job. His absence leaves the club without two of its top three tight ends, as Dalton Schultz suffered an ankle injury during Wednesday’s practice. Schultz is expected to be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With McKeon sidelined, Jeremy Sprinkle now elevates into the No. 3 role, at least for the time being.

The Nooch!

Keanu Neal had a fantastic preseason game in Arizona with this turnover.

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory not with team for preseason game vs. Cardinals - Staff, DMN

Interesting note from last night's game.

Noticeably absent from Friday night’s Cowboys-Cardinals preseason game was defensive end Randy Gregory.

Sources tell The Dallas Morning News that Gregory was given clearance to return to Dallas and is expected to be at The Star on Monday when the team resumes practice.

After not playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, Gregory expressed his desire to play Friday, however he acknowledge that the final decision would not be up to him.

“If it was up to me, I would have played last game,’’ Gregory said. “I obviously want to play this week and next week and the week after that, but that will be more of a game-time decision maybe.’’

Though he is a veteran, Gregory doens’t have a ton of snaps under his belt and would likely benefit from some live reps in new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense.

Breaking Down Cowboys CB Rankings From 2021 Training Camp - Jess Haynie, Inside the Star

How does the CB depth chart pan out?

The cornerback position may be toughest spot for decision-making right now on the entire Cowboys roster. But thanks to some info published yesterday over on the team’s official website, we may have a little more clarity on how these corners are comparing to each other in Dallas’ 2021 training camp.

The website’s “Rank ‘Em” series focused on CB yesterday with a ranking of all 10 players currently in camp. Here was the list from the staff writers:

Trevon Diggs

Maurice Canady

Anthony Brown

Nahshon Wright

Kelvin Joseph

Deante Burton

Jourdan Lewis

Reggie Robinson

C.J. Goodwin

Kyron Brown

Does this list tell us anything we didn’t already know? That may depend on how much you keep up with these same writers and others on social media and other outlets. But surprising or not, here’s what this list tell me.

Seeing Diggs on top is the least surprising item of all. We’ve already seen he’s star potential, and the analysis in the article says that Trevon is now adding consistency to the playmaking. He looks poised for the second-year leap that we’re all excited for!

Position Flexibility will Shape the Dallas Cowboys Roster - Shane Carter, A to Z Dallas

Position flexibility is key to the Cowboys roster cutdowns.

The Dallas Cowboys 2020 season showed exactly where the team was weakest: offensive line depth, defensive line and secondary. After a long free agency and draft period, the team loaded up on all three areas.

Eight of the team’s draft picks were on defense and even brought in plenty of quality names from other teams. They signed one offensive tackle and drafted another, reaffirming the need to bolster the line outside of the starters.

With the 2021 season just a few weeks away, it’s likely that these positions will need to be overloaded to avoid a repeat.

It’s likely that all three areas hold 10 or more players. Meaning we’ll see a combined 10 or more defensive ends and tackles, and 10 or more cornerbacks and safeties.

Unfortunately, there are only 53 spots available and this would mean the team would allocate around 30 players for 3 positional groups.

Trust me. It will be necessary.

The offensive line was plagued with injuries

The offense was one of the most heavily sacked in the league

The team only had 31 sacks (20th)

Allowed almost 400 total yards per game

The good news is the team is full of starters and key role players who can fill up more than one spot. Positional versatility is always a plus in the NFL, but on a team that has huge question marks in spaces it’s even more.

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