The rookie defensive tackle will be relied upon heavily in Gallimore’s absence.
Of all the possible replacements, though, no name offers as much intrigue as Osa Odighizuwa. After all, it was Odighizuwa who was drafted No. 75 overall – six spots ahead of Gallimore’s draft slot — just four months ago. It’s Odighizuwa that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn targeted as an intriguing pass rusher, and it stands to reason he’ll get the first crack at Gallimore’s starting spot.
I think it’s going to help, because I’m getting more reps with the starters and the ones,” Odighizuwa said on Monday. “So I think that’s going to help me progress – just got to hold it down and nut up until he gets back.”
The early returns have been awfully encouraging. Odighizuwa played 51 snaps in the game against Arizona, tying him with Ron’Dell Carter for most on the team. He seemed to do a lot with them, as he was consistently bullying his way into the backfield, finishing with three tackles and an impressive tackle for loss. “It’s a little bit more production, being able to recognize formations and take information in a little bit better, and the game is starting to slow down a little bit,” Odighizuwa said.
The two newly acquired safeties have bonded through their past injuries.
At the end of the day, Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker are competing for playing time in the secondary. But the new safeties on the Cowboys’ roster have something in common.
“We’re the Achilles Boys,” Kazee said. “He tore his right one and I tore my left one. We come up with strategies on how to stretch it, what cleats to wear and everything else. We talk about it a lot.”
Kazee has been a full participant in training camp after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in Week 4 last season as a starter with the Falcons. He signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys in March and reunited with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the former Falcons head coach who drafted Kazee in 2017. Prior to the injury, Kazee tied for the NFL lead in interceptions during the 2018 season.
If healthy, Malik Hooker could be just what the Cowboys have been missing on defense.
The Cowboys did sign Damontae Kazee, who had a relationship with now defensive coordinator Dan Quinn from his time in Atlanta, and Jayron Kearse, who was added more for special teams purposes. Kazee was a solid addition, he once tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with seven in 2018. At the time Kazee signed, the Cowboys were also interested in another safety, the former Indianapolis Colt, Hooker. However after all three visited during the same weekend, the Cowboys passed on signing Hooker in favor of Kazee and Kearse.
Or so it was believed. Fast forward to July and the organization revisited signing Hooker after meeting with him a second time. The assumption was the Cowboys needed to see Hooker healthier after his torn Achilles. Or perhaps the team got a good look at their safeties early in training camp and knew they needed help. Probably a bit of both.
Either way, Hooker was brought in by Dallas. The hope is that Hooker can return to the form that made him a first-round pick in the 2017 draft. In his first practice with the Cowboys, Hooker made his presence felt.
Dallas Cowboys stash two on injured reserve and release three to get down to 85-man roster limit - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Tuesday brought some roster moves.
The time has come and gone and the Dallas Cowboys have abided by league rules. With half of their preseason games in the rearview mirror and two more left there are some things that are becoming more obvious than others, including which players are not for long as far as their standing with this team.
Dallas is dealing with a couple of injured players and it is important to remember that while an unlimited number of players can be brought back from injured reserve, if they are placed there before the regular season begins they are not eligible to come off. This makes carrying certain players a bit tricky. The Cowboys have moved on from five players, although some will be sticking around:
Three of the five players were injured, including 2020 fourth-round pick Reggie Robinson. The cornerback suffered a toe injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season.
Amari Cooper hopes to play Saturday vs. Texans, will test ankle more at Wednesday’s practice - Michael Gehlken, DMN
It’s possible Cooper plays this weekend.
Amari Cooper believes he is back to 100% but cannot be sure.
Not until Wednesday.
The Cowboys wide receiver said Tuesday that his right ankle didn’t experience a setback from his participation in a padded practice Monday. His workload, however, was limited for precautionary reasons. Cooper plans to dial up the route-running during Wednesday’s practice.
“I would really have to run the full route tree,” he said. “There’s just a lot that I haven’t done. When I was 100%, I did everything. I ran every route. Some things on the football field are harder to do than others. I haven’t really done the more challenging aspects of my position yet.”
If all goes well on Wednesday, Cooper expects to play in Saturday’s preseason home game against the Houston Texans. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
The star wideout has some lofty goals in mind for the 2021 season.
Those skills will be key to Cooper achieving the lofty goals he has set. Undeterred by two 2021 ankle injuries and sharing targets with a loaded receiving corps, Cooper keeps reminding himself he wants this season to be different. Different might seem like an odd descriptor for a player who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in four of his six professional seasons, including all three in which he has played for Dallas. And yet, Cooper insists that mark is not his ceiling.
“The way I look at it is 1,000 yards is like the – it’s just OK,” Cooper said. “Anything after that is like the gravy, you know? “I want the gravy.”
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