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Cowboys news: Prescott likely won’t play before opening night vs Tom Brady and the Bucs

The latest Cowboys news from Wednesday.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys won’t play QB Dak Prescott until the season opener against Tampa Bay - Clarence E. Hill Jr, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The franchise quarterback may have returned to practice in a limited capacity Monday but the Cowboys are going to continue to exercise caution.

“Dak’s status is limited. We’ll just continue the throwing regimen and keep building up the volume,” McCarthy said. “There’s a good chance he probably won’t play.”

With Prescott not playing against the Texans, he won’t play in the preseason finale against Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 29.

It means that Prescott won’t see live action until the Sept. 9 season opener against the Tampa Buccaneers.

Prescott has not played in a game since suffering a compound fracture and dislocation in his right ankle last Oct. 11.

It means that Prescott and the first team offense won’t take any snaps together until they face Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions.

That is now how McCarthy planned to open the season.

Cowboys RT La’el Collins exits Wednesday practice early with neck injury

After missing the entire 2020 season, La’el Collins gave Cowboys fans momentary concern when he exited practice early Wednesday with an apparent neck injury.

The Cowboys have gotten used to being careful in 2021, easing quarterback Dak Prescott back in over the last week due to a shoulder strain the first week of camp and it’s possible they’ll have to do the same with Collins.

After the injury, new swing tackle Ty Nsekhe took over snaps during practice. Nsekhe has been a journeyman in the NFL since earning a spot on the Colts in 2012 and has a lot of experience that may prove valuable if Collins’ injury is potentially long-term.

The Transition From Safety to Linebacker is Going Smooth for Keanu Neal - Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star

After bouncing back last season following two major injuries, Neal’s positional change was a somewhat risky move for the former Falcon. Fortunately, he’s navigated the transition remarkably well.

Neal has made the transition to linebacker. When the Arizona Cardinals came out in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) to began last week’s preseason game, Neal and rookie Micah Parsons were the starting linebackers.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy mentioned that will be the norm in 2021.

“Yeah, I mean that’s the nickel group,’’ McCarthy said. “They started because of more who was on the field for Arizona.

“We have a base group and some combination base subgroups. We’ll continue to do that.’’

Neal had over 100 tackles in each of the three full seasons he played in with the Falcons. The responsibilities he has in Dallas are similar to what he had in Atlanta which is making the switch go smoothly and is allowing Neal to take advantage of his coverage skills and knack for making big hits.

‘I got word that I was playing:’ Cowboys WR Amari Cooper could make preseason debut Saturday - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire

Sidelined since January following bone spur procedures on his right ankle, Amari Cooper is reportedly set to make his preseason debut.

Monday was Cooper’s first practice back, though he had done some light pitch-and-catch work with Dak Prescott last week. While he doesn’t want to push it too far and risk a setback, Cooper knows the chance to get in a preseason game would be an important step to being ready for opening night.

“With me, I just want to do enough to feel confident going into Week 1,” he said. “I just started practicing, so it’s just about getting my legs back underneath me and getting my confidence back.”

A handful of snaps against the Texans could be a big boost to that confidence.

But Cooper’s work on Saturday night likely comes down to the work he puts in on Wednesday.

5 takeaways from Cowboys’ ‘Hard Knocks’ episode 2, including cadence practice and a British accent - Michael Gehlken, DMN

Episode 2 of ‘Hard Knocks’ aired Tuesday night, and if you didn’t know much about Azur Kamara before, you do now. This kid has a great story if a long shot to make the roster.

And if you have any doubt about whether his roster chances are real, he has 35 1/4-inch arms. That is extreme length even by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s standards.

Hard Knocks really is at its best when mixing up the lighter moments of a team dynamic with the pulling of viewers’ emotional strings. It accomplished this in Episode 2, capturing Cowboys starters laughing it up on the sideline and also Kamara, an Ivory Coast native, playing in front of his family. His mother, in particular, glowed from the stands.

Kamara was robbed of what would’ve been a game-winning strip-sack. A false start instead was called, leading the Arizona Cardinals to kick a game-tying field goal late in their eventual win.

It didn’t count on the scoreboard, but it did for the Cowboys’ coaches.

Day in camp: ‘Good chance’ Dak Prescott won’t play in Cowboys’ preseason, Maurice Canady impresses - David Moore, DMN

The Cowboys have received a pleasant surprise from Maurice Canady in camp.

Maurice Canady has had an outstanding training camp.

Is it hard for the veteran cornerback to hear he’s been a surprise?

“It can be, not hard, but it can sometimes be frustrating when I hear somebody say they’re surprised,” Canady said. “I’ve been in the league for a number of years. Just look at some film, I guess.

“It is what it is. You just got to take the good with the bad.”

One of the people who has said he’s surprised by Canady’s performance is head coach Mike McCarthy.

“Yeah,” Canady said, laughing.

Some context: when McCarthy said he’d been surprised by Canady’s performance in camp, it was because he wasn’t sure what to expect from a player who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

“It’s always impressive to have a shout out from a head coach, especially,” Canady said. “We’ve just got to keep building and stay humble.”

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