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Cowboys news: Focus moves to Tampa after preseason finale

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Mike McCarthy: Dak Prescott’s, Dallas Cowboys’ focus now on Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Todd Archer, ESPN.com

Dak Prescott’s eyes are on the right prize.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, players must have three straight days off following the final preseason game. The Cowboys will practice Thursday and Friday and get into a normal week of preparation for the Buccaneers.

In three practices since his return, Prescott completed 29 of 44 passes in team or 7-on-7 drills. He showed no issues with strength in his arm or movement from his surgically repaired right ankle.

“We’re going to do everything we can,” McCarthy said when asked how the Cowboys get the rust off Prescott.

The Cowboys have 11 days and five practices remaining before playing Tampa Bay. McCarthy said once the final cuts are in on Tuesday, the time will go by fast.

Don’t Forget These 5: Winless Preseason Means ... - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

Some notes from the game.

Much-needed extra point – You won’t hear many kickers, especially veterans such as Greg Zuerlein, talking about the importance of an extra point. But after missing all of the offseason and most of camp with a back injury, Zuerlein was appreciative to not only get an extra point try, but to make it – as we head into the regular season. Zuerlein had a 56-yard field goal attempt before halftime that sailed wide left, but he was able to hit the final kick after a late touchdown.

Kelvin Joseph injury – This is a game for the backups, but not every player who will make the team gets to sit. A guy like Joseph needed to play and unfortunately, his first-quarter groin injury ended his game early. Joseph’s setback might linger into the regular season, although it likely won’t affect the team’s roster moves. But this was a game the Cowboys wanted to evaluate Joseph against Jacksonville’s starters and that didn’t occur.

3 takeaways from Cowboys-Jaguars: Garrett Gilbert makes one last push for backup QB job - Michael Gehlken, DMN

Some more from the game.

Young DBs struggle

Second-round pick Kelvin Joseph allowed a 38-yard reception on the Jaguars’ second play from scrimmage. Third-round choice Nahshon Wright surrendered an 18-yard touchdown on the fifth.

It was a rough start Sunday for the team’s young cornerbacks.

And it only got worse.

Joseph exited early on Sunday with a left groin injury. The team announced that he was questionable to return, but given the stakes here in an exhibition setting, unsurprisingly, he did not. Issues were not limited to rookie picks.

Cornerback Deante Burton wasn’t going to make the 53-man roster before Sunday.

Certainly, he won’t now.

Burton picked the wrong time to have his worst preseason performance, demonstrating poor ball awareness in coverage, missing multiple open-field tackles in special teams coverage and being flagged once for holding on the kickoff return unit.

Bold predictions for the 2021 Dallas Cowboys - Matt Holleran, BloggingtheBoys.com

A few eye-popping opinions from some BTB front-page writers.

CeeDee Lamb will lead the Cowboys in receiving yards and touchdowns, finishing the season as a top-five receiver in football. Lamb has been absolutely electric in camp and has a great chance to take an even bigger step forward this season. Last year in five games with Dak Prescott, Lamb caught 29 passes for 433 yards and had a 72.5 catch %. If Prescott had stayed healthy all year, Lamb easily would have surpassed 1,000 receiving yards and likely could have made a serious bid for the Offensive Rookie of The Year award. This year, Lamb and Prescott will be a dynamic duo. The second-year wideout will be the Cowboys’ best offensive weapon, leaping himself into the discussion as one of the best receivers in all of football.

New Orleans Saints set to practice at Dallas Cowboys’ stadium for three days after evacuating because of Hurricane Ida - ESPN Writers, ESPN.com

The Boys are opening their doors to another team.

The team is scheduled to hold workouts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at AT&T Stadium before taking a break heading into the regular season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club wasn’t discussing its plans publicly. The Saints are supposed to open at home Sept. 12 against Green Bay.

Ida made landfall south of New Orleans on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, making it one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the U.S.

“Call the Jones family because no one does it better than they do,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday on behalf of owner Jerry Jones. “So yeah, having an opportunity to coach in New Orleans having gone through the hurricane challenge, I mean it’s a tremendous amount of stress on the families of the Saints and the whole region, the Gulf Coast region. My heart goes out to those guys. Just glad to be — from the Jones family — it’s just great to be in a position to help.”

3 Dallas Cowboys who are missing from Hard Knocks - Brandon Loree, The Landry Hat

Some notable names are notably missing from Hard Knocks.

1. Tyron Smith, OT

It is hard to believe that offensive tackle Tyron Smith is the longest-tenured player on the team at age 30. The former USC Trojan has been with the Dallas Cowboys for 11 years now. Smith is considered one of the best tackles in football, but after only appearing in two games last season, his elite status is questioned.

Talent has never been an issue for the seven-time Pro Bowler. There is a reason why he is a part of the 2010’s All-Decade team. However, one can argue that the left tackle position is the most important part of an offense outside the quarterback. The best type of ability for an o-lineman is availability.

Smith, unfortunately, has missed at least two games in a season since 2016 and missed 14 games last year. His comeback after season-ending neck surgery should be right up there with watching Dak Prescott’s recovery. He could be interviewed on his rehab during camp and if last year affected him mentally after not completing the season.

Now Smith might not be getting a lot of air time because he chooses not to. It just seems odd that the team’s $97 million man has not been in the spotlight once.

Fans would feel relief seeing him go against the defensive ends in practice, knowing he is back to being healthy and potentially being an All-Pro again. Maybe the directors of Hard Knocks are saving his story for a future episode.

The Cowboys’ backup quarterback battle remains murky - NFL.com staff

Picking up the pieces from last night’s game.

Cooper Rush started the game with a chance to take a firm hold on the No. 2 spot on Dallas’ depth chart, but with the Cowboys trotting out their second-stringers against a Jacksonville defense mostly filled by starters, it was an uphill battle from the start. Rush did little to impress, completing just 4 of 8 passes for 16 yards and failing to move the offense before handing the keys to his competition, Garrett Gilbert, who had an easier go as Jacksonville replaced starters with backups. With this considered, we really didn’t learn much at all about how Dallas might proceed at the position, even after Gilbert led a nice touchdown drive that included a fourth-down conversion and a well-timed touchdown pass to Aaron Parker. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation plays out as the Cowboys trim their roster to 53 by the Tuesday deadline.

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