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Cowboys news: CeeDee Lamb discusses his recent bout with COVID

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Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb lost his sense of taste, smell after testing positive for COVID-19 - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News

Lamb will be ready to go by Thursday.

“It’s always been a serious situation for me,” he said Sunday.

When Lamb was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list August 23, it was another reminder of the virus’ effects.

The 22-year old said he lost his sense of smell and taste after testing positive.

“I wake up and brush my teeth (and) I couldn’t taste my toothpaste for like a week,” Lamb said.

Later he added, “But I was like wait, a minute, I literally stopped and looked in the mirror and was like, whoa. Ok, I could taste it again. It was mint (toothpaste). Imagine not tasting mint for a week and then just understanding like, wow, you really can’t taste anything.”

Before Lamb was cleared from the COVID-list, he stayed in shape by running around alone in his neighborhood. Lamb said he feels better and is ready for Thursday’s season opener at Tampa Bay.

Cowboys’ Zack Martin to Miss Opener vs. Bucs After Being Placed on COVID-19 List - Adam Wells, Bleacher Report

A tough road just got a bit rockier.

Per ESPN’s Todd Archer, Martin will miss Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Martin tested positive for the virus. It’s not clear if the six-time Pro Bowler has been vaccinated.

Losing Martin adds to the problems facing Dallas’ offensive line going into Week 1. Right Tackle La’el Collins is returning to practice Sunday after missing more than a week with a stinger in his neck.

However, left tackle Tyron Smith did tell reporters last week “it’s been a while since I’ve felt this good” after he missed 14 games last season because of a neck injury that required surgery.

Dallas Cowboys: 3 things to watch for in their season opener - Joey Pollizze, The Landry Hat

Three things to take notice of.

As a result, there is likely more that this team needs to do than just get back the former rookie of the year. Running back Ezekiel Elliott has to step up his game in 2021 especially after rushing for only 979 yards last season.

Not only does Prescott need to come back healthy, but the Dallas Cowboys’ defense likely has to be much better. Last season, this defense ranked towards the bottom of the league in almost every category. They ranked 28th in points allowed per game (29.6), 31st in rush yards allowed (158.8), and 25th in opponent’s yards per completion (11.1).

However, this season, there is arguably a new and improved Cowboys’ defense ready to take shape. Adding players like linebacker Micah Parsons, linebacker Keanu Neal, safety Damontae Kazee, and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins will probably help this defense immensely. According to Dallas’ depth chart on ESPN, America’s Team has five new starters on defense from a season ago.

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers odds, line, predictions: NFL Kickoff Game 2021 picks from proven expert who’s 27-18 - CBS Sports Staff, CBS Sports

If you’re a bettor, this may be of interest to you.

Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay is a 7.5-point favorite in the latest Cowboys vs. Buccaneers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 51.5. Before making any Buccaneers vs. Cowboys picks, make sure to check out the expert NFL predictions from SportsLine NFL expert Emory Hunt.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007, and a former running back at Louisiana-Lafayette. He knows the game from a player’s perspective.

Hunt has had plenty of success in games involving the Cowboys. In fact, he’s on a 27-18 roll on his against-the-spread NFL picks involving Dallas, returning more than $700 to $100 players. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Big Picture: 5 Storylines for Cowboys & Buccaneers - Kyle Youmans - DallasCowboys.com

The storylines are abundantly plentiful.

The offensive line was a huge question mark last season and entering 2021, it still has its share of concern. The Cowboys will likely be without Zack Martin, who has been placed on the COVID-19/Reserved list. Head coach Mike McCarthy all but ruled him out for Thursday’s game. That means Connor McGovern will likely start at right guard for Martin. La’el Collins missed the whole season last year due to a hip injury but even though he’s returned to action this offseason, his availability is uncertain due to a stinger in his neck that has limited him in practice over the last couple weeks. Collins was able to practice with the Cowboys on Sunday, opposite Tyron Smith, who also missed most of last year with a neck/back injury but he said he’s feeling better than ever heading into the season.

When Thursday comes around, it will be a total of 333 days since Dak Prescott played any type of live football. First, it was a compound fracture in his ankle that sidelined him from Week 5 until the start of training camp in Oxnard. Then, it was a shoulder sprain that he suffered in the first padded practice of camp that held him out of any preseason action and a significant amount of practice time leading into the new season. Finally, Prescott makes his full return and brings new hope for the offense and from a leadership standpoint. Outside of the injury history, this week will be the first time in close to three whole years that he’ll take the field completely free of questions surrounding his contract after signing a 4-year $160 million deal this summer.

Connor McGovern Preparing To Start For Martin - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

His coach says he’s more than up to the task.

“He’ll definitely be ready for this opportunity,” McCarthy said. “Great work ethic. I thought he finished last year as one of the stronger performers on our offensive line at the end of the season. … Definitely one of the offseason bright spots of an offseason where we had a lot of bright spots.”

McGovern had a challenging start to his career, to say the least. He missed his entire rookie season in 2019 because of a torn pectoral muscle suffered in his second OTA practice. After rehabbing with the athletic training staff that season, he returned healthy in 2020 but went through a shortened training camp with no preseason games because of the pandemic.

Still, McGovern showed signs of progress with his first on-field snaps last year. He actually made eight starts at right guard – six because of injuries to Martin, and two because the Cowboys moved Martin out to right tackle to address depth issues on the edge.

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