The Dallas Cowboys and the rest of league will no doubt mourn the loss of Dan Reeves.
Dan Reeves is best known as the head coach for three different NFL franchises and one of only ten coaches in league history to win 200 career games. Over an NFL tenure that spanned nearly four decades (in an official capacity), he was a member of the coaching staffs for an incredible nine of the first 33 Super Bowls.
But Reeves got his pro football start as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, amassing 1,990 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns over the course of 100 games in an eight-year playing career. But he also compiled nearly as many receiving yards and scores as one of the club’s earliest double-threat stars.
Reeves passed away early Saturday morning at his home in Atlanta due to complications from a long illness.
Was McCarthy really an upgrade from Garrett? Cardinals game day a big test - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
Week 17 is a pretty big test for both Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys.
Though the Dallas Cowboys are currently riding high in one of their better seasons of the last 10 years, there’s still plenty to prove and accomplish. That’s especially true for Head Coach Mike McCarthy as he still works to validate the Jones’ decision to hand him the keys after nine seasons with Jason Garrett. If McCarthy is truly an upgrade from Garrett, games like tomorrow’s against the Arizona Cardinals are ones he can’t afford to lose.
No, the playoffs haven’t started yet. The Cowboys could go down tomorrow and still redeem themselves in the postseason. But this Cardinals game comes with some significant playoff-relevant stakes and at a time when the mood around Dallas is scarily positive.
Despite the hyperbole you may hear at times on social media, or anything that happened to him in New York the last two years, Jason Garrett had seasons like this with the Cowboys. He was hardly a Dave Campo or even Chan Gailey; Garrett’s problem was never converting good opportunities into great results.
Garrett’s Cowboys won three division titles during his tenure. They went 12-4 in 2014 and won a playoff game. The 2016 team went 13-3 even after losing Tony Romo a few weeks before the season and starting rookie Dak Prescott at quarterback. In 2018, Dallas went 10-6 and won their first postseason game but again lost in the second round.
Cowboys notebook: Why Micah Parsons is a ‘very fair’ comparison to Lawrence Taylor - Jon Machota, The Athletic
Whether he’s Lawrence Taylor-like or not, Micah Parsons is still a stud!
— Dan Quinn, Kellen Moore on head coaching opportunities— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 1, 2022
— Trevon Diggs “still not 100% comfortable” at CB
— Zack Martin on what makes Micah Parsons a “matchup nightmare”
— Amari: “I’ve never been on a team like this.”
— Why Zeke feels “more explosive” https://t.co/2znMiTChma
It’s unanimous, the Cowboys over the Cardinals in Week 17!
Rob Phillips: Not to discount the Cowboys’ four-game win streak in any way, but this is an excellent test Sunday. The Cardinals are still for real despite their three-game losing streak. They’re the best team the Cowboys will face since the Chiefs the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Everybody knows Kyler Murray is a matchup nightmare. That said, the Cowboys’ success at home is the deciding factor for me. They’re averaging a ridiculous 38.4 points per game at AT&T Stadium compared to 23.5 on the road. With Randy Gregory, Micah Parsons and Jayron Kearse, I think the defense is better equipped to deal with Murray this time compared to last year’s matchup. And the offense’s confidence and communication just seems to be a different level at home. Cowboys get to 12 wins and stay in the hunt for the No. 1 seed.
David Helman: You never know for sure what’s going to happen in these matchups, but I think the Cowboys have earned the benefit of the doubt this past month. The defense continues to play ferocious football, and the offense reminded us of their potential last week — albeit against an overmatched opponent. Even still, the Cowboys are much healthier than the Cardinals, they’ve got more in the way of bonafide playmakers and they’re playing at home, where they have been outstanding for most of this season. I’m positive Kyler Murray will make some plays. Here’s guessing he scores three total touchdowns. But this pass rush can hurry him into a mistake or two, and the Dallas offense can capitalize. I’ve got Dak Prescott & Co. winning a fun one in a bit of a shootout, 33-27.
Cowboys’ Dak Prescott is ‘not gonna hesitate’ to use his mobility as a weapon going forward: ‘I am playing that way’ - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports.com
Forrest Dak, Run!
For much of the season, be it the psychology of returning from a season-ending fractured ankle suffered in 2020 and/or his battle with a calf strain midway through the 2021 season, Prescott has been exceedingly hesitant to run the ball. Don’t count on that being a thing going forward and into the playoffs, though.
If there’s green grass in front of him, he’s off to the races.
“If there’s an opportunity to run, obviously this being the back part of the season, heading into the playoffs — everything matters,” he said on Monday. “I’m playing that way. I’m preparing that way.”
That’s music to the ears of those who have long questioned Prescott’s unwillingness this season to take the yards in front of him when a play breaks down and/or there’s no one open to air the ball out to. He’s often opted to stay behind the line of scrimmage and hope for the best downfield, and while at times that’s paid off, it’s cost him and what was a sputtering Cowboys offense potential first downs as well.
The Cowboys made some roster moves in preparation for the game.
Cowboys activated WRs Noah Brown (injured reserve) and Simi Fehoko (COVID-19) leading up to Sunday vs. Cardinals. Brown missed the minimum three games with a groin injury. S Darian Thompson was also elevated from practice squad as a COVID-19 replacement. Special teams help.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 1, 2022
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