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Cowboys news: Cowboys drop to fourth and move to Saturday

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Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Week 17 Loss Drops Cowboys to 4th Seed, Removes Top Seed Potential - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

With this loss, the best the Cowboys can hope for is to finish second in the conference.

The second and third seeds are still on the table for the Cowboys. Though they don’t come with a bye week or the guaranteed homefield throughout the playoffs, they would offer more attractive first-round opponents than what Dallas can currently expect as the fourth seed.

The fifth seed is now certain to be either the Cardinals or the Rams. Right now it would be Arizona but they still have a chance to overtake Los Angeles and win the NFC West this week. That would drop the Rams to fifth and make them Dallas’ first-round opponent.

Neither of those scenarios is ideal. The Cardinals and Rams are both assumed to be superior opponents than the 49ers, Eagles, or Saints among the potential NFC wild card teams.

If the Cowboys can beat Philadelphia this Saturday and get some help from losses by Arizona, Los Angeles, or Tampa Bay, Dallas could move back up to a higher seed and a more desirable first-round matchup.

Getting back to the second seed will be tough, requiring losses by all three of those teams in Week 18. But even getting into the 3rd/6th matchup would be an improvement.

Eagles will now play the Cowboys Saturday night in South Philadelphia - Sylvana Kelleher, The Liberty Line

Now that both teams are in the playoffs, the Cowboys vs Eagles game has been moved.

Honestly, I’m not sure why they would move the birds game. Now that the Eagles have clinched a Wild Card berth, it’s likely that Nick Sirianni and company will rest their starters against a Dallas Cowboys team that also lacks incentive to play starters, as they punched their ticket to the playoffs already.

Throwing the Eagles in the Saturday night slot seems pointless, but I certainly won’t complain. No one should ever question adding another night game in South Philadelphia. We now get to enjoy a day full of tailgating down at the Linc and Saturday night football.

The move itself could benefit the Philadelphia Eagles. Assuming they do not play the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs, they will now have an extra day of preparation before Wild Card weekend kicks off the following week.

Even if we have a game with Gardner Minshew and Cooper Rush play quarterback, think of it as a celebration for the fact that a 2-5 Eagles team managed to win six of seven games and make the Wild Card in Week 17.

Report: MRI confirms Cowboys’ Michael Gallup has torn ACL - Zac Wassink, Yardbarker

Tough blow to the Cowboys offense and Gallup’s offseason future.

It was feared on Sunday evening that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the second quarter of the Week 17 25-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that dropped Dallas to 11-5 on the season:

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, an MRI confirmed that diagnosis on Monday. Gallup will, thus, miss the postseason tournament, and his status for the 2022 campaign is up in the air considering he may need an entire year to recover from the injury.

He is out of contract and is set to hit free agency when the new NFL year opens in March.

Per ESPN stats, Gallup ends his season with 35 catches for 445 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns serving as quarterback Dak Prescott’s No. 3 receiver behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. The 25-year-old was sidelined for seven games earlier in the season with a calf strain.

Dallas ends the regular season at the rival Philadelphia Eagles this coming Saturday night.

3 players who could make or break the Cowboys’ playoff run - Joey Pollizze, The Landry Hat

Greg the Leg has fans on edge.

2. Greg Zuerlein, K

Is it just me or do you get nervous every time kicker Greg Zuerlein attempts a kick, field goal, or extra point?

When looking at his numbers in 2021, they aren’t as bad as people probably think. Actually, his numbers are better than they were a season ago. This season, Zuerlein has converted 28 of 33 field goals and 34 of 39 extra points. In the respective categories, that puts him at 84.8 percent at field goals and 87.2 percent at extra points on the season.

His 84.8 field goal percentage is better than last season where he finished with 82.9 percent.

However, making kicks is a vital part of the game and that percentage needs to be higher, especially in the playoffs.

Fans have seen numerous times where kickers will singlehandedly lose teams playoff games.

Two that come to mind, former Vikings kicker Blair Walsh shanking a 27-yard field goal attempt and former Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey with his famous “double doink” kick for the loss.

Cowboys come out of Arizona loss with more questions than answers - Tom Ryle, BloggingTheBoys

So little time for the Cowboys to find answers.

Now the Cowboys have nothing but the best teams with some top rank quarterbacks ahead of them. It does not bode well.

The defense lives and dies by the takeaway. And, pretty much, so does the team. In five losses, the Cowboys have lost the turnover battle four times. The only exception was the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where they had a +3 turnover advantage, and still could not manage a win.

This is worrisome on a couple of levels. Most obviously turnovers have a large element of chance involved and there is no way to depend on getting them. Conversely, if you want to have an excellent chance of beating Dallas, just take care of the ball. While the Cardinals didn’t put on an overwhelming offensive show, they did keep grinding out first downs. They held the ball for almost ten minutes more than the Cowboys and only had three punts in the game. The pass rush was generally ineffectual with only one Micah Parsons sack and four QB hits, while Murray repeatedly extended drives with his running ability. The game was lost at least partly because Dallas could not get a stop late. Much has been made about the missed fumble call (which should have been blown dead before the snap for delay of game anyway), but that was just one time the Cowboys failed to get the ball back. Arizona converted seven of sixteen third downs, and added a couple of fourth-down conversions as well. It was enough. Many talk about finding formulas for beating NFL teams, and in this case, there may actually be one for Dallas: Just protect the ball and keep driving down the field.

Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb, DeMarcus Lawrence point out NFL officiating concerns following loss to Cardinals - Patrik Walker, CBSSports

There has been plenty of officiating issues this year.

One was All-Pro pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who forced what would’ve been a game-changing fumble on the eventual final drive for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense, only to see the runner instead ruled down.

“I think the result said that we’re still a good team. Even though we was facing two teams tonight, the results ain’t come out like we wanted them to.” ... “I’m gonna let the NFL handle that. I know it’s a possibility we see both of these teams in the playoffs. You know hopefully the NFL can sit down with their team, review the film, learn from their mistakes and get better from it.”

He posted a tweet to bring the play to the attention of the NFL.

Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys could not challenge the play because they were out of timeouts, but they were out of timeouts because of another questionable call by the officials on the prior play.

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