Report: Matt Waletzko will undergo shoulder surgery, expected to miss rest of season - Charean Williams, Pro Football Talk
The tackle depth for the Dallas Cowboys will be taking another hit. Rookie left tackle Matt Waletzko will miss the remainder of the season. The Cowboys should hope Tyron Smith can return sooner than later.
The Cowboys added offensive tackle Matt Waletzko to the practice report Thursday with a shoulder injury. It likely stands as his final practice of his rookie season.
Waletzko subluxed his left shoulder for the third time in the past year, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reports. Waletzko will undergo shoulder surgery to repair the partial dislocation, which is expected to land him on season-ending injured reserve.
Waletzko initially injured the shoulder during a game against Illinois State last November while playing for North Dakota. He re-injured it in training camp on July 28. He missed most of training camp before returning to play the preseason finale against the Seahawks.
The Cowboys made Waletzko a fifth-round draft selection this spring. He played 10 special teams snaps and only one on offense, as one of six offensive linemen on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliott against the Giants.
Veteran Jason Peters is the backup left tackle.
Micah Parsons: ‘It’s ‘Shark Week,’ ‘1 Lion’ & ‘I Want My Interception’ in Cowboys vs. Detroit - Adam Schultz, Cowboys Country
Micah Parsons knows the Cowboys defense didn’t play up to their own standards last week against the Eagles. They are out for blood and unfortunately for the Lions, they are the prey this week.
Parsons, a leader of the 4-2 Cowboys, means no disrespect to the 1-4 Lions, just as he was just having fun with the returning Dak Prescott when he told the QB on the practice field on Thursday that the Cowboys are still a defensive “show.’’
Said Parsons of Detroit: ”They’ve got a great front all the way around, a dominant run game, a great group of backs. We’ve got to go out there and just try to stop the run and be resilient out there.”
One truth about Detroit: Despite their record, the Lions have done a good job of keeping Jared Goff upright by only allowing seven sacks through five games - a joint league-best along with the Chargers.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, lead the NFL in sacks, totaling 24.
Lion vs. Lions. “Shark Week.’’ Dak’s return. And a Micah interception? The Sunday stage at AT&T Stadium figures to be filled.
A quick look at the enemy for Sunday.
If you ask old school scouts what is required to field a championship contender, they will quickly tell you that it takes eight to twelve blue-chip players to compete for a title. This premise has been the standard for general managers around the league and I rely on it to help me identify the players to watch on game day.
With that in mind, let’s identify the players to watch on the Cowboys’ next opponent. Here’s a quick report on the current blue-chip players for the Detroit Lions.
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE
The high-motor pass rusher has been as good as advertised as a disruptive force off the edge. Hutchinson leads the Lions in sacks (3.0) and QB hits (6) as the designated pass rusher off the edge in a defense designed to bring pressure early and often from all angles. With the Lions building their pressure schemes around Hutchinson’s talents, the No.2 overall pick is a destructive force at the point of attack.
Jeff Okudah, CB
The former first-round pick has shown promise as a “lock-down” corner this season. Okudah has successfully shadowed some of the top wideouts (SEE: Justin Jefferson, AJ Brown, and Devonta Smith) in the Lions’ blitz-heavy man coverage tactics. Although the third-year pro has blossomed this season, he is still susceptible to double moves and deep shots on the perimeter.
Jared Goff, QB
The veteran passer has regained his all-star form during his second season with the Lions. As a quick-rhythm passer with outstanding instincts and awareness, Goff picks apart the defense with pinpoint throws on “catch, rock and throw” concepts designed to get the ball out of his hands quickly. He has compiled a 109.5 passer rating on quick throws with a 69.1% completion rate and a 7:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio on such passes. Considering Goff also ranks fifth in passing touchdowns (11) despite playing only five games, the veteran passer is more than capable of torching a secondary when given time in the pocket.
CeeDee Lamb on how Dak Prescott looks after five-week hiatus: ‘He’s back’ - Clark Dalton, Yardbarker
With the offense struggling for Dallas lately, no one should be happier to see Dak Prescott back than CeeDee Lamb. The No. 1 receiver is certainly happy to see his guy.
Dallas wideout CeeDee Lamb smiled after he was asked about Dak Prescott’s impending return.
“He looks like Dak. He’s back,” he said in a Thursday news conference. ”He made some big-time throws in one-on-ones and team periods.”
Perhaps Lamb’s excited because he anticipates a surge in his numbers.
In two seasons, Lamb churned out big numbers with Prescott, becoming one of his favorite targets. He scored eight touchdowns and caught 104 passes for more than 1,000 yards playing with Prescott.
Despite playing five games with backup quarterback Cooper Rush, Lamb produced a solid stat line. He averaged 76 yards per game, hauling in 31 targets. He’s on track to finish with a career-high 94 receptions.
Prescott, who can extend plays with his arm strength and legs, creates more opportunities for Lamb and the entire passing game.
The Cowboys are 4-2, but they need to expand their playbook. They’re averaging 182 passing yards per game, 27th in the NFL.
Cowboys rookie tight ends making most of Dalton Schultz’s injury situation - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat
Dalton Schultz was brought back after having a career season. In 2022, he has been banged up and has not performed up to expectations. That hasn’t stopped two rookies from filling in his place.
While it’s never ideal to have a started, or anyone for that matter, miss time with injury, the Cowboys have done a great job at securing depth that once wasn’t really there in the tight end position. In Schultz’s absence, 2022 draft pick Jake Ferguson and UDFA Peyton Hendershot have taken full advantage of the snaps they’ve gotten. In fact, they may be giving him a battle for snaps once he returns to full health.
Both the rookie tight ends and depth piece Sean McKeon were major contributors against the Eagles. In fact, Ferguson had an impressive, borderline basketball-looking, move that got him his first NFL touchdown.
The Wisconsin product started in Schultz’s place, and to what is likely the Joneses’ delight, looked like a future starting tight end (which would save them a lot of money in 2023). Ferguson had four catches, 40 receiving yards, and a touchdown against one of the best teams in football with a backup quarterback.
He was also a versatile threat. Ferguson showed his quickness as a receiver, his blocking ability, and his quick hands. His touchdown even brought the Cowboys to within a field goal against Philly.
The UDFA out of Indiana had his snap count increase, too. After his impressive hurdle move in the game against the New York Giants, got more moments to shine with Schultz out. He participated in 61% of offensive snaps and half of special teams snaps. Hendershot caught two passes for 22 yards as well.
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