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Cowboys news: Jalen Hurts listed as doubtful against the Saints

And other notable headlines surrounding America’s team.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Jalen Hurts doubtful; Week 18 return possible, source says - Tim McManus,

Cowboys fans should be keeping a close eye on the status of Jalen Hurts. Currently, Hurts is listed as doubtful and not expected to play versus the New Orleans Saints Sunday. The Cowboys hoped for an NFC East title rest on the Eagles losing out and the Cowboys winning the remainder of their games. If Hurts can’t play Sunday, things could get very interesting.

The decision to list Hurts as doubtful, and thereby all but eliminating his chances of playing Sunday, came down to a health and safety issue, a source said. The functionality in Hurts’ right shoulder has progressed to a point where the team expects him back on the field sooner rather than later, the source added, but the Eagles wanted to give him at least one more week of rest to ensure the injury doesn’t linger.

Hurts took part in practice Thursday — the first time he had been seen on the field since injuring his throwing shoulder against the Chicago Bearson Dec. 18. He participated in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media, throwing a number of short and intermediate passes.

The 13-2 Eagles host the 6-9 Saints on Sunday. Philadelphia can clinch the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a win. If they lose Sunday, playing Hurts in the regular-season finale against the New York Giants has not been ruled out, the source said.

Cowboys C Tyler Biadasz’s ankle injury ‘better than anticipated’ - Todd Archer, ESPN

With a playoff spot secured and the postseason just a few weeks away, the Cowboys need to be as close to full strength as possible. Though they did suffer a few scares in Thursday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, they are hopeful Tyler Biadasz will be ready for the Cowboys’ first playoff game.

Biadasz suffered a high right ankle sprain when he was rolled up on the final play of the third quarter and will miss next week’s regular-season finale against the Washington Commanders, according to a source, but could be ready to go for the wild-card round of the playoffs.

“It’s better than we anticipated,” coach Mike McCarthy said, adding he did not have a set time frame for Biadasz’s return. Biadasz will begin rehab on Saturday after undergoing an MRI on Friday.

His absence led to a three-player shuffle on the offensive line against the Titans. Connor McGovern moved to center from left guard, rookie Tyler Smith moved from left tackle to left guard and veteran Jason Petersmoved to left tackle.

Three weeks ago, the Cowboys had to alter their line when right tackle Terence Steele suffered tears in his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee, but they had veteran Pro Bowler Tyron Smith, who was returning from a torn hamstring, ready to play right tackle.

“We’ve been working all these different combinations for a reason, so that’s the realm we’re in,” McCarthy said. “We’re not in the just playing with five and that’s been our challenge. So I think the way we ended the game worked out well for us, so that’s definitely what we’ll look at as the starting point, but we got to make sure we got eight offensive linemen ready to go for Washington.”

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott isn’t a system QB, he’s elite: Meet me at the logo - Charles McDonald, Yahoo Sports

Outside a few unfortunate turnovers, Dak Prescott has been playing very well. The interceptions are the one issue, but plenty else is going right.

His entire career has been under a microscope since he started in place of an injured Tony Romo back in 2016 as a rookie. It’s just time that we as a football-watching community accept this fact about the latest great Cowboys signal-caller: Dak Prescott is simply one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. Take it in. It’s the truth you need to read, medicine that needs to nourish your physical and spiritual entities.

The largest excuse for Prescott’s success as he was playing on his rookie deal was that he was a product of his surroundings — and his surroundings were undoubtedly great. The Cowboys’ offensive line was in its prime, Ezekiel Elliott was immediately one of the best backs in the league as a rookie and there was a decent group of veteran skill players to throw to. That’s a core that would help any quarterback and getting to play with that group in 2016 definitely helped accelerate his development.Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been one of the best signal-callers in the NFL this year, despite what his detractors say.

Here’s the thing though: The Cowboys’ offensive cast around Prescott hasn’t really gotten better over the past few years. Elliott, Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb are certainly good NFL players that would help any offense, but this isn’t the same amount of overwhelming talent. Former All-Pro center Travis Frederick has retired, star tackle La’el Collins is on a different team, All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith has played three games this year and Dallas has struggled to find other receiving options outside of Lamb. That hasn’t really been an impediment on Prescott’s production.

Since Prescott returned from a thumb injury in Week 7, he has been the catalyst for the Cowboys’ offensive success. According to Ben Baldwin of The Athletic, Prescott ranks third among all quarterbacks with at least 200 plays in expected points per play (0.266) and first in success rate (56.1%) since he was inserted back into the starting lineup. His production has been elite since he got healthy, but sure, numbers can be a bit misleading. The game tape shows a quarterback that is really dialed in right now.

Prescott is accurate, has total command of this offense and isn’t afraid to go chase big plays in the passing game. Sometimes that turns into turnovers for the defense, but Prescott has had a string of bad luck with interceptions over the past few weeks. Receivers dropping passes and watching the ball fall into the hands of defenders, miscommunication on the timing and depth of routes — it hasn’t always been easy for Prescott this year. Still, he’s been able to make the Cowboys’ passing game lethal this season with a lot of moving and new pieces around him.

Cowboys Play Waiting Game for Week 18 & Beyond- Nick Eatman,

As we approach the end of the regular season, a lot is still to be determined in terms of the playoffs. Additionally, that also means the Cowboys final week of the season and past that point.

As of Saturday, they don’t know if the regular-season finale against Washington will be played on Saturday (Jan. 7) or Sunday (Jan. 8), thanks to a new setup this year by the NFL in an attempt to put the most intriguing games at the best time/day slots heading into the playoffs.

Because of that, head coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday he has two different practice/meeting schedules for the week.

The Cowboys still don’t know “when” the game will be played and even “who” all will be playing for them. If the Eagles lose to the Saints, the Cowboys will obviously play to win the last game with a hope to win the division.

“I think I should probably answer that for you on Monday,” McCarthy said on Friday when asked if the starters will play against Washington next weekend.

But if the Eagles win on Sunday and secure the NFC East title, the Cowboys would be locked into the No. 5 playoff seed, which means they would hit the road for the Jan. 14-16 weekend and play the No. 4 seed, which will either be Tampa Bay, Carolina or New Orleans.

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