Cowboys sign Xavier Rhodes: Dallas adds former All-Pro CB to practice squad ahead of playoffs-Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports
The Dallas Cowboys have been hit by injuries to cornerbacks throughout the year and were forced to play young players. To add more depth and experience to the position, they added a veteran cornerback Saturday.
An All-Pro cornerback during his years with the Vikings, Rhodes was waived by the Bills earlier this week. The 32-year-old, 10-year veteran played in just two games this season for Buffalo. He spent the previous two seasons in Indianapolis, where he logged 29 starts. Rhodes recorded two interceptions — including his second-career pick-six — during his first year with the Colts while helping Indianapolis clinch a wild card playoff berth.
The 25th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Rhodes enjoyed a highly successful seven-year run with the Vikings. During that span, Rhodes was named to three Pro Bowls and was tabbed as an All-Pro in 2017. He recorded a career-high five interceptions in 2016 — his first Pro Bowl season — that included a 100-yard interception return for a score.
In 135 career games, Rhodes has 13 interceptions, 92 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and 457 tackles.
Rhodes will join a defensive backfield in Dallas that includes current starting cornerbacks Trevon Diggs and Nahshon Wright. Dallas lost starting cornerback Anthony Brown last month after he tore his Achilles. Nickel cornerback Jourdan Lewis suffered a season-ending injury back in October after breaking his right foot.
Despite those injuries, the Cowboys are still sixth in the NFL in scoring defense and ninth in passing yards allowed. Dallas’ defensive success allowed the team go to 4-1 during Dak Prescott’sfive-game absence earlier in the season.
After having a mostly clean bill of health throughout the week, the Dallas Cowboys had two surprising late additions to the injury report. The team has made a few corresponding moves to cover their bases.
Starting guard Connor McGovern, who was expected to start at center this week against Washington, popped up on the injury report Saturday with an illness. He is now listed as questionable to play.
That could lead to even more shuffling across the line this week. The Cowboys have signed Dakoda Shepley from the practice squad to the active roster, filling an open spot created when James Washington was released this week.
Either way, the Cowboys need to replace McGovern at left guard, likely being either Tyler Smith or Jason Peters, with the other playing left tackle. Both players have had time at guard and tackle this year.
On Friday, the Cowboys added return specialist KaVontae Turpin to the injury report with an illness. Like McGovern, he is also questionable to play.The Cowboys also elevated safety Tyler Coyle and tackle Alex Taylor to the roster for this game.
Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy on following playoff scenarios, facing Commanders’ Sam Howell-SportsDay Staff, Dallas Morning News
In a press conference with reporters, head coach Mike McCarthy spoke candidly about a variety of different topics.
Do you know all the different playoff scenarios? Do you keep track of that stuff and do you like keeping track of it?
Mike McCarthy: “I think a lot of it, just in my view, I think it’s wasted energy. Two-way ties, there’s three-way ties and all that. And I love numbers, I’m a numbers person. But yeah, I’m totally aware. We’re the five, or if we get help we can move up to the one or two. It’s pretty cut and dry for us. At the end of the day, we can only control getting the 13th win. Everything else, by the time we get back to the locker room, we’ll have probably all the information we need.”
Is Sam Howell prep similar to Josh Dobbs prep from last week?
McCarthy: “Yeah, very similar. I thought our personnel department did a nice job earlier in the week and then Dan [Quinn] and the defensive staff were all over it as soon as the news came out. There was some anticipation just so the prep was done. Every snap that he’s put on video, we have access to it just to get his play style and his mannerisms, and the type of player that he is at that position. That’s always good information.
“I’ve been impressed with the efficiency of their offensive production. You look at the way they distribute the football, their perimeter group is as good as anybody we’ve played all year. This will be a heck of a challenge and I’m sure they’re going to do things that play to Sam, but you got to be ready for some aggressive opportunities that they may take against us. Especially early in the game.”
Is there any way you could have imagined the impact T.Y. Hilton has brought?
McCarthy: “It’s been awesome, it really has. When a player comes into your program, especially that late. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before. Your first experience is to see his professionalism, just the around the clock approach to learning the offense. The second thing is the connection that he established with quarterbacks to get timing and rhythm down. Stating the obvious is for him to go and make huge plays in games, just for the short list of opportunities.
“He’s been outstanding in a short time here.”
3 REASONS THE COWBOYS SHOULD STAY ON THEIR TOES AGAINST THE COMMANDERS ON SUNDAY-JAZZ MONET, INSIDE THE STAR
The Cowboys would be very wise to not underestimate the Washington Commanders. Though they have been eliminated from the playoff contention, the Commanders have a few things to play.
1) PLAYERS PLAYING FOR THEIR PRIDE
Several writers and analysts have said the Commanders either have nothing to play for or nothing to play for but their pride. While some may believe this would make for a less challenging opponent, quite the opposite could be true.
Many of the same aspects of an athlete’s game in which they take pride are the same aspects that might determine their value when it comes to things like playing time and contract negotiation. Several Commanders players are projected to get more chances this Sunday to prove their worth: rookie guard Chris Paul, defensive tackle John Ridgeway, safety Percy Butler, and most notable among them rookie quarterback Sam Howell. Other players, regardless of their level of experience or where they are in their contract will undoubtedly have something to prove as well.
As I always say, no competitive athlete wants to spend three hours getting their butts kicked. We also know that teams tend rise to new heights when it comes to playing the Cowboys. With there being almost no outside pressure and the Commanders mostly playing for themselves and each other, we’re likely to see a Commanders team that will fight to, at minimum, keep the game as close as possible for as long as possible.
2) SAM HOWELL
Most writers and analysts don’t yet know what to expect from Sam Howell. Those who aren’t expecting much are basing that mainly on the fact that he’s an inexperienced rookie. However, commentary on Howell from prior to the 2022 draft tells us he had the following strengths:
· good at looking off defenders
· strong arm
· good at short throws as well as deep balls
· multiple release angles
· quick release
This is a set of characteristics that should definitely keep our defense on alert considering that they’ve cited both unfamiliar looks and quick releases as issues that have thrown them off their game. The Cowboys has been less dominant lately than they were earlier in the season. This Sunday will show us if they can return to mid-season form or if even a rookie like Howell can use speed and craftiness to find moments to shine when facing the league’s best.
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