One of the new Cowboys is thankful for a new start.
Juanyeh Thomas, a second-year safety who delivered a career game in his very first NFL start, gave Noah Igbinoghene a chance to get the Cowboys’ train moving early in the first quarter — a train that eventually ran through the Giants to the tune of a 40-0 reckoning — after blocking Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano’s 45-yard attempt.
Igbinoghene turned it into a scoop-and-score to give the Cowboys a 6-0 lead.
It marked the first time in Igbinoghene’s career that he’s scored an NFL touchdown, and let’s put that in perspective by noting how he took the field for the Dolphins a total of 1,009 times — defensive and special teams snaps combined — without having felt pay dirt.
“I think it is [confirmation], man,” said Igbinoghene. “After that [touchdown] happened, and while it was happening, I couldn’t believe it. In my head, afterwards, it kinda was like God said, ‘Here.’ Man, I truly needed that. That was confirmation that I belong here, and this is where I’m supposed to be.
Once again, the Cowboys backing Dak.
On Thursday, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones addressed the situation, downplaying the [Trey Lance] move as an effort to improve the position — and declaring that Dak will be going nowhere.
“We look at personnel around here as upgrading the room,” Jones said in an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “And at each position, we’re always trying to make our roster better. We just felt like that Trey gave us something that improved that room, in terms of if something were to happen to Dak. We all know he’s missed 15 games over the last three years. So, you know, if something were to happen and you needed to make a run without Dak, then you wanna have given yourself every opportunity to go in there and have success without Dak.”
Yes, it’s smart to have a quality backup. They already have one in Cooper Rush. Lance likely won’t leapfrog Rush this year. And if Lance becomes the backup in 2024, he’s under contract for only one season.
“Dak’s the unquestioned leader here on this football team,” Stephen Jones added. “He’s got rare skills in that area in terms of being able to lead the team. You know, we look at Dak as a guy who’s gonna be around here for many, many years to come. And I just really felt like Trey Lance, you know, upgraded the room and gives us a chance if something were to happen to Dak to stay in the mix like other teams have done in the past. I know Philly did it one year with Nick Foles. And sometimes you don’t get your Number One guy all the way through the year and it’s always nice to improve that room.”
‘About that life’: Cowboys, Dan Quinn launch new star in converted LB Markquese Bell - Cowboys Wire, Todd Brock
Dan Quinn has found another one.
Looking up and down the gauntlet of talent that is the 2023 Cowboys defense, there are plenty of early-round draft picks. Eight of the unit’s starting 11 on opening night were taken in the first three rounds of their respective draft classes. Another three first-rounders, a second-rounder, and two more third-rounders were waiting to come in off the bench as needed.
But it was an undrafted player out of a small HBCU who led them all in tackles versus the Giants. What’s more impressive, Markquese Bell did it less than a month after being thrust into a new position as an injury replacement.
“The fact that he’s just a few weeks in on the job shows what kind of instincts he has,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said this week following Bell’s eight-tackle performance in the team’s 40-0 stonewalling of the Giants.
Brandin Cooks injury update: Cowboys WR dealing with MCL sprain, not ruled out for Week 2 vs. Jets, per report - CBS Sports, Garrett Podell
The Cooks injury may, or may not, keep him out on Sunday.
FRISCO, Texas — Thursday marked the only padded practice of the week for the Dallas Cowboys, which means it was the best time to assess where some of their key injured players were at in terms of their progression toward potentially playing on Sunday. Safety Donovan Wilson (calf), left guard Tyler Smith (hamstring) and wide receiver Brandin Cooks (knee) all did not practice Wednesday.
Thursday was a different story. Wilson suited up, stretched with the team and participated in position drills.
Both Cooks and Smith once again did not practice, instead working off to the side. Cooks is dealing with an MCL sprain, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. The veteran is dealing with a Grade 1 strain, but the team isn’t viewing this as a multiweek injury, per the Dallas Morning News, and he still has a shot to play against the Jets.
Takes maturity to know when to slow down and wait for the right time to return.
It’s been almost 11 days since starting left guard Tyler Smith suffered a hamstring injury in individual drills that ended up sidelining him for the first game of the season, but spirits remain high for the second-year first-round pick out of Tulsa amid his recovery.
Moving forward, Smith’s status still remains up in the air going into Sunday’s home opener against the Jets. While Smith is eager to return, he knows that going through the entirety of the rehab process will allow him to be healthier when he does make his return.
“Patience is a huge thing,” he said. “It can be frustrating for any athlete to suffer a setback or a hiccup like that, but I’m being smart in my rehab. Improving my process is a part of it.”
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