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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy ‘optimistic’ about Zack Martin, Tyler Biadasz playing

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Updates: Tyron Smith Out; TE added to injury report - Staff,

Right guard Zack Martin and center Tyler Biadasz may suit up on Sunday against the New England Patriots. Left tackle Tyron Smith will miss his second straight game.

In Friday’s conference call with the media, head coach Mike McCarthy said that he feels “optimistic” about the likelihood of Tyler Biadasz (hamstring) and Zack Martin (ankle) playing on Sunday against the Patriots, with the caveat that “one big threshold” needing to be overcome will be during Saturday’s practice.

For the second straight week, Tyron Smith will not play although this time, he’s being ruled out and won’t be in uniform.

The Cowboys placed Smith officially as “out” on the team’s final injury report on Friday. Smith has been dealing with an ankle injury he suffered in practice last week.

If Cowboys clear one specific hurdle, they can dominate the Patriots - Mauricio Rodriguez, AtoZ Sports

The Cowboys' pass rush could control the tempo on Sunday against New England.

The struggles start at right tackle, where the Patriots have lined up Vederian Lowe over the last couple of weeks. In 81 pass blocking snaps, Lowe has allowed 11 pressures, the most on the team despite being fourth in offensive snaps played. His pass blocking efficiency as measured by PFF is the worst among Patriots offensive linemen.

It’s safe to say Lowe is set to see a heavy dose of snaps against Micah Parsons on Sunday, who was his disruptive self even in a Week 3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. If he gets opportunities to rush the passer (more on that later), expect Dan Quinn to draw up all kinds of looks to guarantee Parsons one-on-one opportunities versus Lowe.

At left guard, the Patriots have seen ups and downs from Cole Strange. With the sixth-most snaps, Strange has allowed the fourth-most pressures with six. Week 4 is a concern for Strange and friends as he was “very limited” in practice on Thursday. His game status remains to be seen but he’ll be playing banged up or not at all.

What Patriots’ Ezekiel Elliott means to Cowboys, community, as he returns to Dallas - Todd Archer, ESPN

Elliott's impact in Dallas will never be forgotten.

Drafted together in 2016, they quickly became best friends. During their first rookie camp together, Prescott had a car, Elliott didn’t — and one time Elliott left a $5 million check in Prescott’s car. The quarterback immediately called Elliott and said, “Come pick this up, I won’t make this in the next four years.”

On Thursday, Prescott said, “This locker room has always been special. And I’ve had a lot of teammates come from other places. Mark [Sanchez] told me my rookie year that not all locker rooms are like this, but we’ve got a great camaraderie. I give credit to the leaders in that locker room, the people that have played here in the time that I’ve been here. I don’t think it’s hard.

“Obviously, the relationship me and Zeke have, it’s different. Came in together, played on this this team seven years strong, on and off the field together. That relationship had a little bit more time invested, I guess you could say.”

Jerry Jones says ex-Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott deserves Ring of Honor consideration - SportsDay Staff, Dallas Morning News

Elliott is one of the most productive running backs in Cowboys' history, and his name could reside inside the team’s home stadium forever.

Ezekiel Elliott’s playing days are far from over, but Jerry Jones is already considering the former Cowboys running back for the Ring of Honor.

“I sure do,” Jones said when asked during his weekly interview on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] if the former Cowboys running back deserved future Ring of Honor consideration. “It’s what he did for the team... I thought that he was very influential in the image of the Cowboys, and I mean that positively... Just the entertainment of the Cowboys. To me, I look to that when I think about the Ring of Honor. Not only what he did with stats on the field, not only what he was, in his case as a punishing runner, but also what he did to lift the franchise.”

Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots Predictions: 5 Crucial Stats and Players To Watch - Jess Nevarez, Pro Football Network

Some key numbers to consider when dissecting the Cowboys vs. Patriots matchup.

Here are some of the biggest stats to watch out for on Sunday, courtesy of Inside Edge.

Mac Jones has averaged 37.0 pass attempts per game since Week 14 of the 2022 Season — fifth-highest of qualified QBs.

The Cowboys have allowed just 30.5 pass attempts per game since Week 14 of the 2022 Season — fifth-lowest in the NFL.

Analysis: So far this season, the Cowboys defense has allowed 46 of 78 opposing pass attempts to be completed.

The run defense has been the weakness most amplified this season for the unit. However, with another week of working on the solution, it will be interesting to see what Dan Quinn schemes against Jones to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the team’s Week 3 performance.

Ezekiel Elliott’s ‘Big Lie’: Dallas Cowboys Reunion - And Zeke’s Top 10 Reactions - Mike Fisher, Fan Nation

Elliott gives his thoughts on facing his former team.

Early in the week, Elliott was asked about his anticipation of the reunion and said, “It’s just another week for me.’’ That is of course an “untruth.’’ The Elliott we know will be emotionally-charged by both friendship (with close pal Dak Prescott and many others) and “revenge’’ of a sort, a desire to “prove’’ that Dallas erred when it made him an offseason cap casualty.

Bengals claim LB Devin Harper off waivers from Cowboys - Charean Williams, PFT

The Cowboys wanted him back for the practice squad, but lost out.

The Bengals placed returner Charlie Jones on injured reserve with a thumb injury Friday. They needed the roster spot after claiming linebacker Devin Harper off waivers from the Cowboys.

The Cowboys had hoped Harper would clear waivers, so they could re-sign him to the practice squad, but the Bengals foiled their plans.

Dallas made Harper a sixth-round pick in 2022, and he appeared in three games as a rookie before going on season-ending injured reserve. He has played all three games this season, seeing action on three defensive snaps and 49 on special teams, and he has three tackles.

The Bengals need help at the position with linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither questionable with a knee injury.

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