Despite the Eagles coming to town and a playoff berth still mathematically possible, some eyes have already turned to next year. Specifically, to the Cowboys coaching staff. One current coordinator is being linked to a job opening at his collegiate alma mater, and one current player is thought to be headed toward a role roaming the Dallas sideline, possibly sooner rather than later.
Also in News and Notes, the Cowboys are getting key players back in action for Sunday’s showdown, apparently including starting running back Ezekiel Elliott. But injuries always create a need for more depth, and the club has brought practice squad reinforcements aboard for the 2020 home stretch. There’s plenty of talk about Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts, including intel from a former teammate, and the revelation that the Cowboys kicked the tires on him back in April. There’s news on DeMarcus, Dalton, and Donovan; Jaylon Smith gets coaching from his football idol; and we bid farewell to a glory-days Cowboys specialist, an unsung hero who had a unique role in the legend of the greatest Cowboy of them all.
Boise State college football coaching candidates: Kellen Moore leads list full of Broncos alums :: ESPN+
Link The bulk of the article is behind a paywall, but here’s the gist for Cowboys fans: smart money says that if second-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore wants to go back home to take the reins at his alma mater, the job would almost certainly be his. Adam Rittenberg writes that Moore, the FBS’s all-time wins leader at quarterback and a bona fide legend in Boise, «would at least explore the possibility, especially given the Cowboys’ struggles this season.»
‘I like this too much:’ Cowboys’ Sean Lee to play now, talk coaching later :: Cowboys Wire
Link In other potential coaching news, linebacker Sean Lee may be a step closer to the post-player career that many fans have envisioned for him. His current head coach has all but opened the door, anyway. McCarthy says he thinks The General would be a «great» coach once he hangs up his cleats. That time may be soon; it’s possible that Sunday will be Lee’s last home game as a Cowboys linebacker.
Cowboys roster move: CB Kemon Hall has been signed to the practice squad :: Blogging the Boys
Link The Cowboys continue to beef up their secondary. After losing cornerback Chris Westry for multiple weeks with an PCL injury, the team has signed Kemon Hall to the practice squad. Hall played college ball for North Texas and has spend time in the Vikings’ and Saints’ organizations as he looks to latch on with a team.
Wednesday Injury Report: Elliott eyes return for Cowboys as Cox, Sweat DNP for Eagles :: Cowboys Wire
Link Ezekiel Elliott’s calf is feeling «way better,» leading him to believe he’s «looking good for this weekend.» Leighton Vander Esch, Antwaun Woods, Xavier Woods, and Blake Bell were among the Cowboys who did not practice Wednesday. Michael Gallup, however, was a full participant after suffering a hip injury on Sunday.
Jones: Zeke, Pollard «Quite A Tandem» At RB :: The Mothership
Link A statistical down year has some Cowboys fans thinking that the team should trade away two-time rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott and ride with Tony Pollard moving forward. Pollard’s shifty performance against San Francisco has only increased the volume on those calls. But team owner Jerry Jones made it clear this week that he believes there’s a place for both runners in the offensive gameplan.
Stephen Jones: Cowboys had interest in drafting Jalen Hurts :: 247 Sports
Link As Dallas preps to host the Eagles and their rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts, Stephen Jones has revealed that the Cowboys were eyeing the Alabama and Oklahoma passer in April’s draft. «Certainly, obviously, our guy is Dak, but at the same time [Mike McCarthy] is a big proponent of continuing to look at quarterbacks,» said Jones.
DeMarcus Lawrence makes plays on a unit that needs more plays made: Nolan Report :: The Athletic
Link The Cowboys’ best defender when it comes to «splash plays» is on the cusp of repeating the feat. Bob Sturm breaks down what constitutes a splash play and concludes that «Lawrence is a playmaker, has been a playmaker, and is the least of Dallas’s problems.»
Stephen Jones on Andy Dalton’s future with Cowboys, Tony Pollard’s importance to Dallas and more :: Dallas Morning News
Link Andy Dalton was widely assumed to be a one-year rental for the Cowboys. But the relationship may be long-term, according to Stephen Jones: «He’s doing a great job, and certainly, we’d love to have him back. I know we’ll just have to address that at the end of the year in terms of what goals, what he’s wanting to do, what his opportunities are.»
Next Gen Stats: Top 5 fastest ball carriers through Sunday of Week 15 :: NFL.com
Link Need an excuse to re-watch CeeDee Lamb’s electrifying onside kick return from Sunday’s fourth quarter? See how the rookie’s top speed on the play stacks up against the rest of the league. Lamb was clocked at 20.60 miles per hour as he streaked into the end zone, good enough to place him among the week’s five fastest players.
Donovan Wilson continues to impress for Cowboys as starting safety :: Cowboys Wire
Link In a season that has been largely forgettable, especially on the defensive side of the ball, safety Donovan Wilson has left a lasting mark. The Texas A&M product made just his eighth start of 2020 on Sunday, but he nonetheless leads the team for the year thus far in takeaways.
Game Theory: Week 16 win probabilities, score projections :: NFL.com
Link The network’s chief number-cruncher says her computer models give the Eagles a 52% chance of beating Dallas on Sunday, predicting a 27-25 final score. But it might not matter in the race for the divisional crown; she gives Washington a 54% chance of defeating Carolina to officially claim the title.
Trevon Diggs: Finish This Season Strong :: The Mothership
Link The rookie cornerback will be looking to shut down one of his closest college friends in the Eagles’ new starting quarterback. He says their time together at Alabama has helped him prepare for their showdown come Sunday. «I know a lot about Jalen,» Diggs said with a smile. «I’m looking forward to it.»
Next Generations: Derrick Brooks and Jaylon Smith :: NFL.com
Link The Cowboys linebacker sits down for a one-on-one tutoring session with his idol, Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks. Watch as the pair tackle some film study to break down blitzing technique and discuss how they’ve used their platform as pros to make a difference in kids’ lives.
Former Cowboys, Packers punter Ron Widby dies at 75 :: NBC Sports
Link The Cowboys’ punter from their first two Super Bowl appearances has passed away. Ron Widby played from just 1968 to 1971, but he still holds the franchise record for longest punt with an 84-yarder. In 1969, Widby voluntarily changed his jersey number to allow Roger Staubach to wear No. 12. A multi-sport athlete, Widby played in the American Basketball Association before his NFL stint, and went on to compete on the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1990s.