Dak Prescott wrote a heartbreaking letter 15 minutes after learning of his brother's death

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Yahoo Sports 19 August, 2021 - 12:57pm 49 views

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Cowboys news: Prescott likely won’t play before opening night vs Tom Brady and the Bucs

Blogging The Boys 19 August, 2021 - 04:00am

The latest Cowboys news from Wednesday.

“Dak’s status is limited. We’ll just continue the throwing regimen and keep building up the volume,” McCarthy said. “There’s a good chance he probably won’t play.”

With Prescott not playing against the Texans, he won’t play in the preseason finale against Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 29.

It means that Prescott won’t see live action until the Sept. 9 season opener against the Tampa Buccaneers.

Prescott has not played in a game since suffering a compound fracture and dislocation in his right ankle last Oct. 11.

It means that Prescott and the first team offense won’t take any snaps together until they face Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions.

That is now how McCarthy planned to open the season.

After missing the entire 2020 season, La’el Collins gave Cowboys fans momentary concern when he exited practice early Wednesday with an apparent neck injury.

La’el Collins exited practice early after meeting with athletic trainers for what appeared to be a neck or shoulder issue pic.twitter.com/o4riEjutJR

The Cowboys have gotten used to being careful in 2021, easing quarterback Dak Prescott back in over the last week due to a shoulder strain the first week of camp and it’s possible they’ll have to do the same with Collins.

After the injury, new swing tackle Ty Nsekhe took over snaps during practice. Nsekhe has been a journeyman in the NFL since earning a spot on the Colts in 2012 and has a lot of experience that may prove valuable if Collins’ injury is potentially long-term.

After bouncing back last season following two major injuries, Neal’s positional change was a somewhat risky move for the former Falcon. Fortunately, he’s navigated the transition remarkably well.

Neal has made the transition to linebacker. When the Arizona Cardinals came out in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) to began last week’s preseason game, Neal and rookie Micah Parsons were the starting linebackers.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy mentioned that will be the norm in 2021.

“Yeah, I mean that’s the nickel group,’’ McCarthy said. “They started because of more who was on the field for Arizona.

“We have a base group and some combination base subgroups. We’ll continue to do that.’’

Neal had over 100 tackles in each of the three full seasons he played in with the Falcons. The responsibilities he has in Dallas are similar to what he had in Atlanta which is making the switch go smoothly and is allowing Neal to take advantage of his coverage skills and knack for making big hits.

Sidelined since January following bone spur procedures on his right ankle, Amari Cooper is reportedly set to make his preseason debut.

Monday was Cooper’s first practice back, though he had done some light pitch-and-catch work with Dak Prescott last week. While he doesn’t want to push it too far and risk a setback, Cooper knows the chance to get in a preseason game would be an important step to being ready for opening night.

“With me, I just want to do enough to feel confident going into Week 1,” he said. “I just started practicing, so it’s just about getting my legs back underneath me and getting my confidence back.”

A handful of snaps against the Texans could be a big boost to that confidence.

But Cooper’s work on Saturday night likely comes down to the work he puts in on Wednesday.

Episode 2 of ‘Hard Knocks’ aired Tuesday night, and if you didn’t know much about Azur Kamara before, you do now. This kid has a great story if a long shot to make the roster.

And if you have any doubt about whether his roster chances are real, he has 35 1/4-inch arms. That is extreme length even by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s standards.

Hard Knocks really is at its best when mixing up the lighter moments of a team dynamic with the pulling of viewers’ emotional strings. It accomplished this in Episode 2, capturing Cowboys starters laughing it up on the sideline and also Kamara, an Ivory Coast native, playing in front of his family. His mother, in particular, glowed from the stands.

Kamara was robbed of what would’ve been a game-winning strip-sack. A false start instead was called, leading the Arizona Cardinals to kick a game-tying field goal late in their eventual win.

It didn’t count on the scoreboard, but it did for the Cowboys’ coaches.

The Cowboys have received a pleasant surprise from Maurice Canady in camp.

Maurice Canady has had an outstanding training camp.

Is it hard for the veteran cornerback to hear he’s been a surprise?

“It can be, not hard, but it can sometimes be frustrating when I hear somebody say they’re surprised,” Canady said. “I’ve been in the league for a number of years. Just look at some film, I guess.

“It is what it is. You just got to take the good with the bad.”

One of the people who has said he’s surprised by Canady’s performance is head coach Mike McCarthy.

Some context: when McCarthy said he’d been surprised by Canady’s performance in camp, it was because he wasn’t sure what to expect from a player who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

“It’s always impressive to have a shout out from a head coach, especially,” Canady said. “We’ve just got to keep building and stay humble.”

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Mick Shots: McCarthy Wants To Bring The Heat

DallasCowboys.com 18 August, 2021 - 07:30pm

There was rain pending late morning, and he knew the storm was probably going to hit right before noon. Nevertheless, the head coach had the Cowboys going outdoors for their final full-padded practice of the week at 11:30 a.m., and for good reason.

"That's why we're going to get out here today, and hopefully it's humid as hell to make the transition from California into this weather to get ready for Tampa," McCarthy said beforehand, thinking he might at least get three periods completed in uncomfortable weather.

Well, unfortunately the weather gods didn't cooperate. Not only did the rain slowly begin to fall about the time the Cowboys were finishing out their team stretch, but a crack of thunder and a little lightning struck, and the go-in horn sounded.

Time to head for cover in Ford Center.

McCarthy realizes a team becomes spoiled practicing all those picture-perfect days in the low-70's of Oxnard, Calif., and better get ready for a probable hot and humid Sept. 9 season opener in Tampa, Fla.

So what better way to do so than to practice outdoors here at The Star, where temperatures this time of year should be hovering around 100 degrees. Not this day, much to his chagrin.

"This is an important practice for us, because we do need to transition, because I haven't been through this in a while – I  know in those early days in Kansas City, you get back from River Falls (Wis.) back into the heat, it takes a little while, and we open up in Tampa, and we could catch a hot muggy night there," McCarthy said, mentioning his first NFL coaching stop with the Chiefs. "So I want to make sure we get some opportunities, which we will to get out there and practice in this weather."

Stay tuned Mike. Wednesday was not a usual August day in Texas. Summer ain't near over in these parts. You will be able to take some sweltering shots outdoors over the next three weeks.

·     Dak Status: While the Cowboys remain confident Dak Prescott will be ready for that Sept. 9 season opener against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, judging from what QB1 did and didn't do in practice Wednesday, the last padded one prior to Saturday's preseason Game 3, Dak won't get any preseason game reps before the opener. Prescott continues to throw in drills, and throw well, as he did Wednesday. But he still did not take snaps in any of the team compete sessions, and because of that McCarthy said prior to practice if he didn't then "there is a good chance he probably won't play" Saturday. And McCarthy previously pointed out there was little chance he'd play his starting quarterback in the fourth preseason game, just 11 days before the opener. That means, "You got to point to your practice environment. I trust the practice process," for Dak's regular-season prep McCarthy insists.

·     Hooked Up: The Cowboys are in a squeeze evaluating veteran safety Malik Hooker. They are trying to ease him back into padded practices, knowing he hasn't played a snap in a real game since rupturing his Achilles in a game Sept. 20 of last year. Hooker has just recently eased into padded practices this week, but with limited snaps, and the Cowboys do have to make their final 53-man roster decisions in 13 days. "I'd like to see him move forward and get some plays on Saturday," McCarthy says. If practice means anything, the Cowboys top safeties so far heading into the Houston preseason game are Donovan Wilson, Demontae Kazee, Jayron Kearse, Darian Thompson and rookie Israel Mukuamu, along with rookie free agent Tyler Coyle. Can't keep 'em all, and likely the final analysis on Hooker will be dependent more on his health and his history in the league.

·     Kick Around: Don't read too much into the Cowboys likely hooking up with free-agent kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, a four-year veteran of the CFL where he kicked the Grey Cup-winning field goal in 2017 for Toronto. This likely has nothing to do with veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein still on PUP or any anxiety caused by no field-goal attempts in team practice or a preseason game so far, rehabbing from his May back surgery. The Cowboys need a kicker for at least Saturday's preseason game against Houston since punter/kicker Hunter Niswander, who has handled punts and place kicks in the first two preseason games, has developed back soreness and won't be available. Niswander's injury settles what little punter competition might have developed, assuring Bryan Anger the job.

·     Hard Knocks II: Fist bump the Hard Knocks crew for revealing the story of Azur Kamara, a second-year linebacker who spent the 2020 season on IR with the Cowboys. Kamara's is a perfect story of football perseverance, a kid from the Ivory Coast turned refugee whose family fled to Guinea and made its way to the United States where he played college ball at Kansas. And darn if there wasn't nearly a Hollywood ending to the segment in the Arizona preseason game with the Cowboys leading 16-13 and the Cardinals facing fourth down in the final minutes. Kamara sacked and forced a QB Chris Steveler fumble to seemingly secure the Cowboys victory in the game with his mom and siblings watching at State Farm Stadium. Only problem, a weak false start penalty coming in so late the flag did not stop the play. The Cardinals then converted on the do-over fourth down to drive for the tying field goal and eventually kick a walk-off, game-winning three-pointer.

·     Here's Another: Keep an eye on #46, rookie free-agent fullback Nick Ralston from nearby Argyle High School, the only fullback left on the roster after Sewo Olonilua has been placed on IR with a neck injury. Ralston stepped into the fullback role in the game against Arizona, came up with a couple of tough blocks and recorded two special teams tackles. Of Ralston, McCarthy said, "He made a big jump in the second game," and that he will get more opportunities Saturday against Houston. Would be another long shot story.

·     Swing Tackle: The Cowboys are taking a hard look at second-year tackle Terence Steele as the possible winner of that battle. Of late, when the second-team tackles are in, they have Steele playing on the considerably more difficult left side and veteran Ty Nsekhe now at right tackle. Thinking is, if you can play left tackle, right tackle shouldn't be that hard or if it is, Zack Martin just moves over a couple of feet and Connor McGovern comes in at guard.

·     Parsons File: To say rookie football player Micah Parsons is making an impression on the Cowboys would be an understatement. He's standing out. This from veteran corner Maurice Canady: "I can't say he reminds me of anybody because I never met somebody that's 250, ran a 4.3. Have you? No, I never heard of that." Me neither, or how about this coincidence, that both Canady and Parsons share a May 26 birth date, but five years apart. Then this from this week's starting QB Garrett Gilbert, the Cowboys solid No. 2 guy behind Dak: "He's all over the place." And remember from Episode 1 of Hard Knocks, a mic-ed up Dak during practice saying, "Holy-S he's fast."

·     Coming On: This one is rather easy, guys starting to make a huge impression in training camp. Considered No. 3 defensive end Dorance Armstrong is earning game snaps daily with his impressive play. Third-round draft choice Osa Odighizuwa is stepping in with the first team at the 3-tech DT spot in place of the injured Neville Gallimore (neck), and starting to feel more comfortable, thus making more noticeable plays. Keep an eye on No. 81, WR Simi Fehoko, now seemingly with his play making a run at either the No. 5 receiver spot or causing the Cowboys to consider keeping six wide receivers, a lot depending on his special teams play, too. Not that his talent is a surprise, but in his first two padded practices WR Amari Cooper shines brightly, looking fully recovered from his surgery to remove bone spurs from his rankle that's kept him out of camp practices until this week. Appears as if shot out of a canon on routes.

·     Frisco Shorties: We've heard of suitcases, right. How about shoe, uh, cases. That's what Hard Knocks  caught CeeDee Lamb packing while leaving training camp. A case full of shoes, none appearing to be those worn for practices or in games . . . Heard someone accusing Zeke of playing up to the cameras with all his goofy stuff getting on Hard Knocks, from the baby powder segment to needing a hot dog during practice to just seemingly always bouncing off walls. You kidding me. That's him. Or as former Ohio State teammate Hooker says, "Zeke in college? Man he ain't changed since I first met him in 2014 when I first met him at Ohio State to now, he still acts like the same Zeke. The same Zeke. He probably matured a lot but he was definitely as goofy back then." See there.

Speaking of Zeke, let's let him have the last word today when talking about the Cowboys offense, one much is expected of, but likely will not have all 11 starters taking a snap together until that Sept. 9 season opener against Tampa Bay now that it appears Dak will be put on ice until the start of the season. Same for Zeke. Amari, maybe a few this Saturday. The offensive line starting five? Probably a series or three at most. Tight end Black Jarwin, maybe a few snaps this Saturday. But certainly not even an entire quarter with the band back together, and remember, last year, Dak missed 11 games, La'el Collins 16, Tyron Smith 14, Zack Martin six, Jarwin 15 and Tyler Biadasz four (and only four starts at center).

"I don't know if it's so much a setback," Zeke said of lack of time together in preseason. "I mean, yeah, we haven't had a chance to play all together in a while, but we do have a lot of veteran pieces and a lot of guys who have played a lot of football. It does suck that we're not able to practice all together right now but I think we'll pick up at a good point when he gets back."

  Truly testing the old adage, practice makes perfect.

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