To play or not to play the starters. That is always the question this time of year. With their playoff berth secured and their seeding largely out of their hands, the Cowboys won’t benefit much from putting their A-team on the field on Philadelphia in Week 18. But they plan to anyway. Their opponent, meanwhile, may not have very many starters to work with after the Eagles added a dozen to its COVID list on Monday. Oh, and the game will be played a day earlier than originally thought.
Meanwhile, lots to unpack from Sunday’s fall-flat performance against Arizona, including confirming the worst news for Michael Gallup, rehashing the officials’ role in the loss, finding a bright spot, and what the result means now for the Cowboys’ playoff seeding. Blake Jarwin is nearing a return, Kellen Moore will be interviewing with Jacksonville during the short week, and we now know who (almost) all the Cowboys’ opponents will be in 2022. All that, plus a few more Madden stories with Cowboys connections. That’s ahead in News and Notes.
Dallas Cowboys plan to go ‘full-bore’ against Eagles, though playoff seed likely set :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Winning Sunday’s game won’t have much bearing on their playoff matchup (at least not by itself), but the Cowboys plan to play their starters nonetheless. “We are going play to win the game,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “That is our approach. That is the best thing for us.”
Dallas Goedert, Fletcher Cox among 12 Philadelphia Eagles players put on COVID-19 list Monday :: ESPN
The Eagles placed a dozen players on the Reserve/COVID list on Monday, including defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, tight end Dallas Goedert, center Jason Kelce, running backs Jordan Howard and Boston Scott, and cornerback Avonte Maddox. All could still clear protocol before Saturday’s game; the Eagles have not announced whether they intend to play their starters.
Cowboys’ regular-season finale at Eagles moved to Saturday night :: Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys and Eagles will now square off on Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon. With both teams’ playoff berths secured, all that’s at stake in the Week 18 game is seedings. But the primetime slot will allow the Cowboys to begin their Wild Card Weekend prep a day early.
Cowboys most likely to be No. 4 seed, face Arizona in first round of postseason :: Andrew Siciliano (Twitter)
‘He said he felt it pop’: ACL tear confirmed for Cowboys WR Michael Gallup :: Cowboys Wire
MRI results confirm that the fourth-year wideout tore an ACL making his second touchdown grab of the season against Arizona. A “clean tear” will make for an easier rehab, but the former third-round draft pick will now prepare to test the free agent waters while seriously injured.
Updates: Blake Jarwin making progress; more :: The Mothership
The tight end is trying to return from a hip injury suffered on Halloween versus Minnesota. “We’re hopeful that maybe we’ll get him back on the field this week,” McCarthy said. “He definitely has a chance to potentially be out there. Made a lot of a progress here over the last 10 days.”
‘We were facing two teams’: Cowboys drag refs for missed fumble, calls vs Arizona :: Cowboys Wire
Despite a lackluster performance for most of the day, Cowboys players weren’t shy about pinning a good portion of blame for their 25-22 loss on officials. A correct call on the late fourth-quarter fumble by Chase Edmonds would have given the ball back to Dallas with time for a potential game-winning drive. “That’s just the ethics of the game: getting it right. Like, ‘Hey, you made a mistake here. Fix it. Here’s the right call,’” said linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
Good, Bad, Ugly: Special teams mishaps, confusion come back to bite Cowboys in the end :: Cowboys Wire
The bright spots were few and far between. Dominant again, Micah Parsons had another very good game. Cedrick Wilson played brilliantly, scoring a late touchdown, hauling in a two-point conversion, and tossing a 31-yard pass to Tony Pollard. The rest of the offense and defense were bad… but the special teams was downright ugly.
Report: Cowboys OC Kellen Moore expected to interview with Jaguars late this week :: Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys offensive coordinator was expected to interview virtually with Jacksonville late this week for their head coaching opening. With the Cowboys now playing on Saturday night, the interview is likely to happen on Friday, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
List of Cowboys’ 2022 opponents almost set :: Todd Archer (Twitter)
Cowboys great Daryl Johnston honors John Madden with vintage sweatshirt during broadcast :: Cowboys Wire
As the league paid tribute to the late John Madden on Sunday, the legendary Cowboys fullback showed off a throwback sweatshirt commemorating his selection to the Hall of Fame coach’s All-Madden Team. “I lost my name in ’92. I was no longer Daryl Johnston; from that point on, I was just ‘Moose,’ because that’s what John Madden called me during Sunday games.”
FMIA Week 17: The unfortunate irrationality of Antonio Brown and the improbable revival of the Rams :: ProFootballTalk
Buried deep in Peter King’s latest column- which includes a profile on Dan Reeves and a tidbit on what John Madden meant to Micah Parsons- there’s a cool story from ‘The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys” Brad Sham about the one time Madden did a game on radio. It was Cowboys-Raiders in Oakland, the first time Dallas would play after the retirement of Troy Aikman. Late in the broadcast, Madden uttered the quarterback’s name. Just his name, no context. “I didn’t think the night should end without someone mentioning Troy Aikman,” Madden explained on-air.