The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot with four games remaining, so naturally there will be questions about resting key players in the final weeks if they're able to lock up home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Jerry Jones doesn't sound interested in resting starters.
"No, I see us more as business as usual," the Cowboys owner and GM said Tuesday morning on 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ show [KRLD-FM]. "What it does allow you to do, is when you've got guys on the fence with injury, not pushing them. It just would be smart.
"But I don't know that you gain anything at all with, you just use good sense. The other part of that is the obvious, you don't want to take the edge off. ... You want the team to stay very physical as you enter these playoffs."
Backup quarterback Tony Romo hasn't played in an NFL game in over a year. Does Jones want to see him get some snaps before the team enters the playoffs?
"I want to do what gives us the best chance to have Tony contribute to a championship," Jones said. "I do want Tony to be ready to go in case that Dak [Prescott] should have an issue, health wise. That gives us strength going into the playoffs.
"Not from the standpoint of necessarily protecting Dak ... but from the standpoint of having Tony the readiest to come in and play would be my quick assessment."
Dallas will likely get a bye in the playoffs so it wouldn't make a lot of sense for the team to rest starters in weeks 16 and 17, essentially giving them three weeks off. But it's possible Week 17 could be one where the starters get at least some rest, especially if a bye and home field advantage is clinched at that point.
Thursday, December 1, 2016, 7:11pm
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 6:36pm
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee, questionable) practiced fully Wednesday. Diggs practiced all week, so he’s expected to play on Thursday night against the Cowboys. He has produced at a higher rate when not on the injury report this year, so owners should temper their expectations in Week 13.
Related players: Rashad Jennings
Vereen may be a forgotten player in your league as reports came out early after his injury he was done for the year. But a possible return next week may be a good enough reason to take a shot on him if he's on your wire, especially in PPR leagues. Vereen was averaging about 13 touches in his only three games of the season, and that actually included over 10 carries a game.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got the go-ahead to do light running as part of his rehab from surgery to repair a torn meniscus earlier this month and it appears that went well because Peterson’s workload has expanded this week.
Peterson was seen running short sprints on a side field by multiple Vikings reporters while the rest of the team went through their preparations for Thursday’s game against the Cowboys. Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman watched Peterson closely before the two men went back into the team’s facility.
December has been the target for Peterson’s return to action if he’s physically able to do it and there’s been no word from the team about how likely that may be, the story said.
It will be an interesting week for running back Rob Kelley.
In his first three starts he running back averaged 107 yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt. He his first dud against the Cowboys, rushing for 37 yards on 14 carries, an average of 2.64.
One bad game isn’t going to get him sent to the bench and the issues against Dallas certainly are not all his fault. But another 30-yard effort with an average of under 3 yards per carry will get the staff looking at the bench at Mack Brown and Matt Jones. Time is running short and he needs to display some consistency.
It sounds like this writer thinks the team could make a switch at some point if Kelley doesn't show a little more consistency. Unfortunately, that could be a tough task with the Cards, Eagles and Panthers all up next and all three in the top-10 in terms of allowing fantasy points to RBs.
We’re getting to the point in the NFL season when rookies are playing games beyond what they would play during a college season, which can lead to concerns about diminished returns as players hit the so-called rookie wall.
One player who could be the subject of such concern is Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He’s run the ball more than anyone else in the league and is on pace for 353 carries, which would be the second-most for any running back in a season since the start of the 2010 campaign.
Elliott said earlier this month that he isn’t worried about the cumulative effect of his workload and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has the same opinion.
“Not at all. The more we can give Ezekiel the ball the better,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.
Related players: Alfred Morris
As the story said, that’s not a surprising statement from Jones as DeMarco Murray posted the most carries since the start of 2010 when he ran 392 times during the 2014 season and Elliott’s play has been essential to Dallas’ success this season. The Cowboys let Murray walk away as a free agent that offseason, something that obviously won’t happen with Elliott, and they have Alfred Morris on hand to take work in the backfield, although neither of those things appears to be impacting their plans in the backfield.
The Minnesota Vikings' injury report, already well-populated with starters, now includes their quarterback.
Sam Bradford appeared on the Vikings' first injury report of the week, before their Thursday game against the Dallas Cowboys, with an ankle injury that had him limited in practice. Bradford was participating during the open portion of practice, and also took part in Sunday's practice (when the Vikings did not have to issue an injury report), but the quarterback apparently missed some of the Vikings' practice with the injury.
The story summed this situation up well: The fact Bradford didn't sit out the entire session is probably a good sign -- if the Vikings were overly worried about the injury affecting him on Thursday night, they'd likely have held him out of practice -- but Bradford's ankle is certainly worth watching between now and Thursday.
No running back in the NFL has more carries or yards than rookie Ezekiel Elliott.
Now, the Dallas Cowboys are starting to incorporate him more into their passing game.
That has to be troubling for defensive coordinators, because Elliott is starting to make the same big plays in the passing game that he's been making all season in the Cowboys’ running game.
And that makes the offense even better, impressive considering the Cowboys average 407.6 yards (fourth in the league) and 28.7 points (third in the league) per game.
Elliott has caught 24 passes for 303 yards, a 12.6 average. Only four of the NFL's top 10 rushers have more than 300 yards receiving, and Arizona’s David Johnson is the only one of those runners averaging more than 10 yards a catch. The Cowboys don't need Elliott as much as the Cards seem to need Johnson in the passing game, but Elliott has at least one 15-yard reception in eight of the past nine games.
Thursday, November 24, 2016, 3:18pm
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:58pm
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:58pm
Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 8:58pm
It’s not every day a team can add the fourth-leading rusher in the NFL from the previous season to its roster, but that’s what the Dallas Cowboys will do this week.
Darren McFadden, who ran for 1,089 yards last season, will begin practice this week after spending the first 11 weeks of the season on the non-football injury list because of a broken elbow suffered in the spring.
Friday, November 18, 2016, 6:41pm
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