11 Cowboys players who will benefit the most from the bye week

The bye week allows the chance to do several things. For one, it breaks the monotony. Since Week 1 the Dallas Cowboys have been locked into a rhythm of game preparation. A week off allows the coaching staff to do an extended amount of self scouting, which could lead to new game-plan wrinkles as they step back and see what was and wasn’t working from how they planned out the season.

Another level of course is health. A week off from the bangs and bruises is helpful to every player, whether they have an injury or not. But when a player has missed time, getting a week of rest and recuperation is paramount to finishing the year strong.

 

RB Ezekiel Elliott

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Cowboys fans have to be hoping the hyperextended knee Elliott suffered against the Lions that forced him to miss Week 8 is just that. No one outside the team knew that Elliott’s consistently problematic injury in 2021 was a partially torn PCL. Tony Pollard can’t handle the rushing duties on his own and any of the backups can’t provide the things Elliott does, even if they can gain tough yards. Dallas needs a healthy 21 to win in ’22.

LB Micah Parsons

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Parsons has already appeared on the injury report three different times in eight games, along with a couple other in-game nicks. He’s held on virtually every play by 300-plus pound linemen and that takes its toll over a season. A chance to regenerate a couple cells for this made-in-a-lab superhero is definitely a good thing.

OT Tyron Smith

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Smith’s hamstring tore from the bone, but Dallas didn’t shut him down for the year. Now, they are counting the weeks to get him back on the field and that means any week that doesn’t include a missed game is a great thing. He could be back sometime in the set of games that include and surround Thanksgiving.

LB Damone Clark

 

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Getting Clark back in action before the bye was something no one believed could happen, but there he was taking 33 snaps on defense after Anthony Barr went down vs Chicago.

A week of rest following such a heavy work load should allow that scar tissue to do its thing as the spinal fusion surgery is left in the past. Two weeks to evaluate his first pro snaps will help the fastest linebacker on the team.

WR Michael Gallup

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As expected around these parts, Gallup’s return to the field has not been a return to pre-injury form. Players may recover from ACL injuries quicker than ever before to be back in the lineup, but it’s still Year 2 when they look like their old selves. Gallup did have a good game in Week 8, catching four passes for 49 yards after catching just two for 18 on nine targets the prior two weeks combined.

 

 

QB Dak Prescott

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Prescott doesn’t need more time to recover from his broken thumb; he’s shown himself to be all the way back physically. The break though gives he and the coaching staff an extra week to evaluate his targets with him under center.

The offense changed under Rush, and has had to morph back to what Prescott does better (everything). Now the scheme has a chance to make in-season adjustments based on their ceiling, not their floor.

WR Kavontae Turpin

 

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Hopefully that includes more usage for the team’s true deep threat, who has only been the focus of four offensive plays all season. Turpin deserves at least three or four offensive plays a week and hopefully Kellen Moore has spent the bye week figuring out the best time to use them (unless he’s saving them for the playoffs).

TE Dalton Schultz

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Schultz has dealt with a knee injury (and re-injury) since he hurt it Week 2 against the Bengals. Despite this, he’s seemingly started to return to form the last two weeks, coinciding with Prescott’s return. 11 catches on 12 targets for 123 yards isn’t half bad for a guy playing hurt.

An extra week of rest should help cement the franchise tagged guy as the outlet he was in 2021, which is really important for this offense.

WR Noah Brown

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Brown has five receptions in four of the seven games he’s played in 2022, but missed Week 8 with a foot injury. Not much has been revealed about the extent of his injury, but he will be key for the Cowboys if they don’t add any talent through free agency.

DE Sam Williams

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Williams was held out of the Week 8 game, but after a different week of work than Brown. Brown missed all three practices but Williams was injured on Wednesday, missed Thursday and was limited Friday before being inactive. The rookie was on a serious upswing so it’ll be great to return him to the league’s best rotation of edge rushers.

Safety Malik Hooker

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Hooker’s absence was felt in the win over Chicago. Dallas gave up the most points they have all season in Week 8 and missing their centerfielder played a bigger part than some may realize. A hamstring injury is a delicate thing that may take some time to recover from.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire