The Cowboys pounded the Panthers on Sunday, but didn’t come away from Charlotte completely unscathed. We’ve got injury updates on CeeDee Lamb, Jayron Kearse, and Rico Dowdle heading into a short holiday week. Overall, though, the news was good, and we’ll recap everything from the Week 11 win- who came up big, which moments turned the tide, and how America’s Team took over Bank of America Stadium.
Meanwhile, both DaRon Bland and Micah Parsons have been on a tear; we’ll explain how both claimed a little piece of football immortality during the win. Brandon Aubrey also continues a record-setting streak, but the next game could prove huge for the rookie’s development. We’ve tell you what Zack Martin was thinking about on his 33rd birthday, how Jerry Jones’s Ring of Honor surprise came about, and what has allowed Dallas to turn up their offense since the bye. All that, plus which Cowboys will be key down the stretch, how the postseason odds are stacking up, and the various ways that the Commanders are in hot water- metaphorically only- these days, in this edition of News and Notes.
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Updates: CeeDee Lamb limited with ankle injury :: The Mothership
The wideout would have been considered limited- if the Cowboys had held a practice on Monday- due to an ankle injury. Jayron Kearse and Rico Dowdle were also listed as non-participants, but Mike McCarthy said there is not a “high level of concern.”
NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: 49ers, Ravens solidify, MNF to determine No. 1 :: Cowboys Wire
Pounding the bottom-ranked Panthers neither helped nor hurt the Cowboys, who stay at No. 5 in this week’s countdown. The Ravens and 49ers hold fast, too, at No. 4 and 3, respectively, with the Chiefs and Eagles ahead of them all, in that order after Philadelphia’s Monday night win.
2023 NFL playoff picture: AFC, NFC seed projections in Week 10 :: ESPN
Dallas has a 99% chance of making the playoffs, but only a 22% chance of winning the East and just a 10% chance of earning a first-round bye (prior to Monday night’s final). They’re most likely lining up to be the NFC’s No. 5 seed, with a 64% chance of being the top-ranked wild card squad.
'Just makes another goal': Cowboys' Bland will get ample chances at record :: Cowboys Wire
DaRon Bland called getting his fourth pick-six of the season “just doing my job.” Now tied for the all-time league record, the second-year cornerback has seven games- all against some of the NFL’s most interception-prone passers- to do it at least one more time. “He’s having a Defensive Player of the Year year,” Micah Parsons said. “He should be a lock for All-Pro; it shouldn’t be a question.”
Micah Parsons becomes first in Cowboys history, 9th in NFL, to reach this milestone in each of first 3 seasons :: CBS Sports
Even with the franchise’s rich history of pass rushers, no Cowboys defender had ever recorded double-digit sacks in each of his first three seasons… until Parsons. With seven games left to play, he could even make a run at the team’s single-season record of 20, shared by Harvey Martin and DeMarcus Ware.
Placekicker Brandon Aubrey faces his biggest test yet with Cowboys :: Cowboys Wire
Aubrey blew the first extra-point attempt of his career back in Week 1 but went on to set a field goal record for NFL rookies over his next 18 tries. On Sunday, he hooked another PAT, then came back to keep his field-goal percentage on the year perfect. Now he’ll look to show that the rare miss isn’t stuck in his head when the team retakes the field on Thursday.
Cowboys-Panthers postgame coverage, analysis :: Cowboys Wire
From Dak Prescott to DaRon Bland: Cowboys’ 10 most important players for second half :: The Athletic
Prescott and Parsons are obvious choices for this list of Cowboys who will by critical to the next few months. Same with CeeDee Lamb and Tyron Smith. But Jake Ferguson, Brandin Cooks, and Osa Odighizuwa will have to be major contributors as well if this team is to get where they want to go.
The Cowboys have fixed their offense. Here’s how they did it. :: D Magazine
The Cowboys offense has jumped from 16th pre-bye to seventh after the break in pre-snap motion. But they’ve also taken more deep shots downfield, going from 23rd to second. Quarterback scrambles are up, as are bunch formations. The self-scout done during the team’s “across the hall” meetings during their week off seems to have made a world of difference.
As Zack Martin celebrates 33rd birthday, Cowboys OG opts to focus on the future :: Dallas Morning News
Martin admitted that he’s just now finding his groove after holding out for the majority of training camp. On his 33rd birthday, he was far more focused on the team’s run to the postseason than being- along with Tyron Smith- one of the elder statesmen of the locker room. “I think at this point, what matters for us is the wins and losses and try to keep stacking those wins heading into the postseason the right way.”
Why Jerry Jones said he is inducting Jimmy Johnson into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sunday’s announcement took fans by surprise, but Jones said he’d been considering finally adding Johnson to the Ring of Honor for a while, with talks picking up steam after the two met in Los Angeles prior to the Cowboys playing the Chargers. “It feels right,” Jones said. “It feels rewarded by what it represents. All of the times that we had. There were traumatic times. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic. … This is very appropriate, the time to nail it. It was always going to happen.”
NFL Winners and Losers: Commanders need to change coaches, give Eric Bieniemy a shot :: Yahoo Sports
Calls for the Commanders to relieve Ron Rivera of his head coaching duties are getting louder, especially with the highly-regarded Bieniemy waiting in the wings. Getting thumped by the Giants’ third-string quarterback in Week 11 has only turned up the heat under Rivera’s seat, and now they face the red-hot Cowboys before what promises to be a mammoth TV audience on Thanksgiving.
No hot water at FedEx Field meant Giants and Commanders players were unable to shower after game :: Commanders Wire
Good thing Thursday’s game is being played at AT&T Stadium. “An equipment failure in the main water heater that provides hot water to the field-level locker rooms” couldn’t have been fixed without shutting off all water at FedEx Field on Sunday. After the Cowboys brought their own heated benches to Washington a couple years ago, they may want to consider trucking in portable shower facilities for their Week 18 game there.