News and Notes: Cowboys a top-5 deepest roster? Bears game will test

The Cowboys were once the favorite team of NBA superstar Lebron James, but he recently announced the team’s handling of social justice stances drove him away. James is still a fan of multiple Dallas players, including linebacker Micah Parsons, who the struggling Bears offensive line is tasked with limiting. Their run-heavy style will have to be efficient or else Justin Fields may be running from pressure all day.

Looking further into the Chicago matchup, the potential absence of running back Ezekiel Elliott looms large as the Cowboys will rely on Tony Pollard to take over the production as the feature back. Also the DL should feast on QB Justin Fields unless Chicago changes one key thing. Looking forward, the Longhorns are full of NFL talent and Tim Lettiero broke down the names Dallas should consider for the 2023 draft. Week 8 matchups to watch, the value of Dallas’ depth and more in Friday’s News and Notes.

NBA superstar LeBron James renounced Cowboys fandom due to front office stances :: Cowboys Wire


One of the greatest NBA players of all time in Lebron James was also a well known Cowboys fan. That was until controversies with the team’s ownership led James to disconnect from the team. Nonetheless, James spoke highly of a few Dallas players although he no longer cheers for the team.

LOOK: Cowboys selling new matte white helmets for game vs. Tennessee :: Cowboys Wire


After announcing the new silhouette for the 2022 season, the Cowboys are now selling their white helmets they’ll don against the Titans. Check out the helmet from all angles that is now for sale in the Cowboys Pro Shop.

Ranking the deepest and thinnest NFL rosters in 2022 :: ESPN+

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The Cowboys come in as the fifth-deepest roster, with wide receiver and cornerback the question areas for Aaron Schatz.

Let’s start by giving the Cowboys some credit for going 4-1 with their backup quarterback — and without their excellent left tackle, Tyron Smith. Cooper Rush certainly proved to be better than anyone expected, with 61.9 QBR this season. Tony Pollard could easily fill in if Ezekiel Elliott had a major injury. Veteran Jason Peters still has something in the tank as the sixth lineman. (Actually, the seventh lineman, because Smith is out.) There’s less depth at wide receiver — but there is third-round rookie Jalen Tolbert, who hasn’t gotten much playing time.

Defensive depth starts at edge rusher with second-round rookie Sam Williams and veteran Dante Fowler Jr. There’s strong depth at interior defensive line as well, particularly with the recent addition of Johnathan Hankins from the Raiders. Promising young linebacker Jabril Cox backs up Leighton Vander Esch. Theoretically, either Malik Hooker or Jayron Kearse is a backup at free safety, although each player has started four games this year and they often play together. Cornerback may have the biggest questions; an injury to Jourdan Lewis pushes fifth-round rookie DaRon Bland into the lineup as nickelback ahead of 2021 draft picks Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright, who can’t seem to get any playing time.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott unlikely to play vs. Bears before bye week :: ESPN


After a heavy hit to the knee, Elliott returned to the game and delivered a touchdown as well as a vintage hurdle against the Lions but the impact of that injury will likely carry over. Elliott is unlikely to suit up against Chicago and running back Tony Pollard will take over the majority of carries in his place.

Cowboys vs. Bears: Week 8 matchups to watch for the Dallas Cowboys :: Blogging the Boys


Heading into the matchup with the Bears, Brian Martin breaks down key matchups for Dallas to come out with the win. Front and center is the run-heavy Chicago offense and how the Cowboys will protect against Justin Fields’ mobility that comes with it.

Cowboys CFB Spotlight: Texas Longhorns of interest for 2023 NFL draft :: Cowboys Wire


Not far from the Cowboys is the Texas Longhorns football team, full of future NFL talent that Dallas should have their eye on. Our own Tim Lettiero lists the Longhorns for 2023 that the Cowboys should have circled for the draft.

Cowboys vs. Bears: Each team’s X-factor player for Sunday :: Blogging the Boys


Looking at the X-factors for the Week 8 matchup, it’s no surprise that Parsons is the spotlight for Dallas. For the Bears, the running back room has seen some shifting with a rising Khalil Herbert but David Montgomery is the player to keep an eye on if Chicago has any hopes of an upset bid.

Can Cowboys pressure Justin Fields, beat the Bears and enter bye week 6-2? :: The Athletic

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6-2 would be a great place for the Cowboys to be heading into the bye week. The ever-elusive Justin Fields and the Bears stand in the way of that hope and Bob Sturm believes Dallas will dominate the inferior Chicago offensive line and come out with a victory.

The history of Noah Brown :: Inside the Star


The rise of wide receiver Noah Brown is one that slid under the radar, maybe even for the Cowboys. The seventh-round selection out of Ohio State has slowly climbed up the depth chart with his blocking prowess that’s been well complimented as his ability as a receiver improved year by year.

All-32: Week 8 Game Previews :: Football Outsiders Plus

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A look at the key player or unit for the matchup against Chicago looks at Justin Fields as a target for the Dallas DL.

Dallas’ front seven will probably ruin this game. Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence are too much for the Bears offensive line to handle, never mind all the other explosive threats the team has off the bench or at defensive tackle. Justin Fields will be pressured relentlessly unless Luke Getsy comes up with a miraculous protection plan—much easier said than done against the Cowboys.

Fields has to avoid critical mistakes. The biggest knock on Fields’ game to this point in his young career is that he cannot stop taking sacks and turning the ball over. Fields has been sacked a league-high 27 times on just 163 dropbacks and has fumbled a league-high 11 times. He is also tied for the third-most interceptions in the NFL.

Quick game is the root of many of Fields’ issues. He can uncork beautiful throws on play-action and longer-developing dropback plays, but in quick game, he tends to be too slow. Fields has a long, low release that isn’t always suited to execute quick game at the highest level, and he sometimes turns away from opportunities as a result.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire