Mon, 24 Jan 2022

Updates: Jayron Kearse's Status & More

Dallas Cowboys
13 Jan 2022, 19:24 GMT+10

by Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman

Don't miss any of the action with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Cowboys' regular season. Presented by Sleep Number

Jan. 12 Updates Jayron Kearse

#27 S

Height: 6-4 Weight: 215 lbs College: Clemson

3:48 p.m. - Starting safety Jayron Kearse was still in COVID protocol as the Cowboys got back to practice Wednesday, though the club is optimistic Kearse will be cleared to return by Thursday, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan earlier this week.

Kearse's versatility and ability to cover tight ends has been important to the defense's success this season, and the Cowboys draw another tough tight end matchup this Sunday against 49ers Pro Bowler George Kittle.

Rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright (not injury related) was the only player on the current Cowboys active roster who did not participate in Wednesday's practice.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and 49ers.

--------------------------------------- Micah Parsons

#11 LB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 245 lbs College: Penn State

10:23 a.m. - Left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Micah Parsons have been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list as the Cowboys start their practice week Wednesday, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Cornerback Anthony Brown returned from the Reserve/COVID list on Monday. Safety Jayron Kearse is still in COVID protocol, as is tight ends coach Lunda Wells, though McCarthy said Wells is testing and could be back as early as Wednesday or Thursday.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 11 Updates Dan Quinn

Defensive Coordinator

College: Salisbury University Hometown: Morristown, NJ

2:03 p.m. - Dan Quinn was rather adamant on Monday that he remains focused on the 49ers this week.

Still, teams with head coaching vacancies seemed focused on him as yet another team has requested permission to interview Quinn.

According to multiple national reports, the Miami Dolphins became the fourth team to seek an interview for Quinn, who is in his first season as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator but has five years of head coaching experience with the Falcons.

The Dolphins, Bears, Jaguars and Broncos have all shown interest in Quinn, who said on Monday there is "nothing to report" and he's excited about coaching this defense against the 49ers on Sunday.

"It's nice to hear if someone is interested. That's not lost on me. ... But there's really nothing to add on my end," Quinn said. "There's not a lot of time management or anything that has to go into mine other than kicking ass and being right where my feet are. Hopefully, we can just talk Niners today because that's where my heart and my head are moving forward."

--------------------------------------- Jan. 10 Updates Anthony Brown

#30 CB

Height: 5-11 Weight: 196 lbs College: Purdue

4:27 p.m. - The Cowboys are "in very good shape" health wise as they begin preparing for the 49ers and Sunday's home wild-card playoff game, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Cornerback Anthony Brown has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and McCarthy said the goal is for others on the Reserve/COVID to be back by Thursday. Linebacker Micah Parsons, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and safety Jayron Kearse also did not play against the Eagles last Saturday because of COVID protocols.

"Jayron is probably the only one that may be a little longer," McCarthy said.

--------------------------------------- Keanu Neal

#42 LB

Height: 6-0 Weight: 211 lbs College: Florida

4:27 p.m. - Linebacker Keanu Neal dealt with an arm and shoulder injury last Saturday against the Eagles but could practice as early as Wednesday this week.

"I anticipate he'll do some work Wednesday, is the early outlook," McCarthy said.

Running back Tony Pollard (foot) did not play against the Eagles, but McCarthy anticipates he'll be full-go Wednesday.

"We were just being smart with him," McCarthy said.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 9 Updates Dallas Cowboys

9:18 p.m. - While the Cowboys found out earlier in the day they would move to the No. 3 seed and take on the 49ers at home next weekend, the NFL just announced the date, time and network.

The Cowboys will get the Sunday afternoon playoff game on Jan. 16 against the 49ers at 3:30 p.m. on CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon and Amazon Prime Video.

With the CBS broadcast, there's a good chance former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will call the game with Jim Nantz as the No. 1 crew for CBS Sports.

While this might have been a surprise matchup, it's certainly a historic one as the Cowboys and 49ers have met many times in the playoffs, but not since the 1994 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco. It was the third straight NFC title game between the two franchises.

--------------------------------------- Dak Prescott

#4 QB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 238 lbs College: Mississippi State

7:02 p.m. - Entering the day, the most likely scenario for the Cowboys was to play either Arizona or the LA Rams. While both teams have high-powered offenses, their QBs have not experienced playoff success.

Not only have Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray yet to win a playoff game, but the same for Philly's Jalen Hurts.

However, just like that, Dak Prescott will now face a 49ers team led by Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a 2-1 career postseason record.

Dak is 1-2 in his three playoff games, after beating Seattle in 2018 in the Wild Card round, only to lose the next against the Rams, then quarterbacked by Jared Goff.

But this game might actually come down to more than just the quarterbacks. Garoppolo is dealing with a thumb injury but the 49ers lean on a strong running attack and a gritty defense, anchored by pass-rusher Nick Bosa.

--------------------------------------- Dallas Cowboys

6:35 p.m. - The Cowboys entered the day with the possibility of playing four different teams. After the conclusion of the afternoon games, it's been determined the Cowboys will be the No. 3 seed and will play San Francisco next weekend.

We know the game will be played at AT&T Stadium either Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

The NFL has yet to announce the official times and dates of the first-round of the playoffs.

The Cowboys were able to move from No. 4 to No. 3 after watching both Arizona and LA Rams lose to their division rivals. That puts the Cowboys and Rams both at 12-5, but Dallas gets the tiebreaker due to its 10-3 NFC record.

--------------------------------------- Mike McCarthy

Head Coach

College: Baker University Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

1:30 p.m. - The Cowboys will undoubtedly get a home game next weekend in the NFC Wild Card Round. It'll be the first playoff berth for the team since 2018 and the first under second-year head coach Mike McCarthy.

But what we don't know is their seeding, their opponent and what day the game will be played.

The Cowboys are currently the No. 4 seed, but can move up to the No. 3 spot if both Arizona and the LA Rams lose on Sunday. The Cardinals (11-5) play Seattle at home while the Rams (12-4) are home against the 49ers.

If both the Rams and Cardinals were to lose and Tampa Bay also loses to Carolina, the Cowboys would jump to the No. 2 seed.

But the most likely scenario keeps the Cowboys as the No. 4 seed against either the Rams or Cardinals.

The game can be played anywhere from Jan. 15-17, with a strong possibility they will play on Monday Night Football.

--------------------------------------- Bryan Anger

#5 P

Height: 6-3 Weight: 202 lbs College: California

11:43 a.m. - In his first season with the Cowboys, the veteran turned out the best season of any punter in team history.

Anger finished the regular season with a 44.6 yard net average, the highest in franchise history.

In fact, it's the fourth-highest in NFL history. Ironically, the league record is 46.0 by Johnny Hekker, who was also coached by Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel when he was the Rams in 2016.

--------------------------------------- C.J. Goodwin

#29 CB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 190 lbs College: California (PA)

10:16 a.m. - Back in training camp, special teams coordinator John Fassel was quick to name Goodwin as the "ace" of the special teams unit.

Sure enough, with another open-field special teams tackle on Saturday, Goodwin finished the regular-season tally of nine stops in the kicking game.

With that, Goodwin became the first player in franchise history to lead the Cowboys in special teams tackles for three consecutive years.

Before this year, Bill Bates, Danny McCray, Byron Jones and Goodwin had led the team in special teams tackles in consecutive years, but never three straight until this season.

--------------------------------------- Dalton Schultz

#86 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 244 lbs College: Stanford

9:12 a.m. - While he had three catches for 21 yards, Schultz found the end zone two more times, giving him eight touchdown catches this season, tied for the second-most in team history by a tight end behind Billy Joe DuPree and Jason Witten (each with 9).

Schultz also joined Witten as the only tight ends in club history to surpass 800 receiving yards in a season.

Schultz finished with 78 yards for 808 yards and eight scores - stats that will likely go a long way when it's time for him to get a new contract as he is expected to be an unrestricted free agent in March.

--------------------------------------- Leighton Vander Esch

#55 LB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 256 lbs College: Boise State

8:22 a.m. - With Micah Parsons out for the season finale, Vander Esch was the Cowboys' primary inside linebacker, playing most of the game. Not only did he record six tackles and a pass deflection, but Vander Esch had his first interception of the season when he picked off a fourth-quarter pass.

It was Vander Esch's first interception since his rookie season of 2018.

He became the 10th different player on the Cowboys defense to interception a pass in the regular season.

Vander Esch entered the game with 80 tackles behind only safety Jayron Kearse, who had 92 tackles, but missed the game due to a hamstring and COVID-19 protocols.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 8 Updates CeeDee Lamb

#88 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 189 lbs College: Oklahoma

With just two catches for 45 yards, CeeDee Lamb didn't have the best stat night, but he did have a big play of 31 yards where he bounced off a couple of defenders.

It's been an interesting week for Lamb, who caught more attention for his trip to the Dallas Mavericks game this week in which he was seen courtside sometimes without a mask.

But Lamb said the Cowboys will put more focus on staying healthy heading into the playoffs.

"We're going to tighten it up. We understand where we're trying to go," Lamb said. "I didn't really get the criticism part. I understand we're in the playoffs and a lot of things can come from going to the (Mavericks) game. COVID is a big thing, so I'm trying to tighten things up and prepare for the next game."

--------------------------------------- Corey Clement

#32 RB

Height: 5-10 Weight: 220 lbs College: Wisconsin

In a record-setting season for Dak Prescott, who now holds the Cowboys' single-season record for TD passes, it turned out to be the most unlikely of players to break the record.

But for Clement, scoring in Philadelphia was quite the homecoming for the former Eagles running back.

"It means a lot. It was a significant piece, especially winning a Super Bowl here my first year," Clement said. "At this point, it's just still enjoying the game, enjoying it with the guys. I recently met, three months ago, and it's already family-like.

They welcomed me with open arms. We have something to big to push forward to. That's the playoffs next week. Just getting ready to get this thing rolling downhill."

Clement rushed for 58 yards and caught four passes for 22 yards, including the 8-yard TD in the fourth quarter, which was Dak's 37th of the season.

--------------------------------------- Dallas Cowboys

6:50 p.m. - The Eagles are sitting a whopping 10 starters for this Saturday night game in Philadelphia.

Already having sat several key players due to COVID-19, the Eagles also opted to make Jalen Hurts, Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Miles Sanders, Anthony Harris, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett and Javon Hargrave.

Considering that Dallas Goedert, Rodney McLeod and Fletcher Cox were already sitting out on the reserve/COVID-19 list, it's safe to say the Eagles will be playing with a bit of a backup squad.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys ruled out Trevon Diggs, Will Grier, Tony Pollard, Simi Fehoko and Quinton Bohanna. Three of those are healthy scratches, while Diggs and Pollard had been ruled out on Friday afternoon.

There will be some interesting additions to the roster for this game. After missing time this week with an illness, Donovan Wilson joined the team Saturday in Philadelphia and will be active for the game. Blake Jarwin was also activated off the injured reserve/designated to return list, and he will play for the first time since Halloween.

It remains to be seen how long the Cowboys' starters will play, especially against such a depleted opponent, but it's clear they'll be putting their best foot forward to try and secure a 12th win on the season.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 7 Updates Israel Mukuamu

#38 S

Height: 6-4 Weight: 205 lbs College: South Carolina

5:11 p.m. - The Cowboys made a big commitment to the secondary this past offseason, drafting three defensive backs. But heading into Week 18, none of them have played a big part on defense.

That could change Saturday night against the Eagles, as the Cowboys will play without both starting corners - Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown - and safety Jayron Kearse, the leading tackler.

While Kelvin Joseph has played more in the last two weeks, he'll likely start the game and get plenty of reps. Look for third-round pick Nahshon Wright to also get snaps, alongside veteran Maurice Canady.

The player who might get the biggest jump in playing time is rookie safety Israel Mukuamu, who has only played four defensive snaps this year.

At safety, Malik Hooker should replace Kearse as the starter next to Damontae Kazee, but if Donovan Wilson (illness/questionable) doesn't play, Mukuamu might get his first real significant playing time since the preseason.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 6 Updates Trevon Diggs

#7 CB

Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 lbs College: Alabama

3:12 p.m. - The Cowboys have two more players added to the injury report with an illness, including cornerback Trevon Diggs.

However, as of Thursday afternoon, the Cowboys did not place any other places on the Reserve/COVID-19 list other than Tyron Smith and Anthony Brown, who join Micah Parsons.

But head coach Mike McCarthy said the team has other players sick who have not tested positive for Covid, and that now includes Diggs and safety Donovan Wilson, who also missed practice.

For Diggs, who has picked off the Eagles in all three games with Philly, he's looking to set the Cowboys' single-season record for interceptions, needing one more to pass Everson Walls (11).

Here's the full injury report for Dallas-Philadelphia.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 5 Updates Jayron Kearse

#27 S

Height: 6-4 Weight: 215 lbs College: Clemson

3:56 p.m. - The Cowboys' leading tackler could possibly miss the season finale Saturday night in Philadelphia. Jayron Kearse was limited in practice Wednesday for the second straight day with a hamstring injury.

Earlier in the day, head coach Mike McCarthy said he didn't have a "clear answer" on Kearse's status, only stating that "we just want to be start with him."

Kearse has 92 tackles with Leighton Vander Esch second on the team with 80. Kearse has a chance to be the first safety since Barry Church (2014) to lead the Cowboys in tackles with 110.

Kearse had a previous career-high of 59 tackles last season in Detroit.

Here's the full injury report for Dallas-Philadelphia.

--------------------------------------- Micah Parsons

#11 LB

Height: 6-3 Weight: 245 lbs College: Penn State

11:45 a.m. - Just one day after making the comment that the best ability is "availability," Micah Parsons could be unavailable for the final game of the season.

Parsons has entered the Covid-19 protocols on Wednesday. He not only will miss practice this week but his status for Saturday's game, which was initially set for Sunday in Philly, is now in question.

Parsons leads the Cowboys in sacks with 13 and was vying for the NFL's rookie sack record of 14.5, set by Jevon Kearse in 1999.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 4 Updates Blake Jarwin

#89 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs College: Oklahoma State

11:20 a.m. - Blake Jarwin will be back at practice as the Cowboys prepare for this weekend's trip to Philadelphia.

The Cowboys moved Jarwin to their injured reserve/designated to return list on Tuesday, opening his 21-day window to begin practicing. It'll be his first time back on the practice field since he injured his hip back on Oct. 31 in the 20-16 win at Minnesota.

That lines up with what Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, as he noted that Jarwin has made solid progress in recent weeks.

"I thought Blake had an excellent workout Saturday," McCarthy said. "We're hopeful that maybe we'll get him back on the field this week. He definitely has a chance to potentially be out there."

The move gives the team 21 days to evaluate Jarwin before deciding if they should move him back to the active roster. It's theoretically possible he could be available Saturday night against the Eagles. And even if not, it gives him a good chance to play in the Cowboys' first playoff game, two weekends from now.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 3 Updates Blake Jarwin

#89 TE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 260 lbs College: Oklahoma State

4:27 p.m. - As the regular season winds down, tight end Blake Jarwin (hip) appears to be moving closer to a return to the lineup.

"I thought Blake had an excellent workout Saturday. We're hopeful that maybe we'll get him back on the field this week. He definitely has a chance to potentially be out there. Made a lot of a progress here over the last 10 days."

Jarwin has spent the last nine weeks on injured reserve after injuring his hip in the Cowboys' Oct. 31 win over Minnesota. Once the Cowboys start his IR practice window, he can be activated at any time during that period.

Dalton Schultz has shouldered the majority of the tight end receiving production with Jarwin out of the lineup. Schultz reached the 75-catch mark Sunday against Arizona, becoming the second tight end in Cowboys history to have 70-plus receptions in a season. (Jason Witten caught over 70 passes in nine different seasons with the club.)

--------------------------------------- Jan. 2 Updates Cedrick Wilson

#1 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 lbs College: Boise State

8:15 p.m. - Cedrick Wilson has played a valuable role in the Cowboys' receiver rotation all season. Sunday was no different.

Stepping in for injured starter Michael Gallup, Wilson caught 6 of 6 receiving targets for 35 yards and an early fourth-quarter touchdown that sparked a comeback in the Cowboys' eventual 25-22 to loss to Arizona.

Later in the quarter, Wilson's 41-yard pass to Tony Pollard (following a lateral from quarterback Dak Prescott) set up an Amari Cooper touchdown. Wilson also caught the two-point conversion attempt to cut Arizona's lead to three with 4:48 left.

"I just think it's repetition," Wilson said about his rapport with Prescott. "We've been here for a minute together now and every time he throws it, it's my job to catch it."

After the game, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told reporters that the team's initial belief is Gallup suffered a season-ending knee injury on a first-half touchdown catch.

"That's like my brother off the field, one my closest friends," Wilson said of Gallup. "To see him go down like that, I'm just praying it's not as bad as they think it is."

--------------------------------------- Leighton Vander Esch

#55 LB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 256 lbs College: Boise State

7:13 p.m. - With the Cowboys down to just three linebackers due to Keanu Neal being on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, Vander Esch stepped up with one of his most productive games of the season.

Vander Esch racked up a team-high 10 tackles, the most since he had 11 against Denver. It was just the second-most tackles for LVE this season.

--------------------------------------- Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

Height: 6-0 Weight: 191 lbs College: Missouri Western State

6:55 p.m. - For the first time this year, Greg Zuerlein was 0-for-1 in his only field goal attempt Sunday. With the Cowboys losing by three points, his first-quarter miss of 43 yards proved to be a difference-maker.

It marked the first time Zuerlein has missed a field goal in a game in which he didn't make a kick. In the four other games Zuerlein has missed a field goal, he's compensated with successful kicks as well.

Zuerlein hadn't missed a field goal since a 59-yard attempt against Las Vegas on Thanksgiving.

--------------------------------------- Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

2:00 p.m. - The main inactive news of this Week 17 game day comes from Arizona.

The Cardinals announced that running back James Conner is inactive Sunday for this game against the Cowboys. Conner earned his second career Pro Bowl bid this year on the strength of his 700 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, but he was sidelined by a heel injury this week.

The Cowboys' inactive list is fairly straightforward: Will Grier, Maurice Canady, Israel Mukuamu, Matt Farniok and Simi Fehoko.

All of those are healthy scratches, as the Cowboys' offensive line is back to full strength with the return of Tyron Smith from an ankle injury.

Rookie receiver Rondale Moore and rookie cornerback Marco Wilson are also out for the Cardinals.

--------------------------------------- Jan. 1 Updates Noah Brown

#85 WR

Height: 6-2 Weight: 225 lbs College: Ohio State

3:33 p.m. - The Cowboys on Saturday activated wide receiver Noah Brown from Injured Reserve/Designated for Return and wide receiver Simi Fehoko from Reserve/COVID-19.

The club also elevated safety Darian Thompson as a COVID-19 replacement. Defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna and linebackers Keanu Neal and Francis Bernard are on Reserve/COVID-19 this week.

Offensive tackle Aviante Collins is back on the practice squad from the Practice Squad/COVID-19 list.

--------------------------------------- Dec. 31 Updates Tyron Smith

#77 T

Height: 6-5 Weight: 320 lbs College: USC

3:41 p.m. - Tyron Smith's status for Sunday's game against Arizona is not in question, according to the official injury report, which means the Pro Bowl left tackle looks set to return to the lineup after a two-game absence because of an ankle injury.

Click here for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Cardinals.

--------------------------------------- Keanu Neal

#42 LB

Height: 6-0 Weight: 211 lbs College: Florida

3:40 p.m. - Linebacker Keanu Neal has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list for the second time this season.

Neal missed two games in the first month of the season because of COVID-19. A regular contributor in the linebacker rotation, Neal ranks third on the team in tackles (72).

The Cowboys are now heading into Sunday's game against Arizona with two linebackers (Neal and Francis Bernard) on Reserve/COVID-19. Linebacker Devante Bond, signed to the practice squad earlier this week, is an option to be elevated from the practice squad.

--------------------------------------- Mike McCarthy

Head Coach

College: Baker University Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

1:01 p.m. - One loss and one gain for the Cowboys on Friday morning.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy revealed during his daily press conference that rookie defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna has been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. Bohanna was the only absence at the Cowboys' Thursday practice.

On the bright side, McCarthy is optimistic that Tyron Smith will be back in the lineup on Sunday against Arizona. Smith has missed the last two games after re-aggravating an ankle injury against Washington on Dec. 12, but he has been a limited participant in practice this week. McCarthy said he thought Smith would upgrade to full participation by the end of the week.

If Smith plays against the Cardinals, it will be the first time the Cowboys have played a game with all five of their preferred offensive line starters from training camp.

--------------------------------------- Dec. 30 Updates Quinton Bohanna

#98 DT

Height: 6-4 Weight: 360 lbs College: Kentucky

3:22 p.m. - The Cowboys added rookie defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna to the injury report on Thursday with an undisclosed illness.

Boahanna, a sixth-round pick from Kentucky, has played in all but one game this year, although he's been more of a rotational player. He recorded two tackles last week against Washington and has 12 for the season.

The Cowboys have not added any players to the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

Here's the full injury report for Dallas-Arizona.

--------------------------------------- Jourdan Lewis

#26 CB

Height: 5-10 Weight: 195 lbs College: Michigan

1:21 p.m. - Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who missed last week's game with Washington due to COVID-19 protocols, was back on the field Thursday.

Lewis has been activated from the list and back on the 53-man roster. He is expected to play against the Cardinals Sunday.

Last week, rookie Kelvin Joseph started the game while Anthony Brown slid into the slot to replace Lewis. It's likely Joseph will still get some snaps on Sunday as the Cowboys take on Kyler Murray and a speedy group of Arizona receivers.

---------------------------------------

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