Mon, 25 Oct 2021

Updates: Brandon Knight Another RT Option

Dallas Cowboys
18 Sep 2021, 04:24 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

Sept. 17 Updates Brandon Knight

#69 T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 314 lbs College: Indiana

11:23 p.m. - With La'el Collins starting a five-game NFL suspension and backup Ty Nsekhe (heat illness) not available to play Sunday, the Cowboys' right tackle situation will look much different against the Chargers.

Terence Steele and Nsekhe were the primary backup tackles in training camp and the season opener, which makes Steele the likely starter Sunday. But head coach Mike McCarthy said third-year veteran Brandon Knight - who worked primarily at guard in camp - is another option there.

Knight has 10 career starts at tackle over the past two seasons, including nine at left tackle while Tyron Smith was on Reserve/Injured in 2020.

"He's definitely an option," McCarthy said of Knight. "We all know what the options are. We'll take that to the game."

Zack Martin also started two games at right tackle last season, but McCarthy has spoken about Martin's value at right guard, where he's made six career Pro Bowls.

McCarthy said Nsekhe has been discharged from a local hospital after the veteran tackle stayed overnight to treat symptoms of heat exhaustion.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 16 Updates Damontae Kazee

#18 S

Height: 5'11 Weight: 174 lbs College: San Diego State

3:09 p.m. -- Starting safeties Damontae Kazee and Donovan Wilson both appeared on Thursday's official injury report. Wilson sat out a second straight practice with a groin injury, and Kazee had limited practice participation due to a thigh injury.

With both starting safeties on the injury report and safety Darian Thompson on the Practice Squad/Injured list, veteran Malik Hooker could get his first game action of the season Sunday against the Chargers. Hooker was inactive in Week 1 against Tampa Bay.

Rookie defensive end Chauncey Golston (hamstring) practiced fully again Thursday, and rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright returned to practice after being excused for a personal matter Wednesday.

--------------------------------------- DeMarcus Lawrence

#90 DE

Height: 6-3 Weight: 265 lbs College: Boise State

3:04 p.m. - DeMarcus Lawrence had surgery Thursday morning to repair the foot fracture he suffered in Wednesday's practice, head coach Mike McCarthy said. The Cowboys placed Lawrence on Reserve/Injured, which requires a minimum three-week stay on IR.

Lawrence will miss "significant time," McCarthy said, but the injury isn't considered season-ending. The injury occurred during a one-on-one pass rush drill.

Assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett also underwent surgery for a torn quadriceps tendon suffered at the start of Wednesday's practice.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 15 Updates Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

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

3:32 p.m. - Greg Zuerlein is putting the season opener behind him.

After missing two field goals and an extra point in last Thursday's four-point loss to the Bucs, the veteran kicker is looking toward Week 2 against the Chargers.

"I'm not going to make an excuse for why I made or missed a kick because there really is no excuse. I missed it," he said. "Whether I had time (to kick in preseason) or not, it really is irrelevant. I've just got to go out there and do my job."

Zuerlein spent most of training camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list following offseason back surgery. Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Zuerlein was also managing a quad issue late in camp. Zuerlein said physically he feels good at this point.

The Cowboys signed Lirim Hajrullahu to the practice squad Tuesday for kicking depth, but Zuerlein, a 10-year veteran, understands the business. He's just focused on having a better game Sunday.

"I would be surprised if they didn't (add another kicker)," he said. "That was a bad game, no skirting around that. But I think everyone in this organization wants to win. And so whether there's a kicker here or not, it doesn't affect what I do. I'm still going to go there and practice, get my reps and put my best foot forward."

--------------------------------------- Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

11:05 a.m. - Starting defensive end Randy Gregory is still on the Reserve/COVID list as the Cowboys get back to practice Wednesday.

The Cowboys haven't ruled Gregory out against the Chargers, but it remains to be seen if he will clear protocol in time for Sunday's game.

"If you look at the history, it's been 10 days, pretty much, (with) everybody we've dealt with in the COVID protocol. We'll just see how it goes," head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Dorance Armstrong will get more practice reps this week while Gregory is sidelined.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 14 Updates Lirim Hajrullahu

# K

Height: 5-11 Weight: 205 lbs College: Western Ontario

4:03 p.m. -- The Cowboys signed kicker Lirim Hajrullahu and wide receiver Robert Foster to the practice, filling two open spots after the team placed safety Darian Thompson and cornerback Deante Burton on the Practice Squad/Injured list.

Hajrullahu was briefly on the training camp roster at the end of preseason. He provides kicker depth behind Greg Zuerlein, who went 3 of 5 on field goal attempts with a missed extra point in the season opener against Tampa Bay. Zuerlein spent most of training camp ramping up from offseason back surgery and was dealing with a quad issue late in preseason.

Foster, undrafted out of Alabama in 2018, has appeared in 30 career games with Buffalo and Washington, totaling 32 catches for 642 yards and 3 touchdowns. He provides some extra receiver depth with Michael Gallup (calf strain) on Reserve/Injured for a minimum of three weeks.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 13 Updates Greg Zuerlein

#2 K

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

4:19 p.m. - Playing his first full game since offseason back surgery, Greg Zuerlein hit a critical 48-yard field goal late against the Bucs but also missed two field goal attempts (31, 60 yards) and an extra point in the Cowboys' 31-29 season-opening loss.

Special teams coordinator John Fassel, who has coached Zuerlein for a decade with the Cowboys and previously the Rams, expressed confidence that Zuerlein will find his rhythm.

The veteran kicker missed most of training camp and preseason because of the back surgery but did ramp up his kicking regimen on his own before returning from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list in late August.

"A couple of those misses, we don't attribute to lack of preparation time," Fassel said. "We thought we followed his post-surgery protocol right on the money.

"The first 31-yarder he just mishit it, pulled it left. And then the PAT he hit it pretty good, just pulled it a little bit left. Nothing to attribute to it other than just a miss."

According to NFL Network, the Cowboys are expected to sign kicker Lirim Hajrullahu to the practice squad this week with safety Darian Thompson and cornerback Deante Burton headed to the Practice Squad/Injured list. Hajrullahu kicked briefly for Dallas in training camp and would provide some depth there. But that move has not officially been made, and the club has expressed confidence in Zuerlein, who has a long track record of consistency.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 10 Updates Michael Gallup

#13 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 198 lbs College: Colorado State

5:47 p.m. - Head coach Mike McCarthy said wide receiver Michael Gallup is dealing with a "multiple-week injury" suffered in the Cowboys' opener against the Bucs.

"We're still working through the specifics of it, but he will not be available against the Chargers (a week from Sunday)," McCarthy said.

Gallup exited the game in the second half but remained standing on the Cowboys sideline. It was officially announced as an ankle injury during the game but reports Friday termed it a calf strain.

If the Cowboys believe Gallup's injury timeline is three weeks or more, they could opt to place him on the Reserve/Injured list, where he would be eligible to return after three weeks.

Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson will likely see more snaps while Gallup is sidelined. Noah Brown is usually part of the receiver rotation, too, but he was inactive Thursday just after returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Elsewhere on the roster, McCarthy said safety Darian Thompson injured his hamstring against the Bucs and will miss some time. Thompson was elevated from the practice squad prior to kickoff.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 9 Updates Michael Gallup

#13 WR

Height: 6-1 Weight: 198 lbs College: Colorado State

11:31 p.m. - Wide receiver Michael Gallup suffered an ankle injury in the second half of the Cowboys' 31-29 loss to the Bucs and did not return.

Gallup initially was listed as questionable to return to the game, an encouraging sign that the injury won't keep him out for an extended period of time. He will be re-evaluated Friday.

Prior to the injury, Gallup had four catches for 36 yards.

--------------------------------------- Damontae Kazee

#18 S

Height: 5'11 Weight: 174 lbs College: San Diego State

11:30 p.m. -- In his first regular-season game with the Cowboys, safety Damontae Kazee forced a critical fumble that prevented a Bucs touchdown and set up Dallas' field goal drive to take a 29-28 lead late in the fourth quarter.

But Kazee said he got poked in the eye while trying to block Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown after the Cowboys' fumble recovery. He didn't return for the defense's final series -- Bucs quarterback Tom Brady's drive for the winning field goal -- because of blurry vision.

"I'm all right," he said after the game.

--------------------------------------- Anthony Brown

#30 CB

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

10:37 p.m. - There are lots of players on the defense you might suspect would lead the team in tackles. Anthony Brown isn't one of them, and so his 11 tackles Thursday night isn't exactly a sign of a great performance.

While he did have his moments in run support, he was also chasing receivers around quite often, including a play in the second quarter when he was beaten by Antonio Brown for a 47-yard touchdown.

Antonio Brown had a huge game, racking up 121 yards while Chris Godwin had 105 on nine catches. Mike Evans was relatively quiet with three catches for 24 yards.

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

#86 TE

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

10:22 p.m. - Listed as the starting tight end on the depth chart, Dalton Schultz had a big night for the Cowboys, picking up where he left off last year. We didn't exactly think that would be the case with Blake Jarwin returning from an ACL injury.

Both players technically started the game as the Cowboys opened in 12 personnel, but Schultz caught six passes on six targets for 45 yards. Jarwin had three catches for 20 yards but also drew a pass interference penalty that led to points.

--------------------------------------- Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

6:00 p.m. - The Cowboys held out hope as long as they could, but Zack Martin is not active this week as he remains on the COVID-19 list.

Martin needed to pass two straight COVID test and be symptom-free for 48 hours before kickoff.

"It just wasn't going to happen this week," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "We're confident he'll be back soon."

Technically, Martin is not on the roster but the Cowboys are more than optimistic that he'll be back for next week's game in Los Angeles against the Chargers.

In his place for this game, Connor McGovern gets the start at right guard. And with Brandon Knight also still on the COVID list, the backup linemen for tonight are tackles Terence Steele, Ty Nsekhe and rookie Matt Farniok.

--------------------------------------- Darian Thompson

#23 S

Height: 6-2 Weight: 211 lbs College: Boise State

1:30 p.m. -- The Cowboys have elevated safety Darian Thompson and tight end Jeremy Sprinkle from the practice squad to the roster ahead of Thursday's season opener against the Bucs.

The adjusted practice squad rules from last season remain in place: two practice squad players per week can be elevated for game day and then return to the practice squad.

Thompson was a part-time starter on defense and a core special teams player last season. Assuming he's active Thursday, Sprinkle gives the Cowboys a third tight end on the game day roster, joining Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 8 Updates Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

3:30 p.m. - It was always a bit of a long shot, but it looks increasingly unlikely that Zack Martin will be activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Thursday's opener against the Bucs.

"It's looking like a stretch," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Wednesday on 105.3 The Fan.

Martin did not travel with the team to Tampa, according to reports. The Cowboys haven't ruled him out all week because technically he could fly separately and join them before kickoff if he could pass COVID protocols first (two negative tests 24 hours apart, symptom free for 48 hours).

That apparently hasn't happened as of Wednesday afternoon, because Martin is still on Reserve/COVID. The Cowboys continue to prepare for Connor McGovern to start against the Bucs.

--------------------------------------- Noah Brown

#85 WR

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

2:17 p.m. - The Cowboys have activated wide receiver Noah Brown from the Reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Thursday's season opener at Tampa Bay.

Brown, a backup receiver and core special teams player, had been on Reserve/COVID since Aug. 31. The Cowboys had an open spot on the 53-man roster for Brown's return. He's now available to play against the Bucs.

Guard Zack Martin and guard/tackle Brandon Knight are still on Reserve/COVID.

--------------------------------------- La'el Collins

#71 T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 320 lbs College: LSU

2:15 p.m. -- Looks like La'el Collins (neck) is set to start Thursday against the Bucs. Collins' status for the opener is not in question, according to the official injury report.

The veteran right tackle was held out of practice late in training camp and last week because of a neck stinger, but he has practiced this week without any issues.

Click HERE for the full injury report for the Cowboys and Bucs.

--------------------------------------- Randy Gregory

#94 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 255 lbs College: Nebraska

This time last year, Randy Gregory had to wait until October before returning from an indefinite NFL suspension. He appeared in 10 games last year, posting 3.5 sacks while getting only about 40% of the defense's snaps.

This year, Gregory is a Week 1 starter at defensive end and a key player on a revamped Cowboys defense.

"I'm real excited. I think my body is ready for the workload of a full game," he said. "I'm keyed into my work and my assignments and things like that. I think as a whole, as a defense as a whole, I think we're ready to go for the assignments. So, very excited."

--------------------------------------- Sept. 7 Updates Ty Nsekhe

#79 T

Height: 6-8 Weight: 325 lbs College: Texas State-San Marcos

6:30 p.m. -The Cowboys might have a half-dozen players on injured reserve, and others on the Covid-19 list, but they're relatively healthy on the 53-man roster.

The only player not practicing in full is veteran tackle Ty Nsekhe, who has been limited with a foot injury.

Snapper Jake McQuaide was added on Tuesday with a foot injury.

The Bucs also added a few players to their injury report, including a starting wide receiver.

Click HERE for the full Bucs-Cowboys injury report.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 6 Updates Dallas Cowboys

2:30 p.m. - Right tackle La'el Collins (neck) and safety Donovan Wilson (groin) were full participants in Monday's padded practice as the Cowboys get ready for Thursday's season opener at Tampa Bay.

Quarterback Dak Prescott (shoulder) is also one of eight Cowboys players on the official injury report, but as expected, he was a full participant Monday, too. Prescott has had no practice limitations since the final week of training camp coming off a strained shoulder muscle. He will start Thursday.

Click HERE for the full injury report the Cowboys and Bucs. (Note: the injury report only refers to players on the current active roster, not players who are currently on Injured/Reserve, Reserve/PUP, Reserve/NFI or Reserve/COVID-19.)

--------------------------------------- Aviante Collins

# T

Height: 6-4 Weight: 292 lbs College: TCU

11:45 a.m. - The Cowboys have signed offensive lineman Aviante Collins to fill the open spot on their 16-player practice squad.

Collins, undrafted out of TCU in 2017, appeared in five games with the Vikings from 2017-2020. He went to training camp with the Steelers and was released in late August.

Collins is listed as a tackle but has also played guard.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 5 Updates Bryan Anger

#5 P

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

11:39 a.m. - The Cowboys have signed punter Bryan Anger back the 53-man roster ahead of Sunday's practice.

Anger is a vested veteran and wasn't required to go through waivers.

The Cowboys had an open roster spot for Anger to return after placing guard Zack Martin and offensive lineman Brandon Knight on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Guard/center Connor Williams has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

--------------------------------------- Zack Martin

#70 G

Height: 6-4 Weight: 315 lbs College: Notre Dame

The Cowboys got their first real taste of bad news this season - before the games have even started. Zack Martin will miss the season opener in Tampa Bay after being placed in the COVID-19 protocol.

Head coach Mike McCarthy announced the move Sunday, stating Martin will not play. Look for Connor McGovern to start at left guard in place of Martin.

The All-Pro guard dealt with multiple injuries last year, causing him to miss the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 3 Updates Connor Williams

#52 G

Height: 6-5 Weight: 298 lbs College: Texas

12:20 p.m. - Guard Connor Williams has been cleared to go through conditioning work with the athletic training staff as he moves closer to a return from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

"My understanding is he can work in rehab mode, make sure everything checks out," Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Williams, the starting left guard who also worked as the second-team center in preseason, has been on Reserve/COVID-19 since last week.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 2 Updates Trevon Diggs

#7 CB

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

11:13 a.m. - This is nothing new this time of year, but maybe a little more enhanced now with the NFL's new number rules, which allow more players a wider range of jersey numbers to wear in games.

Second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs is one of several players that will be switching numbers this year, moving to No. 7. Last year, Diggs wore No. 27 as a rookie but wore No. 7 in college at Alabama.

Other players expected to be on the move with their jerseys include rookies Jabril Cox, who is expected to wear No. 14, Osa Odighizuwa should be moving to No. 97 and Nahshon Wright is headed to No. 25.

As of now, the Cowboys' equipment staff is in the process of getting those players into their jerseys for practice so it's not official just yet. And there could be even more jersey switches between now and the start of the season.

--------------------------------------- Garrett Gilbert

#3 QB

Height: 6-4 Weight: 230 lbs College: Southern Methodist

9:22 a.m. - For a moment during camp, it seemed rather certain Garrett Gilbert would be the No. 2 QB, considering he started the first three preseason games. Now, it appears he will be on the Patriots practice squad.

The Cowboys currently have four quarterbacks on the team, including the practice squad.

Gilbert was among the roster cuts this week as the Cowboys decided to keep Cooper Rush as the backup to Dak Prescott, claim Will Grier off waivers and then bring back Ben DiNucci to the practice squad.

--------------------------------------- Sept. 1 Updates Bryan Anger

#5 P

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

12:22 p.m. - This definitely falls into the "roster management" category. Just like they did with veteran deep snapper Jake McQuaide, the Cowboys have also released Bryan Anger from the 53-man roster as more of a procedural move.

The Cowboys are expected to re-sign Anger, as well as McQuaide, at some point this week.

In order to place certain players on the NFL's IR-Return list, they must be on the roster for at least 24 hours. The Cowboys can cut vested veterans such as Anger, with an agreement they will return to the roster with major changes to their contract.

The Cowboys have done this same move in the past with players such as Kellen Moore, Joe Thomas and Brandon Carr.

Anger is entering his 11th year, having spent time with the Jaguars, Bucs and Texans throughout his career.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 31 Updates Chauncey Golston

#59 DE

Height: 6-5 Weight: 268 lbs College: Iowa

3:24 p.m. - Defensive end Chauncey Golston, who spent training camp on the Active/Physically Unable list, passed his physical and counts toward the initial 53-man roster.

Golston, a third-round draft pick, did not play in preseason due to a hamstring injury.

The Cowboys placed wide receiver Noah Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. Currently, the club has five players on Reserve/COVID: Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Carlos Watkins, Damontae Kazee and Connor Williams.

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

9:55 a.m. - The Cowboys won't officially announce their roster reduction to 53 players until later Tuesday, but reports of cuts have begun to surface.

Below are a few players who reportedly will be released or put on waivers:

QB Ben DiNucci QB Garrett Gilbert RB JaQuan Hardy RB Brenden Knox WR Brandon Smith WR Johnnie Dixon WR Osirus Mitchell OT Eric Smith C Braylon Jones DE Ron'Dell Carter DE Austin Faoliu S Darian Thompson S Tyler Coyle

Speaking Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones confirmed that the club is going with Cooper Rush as the backup quarterback over Gilbert and DiNucci.

--------------------------------------- Aug. 30 Updates Dak Prescott

#4 QB

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

4:15 p.m. - Quarterback Dak Prescott had a strong week of practice participating in competitive drills for the first time since straining his shoulder July 28 in Oxnard.

Prior to kickoff Sunday, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Prescott looks "good to go" for the start of the season.

"He really turned it loose and was none the worse for it," Jones said on Cowboys Countdown to Kickoff. "...I think that we really have done the right thing easing this along."

After final roster cuts, the players will return to work Thursday - and finally, they'll be able to turn their full attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Sept. 9 season opener against the defending Super Bowl champions.

"We've lost some opportunities to practice with Dak, so now that he's back our focus really, part of (offensive coordinator) Kellen's focus and Dak's focus, has been this past week," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "We need to get as much in between now and the Tampa Bay game, so our focus is on Tampa."

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