Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) blocs Houston Texans outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (50) in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys LT Tyron Smith designated to return from IR

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith was designated to return from injured reserve on Wednesday.

The move begins a 21-day window to practice for Smith, who sustained an avulsion fracture of his left knee — the hamstring tendon behind the knee separated from the bone — in August and required surgery.

Smith, 31, is a two-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection.

He has started all 144 games that he has played since being selected by Dallas with the ninth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Neck surgery cost Smith all but two games in 2020, and ankle injuries and time on the COVID list limited him to 11 games last year.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (3) on the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys CB Anthony Brown out for rest of season

Dallas Cowboys starting cornerback Anthony Brown ruptured his Achilles in Sunday’s game and is out for the rest of the season.

Brown, 28, was injured in the third quarter of the Cowboys’ 54-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night. The seven-year veteran had three tackles and one pass defensed before exiting.

On the good news front, eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith will return to practice this week.

Brown, who started all 12 games for Dallas this season, had 42 tackles and seven passes defensed. He has nine career interceptions in 94 games (69 starts), all for the Cowboys.

“I’m sick for him,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Sunday after the game. “He’s had an outstanding career. Boy, he’s brought it up by the boot strap, and he, to me, is what a young player working hard, really having the right stuff, can become who’s not a No. 1 draft pick. I’m sick for him and sick for us.”

The Cowboys selected Brown in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.

Smith suffered an avulsion fracture of his left knee — the hamstring tendon behind the knee separated from the bone — in August and required surgery. The team originally hoped to have him back by Thanksgiving.

Smith, 31, is a two-time All-Pro. In 11 seasons with the Cowboys, he has started all 144 games he has played. Neck surgery cost him all but two games in 2020, and ankle injuries and time on the COVID list limited him to 11 games last year.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys plan full OBJ Day in, around Dallas next 24 hours

Call it Odell Beckham Jr. Day in and around Dallas, where the Cowboys kicked off a schedule of events Monday morning with the intent of luring the free agent receiver to sign with the team for the final regular-season games and playoffs.

Beckham’s agent confirmed he would be at The Star for a medical check-up, meet with team officials and cap the evening with a trip to the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA game with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Head coach Mike McCarthy and owner Jerry Jones echoed Prescott’s bold push for the team to land Beckham, who has not played this season while recovering from his second career ACL tear. The knee injury took place during the Super Bowl as a member of the Los Angeles Rams in February nearly 11 months ago.

“Hopefully an agreement can be worked out. I think it’ll be great to get him in the building,” McCarthy said Friday.

While away from the field, Beckham did remain in the news cycle in recent weeks.

He was removed from a flight out of Miami when the crew noted he was “in and out of consciousness” but Jones said that matter is not of any significance to the Cowboys.

Dallas has a 9-3 record and plays AFC South teams in succession before what could be a division-deciding contest with the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) on Christmas Eve.

The Cowboys have competition in the Beckham bidding. But Dallas has $6.3 million available under the salary cap, more than the New York Giants or Buffalo Bills combined, and Beckham reportedly prefers a warmer climate — and a two-year contract — because of the multiple knee injuries in his past.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Beckham, 30, has 531 career catches for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns in 96 games with the Giants (2014-18), Cleveland Browns (2019-21) and Rams (2021).

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker (28) recovers a fumble and runs it back for a touchdown  during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys erupt in fourth quarter, stomp Colts

Dak Prescott threw for three touchdowns and the Dallas Cowboys scored five fourth-quarter touchdowns Sunday night to rout the Indianapolis Colts 54-19 in Arlington, Texas.

Ahead 21-19 as the fourth started, Dallas (9-3) exploded. Prescott found Michael Gallup for a 3-yard score, the duo’s second connection of the game, followed by Malik Hooker’s 38-yard fumble return 18 seconds later.

Tony Pollard peeled off a 30-yard touchdown run to end the game’s competitive phase and Ezekiel Elliott tacked on a 4-yard scoring jaunt with 6:06 remaining. Malik Davis finished the outburst with a 23-yard touchdown run at the 2:25 mark.

Prescott completed 20 of 30 passes for 170 yards with an interception as Dallas stayed two games behind Philadelphia in the NFC East. Pollard finished with 91 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. It was the third time this year the Cowboys have scored 40 or more points in a game.

Matt Ryan hit on 21 of 37 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, but tossed three interceptions and lost a fumble, giving him 13 picks and five lost fumbles for the year. The Colts (4-8-1) fell to 1-3 under interim coach Jeff Saturday.

Indianapolis came out of the gates flying. Chase McLaughlin got it on the board just over four minutes in with a 52-yard field goal.

After Dallas answered with Prescott’s 20-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb, the Colts responded with a 79-yard drive that took just over two minutes. Ryan finished it by finding Ashton Dulin, who turned Trevon Diggs inside-out on a slant-and-go route, for a 14-yard score and a 10-7 lead.

Pollard put the Cowboys up 14-10 with a 2-yard touchdown run at the 10:16 mark of the second quarter. McLaughlin hit a 34-yard field goal with 1:47 remaining in the first half, but Prescott put together a two-minute drive that resulted in his 13-yard strike to Gallup 13 seconds before the break for a 21-13 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) catches a touchdown pass against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Daryl Worley (28) in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys prepare blitz for Odell Beckham Jr. visit

With more salary cap space, wins and warm winter days than the New York Giants, the Cowboys are emerging as the leaders in the pursuit of free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

A drumbeat that began with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones weighing the idea in a radio interview grew to a full ensemble with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott joining in the Dallas chorus singing Beckham’s praises.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Beckham is scheduled to visit the team facility on Monday and, like Jones, didn’t hide his opinion on the topic.

“Hopefully an agreement can be worked out. I think it’ll be great to get him in the building,” McCarthy said Friday.

Beckham was removed from a flight out of Miami when the crew noted he was “in and out of consciousness” but Jones said that matter is not of any significance to the Cowboys.

Dallas has an 8-3 record and plays three AFC South teams with nine combined wins in the next three weeks before what could be a division-deciding contest with the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve.

The Cowboys have competition in the Beckham bidding. But Dallas has $6.3 million available under the salary cap, more than the Giants or Bills combined, and Beckham reportedly prefers a warmer climate as he completes his rehab from a torn ACL in the Super Bowl in February.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Beckham, 30, has 531 career catches for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns in 96 games with the Giants (2014-18), Cleveland Browns (2019-21) and Los Angeles Rams (2021).

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) reacts during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Illness sidelines Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs, WR Michael Gallup

Cornerback Trevon Diggs and wide receiver Michael Gallup missed their second consecutive practice due to illness on Thursday, head coach Mike McCarthy said.

One week after multiple defensive linemen were flattened by a non-COVID illness, McCarthy said he had both players participate in position and team meetings virtually.

McCarthy said there is time for both players to get on the field and play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

On the injury front, the Cowboys are optimistic linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) can advance from limited practice Wednesday to his first game since Week 8 on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Cee Dee Lamb (88) celebrates his second quarter touchdown with quarterback Dak Prescott (4) against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys hit stride, Colts summon pride for stretch run

Jeff Saturday and the Colts chase dimming playoff hopes to Dallas, where the Cowboys pursue division title hopes entering December.

Dallas (8-3) hits Week 13 with momentum from a Thanksgiving Day win over the New York Giants that came after the Cowboys went on the road and manhandled the Minnesota Vikings, 40-3.

“Our real focus is on the fact that we haven’t played this team. There’s a lot of new faces since the last time we lined up and competed (in 2018),” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said.

An opportunity to continue building could be in place before a pivotal NFC East game with Philadelphia on Dec. 18. The next three opponents for Dallas — the Colts (4-7-1), Texans (1-9-1) and Jaguars (4-7) — have a combined nine wins and net TD total of -18. The Cowboys are tied with the NFC-leading Eagles (10-1) with a plus-14 net TD total.

Installed as interim head coach of the Colts on Nov. 7, Saturday has a short week to rally Indianapolis (4-7-1) coming out of a Monday night loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that dropped the team to 10th position in the overall AFC standings.

Saturday said he spent significant time speaking to his players about professionalism, speaking from his “worst years” with a 2-14 record alongside Peyton Manning in 2011.

“It was a miserable experience from the winning and losing standpoint,” Saturday said. “I encouraged guys — this will be a defining moment in your life. Do you love ball? Because it’ll show up. Do you love the work, do you love the process?”

The Indy defense continues to show up. The Colts are sixth in the NFL in pass defense and total defense, yielding 190.6 passing yards per game and 308.9 total yards per game.

They’ve had a vintage Stephon Gilmore at cornerback to thank in large part, considering he hasn’t surrendered a TD pass in 61 targets as the primary defender. The Cowboys and CeeDee Lamb present another test for Gilmore on Sunday. In five games since quarterback Dak Prescott returned from a thumb injury, Lamb has 31 receptions — including 20 first downs, 11 for 20-plus yards — for 448 yards with three TDs.

A miserable third-down rate (36.02 percent, 28th in the NFL) adds to a razor-thin margin for error and at just 15.8 points per game, the Colts place abundant pressure on running back Jonathan Taylor and that rugged defense to keep Indy in games with a throwback approach. Nine of the Colts’ 12 games — including a Week 1 tie with the Texans — were decided by one possession.

McCarthy said Taylor, a “dynamic runner,” is the key for Dallas.

“I’ve been to two college football games the last 30 years — that was one of them, (Wisconsin) against Iowa,” McCarthy said. “We’re spending extra time on him and the run game. … Will not be surprised if he carries it north of 20 (times) against us.”

Colts quarterback Matt Ryan had little time and small windows to throw through facing Pittsburgh’s 3-4 zone defense. Dallas has mixed fronts with heavy zone usage behind a pass rush with 45 sacks and the Cowboys are fourth in the NFL with a turnover margin of plus-5 on the legs of 16 total takeaways. The Colts are tied for last in the NFL with 21 giveaways and 31st in the league with a margin at minus-10.

“Unfortunately I’ve been in this spot before,” Ryan said. “It’s never fun. You want to be driving the ship, you want to be the one where the division is running through it and you’re playing for position and home field advantage.”

While the Colts are rushed out of a Monday loss to get ready, the Cowboys granted extra rest to pass rusher Micah Parsons (knee), who is second in the NFL with 12.0 sacks and fifth with 21 QB hits, and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (6.0 sacks, 10 QB hits). Lawrence is playing with a fractured foot and might not practice the rest of the season.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver James Washington (83) carries the ball during training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys WR James Washington begins 21-day practice window

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver James Washington can return to practice and is eligible to be activated for the first time since signing a one-year deal in March.

Washington has been out since Aug. 1 with a broken right foot and originally was projected to miss 6-to-10 weeks, not 16 weeks.

Washington had surgery to repair his fractured fifth metatarsal and was hurt in training camp at Oxnard, Calif., jumping for a deep ball in the end zone against cornerback Trevon Diggs.

Washington, 26, signed a one-year deal worth $1.19 million with the Cowboys in March.

He has 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns in 60 career games (25 starts) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) against the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ interest in Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t waned

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys remain interested in landing Odell Beckham Jr. despite the free agent receiver’s removal from a recent flight.

“His overall team compatibility, his judgment, his behavior is not an issue with him,” the Cowboys owner said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “It is with many. It isn’t with him.”

Jones said Beckham is scheduled to visit with the Cowboys (8-3) this Monday, which is after three-time Pro Bowl selection is reportedly meeting with the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.

“I think we’re moving full steam ahead,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday when asked about the pursuit of Beckham.

Beckham, sidelined since tearing his ACL in last year’s Super Bowl win, was removed from a flight on Sunday at the Miami International Airport.

Police said Beckham was “in and out of consciousness” and refused to deplane when asked. Beckham’s attorney, Daniel Davillier, said his client was asleep and the incident was caused by an “overzealous” flight attendant.

Beckham, 30, has 531 career catches for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns in 96 games with the Giants (2014-18), Cleveland Browns (2019-21) and Los Angeles Rams (2021).

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) catches a pass for a first down as New York Giants cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) defends during the second half of the game between the Cowboys and the Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Giants-Cowboys most watched regular-season game in NFL history

The NFL said Friday that the Thanksgiving Day game between the host Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants set a regular-season viewership record.

The FOX broadcast averaged 42 million viewers, according to the league.

Dallas has played on Thanksgiving for 45 straight seasons and 55 times overall. This year was the first time since 1992 that it played its division rival from New York, the largest media market in the country, on the holiday. Both teams entered the game 7-3, adding to the interest.

The Cowboys beat the Giants 28-20.

The league said it also set a record for its Thanksgiving Day “total unduplicated audience” of 138 million.

The Buffalo Bills, one of the AFC’s best teams, beat the host Detroit Lions 28-25 on a late field goal in the early game. The host Minnesota Vikings topped the New England Patriots 33-26 in the nightcap.

The average viewership across the tripleheader was 33.5 million viewers per game.

The news comes as the NFL and Amazon plan to begin staging a single Black Friday game beginning in 2023.

–Field Level Media