NFL standings, Cowboys QB, Dolphins health issues, Deshaun Watson return

It’s going to be an interesting week for the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback deliberations as they prepare for Sunday night’s high-profile NFC East game in Philadelphia against the undefeated Eagles.

Dak Prescott is set to return after undergoing surgery for the fractured right thumb he suffered in the Cowboys’ season opener loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play this weekend, and there’s no reason for the Cowboys to urge him to return if there’s any lingering uncertainty given they have a 4-0 record with Cooper Rush as the starting backup.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said during his weekly radio appearance on Tuesday that Prescott had made a “tremendous improvement” but needed to demonstrate in practice that he could pick up the ball properly and throw it. with his normal speed and accuracy.

“He has to really get the ball rolling,” Jones said. on 105.3 The Fan. “…Can he shoot the ball over there and make the throw? We will start working this Wednesday very hard. … We know Dak Prescott can play. And we know that he will be ready to play as soon as he has the opportunity to participate in the match. Can he spin the ball? We will see.”

Rush saved the Cowboys’ season, totaling four touchdowns and no interceptions as Dallas (4-1) beat the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams. But most importantly, he accomplished this by staying out of the way, avoiding mistakes and allowing the defense to win games. The Cowboys are seventh in the NFL in total defense and third in score defense; they’re 27th in total offense and tied for 24th in scoring offense.

In Sunday’s 22-10 triumph at SoFi Stadium, the Dallas defense forced three turnovers, scored a touchdown on a fumble return and sacked Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford five times. Rush attempted just 16 passes and threw for a modest 102 yards. The Cowboys rushed for 163 yards and suffered no turnovers.

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“If you can run the ball and throw well and not return the ball, you’re a tough team to beat,” Jones said. “You’re very hard to beat if you don’t make mistakes. …Even in today’s NFL, you’re hard to beat. I think that’s what we’re talking about. We have the qualities to play like that. And, frankly, during that time that Dak was away, we kind of played that way.

It’s definitely a winning formula most weeks. But at some point, the Cowboys will likely have to increase their offense to compete with top teams. Prescott is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. He is in the middle of a four-year, $160 million contract. He led the way last season when the Cowboys had the league’s leading offense.

“Do we need that extra push and to be able to make a winning play, one of the big plays over 20 yards?” says Jones. “Do we need that at quarterback? Yes. Thank God we are in a situation where we succeed without having really had this dimension. When we get it back, it will be a real addition.

So put aside Jones’ previous public thoughts that he would like to see Rush play well enough and win enough games to create a quarterback problem for the team. That’s the job of Prescott and Prescott’s team, whenever he’s able to come back. Coach Mike McCarthy has always said so. Jones then said that Prescott was the Cowboys’ quarterback when he was healthy.

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But it remains to be seen if that means he will play this week. The stakes are relatively high – by mid-October standards. The Eagles are the only undefeated team in the NFL. The Cowboys and Giants are 4-1. The sudden and unexpected revival of the NFC East will be in the spotlight on Sunday Night Football.

“It inspired us,” Jones said. “It certainly inspired me for these players to react to adversity in this way. I think you’ll see our quarterbacks, definitely Dak…respond to this team playing, coming together in a tough time, bonding, manage from within and become a better team through it.

They were lucky in Arizona, as the Cardinals mistimed the clock and missed a FG. There will no doubt be a big game vibe on Sunday night in Philadelphia with the Cowboys in town.

Josh Allen had a huge first half game on his own against the Steelers, and the Bills soared from there. You might as well need to win close matches. It was much easier.

Travis Kelce came on strong and the Chiefs overcame a 17-0 deficit — not to mention a questionable call for brutality — to beat the Raiders on Monday night.

The defense made the big play late to seal a win over the Bears. Opponents would be wise to have someone other than catcher Justin Jefferson beat them.

You won’t take on Tom Brady.

The Miami Dolphins have two quarterbacks, Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater, evaluated and treated under league concussion protocols.

Bridgewater was ruled out of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets in East Rutherford, NJ, under the new provision of protocols the NFL and NFL Players Association signed into law on Saturday as they completed their joint review of the Tagovailoa case.

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As part of the change, the league and union added ataxia – which they defined as “an abnormality in balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological problem” – to the list of mandatory “no-go” symptoms according to the protocols. So when an observer assigned to Sunday’s game said Bridgewater stumbled after being tagged and apparently hitting his head on the turf, the quarterback was ineligible to re-enter the game and was automatically suspended. treated according to protocols as if he had a concussion.

Bridgewater remains under protocols this week, so he must be cleared through the step-by-step evaluation process to be cleared to play in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings in Miami Gardens, Florida. Coach Mike McDaniel said Monday that Bridgewater does not have any symptoms of concussion at this point.

According to McDaniel, Tagovailoa is re-evaluated every 12 to 24 hours. The Dolphins did not say when Tagovailoa should be able to play.

Rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson finished the loss to the Jets and would likely start on Sunday if neither Tagovailoa nor Bridgewater were cleared to play.

The rush of fans exiting as overtime began on Thursday night was quite indicative of the confidence level of coach Nathaniel Hackett and QB Russell Wilson.

With the game — and possibly their season — on the line Monday, two Raiders wide receivers collided on their last missed play in fourth. And what was wrong with scoring an extra point to tie the game with 4 1/2 minutes to go?

The Lions finally put in a full performance on Sunday against New England – a completely poor performance. Even the previously productive offense was abysmal.

Carson Wentz hasn’t been good. But not everyone who expected him to be a franchise QB in Washington had been paying attention in recent years. And it’s certainly not all about him.

The good news for Steve Wilks is that he gets another shot at head coaching. The bad news is… well, look around.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson returned to the Cleveland Browns facility on Monday. It was the first day he was eligible to join the team under his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Watson could return to training on November 14. He is eligible to play in a game on Dec. 4 when the Browns are in Houston to face the Texans, Watson’s former team.

The NFL could delay Watson’s reinstatement if he fails to meet the terms of his suspension, several people familiar with the situation said when the league and NFLPA reached the settlement in which Watson was suspended and fined $5 million based on allegations of sexual misconduct. The settlement required Watson to undergo a professional assessment and treatment plan. There is no indication at this stage that Watson has not complied.

Watson’s suspension officially took effect on August 30.

The Browns are doing their best to be relevant on the field when Watson can join the roster. They’re 2-3 with replacement Jacoby Brissett, and they’re on a two-game losing streak going into Sunday’s home game against the New England Patriots.

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