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What sets Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb and Vikings’ Justin Jefferson apart? NFL evaluators tell us – Todd Archer, Courtney Cronin, ESPN
An interesting dive into the skills that make CeeDee Lamb among the brightest young stars in the league.
Scouting report on Lamb [Run after catch]
“That’s where he’s unique and separates himself from a lot of guys with his elusiveness after the catch and his strength. There is a unique separation burst he has to get away from a defender. He’s got that stop-start body control.” — NFC player personnel director
“It’s like, ‘Is he really that fast?’ And then he would take one to the house. You really couldn’t judge CeeDee’s playmaking ability and speed off his tape. I saw him live and he didn’t really look like he was running that fast until he just ran by somebody. There’s only certain receivers I’ve ever seen it in live. I saw it with DJ Moore, Laviska Shenault. CeeDee and D.J.’s 40 times weren’t that slow, it just looked like they weren’t moving that fast.
“It’s just weird because some guys have that ability to be looking smooth and not really trying and then you see somebody trying to chase them and they can’t catch them.” — NFC area scout
“CeeDee’s an excellent route runner, but he’s probably better with the ball in his hands than Jefferson. Once he gets his hands on the ball, especially in college, he was a threat to take it the distance, even if it was a hitch or a slant. He’s probably better on those 45 degree angle cuts, like posts and speed outs and routes that don’t require him to come to a stop.” — NFL assistant general manager
The Cowboys sure are preparing as if Dak Prescott won’t play, but that’s because the smart thing to do at this moment is be prepared.
Via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Rush said Friday that he took all first-string reps in team drills on Wednesday and Thursday. Starter Dak Prescott, who has a calf injury, took the first-string reps in walk-through practices.
It’s not a surprise, and it helps explain the point-spread swing that, as of this posting, has the Vikings as three-point favorites via the PointsBet sportsbook.
Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush confirmed he took all the first-team reps during team drills in practice Wednesday and Thursday. Dak Prescott (calf) took first-team reps in walkthroughs. Rush: “Being able to take those and use those going into Sunday, if need be, it’s awesome.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 29, 2021
It’s a tough game to predict since Dak Prescott’s status is unsure.
Rob Phillips: This is a difficult matchup even if Dak Prescott, a legit MVP candidate, is the starting quarterback Sunday night. I was surprised to hear Mike McCarthy say the Vikings’ new stadium is louder than the previous one. (To me, ‘loudest place ever’ is a tie between the old Metrodome and the Superdome.) Point is, it’s a tough environment, and while the Cowboys did get a road win there last November, this year’s Vikings offense is more balanced than last year. If Prescott plays and can function normally on his right calf, I’ll take the Cowboys and continue to say what I’ve said for five weeks: Can they be outscored for a full 60 minutes? As the Patriots learned, no lead is safe. If Prescott doesn’t play, the Cowboys have confidence in Cooper Rush, but the experience advantage obviously shifts to Kirk Cousins and Minnesota. As of Friday, we still don’t know Dak’s status, so my gut is written in pencil.
David Helman: I was nervous about this game before we found out Dak Prescott’s status was up in the air. This Vikings offense is incredibly talented, Kirk Cousins is playing some of the best football of his career and Dalvin Cook used the bye week to rest his injured ankle. U.S. Bank Stadium is also one of the toughest environments in the NFL, and I’m sure it’s going to be rowdy for the Vikings’ first night game since before the pandemic. If he’s available and ready to roll, Dak Prescott can absolutely walk into that building and guide the Cowboys to a win. It’s just a lot to ask for with so many variables about his health. Even if he plays, can he be effective enough to force Minnesota to honor the pass? Or will that Vikings front key on the run and force either a hobbled Prescott or an inexperienced Cooper Rush to beat them? I hate to doubt Dak, because if there’s anyone capable of pulling this off, it’s him. It’s just such a big ask, though. I’ve got Cousins throwing three touchdowns in a 27-23 Minnesota win.
La’el Collins has had a turbulent start to his 2021 season.
Given everything that’s transpired this past month, it’d be understandable if La’el Collins wanted a do-over.
From the five-game suspension, to the failed appeal with the NFL, to the loss of his starting right tackle job, not much has broken in Collins’ favor since appearing in the season opener against Tampa Bay.
Despite that, Collins said he isn’t second-guessing himself as he eases back into the routine with the Cowboys.
“No regrets at all – none at all,” he said. “I did what I felt was right, and sometimes you can’t control the outcome. You go into games and you want to win every one of them, but sometimes it just comes down to the last second and you don’t another opportunity to go back out there.”
Dallas Cowboys OT La’el Collins does not regret fighting costly five-game suspension – Todd Archer. ESPN
Even if Collins lost his starting job for now, he’s ready to do whatever he is called upon to do.
Terence Steele took over for Collins after the season opener and will remain in the spot for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Mike McCarthy has credited Steele’s level of play in the Cowboys’ five-game win streak and believes in offensive line continuity.
Collins took turns at tackle and left guard during practice this week. He started at left guard in 2015 and 2016 but has played exclusively right tackle since. He will be active in a backup role Sunday. Had Collins accepted the two-game penalty, it’s likely he would have returned as a starter.
“I’m a team player. I’m all about the team,” Collins said. “In a way, I felt like I did everything I could to avoid any suspension or anything. That was my whole intention on fighting it. Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way you want them to. But you can’t control that. What I did in the meantime was work out, focus on my craft and help the guys how I could and when I could. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the way Terence is playing. He’s playing his ass off. He shows up to work like a pro every day.”
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