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Dallas Cowboys Week 12 Injury Update

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Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (19) exiting the field. | Image by Vernon Bryant, DMN

The Dallas Cowboys updated the injury report Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day match.

According to the Cowboys’ official website, left tackle Tyron Smith and running back Ezekiel Elliott were full participants in Tuesday’s walk-through practice. Elliott has been struggling with a knee contusion for several weeks but has not missed a game, while Smith has been out for the last three games with bone spurs in his ankle.

The Kansas City Chiefs brought pressure throughout last Sunday’s game, leading to five sacks, including a strip-sack recovered by the Chiefs.

Vice President Stephen Jones said hes “barring any unforeseen setbacks,” on 105.3 the Fan, should be ready to resume his role protecting the left side, an area the Chiefs exploited that kept the Cowboys from scoring a touchdown in the game.

The injury report for the week lists wide receiver Amari Cooper out as expected. Cooper, an unvaccinated player, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 19.

NFL rules dictate that he will be required to quarantine for ten days before testing negative on two tests at least 24 hours apart. Team owner Jerry Jones expressed frustration with Cooper for not getting vaccinated.

“It’s a ‘we’ thing when you walk into the locker room. You can’t win individually,” Jones said on 105.3 the Fan. “This is a classic case of how it can impact a team.”

Jones echoed the similar sentiment from legendary Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, who said in July that players who do not get vaccinated “don’t want to win badly enough.”

On the opposite side, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is listed as questionable as he works his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol. Lamb was injured in the second quarter when a pass from quarterback Dak Prescott was intercepted. Lamb went to the ground on the back of his head with the Chiefs’ defender on top of him. He exited the game and did not return.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Lamb is making progress in the protocol, but recovering from a concussion on a short week is rare.

With both Cooper and Lamb out during last week’s game, the Cowboys’ offense was in shambles, in part because of dropped passes and receivers who did not give Prescott opportunities to succeed often enough.

Connor McGovern got his first start of the season last week at left guard, replacing Connor Williams, who is currently the NFL leader for penalties. McCarthy confirmed Tuesday that McGovern will start on Thursday.

McGovern struggled at times during last Sunday’s game, but the return of Smith will likely improve McGovern’s gameplay against the Raiders. It will be the first time the Cowboys will start Smith, La’el Collins, and Zach Martin since 2019.

According to ESPN, Prescott will need the offensive line to perform much better against the 8th-ranked pass-rushing defense of the Raiders. The Cowboys and Raiders kick off Thursday at 3:30 pm CT from AT&T Stadium in Texas.