The Dallas Cowboys made official four roster moves following their bye week.
On Wednesday, the Cowboys activated quarterback Andy Dalton and defensive end Tyrone Crawford from the reserve/COVID-19 list, moved cornerback Trevon Diggs to injured reserve, and designated offensive tackle Brandon Knight for IR return, the team announced.
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Dalton sustained a concussion on Oct. 25 amid Dallas’ 25-3 loss to Washington. He missed the next week’s road game at Philadelphia before being sent to the COVID list on Nov. 3. The 31-year-old reportedly was not asymptomatic, though little else is known about his experience with the virus.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy revealed that Dalton practiced Monday upon clearing the NFL’s concussion and coronavirus protocols.
“He was cleared to participate in practice,” McCarthy said. “He had a good day. We had a mock game type of practice. And he was a full participant.”
Dalton is on track to start Sunday when 2-7 Dallas takes on the suddenly surging 4-5 Vikings, winners of three straight, in Minnesota. But McCarthy eschewed the opportunity to crown him based on a singular practice.
“I think realistically, we have to get through the whole week of practice,” he said. “He hasn’t been involved for a couple of weeks now. He looked good today. We’ll take it one day at a time.”
Barring a setback, however, it clearly will be Dalton — not presumed second-stringer Garrett Gilbert, who showed well in the Cowboys’ Week 9 defeat — leading the offense and hoping to secure the club’s first victory since Oct. 11.
Crawford, meanwhile, will revert to his starting role opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, though it’s possible the club gets younger players such as Bradlee Anae and Ron’Dell Carter more involved, particularly if they fall out of playoff contention.
An unrestricted free agent in 2021, Crawford has posted just five tackles and one quarterback hit across nine appearances and two starts.
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Latest on Diggs
For those who missed it, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported last week that the impressive rookie CB broke a bone in his foot amid the team’s Week 9 loss to Pittsburgh and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
“Based on the timing, it’s possible his 2020 season is over. Either way, Diggs will make a full recovery for 2021. A big loss to that defense,” Rapoport added.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones confirmed Diggs’ injury in a subsequent radio interview, though Jones would not speculate on his recovery timeline.
“I don’t know the prognosis in terms of long he’ll be out. I do know that he’s got the issue with his foot – again, I do not know the ultimate length of time that he’ll be out,” he said on 105.3 FM The Fan.
The highly-touted Alabama product, selected 51st overall, has been as advertised through nine games, leading Dallas in interceptions (2) and pass deflections (10) and ranking second in solo tackles (41) behind linebacker Jaylon Smith (50). He’s added one sack and a forced fumble.
Diggs’ placement on IR means he’s forced to miss at least three games — at Minnesota, vs. Washington, at Baltimore — and that Dallas moves forward for now with primary cover men Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown, and Chidobe Awuzie, who was activated from the injury list and is expected to play in Week 11.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL