As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for a huge Thanksgiving clash against the New York Giants, they may be without one of their key stars.
The Cowboys are no stranger to injuries, as quarterback Dak Prescott has missed several games as has running back Ezekiel Elliott. The team has been healthier on defense over the course of the season, but linebacker Anthony Barr’s recovery is the latest narrative amongst the injuries.
Barr missed Sunday’s 40-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and, according to Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy says the veteran is likely to miss Thursday’s game against the Giants.
“Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said LB Anthony Barr aggravated his hamstring late in Saturday’s practice. ‘He strained it. I think he’ll be hard-pressed to go this week’ vs. Giants on Thanksgiving,” Gehlken Tweeted on November 21.
Barr came in earlier in the year as the Cowboys needed emergency help at linebacker, with the four-time Pro Bowler signing a cheap veteran contract to join Dallas. He hasn’t been the focal point of the defense, but he’s done the job and played a factor in the Cowboys’ 7-3 start.
Barr Arrives in Dallas
With the pedigree that Barr has, there was serious reason for excitement when the Cowboys signed him in free agency. With four Pro Bowl selections over eight seasons in Minnesota, Barr has proven he can be an elite linebacker.
However, it’s fairly clear he is past his prime but PFR shows he’s still done his part for Dallas. In eight appearances, Barr has 31 combined tackles with a tackle for loss and pass defended thrown in.
At the time of writing, the 30-year-old is playing 61% of snaps as he rotates with Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch and Jabril Cox. Despite being towards the backend of his career, he’s shown the speed to keep up in all situations.
His play in coverage is an example of his solidity. Barr is allowing a catch rate of 76.5%, but an average pickup of 6.8 yards and an opposing QB rating of 87.6. That means Barr is giving up catches, but avoiding missed tackles and preventing big gains on short-range throws.
Fellow Cowboys Star Should Be ‘Good’
While Barr may be on the sidelines for Thursday’s game, McCarthy did provide a positive update on Parsons. The second-year star has been a force again this year, but is nursing a knee injury.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, McCarthy believes that Parsons is on the right track to play against the Giants.
“Mike McCarthy did not have a full injury report, but said Micah Parsons (knee) was “good” and he would be at the walkthrough,” Archer Tweeted on November 21.
Parsons put up 13 sacks as a rookie in 2021, but already has 10 sacks in 10 games in 2022. The former Penn State star added two sacks and five total QB hits on Sunday, while also forcing his third fumble of the season.
There’s no doubt the Cowboys would like to have Barr for the Giants, but the news that Parsons should be ready for the game is great news all the same.