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Cowboys Practice Report: 'Caged Lion' Dak, Pro Bowl K Moved, RB To IR

The Cowboys' make plans with Dak Prescott, Greg Zuerlein and Rico Dowdle

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys freed Dak Prescott - a "caged lion'' coach Mike McCarthy called him ahead of the Wednesday workout here at The Star - and the QB performed at by far his most extensive practice since experiencing shoulder soreness in Oxnard on July 28.

Said Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott following a sweltering day in the backyard at team HQ: “Dak looks really good. He’s throwing the ball with some pop.”

Indeed, Prescott was involved in "competitive throwing'' during 11-on-11 team period, taking 18 snaps and completing 11 of 12 passes - with his lone incompletion a batted-down throw at the line of scrimmage.

Did he "turn it loose,'' as owner Jerry Jones says he can? Pretty much.

In other news, the Cowboys have activated kicker Greg Zuerlein off of the physically unable to perform list, the team announced Wednesday. … and he figures to be ready to roll immediately.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ running back depth is taking a hit as second-year runner Rico Dowdle, who has been solid this summer, has been placed on injured reserve and is out for the year with a hip injury.

Zuerlein, the former Pro Bowler with the Los Angeles Rams now in his second year in Dallas, had been recovering from offseason back surgery. The Cowboys say their ramp-up plan now includes having him kick in the team's final preseason game against Jacksonville at noon on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

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The Cowboys cut kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, who appeared in last week's preseason game again the visiting Houston Texans after the team opted to cut punter/kicker Hunter Niswander after he sustained an apparent back injury.

Veteran newcomer Bryan Anger is slated to be Dallas’ punter.

Zuerlein, 33, signed with the Cowboys as a free agent prior to the 2010 season after spending eight seasons with the Rams.

In 2020, Zuerlein connected on 34 out of 41 field-goal attempts and was 33-of-36 on extra points, and special-teams coordinator Bones Fassel is on-record as believing Zuerlein is capable of being a Pro Bowl-level kicker in Dallas.

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Dowdle has served as the backup to Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, where the Cowboys now have a vacancy. Two undrafted rookie free agents, JaQuan Hardy and Brenden Knox, are still here - and maybe destined for the practice squad. Also still here: Local kid Nick Ralston, from Argyle, a fullback Nick Ralston, another undrafted rookie free agent who might help on special teams.

And at quarterback? Thanks to Dak Prescott's performance here, it's as clear as ever that things are about to be back to normal.

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