FRISCO - Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory sustained a calf strain in practice on Wednesday, a "multiple-week injury,''as coach Mike McCarthy termed it on Thursday morning.
The MRI results from Wednesday evening suggested a move to three-week IR for Gregory, who with his five sacks has been among Dallas' best defensive players during the team's 6-2 start. And on Thursday afternoon, DallasCowboys.com reported that the IR move has been made.
Gregory will miss at least the next three games (vs. the Falcons, at the Chiefs and vs. the Raiders on Thanksgiving).
Dallas has a vision of Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence at the ends. But that is happening for neither of them until December.
Additionally, on the Thursday Cowboys pre-practice report (following up on some mid-week rest: No work for ...
*Tyron Smith (ankle)
*Ced Wilson (shoulder)
*Corey Clement (non-COVID illness)
*Quinton Bohanna (non-COVID illness)
The Cowboys are preparing to play this Sunday in a noon visit to AT&T Stadium by the Matt Ryan-led Atlanta Falcons without left tackle Tyron Smith, with Terence Steele likely continuing in his place and La'el Collins at right tackle. They are also getting ready to use a newly-signed kicker in Liram Hajrullahu, with vet kicker Greg Zuerlein on the COVID list.
In other words, the scramble for answers in those two spots has already occurred.
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But the scramble for answers to replace Gregory, who is Dallas' top pass-rusher as he works toward a big future pay day? (And keep in mind, the other standout end, DeMarcus Lawrence, remains on IR following foot surgery and is unlikely to return until after this month.)
That is a work in progress that will be accelerated today here inside The Star in Frisco.
For Gregory's part on that subject, he recently told us: “I’d be lying if I said I don’t (think about my next contract), but I don’t think too much into it. I do better when I live in the present. In the past, it’s been hard for me to do that.
"It’s really crucial for me to do that right now so I can get the goals I want.”
Those goals, for now, have been shoved aside.
One simple possibility in regard to a replacement would mean a full-time move of dynamic rookie linebacker Micah Parsons back to the edge this week to compensate for the absence of Gregory.
McCarthy, of course, while saddened by the Gregory news, turned playful on the subject of weekend game-plan and personnel thoughts.
"The game starts at noon on Sunday,'' McCarthy said. "Don’t be late.”
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