If the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys are to improve their playoff seeding on the final weekend of the season, they’ll have to do it without three key performers. Running back Tony Pollard, cornerback Trevon Diggs and safety Jayron Kearse will not travel with the team and have been ruled out for Saturday against Philadelphia.
Pollard is nursing a foot injury, while Kearse is dealing with a hamstring problem. Diggs is ill, but not among 11 Cowboys currently on their reserve/COVID-19 list. The team announced safety Donovan Wilson (illness) is not traveling with the team but remains questionable.
Most playoff scenarios, even with a Cowboys victory on Sunday against the Eagles, would keep Dallas in its current playoff position with the No. 4 seed. Club owner Jerry Jones said earlier this week that despite the unlikelihood of seeding improvement, the team has no intention of resting starters against the Eagles in anticipation of a first-round playoff game. With Pollard, Kearse and Diggs, however, they don’t have a choice.
Pollard tore the plantar fascia in his left foot in Week 13 and has been dealing with the injury ever since. He missed Week 14 but he’s played at least 30 percent of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps in each of three games since the injury, and was limited in practice this week. Diggs and Kearse had both previously been listed as questionable to play this week. Diggs has enjoyed a breakout season with an NFL-high 11 interceptions, while Kearse has had his strongest year as well, setting career highs in virtually every defensive category, including starts (15), tackles (101) and interceptions (2).
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