Lamb in virus protocol as Cowboys go virtual with meetings

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FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Receiver CeeDee Lamb is among three more Dallas Cowboys players in COVID-19 protocols, making it five players and coaches sidelined by coronavirus concerns as the club switched to virtual meetings as a precaution.

Lamb and safeties Malik Hooker and Israel Mukuamu joined defensive tackle Carlos Watkins and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who were sent home from the stadium before Saturday's 20-14 preseason loss to Houston.

Coach Mike McCarthy said his staff met virtually Sunday, and the club decided to do the same with players Monday in an effort to get closer to 72 hours removed from the game before bringing everybody back to the team's facility.

McCarthy said the Cowboys still planned to practice Tuesday and Wednesday leading into Sunday's preseason finale at home against Jacksonville.

“We all understand the protocols,” McCarthy said. “I addressed it in the locker room after the game. We have everybody going through the proper testing both yesterday and today and we’ll do so again tomorrow.”

The timing of the virus-related issues could help the Cowboys with the NFL-mandated cut to 80 players set for Tuesday.

Because of COVID-19 exemptions, Dallas might only have to cut one player.

While quarterback Andy Dalton was sidelined by a positive test last season when he was supposed to start in place of injured star Dak Prescott, the Cowboys mostly avoided any significant issues with the virus in 2020.

McCarthy said the sudden adjustment this late in the preseason hadn't changed the messaging, and said he wasn't concerned about issues affecting the opener Sept. 9 at Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.

“The messaging’s constant,” McCarthy said. “We all have clear understanding of the state of what we’re in. We’re by no means clear of what went on last year. We’re taking the same approach.”

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Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press

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