Dallas Cowboys IR Update: 4 players to return, expected dates, and impact

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

After three weeks, the Dallas Cowboys are allowed to bring back players who were placed on IR at the start of the season. So entering Week Four, Dallas is free to welcome four, possibly pivotal, players back to the practice field.

Who are they, when will they be ready, and what kind of impact can we expect will be the topic today.

When COVID-19 hit, the NFL adapted some of their rules, policies, and protocols to meet the demands the situation required. One of those changes came to the injured reserve process. In the past, when a player was placed on IR it meant he was unavailable for the rest of the season.

Eventually the league added an IR-Designated to Return list that allowed players back mid-season. And today we have an IR that only requires a 3-week stay on the list and can include an unlimited number of players. This process, which we can file under “Why didn’t we think of this sooner”, has been a godsend to the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are four Dallas Cowboys set to return from IR in coming days and weeks

They’ve taken full advantage of new designation and they’re a better team for it. With any luck, the roster will get a nice boost when the injured players make their return to the field. Who are they and when will that be?

Sean McKeon, TE

Expected role: TE3

The guy everyone seems to forget is third tight end, Sean McKeon. McKeon has been a coaches favorite since last year. The blocking TE from Michigan is a clear upgrade to Jeremy Sprinkle and an immediate contributor on the Dallas Cowboys as a blocker.

Even as a developmental player, McKeon can be used a blocker a variety of ways. He brings a strong skillset to a unit that lacks physicality at the point of attack. He’s not all-world, mind you, but he’s an asset that the Cowboys miss.

Long-term, he could be seen as a replacement to Dalton Schultz as a do-it-all TE to pair with the pass-catching Blake Jarwin. But at the moment he’s just an important role player.

The next guy is expected to have a much bigger role…