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|Xavier Woods‘ availability for the start of the season is in doubt because of a hamstring injury. His backup Demar Dotson Jersey , Kavon Frazier, will play with a separated left shoulder.
Starting strong safety Jeff Heath has dealt with a sprained ankle and illness.
The Cowboys could use some help at the position before the season opener.
“We’re certainly not naive,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said at the team’s annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday. “We’re looking for safety help out there as we are offensive line help. With Xavier being a big question mark for the first game, second game, whatever it is he might miss, we’re certainly on that. Obviously, Kavon got a little busted up as well in terms of his shoulder, but he’s a tough guy, and we feel good about him playing against Carolina. But we’re on the hunt for Red October there — both safety and offensive line.”
Undrafted rookie Tyree Robinson took Frazier鈥檚 place in Sunday night’s preseason game P. J. Williams Jersey , which likely is not a backup plan the Cowboys would want for the regular season.
Earl Thomas would provide an upgrade at the position. The Pro Bowl free safety is holding out, and the Cowboys had trade talks with the Seahawks in February and April. But Jones said Wednesday that the Cowboys have not talked to the Seahawks lately.
The Cowboys thus far have found the Seahawks’ asking price too high.
So, for now at least, the Cowboys are seeking other means at improving the position.
“We’re always looking to improve our team, and we’ll certainly continue to see what’s out there — monitor what we can get our hands on,” Jones said. “I give [vice president of player personnel] Will [McClay] and his staff a lot of credit. They’ve done a good job of being out there scouting the other teams, and we’re having a lot of communication with them and feel real confident that we’ve done a good job and will do good in finding some nuggets out there who can help us win football games.”
Thursday night is about chasing history for the Nashville Predators.
When it hosts the San Jose Sharks in Bridgestone Arena, Nashville can break the franchise’s single-season record for points with a victory. Currently sitting at 109 points with a 49-16-11 mark, the Predators can also move a step closer to home-ice advantage for the Stanley Cup playoffs by picking up two points.
Probably of more importance to the players and coach Peter Laviolette Taron Johnson Jersey , however, is maintaining the level of play they displayed Tuesday night in a 2-1 shootout win over Minnesota. After allowing 13 goals in the previous three games — all losses — Nashville limited the Wild to 23 shots and controlled most of the game.
“It was a good step in the right direction to getting back to the way we need to play as we approach the playoffs,” Laviolette said. “I thought our guys just did a really good job of locking down tonight, especially early on in the game.”
Three points ahead of Tampa Bay for the NHL’s best record, the Predators also lead surging Winnipeg by five points in the Central Division with six games remaining. While they reached the Stanley Cup Finals last spring, the franchise has never captured a division title in its 20-year history.
Laviolette and his team identified their last 12 division games as being particularly critical to achieving a division title. The victory over Minnesota enabled Nashville to go 9-2-1 in that stretch, no small feat since there’s a decent chance the division will send five teams to the Western Conference playoffs.
“We always mark these games against Central Division opponents,” captain Roman Josi said. “They’re always big games in our division. It’s such a tough division and there are so many good teams, so we always make sure we’re ready for those games. It’s obviously good for us to have that record.”
While the Predators are running down history Andre Tippett Jersey , San Jose (44-23-10) is still trying to catch Vegas in the Pacific Division. Tuesday night’s 3-2 overtime loss in St. Louis gave the Sharks a point, but a second one would have helped that long-shot bid.
Despite the outcome, San Jose coach Peter DeBoer wasn’t entirely upset with his team’s performance.
“It was our fifth game in eight days,” he said. “I thought we had a lot of factors going, but I thought the guys dug deep and got a valuable point.”
The Sharks trail the Golden Knights by five points with five games left, and must try for a win in perhaps their biggest jinx building in the league. Dating to the strike-shortened 2013 season, they have won just once in their last 11 visits to Bridgestone.
That includes a 7-1 blowout on Feb. 22, when Nashville scored four third-period goals and presented Pekka Rinne with his 300th career win in goal. San Jose gave up a whopping 46 shots on net that night, and goalie Martin Jones was pulled after allowing six markers.
Jones (29-18-6 Nico Siragusa Jersey , 2.45 goals-against average, .918 save percentage) should be back in net Thursday night after Aaron Dell played in St. Louis. Rinne (41-11-4, 2.25, .929) figures to get the call for the Predators.
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