For a third straight week, Dallas Cowboys have a player out on COVID-19 list

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When it comes to their defensive line, the Dallas Cowboys just cannot catch a break.

Defensive end Bradlee Anae was placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday and will not play against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Anae is the 12th Cowboys player to be placed in COVID-19 protocols since August 21. It also means the Cowboys will have a player miss a game due to COVID for the third straight week.

Guards Zack Martin and Brandon Knight missed the 31-29 season opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and defensive end Randy Gregory missed the 20-17 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers last weekend.

And there’s a good chance the Cowboys could have a second player enter the protocol for the Eagles game./

Safety Keanu Neal was placed on the list on Wednesday for being a close contact. He didn’t test positive, but because he is unvaccinated he has to stay away from the facility for five days.

If he continues to test negative, he will be available to play Monday.

The pandemic is wreaking more havoc on the Cowboys in 2021 than it did in 2020 when vaccines were not available. A year ago, the Cowboys had just six players account for seven missed games on the COVID list for the whole season.

Anae’s absence is another blow to the defensive line, which is already playing without defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence (fractured foot) and Dorance Armstrong (sprained ankle) and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins (sprained knee).

The big question now is who starts at defensive end opposite Gregory, who is back after not playing last week.

Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons started at end opposite Armstrong against the Chargers.

The Cowboys had hoped to move Parsons back to his usual middle linebacker position and simply use him as a rusher on passing downs, but he may have to play the position full time once again.

Parsons worked with the defensive ends in practice on Thursday and Friday.

Other players who could wind up playing end include Tarell Basham, Azur Kamara and Chauncey Golston, who has missed all of training camp and the preseason with an injury and has yet to play in a game this season.

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