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Cowboys Linebacker Likely To Miss Monday Night's Game

A closeup of a Dallas Cowboys helmet.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Last week, the Dallas Cowboys were without defensive end Randy Gregory because he tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, it seems like "America's Team" isn't done dealing with issues on that front.

On Wednesday, the Cowboys placed linebacker Keanu Neal on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. As a result, his status for Week 3 is now in jeopardy.

If Neal is vaccinated, he'll need to have two negative tests 24 hours apart from each other in order to return in time for Monday night's showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles. That means Neal only has a few days left to generate consecutive negative tests.

Since there's a strong chance Neal won't be able to play on Monday night, the Cowboys will need the rest of their linebackers to step up. Fortunately for head coach Mike McCarthy, his roster is loaded with talent at that position.

Even if Neal doesn't play against the Eagles, the Cowboys still have Jaylon Smith, Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch, Jabril Cox and Luke Gifford at linebacker.

The Cowboys signed Neal to a one-year, $5 million contract this past offseason with the hope that he'd give their defense a versatile option at linebacker. So far, the results have been fairly encouraging for the former first-round pick.

Neal has played 101 snaps on defense through the first two games of the 2021 season. In those two games, he has nine total tackles.

It'll be interesting to see how Dallas replaces Neal's production on Monday night. That is, of course, if he's not cleared in time for kickoff.