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The Dallas Cowboys will hire Sanjay Lal as wide-receivers coach, according to multiple sources.

Lal interviewed with the Cowboys last week, but he had drawn interest from the Oakland Raiders and had a chance to remain with the Indianapolis Colts.

Lal, 48, was with the Colts for just one season after a two-year run with the Buffalo Bills and three years with the New York Jets. He broke into the NFL in 2007 with the Raiders and became their receivers coach in 2009.

Lal will replace Derek Dooley, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Missouri. Dooley had coached Dallas’ wide receivers since 2013. Former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, who has worked in the scouting department the past two seasons, also interviewed for the position.

Lal will inherit a group that could look a lot different by the time the 2018 season begins. Dez Bryant is under contract for two more years, but the Cowboys could look for Bryant to take a pay cut or risk getting released. Terrance Williams signed a four-year deal with the team last year and his base salary is guaranteed. Cole Beasley is entering the final year of his contract, while Brice Butler will be a free agent. The Cowboys also had Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown on the 53-man roster at the end of the season.

The Colts had quarterback issues for most of the season, but lead receiver T.Y. Hilton had 966 yards and averaged 16.9 yards per catch with four touchdowns. In Buffalo, Lal oversaw the development of Sammy Watkins, who had more than 1,000 yards in 2015.

Lal becomes the second new coach to join Jason Garrett’s staff, with offensive-line coach Paul Alexander coming on board Monday. A source said running-backs coach Gary Brown is expected to return to the Cowboys, but the team has openings at tight ends, special teams, linebackers, secondary and quarterbacks coaches.

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Late in the season it’s not so rare to come up with more than seven inactive players.

In attempting to figure out the Dallas Cowboys’ 46-man active roster for Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders, it’s easy to come up with more than seven players to sit.

First, cornerback Orlando Scandrick (back), defensive end David Irving (concussion), linebacker Justin Durant (concussion) and wide receiver Brice Butler (foot) have been ruled out because of injury.

The Cowboys also don’t need a third tailback (Trey Williams) or a fourth tight end (Blake Jarwin).

You can make the case they don’t need an eighth offensive lineman (Chaz Green), ninth defensive lineman (Daniel Ross) or eighth defensive back (Bene Benwikere), too.

So when you get down to the final few spots, who brings the most value?

Let’s start with Benwikere. He has become a pretty big part of the special-teams unit, but if something were to happen to Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis or Anthony Brown at cornerback, Benwikere can step in and play.

Given the presence of Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, Ross makes some sense because he can bring size to the defensive line at 305 pounds. Ross has yet to play since the Cowboys claimed him off the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad, but his addition was made with a long-term view.

With La’el Collins getting two practices in for the first time in three weeks because of a back injury, Green would seem to be the most dispensable. With Byron Bell already active as the swing tackle, Green’s only real function without two injuries up front would be on the field goal protection unit. Is that enough value to dress on gameday?

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If you’re wondering about the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff scenarios, take a break. It’s time for Five Wonders:

Away we go:

  • Ezekiel Elliott will be back from suspension on Dec. 18 for the beginning of the prep work for the Seattle Seahawks on Christmas Eve. In the first 23 games he has played, Elliott has gotten almost all of the meaningful carries. He played 464 of the 547 offensive snaps in the first eight games of the season. When he returns, I wonder if the Cowboys will go back to giving him almost all of the meaningful carries or if they will give Alfred Morris some work in the run game and Rod Smith some work in the pass game. Of the two, Morris’ time is likely more in jeopardy. The Cowboys will have to see what kind of conditioning Elliott is in when he comes back, but Smith has been useful in the passing game beyond his 81-yard touchdown catch against the New York Giants. It might be smart to work Elliott back up to speed.
  • I’m on record as saying the Cowboys need to keep linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who is set to be a free agent. I wonder why the Cowboys aren’t talking to him about a new deal now. The word I’ve gotten is that there haven’t been any discussions. Considering Sean Lee’s injury status and Jaylon Smith’s continuing return from a serious knee injury, keeping Hitchens around makes sense and not just for insurance. Hitchens is a good player; better than people want to realize. If he goes, then the Cowboys have to add a linebacker somehow, either in free agency or the draft. Why not keep one of your own? Here’s a mini-wonder inside a wonder: I wonder if teams will place a higher value on Hitchens than the Cowboys and make him an offer he can’t refuse if he gets to the open market.
  • Speaking of keeping potential free agents, I wonder if the Cowboys will make a push to keep left guard Jaylon Smith. The former No. 7 overall pick struggled to find a footing with the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots, but he has done well enough for the Cowboys to consider keeping him in 2018. Cooper is better served — as are all left guards — when Tyron Smith plays, but the Cowboys value continuity up front. They can keep him with a short-term deal, draft a potential starter in the spring and keep the group together for another year.
    • Brice Butler was inactive against the Giants in part because of a foot injury. He was limited throughout the week in practice leading up to the game. I wonder if the Cowboys will continue to keep Butler inactive even if his foot improves. He is a free agent after the season and his chances of returning don’t seem great. The Cowboys want to see what rookie Noah Brown can do, and he is better in the running game. Butler has made some big plays this season, mostly on broken plays. I think he is a solid player and can help an offense but as presently constituted, he just doesn’t seem like the best of fits right now. He played in fewer than 20 snaps in each of the last three games he has played.
    • The Cowboys and Giants have met in Week 1 in five of the last six seasons in part because it is a guaranteed ratings’ draw to open the season. While that will still be true in 2018, I wonder if the NFC East rivals are done meeting in Week 1. What point would it serve? At 2-11, the Giants are about to have a top-three pick, a new coach, a new general manager and probably a new quarterback. The season-opening meeting is something of a tradition but it’s one that needs to end.