Comeback Cowboys

Cowboys’ Comeback Is Worth Noting, but Don’t Get Your Hopes Up on Dallas – Bleacher Report

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) fumbles the ball after being sacked by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, top, in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 2src, 2src2src. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

At the very least, the Dallas Cowboys‘ unreal 40-39 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday is an indication they can be a factor come January.

They now lead the NFC East after avoiding an 0-2 start, and overcoming a 19-point second-half deficit could certainly have a galvanizing impact on a team that had been crushed by injuries and plagued by underwhelming performances on both sides of the ball six quarters into the 2020 NFL season. 

But at times like these, following moments like those, it’s easy to lose sight of the problems that forced a team to rely on a football miracle for a victory. 

If multiple Falcons players hadn’t inexplicably stood and stared at the rotating ball generated by a late Dallas onside kick that was astonishingly and awkwardly recovered by the Cowboys, many fans and pundits would be writing the Cowboys’ eulogy right now.

Dan Graziano @DanGrazianoESPN

So if you’re the Cowboys, you can’t protect your QB, and your best plan is to lean on your star RB, and he can’t stop fumbling… you may have a problem.

We’d be highlighting the three lost fumbles that told the story of an embarrassing first half in Atlanta, and we’d be wondering if they’re simply too depleted to compete.

They’re without Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Cam Erving along an offensive line that already lost star center Travis Frederick to retirement this offseason, tight end Blake Jarwin suffered a season-ending knee injury last week, and a defense that lost top cornerback Byron Jones in free agency hasn’t been right without injured linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee and starting corner Anthony Brown. 

Reality check: That defense allowed points eight times in a nine-drive span Sunday in Atlanta. It has a total of two sacks in two games against teams with vulnerable offensive lines and has already allowed 17 third-down conversions on 34 attempts (plus three fourth-down conversions on as many attempts). That unit has one takeaway thus far against opponents that committed a combined 49 turnovers in 2019. 

The Cowboys allowed the Los Angeles Rams and Falcons to completely control them during the first six quarters this season, and they benefited significantly from Atlanta’s second-half gaffes in Week 2. 

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The onside-kick recovery attempt was just comical, but the Falcons also failed to put the game to bed when Julio Jones dropped a potential touchdown in the third quarter. Atlanta sheepishly elected to punt following that 3rd-and-2 failure at the Dallas 41-yard line, and the Cowboys took advantage with a touchdown drive in response.

The Falcons also settled for two field goals inside the Dallas 10-yard line, and head coach Dan Quinn got caught overthinking with a failed first-half two-point conversion attempt in a 26-7 game. Beyond that, the Cowboys also likely benefited from the fact Atlanta lost starters Kaleb McGary, Ricardo Allen and Takk McKinley to midgame injuries. 

The model for this victory isn’t just unsustainable; it’s realistically unreplicable.

And now, a Cowboys squad that is just 3-5 in its last eight games has to go on the road to face a Super Bowl contender in the Seattle Seahawks before hosting the unpredictable-but-talented Cleveland Browns. They also draw the thus-far-impressive Arizona Cardinals and the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of their Week 10 bye. 

They might be able to play the way they did during the first game-and-a-half of the 2020 season during that stretch and remain in playoff contention, but that’d just be because the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Washington Football Team don’t look any more competent early this season. 

Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Eventually, highly paid star running back Ezekiel Elliott will need to be a game-changer, the offense will have to become more reliable as a whole, and the defense will have to generate far more pressure. They’ll need to start games faster (a problem that existed prior to this season and apparently hasn’t vanished under new head coach Mike McCarthy), and the play-calling will need to become better on both offense and defense.

And while they can’t be blamed for the hand dealt by the Football Gods thus far, they’ll have to do a better job coping with key injuries.

In a weak division with a seven-team playoff field, the Cowboys aren’t likely to fade from relevance. And this comeback win certainly helps their cause. But if they don’t learn from the mistakes that forced them to rely on an opponent’s miscues in order to avoid an 0-2 start, and if they don’t truly rally based on Sunday’s climactic finish, a Dallas team loaded with flaws and weak spots won’t be a serious contender. 

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL for Bleacher Report since 2012. Follow him on Twitter: @Brad_Gagnon.

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Cowboys Jerry

As Cowboys’ Jerry Jones struggles with social justice protests, NFL’s younger coaches are leading way – Yahoo Sports

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford revealed over the weekend that the franchise has given players “the green light” to demonstrate during the pregame national anthem this season.” data-reactid=”16″ type=”text”>Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford revealed over the weekend that the franchise has given players “the green light” to demonstrate during the pregame national anthem this season.

“Just trying to find something that’s going to make a boom,” Crawford told reporters.

Los Angeles Rams in the prime-time Sunday game, are known as “America’s Team” and have a team owner, Jerry Jones, who has never appeared comfortable with player protests even as he has softened on the issue some.” data-reactid=”22″ type=”text”>Even a silent taking of the knee will, no doubt, accomplish that. The Cowboys, who visit the Los Angeles Rams in the prime-time Sunday game, are known as “America’s Team” and have a team owner, Jerry Jones, who has never appeared comfortable with player protests even as he has softened on the issue some.

Jones said on 105.3 The Fan last week, “everybody has a difference.”” data-reactid=”23″ type=”text”>“That’s the great thing about America,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan last week, “everybody has a difference.”

Fans will react in different ways, including some who decide to change the channel (for how long will be the issue for the NFL).” data-reactid=”24″ type=”text”>Whatever the Cowboys do will be significant. Fans will react in different ways, including some who decide to change the channel (for how long will be the issue for the NFL).

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has never been comfortable with player protests, even as other top NFL personnel move toward the front of the fight for social justice. (David Goldman/AP File)

If anything, though, Dallas is an outlier as the 2020 NFL season begins playing during a divisive time for the country. On many other rosters, it’s not coaches or management who are giving a “green light” for players to act.

They are actually often leading the fight for social justice. 

The league is full of a new generation of head coaches, and it appears that with it has come a new, more progressive way of looking at these issues. While the average age of head coaches entering the season is 50.3, a dozen teams have leaders aged 45 and under, including five who are 30-somethings. (In 2016, when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee, the average age was 52.8, with just four coaches under 45 and two in their late 30s.)

It’s a different league now. 

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia, 45, scheduled a lengthy open-dialogue team meeting following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He then encouraged his players to cancel practice that afternoon before joining them in a quick public demonstration. It was a first across the league.” data-reactid=”40″ type=”text”>Last month, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia, 45, scheduled a lengthy open-dialogue team meeting following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He then encouraged his players to cancel practice that afternoon before joining them in a quick public demonstration. It was a first across the league.

“This is a player-led team,” Patricia said. “They are super intelligent and have some amazing things to say. I just have to listen and follow. Just proud of my players. … We want to be part of the solution.”

canceled one of their practices.” data-reactid=”44″ type=”text”>Days later in Green Bay, it was 40-year-old Matt LaFleur, not his players, who canceled one of their practices.

In San Francisco, it was 40-year-old Kyle Shanahan who didn’t just voice support for demonstrations, but criticized the critics for ignoring the message through the years.

“It’s embarrassing to say, probably, but I think white people are more passionate about it now than then,” Shanahan said earlier this summer. “And that’s our ignorance. And that’s what upsets Black people. And they have every right to be upset because they haven’t just been telling us this the last few weeks. They’ve been telling us this since our grandparents.”

In Cleveland, 38-year-old Kevin Stefanski believed taking time out of training camp to address social issues wasn’t an obligation, but an important tool in building a winner. 

“There has definitely been a push from me for our players to get to know each other as best we can, as fast as we can, under these circumstances,” Stefanski said last week.

This time, it feels different. 

The Detroit Lions’ Matt Patricia, left, was one of the first NFL coaches to hold an open-dialogue session with his players and cancel practice after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

Houston coach Bill O’Brien, 50, said earlier this summer that he’ll join his players in taking a knee during the anthem. “I’m all for it,” said O’Brien, whose team plays Kansas City in Thursday’s league opener.

Age isn’t the only factor here, of course. The world has changed. Opinions have evolved. Cultural issues are used daily as a wedge issue by powerful people to split the country. 

There are plenty of veteran coaches who are now following the NBA where outspoken leaders such as Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers and Steve Kerr are the norm. 

“We all need to work forward on this,” said Kansas City coach Andy Reid, 62.

At age 68, Seattle’s Pete Carroll is the oldest coach in the league (seven months Bill Belichick’s elder) yet he has long been supportive of players speaking up. Last month, he used part of his news conference to challenge white fans to consider the realities of the Black players they cheer.

“Our players are screaming at us,” Carroll said. “They just want to be respected.”

And even Belichick, who (fairly or unfairly) is the po

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Cowboys won't

Cowboys Won’t Pursue Earl Thomas? –

August 23rd, 2020 at 7:11pm CST by Zach Links

The Cowboys have been connected with Earl Thomas for years, but there’s “nothing” brewing on that front right now, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. Thomas, of course, is newly available following his release from the Ravens. 

[RELATED: Ravens Release Earl Thomas]

The Cowboys tried to pry Thomas away from the Seahawks two years ago when he was entangled in a contractual dispute with the team. Thomas, meanwhile, added fuel to the fire by repeatedly expressing his love for the Cowboys. The multiple-time Pro Bowler bowed to the Dallas bench after an interception, cut plans short to catch the Cowboys on TV, and leaked further word of his interest to the press through backchannels.

Ultimately, those trade talks were not fruitful. Last year, the Cowboys stood pat as Thomas made the rounds in free agency, but that likely had more to do with his asking price than anything else.

Historically, the Cowboys have been willing to take chances on players with red flags, but Thomas’ rocky year with Baltimore may have dulled their interest. It’s also possible that the Cowboys are finally comfortable with their safety situation after adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix earlier in the offseason.

As Thomas looks for his next opportunity, he’ll likely have his reps battle things out with the Ravens. The Ravens’ official announcement of the release cited “personal conduct that has adversely affected” the team. As Adam Schefter of (Twitter link) notes, that wording indicates that the Ravens will come after Thomas for money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Follow @PFRumors

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Cowboys rusher

Cowboys sign pass rusher Everson Griffen, adding former Vikings Pro Bowler to revamped D-line – CBS Sports

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Jerry Jones: Cowboys ‘Plan On Playing In Front Of Our Fans’

Arguably the top free agent still available at the start of training camp, longtime Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Everson Griffen has finally found a home. Nearly six months after opting out of his contract with Minnesota, the former Pro Bowler has signed with the Dallas Cowboys, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and confirmed by CBS Sports NFL insider Patrik Walker, becoming the latest big name to join a revamped defensive line.

The Cowboys first expressed interest in the 32-year-old Griffen back in March, as Walker reported, but the defensive end was long expected to find a bigger deal elsewhere. The Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks, among other teams, were reportedly also interested in Griffen, who hadn’t completely ruled out a return to the Vikings. According to Rapoport, both Seattle and Minnesota recently “went back and forth” with the pass rusher while the Cowboys “quietly went to work” to secure him.

Griffen isn’t the first notable addition to the Cowboys’ front four this offseason. Not long after the veteran first hit the market, Dallas signed six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the longtime Carolina Panthers star, to a three-year deal. Then in April, the Cowboys doubled down on D-line reinforcements by adding McCoy’s former Carolina teammate Dontari Poe.

Originally a fourth-round draft pick of Minnesota in 2010, Griffen joins a Cowboys pass rush that lost Robert Quinn in free agency but still boasts All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith and potentially Randy Gregory, who’s awaiting reinstatement. Since he became a full-time starter in 2014, Griffen is one of only two defensive lineman — alongside perennial Pro Bowler Aaron Donald — with more than 55 sacks, 135 quarterback hits and four Pro Bowl selections. He logged eight sacks for the Vikings in 2019.

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Cowboys Ezekiel

Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott gives coronavirus health update, issues warning about season – Fox News

Ezekiel Elliott, the star running back for the Dallas Cowboys who was diagnosed with the coronavirus, said in an interview Wednesday that he is feeling better but still cannot work out.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Elliott’s diagnosis in earlier this month was leaked to the press and is considered the most famous player to be diagnosed. The report said that Elliot, 24, was interviewed on Twitch, where he said, “I feel good. I feel normal. I still can’t work out.” He said at his worst, he suffered from a shortness of breath.

Elliott has been one of the most prolific running backs in the NFL since Dallas selected him with the No. 4 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. In three seasons, Elliott has made two Pro Bowls and led the league in rushing twice.

He expressed hope that the NFL season won’t be affected by the outbreak but said,“I just don’t know how they can keep the players healthy. You’ve got to put the health of the players first. He continued, “We have to find a way to make sure the players and their families, and the coaches also and their families, aren’t put at risk.”

Elliott agreed to a new contract in September to make him the highest-paid player at his position.


The Cowboys announced the team agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract extension with Elliott with about half of the salary being guaranteed.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report

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Cowboys Prescott

Why Cowboys QB Dak Prescott didn’t ask for $45 million in Year 5 – USA TODAY

Published 7:04 p.m. ET May 21, 2020 | Updated 2:05 a.m. ET May 22, 2020


SportsPulse: Our very own Cowboys insider Jori Epstein sat down with former Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware to get his thoughts on Dak Prescott’s lingering contract negotiations and what advice he’d give him dealing with Jerry Jones.


The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.

Otherwise, Prescott will play 2020 for the Cowboys on a $31.4 million exclusive franchise tag. Negotiations remain stuck over factors including length of contract.

Prescott and his representation aren’t entertaining extensions longer than four seasons. The Cowboys want to lock up their franchise quarterback for at least five. It’s that dispute that didn’t line up with a report that gained traction this week from former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, who now works for NBC Sports.

“From what I know of the situation, and I know from some people who are in the know that he’s been offered five years, $175 million,” Simms said Tuesday on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. “He wants a four-year deal. If they do agree to a five-year deal, they would like a really big number at the end of that fifth year to cover their butts for what the market might be at the position five years from now. And I’ve heard he’s asking for somewhere like north of $45 million in that fifth year.”

Prescott has not requested a fifth-year salary of $45 million or more, his representation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday afternoon. Prescott has not, in fact, requested a fifth-year salary of any amount: His desire to sign a deal no longer than four years remains firm.

FWIW re talk of a 5-year, $175 million offer to Dak Prescott…nothing’s changed on his side. Dak wants a four-year deal from Cowboys. He’s not entertaining offers of more than four years. Guarantees, structure of contract are important beyond potential max value ?

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 21, 2020

The NFL salary cap has risen steadily in recent years, including a $10 million jump this offseason to $198.2 million. That number is expected to continue to rise over time. Novel coronavirus-related changes could reduce 2020 revenue and create a one-year setback. But multiple factors bode well long-term.

To start, NFL popularity is strong: TV ratings increased 5 percent from 2018 to 2019, according to Nielsen, and NFL games were 41 of the 50 most-watched broadcasts on television in 2019. The product itself is expanding, too. The NFL and NFL Players Association ratified their next collective bargaining agreement, agreeing to expand the playoff pool and add a 17th game to the regular-season schedule beginning in 2021. Add increased momentum for legalization of sports gambling and a looming TV deal extension, and the proverbial pie stands to grow.

“For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports last summer. “Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.

“At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a year or two later, you’re not going to be the highest-paid. That’s just the way the game goes.”

These trends fuel Prescott’s pursuit of a shorter deal. A shorter deal enables the quarterback — who, despite having 64 starts under his belt, is just 26 years old — to return to the negotiating table sooner. A shorter deal reduces the chance that should Prescott continue to improve with new coach Mike McCarthy, his deal ends up far beneath the value of a market that has trended consistently up. In 2019, Prescott threw for a career-best 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. His 99.7 rating was his best since a rookie-season 104.9 in 2016.

The Seahawks, Eagles and Rams last year signed quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff to four-year extensions, respectively. Each had years remaining on his existing deal at the time.

The Cowboys and Prescott discussed his extension last offseason but didn’t reach agreement. From September to February, they didn’t negotiate further. In March, the Cowboys designated Prescott with an exclusive franchise tag that prevented him from negotiating with other teams.

There has not been momentum on negotiations in recent days or weeks, two people familiar with negotiations confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of negotiations.

The Cowboys have signed a slew of stars to deals in recent years as deadlines approached. Star receiver Dez Bryant signed a five-year, $70 million extension on July 15, 2015, with hours to spare before the negotiating window closed. Twice-tagged defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence received his five-year, $105 million deal last April under a threat that he would not have offseason shoulder surgery — and thus begin his recovery timeline before the season — until a deal was done. Most recently, the Cowboys ended running back Ezekiel Elliott’s 41-day training camp holdout last September, four days before their season opener.

The Cowboys and Prescott have a little less than two months to negotiate in this window before Prescott counts $31.4 million against the team’s 2020 salary cap. Tagging him in 2021 would cost $37.68 million.

If Cowboys tag Dak Prescott, what message would it send?

“Hopefully it sends the same message that this year sent,” Dak told @usatodaysports. “But obviously, I want to win.

“I’m somebody that I’ve gambled on myself my whole life.”

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) March 5, 2020

Prescott has said playing on a tag would only further solidify his “prove-it” goals.

“Hopefully it sends the same message that this year sent,” Prescott told USA TODAY Sports. “But obviously, I want to win. I’m somebody that I’ve gambled on myself my whole life. That’s kind of what it is. I’ve been doubted and told people they’re wrong.

“When you’re playing out a situation, when you’re playing out a contract, there’s no different mindset than that.”

Regardless of the financials, owner Jerry Jones insists the Cowboys — who signed nine-year Bengals starter Andy Dalton this month — are committed to Prescott as their starter in 2020 and beyond.

“When we’re ready to play,” Jones said, “he’ll be here.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.


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Cowboys Sports

Cowboys signing Andy Dalton to one-year deal worth up to $7 million, per report | CBS Sports HQ – CBS Sports

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Published on 02-May-2020

Andy Dalton has signed a one-year deal worth up to $7 million with the Dallas Cowboys, including $3 million guaranteed. The Cowboys confirmed the signing on Saturday night.



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Clear-Cut Cowboys

Cowboys Seem Clear-Cut NFC East Favorites After 2020 NFL Draft – Inside The Star

The NFC East is always filled with drama. Year after year, it seems like you can flip a coin to pick a winner in the division. Heck, the division hasn’t seen a consecutive winner in back-to-back years since 2004. In 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles will play the role of the defending champions after a disappointing 9-7 season. However, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are the clear-cut favorites to take back the title this upcoming season.

Last year, the talk around the Cowboys and Eagles was how talented their rosters were. But both teams struggled for different reasons. In Dallas, coaching seemed to be the main problem while Philly was plagued with injured starters.

So what’s changed?

Perhaps the biggest change of all comes for the Cowboys, who have moved on from Jason Garrett. In his place, former Super Bowl Champion Mike McCarthy is taking the reigns in Dallas. Except for a few key staff members including Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, the team’s coaching staff has been overhauled.

A culture change is taking place for the Cowboys. The team made some key acquisitions in free agency by signing two quality defensive tackles, a position that hurt the team in 2019 with poor run defense and a lack of pressure in the interior defensive line. Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe should do a pretty solid job taking this defense to another level.

The Eagles didn’t waste the free agency period as they retained Cornerback Jalen Mills, signed Defensive Tackle Javon Hargrave. They also traded for CB Darius Slay.

In the NFL Draft, the Cowboys set themselves apart, though. They drafted CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick, possibly giving the offense the best trio of wide receivers in a long time. Dallas built on a strong first round after taking CB Trevon Diggs at 51st. Lamb and Diggs will likely be starters in 2020.

After that, the front office added key rotational players that always seemed to be drafted as the best players available. While it’s hard to trust draft grades, their draft class has been nationally recognized as one of the best of the year.

For the Eagles, it’s hard to evaluate their rookie class. Wide Receiver Jalen Reagor was a surprise in the first round, considering Justin Jefferson was on the board, but it was a good pick regardless. Jalen Hurts in the second round is difficult to judge since it’s a quarterback pick, but he wasn’t the best player available and he doesn’t fill a need.

Many have said that the Eagles’ Draft shined because of a pair of wide receiver picks on Day 3. However, we know how little impact these players usually have on their rookie years. Philadelphia took a step in the right direction to fix their offense, but I doubt it was enough.

The Cowboys stand as the early favorites to win the NFC East in the betting world with the Eagles close behind them. It seems like once again, the division will be a close race.

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