<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Blue Star]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/blogs/blue-star http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usSat, 21 Oct 2017 07:34:56 -0500Sat, 21 Oct 2017 07:34:56 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cowboys' Still Searching for Running Game, Identity]]> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:43:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-859141792.jpg

The Cowboys have been on a season-long quest to find their offensive identity.

We caught a glimpse of it in the fourth quarter against Green Bay two weeks ago, when Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries in the fourth quarter and pushed the Cowboys within 73 seconds of a victory.

Elliott had runs of 8, 8, 9, 11 and 25 in the fourth quarter as the Cowboys tweaked their blocking scheme and ran more misdirection plays.

More important, the Cowboys attacked Green Bay's defense between the tackles, where power reigns and speed doesn't matter as much.

It's the only time this season, the Cowboys' running game has looked dominant.

Now, we must see it again Sunday against San Francisco.

That's the only way this team can end its losing two-game streak and start winning games.

"I think we were definitely in a groove," Elliott said, "That's the closest we looked like to last year. I think it's good that we finally kind of hit that stride.

"We just finally came out there and executed. We played to our ability. That's all that it came down to."

Understand, just because the Cowboys finally found some success running the ball against the Packers doesn't automatically mean they'll find it against San Francisco.

Elliott, who led the NFL in yards (1,631) and carries (322) last season, gashed San Francisco for 138 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown last season. This time a year ago, Elliott had 546 yards rushing, a 5.0 average and five touchdowns; this year, he has 393 yards, a 3.7 average, and two touchdowns.

He's been a step above pedestrian much of this season for a variety of reasons whether you blame the burden of fighting the NFL, which has been trying to suspend him weeks or having to replace right tackle Doug Free (retirement) and left guard Ron Leary (free agency).

Bottom line: while he has four games with at least 80 yards, including two 100-yard games, he hasn't been the dominant game-breaking runner we saw much of last year.

He'll get an opportunity to be that guy against San Francisco.

The 49ers allow 112.8 yards per game, but only 3.4 per carry. Los Angeles' Todd Gurley is the only runner to gain more than 100 yards against San Francisco, but the 49ers have allowed at least 126 yards rushing in four of six games.

"You have to earn it every week," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "Certainly, we feel good about how we ran the ball late in that game. That is a positive thing for our team, but you have to go back to work. You have to go back on the practice field and earn it, and earn it with your performance on Sunday."

They must because when the Cowboys have a dominant running game, they can compete with any team in the NFL.

That's because Dak Prescott can use play-action passes to create big plays in the passing game as linebackers and safeties cheat and overreact to the threat of Elliott.

Play-caller Scott Linehan can limit the number of times Prescott throws.

It's no coincidence Dallas is 4-5 when he throws more than 36 passes and 11-0 when he throws fewer than 36. A strong running game also keeps the Cowboys' defense off the field, which means it's not exposed and its fresh in the fourth quarter.

The courts gave the Cowboys a reprieve when Elliott won a temporary injunction that probably keeps him on the field for at least another two games.

They must take advantage of his presence by re-claiming their identity and running over San Francisco.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Fighting Not to Be Labeled Abuser]]> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:42:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott’s quest to clear his name and stay on the football field ain’t about you.

It ain’t about Elliott accepting the NFL-mandated six-game suspension right now, so he’s available to help your Cowboys win important games in December.

It ain’t about relieving your inconvenience because you’re tired of the emotional swings on a weekly basis as the courts determine whether he’s playing or sitting.

And it sure ain’t about your fantasy football team and whether you need to add Rod Smith or Darren McFadden to cover for Elliott’s absence.

This is real life. This is Elliott’s life.

It can’t always be about the name on the front of the jersey or the logo on the side of the helmet. Sometimes, it has to be about the name on the back of the jersey.

This is one of those times.

Elliott, whether you believe he’s guilty or not, is fighting this suspension because no man wants to be labeled a domestic abuser.

"When you get accused of something of that magnitude, you kind of get labeled as an abuser," Elliott said, "and that's just not me, that's not how I want to be seen, not how I want to represent my family. It's just important for me to fight."

If he’s innocent, then he should fight until the NFLPA runs out of cash to pay for his defense. If he’s guilty, then Commissioner Roger Goodell should deliver the harshest punishment possible.

Elliott won a restraining order Tuesday that prevents the league from implementing its suspension and allows him to play Sunday at San Francisco.

The issue, of course, is that we really have no idea if he physically injured Tiffany Thompson on three different occasions in July of 2016.

No one knows.

Not Goodell. Not Kia Robertson, the NFL’s lead investigator on the case, though she recommended the league not suspend him.

Not the Cowboys. Not the judges, who have been rendering decisions on the various appeals and injunctions.

Only Elliott and Thompson know what really transpired.

The one thing we do know is the NFL screwed up royally when it didn’t allow Elliott to face his accuser (Thompson) or give his attorneys access to the notes the NFL made from a half-dozen conversations with her.

Ridiculous.

If the idea is to find the truth, then you give him that access and say, “Prove we’re wrong.”

Being reasonably sure he committed domestic violence isn't good enough. Circumstantial evidence isn’t good enough. The NFL must know 100 percent without equivocation that he did what Thompson alleges he did.

Elliott will play Sunday against San Francisco. He might play the following week against Washington. Or he might not.

For a 22-year-old, it’s a burden no matter how much he tries to focus on the game that has brought him wealth and fame at such a tender age.

Mom and dad provide support, but they can’t carry this burden. It belongs solely to Elliott.

"It's a little tiring but that's what you have a legal team for, and it's not really my job to worry about it,” Elliott said. “I trust the guys that work for me and I let them do the job. You just take it day by day, there's been so many ups and downs, lefts and rights, you really don't know what's coming up next. I’ve just got to take it day by day.

“I appreciate the opportunity to go out here and get a couple more weeks with these guys for sure, and I have an opportunity to have an even longer TRO. So honestly, I’m just happy to be able to play this week.”

All of this means nothing, however, if Elliott doesn’t modify the reckless off-the-field behavior that has been as much a part of his tenure with the Cowboys as the touchdowns and SportsCenter highlights.

The NFL waits for no one.

All he has to do is check out the careers of talented players such as Aldon Smith, Justin Blackmon, Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel and Randy Gregory.

Each oozed with talent. None figured out how to handle their off-the-field issues.

Now, all of their careers are currently in shambles. Maybe, one of them will get another chance.

Maybe not.

Folks in the Cowboys’ organization have explained this to Elliott They pray he listens.

For now, his teammates and coaches remain supportive. Jason Garrett phoned him after learning he won a chance to play another  week or two.

"It means everything," Elliott said of the club’s support. "We're a very close group and that's what family is for, brothers are for, just to reach out when you're in need.

“And my teammates have done a great job just picking me up when I'm down and making sure that I'm able to stay focused and be the running back I need to be for this team."

And that’s part of the reason he fights. The other part is to clear the Elliott name.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Look to Snap 2-Game Losing Streak Against 49ers]]> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:23:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW_COWBOYS_49ERS_PREDICTION_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1076589123814.jpg

NBC 5’s sports director Newy Scruggs gives his prediction for Sunday's Cowboys-49ers matchup in Santa Clara. Hear why he feels the Cowboys will get back to their winning ways.

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<![CDATA[New Developments Involving Ezekiel Elliott]]> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:23:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_ZEKE_LATEST_NEWS_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1076587587788.jpg

NBC 5’s sports director Newy Scruggs breaks down the latest developments involving Ezekiel Elliott and what it means going forward.

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<![CDATA[Zeke Back on the Field for the Cowboys]]> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:20:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_JACQUES_COWBOYS_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1076526659598.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday, and NBC 5's Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor break down his impact and why the Cowboys will need to be on their A game when they take on the 49ers.

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<![CDATA[More on Ezekiel Elliott's Off-Field Issues; Possible Rib Injury]]> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:45:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/JJT_on_Ezekiel_Elliot.jpg

NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor talks about whether Ezekiel Elliott's off-field legal issues have contributed to a change in his behavior. Plus, does Elliott have a broken rib?

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<![CDATA[Commissioner: NFL Owners Want Players to Stand, But No Rule]]> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:32:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NFL_Owners_5p_101817.jpg

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that he and the league's owners want players to stand during the national anthem, but right now there is no rule saying that players have to stand.

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<![CDATA[North Texas to Host 2018 NFL Draft]]> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:19:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfldraft1.jpg

Next April's NFL Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the league confirmed Wednesday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed the location Wednesday morning, saying the 2018 NFL Draft will be held in North Texas and that it will be the first time the draft will be held at a stadium complex.

The draft had been held in New York every year since 1960, before Chicago hosted the 2015 and 2016 events. The 2017 draft was held in Philadelphia and attended by nearly 250,000 people, according to the NFL.

“Philadelphia raised the bar by taking the draft to another level, and this new opportunity in Dallas will enable us to continue the event’s evolution and grow it even further,” Goodell said in a news release. “We are grateful to the Dallas Cowboys, the cities of Arlington, Dallas, and Frisco, and the Dallas Sports Commission for their leadership in turning this vision into reality.”

Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Charlotte Jones Anderson was in New York Wednesday for the announcement and said a North Texas draft will give NFL fans a chance to see the area's unique personality.

"We are so excited that the NFL has given us this opportunity to host the draft in April of next year. We really think we have come up with an incredible idea and concept that will really make AT&T Stadium shine but will also deliver a unique experience that is unlike anything you have seen thus far at the NFL Draft," Jones said. "We welcome them to come to Dallas, to come to Arlington, to AT&T Stadium to show their fandom and be a part of the draft in April."

Anderson said they have a lot of surprises in store for fans who attend the 2018 draft, some of which will be revealed in the months leading up to the event.

NBC 5's Jean-Jacques Taylor and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport were among the first to tweet about the draft's location Wednesday morning.

Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft will be held April 26. Rounds 2 and 3 will follow on April 27 and rounds 4 through 7 will complete the event April 28.

Several North Texas mayors signaled their excitement late Wednesday.

“Last year Philadelphia did an incredible job. It became bigger and better than ever,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. “So we have a great job ahead to make it even bigger and better when it comes to Arlington and to Texas.”

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings offered a similar sentiment.

“[The NFL Draft] is the latest opportunity we’ll have to show the country and the world all that Dallas has to offer,” he said.

“Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys deserve huge congratulations,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “We are ready to roll out the red carpet to showcase Fort Worth.”

NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Confronted By Protesters Near NFL Meeting in NYC]]> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:23:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+03.jpg

A pair of protests preceded the opening of the NFL's annual fall meetings, where owners and players are seeking a way to highlight social issues while taking the focus away from demonstrations during the national anthem.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was confronted by two people in the lobby of the Manhattan hotel where the owners are meeting.

The protesters shouted at him about white supremacy while Jones was surrounded by bodyguards.

Jones stopped to listen but said nothing, and the protesters were peacefully led away.

Outside of the hotel, two dozen supporters of Black Lives Matter New York held a rally backing the players for speaking out -- particularly former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem last year in protest of racial injustice in America.

A group of owners and players met at the league's headquarters Tuesday morning. Among the topics discussed were enhancing the players' platforms for speaking out on social issues, and the league's policy that suggests but does not mandate players standing for the national anthem.

Copyright The Associated Press.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Megachurch Pastor Calls Out Cowboys Owner Over Anthem Stance]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:47:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Anthem_Controversy_4p_101617.jpg

The pastor of a Dallas megachurch had some strong words for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the national anthem controversy.

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<![CDATA[Suspended Elliott Getting Emergency Hearing in NY: AP Source]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:45:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

A person with direct knowledge of the situation says attorneys for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott are set for an emergency hearing in federal court in New York as they try again to stop the running back's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Elliott's legal team filed a request for a temporary restraining order Monday and will get a hearing Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the filing hadn't been made public.

Last year's NFL rushing leader is suspended for Sunday's game at San Francisco after a federal appeals court overturned an injunction that had allowed him to play this season.

The case is shifting to New York because the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit in Texas. Elliott's attorneys have indicated they are still pursuing the case with the New Orleans court.

The person told the AP that U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty would hear arguments Tuesday in New York because the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Fialla, is out of town.

The judge overseeing Ezekiel Elliott's suspension case said the case cannot move forward until a rehearing is filed and resolved, according to Pro-Football Talk.

A source told Pro-Football Talk that the U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant informed the NFL that he will not lift the injunction that is currently preventing the suspension until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rules on Elliott's petition for rehearing.

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Players Have No Free Speech Protections in Workplace: Expert]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:36:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+02.jpg

The firestorm continues over Jerry Jones' remarks that he would bench any player who does not stand during the National Anthem.

Some have praised his stance while others have slammed it as misguided, accusing the Cowboys owner of trampling on his players First Amendment rights.

But legal experts say on this particular matter, the law is on Jones' side.

"This surprises a lot of people," said Rogge Dunn, a founding partner of Clouse Dunn LLP in Dallas, which specializes in employment and labor law. "But you don't have free speech rights in your place of private employment."

Dunn says in a court of law, free speech is only protected when dealing with the government or a public agency. Within a private workplace, employers have the legal right to set standards for their employees, and discipline those who do not abide by them.

"If you have players kneeling, that presents an image that Mr. Jones may or may not want," said Dunn. "Some of the other [NFL] owners may say that's an image I do want, and I'm glad that you're kneeling. But certainly the law allows a business owner to set the tone for how they want their employees to appear in the workplace and in the public."

Dunn says employees do have a legal protections when it comes to job terms and conditions, which include things like pay and working environment.

But because players across the NFL are kneeling as a form of political protest, he believes it falls outside that scope, which is why he thinks any legal action against Jones, including a recent complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, will ultimately fail.

"That's political speech, not workplace speech," said Dunn. "What would be interesting is if someone said I'm kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, or I'm kneeling because Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job and he's a former employee, then that connects the dots to make it a work related issue. I still think that would be a stretch, but that's a possibility."

So far, none of the Cowboys players have taken a knee during the National Anthem.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Elliott Eligible to Play; Report, NFL Says Suspension Stands]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:57:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-856383762_master.jpg

The judge overseeing Ezekiel Elliott's suspension case said the case cannot move forward until a rehearing is filed and resolved, according to Pro-Football Talk.

A source told Pro-Football Talk that the U.S. District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant informed the NFL that he will not lift the injunction that is currently preventing the suspension until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rules on Elliott's petition for rehearing.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted Saturday that "The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott remains in place. The order from the district court is administrative and does not in any way change the appeals court's order vacating the preliminary injunction. Any reporting to the contrary is inaccuratre and misleading."


You can read more about this story at NBCSports.com



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Attorneys to Seek New Appeals Court Hearing]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:04:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-845449264_master.jpg

Attorneys for Ezekiel Elliott have indicated they intend to ask for another hearing before the federal appeals court that cleared the way for the NFL's six-game suspension of the star Dallas Cowboys running back over domestic violence allegations.

Players' union attorney Jeffrey Kessler wrote to a federal judge in New York on Friday that Elliott's legal team would pursue a hearing before a larger panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to grant the NFL's request to overrule a Texas court's injunction that had blocked the suspension. The ruling also ordered the Texas court to dismiss Elliott's lawsuit.

Barring another ruling in Elliott's favor, the suspension will start Oct. 22 at San Francisco. The Cowboys are off this week.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Elliott Suspension Makes Playoffs Longshot for Cowboys]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 07:15:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6104729481.jpg

Jason Garrett's most pressing concern is no longer whether the players will kneel or stand for the national anthem, drawing the ire or praise of owner Jerry Jones.

Garrett must figure out how to win games without his most valuable player: Ezekiel Elliott.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans granted the league's emergency request to rescind an injunction and ordered a district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott's case.

The NFL announced Elliott's six-game suspension was effective immediately, though additional appeals are possible and the Cowboys don't play this weekend.

The Cowboys have a bye Sunday and won't play again until Oct. 22, at San Francisco unless Elliott's lawyer's find a way to keep him on the field.

He won't return until the Cowboys play Washington Nov. 30.

Now, the Cowboys must cobble together an effective running game — something they struggled to do with Elliott — and try to stay in playoff contention until their star runner comes back.

Good luck with all that.

Seriously, raise your hand, if you think that's going to happen.

Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards and 322 carries last season, hasn't dominated like he did last season. Sure, he's had four games of at least 80 yards and two 100-yard games, but he hasn't been the same kind of dynamic player.

We know it. We see it.

He ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing with 393 yards but is averaging only 3.7 yards per carry.

This from a dude who averaged 5.3 yards per  carry last season.

Still, Elliott's suspension comes at an awful time for the Cowboys.

He's coming off a season-high 29 carries and 116 yards in a 35-31 loss to Green Bay. He had only 31 yards through three quarters but gained 85 yards on 13 carries in the fourth quarter.

It was the first time the Cowboys running game resembled last season's dominating attack.

With Elliott gone, the running game will fall on veterans Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. Morris has eight carries for 87 yards — 70 came on one carry against the Rams — and McFadden has been inactive for every game.

Perhaps, Rod Smith will help too.

Two years ago, McFadden finished fourth in the NFL with 1,089 yards as the Cowboys' primary runner. Morris has had three 1,000-yard seasons, but none since 2014.

Each is serviceable but neither brings the threat of domination like Elliott. Neither will command the respect of defensive coordinators, which means teams will use more defensive backs in coverage, so there will be more complex defenses for Dak Prescott to decipher.

The problem for the Cowboys is their 2-3 record, which leaves them little wriggle room to make the playoffs.

Making the playoffs is a numbers game. Ten wins usually guarantees a playoff spot and nine wins puts teams in the conversation.

If the Cowboys want to remain in playoff contention without Elliott, then they need to go at least 3-3 without him. That would put the Cowboys at 5-6 heading into the last five games.

Go 4-1 and the Cowboys might be able to earn a wild card spot.

That's going to be a difficult proposition with home games against Kansas City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles Chargers and road games against San Francisco, Washington and Atlanta.

Based on what we've seen from the Cowboys 2-4 is realistic, which would make them 4-7 when Elliott returns.

Dallas would probably need five straight wins to make the playoffs.

The Cowboys trip to Washington is probably the swing game because Dallas has won 6 of 8 games in Washington. And if the secondary can hold up against Washington's vertical passing game then they have a shot to win.

The reality, though, is playing without Elliott puts pressure on every other player on the roster to perform at a higher level.

Otherwise, the Cowboys streak of 20 years without consecutive 10-win seasons will get extended by one.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Court Ruling Clears Way for Ezekiel Elliott's NFL Suspension]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:58:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

A federal appeals court cleared the way Thursday for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Addresses Anthem Comments With Cowboys Players]]> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:37:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_172690536585301.jpg

When reporters walked into the Cowboys’ locker room Wednesday afternoon — 30 minutes after it was supposed to open — YG and Nipsey Hussle’s FDT blared from a portable speaker.

The DT stands for Donald Trump. You can probably guess what the F means.

That hardly seemed coincidental given what’s happened the past two weeks.

Three days after Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones said any Cowboys player who did not honor the flag during the national anthem would be benched, the Cowboys’ locker room resembled a ghost town.

And it’s not because this a bye week.

Jerry met with the players Wednesday after practice, addressing the team for about 20 minutes, according to two sources.

Multiple sources said he spoke matter-of-factly about why he wants to avoid any perception that the players on the Cowboys aren’t honoring the flag during the national anthem. The sources said Jerry addressed the potential of anthem protests affecting the business of the Dallas Cowboys either through poor TV ratings or the potential loss of advertising partners.

The sources said Jerry also made a point to let the players know he supported their continuing quest for social equality, but he also expected them to continue standing when the national anthem is played before games.

One player referred to his comments as, “Fraudulent.”

Dak Prescott, Orlando Scandrick  and kicker Dan Bailey were the only captains to appear in the Cowboys’ locker room. Prescott declined to comment.

Scandrick issued at least six no comments, but did say he planned to enjoy the bye week.

The other captains — Jason Witten, Tyrone Crawford and Sean Lee — did not make a locker room appearance. Make of that what you will.

No one should be surprised the most recognizable players on this team opted for silence. Jerry is the NFL’s most powerful owner and it takes a player with a certain stature in the league to go against him.

Think Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins or Seattle’s Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett or Richard Sherman or even Green Bay’s Martellus Bennett.

Every NFL player doesn’t fear getting cut. Some players’ ideals and principles aren't for sale because they’ve prepared properly for life after football.

Still, on a roster full of star players, it’s unfair to turn youngsters such as Jourdan Lewis and David Irving into team spokesmen just because they happen to be in the locker room.

The whole point of captains is to have them speak for the team and lend perspective to a situation. Bailey, the Cowboys union rep, reluctantly answered a few questions after some prodding.

“My first responsibility is to listen,” Bailey said of players who have complaints or questions about being forced to stand for the anthem. “I relay that information to the people that I talk to. In that form, I’m more of a middle man.”

Bailey did say he’s participated in several conference calls during the past two weeks as the president has made ending the NFL anthem protests one of his top priorities.

“We’ve had multiple conference calls,” Bailey said. “They’ve been ongoing. We’re handling this as it unfolds.”

Two days after Trump referred to NFL players with an expletive and called for NFL owners to fire players who kneeled, Jerry stood arm-and-arm with his players on Sept. 25 before their game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Jerry, along with the coaching staff and his sons, Stephen and Jerry Jr., took a knee before the anthem. Then they stood with their arms linked during the anthem.

The Cowboys have stood on the sideline during the anthem for the last two games. At the end of Sunday’s anthem, Irving and Damontre Moore raised their fists.

When asked Monday if they would be disciplined, coach Jason Garrett said, “Absolutely not.”

When NFL owners meet in New York next week, they will likely change the language in the operations manual that will compel players to stand during the anthem.

If it happens, there’s no telling what music will be playing in the locker room the next day.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Release Another Key Free Agent in Cornerback Carroll]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 22:15:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-830904582.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have released cornerback Nolan Carroll, the second significant free agent let go this season.

Carroll left a loss at Denver in Week 2 with a concussion and didn't play again before Wednesday's move. The eighth-year player practiced last week but was inactive in a loss to Green Bay.

The Cowboys released defensive tackle Cedric Thornton before the start of the regular season. Thornton was Dallas' biggest free agent signing in 2016, and Carroll was the biggest this year. Both came from NFC East rival Philadelphia.

Carroll signed a $10 million, three-year contract in March with $3 million guaranteed. Thornton was in the second year of a four-year, $17 million deal with $9 million guaranteed.

The Cowboys signed Justin March-Lillard to fill Carroll's spot.

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Linebacker Cleared of Aggravated Assault Charges]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:02:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-486080932.jpg

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson has been cleared of aggravated assault charges over a Fourth of July dispute in which he was accused of brandishing a rifle and making threats in a Frisco parking lot.

A Collin County grand jury decided not to indict the player.

Police said they arrested Wilson for aggravated assault near Toyota Stadium on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The arrest occurred in the stadium's parking lot during Frisco's Freedom Fest.

According to an arrest report, Wilson was arrested "when he intentionally backed his truck into a female while parking, then brandished a rifle at another male causing him to be in fear."

Wilson is a fourth-round pick out of Minnesota in 2015.

He was freed on $20,000 bond shortly after his arrest.

Wednesday afternoon, Wilson tweeted, "It's a beautiful day don't u all agree."

Wilson was injured in July 2016 in a freak accident when a stray paintball struck his right eye.

The injury forced the linebacker to miss the first two weeks of training camp because blood in that eye impaired his vision.

"It's one of those things you look back on and [understanding] it was just foolish," Wilson told NBC 5 when he returned to camp last year. "Camp was right around the corner and you're out there doing something foolish. It was just not smart."

NBC 5's Noelle Walker contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Labor Union Files Complaint Against Jerry Jones]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:13:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_on_the_FAN_6p101017.jpg

Local 100 of the United Labor Unions filed an official complaint against Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday night.

The union claims that Jones violated the National Labor Relations Act.

The complaint says that Jones' threats to "fire" players if they protest during the national anthem at coming NFL games is illegal. The Local 100 Union says the National Labor Relations Act prevents coercing, intimidating or threatening workers for their "concerted activity".


The union says Jones' is attempting to change working conditions and creating a hostile work environment for the players.

Jones said on Sunday that he would bench anyone who shows disrespect to the American flag. That drew a sharp response from the NFL players' union Monday saying the comments by Jones contradicted assurances last week from Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants President John Mara that players could express themselves without retribution.

The Cowboys and Jones kneeled arm-in-arm before the anthem when they played at Arizona two weeks ago, a few days after Trump said at a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire any players who disrespect the flag. All of them stood during the anthem, with arms still locked.

The Local 100 United Labor Union represents workers in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

So far no response from the Dallas Cowboys.


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<![CDATA[10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 Loss to Green Bay ]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:23:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Packers+Arlington.jpg

Here are 10 thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to Green Bay.

  1. There was nothing egregious about Jason Garrett’s decision to throw on 2nd-and-2 from the Green Bay 11 with 1:24 left. They were down by four and their most important job is score a touchdown. If they can burn up the clock to zero, then fine. But they had one field goal in the second half until Prescott’s touchdown run.
  2. Cole Beasley caught four passes for 23 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and that’s great. But he’s still on pace to catch 48 passes for 349 yards, which isn’t good enough. Last year, Beasley caught 75 passes for 833 yards. It has now been nine games since he’s had 50 yards receiving in a game, in part, because he’s so respected that he no longer gets covered by linebackers or safeties. He gets one of the opponents’ best cornerbacks.
  3. The Cowboys used their fullbacks — Keith Smith and Rod Smith — for 16 plays to try to help run game. They entered the game with 26 total plays this season, but contributed three catches for 28 yards. Keith Smith, who played 13 snaps against Green Bay, had only 16 in the first four games.
  4. David Irving, DeMarcus Lawrence and Maliek Collins give Cowboys a pass rush with potential. Irving had two sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits in his first game after a four-game suspension.
  5. The Cowboys have not forced a turnover in 196 minutes and 59 seconds, spanning 13 quarters. The Cowboys have allowed points on 14 of 18 possessions, which is why they have blown leads of 11 and 15 at AT&T Stadium the last two weeks.
  6. It was nice to see Ezekiel Elliott dominate in the fourth quarter for the first time this season. Actually, it’s the first time I’ve seen the Cowboys have a quarter like that in first five games.
    Elliott had 16 carries for 31 yards in the first quarter, but he had 13 carries for 85 yards in the fourth quarter.
  7. Dak Prescott made several excellent throws into tight windows against the Packers. The intermediate passing game returned for the Cowboys, which is why Jason Witten caught eight passes for 61 yards.
    His footwork and mechanics were more consistent, and so were the results. He also ran the ball four times for 37 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 1:13 left.
  8. Jourdan Lewis looks like a player. He had seven tackles, broke up three passes and has proved that the game isn’t too big for him. He’s highly competitive. He gave up the game-winning 12-yard touchdown to Davante Adams, but it took a perfect throw and catch to beat him.
  9. The Cowboys committed three penalties on special teams, which is awful.
  10. It’s a fallacy to believe linebacker Sean Lee’s return will solve all of the Cowboys’ problems. The Cowboys have allowed three runners to gain more than 120 yards. Their linebackers must play better and the defense, overall, must do a better job of tackling.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Garrett Addresses Jones' Anthem Comments]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:37:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_garrett_anthem_protests_1200x675_1066608195908.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett gives his response to the comments Jerry Jones made concerning the national anthem protests. Jones says any Cowboys player who "disrespects the flag" will not play. 

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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Draws Sharp Response From NFL Players' Union]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 18:32:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-853835704_master.jpg

The declaration by the powerful owner of the Dallas Cowboys that he would bench anyone who shows disrespect to the American flag drew a sharp response from the NFL players' union Monday and raised the possibility of another call to action by athletes who have kneeled during the national anthem.

Executive Director DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association said the most provocative comments yet by Jerry Jones on the anthem controversy contradicted assurances last week from Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants President John Mara that players could express themselves without retribution.

"I look forward to the day when everyone in management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the flag stands for, liberty and justice for all, instead of some of them just talking about standing," Smith said. "We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue."

Jones' comments on Sunday came after he was asked about Vice President Mike Pence's decision to leave an Indianapolis home game in protest of about a dozen San Francisco players who kneeled during the anthem. President Donald Trump tweeted after Pence's walkout that he had told his vice president to leave if any players kneeled during the anthem.

Following a 35-31 loss to Green Bay, the 74-year-old Jones said the NFL cannot leave the impression that it tolerates players disrespecting the flag and said any Cowboys doing so will not play.

"If there's anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play," said Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. "OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won't play. Period."

The Cowboys and Jones kneeled arm-in-arm before the anthem when they played at Arizona two weeks ago, a few days after Trump said at a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire any players who disrespect the flag. All of them stood during the anthem, with arms still locked.

Most Dallas players have stood on the sideline, many with hands over their hearts, during the anthem since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last season in protest of police treatment of African-Americans.

Several NFL teams have struggled with how to handle anthem protests. After Trump's criticism, the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to stay off the field before the anthem. But Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, an offensive lineman, stood at the edge of a tunnel with his teammates in darkness behind him during the anthem two weeks ago.

Villanueva said he was not making a political statement in defiance of his teammates, calling it a misunderstanding that was "very embarrassing on my end."

Miami coach Adam Gase recently set a new team policy requiring players either to stand or wait in the tunnel. Three chose to stay off the field, Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas. All three have kneeled in the past.

"We were just trying to keep the team focused and not be a distraction," Michael Thomas said. "It was a team decision. ... The league heard us. They've heard the cry of the players."

Mara has told Giants players he wants them to stand during the anthem but supports their right to do otherwise. Jones had already made it clear that he felt strongly about standing for the anthem before his latest comments, and he isn't the only owner who feels that way.

Jones even suggested that standing for the anthem was more important to him that team unity.

"The main thing I want to do is make it real clear: There is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you're disrespecting the flag. We will be non-supportive of each other," Jones said. "We will not disrespect the flag."

Trump's comments stoked a political controversy that had subsided somewhat since Kaepernick started it a year ago. The NFL defended the rights of players to protest.

Lead NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart has said, "Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is." It was an apparent reference to the "Access Hollywood" tapes in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Trump had chalked up those comments as "locker room talk."

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Have No Answer for Aaron Rodgers in 35-31 Loss]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 06:38:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-859179276.jpg

The second-guesses seem silly, when your tormentor is the NFL’s best quarterback not named Tom Brady.

Should Dak Prescott have taken a knee at the one instead of scoring on a 11-yard read-option with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter? Should the Cowboys have run the ball on second-and-2 instead of throwing a pass in the fourth quarter to make sure the clock kept running?

Maybe, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli should’ve given Jourdan Lewis some help on Davante Adams’ game-winning touchdown catch? Or perhaps Marinelli should’ve rushed three, when he rushed four or four when he rushed three?

Stop it. Right now.

All you’re doing is driving yourself crazy.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the truth, one of the best to ever play. He keeps proving it against Dallas.

The Cowboys, once again, proved they have no idea how to stop him as he rallied the Packers to a victory in a game the Cowboys seemed destined to win.

He followed the same script in the playoffs at Lambeau Field in 2014. And again in the playoffs at AT&T Stadium last season.

And Rodgers delivered yet another soul-crushing defeat to the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon that had defensive end Tyron Crawford twice refer to Rodgers as a magician in a brief interview.

Green Bay 35, Dallas 31.

Rodgers completed 19 of 29 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 122.9. It’s the sixth time he’s had a passer rating of more than 100.0 and the sixth time he’s thrown at least three touchdown passes against a Marinelli-coached defense.

Just so you know, Rodgers is 14-2 against Marinelli’s defenses.

Rodgers was at his best in the final 73 seconds, when he led the Packers on a game-winning nine-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 12-yard touchdown to Adams with 11 seconds left.

He was 3-of-6 for 40 yards on the final drive, but his most significant play was a 15-yard scramble on third-and-8 from the Dallas 30. He was flushed left out of the pocket, outran David Irving to the edge and headed down the sideline and out of bounds after an 18-yard scramble with 21 second let.

Then he threw consecutive back-shoulder fades to Adams. Lewis broke up the first one; the second one was perfect.

“They ran the same play,” Lewis said. “He just put it in a perfect spot. I might have been able to do something, if I had turned my head a little faster, but I don’t know.

“He wasn’t going after me. He just wanted No.17 to get the ball. They were targeting him quite a bit.”

Now, your Cowboys have problems.

They are 2-3 after the alleged soft part of their schedule, they have lost consecutive home games — blowing leads of 11 and 15 in the process — and they could find out next week that Ezekiel Elliott is going to miss the next six games if the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals does not rule in his favor.

Then there’s the Cowboys’ raggedy rooty-poot defense. There’s really no other word for a unit that has allowed points on 14 of its last 18 possessions and has not forced a turnover in 13 quarters.

Green Bay scored on four touchdowns and a field goal on its seven possessions. The Packers had drives of eight, nine, nine, 13 and 14 plays during the game, and some dude named Aaron Jones rushed 19 times for 125 yards.

Dallas has given up three 100-yard rushers this season, and the Cowboys are 0-3 in those games.

The lead changed five times in the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys couldn’t make a play at winning time to secure a victory.

Now, they’ve already lost as many games before Texas-OU weekend than they did all of last season.

Prescott passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Elliott rushed for 116 yards and the Cowboys scored more than 30 points for the second consecutive week but it wasn’t enough.

They still talk about brotherhood and family and belief, but the Cowboys already find themselves at a crossroads. They’re two games behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the standings and time already feels like it’s running out on the season.

The good news? They won’t see Rodgers again in the regular season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Run Game Continues to Grind it Out]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:29:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-859145020.jpg

NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Pat Doney talk about the Cowboys run game and why things aren't as easy for Ezekiel Elliott this season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Continues to Do His Part]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:39:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/GettyImages-859144870.jpg

NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Pat Doney talk about Dak Prescott’s impressive play through the first 5 games of season and why he needs more help despite his 4 total touchdowns in the loss to the Packers.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Defense Continues to Struggle]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:30:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-859168700.jpg

NBC 5's Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Jacques Taylor talk about the struggles of the Dallas Cowboys defense and why they continue to have problems and if they can win the division playing this way.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Has a Warning for Cowboys Players Who Protest During the Anthem]]> Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:04:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry_on_Anthem_1200x675_1065825347929.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Jacques Taylor talk about Jerry Jones comments regarding the national anthem and the messages he’s trying to send.

 

 

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<![CDATA[Is It Time for the Cowboys to Bench Williams for Butler?]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:41:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-854914610.jpg

NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Drew Pearson talk Terrance Williams and why a change needs to take place.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Players Who Disrespect Flag Won’t Play for Cowboys: Jones]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 14:35:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-610472912.jpg

Video in the player above is AUDIO only from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones. Audio was recorded by NBC 5 Sports Reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor.

Owner Jerry Jones is bluffing, when he says anybody who disrespects the flag won’t play for the Dallas Cowboys.

I know it. So do you. And if we gave Jerry some truth serum, we’d find out he knows it too.

What if Dak Prescott takes a knee before a game? How about Jason Witten? What about Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee or Dez Bryant?

If any of those players kneeled during the anthem, Jerry wouldn’t do a thing.

There’s a lengthy list of players I can think of Jerry wouldn’t sit if they took a knee while the national anthem played, but that’s not why he took such a hard stance on anthem protests Sunday night after the Green Bay Packers beat the Cowboys’ 35-31 at AT&T Stadium.

Jerry was simply trying to assure his advertising partners that he understands they don’t want the Cowboys associated with any flag protests.

“Under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys - I don’t care what happens - under no circumstances will we as an organziation or as coaches and players not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag,” Jerry said outside the Cowboys’ locker room.

“Period.”

That’s about the time a reporter informed Jerry that Damontre Moore and David Irving had raised their fists at the conclusion of Sunday’s national anthem. No other Dallas players gestured before or after the anthem; Green Bay’s players linked arms during the anthem.

Jerry: “…If there is anything that’s disrecptful to the flag then we will not play. You understand? If we’re disrespecting the flag we won’t play. Period.”

Reporter: The players?

Jerry: “Yes, of course. We’re going to respect the flag.”

Jerry then made it clear that he wasn’t aware Moore and Irving had raised their fists. Now, the odds are slim that he’d bench Irving, who had two sacks against Green Bay, but Moore is another story.

He’s purely a role player. He’s expendable.

The reality, though, is the Cowboys are the most valuable team in professional sports at $4.1 billion, and Jerry doesn’t want that affected. This is about money. And advertisers.

You’re fooling yourself if you look at it any other way.

After all, Jerry sure didn’t take a hard stance like this with Greg Hardy, who escaped a domestic violence conviction on a technicality. There have been all kind of players with shady backgrounds Jerry has vouched for over the years, but a peaceful protest against police brutality and a quest for equality by players has him up in arms.

Ridiculous.

Lucky for Jerry, no one is going to challenge his empty threat. None of his best players are interested in being the epicenter of the protest in Dallas for a variety of reasons, which is their right. And none of the Cowboys’ marginal players want to be an example.

So Jerry gets to send a bluster-filled message to his advertising partners, knowing it’s going to go unchallenged by the 53 players on the roster.

Understand, former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests last year by taking a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality, while asking America to keep her promise of equality.

Kaepernick’s message has been hijacked by agenda-driven politicians who claim day after day the protests are directed at the flag and the veterans who fought in wars - some of whom gave their lives - to protect the rights we hold dear in this country.

President Donald Trump ignited the latest wave of protests by NFL players over the last two weeks, when he launched a personal attack on players who protested during the anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said at a political rally in Alabama

“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

In the 48 hours before their Monday Night game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25, the Cowboys spent considerable time discussing how they would react to the president’s words. A group of players met with Garrett, who also addressed the team.

Then Jerry, who received multiple phone calls from the president leading up to the game, decided he would kneel with the players and coaches before the game in show of prayer, unity and equality. Then they would all lock arms and stand while the anthem played.

Jerry gets furious, when you suggest he worked behind the scenes and made a deal with the president to get the players not to kneel during the anthem, but it’s hard for a reasonable person to see it any other way.

Vice President Mike Pence attended the San Francisco-Indianapolis game on Sunday but left after some players kneeled during the anthem.

“The whole deal is political, and it has been incited by politics,” Jerry said. “Let me be real, real clear the thing the National Football League needs to do and the Dallas Cowboys are going to do is stand for the flag. Were going to do that.

“There’s no equivocation. We’re going to stand for the flag.”

There’s too much money at stake not to kneel. Jerry’s losing football games this year, he has no interest in losing money too.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Players Union Responds To Jerry Jones Anthem Stance]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:15:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/198*120/usa-jerry-jones-cowboys-national-anthem.jpg

The NFL Players Association had this response to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who told the media after their loss to the Green Bay Packers, "If we are disrespecting the flag then we won’t play, period."

The statement from the NFLPA reads:

For Immediate Release

October 8, 2017

NFL players are union members and part of the labor movement that has woven the fabric of America for generations. Our men and their families are also conscientious Americans who continue to be forces for good through our communities and some have decided to use their platform to peacefully raise awareness to issues that deserve attention.

It is a source of enormous pride that some of the best conversations about these issues have taken place in our locker rooms in a respectful, civil and thoughtful way that should serve as a model for how all of us can communicate with each other.

We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our Constitution protects. That is what makes us the land of the free and home of the brave.

Video in the player above is AUDIO only from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones. Audio was recorded by NBC 5 Sports Reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Jones Says Players Who Disrespect the Flag Will Not Play]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:56:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-6104729121.jpg

Video in the player above is AUDIO only from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones. Audio was recorded by NBC 5 Sports Reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor.

After the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday, Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones told the media that any Cowboy who disrespects the flag will not play.

Jones said "If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play. Okay? Do you understand? If we are disrespecting the flag then we won’t play, period. But we are going to respect the flag and I’m going to create the perception of it, and we have. I’m not aware and I wouldn’t know what you are talking about, I’m not aware of that but if you say you saw it, then you saw it, but we as a team are very much on the page together, we’ve made our expression that we are together , I’m very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys, I don’t care what happens, under no circumstances will we as an organization, or as coaches or players not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag. Period."

[[450027173, C]]

All of the Dallas Cowboys stood for the National Anthem before Sunday's game against the Green Bay packers.

Shortly after Jones made the comments, the National Football League Players Association released a statement saying in part "We should not stifle these discussions and cannot allow our rights to become subservient to the very opinions our constitution protects. That is what makes us the land of the free and the home of the brave."

[[450020113, C]]

Two weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys knelt as a team near the 50-yard line prior to the national anthem before a win over the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Then they locked arms and stood while Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem.

Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones and his family joined the team on the field for the display of unity. The Cowboys' official Twitter account posted a message and photo soon after the anthem, stating "#FootballIsFamily."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[At The Podium: Cowboys Loss to Packers]]> Sun, 08 Oct 2017 19:45:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_loss_from_the_podium_1200x675_1065772099581.jpg

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Dak Prescott discuss the 35-31 loss to the Packers. 

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<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys v. Packers]]> Sun, 08 Oct 2017 18:47:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-859135216.jpg

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys/ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium:

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys, who lost three games all of last season, enter the bye-week under .500 at 2-3 with the possibility that they might lose running back Ezekiel Elliott for six weeks if the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overrules his stay.

TURNING POINT: The Cowboys simply left Aaron Rodgers too much time, when Dak Prescott scored on an 11-yard run with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter. Rodgers had been masterful all game and the Cowboys have not figured out a way to slow him down. Just like he did in the playoffs last season, Rodgers did enough at the end of the game to help his team win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: It doesn’t matter who he has at receiver, Aaron Rodgers is the epitome of greatness. He was 19 of 29 for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He was masterful on the game-winning drive and threw a perfect back-shoulder fade to Devante Adams for the game-winning touchdown. Rodgers is now 14-2 against Rod Marinelli’s defenses.

KEY STAT: Ezekiel Elliott had a season-high 116 yards on 29 carries for the Cowboys. He had 13 carries for 85 yards in the fourth quarter, and he would’ve been the hero except for Aaron Rodgers.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will spend the bye week trying to fix their wretched defense that has allowed touchdown on 14 of the last 18 possessions. This team is 2-3 after the softest part of their schedule and coming off consecutive home losses. Sean Lee will return in two weeks against San Francisco. He should get a contract extension because clearly the Cowboys missed him.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rodgers Lifts Packers Over Cowboys 35-31 in Another Thriller]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 03:57:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-859128758.jpg

Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Green Bay over the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 Sunday in another thriller nine months after the Packers' divisional playoff win on the same field.

Rodgers capped a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, going toward the same end zone as in the playoff game. Then, Rodgers' long completion to Jared Cook on third-and-20 in the final seconds set up Mason Crosby's winning field goal as time expired in a 34-31 win.

Adams was active 10 days after leaving the field on a stretcher on a helmet-to-helmet hit that resulted in a suspension for Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan. He had seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

Dak Prescott had given Cowboys the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining to cap a 17-play drive that lasted almost nine minutes. Dallas (2-3) has already matched the number of losses from the magical rookie season for Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The Packers (4-1) had gone ahead earlier on Damarius Randall's 21-yard interception return for a touchdown, the third of five lead changes in the fourth quarter. Green Bay rallied from 15 points down in the first half after letting a 21-3 lead get away in last season's playoff win.

Aaron Jones became the first Green Bay running back with 100 yards in his first start as a rookie since Samkon Gado in 2005. He had 19 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Elliott ended a three-game drought without 100 yards, matching the longest from his rookie season, finishing with 116 yards on 29 carries.

Rodgers was 19 of 29 for 221 yards and three touchdowns and set up the winning score with an 18-yard scramble.

Prescott looked the part of Rodgers, scrambling to set up big completions and running 21 yards himself on one play to help the Cowboys build a 21-6 lead. He was 25 of 36 for 251 yards and three first-half touchdowns, two to Cole Beasley and one to Dez Bryant.

WELCOME BACK

DE David Irving returned from a four-game suspension for Dallas with two sacks. He had a sack and three forced fumbles with a recovery in last year's 30-16 win in Green Bay during the regular season.

DEZ MILESTONE

Bryant's 10-yard scoring catch made him the second Dallas receiver with 70 for his career. Hall of Famer Bob Hayes is the franchise leader with 71.

PAT TROUBLE

Crosby's first PAT clanged off the left upright in the first quarter, and the second was wide left in the second quarter. Crosby missed two point-after kicks in 2014, the year before the NFL made the kick a 33-yarder. He made all 36 kicks the first year of the longer distance, but missed three last season.

INJURIES

Packers: Rookie CB Kevin King left with a concussion in the first half. He had a big hit on Elliott on a screen pass on the first play of the game.

Cowboys: Rookie CB Chidobe Awuzie, who was playing safety as well, left with an injured hamstring for the second time this season. It was his first game back after missing two games by aggravating the injury in Denver. He had hamstring issues throughout training camp.

UP NEXT

Packers: First NFC North road game at Minnesota next Sunday.

Cowboys: Bye, then at San Francisco on Oct. 22.

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pay Attention to This: Cowboys-Packers Preview]]> Sat, 07 Oct 2017 19:27:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Packers+Elliott.jpg

Jason Garrett: is 1-4 against Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy and he’s 0-2 against him in Dallas and 0-2 against McCarthy in the playoffs.

Remember, though, Garrett was named interim head coach after the Packers with McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers beat the Cowboys, 45-7, on national TV in 2010 as Cowboys fell to 1-7.

Key Matchup: Aaron Rodgers is 13-2 against Rod Marinelli’s defense and he’s had a passer rating higher than 90.0 11 times against Marinelli’s defenses. The biggest decision Marinelli must make this week is whether to blitz Rodgers, something he doesn’t like to do, or play coverage, dropping eight and hoping he can confuse the veteran long enough for the rush to get to him. No good answer exists, but if the Cowboys can’t make Rodgers a pocket passer they have no chance.

X Factor: Anthony Hitchens returns to the lineup after missing the first four games with a knee injury, and he could have a huge impact on the Cowboys’ defense. His presence means linebacker Jaylon Smith should not play more than 40 plays, which means he might just perform at a higher level because he’s not worn down in the fourth quarter. He leads the Cowboys with 43 tackles, but doesn’t have one for a loss. Twelve others do.

Hitchens could play in the Cowboys 3-2-6 defense, teaming with Justin Durant or Damien Wilson to give the Cowboys a better pass defense, while keeping Smith on the bench. He should also help against the run because he’s a good tackler. Dallas is 0-2 when their opponent has a runner who rushes for more than 100 yards.

Key Stat: The Cowboys rank 25th in the NFL in 3rd down defense. They’re also 25th on third-and-10+ conversions, having allowed 29.4 percent (5 of 17). They must fix that against Green Bay or it’s going to be difficult to win.

Cowboys Game Plan: Ezekiel Elliott had 50 carries for 282 yards in two games against Green Bay last season. He also had five runs of 10 yards or more. This isn’t new, but the best defense is good offense. The more time Aaron Rodgers spends on the sideline, the better the Cowboys’ chances of winning.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Newy Gives Cowboys-Packers Prediction]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 07:06:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_COWBOYS_WEB_PREDICTION_1200x675_1063963715570.jpg

NBC 5's sports director gives his take on Sunday's Cowboys-Packers matchup and explains why he expects the Cowboys to turn things around.

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<![CDATA[Aaron Rodgers Looks to Continue Success Against Cowboys D]]> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 06:24:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631772780.jpg

Rod Marinelli, like a lot of defensive coordinators, hasn’t had much success beating Aaron Rodgers.

“That quarterback is something else. He’s unique,” Marinelli said of Rodgers. “I look forward to it every time because he’s such a great competitor. Competing against a competitor like that is why you’re in pro football.”

Rodgers is 13-2 against defenses Marinelli has coached in Detroit, where he was the head coach, and as an assistant in Chicago and Dallas.

He’s 3-0 in the playoffs against Marinelli, including playoff wins over the Cowboys in 2014 and 2016.

Rodgers will attempt to improve his record to 14-2 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium, when Green Bay plays the Cowboys.

Marinelli must spend this week decide whether to attack with blitzing - a tactic he doesn’t like — or whether he uses a variety of schemes with five and six defensive backs to control Rodgers.

Not that it matters all that much.

Rodgers has a career passer rating of 104.0 with 307 touchdowns and 75 interceptions; against the blitz he has a passer rating of 105.8 with  94 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Actually, Marinelli has spent this week preaching to his defensive linemen the importance of rushing the passer with discipline and maintaining the integrity of their rushing lanes.

Do that, and it’s possible to keep Rodgers in the pocket, where teams have a chance to contain him. Now, that’s much easier said than done.

But what makes Rodgers special is that he’s lethal when he’s on the move.

“He has an unbelievable feel in the pocket. You just don’t see guys like that,” Marinelli said. “You see scramblers, but in the pocket he has the feel to step up or move back or squirt out left or right.

“He can run, and when he breaks outside the pocket you might as well chalk it up as a completion and get ready to play the next down.”

Look no further than how Rodgers wrecked the Cowboys’ season in an NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium last January as proof of the damage he can do outside the pocket.

On third-and-20 with 12 seconds left, Rodgers rolled left on a designed play against a two-deep zone with six defensive backs.

He threw a perfect pass to tight end Jared Cook who made a 36-yard sliding catch along the sideline that set up a game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Packers to a 34-31 win.

Just so you know, it wasn’t a lucky play. Rodgers had literally prepared a lifetime to make that play.

“We had good schemes when, I was growing up with a lot of boots and actions where you’re getting outside the pocket and learning how to throw on the run,” Rodgers said. “You know it’s working on that stuff in the offseason as I grew older and got to work in the quarterback school, do a lot of drills where you’re working on throwing outside of the pocket and moving at a high rate of speed.

“Then you’re just trying to be smart about listening to your body and how your movement affects the ball and you just try to lock away that muscle memory, so you remember how to be accurate when you’re running at full speed left or right — or almost full speed left or right — and trying to be as accurate as possible.”

Against Marinelli’s defenses, Rodgers is 347 of 516 for 4,252 yards with 29 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a passer rating of 104.7.

Eleven times, Rodgers has had a passer rating of more than 90.0, including six of more than 100.0. Five times, he’s thrown more than three touchdowns.

"We've had success in general over the years here but Rod is a fantastic coach, I have a ton of respect for him," Rodgers said. "I wouldn't say we've ever had it easy against them.

"It's always been battles going up against Coach Marinelli and I always look forward to the challenge."

The feeling is mutual.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hitchens’ Return Should Make Smith Better]]> Thu, 05 Oct 2017 07:30:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+hitchens+smith.jpg

Throughout training camp, the Cowboys told us they had a plan for linebacker Jaylon Smith that would position him for success.

They wanted Smith, who missed his entire rookie season as he recovered from a devastating knee injury that included nerve damage, to play 25 to 30 snaps per game, primarily on first and second down.

That would allow him to use his instincts to diagnose and stuff running plays, while Hitchens and Justin Durant handled much of the pass coverage responsibilities.

Then middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee in the fourth preseason game, forcing the Cowboys to scrap the plan.

The new plan has exposed all of Smith’s flaws.

Twice in four games, Smith has played more than 60 snaps. No one in the front seven has played more than Smith’s 227 snaps.

And with weakside linebacker Sean Lee out against the Los Angeles Rams, he played a career-high 69 snaps in Sunday’s 35-30 loss.

The Rams exploited Smith in the passing game, creating mismatches that forced him to cover receivers even in zone coverages. While he leads the team with 45 tackles — 13 more than Lee — too many have come five yards downfield.

He’s missed too many tackles and made few impact plays.

Twelve players have at least one tackle for loss and seven players have deflected at least one pass, but Smith has not found his way into either category.

“I think I’ve had some good plays and I think I’ve had some bad plays,” Smith said. “It’s about eliminating the bad plays. I’ve got to get more sound on coverage and make sure I’m making tackles. A linebacker’s job is to tackle.”

So how does your body feel?

“I feel normal,” he said. “I feel like a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. There are no excuses at this level. We have to improve."

The NFL is a perfect example of social Darwinism. Smith is just trying to survive this season. This off-season was all about getting back on the field and proving anyone who thought his career was over that they were wrong.

Next off-season will be about football — not rehab.

The Cowboys took him with the 34th pick overall in the second round because he wowed them with his personality and his persona. Smith convinced Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones that he would play again and Dr. Dan Cooper, the Cowboys’ team physician, did his surgery which gave the organization confidence the nerve would regenerate, giving Smith a chance to play again.

So Smith cherishes every play: the good ones and the bad ones. In an ideal world, the Cowboys would limit Smith to about 40 plays, but he’ll never ask for a breather.

“I go into every game hoping I get a chance to play every snap,” Smith said.

Well, that’s not what’s best for the Cowboys. Or Smith. If Hitchens is ready to play Sunday against Green Bay, he should start.

They rank 26th in the NFL in points allowed per game (24.0) and allow 107.5 yards and 4.2 per carry.

At this point, Hitchens is the better player - and it’s not even close. Hitchens was in the midst of the best training camp of his career when he was injured. For the first time, he  focused solely on middle linebacker in the off-season.

He changed his sleeping habits, giving up after-practice naps, so he would sleep through the night and altered his diet adding more salads, chicken and fish and drinking at least a gallon of water a day.

Hitchens went through his first full practice on Wednesday and expects to play Sunday against Green Bay.

“I felt good at practice,” he said. “I just want to look at the video and see if my movements were fluid. It felt like they were but I want to see it.”

If what he sees matches what he felt, then Hitchens expects to play against the Packers.

The Cowboys need him. So does Smith, it will make him a better player.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Once Again Struggle to Get Turnovers]]> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 05:09:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-856383644.jpg

We seem to have this conversation with coach Jason Garrett rather frequently: Why can’t your defense force any turnovers?

We had it again Monday afternoon at The Star because the Cowboys have now gone 155 plays without forcing a turnover.

They haven’t intercepted a pass in 95 pass attempts.

Rookie Jourdan Lewis intercepted an errant pass on the final play of the third quarter against Denver.

It’s the last time the Cowboys took the ball away.

Just so you know, teams that get 2 turnovers are 15-11 this season and teams that take it away three times are 19-1.

Don’t get a turnover and it’s hard to win. The Cowboys are 1-1, when they don’t get a turnover. The rest of the NFL is 11-29.

Their inability to take the ball away played a direct role in their 35-30 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

Leading 24-16 at the start of the third quarter, the Cowboys missed an opportunity to seize control of the game.

DeMarcus Lawrence, quiet for much of the first half, zoomed around the edge and knocked the ball out of quarterback Jared Goff’s hands.

For an instant, the ball sat tantalizingly on the ground waiting for some member of the defense to pounce on it. Instead, guard Rob Haverstein fell on the ball at the Rams’ 10, averting disaster.

Get that fumble and the Cowboys have a chance to go up 15 points and make the Rams abandon their running game, especially since Todd Gurley didn’t do much damage in the first half.

With 6:44 left in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys trailing 32-30, Anthony Brown failed to make a play.

Goff made a poor decision and threw high into a zone coverage. Brown was in perfect position to intercept the pass, but mistimed his jump and the ball bounced off his hands.

The Rams burned another four minutes off the clock and wound up adding a 33-yard field goal that forced the Cowboys to score a touchdown to win.

“In yesterday’s game that might have been the single most important factor,” Garrett said. “Think about the two turnovers we had — the one on the punt return and the interception later in the game — and the fact we couldn’t cash in and take the ball way from them.

“It’s a point of emphasis every week. You have to take the ball away. One of the things we emphasize as much as anything else is to win the turnover battle.”

Perhaps, we shouldn’t be surprised at the Cowboys’ inability to create turnovers. They’ve only done it once since defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli took over the unit in 2014.

That year, the Cowboys finished second in the NFL in turnovers — three behind Houston.

Since then, Dallas has finished 32nd (19) and tied for 19th (20) in turnovers. They’re currently tied with five other teams for 23rd in the NFL with three.

Baltimore and Detroit each have 11.

No logical explanation exists because Marinelli coaches a scheme based on speed, gang tackling and effort. In theory, that should lead to turnovers. They also spend a portion of individual drills working on various techniques to punch out the ball.

Turnovers, though, are usually the result of quarterbacks making mistakes under duress and throwing the ball into areas they shouldn’t. Or a team has playmakers.

Linebacker Sean Lee, who missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring strain, and Lawrence and, maybe, Maliek Collins, are the only players on the defense with a history of being playmakers.

There’s no questioning the emnphasis or comittment Garrett and his staff place on forcing turnovers.

Still, the result remains the same.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Appeals Court Latest Stop in Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Case]]> Tue, 03 Oct 2017 04:18:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-856383762_master.jpg

A federal appeals court in New Orleans could rule as early as Tuesday on whether Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott must begin serving a six-game suspension because of domestic violence allegations.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August after the league concluded a yearlong investigation that found Elliott had several physical confrontations with his then-girlfriend in Ohio.

Prosecutors didn't pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence. Elliott has denied the allegations under oath.

Elliott has been allowed to play, however, because a federal district judge blocked the suspension pending appeals.

The league said the lawsuit filed by the players union, representing Elliott, should be thrown out because it was improperly filed before an arbitrator ruled in the case.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday and they were to review more documents Tuesday morning. They could rule any time after that but offered no timetable.

The union argues the lawsuit could be pursued because the arbitration proceedings were complete, except for the final ruling, which went against Elliott.

NFL attorney Pratik Shah said the arbitration proceedings, called for in the NFL Players Association collective bargaining agreement with the league, had not been exhausted, so U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant lacked jurisdiction when he blocked the suspension.

Questioned closely by the appeals panel, players association attorney Jeffrey Kessler insisted that the suit was properly before Mazzant, with all but the ruling pending.

"You don't have to wait to be run over," he told the judges.

Also at issue was whether the NFL would be "irreparably harmed" by a court-imposed delay in its disciplinary decision, or whether it would be Elliott who would suffer irreparable harm if forced to immediately serve the suspension.

Elliott led the NFL with 1,631 yards rushing. He has 277 yards through four games this season. He has another 118 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

Copyright: Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Images from the Sideline: Rams, Cowboys]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 12:54:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-856332642_master.jpg Todd Gurley scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 53-yard catch-and-run, Greg Zuerlein kicked a career-high seven field goals and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys 35-30 on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Star Breakdown: Analysis of Prescott after Four Games ]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 01:57:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-854906086_master.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Jean-Jacques Taylor break down the play of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott during the first part of the season. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Were the Cowboys Out-Coached in Loss to Rams?]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 01:52:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy_drew_cowboys_outcoached_1200x675_1059503171698.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and the Original 88 Drew Pearson discuss whether the Cowboys were out-coached in the second half after the 35-30 loss to the Rams. 

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<![CDATA[Prescott at Epicenter of Cowboys Loss to Rams]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 06:36:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Rams.jpg

Don’t get caught up in Dak Prescott’s gaudy numbers because they’re full of lies.

So ignore the 252 yards passing. And don’t spend too much time on the three touchdown passes either.

The same goes for the multitude of athletic plays that helped him avoid the Rams relentless pass rush.

The reality is Prescott didn’t play well enough Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Here’s some more truth: the season isn’t going to go the way the Cowboys expect it to go if Prescott doesn’t play better.

Los Angeles 35, Dallas 30

Understand, no one is asking Prescott to be Superman and be the focal point of the offense. It’s foolish to look at the Cowboys’ offense through a Tony Romo prism.

Prescott was never going to be the passer you remember Romo being his last two healthy years, but he he can certainly be better passer than he was on Sunday.

He missed too many throws. Prescott knows this. So does coach Jason Garrett and everyone else.

Missed throws in the NFL leads to missed opportunities, which usually leads to lost games.

In the first half, Prescott missed a potential touchdown pass to a wide open Jason Witten in the corner of the end zone, when he led him too far. Ezekiel Elliott covered up that miscue with a terrific individual effort for a touchdown on a 10-yard catch-and-run that gave Dallas a 10-3 lead.

With the Cowboys trailing 29-24 in the third quarter, Bryant created separation on a slant. An accurate throw and Bryant just might’ve turned the second-and-nine play into a 78-yard touchdown.

But Prescott overthrew him badly and Bryant never even touched the ball.

And on the final drive, Bryant again created separation on a deep in but Prescott threw it over his head at the Los Angeles 45. Again, Bryant never touched the ball.

These are all simple throws, passes we’ve seen Prescott make before. The types of passes we saw him make on a five-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown pass to tight end James Hanna that pulled Dallas within five points midway through the fourth quarter.

“I think I missed some throws in the second half that I didn’t miss in the first half or that I can’t miss, simply,” Prescott said. “I just have to be more accurate especially in two minute drives.

“Going along with that, it is just knowing where I am going with the ball so that my feet can be in tune with my body, being balanced, and making those throws.

“I’d say more reps (to fix his accuracy) than anything. I don’t know. I just have to be better - no reason, no excuse.”

With defenses focused on reducing Elliott’s impact Prescott must make more plays like he did in the first half, when he used his combination of strength, power and agility to consistently elude defenders and make plays worthy of a highlight video.

He was 11 of 15 for 155 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, but he was only 9 of 21 for 97 yards in the second half - and that’s when the Cowboys’ offense sputtered and the Rams seized control of the game.

In the third quarter, the Cowboys gained 41 yards on 13 plays. Prescott passed for nine yards and the Cowboys were 0-for-three on third down as the Rams took a 26-24 lead into the fourth quarter.

“I don’t think [ the Los Angeles Rams] did anything differently. They stuck to their game plan and the second half was the same thing,” Prescott said. “I think it was just us not converting.

“I think we need to find a better consistency in our offense, in running the ball and throwing the ball. Me and my accuracy, we’ve got to be consistent throughout the whole game.

“It’s frustrating. We come out, we’re on fire and we’re feeling good. Then we go into halftime and come back, and it is not the same.”

Understand, this team as currently constructed is always built around the offense. When it doesn’t produce then the defense is exposed because it must he on the field too long.

This is not new. It has been that way in Dallas forever.

That’s why Prescott must play better for Dallas to escape the pit of mediocrity this season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[10 Thoughts: Cowboys 35-30 Loss to Rams]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 05:01:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Rams.jpg

Here are 10 thoughts on the Rams’ 35-30 win over the Cowboys.

 • The Rams seemed to really isolate and expose Jaylon Smith in pass coverage. Remember this, Smith was supposed to spend this season primarily as a run-stopper on first and second down. Still, the Rams took advantage of him for several completions.

•  The Cowboys must figure out a way to make Cole Beasley a bigger part of the offense because he’s the guy who helps convert on third down. Right now, he has 11 catches for 86 yards with 25 percent of the season gone.

•  Play-Caller Scott Linehan clearly likes rookie receiver Ryan Switzer. He’s starting to use him more often on offense. It’s only a matter of time before he makes a big play in the offense.

•  Dak Prescott had a passer rating of 93.8 with 252 yards and three touchdowns, and he still played a big role in the loss. Prescott’s accuracy must improve for this offense to take off.

•  Ezekiel Elliott had a good game with 85 yards on 21 carries, but he didn’t dominate. Last year, he dominated and the Cowboys’ rode their running game to 13 wins and the best record in the NFC.

•  DeMarcus Lawrence had a sack, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble, but one time he had to deal with a tackle, running back and tight end. Not enough defensive linemen made plays. Lawrence has gotta get consistent help if he’s gonna draw that much attention.

•  Backup safety Xavier Woods should be getting more playing time. Jeff Heath knows more, but Woods is making a move fast.

•  Anthony Brown has developed into a play-maker, but he mistimed his jump and missed an easy interception in the fourth quarter that could’ve changed the game’s complexion.

•  Wade Phillips, the Rams’ defensive coordinator, handed it to Jason Garrett in the second half. His unit shut down the Cowboys’ offense in the second half, yielding one touchdown drive in six possessions.

•  Dez Bryant had five catches for 98 yards, but Prescott threw 13 passes in his direction. That catch percentage is still bad.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Star Breakdown: Cowboys 35-30 Loss to the Rams]]> Sun, 01 Oct 2017 17:29:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy+pat+cowboys+rams.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Pat Doney break down the Cowboys loss at home to the Los Angeles Rams. 

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