<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - - Blue Star - Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Cowboys Blog]]>Copyright 2018http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sportsen-usSat, 20 Oct 2018 08:50:32 -0500Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:50:32 -0500NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Stephen Jones Show: Sean Lee to Play, Trades?]]>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 18:22:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_Show_Ben_Skin_Friday_October_18.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Ben and Skin show, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones says Sean Lee will play Sunday against the Redskins and whether or not the team was looking to make any trades.]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Show: Dak Long Term, Sean Lee Availability]]>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:24:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_GBag_Nation_Friday_Oct_19.jpg]]><![CDATA[Scott Linehan Has the Blueprint to Offensive Line Success]]>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:50:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/scott-linehan-cowboys.png

Maybe, just maybe, play caller Scott Linehan has figured out how to maximize the Cowboys' offense.

It starts with putting Dak Prescott on the move whether he's running or throwing from a moving pocket. It means being stubborn with the run and regularly giving Ezekiel Elliott a minimum of 20 carries.

And it means making Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley the focus of the passing game.

Do that on a regular basis and this Cowboys' offense — dysfunctional and ineffective much of the season — might just score enough points to complement their defense and win enough games to get into the playoffs.

Linehan found a blueprint Sunday in the Cowboys' shocking 33-point win over Jacksonville and its top-rated defense and collection of stars.

They scored a season-high 40 points. Prescott had 265 yards in total offense — 183 passing and 82 rushing — while throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. Beasley had a season-high nine catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Dallas amassed 23 first downs and converted a season-high seven-of-17 third-down. They rushed for 206 yards and kept the ball for more than 38 minutes.

With receiver Tavon Austin expected to miss several weeks with a groin injury, the Cowboys have even fewer playmakers, which means Linehan must maximize the ones he still has.

Prescott had runs of 10, 17 and 28 yards against Jacksonville. The 17-yard run, a read option around left end, resulted in a touchdown. The other two runs were scrambles.

Prescott had 19 runs of 10 yards or more last season, and 12 as a rookie. His athleticism makes him a weapon Linehan must prioritize.

The quarterback can help by being patient with his reads in the pocket but running when no one is open. Three or four yards is obviously better than a sack or an incompletion.

"We have to continue to aspire to do that. It's going to depend on who we're playing and how they defend us," Linehan said. "I think some teams will say, 'You're not running your quarterback,' or they'll try.

"From the called runs, zone reads, any of those kinds of plays to the off-schedule plays he can make with his feet, I think we can continue to get production from him not only as our quarterback in the passing game but using his legs at times in the run game."

Getting the ball to Gallup and Beasley should also be a priority.

Gallup had a 27-yard reception on the Cowboys' first drive last week that led to points. He also had an apparent 17-yard touchdown catch overturned by replay, negating a nifty catch.

He's getting better every week, and he's responding to the criticism the coaches have given him about his inability to consistently make contested catches.

Beasley runs the best routes on the team and has the best hands. In a 19-16 overtime loss to Houston, Beasley caught one pass for eight yards.

Ridiculous.

Against Jacksonville, he had receptions of 15, 17, 18 and 21 yards to go over 100 yards for the first time in 44 games.

Jacksonville tried to cover Beasley man-to-man instead of double-teaming him and he took advantage of it. Most teams double him and because Linehan rarely sends him downfield, it becomes easy for him to be neutralized.

In the past, Beasley has gotten frustrated. This season, he's determined to work through it.

"I can't get into a game to where I'm thinking too much, or else I won't play as well. I've gotten into that before after the '16 season and I think the beginning of last season. That kind of messed with me a little bit.

"That's probably been the biggest change for me this year," he said. "I owe a lot of that to (new receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) and the mentality that he's brought into that room. You get satisfaction out of winning your routes whether the ball comes or not."

Elliott knows the importance of getting Beasley involved in the offense. The more plays made in the passing game, the more teams have to back off their safeties and linebackers, which means Elliott has more room to run.

Last week you saw him in rare form," running back Ezekiel Elliott said. "You could see the look in his eyes, you could tell the way he was running his routes that he was just in a rhythm.

"I don't think it mattered who was guarding him at that point. He was definitely in a zone."

Now, it's a matter of whether Beasley and the Cowboys' offense can do it again.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Suspended After Arrest]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:35:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/terrance-williams-dashcam.gif

The Dallas Cowboys confirmed Thursday wide receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended without pay for three games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

Williams' suspension will be effective immediately, meaning he'll he'll be fined and miss games against the Redskins, Titans and Eagles -- and forgo more than $615,000 he would have earned playing in those games.

Williams, who spent the last two weeks on injured reserve, will be able to return to practice Nov. 12 in preparation to face the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 18.

Last month, The Dallas Morning News reported a suspension loomed after Williams' May arrest on public intoxication charges.

The charge was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness course and paid $2,680 in damages done to a light pole that was damaged when his blue Lamborghini hit it, the paper said.

After responding to a call about the crash, Williams was later found by police driving an electric bicycle on the 2400 block of Rock Creek Parkway. He told police another NFL player was driving his car when it hit a light pole -- that player denied any involvement.



Photo Credit: Frisco PD]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins' Defense Ready for Elliott-Led Cowboys Running Game]]>Wed, 17 Oct 2018 19:34:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-101718.jpg

Even after Dak Prescott rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown last week, the Washington Redskins aren't zeroing in on stopping the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

"We don't really care about him running," linebacker Zach Brown said. "Him running is not really our concern."

Their concern is Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys' top running back who's coming off 106 yards and a score against Jacksonville. After seeing Cam Newton with Carolina, the Redskins are prepared for Prescott, but after ranking last in the league in run defense last season -- including allowing 351 yards in two games against Dallas -- the Redskins know it all starts with containing Elliott.

"Definitely with their O-line, their running game is something that definitely jumps off on film," linebacker Mason Foster said. "You don't want to start thinking about Cam Newton or thinking about Dak Prescott so much that you're letting Zeke and (Panthers running back Christian) McCaffrey run free because those are the guys who really can hurt you."

Amid plenty of inconsistency , Washington has not allowed an opponent to rush for more than 104 yards in a game so far this year. Newton was the Panthers' leading rusher when they had just 81 yards on the ground.

"One of our things is trying to make a team one-dimensional because we know if you put it in the air, you eventually might make a mistake," Brown said. "The run is just something we've got to make sure we stop. If a team can run the ball on you, they can kind of control the game. So we've got to make sure they're not running that ball on us."

The big difference for the Redskins this season is the addition of first-round pick Daron Payne and the return of a healthy Jonathan Allen on the defensive line. The Alabama products plus young defensive linemen Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle finally give Washington the muscle up front to handle prolific running attacks.

"Having Jon Allen back, Ioannidis fully healthy, Ryan (Kerrigan) -- all these guys are physical up front, closing gaps," Foster said. "Guys are going to bust runs or guys are going to make plays, but it's about limiting those plays and making them earn it."

The Cowboys' diverse run schemes present what Redskins coach Jay Gruden called a big challenge for Payne, Allen and the young defensive linemen. But those guys think they're plenty prepared to handle the dual-threat ground game of Elliott and Prescott.

"Just hit them in the mouth, get the O-line going backwards, win the line of scrimmage," Settle said Wednesday. "They got to block us. We don't have to worry about them. They got to stop us from accomplishing what we want to accomplish. I feel like the more focused we are, the more dominant we play."

No one is calling the Redskins' defense dominant quite yet, but the organization zeroed in on Payne with the concept of him being a difference-maker against the run and the pass. Elliott running all over them contributed to the decision to take Payne 13th overall.

"When you have a weakness, you've got to address it," Gruden said. "Daron Payne was, we thought, the best run-stopper -- him and Vita Vea -- in the draft and we were lucky to get him. Obviously we paid it huge consideration for adding a player of that caliber."

Payne has been every bit of what coaches expected, but he can't stop Elliott by himself. Safety D.J. Swearinger said defenders are thinking, "We've got to find ways to stop 21" and let the rest of Dallas' offense beat them.

That's what Gruden wants to hear, putting the emphasis on gang-tackling a running back who doesn't go down easily.

"These one-on-one tackles against Zeke are easier said than done," Gruden said. "Great backs can make the unblocked player miss or run through them for another 5 or 6 yards, and that's what he's done in his career. ... There's always going to be a free guy coming, and that guy has got to make his presence felt and make that tackle or at least hold him up for when other guys can get off blocks and make the tackle."

NOTES
WR Jamison Crowder (ankle), RB Adrian Peterson (shoulder/ankle/knee), WR Paul Richardson (shoulder/knee), LG Shawn Lauvao (calf), RG Brandon Scherff (knee), CB Danny Johnson (broken right forearm) and S Troy Apke (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Gruden said Crowder is the most iffy to play against Dallas. ... The Redskins plan to hold a moment of silence for longtime reporter Rich Tandler, who died unexpectedly Tuesday at age 63. A team spokesman says a plaque will be placed at Tandler's seat in the press box at FedEx Field, which will remain empty.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Can Cowboys Solve Road Woes in Washington?]]>Wed, 17 Oct 2018 19:18:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+101718.jpg

The Cowboys are 0-3 away from AT&T Stadium. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor explain how Dallas can solves those road woes on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[How Sean Lee's Return Changes Linebacker Dynamic]]>Wed, 17 Oct 2018 19:21:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+101718.jpg

Sean Lee is practicing for the first time since injuring his hamstring against the Seahawks. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor examine how Lee's return will change the linebacker rotation for Rod Marinelli's defense.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating the Silver and Blue - October 15, 2018]]>Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:22:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Fans+101618.jpg

Teresa Jo as well as Wyatt and Emerson were featured during the Celebrating Silver and Blue segment on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Photo Credit: Williams Barnes]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Show: Garrett Extension, Maher's Leg]]>Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:51:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Shan_RJ_The_Fan_KRLD_Tuesday_Oct_16.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, talking with The Fan's Shan & RJ on his weekly show, address rumors about a contract extension for head coach Jason Garrett and says he's impressed with kicker Brett Maher. Jones also discussed the death of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Recorded Oct. 16, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Beasley Shows Worth, Cowboys Need More of Same in Pass Game]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 20:19:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cole-Beasley-Getty-101518.jpg

Cole Beasley doesn't really hide his frustration over the perception that Dallas receivers are floundering as they try to replace Dez Bryant and retired franchise catch leader Jason Witten.

The dean of the Cowboys pass-catchers is never belligerent about it, but his message is always pointed -- just as it was after the second 100-yard game of his career in a 40-7 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I know my worth," Beasley said after getting the first 100-yard game for a Dallas wideout this season (101) while tying career highs with nine catches and two touchdowns. "There's a lot of naysayers and a lot of people that are trying to tell me what I am, but it doesn't mean anything."

Ask him, and the seventh-year pro would say the same applies to the rest of the players in the receiver room.

But it's not as if the criticism is without merit. Before the Cowboys (3-3) shredded the NFL's No. 1 pass defense in the first half, their receivers had 604 yards combined in five games, with just three touchdowns.

Against the Jaguars, Beasley and rookie Michael Gallup combined for 106 yards in just one half. Beasley had his first two TDs of the season, and Gallup almost had the first of his career on a soaring grab when he couldn't get the second foot down while sailing out of bounds.

"This just puts a lot of confidence in the wide receivers," Gallup said. "We know we can make plays. Just throw the ball and we're gonna go make the quarterback right."

Beasley acknowledged that the receiving group wasn't good in a 19-16 overtime loss at Houston, which dropped the Cowboys to 0-3 on the road before they beat the Jags to improve to 3-0 for the first time at 9-year-old AT&T Stadium.

Against the Texans, there were drops and several plays where receivers weren't strong enough on routes. One of those led to an interception. Gallup's catch against Jacksonville was contested on sideline, and Beasley kept getting open, showing emotion with each grab.

It's exactly what Dak Prescott has been seeking from the group while acknowledging his misfires and protection breakdowns. And the third-year quarterback had a feeling he would get it -- and will need more of it for the Cowboys to break their .500 pattern.

Dallas goes for its first road win Sunday against NFC East-leading Washington (3-2).

"He's texting me last Friday night, saying he was taking care of his body and you could just tell," Prescott said of Beasley, his most reliable target with Witten gone. "He was preparing to have a big game, and that is exactly what he did."

Ezekiel Elliott had a quiet 100-yard day (106 yards with a touchdown) and lost his NFL rushing lead to Todd Gurley, who had a career-high 208 yards in the Los Angeles Rams' win over Denver. Beasley knows the Dallas offense still revolves around its star running back.

"So it's going to be tough to explode," he said. "Where we can show our worth is just making plays when it comes our way. We failed to do that last week. It's hard to play that way, but we've got to do it. That's our job."

The Cowboys have believed all along that they could win without a so-called No. 1 receiver since dumping Bryant, the club's career leader in touchdown catches, in a cost-cutting move.

This group still needs more time to get comfortable with Prescott, who is also showing that his running is an important component for this offense.

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year had the second-most yards rushing for a quarterback in franchise history with 82 against the Jaguars. His previous career high of 45 came in a Week 2 win over the New York Giants.

But the Cowboys will have to throw to get back to the playoffs after missing in the disappointing encores of Prescott and Elliott following their remarkable rookie seasons together.

"I've been preaching this all year, just pure execution," Elliott said. "We have the best O-line in football. We have the weapons on the outside. Dak's a great quarterback. But if we don't go out there and play up to who we are, well then we're not going to look like it."

This win looked more like something to build on than the first two for the Cowboys.

NOTES
DE DeMarcus Lawrence, who was a half-sack out of the NFL lead going into the Jacksonville game, didn't start and played a season-low 24 snaps while nursing a shoulder injury. He went without a sack for the second straight game after getting at last half a sack in each of the first four. ... Coach Jason Garrett said LB Joe Thomas is likely to miss a second straight game against the Redskins because of a foot injury.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Stephen Jones on Win Over Jags, Injuries]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:56:42 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_GBag_Nation_101518.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation at noon Mondays, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones talks about the Cowboys decisive win over the Jags and gives an injury update on DeMarcus Lawrence, Tavon Austin and Randy Gregory.]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Dak Plays Great, Unsatisfied Fans Still Crave More]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:30:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-defense-101518.jpg

Dak Prescott played a sensational game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, yet there’s a faction of a Cowboys’ fans that doesn’t appreciate it based on a lot of social media criticism.

Those fans need to get over themselves.

Understand, Prescott is never, ever going to be a quarterback who dazzles you with his statistics.

He’s never going to have a plethora of 300-yard passing games, and he’s not going to break a bunch of Tony Romo’s passing records.

But if you surround him with talent and create a playbook that accentuates his skill set, then Prescott is good enough to consistently win games in the NFL.

Dallas 40, Jacksonville 7.

Prescott passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 107.5. He ran a career-high 11 times for a career-high 82 yards, including a career-long 28-yard run.

He led the Cowboys to points on eight of 11 possessions against one of the NFL’s top defensive teams as Dallas tied the second-most points it has ever scored in a game Prescott started.

Still, some of y’all ain’t happy.

FYI: Romo is happy in the CBS broadcast booth. He ain’t never walking through that locker room door again.

You need to be on your knees praying that Prescott is that guy, the quarterback to lead the Cowboys for the next 8-10 years. If he’s not, and the Cowboys have to start the search for that franchise quarterback again, understand there’s no telling how long it might take.

Sam Darnold looks like he might be the New York Jets’ first franchise quarterback since Joe Namath. Pat Mahomes looks like Kansas City’s first franchise quarterback since Len Dawson.

The Detroit Lions waited nearly 50 years between Bobby Layne and Matthew Stafford, and Tampa Bay has never had one in its 42-years history.

That’s why the Cowboys will give Prescott every opportunity to prove he can be their starter for the foreseeable future.

Performances like the one he turned in Sunday gives the organization confidence he can be the guy. There’s one play in particular Prescott made Sunday that encapsulated his entire skill set.

On second-and-eight from the Dallas 27, the Cowboys lined up in an empty backfield. Prescott felt pressure from the right side as the pocket collapsed, so he reverse spun out of pocket, nearly stumbling in the process. He ran left looking for someone to throw before turning upfield and sprinting 28 yards to the Jacksonville 45.

Seven plays later, Brett Maher kicked a 46-yard field goal that pushed the Cowboy’ lead to 27-7.

“If you ask me about line one for that guy, it’s who he is. The character of the guy. How he handles himself on the field, off the field, through success, through adversity, and just how he competes,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a very talented guy.

“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s flexible, he’s a good passer and he’s a good runner. But at the end of the day, what makes the guy who he is is who he is. His makeup. His character. I think you see that on a play like that because he won’t go down.

“Somehow, someway, he’s going to keep the play alive and go do something good for your football team. That’s why guys follow him, he’s an outstanding leader and we’re lucky to have him as our quarterback.”

Earlier this year, Prescott carried seven times for 45 yards in a 20-13 win over the New York Giants.

This is a season the Cowboys need Prescott to run. It won’t always be like that as the Cowboys get more talented players at receiver and tight end.

This year, however, the Cowboys need the extra dimension his running provides. Play-caller Scott Linehan called some read options and even a QB Power on third-and-short against Jacksonville.

Prescott scored the Cowboys first touchdown on a 17-yard read option around left end, but seven of his 11 carries were the result of leaving the pocket on scrambles.

Dallas needs more of that.

“He can attack you a lot of different ways. Some of the runs we have are runs that if you get a favorable look, you hand it off,” Garrett said. “And if they’re all stacked up in there, he can be a threat to run it. He made good decisions for the most part throughout the game and again when things broke down in the passing game.

“Maybe he didn’t have somebody right away or he had to get out of the pocket, he took advantage of those. Used good judgment, made good decisions.”

But this game wasn’t just about Prescott running, he made enough plays in the passing game to keep Jacksonville off-balance, and that’s really all the Cowboys need him to do.

He threw more intermediate routes than he has all season, which is why Cole Beasley caught nine passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Gallup caught a 27-yard pass on the Cowboys’ first drive.

“We know Dak likes to protect the ball, but he threw it down the fields a lot more today,” Vice President Stephen Jones said. “I don’t think anyone had to tell him to do it, but we need him too attack like that when it’s there.”

When he does, he’s good enough to help the Cowboys win a lot of games.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Put Focus on Road Woes After Routing Jags at Home]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:27:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-defense-101518.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott had a quiet 100-yard game by his standards in the Dallas Cowboys' rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The star running back spoke the loudest after the 40-7 win on the home-road discrepancy for a .500 team that's perfect at AT&T Stadium and winless with three mostly anemic offensive showings on the road.

Up next before Dallas' open week: a trip to NFC East-leading Washington (3-2), a half-game ahead of the Cowboys and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, tied at 3-3.

"Obviously it's something we can do, but we need to do it," Elliott, emphasizing "need," said Sunday after rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown. "If we keep not winning on the road, we're not going to make the playoffs."

Dallas has three touchdowns on the road -- one in each game. The Cowboys are averaging nearly 100 yards per game more at home than on the road, and the numbers are particularly stark in the first half.

At home, the Cowboys have a 210-125 edge in yardage before halftime compared to a 221-103 deficit at the break on the road. It's not exactly the formula for taking a crowd out of the game.

"We've been a good road team in the past," coach Jason Garrett said. "We have a young team. We have to understand how to handle the conditions on the road."

After some pregame pumping up for Dallas from UFC star Conor McGregor , Cole Beasley had his first two touchdown catches of the season against the Jaguars.

Dak Prescott threw for 151 of his 183 yards before halftime and had 82 yards rushing, the second-best total for a quarterback in franchise history behind Roger Staubach's 90 yards in 1971.

Prescott had two other career numbers: his longest run, a 28-yarder after escaping a sack, and his longest scoring run -- from 17 yards after a fake to Elliott for Dallas' first TD.

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year didn't have to throw in the second half, so the team's 30th-ranked passing game coming in couldn't really be judged by another sub-200-yard game.

"I was talking to Dak the other day and we talked about how this game could set us up for the rest of the season," said receiver Allen Hurns, who didn't have a catch despite five targets. "We've still got to focus on trying to win on the road."

Things to consider after the Jaguars (3-3) had season lows in total offense (204 yards) and yards rushing (65) while running just 47 plays to 72 for the Cowboys:

HOBBLED RUN GAME

Leonard Fournette's availability with a balky hamstring will remain one of the big topics for Jacksonville, which is on its third left tackle in Josh Walker while All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell has been a disappointment as a big-money free agent.

The Jaguars want to run -- they're 0-3 when they don't get to 20 carries. Four-time All-Pro Jamaal Charles, unsigned before joining the Jaguars this past week, got a taste with five carries for 5 yards and a 5-yard catch. His role going forward will be something to watch. Starter T.J. Yeldon had 41 yards on just eight carries.

"We're pretty banged up, but we've got guys that can play at any position," said quarterback Blake Bortles, who was 15 of 26 for 149 yards after establishing career highs in yards passing the previous two weeks. "We expect a lot out of everybody out there."

DALLAS D-LINE

The defensive front of the Cowboys is getting close to full strength, and could need the help with top pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence trying to play through a shoulder injury.

Defensive tackle David Irving made his season debut after serving a four-game suspension and missing his first possible game for personal reasons. He had an early pressure on Bortles.

End Randy Gregory had his first sack since returning from substance-abuse suspensions that sidelined him for 30 of 32 games over two seasons. Gregory had a team-high three QB hits. Tackle Maliek Collins returned after missing three games with a knee injury and had his second sack of the season.

"With that particular lineup, it's an unbelievable rush group," owner Jerry Jones said.

EARLY GOOSE EGGS

Jacksonville is in a three-way tie for first in the AFC South with one of those teams, Houston, visiting Sunday. A good place for the Jaguars to start would be to start faster. They were outscored a combined 44-0 in the first half of losses to Kansas City and Dallas. The Cowboys scored on all four first-half possessions against the NFL's No. 1 defense. "I'm going to figure it out, but it's my job to make sure that our team comes out and they're ready to play," coach Doug Marrone said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating the Silver and Blue 2018]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 15:45:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/blue-star-thumb-101518.jpgNBC 5 viewers are sharing their photos celebrating the silver and blue as the Dallas Cowboys kick off the 2018 NFL season. Send your photos to iSee@nbcuni.com.]]><![CDATA[Newy and Dennis Thurman Preview Cowboys-Redskins]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:35:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+1015181.jpg



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The Cowboys renew their rivalry with the Redskins next Sunday. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman talk about what this matchup means to fans in then nation’s capitol.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Newy and JJT Preview Washington Week]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:32:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+2+1014182.jpg

First place in the NFC East is on the line next week when the Cowboys visit the Redskins. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor preview the rivalry game in Washington.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Analyzing Dak Prescott’s Performance vs. Jacksonville]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:23:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-chopper.jpg

Dak Prescott ran for a career-high 82 yards and accounted for three touchdowns in Sunday’s win against Jacksonville. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor explain why Prescott still hasn’t won over some fans with his performance.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott Sparks Punchless Pass Game, Cowboys Rout Jags]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:41:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-2-101418.jpg

Dak Prescott sparked the previously punchless Dallas passing game and celebrated Conor McGregor-style.

So did his Dallas teammates with the UFC star watching after some pregame pumping up.

Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Cole Beasley for a big halftime lead and rushed for a career-high 82 yards with another score in the Cowboys' 40-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

"It's definitely the best we've played from executing on offense and taking advantage of when the defense is giving us turnovers and good field position," Prescott said. "We were just feeding off each other. We felt it early. I don't know if it was Conor McGregor or whatever it was."

McGregor mingled before the game with the Cowboys, offering some fist-pumping encouragement before they rolled to a 24-0 halftime lead. Beasley recorded his first two touchdowns of the season for the NFL's 30th-ranked passing offense that was facing the league's No. 1 pass defense.

Prescott had 151 of his 183 yards passing in the first half because Dallas (3-3) didn't need to throw while coasting during a second-half blowout.

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year already had his personal best in rushing for a game when he spun out of a sack for the longest run of his career, a 28-yarder. He scored Dallas' first touchdown on a 17-yard run while almost doubling his previous high of 45 yards, in Week 2.

Trailing by at least 20 at halftime for the second straight week, the Jaguars (3-3) had to abandon their preferred running attack again. They also were without Leonard Fournette for the fourth time with a hamstring injury, and have a banged-up offensive line on its third left tackle.

Blake Bortles, who established a career high in yards passing in consecutive weeks and had a chance to become the fifth NFL quarterback with three straight games of at least 375 yards, was 15 of 26 for 149 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"Tough to describe, just pretty much a waste of a day, and a trip," Bortles said. "Not by any means what we expected to do, were planning on doing. We've got to find a way to fix it, and we will."

The Cowboys won their first three games of the season at 9-year-old AT&T Stadium for the first time. Most of their offensive struggles have been in the three road losses.

No such difficulties this time, even when Prescott lost control of the ball twice and basically dribbled to himself on two of his career-high 11 runs. He also completed a first-down pass to Baylor power forward-turned tight end Rico Gathers, making it quite the basketball day as well.

Beasley had his second career 100-yard receiving game with 101 yards on nine catches. The scoring plays were from 17 and 9 yards , with the diminutive receiver showing plenty of emotion after each big catch.

"Maybe it was a little social media action that got me pumped, and also game plan," Beasley said. "Knowing I had a lot of opportunities, I was ready to go."

The Dallas defense, a top 10 unit overshadowed coming into the game, lost its shutout on Bortles' 34-yard pass to Dede Westbrook midway through the third quarter.

But the Cowboys answered with their second interception of the season, by Jeff Heath as part of triple coverage, and Jourdan Lewis' recovery just barely inbounds of receiver Keelan Cole's fumble after a catch. The Jaguars had season lows with 204 total yards and 65 on the ground.

The centerpiece of the Dallas offense, NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott, was something of an afterthought with the prolific passing in the first half. But he finally passed Prescott's rushing total for good on a 15-yard scoring run for a 37-7 lead and finished with 106 yards on 24 carries.

DRAFT COMPARISONS
It was the first meeting for Elliott and outspoken Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was taken one spot behind the Cowboys star at No. 5 in the 2016 draft. Both teams are obviously happy with the pick.

The Jaguars rode their defense to a spot in the AFC championship game last season, and Elliott has been arguably the league's most productive back. The 2016 rushing leader as a rookie, Elliott was suspended for six games last season over domestic violence allegations.

Ramsey almost had an interception on the sideline at the goal line with the Jaguars down 24-7 late in the third quarter, but couldn't get his second foot inbounds.

BRIEFLY
Dallas' Brett Maher had four field goals for the second time in three games, including a career long of 55 yards. ... Randy Gregory had his first sack since his return from substance-abuse suspensions that sidelined the Cowboys defensive end for 30 of 32 games the previous two seasons.

INJURIES
Jaguars: DE Calais Campbell left in the first half with a rib injury. ... TE Niles Paul didn't return because of a knee injury.

Cowboys: WR Tavon Austin left in the second half with a groin injury and didn't return.

UP NEXT
Jaguars: Home against Houston next Sunday.

Cowboys: At Washington next Sunday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' Win Over Jacksonville]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:39:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys-Defense-Getty-101418.jpg

Here are NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the Cowboys' 40-7 win over Jacksonville.

1. Dak Prescott passed for only 183 yards, but he threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another 82 yards and a touchdown. More important, he threw the ball downfield enough that Cole Beasley had 101 yards receiving, the first 100-yard receiver Dallas has had this season. He controlled the game, made good decisions and directed an efficient offensive performance.

2. The Cowboys scored on eight of 11 possessions against a defensive unit that had allowed justice six touchdowns in its first five games and three of those occurred last week against Kansas City. Dallas scored a season-high four touchdowns and Brett Maher made four field goals.

3. Prescott carried a career-high 11 times for a career-high 82 yards. The Cowboys don't need him to be Michael Vick or Cam Newton, but they need him to be aggressive about running. The Cowboys called some designed runs -- read options and even a QB Power -- but he was also aggressive about leaving the pocket, and gaining two or three yards, when he couldn't find a receiver.

Prescott had four designed runs and seven scrambles, including a 28-yard jaunt that was one of the game's biggest plays.

4. Beasley, who tied career highs in receptions (nine) and touchdowns (two), ended a 44-game streak without a 100-yard game on Sunday. He finished with 101 yards receiving, including touchdown catches of 17 and nine yards -- not bad considering he entered the game with 17 catches for 193 yards and no touchdowns.

5. Maliek Collins had his first sack of the season in the second quarter and Randy Gregory added a sack in the fourth quarter. It was the first sack of the season for each player. Collins' sack was critical because it occurred on third down with Dallas leading 10-0 in the second quarter and ended Jacksonville's best drive of the game to that point.

6. Gregory played his best game of the season with three tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and a sack. The coaching staff said Gregory was starting to make progress in practice and games and that it was only a matter of time until it showed on the field.

7. Ezekiel Elliott ended a three-game streak without a touchdown -- the longest of his career -- with a 15-yard touchdown run off left tackle. It was supposed to go off right tackle, but Jacksonville followed Beasley's motion to the right, so Elliott took it left where there was only one defender until he hit the secondary. Elliott finished with 24 carries for 106 yards, including two runs of 20 yards or more.

8. The Cowboys' defensive held Jacksonville to 204 yards and 10 first downs. Blake Bortles passed for just 149 yards on 26 attempts, and only two of the Jaguars 47 plays gained 20 yards or more. Dallas also forced turnovers on consecutive possessions for the first time this season.

9. Kicker Brett Maher has made 14 straight field goals since missing his first attempt in Carolina. He made kicks of 50, 46, 32 and 55 yards against Jacksonville.

10. Jalen Ramsey had no impact on the game. He made four tackles and broke up one pass. He nearly made a nifty interception at the goal line with Dallas leading 24-7, but was ruled to have stepped out of bounds. Two plays later, Maher kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it 27-7.



Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things to Know About the Cowboys Win Over Jacksonville]]>Sun, 14 Oct 2018 22:09:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+Doney+101418.jpg

Dak Prescott, Cole Beasley and more. NBC 5's Pat Doney has five things you need to know following the Cowboys' 40-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Breaking Down Dominant Win vs. Jaguars]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:41:36 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+1+101418.jpg

The Cowboys shined in all three phases in their dominant win against the Jaguars. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss why Sunday’s victory was so surprising. ]]>
<![CDATA[AT&T Stadium Reminds Tailgaters About Loud Music Policy]]>Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:18:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Tailgate+101418.jpg

If you were outside AT&T Stadium on Sunday, you may have noticed it was a bit quieter in the tailgating sections.

It's no secret Cowboys fans love to tailgate, often accompanied by loud music.

Some fans have even had their own disk jockeys or live bands perform for their tailgate parties.

However, amplified sound systems at loud levels are not allowed, according to stadium tailgating policy.

The policy isn't new.

Representatives from the stadium said the rules have been in place for some time.

However, security officials are cracking down on violators when it comes to all tailgating guidelines, including loud music.

Those who arrived at AT&T Stadium to tailgate prior to Sunday's game against Jacksonville received information about the policy.

Some fans noticed a big change Sunday.

"As fans we like it," Eddie Jaramillo said. "It gives us a chance to watch the game, listen to the commentators and watch the replay."

While most fans said they are okay with the rules, others have complained about the crackdown.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Defense Dominates Jaguars]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:38:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+101518.jpg

The Cowboys defense held the Jaguars to just seven points in Sunday’s win. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman explain why Rod Marinelli’s unit was so effective against Jacksonville. ]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Jaguars]]>Sun, 14 Oct 2018 18:23:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-101418.jpg

Here's NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's instant analysis of the Cowboys' 40-7 win over Jacksonville at AT&T Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS
Hope reigns in Dallas. The Cowboys were at a crossroads entering this game and their season could've gone down the toilet with a loss or continued toward the playoffs with a win. As many of you predicted, the Cowboys played their best game of the season, dominating on offense and defense, as they rolled one of the AFC's best teams.

TURNING POINT
Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, Jacksonville drove to the Dallas 32 where they faced a third-and-three. Defensive tackle Malik Collins, who missed the previous three games, used a spin move to get by guard Andrew Norwell and sack Blake Bortles for an eight-yard loss. Jacksonville punted and Dallas drove 84 yards in nine plays for a 17-0 lead on Cole Beasley’s 17-yard touchdown catch.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dak Prescott, maligned much of the season, was sensational against Jacksonville with 183 yards passing, a career-high 82 yards rushing and three total touchdowns -- two passing and one rushing. Prescott showed all the various skills he can use to help the Cowboys win against Jacksonville. Now, he must figure out how to replicate the performance.

KEY STAT
Prescott's 82 yards rushing is the most by a Dallas quarterback since Roger Staubach gained 90 yards on six carries against Philadelphia in 1971.

WHAT'S NEXT
The Cowboys will face Washington in a game for at least a share of first place in the NFC East Sunday at FedEx Field. Dallas and Washington are each 3-3 as is Philadelphia, which plays Carolina next week. There aren't a lot of people who figured the Cowboys would have a crack at first place seven weeks into the season after all of their offensive woes this season.

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 40-7 win over Jacksonville at AT&T Stadium.

 

 

WHAT IT MEANS: Hope reigns in Dallas. The Cowboys were at a crossroads entering this game and their season could’ve gone down the toilet with a loss or continued toward the playoffs with a win. As many of you predicted, the Cowboys played their best game of the season, dominating on offense and defense, as they rolled one of the AFC’s best teams.

 

TURNING POINT:  Trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, Jacksonville drove to the Dallas 32 where they faced a third-and-three. Defensive tackle Malik Collins, who has missed the previous three games, used a spin move to get by guard Andrew Norwell and sack Blake Bortles for an eight-yard loss. Jacksonville punted and Dallas drove 84 yards in nine plays for a 17-0 lead on Cole Beasley’s 17-yard touchdown catch.

 

 

PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Dak Prescott, maligned much of the season, was sensational against Jacksonville with 183 yards passing, a career-high 82 yards rushing and three total touchdowns - two passing and one rushing. Prescott showed all the various skills he can use to help the Cowboys win against Jacksonville. Now, he must figure out how to replicate the performance.

 

 

KEY STAT:  Prescott’s 82 yards rushing is the most by a Dallas quarterback since Roger Staubach gained 90 yards on six carries against Philadelphia in 1971.

 

 

WHAT'S NEXT:  The Cowboys will face Washington in a game for at least a share of first place in the NFC East Sunday at FedEx Field. Dallas and Washington are each 3-3 as is Philadelphia, which plays Carolina next week. There aren’t a lot of people who figured the Cowboys would have a crack at first place seven weeks into the season after all of their offensive woes this season.



Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Says Cowboys Need to Find 'Balance']]>Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:38:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/usa-jerry-jones-cowboys.jpg

With the Dallas Cowboys coming off a Week 5 loss to the Texans, team owner Jerry Jones says they need to find "balance" in facing a tough Jaguars team this weekend.

Talking on his weekly show with The Fan's GBag Nation, Jerry Jones thinks the balance the team needs may be in the form of getting more action for quarterback Dak Prescott.

CLICK HERE to read more from our media partners at 105.3 The Fan



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Dak, Cowboys Running Out of Time to Fix Passing Game]]>Fri, 12 Oct 2018 08:35:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-092318.jpg

Dak Prescott looks at tape of the Cowboys' offense and he feels optimistic.

"I don't think we're far off," he said Thursday.

That's cool, but it looks like the same raggedy offense we've seen since the middle of last season.

Prescott has clearly regressed from a sensational rookie season — and it doesn't matter whether you blame the coaching staff, receiving core or you believe he's been overrated from the start.

As the Cowboys enter their most important game of the season against one of the NFL's top defenses, Prescott ranks 25th in the NFL in passing yards (192.2), 26th in passer rating (81.4) and 29th in average per attempt (6.7).

He's been sacked 16 times — only four quarterbacks have been sacked more — and he's completing a career-low 61.8 percent of his passes.

This dude bears virtually no resemblance to the player who was named Rookie of Year, forced Tony Romo to the bench and played in the Pro Bowl in 2016.

Too many times, he's tentative in the pocket or he feels the pass rush and his mechanics get discombobulated leading to errant throws instead of stepping up in the pocket, setting his feet and delivering the ball.

The result is the Cowboys have one of the of the NFL's worst passing offenses at a time when seemingly every other team's passing game is thriving.

Since the NFL merger in 1970, NFL teams have the highest completion percentage (65 pct) and touchdown passes (270) ever through five weeks.

Even a journeyman quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick already has three 400-yard games this season.

Then there are the Cowboys, whose inept passing game forces us to celebrate 200-yard passing days.

"Obviously I haven't had my best showing of late here recently," Prescott said of his accuracy. "Getting my feet right, making sure it's all in line, feet and eyes in line, and just making sure the ball's coming out of my hand earlier."

It's a collective issue.

Sometimes, it's the receivers whether we're talking about dropped passes or missed signals. Twice, against the Texans, Allen Hurns missed hand signals from Prescott.

The first, resulted in an incompletion on the game's first play. The second, forced Prescott to hand the ball of to Ezekiel Elliott, resulting in a four-yard loss, instead of the hitch he wanted to throw to Hurns.

Other times, it's the protection.

Twice in the fourth quarter against Houston, Prescott saw opportunities to make big plays to Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin but heavy pressure prevented him from getting the ball out.

Each of his four interceptions have occurred on deflected passes. Hurns called a fourth-quarter interception on a pass directed to Deonte Thompson a terrible play-call because it was a deep comeback against a defense designed to stop that play.

Prescott said he could've changed the route, but has completed passes against that exact defense in the past.

Prescott said Hurns sent him a clarifying text as soon as the receiver realized his words could be construed as a criticism of the quarterback.

"There's going to be frustration," Prescott said. "You say things sometimes that are taken out of context. Everything that I read or that he said was all understandable. We're fine."

This season, Prescott has thrown twice as many passes with the Cowboys trailing (74) than leading (37).

It's no coincidence 10 of the 16 sacks the Cowboys have allowed have occurred with Dallas trailing.

"Everybody's got a piece of it," coach Jason Garrett said. "There's not one area where you say, 'If we got that shored up, we'd be an elite passing team.' It's everybody. We've all got to look at ourselves. We've all got to do a better job."

Now, they must do it against one of the NFL's best secondaries led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Jacksonville allows a league-best 191.0 yards passing per game. Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 60 percent of their passes with three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 77.0 passer rating.

This seems like a bad week to try to fix what's wrong with Prescott and the passing game.

"I know I'm a better player mentally and physically than I was a year ago or two years ago," he said. "That's what's frustrating about all of it.

"But it's about sticking to what I know, believing in the people I know and the coaches and just fighting through it and knowing it'll get better."

The question is whether it'll happen fast enough to save the season.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Suddenly Pass-Happy Jags Visit Throwing-Challenged Cowboys]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 23:00:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Cowboys-logo.jpg

With Blake Bortles piling up passing numbers like never before in his career, Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone wants to get the Jaguars back to running.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys have the opposite issue heading into a Sunday matchup with familiar faces on both sidelines.

Bortles has a chance to be just the fifth NFL quarterback with at least 375 yards passing in three straight games after establishing a career high in consecutive weeks. He also had a career-high four interceptions last week, which helped explain a 30-14 loss to undefeated Kansas City.

There was something else that bothered Marrone against the Chiefs: a season-low 17 rushing attempts to go with Bortles' personal high of 61 throws. The only other game this season with fewer than 20 carries? The other loss for Jacksonville (3-2), against Tennessee.

"That's not the way we want to play," Marrone said. "I probably should have done a better job of that. I just felt like we were pressing and trying to make plays. I just think overall I have to do a better job of managing that."

Of course, the Jaguars have some pretty good reasons to tilt toward the pass. Running back Leonard Fournette will be out for the fourth time in six games with a hamstring injury. Jacksonville is on its third left tackle in Josh Walker.

The Jaguars signed two-time All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles this week and expect him to contribute behind T.J. Yeldon against the Cowboys (2-3).

"I think we were pretty fortunate last year as far as staying healthy," Bortles said. "This year we haven't been quite as lucky. These next three weeks, not looking ahead or anything, but to get to the bye week are important with the amount of guys we have down."

The Cowboys aren't looking for 375 yards passing from Prescott because they have the NFL rushing leader in Ezekiel Elliott. But inefficiency throwing is the biggest reason Dallas has a losing record and questions inside and outside the locker room about play-calling.

The bright side for Dallas: another home game. The Cowboys are trying to win the first three at home for the first time at 9-year-old AT&T Stadium. The worst of the offensive issues have been on the road.

"You just keep banging away," Garrett said. "There's a lot of good things we're doing offensively. We have to continue to build on those. There's plenty of things we've got to shore up and we'll try to address those things as directly as we can."

Things to know about the first meeting between these teams since the Cowboys made their first regular-season trip to London four years ago:

FAMILIAR FACES

Dallas receiver Allen Hurns, who questioned the play call on one of Prescott's interceptions but said he wasn't second-guessing offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, spent his first four years in Jacksonville before signing with the Cowboys in free agency this past offseason.

Safety Barry Church, in his second year with the Jaguars, was a cornerstone for the Dallas defense the last four of his seven seasons with the Cowboys. Both will be facing their former team for the first time.

"It's just like playing against your brother," said Hurns, who had his first touchdown with the Cowboys in last week's overtime loss to Houston but has just eight catches. "You don't want to lose. I don't want to say this game is bigger than any other game, but for sure one I want to win."

SPEAKING OF FAMILIAR

Charles was a standout at Texas and won a national championship with the Longhorns as a freshman during the 2005 season. The former Chiefs star whose career has been marred by knee injuries lives near Houston.

The 31-year-old had been unsigned after spending last season as a backup in Denver. His return will be his first visit to the home of the Cowboys, a week after he was in Dallas watching the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry.

"I'm ready to get the dust off these cleats," he said.

DEFENSE FIRST

The Jaguars rode their defense to the AFC championship game last season. The Cowboys are relying on that unit more than usual with the difficulties in the passing game and an offensive line unsettled because of the absence of four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, who is battling a nerve condition.

Both teams are in the top five in scoring defense and bottom seven in scoring offense.

"It's going to be a battle among the defenses," Dallas defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford said. "That's the way I'm looking at it."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott Doesn't Feel Need to Preach Unity With Cowboys]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 22:51:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-head.jpg

Dak Prescott took plenty of time away from the cameras trying to explain why he thinks the Dallas offense is close to breaking through the struggles most responsible for the Cowboys' losing record.

The quarterback at one point looked for help in his description from Cole Beasley, the receiver who sounded off recently about the frustration his group feels in a sound bite that was perceived as a shot at Prescott.

In short, Prescott sees no issues of unity with the Cowboys (2-3) trying for the third time to get back to .500 with a home game coming off a rough road trip. Jacksonville (3-2) visits Sunday.

"That's why I give these guys a lot of credit because we talk, we communicate," Prescott said Thursday. "There's not any beef or any tension from when I go see them on the sideline. It's great communication. They allow me to do that and we can be straightforward with each other."

Newcomer Allen Hurns has joined Beasley in trying to defend a receiving corps struggling to replace Jason Witten and Dez Bryant and getting the criticism that figured to go with it.

The former Jaguars player also caused a stir by suggesting that a particularly poor play call resulted in Prescott's second interception against Houston in a 19-16 overtime loss.

Hurns didn't back down, but coach Jason Garrett and Prescott didn't necessarily agree that the call was so terrible. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan brushed it off as a non-issue.

"I don't put any stock in that as being critical," Linehan said. "I'm the first one if you had a better play against that coverage to say we could have a better call there. You don't have to put that on Allen Hurns. He's busting his butt and we're really happy with what he's doing."

The Cowboys have the 30th-ranked passing offense in the NFL and the second-fewest touchdowns. The receivers haven't really earned the right to second-guess because they aren't producing.

But everyone agrees it's a combination of protection, Prescott's accuracy and their shortcomings.

"That kind of comes with the territory here," Beasley said of the criticism. "And I do feel like we've gotten a lot of it. But a lot of other people have too. So it's not just us. It's just kind of how it goes. Whether it's true or not, we've still got to go in and just do our job."

The Cowboys have the NFL rushing leader in Ezekiel Elliott, but Prescott is still close to the bottom of the league in key passing efficiency categories two years after setting a rookie passer rating record as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

To illustrate how he thinks the team is close, Prescott points to a play late in regulation against Houston when tight end Blake Jarwin was open for a big gain but J.J. Watt got to the quarterback before he could make the throw. Had the Cowboys converted that play, they likely would have been in position to kick a winning field goal.

"That's why you can't let outside of here seep into your head or get into your head," Prescott said. "You watch the game, you don't necessarily see that. So you just hear negative all this. We're this close."

As the Cowboys keep working to get there, Garrett has no concerns about a divided locker room.

"We've got the right kind of guys on our team who go about it the right way every day," Garrett said. "I have the good fortune of spending time with them at meetings, walkthroughs and practice every day. They absolutely handle themselves like pros who support each other."

Elliott used a few expletives to try to illustrate how he believes his teammates are accountable.

"There's enough accountability in this locker room that there's not going to be any finger-pointing," the star running back said.

NOTES: DE David Irving returned to practice after a longer-than-expected excused absence to deal with an ongoing custody issue involving his young daughter. Irving was eligible last week after starting the season on a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He practiced one day but left the team again to deal with the personal issue. The Cowboys decided to keep him out of the game against the Texans. ... Dallas signed CB C.J. Goodwin from Cincinnati's practice squad and S Darian Thompson from Arizona's practice squad. Dallas added RB Darius Jackson to its practice squad, replacing former Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough. ... LB Sean Lee (hamstring) went through individual drills but was listed as a non-participant in practice. He is expected to miss his third straight game.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Jason Garrett, Cowboys at Crossroads: JJT]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 10:55:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Garrett-Getty-092318.jpg

It feels like we're at a crossroads for the Cowboys' season and Jason Garrett's tenure as coach.

If Garrett can figure out a way for his offensively-challenged team to beat Jacksonville, one of the AFC's best teams, then the Cowboys will get back to .500 with winnable games against Washington and Tennessee sandwiched around a bye week the next three weeks.

Hope would envelope the team and the fan base, and we might view that victory as the win that saved the season.

But if the Cowboys lose Sunday at AT&T Stadium to fall two games under .500 with yet another sorry offensive performance, this season could go south in a hurry.

For real.

After all, if we're honest, we've already seen signs the last couple of weeks.

Last week, Cole Beasley wanted to make it clear the receivers weren't the reason for the Cowboys' sorry passing game. Check the tape, he said.

Then owner Jerry Jones second-guessed Garrett's decision to punt in overtime against Houston. The Texans promptly drove for the game-winning field goal in a 19-16 loss to their I-45 rivals.

A day later, Allen Hurns told ESPN's Josina Anderson that Dak Prescott interception was the result of a poor play-call by offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Dallas led 13-10 midway through the fourth, when Linehan called a play that required the outside receivers to run deep comeback routes. The Texans played a two-deep zone with man-to-man coverage underneath, which is a perfect defense against that play.

It was the only time, said Hurns, they played that coverage all night.

"It's not like I'm just coming out saying a statement," Hurns said Wednesday in front of his locker. "People ask me a question, and I tell them how it is. I'm not throwing anybody under the bus. As far as me, I'm just going to call it as it is."

"It was just an unfortunate situation, but I ain't questioning the play calling," he said.

So how come? Prescott didn't audible to a better play.

"I'm not sure," Hurns said. "I don't think Dak had a chance or I am not sure he has the authority to check out of that."

This is how a coach loses a team.

It starts with public criticism from individual players. Then groups of players start complaining among each other. And at some point those criticisms grow louder, and if the losing continues the frustration mounts and the criticism becomes public,

Eventually, the discord carries onto the field and the performance becomes listless. A blowout or two occurs and team is lost.

We saw it in 2010, when the Cowboys started 1-7 and they quit during a 45-7 national TV loss at Green Bay.

That's how Garrett became the Cowboys' coach.

This is not time for Garrett to be passive aggressive. This is the time for confrontation - even if he has to go through the video and show every single player the mistakes he made that contributed to this 2-3 start.

"One thing that's good about this group that we have in this locker room is that there hasn't been any finger-pointing at all," Elliott said. "The offense, we've struggled this year.

"When we go over to the defense, 'hey, we're sorry we didn't hold up our end.' It's more 'no, we need to do more, we need to go out there and win that game.'

"There's enough accountability in this locker room that there's not going to be any finger-pointing."

Garrett's biggest issue is that his offense is broken and there's been zero tangible evidence he knows how to fix it.

Dallas ranks 28th in total offense (307.8), 30th in points (16.6) and third-down conversions (28.3 percent) and 26th in first downs (18 per game).

This offensive trend started in Atlanta last season in the eighth game of the season. Since then, Dallas has been among the NFL's worst offense teams.
 
Now, Garrett must get the offense right against one of the NFL's best teams.

If he can't, it's hard to believe he'll be the coach in 2019.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Jaguars Rule Out Running Back Fournette for Game at Cowboys]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 21:46:32 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Leonard-Fournette-Getty-101018.jpg

The Jacksonville Jaguars have ruled out running back Leonard Fournette for their game at Dallas. It will be the fourth game Fournette has missed this season.

Coach Doug Marrone says Fournette (hamstring), left tackle Josh Wells (groin) and cornerback D.J. Hayden (toe) will miss Sunday's road game.

The Jaguars (3-2) signed veteran Jamaal Charles on Tuesday with the expectation that Fournette would be sidelined for an extended period. They also placed third-stringer Corey Grant (foot) on injured reserve.

No one would be surprised to see Fournette sidelined until after Jacksonville's bye week, potentially returning Nov. 11 against Indianapolis.

The second-year pro from LSU already has missed six of 21 regular-season games and left his only two starts this season because of hamstring tightness.

He has 71 yards rushing on 20 carries this season.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Newy's Cowboys-Jaguars Prediction]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:01:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_COWBOYS_JAGS_PREDICTION.jpg

The Cowboys will face a tough Jaguars squad Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs offers prediction for the Dallas-Jacksonville matchup.]]>
<![CDATA[Newy and JJT Examine Dak's Accuracy Issues]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 20:18:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY+AND+JJT+ON+DAK+ACCURACY_2018-10-10-20-09-01.jpg

Dak Prescott has struggled with his accuracy five games into the 2018 season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor examine the issues Prescott is dealing with.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Newy and JJT on the Cowboys' Offensive Concerns]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 21:54:10 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY+AND+JJT+ON+DAK+ACCURACY_2018-10-10-20-09-01.jpg

The Cowboys' offense has stumbled through the first five games of the 2018 season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss who is to blame for the lack of production.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Book Reveals T.O. Was Not the Reason Parcells Left Dallas]]>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 08:51:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bill-parcells-dmn.jpg

So many Cowboys fans think Bill Parcells hated Jerry Jones signing Terrell Owens so much that he quit.

Not true, says author Gary Myers. He's got a new book out, called "How 'Bout Them Cowboys." It is a fantastic read about the club's epic history.

Myeres once covered the Cowboys for The Dallas Morning News.

Parcells didn't like Owens as a player because he was selfish, but he was not the reason he decided to quit coaching, Myers told me on my NBC Sports Radio show.

Parcells was drained and disappointed after Dallas lost in the playoffs against Seattle. That was the Tony Romo game in which he fumbled the snap on the field goal attempt; a game Dallas was in position to win and advance to the NFC Championship game.

Myers explained it in detail here. And don't miss Myers explanation of why Jones has kept Jimmy Johnson out of the Cowboys Ring of Honor.



Photo Credit: Louis DeLuca | The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Why Jerry Jones Has Himself to Blame for Receiver Woes]]>Tue, 09 Oct 2018 20:00:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_on_Jerry_for_WEB.jpg

Jerry Jones threw some subtle shade at Dez Bryant this morning on 105.3 The Fan, saying the Cowboys haven't had a "number one receiver" in years. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs explains why Jones only has himself to blame for his team's void at the WR position.]]>
<![CDATA[Garrett's OT Choice Speaks to Cowboys' Sputtering Offense]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 22:16:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Garrett-Getty-092318.jpg

Jason Garrett decided to trust his defense by punting on a short fourth down in Houston territory in an overtime loss to the Texans.

The choice by the Dallas coach also said a lot about a sputtering offense that simply hasn't looked good enough to get the Cowboys where they want to go in 2018, even with NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott.

Moments after Elliott was stuffed on third-and-1 from the Texans 42 closing in on the halfway mark of the 10-minute extra period, Garrett opted not to try it again on a night that his best offensive player was averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.

DeAndre Hopkins' spectacular 49-yard catch and run to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 36-yard field goal in a 19-16 Texans win sparked a steady round of second-guessing for a coach already fending off questions about a bland offensive scheme with a bunch of receivers failing badly at trying to replace Dez Bryant.

And it led to more questions about those receivers, with a sobering answer from executive vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones on his radio show Monday. The Cowboys (2-3) host Jacksonville (3-2) on Sunday.

"I don't think there's a lot you can do about it," Jones said on the possibility of personnel changes before once again rejecting the persistent question of whether the Cowboys would bring back Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown catches who still hasn't signed elsewhere almost six months after his release.

The Cowboys "really felt like we could with this group of receivers move the football," Jones said. "I still think we can. It's just a matter of continuing to work on working at it and getting in rhythm and executing and not getting behind the chains."

Dak Prescott is having success throwing to Elliott out of the backfield along with Geoff Swaim, the primary replacement for Jason Witten so far at tight end. But the numbers for receivers have been meek more often than not this season.

Take away Prescott's improbable scramble for a 44-yard heave to Tavon Austin, and Dallas receivers had five catches for 36 yards in Houston. It was the first time they combined for fewer than 100 yards (80).

Dallas entered Monday 26th in the NFL with an average of 121 yards per game from receivers, and 30th in passing offense and points per game.

"We have to get better obviously," Garrett said. "At times this year, we have done a good job in the passing game. We have to be more consistent. We have to be more efficient. And we have to be able to continue to make those explosive plays if we want to score the points to win the games."

Garrett thought the Dallas defense dominated the second half, which is why he chose to punt. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones thought the Cowboys were getting outplayed by then, and therefore second-guessed his coach while trying to say he wasn't. Essentially, Jones said there are times for risk, and that was one of them.

Garrett, under heavy criticism along with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan over a unit that can't seem to do its part, says he feels he still has the support of Jones in his eighth full season, with just two playoff trips to show for it and a third looking shaky without much of a threat in the passing game.

"I don't think this is the time to get into critiquing any one person, whether it's the quarterback, whether it's the receivers, whether it's the coaches, whether it's the coordinator, the play-caller, the head coach," Stephen Jones said. "We've got a lot of things about this football team that we like."

Right now, the passing game isn't one of them.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones Addresses Cowboys' Struggling Offense]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 23:22:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_Show_100818.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation at noon Mondays, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones addressed Jason Garrett's decision to punt on fourth-and-one in overtime against the Texans, and the Cowboys' struggling offense.]]>
<![CDATA[Defense’s Effort Goes to Waste in Loss to Texans]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:18:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_and_JJT_2_100818.jpg

The Cowboys’ defense held the Texans to 19 points in a losing effort. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys inside Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss how Rod Marinelli’s unit is giving Dallas hope for the remainder of the regular season.]]>
<![CDATA[The Cowboys Are Struggling and It Starts at the Top]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:11:53 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-stephen-cowboys-camp-072814.jpg

As the Cowboys continue to struggle, NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor say it’s time to start pointing the finger at the top; Jerry and Stephen Jones.

Photo Credit: Jose Sanchez, NBC 5 Photojournalist]]>
<![CDATA[Linehan’s “Wrinkles” Can’t Elevate Cowboys Offense]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:51:38 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Scott+Linehan.jpg

The Cowboys were held to 16 points in their loss to the Texans despite a few “wrinkles” from offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the lack of execution from the Dallas offense.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports Connection]]>
<![CDATA[Chemistry Concerns Between Dak and His Receivers]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:27:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboysAP_18260020624861.jpg



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Dak Prescott and his wide receivers are still not on the same page five games into the season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman break down the chemistry concerns on the Dallas offense.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How the Cowboys Offense Stacks Up Against the Jaguars]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:24:34 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_and_Dennis_1_100818.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman examine how Dallas’ struggling offense stacks up against a tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense next Sunday.]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' 19-16 Loss to Houston]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 07:52:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DeAndre-Hopkins-Getty-100718.jpg

Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor gives you his 10 thoughts on the Cowboys’ loss Sunday night against Houston that dropped the Cowboys to 2-3 and put their season at a crossroads:

• We’ll be debating and second-guessing all week long whether Jason Garrett should’ve gone for it on fourth-and-1 from the Houston 42 in overtime. The Cowboys were 1-for-3 on third-and-one situations in the game, but had made their only fourth-and-1 attempt. The bigger question is whether it’s up to Garrett to show confidence in his offense and go for it or whether they must earn his confidence with previous to go for it in that situation.

• DeAndre Hopkins showed why a No.1 receiver is not a luxury. He caught nine of 13 passes directed his way for 151 yards. He didn’t score a touchdown, but he had a 49-yard catch in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal, and he drew a 27-yard pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter to set up a field goal. He also had another reception that gained 34 yards that set up a touchdown.

• The Dallas pass rush generated just one sack in 44 pass attempts against a quarterback who had been sacked 17 times in the first four games. The Cowboys pressured DeShaun Watson quite a bit in the second half, but just couldn’t get him on the ground except once for one yard.

• Jaylon Smith turned in a performance that might just get him a spot in the Pro Bowl since it happened on Sunday Night Football and a national TV audience. He had 12 tackles, three for loss and a sack. He had two other quarterback hits, one that forced an interception, and made two dazzling plays to stop Watson at the goal line. He was spectacular and national TV audience saw it.

• The Cowboys played without Sean Lee and gave up 16 points and forced two turnovers. They also played stellar red zone defense. Give some of the credit to first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch, who had 13 tackles, including 11 solo stops.

• The Cowboys continue to get virtually nothing from their receivers. They combined to catch six of 16 targets for 72 yards and a touchdown. They also had at least four drops. Just so you know that was fewer catches and less than half as many yards as Hopkins put up.

• Ezekiel Elliott’s 20-carry, 54-yard performance was the third worst of his career as was his 2.7 per carry. Houston never let him get untracked.

• Geoff Swaim has had receptions of 20, 31 an 43 yards the last three games. He was the Cowboys’ leading receiver with three catches for 55 yards. He’s making plays in the passing game, but he’s supposed to be a complimentary player. He’s a star in this offense.

• Play-caller Scott Linehan tired several new wrinkles in the offense. As you would expect, some worked and others didn’t, but he tried to put the players in position to make plays. More than once he lined up Cole Beasley or Tavon Austin in the backfield to either use them as primary receivers or decoys and he tried some misdirection plays. The effort was good, but the execution was overall spotty.

• The Cowboys amassed just 292 yards of total offense, the third time in five games they had less than 300 yards, and converted just four-of-14 third downs (29 percent). The Cowboys rank 28th in the NFL in total offense (307.8), 30th in points scored (16.6) and third-down conversions (28.3 percent) and 29th in time of possession (28:27).



Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Cowboys Are Struggling and It Starts at the Top]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:08:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+100818.jpg

As the Cowboys continue to struggle, NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor say it’s time to start pointing the finger at the top -- Jerry and Stephen Jones.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Defense’s Effort Goes to Waste in Loss to Texans]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:06:34 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+100818.jpg

The Cowboys’ defense held the Texans to 19 points in a losing effort. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss how Rod Marinelli’s unit is giving Dallas hope for the remainder of the regular season.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things You Need to Know About the Cowboys Loss in Houston]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:12:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DONEY_5_THINGS_WEB_STANDUP.jpg

The Cowboys dropped a heartbreaker to the Texans in overtime on Sunday night. NBC 5’s Pat Doney is at NRG Stadium with the five things you need to know about Dallas’ loss in Houston.]]>
<![CDATA[How the Cowboys Offense Stacks Up Against the Jaguars]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:54:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+100818.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman examine how Dallas’ struggling offense stacks up against a tough Jacksonville Jaguars defense next Sunday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Fairbairn's FG in OT Lifts Texans Over Cowboys]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:14:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Kaimi-Fairbairn-Texans-Getty-100718.jpg

DeAndre Hopkins had 151 yards receiving, including a key reception in overtime, and Ka'imi Fairbairn's 36-yard field goal lifted the Houston Texans to a 19-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

The Cowboys got the ball first in OT but had to punt when Zach Cunningham stopped Ezekiel Elliott for no gain on third-and-1.

A 49-yard catch and run by Hopkins got the Texans in scoring range in overtime. He grabbed a short pass from Watson and twice spun away from would-be tacklers to stretch the play.

Houston was just 1 of 5 in the red zone on Sunday with Fairbairn making four field goals to help the Texans to the victory.

It is Houston's first win over the Cowboys (2-3) since the team's first game on Sept. 8, 2002, ending a three-game losing streak to Dallas. The Texans (2-3) did it in front of a franchise-record crowd of 72,008, which was peppered with plenty of Cowboys fans.

Deshaun Watson threw for 375 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Texans , who won in overtime for the second straight week.

Dak Prescott had 208 yards passing and a touchdown but threw two interceptions for the Cowboys. Elliott, who entered the game as the NFL's leading rusher, was limited to 54 yards rushing.

The Texans were driving late in the fourth quarter when Xavier Woods intercepted Watson, who threw under heavy pressure, with 10 seconds left and returned it 15 yards to give Dallas the ball at its 47. Kareem Jackson nearly intercepted Prescott on the next play before his Hail Mary on the last play of regulation was knocked down in the end zone by receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who came in to play defense.

A 27-yard pass interference call by Byron Jones on a ball intended for Hopkins got Houston to the 1-yard line in the third quarter. But two failed running plays followed by an incomplete pass forced another field goal which gave the Texans a 16-13 lead with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Cowboys tied it up on a 48-yard field goal with less than six minutes left. That drive was highlighted by a 44-yard pass by Prescott to Tavon Austin that he made after escaping sacks by J.J. Watt, Brandon Dunn and Zach Cunningham.

Prescott's second interception came when Johnathan Joseph broke up a pass and rookie Justin Reid caught it just before it hit the turf in the third quarter. The Texans drove to the 3-yard line on the ensuing possession before the drive stalled and Fairbairn kicked a 21-yard field goal to tie it at 13-13.

Hopkins fumbled after a catch early in the third quarter and it was recovered by Jourdan Lewis and returned to the Houston 16. The Cowboys regained the lead when Prescott found Allen Hurns in the back of the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown pass that made it 13-10.

The Texans drove to the 2-yard line later in the second but Watson's pass on third down fell incomplete and they settled for a 20-yard field goal to push the lead to 10-6.

The Texans took their first lead when rookie Keke Coutee, who made his debut last week, scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter. Coutee celebrated his first career touchdown with a dance called the Shiggy Challenge from a Drake song called "In My Feelings" which includes the line: "Kiki do you love me?"

INJURIES
Houston RB Lamar Miller, who dealt with a chest injury this week, was active but did not play. ... Texans CB Kayvon Webster left the game in the first quarter with a quadriceps injury and didn't return.

UP NEXT
Cowboys: Host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.

Texans: Host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.



Photo Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chemistry Concerns Between Dak and His Receivers]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:01:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+100818.jpg

Dak Prescott and his wide receivers are still not on the same page five games into the season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman break down the chemistry concerns on the Dallas offense.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Texans]]>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 01:15:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DeAndre-Hopkins-Getty-100718.jpg

Here's NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's instant analysis of the Cowboys' 19-16 loss to Houston at NRG Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys have a big problem as they fall under .500 with their loss to Houston because they have Jacksonville, one of the best teams in the AFC, next week. Their offense has been atrocious on the road, and it ruined a gallant defensive effort Sunday. The game against Jacksonville will be a one of the season's pivotal games.

TURNING POINT: The Cowboys couldn't convert a third-and-1 with Ezekiel Elliott on their only series of overtime and Jason Garrett opted to punt on fourth down. Zach Cunningham blew up the play because Zack Martin was late coming off his initial block to stop and he had a clear lane into the backfield.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: The Cowboys had no answer for DeAndre Hopkins, who showed the value of a No. 1 receiver. He caught nine passes for 151 yards, including a 49-yard catch-and-run in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal.

KEY STAT: The Cowboys forced two turnovers and safety Xavier Woods intercepted their first pass of the season in the final seconds to force overtime.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will face Jacksonville, which has one of the NFL's best defenses. And after Kansas City torched the Jaguars for 30 points, they will not be in a good mood. We'll also get to hear Jalen Ramsey disparage the Cowboys' offense and complain that Dallas took Ezekiel Elliott fourth instead of him.



Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why Are the Dallas Cowboys Always Hollywood Villains?]]>Sun, 07 Oct 2018 17:06:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-cowboys-locker.jpg

"This Is Us" is a wonderful show. It may be the best show on television. It's easily the best on network TV. But I am mad at "This Is Us," because of its recent season premiere.

It was undeniably moving and tear-jerky as "This Is Us" episodes often are. But as a football fan, it left me angry, as in, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"

"This Is Us" often includes flashbacks to its lead characters growing up in Pittsburgh. The recent season premiere of this Emmy-winning blockbuster showed a landmark moment in Pittsburgh Steelers history — Franco Harris catching the pass dubbed the Immaculate Reception, on Dec. 23, 1972, that led to a playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Read more from our media partner The Dallas Morning News.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys and Texans Playing in Rare Meeting]]>Sun, 07 Oct 2018 19:47:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Dak-Prescott-Getty-093018.jpg

Houston star J.J. Watt knows how important Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys is to fans of both teams.

But the way the Texans' season has gone so far, Watt isn't concerned about the significance of this in-state rivalry and is simply worried about helping his guys turn things around.

"I'm sure there's definitely something there for the fans on both sides, but ... they could be lining up anybody over there," Watt said. "We need to win this game."

The Texans (1-3) got their first victory last week in overtime against the Colts after opening the season with three straight losses. The Cowboys (2-2) haven't fared much better and picked up their second win on Sunday against the Lions.

This game tends to be hyped more because these teams meet so rarely. Sunday will be the fifth game between these teams and the first since 2014. The Cowboys have won the last three, with Houston's only win coming in the franchise's first game in 2002.

While Watt really didn't want to get into the rivalry aspect of this game, quarterback Deshaun Watson talked about what a win over Dallas would mean to the city.

"This is pretty much the battle of Texas," Watson said. "Two Texas teams and Houston wants to beat Dallas and have the bragging rights. So, we have to go out there and do our job and try to get those bragging rights so the whole city of Houston can hold that weight for a year."

To do that the Texans will have to slow down running back Ezekiel Elliott, who leads the NFL with 426 yards rushing. He had a season-high 29 touches for a career-high 240 yards from scrimmage in the win over Detroit.

The 25 carries were by far the most this season and it's what he expects every week -- not the 16-carry average from the first three weeks when the Dallas offense was spotty at best.

"I am young," the 23-year-old said. "I got fresh legs. I'm going to get the ball as much as I can."

Some things to know about Sunday's game between the Cowboys and Texans:

IRVING'S RETURN WILL WAIT
Defensive lineman David Irving was activated by Dallas after starting the season on a four-game suspension for the second straight year. But the club said he didn't make the trip because of an excused absence for personal reasons and wouldn't make his season debut.

Irving had six sacks in his first four games coming off last year's suspension. He finished with seven sacks in eight games before a concussion sidelined him for the final four games.

The fourth-year player practiced for the first time since last November, but missed the two days for personal reasons.

DYNAMIC DUO
Watt and Jadeveon Clowney led Houston's defense with dominant performances last week. Watt had two sacks, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit and forced two fumbles against the Colts. Clowney added two sacks, four quarterback hits, four tackles for losses and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Watt has returned to form this season after playing just eight games over the previous two seasons because of back surgery and a broken leg. He's tied for first in the NFL with four forced fumbles and his five sacks are tied for second.

"Two elite players. They can really disrupt a game, can affect everything you are trying to do in the run game and the passing game," Garrett said. "Hard to block those guys one on one. You have to have a plan for them. Again, most teams have a plan for them and typically they show up anyway."

LAWRENCE LEADS
While Clowney and Watt have led Houston's defense, the Cowboys have one defensive end leading their group in DeMarcus Lawrence. He leads the NFL with 5 1/2 sacks and ranks second with eight tackles for losses. He's also recovered a fumble and has 21 tackles.

Houston coach Bill O'Brien raved about his work this season.

"Great length, athleticism. He plays very hard, plays hard on every snap," O'Brien said. "He's chasing the ball sideline to sideline, chasing the quarterback. He can wreck a game."

PROTECTING WATSON
Watson has been sacked 17 times, second most in the NFL. While Houston's offensive line has been criticized for the number of hits Watson has taken this season, he's quick to point out his lineman shouldn't take all the blame for the sacks.

"A lot of the sacks I put upon me getting rid of the ball or holding the ball too long or trying to create a play where I probably could have thrown the ball away or ran for extra yardage -- two or three yards," he said. "But, those guys are doing a heck of a job and ... they're improving, building chemistry, enjoying the game, having fun and just getting better every week."



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Pro Bowl Center Travis Frederick Off Active Roster]]>Sat, 06 Oct 2018 20:41:32 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick-cowboys1.jpg

Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick has been placed on the non-football illness list by the Dallas Cowboys because of a nerve condition that has kept him from playing this season.

The team also placed receiver Terrance Williams on injured reserve because of a foot injury.

Those moves Saturday cleared two spots on the active roster before Sunday's game at Houston. One will be filled when defensive tackle David Irving returns from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, but the team said he didn't make the trip and wouldn't play against the Texans.

Frederick was diagnosed during the preseason with Guillain-Barre syndrome. The Cowboys initially kept him on the active roster, but now he will miss at least eight more weeks. He could possibly return the final month of the regular season.

Williams will also miss at least eight weeks.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Coach Alexander Uses Piano Passion to Teach Players]]>Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:01:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Paul+Alexander+Cowboys+093018.jpg

New Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander has been playing "challenging" classical music on the piano for more than a decade, and he uses those lessons to inspire his players. NBC 5's Pat Doney has the story.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrating the Silver and Blue - Oct. 5, 2018]]>Fri, 05 Oct 2018 16:42:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Silver+and+Blue+Photos+4p+100518_2018-10-05-16-40-57.jpg

Roberto and Diego as well as Lacey were featured during the Celebrating the Silver and Blue segment on Friday, October 5, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys vs Texans, Who Wins?]]>Thu, 04 Oct 2018 20:13:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/212*120/1200x678_youtube+%282%29.jpg

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs gives his prediction on who will win this Sunday's Cowboys-Texans matchup.]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Like Romo, Good Enough to Win if Cowboys Execute]]>Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:52:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-head.jpg

We saw the Cowboys’ offense work Sunday against Detroit exactly the way it’s supposed to work.

Dak Prescott passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys beat the Lions 26-24.

Now, can we stop all of this silly chatter about whether the Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott?

They can. It’s obvious. And it’s not like we haven’t seen it before.

“You’ve heard me say this before, he’s a damn good football player,” head coach Jason Garrett said of Prescott. “He handles success. He handles adversity as well as anyone I’ve been around at that position. He’s a great leader. He never blinks. He just goes out and plays."

“I think if you look at his performance (Sunday), it’s the way we want our quarterbacks to play. A balance of run and pass and attack a lot of different ways,” Garrett said.

We’ve seen the Cowboys win in 2016 and 2017 until the debacle against Atlanta, running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension and left tackle Tyron Smith’s balky back conspired against Prescott.

The trick, if that’s how you choose to term it, is that the Cowboys must play a certain style to win with Prescott — and that’s OK.

Tony Romo, if you think about it, had one of his best seasons when Jason Garrett changed his style in 2014, and the running game became the epicenter of the offense.

Y’all remember the 34 touchdown passes, 12 wins and the first playoff win since 2011. You remember the 113.2 passer rating.

But he passed for only 3,705 yards and he had just one 300-yard game. Just so you know, Prescott passed for 3,667 with two 300-yard games in 2016.

We all know Romo is the vastly superior passer, but when the Cowboys execute their offensive approach, it’s about a balanced offense — not the passer.

In Romo’s first seven years as a starter, he had 45 300-yard passing games, and four of more than 400 yards.

In 2014, Romo threw more than 35 passes in a game just twice, while DeMarco Murray set franchise records for carries (392) and yards (1,845).

From 2006-13, Romo threw more than 35 passes 51 times, including five games with more than 50 passes and two with more than 60.

So it doesn’t matter that dudes like Ryan Fitzpatrick started the season with three straight 400-yard games or a rookie like Pat Mahomes is averaging 300 yards a game.

Prescott and the Cowboys can with this minimalist approach to passing.

The key? When he does throw, the Cowboys must get big plays from the passing game.

Against Detroit, Prescott averaged 9.4 per attempt and had four completions of more than 30 yards.

In his first 24 starts, he average 7.6 yards per attempt, which is a winning number. In his next 11 starts, when the offense stunk, he averaged 6.2 yards per pass.

Prescott is always going to have the intangibles like leadership and poise that will help the Cowboys win, but he must be a consistently better passer.

His footwork must be pristine. When it is, the accuracy follows. He also has to throw some deep passes. He threw perfect deep balls to Michael Gallup and Elliott that resulted in gains of 37 and 34, respectively.

"I just have the feeling that Dak is going to help us win and help the team in so many different ways,” Jerry Jones said. “I just don’t know that there is a limit to the nuances of how he might be able to contribute and to me that’s a great thing with a quarterback."

Against Detroit, Prescott helped Dallas win by scooping up his own fumble, scrambling and tossing the ball out of bounds to avoid a huge loss on second down of the Cowboys’ game-winning drive.

He converted the third-and-three, and two plays later hit Elliott on a deep pass that set up the game-winning field goal. It was his first fourth-quarter comeback since a 26-20 win over Tampa Bay in December 2016.

"He played with a great spirit,” Garrett said. “He threw the ball well from the pocket when things broke down. He made a lot of good decisions. And he made some big throws at the most important times of the game."

"He threw to different guys all over the field, made plays with his feet, made plays with his arm, made plays at the critical moment," said Garrett.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Dez Bryant and the Cowboys -- Is There a Chance?]]>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 20:02:39 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+100318.jpg

Former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant tweeted that he would like to rejoin the team if the opportunity presented itself. But is he welcome back in that locker room? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss what a return for Bryant would look like.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[State of Cowboys' Offense After Win Over Lions]]>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 19:58:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+100318.jpg

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense showed some life in a win over the Detroit Lions, but as the team heads to Houston this weekend, is the offense fixed? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Does Terrance Williams Have a Future With the Cowboys?]]>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 19:53:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+100318.jpg

Terrance Williams' off-field issues continue. He has missed practices and his future with the Cowboys is in jeopardy. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss T-Will's spot on the roster moving forward.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Romo Will Be in the Cowboys Ring of Honor: Jerry Jones]]>Tue, 02 Oct 2018 13:21:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tony-Romo-Getty-092518.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones usually keeps his picks for his Cowboys Ring of Honor pretty close to the vest, but this one got out early.

Talking with The Fan's Shan & RJ on his weekly show, Jones confirmed what had already been mentioned on a television show about Romo's life in pro football..



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott's Rookie Flashback Gives Cowboys Building Block]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 19:24:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Dak-Prescott-Getty-093018.jpg

Dak Prescott looked a lot like the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year from two seasons ago in the Dallas Cowboys' win over the Detroit Lions.

The star quarterback had clutch plays, big throws and long completions in a 26-24 win capped by a two-minute drive to the winning field goal as time expired. Considering how rough he and the Dallas offense looked at times through three weeks, it was quite an answer.

The practical part of the victory was getting the Cowboys (2-2) back to .500, tied with defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia and a half-game behind idle Washington in the NFC East. The affirmation of his resolve can't be underestimated either.

"I know what I can do and I know what kind of player I am, and I never waver and I'm never going to get down on myself," Prescott said. "All of us have good days and bad days, and if all of us were judged by our bad days at our jobs, we'd all be in trouble."

Prescott hadn't had a 200-yard passing game this season, and just two in the previous 11 going back to last year. He took care of that with 255 yards and two touchdowns.

Before his decisive 34-yard throw to running back Ezekiel Elliott behind the defense to set up the winning kick, Prescott saved the final drive by scrambling backward to pick up his own fumble and throwing an incompletion to preserve a manageable third down. He converted it.

Prescott had just one completion of at least 20 yards in each of the first three games. There were four against the Lions, all for more than 30 yards.

While Elliott got the headlines with a career-high 240 yards from scrimmage, Prescott filled the role he so often mastered in leading the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13 wins after replacing the injured Tony Romo in 2016.

The former fourth-round pick also reminded everyone how much the Cowboys need the efficient, turnover-free version of Prescott to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason in his less-than-spectacular encore a year ago.

"I just have the feeling that Dak is going to help us win and help the team in so many different ways," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "I just don't know that there is a limit to the nuances of how he might be able to contribute and to me that's a great thing."

Other than Elliott, the Cowboys have struggled to find an identity on offense, and the search is likely to continue Sunday at Houston (1-3).

Prescott ran quite a bit out of the zone read in a win over the New York Giants. The Cowboys used some no-huddle to find a better tempo against Detroit. And while rookie Michael Gallup had one of the 30-plus-yard catches, he was the only one among the receivers.

That group is still working to see how best to try to replace the lost go-to plays of tight end Jason Witten and the big-play potential of Dez Bryant, who was released in a cost-cutting move in the offseason.

The win over the Lions was the best Prescott has looked in putting passes in places for the new cast of receivers to have an impact. What amounted to the winning throw to Elliott was the best illustration.

"It's been one player, here or there these first three games that we're off and that's the reason we're off," Prescott said. "We still left plays out there, so it's important for us to go back this week and use this confidence and this momentum to go clean these plays up."

NOTES: Coach Jason Garrett said receiver Terrance Williams will return to the team Tuesday after an excused absence going into the weekend. The sixth-year receiver was inactive for the first time. ... Executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said Elliott was battling bursitis in one of his knees along with an ankle injury. Garrett said his practice participation would be determined during the week.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Win, Zeke's Touches and Vander Esch: The Stephen Jones Show]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:57:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_Monday_Fan.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation at noon Mondays, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones talked about the team's Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions. Recorded: Oct. 1, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Best Game of Ezekiel Elliott’s Career Leads Cowboys Win]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 09:42:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1043740728.jpg

The Cowboys’ locker room was nearly empty, and Ezekiel Elliott was making small talk with Tavon Austin and Brice Butler in the corner of the locker room.

As the running back slowly peeled off his uniform, he said to no one in particular, “I’m already sore as (expletive). I don’t see me practicing on Wednesday the way I feel right now.

“I'm beat up. I was already sore in the first quarter. I knew what type of game it was going to be, but I had to grind through it."

Then, he walked gingerly to toward the showers.

Elliott, if he needs it, deserves an extra day off after he willed the Cowboys to a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions.

It’s the best NFL game he’s ever played.

Easily.

Yes, he’s had games with more yards. And, sure, he’s had games with more touchdowns.

But he’s never had a better gritty, all-around performance like he did against Detroit.

Elliott ran 25 times for 152 yards - seven yards shy of his career high - and caught four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.

He totaled 240 yards, the most in his career, surpassing the 219-yard performance against San Francisco last year in a blowout win.

Against Detroit, Elliott had runs of 14, 19 and 41 yards. He also caught passes of 34 and 38 yards.

“I've never seen him play as well as he did today,” owner Jerry Jones said.

Elliott set up Maher’s game-winning kick on a play the Cowboys ran for the first time Sunday.

"I'd been trying to get that play for awhile," Elliott said. "Once I saw they were playing man-to-man and I was going to have a linebacker on me, I was telling them, 'Give me the inside fade.'"

Elliott lined up in the slot on the left and ran a deep fade route. Dak Prescott threw a perfect pass and Elliott made a nifty over-the-shoulder catch along the sideline.

“You've got Zeke on a linebacker. I'm going to take that matchup every day of the week,“ Prescott said. “It doesn't matter who the linebacker is.”

Then the quarterback delivered a perfect pass that allowed Elliott to run under the ball and easily keep his feet inbounds.

"That catch over the shoulder should be one we all remember," Jerry said. "I'm glad I got to see it. I have never seen him play better than he played today.

For Elliott, it was a redemptive performance.

He blamed himself for the Cowboys’ 24-13 loss to Seattle. He had a key fourth-quarter fumble at the end of a 26-yard fun.

He also dropped a third-down and missed a block that led to a key interception.

“He was disappointed in last week, so he used that chip all week to fuel his preparation,” said running back coach Gary Brown, “and then he came out and played with a fury.”

Last week, the Cowboys tried unsuccessfully to get Elliott the ball more. He finished with 16 carries for 127 yards, but caught only three of eight passes directed his way for 11 yards.

Against Detroit, play-caller Scott Linehan finally figured out how to maximize Elliott’s talent.

Elliott established a season-high with 25 carries and he caught each of the four passes directed to him. He scored the Cowboys first touchdown on a 38-yard screen pass.

Last year, he scored on a 73-yard screen pass against the 49ers. As a rookie, he scored on an 83-yard screen pass against Pittsburgh.

“We call that the Linehan Special,” Elliott said. “I have three touchdown catches off that. It works every time."

In the third quarter, Elliott banged his knee on a defender’s helmet when he tried to hurdle him at the end of a 14-yard run.

As he trotted to the sideline, Elliott made it clear to Garrett that he’d soon return to the game. Four plays later, he did.

“He’s such a physical guy, he’s got a relentless spirit about him,” Garrett said. “I think you saw that in the running game and then obviously makes the big play on the screen for the touchdown and then he makes the game-changing play at the end.

“He’s such a complete back. He plays with such a look in his eye and such a spirit that’s contagious throughout our football team. You want to give that guy the ball because usually good things happen.”

And if he needs an extra day off, then so be it.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT Joins NBC 5 Today After Cowboys Win Over Lions]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 08:59:54 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Dak-Prescott-Getty-093018.jpg

Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor joins the NBC 5 Today show to talk Zeke, Dak, Sean Lee and more following the Cowboys win over the Detroit Lions.

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Elliott Set Up Winning FG, Cowboys Top Lions]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 09:00:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Brett-Maher-Cowboys-093018.jpg

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott got the Dallas offense going again, and spoiled Matthew Stafford's homecoming again.

Brett Maher kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Cowboys to a 26-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Maher's fourth field goal was set up by Prescott's 34-yard completion to Elliott, his star running back, on a deep throw after Stafford had put the Lions in front with 2:17 remaining on a 38-yard touchdown to Golden Tate, their second TD connection of the day.

Elliott had a career-high 240 all-purpose yards, with 152 yards rushing and 88 receiving also highlighted by a 38-yard touchdown on a screen in the second quarter.

The best day of the season for a previously struggling Dallas offense handed Stafford his third straight loss at the home of the Cowboys (2-2), seven years after his only win in his first trip to AT&T Stadium. The former Dallas-area high school star threw for 307 yards.

Trailing 20-10, Stafford led the Lions (1-3) 75 yards to rookie Kerryon Johnson's first career touchdown , an 8-yard run that started a back-and-fourth final quarter. Johnson ran 32 yards on the first play of the game and finished with 55.

After the Cowboys settled for Maher's third field goal on an 85-yard drive, Stafford found Tate for 35 yards into Dallas territory before Tate easily beat zone coverage down the sideline and strutted toward the end zone, just as he had on a 45-yard score in the first quarter.

But Prescott had an answer while throwing for at least 200 yards for the first time this season. The Dallas quarterback saved the final drive by picking up a fumble when he was hit on the arm and scrambling before throwing the ball out of bounds.

Prescott then converted a third down on the next play and two plays later threw deep to Elliott with linebacker Jarrad Davis trailing the 2016 NFL rushing leader by a couple of steps. The Cowboys then killed the clock to set up Maher, the kicker they chose over trusty Dan Bailey at the end of the preseason in a cost-cutting move.

"It was a matchup we liked," coach Jason Garrett said. "Dak liked what he saw from the coverage. Zeke did a great job on the route. Critical situation, made that throw. For Zeke to be able to finish it and put us in position for the game-winner, big time."

Elliott had a season-high 25 carries for his 152 yards, and Prescott was 17 of 27 for 255 yards with two touchdowns, including tight end Geoff Swaim's first career score.

Stafford was 24 of 30 with the two scores to Tate, who had eight catches for 132 yards.

ROUGHING THE PASSER
The touchdown screen to Elliott was set up by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Romeo Okwara. The question was whether the whistle had blown when he hit Prescott, who was trying to escape pressure when he stumbled out of an attempted tackle and went to a knee. Prescott popped up but had stopped moving, anticipating that he was down, when Okwara knocked him to the ground. Officials discussed the play before announcing two defensive penalties. The other was an illegal contact call against Darius Slay.

CAREER FIRST
Dallas receiver Terrance Williams was a healthy scratch for the first time in his six-year career. The Cowboys have struggled for consistency with their pass catchers in the first season without Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. They have seven receivers on the 53-man roster. Williams was the odd man out this week, and was a no-show at practice Friday.

SACK MASTER
DeMarcus Lawrence matched his career high with three sacks after Stafford came in having been brought down just three times combined in the first three games. Those were all three Dallas sacks. Lawrence has at least half a sack in all four games.

INJURIES
Lions: RG T.J. Lang didn't return after sustaining a concussion in the first quarter.

Cowboys: WR Tavon Austin injured his right shoulder falling to the ground after dropping a potential touchdown catch in the first half. He returned in the second half. ... DT Antwaun Woods left in the first half with a calf injury. Woods was questionable before the game because of a groin injury.

UP NEXT
Lions: Green Bay at home next Sunday.

Cowboys: At Houston next Sunday.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ Win Over Detroit]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 09:01:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Dak-Prescott-Getty-093018.jpg

The Cowboys evened their record at 2-2 thanks to one of the best performances of Ezekiel Elliott's career. Here's are NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the Cowboys' 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

1. You ask anybody of note in the Cowboys' organization and they'll tell you Ezekiel Elliott had the best game of his career Sunday against the Detroit Lions. He carried 25 times for 152 yards and caught four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Elliott accumulated 240 total yards, surpassing his previous career-high of 219 against San Francisco last season.

2. Dak Prescott passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He had three completions of more than 30 yards as he surpassed the 200-yard mark for first time this season and only the third time in the past 12 games.

3. DeMarcus Lawrence had a terrific game with eight tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss. He also hit the quarterback twice. He's a relentless pass-rusher and that's why he already has 4.5 sacks.

4. Kicker Brett Maher made the first game-winning kick of his NFL career, a 38-yarder as time expired. Maher, playing his first season in Dallas, replaced Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history.

5. This is how the Cowboys' envisioned their passing game working when the season began. Five players were targeted at least five times, five players caught at least two passes, five players had at least 30 yards receiving and four players had a reception of at least 19 yards, including three players who caught at least one pass for 30 yards.

6. The Cowboys established season highs in points (26), plays (65), yards (414) and first downs (26) without committing a turnover.

7. Leighton Vander Esch, making his first NFL start in place of Sean Lee, did a solid job with six tackles. He made at least two or three open-field tackles, including his best play. Near the end of the first half, the Lions set up a screen and Theo Riddick had three blockers in front of him, but Vander Esch knifed between the blockers and tackled him for a two-yard gain.

8. In the last two weeks, Elliott has accounted for gains of 19, 19, 19, 21, 26, 34 (receiving), 38 (receiving) and 41 on a total of 48 touches. Wow.

9. Golden Tate, who caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, became the first receiver this season to have a 100-yard game against the Cowboys. He had touchdown receptions of 45 and 38 yards.

10. Dak Prescott threw deep balls to Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliott and Tavon Austin. He completed two of the three for gains of 37 and 34 yards, respectively, and the pass to Austin should've been a 34-yard touchdown, but he dropped the ball. It would've been a contested catch, but one Austin would tell you he should've caught.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Doney: 5 Things to Know After the Cowboys Win Over the Lions]]>Sun, 30 Sep 2018 21:52:42 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+Doney+093018.jpg

Zeke's career day, Dak eclipses 200 passing yards and everything else you need to know about the Cowboys' 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions from NBC 5's Pat Doney.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[The Cowboys Are 2-2, But How Good Is This Team?]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:12:46 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+093018.jpg

The Cowboys came from behind to beat the Detroit Lions 26-24 on a last second field goal by Brett Maher. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman discuss where this team stands moving forward.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Is the Cowboys Offense Fixed?]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:19:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+093018.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys talked about new wrinkles in their offense to get it jump started against the Detroit Lions. The team did switch some things up and came from behind to win the game 26-24. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor talk about the changes offensive coordinator Scott Linehan made.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Demarcus Lawrence Has Big Game Against Detroit]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:22:20 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+093018.jpg

The Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions with a late, game-winning drive, but the defense did it's part too, behind defensive end Demarcus “Tank” Lawrence, who recorded a career high three sacks. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss what it’s going to take after this year to keep Tank in a Cowboys uniform.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Answers Critics in Win Over Lions]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:15:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+093018.jpg

Dak Prescott has received a lot of the criticism when the Cowboys have struggled this year, but he answered the bell in a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman discuss how far Prescott has come and how he needs to play moving forward to keep this team winning.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys Edge Lions in a Thriller]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:28:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1043740728.jpg

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 26-24 win over Detroit at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys needed a win in the worst way, and they put the ball in Ezekiel Elliott’s hands. He ran 25 times for 152 yards and caught four passes for 88 yards to help Dallas even its record at 2-2. Hope reigns for the season because the difference between 2-2 and 1-3 is a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon.

TURNING POINT: Trailing 13-10, Detroit faces third-and-four from its own 18. Jaylon Smith blitzes and gets a good push up the middle. DeMarcus Lawrence loops around the outside and sacks Matt Stafford from behind - his second of the game - forcing a punt. The Cowboys then drive 64 yards in eight plays for a touchdown that pushed their lead to 20-10.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: DeMarcus Lawrence had a grown-man game. There will be a lot of attention on Ezekiel Elliott’s sensational performance and Dak Prescott’s nice performance, but Lawrence had eight tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

KEY STAT: Elliott had 152 yards, the 14th 100-yard game for his career. The Cowboys are 10-4 in those games. Dallas is now 16-6, when Elliott has 20 carries in a game.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys play Houston, which won its first game Sunday, in the Battle for Texas. The Cowboys needed an emotional win and a strong performance from Dak Prescott and the offense to give them hope for the season. This is a win they can build on, and feel good about themselves.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sean Lee, Maliek Collins Ruled out for Cowboys Against Lions]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2018 22:55:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sean-Lee-DMN-photo-092318.jpg

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee has been ruled out Sunday against Detroit because of a hamstring injury, and defensive tackle Maliek Collins will be sidelined for a second straight week by a knee injury.

Lee's absence means he will have missed at least one game because of injury in eight of his nine NFL seasons. The only exception was Lee's All-Pro season of 2016 when he sat out a meaningless finale against Philadelphia after the Cowboys had clinched the NFC East title.

Hamstring issues sidelined Lee for five games last season. He was on the injury report with a hamstring problem before last week's 24-13 loss to Seattle, then injured the other hamstring in the game.

Collins has battled injuries throughout his three-year career, but these are the first two games he has missed.

Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out again as he recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves. He hasn't played this season.



Photo Credit: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Lions, Cowboys Take Different Vibes Into Battle of 1-2 Teams]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2018 22:02:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboysAP_18260020624861.jpg

The vibes are vastly different for a pair of 1-2 teams trying to put rough starts behind them.

The Detroit Lions just secured their first win under new coach Matt Patricia, against longtime boss Bill Belichick and New England, in prime time no less.

The Dallas Cowboys can't fix a dysfunctional passing game even with the first 100-yard rushing performance of the season for star running back Ezekiel Elliott in a loss to Seattle.

The vibes won't matter to Patricia on Sunday when he goes after his first road win, just three weeks removed from a jolting 48-17 loss to the New York Jets at home in his debut.

"They're all one-week seasons," the former Patriots defensive coordinator said. "I would say the good thing about where we're at right now is we're starting to get into a little bit more season mode coming out of training camp, getting kind of into a little bit of a schedule rhythm."

The Cowboys can't find anything remotely resembling a rhythm with quarterback Dak Prescott and a new group of receivers trying to replace Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. Three Detroit receivers -- Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones -- have nearly 200 more yards receiving (690) than the entire Dallas offense (498).

Prescott is averaging 166 yards passing with a QB rating (74.9) exactly 30 points lower than his NFL rookie record when he was the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

"This is about everything we're doing offensively," coach Jason Garrett said. "We have to coach better. We got to play better. We got to run it better. We got to throw it better. We got to protect better. We have to do all the things that good offenses do."

Actually, the Cowboys figured out the running part with Elliott's 127 yards on 16 carries in a 24-13 loss to the Seahawks. But he had two crucial errors, stepping out of bounds before catching what would have been a tying touchdown pass in the first half, and fumbling when the offense was finally on track in the fourth quarter.

"We can't have our defense on the field the majority of those first halves," said Elliott, who is tied with San Francisco's Matt Breida for the NFL rushing lead at 274 yards. "We've got to come out there, get a fast start, execute, get some momentum and carry that through the game."

Things to consider in the first meeting between the teams since a 42-21 Dallas victory late in the 2016 season when Prescott and Elliott were the dazzling rookie duo leading the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13 wins.

ANOTHER STAFFORD HOMECOMING
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is set for his fourth appearance at the home of the Cowboys, just a few miles from his Dallas high school. Stafford won his hometown debut in 2011, rallying the Lions from 13 points down in the fourth quarter for a 34-30 win. He's lost two straight since, including one of the blemishes on his 0-3 playoff record. The Cowboys won a wild-card game during the 2014 season on Tony Romo's late touchdown pass.

ROOKIE MILESTONE
Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys' first-round pick in April, is set for his first career start with Sean Lee sidelined by another hamstring injury. Lee was injured in Seattle, and Vander Esch tied for the team lead with a career-high 10 tackles. "There's a reason they drafted me in the first round, and I gotta live up to that," Vander Esch said.

KERRYON WAYWARD SON
Rookie Kerryon Johnson had the Lions' first 100-yard rushing game in nearly five years in the 26-10 win over the Patriots. While the Cowboys have the NFL's No. 3 overall defense, they've been more vulnerable against the run. Detroit's previous 100-yard game was by Reggie Bush (117) in a 40-10 win over Green Bay on Thanksgiving in 2013. "It's been a while," said Johnson, who had 101 yards on 16 carries. "But I feel like as a group, as an offense, as a team, that's what's expected of us. That's doing our job."

RECEIVER CAROUSEL
The Cowboys carried seven receivers last week, with six active against Seattle. Brice Butler could play after being inactive last week, days after rejoining his team from the previous three seasons. Butler signed with Arizona in free agency but was cut at the end of the preseason. If Butler is active, there's a chance Terrance Williams will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his six-year career. Williams has played just 22 percent of the snaps so far.

ANSAH WATCH
Detroit defensive end Ziggy Ansah, playing on the franchise tag this season, was ruled out on Friday. Ansah has not played since injuring a shoulder in the season-opening loss against the Jets. "He's working extremely hard and he's doing everything we're asking him to do," Patricia said before Ansah was ruled out. "I have the utmost respect for his work ethic and what he's trying to do to help us."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Like the Rams? The Jerry Jones Show]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2018 15:46:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_Sept_28_2018_GBag.jpg

Jerry Jones reminds Mike Bacsik why he's on the radio and not the sideline in this edition of The Jerry Jones Show on the G-Bag Nation, 105.3 The Fan. Originally recorded Sept. 28, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Newy's Prediction: Cowboys vs. Lions]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 19:24:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-lions-new.jpg

A battle of 1 and 2 teams this weekend at AT&T Stadium as the Cowboys host the Detroit Lions. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs gives his prediction.]]>
<![CDATA[Time for the Cowboys First Round Pick to Start]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 19:23:46 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Leighton+Vander+Esch.jpg

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is not expected to play Sunday versus the Detroit Lions, so rookie first round pick Leighton Vander Esch should get his first NFL start.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Is the Cowboys Offense Changing for the Lions?]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 19:08:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/fix+cowboys.jpg

The Cowboys will try to get their struggling offense going this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss what needs to happen to get this thing going]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Giving Zeke the Ball is More Complicated Than You Think]]>Thu, 27 Sep 2018 09:55:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-090918.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott made no excuses for his key fourth-quarter fumble in the Cowboys’ 24-13 loss to Seattle on Sunday.

Nor did he offer any alibis for his illegal touching penalty that wiped out an apparent 31-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the second quarter that would’ve tied the score. The same goes for his dropped pass that probably would’ve been a third-down conversion in the first half.

Still, Elliott was easily the Cowboys’ best offensive player.

He finished with 127 yards rushing on just 16 carries and a 7.94 average thanks to runs of 19, 19, 21 and 26 yards. Elliott’s average per carry was the second-highest average of the NFL career.

The yardage total was the eighth highest of his career; the Cowboys won the previous seven games.

That said, Sunday marked the third time in three games Elliott has had fewer than 20 carries in a game. Just so you know, it happened twice in 2016, if you don’t count the final game because he only played the first half. And it happened once in 2017, the 42-17 debacle against Denver.

Elliott was also targeted a career-high eight times with passes against Seattle, though he only caught three.

So this problem with the Cowboys’ offense is a lot deeper than force-feeding the ball to Elliott. That’s why he’s smart enough to know he doesn’t need to lobby the coaching staff for more opportunities.

When asked Wednesday if he needs to lobby coach Jason Garrett or play-caller Scott Linehan to lobby for more carries, he shut down the topic quickly.

"No,'' he said.

The reason the Cowboys haven’t been able to get Elliott the ball more is their own ineptitude.

They’re eight-for-34 on third down (23.5 percent), which means they can’t sustain drives. The Cowboys have yet to run 60 plays in game.

They’re averaging 55 plays per game. The last two years, they’ve averaged 63 plays. Those eight plays matter.

They’re also playing from behind, which means they have to throw the ball - not hand it Elliott.

Dallas trailed Carolina 10-0 at halftime and 16-0 early in the fourth quarter. They trailed Seattle 17-3 at halftime and 24-6 in the fourth quarter.

"I mean, I would love to see it more, but I just think the nature of the games we've played in these first three games, we've been down,'' Elliott said Wednesday. "We've been having to try to come back.

"It's hard to come back and try to run the ball. When you run out of time in the game you can't just be sitting there trying to pound it. You can't have nine-minute drives when you need to score in three possessions.”

Garrett said Elliott is always a priority whether it’s handing him the ball or throwing it to him.

The Cowboys sent the offseason saying they wanted to get Elliott the ball in the passing game and they tried to get it to him in space without much success against Seattle.

He dropped a third-down pass, Prescott overthrew him in the middle of the field on another and a penalty negated an apparent 31-yard touchdown.

He has 11 receptions for only 37 yards, a 3.4 average. He averaged 10.8 per catch in his first two seasons.

"Sometimes he's a high priority and sometimes he's more of a check down,'' Garrett said. "Certainly what you want to do is be productive. Getting the ball in his hands is a good thing.

"Typically his run after catch is pretty positive.''

In their win over the New York Giants in Week 2, Dallas scored 10 points on their first two possessions.

They need another fast start like that against Detroit, which beat New England last week.

“We have to go out there and execute better as an offense,” he said. “We can’t have our defense on the field the majority of those first halves. That’s what’s been happening in the games when we haven’t been doing well on offense.

“We’ve got to come out there, get a fast start, execute, get some momentum and carry that through the game.”

Then the Cowboys can use their running game - Elliott and Prescott on the read option - to dictate the game’s tempo.

Until then, the struggles will continue.



Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Should Tony Romo Be in the Ring of Honor?]]>Tue, 25 Sep 2018 19:44:51 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+092518.jpg

On Friday, NFL Network will air "Tony Romo: A Football Life." In the show, Cowboys Hall of Fame owner Jerry Jones says Romo will, one day, be inducted into the treasured Ring of Honor, which doesn’t sit well with NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs. Newy says there's another name that should be considered first.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Lots of Questions, No Answers for Cowboys' Passing]]>Tue, 25 Sep 2018 07:36:19 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/usat_dak_prescot_cowboys_panthers.jpg

The Cowboys’ passing game is broken. We all know it. We see the ineptitude each game.

The Cowboys rank 30th in the NFL in yards (277.7), 31st in points (13.7), 31st in third-down conversions (23.5 percent), 27th in first downs (16.7) and 30th in yards per pass attempt (4.4).

Ridiculous.

Prescott has regressed from 2016, when he was named NFL Rookie of the Year. The receivers have been non-factors this season, combining for two touchdowns in three games, and the tight ends have been even worse.

The protection has been, at times, shoddy with Prescott getting sacked 11 times.

There’s no tangible evidence the offense will improve anytime soon.

After all, the first three games are a continuation of the last eight games of last season. Dallas has averaged 15.9 points and 289.0 yards in their last 11 games. It’s easily the worst stretch of offensive football since Jason Garrett joined the Cowboys in 2007 as offensive coordinator.

The offense’s poor performance is a continuation of training camp, when the unit struggled daily to complete passes, drives and score touchdowns in training camp.

Garrett’s belief in play-caller Scott Linehan has not wavered, though the public confidence in Linehan must be at all-time low. Garrett believes Linehan can fix Prescott and the offense, so he’s giving him an opportunity to do it.

For now, Garrett has no interest in taking the play-calling from Linehan.

“We're not going to go down that road right now,” Garrett said of taking the play-calling from Linehan. “I have a lot of confidence in Scott Linehan.

“He has been an outstanding coordinator in this league for a long time. He’s been an outstanding coordinator for us."

Garrett is sticking with Linehan because the problem with the offense is multi-faceted. It’s not one player or one coach.

It’s everybody and everything.

“We have to get better throwing the football,” Garrett said. “Again we have to be more efficient and we have to be more explosive throwing the ball.

"There's a protection component. There's a decision-making component. There's a throw and catch component. There's a winning on the route component. Again we have to improve in all of those areas.'

"Every part of it has to take responsibility for it. We have to get back to work with our players on Wednesday and try to make it better.''

It’s hard to be much worse.

Against Seattle, the Cowboys gained just 303 yards, while averaging 4.4 yards per play.

At halftime, the Cowboys had managed just four first downs and Prescott had completed six of 13 passes for 40 yards with an interception.

We haven't played well enough on offense, so everybody has to look at it,'' Garrett said. "I think it would be false for me to say this is about the play calling.

"This is about everything we're doing offensively.''

Prescott has passed for more than 200 yards in just two of the last 11 games. He has five straight games with at least 25 pass attempts and fewer than 200 yards.

Only four quarterbacks - Rick Morse, Steve Walsh, Ken O’Brien and John Brodie - have had longer steaks in the last 51years.

Prescott is tentative in the pocket and you have to wonder if this coaching staff is equipped to bring him out of this funk.

His body language contradicted his words.

“I have a lot of confidence,” Prescott said after the game. “I stay confident by believing in myself, believing in the players in the locker room.

“They believe in me, we believe in each other.”

They must. Help is not coming.

Garrett, Linehan and Prescott will either figure out how to fix this offense or this season is doomed.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Dink and Dunk Isn't Cutting It With Cowboys' Passing Game]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:17:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-092318.jpg

Dak Prescott has the fewest throws of at least 15 yards down the field among quarterbacks who have played all three games this season.

It isn't really news to the leader of the Dallas Cowboys.

"I don't think we've just attacked that area enough, simple as that," Prescott said after a 24-13 loss to Seattle on Sunday. "I don't necessarily say they're taking it away as much as we haven't tried them enough. You can put it on me. I guess I just need to push the ball down the field more."

Whether it's play-calling, blocking or a group of receivers looking woefully ill-equipped to replace the All-Pro version of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys' passing game is broken -- even when Ezekiel Elliott has his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

Prescott, who has completed just three of 10 passes at least 15 yards downfield, had his fifth straight game of fewer than 200 yards with at least 25 passes going back to last season. The Cowboys haven't had that long a run of inefficiency in the passing game in 15 years.

If it's any consolation, Quincy Carter-led Dallas made the playoffs despite that ineptitude in 2003, although those Cowboys were quickly bounced in the wild-card round because of their stagnant offense.

These Cowboys (1-2) don't look anything like a playoff team with this offense. They play Detroit (1-2) on Sunday at home with the Lions coming off a stirring win at home against New England.

"I don't see anybody in that room that will accept that we can't do better offensively no matter what the conditions are -- on the road or otherwise," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "It's pretty obvious that all day long, we were disjointed and just couldn't make it happen."

Cole Beasley is the only receiver with 100 yards for the season (132). Newcomer Deonte Thompson, supposedly a speed threat on the outside, is averaging 9.2 yards on nine catches.

Tavon Austin, acquired in a trade during the draft, has the only catch of more than 20 yards -- a 64-yard touchdown on the third play of Dallas' win over the New York Giants. His other four catches are for 17 yards.

Austin has the only two receiving touchdowns for Dallas. The second was on a 3-yard shovel pass with the Cowboys trailing the Seahawks 24-6 in the fourth quarter.

Geoff Swaim has been solid trying to replace 15-year tight end Jason Witten, who retired to go into broadcasting. He led the Cowboys with five catches for 47 yards against the Seahawks.

"We have to be more efficient and we have to be more explosive throwing the ball," coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "There are a lot of components to it. There's a protection component. There's a decision-making component. There's a throw and catch component. There's a winning on the route component."

With 127 yards, Elliott had his best rushing total since before his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations last season. But the 2016 All-Pro had two of the biggest mistakes of the game.

First, Elliott stepped out of bounds before making the catch on what would have been a tying 31-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Then he fumbled at the end of a 26-yard run -- his longest of the season -- to kill a promising drive early in the fourth quarter.

Elliott's mistakes will be magnified until more playmakers, if any, emerge around him. None of the receivers or tight ends appears close to doing that so far.

"People can say whatever, but at the end of the day, but you know, when you've got that ball in your hand, that's the team in your hand," Elliott said. "Me being a leader on the team, I've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I mean, that cost us the game."

Elliott still isn't getting much help from the passing game, though.

NOTES: Garrett said LB Sean Lee was sidelined against the Seahawks by tightness to his hamstring that wasn't injured going into the game. He had been limited during the week by a hamstring injury.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The Future of Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 19:35:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy_talks_jason_garrett_future_sept_24.jpg

Three games into the season and Cowboys fans are already starting to whisper about changes for this struggling Cowboys team. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs says if you want something to change, then look no further than team owner Jerry Jones.]]>
<![CDATA[Lee Likely to Miss Next Few Weeks With Strained Hamstring]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:40:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sean-Lee-DMN-photo-092318.jpg

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee will likely miss the next few weeks recovering from a strained left hamstring he suffered in the third quarter of Sunday's loss at Seattle.

Lee said he hurt his hamstring when he and DeMarcus Lawrence sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson with 9:45 left in the third quarter and didn't return.

Lee felt tightness and cramping in his right hamstring late in the Cowboys' Week 2 win at the Giants. He didn't practice Wednesday and was limited in practice Thursday and Friday.

Read more from our media partner The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Lose to the Seahawks in Seattle]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 00:07:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+092418.jpg

The Cowboys lost their second game of the season to the Seattle Seahawks, 24-13. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman break down the loss.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Wilson 2 TDs, Thomas 2 Picks, Seahawks Beat Cowboys]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 00:16:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Russell-Wilson-Getty-092318.jpg

Chris Carson dished out punishing runs. Russell Wilson made smart, decisive throws at key moments. A defense led by Bobby Wagner and an unhappy Earl Thomas forced turnovers, making Dak Prescott and Dallas look meager trying to move the ball.

The Seattle Seahawks returned to a familiar, old formula to avoid a dreaded 0-3 start, beating the Cowboys 24-13 on Sunday.

"This is how we want to play. We couldn't be any more specific about it," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Wilson threw two touchdown passes in the first half, Carson added a 5-yard TD run in early in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks won their 10th straight home opener. Wilson hit Jaron Brown on an 16-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, and later hit Tyler Lockett streaking up the sideline on a 52-yard scoring pass, and Seattle (1-2) built a 17-3 halftime lead and cruised past the Cowboys.

The duo of Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott didn't have the answers against a Seattle defense that had Thomas on the field and welcomed back Wagner after the Seahawks' defensive leader missed Week 2 with a groin injury.

Prescott was intercepted twice by Thomas , including with 3:09 remaining at the Seattle 15 on a deflected pass, with Thomas bowing to the Dallas sideline at the end of the play. It was Thomas' way of acknowledging the Cowboys should have done more by now to try to acquire him from the Seahawks after the former All-Pro made it clear he wanted out of Seattle if a contract extension wasn't coming.

"I felt like that was just in the moment and if they were going to trade for me and extend me, they should have did it," Thomas said of his bow that drew a 15-yard penalty.

Prescott was sacked five times and Dallas (1-2) had just 58 net yards passing entering the fourth quarter. Elliott had momentary flashes, busting off a few long runs, but they were too infrequent for Dallas' stagnant offense.

Thomas' second interception was one of two turnovers forced by Seattle in the fourth quarter. Elliott broke free for a 26-yard run to the Seattle 19 earlier in the quarter, but had the ball punched free from behind by Bradley McDougald and recovered by the Seahawks.

"When you've got that ball in your hand, that's the team in our hand," Elliott said. "Me being a leader on the team, I've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I mean, that cost us the game."

Prescott finished 19 of 34 for 168 yards and a 3-yard shovel pass TD to Tavon Austin with 7:11 remaining. Dallas failed to pass for 200 yards for the ninth time in the past 11 games dating to last season. Elliott had 127 yards on 16 carries.

"We've got to find exactly our go-to in the passing game -- and not necessarily am I speaking on a player," Prescott said. "I'm just speaking on our go-to concepts or go-to beaters or whatever it may be that we didn't get to."

Meanwhile, Wilson had the kind of protection that's been absent most of the season. After being sacked 12 times in the first two games, Wilson was 16 of 26 for 192 yards and sacked twice by Dallas' defense that was second in the league in sacks. Despite missing starting center Justin Britt, the offensive line gave Wilson enough time for a few big plays in the passing game.

Wilson's strike to Brown gave Seattle a 7-0 lead and he took advantage of the absence of safety Jeff Heath when he found Lockett on a 52-yard TD late in the second quarter. Heath departed with a left ankle injury earlier in the drive and Wilson found Lockett streaking up the sideline. Heath's replacement, Kavon Frazier, was late to rotate over and Lockett went untouched, high-stepping the final few yards for a 14-3 lead.

Carson's TD run was the first by a Seahawks running back since J.D. McKissic found the end zone on a 31-yard run in Week 4 of the 2017 season. Seattle went 14 games without a running back finding the end zone until Carson bulled his way in with 12:54 remaining.

Carson finished with 102 yards, the first Seattle running back to top 100 yards since late in the 2016 season.

"This is the offense we claimed to be the whole offseason," Carson said.

THOMAS DRAMA
Following a week of drama surrounding Thomas, the former All-Pro safety started and almost immediately made his presence known. Thomas missed two days of practice for personal reasons which Carroll provided only vague answers as to why, and left open the possibility Thomas wouldn't play.

He was on the field as usual, and it took less than a quarter before Thomas was making a remarkable interception, pinning a deflected pass against his shin. It was the second two-interception game of his career and the first since his rookie season in 2010.

FREE POINTS
Seattle was gifted three points at the end of the half when Randy Gregory was baited into a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, smacking Seattle's Joey Hunt in the facemask. The penalty put Seattle in range for Sebastian Janikowski's 47-yard field goal and a 17-3 lead at the half.

INJURIES
Dallas also played a large portion of the second half without linebacker Sean Lee due to a hamstring injury. Lee said it was the same issue that had him listed as questionable on the injury report.

"It feels like the same deal, but I have to get (evaluated) and see where I'm at," Lee said.

UP NEXT
Cowboys: returns home to host Detroit next Sunday.

Seahawks: at division rival Arizona next Sunday.



Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Doney: 5 Things to Know Following Cowboys' Loss]]>Sun, 23 Sep 2018 21:51:26 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DONEY_5_TO_KNOW-09-23-2018-21.22.06.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney shares five things you need to know following the Cowboys' loss to the Seattle Seahawks, including that Ezekiel Elliott's shouldering the blame.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys QB Dak Prescott at Center of Loss to Seahawks]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 00:10:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+092418.jpg

The Cowboys fall to 1 and 2 after a 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Dak Prescott continues to struggle getting the offense going. Here’s NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[JJT's 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' Loss to the Seahawks]]>Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:58:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jason-Garrett-Getty-092318.jpg

The Cowboys dropped to 1-2 for the first time since 2010, a season that began with Wade Phillips as the head coach and ended with Jason Garrett as the head coach. Dallas turned in another inept offensive performance and never really challenged Seattle.

Here are NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the Cowboys' 24-13 loss.

1. Ezekiel Elliott finally had a breakout game with 127 yards on 16 carries and runs of 19, 21, 26 and 19 yards. But he also had a key fumble, had an apparent touchdown negated because he stepped out of bounds before he caught the pass and dropped a third-down pass.

2. Dak Prescott completed 19 passes, but his longest completions -- 20 yards -- came late in the fourth quarter. He averaged 4.9 yards per attempt.

3. The Cowboys spent the entire offseason trying to take care of linebacker Sean Lee's body. They didn't allow him to practice much in training camp and he played sparingly in the preseason -- and it still didn't help. Lee strained his hamstring against the Giants in Week 2 and missed 27 plays. He aggravated the hamstring during the second quarter and missed most of the second half, but still finished with 11 tackles and half a sack.

4. The Cowboys held Seattle to 294 yards and 79 of those came on two completions. Two of Seattle's three touchdowns appeared to come on poor plays by the safeties -- Kavon Frazier took a poor angle on the first one and Xavier Woods was late covering the receiver on the second.

5. Seattle had allowed six sacks in each of the first two games, but they used a quick passing game and 32 runs by Chris Carson for 102 yards to slow down the Cowboys' pass rush. Dallas had just two sacks.

6. The Cowboys' receivers combined to catch 11 passes for 120 yards and no touchdowns with a long of 20. They have combined for two receptions of 20 yards or more this season. Prescott has completed 54 passes this season.

7. Leighton Vander Esch tied for the team lead with 11 tackles, including one for loss. He's playing better and getting more comfortable, and with Lee's hamstring issue he's only going to get more playing time.

8. Kicker Brett Maher made each of his two field goal attempts from 50 and 35 yards, respectively. That's four in a row after missing his first kick with the Cowboys.

9. The defense, as well as it has played, remains plagued by it's inability to generate turnovers. We're three games into the season and Dallas has forced only two turnovers and has yet to intercept a pass.

10. Prescott ran five times for 19 yards, the read option was not a big part of the offense this week against Seattle. One of the problems with the Cowboys' offense is that it has no identity right now. Prescott's running was supposed to be an integral part of the offense, but we didn't see it against Seattle.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Seahawks]]>Sun, 23 Sep 2018 18:36:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-092318.jpg

Here's NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's instant analysis of the Cowboys' 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Cowboys’ passing game is beyond broken, and Jason Garrett must fix it quickly or this season will crater will fast. The running game has been effective, at times, but without any big plays in the passing game the Cowboys have a difficult time moving the ball. Seattle won its home opener for the 10th straight year.

TURNING POINT
Dak Prescott had avoided the pass rush and found Ezekiel Elliott drifting down the right sideline. He lofted a pass to him and Elliott turned it into an apparent 31-yard touchdown, but he stepped out of bounds before catching the ball and he was penalized for illegal touching. The Cowboys settled for a field goal and instead of the score being tied 7-7, the Seahawks maintained a 7-3 lead.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Seattle safety Earl Thomas, who had a tumultuous week, had two fantastic interceptions and a team-high seven tackles to lead Seattle to its first win. Thomas wants a new contract and has let it be known he wants to plays for the Cowboys. After his fourth-quarter interception, Thomas took a bow in front of Jason Garrett and the Cowboys’ bench.

KEY STAT
Dak Prescott passed for 148 yards, the third consecutive game he has failed to pass for more than 200 yards this season. He has failed to pass for more than 200 yards in nine of the past 11 games.

WHAT'S NEXT
Dallas plays Detroit next week, and the Lions have been one of the league’s worst teams. The problem for Dallas is quarterback Matt Stanford and receiver Golden Tate are capable of creating enough big plays to challenge the defense and for this offense 17 points represents a mountain.



Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Keys to a Cowboys Win at Seattle]]>Sat, 22 Sep 2018 18:58:04 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney_machota_cowboys_seahawks_preview.jpg

What do the Cowboys need to do to beat the Seahawks on Sunday? Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News is in Seattle ahead of the matchup and joins NBC 5's Pat Doney to discuss.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Showing Rare Signs of Being Defined by Defense First]]>Sat, 22 Sep 2018 18:57:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sean-Lee-Getty-092118.jpg

Sean Lee wants more time to decide if this is the best chance the Dallas Cowboys have to be defined by their defense in the linebacker's eight years with the club.

There's no question about the answer through two weeks.

The Cowboys (1-1) are fourth in the NFL in total defense, with a loss to Carolina that could have been a blowout and a win over the New York Giants that wasn't nearly as close as the seven-point margin.

In both cases, it was thanks to a defense that is delivering on preseason hopes of being a difference-making unit.

"I think we're starting to show the type of defense we can be," Lee said Thursday. "It's still early in the season. Still room to improve. Still a case we can cause and make more turnovers. But we're around the football. We're making plays. We're keeping points down, yards down."

Dallas is tied for second behind Chicago with nine sacks after bringing down Eli Manning six times.

The Cowboys visit Seattle on Sunday, and the Seahawks have allowed six sacks of Russell Wilson each of the first two games.

DeMarcus Lawrence, who finished tied for second in the NFL with 14 1/2 sacks last season and ended up with the $17.1 million franchise tag, has a sack in each of the first two games. Three fellow defensive linemen had a sack apiece against the Giants.

For that and other reasons, Rod Marinelli is comfortable saying the Dallas defense has the most upside in his five seasons as defensive coordinator.

"I just think we've gotten better every year," Marinelli said.

"We've improved and our talent level has gotten a little bit better. I know we're fast. We're really fast. Now we've just got to direct our speed."

For years, talk of the Cowboys surrounded the offensive stars: quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and receiver Dez Bryant.

With all three gone within the past two years, the buzz drifted to the sensational 2016 rookie pairing of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

But the offense is in transition, with Prescott getting used to a revamped group of receivers following the retirement of Witten and release of Bryant in the offseason.

The Cowboys cruised against the Giants anyway, despite Elliott falling short of 100 yards rushing for the second straight week (78) and Prescott throwing for fewer than 200 yards for the eighth time in 10 games going back to last season.

"It's great when you see the defense going out there and doing what they're doing," Prescott said. "That gives the team a lot of confidence and the way they're playing allows us to want to go out there and do the same."

Lee is nursing a sore hamstring that sidelined him late against the Giants. The Cowboys are calling his limited approach in practice this week precautionary. But Dallas is also in a different place with its linebackers.

Jaylon Smith is starting to show the promise of his days at Notre Dame before a devastating knee injury in his final game with the Irish.

He leads the Cowboys with 16 tackles. Smith's emergence is allowing Dallas to bring rookie first-rounder Leighton Vander Esch along slowly.

The Cowboys like free agent pickup Joe Thomas, and fourth-year pro Damien Wilson forced a fumble on a sack of Manning.

"Feel good about that group right now," coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously Sean's the leader. He's the leader of our defense. He's a great, great football player. But depth is important on your team."

As Lee mentioned, turnovers are lacking so far. The Cowboys have recovered two fumbles, but don't have an interception.

Still, they've been pleased with 2015 first-rounder Byron Jones making the switch back to cornerback. Chidobe Awuzie has been solid on the other side.

"We're very confident, not only in our ability but in our system and our coaching," safety Jeff Heath said.

"I just think we have the combination of guys to work really well together. We play for each other. I think you've been able to see some of the fruits of that."



Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys D Looks Even Better Going Into Week 3]]>Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:01:56 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Irvings_Approaching_Return_09212018.jpg

There's good news on the Dallas defense. Sean Lee is returning, Randy Gregory is OK. Pat Doney and JJT take a deeper look leading into Week 3.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Coach Kris Richards Sparking Dallas' D]]>Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:57:45 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowwboys_Defense_092118.jpg

Cowboys DB coach Kris Richard is being credited with making the calls that are sparking the Dallas D. How good can they be? Pat and JJT discuss. ]]>
<![CDATA[Seahawks Trying to Avoid Troubling 0-3 Start Hosting Cowboys]]>Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:02:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Cowboys-logo.jpg

Whether it was his first two stops in the NFL, his time in college at Southern California or his first eight seasons in charge in Seattle, Pete Carroll has never started a season with three consecutive losses.

That's 12 seasons in the pros and nine in college during which Carroll has been able to avoid a disastrous start to a new campaign. And it's what the Seahawks will be trying to avoid Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys.

"There's only a couple of undefeated teams in the NFC right now and let's hang with that. Let's hang with them," Carroll said. "I don't want to get behind that number right now, so we've got to get a win."

What's been called a roster reset multiple times by Carroll and other Seahawks has struggled to get started. Seattle's offense has looked inept at times, its quarterback confused and its defense vulnerable. The Seahawks understand the rarity of dropping to 0-3 and still being able to turn around the trajectory of the season.

"I'm not going to give you a cliche. You don't want to be 0-3," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said.

Dallas is still trying to solve all of its issues, but at least has a victory after knocking off the New York Giants at home last week. The Cowboys' defense was exceptional against the Giants, holding rookie Saquon Barkley and New York's run game to 35 yards on the ground, and sacked quarterback Eli Manning six times. The Cowboys are second in the NFL with nine sacks through two weeks, and now face the offense that's surrendered a league-high 12 sacks so far, six in each game.

"We've continued to try to build the talent level on our front seven and try to create competitive situations where guys are fighting for roster spots and fighting for playing time and hopefully when they get out there that competition brings out the best in them," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously, those can be very impactful plays."

The Cowboys are 5-2 in September road games since 2014, one of those losses coming in the opener against Carolina. Seattle hasn't lost a home game in September under Carroll, going 13-0 since 2010.

RUN AROUND: For two weeks, the Seahawks have failed to follow through on one of their major offseason priorities of returning to being a run-first offense. The Seahawks had just 16 carries for 64 yards in the opener. After committing to running more in Week 2, they ended up managing only 74 yards on 22 carries against the Bears. There was also Carroll's confusion about the conditioning of starter Chris Carson, who didn't have a carry in the second half against the Bears.

SILENT ON SEATTLE: New Dallas secondary coach and passing game coordinator Kris Richard turned down interview requests before his reunion with the Seahawks. Richard spent the first eight years of his pro coaching career in Seattle, the past two as defensive coordinator. He was fired in a retooling of Carroll's defensive staff.

The Cowboys have blitzed more the first two weeks than in the past under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. From the start, Richard has said the Cowboys embraced the idea of him bringing new concepts.

"I do think the DNA of both guys in terms of what they believe in coaching is real similar," Garrett said. "I think that reflects on how they teach technique and the schemes that we use."

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME: Seattle is expected to get Wagner (groin), rookie starting cornerback Tre Flowers (hamstring) and guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring) back after missing time with injuries. Wagner and Flowers missed the loss to Chicago, while Fluker has been out since the third week of the preseason with the hamstring problem.

While those players appear set to return, the Seahawks could be without starting center Justin Britt (shoulder), while linebacker K.J. Wright (knee surgery) and wide receiver Doug Baldwin (knee) are still at least a week away from getting back on the field.

WEAKNESS IN NUMBERS? The Cowboys are using 11 roster spots -- roughly 20 percent of the 53 total -- on receivers and tight ends. They added a receiver without releasing one this week by bringing back Brice Butler. He spent the past three seasons with Dallas before signing with Arizona in free agency. The Cardinals cut him at the end of the preseason.

The Cowboys are 30th in the NFL in passing in their first season without tight end Jason Witten and 2014 All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant. Dak Prescott has thrown for at least 200 yards just twice in the past 10 games going back to last season.

LOCKER ROOM VISIT: Garrett said it was a little strange when Seattle safety Earl Thomas approached him in the Dallas locker room following the Seahawks' victory last December . During his offseason holdout, Thomas made it clear he wouldn't mind the opportunity to play elsewhere, with Dallas possibly at the top of his wish list.

"I've never had that happen before, an opposing player comes into your locker room. But we have great respect for him," Garrett said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Cowboys Will Keep Running Dak Prescott]]>Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:37:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboysAP_18260020624861.jpg

The Cowboys want Dak Prescott to be a threat as a runner the same way Carolina’s Cam Newton and Seattle’s Russell Wilson control games with their running.

It’s a bad idea.

And if Prescott who rushed for a career-high 45 yards on seven carries takes the same approach he did Sunday against the New York Giants - running over defenders instead of sliding - it’s only a matter of time until backup quarterback Cooper Rush gets a start.

“I'd like it more if he got down a little bit,” Ezekiel Elliott said. “I don't really want him to run like me, so I want him to get down. But Dak is a big guy, he's a big athlete, I mean, he's smart."

It’s pretty easy to understand why owner Jerry Jones said after the Cowboys Week 1 loss to Carolina that he wanted Prescott running more. He saw Newton dominate the first quarter running the ball and propel the Panthers to a 16-8 win.

Newton, though, is an outlier.

He’s 6-5, 240 pounds and Carolina has built him into their running game since the day he arrived as the No.1 pick overall. He has 55 career rushing touchdowns, including one he scored against Dallas.

Prescott is not that kind of runner, but he’s probably one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL.

He can make plays - and that’s really what the Cowboys need him to do. In Prescott’s rookie year, he had plenty of help from the rest of the offense. His job was to distribute the ball and make good decisions.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten gave him playmakers whether you’re talking touchdowns or first downs.

The 2018 Cowboys don’t have enough playmakers. If we’re honest, Elliott is the only skill position player defensive coordinators spend their nights trying to figure out how to stop.

So the Cowboys need Prescott to be a playmaker - not just a distributor this season.

Against the Giants, play-caller Scott Linehan had him involved early. On the Cowboys’ second series, Prescott kept the ball on a read option and ran 15 yards around left end for a first down.

That drive resulted in a field goal and a 10-0 lead.

On their next possession, Prescott went 13 yards off left tackle for a first down on third-and-two from the Dallas 28. The drive ended with a punt but the tone had been set.

The Giants’ defensive end or linebacker couldn’t play nearly as aggressively and that created more room for Elliott to run. He finished with 78 yards on just 17 carries.

Leading 13-3 in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys drove 82 yards in 14 plays for the clinching touchdown. The drive took 8:23 and Prescott had runs of two, nine and eight yards.

“They’ve expanded their style of play in the quarterback runs,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “Their quarterback can do anything.

“He can stay in the pocket. He can throw on the move. He can take off and run and make you pay.”

And that’s why Jones has been adamant about giving Prescott opportunities to run this season. He has 12 career touchdowns, and on an offense that’s challenged to score points and move the ball his skill set is invaluable.

The issue is injury.

Wilson does a good job of running and avoiding big hits whether he slides or scoots out of bounds. Prescott needs a similar approach.

“Running is something that kind of comes naturally,” Prescott said. “Coming into this week, the quarterback run was something that we kind of wanted to attack. We knew this defense was going to give us that.

“I am the bigger guy. I was going to challenge some of those defensive backs to make tackles.”

See, that’s what must change.

Will he need to run over someone occasionally, sure. He did it last year against Arizona on a 10-yard touchdown run, when he helicoptered into the end zone.

But it must be the exception not the rule.

“You hate to expose him more, but it’s such a dimension.” Jones said on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM. “So, yeah, we’re going to use Dak. We should. These games are so important to us.

“The other thing that Dak does is a very good job throwing on the move. We just have him in a lot of play-action. The pass-run option is a key part of the game today, and Dak can really do it well. So, we’ll use him.”



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones on Winning, Dak Running and Brad Sham]]>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:02:36 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Shan_RJ_Tuesday_Sept_18.jpg

During one of his weekly radio addresses, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ about the team's first win, Randy Gregory, Dak's running and Brad Sham's 40 years. Recorded Sept. 18, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones on Beating Giants, Strong D]]>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:02:52 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_GBag_Monday_Sept_17.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation at noon Mondays, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones talked about the team's Week 2 win over the New York Giants highlighting their solid defensive play and the ground effort by Dak Prescott. Recorded: Sept. 17, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Surprises High School Football Players]]>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:42:38 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/dak_surprises_high+schoolers_.jpg

A football team in Frisco was surprised Monday when Dak Prescott showed up to their practice.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback took over coaching duties and ran drills with the Rangers at Frisco Lone Star High School in tandem with NFL's Play Football youth initiative and Campbell's Chunky Soup.

Dak wanted to honor Coach Jeff Rayburn for the "hard work he demonstrates on-and-off the field for this team, family and community every day," according to a Campbell's company representative.

A video on Twitter showed Dak opening the doors of a weight room and the crowd shouting in excitement.



Photo Credit: NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Brice Butler Returns to Dallas Cowboys]]>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:04:23 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brice-butler-cowboys.jpg

The Cowboys have re-signed veteran receiver Brice Butler, who had left Dallas in free agency last spring but was released by the Arizona Cardinals before the season.

Dallas released rookie safety Tyree Robinson on Tuesday to make room on its roster for Butler.

Butler in April signed a two-year deal with Arizona after playing in 36 games for Dallas the past three seasons. He was listed as the No. 2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald for much of the Cardinals' camp, but was also slowed by a foot injury and part of the final cuts to get their roster to 53 players.

In 61 games over five NFL seasons, Butler has 73 catches for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns. He was picked by Oakland in the seventh round of the 2013 draft and spent two seasons with the Raiders before going to Dallas.

Dallas also released defensive tackle Aziz Shittu from the practice squad, and signed defensive tackle Adolphus Washington to the practice squad.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 5 Reasons Why the Cowboys Never Considered Josh Gordon]]>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:18:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/usatsi_10521278_138566172_lowres.jpg

The Cowboys never seriously considered adding Josh Gordon, for any price, to their roster. They never had a formal meeting about him or watched video of him this season to see how he’d fit into their offense.

Here’s why:

• The Cowboys have to use considerable resources - time, money and energy - trying to make sure talented defensive linemen Randy Gregory and David Irving don’t run afoul of the NFL rules and regulations, so they can play for Dallas. The Cowboys didn’t want to add another player who required that kind of commitment because it would take away from the time they’ve already allotted to keep Gregory and Irving on the roster.

• If the Cowboys were to add a player such as Gordon, they’d prefer to do it in the offseason when front office has time to indoctrinate the player into their program and structure to give him the best chance to succeed. Even if they added a player in the season, they’d prefer to give him a few weeks to get used to the team’s structure.

• Gordon hasn’t been a productive player since 2013, when he caught 87 passes for 1,687 yards and nine touchdowns. The Cowboys weren’t convinced that would change.

• Gordon played college football at Baylor, so the Cowboys had quite a few conversations about him when he was eligible for the draft. They spoke with former Baylor coach Art Briles six times about Gordon, so they feel comfortable with who he is as a player and person.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Manning Sees What Prescott Knew: Dallas D Looking Disruptive]]>Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:06:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1034553308.jpg

Dak Prescott was the first quarterback to get a good look at the Dallas defense this year -- every day during training camp in California.

Eli Manning might now agree with his counterpart that this unit can lead the Cowboys in 2018.

The two-time Super Bowl winner from the New York Giants was sacked six times in a second straight strong performance from the Dallas defenders, and the Cowboys avoided their first 0-2 start in seven seasons under coach Jason Garrett with a 20-13 win on Sunday night.

"It wasn't always fun going against this defense in Oxnard," Prescott said after throwing a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin to spark the Cowboys on the third play of the game. "They destroyed practices. They got after me in training camp and I knew they would get after the opposing quarterback. They definitely did."

The Cowboys are set to face a quarterback significantly more mobile than Manning -- Russell Wilson in a visit to Seattle. And while Cam Newton gashed the Cowboys with some big running plays in Carolina's 16-8 win in the opener, Dallas was still in the game late because of its defense.

If the six sacks of Manning -- two shy of the most in his career -- are any indication, the Dallas defensive linemen will be coming in waves. Four of them had a sack apiece: DeMarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton, Antwaun Woods and Tyrone Crawford. The others came from linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Kavon Frazier.

"I don't want to use the word `dominant' just because I let you use that," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "The main thing is we've got depth and we've got speed and we've got rotation and we've got some skill back there in that secondary and in that linebacking spot relative to pass coverage."

Things to consider after the Cowboys had six players with at least one sack for the first time since 1997:

SPICE BOYS

The Cowboys added some wrinkles after offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was criticized for bland play-calling against Carolina. After Austin beat the Giants deep right away, Dallas ran him on a reverse on a pitch from running back Ezekiel Elliott on the next drive. Austin picked up 15 yards on the way to a field goal.

Prescott had a career-high 45 yards rushing, mostly on fakes to Elliott and runs around end. And that was after Jones suggested on his radio show during the week that the Cowboys could showcase Prescott as a runner more -- just as the Panthers do with Newton.

"Any time you compare a player to another player you're in trouble the minute it comes out of your mouth," Jones said. "You need to show you can do it before you can get the defenses to honor it."

OFF CENTER

New York's offensive line was already a work in progress before starting center Jon Halapio was carted off the field in the second half with his right leg in an air cast. Shaky right tackle Ereck Flowers was moved to that side after Nate Solder was signed as a free agent last spring to be the left tackle.

"All five guys working together, understanding calls, understanding what defenses are doing, and passing things off, so that one's probably always going to take the longest for them to start to gel," Manning said. "That group, they're going to be determined to play at a higher level, just like everybody else."

GROUND HALT

Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith had a jarring hit of Manning on a 1-yard scramble and chased No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley out of bounds for a 3-yard loss. The rookie running back had just 28 yards rushing as the Cowboys held the Giants to 35 as a team a week after giving up 147 on the ground to the Panthers.

"They blitzed. They ran stunts. They rushed four," Solder said. "They did a number of things and we didn't pick up any of it."

MEETING OF 0-2s

There were only six two-loss teams in the NFL after Sunday's games (before 0-1 teams Seattle and Chicago play Monday night). When the Giants return to Texas next Sunday to play the Houston Texans, it will be a matchup of two of those 0-2 teams. "We've just got to get back to work and get ready to play Houston. There's no other way out of this," new coach Pat Shurmur said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT's 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' Win Over Giants]]>Mon, 17 Sep 2018 08:25:45 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-cowboys-locker.jpg

The Cowboys beat the New York Giants 20-13 on Sunday night at AT&T Stadium to reach .500 and avoid the dreaded 0-2 start. After all, since 2002 only 11 percent of teams that start 0-2 have made the playoffs.

Here are Cowboys’ Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor’s 10 thoughts on the win.

• The Cowboys pass rush was relentless. It recorded six sacks by six different players and it had sacks from all three levels of the defense: line, linebackers and secondary. The Cowboys also hit Eli Manning eight times, including two each by Taco Charlton and DeMarcus Lawrence.

• New York Giants coach Pat Shurmer did a terrific job of getting the ball to Saquon Barkley, his best offensive player. Barkley caught eight passes for only 32 yards in the first half, but the Giants kept giving him opportunities with the ball in space. He finished with 14 catches for 80 yards and a long of 18. He carried 11 times for 28 yards.

• Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a five-year, $95 million extension last month, caught four passes for 51 yards and no impact. Nine passes were directed his way, and he had a long of 17. Byron Jones and Chido Awuzie did a nice job on him.

• Brett Maher, who missed his only field goal attempt in the Cowboys’ loss to Carolina, made his first attempt - a 37-yarder in the first quarter. Yes, it was an important kick whether anyone wants to publicly admit it. He added a 29-yard kick in the third quarter.

• Damien Wilson, probably the least-respected starter on the team, had a nice game with three tackles, a sack and forced fumble and a pass deflection. He doesn’t get a lot of attention but he does a lot of things well in addition to being a core special teams player.

• Rico Gathers was active for the first time in his career, and the Cowboys tried to get him the ball. But quarterback Dak Prescott missed him twice, including once in the end zone for a potential touchdown that would’ve pushed the lead to 17-0. The Cowboys need play-makers and they think Gathers can make plays, so they’re putting him on the field and giving him a chance.

• Kavon Frazier, normally a core special teams player, has delivered with the playing time he’s getting with Xavier Woods sidelined by a hamstring. He’s always been a hard hitter, but the Cowboys blitzed him and he rewarded them with a sack in addition to his usual physical presence.

• Scott Linehan came out aggressively and the Cowboys gained 136 yards on their first 10 plays. Dak Prescott ran a read option, completed a 64-yards touchdown pass to Tavon Austin, who also had a 15-yard reverse. The Cowboys scored 10 points on their first two possessions, but couldn’t get another touchdown drive to separate.

• Leighton Vander Esch played 28 snaps and recorded seven tackles. He was active and when Sean Lee left the game with cramps, the defense didn’t fall apart. It was a nice step for him.

• Jaylon Smith had a team-high 10 tackles, including one for loss. But he was part of the season Saquon Barkley gained just 28 yards on 11 carries with a long of 10. He says he’s all the way back from the horrific knee injury he suffered in his last game at Notre Dame in his third season with Dallas.

]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Beat Giants on Sunday Night Football]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 23:53:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+091618.jpg

The Cowboys get their first win of the season over the New York Giants. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman break down the victory.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[JJT's Instant Analysis: Giants at Cowboys]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 23:54:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-091618.jpg

Here's NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's instant analysis of the Cowboys' 20-13 win over the New York Giants Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Cowboys avoid the dreaded 0-2 start, which is often the kiss of death when it comes to making the playoffs. The Cowboys started fast on offense and allowed their defense to keep the Giants in check after they grabbed an early lead with six sacks and an overall stellar defensive effort.

TURNING POINT
Leading 13-3 in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys embarked on a 14-play, 82-yard drive with 8:23.They converted to third-down conversions and one fourth-down conversion on the drive that culminated with Ezekiel Elliott diving into the end zone at the end of a six-yard run.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Dak Prescott showed how he can be a winning quarterback for the Cowboys with his performance Sunday against the Giants. He wasn’t spectacular by any means but he was good enough and his decision-making was superb. He passed for only 160 yards, but he connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin that let the Giants know Dallas would attack deep. He also ran the zone read to perfection, gaining a career-high 46 yards on six carries and helping the Cowboys control the game. He also protected the ball and did not have a turnover.

KEY STAT
The Cowboys sacked Eli Manning six times. It’s their second-highest sack total ever against Manning. In December 2008, they sacked him eight times in a 20-8 win.

WHAT'S NEXT
The Cowboys head to Seattle with few questions about their defense that has been outstanding the first two games and with fewer questions about their offense, though much work remains. It was better, but they still didn’t get 300 yards in total offense.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Video Vault: Flashback to 1997 Cowboys Gear]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 09:44:46 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-cowboys-gear-1997.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys brand game was strong -- the strongest in the NFL -- after their 1993 Super Bowl win. But it was a different story in 1997.]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 5 Gives Some Tips for a Cowboys-Style Tailgate Party]]>Fri, 14 Sep 2018 13:49:09 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Photo000261.jpg

NBC 5's Deborah Ferguson offers some tailgate party tips for football game day.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Spotty Passing Attack Holds Key for Elliott's Space]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 17:10:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-090918.jpg

Dak Prescott heard the assessment from New York Giants safety Landon Collins on how to beat his Dallas Cowboys.

Stop running back Ezekiel Elliott, put the ball in Prescott's hands and "I think we'll have a better shot at winning," Collins said a few days after the Carolina Panthers illustrated as much in the opener.

"Challenge accepted," the Dallas quarterback said. "Challenge accepted."

The Cowboys know every opponent wants to stop the running game. Elliott says it's been that way since the first game of his rookie year, when fellow first-year star Prescott replaced an injured Tony Romo and became the starter for good while Elliott won the 2016 rushing title.

If the players in Prescott's passing game are feeling the burden of creating space for Elliott while also trying to figure out life after retired tight end Jason Witten and released receiver Dez Bryant, they're not showing it going into their home opener Sunday night against the Giants.

Dallas is trying to avoid the first 0-2 start in seven seasons under coach Jason Garrett.

"No burden at all," said Allen Hurns, one of the free agents brought in to try to fill the void left by Bryant. "I think we did a pretty good job. Things didn't go our way as far as getting catches. But I feel like we did our job as far as creating separation."

Case in point: tight end Blake Jarwin. The second-year pro was wide open as Prescott scrambled during the 16-8 loss to the Panthers. Prescott underthrew him badly, but part of the problem was Jarwin going deep when Prescott thought he would come back.

"When you scramble, there are a lot of things that go into the scramble rules," Prescott said. "What you should do, what you shouldn't do, what you look for. That's a good example of not knowing what each other wanted."

Dallas has new receivers galore, after roughly five years with the same core. Besides Hurns and Jarwin, there are receivers Deonte Thompson (free agent) and Tavon Austin (trade). Then again, it starts to sound like an excuse to offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

"The solution is we've just got to keep meeting and you've got to keep going," Linehan said. "Sometimes we think we're on the same page. But a guy, he may never, ever have done that because he wasn't here."

Clearly, the Cowboys have something to get fixed. Prescott has thrown for less than 200 yards in seven of his past nine starts, although six of those were without a suspended Elliott.

Since a club-record 11-game winning streak that ultimately sent Romo into retirement two years ago, Prescott and the Cowboys have been average. The passing game has struggled, which is part of the reason Dallas cut an underperforming Bryant rather than pay him $12.5 million.

Without better results throwing, the Cowboys risk a first half with Elliott like they had against the Panthers: 18 yards rushing.

"We believe in the guys we have," said Elliott, who finished with 69 yards and scored the team's only touchdown in the second half. "We believe in our offensive line. They've been the best players on our team. We got to rally around those guys and just keep working."

The offensive line is trying to replace four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, out indefinitely with a nerve disorder. Joe Looney is set for his second start, and has a rookie next to him in left guard Connor Williams, a second-round pick.

"I thought we did some good things and I thought we did some bad things," Looney said. "It wasn't like we went out there and go beat 50-0. It's one game. I take that approach. We're not pressing the panic button. It's a long season."

The idea of a "long season" will take on a different meaning if the Cowboys can't find go-to threats, or Prescott has trouble connecting with them.

"I keep saying it's a simple thing for me," said Geoff Swaim, still the only tight end on the roster with a catch in the regular season. "I think about it like, `If I do my job well, then the impact we'll have is a good one and it will help Zeke and it will help (Beasley) and it will help Dak. Everything will get better."'

Swaim's quarterback accepts that challenge.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pro Tips for Epic Cowboys Tailgate Party]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:43:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Photo000213.jpg

Albertsons, Tom Thumb and the Sunday Night Football bus helped NBC 5 throw a tailgate party in preparation for the Cowboys game on Sunday night.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Giants at Cowboys - Newy Makes His Pick]]>Wed, 12 Sep 2018 22:31:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+pick+091218.jpg

NFC East rivals meet at AT&T Stadium on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys and Giants will both be looking for their first win of the season. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs makes his prediction.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[What to Expect From Giants-Cowboys Tonight]]>Sun, 16 Sep 2018 19:49:42 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-Roof-night.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants meet in an early-season NFC East showdown. Both teams lost in Week 1 and will try to avoid starting 0-2 on Sunday Night Football. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor have a preview.]]>
<![CDATA[Should Dak Prescott Run More?]]>Wed, 12 Sep 2018 21:06:28 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jacques+and+newy+preview+the+cowboys+giants+matchup_2018-09-12-20-59-38.jpg

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he’d like to see his quarterback Dak Prescott run more to get this Cowboys offense going. But NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor say that’s no such a good idea.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[New Food for 2018 Cowboys Home Games]]>Wed, 12 Sep 2018 06:23:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mac-N-Cheese-with-Mac-Balls-20181.jpgChefs at AT&T Stadium have come up with new dishes to entice fans at Jerry World. The new arrivals, influenced by North African, Korean, Mexican and Thai cuisine, will debut at the Sept. 16 game against the New York Giants.

Photo Credit: AT&T Stadium]]>
<![CDATA[Week 1 Loss, How to Use Dak: The Jerry Jones Show]]>Tue, 11 Sep 2018 14:11:11 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/JJ_on_Shan_RJ_Tuesday.jpg

During one of his weekly radio addresses, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ about the team's opening week loss, the team's offensive struggle and what's the best way to use Dak Prescott. Recorded Sept. 11, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones, G-Bag Nation Tackle the Cowboys Loss to Carolina]]>Tue, 11 Sep 2018 12:13:43 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen_Jones_GBag_Monday.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation at noon Mondays, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones talked about the team's Week 1 loss to the Carolina Panthers what they'll need to do to prevent starting out 0-2.]]>
<![CDATA[Garrett, Linehan Haven't Helped Dak Prescott Enough: JJT]]>Tue, 11 Sep 2018 10:00:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-090918.jpg

Let’s start with this: Quarterback Dak Prescott must play better.

ASAP.

And we’re talking about every aspect of his game.

What we’ve seen from Prescott the past nine games — eight last year and Sunday’s opener against Carolina —  simply isn’t good enough. He’ll tell you that.

The game is about the quarterback. That’s why 17 quarterbacks earn at least $20 million per season. It’s why Prescott wants to add his name to that list after the 2018 season.

That’s simply not going to happen if Prescott doesn’t play better, starting Sunday night against the New York Giants.

Against Carolina, Prescott completed 19 of 29 passes for 170 yards. He did not have a completion of more than 20 yards.

Now, it wasn’t all his fault. Dallas averaged just 3.1 yards on first down, which is awful. And the Cowboys averaged 11.8 yards on third down, which is one reason they converted just two of 11.

"We had some sacks. We had some negative plays. Just because you're not throwing the ball down the field doesn't mean you don't have (deep passes called,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Sometimes the ball has to come out quicker because you have some pressure."

“You have to do something, so we tried to stay aggressive and tried to attack. Their style is to play it out a little bit and make you earn it," he said.

Still, Prescott missed a throw, leaving it short, on a potentially big play to tight end Blake Jarwin.

“I think I initially pulled the ball down, was thinking, 'Run for it,' looked up and saw him," Prescott said. "I just have to make that throw."

He threw behind Michael Gallup on a crossing route, turning what should have been a completion and a big play into an incompletion.

"I was off," Prescott said. "I have to figure out why I was off. Was I rushing it? Did I feel pressure? What were the things causing it? Was it just me missing the pass? That's not anything that I can judge right now. I have to look at it on film."

Prescott directed an offense that gained just 232 yards, the second-lowest total since he became the starter in 2016. The eight points marked the sixth time in the last nine games that the Cowboys had failed to score 12 points.

In the last nine games, Prescott has averaged 186.2 yards per game with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s averaging just 6.45 yards per attempt and has been sacked 28 times.

He has passed for more than 200 yards just twice in the last nine games. A poor offensive performance from the Cowboys is no longer an aberration or an outlier.

It’s the norm.

But the blame belongs more to Garrett, play-caller Scott Linehan, who received the dreaded vote of confidence Monday, and the front office than it does Prescott.

They haven’t put him in position to succeed with an antiquated offense that has shown little ability to scheme receivers open. The Cowboys have an “execution” offense, which is one that relies more on the player’s individual talents to get open than fooling the defense.

When Prescott was at his best in 2016, he handed the ball to Ezekiel Elliott and occasionally threw the ball to Dez Bryant for big plays and to tight end Jason Witten to get first downs and control the clock.

With Bryant and Witten gone from the offense, the Cowboys’ front office didn’t go get Prescott a proven play-maker. Instead, they traded for Tavon Austin, a bust with the Rams, signed journeyman Deonte Thompson and drafted Michael Gallup in the third round.

Austin played 10 plays on Sunday and failed to catch a pass, Thompson played 30 plays and caught three passes for 27 yards. Gallup played 29 plays and caught one pass for nine yards, while drawing two penalties.

Compare that with the Chicago Bears, who spent the offseason getting their young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some receivers with upside. They spent three years and $42 million on free agent Allen Robinson and four years and $26 million on Taylor Gabriel to go with second-round pick Anthony Miller.

Beasley is the Cowboys’ best receiver. He runs good routes but doesn’t scare any defensive coordinators because he catches most of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

There’s not one skill position player on the Cowboys’ roster other than Elliott who was drafted in the first 10 rounds of anybody’s fantasy draft.

Without someone to threaten the defense, teams have no reason not to keep 8.5 defenders in the box and dare the Cowboys’ receivers to beat them.

This seems like a good time for Garrett to steal a concept from the Cowboys of the 90s and play the game backwards, which means using the pass to set up the run. Too many times to count, the Cowboys started the first quarter with Troy Aikman completing passes to Michael Irvin as the Cowboys took the lead. Then Aikman would start handing the ball to Smith.

While teams stack the line of scrimmage to stop Elliott, it provides an opportunity for Garrett and Linehan to throw the ball against some favorable looks. Complete a few passes and teams will back off the line of scrimmage.

Then Elliott can take over, the Cowboys will have that run-pass balance Garrett craves and, maybe, Prescott can get back to putting up good numbers.



Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Garrett Stays Course for Cowboys as Prescott's Slump Deepens]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 20:12:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-090918.jpg

Dak Prescott's difficulties in the passing game go back further than a loss in the opener at Carolina for the Dallas Cowboys.

Now that the slump has extended into a new season, coach Jason Garrett and his staff must weigh the factors and when or whether to make changes to try to fix them.

Six sacks of Prescott and little running room early for star back Ezekiel Elliott magnified two significant questions on the offensive line.

Most of the focus, though, will remain on a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers trying to replace tight end Jason Witten and receiver Dez Bryant.

Then there's the play-calling, with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan under siege from the unemployed Bryant on Twitter, along with the fans.

"I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott," Garrett said Monday, a day after a 16-8 loss to the Panthers. "We just have to do a better job collectively as a staff and as an offensive unit. That starts with basic execution, play after play not beating ourselves and then finding ways to generate some big plays."

Going into a suddenly important home opener against the New York Giants on Sunday night, Garrett also sounds as if the Cowboys will stick with the same five on the offensive line.

Joe Looney is replacing four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, out indefinitely with a condition that affects his nerves. Rookie left guard Connor Williams was beaten twice for sacks by Kawann Short.

"Joe Looney ... looked like he did a pretty good job in the game," Garrett said. "Connor Williams, obviously it's a challenging task for him Week 1 to go against that defensive front. There were some good things for him. There's some areas in pass protection that wasn't good enough."

Prescott had fewer than 200 yards passing for the seventh time in nine games. That stretch started when he was sacked a career-high eight times in a loss at Atlanta that triggered the Cowboys' slide out of playoff contention last year. It was also the beginning of Elliott's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Elliott's presence didn't help much against the Panthers, and the question going forward is how the Cowboys can hope to live off the running game when they haven't shown they can be a threat throwing the ball.

Focused on stopping Elliott first, the Panthers held the 2016 NFL rushing leader to 18 yards before halftime. Nearly half of Elliott's 69 yards, and his touchdown, came in the fourth quarter after the Cowboys had fallen behind 16-0.

If the Cowboys want something resembling the remarkable rookie seasons of Prescott and Elliott two years ago, when they had an NFC-best 13 wins, they will need bigger numbers from the focal point of their offense earlier in the game.

"We've got to start faster," Elliott said after the game. "That's not Dallas Cowboys football. That's not how we've ever played. If we want to succeed, if we want to go out there and win ballgames, we can't come out there and lay an egg in the first half."

Filling the void left by Witten and Bryant will probably look a lot as it did in the opener, except for draft-day trade acquisition Tavon Austin getting shut out. The speedy receiver and returner figures to have more of a role.

Holdover Cole Beasley had the most targets (eight), catches (seven) and yards receiving (73). The rest were split among newcomers Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and rookie Michael Gallup.

No. 1 tight end Geoff Swaim had three catches, and backup Blake Jarwin was open for what would have been the biggest play of the game for Dallas if Prescott hadn't underthrown him.

"We think each of those guys has some strengths and they have some different things that they can bring to our offense," Garrett said. "We do think as we go forward that mixing those guys in and giving them all an opportunity to contribute will be a good thing for our team."

The Cowboys have a long way to go to prove it.



Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[5 Things You Need to Know After Cowboys Week 1 Loss]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 15:22:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Doney+091018.jpg

The Cowboys laid an egg in Week 1 in a sloppy loss to the Carolina Panthers. NBC 5’s Pat Doney was with the team and offers his five things you need to know as the team turns its focus to a Week 2 showdown with the New York Giants.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant Trolls Cowboys on Twitter After Loss to Panthers]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:38:56 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dez-bbq-2.jpg

Dez Bryant's Twitter troll game is in All-Pro form.

The free-agent wide receiver called out his former team with a series of critical tweets aimed at the Dallas Cowboys after they dropped their season opener.

Bryant was released in April after eight seasons with the team and remains unsigned. He has received interest from Cleveland and Baltimore, but his thoughts were with the Cowboys during -- and after -- their 16-8 season-opening loss at Carolina.

When one fan asked Bryant to have his agent call Cowboys owner Jerry Jones so Dallas could re-sign him, the three-time Pro Bowl selection said he was OK. He also suggested in the same response that he could fit in New England or with the Dallas' NFC East rivals in Washington.

"I rather go somewhere I can show case my skills for real," Bryant tweeted. "If I line up next to Gronk hogan Edelman I'm for sure getting a 1 on 1 match up plus I won't be getting criticized controlled for expressing my love for the game..Washington is cool as well."

When some fans suggested he was just trying to get himself a job, Bryant said he's "not begging anyone," and added in another tweet said he's "not making a pitch."

Bryant had previously been critical of the Cowboys' playcalling on offense, and he was at it again on Sunday.

"It's kind of cool calling out all of the signals and knowing which route players are about run," he wrote.

Bryant later posted a laughing crying face emoji when Cowboys beat writer Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News tweeted that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan declined comment after the game.

After a barrage of tweets, Bryant said he would be done talking about the Cowboys after Sunday .

"If I try to say something good or a factual it always turned out to be negative plus I don't want it to seem that's where I'm focused," he tweeted. "I know the team well so it's hard not for me to speak .. all I ever cared about was winning."

But since the day wasn't over, Bryant wasn't finished taking shots at his former team.

When someone suggested the Cowboys would have beaten the Panthers if they still had Bryant and kicker Dan Bailey, the wide receiver tweeted: "Real fact."

George tweeted that Jones left the locker room quickly without comment as most reporters were interviewing running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"I love Jerry," Bryant responded. "I honestly don't think HE wanted me gone so I feel his pain."

In one of his final posts of the night , a fan asked Bryant to predict the Cowboys' final record this season.

"I think they are going to be dominant," he said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Ivory Taylor, NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Newton, Defense Lead Panthers Past Cowboys]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:59:55 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cam-Newton-Getty-090918.jpg

Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short stood smiling at his locker sporting a new black golf shirt with three letters stitched on that read: G2X.

It was a present to the defensive linemen from new coordinator Eric Washington -- a reminder of the motto of this year's unit.

"Getting to the spot, man; getting to the quarterback," Short said. "It's the mentality for everybody on defense."

The Panthers' defense did plenty of that Sunday, sacking quarterback Dak Prescott six times and limiting Dallas to 232 yards in a 16-8 victory over the Cowboys in the season opener.

Cam Newton ran for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Luke Kuechly had 13 tackles to lead the Panthers. Short had two sacks and Mario Addison added a game-clinching strip-sack of the Cowboys quarterback with 1:23 left.

"They're great," Prescott said of Carolina's defense. "Luke Kuechly is the quarterback of that defense and does a great job of putting them in good position. And they are a sure-tackling team."

The Cowboys, who entered the season looking to replace Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, couldn't do much against a stingy Carolina defense in the first half. The Panthers limited the Cowboys to 60 yards and four first downs to take a 10-0 lead into the locker room.

Prescott finished with just 170 yards passing and Ezekiel Elliott was held to 69 yards rushing and didn't score until the fourth quarter. Dallas' leading receiver was Cole Beasley, who had seven catches for 73 yards.

Prescott refused to blame the team's struggles on adjusting to new players -- or on the offense's lack of reps together in preseason.

"We have a lot of great players on this team," Prescott said. "We're not talking about guys we used to have or guys that are missing. It's about the guys on the field and we gave it our all. I promise we will have a better performance next week."

The Panthers seemed in complete control when fullback Alex Armah scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to make it 16-0. But Carolina botched the extra point, keeping it a two-possession game and turning the momentum to the Cowboys.

Elliott scored on a 4-yard touchdown run on the next drive and Prescott added the 2-point conversion to cut the lead in half.

But Carolina stopped Dallas on its final two drives and Addison -- who had 11 sacks last season -- stripped Prescott of the ball and Captain Munnerlyn recovered.

"Kawann can't get a sack without me; I can't get a sack without him, can't get one without (Julius) Peppers," Addison said. "Everybody's got to do their job."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys did a better job of spreading the Panthers out late in the game, but added that penalties were a killer. Dallas was penalized 10 times for 85 yards.

OLSEN DOWN AGAIN
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen left in the first half with a foot injury and did not return. He was on the sideline in the second half on crutches with his right foot in the boot.

It's the same foot Olsen broke last season, costing him nine games. Rivera offered no other updates on how long the three-time Pro Bowl selection might be out.

NEWTON RUNNING
Just as he did last season, Newton led the Panthers in rushing. He had 52 yards on four carries on the game's opening drive, but Christian McCaffrey fumbled near the goal line.

Newton said new offensive coordinator Norv Turner told him when he arrived that, "I'm going to let you be you, baby."

"They challenge you in so many different ways," Garrett said. "The quarterback runs in the first half were such huge plays for them, converting third downs, down in the red zone. He's been doing that his whole career. We knew that was something we'd have to somehow contain and control."

GETTING HIS KICKS
Brett Maher, who replaced Dan Bailey -- the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history -- missed a 47-yard field goal in his first career attempt.

CHANGING TIMES
For the first time in franchise history, the Panthers painted their team logo at midfield.

New owner David Tepper made the decision after purchasing the team from Jerry Richardson in July. The Panthers have always had the NFL "shield" at midfield -- per Richardson's orders -- since coming into the league as an expansion franchise in 1995.

INJURIES
Cowboys: Defensive end Randy Gregory suffered a concussion in the first half and did not return.

Panthers: Along with Olsen, second-team All-Pro right tackle Daryl Williams went down with a knee injury in the fourth quarter and was carted off the field. Williams tore his MCL and dislocated his knee cap in the preseason, but Rivera said this is not the same injury. ... Kuechly injured his left knee in the fourth quarter but returned to the game.

UP NEXT
Cowboys: Host the Giants on Sunday night.

Panthers: Visit the Falcons on Sunday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 16-8 Loss to Carolina]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 07:02:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-090918.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys dropped their season-opener at Carolina 16-8. NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor has 10 thoughts on the Cowboys loss -- including one that's "pathetic."

1. Dak Prescott threw 29 passes against Carolina and not one of them traveled more than 15 yards downfield. The Cowboys didn’t take a single deep shot and that’s pathetic.

2. Left guard Connor Williams, a second-round pick, had issues handling Kawann Short’s power. Short had two sacks, two tackles for loss and four hits on Prescott.

3. Ezekiel Elliott finished with 69 yards on 15 carries. It’s just the third time he’s had fewer than 80 yards in a game. All three have occurred in the first two weeks of a season.

4. The Cowboys went 2-for-11 on third down and needed an average of 11.6 yards.

5. If the Cowboys aren’t going to attack downfield, then they must win on first down and set up short-yardage situations on second and third down.

They averaged 3.1 on first down, which isn’t good enough.

6. Sean Lee had four tackles and missed at least three others. It has been a long time since Lee missed that many tackles. He’ll definitely play better next week.

7. Cole Beasley caught seven passes for 73 yards. No other player had more than three receptions or 27 yards.

8. Kicker Brett Maher, who replaced Dan Bailey, missed his only attempt from 47 yards. It came at a critical moment, when Dallas trailed 10-0 in the third quarter.

9. The Cowboys’ defense held Carolina to 293 yards and 4.8 yards per play. They also had three sacks and a turnover in the red zone. Those are usually winning numbers.

10. The Cowboys’ 232 yards were the third-lowest offensive output since Dak Prescott became the starter.



Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Panthers]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:47:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-090918.jpg

Here's an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 16-8 loss to Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Cowboys are 0-1, and the last four times that has happened the Cowboys have made the playoffs. But the offense was pathetic and can only get better, we suppose, but all the questions about the passing game, the receivers and the tight ends remain. This offense, thus far, is what we thought it was going to be based on training camp.

TURNING POINT
Brett Maher, who beat out Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, missed his first field goal attempt with the Cowboys. He missed a 47-yard attempt, by a hair, wide right with Dallas trailing 10-0 late in the third quarter. Carolina then drove 63 yards in six plays for a touchdown and a 16-0 lead.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cam Newton set the tone early with his running and he made good decisions as a passer. He didn't turn the ball over and let the Panthers' running game slowly wear out the Cowboys' defense. He ran for 64 yards and a touchdown and he passed for 161 yards.

KEY STAT
Carolina has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 21 consecutive games. Ezekiel Elliott rushed just 15 times for 69 yards with a long of 17.

WHAT'S NEXT
We have a battle of two winless teams with struggling offenses battling next week at AT&T Stadium. Since only nine of 83 teams (10.8 percent) have made the playoffs since 2007after starting 0-2 this game will have a certain intensity to it.



Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Receivers Must Find Ways to Get Open: Thurman]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:59:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+BGS+0910181.jpg

The Cowboys need to find ways to get their receivers open, says former Dallas defensive back Dennis Thurman. He tells NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs that could be a result of resting too many young players during the preseason.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[What Is the Cowboys Plan on Offense?]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:53:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+090918.jpg

Jason Garrett said the Cowboys offense would run smoothly without a number one receiver and after cutting kicker Dan Bailey. Now, NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs asks Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor what the offensive plan is moving forward after a 16-8 loss at Carolina.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Must Cut Down on Mistakes, Penalties Before Week 2]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:51:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+BGS+091018.jpg

If the Cowboys are going to beat the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Week 2, former Dallas defensive back Dennis Thurman tells NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs, the team has to cut down on penalties and make sure receivers find ways to get open when they're in one-on-one coverage.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Could Get Answers on Gregory This Week]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:50:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+090918.jpg

Randy Gregory met with an NFL doctor in Chicago before the Cowboys' final preseason game. Then, he suffered a concussion in Dallas' Week 1 loss at Carolina and is now under concussion protocol. NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tells Newy Scruggs what the future could hold for the Cowboys' defensive end.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Offense Underwhelming in Week 1]]>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:47:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+090918.jpg

Dak Prescott, the Dallas receivers and the offensive line all underwhelmed in the 2018 season opener at Carolina, says NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor. But he tells Newy Scruggs, there's one thing the Cowboys could do that might unlock the rest of their offense.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Pat Doney's 5 Things to Know Before Cowboys' Opener]]>Sat, 08 Sep 2018 19:01:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+Doney+090818.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney has five things you need to know before the Cowboys kick off the 2018 NFL season Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Open the Season at Carolina Sunday]]>Sat, 08 Sep 2018 22:06:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-081818.jpg

DALLAS (0-0) at CAROLINA (0-0)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE - Panthers by 2 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Carolina 10-7; Dallas 8-7-1

SERIES RECORD - Cowboys lead series 9-4

LAST MEETING - Panthers beat Cowboys 33-14, Nov. 26, 2015

AP PRO32 RANKING - Cowboys No. 16, Panthers No. 11

COWBOYS OFFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (2), PASS (26).

COWBOYS DEFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (8), PASS (11).

PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (4), PASS (28).

PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (3), PASS (18).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Cowboys went 6-2 on road in 2017; Panthers were 6-2 at home. ... Dallas is 38-19-1 in season openers. ... QB Dak Prescott is 6-1 in last seven road starts with nine TD passes and two interceptions. ... RB Ezekiel Elliott had 1,252 yards from scrimmage in 2017 and nine TDs despite six-game suspension. ... WRs Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin make Dallas debuts with Dez Bryant gone. ... Geoff Swaim gets start at TE with Jason Witten retired. ... DE DeMarcus Lawrence had career-high 14 1-2 sacks in 2017, tied for second in NFL. ... Cowboys going with K Brett Maher after cutting Dan Bailey, NFL's second-most accurate all-time kicker. ... Panthers have made playoffs in four of past five years. ... This is only second time in coach Ron Rivera's eight seasons Panthers will open at home. ... QB Cam Newton led team in rushing last season with 754 yards. Newton has more TDs rushing (54) than any QB in NFL history. ... New WRs include Torrey Smith, Jarius Wright and rookie D.J. Moore. ... RB Christian McCaffrey led team with 80 receptions last season as rookie. ... Backup RB C.J. Anderson joins Panthers after 1,000-yard rushing season with Denver. ... LT Matt Kalil (knee) begins season on injured reserve; Taylor Moton makes first career start in his place. ... LB Luke Kuechly had two INTs and TD return in last matchup. ... DEs Julius Peppers and Mario Addison each had 11 sacks last season. ... DT Dontari Poe replaces Star Lotulelei. ... Rookie CB Donte Jackson will start. ... Fantasy Tip: Rivera wants to get McCaffrey "25-30 touches" per game.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NFL Week 1, Personnel Usage: The Jerry Jones Show]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:48:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_GBAG_KRLD_090718.jpg

During his weekly radio appearance on NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talked about Thursday's season-opener between the Eagles and Falcons, looked ahead to the Cowboys' game against the Panthers Sunday and was asked how new players could fit into the team's offense.]]>
<![CDATA[See the Latest Gear From the Dallas Cowboys Fan Shop]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 12:36:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/FIFO-SVR51_4AM-8AM_6272014_10102014_09-07-2018_2018-09-07-12-34-31.jpg

Courtney Gilmore stopped by the Dallas Cowboys shop to check out all the latest fan gear available this season to cheer on the blue-and-silver!

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Newton Face Similar Challenges Entering Opener ]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 15:18:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-preseason-dmn.jpg

Dak Prescott and Cam Newton find themselves in similar situations entering Sunday's regular-season opener at Carolina.

Both quarterbacks are adjusting to a new group of receivers and playing behind banged-up offensive lines.

The Cowboys will be looking to replace wide receiver Dez Bryant, the team's career leader in touchdown catches, and tight end Jason Whitten, who retired after 15 seasons.

That's no easy task.

The primary options to be slot receiver are Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup. But Tavon Austin and Terrance Williams could be factors, too. Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are the top two tight ends.

"I think each of the guys we have who are going to be up for this game are versatile," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "You can put them in different spots."

Dallas also has holes to fill up front with All-Pro center Travis Frederick battling a rare auto-immune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome and is doubtful for the game. Six-year veteran Joe Looney will get the start alongside rookie left guard Connor Williams. However Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin is set to start after dealing with a hyperextended left knee in the second preseason game.

Newton faces similar issues in Carolina.

The Panthers upgraded their speed at wide receiver in the offseason by trading for veteran Torrey Smith, signing free agent slot receiver Jairus Wright and using a first-round draft pick on D.J. Moore. All three figure to play a role in the passing game alongside returning No. 1 receiver Devin Funchess.

"We don't know what we have yet and that is why Sunday is so important for everybody -- because we finally find out," Newton said.

Carolina's offensive line was going to have a difficult time replacing All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell -- and that was before it got hit hard by the injuries.

Second-team All-Pro right tackle Daryl Williams, left tackle Matt Kalil and Norwell replacement Amini Silatolu all went down with knee injuries in the preseason. Kalil went on injured reserve, meaning Taylor Moton will make his first NFL start at left tackle. Williams and Silatolu returned to practice this week, but it's still unclear if they'll be healthy enough to play against Dallas.

RARE HOME OPENER: Coach Ron Rivera joked this week that he "has to get used to" the idea of playing a home opener. In Rivera's eight seasons in Carolina, this is only the second time the team has opened the season at home.

DAVIS SUSPENSION: The Panthers will be without weakside linebacker Thomas Davis, who's suspended four games for testing positive for PEDs.

That's a pretty big blow to the defense given Davis' skills and leadership. But Rivera is high on 2015 first-round draft pick Shaq Thompson, who has had an outstanding preseason filling in. Thompson was drafted as Davis' heir apparent, but the veteran continued playing at a high level, thus limiting Thompson's reps. So this is Thompson's chance to shine.

Rivera said Thompson has potential to be "an elite linebacker in the league."

ELLIOTT FALLING FOWARD: Ezekiel Elliott doesn't have to worry about a suspension hanging over his head to start this season. The Cowboys' third-year running back may be primed for a big season, which concerns Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.

"He's an elite running back," Kuechly said. "He's big, he's strong and he's powerful. He will run though you, and he always falls forward (for more yards). ... So when we hit him, we have to keep him where he's at and not let him do that."

McCAFFREY'S ROLE: It's time to find out if Rivera backs up his statement about wanting to get running back Christian McCaffrey "25-30 touches per game." Rivera has said the team would like to use McCaffrey similar to how the San Diego Chargers used Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

That seems like a lot of touches, particularly for a player with a slender build such as McCaffrey. But it's hard to blame Carolina for wanting to get the ball into the hands of its playmaker as much as possible.

KICKING DEBUT: Brett Maher is set for his NFL regular-season debut as the replacement for Cowboys career field goal leader Dan Bailey. Dallas cut the second-most accurate kicker in league history because of Bailey's struggles after an injury last season and his relatively large salary for his position. The 28-year-old Maher has four years of CFL experience.

"In this profession, every single thing that you do is kind of pressure-packed," Maher said.

AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas, Texas contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Jae S. Lee | The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Cowboys RB Joseph Randle Faces Rape Charge]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 09:28:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randle-mugshot-inset-casino222.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle is accused of rape and was arrested Friday morning in Kansas, according to jail records.

Jail records show he was booked at 3:43 a.m. in Sedgwick County.

Randle has been in trouble with the law before and in June, he was found guilty of a number of charges, including aggravated battery and criminal threat in April of 2017.

He hit three people with his car while leaving a party. For two charges in that incident, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanors; the other two he pleaded no contest to felonies.

At the time, prosecutors said Randle had several other pending cases.

Randle was arrested in 2014 after Frisco police said the then-22-year-old shoplifted $123 in underwear and cologne at Stonebriar Centre Mall.

According to the police report, Randle told officers that he didn't pay for the merchandise because he did not want to take the time to do it.

Randle eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft -- shortly after the Cowboys releaed him citing an unspecified personal issue.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Say They Have NFL's 1st Sponsorship Deal With Casino]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 01:08:21 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Winstar+090618.jpg

History was made Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL franchise to announce partnership with a casino.

The deal with WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma was announced Thursday. League owners voted recently to allow clubs to strike such deals. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he's "excited about the future of gaming as it relates to the NFL."

When it comes to what a partnership will look like, executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports Howard Stutz says it's most likely about branding. 

"What's a bigger way to make a statement when you have the biggest team, the most well known team the league, the Dallas Cowboys, strike a deal with one of the largest Indian casinos in the U.S. in WinStar. That makes it pretty significant," Stutz said.

In May, the United States Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting by striking down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports betting in most states.

Jones said the NFL's efforts to sort out the high court's ruling could be "months, years in the making." He said he was excited to be "standing here that we don't have to wait years in the making."

Earlier this week, the American Gaming Association released a Neilson Sports study saying the NFL could increase its annual revenue by more than two billion dollars thanks to the legalization of gaming. 

According to Stutz, they just have to figure out how to monetize it.

WinStar is near the Texas-Oklahoma state line about 70 miles north of Cowboys headquarters in Frisco, a suburb north of Dallas.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: WinStar]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Frederick at Ease Despite Unknown of Nerve Disorder]]>Thu, 06 Sep 2018 23:50:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick-cowboys1.jpg

While Travis Frederick has no idea when his football career will resume, the Dallas Cowboys center is just relieved that he found out what was wrong when he was diagnosed with a nerve disorder.

The four-time Pro Bowler doesn't want to say that his presence on the active roster, rather than injured reserve, means he could come back sooner than the eight weeks required by an IR designation.

Frederick is getting treated for Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that attacks nerves and leads to weakness in various parts of the body.

"I wish I was lying to you by telling you that," Frederick said Thursday in his first meeting with reporters since the diagnosis. "I have some of the best doctors in the business working on this and they can't even begin to predict how this is going to work. It really is a week-by-week thing."

Frederick's streak of starting all 83 games, including three playoff games, in his five seasons with the Cowboys will end Sunday. Dallas plays at Carolina.

The 27-year-old reiterated that his chances of a quick recovery improved when the disease was caught early. Frederick was diagnosed about 2 1/2 weeks ago and immediately underwent treatment.

The 2016 All-Pro said doctors believe he has a type of Guillain-Barre that allows for complete recovery and a slightly increased risk of getting the disease again.

With doctors catching the condition early, Frederick said he is likely to avoid extreme symptoms such as temporary paralysis and difficulties with breathing and body control.

Frederick said he experienced numbness in both feet and hands and in one of his arms. He still says he's dealing with numbness in both arms.

"I was very relieved to finally have an idea of what it was that was going on, because I was having some weird symptoms," Frederick said. "I got treatment and things started to improve. That helped relieve some of that uneasiness there.

"It's hard looking forward not knowing what's coming as far as a recovery standpoint, when I can come back. But knowing that I will get back to 100 percent at some point is certainly relieving."

Frederick said he has been cleared for some work in the weight room and has been "retraining the body to make sure I can do the movements that I previously have been able to do."

He has also stayed around his teammates, traveling to the final preseason game in Houston and planning to do the same for the opener.

"His involvement with our team is a reflection on the kind of guy he is," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's part of the meetings. He's out there at the walkthroughs. He's doing everything he can to get himself back, but he's really contributing to our team as he's in that process."

Frederick, who has a wife and two children, says he can handle many of the daily functions in life. Blocking 300-pound defensive linemen is another matter. And that's where his case differs from rehabbing a more traditional football injury.

"When you're injured, you try and get past it," he said. "This is something I can't just will my way through. It's a matter of the nerves not conducting properly and not working correctly. It's going to require some patience."

Frederick first felt sensations that football players associate with neck injuries, or stingers, while the Cowboys were at training camp in California.

A doctor in the Los Angeles area cleared him of neck issues, and Frederick told reporters it looked like he would be OK. As the feelings persisted and his neck still checked out fine structurally, Frederick wondered what else could be wrong.

Now that he has the answer, he waits. And six-year veteran Joe Looney will be the first person other than Frederick to start at center for the Cowboys since the 2012 finale.

"He's very upbeat and positive," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "You can tell he feels good about his road to recovery. In his role now, it's helping getting Joe ready and getting those O-linemen tuned in."

NOTES: Backup G Parker Ehinger, recently acquired from Kansas City in a trade, injured a knee and couldn't finish practice Wednesday. The Cowboys worked out free agent Xavier Su'a-Filo, a former starter in Houston. ... CB Chidobe Awuzie was limited for the second straight day because of tightness in his back.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Won't Give Up First-Round Pick for Earl Thomas: JJT]]>Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:21:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/earl-thomas-seattle.jpg

If Seattle wants to trade safety Earl Thomas, they’ll accept the Cowboys’ offer of a second-round draft choice.

If they’re holding out for a No. 1 pick, then he won’t be playing in Dallas.

Ever.

Two sources told NBCDFW.com Wednesday that the Cowboys have recently upped their offer to Seattle for Thomas. One of those sources said the Cowboys will not offer a first-round pick.

Then again, perhaps the Seahawks are just waiting until after their Week 3 matchup against the Cowboys to get a deal done.

For now, the Cowboys sit. And they wait.

The 29-year-old Thomas, an 8-year veteran, reported to the Seahawks on Wednesday after missing all of the club’s offseason minicamps and OTAs and all of training camp in his quest to get a new contract.

He was not happy.

On Instagram, Thomas posted a picture of himself sitting on a bench press bench with 225 pounds sitting on a barbell. Beneath the picture, Thomas wrote the following post: "I’ve never let me teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and don’t plan on starting this weekend."

"With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career," he wrote.

Thomas is in the fourth year of a $40 million deal that will pay him $8.5 million this season. He wants to be paid like Kansas City safety Eric Berry, who signed a 6-year, $78 million deal in February 2017.

We all know Thomas wants to play for the Cowboys.

He grew up in Orange, Texas, played college ball at Texas and ran up to Jason Garrett outside the Cowboys’ locker room last December and told the coach, "Come get me,” after Seattle’s 21-12 win ended the Cowboys’ playoff hopes.

He still wants the Cowboys to get him, and they’d love to have him. But Seattle has made it clear they want a premium draft package for Thomas, who has 25 career interceptions.

"That guy is an elite player," running back Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday. "He's special. If we are able to add him to our roster, it would give us that much more of a chance.''

Thomas would be a perfect fit in Dallas, which is starving for safeties. Starter Xavier Woods has a hamstring strain that will force him to miss at least one game and Kavon Frazier is fighting through a shoulder injury that will require him to wear a harness against Carolina.

Thomas has played for Kris Richard, the Cowboys’ passing game defensive coordinator, his entire career, so it wouldn’t take much time for him to fit into the Cowboys’ secondary. He knows the scheme, and he understands how Richard wants or needs him to play.

That’s part of the allure.

The Cowboys, though, have been adamant that they don’t want to give up an asset like a second-round pick and then give Thomas a contract that would make him among the league’s highest-paid safeties.

But if a deal doesn’t get done now, the Cowboys are willing to wait until the trade deadline to acquire Thomas. If he leaves after the season, the best Seattle will do is a third-round compensatory pick.

Make no mistake, though, the Cowboys would love to have him. For the first time in forever, the Cowboys have a defense full of young talented players.

They have potential playmakers on every level of their defense — DeMarcus Lawrence at defensive end, Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith at linebacker and Chido Awuzie at cornerback — and Thomas would give them one more.

We saw a glimpse of what they could do in the preseason. The starting defense did not yield a touchdown, and they finished with five turnovers.

Turnovers not only change momentum, theoretically, they result in the offense getting good field position that can result in points. Just so you know, the last seven Super Bowl champions have averaged 28.7 turnovers per season; the Cowboys have averaged 21.7 in that same time period.

Thomas could help make the Cowboys an elite defense, if their key players play to their pedigree.

Deadlines make deals.

The Cowboys will be patient. If a deal with Seattle doesn’t get done before the season begins Sunday at Carolina, they still have the trade deadline on Oct. 30 to help them facilitate a deal.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys at Panthers: Newy's Prediction]]>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 20:38:16 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+090518.jpg

The Cowboys open the season Sunday at the Carolina Panthers. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs tells us who wins and why.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Enters the Season on a Mission]]>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 20:33:48 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+090518.jpg

Last season was not a memorable one for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He missed six games due to suspension and enters the new season with a rather large chip on his shoulder. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss what this could mean for Zeke and his team.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Could the Cowboys Still Trade for Seattle's Earl Thomas?]]>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 21:01:28 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+090518.jpg

The Cowboys continue to keep communications open with the Seattle Seahawks about the possibility of a trade for Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss whether this deal still has a chance of happening.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Free of Looming Suspension, Elliott Ready to Run for Cowboys]]>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 19:43:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1528726565-NS_cowbriefs_0531spo_JL_15.jpg

Ezekiel Elliott won't be running off to federal court the week of the season opener the way he did last year, when the star running back of the Dallas Cowboys was fighting the NFL's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

While the 2016 NFL rushing leader knew he would suit up for the first game last year as the case played out in court, he had no idea beyond that. This time, there's no question about Elliott's availability after Sunday's trip to Carolina.

"I would never say last year I wasn't engaged with the game," he said Wednesday. "It is a lot more stress free, though. I would say that."

Elliott triggered a handful of questions about his motivation after offering the "chip on my shoulder" cliche. One question boiled down to this: Was he trying to prove he's the best back in the NFL?

"That's exactly it," said Elliott, who led the league in yards rushing per game last season while finally serving the suspension starting at the halfway point. "I want to prove I'm the best back in the game. That's what my focus this offseason was."

Elliott didn't play a snap in the preseason for the first time in his three years as a pro. He says he's ready anyway. Right guard Zack Martin says all anyone needed to do was watch Elliott in training camp in California.

"Something just feels different," Martin said. "I think he's ready for a big year."

The Cowboys are counting on it. Quarterback Dak Prescott, Elliott's fellow rookie standout two years ago, has a revamped group of receivers after the departures of 15-year tight end Jason Witten and franchise touchdown receptions leader Dez Bryant.

Dallas isn't making any secret over feeding off the player known for his "feed me" gesture every time he gets a first down. It doesn't seem to matter to the Cowboys -- or Elliott -- how many defenders will be close to the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.

"I mean, we've faced eight, nine, 10-man fronts every week since I got here," Elliott said. "I don't know how many more guys they can throw in the box. Yeah, there's going to be more focus, I believe, on me. I just don't understand how you could say we're going to throw more guys in the box. There's only 11 guys on the field."

Elliott's legal drama played out almost week to week last season. During the week before his final game before the suspension, he was forced to be away from the team for several days until getting a legal reprieve two days before the Cowboys beat Kansas City.

"There was a lot of stuff going around in his life that he had to deal with," coach Jason Garrett said. "For the most part when he was here he was pretty locked in and did what he needed to do. Now that it's behind him, you just see him that much more focused, that much more ready to go."

Even with the suspension, Elliott has the most yards rushing through two seasons (2,614) for a franchise that once featured all-time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith and another Hall of Famer in Tony Dorsett.

There are questions about the offensive line with center Travis Frederick battling a condition that has sidelined him indefinitely, and a rookie starter at left guard in second-round pick Connor Williams.

All the more reason for Elliott to apply the focus he tried to carry throughout the offseason.

"How that carries it over to the field, how that helps the field, is when I get out there, I've taken all the mental reps I need to," Elliott said. "I've taken all the physical reps I need to. Mentally, I know my assignment, I know my landmarks, I know my pace. It's like when I get in the game, I've been there before."

And this year, he plans on being there the whole time.

"I'm young," Elliott said. "Got fresh legs. There's no pacing. Every week in the NFL matters. If they want to give it to me 30, 35 times a game, I'll take that."



Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News
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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Talks Cuts, Reasons for Waiving Bailey]]>Tue, 04 Sep 2018 11:42:35 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Shan_RJ_Jerry_Jones_Show_Aug_21.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says for All-Pro kicker Dan Bailey, it wasn't necessarily what he did or didn't do to get waived from the team after a 7-year run, but what the other kicker did do.

"We're so appreciative of Dan and his career with the Cowboys. His contributions have been immense" said team owner Jerry Jones as he explained his thoughts on the recent Cowboys team cuts, to get down to the required 53-man roster, on his weekly radio show with The Fan's Shan & RJ show.

Click here to read more from our media partners at 105.3 The Fan.

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<![CDATA[Audio: Jerry Jones Talks Cuts, Reasons for Waiving Bailey]]>Tue, 04 Sep 2018 11:39:44 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/raw-shanj-rj-web-090418.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says for All-Pro kicker Dan Bailey, it wasn't necessarily what he did or didn't do to get waived from the team after a 7-year run, but what the other kicker did do.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Keep Frederick off IR, Still No Timetable for Return]]>Mon, 03 Sep 2018 23:06:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick-cowboys1.jpg

Travis Frederick will not go on injured reserve initially as he battles a condition that affects the nervous system, although the Dallas Cowboys still don't have a timetable for the return of their four-time Pro Bowl center.

Coach Jason Garrett said Monday that Frederick hasn't had any "drastic setbacks" while getting treated for Guillain-Barre syndrome. The disorder attacks nerves and causes weakness in various parts of the body.

Joe Looney is expected to start when the Cowboys open the season Sunday at Carolina.

The 27-year-old Frederick traveled with the team to the final preseason game in Houston and is attending meetings. He has started all 83 games, including three playoff games, over five seasons. A move to IR would force Frederick to miss at least eight games.

"It's been positive since he started his treatments," Garrett said. "And that's given us cause to be optimistic. He's working out on his own. He's been able to handle the work so far. From my perspective, the information that I've gotten, there hasn't been any drastic setbacks in any way."

The Cowboys added depth on the interior line by claiming center Adam Redmond on waivers from Buffalo and acquiring Kansas City backup Parker Ehinger in a trade. Ehinger was a fourth-round pick two years ago.

Dallas doesn't want to move four-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin to center, but he is the emergency option. Martin injured a knee in the second preseason game against Cincinnati but says he will be ready to start against the Panthers.

Frederick hasn't spoken to reporters since announcing his diagnosis almost two weeks ago.

"He reached out to me and said, `Coach, would you mind if I came to Houston? I'd like to be part of the visit to NASA and I'd like to be part of the team when we play on Thursday night,"' Garrett said. "I said, `Would I mind? Are you kidding me? I'd absolutely love to have you be a part of it.'

"He's been very proactive and he's taken the initiative of being back and being part of our team and trying to be involved in everything that we do short of going out on the practice field."

Frederick, Martin and left tackle Tyron Smith -- all first-round picks and all Pro Bowlers each of the past four seasons -- have anchored a line that the Cowboys hope can make them a run-first team with Ezekiel Elliott, the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016.

La'el Collins is going into his second year as the starter at right tackle, and rookie second-round pick Connor Williams is at left guard.

NOTES: The Cowboys placed WR Noah Brown (hamstring) on IR and brought back WR Deonte Thompson in his place. Thompson was among the final cuts after signing as a free agent in the offseason, but Garrett said the Cowboys intended to bring him back. Thompson was slowed by an Achilles injury most of training camp. ... Rookie RB Bo Scarbrough of Alabama, a seventh-round pick, was signed to the practice squad.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 6 Reasons Why the Cowboys Released Dan Bailey]]>Mon, 03 Sep 2018 19:15:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dan-Bailey-Getty-090118.jpg

The Cowboys released Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Saturday. Here’s why they made the move.

  1. The Cowboys’ confidence in Bailey began to wane when he made only eight of 13 field goals and missed two PATs in the last five games after returning from a groin injury. A shanked 23-yard field goal in the finale against Philadelphia really made the Cowboys consider that Bailey had lost confidence.
    “I think the biggest thing you would look at is he's had some injuries over the last couple of years," coach Jason Garrett said. "He had a back two years ago, had the groin last year."
    “Obviously, he didn't kick his best down the stretch last year, a lot of different reasons for that.”
  2. Bailey’s overall field goal percentage had declined each of the last three seasons from 93.8 to 84.4 to 75.0.
    “Obviously, Dan has been as good of a player as we've had around here over the last seven or eight years,” Garrett said. “He's one of the elite kickers in the game and has been throughout his career, made a ton of big kicks for us.”
  3. Bailey was scheduled to earn $3.4 million this season, while Brett Maher will earn $480,000. The Cowboys didn’t view Bailey as $2.8 million - or six times - better than Maher.
    “There is a business side to the game as well that is certainly a factor in making a decision like this,” Garrett said. “You have to allocate dollars to certain guys and you have to decide where you can maybe save some money and save some salary cap space."
  4. When Bailey missed four of five field goals in a two-day stretch at training camp it reminded Cowboys of last five games of 2017 and it helped create a competition that intensified as training camp continued. The Cowboys were impressed by Maher’s professionalism and consistency from the time the off-season began.
    "One of the things that gave us confidence was how well Brett Maher has kicked both in practice and in games,” Garrett said. “We feel like he has an opportunity to help our football team in that role."
  5. Even though kickoffs are being de-emphasized by the NFL, Maher’s kickoffs were deemed better and his leg stronger.
  6. The 57-yard field goal Maher made against Houston was one more notch in his favor and contributed to his overall body of work.
    “When we put the whole thing together and decided what was the best for our football team, this is the decision we felt we had to make,” Garrett said. “It was a hard decision. There is no question about that. We went back and forth on it, we discussed it a great deal.”



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why the Cowboys Only Kept 2 Running Backs on Their Roster]]>Sun, 02 Sep 2018 22:33:28 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+and+JJT+090218.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys kept just Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith on their roster as true running back. NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tells Pat Doney, the reason for the move is because of one player -- Tavon Austin.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Gauging the Cowboys' Interest in Free Agent Quarterbacks]]>Sun, 02 Sep 2018 22:30:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+and+JJT+090218.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys don't have much experience at quarterback behind Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush and Mike White didn't impress in the preseason, but NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tells Pat Doney the team will stand pat at the position.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Why the Cowboys Cut Dan Bailey]]>Sun, 02 Sep 2018 22:27:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+and+JJT+090218.jpg

The Dallas cut veteran kicker Dan Bailey Saturday, opting to keep the untested Brett Maher. NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tells Pat Doney he thinks the front office's reasoning goes beyond this year's training camp.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Dallas Cowboys Defense Analysis]]>Sat, 01 Sep 2018 18:25:02 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/9erzdallyz.jpg

The Cowboys made a bevy of moves to reach the NFL-mandated deadline to cut their roster to 53 players. Here's my position-by-position analysis of the moves they made on the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive Line
Antwaun Woods started training camp fourth on the depth chart, but he kept making plays in practice and the preseason to earn a spot. Brian Price had a similar story, and they will both play nose guard in the Cowboys scheme. Each can be disruptive, a key for Rod Marinelli. DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Taco Charlton and Dorrance Armstrong, a fourth-round pick, will be good as pass-rushers. Charles Tapper, an oft-injured fourth-round pick from 2015, didn't make it. He's a practice squad contender.

Linebacker
This is one of the team's best units and Joe Thomas, who signed a two-year deal in the offseason, and first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch give the Cowboys depth they haven't had recently.

Defensive Back
Tyree Robinson, an undrafted free agent, beat out Jeron Johnson, who once played for Kris Richard in Seattle, for a safety spot. He'll get some playing time while Xavier Woods recovers from a strained hamstring. Chido Awuzie, Byron Jones, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown give Dallas it's best quartet of cornerbacks in years based on their training camp performance.

Special Teams
The most shocking move the Cowboys' made involved cutting kicker Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Brett Maher may have excited the coaching staff with his 57-yard field goal in Saturday's 14-6 loss to Houston.

Maher also made a 41-yard goal against the Texans. He made four of five field goals in the preseason.

He's never made a regular-season field goal in an NFL game.

Click here for Jean-Jacque Taylor's breakdown of the Cowboys' offense.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Dallas Cowboys Offense Analysis]]>Sat, 01 Sep 2018 18:25:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-082918.jpg

The Cowboys made a bevy of moves to reach the NFL-mandated deadline to cut their roster to 53 players. Here’s my position-by-position analysis of the moves they made.

Quarterback
The Cowboys decided to keep three quarterbacks, even though backup Cooper Rush and Mike White, a fifth-round pick, didn't do much to distinguish themselves in training camp. I'd still upgrade the position because the season ends if Dak Prescott gets hurt.

Running Back
Bo Scarbrough, a seventh-round pick, and Darius Jackson didn't do enough to distinguish themselves, so the Cowboys are going with only two running backs -- Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith -- and a fullback Jamize Olawale. Dallas will add a runner to the roster or practice squad this week.

Wide Receiver
It came as a surprise that the Cowboys decided to cut Deonte Thompson and Lance Lenoir and keep Noah Brown, who has missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury. Brown is a core special teams player, but he's a physical blocker in the running game and a smart player who can do a lot of things the Cowboys need done.

Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley and Tavon Austin can all play in the slot, and when you add Terrance Williams and Michael Gallup it's a versatile group. One of the keys will be whether Beasley and Austin can make plays on the outside -- not just in the slot.

Thompson signed a one-year, $1 million deal in the offseason, but missed much of training camp with an Achilles' injury.

Tight End
Geoff Swaim is the only member of this group that you could say had a solid training camp, but the Cowboys kept all four tight ends on the roster. Enigmatic Rico Gathers, arrested for marijuana possession Friday evening, has an abundance of talent, but the coaching staff hasn't figured out how to tap into it.

Gathers plays with a lot of confidence as a receiver, but the Cowboys want him to be a better blocker. Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones want the coaching staff to focus on what Gathers can do instead of what he can't do. Blake Jarwin made few plays, if any, during training camp and fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz has struggled as a blocker, while posing little threat as a receiver.

Offensive Line
There weren't many surprises in this group. Guards Kadeem Edwards and Parker Ehinger, acquired from Kansas City on Friday, along with tackle Cam Fleming, who had a disappointing training camp, will be the backups. This is one of the best offensive lines in the NFL even without Travis Frederick.

Click here for Jean-Jacque Taylor's take on the Cowboys' offense.



Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Waive Veteran Kicker Dan Bailey]]>Sun, 02 Sep 2018 22:54:37 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dan-Bailey-Getty-090118.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys waived Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, in a surprise move Saturday to get their roster to 53 players for the regular season.

Bailey was the Dallas kicker for seven seasons and made at least 93 percent of his kicks in three of his first five years. The former Oklahoma State player tailed off badly last season after injuring his groin against San Francisco in the sixth game of the season.

By waiving Bailey, the Cowboys are going with Brett Maher. The sixth-year player from Nebraska hasn't kicked in a regular-season game. He made a 57-yarder in the Cowboys' 14-6 loss to Houston in the preseason finale.

Before the injury, Bailey was the most accurate in NFL history among kickers with at least 100 attempts. He was 8 of 13 after the injury to finish 2017 at a career-low 75 percent. The 30-year-old Bailey's accuracy dropped nearly 20 percentage points over his final two seasons.

Bailey is at 88.2 percent for his career (186 of 211), second to Justin Tucker's 90.2 percent. Bailey is Dallas' career leader in field goals.

The move on Bailey could have been a financial one since it saves $3.4 million against the salary cap. Maher, who is signed through 2019, will make $480,000 this season.

Tight end Rico Gathers made the 53-man roster a day after he was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana. The former Baylor basketball player hasn't played in the regular season going into his third year.

Dallas made the unusual move of keeping four tight ends in its first season without Jason Witten, who retired after 15 years to take the role as lead analyst for "Monday Night Football."

Geoff Swaim is the only tight end on the roster with a catch in the regular season. Blake Jarwin is listed as the backup, and the Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round this year.

The Cowboys made room for Gathers by keeping just two running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith. Former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough was among the cuts, with Dallas likely hoping to add the seventh-round pick to the practice squad.

Dallas waived two of its free agent signings in defensive end Kony Ealy and receiver Deonte Thompson, who was slowed by an Achilles tendon injury in training camp.

Defensive tackle Jihad Ward, acquired in a trade that sent 2017 fourth-round pick Ryan Switzer to Oakland, was waived. Switzer, a receiver and kick returner, has since been traded to Pittsburgh.

The Cowboys waived a pair of recent third-round picks in offensive lineman Chaz Green (2015) and defensive end Charles Tapper (2016). Both were slowed by injuries early in their careers.

Green was benched during a poor showing while starting in place of left tackle Tyron Smith against Atlanta last season. Dak Prescott was sacked a career-high eight times in that game.

Here is the full list of players waived by the Cowboys Saturday:

WR Dres Anderson
K Dan Bailey
G Kyle Bosch
T Jake Campos
WR K.D. Cannon
WR Darren Carrington
RB Jordan Chunn
LS Scott Daly
T Matt Diaz
DE Kony Ealy
G/T Chaz Green
RB Darius Jackson
S Jeron Johnson
LB Tre'von Johnson
CB Kam Kelly
LB Joel Lanning
DE Austin Larkin
WR Lance Lenoir Jr.
G Damien Mama
WR Mekale McKay
DT Lewis Neal
C Jacob Ohnesorge
CB Donovan Olumba
LB Eric Pinkins
LB Kyle Queiro
DT Caraun Reid
S Dominick Sanders
RB Bo Scarbrough
DE Charles Tapper
CB Duke Thomas
WR Deonte Thompson
DT Jihad Ward
TE David Wells
CB Marquez White

Waived/Injured
S Marqueston Huff
RB Trey Williams

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys' Rico Gathers Arrested for Marijuana Friday]]>Sat, 01 Sep 2018 23:16:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1024244152.jpg

Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana Friday night, according to Frisco police.

Police said Gathers was arrested at 10:52 p.m. Saturday for possessing less than two ounces of marijuana.

He was taken into custody and held at the Frisco jail, but made bond and was released from jail Saturday morning.

A blog post published to the Dallas Cowboys' official website stated:

"The Cowboys are certainly aware of Rico Gathers' situation and will decide shortly if, or how, it affects the team’s decision to cut the roster down to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Saturday"

Gathers was reportedly arrested Friday night in Frisco for possession of marijuana. After posting bond, he was released from a Frisco jail in the mid-morning, and was not on the field with his teammates for a Saturday walk-through.

A team official said the team was working to find out all the facts from the situation.

Gathers made the Cowboys' 53-man roster, after he caught 10 passes in the preseason. Dallas will keep four tight ends going into Week 1, with Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Geoff Swaim joining Gathers at the position.

And Gathers' attorney sent out a statement on behalf of his client.

"Rico was arrested last night and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He would like to express his gratitude and respect to the Frisco PD for their professionalism. Rico sincerely apologizes to his teammates and the Cowboys organization for any distraction his arrest may cause as the team prepares to start the season. To this end, we will have no further comment while the matter is pending." 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chiefs, Cowboys Finalize Swap of OL Ehinger for CB Ward]]>Fri, 31 Aug 2018 21:14:12 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Cowboys-logo.jpg

The Kansas City Chiefs had been searching for help at cornerback and had a surplus of talented offensive lineman, while the Dallas Cowboys were in precisely the opposite situation.

So they decided to make a deal.

The Chiefs sent backup offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, who had lost his starting job in training camp, to the Cowboys for undrafted but promising cornerback Charvarius Ward. The deal was struck Thursday night but became official Friday, one day before teams are required to trim their rosters.

"I've had a chance to look at Charvarius and he's a big kid that's really had a pretty good training camp for them," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on a conference call. "He's somebody that will come in and work into that mix there. He's young, so we're not bringing him in to be the starter or any of that, but he sure is a nice addition to that group."

The Chiefs have been chasing help at cornerback ever since trading Marcus Peters, a standout but malcontent, to the Rams earlier this season. They acquired Kendall Fuller in a trade with Washington for quarterback Alex Smith, signed David Amerson in free agency, chose Tremon Smith in the draft, and picked up a couple more prospects that went undrafted in April.

So far, Fuller has been the only one to distinguish himself during the preseason.

He's poised to start alongside Steven Nelson, who missed part of camp with a concussion, but the depth beyond that gets thin. Amerson has been burned in preseason games, while Smith was a sixth-round pick from Central Arkansas who is trying to adapt to a major upgrade in competition.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach evidently thought enough of Ward that he didn't want to risk someone else grabbing him on Saturday, assuming he was cut by the Cowboys. So he made the deal to send them Ehinger, a fourth-round pick in 2016 who earned the starting job as a rookie.

Ehinger tore his ACL later that season, though, and with the exception of a start in Week 17 of last year, he's been unable to earn back the starting job. Cam Erving beat him out in camp.

The Cowboys were searching for interior depth after losing backup Marcus Martin to a torn ligament in his toe this preseason. They also have a rookie, Connor Williams, poised to start at guard.

"They needed offensive linemen," Reid said. "They've been checking on our group there and Parker will go in and do a nice job for them, and we appreciate everything he did here and how he fought back from his injury to get himself back to where he is now. He did a nice job.

"They wanted him and we wanted Charvarius, so it all worked out well."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Player Cut Downs, Randy Gregory and the QB Situation: The Stephen Jones Show]]>Fri, 31 Aug 2018 20:35:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ben_and_skin_show.jpg

During a weekly radio appearance, Dallas Cowboys EVP and CEO Stephen Jones talks to NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's Ben and Skin about cut-down day, what is going on with Randy Gregory and his confidence in the quarterback situation. Recorded Aug. 31, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Randy Gregory, Gil Brandt HOF Nominee: The Jerry Jones Show]]>Fri, 31 Aug 2018 17:11:17 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_G-Bag_KRLD_Aug_31_2018.jpg

During one of his weekly radio addresses, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation about the team's final preseason game, Randy Gregory and another Cowboy Hall of Fame nominee in former scout Gil Brandt who may soon have a place in the team's Ring of Honor. Recorded Aug. 31, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Cooper Rush Struggles Again, Can't Solidify Backup Job: JJT]]>Fri, 31 Aug 2018 09:28:55 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cooper-rush-texans-preseason.jpg

The Cowboys closed out a winless preseason with a 14-6 loss to the Houston Texans on Thursday night.

Dallas also went winless in the preseason in 2014 and finished 12-4 and won the NFC East, so there's certainly no reason to panic, considering most of the team's starters didn't play the final two games.

That said, here are 10 thoughts on the loss:

1. Cooper Rush did not look good. Too many high throws and too many inaccurate throws overall. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 83 yards with two interceptions

Rush doesn't look like the player who played with such confidence as a rookie last year.

The coaching staff keeps saying that it feels confident in him as a backup because of his total body of work since he arrived last year as an undrafted free agent, but it's hard to believe the Cowboys aren't trying to upgrade the position.

The reality is Rush finished the preseason 46 of 74 for 358 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions and a passer rating of 56.0.

Privately, the Cowboys will tell you Rush has been affected by playing with lesser players and that has made him take risks as a passer that he wouldn't do with better players on the field.

Right now, though, it feels like the season ends the moment Dak Prescott gets hurt, can't  start for a month and Rush must play.

2. Lance Lenoir showed toughness, while catching nine of 10 passes directed to him for 69 yards. He also drew a 30-yard pass interference penalty. None of that is  going to earn him a roster spot, but it should be enough to get him on the practice squad when he gets released.


3. Kicker Brett Maher continues to have a strong camp. He made field goals of 57 and 41 yards against Houston and finished the preseason 4 of 5. He also averaged 44.8 on seven punts. He's not going to make the Cowboys, but he should be on some team's roster before the season ends.

4. Chaz Green had issues in protection again, and It's hard to believe he's going to make the team because there's no way the coaching staff could have the confidence to play him in a game that matters.

5. Kony Ealy was supposed to provide quality depth at defensive end but he was moved inside to defensive tackle and it's unlikely he's going to make the team. Early played 45 snaps against Houston,  tied for fifth most on the team. There are younger, better players.

6. Dorrance Armstrong had a sack, two tackles for loss and four tackles. He was active and it looks like he has earned a role with his performance this preseason.

7. Rico Gathers caught two passes for 12 yards, while playing 41 snaps. No tight end played more. He even played five snaps on special teams

Gathers was blown up on one short-yardage play, which isn't going to help his cause to make the team. Gathers is going to have a tough time making the team unless the Cowboys go short in another area.

It's hard to believe Dallas will keep four tight ends.

8. Mike White, a fifth-round pick, completed 13 of 21 passes for 118 yards. White played the second half and only led the team to a field goal. He's tentative at times in the pocket, double-clutching on passes and staring down receivers, so he's not ready to challenge for the backup job.

9. Justin March-Lillard did a nice job against Houston with four tackles and a quarterback hit. He played 36 snaps and a team-high 24 on special teams. That's enough to get him on the roster as a solid backup and core special teams player.

10. Michael Gallup, the Cowboys' best draft pick in training camp, played 33 snaps and caught four passes for 29 yards. It seems odd to play a key member of the offense that many snaps, but he survived and he'll be a key player for the Cowboys this season.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Backup Quarterbacks Sloppy as Texans Beat Cowboys]]>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 23:07:51 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-1025421466.jpg

Houston Texans rookie running back Terry Swanson rushed for a 37-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to lift the Texans to a 14-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason finale Thursday night.

The undrafted rookie running back out of Toledo, who served as an understudy to the Chiefs' Kareem Hunt in college, found a hole with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Texans up two scores. Swanson finished with 69 yards on 17 carries.

Both teams rested their starters.

Houston took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter after third-round pick safety Justin Reid intercepted Cooper Rush's pass to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Alfred Blue. Blue, competing for the backup job behind Lamar Miller, rushed for 18 yards on four carries, while Troymaine Pope rushed for 21 yards on five carries.

The Cowboys scored on two field goals from backup kicker Brett Maher, one on their opening drive from 57 yards and one late in the fourth quarter from 41.

Texans backup quarterback Brandon Weeden started and went 3 for 9 for 22 yards. Behind Weeden, Joe Webb went 11 for 18 for 136 yards.

Rush played the entire first half and some of the third quarter, finishing 14 of 25 for 83 yards and two interceptions. Behind Rush, Mike White went 13 for 21 for 118 yards.

The two Texas teams will have a regular-season rematch in Houston in Week 5 on "Sunday Night Football." Dallas leads the series 3-1 and has won the last three meetings since the Texans won their first-ever matchup in their inaugural game in 2002.

Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott served as a team captain during the coin toss, even wearing his helmet. Before kickoff, however, Prescott put his helmet away and immediately exchanged his cleats for sneakers to settle in as a sideline spectator.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who didn't play during the preseason, said at halftime he's excited to get back on the field.

"Camp is long, the preseason is long, but there is nothing like that first game when the lights come on for real," Elliott said.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson also wore sneakers, even fashioning a makeshift bandana out of a towel. While many Texans starters wore baseball caps on the sideline, nose tackle D.J. Reader stood out with a gray bucket hat.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

No players from the Cowboys or the Texans kneeled during the national anthem.

PUNTING BATTLE

With veteran punter Shane Lechler in a battle with rookie Trevor Daniel, the Texans alternated punts and placekick holding responsibilities. After Daniel excelled in the first half, he punted one out of bounds that went just 30 yards. Lechler followed with a booming 61-yard punt to the Dallas 20-yard line.

MANCZ GETS EXTENSION

The Texans signed starting center Greg Mancz to a two-year contract extension on Thursday. Mancz, an undrafted free agent out of Toledo in 2015, played 10 games, starting seven, in 2017. Houston used a second-round tender on Mancz in the offseason and will pay him $1.907 million this season.

INJURIES

No injuries were announced during the game.

NEXT UP

Cowboys (0-4): open their season at the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 9.

Texans (3-1): visit the New England Patriots for their season opener on Sept. 9.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Latest on Cowboys Player Randy Gregory]]>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 22:16:49 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PAT_AND_JACQUES_TALK_GREGORY_AUG_30.jpg

Cowboys Defensive lineman Randy Gregory was not with the team at the final preseason game in Houston as he meets with the NFL’s Medical Director. Gregory has played well in the preseason, but missed most of the last couple of years on drug suspensions. Could he be facing more disciplinary action? NBC 5's Pat Doney and Cowboys insider Jacque Taylor discuss his future.]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Elliott Lead Revamped Cowboys in Playoff Pursuit]]>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 19:11:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-082918.jpg

Dak Prescott dealt with the uncertainty of running back Ezekiel Elliott's looming six-game suspension last year when the Dallas Cowboys slid from an NFC-best 13 wins to out of the playoffs.

Now the star quarterback faces the unknown of a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers after the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.

Elliott, Prescott's fellow rookie standout from two years ago, is the supposed sure thing for a team looking up in the NFC East at defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia.

Cole Beasley is the leader of the pass-catchers simply by having the longest Dallas tenure. The Cowboys have high hopes for newcomer Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup, the first receiver drafted by the club (third round) after dumping franchise touchdown catch leader Bryant in a cost-cutting move.

"They're very hungry guys," Prescott said. "They're guys that you may not necessarily know their names, but that's what they want. They want to get out there and make those plays, let people know that they can play and they can play at a high level."

Elliott ended up serving the suspension over domestic violence allegations halfway through last season, triggering a three-game losing streak that was too much to overcome in the tight NFC playoff race.

Throw in the retirement of Tony Romo last year spurred by the sudden emergence of Prescott, and the team's three most important offensive players for a decade have been replaced by Elliott, the 2016 rushing champion, and his backfield mate, that year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"It just shows how fast time goes and how quick things can change, but I think we're both ready to embrace this leadership role," said Elliott, who still led the NFL in yards rushing per game last season. "We're excited for this year to come."

Some story lines with the Cowboys seeking a third straight winning season for the first time since the last of five straight in 2009:

DEFENSE FIRST?

The Cowboys have been offense-first just about every year since coach Jason Garrett joined the staff as offensive coordinator in 2007. If the preseason is any indication, Dallas might feed off its defense for once.

DeMarcus Lawrence, who tied for second in the NFL with 14 1/2 sacks last season, leads a pass rush that's gaining momentum. Linebacker Sean Lee is ready to be a face for the franchise with Witten gone. Starting cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie head a batch of young potential playmakers in the secondary.

"I don't like to get ahead of ourselves -- we have to put the stats down and the wins and the turnovers," Lee said.

"Until we do that, we can't say anything. When it comes to the right group of guys, guys who love to work and are talented, it's as good a group as I've worked with."

UNCERTAINTY AT CENTER

Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out indefinitely after getting diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome , a disorder that attacks the nervous system. His absence raises a big question with the other part of the Elliott formula: a vaunted offensive line.

Right guard Zack Martin injured a knee in the preseason, but expects to be ready for the opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.

Left tackle Tyron Smith has battled back issues the past few seasons. Joe Looney is set to step in for Frederick, and the Cowboys have a rookie at left guard in second-round pick Connor Williams.

LEE'S CO-STARS

While Lee anchors the linebackers, Jaylon Smith has the Cowboys encouraged about his continuing recovery from a devastating knee injury in his final college game. He missed his rookie year while rehabbing and struggled with consistency last season.

Smith is playing without a brace this year and believes he has regained the form that made him a potential top-10 pick coming out of Notre Dame. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch missed the latter part of training camp with a groin injury, but is expected to contribute as a rookie.

THICK AND THIN

Depth will be a strength with pass rushing if Randy Gregory and David Irving can overcome substance-abuse suspensions and contribute a few sacks apiece. Gregory was suspended all of last season, but has looked promising at camp. Irving is opening the season with a four-game suspension for the second year in a row.

The Cowboys are dangerously thin at safety. Jeff Heath is the only healthy player with significant experience. Xavier Woods (hamstring) and Kavon Frazier (shoulder) were injured in consecutive weeks in the preseason. Woods might miss the opener, while Frazier says he will play.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Gregory Scheduled to Meet NFL Doctor Thurs: JJT]]>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 11:31:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/randy-gregory-interview.jpg

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Randy Gregory is scheduled to meet with a league doctor Thursday morning to determine whether he gets a chance to start the season with the Cowboys on Sept. 9, or he gets suspended again, two sources confirmed to Cowboys insider Jean-Jacques Taylor.

"As we all know, what Randy's been through is certainly something. When he wakes up, it's a challenge every day," Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said on his radio show.

Speculation about Gregory's eligibility intensified following his strong performance during Sunday's preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Just after the game, an ominous tweet by NFL writer Jason La Canfora indicated there could be "more trouble ahead" for Gregory.

"In terms of where he is with the league, the team doesn't hear until it's time. We don't get any of that, unfortunately — we just get to hear when, unfortunately, there's not good news," said Cowboys General Manager Jerry Jones.

Jones said Gregory's deal is day-to-day.

"Every day is another day there," said Jones. "Randy, he came into this league as an outstanding player — there's no question about his talent. Having said that, we've just got to continue to work."

Gregory has played well this preseason after he missed much of the last two years due to suspensions for substance abuse.

"We wouldn't have him out there if we couldn't plan on him," Jones explained. "I think you saw that tonight, and you've seen in his other work — really this entire training camp — that this gives us some real additional pressure."

Jones told NBC 5's partners at 105.3 The Fan that he isn't aware of any future trouble concerning Gregory, though he admitted that the Cowboys wouldn't hear anything until they are notified by the NFL.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[AP's Cowboys Preview Capsule]]>Thu, 30 Aug 2018 08:01:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ATT-Stadium-chopper.jpg

New faces: LB Leighton Vander Esch, G Connor Williams, WR Allen Hurns, WR/KR Tavon Austin, WR Michael Gallup, LB Joe Thomas, DT Jihad Ward, T Cameron Fleming, TE Dalton Schultz, WR Deonte Thompson.

Key losses: TE Jason Witten, WR Dez Bryant, LB Anthony Hitchens, CB Orlando Scandrick, WR Brice Butler, WR/KR Ryan Switzer, TE James Hanna, RB Alfred Morris.

Strengths: Running game with Ezekiel Elliott, now free of suspension that loomed last year and had to be served halfway through season. Cowboys want passing game that's in transition to feed off rushing attack. Offensive line still strong but facing big question with center Travis Frederick battling Guillain-Barre syndrome. Condition that affects nervous system has sidelined four-time Pro Bowler indefinitely. Defense looked stout in preseason and returns DE DeMarcus Lawrence, who tied for second in NFL with 14 1/2 sacks last season.

Weaknesses: Safety dangerously thin with move of Byron Jones to cornerback and hamstring injury that could sideline Xavier Woods at least for opener. Cowboys fans have constant eye on Earl Thomas holdout in Seattle. Former Texas standout has made no secret of desire to play for Dallas. Receiving corps largely unproven after retirement of Witten, release of Bryant. Gallup, third-round pick, has looked good in preseason. Cole Beasley, dean of Dallas group, was strong in camp. Cowboys have high hopes that Hurns can have impact as newcomer.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Elliott is new Tony Romo for Cowboys as player they can't live without and best fantasy option. Former Ohio State star and 2016 NFL rushing champ as rookie won't be around long in drafts. Backup Rod Smith could get some TDs while Elliott rests. Will be difficult to pinpoint best options at receiver before season starts.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 30-1. Over/under wins 8.5.

Expectations: Cowboys counting on bounce-back year from QB Dak Prescott, who slipped in second season and missed playoffs after winning NFL Offensive Rookie of Year award for 13-3 team. Missing playoffs again will raise questions about future of coach Jason Garrett, who has reached postseason twice in seven full seasons. Formula for Cowboys has often been offense-first in 10 years with Garrett on staff (three-plus as offensive coordinator). Could be defense-first year for Dallas with Lawrence, linebacker Sean Lee and host of promising young players, including CB Chidobe Awuzie. Cowboys expect to challenge Super Bowl champion Eagles in NFC East.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Sunday Night Football EP Explains the Green Zone]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 23:50:22 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy-scruggs-radio-show-1200x675.jpg

NBC Sports prides itself on being an innovator. This fall NBC's Sunday Night Football will use the Green Zone to help fans see how much space is in front of the offense before it gets a first down.

Social media has been hard on it, but the executive producer of Sunday Night Football, Fred Gaudelli, said it is here to stay.

He joined me on my national NBC Sports Radio show and gave me his insights and explained his issue with Cowboys Hall of Famer Jerry Jones' suggestion to move the NFL regular season up to 18 games.

Click here to listen.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Elliott Lead Revamped Cowboys in Playoff Pursuit]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 20:04:14 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Ezekiel-Elliott-Getty-082918.jpg

Dak Prescott dealt with the uncertainty of running back Ezekiel Elliott's looming six-game suspension last year when the Dallas Cowboys slid from an NFC-best 13 wins to out of the playoffs.

Now the star quarterback faces the unknown of a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers after the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.

Elliott, Prescott's fellow rookie standout from two years ago, is the supposed sure thing for a team looking up in the NFC East at defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia.

Cole Beasley is the leader of the pass-catchers simply by having the longest Dallas tenure. The Cowboys have high hopes for newcomer Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup, the first receiver drafted by the club (third round) after dumping franchise touchdown catch leader Bryant in a cost-cutting move.

"They're very hungry guys," Prescott said. "They're guys that you may not necessarily know their names, but that's what they want. They want to get out there and make those plays, let people know that they can play and they can play at a high level."

Elliott ended up serving the suspension over domestic violence allegations halfway through last season, triggering a three-game losing streak that was too much to overcome in the tight NFC playoff race.

Throw in the retirement of Tony Romo last year spurred by the sudden emergence of Prescott, and the team's three most important offensive players for a decade have been replaced by Elliott, the 2016 rushing champion, and his backfield mate, that year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"It just shows how fast time goes and how quick things can change, but I think we're both ready to embrace this leadership role," said Elliott, who still led the NFL in yards rushing per game last season. "We're excited for this year to come."

Some story lines with the Cowboys seeking a third straight winning season for the first time since the last of five straight in 2009:

DEFENSE FIRST?
The Cowboys have been offense-first just about every year since coach Jason Garrett joined the staff as offensive coordinator in 2007. If the preseason is any indication, Dallas might feed off its defense for once.

DeMarcus Lawrence, who tied for second in the NFL with 14 1/2 sacks last season, leads a pass rush that's gaining momentum. Linebacker Sean Lee is ready to be a face for the franchise with Witten gone. Starting cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie head a batch of young potential playmakers in the secondary.

"I don't like to get ahead of ourselves -- we have to put the stats down and the wins and the turnovers," Lee said.

"Until we do that, we can't say anything. When it comes to the right group of guys, guys who love to work and are talented, it's as good a group as I've worked with."

UNCERTAINTY AT CENTER
Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out indefinitely after getting diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome , a disorder that attacks the nervous system. His absence raises a big question with the other part of the Elliott formula: a vaunted offensive line.

Right guard Zack Martin injured a knee in the preseason, but expects to be ready for the opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.

Left tackle Tyron Smith has battled back issues the past few seasons. Joe Looney is set to step in for Frederick, and the Cowboys have a rookie at left guard in second-round pick Connor Williams.

LEE'S CO-STARS
While Lee anchors the linebackers, Jaylon Smith has the Cowboys encouraged about his continuing recovery from a devastating knee injury in his final college game. He missed his rookie year while rehabbing and struggled with consistency last season.

Smith is playing without a brace this year and believes he has regained the form that made him a potential top-10 pick coming out of Notre Dame. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch missed the latter part of training camp with a groin injury, but is expected to contribute as a rookie.

THICK AND THIN
Depth will be a strength with pass rushing if Randy Gregory and David Irving can overcome substance-abuse suspensions and contribute a few sacks apiece. Gregory was suspended all of last season, but has looked promising at camp. Irving is opening the season with a four-game suspension for the second year in a row.

The Cowboys are dangerously thin at safety. Jeff Heath is the only healthy player with significant experience. Xavier Woods (hamstring) and Kavon Frazier (shoulder) were injured in consecutive weeks in the preseason. Woods might miss the opener, while Frazier says he will play.



Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant Challenges YouTuber Jake Paul to a Boxing Match]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 09:41:47 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Dez+Bryant+Uniform.jpg

Looks like Dez Bryant is looking to hang up his football cleats and put on some boxing gloves. The former Cowboys' receiver has just challenged YouTuber Jake Paul to step into the ring and face him.

Jake Paul is the brother of Logan Paul, who just hosted a boxing match versus fellow YouTuber KSI. That match filled Manchester Arena and was streamed live by over 800,000 viewers all who paid $10 to view the event. Bryant tried to congratulate Logan Paul on his success but instead sent a Twitter message to Logan Paul's brother Jake.

It seems Jake Paul didn't like being confused with his brother:

"Dez Bryant don’t want the smoke & no team wants Dez Bryant!! GO BROWNS!!" He tweeted including a screen grab of the exchange with Bryant.

When Bryant was asked about the exchange on twitter he responded tweeting, "I guess he called himself trying to clown..we can get in the boxing ring tho if he want smoke."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Dak Asks Fans to Help Him Raise Money for Cancer Research]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 18:54:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-081818.jpg

Dak Prescott is reminding fans that they have one more month to join him in a drive to raise funds for cancer research.

Prescott lost his mother to the disease in 2013.

In an Instagram post Tuesday, the Cowboys' quarterback encouraged his followers to participate in the Ready. Raise. Rise. campaign, put on by pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, to help raise money for immuno-oncology research.

"Making my mom proud on and off the football field gives me the power rise up against #cancer," Prescott wrote.

The campaign asks people to submit a photo with a short caption to the "Discover I-O" Facebook page. If more than 100 people submit photos, Bristol-Myers Squibb will donate $250,000 to participating cancer advocacy groups.

Ready. Raise. Rise. has donated $450,000 to cancer research to date.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Discusses Cutting Preseason Games From 4 to 2]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 17:02:08 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-the-fan-082818.jpg

During the Jerry Jones Show Tuesday morning, Jones discussed cutting the number of preseason games and increasing the regular season. He also talked about food and beer prices at AT&T Stadium and how much he would pay, if he could, to win another Super Bowl.]]>
<![CDATA[What Jerry Jones Would Pay for Another Super Bowl]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:37:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Shan_RJ_Jerry_Jones_Show_Aug_21.jpg

How badly does Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones want to win another Super Bowl?

Cowboys team owner and General Manager Jerry Jones spoke with The Fan's Shan & RJ show and said the size of the check he would be willing to write for another Super Bowl win would be "embarrassing."

Jones also talks about cutting down the number of preseason games from four to two and increasing regular season games from 16 to 18. And, don't expect Jones to lower prices for food and beer at AT&T Stadium.

Watch the video above to hear the full audio from our media partners at 105.3 The Fan and click here for more.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Need to Trade for QB Bridgewater: Fmr. NFL GM]]>Tue, 28 Aug 2018 05:21:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-cardinals-preseason.jpg

As Cowboys were getting dusted off by the Cardinals in the third preseason game, former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi tweeted the Cowboys needed to call the New York Jets about quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

The Cowboys' current backup quarterbacks, Cooper Rush and Mike White, were having a rough go of it on NBC Sunday Night Football.

I had Lombardi join me on my national NBC Sports Radio show, and he laid out why he thinks the Cowboys Hall of Fame owner and general manager needs to make a deal to acquire Bridgewater.

Newy Scruggs: "Last night on Twitter you were talking Teddy Bridgewater to the Cowboys."

Mike Lombardi: "Well I think, look, the Cowboys, they have no backup quarterback. They have had no backup quarterback. For some reason they fall in love in love with guys who know what to do, but guys that can’t do it, so they gotta find some way because we saw last year Deshaun Watson got hurt. We saw when Tom Savage had to play in the beginning of the season the Texans weren’t very good. Watson comes in and they were great. And the next thing you know, we get into a situation where he loses, they have the fourth pick in the draft."

"If the Cowboys lose Dak Prescott for any extended period of time, their season is over. They might have the first pick in the draft. I think you gotta have a backup quarterback. I think, if Teddy Bridgewater isn’t going to get traded to a starting team, which it does seem like some teams have an appetite to change the starting quarterback right now, I would recommend Tampa. To me, that’s the number one place I would put Teddy Bridgewater. Put him in Tampa. Let him compete against Jameis Winston and let him start the first three games of the season instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but that doesn’t seem the mode operandi down in Tampa. So, if you’re not gonna have him as a starter, you better get him as a backup and the Cowboys need a backup badly. A lot of teams in the NFL need backup quarterbacks."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles Have Tough Task Trying to Repeat in NFC East and NFL]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 21:33:57 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/usa-carson-wentz-tc-2018.jpg

Before they try to become the ninth team to repeat as Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles will try to accomplish another tough task.

Winning consecutive NFC East titles is so difficult it hasn't happened since the Eagles did it four straight seasons from 2001-04. It's also been 13 years since the New England Patriots were the most recent team to win back-to-back championships.

On paper, the Eagles are deeper and stronger than the squad that beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots 41-33 in February. Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, playmaking linebacker Jordan Hicks and versatile running back Darren Sproles are returning from injuries that forced them to miss the playoffs.

They also have several new additions, including veteran defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata, and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.

But the favorites don't always come out on top and the road won't be easy for the Eagles in a competitive division.

"Our goal every year is to win the Super Bowl. I can't tell you how terrifically positioned I think we are," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "It's a tough, tough league. I don't think I've ever been more fired up for a season than we're about to undertake, but with a realization that we're also in the NFC. I compare it to the NBA West. There are many, many teams entering this season that I think can be in the Super Bowl. We have to try to collaborate and grind."

Standing in Philadelphia's way will be two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning and the revamped New York Giants, who added running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Dallas Cowboys expect to have Ezekiel Elliott for a full season and are looking for Dak Prescott to return to his rookie form after a so-so second season. The Washington Redskins acquired a winning quarterback, Alex Smith, to lead the way.

Things to know about the NFC East:

DOMINANT D: Wentz and a high-powered offense that won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles get much of the attention in Philly, but Jim Schwartz's defense was dominant last season and should be even better. The front four led by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham is so deep that Bennett, Ngata and Chris Long are rotational players instead of starters. The Eagles also have plenty of depth in the secondary with Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerbacks Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones. If Hicks stays healthy, this unit should dominate again and make it easier for the offense, which may be missing Wentz for a few games.

OLD MAN ELI: Manning may be the oldest player on the Giants, but he has a new offense-minded head coach -- Pat Shurmur -- and a talented cast of skill players to make his job easier. Barkley bolsters the running attack and gives the offense more balance. He joins star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. A defense that was stellar two years ago still has talent with safety Landon Collins, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, run stuffer Damon Harrison and end Olivier Vernon. If the offense lives up to expectations and the defense returns to form, the Giants could battle for the division.

DEPLETED COWBOYS: Jason Witten retired and Dez Bryant was released, leaving Prescott with fewer weapons. The career of 2016 All-Pro center Travis Frederick is uncertain because of an auto-immune condition, and four-time Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin injured his knee in the preseason, though it appears he'll be ready for Week 1. Elliott's success depends on an offensive line that's the best in the business when healthy. Meanwhile, the defense relies on linebacker Sean Lee. With him, they're solid, but he has a history of injuries. There's enough talent in Dallas for the Cowboys to stay in the mix.

ALL ABOUT Ws: Smith is a winner wherever he goes. He was 69-31-1 as a starter for the 49ers and Chiefs since 2011, but only 2-5 in the playoffs. Kirk Cousins put up prolific numbers, but was 26-30-1 with a loss in his only playoff start. Losing rookie running back Derrius Guice hurt an offense lacking talent at the skill spots. Adrian Peterson is nearing the end of his career but has a shot to be a featured back once again. The Redskins will be tough on opponents but don't have enough pieces to contend.

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Are the Cowboys in Trouble If Dak Gets Hurt?]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 20:20:41 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+082718.jpg

Dak Prescott is the unquestioned starting quarterback for the Cowboys, but his current backups have not played well in the preseason. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the team’s depth.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Kavon Frazier Injury Could Affect Cowboys Secondary Depth]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 20:08:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+082718.jpg

Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier dislocated his shoulder in the team’s third preseason game Sunday night. Is there concern with depth in the Cowboys secondary? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the growth of the team's defense.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Will Randy Gregory Be Available for Cowboys First Game?]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 19:46:07 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+082718.jpg

Cowboys defensive lineman Randy Gregory has played well this preseason after he missed much of the last two years due to suspensions for substance abuse.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[ Celebrating the Silver and Blue - August 27, 2018]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 17:27:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Owens+Family+Cowboys+UGC+082718.jpg

The Owens family and Madison were featured during the Celebrating the Silver and Blue segment on Monday, August 27, 2018.

Photo Credit: Maghan Owens]]>
<![CDATA[Stephen Jones: Cowboys Not Aware of Any Trouble With Gregory]]>Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:24:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephen-Jones-082718.jpg

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones isn't aware of any future trouble concerning pass rusher Randy Gregory, however, he admits that the club wouldn't hear anything until the NFL notified them.

During his appearance with the GBAG Nation on 105.3 The Fan, Jones was asked about Jason La Canfora's tweet where he said that he's "hearing there could be more trouble ahead for Randy Gregory."

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE TO HEAR THE FULL AUDIO FROM OUR MEDIA PARTNERS AT 105.3 THE FAN AND CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

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<![CDATA[Cowboys Commit 8 Turnovers in Loss to Cardinals as Stars Sit]]>Sun, 26 Aug 2018 23:57:46 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Patrick-Peterson-Rod-Smith-Getty-082618.jpg

Patrick Peterson hasn't faced a starting quarterback in the preseason.

The three-time All-Pro cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals is getting himself in regular-season form anyway.

Peterson returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown after Dallas decided to sit quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott in what was supposed to be the dress rehearsal, and the Cardinals rolled to a 27-3 exhibition victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night.

The Cardinals (3-0) forced eight turnovers to give them 16 takeaways in the preseason. That included two muffed punts by Dallas (0-3), the second recovered for a touchdown by Trent Sherfield to open the scoring in the first quarter.

Prescott's absence made it three straight weeks that Arizona didn't face the opposing starter. San Diego's Philip Rivers skipped the opener, and Drew Brees sat for New Orleans last week.

Sam Bradford led two largely ineffective series for the Cardinals after completing all seven of his passes in the first two preseason games. He was 1 of 4 for 6 yards as Arizona generated just one first down.

Josh Rosen, the 10th overall pick and likely backup to Bradford in the regular season, didn't play after injuring the thumb on his throwing (right) hand in practice last week.

The Cowboys were missing center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin, part of the reason Prescott didn't play. The other reason was a longer-than-planned touchdown drive of 16 plays on Prescott's final possession of the second preseason game against Cincinnati.

Owner Jerry Jones said last week he didn't need to see Elliott, the 2016 NFL rushing leader as a rookie, in a preseason game. It figures to be the first time in three seasons that Elliott, who is healthy, will miss the entire preseason since starters are generally expected to sit in the finales.

EARLY CELEBRATION
Peterson stepped in front of Cooper Rush's pass to Tavon Austin along the sideline and held the ball in the air most of the way on the easy stroll to the end zone. Rush, who won the backup job as a rookie with a strong preseason last year, was 11 of 17 for 93 yards with two interceptions.

Peterson also forced a fumble by toppling Rod Smith when the running back tried to hurdle him. Smith was originally ruled down, but replay showed the ball coming out before his arm hit the ground. The Cardinals intercepted three passes and recovered three fumbles, not counting the muffed punts.

ANOTHER MILESTONE
Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory had another milestone in his return after missing last season on a substance-abuse suspension. Gregory, who made his preseason debut last week, easily beat starting left tackle D.J. Humphries with a spin move to sack Bradford on Arizona's third offensive play.

ANOTHER MISSING STAR
Like Elliott, Arizona running back David Johnson didn't play, likely signaling the end of his preseason at eight carries for 50 yards with a touchdown. Chase Edmonds had 55 yards on 11 carries. T.J. Logan, a fifth-round pick last year before spending the entire season on injured reserve, ran 59 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

MOMENT OF SILENCE
A moment of silence was held before the national anthem for the late Sen. John McCain, with his hometown Cardinals on the sideline. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald looked up to see the image of McCain on the huge video board hanging over the center of the field, and the crowd cheered afterward. McCain died Saturday.

INJURIES
Cardinals: RB D.J. Foster, listed third in the depth chart, injured a knee during a touchback on a kickoff and didn't return.

Cowboys: Already thin at safety, Dallas lost Kavon Frazier to a left shoulder injury in the first quarter. He was starting in place of Xavier Woods, who injured a hamstring last week against Cincinnati.

NATIONAL ANTHEM
There were no apparent protests during the pregame playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

UP NEXT
Preseason finales for both teams Thursday night: Cowboys at Houston; Cardinals at home against Denver.



Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys 27-3 Loss to Arizona]]>Sun, 26 Aug 2018 23:49:13 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cooper-Rush-sacked-Getty-082618.jpg

The Cowboys didn’t use several of their best players Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals, and they played like it.

Quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Sean Lee each watched the 27-3 loss to Arizona from the sideline.

Here are 10 thoughts from NBC 5 Cowboys' Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor on the game:

• Cooper Rush hasn't looked sharp during the preseason, and he's not doing a whole lot to make the Cowboys feel the slightest bit comfortable if he has to play during the regular season.

Rush completed 11 of 17 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions. He finished with a 39.2 passer rating.

Rush missed Cole Beasley, who was open by at least three yards, down the left sideline on a deep ball. He also missed Michael Gallup, who had beaten Patrick Peterson, on a deep post.

The second-year quarterback threw the pass behind Gallup instead of throwing it in front of him. You get so few opportunities to make big plays in games that you simply can't miss them.

Rush also threw late to the flat and Peterson intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Then he made a suspect read and threw an interception in the end zone into triple coverage. The Cowboys ran 29 plays in the first half and gained 111 yards. All of that isn't Rush's fault, but he didn't do much to help himself.

• Randy Gregory beat left tackle D.J. Humphries for a sack and a 10-yard loss with a spin move sack on the game's first third down. He showed speed, burst and athleticism to beat the former No. 1 pick around the edge.

Later, Gregory had a quarterback hit. He's making himself someone the coaching staff is going to depend on this season.

• Chido Awuzie had a first quarter pass deflection. Every pass, it seems is contested when directed his way.

• Linebacker Joe Thomas has been a really nice addition to the Cowboys' defense as a valuable backup. He had a big hit in pass coverage to stop an Arizona drive and a nice tackle on special teams.

• Joe Looney, starting for Travis Frederick, who was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune disorder, appeared to do a solid job. He pulled on one play and made a nice block on a seven-yard run by Rod Smith for a first down.

• Kavon Frazier left in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. He returned to the sideline in the second quarter but did not play again. Xavier Woods is expected to miss several weeks with a pulled hamstring, and the Cowboys signed a couple of players last week just to have enough players to practice.

• Lance Lenoir, fighting for a roster spot, didn't help himself with two muffed punts. He's the third punt returner behind Tavon Austin and Cole Beasley, but when you're struggling like he is, everything matters.

The second muffed punt was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-0 Arizona lead.

• The Cowboys' starting defense continued to play well. They have yet to allow a touchdown in three games.

They're getting contributions from a variety of players such as DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, Byron Jones, Awuzie and Gregory. Sean Lee didn't even play, but this defense is fast and playing with confidence in the preseason.

• The Cowboys committed eight turnovers - five fumbles and three interceptions - which is an embarrassment no matter who’s playing. This is the kind of sloppy game that'll have coach Jason Garrett using four-letter words liberally during Monday's video session with the team.

• Receivers Tavon Austin and Deonte Thompson played, but didn't catch a pass. The one pass directed his way was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.



Photo Credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Live! Preps for Its First Cowboys Season ]]>Sun, 26 Aug 2018 23:03:36 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Texas+Live+082618.jpg

Sunday's preseason game was the second Cowboys home game since the new Texas Live! venue opened between AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park.

Food and entertainment destinations have been lacking around the Arlington stadiums until now.

"It's a very friendly, very great atmosphere," said Dequan Ross of Grand Prairie.

The 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex has already become a game-day stop for thousands of people.

"We needed some place to where everybody could hang out before the games," said Matt Jernigan of Mansfield.

"We got off to a big start for our grand opening and we've just been rolling since then," said Jim Watry, Texas Live! chief operating officer.

Watry said between 12,000 and 13,000 people came into the building last Saturday when the Rangers and the Cowboys both played at home.

Leslie Monroy of Rowlett was among the crowd then and returned on Sunday.

"It's a really good experience," she said. "So every time we come to Cowboys games we'll always come here first."

The challenge now, reps say, is to keep people coming even on non-game days.

"The parking message is a breeze," Watry said. "We're free every day there's not an event."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Elliott to Sit Out Against Arizona]]>Sun, 26 Aug 2018 18:52:05 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-preseason-dmn.jpg

Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott will not play in the Dallas Cowboys' third preseason game Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals, according to the team.

Left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin will all miss the game. Smith will sit with a hamstring problem, Martin with a knee injury and Frederick due to Guillain Barre Syndrome.

Click here to watch the Cowboys take on the Cardinals on NBC's Sunday Night Football with the username and password for your TV service provider.

In Prescott's case, Dallas had a 16-play drive that went into the second quarter on his third series last week against Cincinnati. Coach Jason Garrett said the longer-than-expected stint also factored into whether Prescott would play against the Cardinals. Elliott will skip the entire preseason despite being healthy.

The Cowboys announced that linebacker Sean Lee will also sit out Sunday's game.



Photo Credit: Jae S. Lee | The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Travis Frederick, WR Group: The Jerry Jones Show]]>Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:12:27 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Show_Friday_Aug_24.jpg

During one of his weekly radio addresses, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks to NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan's G-Bag Nation about Travis Frederick's diagnosis and what he hopes to see from the wide receivers during the third preseason game. Recorded Aug. 24, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Garrett Must Maneuver Cowboys Through Adversity: JJT]]>Fri, 24 Aug 2018 09:52:18 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick-cowboys1.jpg

No one knows if Travis Frederick will play football again this season.

The Cowboys’ center has Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its nerves. He’s out indefinitely.

Frederick is among the NFL’s best centers — he hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 9 of the 2014 season. He handles all of the blocking assignments and protection schemes, so all Dak Prescott has to do is focus on the defensive coverages.

For a team built around the offensive line, Frederick is one of the Cowboys’ most important players.

Losing him hurts the Cowboys in a multitude of ways.

Still, it doesn’t give coach Jason Garrett a built-in excuse to survive a season that doesn’t meet expectations.

He’s either going to win a couple of playoff games, surpassing his total from the previous eight years as head coach combined, or none of us should be shocked if owner Jerry Jones fires him.

It’s really that simple.

The Eagles removed the injury excuse forever last year when they won the Super Bowl without MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz, left tackle Jason Peters, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, cornerback Ronald Darby, running back Darren Sproles and Chris Maragos, their best special teams player.

Their loss of Wentz in December made Nick Foles their starter. They proceeded to win the Super Bowl anyway.

Joe Looney is the next man up for the Cowboys.

The 7-year veteran has started 13 games. The opportunity shouldn’t be too big for him.

“He’s a veteran. He’s poised and he’s smart,” Garrett said. “He’s gotten a lot of work with the (starters) and he’s done a go do job.”

More important, Garrett has spent a lot of time he past few years teaching, training and imploring his team on ways to handle the rigors of a 16-game NFL season.

We’ve seen it both ways.

In 2014, the Cowboys lost Sean Lee to a torn knee ligament before the season, and they went 12-4 and won the NFC East.

The following year, they lost Tony Romo twice to a broken collarbone and stumbled to a 4-12 record with overmatched quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel struggling all season.

It’s why the Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round after failing to trade up in the draft so they could take Paxton Lynch.

When Tony Romo went down in the 2016 preseason, Prescott saved the season with 23 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 104.9 passer rating.

He helped Dallas post a 13-3 record, best in the NFC and secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, even though the Cowboys lost in the first round to Green Bay.

We all remember the defense falling apart last year when Lee missed games. The same was true for the offense in the second half of the season when injuries and suspensions robbed the Cowboys of left tackle Tyron Smith and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The Cowboys failed to score more than 12 points in six of their final eight games and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

A 21-12 home loss to Seattle ended their playoff hopes.

Garrett can’t have another repeat of last season’s missed opportunity.

This is the Cowboys’ best defense in years, and the last season Prescott is a bargain at less than $1 million. He’ll probably be making at least $20 million next season.

Lee is the only player who’s not a specialist under 30.

Garrett has had enough time to build a talented team that can survive a key injury.

In the NFL, every team must learn to thrive during adversity.

Philadelphia did it last year with second-year coach Doug Pederson; now it’s Garrett’s turn to show he can successfully maneuver the Cowboys through adversity.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Move on at Center With Ill Frederick on Their Mind]]>Thu, 23 Aug 2018 20:57:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick.jpg

A year ago, Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Joe Looney grabbed the spotlight during training camp as the prankster who took the field in star running back Ezekiel Elliott's jersey, his cover blown by the gut sticking out under No. 21.

Now that Looney has become the starting center under the serious circumstances of Travis Frederick's battle against a rare neurological disorder, the career backup plans to keep his sense of humor.

"Things are still the same," Looney said Thursday, almost exactly a year after a similar throng of reporters surrounded his locker to discuss his antics in practice at team headquarters.

"Football is a game. And I'm going to come out here and have fun every day doing it. Sometimes it's not going to be perfect. But at the end of the day, this is a game and I've got to enjoy it."

Looney and the rest of the Cowboys will have Frederick on their mind as they prepare to start the regular season. The 27-year-old Frederick will likely miss the visit to Carolina on Sept. 9 and any number of games after that.

The Cowboys simply don't know how long Frederick will be out as he undergoes treatment for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune condition that causes the body to attack a network of nerves around the brain and spinal cord.

Weakness is one of the primary symptoms, in some cases signaled by burning sensations similar to what football players call "stingers," usually injuries around the neck. That's what Frederick was describing to the team when the Cowboys were still in California for training camp.

Frederick was cleared by a specialist in the Los Angeles area over concerns about his neck. But symptoms persisted after the Cowboys returned to Texas. He got the diagnosis this week and was in his third day of treatment Thursday.

The 2016 All-Pro said in a statement issued by the team that treatment will continue for several days. And while Frederick and his teammates are optimistic he will return soon, nobody can say when.

Most people recover from even the most severe cases of the disease, but some will continue to have some degree of weakness, according to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Former NFL lineman Mark Schlereth missed the second half of the 1993 season with Washington because of Guillain-Barre and wrote on Twitter that he didn't fully regain his strength for a year. But Schlereth played until 2000 and won two Super Bowls with Denver after the diagnosis.

"It's tough," said 2014 All-Pro guard Zack Martin, one of Frederick's best friends on the team. "During training camp, he really didn't know what was going on. He was kind of telling us how he was feeling. It's tough that he didn't know until a couple of days ago."

Owner Jerry Jones said he was relieved to get the diagnosis but deflected several questions about the severity of the illness, which likely will determine how long Frederick is out. Frederick said he was encouraged by doctors telling him they thought they caught the disease early.

In retrospect, there was a telling moment early in camp in California when Frederick was uncharacteristically pushed back several feet right after the snap by defensive tackle Antwaun Woods in one-on-one drills. A frustrated Frederick shoved Woods, causing a brief scuffle.

"It's amazing to me that he's been out here going through two-a-days and creating half the fights because he probably wasn't satisfied within himself how he was responding (as) I look back on it," Jones said. "But that's Frederick."

Jones didn't want to discuss the idea of adding another center, although the Cowboys did sign undrafted rookie Jacob Ohnesorge this week.

"I haven't and I don't have a plan as to how we'll work through this relative to the position on the team," Jones said.

Martin, the right guard, has taken snaps at center occasionally since joining Dallas but is still viewed as an emergency option. He will miss the rest of the preseason but expects to be ready for the opener after hyperextending his left knee in the exhibition loss to Cincinnati last weekend.

Looney, who turns 28 next week, has started 13 of 59 games in six years. He has played all 32 games in two seasons with the Cowboys, with three starts. Looney started a career-best six games in his only season with Tennessee in 2015.

"Joe's played more football with the ones this year than he ever has," coach Jason Garrett said. "I think we're playing better in combination because of the reps he's gotten. He's a veteran. He's poised. He's composed. He's smart. I think he's fit in really well."

The 315-pound Looney didn't fit into Elliott's jersey very well. The increased importance of his role -- replacing a four-time Pro Bowl player who hasn't missed a game in five seasons -- doesn't mean Looney has stopped thinking about his next gag.

"You've got to be the same person every day," he said. "It's unfortunate what's going on right now. We're praying for Travis and wish nothing but the best for him. I'm definitely going to crack some jokes when I see him."

The Cowboys can use the humor right now.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Frederick Out Indefinitely With Autoimmune Disease]]>Wed, 22 Aug 2018 23:01:31 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/081615+Cowboys+Camp+Vic+08.JPG

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Travis Frederick, who has missed more than a week of training camp with what were described as stingers, has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, he said in a statement Wednesday evening.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection has Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a disorder which affects about one in 100,000 people, according to the CDC.

In the statement, Frederick said doctors do not know when he will return to football.

He added, "I am deeply grateful for all of the people who have expressed concern for me throughout the past four weeks, and my teammates and the Cowboys organization have provided me and my family with tremendous support."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a disorder in which a person's immune system damages nerves. It can lead to muscle weakness and, in some cases, paralysis.

The symptoms of GBS typically start with weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, which can spread to the arms and upper body, the CDC says. These symptoms can progress in hours, days or weeks.

The CDC's website says the weakness associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome usually peaks within in the first two weeks after symptoms appear.

GBS can be treated through plasma exchange and an infusion of antibodies, according to the CDC. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years, but most people ultimately recover fully.

The Cowboys selected Frederick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has started every game the team has played.

Frederick was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2016.



Photo Credit: Victor Dominguez, NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[JJT: Mystery Surrounding Travis Frederick Sounds Alarms]]>Wed, 22 Aug 2018 11:33:58 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/travis-frederick.jpg

This mystery surrounding center Travis Frederick is a big deal.

You can even call it a huge deal.

Until it’s resolved and the Cowboys can figure out why he’s getting stingers (pinched nerves) regularly and how they can prevent it, you have every right to be apprehensive.

“There’s no real update other than he’s been getting tests here the last couple days,” said coach Jason Garrett. “And we’re waiting on those results and then we’ll know what his status is.”

So, is surgery an option?

“Hard for me to say that,” Garrett said. “We’re waiting on the results of some of these tests he’s had last couple days.”

That is not a no. That’s a maybe. Or a we’ll see.

None of that is a positive.

Garrett, as you would expect, declined to talk about owner Jerry Jones’ comments on his weekly radio show Tuesday morning. Jones said he was optimistic Frederick would play in the opener.

“I don’t want to comment further than what I’ve said,” Garrett said. “We’re getting some stuff done the last couple days with Travis and once we get that information we’ll find out what his status is.”

Yikes.

Here’s why Frederick’s status is important: He’s among the game’s best centers, a dude who did not allow a sack in 2017.

He makes the line calls, instructions about blocking assignments and protection schemes, for the other linemen, allowing Dak Prescott to focus on the defensive coverages and everything else he needs to do.

And with Frederick, flanked by Zack Martin, Prescott can feel confident that he’s not going to get pressured up the middle.

What quarterback doesn’t appreciate that?

Understand - this team is a team built around having one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.

Frederick, Martin and Tyron Smith were first-round picks and La’El Collins probably would’ve been one if his name had not been linked to a criminal investigation the day before the draft.

Rookie right guard Connor Williams was projected to go in the first round on most mock drafts, although Dallas snagged him in the second round.

The Cowboys’ offensive line is supposed to make up for suspect group of receivers and a tight end unit that has nine career receptions among four players, while providing plenty of room for running back Ezekiel Elliott.

See, everything the Cowboys do on offense is built around its offensive line.

They have spent $44 million on its offensive line in salary-cap dollars in 2018, the most in the NFL.

Martin is league’s highest-paid guard and Frederick’s $56 million contract tops all centers. Smith’s $97 million deal is the largest among left tackles and Collins is the league’s fourth-highest paid right tackle.

It’s a unit that works on synchronized precision. You remove one of the key pieces - Frederick, Smith or Martin - and it’s foolish to think it’s going to function the same.

Joe Looney is willing, but he’s not in the same class as Frederick.

So it’s OK to have trepidation about the offense and the season until we get a more definitive word on Frederick and his status.

“Joe has done nice job,” Garrett said. “He’s a seven-year veteran who has been backup and he’s doing nice job.”

He played more than 50 snaps in the Cowboys’ 21-13 loss to Cincinnati last week.

Until Frederick returns, Looney has the opportunity of a lifetime. The reality is no one knows when Frederick is coming back.

The Cowboys hope and pray, but they don’t know.

If we’re honest, it’s felt like the Cowboys have been telling some of the truth - not the whole truth - about Frederick since he went to see Dr. Robert Watkins, one of the country’s premier back specialists, last week.

The visit was deemed precautionary, no big deal really. That’s what they told us.

When Frederick returned from the visit, the Cowboys said the center received a good report and there was no structural damage.

But once Frederick returned to Dallas, he immediately set appointments with two other specialists

Now, Garrett is being vague about the issue and won’t commit to Frederick’s availability in Week 1.

That’s why it’s OK to be nervous until you get some answers about one of the league’s best centers.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Andrie, Part of Cowboys Original Doomsday Defense Dies at 78]]>Tue, 21 Aug 2018 20:52:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/George-Andrie-DMN-photo.jpg

George Andrie, a member of the Cowboys' original Doomsday Defense, died Tuesday morning at home in Woodway, Texas, at 78.

Andrie's health had declined in recent years, his daughter Mary Brooks said, and he died from congestive heart failure. He also suffered from dementia that he believed was caused by his playing days. He and Brooks had shared their story with The Dallas Morning News last year as a means of highlighting the ongoing problems with the NFL's concussion lawsuit settlement with former players.

Andrie had a standout 11-year career with the Cowboys, playing most of it at defensive end alongside "Mr. Cowboy" Bob Lilly. Andrie, whom the Cowboys drafted out of Marquette, ranks among the franchise's top five all-time in sacks. He scooped up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown in the famous "Ice Bowl" in the 1967 NFL championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

Read more from our media partner The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Dez, Starting OL, Backup QB: The Jerry Jones Show]]>Thu, 23 Aug 2018 11:56:33 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Shan_RJ_Jerry_Jones_Show_Aug_21.jpg

During his weekly radio address, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells NBC 5 partner 105.3 The Fan he's surprised Dez Bryant hasn't found a team yet, he's not worried about his starting OL and he feels good about his backup QB behind his starting line. Recorded Aug. 21, 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Kris Richard Brings Fiery Style, Seattle Success to Cowboys]]>Tue, 21 Aug 2018 09:35:31 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas-Cowboys-logo.jpg

Kris Richard wears cleats to practice just in case the new secondary coach of the Dallas Cowboys decides to jump in on a play, which he did in training camp.

The former defensive coordinator for the Legion of Boom in Seattle was the highest-ranking hire in an overhaul of Jason Garrett's staff after the Cowboys missed the playoffs for the fifth time in seven full seasons under their coach.

The fiery Richard takes over a group that has one thing in common with the crew he had in his early days with the Seahawks: youth. For now, it's a stretch to say there's another Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor on the Dallas roster.

"There's really no need to even talk about that," said Richard, also given the title of passing game coordinator. "We're not trying to be them. We're trying to be us. If we want to have success, then this has been the formula that has been successful in the past. If we want to do right, if want to have a great impact, then this is the style of the play we need to use."

It's an aggressive style: cornerbacks close to the line of scrimmage as opposed to the softer zone looks often employed by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. The Cowboys say they wanted a new philosophy. They definitely added someone not afraid to be heard.

"You never want a coach to be the reason why you're hyped up in a practice or a game," second-year cornerback Chidobe Awuzie said. "But I'd definitely say he amplifies it, just the whole defense. He sets the tone for us a lot of times before the practice even starts."

Richard isn't any quieter after practice starts. If a defensive back breaks up a pass in the end zone during 7-on-7 drills, Richard celebrates as if he made the play himself. Feeling the need to illustrate something during 7-on-7 work, he jumped in and covered tight end Geoff Swaim for a play.

Easy to spot because of his bald head and full beard, Richard is a stark contrast to his predecessor, the soft-spoken Joe Baker.

"Just how he commands the room," safety Jeff Heath said. "You could hear a pin drop. Everybody's on the edge of their seat. He's really captivating when he talks to the team. I think you could just tell how passionate he is about football, how passionate he is about coaching guys, coaching the guy first, the player second."

Richard joined the Seahawks as assistant defensive backs coach in 2010, the same year Thomas was drafted in the first round and Chancellor in the fifth. Sherman came in the fifth round a year later, when Richard took over coaching that position.

By the end of the 2015 season -- the year Richard was named defensive coordinator -- Seattle had led the NFL in scoring defense four times and total yards allowed twice with a Super Bowl title. Thomas and Sherman had six All-Pro nods between them.

The Seahawks slipped in Richard's last two seasons in part because of injuries. Thomas missed the final month in 2016, and Seattle played the second half of last season without Sherman, Chancellor and pass rusher Cliff Avril. After Richard was fired , the Cowboys didn't wait long to bring him in.

"He has (a) resume that is hard to beat relative to coaching defense," owner Jerry Jones said. "Up close, he's the real thing. The impression you have of him is the way he actually lives in terms of how he interworks with the players, how he does with his fellow coaches, how he does as a part of the whole team. All of that's there."

Quick to dismiss what will surely be constant comparisons to his Seattle days, Richard does acknowledge the success can make a difference as he tries to instill his message with just his second NFL team.

"There is a bit of proof in the pudding, per se," Richard said. "I think that's the whole idea, is bringing the fact that, yeah, we're going to do our best not to recreate it, but to make our own."

Terence Newman was the last Dallas defensive back with five interceptions in a season -- eight years ago. There have been failed efforts since to find playmakers.

The Cowboys believe that changed with last year's draft : Awuzie in the second round, followed by Jourdan Lewis in the third. Dallas made it three defensive backs out of the first five picks with safety Xavier Woods in the sixth round.

The biggest move for Richard since coming over was immediately returning 2015 first-rounder Byron Jones to cornerback after a year at safety and a career of going back and forth. Richard likes Jones' size on the outside -- another part of the model in Seattle.

The Cowboys have three interceptions in the first two preseason games, including a highlight-reel grab when Awuzie made a leaping tip with one hand and caught the ball falling backward last week against Cincinnati.

Dallas is thin at safety after a hamstring injury to Woods against the Bengals that could keep him out of the opener. Woods' absence will only fuel speculation about the future of Thomas, a holdout in Seattle. He was seen telling Garrett to "come get me" in the tunnel after Seattle eliminated Dallas from playoff contention last December.

Richard has his answer for that Seattle question as well.

"Everyone who's here is everyone we need," Richard said. "And that's always our focus."

For Richard, it's a fiery focus.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Rico Gathers Running Out of Time to Prove Worth]]>Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:48:50 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TLM_10P_V_COWBOYS_KXASI9JF.jpg

Rico Gathers is the kind of player who gets coaches fired.

Seriously.

In the coaching fraternity they call players like Gathers “coach killers.”

Here’s why: At 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, his tantalizing talent allows him to make some spectacular plays - the kind that could show up regularly on SportsCenter -- like the one he made in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 21-13 preseason loss to Cincinnati.

Gathers leaped over an undrafted free agent linebacker’s back to snatch a pass and turn a likely interception into a 25-yard catch-and-run.

That play sent his legion of fans into a frenzy as they spent a chunk of Sunday using social media to implore the Cowboys to make Gathers an integral part of the offense.

For every great play Gathers makes there are several others that leave the coaching staff and front office shaking its collective head.

Make a bad play at the wrong time and it can cost a coach his job, hence the term, “coach killer.”

Frankly, Gathers will be lucky to make the team.

Right now, he’s fourth on the depth chart behind three players who have nine combined NFL receptions.

Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are undrafted free agents and Dalton Schultz was taken in the fourth round of April’s draft.

It speaks volumes that Gathers can’t move up the depth chart.

“At a point - I'm not so sure that we're at that point - if he can be consistent on a personal basis then I'll give him the time he needs to make those kinds of plays," Jones said of Gathers’ fourth-quarter catch. "We talk about red-zone plays and being a weapon in the red-zone, he's certainly that.

"He's making those (great catches) because of his obvious talent and physical advantage, size, leaping-ability, strength, hands, all that. He blocks well when he's blocking the right man.”

That’s a problem in a sport where consistency reigns.

He still makes too many mistakes recognizing defensive fronts, which means he doesn’t always block the right person.

Coaches crave consistency more than anything else. It’s not how many great plays a dude makes, it’s how many bad plays he avoids.

“He's got enough there,” said Jones, “but the angst comes when you're sitting there looking at the guy that's not on the roster because you kept him on the roster."

Gathers can only blame himself for the ambiguity regarding his future, considering Jason Witten’s surprise retirement in April provided real opportunity.

Understand, the Cowboys have wanted him to succeed. It’s why they paid him $449,000 last year when practice-squad players usually earn about $120,000.

Gathers played college basketball, not football, at Baylor. He hadn’t played organized football since the eighth grade and the learning curve has been difficult for Gathers to overcome.

More than once Garrett has said, “We could practice five times a day and that it still wouldn’t be enough for Rico.”

Through two preseason games, Gathers has played 35 snaps. Blake Jarwin leads the tight ends with 68 snaps, followed by Schultz (64) and Swaim (47).

Gathers’ supporters scream that he needs to be given more of an opportunity.

Poppycock.

You’re not given an opportunity; you earn an opportunity. Then you take advantage of it.

Antwaun Woods started camp fourth on the depth chart. Now, he’s starting at defensive tackle.

Jihard Ward and Datone Jones began camp as the starting defensive tackle with David Irving suspended and Maliek Collins recovering from a foot surgery .

Well, Daniel Ross started the second preseason game.

Anthony Brown surpassed Jourdan Lewis as the slot cornerback during the offseason. Kavon Frazier took playing time from Byron Jones last year.

Rod Smith passed Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris last season during camp.

Opportunity exists for those who take advantage of it.

“Really right now I'm just focusing on growing in the one area that a lot of people question and that's my blocking,” Gathers said recently. “As long as I'm able to showcase that I can do that significantly well I think I'll be straight.”

The reality is Gathers’ thought too highly of himself last year, and he didn’t work hard enough to improve because he thought he had arrived.

Gathers is working harder now, and he has two more games to show Jones and the coaching staff that he’s player who can help win games not lose them.

]]>
<![CDATA[R.J. Choppy and Pat Doney Preview Cowboys Season]]>Sun, 19 Aug 2018 22:06:40 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pat+and+RJ+081918.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney visits with R.J. Choppy from 105.3 The Fan to look back at Cowboys training camp and preview the 2018 season.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[AP Sources: Cowboys' Zack Martin Should Be OK for Opener]]>Sun, 19 Aug 2018 17:45:29 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zack-Martin-Getty-081918.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys received the good news they expected after a preseason knee injury to Zack Martin, the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

Two people with knowledge of the diagnosis said Sunday that Martin has no structural damage in his hyperextended left knee and should be ready for the opener.

Martin was injured in the second quarter of the Cowboys' 21-13 exhibition loss to Cincinnati on Saturday night. The people told The Associated Press that an MRI confirmed the Cowboys' belief that the injury wasn't serious. They spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official update on Martin's status.

The Cowboys open the season Sept. 9 at Carolina.

Martin signed a six-year, $84 million extension with $40 million guaranteed during the offseason. The 27-year-old has made the Pro Bowl all four seasons in Dallas and started all 67 games, including three playoff games.

The former Notre Dame standout was injured when he moved into the open field and bent down to block Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on a run by Rod Smith. With Martin in the medical tent, the Cowboys finished their only touchdown drive with Dak Prescott's scrambling 6-yard throw to Terrance Williams

"I was scared," Prescott said after the game. "I was just trying to get that touchdown and go check on him."

Martin was a first-round draft pick in 2014 and became the club's first rookie All-Pro selection in 35 years while helping the Cowboys win the NFC East and just their second playoff since the last of the franchise's five Super Bowls during the 1995 season.

The Cowboys had another injury scare with the offensive line earlier in training camp when center Travis Frederick saw a specialist in Los Angeles after a series of stingers. Frederick said he was cleared by doctors, although he likely will join Martin on the sideline for the rest of the preseason.

While Martin was getting evaluated, Frederick and fellow offensive linemen La'el Collins and Tyron Smith waited just outside the medical tent along with 2016 NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott.

"It was hard in that moment to think of all the possibilities of what could be going on right then with such a great player and such a great guy who's put in so much work to make sure his game is exactly where it is," Prescott said. "To see that wasn't good and it wasn't fun."

Smith, another first-round pick and a five-time Pro Bowl selection, has been battling back issues in recent seasons. Smith, Frederick and Martin have all made the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons.



Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott Solid, Dalton Sluggish as Bengals Top Cowboys]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 22:38:30 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dak-Prescott-Getty-081818.jpg

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys had another efficient preseason showing.

Andy Dalton bogged down a bit with his Cincinnati Bengals.

Prescott led a pair of scoring drives in three possessions, capped by a scrambling 6-yard scoring pass to Terrance Williams, before the Bengals rallied after halftime for a 21-13 exhibition victory Saturday night.

The Bengals had just one first down in four Dalton-led possessions a week after he threw for two touchdowns with an offense that was revamped after finishing last in the NFL. The lone first down was on Dalton's 13-yard scramble after the Bengals (2-0) started with a pair of three-and-outs.

A week after throwing a 30-yard touchdown to rookie Michael Gallup on his only drive of the preseason opener in San Francisco, Prescott was 10 of 15 for 86 yards. The TD drive for a 10-0 lead was kept alive by an 8-yard slant to Gallup, who reached out for a nice catch inside the Cincinnati 10.

The concern for the Cowboys (0-2) was the status of four-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin, who left early on what would have been his last drive with a knee injury.

Owner Jerry Jones said an MRI was planned Sunday and he was optimistic about the outcome. Martin was injured when he bent down to block cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the open field on a run by Rod Smith. Martin was on the sideline in street clothes late in the game.

"I just want to say we've got more to gain from (the MRI), but from what we've seen, I'll sleep good tonight on Martin," Jones said.

Dalton's final possession ended when Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton forced a fumble on a short completion to Tyler Boyd, with cornerback Byron Jones getting the recovery. Dalton was 5 of 7 for 41 yards.

"We've got things we can work on, attacking the football, throwing balls down the field," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We had opportunities. We just missed the timing of it and we've got to be better at those things."

The Cowboys forced two turnovers after getting three against the 49ers. The highlight was Chidobe Awuzie's leaping interception , which he tipped to himself along the sideline late in the first half.

Cincinnati's first points came on backup kicker Jonathan Brown's 55-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The Bengals went ahead 11-10 when Tra Carson scored on a 2-yard run and Jeff Driskel threw a 2-point conversion pass to John Ross. Matt Barkley's 3-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hill wrapped up the scoring midway through the fourth quarter.

LONG TIME COMING
Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory played for the first time since the finale of the 2016 regular season. He missed all of last season after getting suspended three times in 2016 for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Gregory didn't show up in the defensive stats but pressured Dalton on a third-down misfire to an open A.J. Green on Cincinnati's opening possession.

TALE OF TWO WORKLOADS
With star running back Ezekiel Elliott sitting again for Dallas, Smith had 13 carries in the first 18 minutes, finishing with 49 yards. His workload was helped by a nearly nine-minute drive to Williams' touchdown. Bengals starter Joe Mixon got just four carries for 8 yards.

LEE SIGHTING
Dallas linebacker Sean Lee started and played a few snaps after finally going through a full practice for the first time this past week at training camp in California.

O-LINE OVERHAUL
The work in progress that is the overhauled offensive line for the Bengals remains that way, this time after fired line coach Paul Alexander was watching from the opposing sideline after getting hired by Dallas. Cedric Ogbuehi was at right tackle to start the second half when gave up a sack to Charlton while getting called for holding. Cincinnati running backs had just 7 yards on six carries before halftime.

NATIONAL ANTHEM
The Cowboys were standing for the national anthem in the first preseason home game, "toe on the line" as owner Jerry Jones declared they would be in his opening remarks at training camp last month. The Dallas players, with some coaches sprinkled in, were single file on the sideline, spanning about 50 yards. As usual, all the Bengals were standing.

INJURY REPORT
Bengals: Rookie CB Davontae Harris was ruled out with a knee injury in the first half. ... TE C.J. Uzomah sustained a cut to his face early in the game, but came back with a 23-yard catch in the first half.

Cowboys: S Xavier Woods left with a hamstring injury. ... Rookie RB Bo Scarbrough, a seventh-round pick out of Alabama, went to the locker room with a hip injury. ... DE Datone Jones and S Jameill Showers left with knee injuries.

UP NEXT
For "dress rehearsal" week, the Bengals will be at Buffalo and the Cowboys will be home against Arizona. Both games are next Sunday.



Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zack Martin Leaves Loss to Cincinnati With Knee Injury]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 23:19:59 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zack-martin-cowboys-dmn.jpg

Jerry Jones cared even less than usual about the Cowboys 21-13 preseason loss Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium.

That’s because he thinks perennial Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin does not have a significant knee injury.

Martin is expected to have a MRI on Sunday to determine the injury’s severity.

“We’re very positive how it impacts the rest of camp,” Owner Jerry Jones said. “From what we’ve seen, I’ll sleep good tonight on Martin.”

Martin, who left the game with a left knee injury in the second quarter as the Cowboys were driving for a touchdown, returned to the sideline in the second half and watched the game.

He did not return.

Martin was pulling on the play when cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick ducked under Martin’s attempted block and clipped Martin’s knee.

Martin, who signed a six-year, $84 million deal in June, was replaced by Kadeem Edwards, who spent last season on the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Center Travis Frederick didn’t play. He missed practice Thursday after getting examined by Dr. Robert Watkins to determine why he was getting pinched nerves so often. Frederick said he has no structural issues.

Here are some other thoughts on the loss:

• Randy Gregory made his much-anticipated debut after a good week of practice. He did a solid job, pressuring the quarterback a couple of times. More important, he was active and playing with a lot of effort.

“I felt like I was prepared to play the first game,” Gregory said. “I understand why I didn’t - and it was probably the best way to do it - so I can’t complain about it.

“I don’t want to harp on the past. It has been well-documented. I’ll probably reflect on it later, but when I’m in the locker room I want to focus on why I’m here.”

• Dak Prescott had a nice performance, completing 10 of 15 passes for 86 yards. He made a nifty play on a six-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams.

Prescott made a reverse spin out of the pocket and drifted toward the left sideline. Just as he was was about to go out of bounds, he threw slightly across his body and found Williams about a yard into the end zone for the touchdown.

He took several underneath throws, which is fine. The Cowboys don’t want Prescott turning the ball over.

“We’re doing a lot of good things,” said Prescott, “and we still don’t have a lot of our weapons.”

• Rod Smith had an excellent day with 13 carries for 49 yards. He had a 16-yard run and a 19-yard reception and made a nice blitz pickup. He’s done everything you want a backup runner to show in training camp.

• Fullback Jamize Olawale isn’t going to get many snaps on weekly basis, but the ones he gets will be important because they’ll probably be in short yardage.

Well, he made a nice block on a third-down run by Rod Smith for a first down and he delivered a key block on Smith’s 19-yard run.

• Taco Charlton continued his excellent training camp with a forced fumble and a sack. He’s playing with much more confidence than he did as a rookie, and he’s been showing up in practice and the games.

• Chido Awuzie made a terrific interception late in the first half when he leaped high in the air to tip the ball, then he caught the deflection.

• “The Chidobe interception was an outstanding play,” Garrett said. “He’s a really bold guy and he has so much athletic ability, but he’s also got a feel for playing.”

• Byron Jones has been terrific in training camp, and he had another strong game with a fumble recovery and a pass deflection. He’s contesting every pass targeted at him.

• Michael Gallup, the Cowboys’ third-round pick, made a couple of nice catches on the five passes thrown to him.

He caught a pair of third-down slants from Prescott, which bodes well for how the Cowboys can use him when the regular season begins.

• Jourdan Lewis gave up a 22-yard pass interference penalty. Anthony Brown had a key holding penalty on third down, which kept alive a touchdown drive for Cincinnati. The Cowboys need more from their slot cornerbacks.



Photo Credit: Vernon Bryant | The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Students' Artwork on Display at AT&T Stadium]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 21:02:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Gene_Jones_Art_6p_81818.jpg

In April, Arlington ISD 7th-graders took part in the NFL Draft helmet artwork competition. Their work is now prominently displayed inside AT&T Stadium. For more video, visit DallasCowboys.com and NFL.com.]]>
<![CDATA[JJT: Dak Prescott, Passing Game Will Determine Cowboys' Fate]]>Fri, 17 Aug 2018 15:10:31 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak-prescott-preseason-dmn.jpg

We have a pretty good idea what Ezekiel Elliott is going to do for the Cowboys’ running game this season.

He’s going to dominate.

We have no idea what the Cowboys’ passing game is going to do - and that’s a problem.

Dak Prescott said he feels good about the Cowboys’ passing game, and we’ll get another glimpse at it Saturday night when the Cowboys play the Cincinnati Bengals at 6 o’clock at AT&T Stadium.

It was OK last week against San Francisco, when Prescott completed each of his three for 39 yards and a touchdown. He threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup and all was right in the world.

But Cole Beasley (groin) has missed five straight practices, and Deonte Thompson has missed 10 in a row. Tavon Austin has a slight hamstring strain and didn’t practice Thursday and probably won’t play Saturday.

That’s three of his top six receivers.

Alan Hearns (groin) has missed a couple of practices too. Michael Gallup, a third-round pick, is the only receiver who hasn’t missed time.

“It is important for those guys to play together,” Garrett said. “You want to be a careful of putting them in the situation where it’s ultimately not going to be productive for your team, so you want to find your spots in practice and preseason games to get them quality work.”

None of that is a positive for a quarterback who needs as much practice with his new collection of receivers as anybody.

"We're starting to click," Prescott told reporters this week at training camp.

"We’re starting to hit the deep ball a lot more in some of these last practices than we did early on.

“But we knew that would be a part of it, working out the kinks. And we're all getting comfortable with each other."

The challenge for Prescott, coach Jason Garrett and play-caller Scott Linehan is to make this passing game work without Dez Bryant and Jason Witten who combined for 132 receptions and 219 of Prescott’s 490 targets last season.

The Cowboys must get big plays from their passing game because defenses will put eight or nine defenders near the line of scrimmage to stop Elliott - and if the Cowboys can’t force them to back up with completions of 20 yards or more on a regular basis, it’s going to be a long season.

It’s too hard to consistently drive the ball 10 plays and 80 yards against NFL defenses without the benefit of big plays in the passing game.

All you have to do is look at last season. In the Cowboys first eight games, Prescott had 19 completions of 20 yards or more and the Cowboys averaged 28.2 points and 370.5 yards a game.

In the final eight games, Prescott had 14 completions of 20 yards or more and the Cowboys averaged 16.0 points and 293.3 yards per game. Five times, they failed to score more than 12 points.

In their nine wins, Prescott had 24 completions of 20 yards or more and just nine in their seven losses.

It’s not a coincidence.

"Sometimes you've got to throw it and make the defense back up,” Prescott told reporters. “It's not a live-or-die thing, but we've got to take advantage of the opportunities when they give it to us because if not, they're just going to sit on underneath routes. We've got to let them know we can beat them over the top."

Without Bryant, the question becomes how is Dallas going to get those plays. It’s hard to complete deep balls to short receivers such as Austin and Beasley on a regular basis because the further they go down the field the harder they are to see.

That said, Austin can turn short passes into long gains by making defenders miss. Thompson is supposed to be the deep threat, and Hurns has the versatility to do both.

“We have a lot of knew kinks here and there that is going to help everything else,” Prescott said. “It’s going to help our running game. It’s going to help our play-action game out. As long as we’ve all bought into the offensive system, it is going to pay off.

“It’s challenging, but it’s not tough. That is what you want. Those guys are going to be rotating in the game. So we have to go ahead and get in out here, so I can gain chemistry with all of them and figure out who is a guy I can call on in those important moments.”



Photo Credit: Jae S. Lee | The Dallas Morning News]]>
<![CDATA[Former Cowboys Defensive Back Previews Season]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 21:04:03 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+Dennis+Thurman+081518.jpg

Former Cowboys defensive back Dennis Thurman joins NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs to give his opinions on quarterback Dak Prescott, new defensive backs coach Kris Richard and what he does NOT like about head coach Jason Garrett.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 5 Helps Cowboys Fan Get Refund in StubHub Ticket Glitch]]>Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:27:31 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/5a+tz4-v-+cowboys+stubh_KXASIDEF_2018-08-15-05-13-09.jpg

Erin Hipps is not your typical Cowboys fan -- she's a self-proclaimed fanatic. So when her tickets to a preseason game wouldn't download, NBC 5 Responds looked into it.

Every year, Hipps and her husband attend at least one preseason game.

"I can get preseason tickets very affordable," she said.

Keeping the tradition alive, she went on StubHub.com in June and ordered two tickets to the Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals game. 

The tickets weren't available for download on the day she ordered, but claimed they would be ready on July 18. When she checked that day, they weren't ready and they still weren't ready when she checked again a few weeks later, Hipps said.

She said she called StubHub and was told to give them 24 hours so they could look into the problem.

"They said give them 48 hours. I said wait a minute, 48 hours is going to puts us 10 days out," Hipps said. "That makes me very nervous that I can't get my tickets."

A StubHub representative told her that there were some changes with the NFL this year, and those changes were affecting ticket downloads.

That's when she asked for her money back and she was leery about the whole transaction, so she called NBC 5 Responds to look into it.

StubHub told us it did have technical issues with barcode uploading. In this case, the seller did upload the tickets to the site, but they were not visible to Hipps.

StubHub said customers should not experience any issues buying NFL tickets from them and the error has been fixed.

Not only did Hipps get a full refund, StubHub also sent her a $20 credit, which she used to secure tickets to the Cowboys' first preseason home game.

StubHub said all purchases on its site are backed by its "Fanprotect Guarantee."

If something goes wrong, StubHub will replace the order with comparable tickets or offer a full refund.

StubHub tips for buying tickets:

1. Set a price alert – To get the best deals on StubHub, we encourage you to set a price alert on the app. You will get notified when tickets are available at the price you choose. It’s a great way to score the best deals!

2. Always check that there is a guarantee in place – Regardless of where you buy tickets, we recommend that you check that the website you’re using has a guarantee in place to cover you for any issues. StubHub was the first ticket marketplace to introduce a guarantee, which call the FanProtect Guarantee. It covers all transactions on the site and StubHub will either replace your tickets or provide you with a full refund if something goes wrong.

3. Never post pictures of your barcode online – We know it can be exciting when your tickets arrive and you may want to post them on your social media channels. It is very easy to copy barcodes and fraudsters could find the picture of your tickets online and copy the barcodes. If they beat you to the gate, your tickets won’t work. If you want to post your tickets, cover up the barcode so it cannot be replicated and any other personal information to protect yourself.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Back From Drug Ban, Cowboys' Gregory Speaks of Deeper Issues]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 21:29:06 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Randy+Gregory+training+camp.jpg

Randy Gregory understands the prevailing view that repeated use of marijuana is the reason the Dallas Cowboys defensive end has been suspended for 30 of the past 32 games.

Now that he's on the verge of playing after a year away from the NFL, the former Nebraska standout wants people to know there are deeper issues of mental health that Gregory isn't comfortable discussing in detail publicly.

"I was self-sabotaging," Gregory said Monday in his first group session with reporters at training camp in California. "Anybody that deals with what I have to deal with and what I've gone through and understands the process of what I've been through, I think can understand there's also a mental aspect to it along with emotional."

Gregory was suspended three times in less than a year, the last a yearlong ban for multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy. He missed the 2017 season and waited an extra six months to apply for reinstatement to try to improve his chances.

The detailed application included letters of recommendation from several teammates, most notably 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee, and won the approval of Commissioner Roger Goodell in time for Gregory to join the Cowboys at camp.

Gregory's time away included stints in rehab and therapy, and the 25-year-old acknowledged that he had to learn to take those efforts more seriously.

"It's not just somebody walking around carelessly doing what they want," Gregory said. "There's obviously a mental aspect to it that plays a big part in it for me that I've had to try to figure out. The moment I took a more serious approach to that with my therapy and the more people around me understood what I was going through mentally, made it a lot easier for me to get right."

The Cowboys drafted Gregory late in the second round in 2015. He was considered a first-round talent before testing positive for marijuana at the combine.

Gregory made it through his first season without getting suspended, missing four games with an ankle injury but going without a sack in his 12 appearances. The first suspension was announced in the offseason, followed by a 10-game ban before the four-game suspension had expired.

He played the final two games in 2016, finally getting his first sack in the finale when the Cowboys had already wrapped up the NFC East title. The third suspension hit before Dallas lost a divisional playoff game to Green Bay.

"We try to keep our eyes wide open about what any issues a player might have coming in and we're optimistic if we put them in the right environment they can respond the right way," coach Jason Garrett said. "It will not be 100 percent successful. But we've had a lot of players who have grown a lot in our organization."

The Cowboys brought Gregory along slowly at camp, first allowing him to participate in pre-practice walkthrough sessions. Individual drills in practice were next, and finally some 11-on-11 work for the first time this week.

Owner Jerry Jones, never afraid to gamble on draft picks and equally willing to stick with them, said he thinks Gregory can be ready for the opener at Carolina on Sept. 9.

"We certainly have had players that have had challenges with dependence," Jones said. "Now the problem is reality sets in and you have numbers and roster spots. You get the old adage of, `Well, he wouldn't be doing that for a down-the-line guy or he wouldn't be that tolerant of a down-the-line guy.' That's actually very true."

Three years after vowing to Jones that he would do his best to overcome the issues that led to him slipping in the draft, Gregory is cautiously optimistic that can deliver with his second chance.

"I think first and foremost they like me as not only a player but as a person," Gregory said. "I've always tried to do the right thing. I know I always haven't. But I've tried. I think they realized I was a person in need and sticking by me throughout that tough part and even now has been real important for me to get back. And I think it's worked."

The Cowboys and Gregory will find out soon enough.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Former Baylor Basketball Star Vying for Cowboys Roster Spot]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:36:25 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+081418.jpg

Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers has show flashes of what he “might” be able to do on the football field, but the former Baylor basketball star just can’t seem to put it all together. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor say Gathers' future with the Cowboys is very much in doubt.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Elliott Could Be in Line for Bigger Role in Passing Game]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:29:45 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+081418.jpg

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is already a focal point on the offense, but is he in line for an even bigger role in the passing game? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[How Much Can Cowboys D-Lineman Randy Gregory Contribute?]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 20:06:15 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+and+JJT+081418.jpg

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Randy Gregory has missed almost all of the last two seasons for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Now, he’s back with the team and says he’s ready to contribute. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss when they think Gregory could return.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[KLUV: The Most Depressing Cowboys Meme?]]>Tue, 14 Aug 2018 09:41:24 -0500https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vhs-tape-generic.jpg

As we get ready for the Dallas Cowboys to start another football season, why not start off with a depressing fun fact!

It's been 22 years since America's team won the Super Bowl. Yep, 22 very long years. And to make matters worse, if you recorded that 1996 Super Bowl on a VHS tape, you won't be able to watch it!

Click here to see more from our media partners at 98.7 FM KLUV.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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