<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - - Blue Star - Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Cowboys Blog]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sportsen-usMon, 11 Dec 2017 04:14:37 -0600Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:14:37 -0600NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Career Game for Rod Smith in Cowboys' Win over Giants]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:10:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-891001844.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs has a closer look at the career game for Cowboys running back Rod Smith in the 30-10 win over the New York Giants.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott Continues to Have Faith in Cowboys Receivers]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:05:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+newy+giants.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs breaks down Dak Prescott's big game in the Cowboys' 30-10 win over the New York Giants. ]]>
<![CDATA[Big Play by Rod Smith Helps Cowboys Beat Giants]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 17:14:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_smith_giants_td_talk_1200x675_1113528387983.jpg

Cowboys running back Rod Smith breaks down his 81-yard touchdown catch in the 30-10 win over the New York Giants. Smith also had a 15-yard touchdown run. ]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott: "Nothing's Changed" on Cowboys Playoff Push]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 17:14:35 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowobys_prescott_giants_podium_1200x675_1113527875929.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott explains how it's business as usual as the Cowboys make a push for the playoffs. Prescott threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns in the 30-10 win over the New York Giants. ]]>
<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys Beat the Giants]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 23:46:20 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Cowboys+Giants+Prescott.jpg

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 30-10 win over Giants at Met Life Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys find themselves a game over .500 with three games left and they remain in the playoff hunt. Now, if they can beat Oakland, which essentially had its playoff hopes end with their seventh loss on Sunday, the Cowboys will find themselves two games over .500 - the same spot they were in when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended - and poised for their star runner to return.

TURNING POINT:  On third-and-two from the Dallas 26, The Giants’ blitzed and Dak Prescott threw a quick out to Cole Beasley, who spun away from one defender. He maneuvered down the field picking up blocks from Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams for a 54-yard gain to the Giants’ 20. On the next play, Prescott threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jason Witten.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Sean Lee, spectacular in his first game back after missing the previous three with a strained hamstring, finished with 18 tackles and an interception. His biggest play was dropping Sterling Shepard for a nine-yard loss on a reverse that wrecked a fourth-quarter drive and led to a punt. Dallas scored on the next possession.

KEY STAT:  Dak Prescott had four completions of 20+ yards - 81, 54, 50 and 20 - against the Giants. He had four completions of 20 yards or more in 110 passes over the last four games.

WHAT'S NEXT:  The Cowboys will visit the Black Hole and play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The Raiders, soundly beaten by Kansas City, have lost seven games so they’re essentially out of the playoff race. The Cowboys still have something to play for after beating the Giants - and now they have just one more game without Ezekiel Elliott. They can use that as extra motivation to get a win that would keep them in the playoff conversation, if they can pull out a W. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[5 Things to Know: Cowboys at Giants]]>Sat, 09 Dec 2017 22:41:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-883343658.jpg

Jason Garrett vs. New York Giants: Garrett is 8-6 against the Giants, including a 19-3 win over New York in the season opener. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 104 yards and Dak Prescott passed for 268 yards to lead the Cowboys to a win. Garrett also picked up his first win as a head coach against the Giants in November 2010 after taking over for Wade Phillips.

Key Matchup: LT Tyron Smith v. DE Olivier Vernon. We all know Tyron Smith is one of the game’s best left tackles, a player who’s probably on his way to the Hall of Fame. But if there’s one player who has given him some issues it’s Vernon. He had a sack, two tackles for loss and four quarterback hits against Smith in Miami in 2015. Vernon had a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit in the opener. Smith has been bothered with back and groin injuries much of the season, but he played well last week after missing two games, and the Cowboys are managing him through the week to make sure he can play on Sundays.

X Factor: Xavier Woods played in the slot quite a bit in college, but the Cowboys didn't really envision that as his role entering this season. But Orlando Scandrick’s back injury pressed him into duty last week and he had 3 tackles, 2 quarterback hits and all of the nickel snaps. He responded by playing well. He’ll get Sterling Shepard, who had caught 41 for 531 and one TD. He’s been hampered by injuries and migraines and without Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr. he hasn’t had nearly as much room to operate. If Woods handles him, Giants have no chance.

Key Stat: Dak has four completions of 20+ in 110 attempts without Zeke Elliott on the field. None against Philadelphia two weeks ago.

Cowboys Game Plan: With 10 days off, it’ll be interesting to see how the Cowboys attack. They have been trying to be more creative on offense and we’ll see if they can do it with some route concepts because offensive isn’t going to change much.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pass Rusher Irving Among 3 Ruled Out for Cowboys vs Giants]]>Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:19:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630227274.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys will be without defensive lineman David Irving, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Justin Durant because of injuries when they visit the New York Giants on Sunday.

All three players were downgraded to out Saturday and didn't make the trip. Irving was diagnosed with a concussion after last week's win over Washington, and Scandrick sustained a small fracture in his back early in the game. Both missed practice all week.

Durant has been dealing with a concussion and illness.

Irving is the biggest loss of the three because he's second on the team with seven sacks despite missing the first four games because of a suspension for violating the NFL's ban on performance-enhancing drugs.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Time for Cowboys to Find Solutions to Offensive Problems]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:02:24 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-878103216.jpg

Running back Ezekiel Elliott has been gone from the Cowboys’ offense for a month, and it has been messed up since he left.

Coach Jason Garrett and play-caller Scott Linehan must get it fixed right now because Elliott isn’t walking into that locker room for another two weeks.

And if Garrett and Linehan can’t figure out a way to manufacture a decent passing game and help the players on this offense maximize their abilities then any sliver of a chance this team has to get to the playoffs will be over before Elliott returns.

The 2-10 Giants are a bad team these days, but their defense was built to stop the Cowboys with the free-agent additions of defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

Jenkins is out, but the Giants are more than capable of shutting down the Cowboys’ offense we’ve seen the past month.

So don’t be fooled by the 38 points they Cowboys scored in their blowout win over Washington.

We all know that was a mirage.

Ryan Switzer returned a punt for a touchdown, and the defense forced four turnovers.

If the offense had been any good, the game would’ve been over by halftime.

Dallas managed just 275 yards of offense, the fourth straight game of less than 300 yards of total offense.


Just so you know, the Cowboys have won just seven games since 2011 when gaining fewer than 300 yards and three of those occurred in 2012, when Dallas went 8-8.

The best coaches provide solutions to problems. Thus far, Garrett and Linehan haven’t done it.

They’re stubborn about the Cowboys’ timing-based passing offense. It’s a scheme designed to take advantage of weaknesses in the defense by having quarterback Dak Prescott exploit the best individual matchup.

When the Cowboys’ offensive players win their individual battles, the offense works perfectly.

In 2014, the year Linehan joined Garrett, the Cowboys finished seventh in the NFL in yards (383.6) and fifth in points (29.2), whiling winning 12 games. The next year, the tried to run the same offense with Brandon Weedon and Matt Cassel and it was a disaster as the Cowboys averaged just 17.2 points per game, while winning  just four games.

With Prescott last year, the Cowboys finished fifth in the NFL in total offense (376.7) and fifth in points (26.3). And with Elliott this season, the Cowboys averaged 370.5 yards and 28.3 points per game.

The problem, of course, is the offense has been an embarrassment without him. Blame it on a lack of creativity.

The running game has been more than adequate with Alfred Morris, but the passing game has been abject.

Prescott has just four completions of more than 20 yards in 110 pass attempts over the last four games.

It’s hard to win without gains of 20 yards or more because it’s difficult to consistently drive the ball the length of the field against NFL defenses without a penalty, negative play or dropped pass wrecking the drive.

Then there’s the disappearance of Cole Beasley, who led the Cowboys in catches (75) and yards (833) last season. He has 30 catches for 228 yards this season.

“Teams have been playing a corner with hard outside leverage against me and putting someone inside,” Beasley said. “I have no room to run inside. There’s nowhere to go.

“The space for me is down the field, but that’s not what we do. I’m a receiver. Every receiver wants the ball, but coaches don’t change. I understand it because they believe in what they’re doing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alfred Morris's Cheerios Dance Earns Free Cereal]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:30:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/morris+happy+dance.jpg

Cowboys running back Alfred Morris posted a celebration dance at the grocery store when his favorite cereal came back in-stock. That's when Cheerios tweeted back. NBC 5's Pat Doney has the story. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Have Tougher Task Facing Giants After Changes]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 04:19:21 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-883393944.jpg

The New York Giants' firing of coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese may have made things tougher on the Dallas Cowboys in their fight to stay in the playoff race.

A week ago, the Cowboys (6-6) probably looked forward to playing the Giants (2-10) at MetLife Stadium with either Geno Smith or rookie Davis Webb running New York's offense under McAdoo's plan to evaluate his quarterbacks after benching Eli Manning.

The Monday upheaval in the Meadowlands changed that.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the interim head coach after the firings and his first decision was to restore the 36-year-old Manning to his familiar starting role.

"It's our hope to unite, restore and find a way to win football games," Spagnuolo said. "When I mean restore, you know, restore Giant pride. It's hard to be real prideful when you don't win a lot of football games. But, I think the guys feel that. They understand it and we'll function that way going forward."

Having the Cowboys in town will up the ante for the Giants. They are probably New York's biggest rival and all the players have to remember was that this dreadful season kicked off with a loss in Dallas.

"I'm sure they'll have a different energy," Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said. "Like you said, it's some changes up there. New coach, Eli back in there. It's also Cowboys-Giants. It's going to be there, and the energy's going to be there regardless because it's a rivalry, it's in division and it's two teams that are playing for pride, a lot of pride and then obviously us playoffs."

The Cowboys are two games out of a wild-card spot with four games left in the regular season. Besides the Giants, they also face Oakland (6-6), Seattle (8-4) and Philadelphia (10-2). They have had 10 days to prepare for this game.

"I mean it's just playoff starts now," said Prescott, who threw two touchdowns in a big win over Washington on Nov. 30.

"Simple as that. You've got to embrace it. If you play this game and you don't love ... If you don't love the fact that your back's against the wall and it's about what you do every week or every day that it pays off on Sunday, that's what makes this game fun."

Manning is also looking to have a little fun after seeing his streak of 210 consecutive starts snapped last week in Oakland. He ran the scout team in practice last week and served as the backup to Smith.

"I'm excited," said Manning, who has started 27 games in his 14-year career against the Cowboys and thrown 50 touchdowns.

"Excited about the opportunity to play this week, get back on the field with teammates and go play against the Dallas Cowboys. I've played these guys a bunch and I look forward to going out there in our home stadium and trying to get a win."

Here are some things to watch Sunday:

BACK IN THE SADDLE: Dallas linebacker Sean Lee is expected to return after missing three straight games with a hamstring injury. The 2016 All-Pro missed two games earlier in the season as well. The Cowboys missed him badly after he left a loss at Atlanta with the injury, and subsequently had lopsided defeats against the LA Chargers and Philadelphia.

The defense turned a corner against the Redskins with a season-high four takeaways and key stops to help put the game away. Dallas was 0-5 in games Lee either missed or didn't finish.

TIGHT END SOLVED: The Giants allowed an opposing tight end to catch a touchdown in each of their first nine games, starting with Jason Witten of the Cowboys. They have stopped that streak in the past three games. Witten is a problem. He has 153 receptions and 14 TDs against Giants, his most against any opponent.

PAIR IN PAIN: Dallas tackles Tyron Smith (left) and La'el Collins (right) both are battling back problems that have limited their practice time. Collins didn't practice at all last week, but played against Washington.

Smith had issues last season and missed two games this season when he was also battling a groin injury. Collins hasn't missed a game and says he doesn't expect that to change against the Giants.

ENGRAM EVERY DOWN: Rookie Evan Engram has become the go-to guy for the Giants. The first-round draft pick leads the team with 51 catches for 569 yards. His six touchdown catches are a team record for a rookie tight end.

He needs 24 catches and 326 yards receiving to break Jeremy Shockey's team rookie records (74, 894).

PLAY CALLING: With McAdoo gone, coordinator Mike Sullivan will continue calling the plays for the offense.

Spagnuolo has called the defenses since returning here in 2015. He probably will call the plays Sunday. If not, expect Dave Merritt, who coaches the safeties, to make the calls.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Players Baptized at the Star]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:41:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+baptized.jpg

On a Tuesday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys training room pool frequently used to rehabilitate injuries instead served as the venue for lives being transformed.

Three Cowboys players – safety Kavon Frazier, linebacker Anthony Hitchens, and linebacker Justin March-Lillard – were baptized at the Cowboys practice facility by the team’s chaplain, Jonathan Evans, who posted the video to his Facebook page.  As of Thursday afternoon, the two-minute clip had been viewed more than two million times.

“It’s good it’s blowing up,” Frazier said.  “It’s getting His name out to a lot more people who may not be believers.”

Frazier says he was baptized as a young child, but wanted to make the decision for himself as an adult.

“I was always a believer, but this was the first time I really took God seriously,” Frazier said.  “I was really glad to see (my teammates) alongside me cheering us on when we were getting baptized.  They cheer us on on the field, but this is a different part of life.”

“It makes us closer together and makes us more of a family than we already are.”

You can watch the video here.

<![CDATA[Cowboys Rookies Load Salvation Army Angel Tree Gifts]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:39:44 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-salvation-army-angel-tree-+%282%29.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott: 'The Playoffs Start Now']]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:52:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-883393764.gif

Dak Prescott’s bruised right hand is just fine.

There’s no swelling, several days of massages and ice have seen to that.

He had no problem gripping the football or throwing it at practice Wednesday. As far as Prescott is concerned, it’s a non-factor.

"No limitations,” he said. "It's not holding me back at doing anything. It's simply bruised. It’s fine - good to go.”

He wore a pad briefly on the hand during practice.

"It felt great,” Prescott said. “There weren't any restrictions. It didn't feel like my hand was bothering me or any limitations on throwing the ball or anything.”

That’s important because Prescott understands the Cowboys have no margin for error over the next 24 days as they try to make the playoffs.

They have four games - two until Ezekiel Elliott returns from his NFL-mandated six-game suspension - and they must win them all.

"The playoffs start now. It's as simple as that,” Prescott said. “It motivates me. I feel like it should motivate anybody in this locker room.”

The Cowboys’ playoff journey starts Sunday on the road against the 2-10 New York Giants, which will probably wind up being a more difficult game than most folks think.

First, Eli Manning returns after a one-game benching now that coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese have been fired.

We all know Manning will play his best game after the embarrassment of last week because he needs to prove to the rest of the league, if not himself, that he’s still a good NFL quarterback.

Unless the Giants have added more playmakers in the last week their offense remains awful.

The reason this game will be tougher than most folks think is because the Giants’ defense was built to shut down the Cowboys.


After the 2015 season, the Giants spent $200 million to sign defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

They signed Olivier Vernon, so they could team him with Jason Pierre-Paul to make life uncomfortable for Tony Romo. Don’t forget, none of us knew Romo’s career would essentially end with a preseason game-injury prior to the 2016 season.

They signed Jenkins to control Dez Bryant, and they added free agent Damon Harrison and drafted Landon Collins in the second round to control Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys’ running game.

The result: The Giants have owned Prescott.

They have made the games uncomfortable and he’s never really found a rhythm.

He’s 1-2 but Dallas has scored just three touchdowns in 34 possessions, while failing to score more than 20 points in any of the games. Prescott has completed just 54.5 percent of his passes, while averaging 5.45 per attempt. He has a passer rating of 69.5

Understand, he’s a career 63.5 percent passer who averages 7.35 per attempt with a passer rating of 97.3.

“I think they’re going to play us the same way they’e played us for years,” Prescott said. “They have a game-plan specific to the Cowboys and they do some stuff they don’t do against everybody else and regardless of coaching and quarterback changes and whatever is going on they’re going to play us the same way.”

Like what?

“It’s just different when I watch them against us and when I watch them play other teams. At times, they’re aggressive. At times, they kind of sit back and play slow and make me be patient and beat them underneath.”

The Giants have stopped the Cowboys from making big plays. In 125 pass attempts, Prescott has just six completions of more than 20 yards against New York and four of those came in their 19-3 win over the Giants in Week 1.

Elliott has 68 carries against New York, but doesn’t have a run longer than 15 yards against the Giants, and Bryant has caught only four of the 23 passes directed his way for 61 yards and no touchdowns.

And when Dallas has moved the ball, they’ve settled for field goals. Dan Bailey has eight in three games.

Harrison, the 340-pound defensive tackle, makes running the ball between the tackles difficult. Alfred Morris had 127 yards on 27 carries against Washington last week, but it’s unrealistic to think Dallas will have similar success running against the Giants.

For the Cowboys to beat the Giants on Sunday, they must get more production from what has been a pedestrian passing game. It should help that Jenkins (ankle) is out for the season, but Prescott has not thrown for more than 179 yards in the four games Elliott has missed.

Now, Prescott is probably never going to be known as a guy who dominates games with his passing.

But he can play better than he has without Elliott. So can his receivers. 
They must.

Or there will be some slow walking and sad singing at the end of Sunday’s game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Wearing Blue on White for the First Time Ever Sunday]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:54:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/these-pants-this-jersey.jpg

According to women who work for America's Team, the players will debut a new uniform combination never before seen by Cowboys fans.

5PointsBlue, a site managed by "a group of women that work for the Dallas Cowboys who really love Cowboys football," the players will wear their blue jerseys with white pants Sunday when they play the Giants.

Because the Giants are wearing their all white Color Rush uniforms, the Cowboys need to wear a color.

The article points out that the Cowboys generally wear their silver pants with the blue jerseys, but at the request of Dez Bryant, team merchandisers and others, they're pairing blue on white for the first time.

So there you go.

Online:Check out 5PointsBlue here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Alfred Morris Does Happy Dance in the Cereal Aisle]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:05:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-883393848.jpg

We may now know what helped Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris break out for 127 yards against his former team during Thursday Night Football last week -- Cheerios.

Not just any Cheerios, mind you. Banana Nut Cheerios.

Morris was so excited to find them in his local store that the did a touchdown dance in the cereal aisle and posted it to Twitter.

Morris shrewdly tagged Cheerios-maker General Mills in his tweet. The company responded that they'd love to help him stock his cereal cabinet and asked him to send them a DM.

We'll keep a lookout for a future tweet from Morris -- we're expecting more happy feet from Morris when he opens GM's box.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Video Shows Roof Open at AT&T Stadium Prior to Thursday Night's Game]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:00:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas_Cowboys_Open_Roof_at_ATT_Stadium_USE_This_1200x675_1107186755974.jpg

NBC 5 was on the ground and in the air as the Dallas Cowboys opened the roof at AT&T Stadium for the Thursday night game. Time-lapse video shows the roof open before the game.

Photo Credit: C.J. Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Fans Offered Thanksgiving Day Game Meals]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:23:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-11-22-18h19m19s64.jpg

Dallas Cowboys fans attending the Thanksgiving Day game at AT&T Stadium will be able to enjoy some traditional holiday meals.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Irvin's Speech at Cowboys Kickoff Luncheon]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:35:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/vlcsnap-2017-08-30-18h34m32s162.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin waxed nostalgic as he introduced Jerry Jones who was presented with the Tom Landry Legend Award at the Dallas Cowboys Kickoff Luncheon.]]>
<![CDATA[Christie to See Jerry Jones' Induction into Hall of Fame]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 11:55:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/usa-chris-christie-cowboys.jpg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Ohio to celebrate Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' entry into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Christie is scheduled to be in Canton on Friday and Saturday to see Jones' induction.

Christie is a lifelong Cowboys fan despite most in New Jersey being fans of two of the Cowboys' biggest rivals: the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

He has sat with Jones in his box at many Cowboys games, including an awkward embrace caught on camera when the Cowboys won a rare playoff game in 2015.

The Republican governor is scheduled to leave New Jersey on Friday afternoon. It's not clear if he'll still be in the state when President Donald Trump arrives for the start of a 17-day vacation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Images From the Sideline: Cowboys 30, Giants 10]]>Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:44:19 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-890904674.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Players Baptized at the Star]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:39:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys_Baptized_2017_12_07_16_23_51.jpg

Three Cowboys players were baptized at the team's practice facility Tuesday, the video of Cowboys Kavon Frazier, Anthony Hitchens and Justin March-Lillard being baptized in the team's rehabilitation pool Tuesday have been seen more than two million times. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Morris Talks About His Happy Dance in Cereal Aisle ]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:03:20 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+morris+cereal+talk.jpg

Cowboys running back Alfred Morris breaks down his happy dance after finding a certain type of Cheerios in the cereal aisle. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Rookies Load Salvation Army Angel Tree Gifts]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:24:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-salvation-army-angel-tree-+%282%29.jpgIn what has become an annual tradition, Dallas Cowboys rookies load bags of Christmas presents designated for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program on to trucks.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Rookies Load Salvation Army Angel Tree Gifts]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:50:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys_Rookies_Load_Salvation_Army_Gifts_1200x675_1111768643788.jpg

In what has become an annual tradition, Dallas Cowboys rookies load bags of Christmas presents designated for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program onto trucks.]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott: "The Playoffs Start Now"]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 21:48:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/prescott+vid+pic+wed.jpg

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott explains why the playoffs start now for the Cowboys and how they do not plan to take the struggling Giants for granted. ]]>
<![CDATA[DFW Having a Banner Sports Year, Except For That One Thing]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2011 09:21:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/104273525.jpg

This has been perhaps the greatest sports year in Dallas-Fort Worth history, even though there are still seasons in progress that could change. But as of right now, the local sports scene in DFW is abuzz, but it's no thanks to your Dallas Cowboys.

Let's start from the beginning, the Rangers made the freaking World Series! Who would've thought that would have happened back in April? If you said "me!", you're lying.

FC Dallas made its first MLS Cup final only to lose in overtime on a devastating own goal. Still, a banner season had by another DFW sports franchise.

The Mavericks are setting the NBA on fire as the second-best team in the league with a third of the season gone and are set up for an epic clash this week against the only team in the league with a better record, the hated Spurs.

The Stars are surprising everyone in the NHL, sitting comfortably in second place in the Western Conference behind the guys who were supposed to be there, the Detroit Red Wings. The Stars haven't made the playoffs in a few years and were supposed to be terrible this year, yet again. Not so much.

Heck, TCU is in the Rose Bowl and SMU played for its conference championship.

Then, there's the Cowboys. The vomit-inducing Cowboys. The Cowboys who were supposed to be a Super Bowl team set to be the first-ever team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Not so much.

The Rangers overcame numerous DL stints by Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, and persevered.

The Mavericks lost Dirk Nowitzki to a knee injury on Monday night, and increased their lead to win at Oklahoma City, continuing their trend of being the best road team in the NBA.

The Cowboys lost quarterback Tony Romo to a broken collarbone and their head coach admitted after the game that the injury took the wind out of their sails and caused a lot of guys to quit, like it was OK or expected. Thank God Wade Phillips is gone.

Thanks a lot, Cowboys, for ruining what had a chance to be one of the best years for DFW sports fans ever.

Stay on top of the latest Dallas Cowboys news with NBCDFW.com. Follow NBC DFW Sports on Facebook or have breaking Cowboys news sent directly to your phone with Blue Star SMS alerts. Text "bluestar" to 622339 (NBCDFW) to subscribe to this free service. Read more about it here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Disappointing Byron Jones Loses Playing Time]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:26:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8833935261.jpg

Byron Jones has been on the field for 733 plays - more than any other Cowboys' defender this season - and he has four pass deflections, three tackles for loss and an interception.

Now, you know why he's sharing his safety position with Kavon Frazier, who's in his third year.

The reality is Jones has yet to become the player the Cowboys thought they were getting when they took him in the first round.

He hasn't been a play-maker. He hasn't been consistently physical.

He hasn't made enough plays, even though he's been on the field for 93 percent of the Cowboys' defensive plays. He still played 45 of 60 snaps Thursday against Washington and finished with four tackles and little impact.

It was his lowest snap count of the season.

Frazier made six tackles, one for a loss, in 21 snaps, and provided a physical presence the Cowboys have been missing most of the year.

Jones, a terrific athlete, was billed as a player who had range and could make plays on the ball. Well, he's started 39 games and he has two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Now, he's playing for his job. The Cowboys told Jones early last week that he would be rotating every two series Kavon Frazier.

"It's about competition. We're trying to have guys compete in practice and compete in games for the opportunity to play," Garrett said. "Kavon took advantage of his of opportunity and Byron did a nice job as well. That's a healthy dynamic on your football team."

Frazier made a difference in the Cowboys' 38-14 win over Washington, and he'll get an opportunity to do it again Sunday against the New York Giants.

Frazier attacks the run; Jones doesn't. Frazier can be a liability in coverage, so the Cowboys try to limit his exposure in the passing game.

But the good thing about Frazier is he does a good job making plays against the run at the line of scrimmage - even if he's lined up at deep safety.

He made several form tackles and created an energy on defense.

"Kavon really took advantage of the opportunity that he got. He's a physical tackler.," Garrett said. "He didn't play a perfect game, but he certainly played with confidence.

"He's a physical guy, who loves to play and a lot of times that can be contagious throughout your defense. He certainly made his presence felt with some of the big hits he made out there."

Garrett and the coaching staff started making changes after raggedy defensive performances against Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Diego. The Cowboys were outscored 92-22, including 72-6 in the second half.

They gave up 411.3 yards, 142.6 rushing, and 30.6 points per game.

Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had to do something.

So they told Jones he was rotating with Frazier and they benched cornerback Anthony Brown for Chido Awuzie, a second-round pick.

"We just felt like we needed to play better on the back end," Garrett said. "We felt like we had some guys who were deserving of an opportunity based on what they've done in practice and the limited opportunity they had in games.

"That was important for our team," said Garrett, "and I think everybody responded the right way - the guys getting the opportunity  and the guys who had some of their reps reduced.

"It's all about performance and production and we need them to be productive in the ballgame and do what we're asking them to do.

"Do things that they're supposed to do. Understand their assignments and execute those assignments and show up in the games and be productive."

Jones has evolved into a player who's OK at a several things - he can cover tight ends, he can play corner and he can play inside when the Cowboys use five or six defensive backs - but he's mastered nothing.

That's why his starting position is tenuous.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Players, Cheerleaders Visit Kids at Children's Hosp.]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:06:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys-Childrens.jpgSeveral members of the Dallas Cowboys football team and cheerleaders stopped by Children's Medical Center in Dallas Monday to visit with hospitalized children.

Photo Credit: Children's Health]]>
<![CDATA[Can the Cowboys Run the Table?]]>Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:01:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/morris+talk.jpg

Can the Cowboys run the table and make the playoffs? NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor tackle the possibility. ]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Star Breakdown: Cowboys' Alfred Morris Put On a Show]]>Sun, 03 Dec 2017 21:58:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_morris_big_game_discussion_1200x675_1108801091843.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the big role Alfred Morris played in the win over the Washington Redskins. ]]>
<![CDATA[10 Thoughts on The Cowboys' 38-14 Win Over Washington]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:48:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-883371694.jpg

1. Chido Awuzie had an excellent game. He broke up three passes, tackled well and provided a physical presence.

2. The offense, overall, wasn't that much better in week four without Ezekiel Elliott than it was in week one without him, totaling 275 yards.

3. DeMarcus Lawrence ended a two-game drought with two sacks. He also had two tackles for loss and made himself a general nuisance.

4. Kavon Frazier downed a point at the Washington one and made a handful of physical plays against Washington, an indication he's trying to get more playing time.

5. Anthony Hitchens, the most underrated player on the Cowboys' defense, had 15 tackles, including three for loss.

6. Dak Prescott bruised his right hand on an option play in the first quarter and it affected his passing all night. He completed just 11 of 22 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns

7. Dez Bryant ended a five-game touchdown drought - the longest of his career -  with his 13-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. It was the 72nd touchdown of his career, breaking Hall of Famer Bob Hayes' record and setting a franchise record.

8. The Cowboys, playing with a lead of more than a touchdown for the first time in a month, recorded four sacks.

9. The Cowboys yielded just two completions of more than 20 yards against Kirk Cousins, who was tied for the NFL lead with 45.

10. Alfred Morris rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries, his first 100-yard game since the end of the 2015 season against the Cowboys as a member of the Redskins. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Determined Cowboys Keep Hope Alive]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:35:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-883393948.jpg

Jerry Jones didn't want to stop smiling or talking Thursday night after the Cowboys first win in 25 days.

That's because he knew the Cowboys needed a win in the worst way.

Coach Jason Garrett needed to prove he could adequately prepare his team after his team had been outscored, 92-22, in the worst three-week stretch of his seven seasons in charge of the Cowboys.

Dak Prescott needed to prove he wasn't a product of Ezekiel Elliott's brilliance. And coordinators Scott Linehan and Rod Marinelli needed to prove they could get their respective units to play at a high level.

Dallas 38, Washington 14.

You're lying if you saw that coming. No one did.

Not Jerry. Not Garrett. Not Prescott. There had been no tangible evidence the Cowboys could score 38 points, their second highest-point total of the season, after what we've watched the past three weeks.

"It's not hard for me to look at the way we played, the way we answered the bell, the way we played in the second half with the players we got, with Sean Lee (hamstring) coming back and the players we're getting back and not dream," Jerry said. "Any of these teams in this league can beat you, but I think we have a good chance as we look ahead."

Since the start of last season, the Cowboys have proved for the most part they can only win playing a certain way: grab an early lead, pound the running game to keep their defense off the game and rush the passer once the opponent becomes one-dimensional.

The Cowboys used that formula to perfection against Washington.

The Cowboys used An eight-yard touchdown pass from Jason Witten, a 24-yard field goal from Dan Bailey and an 83-yard punt return by Ryan Switzer to build a 17-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first half.

The lead should've been even larger.

After all, the Cowboys forced three turnovers in the first half - four in the game  -  but the offense struggled early. None of their first four possessions produced a first down.

Given how poorly the Cowboys played the past three games, no one would've been surprised if they had mentally caved.

Instead, they fought through the frustration.

"They handled some adversities in the game tonight, and just put it behind us and kept playing," Garrett said. "And I think that's a sign of maturity understanding that the experiences aren't always going to be good. And you learn from it and you keep moving forward. They did a good job tonight of that."

In the second half, the Cowboys gave the ball to Alfred Morris and let him punish his former team.

Morris, who had 12 carries for 38 yards in the first half, finished with 27 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. Dallas rushed for 182 yards on 42 carries and kept the ball for 32:28.

"Alfred was outstanding," Garrett said. "He's got a great feel and instinct for running the football. He makes a lot of runs that people don't really recognize how good they are - little subtle runs, 4-, 5-, 6-yard runs where he's finding the crease, finding the soft spot and moving forward."

Prescott, who played poorly in the last three games accumulating a passer rating of 57.0 with no touchdown passes and five interceptions, was hardly spectacular against Washington.

But he's also not the kind of player you judge by his stats.

He showed toughness when he returned in the second half after taking a helmet to his throwing hand running an option play in the second quarter. He had X-Rays but returned to the game.

"I don't know if I've ever broken my hand. Really I couldn't grip initially because the swelling swelled up on me so bad," Prescott said. "We wrapped it up, got the swelling down and I was fine."

He completed 11 of 22 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

"I thought Dak Prescott was outstanding in the way he carried us through when our momentum was not there early," Jerry said. "He was getting it done. You could feel (the momentum) when it turned. Boy, does he keep a level head, and boy, is he steady. For his experience and his time in this league, I can't say enough about him.

"But don't just talk about his intangibles. He was doing some tangible things out there."

And just like that, hope exists at The Star for another week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Win Knocks Redskins Out of Playoffs]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:35:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-883396964.jpg

One thing the Washington Redskins almost certainly won't have to worry about this year is a must-win game in the season finale to make the playoffs.

The Redskins pretty much took themselves out of the postseason picture before the calendar even turned to December, which happened soon after their 38-14 loss Thursday night to the Dallas Cowboys still without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"Right now, it looks as if we are not going to make the playoffs," tight end Vernon Davis said. "So I think at this point, we just have to continue to keep competing, keep playing and keep playing for one another. ... You can't give up."

The Redskins (5-7), who had already been eliminated from NFC East contention, dropped behind Dallas (6-6) in the division standings. The Cowboys also swept the season series, though between those two games, they were overwhelmed in three straight losses without Elliott.

Philadelphia can wrap up the division title with a win in any of its last five games. The Eagles play Sunday night at Seattle.

Alfred Morris, Elliott's replacement during the six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, had 127 yards rushing and a clinching touchdown against his former team.

"Really has an uncanny knack of seeing the soft spot, and you saw it here tonight," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was consistently harassed behind a patchwork offensive line that had to shuffle some more because of injuries. Cousins was 26 of 37 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Cousins said Washington still thinks it has something to play for.

"It's our job, it's important to us," said Cousins, who was sacked four times . "We'll be professional every day and finish the season strong, put a good taste in our mouth."

Last season, all the Redskins had to do to make the playoffs was win at home in Week 17 against a playoff-bound Giants team with nothing to play for. The game was tied before New York scored nine points in the final 2:12.

Dak Prescott was getting X-rays on his swollen right hand when rookie Ryan Switzer scored his first career touchdown on an 83-yard punt return that put the Cowboys up 17-0. The extra time with the Dallas offense on the sideline kept Prescott from missing any plays.

Prescott, hit just as he made an option pitch, threw two TD passes. The first was to tight end Jason Witten, the team's career receiving leader, and the second was a leaping 13-yard grab by Dez Bryant, whose 72nd career TD catch broke a tie with Hall of Famer Bob Hayes for the most in franchise history.

And Prescott didn't have a turnover after throwing five interceptions and losing three fumbles without a touchdown pass during the three-game losing streak. He said the X-rays were negative.

"It was tough," Prescott said. "It was great to get a win."

And keep the Cowboys' dwindling playoff hopes alive.


Even with the playoffs just about out of reach, Redskins left tackle Trent Williams isn't sure he wants to shut it down for the season after being active for the third time in six games with a knee injury that will require surgery. The five-time Pro Bowler left briefly in the third quarter but returned.

"I feel like there's some merits to sticking and trying to finish the season," Williams said. "I fought through it this long. Hopefully I can get another four games out of it."

The Redskins had to do more shuffling to their decimated front when right tackle Morgan Moses was carted off with a sprained ankle. Ty Nsekhe had moved to left guard to start the game but had to go back to tackle, where he's been a backup. Who knows what the line will look like the rest of what appears to be a lost season.

"We're not the only one dealing with it," Williams said. "We may have the most. But a lot of teams lose pivotal players during the season."


The Cowboys had fewer than 300 yards total offense for the fourth straight game, the longest such streak since the final four games of former coach Dave Campo's tenure in 2002. But it didn't matter this time because they were efficient. Prescott had two touchdowns despite throwing for just 102 yards. And Morris had his first 100-yard showing since final game with the Redskins in 2015, against the Cowboys. "I thought Dak did a really good job of making timely throws," coach Jason Garrett said.


Jamison Crowder's fumble on the punt return was his sixth fumble of the season and third lost fumble. Coach Jay Gruden has hinted several times at replacing Crowder on punt returns because of the fumbles, but the other option is Maurice Harris, who left the game to be evaluated for a concussion. "We don't have anyone else to return a punt."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Prescott, Cowboys Top Redskins 38-14, Get Back to .500]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:35:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-883359796.jpg

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys finally found a way to win without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The question is whether the defending NFC East champions figured it out in time to salvage their fading playoff hopes.

Prescott threw two touchdown passes, including a franchise record-breaker to Dez Bryant, and the Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 38-14 on Thursday night.

Prescott, last year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, shook off a hand injury and found Bryant on a 13-yard leaping grab in the end zone for the 2014 All-Pro's first score in six games and 72nd of his career, one more than Hall of Famer Bob Hayes.

The Cowboys (6-6) started quickly thanks to three first-half turnovers and four overall by the Redskins (5-7) and kept it going after halftime with a 21-7 scoring edge after getting outscored 72-6 in the second half of three straight losses without Elliott.

Alfred Morris, Elliott's replacement during the six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, had 127 yards rushing and a clinching touchdown.

The Cowboys forced NFL-leading Philadelphia to wait until at least Sunday to clinch the division title. But Dallas still faces a steep climb to playoff contention, and two more games without Elliott.

The Redskins had already been eliminated in the division race and are virtually out of the postseason picture after Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions and lost a fumble while throwing two touchdown passes.

Jamison Crowder let the pass go through his hands on Cousins' first interception and fumbled on a Dallas punt a few plays later in the Redskins' fourth straight loss to the Cowboys, the longest such streak in the series since 2003-04.

Prescott injured his right hand in the second quarter, apparently when he was hit by linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons just as he made an option pitch to Rod Smith, but didn't leave the game.

While Prescott was being evaluated, rookie Ryan Switzer scored his first career touchdown on an 83-yard punt return, cutting up the middle before breaking to the sideline untouched.

By the time the Redskins finished the subsequent 75-yard drive that ended with Cousins' 20-yard scoring pass to Ryan Grant, Prescott was ready to return. He had been holding his right hand in his helmet once he returned to the sideline.

Prescott only threw for 102 yards, but didn't have a turnover after throwing five interceptions and losing three fumbles without a touchdown pass during the losing streak. And the Cowboys looked more like the offense they have when Elliott is around, with Morris picking up big yardage on clock-killing drives with the Cowboys in front.

Cousins moved the Washington offensive sporadically because he was consistently harassed behind a patchwork offensive line that had to shuffle some more because of injuries. Cousins, who was 26 of 37 for 251 yards, was replaced by Colt McCoy late in the fourth quarter.

DeMarcus Lawrence, the NFL sacks leader most of the first half of the season, had two of Dallas' four sacks, ending a two-game drought and extending his career high to 13 1/2. Cousins was hit hard by David Irving on a sack in the fourth quarter.

Bryant still hasn't had a 100-yard game, his longest drought to start a season since his second year in 2011. But the 61-yard effort included a 24-yarder that set up his TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.


Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses didn't return after injuring an ankle in the first half, forcing Ty Nsekhe to that spot after he was a fill-in starter at left guard on a patchwork line that's been dealing with injuries all season.

Left tackle Trent Williams left the field briefly in the third quarter. He's been inactive three of the past six games because a knee injury that will require surgery. Washington was already missing center Chase Roullier because of a hand injury.


Redskins: WR Maurice Harris left the game in the first half to be evaluated for a concussion and didn't return.

Cowboys: C Orlando Scandrick left with a back injury in the second half.


Redskins: At LA Chargers on Dec. 10.

Cowboys: At New York Giants on Dec. 10 to start a season-ending stretch of three of four on the road.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[INSTANT ANALYSIS: Cowboys vs. Washington]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:29:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-883343658.jpg

Here's an instant analysis of the Cowboys' 38-14 win over Washington on Thursday at AT&T Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys still have hope they can make the playoffs. The odds are slim, but they play the New York Giants next week, and the Giants have been one of the league's worst teams. The Cowboys are back at .500, and a win next week will push them over .500 with just one game left in Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension.

TURNING POINT: The Cowboys drafted Ryan Switzer in the fourth round to give their punt and kickoff returns some juice. Well, he has hasn't provided much this season, but two weeks ago, he had a 63-yard kickoff return against Philadelphia. He made his biggest play of the game in the second quarter, when he took a punt 83 yards for a touchdown — the first of his career. The return gave Dallas a 17-0 lead, forcing Washington to give up running the ball.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Alfred Morris, playing against the team that cut him two seasons ago, had his best game in a Cowboys' jersey. He gained 127 yards on 27 carries and punished Washington in the second half. Morris had 38 yards in the first half, but with the Cowboys leading in the second half they leaned on their offensive line and wore down Washington's defense.

KEY STAT: DeMarcus Lawrence had two sacks, giving him 13.5 this season. His first-quarter sack ended a streak of 33 consecutive possessions without a sack for Dallas' defense.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will play the New York Giants, leading candidate for the NFL's most dysfunctional team this season, on Dec. 10. The Giants benched Eli Manning this week, and coach Ben McAdoo is expected to be fired at the end of the season. The Giants will go quietly into the night, but the Cowboys must nudge them.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys vs. Redskins on Thursday Night Football]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 23:05:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/161*120/GettyImages-883342146.jpgThe Dallas Cowboys hosted the Washington Redskins on NBC's Thursday Night Football, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys-Redskins Preview with Tony Dungy]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:47:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy_dungy_cowboys_redskins_preview_1200x675_1107177027793.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs dives into the hot topics before Thursday night's Cowboys-Redskins game with Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Ready for the Redskins on Thursday Night Football]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:44:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/182*120/ATT+Stadium+Thanksgiving+2017.JPG

The Dallas Cowboys look to keep their playoff hopes on track with a victory over Washington on Thursday Night Football.]]>
<![CDATA[5 To Know: Cowboys Host Redskins on Thursday Night Football ]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:50:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_pregame_5_to_know_1200x675_1107120195719.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney has the 5 Things To Know on the Cowboys game Thursday night against the NFC East division rival Washington Redskins.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys' Charity Cleats Hit the Field Thursday]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 21:14:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dak+my+cause+cleats+2017.jpg

The NFL is once again allowing players to wear custom cleats in games as part of the My Cleats My Cause initiative.

The players pick a charity, decorate their shoes and then after wearing them in a game the shoes are auctioned off with the money going to charity.

Several Dallas Cowboys players are taking part -- check out their shoes and the causes behind them in the photos below.

Bidding is already underway and as of this writing, Chris Jones' cleats are showing a current bid of $2,510.

To see shoes from all participating NFL players, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[What Are the Rangers Chances at Landing Ohtani?]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:32:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pat-doney-evan-grant2.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant discuss the Rangers chances of landing Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani. 

The pair will also discuss the upcoming winter meetings, offseason and other Rangers news.

Watch live in the player above beginning at about 2:45 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Pay Attention to This: Cowboys-Redskins Preview]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:06:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8563836441.jpg

Jason Garrett: He is 10-4 against Washington, including five wins in the last six games. The Cowboys beat Washington, 33-19, last month behind four field goals from Mike Nugent and a career-high 33 carries for 150 yards by Ezekiel Elliott.

Key Matchup: WR Jamison Crowder v. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Crowder has 46 catches for 561 yards, but he did most of his damage in two games. Last week he had seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown against the New York Giants and he had a season-high nine catches for 123 yards against the Cowboys. He spends much of his time in the slot, which means Scandrick will handle him. The Cowboys didn't have an answer for him in their last matchup, in part, because he kept finding soft spots in the Cowboys' defense. They'll need to do a much better job this time.

X Factor: Jaylon Smith has been making more plays lately, but he tends to perform much better when the Cowboys can keep his snaps under 40. With Justin Durant out (concussion), the Cowboys could find themselves playing Smith 50 or 60 snaps, if the offense isn't productive and controlling time of possession. Smith is at his best when he plays under control and believes what his eyes tell him instead of second-guessing his instincts. Smith leads the team with 79 tackles, including 3.5 for loss.

Key Stat: It has been 27 possessions since the Cowboys had a turnover and 29 since they had a sack. Ending either of those streaks would play a huge role in the Cowboys ending their three-game losing streak.

Cowboys Game Plan: This week is on the coaches and coordinators to play a significant role since the Cowboys have been blown out in three consecutive games. The season and, perhaps, Jason Garrett's tenure in Dallas will depend on winning this game. The Cowboys hope an inspired Alfred Morris, playing against the team that cut him, will give Dallas a strong enough running game to help the play-action passing game. Play-Caller Scott Linehan needs to scheme some plays that will create some open receivers so every throw Dak Prescott makes isn't contested. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Moose Johnston Points to Players, Not Garrett, for Losses]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 09:10:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-293356.jpg

Do not blame Jason Garrett. That is what Daryl "Moose" Johnston, Garrett's former Dallas Cowboys teammate and current Fox NFL analyst, is saying.

"It's been a roller coaster here for the last couple of years and a lot of people want to look to Jason Garrett as a reason why that is happening, and I would strongly disagree with that," Johnston told me.

Listen to my conversation with him on my NBC Sports Radio show here.

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn | Allsport
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys, Redskins Meet With Only Faint Playoff Hopes on Line]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 21:21:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/3rd+cowboys+game+%2831%29.jpg

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys had to abandon any realistic hope of defending their NFC East title while losing three straight games without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

A fourth straight defeat when Washington visits Thursday night would hand the crown to Philadelphia with the Eagles still having five games left.

Even if they find a way to win without last year's NFL rushing leader, the Cowboys carry faint playoff hopes at best along with the team that shares second place in the division at 5-6 -- the Redskins.

"It's frustrating, it's shocking," Prescott said. "You look around and you see the Pro Bowlers and the talent you have, it's almost a loss for words on why it's happening. But it just shows you this game is tough."

Made even tougher without Elliott, who was moving up the rushing list again during a three-game winning streak when he finally ran out of legal options to avoid the six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

The Cowboys haven't had 300 yards in a game since then, the longest such stretch since the last four games in 2002.

"I'm sure it has a little bit to do with it," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "But they've had some issues. When you lose a game, you can't finger-point the offensive side of the ball."

The absence of 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee because of a hamstring injury hasn't helped, with the Cowboys getting outscored 72-6 in the second half on the current losing streak. Lee has been ruled out for the third straight game.

It's been more about the volume of injuries for Washington, which has 15 players on injured reserve and was eliminated in the division race in Week 12 despite beating the New York Giants.

Three starters have been ruled out against the Cowboys: tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), center Chase Roullier (hand) and safety Montae Nicholson (concussion). A key reserve, former Dallas defensive lineman Terrell McClain, will sit with a toe injury.

"You take away all the dust and the smoke and everything else that people really say about this team and you see what type of fighters and guys we get off the street and come in and play and still win games, it's pretty great," said cornerback Josh Norman, set for another showdown with struggling Dallas receiver Dez Bryant.

Some things to consider with the Cowboys seeking to make the rival Redskins the first team they've beaten 70 times:

O-LINE JUGGLE: Redskins left tackle Trent Williams is questionable with a right knee injury that will require surgery and has kept him out of three of the past five games.

He knows he won't be playing left guard for the injured Shawn Lauvao because 6-foot-8 backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is moving there. "I can't remember a time in my career where I looked down and the left guard is towering over me," the 6-5 Williams said.

SECONDARY SHUFFLE: The Cowboys are making changes among their defensive backs after giving up a season-high 434 yards passing to Philip Rivers of the LA Chargers.

Rookie second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie, hampered most of the season by hamstring injuries, has been running with the first team and is expected to take snaps from second-year man Anthony Brown. Another rookie, Xavier Woods, could see more time at safety.

CROWDER TIME: Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has spread the ball around a lot this season, completing passes to 15 players, but receiver Jamison Crowder is his favorite option.

Crowder is coming off his best game of the season with seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. "Sometimes he gets lost in the mix, but now he is becoming a feature-type guy," Gruden said.

BEHIND MORRIS: Alfred Morris has been the lead back filling in for Elliott, who is out three more games. The Cowboys eliminated any remaining doubt about Rod Smith as the next choice when they released Darren McFadden three days after Smith scored his first career touchdown. Trey Williams came up from the practice squad and could be active against the Redskins.

SIMPLE PLAN: Linebacker Zach Brown said the Redskins have only watched film of Dallas without Elliott because Morris is such a different back. They will follow what Atlanta, Philadelphia and the Chargers did.

"They're not having (any) more big, explosive run plays," Brown said. "Now everybody's forcing them to pass the ball. Now for our game, we're going to force them to pass the ball, too."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli Confident His Scheme Works]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 07:43:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/081615+Cowboys+Camp+Vic+05.JPG

It’s going to take more than benching cornerback Anthony Brown for the Cowboys’ defense to play better.

Sure, Brown has struggled at times this season, allowing five touchdowns and being penalized nine times in the season’s first 11 games.

“A lot of time it’s just technique,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said of Brown’s penalties. “He works as hard as any guy out here, preparation and everything, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to be better with our hands.

“We control penalties ourselves either by concentration, self-control or good judgment. We’ve got to use one of those three. That’s all under our control.”

Brown, a sixth-round pick last season, said he’s not playing any differently than he did as a rookie. Still, the flags come nearly every game.

“I don’t know, man. I watch every NFL game, I don’t see nothing different with what other DBs do to what I do, but I just get the calls,” he said. “So I have to deal with it.”

There’s no guarantee Brown’s probable replacement, rookie second-round pick Chido Awuzie, will be better.

Awuzie has played just 19 snaps since Week 1 against the New York Giants because of a nagging hamstring. And when he has practiced over the past few weeks much of that time has been spent at safety.

Now, the Cowboys will ask Awuzie to play cornerback against one of the NFL’s top passing attacks.

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins has passes for 3,038 yards with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He has five 300-yard games, one behind league leader Tom Brady, and he’s tied for third in the NFL with 45 completions of 20 yards or more. Drew Brees leads the NFL with 49.

You could make the argument promoting Awuzie is a panic move at worst or making a change just for the sake of making a change.

That’s because it doesn’t seem like Awuzie is being put in the best position to succeed, something coach Jason Garrett emphasizes he that tries to do with young players.

Understand, the Cowboys’ defensive problems are bigger than Brown.

The Cowboys do not have a turnover in their last 29 possessions and they don’t have a sack in their last 27 possessions.

While the defense has played relatively well in the first half of the last three games, allowing just 22 total points.

They’ve been awful in the second half, which is why the Cowboys have been outscored 69-7 in the second half. The defense has allowed 55 of those points.

But don’t expect any scheme changes from defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli because they’re not coming. Marinelli has seen this scheme win a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2002.

He knows it works.

So he ain’t interested in hearing how Philip Rivers felt so comfortable against the scheme he was calling out the Cowboys’ blitzes before the snap, according to one defensive starter.

“I’ve been around it when it has had unbelievable success and I’ve been around it when it didn’t. Once you vacillate, you are done to me,” Marinelli said. “You vacillate, I would lose all respect. I don’t vacillate.”


"I have strong belief in our players and what we do, so I never question. That's the best part of it. Over my career, it's been questioned before. I just let it go. I just keep doing what I believe in.

“I do it every day. I come out with great belief. I believe in the game and how you work at it. I think good results will come."

Marinelli better get the results he expects Thursday against Washington, or the Cowboys can start focusing on the draft.

Photo Credit: Victor Dominguez, NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[It's Simple for the Cowboys: They Need to Beat Washington]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 20:59:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_JACQUES_ON_COWBOYS_WASHINGTON_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1105585219638.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot on the line Thursday night. NBC 5's Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss why a potential loss to Washington could have major repercussions.]]>
<![CDATA[Troy Aikman and United Way Shatter Giving Tuesday Record]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:17:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/troy+aikman+united+way1.jpg

Hall of Fame quarterback and Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman set a lofty fundraising goal for Giving Tuesday and more than reached it.

As chairman of the annual campaign for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Aikman and his team decided they would unseat Charlotte, N.C., as the "Most Generous City in the Nation." Last year, Charlotte raised an impressive $7.2 million on Giving Tuesday.

Early numbers Tuesday evening show that the #BigDGives campaign has raised more than $22.7 million from nearly 400 individual donors and 26 corporations.

Also, 484,440 volunteer hours were logged on Giving Tuesday.

"I'm proud to be a North Texan and certainly proud of what's happened here on Giving Tuesday," Aikman told NBC 5's Meredith Land.

Aikman started his day bright and early in Dallas, making sandwiches for people in need.

"I was down there this morning, I was helping make sandwiches. We made 2,000 sandwiches, and I made about 100," Aikman said.

Aikman, who has lived in Dallas for almost 30 years, says he knows people will remember his days as a quarterback and his years in the broadcast booth, but he also wants to leave a legacy of giving.

"I've been proud of North Texas for a long, long time, but today is a good day," Aikman said.

It's not too late to help out. To make a Giving Tuesday contribution, visit: https://www.bigdgives.org.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Safety Byron Jones to Honor His Late Friend Thursday]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 02:29:17 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-627105924.jpg

Dallas Cowboys safety Byron Jones is doing his part to bring awareness to a rare disease and pay respect to his late friend Diana Marie Hunter at the same time.

As part of the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats" campaign, Jones will wear specialized cleats Thursday to bring attention to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

CJD is a rare brain disease that affects one person in every one million people per year worldwide and there are about 300 cases per year in the United States.

Symptoms typically occur around the age of 60, Jones says Hunter was diagnosed in 2015 and passed away in 2016 at the age of 29.

There is no treatment that can cure or control CJD.

Jones says he will give the shoes to Hunter's mother.

The 5-6 Cowboys will host 5-6 Washington at AT&T Stadium on NBC 5's Thursday Night Football.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Troy Aikman Discusses BigDGives, Has Advice for Dak Prescott]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:46:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/troy+aikman+united+way1.jpg

Hall of Fame Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman talks about BigDGives, the United Way's fundraising efforts on Giving Tuesday, and he gives some advice to current Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Gearing up for Washington Redskins]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 19:33:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys_Insider.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up to take on the Washington Redskins on Thursday. Jean-Jacques Taylor breaks down how the team is getting ready for the big game.]]>
<![CDATA[Terry Glenn To Be Memorialized Friday, Saturday]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:15:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Terry-Glenn-Media-Viewer.jpg

Former Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn will be memorialized Friday and Saturday, family members say.

A public memorial celebrating Glenn's life will be held at 7 p.m. at Friendship West Baptist Church at 2020 West Wheatland Road in Dallas on Friday, Dec. 1. Another service will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. where he will be eulogized by Dr. Fredrick “Freddie” Haynes, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church. Representatives from the NFL Player Associations, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, The Ohio State University, close friends and family will deliver special remarks.

While the family prefers memorial donations be sent to Glenn's 83 Kids Foundation, 83kidsfdn.org, floral arrangements can be sent to Golden Gate Funeral Home at 4155 R.L. Throrton Freeway in Dallas.

Glenn, 43, was killed Nov. 20 in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Irving that also injured his fiancée. Verina LeGrand. She later spoke to NBC 5, saying Glenn was an amazing father to his seven children and that he was the love of her life.

Glenn's life story not only included being a marquee player in the NFL, he overcame incredible adversity as a foster child to before becoming a walk-on athlete at Ohio State and being drafted by the Patriots.

Last week, several of Glenn's seven children spoke to NBC 5 about their father saying he was their hero and that they'll cherish the time they had together.

The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Former Cowboys, Raiders RB Retires from NFL]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 22:03:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darren-mcfadden-3box.jpg

Two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, running back Darren McFadden has announced he's retiring from the NFL.

"Today, I am announcing that I am retiring from the NFL. I have been extremely privileged to play in the League a long time and now that time for me is done," McFadden said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Now a free agent, McFadden said he made the decision "not with sadness or without further opportunity" and that it was simply "the right move for me."

The 30-year-old went on to thank his wife, parents and several coaches before adding the Raiders and Cowboys organizations, including owners Mark Davis and Jerry Jones, respectively.

See McFadden's entire statement below.

McFadden was the Cowboys' leading rusher two years ago but was an expendable player even with the absence of suspended star Ezekiel Elliott. He came to Dallas in 2015 after spending seven years with the Oakland Raiders after they took him fourth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Last year, the year in which rookie Ezekiel Elliott won the rushing title, McFadden only had two dozen touches in three games. He played in only one game for the Cowboys this season, getting one carry for negative two yards.

In his 10-year NFL career, McFadden rushed 1,302 times for 5,421 yards. He had two 1,000-yard seasons including the 2015 year in Dallas where he finished fourth in the league with 1,089 yards.

McFadden was released Sunday along with kicker Mike Nugent, who filled in when Dan Bailey missed four games with a groin injury. Bailey returned for the 28-6 Thanksgiving loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas' third straight without Elliott.

McFadden Announces Retirement

"Today, I am announcing that I am retiring from the NFL. I have been extremely privileged to play in the League a long time and now that time for me is done.

I want to thank so many people who have helped me along the way. First, and most important, are my family. My wife Tanya, who has been there with me through all of the ups and downs. Of course, my parents - Graylon, Cookie and Mini - without them I would not be the person I am today - they always supported me and pushed me to be the best I can be. Thank you Mom, Mom and Dad.

Second, I also would not have had the success I had without many great coaches and teammates along the way. To all of my offensive lines - thank you for paving the way for me with your blood and sweat. To all the rest of my offensive teammates - thank you for helping me succeed. I want to acknowledge a few coaches as well - all of my high school coaches and especially Coach John Mayes; all of my college coaches - especially Houston Nutt, Danny Nutt and Tim Horton; all of my NFL coaches - especially Tom Rathman, Kelly Skipper and Gary Brown.

I also want to thank the Raiders - especially Mr. D and the Cowboys -- Especially the Jones family.

A very special thank you to Leecie Henson for keeping me straight in high school and helping me get to college.

Also, I want to thank my agent - Ian Greengross. Everything that happened to me -- good or bad -- he was always there for me and I think of him like family.

Finally, I just want to say that I make this decision not with sadness or without further opportunity, but with a couple of days to reflect on how I feel and where I am at this stage of life. I know that this is the right move for me. I look forward to what the future holds - spending some more time with my family, pursuing some outside interests and, of course, going to a few Arkansas football games! #WPS

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Through the Years: Darren McFadden]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:37:18 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darren-mcfadden-3box.jpgTwo days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, running back Darren McFadden has announced he's retiring from the NFL. Here's a look back at his career in football.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eli Manning Benched, Giants Pick New Starter at QB]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:22:20 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Eli-manning-giants-ny.jpg

The New York Giants are changing quarterbacks for first time in more than 13 years.

Yes, Eli Manning is not going to start.

The Giants announced on Tuesday that Geno Smith will start in place of Manning when the Giants (2-9) face the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

Rookie Davis Webb will also play, if not this week, then sometime before the end of the season.

"Geno will start this week," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno, and we will also give Davis an opportunity."

Manning has started 210 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history, behind Brett Favre's 297. He has started every Giants game since Nov. 21, 2004, when he took over for veteran Kurt Warner in the 10th game of his rookie season.

Manning has also started 12 postseason games, and twice led the Giants to Super Bowl victories.

Manning was given the option of starting against the Raiders to keep the streak alive, but declined.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

<![CDATA[Underperforming Cowboys, Giants Game Flexed the Wrong Way]]>Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:47:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-876444364_master.jpg

The days of the Cowboys games being flexed into times with larger audiences, Sunday Night Football, may be over for awhile.

When the Dallas Cowboys, who are currently 5-6, next face the New York Giants, who are currently 2-9, on Dec. 10, they'll do it at noon instead of 3:25 p.m.

As recently as last year that game might have been the marquee matchup on Sunday Night Football -- but neither team is playing at the level of last year or the year before.

Trading places with the Cowboys will be the Seahawks and Jaguars who will move from a noon start to 3:25 p.m.

This week, the Cowboys play Washington on Thursday while the Giants play the Raiders Sunday afternoon.

This may not be the only change to the Cowboys special. The Cowboys and Raiders are scheduled to play on NBC's Sunday Night Football Dec. 17 -- that game, too, may get moved for a better matchup.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Star Preview: Redskins at Cowboys]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:29:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_AND_JACQUES_COWBOYS_WASHINGTON_PREVIEW_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1104059459793.jpg

NBC 5 Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor preview Thursday night's game against the Washington Redskins. ]]>
<![CDATA[Dak Prescott Doesn’t Care What You Think About Him]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:59:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Chargers.jpg

Dak Prescott is a smart dude, so he’s stayed off social media since  Thanksgiving Day.

No need to read the critical texts from fans who are all in their feelings from the Cowboys getting blown out in three consecutive games. Or to deal with those still whining about why Tony Romo draws a paycheck from CBS instead of the Cowboys.

“I hear it’s rough out there in the streets,” he said with a laugh after his weekly media availability Sunday afternoon.

“I wouldn’t know. I spent the last two days with friends and family. I got some texts from friends talking about, “Keep your head up,” but that was two days ago. I’m alright.”

Let’s deal with reality: Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense has been abject the past three games.

Prescott has a passer rating of 57.0 with zero touchdown passes and five interceptions, while averaging 5.68 yards per attempt.

All of that is atrocious. To suggest otherwise is be disingenuous.

Prescott, though, is not the kind of dude to sit around and throw himself a lavish pity party. All he knows how to do is watch more video, take more notes, be more harsh with his own self-criticism.

What you should respect about Prescott is that he has embraced his struggles the past three games. He has taken responsibility for his mistakes and the offensive futility.

He’s been honest and as open as any player is going to be instead of being guarded and defensive.

So doubt him, if you want. He’s determined to show you that he’s among the NFL’s best quarterbacks whether Ezekiel Elliott is in the lineup or not.

“Keep questioning me,” he said. “If you’re questioning me, then you don’t know me and what I’m all about. Keep questioning me. Have fun at it.

“I never expect bad times or going in a rut. Playing in this league as long as I wanna play in this league, it’s gonna happen. I’d say any quarterback who’s been in this league a long time has had them.”

Now, let’s keep it real about the offense overall. The Cowboys have scored fewer than 10 points in three consecutive games, something that’s never happened since the franchise first started playing in 1960.

They’ve lost three straight games by more than 20 points, another thing that hasn’t happened since 1960.

It’s too simplistic to say the Cowboys went a franchise-record 10 quarters without a touchdown just because Elliott missed all three games, while he serves a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Coach Jason Garrett would tell you to look at the games and how too many penalties, sacks, negative plays and mistakes have impacted the offense.

In their 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cowboys punted on each of their first five possessions. On their first five third downs, the Cowboys needed nine, nine, 11, nine and 13 yards.

No quarterback can win like that.

Ryan Switzer’s four-yard loss on a jet sweep ruined the first drive, Dez Bryant couldn’t come down with a 50-50 ball on first down of the second drive and Alfred Morris gained just a yard on second down, ruining the drive.

A second-down sack, resulted in a seven-yard loss, essentially ending the third drive. An offensive pass interference penalty to start the fourth drive ended it before it could even get started.

And a holding call on left tackle Tyron Smith negated an apparent 34-yard touchdown run Prescott that would’ve pulled Dallas within 9-7 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Instead the fifth drive ended with a punt.

“It’s frustrating, it’s shocking,” Prescott said. “Like I’ve said, you look around and you see the Pro Bowlers and the talent that you have, you’re almost lost at words of why it’s happening. But it just shows you that this game is tough. It’s tough week in and week out, no matter who you play. That’s what makes the NFL.”

It’s happening because Morris isn’t a good enough running back to force defenses to change the way they play like Elliott does. And without Elliott, the Cowboys have no playmakers. Bryant has the same number of receptions of 20+ yards as Elliott.

The running back has missed three games and still leads the team in plays of 20+ with seven.

Pathetic, really.

But Prescott is the quarterback - the man who sent Romo into retirement - and the blame or credit belongs to him.

“That’s part of playing for this organization. The highs are going to be really high and the lows are going to be lows,” he said. “For me, it’s just about staying right there in the middle and not getting high when everything’s great and not getting down right now.

“It’s about staying equal, not getting too low right now and knowing that confidence in myself in these teammates and getting back to where we need to be.”

That needs to happen now. One more week will be too late.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Host Washington Thursday]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:46:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/recut-cowboys-preview_1200x675_1104134723911.jpg

The Cowboys are in a must win situation when they take on Washington Thursday night on NBC 5. Newy Scruggs and Jacques Taylor gives us a preview of what we can expect.]]>
<![CDATA[Darren McFadden's Time is Up With the Cowboys]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 04:54:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630766238.jpg

Darren McFadden is moving on after being released by the Cowboys, Newy Scruggs and Jacques Taylor talk about why he was let go. ]]>
<![CDATA[Where the Cowboys Stand Going into Thursday Night]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:58:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/189*120/3rd+cowboys+game+%2839%29.jpg

Newy Scruggs, Pat Doney and Jean-Jacques Taylor cover the main topics as the Cowboys look to get back on track against the Redskins Thursday Night on NBC 5.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Struggles Going Into Thursday Night]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:18:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_sunday_webchat_1200x675_1104027203767.jpg

Newy Scruggs, Pat Doney, and Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the recent struggles with the Cowboys going into Thursday night's game against the Washington Redskins on NBC 5. ]]>
<![CDATA[After Dynamic 2016, Jones' Dallas Cowboys Are Falling Apart]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:28:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853840852.jpg

As soon as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed he is backing off a threat of legal action over the future of Commissioner Roger Goodell, the focus turned to the performance of coach Jason Garrett and his staff.

That's how bad the tailspin is for a team desperately missing suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones said after Dallas' third straight loss by at least 20 points -- 28-6 to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving -- that the compensation committee was being responsive to his concerns about a contract extension for Goodell.

While denying that his concerns are connected to Goodell's decision to suspend Elliott for six games over alleged domestic violence, Jones said he wanted all the owners to revisit the commissioner's performance after voting unanimously in May to let the compensation committee complete a new deal.

Jones' concerns have included the league's handling of protests involving the national anthem and the disciplinary power of the commissioner in the collective bargaining agreement, which is what Goodell used to punish Elliott after prosecutors in Ohio didn't pursue charges.

The issue turned into an exchange of threatening letters after Jones hired high-profile attorney David Boies. Jones said there will be an owners-only session to discuss Goodell's contract during the next NFL meetings Dec. 13 in the Dallas area.

"I just want to say we really have had, are having a lot of owner participation," Jones said. "It doesn't mean at all that we're not really pursuing what we want to get done, and that is have the owners in a very positive way give input and make everyone, including ourselves, accountable.

"I don't want to be redundant, but the business of standing down there didn't necessarily mean that you're not standing up elsewhere."

Jones' team is falling apart a year after the dynamic rookie duo of quarterback Dak Prescott and Elliott carried the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC at 13-3.

Dallas (5-6) already has twice as many losses, and Prescott more than double the number of interceptions (nine after four as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year). The Cowboys still have three games left in Elliott's suspension, after winning the last three before the ban.

The slide hasn't reflected well on the coaches, with the Cowboys outscored 72-6 in the second half of the three losses. That lopsided number leads to questions about halftime adjustments.

"We all know that it has to get better, has to get together," Jones said. "I really think this coaching staff is tops. I think Jason is able to use everything that he's learned, as coordinator, as coach over these last years, and we've just got to get it together."

The last time Garrett faced questions about his job, the Cowboys were coming off three straight 8-8 seasons that ended with losses in regular-season finales that kept them out of the playoffs.

Since then, the fluctuations have been dramatic -- NFC East champs at 12-4 in 2014, a first-to-last slide to 4-12 without injured quarterback Tony Romo a year later, followed by last season's sparkling year when Prescott shocked the NFL after Romo got hurt again.

And while the absence of Elliott and 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) is a huge part of the current slide, the Cowboys again aren't handling adversity well. Garrett admitted as much about 2015, and is about to have to do so again if the Cowboys can't reverse the slide.

Dallas plays Washington in the last of three home games Thursday, then starts a season-ending stretch of three out of four on the road at the last-place New York Giants.

"Obviously we've got to get it right," Garrett said. "That's my job. That's our job as a coaching staff. We just haven't done enough on either side of the ball or in the kicking game to allow us to compete toward the end of the ballgame."

Jones, who spoke to the team after the game but declined to offer details, tried to say he wasn't giving the "negative vote of confidence" by continuing to show faith in Garrett, who got a five-year contract after winning the division and his first playoff game in 2014.

In his seventh full season, Garrett is 63-52 in the regular season. Only Tom Landry, who led the Cowboys for their first 29 years, has coached the team longer.

"I feel about this staff the same way I feel about my mirror -- that's what if there's some changes made, don't change what's in front of the mirror, because I can change what you're doing that the mirror is seeing," Jones said. "Candidly, I'm really not shaken. I'm disappointed, but there's no shake here."

That could change if the blowout losses don't stop.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on the Cowboys 28-6 Loss to Chargers]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:21:42 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/169*120/3rd+cowboys+game+%2830%29.jpg

Here are 10 thoughts on the Cowboys’ 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day.

  1. Jerry Jones addressing the team after a game, especially a loss, always usurps some power from Jason Garrett because it makes the players question who’s really in charge.
  2. The offense is broken, and Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan have no idea how to fix it.
  3. Anthony Brown is struggling at cornerback, giving up TD passes and collecting penalties. He’s allowed five touchdown passes this season, and collected nine penalties - five for pass interference and four for holding - Is Chido Awuzie a better option?
  4. The Cowboys haven’t lost four games by 20 points or more in the same season since 2004, when Bill Parcells was the man in charge.
  5. The Cowboys have been outscored 60-6 in the third quarter in the last three losses.
  6. The defense is doing what it’s designed to do in a lot of ways but it can’t hold up under the lack of offensive production.
  7. It has been 22 years since the Cowboys had consecutive double digit win seasons.
  8. Tyron Smith’s holding penalty negating a 34-yard touchdown run by Dak Prescott was one of the season’s biggest plays.
  9. Look how many plays the Chargers made Thursday - eight completions of 20 yards or more - and look at how many the Cowboys made, and it’s easy to see why they lost.
  10. Don’t look at rushing yards, all you need to know is opponents don’t adjust a single aspect of their defense based on Alfred Morris or Rod Smith.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Fans Call for Tony Romo to Save Cowboys]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:14:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-497265434.jpg

After the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, some fans on social media started to call for quarterback Tony Romo to come out of retirement.

The Cowboys lost their third straight game -- and it was also the third straight game where quarterback Dak Prescott failed to toss a touchdown and the second straight with multiple interceptions.

Prescott, who threw only four interceptions in 2016, has thrown five in the last two weeks and nine this season.

Romo, who retired and became a broadcaster for CBS last season after losing his starting role due to injury, smiled and waved to fans at AT&T Stadium calling for him to get on the field.

Some of the reaction can be seen below.

Click here to read more from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Supports Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:24:27 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853840852.jpg

A few players muttered to no one in particular as they walked, shoulders slumping, into the loser's locker room.

Others spoke in hushed tones; Cole Beasley fidgeted with his helmet.

Five games remain in the Cowboys' season, but the players know they won't make the playoffs. Even if they don't say it publicly, their body language speaks loudly.

Los Angeles 28, Dallas 6.

Another game, another blowout. That's three in a row by at least 20 points.


Think about it: A team that began the season with Super Bowl aspirations is essentially out of playoff contention before Black Friday.

The Cowboys have lost four games this season by 20 points or more, and just like their previous two losses, the Cowboys were blown out in the second half.

Los Angeles led 3-0 at halftime and 16-0 entering the fourth quarter as the Cowboys extended their pathetic streak without a touchdown to 10 quarters. In the past three games, the Cowboys have been outscored 72-6 in the second half.

Clearly coach Jason Garrett has no answers. Neither does defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli or play-caller Scott Linehan.

So none of us should be surprised the Cowboys keep getting blown out.

The surprise, frankly, is owner Jerry Jones' demeanor.

He made it clear Thursday after the game that's he not contemplated firing Garrett in any way, shape or form, though you have to wonder how much that has to do with Garrett having three years and $15 million left on his contract.

"No. Just no," said Jerry, when asked if was thinking about a coaching change.

"Again, I don't step out of the dressing room and evaluate the coaching position at all. Candidly, and I don't even want to say it so that somebody might repeat it. Absolutely not."

Jerry actually has a difficult time answering the question because he doesn't want it to seem like he's giving Garrett and his staff a vote of confidence.

Besides, the reality is Jerry hates paying dudes not to work.

That said, sport is fluid and it's anybody's guess how much public embarrassment it will take for Jerry to jettison Garrett because you know some NFL owners are throwing back shots and giggling at this string of Cowboys' blowouts and texting their fellow owners about how Jerry should be a more concerned about his coach and quarterback than Commissioner Roger Goodell's salary.

Still, if this free fall doesn't stop, it's an indictment of Garrett and the coaching staff, and Jerry is going to eventually demand somebody's coaching whistle.

"Obviously, we've got to get it right," Garrett said. "That's my job. That's our job as a coaching staff."

Time is quickly running out on the season, Ezekiel Elliott still has three games left on his six-game suspension and the Cowboys have provided no tangible evidence they can win without him or linebacker Sean Lee, who has missed the past three games with a strained hamstring.

Dallas plays Washington on Thursday, followed by road games against the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders. They're certainly winnable games, considering none of those teams are above .500, but this is a team in disarray.

The Cowboys knew their season was on the line Thursday, which is why Jason Witten spoke to the team earlier and delivered a strong message about the importance of this week to the offense.

It didn't help one iota because the game has never been about pep talks and speeches. It's always been about blocking, tackling and physicality.

Los Angeles out-gained the Cowboys 515-247, and quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 434 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Keenan Allen caught 11 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown and Rivers completed eight passes for 20 yards or more.

Dak Prescott passed for 179 yards with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Dez Bryant caught three passes for 37 yards and no impact, while Beasley had his customary two receptions for 19 yards.

Ask Jerry if he thinks the Cowboys can still make the playoffs and he says, "Yes. Yes, I do, because I think we've got players that have played at a high level, won games."


Then again, Jerry has always lived in a world of gum drops and lollipops when it comes to the Cowboys.

Prescott, the second-year quarterback, is more realistic. Asked if he were frustrated, Prescott said, "Very."

Ever been this frustrated before?


"Like I said, "It's where you have to dig deep and find that self-pride and that will and that want. It's how much you care for each other, this team and the game of football."

That sounds like a man who knows the playoffs are no longer an option.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Don't Expect Garrett to Go Anywhere Anytime Soon]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:29:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_ON_JASON_GARRETT_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1102786115731.jpg

Jerry Jones is keeping Jason Garrett as his head coach. NBC 5's Newy Scruggs gives his take on the job Garrett is doing as the head coach.]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:50:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-877991584.jpgCountry music star Thomas Rhett took center stage during the Thanksgiving Day Dallas Cowboys halftime performance inside AT&T Stadium.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Fans Left in Dark by DISH Network/CBS Dispute]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:23:03 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/3rd+cowboys+game+%286%29.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys and Thanksgiving holiday are tradition. This year, that tradition was sidelined for some fans who are DISH Network customers.

DISH and CBS reached an impasse on a service agreement and DISH subscribes were unable to watch Thursday afternoon's football game.

"We left our family at 3:15 p.m. to come here to watch the game," said Debbie Smith, a DISH customer who cut Thanksgiving dinner short to watch the Cowboys at Woody's Tavern in Fort Worth. "We kinda kicked 'em all out, except my husband. He lives there." 

"We planned the whole dinner around the Cowboy game," said Woody's Tavern owner Rich Gee remembering his yearly tradition. "So I can only imagine it being a little shocking when you turn it on an you're like, we don't get that today."

Gee said he'd been getting calls from his customers wanting to make sure he was able to get the Cowboys game. That's when he realized some people were unable to watch it at home.

"I hear they canceled it on Thanksgiving," said Gee. "One of the most traditional games of the year."

The service impasse impacts about three million DISH customers in 26 states.

"They both make plenty of money," said Smith. "Get over it. Pay whatever you have to pay and don't keep taking channels away." 

Smith watched her beloved Cowboys lose, but it was better than losing her Thanksgiving tradition.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Prescott, Cowboys Offense Continue to Struggle]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:07:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/3rd+cowboys+game+%2831%29.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys playoff hopes took another hit after losing to the Los Angeles Chargers Thanksgiving Day at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The 28-6 loss puts the Cowboys losing skid at three and dropped Dallas to 5-6 on the season.

Quarterback Dak Prescott had another tough game, throwing for just 179 yards and adding two interceptions, one a pick six.

Prescott and the offense struggled in the last three games without Ezekiel Elliott. The reigning AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year hasn't thrown a touchdown since Nov. 5 and he's been picked off five times.

The Cowboys offense has put up just 22 points in the last three outings and finally ended a touchdown drought at a team record 10 quarters when Rod Smith scored from two yards out in the 4th quarter against the Chargers.

Dallas will try to get back in track when they host the Washington on NBC 5's Thursday Night Football Nov. 30.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Rivers, Chargers Beat Fading Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:53:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17328020055965.jpg

Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

Desmond King returned an interception 90 yards for the punctuating touchdown as the Chargers (5-6) moved within 1½ games of AFC West-leading Kansas City after starting 0-4 while the Chiefs won their first five.

The defending NFC East champion Cowboys (5-6) lost their third straight by at least 20 points, all without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, in a damaging defeat for their fading playoff hopes.

Dallas, playing its 50th Thanksgiving game, finally ended a touchdown drought at a team-record 10 quarters on Rod Smith's 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Keenan Allen had a career-high 172 yards on 11 catches with a touchdown, giving him 23 grabs for 331 yards and three scores in the past two games.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ron Jenkins
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<![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:10:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/167*120/GettyImages-878078730.jpg

Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 28-6 loss to Los Angeles at AT&T Stadium.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys have lost three consecutive games and the offense has been abject. The defense did its usual third-quarter disappearing act, which means the odds are pretty good the Cowboys will fail to win double-digit games in consecutive seasons for the 21st consecutive season. The Cowboys, a game under .500, have a chance to even their record at 6-6 with a win over Washington on Thursday.

TURNING POINT: The Cowboys finally made a big play on offense - a 34-yard run by Dak Prescott on a read option - for an apparent touchdown that would’ve pulled Dallas within 9-7. But Tyron Smith was penalized for holding on the play and the Cowboys wound up punting. Then Los Angeles drove 92 yards for a 16-0 lead. For an offensively-challenged team like the Cowboys that was too much to overcome.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Philip Rivers was sensational. Hepassed for 416 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys never rattled Rivers, which meant he was in control the entire night.

KEY STAT: The Cowboys went 10 quarters without a touchdown from the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the fourth quarter against Los Angeles, when Rod Smith scored on a two-yard run.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will play Washington on Thursday. Garrett will spend all week talking about the importance of focusing on this game - not the big picture - because if they win out they can go 10-6 and still have a shot to make the playoffs. Well, the odds of that happening are beyond slim. Garrett’s biggest task is to stop the free fall we’re witnessing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Images from the Sideline: Chargers 28, Cowboys 6]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:09:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/173*120/Cowboys+Game+%285%29.jpgPhilip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey to Play Against Chargers]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:22:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488179518+%281%29.jpg

Four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith is active along with kicker Dan Bailey for the Dallas Cowboys in their Thanksgiving game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

LA right tackle Joe Barksdale is returning after missing four straight games with a foot injury. Barksdale has been out five games overall.

Smith missed two games with groin and back injuries, both losses as Dallas was also without running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has four games remaining on his six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence. Bailey was sidelined four games after injuring his right groin at San Francisco.

Dallas linebacker Sean Lee had already been declared out for the second straight game because of a hamstring injury. It's the fourth game the 2016 All-Pro has missed with the injury.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Pre-Game With Pat Doney, Jon Machota]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 15:11:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/jon-pat.JPG

NBC 5's Pat Doney and The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota took a deep look at the upcoming Thanksgiving Day game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys Thursday.

The Cowboys (5-5) have lost both games without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott, with still four games remaining on the six-game ban over alleged domestic violence. The defending NFC East champs are already all but eliminated in the division race, facing a tough road to a wild-card spot.

Los Angeles (4-6) started 0-4 while AFC West rival Kansas City won its first five. Now the Chargers are within two games of the division-leading Chiefs after scoring their most points since 1981 in a 54-24 win over Buffalo.

Earlier Thursday, NBC 5's Jean-Jacques Taylor wrote a preview of the game here where he mentioned the Cowboys have a 64.5 pct winning percentage on Thanksgiving Day, but have lost four of the last seven games on the holiday. He talks about what led to losses in 2014 and 2015 under Romo before quarterback Dak Prescott took over in 2016. See Taylor's analysis here.

Finally, if you're at home, you may be curious what 80,000-plus fans at AT&T Stadium eat for Thanksgiving Day. Jerry Jones provides quite a spread -- see it below.

Country singer Thomas Rhett will kick-off The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign during half-time. He's the latest in a long line of performers who have helped raise more than $2 billion since 1997.

<![CDATA[Pay Attention to This: Cowboys-Chargers Preview]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:46:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-865168662.jpg

Jason Garrett: He is 0-1 against the Chargers, losing 30-21 in 2013. Dallas has faced only three teams - Houston (four), Baltimore (five) and Jacksonville (six) fewer than the 10 times it has faced San Diego.

Key Matchup:  RT La'El Collins v. DE Joey Bosa. Bosa has emerged as one of the NFL's best pass rushers in just his second NFL season. He had 10.5 sacks last year and already has 10.5 this year, giving him 21 in 22 games. He has terrific hand technique - his father Jon played several seasons in the NFL - and his combination of speed, power and quickness is hard to handle. Collins has allowed three sacks this year and he's been effective, but his technique is inconsistent. When it's off he can be beaten. Tyron Smith is back at left tackle, which means the Cowboys can help Collins if they need to do so.

X Factor: Dez Bryant used to be a known quantity. Now, he's an X Factor because he gets a lot of balls directed his way (98 targets is fifth in the NFL) but he's 15th in receptions with 50 and 29th in yards at 541. It has been 17 games since he had a 100-yard performance and the Cowboys could really use a big game from him to jump start the offense and create some big plays. The running game is nice, but  you score points by throwing the ball in today's NFL.

Key Stat: The Cowboys have a 64.5 pct winning percentage on Thanksgiving Day, but have lost four of the last seven games on the holiday. The 2014 & 2015 losses occurred, in part, because Tony Romo couldn't recover quickly enough to be effective with the four-day turnaround. He broke his collarbone in the 2015 loss. Dak Prescott led the Cowboys to a 31-26 win over Washington in last year's game.

Cowboys Game Plan: Prescott said he's been holding onto the ball too long looking for big plays, so he's going to underneath and let his receivers run after the catch against the Chargers. The Cowboys will have Smith back, which means they don't have to use as many running backs and tight ends in pass protection so they can be more aggressive down the field. If they could get some big plays in the passing game, it would help Alfred Morris even more to be an impact player.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vote: Favorite Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Half Time Performer]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:51:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-498871526.jpg

For more than two decades, the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game has been the kick-off of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign, helping raise $2 billion since 1997.

Over the years a number of nationally renowned entertainers have taken the stage to kick-off the event. We've picked a few of our favorites and added them to a survey to the right -- we're curious who were your favorites among them?

This week’s special performance features Thomas Rhett. Below is a look at who took the stage in the past.

  • 2016 -- Eric Church
  • 2015 -- Luke Bryan
  • 2014 -- Pitbull
  • 2013 -- Selena Gomez
  • 2012 -- Kenny Chesney
  • 2011 -- Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias
  • 2010 -- Keith Urban
  • 2009 -- Daughtry
  • 2008 -- The Jonas Brothers
  • 2007 -- Kelly Clarkson
  • 2006 -- Carrie Underwood
  • 2005 --Sheryl Crow
  • 2004 -- Destiny's Child
  • 2003 -- Toby Keith
  • 2002 -- Lee Ann Rimes
  • 2001 -- Creed
  • 2000 -- Jessica Simpson, Billy Gilman
  • 1999 -- Clint Black
  • 1998 -- Randy Travis
  • 1997 -- Reba McIntyre

The Kettle Kick Off extravaganza will be televised to a national audience to help draw national attention to the 20,000 red kettles that will appear across the country to encourage the American public to give something extra to those in need while buying holiday gifts for friends and family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Meal Photos]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:57:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Cowboys+Thanksgving+Food+%2823%29.png

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Preview: Dak, Cowboys Look to Rebound Against Chargers]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:47:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-876468888_master.jpg

Philip Rivers looks forward to his Thanksgiving debut in his 14th season.

The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback is also pretty fired up about how important Thursday's visit to the Dallas Cowboys is for his Los Angeles Chargers.

"Outside of playoff games, I don't know that there's any bigger stage and game than Thanksgiving," Rivers said . "It's certainly a big-time game, more so because of what's riding on it for our team. Throw in the fact that it's Thanksgiving, even better."

Los Angeles (4-6) started 0-4 while AFC West rival Kansas City won its first five. Now the Chargers are within two games of the division-leading Chiefs after scoring their most points since 1981 in a 54-24 win over Buffalo.

The Cowboys (5-5) have lost both games without suspended star running back Ezekiel Elliott, with still four games remaining on the six-game ban over alleged domestic violence. The defending NFC East champs are already all but eliminated in the division race, facing a tough road to a wild-card spot.

"It's going to show the character of our team," said quarterback Dak Prescott, who has struggled without the backfield mate from their remarkable rookie season.

"We've got the choice to go 11-5 right now or 5-11 or anything in between. It's about us coming in and coming to work every day to show the character and fight we have to be 11-5."

Tyron Smith appears set to return for Dallas after the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle missed two games with back and groin issues. Prescott was sacked a career-high eight times in the first loss, 27-7 to Atlanta, and lost a fumble in both games.

But the Cowboys still have to figure out how to stop the run without 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee, who will miss his second straight game and fourth overall with a hamstring injury. Dallas is allowing 181 yards rushing per game without Lee.

Things to consider going into the Chargers' second straight Thanksgiving game in Texas (the most recent was a 21-17 AFL win at Houston in 1969, the year before the merger):

BIG MIKE: After an injury-plagued beginning to his rookie season, Chargers receiver Mike Williams is starting to become a bigger part of the game plan. He caught a season-high five passes against Buffalo, playing 41 snaps and finally getting into a rhythm on the field. The Clemson product could get an even larger role going forward as defenses focus on Keenan Allen after his 12-catch performance against the Bills.

MORE REINFORCEMENTS: In addition to the likely return of Smith, it appears kicker Dan Bailey will be back after injuring his right groin against San Francisco and missing four games. Mike Nugent was signed to replace him and apparently will remain on the roster at least one more week. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens injured his groin against the Eagles, but has said he thinks he'll play. Hitchens usually fills Lee's weakside spot when Lee is out.

WHAT A RUSH: The Chargers are third in the NFL with 30 sacks after harassing Buffalo quarterbacks Nathan Peterman and Tyrod Taylor. LA's dynamic rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram is responsible for 19 of those sacks. Bosa is on a particular roll lately, with his pressure causing two of Peterman's interceptions and Taylor's fumble, which was returned for a touchdown by Ingram.

TIGHT END ROYALTY: Once again, Chargers-Cowboys will mean an Antonio Gates-Jason Witten showdown at tight end. They came in together in 2003 and have played all 15 seasons with the same franchise. Between them, Gates and Witten have 2,045 catches for 23,612 yards and 178 touchdowns. Gates' only TD this season set the NFL record for tight ends at 112. Witten and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards. "They are two of the all-time greats," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

FUNNY MAN: Assuming Bosa faces Smith, he'll do so with a healthy amount of respect for the 6-foot-5, 320-pound former Southern Cal standout. "First of all, you just look at the man -- he's like a cartoon character, a freakin' test tube baby. It's unbelievable the size of him." Bosa won't get to see Elliott, his old roommate at Ohio State. Elliott was taken fourth in the 2016 draft, one spot after Bosa. "We were both terrible roommates so it didn't bother either of us. We were both sloppy," Bosa said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Feast for Fans at Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day Game]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 03:59:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/holiday+meal+cowboys+game.jpg

Fans will be able to enjoy a taste of the holidays with decadent food throughout AT&T stadium during this year's annual Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game.

The main attraction is the Texas-Style Dressing Holiday Meal, featuring a Texas-shaped waffle made from stuffing, topped with homemade mashed potatoes, a choice of roasted turkey breast or Petit Jean smoked pit ham, green beans and homemade cranberry sauce, slathered with turkey giblet gravy.

The Legends culinary team at AT&T Stadium will prepare standard-setting fare for thousands of fans to enjoy on gameday, featuring fresh ingredients and from-scratch cooking.

“Our yearly Thanksgiving Day game gives us an opportunity to bring together fans and give them a taste of a traditional Thanksgiving meal while they’re enjoying the game,” AT&T Stadium Food and Beverage Director, George Wasai said in a statement. “A Texas-shaped waffle from traditional dressing served in a stadium environment is very innovative.”

The culinary team will also offer additional menu items inspired by the holidays, from traditional turkey and pumpkin pie, to flatbread with butternut squash and rainbow kale and homemade Spiced Pecan Turtle Gelato.

What it takes to serve 90,000 football fans:

  • Turkey: 9,200 lbs.
  • Ham: 3,200 lbs.
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes: 1,800 lbs.
  • Cornbread for Dressing: 3,800 lbs.
  • Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole: 4,500 lbs.
  • Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Crispy Onions: 2,700 lbs.
  • Praline Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole: 1,200 lbs.
  • Mac and Cheese: 5,100 lbs
  • Cranberry Sauce: 180 gallons
  • Gravy: 420 gallons
  • Heavy Cream for Whipped Cream Topping Desserts: 140 gallons

The holiday meal will be available on the West Plaza, East Plaza, Upper Concourse at Bent Buckle Stand 444, Upper Concourse, Sections 420 and 450, Main North and Main South Bent Buckle stands and Silver North and Silver South Bent Buckle stands.

The meal costs $25 and is available to all fans who have a ticket to the game.

Academy of Country Music’s Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett will perform during halftime of the Cowboys' Thanksgiving game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 23 at AT&T Stadium.

Photo Credit: AT&T Stadium
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<![CDATA[Terry Glenn's Fiancée Speaks After Fatal Crash]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:02:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-72345014.jpg

The fiancée of former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn, who was killed in a one-vehicle rollover crash in Irving Monday morning, spoke for the first time since the fatal crash Wednesday saying he was an amazing father, a great man of God and the love of her life.

Verina LeGrand was in the car with Glenn on eastbound Texas 114 when the vehicle struck a concrete barrier near Walnut Hill Lane shrotly after midight. The car flipped, ejecting Glenn from the vehicle, police said.

Glenn was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he died at about 12:52 a.m., the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office said.  LeGrand was injured in the crash but is expected to recover.

On Wednesday, she released the following statement.

Early Monday, November 20th, I lost my husband, my soulmate, my partner and my best friend. Ohio State lost a lifelong Buckeye. The world lost number 83, a world-class wide receiver. Six months ago, we welcomed a son, Greyson, whose journey in life has just begun as his father’s has ended. As we all know, Terry Glenn embodied the best of professional football. Those close to him knew him as much more. He was a man with a vision, who had a true passion for enriching the lives of foster children. He was an amazing father to seven kids and two step-daughters. He was a great man of God with a giving heart. He was the love of my life.

I want to thank everyone, his NFL family, close friends and fans who have extended their condolences. We thank you for your continued prayers and support during this tragic time in our lives. Those who knew Terry understand how much he cherished and protected his family and his privacy. While we appreciate the outpouring of love and kind words, we ask that you respect us in this time of grieving. As we finalize arrangements to celebrate Terry’s life, details will be forthcoming. Our loss is heaven’s gain.

On Tuesday, several of Glenn's seven children spoke to NBC 5 about their father saying he was their hero and that they'll cherish the time they had together.

The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed and the investigation is ongoing.

NBC 5's Maria Guerrero contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Grading Jason Garrett So Far This Season]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:27:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/grading_jason_garrett_this_season_1200x675_1101303875961.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the season for Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Meet Chargers for First Time on Thanksgiving Day]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:42:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/092813+cowboys+chargers.jpg

NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs gives his Chargers-Cowboys prediction and tells us why it might be another tough one for the Cowboys.]]>
<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Not Suing NFL Partners]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:01:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_Apologizes.jpg

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he will not sue fellow National Football League owners in an attempt to block Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract extension.

"I told the committee that I was standing down on legal action because they wanted to get input from all of the owners," Jones told USA Today Sports.

Jones added that he wants all owners — not just the six on the compensation committee — to have a say in negotiations for the commissioner's annual pay.

After Sunday's 37-9 loss to Philadelphia, Jones confirmed to NBC DFW Wednesday morning that he wants "unprecedented accountability to the ownership" while suggesting a review of Goodell's power to punish players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Jones had sent letters to the league suggesting he was threatening to sue. The compensation committee responded by asking Jones to stop, saying his conduct was hurting the NFL.

NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs said it's likely Jones will argue for owners to wait on Goodell's contract when the owners meet Dec. 13 in Dallas.

<![CDATA[Jerry Jones Not Suing NFL Partners: Source]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 04:37:25 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_ON_JERRY_NOT_SUING_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1101460547825.jpg

NBC 5’s Sports Director Newy Scruggs explains why Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones had a change of heart when it came to his dealings with league owners.]]>
<![CDATA[Vote: Which Was the Cowboys' Worst Thanksgiving Day Loss?]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 21:17:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/cowboys-49ers-2008-076.jpg

We first asked which Thanksgiving Day win was the most thrilling, now we want to know which was the Cowboys' worst loss on Thanksgiving Day. We've narrowed the list to four and included summaries to help jog your memory. Vote in the "Chime In" box below.

Danny's Disappointment
It wasn't perfect, but Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White had played a hard game -- he was 25 for 41 with 341 yards through the air. He'd tossed four touchdowns (and three interceptions) and rushed for another. Still, the Thanksgiving Day game against the Vikings ended up going into overtime. The Vikings had the ball and were driving down the field when Darrin Nelson broke free for a 25 scamper into the end zone. The loss put the Cowboys at 5-6 and out of the playoff hunt. Final: Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 in OT

Bounty Bowl
After cutting kicker Luis Zendejas earlier in the season, the Philadelphia Eagles allegedly put a $200 bounty on the kicker and a $500 bounty on quarterback Troy Aikman. Zendejas was hit hard in the head by a former teammate during the second half kickoff. Head coach Buddy Ryan denied the allegation, but it fueled the NFC East rivalry for years to come. The Cowboys, at this point in their rebuilding, were really no match for the Eagles. Final: Eagles 27, Cowboys 0

Leon Lett. The Ice Storm
It's been 24 years since the Ice Bowl, and Leon Lett's fumble, but it's still too soon. On a snow-covered field at Texas Stadium, with a field goal attempt block in the game's final seconds, the Cowboys were seconds away from a 14-13 win over the Miami Dolphins.  As the ball rolled to a stop after being knocked out of the air, Leon Lett, the Big Cat, slid into the ball and kicked it closer to the end zone. The Dolphins then touched it, downing the ball and again taking over possession. They would then get a second try at a chip shot field goal. Final: Miami 16-14.

Randy's Revenge
After the Cowboys passed him over in the 1998 NFL Draft, wide receiver Randy Moss got revenge on Thanksgiving Day with an epic performance that came from only three catches. It started with a flea-flicker call that left Moss with more than a couple of steps on the Cowboys' secondary. Moss easily scored .... again and again. He ended the day with three catches for 163 yards and three toucdowns the longest a 56 yard touchdown catch. Final: Vikings 46, Cowboys 36

Photo Credit: Frank Heinz
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<![CDATA[Is Dez Bryant an Elite Receiver for the Cowboys?]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:22:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Bryant+Eagles.jpg

NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss whether Dez Bryant is an elite receiver with the Cowboys offense.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Terry Glenn's Children Speak Out After Losing Their Father]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:40:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Glenn_Family.jpg

The children of former Dallas Cowboys player Terry Glenn are speaking out about their father after his death early Monday in a car crash.

Glenn was driving on Texas 114 when his vehicle struck a concrete barrier near Walnut Hill Lane, causing the vehicle to flip, police said. He later died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

To the public, Glenn was a football player. But to his children, he was everything.

"My hero and my dad," said Samantha Glenn, 12.

"He loved me and told me he was proud of me," added Natalie Glenn, 15.

Glenn had four children with his ex-wife.

Natalie Glenn remembers cheering on number 83 from the stands.

"During the game we'd always sit in the very edge, so when he did a play on defense he would come up and say hi and give us hugs," she said.

The teen will miss her father's voice in the crowd at her volleyball games.

"He would always be the loudest person," she said, wiping tears from her eyes.

Glenn's 11-year-old son, Christian, will remember their special outings.

"He would always take me fishing," he said with a smile.

The siblings say they will cherish the little moments, away from the limelight.

"We saw about two movies a week, because we were movie-buddies," Natalie said. "He was a great father. He tried his best in everything. He fought really hard for everything."

The Glenn children will also remember how much their dad did for other children, specifically foster kids like he was.

Glenn was active in his 83 Kids Foundation.

Irving police say they are still investigating what caused the deadly crash.

Glenn's fiancé was injured in the crash. She was treated at a local hospital and has since been released.

<![CDATA[Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Halftime Performances of the Past]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:23:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-625633478.jpgFor 21 years the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game as been the kick off of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign and featured nationally renowned entertainers. Take a look back at performers from 2004 to the present.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prescott, Elliott Among Top-Selling NFL Jerseys]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:22:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wentz-prescott-2016-hug-vet.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys still manage to move the merchandise.

According to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Jersey Report, the Cowboys are well-represented on the list of best-selling player jerseys.

On the list, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott ranks second to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Ezekiel Elliott fell down the list but still comes in at No.5.

There were also some notable player movement on the list as Jason Witten ranks No. 32, third best for a tight end. Dez Bryant is at No. 37, up 20 spots from last week.

Below is the complete list of best-selling player jerseys nationwide.

  1. Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
  3. Tom Brady – New England Patriots
  4. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
  5. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
  6. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
  7. Von Miller – Denver Broncos
  8. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
  10. Le’veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' Season on the Line Thanksgiving Day]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:44:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jason-garrett1.jpg

    Jason Garrett would never ever agree with this - and that's ok.

    The truth is the truth no matter who agrees or doesn't.

    Lose Thursday to the Los Angeles Chargers and the season will be in a complete free fall.

    That would be three straight losses, plunging the Cowboys under .500. It would give them a total of six losses, damaging their psyche in way that would be too much to overcome in the final weeks of the season.

    No one said it would be easy.

    When the season began, Cowboys' fans figured this game was one of those all Cowboys' fans penciled in for a win when the schedule came out and outlined it with a Sharpie when Los Angeles lost its first four games.

    Suddenly, though, this is a bad matchup for the Cowboys.

    Coach Anthony Lynn, the former Cowboys' running backs coach, prefers to run the ball.

    Melvin Gordon has 167 carries for 633 yards, a 3.8 average, and five touchdowns this season. That's solid, but not special, but we all know the Cowboys can't play run defense without Sean Lee.

    They gave up 217 yards on 33 carries to Philadelphia and 132 yards on 34 carries last week to Atlanta.

    Lynn will probe the Cowboys' run defense all game long, waiting patiently for it to disintegrate as long as the Chargers can stay close.

    On defense, the Cowboys hope Tyron Smith can play after missing the last two games. Either way, he's not going to be 100 percent and the Chargers defensive ends - Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram - are two of the game's best pass rushers.

    Bosa has 10.5 sacks and Ingram has 8.5 sacks. Bosa has 36.5 knockdowns and hurries, fifth in the league, while Ingram has a league-leading 45.5.

    If the Cowboys become one-dimensional for whatever reason, their offensive line will have trouble fending off San Diego's pass rush.

    Garrett will like his chances, if the Cowboys can play a complete game.

    They've been outscored 47-0 the past two games after halftime. The 37-9 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday was the Cowboys' worst loss a AT&T Stadium and the second-worst loss since Garrett became coach in the final eight games of the 2010 season.

    "We simply haven't been able to sustain the execution," Garrett said. "Trust me, we look our ourselves first as coaches, the position we're putting our players in, and you have to look at the actual execution by the players.

    "In each of the phases, we haven't done what we needed to do the last couple of weeks."

    It all starts with the Cowboys' offense. In the last two games without Ezekiel Elliott, who's serving a six-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy, Dallas has one touchdown drive in 23 possessions. And that drive, set up by an interception, was only 21 yards long.

    The offense has been ineffective and in disarray. Dak Prescott did not have a completion of more than 19 yards in 32 attempts against Philadelphia.

    It's hard to win with a passing game devoid of big plays, and with none of their top four receivers averaging more than 11.0 yards a catch the Cowboys will continue to struggle offensively.

    The Cowboys have been outscored 64-16 the past two games.

    "We haven't been good enough," Garrett said. "We haven't been able to be consistent running the football, consistent throwing the football. I don't think our pass protection has been as good as it needs to be.

    "We just haven't been able to attack defenses different ways like we're capable of doing and like we have been doing at different points this year."

    Until they do, winning will be difficult.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Pat Doney, Jean-Jacques Taylor Talk Cowboys at The Star]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:36:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PD-CowboysForWeb-112017_1200x675_1100446275811.jpg

    NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss the latest Cowboys headlines at The Star in Frisco, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.]]>
    <![CDATA[Wentz, Eagles Roll Over Cowboys After Losing Kicker]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:07:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/168*120/GettyImages-876468888.jpg

    No kicker, no problem for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and three 2-point conversions after Philadelphia lost kicker Luke Elliott to a head injury, and the Eagles all but wrapped up the NFC East with a 37-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

    The Eagles (9-1) outscored the Cowboys 30-0 in the second half while extending their winning streak to eight games, their longest since 2003-04 and tied with New Orleans for the best current run in the NFL.

    Philadelphia leads the second-place and defending division champion Cowboys (5-5) by four games with six to play after handing Dallas its worst home loss at 8-year-old AT&T Stadium.

    Dallas' Dak Prescott threw a career-high three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in his second straight loss without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, serving a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

    Luke Elliott's injury wasn't a factor for nearly a half because the NFL-leading Eagles couldn't get in scoring position. They failed to get a first down on five straight first-half drives, starting with one at the Dallas 15 when Elliott missed a 34-yard attempt and soon after left the field.

    Trailing 9-7 at halftime, Wentz led the Eagles on scoring drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards, the middle one boosted by Jay Ajayi's 71-yard run against his hometown team in his second game since getting traded by Miami.

    Ajayi had 91 yards on seven carries and LeGarrette Blount added 57 on 13 carries, including a 30-yarder leading to the last offensive touchdown.

    Eagles coach Doug Pederson declared at halftime that he would go for every fourth down and try 2-point conversions after every touchdown.

    It came into play right away when Corey Clement scored on an 11-yard run to open the second half and ran in a screen pass behind three blockers for the 2-pointer.

    The first fourth-down try was Wentz's 17-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery for a 29-9 lead. That 2-point pass failed. Torrey Smith had the other TD catch, an 11-yarder.

    After Derek Barnett hit Prescott's leg and arm as he was throwing, Nigel Bradham picked up the loose ball and ran it 37 yards for a touchdown. Wentz's pass to Trey Burton provided the final margin.

    The Cowboys appeared to have fixed the problems of missing injured left tackle Tyron Smith and 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee from a week earlier, when they allowed eight sacks of Prescott along with three Atlanta scoring drives following Lee's injury in a 27-7 loss to the Falcons.

    But after protecting Prescott fairly well before halftime, Dallas allowed three sacks and 180 of Philadelphia's season-high 215 yards rushing in the second half.

    Prescott was 18 of 31 for 145 yards for a career-worst 30.4 passer rating before backup Cooper Rush took mop-up duty.


    The Cowboys had their retractable roof open for the first time this season despite a game-time temperature of 54 degrees, chilly for the Texas types. It was just the sixth time the roof was open while the huge sliding glass doors behind each end zone were closed since $1.2 billion AT& Stadium opened in 2009.


    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, embroiled in what has become a public dispute with fellow owners over a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, received his Hall of Fame ring in a halftime ceremony. He shared the stage with wife Gene Jones and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker.


    Eagles: After missing wide right on the 34-yard field goal in the first quarter, Jake Elliott was evaluated for a head injury. He was in on the tackle on Switzer's long return on the opening kickoff, but made an extra point and kicked off again before the missed field goal.

    Cowboys: Already missing Lee, replacement Anthony Hitchens left with a groin injury.


    Eagles: Home against Chicago next Sunday.

    Cowboys: Los Angeles Chargers visiting for annual Thanksgiving game.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Vote: Which Cowboys Thanksgiving Win Was the Best]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 03:55:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-625629044.jpg

    As we celebrate the Silver and Blue, we want to know which Thanksgiving Day win was the most thrilling. We've narrowed the list to four and included summaries to help jog your memory. Vote in the "Chime In" box below.

    Clint Longley's Improbable Rally
    On Nov. 28, 1974, rookie Clint Longley ran onto the field for the first time to step in for future Hall of Famer Roger Staubach who'd been injured. Longley went 11 for 20 and threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns. One of the throws was a 50-yard bomb to Drew Pearson, who scored the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds left. Final: Cowboys 24, Redskins 23

    Garrett Picks Apart the Packers
    Before he was the head coach, Jason Garrett served the Cowboys as backup to Troy Aikman. On Thanksgiving Day 1994 he was third string and also backing up Rodney Peete. With both QBs down, it was next man up -- and that man was Garrett. Trailing 17-3, Garrett followed his process and went 15 for 26, throwing for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He did put up one INT, but still led the Cowboys to 36 second-half points and a victory. Final: Cowboys 42, Packers 31

    Romo's 5 TD Day
    In his fifth start, quarterback Tony Romo was quickly becoming a fan favorite in Dallas after leading the team to three wins in his first four games. On Nov. 23, 2006, he solidified his position with America's Team in a blowout win over the Buccaneers where he went 22 for 29 with 306 yards in the air with FIVE touchdowns. In his lengthy career, Romo would throw five touchdowns in a single game only one other time, on Oct. 6, 2013; he had six games where he threw four TDs however. Final: Cowboys 38, Buccaneers 10

    Dak, Zeke's Rookie Delight
    It's always nice to beat Washington, especially on Thanskgiving Day. As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins set records, Cowboys rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott continued to setting records of their own last year. Prescott accounted for two touchdowns while Elliott, the NFL's leading rusher, ran for a pair of scores. The Cowboys then extended their franchise regular-season record to 10 straight wins. Final: Cowboys 31, Redskins 26

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Troy Brown Remembers Former Patriots Teammate Terry Glenn]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:50:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000010545771_1200x675_1099911235942.jpgFormer Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown talks about his teammate Terry Glenn, following the news of Glenn being killed in Texas car crash.
    <![CDATA[Terry Glenn Seemed to Find Happiness Before His Death]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:51:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-72345014.jpg

    You know why I grieve for Terry Glenn, who died in a car accident early Monday morning? It’s because he seemed to have finally found the peace he searched a lifetime trying to discover.

    I covered Terry during the five years he played with the Cowboys, but I hadn’t talked to him in years. I tried to connect with him last October for a piece I was doing on Tony Romo, but I couldn’t get a good number for him.

    We didn’t have a great relationship, but we were cool, in part, because we each attended Ohio State. Terry, though, was guarded by nature, especially when it came to the media.

    He didn’t let many folks inside his circle because he didn’t trust a lot of people - and that’s OK. His mom was murdered when he was 13 - beaten to death by a boyfriend - and that’s something that could and would certainly affect someone for a lifetime. Subsequently, he felt abandoned by his family.

    Terry didn’t talk much when he played for the Cowboys. I don’t remember many 1-on-1 conversations for a guy who played five seasons with the Cowboys and made a bunch of big plays.

    But I do remember the talent. It was unforgettable.

    If you’re talking strictly talent, it was easy to see why he was the 7th player taken in the 1996 draft.

    He had everything you wanted in a receiver except size. He had speed, grace and agility. He had terrific hands, he’d pluck the ball out the air and he made more acrobatic catches than anyone I’d seen for the Cowboys. And he ran quality routes because once he got a step it was over.

    Imagine a dude with Joey Galloway’s speed and Michael Irvin’s hands. That was Terry Glenn.

    He was that good, but he also had self-destructive moments that kept him from maximizing all of his potential.

    Terry had problems after he left football, finding direction for his life like a lot of athletes do. But if you take a look at his Facebook page, it’ll bring you to tears.

    He didn’t make frequent posts, but the ones he did make were powerful. There’s an ode to his mom on Mother’s Day that’s as powerful as anything you’ll read. He alludes to some mental issues that he finally figured out how to control.

    And a few months ago, he talked about the birth of his son. Terry had several kids, from 20 to the infant named Greyson - and he had a relationship with all of them.

    Understand, how important he took fatherhood because he didn’t have that type of relationship with his father. He became engaged in October, and he posted the proposal on social media because he wanted the world to know he was happy.

    I’m thrilled Terry found peace before he died early Monday morning. My only wish is that he had found it sooner.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Where Do the Cowboys Stand Now After Loss to Eagles?]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:24:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/where_the_cowboys_stand_now_1200x675_1099658819723.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and the Original 88 Drew Pearson take a closer look at where the Cowboys stand now going into the Thanksgiving game against the Los Angeles Chargers. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Problems With the Cowboys Defense]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:30:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/problems_with_cowboys_defense_1200x675_1099664451515.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor dive into the problems with the Cowboys defense after the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Images from the Sideline: Eagles 37, Cowboys 9]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:30:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-876424800_master.jpgCarson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and three 2-point conversions after Philadelphia lost kicker Luke Elliott to a head injury, and the Eagles all but wrapped up the NFC East with a 37-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Terry Glenn Through the Years]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:40:24 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-1784493.jpgFormer Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn died Monday following a one-vehicle rollover traffic accident near Dallas that left his fiance slightly hurt, officials said. He was 43. Glenn played for Ohio state then played 12 seasons in the NFL, from 1996 to 2007, including six with the New England Patriots five with the Cowboys and another season with Green Bay. He finished his career with 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Fmr. Cowboys WR Terry Glenn Killed in Crash]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:46:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-78923910.jpg

    Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrence "Terry" Glenn was killed in a one-vehicle rollover crash in Irving early Monday morning that also injured his fiancée, officials say.

    According to police, Glenn, 43, was driving eastbound on Texas 114 when his vehicle struck a concrete barrier near Walnut Hill Lane at about 12:18 a.m. The car flipped, ejecting Glenn from the vehicle, police said.

    Glenn was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas where he died at about 12:52 a.m., the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office said.

    Glenn's fiancee, whose name has not been released, suffered minor injuries in the crash. Further details on the crash were not immediately released and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

    Funeral arrangements for Glenn have not been announced.

    Glenn, who earned a walk-on scholarship at Ohio State, was selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.

    Glenn was the receiver who caught Tom Brady's first touchdown pass in 2001 -- an overtime catch that gave the Pats a 29-26 win over the Chargers.

    "We were shocked and deeply saddened by today's news that Terry Glenn died in an auto accident," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said to Patriots.com. "Terry was one of the most gifted receivers we have ever had. For so many Patriots fans, his rookie season will be remembered as one of the most impactful in franchise history."

    He played with the Pats through 2001 before spending one season with the Packers in 2002. In 2003, he headed to Dallas to once again play under coach Bill Parcells, whom he played under in New England, quickly finding himself the target for Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter.

    Glenn's best years in Dallas were in the 2005 and 2006 seasons where former Patriots teammate Drew Bledsoe, who was then under-center in Dallas, and Bledsoe's eventual replacement Tony Romo, often relied on him to make some of the most remarkable, acrobatic catches in team history.

    "Terry was someone that we all enjoyed very much in his time with the Cowboys. He was a gentle and kind hearted young man. We are all terribly saddened by this news of his passing. Too young and too soon," Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his loved ones and all of the people who were touched by his life."

    Injuries plagued the receiver the last few years of his career leading up to the Cowboys releasing him from its roster in July 2008, ahead of what would have been his 13th year in the league.

    In the first few years away from the NFL, Glenn often found himself on the wrong side of the law where he faced charges for DWI and marijuana possession in 2011, public intoxication and marijuana possession in 2009 and auto theft in 2009 for failing to return a rental car on time.

    In the years that would pass, Glenn eventually found peace, according to NBC 5's Jean-Jacques Taylor, who reported on Glenn during his time with the Cowboys. Taylor reports Glenn, who was very private and didn't often open up to the media, was engaged to be married and recently had another child.

    Though private he may have been, Glenn lately had been sharing some of the more intimate details of his life, and his childhood, on Facebook. On Mother's Day earlier this year, he wrote an incredibly touching letter to his deceased mother, who was beaten to death by her boyfriend when Glenn was just a young boy.

    It was his upbringing in Columbus, Ohio, which led Glenn to create the 83 Kids Foundation, a charity which links donors with nonprofit groups in need of additional resources for foster children.

    According to his bio on his website, Glenn said he was blessed to have seven children and hoped to create for them a world where they knew they were loved and cared for — something he said was missing from his own childhood due to the absence of his mother.

    "My children are my world. They are my reason," Glenn wrote in his biography. "83 Kids Foundation was established to help bring that feeling of unconditional love to kids that yearn for it so dearly. This is the missing link that can help lower the percentages of foster kids acting out or finding themselves in jail before the age of 18."

    In a statement Monday evening on behalf of Glenn's seven children, Christopher Randolph said, in part, they "lost a wonderful father, a fiance lost her partner, the NFL lost a legend," and "the heavens gained a superstar."

    "At this time we ask that everyone say a prayer for the family and make an extra effort to tell your own family how much you love them, too," the children's statement continued. "Terry will be missed by millions and loved by all."

    NFL players, coaches and staffers close to Glenn were quick to react to the news on social media.

    Bledsoe expressed his sorrow via social media.

    "Loved this man. My son asked me a decade ago who my favorite receiver ever was because he wanted that jersey for Christmas. He got a Terry Glenn jersey from Santa," Bledsoe wrote. "TG overcame horrible adversity to become a really good man. May your soul rest in peace my friend."

    NBC 5's Frank Heinz, Jean-Jacques Taylor, Maria Guerrero and Brian Roth contributed to this report.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[What the Next Three Games Mean for the Cowboys]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:27:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_need_next_three_games_1200x675_1099658819996.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor take a look at how important the next three games are for the Cowboys. ]]>
    <![CDATA[JJT: 10 Thoughts on Dallas' Loss to Philly]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:09:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-dak-prescott-eagles-cowboys.jpg

    Here are Cowboys' Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor's 10 thoughts on the Cowboys' 37-9 loss to Philadelphia.

    1. The NFL is all about trends. There are no coincidences. The Cowboys have been outscored 47-0 in the second half of their last two games, and Jason Garrett must figure it out or this season will crater quickly.
    2. The Cowboys must find a way to get big plays in their passing game. l because that's how you score points. They did not have one in 32 attempts last year.
    3. It's clear Jaylon Smith plays better when he's on the field between 25-30 plays. Any more than that, and Smith struggles.
    4. Anthony Hitchens will have a MRI on his strained groin Monday. He will probably miss Thursday's game along with Sean Lee.
    5. Tyron Smith had one hurdle to clear on game day before the Cowboys would clear him to play. He couldn't clear it, so he didn't play.

    6. Alfred Morris did a good job running the ball, but he doesn't change how defenses play like Elliott does because he doesn't frighten them.
    7. The Cowboys came close several times but couldn't sack Carson Wentz. It's the first time this season they didn't get a sack.
    8. There's no way you can win in the NFL with Prescott averaging 4.6 yards an attempt and 6.7 this season.
    9. Ryan Switzer had his best game, and he looked assertive on kickoff returns averaging 36.8 yards with a long of 61 yards.
    10. Dez Bryant has gone 16 games without a 100-yard game and averaged 4.5 per route and 7.9 per catch.

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Blue Star Breakdown: Cowboys Fall to 5-5 on the Season]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:20:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_eagles_sunday_night_recap_1200x675_1099659331645.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs and the Original 88 Drew Pearson break down the Cowboys' 37-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Dishes on Goodell After Brutal Loss]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:11:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry-Jones-Cowboys-Eagles-111917.jpg

    The Dallas Cowboys have lost both games without Ezekiel Elliott, and owner Jerry Jones is still trying to explain what the six-game suspension for his star running back has to do with his objections over a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell.

    Jones said after a 37-9 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night that he wants "unprecedented accountability to the ownership" while again referring to a desire to revisit the power Goodell has to punish players under the collective bargaining agreement.

    Elliott's suspension stemming from alleged domestic abuse finally started after a two-month legal battle, and with the Cowboys coming off a three-game winning streak that had the defending NFC East champions headed in the right direction a year after having the best record in the NFC at 13-3.

    Now Dallas (5-5) has been outscored 47-0 in the second half of consecutive losses without last year's NFL rushing leader, and the team trails the division-leading Eagles (9-1) by four games with six to go. Philadelphia has won eight straight games, its most since the 2003-04 seasons.

    Elliott was suspended following a yearlong NFL investigation after prosecutors in Ohio cited conflicting evidence in declining to pursue the case.

    "I want unprecedented accountability to the ownership," Jones said after the Cowboys' most lopsided loss at 8-year-old AT&T Stadium on the same night he received his Hall of Fame ring in a halftime ceremony.

    "It's unfortunately that motives are being pressed, (that) it's all about Zeke. Zeke is over. But some of the things that make that happen are still around."

    Jones wouldn't address questions about a report that he threatened to go after Goodell's job when the commissioner told him the suspension was coming this past summer.

    The 75-year-old Jones also pushed back when told that Jonathan Kraft, son of New England owner Robert Kraft, had said that Jones suggested the Krafts move on when they were upset over quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension over Deflategate two years ago.

    "Those circumstances are so different," Jones said. "We're not going to write anything -- a book here. They're just different. But I didn't hear that. I think the world of Jonathan."

    Things to consider after the Eagles scored at least 25 points for the eighth straight time, the longest current streak in the NFL:


    Coach Doug Pederson wasn't ready to speculate on the head injury that left the Eagles without a kicker. They just had to adjust with Jake Elliott out of the game.

    "I've got to watch a bit of the film and see," Pederson said. "I know it was in the first half."

    Possibly on the game's opening kickoff, when he was in on the tackle after Ryan Switzer's 61-yard return . Elliott did make the extra point and kicked off after Philadelphia scored a touchdown on its opening drive, but was wide right on a 34-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first quarter.

    Without Elliott after halftime, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill kicked off . But Pederson decided they would go for 2-pointers after every touchdown -- and they converted on three of four.


    After throwing a career-high three interceptions, Dak Prescott was already thinking about getting back on the field.

    "I'd play tomorrow if I could," he said.

    At least it is a short week, with the Cowboys' annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

    The first pick was a tipped pass, the second was one Prescott called "boneheaded, simple as that." The third, he said, was a miscommunication with a receiver when both of them were just trying to make a play.


    Anthony Hitchens was starting for injured Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. Now Hitchens is hurting.

    Hitchens left early in the second half with because of a groin pull, and will have an MRI on Monday. And Lee is likely to be out again with his hamstring issue.

    Jaylon Smith was splitting time with middle linebacker Justin Durant against the Eagles before moving into Hitchens' spot. Smith and Durant could be playing even more Thursday.


    Philadelphia has two of the three most-lopsided wins by a visitor since AT&T Stadium opened in 2009. The Eagles won 33-10 on Thanksgiving Day three years ago, though the New England Patriots then won by one more point -- 30-6 -- in a 2015 game at the Cowboys.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' Tyron Smith Out for NFC East Battle Against Eagles]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:26:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-869150750.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is out for a second straight game because of back and groin injuries for a Sunday night NFC East matchup against the NFL-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

    Replacements for the four-time Pro Bowler gave up six of Atlanta's eight sacks in the Falcons' 27-7 win last week.

    Byron Bell will start over Chaz Green, who replaced Smith against Atlanta and gave up five sacks to Adrian Clayborn. After Green was benched, Bell allowed Clayborn's franchise-record sixth sack.

    The Eagles, with seven straight wins, have a three-game lead on the defending NFC East champion Cowboys and can all but clinch the title with a win.

    Sean Lee had already been declared out for Dallas with a hamstring injury sustained against Atlanta. The Cowboys are 0-2 this season without the 2016 All-Pro linebacker, who missed the earlier games with a hamstring injury as well.

    Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby is active after missing eight games because of a dislocated ankle sustained in the opener.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Fans Gear Up for Sunday Night Game]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 02:03:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_fan_rally.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys fans spend Saturday at AT&T Stadium gearing up for the big game against the Philadelphia Eagles.]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Apologizes for Joke With Racial Overtones]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:55:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+10.jpg

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologized Friday for making a joke with racial overtones that was captured on video four years ago.

    The video surfaced Friday morning by The Blast.

    At the Melrose Hotel in Oak Lawn, Jones encountered a fan who was about to get married. The man, who is white, asked Jones if he would videotape a message for his fiancée.

    "Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding," Jones says in the video. "Now, you know he's with a black girl tonight, don't you?"

    The camera then pans to show an African-American male, who's apparently laughing at Jones' comment.

    "That comment was inappropriate," Jones said in a statement issued by the club Friday afternoon. "It's not who I am, and I'm sorry."

    Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, who played five seasons with the Cowboys, defended Jones after the video was posted.

    "I refuse to allow a moment to turn into a monument regarding a man I have known for 20 years, not just as an owner, but as a friend," Sanders said in an e-mail. "I won't cast judgment on one moment when a joke went south, to capture who this man represents in a lifetime commitment of love and compassion to all ethnicities.

    "A joke that was intended to add humor at the request of a fan in a light-hearted moment was taken totally out of intent. I'm sorry we're in this state of mind as a country, but if you're looking for a racist, Jerry Jones is not that guy," Sanders said.

    The video became made public hours after a report from ESPN's Outside the Lines said Jones threatened to come after commissioner Roger Goodell upon learning the league had suspended Ezekiel Elliott for six-games.

    Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
    <![CDATA[Thomas Rhett to Perform at Cowboys Thanksgiving Game]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:34:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-648425534.jpg

    Country star Thomas Rhett will be the halftime performer on Thanksgiving Day as the Dallas Cowboys host the Los Angeles Chargers.

    Rhett will lead Thursday's nationally televised halftime show at AT&T Stadium in Arlington to help kick off The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign.

    Rhett earlier this year won the Academy of Country Music award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Rhett in 2013 had his first No. 1 hit with "It Goes Like This." His hits also include "Die A Happy Man."

    The Red Kettle Campaign begins on Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas Eve. Officials say the charitable effort has raised nearly $2.2 billion since the Thanksgiving Day partnership with the Dallas Cowboys began in 1997.

    <![CDATA[Cowboys Confident They Can Fix What's Wrong With Dez Bryant]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:48:17 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-856334438_master.jpg

    The statistics demand the question be asked: What's wrong with Dez Bryant?

    The NFL's sixth-highest paid receiver at $14 million this season doesn't have production commensurate with his salary.

    With Ezekiel Elliott suspended for the another five games, the Cowboys' passing game must be more productive and produce some of the big plays Elliott usually provides.

    Bryant, given his athleticism, is an obvious choice.

    Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles would be a good place to start, considering the Eagles have a 2 1/2-game lead in the NFC East, or the Cowboys could find themselves out of playoff contention when Elliott returns Dec. 24 against Seattle.

    Although he's tied for sixth in the NFL in targets (83), Bryant is tied for 20th in receptions (42), 36th in yards (478), tied for 66th in receptions of 20 yards or more (4) and tied for 21st in receiving touchdowns (4).

    He's on pace to catch 74 passes for 849 yards and seven touchdowns.


    "In the past, including last year, we've been as good as anybody in the league on nine balls," receivers coach Derek Dooley said Thursday after practice.

    "This is where Dez is outside and he runs dead straight. We throw it up and he makes a play on the ball. These are 30- to 45-yard plays, chunks, and we typically hit one or two every other game. We've gone nine games and we haven't really hit one," Dooley said. "That's the void in his production."

    Bryant had a 30-yard reception against the New York Giants in the opener. He caught a 36-yard pass against the Los Angeles Rams, had a 27-yard catch-and-run against San Francisco and a 21-yard reception against Kansas City.

    Forgive us for being spoiled.

    From 2012-2014, Bryant had 55 receptions of more than 20 yards, including 10 of more than 50.

    But that's when the Cowboys were a passing team and, for the most part, Tony Romo and Bryant were the epicenter of the offense.

    Now, they're a run-first, play-action team built around Elliott's unique skill set and one of the NFL's best offensive lines.

    Romo and Bryant spent five seasons together. Romo and the 29-year-old Bryant established a connection that made them one of the NFL's most lethal passing combinations.

    Romo, a gun-slinger by nature, would throw the ball to Bryant even if he appeared covered, because Romo figured if he put the ball in the precise spot, Bryant would catch it.

    Romo's approach is Robert Graham shirts, pants that stop above his ankles and Donald Pliner shoes; Prescott's approach is navy suit, power tie and Johnston & Murphy wingtips.

    Both approaches have succeeded, but one helped make Bryant a star and the other has made him a high-priced role player.

    "Me and Dez are great. We don't let missing each other on a throw or on a route-concept bother us," Prescott said. "We're gonna continue to stay at it."

    "I'm not gonna stop targeting him, and he's not gonna stop trying to get open and making plays on the ball," Prescott added.

    Bryant is at the point of his career where winning is the priority. He's been an All-Pro, played in three Pro Bowl and earned a big-money deal.

    Now, he wants a title.

    "Line one with Dez Bryant is that he wants to win," Dooley said. "Line one-and-a-half is he knows he can help us win, so when he's not involved in a game his frustration is fair because he's a weapon who can help us win."

    Bryant, for his part, understands commanding double coverage and creating opportunities for others is as much a part of his job as catching passes.

    He also understands Prescott is more apt to go where the coverage dictates he goes with the ball as opposed to forcing the ball to Bryant.

    "Dez is unique in some of his skill sets," Dooley said. "He can appear covered and you throw it and he comes down with the ball and it's not putting the ball at risk."

    "Tony was more aggressive in exploiting that. You can't have it all. Dak's best quality is he doesn't put the ball at risk. Tony was a more aggressive thrower, but that's not Dak's style," Dooley said.

    Bryant hasn't had a 100-yard performance in 16 games and 369 days. He's been over 90 yards once — a 98-yard performance in last month's loss to the Rams.

    Among the game's 11 highest-paid receivers, he's the only one in the last year without a 100-yard game. That said, none of those receivers has scored more than the nine touchdowns Bryant has in the last 16 games.

    "You never gonna hear me say, 'Gimme, the rock! Gimme the rock! Gimme the rock!'" Bryant said. "Of course, you gonna want the ball, but you have to understand and see the bigger picture."

    "We do things differently here. I don't too much focus on what another guy does. I just don't. We have our own type of game plan over here," he said. "I impact the game. You know it. They still put two on me. You see it. So I'm making an impact."

    Even if the numbers say differently.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Newy Scruggs' Prediction for Cowboys-Eagles Sunday Night]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:13:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_COWBOYS_EAGLES_PREDICTION_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1097866819738.jpg

    The Cowboys and Eagles will face off for the 117th time Sunday night. NBC 5's Newy Scruggs gives his prediction and tells us why the challenge may be too much for the Cowboys.]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones to Receive Ring of Excellence Tonight]]>Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:58:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jones_01.jpg

    Jerry Jones will be honored during Sunday's Dallas Cowboys game.

    The recent Pro Hall of Fame inductee will be honored during halftime of the Cowboys game against the division rival Philadelphia Eagles as he receives his Ring of Excellence.

    “Folks, obviously to have had the chance to be a part of this great game, use whatever skills that might work to help move the ball forward, I leave you tonight with one last thank you," Jones said in his Enshrinement speech in August. "It's for you, the fans. I'm a fan. You're the heartbeat of the game. And the Dallas Cowboy fans are the greatest fans on earth. But I love Giant fans. I love Eagle fans. I love Redskin fans. I love Massillon High School fans here. I love McKinley fans right here in town. You're here tonight because you love the game. Guys, I'm here because I love it, too.”

    In addition, Tony Dorsett (Class of 1994), Michael Irving (Class of 2007), Bob Lilly (Class of 1980), Mel Renfro (Class of 1996), Emmitt Smith (Class of 2010), Roger Staubach (Class of 1985), Randy White (Class of 1994) and Rayfield Wright (Class of 2006) will be presented with their Ring of Excellence during a pregame reception.

    The game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 P.M. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

    The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence is one of three iconic symbols that represent the elite status of being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    All of the Hall of Famers received the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and unveiled his Bronzed Bust during their respective Enshrinement Ceremonies.

    As part of the partnership between the Hall of Fame and Kay Jewelers, all living members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will receive the new Ring of Excellence that was designed by Kay Jewelers in 2013.

    At the end of this season, every living Hall of Famer will have received the new Ring of Excellence.

    Photo Credit: Pro Football Hall of Fame]]>
    <![CDATA[Photos: Pro Football Hall of Fame Rings of Excellence]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:25:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*166/jerrys+ring.jpgThe Pro Football Hall of Fame will honor the Hall of Famers, including two members of the recently enshrined Class of 2017, Jerry Jones and Terrell Davis, will receive their Rings of Excellence this weekend. Here's a look at their rings.

    Photo Credit: Pro Football Hall of Fame]]>
    <![CDATA[Feud Grows Between NFL, Cowboys' Jerry Jones Over Goodell]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:09:48 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+07.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not backing down in his very public spat with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

    In a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Jones said the NFL "has undergone unprecedented upheaval in the last two years, including a significant decline in television ratings, increased advertiser discontent, high-profile litigation concerning player suspensions, and decreasing ticket sales."

    Jones' request to hold a special meeting with the NFL's compensation committee before the group's Dec. 13 meeting was denied.

    Jones was responding to a letter sent to his attorneys Wednesday from the NFL accusing the Dallas Cowboys owner of "conduct detrimental to the league's best interests." 

    The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, which suggests Jones sabotaged the negotiations and was sent to David Boies on Wednesday. Jones hired Boies and threatened to sue the NFL if Goodell's contract extension was approved by the compensation committee, made up of six owners. All 32 owners voted unanimously in May to let the committee finalize a deal with Goodell.

    The letter, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was written by outside counsel for the compensation committee and given to the AP by a person who requested anonymity because it was not intended to be made public.

    It's the latest escalation of a feud between the NFL and one of its most powerful owners. Jones has denied that his objections to the extension are tied to Goodell's decision to suspend star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games over alleged domestic violence.

    Elliott abandoned his legal fight over the suspension Wednesday. He has five games left to serve.

    "Your client's antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the league and reflect conduct detrimental to the league's best interests," the letter said.

    Jones has said he has issues with compensation in the deal, along with concerns about the escalation of player protests involving the national anthem and how the league has handled them. He also has suggested that owners should revisit the power that the position wields.

    The letter confirmed that Jones was removed as a non-voting member of the compensation committee after threatening to sue.

    Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, was accused of sharing with all the owners an outdated document related to the negotiations with Goodell.

    "Someone who is genuinely concerned 'that the owners know the truth about the negotiations' would not deliberately distribute such an outdated document, particularly when he has in his possession drafts that are current and accurately reflect the actual state of negotiations, or threaten to sue the league and its owners if he does not get his way," the letter said.

    Jones has acknowledged being at odds with the compensation committee chairman, Atlanta owner Arthur Blank, over the Goodell talks. They didn't speak on the field before the Falcons' 27-7 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday.

    Blank issued a statement Monday saying the committee planned to proceed with finalizing the Goodell deal and would keep other owners updated.

    Jones claimed Tuesday on his radio show that "well over half" the owners agree with him in wanting a final vote after the committee is finished negotiating the deal.

    "With due respect, we urge Mr. Jones to drop his misguided litigation threats and media campaign to undermine the committee's mandate," the letter said. "And we urge Mr. Jones to support the committee's deliberations, not attempt to sabotage them."

    Multiple reports have said some league owners were discussing options to strip Jones of the franchise. While it's likely that will not happen, University of North Texas at Dallas law professor Michael Maslanka said the NFL does have that option.

    "The commissioner, if you're found guilty, has the authority to fine you up to $500,000. If the commissioner doesn't believe that is sufficient, he can refer Jerry Jones to the executive committee. In that case the executive committee can, under the by-laws, take away his contract. It's not going to happen, because it is a silly spat," Maslanka said.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' RB Elliott to Drop Appeals of Suspension]]>Wed, 15 Nov 2017 21:25:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-830900128.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is ending his legal fight with five games remaining on a six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence.

    Elliott's agent and lawyer said in the statement Wednesday that the decision comes from a "practical assessment of the legal landscape" and Elliott's desire for closures in this matter.

    The statement also says it's not an admission of any wrongdoing.

    Elliott, who missed last Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, will miss upcoming games against the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants and Raiders before rejoining team activities and practices on Dec. 18.

    He'll be available for the final two games of the season, beginning on Christmas Eve against the Seattle Seahawks and then a rematch with the Eagles on New Year's Eve.

    The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time.

    Prosecutors in Ohio didn't pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence. Elliott denied the allegations under oath during his NFL appeal.

    The entire statement is below:

    "In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forego any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension. This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr. Elliott's desire for closure in this matter is in his best interest, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends. This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by he and his team resulted in disclosing many hidden truths regarding this matter as well publicly exposing the NFL's mismanagement of its disciplinary process. Mr. Elliott will maximize this time away from the game and come back even stronger both on and off the field. He intends to release a final personal statement in the upcoming weeks and until then we have no further comment."

    "Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL's disciplinary process as a sham and a lie," the NFL Players Association said in a statement. "They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in 'experts' and imposed a process with the stated goal of 'getting it right,' yet the management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system."

    The suspension prompted weeks of court hearings in three states resulting in three legal reprieves that kept Elliott on the field.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to an expedited hearing for Elliott's arguments that he wasn't treated fairly by the league, but last week turned down his request for an injunction while the case was being heard.

    The same court ruled against New England quarterback Tom Brady last year over his four-game suspension in the "Deflategate" case. Unlike Elliott, Brady had won a lower-court ruling that delayed the suspension for a year.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Chaz Green Has Cowboys Hoping Tyron Smith Can Play Sunday]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 05:59:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-597594586.jpg

    Left tackle Chaz Green had one of the worst days in NFL history Sunday against Atlanta.

    Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn played the game of his career, recording six tackles, three for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in the Falcons’ 27-7 win over Dallas.

    All but one of the sacks and one of the forced fumbles came agianst Green. Clayborn also hit Dak Prescott seven times.

    It’ll be awhile before Green plays again.

    A poor technique led to his initial struggles; a lack of confidence led to his demise.

    Mercifully the Cowboys replaced Green with Byron Bell for the Cowboys’ final 17 offensive plays.

    If Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith can’t play Sunday night against Philadelphia, then Bell will start against the Eagles.

    A groin injury kept Smith out of Sunday’s game and back and hip injuries have kept him from practicing on Wednesdays for a month.

    The extra practice time Green has had on Wednesdays was supposed to make him a better player.

    It didn’t.

    Smith jogged on Monday. He’s not expected to practice Wednesday but Garrett hopes he’ll be ready for Thursday.

    Bell has started 72 NFL games, primarily at right tackle. The experience should prevent him from getting flustered, which ultimately led to Green’s downfall.

    The Cowboys entered Sunday’s game knowing they would have to help their tackles. Understand, when Smith is in the lineup that’s not part of any gameplan conversation unless it’s about La’El Collins.

    But coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan never envisioned Green being abject.

    “We tried to help him a few different ways in the game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We certainly didn’t help him all of the time.”

    Why not? The reasons are varied.

    Sometimes, the play was designed for Dak Prescott to get rid of the ball quickly, thus giving Green a sense of accomplishment. Other times, the Falcons’ two-deep zone, man-to-man underneath scheme thwarted the Cowboys because it’s designed to take away quick throws.

    The counter to Atlanta’s defense requires longer pass routes the Cowboys didn’t have time to block. And as the Falcons became more confident in their pass rush, they played tighter coverage because they knew Prescott wouldn’t have time to throw.

    Everything Garrett said makes sense until you realize a dude like Clayborn, who’s average at best, is single-handidly destroying your game plan.

    Clayborn, who has never had more than 7.5 sacks in a season, hadn’t had a sack in five games. In 74 games, he’d had one multi-sack game and that occured last October.

    He had two sacks and a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the first half. The fumble recovery ended a potential scoring drive for the Cowboys at the end of the first half.

    “Typically, it always starts with your set,” Garrett said of Green’s issues. “If you put yourself in a good positon once you engage the rusher, then you have a chance, but once he engaged the rusher whether it was hand placement or balance or dropping his head he had problems.”

    Garrett and Linehan contemplated replacing Green at halftime, but the Cowboys trailed only 10-7, and they wanted to give him a chance to re-group and play better.

    “He didn’t play well enough,” Garrett said. “He didn’t play to standard and we’ll certainly look at the backup swing tackle position as we go forward.”

    Now, it’s about re-building Green’s confidence. There’s certainly no guarantee Smith plays this week.

    “When your confidence gets shaken, all of a sudden you play with different technique because you don’t believe you can make the block using the proper technique,” said Garrett, “so you start doing other things and it starts to spiral downward.

    “He’ll bounce back. He’s played football in this league long enough to know its competitive.”

    The Cowboys could very well need Green to play again this season. If he does, they need him ready to compete at his highest level.

    Whatever that is.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys to Host 'Cowboys Christmas at The Star']]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:07:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/The+Star+in+Frisco.jpg

    The Dallas Cowboys are getting into the holiday spirit this year with Cowboys Christmas at The Star in Frisco.

    The team will host several family events through the season, including pictures with Santa, starting this Saturday.

    The Star's Christmas tree lighting is set for Friday, Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving.

    And fans can check out the Cowboys Christmas Spectacular with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Dancers and Drumline.

    The holiday performance will happen each weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    MORE:Click for more information on The Star in Frisco

    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
    <![CDATA[Photos: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 2017]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:21:22 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-877992108.jpgThey're known as America's Sweethearts, check out photos of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders as they perform at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[NFL Could Punish Jones for Fighting Commissioner's Contract]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:26:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jerry-jones-ap.jpg

    The possibility of a contract extension for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has created drama between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and other team owners around the league. In fact, it may be on the verge of going “nuclear.”

    Several owners have given Jones a cease-and-desist warning, threatening to punish him concerning his efforts to block the commissioner's extension. The warning was issued by six of the owners on the NFL Compensation Committee after the group held a conference call on Monday. This was less than two weeks after Jones threatened to sue the league and the owners who were working on a new contract for Goodell.

    Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank issued a statement on Monday, stating the negotiations with Goodell are moving forward.

    "The Committee is continuing its work towards finalizing a contract extension with the Commissioner, consistent with the mandate provided in the unanimous May 2017 Resolution,” Blank wrote. “Regardless of what may have been reported, the Committee is working within the financial parameters outlined to the ownership at the May meeting. The negotiations are progressing and we will keep ownership apprised of the negotiations as they move forward. We do not intend to publicly comment on our discussions.”

    Jones and Blank did not speak to each other before Sunday’s game in Atlanta. It didn’t help, at least for Jones, that the Falcons beat the Cowboys 27-7 later that evening.

    What all this may come down to is a fight for control of the NFL. Jones verses Goodell and other league owners may be the biggest matchup of the season. Goodell reportedly wants nearly $49.5 million per year, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his family. Jones, who has played a large part in the growth of the NFL over the years, doesn’t appear to be on board with the requests.

    Jones has been accused of trying to “overthrow” Goodell and is not happy with how business is going concerning the league, which involves the controversy surrounding the national anthem protests and a decline in ratings.

    There is also a more personal element involved in the feud, which surrounds the six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Elliott will serve at least four games of that suspension until his next hearing on December 1. Jones remains adamant that his running back did not deserve a suspension because he was never charged with a crime following accusations of domestic violence.

    Things have escalated to the point to where a “nuclear option” has been reportedly discussed among NFL owners concerning Jones.

    Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cited a league source who said multiple owners have discussed the possibility of the Cowboys owner forfeiting the franchise, which flows from Article VIII of the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws.

    One of the sections of the article would allow the commissioner to force the forfeiture of a team if the owner “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league of professional football.” There is also a $500,000 fine involved somewhere.

    Things have now officially got weird.

    "I think that's laughable," said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones on KRLD-FM (105.3 The Fan) on Monday. 

    Florio stated such a move “would trigger years of litigation.” The possibility reportedly emerged due to the “belief among owners that Jones instigated Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter to disparage the NFL, blaming league leadership for ratings declines and, in turn, a reduction in Papa John’s revenues.”

    Chances are Jerry Jones isn’t losing control of the Dallas Cowboys anytime soon. However, this shows how much heat there is among Jones and other league owners, which also may not end anytime soon.

    So, as the battle for league supremacy off the field continues, it may come down to the fact that if Jones doesn’t drive out Goodell, he may need to worry about Goodell driving him out of the game.

    Photo Credit: Ray Ratto]]>
    <![CDATA[10 Thoughts on the Cowboys' 27-7 Loss to the Atlanta Falcons]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:15:25 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Falcons.jpg

    1. The coaching staff didn’t adjust quickly enough to Chaz Green’s problems handling Adrian Clayborn and it hurt them. They had to either get him off the field or give him help on every play. They did neither until it was too late.

    2. Brice Butler’s offensive pass interference on a fake punt was one of the game’s key play. Dallas led, 7-3, at the time and his apparent catch moved the ball to the 25, but the penalty negated the play and Dallas punted.

    3. Dak Prescott, harassed much of the night, averaged just 5.8 yards per attempt. He had just two completions of more than 20 yards.

    4. Chaz Green had an awful game and he owned it afterward. He was slow off the ball, and kept getting beat off with the same speed move much of the night.

    5. Mike Nugent banged a 38-yard field goal off the right upright. Dan Bailey has made 58 of 60 field goals from 30-39 yards in his career. He has not missed from that distance since 2014, having made 20 straight since 2015.

    6. The Cowboys had a season-low 233 yards total offense.

    7. Dez Bryant caught four passes for 39 yards; the 15th straight game that he’s failed to reach the 100-yard mark. Bryant would say he’s not concerned because in this offense the ball gets spread around and Ezekiel Elliott is the focal point.

    8. Xavier Woods, who made a nifty diving catch to record his first interception, also downed a punt at the one.

    9. Dak Prescott ran six times for 42 yards, and scored his fifth rushing touchdown this season. At one point in the first half, he ran on three consecutive plays and seemed winded.

    10. The Cowboys didn’t take advantage of good field position  in the second quarter, when they started drives at their 31 and 48 and didn’t come away with points.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[5 Things to Know About the Cowboys Loss to Falcons]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:27:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Falcons.jpg

    NBC 5's Pat Doney has 5 things to know about the cowboys loss to the Falcons.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Adrian Clayborn Has 6 Sacks, Falcons Romp Past Cowboys 27-7]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:07:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-873376512.jpg

    Adrian Clayborn must've thought he was the one replacing Ezekiel Elliott in the Dallas Cowboys' backfield.

    Clayborn spent most of Sunday running around back there, making life miserable for Dak Prescott with one of the greatest pass-rushing performances in NFL history.

    A solid player but hardly a star, Clayborn set an Atlanta record with six sacks and forced a pair of fumbles to lead the Falcons past the Cowboys 27-7, a game that showed just how much Dallas missed one of its key offensive players.

    No, not Elliott, though that was certainly a blow. After three legal reprieves, the star running back finally began serving a six-game suspension for allegations of domestic abuse .

    The Cowboys were also without left tackle Tyron Smith, who couldn't go because of groin and back injuries. Third-year player Chaz Green stepped into the spot -- and had a thoroughly miserable day trying to stop Clayborn.

    Leaving Green grasping at air, Clayborn blew by him to force two fumbles -- one of which he recovered himself by ripping the ball away from Prescott -- and surpass the team record of five sacks in a game, held by Chuck Smith and Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey.

    "You always envision it," Clayborn said. "I was finally in my groove."

    He matched the second-most sacks in NFL history. Derrick Thomas, Osi Umenyiora and Fred Dean are the only other players credited with six sacks in a game, while Thomas holds the league record with seven for Kansas City against the Seahawks on Nov. 11, 1990.

    Clayborn had more sacks in this contest than any other season except for his rookie year in 2011, when he had 7.5.

    He came into Sunday with two sacks on the season and 22.5 over his seven-year career.

    "AC went crazy today," Falcons receiver Julio Jones said.

    Simply put, Green couldn't cope with Clayborn's speed.

    "It just hurts because I feel I let the team down," Green said. "I've just got to get better. It's on me."

    While Clayborn and the defense dominated the Elliott-less Cowboys, Matt Ryan threw a pair of short touchdown passes and reached 40,000 career passing yards in fewer games than any other quarterback in NFL history. Ryan has 40,073 yards in 151 games, surpassing the previous mark of 152 held by Drew Brees.

    Ryan hooked up with Justin Hardy on a 3-yard pass for Atlanta's first offensive touchdown in the third quarter this season . Early in the fourth, Ryan put the game away for the Falcons (5-4) by tossing one to Austin Hooper for a 1-yard score.

    Things started promisingly enough for the Cowboys (5-4), who jumped ahead 7-0 on Prescott's 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The score was set up by Xavier Woods' interception off a deflected pass.

    Atlanta took control from there, ending Dallas' three-game winning streak.

    After Matt Bryant's 50-yard field goal, Tevin Coleman powered over from the 1 to give Atlanta a 10-7 halftime lead.

    The third quarter was a trouble spot for the Falcons, whose only touchdown in the period had come way back in Week 2 on Desmond Trufant's fumble return. Atlanta had managed only one field goal in the third over its previous five games, a major reason the Falcons lost four of those contests.

    Coleman, who took over the running duties after Devonta Freeman went out early in the game with a concussion, got the Falcons rolling on the first play of the second half with a 17-yard romp. Ryan went to Jones with a 24-yard pass on the next play, and just like that Atlanta was in Dallas territory.

    On third-and-goal at the 3, Hardy slipped free in the back of the end zone and hauled in the scoring pass that pushed Atlanta's lead to 17-7.

    Dallas' last hope faded away when Mike Nugent, filling in for injured kicker Dan Bailey, clanked a 38-yard field goal attempt off the upright late in the third quarter.

    Atlanta marched right down the field again. Ryan went to Taylor Gabriel on a 34-yard pass before connecting with Hooper from the 1.


    The Cowboys started former Pro Bowler Alfred Morris at running back, but he didn't have much of an impact beyond a 20-yard run.

    Morris finished with 53 yards on 11 carries.

    Rod Smith ran three times 14 yards, while Darren McFadden was thrown for a 2-yard loss on his lone carry.

    Prescott chipped in with 42 yards on six carries.


    Freeman was hurt on Atlanta's second offensive play. After gaining one yard on first down, he took a blow to the side of the head from Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens.

    Wobbly after the hit, Freeman walked off the field with the help of trainers. After a brief stint in the observation tent, he was taken to the locker room and didn't return.

    Dallas linebacker Sean Lee also went out in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.


    Cowboys: Return home to face the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) next Sunday night.

    Falcons: Travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks (6-3) in a Monday night game.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[INSTANT ANALYSIS: Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 19:27:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-873377418.jpg

    Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 27-7 loss to Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

    WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys played their first game without Ezekiel Elliott, who’s been suspended for the next six games, and it was a disaster. They didn’t run the ball with any success until the third quarter, which meant their offense had no rhythm. More important, the Cowboys struggled to mount any offense without left tackle Tyron Smith, who missed the game with a strained groin. In his place Chaz Green gave up a club-record five sacks to defensive end Adrian Claiborne. Now, the Cowboys have to figure out how to re-group and beat Philadelphia and stay in the NFC East race.

    TURNING POINT: The Cowboys put their first good drive of the game together in the third quarter, moving 50 yards in 10 plays. The drive fizzled, and a 38-yard field goal would’ve pulled the Cowboys within 17-10. But Nugent banged the kick off the right upright. The Falcons drove for a touchdown and the lead swelled to 24-7 removing pretty much all hope for a Dallas rally.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: Adrian Claiborne dominated the game, recording six sacks - the most a Cowboys’ opponent has ever had in a game. He also had five tackles, three for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The Cowboys’ offense never had a chance because left tackle Chaz Green could not block Claiborne.

    KEY STAT: The Cowboys allowed a season-high seven sacks. It’s the most sacks the Falcons have had in a game since recording nine against Minnesota in 2005. Dak Prescott had been sacked only 10 times in the first eight games, which was tied for second in the NFL.

    WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will play the first-place Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football at AT&T Stadium. The Eagles, who had a bye this week, lead the Cowboys by 2.5 games in the NFC East and a victory Sunday will essentially give them the NFC East title barring an epic collapse. The Cowboys better hope left tackle Tyron Smith’s assortment of injuries allows him to play Sunday because Green was a disaster, allowing five sacks against Atlanta.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Pay Attention To This: Cowboys-Falcons Preview]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:20:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys+chiefs+huddle.jpg

    Jason Garrett vs. Atlanta Falcons: Garrett has only played the Falcons twice and the Cowboys have lost each game. The 39-28 loss in 2015 is memorable because Dallas led 14-0 and Joseph Randle looked like he was gonna be a ready-made replacement for DeMarco Murray with a 37-yard touchdown run and another one-yard run that gave the Cowboys a 14-0 lead. Then the Falcons zoomed by the Cowboys with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones doing damage.

    Key Matchup: DE Vic Beasley vs. LT Chaz Green. Beasley leads the Falcons with four sacks, which leads the team. The Falcons will give him an opportunity to attack Chaz Green, who will probably start for injured left tackle Tyron Smith is hurt. Green spoke confidently this week about his ability to play, and he’s comfortable at tackle because that’s where he’s spent his career. Green was solid in his one start last year. He’s protecting Dak Prescott’s blindside, which means he has one of the most important jobs on the offense this weekend.

    X-Factor: Rod Smith. With Ezekiel Elliott suspended for six games, Rod Smith will be getting considerably more playing time. Smith will handle most third downs, and he’ll have to be a good blocker so Dak Prescott doesn’t get hit too much. Elliott is excellent at blitz pickups, so matching his performance as a blocker is almost as difficult as matching his production as a runner. Smith has been waiting for this opportunity. If there’s one player who’s going to emerge from this Elliott situation, it’s going to be Smith, who had a strong preseason and has done a good job in limited opportunities this season.

    Key Stat: The Falcons simply don’t yield many big plays to their opponents - and without Elliott in the lineup, the Cowboys will be looking for Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten and Cole Beasley to make them. The Falcons have allowed just three runs of 20 yards or more this season, which is tied for fifth in the league. They have allowed 19 runs of 20 yards or more, which is tied for third in the NFL and, overall, the Falcons have yielded just 22 plays of 20 yards or more this season. Without big plays, the Cowboys will need long drives to score touchdowns and that’s always a tricky proposition because a negative play, penalty, dropped pass can easily wreck a drive that doesn’t have a big play.

    Game Plan: The Cowboys more than ever will bang away with their running game and try to prove they can impose their will no matter who’s  playing running back. Alfred Morris will get the bulk of the carries, but Smith and Darren McFadden should also carry the ball some. Defensively, the Cowboys will try to attack Matt Ryan with their defensive line, so they can drop seven and play zone behind it.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Says Objection to Goodell Deal Not About Elliott Ban]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:57:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/uspresswire-nfl-goodell-jones.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says his objection to a contract extension for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not because of star running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence.

    Jones said on his radio show Friday he wants all 32 owners to have a chance to approve the deal being negotiated between Goodell and the compensation committee that includes six owners. Jones is not on the committee.

    The NFL has said owners already voted unanimously to extend Goodell's contract and authorize the committee to work out the deal.

    Jones said circumstances have changed since that May vote, including the escalation of the protests over social injustice that have involved the national anthem.

    Jones also said "behavioral policies" have been an issue since May. Goodell suspended Elliott in August.

    Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, didn't dispute that he had threatened to sue the NFL if Goodell's contract was extended.

    He suggested he was at odds with the compensation committee chairman, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Jones said he disagrees with Blank's assertion that the compensation committee can complete the deal without another vote of all owners.

    Jones spoke a day after a federal appeals court on Thursday denied bid by Elliott to keep his six-game ban on hold, making him ineligible to play against Atlanta on Sunday.

    "I really fervently disagree that we shouldn't have him on the playing field," Jones said. "But a lot of people are trying to tie it in frankly with the issue regarding my stance as to the chairman and renewing the commissioner. That's really not right."

    The 75-year-old Jones said the compensation committee could appease him by agreeing to let the remaining owners review and approve the final contract with Goodell.

    "I think just since the period of time that we first addressed extending Roger, I think we've had several material adverse conditions happen," Jones said. "We should basically honor those conditions, such things as the anthem, such things as behavioral policies.

    "It's a well-known, an accepted principle that in a negotiation if you have material consequences occur, that you revisit the situation. Certainly we've got things that we need to discuss that weren't on the table last spring."

    Goodell suspended Elliott following a yearlong investigation by the league after prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the domestic violence case, citing conflicting evidence.

    During his NFL appeal of the punishment, Elliott denied under oath that he had any physical altercations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. The NFL said there were three incidents over five days.

    Jones said his relationship with Goodell, and issues related to his compensation, are deeper than his recent concern over the league's handling of Elliott's case.

    "I've been dealing with this commissioner for almost 28 years, as an employee of the NFL," Jones said. "Zeke's been involved here a year, a year and a half. The policy that we have that has impacted Zeke is more of my issue with the commissioner, more so than Zeke's particular circumstance."

    The anthem issue flared after President Donald Trump criticized kneeling players, and again when Jones declared he would bench any player he felt was disrespecting the flag.

    The NFL hasn't changed a guideline that encourages but does not require players to stand during the anthem.

    "This is simply about making sure that all clubs have input into not only what the commissioner, his extension, but also in future years, his decisions," Jones said. "We've given him a lot of power. I think we need the checks and balances of ownership having to actually be in a position to not just suggest but approve of his decisions."

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Celebrating the Silver and Blue]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 14:07:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/4b8da70d3a5246f886116b0ce130a59a.jpeg.jpgNBC 5 viewers are sharing their photos celebrating the silver and blue as the Dallas Cowboys kick off a new NFL season. Send your photos to iSee@nbcuni.com.

    Photo Credit: harley Ramirez]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Look to Several Players to Replace Zeke's Production]]>Fri, 10 Nov 2017 00:09:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6104729481.jpg

    Most of the time, the Dallas Cowboys do a good job of making you think they never look beyond the next practice, meeting or game like their coach would have you believe.

    That wasn't the case Thursday afternoon, when it came to Ezekiel Elliott's status.

    In small circles and private conversations, several players were either talking about or inquiring about whether Elliott would be available to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

    "I try my best not to pay attention to anything negative," wide receiver Dez Bryant said. "I was actually going to send him a little funny picture, 'cause Zeke is my guy. He's everybody's guy."

    "That's his situation, and we love him. When we talk to Zeke, it's all positive love over here. As long as Zeke is smiling, that's all we care about," Bryant said.

    Bryant went on to say he believed he would be running onto the field with Elliott on Sunday afternoon against Atlanta.

    Well, that's not going to happen.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the emergency injunction request by the NFL Players Association on Elliott's behalf, which means the star running back's six-game suspension starts immediately.

    The NFLPA's appeal of Thursday's ruling will be heard Dec. 1, which means Elliott will have already served at least four games of the suspension.

    He's eligible to return Dec. 24 against the Seattle Seahawks.

    Until then, the running game will remain the epicenter of the Cowboys' offense, but Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant should have more prominent roles.

    Alfred Morris is expected to start, and Rod Smith will handle third downs. Darren McFadden will have a role, but it will be determined in large part by how effective Morris and Smith are at replacing Elliott's production.

    It won't be easy — Elliott is second in the NFL with 783 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. He's also caught 19 passes for 210 yards, which means he's responsible for 993 yards — or one-third of the Cowboys' offense this season.

    Elliott is also responsible for 45 of the team's 170 first downs this season.

    Now, the Cowboys will still bang away with their running game, because that's their identity, but Morris, Smith and McFadden aren't anywhere close to being as dynamic as Elliott.

    The Cowboys are hoping that trio is good enough that Prescott doesn't have to throw more than 35 passes a game, because Dallas is 4-5 when that happens.

    They are 14-0 when he throws fewer than 35 passes, if you don't count the final game of the 2016 season, when he played one quarter in a loss to Philadelphia.

    "The offense isn't going to change," Prescott said recently. "We're going to run the ball."

    Without Elliott, Bryant could become a bigger part of the offense, because the Cowboys need someone to provide big plays. Bryant has caught 38 passes for 439 yards and four touchdowns.

    It has been 15 games since he had a 100-yard game.

    "Zeke is the number-one guy in this offense, and we believe in that monster," Bryant said about five minutes before Elliott's suspension was reinstated Thursday.

    "My mindset started changing the year DeMarco (Murray) went off (2014). It is what is. Me, (Jason) Witten, Cole (Beasley). We have more weapons now. It can't just be about me," Bryant continued.

    "I don't feel like you can really compare numbers between players, because everybody is in different systems and doing different things for their team," he said.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Newy Scruggs Gives His Prediction for Cowboys-Falcons]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 22:41:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy_Cowboys_Falcons_Prediction_1200x675_1092792387889.jpg

    The Dallas Cowboys face the Atlanta Falcons without Ezekiel Elliott. NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs breaks down the matchup and explains why the Cowboys have a chance without Zeke.]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Appeal Denied, Suspension Begins Immediately]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 23:12:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-ezekiel-elliott-cowboys.jpg

    Circuit judges at a Manhattan federal appeals court have denied an appeal by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, saying he "failed to meet the requisite standard."

    "Upon due consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the Appellant’s motion for an injunction pending appeal is DENIED," the court said.

    Elliott will now be ordered to begin serving his six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence immediately, barring another granted appeal.

    He'll miss games against the Falcons, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants and Raiders before rejoining team activities and practices on Dec. 18. He'll be available for the final two games of the season against the Seahawks and Eagles.

    Elliott is backed up on the Cowboys roster by vetran backs Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden, both of whom are more than adequate replacements.

    "A lot of people are thinking that the running game is going to falter because Zeke's not here, but that's not the case," Morris told NBC 5 earlier this month. "Will we miss him? Yeah. But at the same time, the train goes on. We're going to do our job."

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the NFL over a proposed contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, a dispute apparently sparked by Elliott's suspension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

    Jones told the six owners on the compensation committee he had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and was prepared to sue if the group voted to extend Goodell's deal, the person told the AP.

    The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one has been authorized to reveal details.

    Jones also has expressed disapproval with the structure and compensation in the contract extension, another person familiar with the proposed lawsuit says. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Threatens Contract Deal for Goodell]]>Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:30:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy+jones+goodell.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs explains how Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is threatening to sue the NFL over commissioner Roger Goodell's contract deal. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Thriving Under Heavy Workload]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 21:45:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-ezekiel-elliott-cowboys.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott has carried the ball 115 times in the last four games, a total Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, surpassed just once.

    Elliott has carried the ball 60 times in the past two games, including a rugged 27 carries for 93 yards in Sunday’s 28-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

    He’s on pace to carry the ball a mind-boggling 382 times this season, provided he doesn’t have to serve an NFL-mandated six-game suspension.

    Elliott will be in New York on Thursday to attend his 1 p.m. CST hearing before a three-judge panel at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

    The panel will determine whether he gets a preliminary injunction that would probably allow him to play the rest of the season. If Elliott doesn’t get the injunction, his suspension would start immediately pending appeals.

    If Elliott’s season continues, you can expect the Cowboys to keep giving him the ball every chance they get because he sets up every aspect of their offense.

    You’d think Elliott would need a team of folks, including a  chiropractor, a masseuse and, maybe, an acupuncturist to make sure his body can withstand the rigors of a 16-game NFL season.


    “I get massages and I get in the cold tub,” said Elliott, as he played a game on his cell phone Wednesday in the Cowboys’ locker room.

    “I like to move around. That’s what gets the soreness out for me. I turn on the heater in the pool and run in it, but it’s getting too cold for that.”

    Such is the beauty of having a 22-years-old body.

    After a slow start, Elliott has reclaimed his spot among the NFL’s leading rushers. He’s done much of the damage in the last four games with one of the heaviest loads.

    He’s carried the ball more than 25 times in four consecutive games.

    “It’s not the carries that determines how sore I am after a game,” Elliott said. “It’s how physical the game is. I had more carries against Washington, but the holes were pretty big and I was getting into the line before I got hit.

    “Against Kansas City, it was more physical. I’ll tell you, though, it’s the hits you don’t see that hurt more than the ones you do see.”

    Smith had a long run of 11 against the Chiefs.

    “There were not a lot of explosive runs in the game, but there were a lot of three, four, five and six yard gains that add up after awhile,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He really allows us to control the game and the line of scrimmage and over the course of the game wear them down.”

    Smith, the NFL’s all-time leader in carries, had one stretch in his 15-year career with more carries. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 15 in 1991, Smith carried the ball 118 times in a four-game stretch at the end of the season, when the Cowboys were making a playoff push.

    DeMarco Murray set the franchise record with 392 carries in 2014, when he also established a club record with 1,845 yards. He never had a four-game stretch with more than 111 carries.

    “He wants the ball. Emotionally, he’s ready to handle the ball. Mentally, he’s ready to handle it. He loves the responsibility,” Garrett said of Elliott.

    “The great ones want the ball. The great  ones want to be on the mound in the ninth inning trying to get the out. In basketball, they want the ball in their hands for the last shot. It applies to our game as well. He thrives in those situations and gets better and better.

    “He has a competitive instinct to him that the best players I’ve been around have. He just wants it and he’s physically sturdy enough to handle it and he gets better as the game goes on.”

    Any stat you choose to use proves that.

    In his career, Elliott has gained 764 yards and averaged 5.2 per carry in the first quarter, and he’s gained 639 yards and averaged 4.5 in the fourth quarter of games. He’s carried 250 times for 1,168 yards in the first half of games and 263 times for 1,246 yards in the second half.

    In the fourth quarter when the Cowboys are ahead or behind by a touchdown, he’s carried 87 times for 428 yards and a 4.9 average per carry. And last year in December, he carried 79 times for 432 yards and a 5.5 average.

    Now, of course, the Cowboys just hope he gets an opportunity to carry the ball again this season.

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' Jones Threatens Goodell Contract Deal: AP Source]]>Wed, 08 Nov 2017 22:45:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+02.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the NFL over a proposed contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, a dispute apparently sparked by star running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    Jones told the six owners on the compensation committee he had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and was prepared to sue if the group voted to extend Goodell's deal, the person told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one has been authorized to reveal details.

    Jones also has expressed disapproval with the structure and compensation in the contract extension, another person familiar with the proposed lawsuit says. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

    The actions of Jones were first reported by The New York Times.

    All 32 owners voted in May to extend Goodell's contract and authorized the compensation committee to work out the details. Goodell suspended Elliott in August after a yearlong NFL investigation. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the domestic violence case.

    Jones, who is not on the compensation committee but is one of the most powerful owners in the league, has expressed frustration over the NFL's pursuit of criminal matters with its own investigators.

    Asked on his radio show last week if he wanted Goodell to remain commissioner, Jones avoided a direct answer and said Elliott was a "victim of an overcorrection" because of the NFL's mishandling of former Baltimore running back Ray Rice's domestic case involving his then-fiancee.

    Goodell's initial suspension of two games was sharply criticized because of a video showing Rice dragging an unconscious Janay Palmer from an elevator. Another video later surfaced of Rice punching Palmer in the face, and he was suspended indefinitely. The suspension was lifted by an arbitrator, but Rice never signed with another team.

    "I can show you many positive things that this commissioner, Roger, has done, is doing and I can show you some of the things that he wants to take back," Jones said on his radio show Oct. 31.

    "This is a very example of it. I'm sure he'd like to take back his initial Ray Rice stance and a few others. He's in the process of having tried to correct that and in doing so, Zeke is a victim of an overcorrection."

    The NFL hired former New York prosecutor Lisa Friel to help shape the stronger policy on domestic violence that came out of the Rice incident. The updated policy included the league's ability to investigate cases on its own regardless of law enforcement's involvement.

    Prosecutors in Elliott's case cited conflicting evidence when deciding not to pursue the case. The NFL's probe continued for a year after that decision. Jones said his running back has been treated unfairly, and Elliott has denied the allegations of his ex-girlfriend under oath.

    "I am very troubled by the swings that we've had," Jones said on his radio program. "His swing of judgment has been unbelievable from the Ray Rice thing all the way up to one or two games, all the way to the six-game suspension when you've truly got a debate. In our legal system it has to be stronger than that for somebody who has done it."

    Goodell's decision to suspend Elliott prompted weeks of twists and turns in courtrooms from Texas to Louisiana to New York. A three-judge panel in New York has a hearing Thursday to consider another injunction to stop the suspension. Elliott, on his third legal reprieve, has played all eight games for the Cowboys.

    "We make the commissioner in the NFL the most powerful person that I know of as to the organization and it's constituency, so it's a big deal not only when we're hiring, but when we extend him," Jones said after a game in Washington two weekends ago. "So there's a lot of consideration to it, and it shouldn't surprise anybody."

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
    <![CDATA[Jason Garrett Loves How Dak Prescott Leads the Cowboys]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 10:56:18 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Chiefs.jpg

    The game, as hard as it is for some of y’all to believe, is about more than passing yards and touchdown passes for quarterbacks.

    It’s about decision-making and clock management. It’s about picking the right play on a run-pass option. It’s about understanding what the coaches want and what your teammates need.

    It’s about coming back from a dropped pass or an interception or a drive-wrecking sack with a big throw in a big moment.

    It’s about a litany of intangibles that only reveal themselves to players and coaches when you hang around a player long enough to notice.

    That’s why you do yourself a disservice when you try to view Dak Prescott through a Tony Romo prism.

    Romo, who owns every significant passing record in franchise history, was among the game’s best passers during his 10 seasons as the Cowboys’ starter.

    Prescott, based on what we know, will never be the passer Romo was, but he might wind up being a better quarterback.

    Romo didn’t rein in his wild ways until after the 2012 season when he threw 19 interceptions. In his last two full seasons as a starter - 2012 and 2013 - Romo passed for 7,533 yards with 65 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

    In 23 games, Prescott already has figured out how to succeed by limiting his mistakes.

    He’s everything Garrett wants in a quarterback, and he provided example after example in the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over Kansas City.

    With 1:30 left in the first half, the Cowboys faced third-and-15 from the Dallas 13.

    Conventional wisdom said run the ball, force Kansas City to use its final timeout.

    But Garrett and Scott Linehan trust Prescott’s decision-making, so they let him throw the ball. He completed a 21-yard pass to Bryant in the middle of the field for a first down.

    On the next play, he rolled right and avoided the pressure and completed a 51-yard pass to Terrance Williams.

    Then he finished the drive, by eluding a defender in the pocket, and running for a 10-yard touchdown on third down for a 14-3 lead with 21 seconds left in the first half.

    The Chiefs scored on the final play of the first half, a 56-yard catch and run, and on their first drive of the third quarter to take a 17-14 lead.

    A lesser team would’ve folded; a lesser quarterback would’ve let them.

    Instead, he led the Cowboys on drives of 75 and 87 yards, pushing the lead to 28-17 with 8:58 left in the game.

    “He’s a very good leader he’s a very natural leader and guys really respect him,” Garrett said of Prescott. “They respect the work he puts in and how he approaches the game and how he competes and plays in the games.

    “That helps your football team in so many ways. It helps your offense. The guys on defense and the kicking game all see that and they rally around it.”

    Prescott has passed for 1,818 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions to go with his 97.9 passer rating. He has 39 touchdown passes and eight interceptions in his career.

    “Some guys just have a feel for the game. They feel very comfortable on the field,” Garrett said. “When things become challenging or they face adversity on a given play they seem to know how to handle it.

    “He does for us. its really important to have that quality and that trait at that position and he’s certainly demonstrated that in his time with us.”

    And if your quarterback doesn’t have it?

    “You probably don’t execute well enough on a consistent basis,: Garrett said. “When everything is clean that guy can usually execute and perform, but when things break down he probably makes mistakes that hurt your team and ultimately your chances of wining a game.”

    Garrett is rarely effusive in his praise. He typically makes exceptions when talking about Prescott because the second-year quarterback already understands the responsibility that accompanies being the face of the franchise.

    He embraces the responsibility and challenge it brings. Listen closely and he sounds like Garrett, repeating the coach’s favorite mantras without sounding like he’s the teacher’s pet.

    The Cowboys have won three consecutive games and the Cowboys have scored more than 28 points in five straight games. Yet, Prescott refuses to get complacent.

    “Three wins later, we are still growing and we still have a lot we want to do and get better at,” Prescott said, “but we are getting a lot more comfortable within ourselves and within our system.''

    Prescott isn’t perfect.

    He still needs to improve his back-shoulder fade throws and take more chances downfield to stretch the defense.

    But he’s proved there was nothing fluky about his rookie season, and he’s only going to get better. He’s OK letting Ezekiel Elliott being the focal point of the offense and making winning a priority over his stats.

    "I haven't seen a lot of quarterbacks come in and play as cleanly as he's played,'' Garrett said. "Again, it's a tribute to his preparation. He's a very smart guy. He's a very instinctive player. He's very intuitive about the game. He works hard at it.

    "The preparation is real to him, understanding what we're doing, understanding what the defense is doing, spending the time to study. That's a big part of what he does and I think that's what allows him to play with such confidence come game time.

    "Every week there's stuff you look back at and say, 'Boy, I'd rather have that one back. Boy, I wish I had done this instead of that,''' Garrett continued. "It happens to him, no question about that, but he learns from those experiences. He gets better.”

    Every day.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[10 Thoughts From the Cowboys’ 28-17 Win Over Chiefs]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:21:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Heath+Chiefs.jpg

    ARLINGTON, Texas - Here are 10 thoughts on the Cowboys’ win:

    *   The Chiefs scored two touchdowns and a field goal on 10 possessions. They entered the game, leading the NFL in scoring percentage (49.4 pct.). The Chiefs had scored on 43 - 22 touchdowns and 21 field goals - of 87 drives this season.

    *   Alex Smith threw his first interception of the season, spanning 294 passes, in the fourth quarter, when Jeff Heath made a nice play attacking the ball and came up with the turnover. It’s the third straight game the Cowboys have had at least one turnover.

    *   Terrance Williams had one of the best games of his career, tying his career-high with nine receptions. He also had 141 yards receiving, the third-highest total of his career.

    *   Ezekiel Elliott had 93 yards on 27 carries, the seventh time in eight games he has had at least 80 yards and the 21st time in the last 22 games he has done it. That’s outstanding.

    *   The Cowboys limited the Chiefs’ big-play trio of Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to 207 yards and two touchdowns on 26 touches. Those are nice numbers, but below their average of  34 touches and 274 yards per game.

    *   The Chiefs, who led the NFL with 35 plays of 20 yards or more, had just three plays of more than 20 yards in 55 snaps.

    *   Each of Dak Prescott’s three runs for 27 yards were meaningful. He scored a touchdown and picked up two other first downs.

    *   Punter Chris Jones did a terrific job of directional punting to limit Tyreek Hill to one return for no yards and three fair catches. He averaged 39.0 on five punts and dropped four inside the 20.

    *   Taco Charlton recorded the first sack of his career, and it was an important fourth-quarter play.

    * Sean Lee was terrific with 12 tackles, including two for loss, for a defense that hasn’t yielded more than 20 points in the last three games.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Tony Dungy on Zeke, Cowboys and NFC East]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:35:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Newy+Talks+to+Tony+Dungy_2017-11-06-13-34-13.jpg

    NBC 5's Newy Scruggs talks with Tony Dungy about Zeke Elliott, the Cowboys and the upcoming marquee games in the NFC East. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Elliott's Case to Be Heard Thursday, Can Practice Until Then]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 12:21:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/usa-ezekiel-elliott-celebration-cowboys.jpg

    After the NFL said Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's appeal had no chance of success, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City issued a one-page order Friday temporarily blocking a lower-court ruling that shot down his previous appeals.

    Elliott joined his teammates Friday and played in Sunday's game against the Chiefs -- a game the Cowboys win 28-17 and a game where Elliott ran 93 yards on 27 attempts and scored one touchdown.

    Whether he plays Sunday against the Falcons, however, remains to be seen.

    On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City said Elliott's case was on the docket for 2 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 9. Until then, Elliott can practice and prepare for the next game in Atlanta. What happens that day, though, will determine if he steps on the field or begins serving his league-imposed six game suspension.

    The case will be heard in Judge Katherine Polk Failla's courtroom. Failla is the same judge who previously dissolved the TRO blocking Elliott's suspension. Whether or not Failla should recuse herself in the case has been a subject of conversation since her husband works for the law firm who helped negotiate the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    NBC Sports' Mike Florio reported last Tuesday that Failla said in a June 2012 judicial questionnaire that she would recuse herself from cases in which Proskauer Rose, her husband's firm, represented a party. Florio pointed out that Proskauer Rose isn't representing the NFL in the Elliott case, but the league is using the CBA as a basis for Elliott's suspension.

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys’ Defense Stars in 28-17 Win over Kansas City]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 23:00:22 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Defense+Chiefs.jpg

    ARLINGTON, Texas - As the scoreboard showed 0:00 Sunday at AT&T Stadium, Dak Prescott unleashed a primal scream and a fist pump.

    As Orlando Scandrick walked into the winning locker room, he shouted, “There’s still room on this (expletive) ship if you want to jump on.”

    And as coach Jason Garrett conducted his post-game news conference, the jubilation and excitement from a quality win could easily be heard coming through the walls.

    Dallas 28, Kansas City 17

    This win was different than the Cowboys’ other four this season. This one was more emotional.

    Players and coaches are forever saying they don’t see or hear what fans or media are saying about their team or their performance.

    That’s poppycock.

    They typically don’t let it affect them, but they know what’s being said. That’s why Scandrick said what he said and why owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones were beaming after the game.

    Surely, they had heard the chatter that if they had to play without Ezekiel Elliott for six games, if he was suspended for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy, the playoffs were a long shot at best.

    And they certainly weren’t going to beat the Chiefs and their high-powered offense unless they could keep the Chiefs’ offense off the field because the Cowboys’ defense wasn’t good enough to slow them down.

    “It feels good when you beat a good team like we did tonight,” defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said. “We shut them down.

    “They run a Chip Kelley kind of offense. You have to read your keys and be on your screws. It’s all window dressing. We were all reading our keys tonight and you saw what happened. We shut that (expletive) down.”

    Yes, they did.

    In the process, they gave hope to a season that’s been filled with uncertainty as the Cowboys deal with the week-to-week notion that is Ezekiel Elliott’s availability.

    A Friday reprieve postponed the NFL-mandated six-game suspension he was supposed to start serving on Sunday. Who knows whether he’s playing next week against against Atlanta?

    If he doesn’t, the Cowboys still believe they have a chance to win because their defense is finally developing an identity. No longer must they be protected.

    It starts with the defensive line.

    “I think we’ve finally got it like we want it,” Stephen Jones said. “All of the guys are playing well,, and they can all get after the passer.”

    It starts with DeMarcus Lawrence, who leads the league with 10.5 sacks. He didn’t get one against the Chiefs, who limited him to just two tackles.

    Still, he impacted the game.

    Lawrence drew two procedure penalties, pressured quarterback Alex Smith into one incompletion and forced him to step right into a David Irving’s path on a key third-down sack in the third quarter with Dallas clinging to a 21-17 lead.

    The Cowboys drove 87 yards for a touchdown on their next possession, giving the Cowboys an 11-point lead with eight minutes left.

    The Chiefs entered the game tied for No.1 in the NFL with Philadelphia in offensive points scored (216), third in yards (377.9) in yards and No. 1 in plays of 20 yards or more (35).

    Smith, the NFL’s top-rated passer, had not thrown 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions and running back Kareem Hunt led the NFL in yards (763), average per carry (5.2) and runs of 10+ (21), 20+ (8) and 50+ (3).

    Tyreek Hill is a game-breaking receiver and returner and tight end Travis Kelce is among the best in the game at his position.

    Hunt, Hill and Kelce normally combine 34 touches and 274 yards per game. The Cowboys limited the Chiefs’ big-play trio to 207 yards and two touchdowns on 26 touches.

    “We forced them to drive it,” coach Jason Garrett said. “And we forced them to convert third downs.”

    This team has been built around Elliott’s running and Prescott’s controlled passing since they arrived last season. Finally, the defense doesn’t have to be protected.

    As long as it can keep linebacker Sean Lee on the field - the defense was atrocious in losses to Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams where a hamstring injury kept him from playing - this defense is moving in the right direction.

    Irving, suspended for the first four games, has been impactful in his return. He has six sacks in four games, and he’s good enough to wreck teams that give Lawrence too much attention.

    More important, his presence means Maliek Collins can play the other defensive tackle and Tyrone Crawford is at right defensive end.

    They helped limit Hunt to 37 yards on nine carries with a long of 19. He never found a rhythm.

    “I feel like this team is getting better,” Scandrick said. “We’re going to continue getting better every week and we’re going to continue to practice and do the things it takes - the things winning teams do.”

    It starts with playing good defense.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Elliott Helps Cowboys Top Chiefs, Goes Back to Legal Limbo]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 22:55:21 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/187*120/GettyImages-870673054.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott said he didn't even know if he was playing for the Dallas Cowboys against Kansas City after a late legal reprieve stopped the star running back's six-game suspension for the third time.

    Now it's time for another week of legal limbo after Elliott rushed for 93 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in a 28-17 victory against the Chiefs on Sunday.

    Elliott said he threw on a sweatshirt and headed for the team's practice facility Friday morning when he got the word that a New York appeals court had issued an emergency stay of the NFL's suspension over domestic violence allegations.

    Last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie didn't have a run longer than 11 yards. But he outgained the Chiefs' Kareem Hunt, this year's dynamic rookie and the league rushing leader going into the game.

    "There was a little rust, I'm not going to lie," said Elliott, who was suspended for the first two practice days last week. "So I came in Friday, practiced and studied all day Friday, watched a lot of film. On Saturday, just tried to catch up on this team and catch up for what I lost."

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could hold a hearing this week on a longer-lasting injunction that could keep the suspension on hold while attorneys once again argue the case. If Elliott loses, his legal options could be near an end.

    Elliott's legal team believes he was treated unfairly by the NFL, while league attorneys say a labor deal backed by federal law was followed when Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott after a yearlong investigation.

    A New York federal judge ruled for the NFL early last week before the appeals court stepped in to allow time for more arguments. The NFL eventually won in the same jurisdiction when New England quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games in the Deflategate case.

    "Leaning on the people that care about me the most," said Elliott, who has 783 yards and seven touchdowns at the halfway point. "Trusting that they are going to do a good job and do everything they can to see me on the field. This team and ownership have supported me to the fullest."

    Things to consider after the Cowboys (5-3) stopped a nine-game road winning streak by the Chiefs (6-3), tied for the longest in franchise history:

    COMING AROUND: The Cowboys played perhaps their best defensive game of the season considering they were facing the NFL's third-ranked offense. They got over the shock of Tyreek Hill's 56-yard catch-and-run with the clock expired in the first half, shutting down Kansas City after giving up the Chiefs' other TD to start the second half.

    Defending NFC champion Atlanta is next, with the Falcons trying to answer a 1-4 slide since a 3-0 start. "I think we're starting to get close to the type of defense we want to be," 2016 All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee said.

    STALLED RUN GAME: With their upcoming bye, the Chiefs have the task of re-establishing Hunt. He had his fourth straight sub-100-yard game, and three of them have been under 50. Hunt doesn't have a touchdown since scoring six (four rushing, two receiving) in the first three games.

    BRYANT'S ANKLE: Dallas receiver Dez Bryant sprained an ankle after getting a game-high 11 targets with six catches for 73 yards. If he's out, Terrance Williams will have to slide into the No. 1 slot, which has been a struggle for him when Bryant has been injured. At least Williams has some momentum with his first 100-yard game of the season against the Chiefs, finishing with a career-high nine catches for 141 yards.

    HALI'S RETURN: Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali played briefly after spending the entire season on the physically unable to perform list dealing with knee issues. "There's no other way at this time of year of getting good, accurate reps other than playing," coach Andy Reid said.

    The Chiefs only sacked Prescott once, but will be hoping for more depth with their pass rush with Dee Ford having an extra week to recover from back issues. Ford missed his third game of the season. Kansas City visits the one-win New York Giants in two weeks.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Prescott Enjoyed Helping Romo Prep for Cowboys’ Game]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 19:53:22 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Prescott+Chiefs.jpg

    Dak Prescott said he didn’t think having Tony Romo, the man he supplanted as the Cowboys’ starter last season, broadcast the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over Kansas City was a big deal.

    It’s the first time Romo has broadcast a Cowboys’ game.

    “The production meeting was great. It kinda went as I expected,” Prescott said. “I didn’t get a chance to hear him, so I’ll probably go back and watch the TV copy.”

    Prescott said there was nothing unusual about his Friday afternoon production meeting with Romo and Jim Nantz.

    “It was pretty much straight to the business,” Prescott said. “He didn’t have to ask some of the questions other announcers do because he knows a bit of our offense and the players, so it was simple.

    “We got down to the questions he needed, so he could do his job and prepare. It was just business.”

    Coach Jason Garrett had a similar thought on Romo broadcasting the game.

    “We try to focus on the things we can control,” he said laughing. “The last thing we worry about is who’s calling the game.”

    Prescott did say he’s been impressed with Romo’s work this season.

    “The games I’ve seen he’s been great,” Prescott said. “He brings a lot of excitement, and he has this high-pitched voice when big plays happen and it’s exciting.”

    So was he excited for the Cowboys today?

    “I don’t know,” Prescott said with a smile. “I have to go check

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[INSTANT ANALYSIS: Cowboys vs. Chiefs]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 18:40:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+beat+Chiefs.jpg

    Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over Kansas City.

    WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys have their first three-game winning streak of the season, and their defense is playing its best football. More important, the Cowboys stacked another win with Ezekiel Elliott on the field because they have no idea, as of today, when his six-game NFL-mandated suspension will occur. After all, he didn’t get a reprieve this week until Friday. The suspension could start next week or not at all this season, so it’s important for the Cowboys to keep pace with first-place Philadelphia and win every game he’s on the field.

    TURNING POINT: Leading 21-17 late in the third quarter, David Irving, playing against his former teammates, took advantage of DeMarcus Lawrence’s strong pass rush and sacked Alex Smith on third-and-five as the quarterback stepped up in the pocket. The sack forced Kansas City to punt and the Cowboys drove 87 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown and a 28-17 lead with 8:58 left in the game.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Terrance Williams, the most maligned player on the Cowboys’ offense, caught nine passes for 141 yards and played a huge role in the Cowboys’ win over Kansas City. Williams had receptions of 27 and 51 yards as he recorded the third 100-yard game of his career, and his first since catching nine for 173 yards in the final game of the 2015 season.

    KEY STAT: Kareem Hunt finished the game with nine carries for 37 yards and a long of 19. He entered the game as the NFL’s leading rusher with 763 yards and a 5.2 average per carry. He also led the league in runs of 10 yards or more (21), 20 yards or more (8) and 50 yards or more (3).

    WHAT'S NEXT:  The Cowboys will play the underachieving Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Mercedez-Benz Stadium. The Falcons, who blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, are 4-4 this season and have lost four of five games. Their offense can by dynamic, but it’s not going to be any more dynamic than Kansas City’s offense and the Cowboys did a solid job against them.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dallas Cowboys Welcome Tony Romo Back to AT&T Stadium]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 16:47:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-684303616.jpg

    The Dallas Cowboys welcomed Tony Romo back to AT&T Stadium on Sunday with a special video tribute that played after the National Anthem.

    This was Romo's first game back in the stadium as game analyst for CBS Sports.

    The video was voiced by Cowboys Tight-End Jason Witten.

    The Cowboys also unveiled a new banner in the end zone that said "Welcome Home 9."

    Romo was in the CBS booth with Jim Nantz for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[David Irving’s Emergence as Pass-Rusher Has Made Him a Difference-Maker]]>Sun, 05 Nov 2017 11:50:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Countdown_to_Cowboys_Camp_No_23_David_Irving_1200x675_978646083634.jpg

    FRISCO, Texas - The man who has transformed the Cowboys’ defensive line into one of NFL’s best at sacking quarterbacks doesn’t look the part.

    He wears a gold hoop on his left nipple and another in his left nostril. And when the weather gets chilly on bye Cowboys’ east coast trips, he’s been known to wear a gray fox scarf that he’s nicknamed Chester.

    But when you’re 6-7 290 pounds and can bend the way Irving can, creating the leverage he uses to be destructive on the football field, then coaches tend to leave room for individual creativity.

    Irving, suspended for the season’s first four games for violating the league’s PED policy, has five sacks in three games this season and eight in his last six games.

    Irving, plucked off the Chiefs’ practice squad three years ago, will need a big game if the Cowboys are going to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

    “Emotionally, everyone knows that was my first team. It’s gonna be a fun game. those were my boys over there. Most of the time, I don’t know who I’m going against, but I went to training camp with them.

    “Had it not been for the Kansas City Chiefs, I wouldn’t be here right now. They’re the only team that called me after the draft.”

    Irving, who was kicked out of Iowa State, has transformed himself from a fringe NFL into a restricted free agent at the end of the season in line for a seven-digit payday.

    “I have surprised myself,” Irving said. “It’s weird. I’m not shaped like interior and interior defensive lineman, but it has been working.

    “When I go against centers and guards I have longer arms and I use it to my advantage. When I use it correctly it works.”

    That’s because he can bend like few other defensive linemen Rod Marinelli has ever coached.

    “Julius Peppers could do it - not many others,” said Marinelli, referencing the defensive end, who has 151 career sacks.

    “Look at how he snaps the head of those guards back, when he comes out of his stance. He creates great leverage when he explodes out of his stance.”

    The Cowboys have struggled to rush the passer since Marinelli arrived as the defensive line coach in 2012. He’s been the coordinator since 2015.

    The Cowboys have drafted defensive ends such as DeMarcus Lawrence in 2012 and Taco Charlton last April, and they’ve signed free agents such as Jerome Mincey, Benson Mayowa and Greg Hardy.

    The Cowboys signed Irving off Kansas City’s practice squad in a never-ending quest to create a pass rush good enough that Marinelli wouldn’t have to blitz.

    The Cowboys had been a studying Irving for weeks because of his unique skill set.

    Finally, the combination of their need for a defensive lineman and Kansas City’s lack of roster flexibility because of some injuries enabled the Cowboys to sign Irving on Sept 29 during the 2015 season.

    “(Former general manager John) Dorsey still hasn’t forgiven me,” McClay said with a smile.

    While he was happy wanted him, it was still a chaotic time for Irving.

    “I had literally just saved up enough to money to get the furniture moved into my apartment and that next day I had to leave,” Irving said. “I broke the lease and left the furniture. I had to go. It was crazy experience.”

    The Cowboys rank fifth in the NFL with 25 sacks, putting them on pace for 57. The Cowboys have had that many sacks in a season once since 1984.

    The 2008 Cowboys has 59 sacks. DeMarcus Ware had 20.5 sacks, linebacker Bradie James and defensive end Greg Ellis each had eight sacks and nose tackle Jay Ratliff had 7.5 sacks.

    Marinelli hoped Lawrence could become a player who could hit double-digit sacks. Lawrence fought through a nagging back injury that required surgery in the offseason, which is among the reasons he finished with just four sacks last season after serving a four-game suspension to start the season.

    But in 2015, he had seven sacks in the last eight games. That’s the player Marinelli hoped he was getting this season and he has.

    Lawrence leads NFL with 10.5 sacks, but Irving is the one who injected the entire pass rush with life.

    Using Irving at defensive tackle, usually on the same side as Lawrence, means two players on the left side capable of creating havoc and offensive coordinators must alter their blocking schemes to account for them.

    Irving’s return moved Maliek Collins to the one technique, which is typically more of a run-stopping position and Tyrone Crawford to right defensive end.

    Collins had five sacks as a rookie and told anyone who would listen in the locker room this week that he should’ve had four sacks against Washington.

    Crawford has had a sack in three consecutive games.

    “I think we’ve finally got the mix we want,” Marinelli said. “All four guys can rush the passer - that’s what you’re looking for - and they’re all homegrown.

    “They’ve all been through our offseason. They know how we want to play with effort and chase the ball, and they’ve been through some tough times. That’s important because this is a tough game and you have to know how to handle that.”

    Irving knows all about tough times. Right now, he’s focused on the good times that occur when he’s chasing quarterbacks with his boys on the defensive line.

    <![CDATA[Pay Attention To This: Cowboys-Chiefs Preview]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:36:54 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867918148.jpg

    Jason Garrett vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Garrett is 0-1 against the Chiefs, losing 17-16 in 2013 when the Chiefs broke out their all red look, which made them resemble a collection of blood clots. Dez Bryant had nine catches and 141 yards receiving, but the Cowboys’ defense couldn’t stop the Chiefs when it mattered and ran out the last 3:50

    Key Matchup: RB Kareem Hunt v. MLB Anthony Hitchens. Hunt leads the NFL in rushing with 763 yards and a 5.2 average per carry. He also leads the league in runs of 10 yards or more (21), 20 yards or more (8) and 50 yards or more (3). As the middle linebacker, Hitchens’ job is to play the run and stop the opponent from running wild. The Cowboys have allowed three 100-yard rushers this season and they are 0-3 in those games. There’s no reason to think they’ll beat Kansas City if they allow a 100-yard rusher.

    Hitchens can play sideline-to-sideline and he’s a strong tackler in the hole.

    X Factor:Ryan Switzer was drafted to be a play-maker, a guy who could make a play that could change the game like Lance Dunbar or Lucky Whitehead occasionally did. Laugh if you want, but he hasn’t been as good as Whitehead thus far. Switzer, averaging 7.3 on 11 punt returns, has a long of 21 yards yards this season, but there have been more  comments recently about his lack of judgment on returns than his big plays. He has three carries for nine yards and two catches for nine yards this season. He’s returned eight kickoffs for 21.8 average. This is great week to make an impact

    Key Stat: Alex Smith has a 121.1 passer rating in the first quarter with 494 yards and five touchdowns. He comes out the gate throwing the ball, an indication he likes the game plan and the Chiefs do a good job figuring out how to attack the opposition. It’s Smith’s highest rating in any quarter and tied for most TD passes in any quarter. Kansas City leads the NFL with 54 first-quarter points, the most they’ve scored in any quarter. The Cowboys better be ready to play in the first quarter.

    Game Plan: The Cowboys didn’t expect to have Ezekiel Elliott this season, so they will have a huge emotional boost from having one of the NFL’s best players back in the lineup. The best way to keep the Chiefs’ offense off the field is to dominate at the point of attack by having Elliott run over the league’s 28th-ranked run defense. Elliott carried a career-high 33 times last week, and he’s going to get the ball early and often against the Chiefs.

    This could also give Alfred Morris every opportunity to prove he can handle the load as the starter. He can be in good shape, but it’ll be interesting to see how he holds up in the second half because they Cowboys will try hard to establish their identity as a power running team whether Ezekiel Elliott is in the lineup or not.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Winner Between Cowboys-Chiefs Gets the "Preston Road Trophy"]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 15:32:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_chiefs_hunt_prestonwood_trophy_1200x675_1088674883658.jpg

    Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt explains the story behind the Preston Road Trophy, which is given to the winner of the game between the Cowboys and Chiefs. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones to Be Deposed in Colin Kaepernick Collusion Suit]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:47:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry+Jones+09.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and at least two other NFL team owners will reportedly be deposed and asked to turn over their cell phone records and emails in connection with the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the league.

    A league source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that Jones, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft are among the owners who will be deposed.

    Other owners, teams and league officials will also be deposed, but Schefter said he has only confirmed Kraft, Jones and McNair at this point.

    Kaepernick, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, filed a grievance against the NFL in mid-October, alleging that he was still unsigned due to collusion between owners as a result of his protests during the national anthem to bring attention to the mistreatment of black people by police.

    When asked at The Star in Frisco on Friday, Jones said he is aware of the developments from media reports and said he will do whatever his attorneys recommend.

    "But having said that, I'll just have to leave it at that. You might have been able to say some things before the suit but right now you're pretty much limited," Jones said.

    Players from around the league have joined in Kaepernick's protest this season, which has drawn angry responses from President Donald Trump and others in his administration.

    Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of last season and remains a free agent despite a rash of injuries and poor play at the quarterback position.

    Mark Geragos, one of Kaepernick's attorneys, said he filed the grievance "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives."

    "If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished," Geragos said, "and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and hearkens back to our darkest days as a nation."

    The NFL players' union has said it will support the grievance, which was filed through the arbitration system that's part of the league's collective bargaining agreement.

    "Colin Kaepernick's goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field," Geragos said.

    McNair recently came under fire for reportedly saying "we can't have the inmates running the prison" during an NFL owners meeting regarding what to do about the ongoing players protest.

    A recent HBO Real Sports/Marist poll found that 51 percent of Americans oppose proposed league rules that would require players to stand during the national anthem, compared with 47 percent who supported such a rule.

    NBC 5's Meredith Yeomans contributed to this report.

    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[Chiefs' Hunt Gets to Compare Himself to Cowboys' Elliott]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:33:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CowboysHelmet.jpg

    Kareem Hunt will get to compare himself to Ezekiel Elliott after all when Kansas City visits Dallas.

    The dynamic rookie running back for the Chiefs is doing many of the things the suspended Cowboys star did in his debut last season, headlined by leading the NFL in rushing.

    Thanks to another temporary legal reprieve for Elliott, Hunt will get an up-close comparison Sunday against Dallas (4-3).

    Elliott will be able to play after a New York appeals court granted an emergency stay on Friday.

    There have been two previous halts to Elliott's six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence that kept him on the field.

    "He's the engine behind that offense," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said of Hunt. "He's been one of those guys who's been steady for them, but also has made a lot of plays for them."

    Elliott, the former Ohio State star and the NFL's leading rusher as a rookie, is third this year behind the ex-Toledo back and Ohio native.

    The Chiefs (6-2) are trying to set a franchise record with their 10th straight road victory.

    "I watched Zeke a ton," Hunt said of his senior year with the Rockets, when Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott, his fellow rookie, were powering the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC.

    "Dak played pretty well and so did he. I was able to watch and see all the great runs he had. I kind of wanted to come in and have a year like he did his rookie season."

    Consider it done so far. Hunt is the first NFL player with at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of first seven games and leads the NFL with 763 yards rushing and 1,070 yards from scrimmage.

    While he's not quite on the rushing pace of Elliott a year ago, Hunt is another option when quarterback Alex Smith already had plenty, including All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.

    Smith is four touchdowns from tying Peyton Manning's record of 20 without an interception to start a season while guiding the NFL's third-ranked offense.

    Things to consider in Kansas City's first visit to the $1.2 billion home of the Cowboys that opened in 2009:


    The Cowboys were prepared to replace Elliott with Alfred Morris, a 1,500-yard rusher as a rookie in 2012 and Elliott's backup all season.

    Last year, Elliott was backed up by Darren McFadden once he was healthy. McFadden led the Cowboys in rushing two years ago despite starting just 10 games. Rod Smith is the wild card. He surged in training camp to make the roster and has shown some big-play ability.

    If form holds, McFadden will be inactive again with Elliott getting a late reprieve.

    "All of them have got good experience now in the league," Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "That's a big part of feeling good about those guys stepping in after really not playing a whole lot up until now."


    If the game comes down to field goals, give the edge to the Chiefs. Harrison Butker has connected on 18 straight attempts since missing the first of his career. The pickup off the Carolina practice squad was 5 for 5 in Monday night's victory over Denver, including one from 51 yards.

    The Cowboys are without Dan Bailey, the most accurate in history among kickers with at least 100 attempts, because of a groin injury. Mike Nugent missed his first kick as the replacement last week against Washington, a 49-yarder, but made the next four in a 33-19 win.


    Tony Romo, the Dallas franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns, will call his first Cowboys game as the lead analyst for CBS.

    A year ago, he was still recovering from a back injury that made Prescott the starter, a job Prescott never gave up thanks to a franchise-record 11-game winning streak.

    Romo was the backup when he was healthy again, then chose replacing Phil Simms alongside Jim Nantz over trying to chase an elusive Super Bowl somewhere else.

    "I am looking forward to the production meeting," Prescott said. "Obviously the first time with Romo will be cool."


    Prescott could see a lot of an old friend in the backfield. He was teammates with Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones at Mississippi State.

    Jones was actually chosen ahead of Prescott in 2016, going in the second round to Kansas City. Prescott was a fourth-rounder.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Cleared to Play Sunday: Appeals Court]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:51:52 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zeke-us.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott can play in Sunday's home game against Kansas City while a federal appeals court considers a challenge to his six-game suspension.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City issued a one-page order Friday temporarily blocking a lower-court ruling that cleared the way this week for Elliott to begin serving the disciplinary penalty.

    Circuit Judge Susan Carney granted a request from the NFL Players Association for Elliott to be allowed to play Sunday. In the meantime, a three-judge panel will decide whether the appeal will be handled in expedited fashion and whether Elliott will continue to be allowed to play before the appeal is decided.

    The suspension was imposed in August after the NFL investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Elliott's girlfriend at the time.

    The NFL submitted papers to the 2nd Circuit on Thursday, arguing that the appeals court should not block the suspension any longer because the union has no chance of winning its appeal.

    It said "swift discipline" should not be manipulated by players and teams seeking to strategically time court challenges so that suspensions are served when they play weaker opponents or when an injury would already require a player to remain off the field.

    Lawyers on both sides did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.

    Late Friday afternoon, Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones told NBC 5 he's excited that Elliott gets to play Sunday.

    "I'm so excited for him. I'm proud for the Cowboys. I'm proud for Cowboys fans," Jones said.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled Monday that the 22-year-old player must begin the suspension.

    Lawyers for the players' union said Failla was the first judge ever to have "concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm" when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

    The NFL said about 100 players have been suspended for approximately 500 games over the past season and a half.

    The Cowboys (4-3) are in second place in the NFC East. They face a Chiefs team that is 6-2 and leads the AFC West.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Associated Press
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    <![CDATA[Newy Scruggs Gives His Prediction for Cowboys-Chiefs]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:30:56 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_DALLAS_KC_PREDICTION_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1087471683838.jpg

    NBC 5's Newy Scruggs explains why it will be tough for the Cowboys to get a win Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Appeal Has No Chance of Success: NFL]]>Thu, 02 Nov 2017 16:42:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867908094.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has no chance with his latest attempt to delay a six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence, NFL lawyers said Thursday.

    The attorneys told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that it should not interfere with Elliott beginning his suspension Sunday when the Cowboys play Kansas City at home because the NFL Players Association "has no likelihood of success on appeal."

    The union has asked the court to block the start of the suspension until it considers its request to overturn a lower-court ruling on the grounds that Elliott's career will be irreparably harmed if his suspension begins now.

    The league said in a written submission that the public, including NFL fans and victims of abuse, have a "strong interest" in seeing that penalties stemming from domestic abuse by NFL players are promptly investigated and that discipline is imposed in a timely manner.

    It said "swift discipline" should not be manipulated by players and teams seeking to strategically time court challenges so that suspensions are served when they play weaker opponents or when an injury would already require a player to remain off the field.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled Monday that the 22-year-old athlete must begin the suspension that was imposed in August after the league investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with his then-girlfriend.

    The union said Failla erred by ruling that the NFL's claims were supported by federal labor law because the league followed the collective bargaining agreement in suspending Elliott.

    Lawyers for the players association said Failla was the first judge ever to have "concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm" when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

    The NFL said roughly 100 players have been suspended for approximately 500 games over the past season and a half.

    "Elliott's claim of irreparable injury is indistinguishable from those that could be made by 100 other players," the league said.

    If Failla's ruling is not blocked, Elliott will not be eligible to return until the team's final three games, starting Dec. 17 at Oakland. The Cowboys (4-3), defending NFC East champions, are in second place in the division.

    Earlier in October, a federal appeals court threw out a Texas court's injunction and ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit there.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dak Prescott Sends Ezekiel Elliott Supportive Text Message]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 16:22:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/GettyImages-625634628.jpg

    Quarterback Dak Prescott had a lengthy text change with Ezekiel Elliott after learning the star running back would probably have to serve his six-game suspension.

    “I was just telling him we got his back, supporting him, and he had a couple of words for me," Prescott said Wednesday after practice. "I was just letting him know we support him.

    “He obviously feels bad with the ruling coming down, but I was just letting him know I've got his back, this team's got his back. He was just telling me 'just go play ball.'"

    When asked about Elliott’s emotions, Prescott said, “I'm not going to read his attitude or what I thought. It is what it is. It happened. I know he's looking forward, he's moving forward. He's put that all behind him. He's going to do the best he can to have his body and his mind ready to go when he returns."

    Elliott, the league’s leading rusher in 2017, is eligible to return to the lineup on Dec. 17 against the Oakland Raiders.

    Elliott had gained more than 100 yards in each of the last three games, and gained 150 yards on 33 carries in a 33-19 win over Washington on Sunday.

    Without him, the Cowboys will rely on Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden to run the ball.

    "I mean, my expectations for this team are high regardless of who is at running back, who is at receiver, who is at offensive line," Prescott said. "My expectations that I know these guys in this locker room, the guys I go to work with each and every day I know their potential, I know what they and we can do together. My expectations don't change."

    Without Elliott, others must produce the big plays that drive the offense. Of the 24 plays the Cowboys have of more than 20 yards this season, Elliott has produced seven - four rushing and three receiving.

    Brice Butler and Dez Bryant have four each, and Terrance Williams has three. Six other players have one.

    "The passing game's got to be great regardless, whether Zeke's here or not," Prescott said. "That's just part of it. We've got to be balanced. We've got to make the run game hit and then hopefully that will open up the pass game. We've got to make the most of it when those plays are called.

    "For me it's about just staying focused to my job. Coach [Scott] Linehan touched on it. My job is the same if he's here or if Zeke's not here. So it's about going out there and give this team a chance to win whether we're handing it off or throwing it."

    It’s just easier with Elliott in the lineup.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[NFLPA Files Emergency Motion in Elliott Suspension Case]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 13:29:21 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-ezekiel-elliott-cowboys-49ers.jpg

    The NFL Players Association filed an emergency motion Wednesday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent the league from beginning the suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott during the appeal process.

    The union asked Tuesday that the suspension be delayed until the Court of Appeals could consider the issue, but that could take weeks or months to be heard.

    Elliott, 22, was suspended in August after the league investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with his then-girlfriend.

    In the appeal filed Wednesday, the NFLPA said: The NFLPA requests an emergency injunction pending appeal of the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction, preserving the status quo and preventing the NFL from enforcing the six-game suspension imposed by Commissioner Goodell and sustained by Arbitrator Henderson's arbitral award. The NFLPA also requests that the Court expedite this appeal and issue an administrative stay."

    The NFL Players Association first asked U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla to suspend her Monday ruling reinstating the suspension during an appeal. But she refused Tuesday, so the file was moved to the appeals court.

    Wednesday's emergency motion was filed after the case was moved to the appeals court the day before. The case was put on the court's docket Tuesday, but it could take weeks or months to process the appeal.

    Union lawyers said Elliott's suspension should be delayed until the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the issue. League lawyers had no immediate comment.

    If the appeal is not granted, Elliott will begin serving his suspension immediately and will not be eligible to return until the team's final three games, starting Dec. 17 at Oakland. The Cowboys (4-3), defending NFC East champions, are in second place in the division behind the 7-1 Eagles.

    Emergency Appeal

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com
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    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott's Court Battle Vs. NFL Continues]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:15:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_ON_ZEKE_LATEST_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1085834307966.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott took another loss Tuesday in his fight to stop his six-game suspension. NBC 5's Newy Scruggs breaks down the latest developments.]]>
    <![CDATA[Union Seeks to Block Ruling So Cowboys RB Elliott Can Play]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:16:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-856322350_master.jpg

    The union for NFL players has turned to a federal appeals court in its quest to let Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott play Sunday at home against Kansas City as he fights his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

    Union lawyers say Elliott's suspension should be delayed until the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the issue. League lawyers had no immediate comment.

    The NFL Players Association first asked U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla to suspend her Monday ruling reinstating the suspension during an appeal. But she refused Tuesday, so the file was moved to the appeals court.

    The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August after the league investigated several alleged physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with his then-girlfriend.

    The union told Failla that she erred by ruling that the NFL's claims were supported by federal labor law because the league followed the collective bargaining agreement in suspending Elliott.

    Lawyers for the NFLPA said Failla was the first judge ever to have "concluded that professional athletes with short career spans do not face irreparable harm" when suspensions are enforced before appeals options have been exhausted.

    The judge had concluded that some of the reasons for Elliott's claim that he'll suffer irreparable harm during a suspension were "far too speculative" given all the variables, including the Cowboys' overall offensive performance, his opponents' defensive showing and Elliott's health.

    The union also said Failla made erroneous legal conclusions that deserve review by a three-judge appeals panel, particularly after an "unjust and fundamentally unfair arbitration."

    If Failla's ruling is not blocked, Elliott will not be eligible to return until the team's final three games, starting Dec. 17 at Oakland. The Cowboys (4-3), defending NFC East champions, are in second place in the division.

    Earlier in October, a federal appeals court threw out a Texas court's injunction and ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit there.

    Before ruling, Failla heard arguments Monday at a hearing attended by Elliott, a day after last year's NFL rushing leader ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-19 victory over Washington.

    Failla had based some of her rulings on the NFL's successful appeal in the same jurisdiction in the Deflategate case that ended with New England quarterback Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Cowboys Will Put 'Next Man Up' Philosophy to Ultimate Test]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:01:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/uspresswire-cowboys-ezekiel-elliott.jpg

    Coaches love to talk about their “next man up” philosophy every time a player gets hurt.

    There’s one problem with it: Everyone ain’t replaceable.

    Ezekiel Elliott fits into that category as the Cowboys and coach Jason Garrett will soon find out.

    Alfred Morris will play hard. So will Darren McFadden, who has been inactive for every game this season. The same goes for Rod Smith.

    None of them is close to being as good as Elliott. It’s not a knock on them, it’s the truth.

    We all know it.

    Judge Katherine Polk Failla dissolved Elliott’s preliminary injunction Monday, putting the NFL in position to reinstate its six-game suspension of the 2016 rushing leader for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

    Failla rejected Elliott and the NFL Players Association's assertions that the NFL conspired to prevent Elliott from receiving a fundamentally fair appeal.

    She granted a 24-hour stay on her ruling so Elliott, who attended the hearing Monday evening in New York, can consider appellate options in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    We all knew the Elliott was eventually going to serve this suspension, but most folks didn’t expect him to serve it until next season because of various appeals.

    He’s eligible to return to the Cowboys for their Dec. 17 game against the Oakland Raiders.

    The Cowboys, who moved over .500 with their 33-19 win over Washington on Sunday, will play Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington and the New York Giants without Elliott.

    Reality says the Cowboys, who trail Philadelphia by two games in the NFC East, must go no worse than 3-3 to have a shot to make the playoffs when Elliott returns to the lineup.

    Then the Cowboys would be 7-6 when Elliott returned and they would still have one game with Philadelphia left that might have some bearing on the NFC East title or a wild card spot.

    That’s why no time for a pity party exists.

    Elliott has gained 690 yards on 164 carries this season, but he’s been at his best the last three games with 418 yards on 88 carries - a 4.6 average - and four touchdowns.

    He’s gained more than 100 yards each of the last three games, and he scored on a 72-yard screen pass in a 40-3 route of San Francisco.

    The question is whether the combination of Morris, McFadden and Smith is good enough to help the Cowboys win games, during Elliott’s suspension.

    Morris has 13 carries for 105 yards this season, but 70 came on one run against Green Bay. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2014, when he gained 751 yards on 202 carries for Washington.

    He has 12 career 100-yard games, the last came in the final game of the 2015 season, when he carried 19 times for 100 yards in a win over the Cowboys.

    A strong training camp showed his improvement as a receiver and a blocker and nudged him ahead of Darren McFadden, which is why he’s been Elliott’s backup all season.

    The Cowboys also preferred Morris over McFadden because his style is more similar to Elliott’s running style.

    McFadden started 10 games in 2015 and finished fourth in the NFL with 1,089 yards rushing. He had five 100-yard games, but scored only three touchdowns.

    Smith is the wild card, having increased his role from the start of training camp. The coaching staff likes his approach and they’ve been giving him more opportunities to play the last few weeks.

    None them, however, can impact a game like Elliott.

    See, Elliott doesn’t just gain yards. He establishes a tone for the entire offense.

    As Garrett often says, “The runner matters."

    Look at how Elliott consistently falls forward, punishing defenders in the first three quarters so they have no interest in tackling him in the fourth quarter.

    He’s an excellent short-yardage runner, which helps sustain drives, and he’s good at the goal line, which leads to points. He’s a good receiver with three receptions of more than 30 yards this season, and he’s a terrific blocker.

    "I think the way we've constructed our roster has taken his situation into account," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday before Failla's ruling. "We have some veteran running backs, we have some depth at that position.

    “It's not like we're just living this day and we don't think about the future at all, you have to do that.”

    The future is now.

    Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
    <![CDATA[Judge Reinstates Suspension for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 22:00:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867908094.jpg

    A federal judge cleared the way Monday night for the NFL to enforce a six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Judge Reinstates Suspension for Dallas Cowboys RB Elliott]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 14:37:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867908094.jpg

    A federal judge has cleared the way for the NFL to enforce a six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla on Monday denied the request for a preliminary injunction from players' union attorneys working for Elliott.

    It's the second time a federal ruling has overturned a reprieve that kept Elliott on the field, and likely will lead to another effort by for Elliott's legal team to pursue other remedies.

    Elliott attended the roughly two-hour hearing in New York on Monday, a day after rushing for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 33-19 win at Washington.

    Elliott has 24 hours to appeal the decision.

    The suspension would begin for this week's home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    He is eligible to return for the Cowboys' Dec. 17 matchup with the Oakland Raiders on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

    A lawyer for the NFL Players Association, Jeffrey Kessler, argued Monday that the process NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used to determine the punishment against Elliott was "fundamentally unfair" because it downplayed the conclusion by an internal investigator that the accuser, Tiffany Thompson, wasn't credible in her account of the 2016 violence.

    The doubts "were kept from the union, the Cowboys, the player and, we believe, Mr. Goodell," Kessler said.

    At one point, the judge asked NFL attorney Paul Clement, "Why it was OK that the commissioner was not told that (the investigator) had concerns?"

    Clement responded that a report given to Goodell before he made his decision made clear that the accuser was a flawed witness, but that he relied on photos of her bruised body and other corroborating evidence to make his decision. Though criminal authorities declined to bring charges in the case, the league has an obligation to combat domestic abuse under its labor agreement, he said.

    "There's a concern on the behalf of the league that its players are held to a higher standard," Clement said.

    The union's suggestion that its lawyer should have been able to cross-examine Thompson during an arbitration hearing won by the league would set a "terrible precedent," he added.

    Elliott left court on Monday without speaking to reporters.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Elliott, Cowboys Await Another Hearing on 6-Game Suspension]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 04:46:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867908094.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys should soon find out if the running back will be eligible to play the rest of the season.

    Elliott has another hearing Monday to decide whether he'll serve a six-game suspension as a result of a yearlong NFL investigation that found he had multiple physical confrontations in 2016 with his girlfriend at the time.

    "We need him, but what is important is that he gets a fair shake," owner Jerry Jones said Sunday after Elliott ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-19 victory over the Washington Redskins. "Zeke has in no way, by any standard, done anything wrong. He's done nothing wrong. We, the league, have tried to say that he's done something that we disagree with. We all don't agree with that. So I want him to get a fair shot. And he deserves that."

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August for six games, a ban that has been fought over in court since. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue a criminal case, citing conflicting evidence.

    "We've got a pretty good system in place in this country," Jones said. "It's called the legal system, and it has a lot of precedent and it's made a lot of mistakes, but it's the best one there probably is in the world in my view and for us to not basically recognize that, that's a concern."

    With the 5-2 Kansas City Chiefs up next, the Cowboys hope they'll have Elliott, who has run for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games and has four rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks. Elliott believes he'll keep playing.

    "I think we're confident in our argument," said Elliott, who will attend the hearing. "We're confident I'll be on the field for the rest of the year."

    Elliott has 690 yards rushing and six touchdowns and 210 yards receiving with two scores this season. Although the 22-year-old voiced confidence in fellow running backs Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith, Dallas doesn't have someone else who can do what Elliott does at his level.

    Because of that, the Cowboys are eager for some clarity that is expected to come out of Elliott's hearing Monday.

    "We'll deal with it and go on, but, yeah, it'll be beneficial, I guess, to say we'll know if we have him or not," quarterback Dak Prescott said. "Hopefully we can get it all out the way. But it's out of my control and out of his control for the most part. It's up to the people that make those decisions, and we're going to take it as a team and I know he will the right way and move forward."

    Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[10 Thoughts on Cowboys' 33-19 Win Over Washington]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 04:16:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-867918148.jpg

    1. Ezekiel Elliott has found his stride, rhythm, mojo or whatever you want to call it. He has 88 carries for 413 yards — 4.6 per carry — and four touchdowns in the last three games. What a huge loss, if he gets suspended for six games and what a huge boost if he doesn't.
    2. Tyrone Crawford has found a home at right defensive end. With teams having to pay so much attention to DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, Tyrone Crawford is starting to make more plays. His sack, forced fumble and blocked FG were huge in the Cowboys' win.
    3. Orlando Scandrick had one of his best games in the NFL with eight tackles, two for loss, and an 88-yard return of a blocked field goal that helped the Cowboys take a 14-13 lead they never relinquished.
    4. Mike Nugent, signed off the street last week, made field goals of 36, 48, 37 and 27 yards. He missed from 48. His kickoffs were excellent overall and his performance should put coach Jason Garrett at ease since Dan Bailey is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey will miss several weeks with a strained groin.
    5. La'El Collins received quite an education from Ryan Kerrigan, who had five tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks. Collins struggled to block him all day.
    6. Dez Bryant made a key play late in the fourth quarter, when he ran a pivot route — Cole Beasley usually runs it — to convert a third and four that helped the Cowboys take a another couple of minutes off the clock.
    7. Safety Byron Jones had another active day. He had four tackles, an interception returned for a touchdown, and threw a key block on Orlando Scandrick's 88-yard field goal return.
    8. The Cowboys forced three turnovers — two fumbles and an interception — and blocked a field goal. The turnovers are the result of a much-improved pass rush and directly impacted the win.
    9. The Cowboys did not have a receiver with more than 40 yards receiving. Bryant had a team-high 39 yards receiving, the 14th game in a row he has had less than 100 yards receiving.
    10. DeMarcus Lawrence had a sack for the seventh consecutive game. He also recovered a fumble and is seemingly around the ball every game.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys 'Feed Zeke,' Capitalize on Mistakes to Beat Redskins]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 04:31:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-867949626.jpg

    After letting the ball slip out of his hands on his first carry, Ekeziel Elliott was determined not to let his Dallas Cowboys teammates down again.

    Elliott bounced back from his fumble to run for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Cowboys took advantage of a blocked field goal and three turnovers to beat the Washington Redskins 33-19 in a wet, sloppy game Sunday to move into sole possession of second place in the NFC East.

    "We always talk about when you got that ball in your hands, that's the team, so you've got to protect it," Elliott said. "I had to do something."

    Playing in a driving rainstorm that made it difficult to hold onto the ball, let alone throw it, Dak Prescott completed 14 of his 22 passes for 143 yards as Dallas (4-3) heeded the message on Elliott's cleats to "Feed Zeke." With another hearing on his NFL suspension coming Monday, Elliott carried the ball 33 times, scored twice for the second consecutive game and surpassed 100 yards for the third time in a row.

    "He's hard enough when you have holes filled, let alone when you're giving him a clear running lane," Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. "It is never going to be easy."

    Elliott said he didn't think about his pending hearing, which could determine whether he's suspended the next six games or will be available for the rest of the season. He didn't have the chance to because he called conditions so treacherous that he struggled to hold on to the ball late because of the rain and cold.

    What could be Elliott's last game until mid-December turned in the second quarter when Dallas' Tyrone Crawford blocked Nick Rose's field goal attempt and Orlando Scandrick returned it 86 yards to set up a 1-yard Elliott TD run two plays later. Instead of the Redskins (3-4) leading 16-7, the Cowboys went up 14-13 and never trailed again.

    "That block was huge," Prescott said. "That might've been the turning point and just the key play in the whole game."

    Washington QB Kirk Cousins lost one fumble and kick returner Chris Thompson lost another. Cousins was 26 of 39 for 263 yards and a 1-yard TD pass to Josh Doctson that cut it to 26-19, but Rose missed the extra point and Dallas sealed it with an interception return for a touchdown by Byron Jones with 21 seconds left.

    No Problem, NugentSigned to fill in for injured kicker Dan Bailey, Mike Nugent was wide left from 49 yards on his first attempt for the Cowboys. Nugent, who worked out for the Redskins last week when they decided to sign Rose to replace the injured Dustin Hopkins, shook it off and made field goals from 36, 48, 27 and 37 yards in the second half.

    "It's one of those ones you want back, but I feel like I learned from it," Nugent said. "I was happy to connect on the rest."

    Feel the Rush
    The Cowboys took full advantage of the Redskins' bevy of injuries along the offensive line, sacking Cousins four times. Washington was without starting left tackle Trent Williams, center Spencer Long and right guard Brandon Scherff because of knee injuries and had two rookies making their NFL debuts — Chase Roullier at center and Tyler Catalina at right guard.

    "The D-line has done a great job getting a lot of pressure: strip sacks, making plays," Dallas linebacker Sean Lee said.

    Invisible Pryor
    Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor was a nonfactor for a second consecutive game. Cousins threw Pryor's way just once, a week after four targets and two receptions in a loss at Philadelphia.

    Cowboys: WR Cole Beasley left in the third quarter with a concussion.

    Redskins: TE Jordan Reed injured his right hamstring late in the second quarter and did not return. ... TE Niles Paul was concussed on a helmet-to-helmet hit during Rob Kelley's 1-yard TD run in the first quarter. ... LT T.J. Clemmings left with an ankle injury and LG Shawn Lauvao left with a stinger. ... DL Matt Ioannidis suffered a hand injury, S Stefan McClure a hamstring injury and S Montae Nicholson a shoulder injury. ... CB Bashaud Breeland was inactive with a knee injury.

    Prescott, trying to explain playing in wet conditions: "The next rainy day, go outside, take a ball and see what you can do with it. And good luck with it."

    Redskins coach Jay Gruden: "I don't know how you could have more injuries on the offensive line. I really don't. It's mind-boggling."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[INSTANT ANALYSIS: Cowboys Beat Washington]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 17:42:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Redskins+Elliott.jpg

    Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 33-19 win over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field:

    WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys have surged over .500 with consecutive wins and Ezekiel Elliott just surpassed the 100-yard mark for the third consecutive game. Now, we have to see if Elliott is going to have to serve his six-game NFL suspension or whether he’ll continue to play, while the courts hear his case. The decision will have a significant impact on the Cowboys’ season.

    TURNING POINT: Washington lined up for a 36-yard field goal that would’ve given the Redskins a 16-7 lead with 3:19 left in the first half. Instead, Tyrone Crawford blocked the kick and Orlando Scandrick returned it 88 yards to the Washington 4. Two plays later, Ezekiel Elliott scored on a one-yard run to give Dallas a 14-13 lead.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME:  Tyrone Crawford, easily the most under appreciated player on the Cowboys’ defense, had a sack, a forced fumble and blocked a field goal - the game’s key play. He also hit the quarterback four times. He seems to have found a home at right defensive end because teams have to pay so much attention to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and defensive tackle David Irving.

    KEY STAT: In their first game without Dan Bailey, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, Mike Nugent made field goals of 36, 48, 37 and 27 to help the Cowboys slowly pull away from Washington. He missed from 49 yards in the second quarter.

    WHAT'S NEXT:  The Cowboys will host the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs and their explosive offense built around receiver Tyreke Hill, running back Kareem Hunt and tight end Travis Kelce. Even if the Cowboys find out this week that they’re going to lose Elliott for six games, they positioned themselves to withstand his absence and still make the playoffs with wins the last two weeks.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Pay Attention to This: Cowboys-Redskins Preview]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 13:03:27 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Offense+Niners.jpg

    Jason Garrett vs. Washington: He is 9-4 against Washington and the Cowboys have won four in a row and five of six in Washington. Four of those wins, however, have been by four points of less. The games are close, but the Cowboys tend to figure out how to win at FedExField.

    Key Matchup: TE Jordan Reed v. S Byron Jones. The Redskins are the rare team that uses its tight ends and running backs in the passing game as much as its receivers. Reed, 6-3 and 236 pounds, runs routes like a receiver, which makes him a difficult match. He’s having a down season with a 7.9 average on 26 receptions, but he caught 15 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in two games against the Cowboys last season. Jones has played better in the past few weeks - he had a season-high seven tackles against San Francisco - but he’ll need to play well for the Cowboys to beat Washington.

    X Factor: It sounds like Josh Norman will play after two games off because of a broken ribs. If he does, the question becomes how well does he play. He’s a physical corner with the ability to control Bryant without consistent help. Still, Bryant caught 12 passes for 174 yards last week and he played well against San Francisco, making seven catches, many of them contested for 63 yards, and a touchdown. If Norman plays, the Cowboys will challenge him in the running game to see if he’s as willing a tackler as usual.

    Key Stat: Washington is tied for sixth in the NFL with 24 completions of 20 yards or more, The league average is 20. The average on those completions of 30 yards, which means the Redskins’ vertical passing game remains dangerous - even if it’s not as good as it was last season. The Cowboys’  defense is predicated on not giving up the big play. Dallas is tied for seventh in the NFL, having allowed 17 completions of 20 yards or more this season. Washington completed 11 passes of 20 yards or more in two games against Dallas last season but receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are gone.

    GAME PLAN: The Cowboys blitzed last week after grabbing early lead against san Francisco, in part, because they wanted C.J. Beathard, making his first start, to make quick decisions. This week, you shouldn’t be surprised to see Dallas playing a lot of zone to limit the number of big plays they give up, and their front four should be able to pressure Kirk Cousins given the state of his injury-ravaged offensive line.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Rod Marinelli Has Plan to Help Taco Charlton Improve]]>Fri, 27 Oct 2017 05:19:56 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-835656554.jpg

    Taco Charlton has played 145 NFL snaps, spanning six games. Some folks have already labeled him a bust.


    It’s too early to know what kind of player Charlton will become in the future. He’s still learning how to play.

    Yes, the Cowboys expected him to have more than three tackles and three quarterback pressures by now, but they also understood he was a project when they signed him.  He’s done a few good things, but not as much as the coaches would like.

    He practices hard, and he’s smart. Technically, Charlton has much to learn. He must do a better job finishing plays because NFL offensive linemen excel in recovering after they get beat and sustaining their blocks.

    Charlton started one year at Michigan, and he was the last of six defensive ends selected in the first round of the 2017 draft.

    If it makes you feel better, none of the other defensive ends taken in the first round are playing like All-Pros.

    The have combined for a total of 10 sacks and four of those belong to Myles Garrett, the first pick overall. He’s also missed three games with a high-ankle sprain, and he’s currently in concussion protocol and will miss Sunday’s game in London against the Minnesota Vikings.

    Solomon Thomas, a Coppell native taken third overall, has 24 tackles. No other defensive end taken in the first round has more than 10. Jonathan Allen, taken 17th overall, is expected to miss the season with a foot injury.

    These days, a pass-rushing defensive end is one of the NFL’s most difficult positions to master, in part, because left tackles are some of the game’s best athletes.

    Few defensive ends enter the league and make an impact. Just so you know, Aldon Smith and Joey Bosa are the only defensive ends in the last decade to get double-digit sacks as rookies.

    Players such as J.J. Watt and Jason Pierre-Paul hit double-digits in their second seasons. Understand, no one with any sense expected Charlton to get 10 sacks this season, but they did expect more impact plays.

    Against Green Bay two games ago, Charlton played A season-low eight snaps, in part, because Marinelli is an impatient sort.

    The reality, however, is the Cowboys invested a first-round pick in him. They had only $775,000 invested in Moore and they have only $1.1 million invested in Benson Mayowa this season.

    Moore didn't have a future here and Mayowa’s future is tenuous at best because he has no sacks and eight pressures this season. He had a team-high 6.5 sacks last season.

    So the best move is to force-feed Charlton playing time and see how much he improves over the next two months.

    “Sure, it’s hard because nothing is working,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “ It’s just a grind of going through it all. It’s just a grind. There are some small things coming every time and, yes. it’s not giant steps, it’s baby steps right now. I’m seeing some baby steps.”

    Marinelli is talking about Charlton’s acceleration at the snap of the ball is better and more consistent. His body lean is more consistent and Charlton is keeping his pad-level low, so he can play with more leverage.

    Most of all, Marinelli wants the rookie reacting instead of thinking.

    “He’s got to be a little bit more decisive right now in his movement,”Marinelli said. “There was one play, it was on a bootleg, he got up in a guy’s face. Two things there: it was a stunt we have and he did it correctly.

    “He didn’t do it well during the week. We went through it. He got it, read it and now the next step is maybe get your hands up and go big.”

    The process is slow, but there’s no quick way to turn a project into a player.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Release QB Kellen Moore to Promote Tight End]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:44:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-502024532.jpg

    Rookie Cooper Rush, an undrafted free agent, moved past Kellen Moore on the depth chart last week and made his NFL debut.

    Now, Moore is gone.

    The Cowboys released Moore, who entered training camp each of the last two years as the Cowboys' backup, because they needed his roster spot.

    The Philadelphia Eagles wanted to sign tight end Blake Jarwin off the Cowboys' practice squad, and they didn't want to lose him., according to a club source.

    The Cowboys promoted Rush after a nice week of practice during the bye week, and he played two series in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' 40-10 blowout win over San Francisco.

    He completed 1-of-2 passes for 2 yards.

    Jarwin, an undrafted free agent, caught four passes for 31 yards in the preseason. With Jason Witten, James Hanna and Geoff Swaim, the Cowboys now have four tight ends on their roster.

    Rico Gathers, a fifth tight end, remains on injured reserve. He suffered a concussion in the preseason.

    Moore does not have to clear waivers and could be added to the Cowboys' practice squad.

    The move, though, says more about Rush than it does about Moore.

    Rush played well in the preseason, passing for 398 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

    Moore passed for 392 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but it was clear who better in the preseason. That's why the Cowboys initially released Moore on the final cutdown before re-signing him.

    They didn't want to take a chance on another team claiming Rush.

    "Well, we felt Cooper did a really good job in the preseason and training camp and was worthy of an opportunity," head coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "The discussions we had as a staff going into the season was that it was probably better to have him as the third quarterback at the outset, being that he's a rookie."

    "Kellen is more experienced, so let's make Cooper the third and Kellen the second and give Kellen the role early on in the season, with the idea that over time we'd like to give Cooper the opportunity," Garrett said. "We got to the bye week, we gave him a little more work in our extra couple practice days, and we just felt like it was the right time for him to do it."

    Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said he wanted to make sure Rush was mentally ready to play and understood how to prepare on a daily and weekly basis.

    "When you've got a young quarterback, regardless of what round he was drafted, you'd like to, if you have that chance, to have a progression of teaching," Linehan said. "It was good for him in the first five games to be able to see a pro's pro like Kellen prepare in that backup position and see how that really works, because it's really different."

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys’ Offense, Running Game Operating at Peak Efficiency ]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 05:40:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-865141124.jpg

    Jason Witten, like every other offensive player, doesn’t have an explanation for why their best game occurred Sunday against San Francisco.

    All Witten knows is that it’s the first time all season the Cowboys’ offense resembled the unit that dominated the NFL in 2016. Understand, the Cowboys have had some good drives and quarters and halves, but they hadn’t turned in a complete performance from start to finish.

    Now, they have.

    “We had it all working he said,” Witten said. “We ran it inside and out and that set up the stuff we did in the passing game. It felt good.”

    And it looked good.

    Yes, the Cowboys scored 30 points and gained 440  yards against the Los Angeles Rams but they struggled in the third quarter when the Rams took over the game.

    Against Green Bay, they scored 31 points and gained 408 yards but ran only six plays in the third quarter.

    The Cowboys didn’t have a lull against San Francisco. Ezekiel Elliott wouldn’t let them.

    He finished with 26 carries for a season-high 147 yards. He had runs of 10, 13, 14, 15 and 25 yards.

    More important, he had 15 for 89 yards in the first half. The running game created  passing lanes as the safeties came crashing down to stop Elliott.

    “That’s what our offense should look like,” Elliott said.

    It all starts with the running game. In the last three games, the Cowboys have gained  189 yards against the Rams, 163 yards against the Packers and 236 yards against San Francisco.

    Now, the Cowboys rank second in the NFL in rushing at 147.5 and yards per carry at 5.03. They rank fourth in the NFL in runs of 10 yards or more with 25 and runs of 20 yards or more with seven.

    And they’re gaining 5.38 on first down, which means the Cowboys have their entire playbook open to them on second and third down.

    "We are definitely going the direction we want to go. We are playing up to our standards and expectations of the way we expect to move the ball, the way we expect to get points,” Dak Prescott said. “And it's been going well.

    "It's hard to say there is one thing that has changed. If anything, we have continued to keep faith and keep confidence in ourselves and continue with the same game plan we have been doing early in the season. ...We are getting into a groove."

    The Cowboys will need their offense playing at a high level as they move through a challenging part of their schedule against Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

    Each of those teams have good offenses, and it’s unrealistic to expect the Cowboys’ defense to shut them down.

    So the red zone offense needs to keep functioning at the high level it has been operating the past few weeks.

    Dallas has scored on 14 of 17 red-zone possessions, including 11 straight directed by Prescott. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush guided two failed red-zone drives in the fourth quarter against San Francisco.

    We shouldn't be surprised at the Cowboys’ success — not if you consider their options.

    They can run the ball with Elliott, throw underneath to Witten and Cole Beasley or attack with back-shoulder fades with Dez Bryant.

    Then there’s the read option with Elliott and Prescott. It makes for some long nights for opposing defensive coordinators, who must figure out how to stop it all.

    “We can run, we can pass, we got the zone read, we got the RPOs (run/pass options),” Elliott said. “You take away the run, we’ll go with the pass. If you take away the back and the quarterback will take it. We’re so diverse down there we can do a lot of things.”

    Right now, all of them are working.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Sign Mike Nugent, Release Damontre Moore]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 18:39:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-841377860.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey’s strained groin resulted in kicker Mike Nugent getting a job and defensive end Damontre Moore losing a job.

    The Cowboys signed Nugent, a 12-year veteran, on Tuesday after he won a kicking tryout against Sam Irwin-Hall, who spent training camp with Cowboys, and Jason Myers, who was released by Jacksonville last week.

    Bailey, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, is expected to miss at least two weeks. He felt a twinge during pre-game warmups Sunday, and his condition worsened during the first quarter, when he kicked off twice and made two extra points.

    Safety Jeff Heath handled the rest of the Cowboys’ place-kicking duties on Sunday. Now, Nugent will take over until Bailey returns.

    Nugent, a former second-round draft choice, has made 236 of 292 field goals (80.8 percent) in his career. He’s 145 of 184 field goals (78.8 percent) between 30 and 50 yards.

    Nugent failed to beat out Aldick Rosas for the New York Giants' job in training camp and has been waiting for an opportunity.

    To make room for Nugent, the Cowboys released Moore.

    Multiple sources said Moore’s release had nothing to do with him raising a fist during the national anthem before the Cowboys’ game against Green Bay earlier this month.

    Nor did it have anything to do with an alleged incident at an Uptown Dallas club, according two club sources.

    Moore’s lack of production led to his release. The Cowboys signed Moore to a one-year deal worth $775,000 to help with their pass rush — he had 10 sacks in 52 career games — but he managed just 58 snaps in three games with the Cowboys.

    He did not record a sack, but had four pressures and seven tackles. He was suspended for the first two games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy and was inactive last week against San Francisco.

    The Cowboys were heavy on the defensive line, and there’s a chance defensive end Charles Tapper could return late in the season, so they felt comfortable releasing Moore.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Newy's Cowboys-Redskins Prediction]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 19:52:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newy+prediction+pic.jpg

    NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs gives his prediction on this Sunday's game between Dallas and Washington. See it now at NBCDFW.com/Sports]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Defense May Catch Break vs. Washington]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:48:03 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys-redskins-2014.jpg

    The Cowboys might be dealing with a Washington club that has injuries along the offensive line.  Left tackle Williams, guard Brandon Schreff,  right tackle Morgan Moses might not be able to go Sunday after some injuries they suffered in Monday’s 34-24 loss in Philadelphia.

    Head coach Jay Gruden was asked how he will prepare for the 3-3 Cowboys this week and replied. “I don’t have any lineman.”           

    Per NBC Washington:

    The coach followed that up by saying he doesn't know if left tackle Trent Williams can play, or if right guard Brandon Scherff can play. Right tackle Morgan Moses might be able to play, though he sustained injuries to both ankles Monday night. Left guard Shawn Lauvao is the only Redskins starter on the line without a serious injury. 

    For Scherff, the news was better than originally feared. It looked like the Redskins might lose their Pro Bowl guard for significant time in Philadelphia, but MRI results a grade 2 MCL sprain. It's possible with a brace and treatment, Scherff won't miss any time. 

    The word on Williams will be more complicated. He needs surgery on his knee but is trying to push that off until the offseason. For Gruden, the team also has to consider what the long-term impact on Williams' health can be. 

    "We have to do what's right for Trent," the coach said. 

    The Cowboys and Washington come into Sunday’s contest with 3-3 records. Washington was swept in the season series to the Eagles and a loss to the Cowboys would be three NFC East losses and might all but cancel any shot for them to win the division.

    The Cowboys play at FedEx Field at 3:25 Sunday. Washington plays on a short rest having lost Monday Night in Philadelphia.

    Last year the Cowboys won at FedEx Field 27-23 and in Arlington 31-26.

    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Legends Step Up to Help Women in Crisis ]]>Wed, 25 Oct 2017 03:44:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/gatehouse-grapevine-luncheon-df.jpg

    Some Dallas Cowboys legends are doing their part to help women and children in crisis.

    Bob Lilly, the first player ever drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson, known for catches in game-winning situations, and Roger Staubach, the undrafted free agent who went on to compete in four Super Bowls, were the headliners at a luncheon yesterday supporting The Gatehouse in Grapevine.

    The Gatehouse is a supportive living community for women and children in crisis. The program helps end cycles of abuse and poverty, so women and their children discover new paths for permanent, positive change.

    The fundraiser, called Get in the Game, happened on the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Lilly, Pearson and Staubach teased each other and entertained the 800 guests with stories from their glory days on the gridiron.

    The goal of the event, though, was to help guests understand the reality that, according to The Gatehouse, there are "40,000 confirmed domestic violence incidents in one year right here where we live. That doesn’t include the 70 percent that go unreported, or the underemployed who simply need a hand up to change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their children."

    One Gatehouse member shared her story of being a newlywed, with two small girls, who moved to Texas after a layoff in Puerto Rico. The relationship with her husband turned violent in the years that followed.

    "It got worse, a scream here, a shove there, manipulation in all its forms, no way out for nearly 10 non-ending years," she said.

    She found her way to The Gatehouse where the life she thought she'd have and deserved is now in reach.

    "My daughters and I have been living in this community for almost two years. Through group sessions and counseling I have learned self-worth, hope and the endless possibilities of having a fresh new start," she said. "They have open my eyes to solid truth. I am finally able to pursue my heartfelt dream of getting my master's degree — all thanks to the Gatehouse and thoughtful individuals such as yourself."

    The Gatehouse opened in March 2015 and currently serves 75 women and 104 children. So far, 25 women have graduated from the program.

    <![CDATA[Dan Bailey's Groin Injury Creates Trust Issue for Cowboys]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 03:58:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853875670.jpg

    This kicker issue is a real problem for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Under normal circumstances it wouldn't be that big of a deal for an NFL kicker to miss a few games with a groin strain, but Dan Bailey is the most accurate kickers in NFL history.

    Did you read that? History.

    We're talking NFL history — not franchise history. Bailey has made 178-of-198 (89.8%) of his field goals.

    No one has been more accurate.

    Not Adam Vinatieri. Not Hall of Famers Morten Anderson or Jan Stenerud. He is the standard.

    Bailey had made each of his 23 kicks - seven field goals and 16 extra points - until he informed the coaching staff in the first quarter of Sunday's 40-10 win over San Francisco that he couldn;t kick through a strained groin.

    Bailey told the coaching staff he felt a twinge during pre-game warmups and it became progressively worse, when he kicked off twice and made two extra points in the first quarter.

    Safety Jeff Heath made two of three extra points and handled kickoffs during the final three quarters.

    Now, though, the Cowboys must add a real kicker.

    They will try out Jason Myers, released by Jacksonville last week, long-time veteran Mike Nugent and rookie Sam Irwin-Hill, who spent training camp with the Cowboys.

    "We're hopeful we can sign a guy tomorrow to replace Dan who can come in and we can have the same kind of confidence in him," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "Now, we don't have the experience with this guy, whoever he is, but hopefully he's a guy who's shown he's capable of knocking the ball through the pipes in an NFL game and in a pressurized situation.

    "You try to be as objective as you can in your decision-making as you go, but there is no question we have a long history with Dan, a history of success. There's no question it will be a little bit different in some way."

    Myers should be the favorite because he has recently kicked in NFL games, and the three-year veteran has a history of making the kicks you're supposed to make.

    Translation: Myers has made 34 of 39 field goal attempts (87.1 percent) between 30 and 50 yards.

    Myers was 11 of 15 this season, and missed two kicks from beyond 50 yards in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He had been Jacksonville's kicker since 2015.

    Irwin-Hill is a rookie, who made two of three field-goal attempts and each of his seven extra points in the preseason.

    Nugent is a 12-year veteran, but the former second-round draft choice never met the high expectations for his career. He's made 145 of 184 field goals (78.8 pct) between 30 and 50 yards.

    Nugent, who was beaten out by Aldick Rosas for the New York Giants' job in training camp,  spent seven seasons with Cincinnati. He's made 236 of 292 field goals (80.8 percent).

    "You want a guy who is reliable," Garrett said. "It's really important at that position you have a guy you can trust and count on. You want that throughout your whole team at every position. But that's a very valuable position. You're going to put the fortunes of your team in that guy's hands, or on his foot, and you want a guy you can trust and rely on.

    "Experience matters, but you don't want to make it all about that. You want to choose the best guy. But reliability and how much you can trust them is certainly a big factor."

    The Cowboys will carry two kickers until Bailey is ready to play, which means they'll have to make a roster move Tuesday, so the kicker is eligible to practice Wednesday.

    The Cowboys have made the execution of the field goal an art form over the past few years. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur has been with the club since 2005, punter Chris Jones, who holds, arrived in 2011 as did Bailey.

    Bailey has missed just 20 field goal attempts in his entire career. The best thing he does is make the kicks you expect him to make.

    He hasn't missed a field goal under 30 yards since his rookie year. He has made 58 of 60 attempts from 30-39 yards and 51of 57 from 40-49 yards.

    Bailey's so good that his teammates, and the coaching staff are truly surprised when he misses a kick.

    He's made numerous game-winners, and pressure doesn't bother Bailey, which means he allows Garrett to coach a certain way.

    He can play for a field goal at the end of a close game, knowing Bailey will win it. He can be aggressive at the end of the half, knowing Bailey can make a long kick.

    And when the Cowboys move inside the 20, Garrett can tell Dak Prescott to play conservatively because the Cowboys are virtually guaranteed three points.

    The Cowboys move into a challenging part of their schedule with games against Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta and Philadelphia. With three losses, their playoff future is already in jeopardy.

    They must win some difficult games without one of their most trusted players.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Celebrating the Silver and Blue - October 23, 2017]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:05:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Silver_and_Blue__p_10232017.jpg

    Hadlee and Christian Michael were featured in the Celebrating the Silver and Blue segment on Monday, October 23, 2017.]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' Elliott Clear for Sunday at Redskins; Hearing Set]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:26:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zeke-us.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will play at least one more game before another ruling from a federal judge on his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in an order posted Monday turned down the NFL's request for an expedited hearing on a preliminary injunction. She set one for Oct. 30, a day after the Cowboys visit Washington.

    A restraining order granted last week cleared Elliott to play in Sunday's 40-10 win at San Francisco. Last year's NFL rushing leader had a career-best 219 yards from scrimmage, including a season-high 147 yards rushing.

    The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended in August by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the case, citing conflicting evidence.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
    <![CDATA[10 Thoughts on Cowboys’ 40-10 Win Over 49ers]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:32:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Offense+Niners.jpg

    The Cowboys overwhelmed San Francisco, 40-10, Sunday in their finest performance of the season. Here are 10 thoughts on the victory:

    1. You saw what the Cowboys’ collection of stars can do on a particular day. Ezekiel Elliott had a dazzling 72-yard touchdown on a screen pass, Jason Witten made an over-the-shoulder one-handed catch and Dez Bryant made a leaping catch along the back of the end zone and Dak Prescott made several terrific throws.
    2. Elliott showed us why he’s one of the best in the league on his screen pass for a TD. He showed patience letting guard Zack Martin push his guy out of bounds. Then he used acceleration, speed down the sideline, agility to avoid getting tripped up about the 10 and vision to make one final cut and power to drag a defender into end zone
    3. Jaylon Smith made a play with a sack and forced fumble on a blitz. It was his first big play since the opener.
    4. You must give safety Jeff Heath for handling kickoffs and making two of three extra points after Dan Bailey suffered a groin injury that forced him out of the game after the first quarter.
    5. The Cowboys ended their streak of 232 snaps and 14 quarters without defensive turnover. The Cowboys forced three turnovers — all fumble recoveries — against San Francisco.
    6. Tyrone Crawford showed tremendous hustle in the fourth  quarter, rushing the passer and then getting a piece of the tackle in the flat 10 yards downfield.
    7. The 30-point win was the third largest of the Jason Garrett era, and the third straight game the Cowboys have scored more than 30 points and gained more than 400 yards of offense.
    8. The lack of padded practices in training camp and the regular season means teams like Dallas only get to perfect their running game during the season.
    9. In his last five quarters, Elliott has 39 carries for 232 yards for an average of 5.9 yards per carry.
    10. DeMarcus Lawrence has 9.5 sacks and is making big-time plays in seemingly every game. He had a sack and forced fumble in the second quarter with Dallas leading 20-3.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Elliott's 3 TDs, 219 Yards Lead Cowboys Past 49ers 40-10]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 04:25:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-865168662.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott made the most of his legal reprieve, taking advantage of a legal ruling that put his suspension on hold and responding with the most productive game of his career.

    Elliott gained 219 yards from scrimmage and tied a career high with three touchdowns just days after winning in court and the Dallas Cowboys beat the winless San Francisco 49ers 40-10 on Sunday.

    "I put that aside when I get with these guys," Elliott said. "These guys do a good job of giving me something else to think about, keeping me up no matter what's going on out there. I'm just happy to be out here and be able to play with them and go and get another win."

    Elliott was granted his second temporary restraining order Tuesday, putting his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations on hold and then gave the Cowboys (3-3) a big boost on the field.

    Elliott matched his season total of rushing touchdowns with two in the first quarter and then took a short pass from Dak Prescott 72 yards for another touchdown on Dallas' first possession of the second half to put the 49ers (0-7) away. Elliott ran for 147 yards on 26 carries to go with the big catch, setting a career high in scrimmage yards in a game.

    "He went out there and just played the game," Prescott said. "He put everything behind him and stayed within himself, stayed within the game, stayed within each and every play and did what he does best."

    That performance spoiled the starting debut of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who was sacked five times, lost two fumbles and failed to lead the 49ers into the end zone until he scored on a run with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter.

    Beathard finished 22 for 37 for 235 yards, but his fumble on a sack by DeMarcus Lawrence late in the first half ended a promising drive that went down to the 5.

    "They brought a lot of pressure, which we hadn't seen them do much of," Beathard said. "I guess when you're a rookie, they try to see what you know and put you on your heels a little bit."

    The 49ers, the first team ever to lose five straight games by three or fewer points, were never really close against the Cowboys.

    Momentum Turner
    The 49ers got off to a good start when they forced a three-and-out on the opening possession. But Trent Taylor fumbled the punt return, setting up Dallas at the 20. Elliott ran three straight times and scored his first TD of the game from 1-yard out.

    Injured Kicker
    The Cowboys lost kicker Dan Bailey to a right groin injury in the first half, forcing coach Jason Garrett to scramble a bit. Dallas went for the 2-point conversion following their first TD after Bailey's injury and couldn't convert. Safety Jeff Heath then made two of three extra points in the second half and performed well on kickoff duties in his first game kicking since high school. Heath is the first non-kicker or punter to make multiple extra points in a game since former Houston linebacker and current Packers GM Ted Thompson made four in 1980.

    "I saw Morten Andersen go into the Hall of Fame in Canton. I don't know if he has anything on Jeff Heath," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. "The guy is a really special athlete. Those are big kicks. Guys were having a lot of fun with it, too."

    Big Catches
    While Elliott delivered most of the big plays for Dallas, Witten added an impressive catch of his own in the second quarter. He pulled in Prescott's 18-yard pass to the end zone with one hand to put the Cowboys up 20-3. Dez Bryant then delivered a big TD catch of his own in the fourth quarter, tying Bob Hayes' franchise record with the 71st in his career.

    Halftime Tribute
    Former San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark addressed the crowd in an emotional halftime ceremony. Clark announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

    The team brought in about 30 of Clark's former teammates, all wearing No. 87 jerseys, to honor him for his famous "Catch" that beat Dallas in the 1981 NFC title game and launched the 49ers dynasty.

    Clark spoke haltingly to the crowd while describing the one wish he had for this day.

    "I just want to see my teammates. And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in so I could see them one more time," Clark said.

    The 49ers lost RT Trent Brown to a concussion and LB Reuben Foster to a rib injury.

    Up Next
    Cowboys: Visit Washington on Sunday.

    49ers: Visit Philadelphia on Sunday.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Instant Analysis: Cowboys v. 49ers]]>Mon, 23 Oct 2017 02:55:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-865165726.jpg

    Here’s an instant analysis of the Cowboys’ 40-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium:

    WHAT IT MEANS: The Cowboys returned to .500 with their most impressive performance of the season. They dominated on offense and defense and made plays on special teams. This is the Cowboys’ team we’ve waited all season to see.

    TURNING POINT: It’s hard to find a turning point in 30-point win, but when Kavon Frazier forced a fumble and Xavier Woods recovered it after punting on their first possession, it set Dallas up for a quick touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The worst thing you can do is give a winless team like San Francisco confidence. The early lead kept that from happening.

    PLAYER OF THE GAME: This is the Ezekiel Elliott we’ve been looking for all season. He gained a season-high 147 yards on 26 carries with a couple of touchdowns, and he added a 72-yard touchdown on a screen pass. He was explosive, powerful and everything we saw last year that made him one of the best players in the NFL.

    KEY STAT: The Cowboys, who entered the game without a turnover in 213 snaps, forced a season-high three turnovers and had another apparent interception negated by a penalty. You get turnovers, you win games in the NFL. Dallas had only four turnovers entering the game.

    WHAT'S NEXT: The Cowboys will travel to Washington for an important NFC East game and a chance to move over .500 before we learn Ezekiel Elliott fate for the rest of the season. Even if Elliott has to serve his six-game suspension, it’s a lot easier to hold the fort and make the playoffs at 4-3 than 3-4.

    <![CDATA[Pay Attention to This: Cowboys-49ers Preview]]>Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:07:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/GettyImages-859144870.jpg

    Jason Garrett: He is 2-1 with both wins coming as the road team. The Cowboys rallied from a 14-0 deficit to win 24-17 last season behind 138 yards from Ezekiel Elliott. The 2011 win was among the most dramatic in Garrett’s tenure. Tony Romo played through a cracked rib and a punctured lung to throw a 77-yard pass to Jesse Holley in overtime, setting up the game-winning field goal in a 27-24 win.

    Key Matchup: Whenever a team starts a rookie quarterback like C.J. Beathard, they tend to lean on their running game even more to take the pressure off the youngster. Coach Kyle Shanahan has been around long enough that we can expect him to do the same. Carlos Hyde is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, and is the kind of power runner and slasher who could succeed against a Dallas defense that has yielded consecutive 100-yard rushers and three in five games. The 49ers will test that run defense early, the Cowboys must be ready.

    X Factor: You’ve got to think the Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott and the entire organization received a huge emotional boost with word that Elliott would be available for the next two weeks. If they can get a couple of victories, trying to make the playoffs at 4-3 with Elliott missing six games, is easier task than trying to do it at 2-3. That’s why this is as much of a must-win game as a team can have before Halloween. A fourth loss before the end of October would put the Cowboys’ playoff hopes in real jeopardy.

    Key Stat: San Francisco is tied for the league lead with 14 10-play drives. Dallas tied for 19th with 9. Last year, Dallas tied 4th in the NFL 34. Cowboys can’t let them control the ball and the game, or San Francisco will come away with its first win.

    Cowboys Game Plan: San Francisco has been outscored by 18 points in the first quarter, while Dallas has outscored its opponents by 38 points - 3rd best in the league behind New England and Atlanta. Cowboys want to get off to a good start like they have last two weeks when they’ve blown leads of 17 and 11 at home. The worst thing possible is to give a bad team hope and belief by letting them get off to a good start.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys at 49ers Preview with Pat Doney and Jon Machota ]]>Sat, 21 Oct 2017 18:00:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney+cowboys+machota+sf.jpg

    NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jon Machota with the Dallas Morning News discuss some of the topics going into the game between the Cowboys and 49ers on Sunday.]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys' Still Searching for Running Game, Identity]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:43:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-859141792.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Fighting Not to Be Labeled Abuser]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:42:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This is one of those times.

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

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

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

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

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

    No one knows.

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

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

    Only Elliott and Thompson know what really transpired.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The NFL waits for no one.

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

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

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

    Maybe not.

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Zeke Back on the Field for the Cowboys]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:20:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_JACQUES_COWBOYS_FOR_WEB_1200x675_1076526659598.jpg

    Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday, and NBC 5's Newy Scruggs and Cowboys Insider Jacques Taylor break down his impact and why the Cowboys will need to be on their A game when they take on the 49ers.]]>
    <![CDATA[More on Ezekiel Elliott's Off-Field Issues; Possible Rib Injury]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:45:44 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/JJT_on_Ezekiel_Elliot.jpg

    NBC 5 Cowboys Insider Jean-Jacques Taylor talks about whether Ezekiel Elliott's off-field legal issues have contributed to a change in his behavior. Plus, does Elliott have a broken rib?]]>
    <![CDATA[North Texas to Host 2018 NFL Draft]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:44:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas_Hosts_Draft_6p_101817.jpg

    North Texas will host the 2018 NFL Draft, the league confirmed Wednesday. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.]]>
    <![CDATA[North Texas to Host 2018 NFL Draft]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:19:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nfldraft1.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Several North Texas mayors signaled their excitement late Wednesday.

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

    Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings offered a similar sentiment.

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

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

    NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Judge Grants New Block on Ezekiel Elliott Suspension]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:24:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zeke-us.jpg

    Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott has been granted another legal reprieve in the running back's fight to avoid a six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

    A federal judge in New York granted a temporary restraining order blocking the league's suspension Tuesday night, clearing Elliott to play Sunday at San Francisco.

    U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty's ruling comes five days after a federal appeals court overturned a Texas court's injunction that had kept Elliott on the field this season.

    Crotty granted the request for a temporary restraining order pending a hearing before the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Fialla.

    Elliott, last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie, was barred from the team's facility Tuesday as players returned from their off week. The NFL placed him on the suspended list Friday, a day after the ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

    Attorney Daniel Nash, arguing for the NFL, accused Elliott's legal team of seeking relief from courts in Texas to evade courts in New York and the effect of the April 2016 ruling that reinstated a four-game suspension of New England quarterback Tom Brady in the "Deflategate" scandal.

    Attorney Jeffrey Kessler, representing the NFLPA, asked Crotty to prevent enforcement of the suspension for two weeks so that Fialla — the Southern District of New York judge assigned to the case — can return from a vacation and rule.

    Crotty concluded the hearing by saying he would look at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Brady case before ruling.

    Nash warned Crotty that allowing the union to continue to delay the suspension would invite "every player who's suspended" to go to court for relief.

    "They know under the Brady decision they have no chance of success. None," Nash said.

    Kessler said the harm to a player's short career was serious when a suspension is served.

    "He can never get that back," Kessler said, arguing that the irreparable harm — among issues of law considered before a temporary restraining order is granted — faced by a player is much greater than harm claimed by the league when a suspension is delayed.

    Elliott was suspended in August by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State, citing conflicting evidence, but the NFL did its own investigation and announced the six-game punishment.

    That led to weeks of court filings, with NFLPA lawyers contending that league investigators withheld key evidence from Commissioner Roger Goodell and that the appeal hearing was unfair because arbitrator Harold Henderson refused to call Goodell and Thompson as witnesses. Elliott has denied Thompson's allegations under oath.

    The NFL placed Elliott on the suspended list a day after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned a Texas court's injunction that kept Elliott on the field.

    The case is shifting to New York because the New Orleans court ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit in Texas. Elliott's attorneys could still seek a rehearing with a larger panel of the appeals court, which they have indicated they would do.

    A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled 2-1 last week that Elliott's attorneys filed the Texas lawsuit prematurely because the arbitrator had yet to decide on the running back's appeal through the NFL. Elliott's attorneys have argued in subsequent filings that the dissenting judge in New Orleans agreed with the Texas judge's findings that the NFL appeal was unfair to Elliott.

    Brady's suspension was served more than a year after it was imposed. A federal judge ruled against the NFL and overturned the suspension, but the league won an appeal.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Confronted By Protesters Near NFL Meeting in NYC]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:23:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Jerry+Jones+03.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright The Associated Press.

    Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
    <![CDATA[Megachurch Pastor Calls Out Cowboys Owner Over Anthem Stance]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:47:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Anthem_Controversy_4p_101617.jpg

    The pastor of a Dallas megachurch had some strong words for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the national anthem controversy.]]>
    <![CDATA[Suspended Elliott Getting Emergency Hearing in NY: AP Source]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:45:54 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright The Associated Press

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Elliott Eligible to Play; Report, NFL Says Suspension Stands]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:57:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-856383762_master.jpg

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

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

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

    You can read more about this story at NBCSports.com

    Photo Credit: Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[Ezekiel Elliott Attorneys to Seek New Appeals Court Hearing]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 17:04:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-845449264_master.jpg

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Court Ruling Clears Way for Ezekiel Elliott's NFL Suspension]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:58:27 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Elliott Suspension Makes Playoffs Longshot for Cowboys]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 06:15:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6104729481.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Good luck with all that.

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

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

    We know it. We see it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Perhaps, Rod Smith will help too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Court Ruling Clears Way for Ezekiel Elliott's NFL Suspension]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 22:09:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839646284+%281%29.jpg

    A federal appeals court cleared the way Thursday for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations, siding with the league in the latest high-profile fight over its ability to punish players for off-field behavior.

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

    Further appeals were possible. One of Elliott's representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

    A federal judge in Texas issued the injunction blocking the suspension last month, agreeing with NFL players' union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and a subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott, one of the league's standout running backs.

    The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league's labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.

    The most likely destination for further legal challenges from players' union attorneys representing Elliott is with the Southern District of New York. The NFL filed in that federal court after Elliott's NFL appeal was denied by arbitrator Harold Henderson last month.

    If Elliott's legal team can't put the suspension on hold again, it can begin Oct. 22 at San Francisco and Elliott won't be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at home against Washington, a Thursday night game the week after Thanksgiving. Elliott played the first five games. The Cowboys are not playing this weekend.

    Last year's NFL rushing leader as a rookie, Elliott was suspended in August by Commissioner Roger Goodell after the league concluded following a yearlong investigation that he had several physical confrontations in the summer of 2016 with Tiffany Thompson, his girlfriend at the time.

    Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State, citing conflicting evidence.

    Elliott's legal team filed the lawsuit on his behalf in the Eastern District of Texas before Henderson had rejected the appeal. The 5th Circuit agreed with the NFL's claim that the filing was premature.

    "The procedures provided for in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA were not exhausted," Judges Jennifer Elrod and Edward Prado wrote for the majority. "The parties contracted to have an arbitrator make a final decision. That decision had not yet been issued."

    In dissent, Judge James Graves disagreed that the suit was filed prematurely. Graves noted the union's argument that the league had violated the collective bargaining agreement because key information had been withheld from Goodell and Elliott's representatives before the suspension was ordered and the arbitrator's decision was based on incomplete information. The suit was properly filed in the district court because the arbitration process called for in the labor deal was not properly followed, Graves argued.

    The NFL had already agreed to let Elliott play in the opener before his request for an injunction was granted by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, north of Dallas. Henderson ruled against Elliott the same day Mazzant heard arguments over the injunction.

    Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane University Law School, noted that the opinion dealt only with jurisdictional issues and not the question of whether the NFL's appeals process was unfair to Elliott.

    "This is certainly a significant setback," Feldman said. "But they still have a chance because this decision was not made on the merits of the case. He has yet to have a federal court rule against him on the merits. Until that happens, he still has a chance."

    Elliott, who set a Dallas rookie franchise record with 1,631 yards rushing last season, is fourth in the NFL with 393 yards this year. He had a season-high 116 yards in a 35-31 loss to Green Bay on Sunday.

    If the case shifts to federal court in New York, home to league headquarters and the site of Elliott's appeal hearing with Henderson, the venue is a familiar one. The NFL won the "Deflategate" decision in the New York court, leading to New England quarterback Tom Brady serving his four-game suspension a year after it was originally imposed. A federal judge had put Brady's suspension on hold.

    Federal Appeals Court Ruling

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Addresses Anthem Comments With Cowboys Players]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 07:37:03 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_172690536585301.jpg

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

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

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

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

    And it’s not because this a bye week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Release Another Key Free Agent in Cornerback Carroll]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 21:15:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-830904582.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright The Associated Press

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Linebacker Cleared of Aggravated Assault Charges]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:02:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-486080932.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NBC 5's Noelle Walker contributed to this report.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Labor Union Files Complaint Against Jerry Jones]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:13:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jerry_Jones_on_the_FAN_6p101017.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So far no response from the Dallas Cowboys.

    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
    <![CDATA[10 Thoughts on the Cowboys’ 35-31 Loss to Green Bay ]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:23:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cowboys+Packers+Arlington.jpg

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[At The Podium: Cowboys Loss to Packers]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 18:45:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cowboys_loss_from_the_podium_1200x675_1065772099581.jpg

    Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and quarterback Dak Prescott discuss the 35-31 loss to the Packers. ]]>
    <![CDATA[Jerry Jones Draws Sharp Response From NFL Players' Union]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:32:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-853835704_master.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright The Associated Press

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Have No Answer for Aaron Rodgers in 35-31 Loss]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 05:38:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-859179276.jpg

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

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

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

    Stop it. Right now.

    All you’re doing is driving yourself crazy.

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

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

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

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

    Green Bay 35, Dallas 31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now, your Cowboys have problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Cowboys Run Game Continues to Grind it Out]]>Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:29:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-859145020.jpg

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dak Prescott Continues to Do His Part]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:39:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/GettyImages-859144870.jpg

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

    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>