Dak Prescott Issues Statement Defending Gathering at Home

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is pushing back against reports that he violated social distancing guidelines by hosting a party at his home.

Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott were present at a reported party for a friend’s birthday that witnesses said had more than 30 people present, well over the recommended limit of 10 people per gathering. Prescott, however, characterized the gathering as a “home dinner” with fewer than 10 people present in a statement defending his actions.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Grey Papke | Last updated 4/14/20

Person close to Dak Prescott reportedly says QB did not host party during quarantine

Dak Prescott has been accused of ignoring social distancing guidelines by having more than two dozen friends over for a party at his home in Texas on Saturday night, but someone close to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback says the reports of that happening are inaccurate.

According to a report from TMZ, Prescott hosted a birthday party for a friend at his home in Prosper, Texas, and there were roughly 30 guests there at one point. Ezekiel Elliott was among them. A video obtained by TMZ showed some footage of the spread that was catered at the party, although it was unclear how many people were present.

Like many other states across the U.S., Texas currently has a stay-at-home order in place to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. The White House has also issued guidelines telling people not to gather in groups of 10 or more. If Prescott had 30 people at his house, it’s hard to imagine they were all adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The Prosper Police Department confirmed to TMZ that it responded to a report of a potential party at Prescott’s house, but it was unable to verify if that is what was actually going on. The officers simply reminded the people at the home of the social distancing guidelines and went on their way.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 4/12/20

Report: Dak Prescott wants four-year deal from Cowboys

As the Dallas Cowboys continue to push toward a new contract with Dak Prescott, the Pro Bowl quarterback reportedly has his eyes set on a particular deal.

According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Prescott is seeking a four-year contract from the Cowboys, while the organization is hoping to sign him to a longer deal. The Cowboys have reportedly increased their original offer, which included $105 million guaranteed, but Prescott’s desire for a short-term contract has reportedly been a sticking point in negotiations.

Prescott does reportedly have an offer that would exceed Jared Goff’s four-year, $134 million contract. Goff and Aaron Rodgers are currently the third-highest paid quarterbacks ($33.5 million) in average annual salary, which means Prescott’s deal could put him right behind Russell Wilson ($35 million).

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Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Johnson | Last updated 3/10/20

Report: Cowboys offered Dak Prescott contract with $105 million guaranteed

The Dallas Cowboys are trying to figure out the contractual futures for two of their best players.

Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are both set to be free agents. Prescott and the Cowboys did not reach agreement on a long-term deal last year despite negotiations, but the Cowboys have no intention of losing him. They are expected to franchise tag Prescott to prevent him from getting away. The chances of a Cooper return are not as certain.

In an article on Friday for the Dallas Morning News, Calvin Watkins reported that the agents for Prescott and Cooper are in a holding pattern regarding the contracts for their clients. They are waiting to see what happens with the CBA negotiations before deciding their next move.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports | By Larry Brown | Last updated 3/6/20

Mike McCarthy would rather have Dak Prescott than Tom Brady?

Tom Brady’s impending free agency has led to some wild hypothetical situations being thrown around, and one of them is Brady suiting up for the Cowboys in 2020. But even if Dallas had the opportunity to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, new head coach Mike McCarthy does not sound interested.

Cowboys legend Michael Irvin told WEEI this week that he recently had a “shocking” conversation with some “very significant people” about the possibility of Brady in Dallas. However, Jane Slater of NFL Network reports that McCarthy would prefer to work with a younger quarterback and develop him, which likely means he would rather have Dak Prescott than Brady.

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 2/9/20

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Winners and losers from the Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL playoffs

The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs got underway Saturday night with the AFC’s top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs in action against the Indianapolis Colts. A week off did nothing to slow the Chiefs’ offensive momentum.

Led by Patrick Mahomes, who did not find his first career playoff start nearly as intimidating as the pundits thought he would, the Chiefs jumped out to a 24-7 lead in the first half, and never looked back. The Colts hardly looked ready to play, nothing like the team that rode a 10-1 streak into the weekend. The Chiefs went on to win by a final score of 31-13.

The Cowboys and Rams met in LA for the late game on Saturday night to decide the first of the NFC Championship entrants. The Rams’ running game had no troubles against a usually stout Cowboys defense, and the home team rolled on for a 30-22 win.

On Sunday, the Patriots had no problems running around and through the Chargers, winning 41-28 to lock down their eighth consecutive appearance in the AFC Championship game.

The Saints turned aside the Eagles, sinking their hope of a Super Bowl repeat with a 20-14 win in New Orleans. The Saints will host the Rams there next weekend.

Winner: Michael Thomas

The postseason hasn’t been filled with inspiring performances from offensive skill players. But the Saints wide receiver changed that. He and Drew Brees single-handedly got the Saints offense rolling again after a slow start. His best catch of the day — and there were A LOT of them — was on the Saints’ go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Just watch it.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1084599206159908864

He finished the game with 171 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches.

Loser: Nick Foles’ magic

You can’t impugn what the guy did prior to this game. The Eagles wouldn’t have been playing this weekend, or last, if Foles hadn’t stepped up as the team’s “closer” again this season with Carson Wentz hurt. But he turned into a pumpkin again, underthrowing his receivers and just unable to get the ball to his receivers when the Eagles needed it the most.

With free agency looming this spring, Foles may have cost himself some money with his performance this week, maybe not much, but enough to notice.

Winner: Time of possession

It feels like we haven’t had a good conversation about time of possession since the early days of the Chip Kelly experience in Philly. This time it was the Saints putting on the clock clinic.

It happened in the third quarter. Trailing 10-14, the Saints got the ball at their own 8-yard line. From there they put together a grinding 92-yard touchdown drive over 18 plays and 11:29 minutes, essentially monopolizing the entire third quarter.

Winner: The Patriots defense

Absent most of the season, the Patriots defense looked like one of the NFL’s most fearsome in the first half of the game. Philip Rivers never had a chance against a pass rush that was previously dormant.

Loser: Philip Rivers’ legacy

He’s got more yards, more touchdowns and fewer interceptions over the course of his career than either Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger, but unlike those other two first-round picks from the 2004 draft, he does not have a Super Bowl ring. Instead, he and J.P. Losman have something in common.

Winner: Patriots running backs

The Chargers defense put on a clinic for how to stop a creative running game in last week’s win against the Ravens. Apparently, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels was able to find some holes in their game plan.

Sony Michel rolled up nearly 100 yards and scored three touchdowns … in the first half. He’s the first rookie running back in franchise history to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game. He finished the day with 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

James White, who led the team in receptions during the regular season with 87, was Tom Brady’s favorite receiver on the day, catching 15 of 17 passes for 97 yards.

The Patriots chewed up the clock with their running backs, leaving little time for Rivers and Co. to put points on the board. It also helped keep the workload light for their defense, and teased out what their game plan might be next week against Kansas City.

Winner: C.J. Anderson

The Rams signed C.J. Anderson in mid-December, when Todd Gurley was dealing with a knee injury. Anderson had been released by both the Panthers and Raiders earlier in the season and was really just supposed to be a warm body while Gurley could heal up.

Instead, Anderson has bulldozed every defense he faced. In two games to end the season, he carried the ball 43 times for 299 yards and two touchdowns — that averaged out to 7 yards per carry. But that was against two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Cardinals and 49ers. Next up was the playoffs — and a Cowboys defense that ranked fifth in the league against the run during the regular season. Last week, they held the Seahawks’ top-ranked rushing offense to just 73 yards on the ground.

Anderson had more than that in the first half alone: 12 carries for 78 yards. Even with a healthy Gurley back in the lineup, Anderson was a force in the Rams’ first playoff win in 14 years. He used his, uh, rotund frame to help the Rams dominate the time of possession and scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.

Anderson was the leading rusher with 123 yards and two touchdowns. Plus, he did this:

All the Winners and Losers here

 

 

Which top NFL playoff team is at biggest risk of divisional-round upset?

An upset alert shouldn’t be necessary to make the top-seeded teams in the NFL playoffs aware of the imminent threat facing them this weekend.

Three of the four outfits that advanced from last week’s wild-card round, after all, did so on the road. And only once this decade (in 2015) have the top two seeds on each side advanced to the conference championship games.

But while this weekend’s traveling teams collectively posted a 18-14 mark as visitors this season, the foursome of teams hosting after a first-round bye (the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams) combined for a 28-4 record at home.

In light of that, we asked our NFL experts: Which team coming off a first-round bye is at the biggest risk of falling in a divisional-round upset?

Nancy Armour

I love Patrick Mahomes and everything he’s done for the Chiefs this season, and would like to think he’s going to be the one to end Kansas City’s long, long, long history of playoff heartbreak. Especially against the Indianapolis Colts. But until it actually happens, I can’t ignore the karma. Kansas City has lost 10 of its last 11 playoff games – that one victory came against Brian Hoyer and the Houston Texans – and is 0-4 against Indianapolis in the postseason. That includes the most crushing loss of all, the 2013 wild-card game in which Kansas City blew a 28-point lead and lost 45-44. Mahomes and Andy Reid have said all the right things this week, but I’m going to have to see it to believe it.

Jarrett Bell

The Chiefs. After watching all three quarterbacks who made their playoff debuts last weekend lose, that’s not a good omen for projected MVP Patrick Mahomes. No, the NFL-record 6 consecutive playoff home losses by KC isn’t on Mahomes…who wasn’t even born the last time the home team won in the playoffs at Arrowhead. But there’s just something spooky about that. Add Capt. Andrew Luck maybe carving up a suspect Chiefs defense, and I think we might see this No. 1 seed bite the dust. Of course, Mr. 50 Touchdowns has spent an entire season proving doubters wrong. And on a personal note, Andy Reid has made me look foolish multiple times when picking against him. But to borrow phrasing from my former colleague, Gordon Forbes, I just can’t shake the feeling KC’s season is about to be BBQ’d.

Nate Davis

Maybe the question for the bye week playoff teams should be, “Who’s not at risk?” All of them feel fairly vulnerable to me with the exception of New Orleans. But maybe the Rams are in the most jeopardy. Their “home” game threatens to be overrun by Cowboys fans and a team that seems well-equipped to pull off the upset at the L.A. Coliseum, where the Rams lost their wild-card contest to the Falcons a year ago. Dallas just locked down Seattle’s top-ranked ground game and will next face Todd Gurley, who’s probably going to be less than 100% after a knee issue forced him to miss two games. More worrisome, as much talent as the Rams defense has, it surrendered a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry … and is now tasked with slowing league rushing champ Zeke Elliott and highly mobile QB Dak Prescott? Gulp.

Jori Epstein

The Rams. The Cowboys’ top-5 run D is riding momentum after holding the Seahawks – 160 yards per game in the regular season – to 73 in a wildcard win. Rams all-pro running back Todd Gurley, on the other hand, is returning from nearly a month on the sideline with knee inflammation and soreness. Dallas will have its hand full containing an offense that’s averaged 37.1 points at their home Coliseum. Dak Prescott, too, must take care not to turn over the ball. But if the team follows the blueprint it used to hold the ball 9:40 more than the Seahawks last week, Ezekiel Elliott can capitalize on a Rams defense allowing a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry. Add in the star-studded Cowboys fans expected to line the Coliseum? Dallas upsets a young L.A. offense to reach its first NFC Championship Game in 23 years.

Full List

32 things we learned heading into divisional round of 2018 NFL playoffs

The 32 things we learned heading into the 2018 NFL playoff divisional round:

1. If it seemed the wild-card round was chock full of fresh faces and teams, well, it was. None of the eight clubs competing in the opening round was in action for last season’s wild-card games, and only the Eagles (a No. 1 seed with a bye in 2017) even reached the playoff field a year ago.

1a. But you’ll see largely familiar characters in the divisional round with Philadelphia returning along with the four teams on bye — the Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and Saints, all postseason entries last year, too.

1b. The last team to advance to the Super Bowl after playing on wild-card weekend was the 2012 Ravens, who won Super Bowl XLVII. The next 10 conference champs have all had first-round byes.

2. Gen X-er Philip Rivers, 37, has to be the sentimental favorite to win it all, right? No quarterback in league history has thrown for more yards (54,656) or more touchdowns (374) yet never played on Super Sunday.

2a. And how great (and entertaining) would it be to see Rivers’ Chargers take on the Saints … and former Bolts QB Drew Brees, who kept Philly Riv on the bench for two years?

3. But if you’re into unminted Millennial passers, Patrick Mahomes (23), Jared Goff (24), Dak Prescott (25) and, most certainly, Andrew Luck (29) could ride great story lines all the way to Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII.

4. Three quarterbacks made their playoff debuts during wild-card weekend. Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Mitchell Trubisky all lost.

5. Welp, Matt Nagy, guess you shoulda laid down for the Vikings in Week 17 rather than invite a matchup with the Iggles and your old buddy Doug Pederson.

6. Did anyone else want Eagles-Bears go into overtime (maybe double OT) just to see how NBC would handle its Golden Globes coverage, which began minutes after Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth wrapped?

7. Rough night for Chicago’s Cody Parkey, whose would-be, game-winning field goal attempt from 43 yards hit the upright then the crossbar before caroming into the end zone. No good. Parkey drilled the Soldier Field uprights four times Nov. 1. Uncanny.

8. But if I’ve learned anything this season, it’s that Parkey is about to get a flood of support from kickers throughout the league as he copes with this unfortunate bounce. Bounces.

9. Nick Foles was picked off twice in Sunday’s win over the Bears. The last time he threw multiple INTs in an Eagles uniform, Oct. 26, 2014, Chip Kelly was their coach and Foles had yet to play for the Rams or Chiefs.

9a. The last time Philadelphia played the Saints in postseason, the 2013 wild-card round, Foles was also the quarterback (in a losing effort) — Kelly’s only NFL playoff appearance.

10. Congrats to Eagles WR Golden Tate, who scored the game-winning TD at Chicago, instantly justifying the scrutinized trade deadline deal for him — which cost Philly a third-round pick that appeared awfully expensive given the struggles to integrate Tate into the offense.

10a. Congrats to Eagles LT Jason Peters, RB/KR Darren Sproles and LB Jordan Hicks, who all missed the 2017 Super Bowl run with injuries but tasted a playoff victory Sunday.

10b. Feel for you, Wentz.

11. Was wild-card weekend’s MVP Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley? His unit was on the short end of a 22-10 loss to Baltimore two weeks ago. Sunday, it showed the rest of the league how to contain Jackson — essentially deploying a defense comprised of linemen and defensive backs to shadow, flummox and confuse the rookie.

12. Jackson, who turns 22 on Monday, became the youngest quarterback to start a playoff game in NFL history. He looked like it. Make no mistake, the Ravens don’t win the AFC North without Jackson’s heroics in the second half of the season, when he went 6-1 as the starter. But Bradley and the Bolts provided a blueprint to stopping him and a fresh reminder that, though Jackson remains an elite athlete and highly effective with the ball in open space, he’s got a long, long way to go to be a fully-formed pro quarterback. He was sacked seven times, picked off once and fumbled thrice, losing the ball on his team’s final possession.

13. Who figured on Chargers rookie K Mike Badgley outperforming Ravens all-pro Justin Tucker? Badgley set a Bolts’ postseason record with five made field goals, while Tucker was 1-for-2 on three-point tries. Tucker missed five FGs this season, three against L.A.

14. Who figured on Chargers FB Derek Watt making a longer playoff run this season than brothers J.J. and T.J.?

15. The Chargers haven’t beaten Tom Brady since 2005. Rivers is 0-7 head-to-head against TB12, including two losses in postseason.

15a. But Sunday, the Chargers became the only team in the league to win eight times on the road this season. A visit to Foxborough, daunting as it is, won’t phase them.

16. The last time Rivers appeared in a playoff game at Gillette Stadium, the 2007 AFC Championship Game, he played on a torn ACL.

17. Baltimore’s second-ranked run game, which had averaged nearly 230 yards in Jackson’s seven regular-season starts, was limited to 90.

Full List Here

By: Nate Davis

 

Winners and losers from NFL Week 7

If we’re being honest, there was a ton of really bad football on display during the action in NFL Week 7.

We should have seen it coming, though, after what transpired as NFL Network reporter Melissa Stark was previewing the London game.

Thankfully some outstanding performances did take place, somewhat balancing out the scales. But overall, Week 7 was one many players and teams would rather forget.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the biggest winners and losers.

Cowboys Run Away From Cardinals Late

Written by Jared Dubin at CBS Sports.com

The Dallas Cowboys did not get off to a very good start on “Monday Night Football” in Week 3. But as the Cowboys well know, it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.

And boy, did they finish this one in style. They turned an early deficit into a 28-17 victory, despite the fact that they were absolutely blown off the field for the first 15 minutes of the game.

Once the first quarter ended, the Cowboys proceeded to slowly but surely take over. They were helped by two Arizona drives that stalled deep in their own territory, allowing Dallas to march down the field for two touchdowns on drives that totaled 79 yards combined. They were helped also by a missed field goal from Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson, who was brought in to fix the kicking game that so plagued Arizona last season.

Those few Arizona mistakes were all Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and company needed to put their stamp on the football game. Dak got off to a slow start, but eventually wound up having an three-touchdown evening. Zeke was bottled up for much of the early part of the game, but ripped off runs of 30 yards and 20 yards, and later added a game-sealing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Brice Butler made plays deep down the field. Terrance Williams won his matchup with Justin Bethel. Cole Beasley made a huge play on third down. Ryan Switzer made plays in the return game.

And the much-maligned Cowboys defense, after a horrid start, stepped up and did its job. DeMarcus Lawrence dominated the game (more on that below), but Sean Lee, Jeff Heath, and especially, third-year safety Byron Jones, sophomore defensive tackle Maliek Collins, and rookie corner Jourdan Lewis all played big roles in the Cowboys slowing down an Arizona offense that looked like it was going to have a field day in the early going. That clamping down, plus a few timely bursts of offensive effectiveness (the ball-control Cowboys only had the ball for 23:45), was all Dallas ultimately needed.

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