Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talks the return of Ezekiel Elliott

It took some time, but ultimately, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys got their desired outcome. According to reports, Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million extension, which includes $50 million in guaranteed money, and with the new contract, Zeke becomes the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Today, on a conference call, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett discussed the return of Elliott

Q: How does it feel to have Zeke (Ezekiel Elliott) done?

Garrett: It’s good to have him back. He’s really been a good player for us, and he’s so well respected in the locker room by our players, coaches and staff members. It’s just nice to have back in the meetings and on the practice field today.

Q: Was there any question in your mind that this day would come, or that you might have to go without him for a period of time in the regular season?

Garrett: Well, I guess the only thing that we all knew was he wants to be here, we want him here, and then just the business of the NFL takes over. You hope you have conversations enough where it becomes a win-win, it’s a win for the player, it’s a win for the team. I feel like we have gotten to that point and again just excited to have him back. 

Q: Do you assume he is ready to go on Sunday?

Garrett: No, just need to watch him all week long and just see how he does, how he handles the workload. He hasn’t practiced all throughout training camp, even though he hasn’t been, he’s played in the preseason throughout his career, he has practiced, so he’s been away from that. So we just have to be honest with ourselves about what he is able to 

Advertisements

Ex-Cowboy Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones believes Dak Prescott should get paid(VIDEO)

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to two division titles in his first three years in the league, and while the Cowboys have had a lot of success with Prescott as their quarterback, some question whether he can be the guy to take them to the next level, which is a legitimate question. But at this point, it’s safe to say he has done enough to get paid.

Many like to compare Prescott to Eagles QB Carson Wentz, who recently inked a four-year, $128 million contract extension this offseason. Prescott was selected in the fourth-round while Wentz was selected number two overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2017, Wentz showed the ability to be an elite quarterback as he was having an MVP caliber season before tearing his ACL, but Prescott has accomplished more. Prescott has won in the playoffs, and due to injury, Wentz has not played a down in the playoffs.

So, if Wentz can make $32 million a year, the 25-year-old Prescott should get somewhere close, if not higher. Prescott is scheduled to make just over $2 million next season, and he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

Recently, Prescott told the USA Today the following:

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

With those comments, it appears Prescott wants to get what he believes he deserves, and if it were up to former Cowboys star Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Prescott would be the guy for the team moving forward.

“He’s a natural-born leader,” Jones recently told Paul Gant at Larry Holmes’ 5th annual Heart of a Legend Celebrity Golf Weekend. “That’s something you can’t teach; that’s something you’re born with. That’s something that he has. You put the right people around him, he produces. I’m so thankful that Dallas has him.”

Jones also believes that Prescott deserves the extension he desires.

“He should because he’s already earned it,” Jones said. “When you look at what quarterbacks have achieved early in their careers, he’s earned it.”

According to Jones, if Dallas can stay healthy in 2019, they have a chance to win a title.

“They can beat anybody if they stay healthy. The key is staying healthy.”

You could do a lot worse than Prescott, and you could do a little better. Dallas can take the chance and not pay Prescott, but that would be a huge gamble if Prescott continues to have success. Therefore, it’s either pay now or possibly pay a lot more later.

Listen below as Jones talks Larry Holmes, his boxing career, Prescott, and the Cowboys:

 

Giants sign RB Rod Smith

Article courtesy of Michael Eisen:

The Giants today signed an intriguing candidate to compete for the backup running back job behind reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley.

Rod Smith, who spent most of the previous four seasons with NFC East rival Dallas, scored two touchdowns in a game against the Giants in 2017. He joins a backfield that is led by Barkley and includes former draft choices Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins, 2018 acquisition Eli Penny, and undrafted free agents Robert Martin and Jon Hilliman.

Smith, 6-3 and 235 pounds, has played in 49 regular-season games – 48 of them for the Cowboys, who acquired him off waivers in 2015 after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. He started one game in each of the previous two seasons. His career totals include 101 rushing attempts for 364 yards (3.6-yard avg.) and five touchdowns with a long run of 45 yards, and 30 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown – an 81-yarder vs. the Giants in MetLife Stadium on Dec. 10, 2017.

Last year, Smith played in all 16 games for the first time in his four NFL seasons. He started the season finale against the Giants when the Cowboys rested NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott. He ran 12 times for 35 yards, including a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and caught two passes for 14 yards. His season totals included 44 carries for 127 yards, and nine catches for 60 yards. Smith also played in both of Dallas’ postseason games and gained one yard on his only rushing attempt.

Smith’s most productive season was in 2017. He finished with career-high totals of 55 carries, 232 yards and four touchdowns, plus 19 catches for 202 yards. Smith’s best game was the 30-10 victory against the Giants. He scored Dallas’ final two touchdowns on a 15-yard run and the 81-yard reception, and he ran for 47 yards on six carries and had team and career-high totals of five catches for 113 yards.

In five career games against the Giants, Smith has 82 rushing yards on 18 carries (4.6-yard avg.) and two touchdowns, and seven receptions for 127 yards.

Smith entered the NFL in 2015 out of Ohio State as a rookie free agent with the Seahawks. After an early-season stint on the practice squad, Smith made his NFL debut on Oct. 11 at Cincinnati. He gained five yards on two carries and was cut two days later. Dallas claimed him and he played in 10 games that season and seven the following year without ever carrying the ball. Smith did have a four-yard reception in 2016. The Cowboys began integrating him in the offense in 2017.

Barkley, the second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, set Giants rookie records last season with 1,307 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and he tied another mark with 91 receptions.

Behind him, the Giants are looking to strengthen their depth. Gallman, who is entering his third season, rushed for 176 yards on 51 carries and caught 14 passes last year. Perkins missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in an individual workout in the spring. A fifth-round draft choice in 2016, he rushed for 546 yards and had 23 receptions in his first two years. Penny was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad last Sept. 19 and played in 14 games with three starts for the Giants. He had seven carries for 25 yards and eight catches for 50 yards, plus two special teams tackles.

Martin spent the entire 2018 season on the Giants’ practice squad. Hilliman, who is also a Rutgers product, was signed last week.

Coaches from Chargers, Cowboys selected to lead Pro Bowl teams

The coaching staffs of the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS and DALLAS COWBOYS were selected to lead the 2019 Pro Bowl teams in Orlando, Florida, the NFL announced today.

The 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon will be played on Sunday, January 27, at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. Tickets to the game, which kicks off at 3:00 PM ET and will be televised live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and Disney XD and simulcast on ABC, are on sale now at NFL.com/ProBowlOnSale.

ANTHONY LYNN and the coaches from the Los Angeles Chargers and JASON GARRETTand the coaches from the Dallas Cowboys will lead the AFC and NFC teams, respectively.

Each conference will also be led by two Legends Captains – one offensive and one defensive. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback JIM KELLY (offense) and linebacker DEMARCUS WARE (defense) will lead the AFC, while Pro Football Hall of Fame running back EMMITT SMITH (offense) and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker BRIAN URLACHER (defense) will lead the NFC.​

2018 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 15

With the NFL season winding down, some teams are fighting for their playoff lives, while others are fighting for seeding.

Here are some playoffs scenarios for Week 15 in the NFL:

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

                     New Orleans Saints – NFC South division title

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-2) (at Carolina (6-7), Monday night, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    NO win + CHI loss or tie OR

2)    NO tie + CHI loss

LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-2) (vs. Philadelphia (6-7), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)​​

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    LAR win + CHI loss or tie OR

2)    LAR tie + CHI loss

CHICAGO BEARS (9-4) (vs. Green Bay (5-7-1), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Chicago clinches NFC North division title with:

1)    CHI win OR

2)    MIN loss OR

3)    CHI tie + MIN tie

Chicago clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    CHI tie OR

2)    WAS loss or tie

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-5) (at Indianapolis (7-6), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

1)    DAL win OR

2)    DAL tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR

3)    PHI loss + WAS loss

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5) (at San Francisco (3-10), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, FOX)

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    SEA win OR

2)    SEA tie + MIN loss + CAR loss or tie OR

3)    SEA tie + MIN loss + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR

4)    SEA tie + CAR loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-2) (vs. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3), Thursday night, 8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

1)    KC win

Kansas City clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1)    KC win + NE loss or tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-4) (at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1)    NE win + MIA loss or tie OR

2)    NE tie + MIA loss

New England clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    NE win + TEN loss or tie OR

2)    NE tie + BAL loss + TEN loss + IND loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (9-4) (at New York Jets (4-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, NFL Network)

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

1)    HOU win + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

2)    HOU tie + IND loss + TEN loss

Houston clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    HOU win + MIA loss or tie + PIT loss OR

2)    HOU win + MIA loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR

3)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + BAL loss + MIA loss OR

4)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL loss + MIA tie OR

5)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL win + MIA loss OR

6)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + BAL loss + MIA loss OR

7)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL loss + MIA tie OR

8)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL win + MIA loss

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (10-3) (at Kansas City (11-2), Thursday night, 8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    LAC win or tie OR

2)    MIA loss or tie + PIT loss OR

3)    MIA loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR

4)    MIA loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

5)    PIT loss + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

6)    BAL loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie​

Saints-Cowboys most watched Thursday Night Football game ever

Thursday Night Football Presented on Thursday, November 29 featuring the Dallas Cowboys’ 13-10 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 13 was seen by an average audience of 22.2 million viewers across all platforms, including FOX, NFL Network, FOX Deportes, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital, Amazon and Yahoo Sports, making it the most-watched Thursday Night Football game ever.

The 22.2 million viewers for Saints-Cowboys across all platforms is up +56% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average and up +39% versus last year’s Week 13 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and Washington Redskins (TV + digital).

The Nielsen-measured audience was 21.4 million viewers – up +55% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average on CBS/NBC and NFL Network (13.8 million) and up +37% versus the 2017 Week 13 Thursday Night Football game (15.6 million). Additionally, Saints-Cowboys averaged a 12.6 HH rating – up +50% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average (8.4 HH rating) and up +34% versus last year’s Redskins-Cowboys matchup (9.4 HH rating).

Digital streaming across Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital platforms, FOX Sports digital platforms and Yahoo Sports produced an average minute audience of 1.1 million – an increase of +155% versus the 2017 10-game average (439K) and up +142% versus last year’s Week 13 Thursday Night Football matchup (463K).

Amazon Prime Video and Twitch reached a total of 2.9 million combined viewers worldwide for the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show and the Saints-Cowboys game. For the Saints-Cowboys game alone, 2.5 million worldwide viewers initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The average worldwide audience watching Thursday Night Football for at least 30 seconds on Prime Video or Twitch was 747K.

The 2018 Thursday Night Football Presented by Bud Light season continues Thursday, December 6when the Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC South matchup on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon Prime Video. Coverage from Nashville begins at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network with NFL GameDay Kickoff.

Zeke: ‘This is the most dominant performance we’ve had since I’ve been here’

After losing to the Texans last Sunday night in OT, many were calling for Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett’s job. However, after today’s performance, that could all change, for now.

With UFC star Conor McGregor in the building, the Cowboys(3-3) dominated the Jaguars 40-7 at AT&T Stadium.

The Cowboys’ defense forced two turnovers, and QB Dak Prescott threw two touchdowns and ran for another, while RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 106 yards and one touchdown.

This was a complete game for the Cowboys, and according to Elliott, the best he has seen since he’s been in Dallas.

“This is the most dominant performance we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Elliott said after the game “We knew what we wanted to do. We came out, we started fast, we executed well, and we handled our business.

“I mean, I’ve been preaching this all year – just pure execution. We have the talent; we have the talent. We have the best O-Line in football. We have weapons on the outside. Dak’s a great quarterback. But if we don’t go out and there and play up to who we are, well then we’re not going to look like it. And today we went out there, and we showed ‘em who we were.”

Next week, the Cowboys travel to Washington to battle the NFC East leading Redskins.3-2). The Cowboys are 0-3 away from Jerry’s World this season, but Elliott knows that if Dallas continues to struggle on the road, they won’t make the playoffs.

“If we keep not winning on the road, we’re not going to make the playoffs,” Elliott said. “We’ve got to got out there and look at what we did this week and how we approached the game, and we’ve got to learn from that, and we’ve got to carry it to next week.”

The NFL is a week to week league; you can look bad one week and look great the next. All will be well for Garrett and company this week, but as we know, that could all change if the Cowboys struggle in Washington next week.

Jalen Ramsey on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘I think he is a complete back’

In his rookie season, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was a big reason the 2016 Cowboys had a lot of success. Elliott led the league in rushing, and the Cowboys won 13 games and had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs that season; however, the Cowboys would fall to the Packers in the divisional round.

Last season, Zeke was suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after Elliott was accused of domestic violence, which was a big reason the Cowboys missed the playoffs in 2017.

Now, Zeke is back, but the Cowboys are struggling at 2-3. However, the third-year back is off to a decent start with 480 yards rushing and two touchdowns, along with 22 receptions for 155 yards and one touchdown in five games. Zeke is averaging 127 scrimmage yards per game this season, which is 5th in the NFL.

The man who was selected one pick behind Elliott in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey, thinks Elliott is one the best backs in football.

“I think he is a complete back. He is one of the tops in the league,” Ramsey said this week as the Jaguars prepare to travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Sunday. “I would argue he is. I think everybody would agree with that, though. To me personally, I think he has an all-around game.”

If the Cowboys want to turn this season around, Zeke has to continue to do his part. Also, QB Dak Prescott is going to have to play a little better as well. Fortunately, for the Cowboys, the NFC East is a bit weak, so if they can fix a few things on offense, maybe they will have a shot, but if it’s fixable, it all has to be fixed very soon.

Vikings sign K Dan Bailey

The Minnesota Vikings officially sign K Dan Bailey on Tuesday. Bailey joins the Vikings after being released by the Cowboys in early September. On Monday, the Vikings released K Daniel Carlson after he missed three field goals against the Packers on Sunday.

Bailey has converted 186 of 211 field goal attempts (88.2%) throughout his career, making him the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Bailey has also converted 276 of 278 career PAT attempts (99.2%) and registered 296 touchbacks on 549 kickoffs (53.5%).

Despite missing four games with a groin injury, Bailey finished the 2017 season with 71 points, going 15-for-20 on field goals and 26-for-28 on PATs. A Pro Bowler in 2015, Bailey was also named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team in 2011 after converting 32-of-37 field goal attempts and all 39 of his PAT tries as a rookie. His 834 career points scored are the 13th most among active kickers.

Randy Gregory reinstated on conditional basis by NFL

The NFL has reinstated Cowboys DE Randy Gregory on a conditional basis, the league announced today. Gregory, who was drafted in the second round by Dallas in 2015, has missed 30 games due to suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

Here is a statement from the NFL on Gregory’s reinstatement:

NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs ADOLPHO BIRCH notified RANDY GREGORY of the Dallas Cowboys today that he has been reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.

Gregory may join the Cowboys at training camp and participate in meetings, conditioning work and similar activities.  Once arrangements have been confirmed regarding Gregory’s clinical resources in Dallas, and subject to continued compliance with the terms of his reinstatement and all aspects of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, he will be permitted to participate in all activities, including practices and games.

Gregory has been suspended without pay for violating the substance of abuse policy since January 2017 following a suspension of 14 games during the 2016 season.