Team records fell as Cowboys blowout Eagles in season-finale

The regular-season finale was about milestones for the Cowboys(12-5) and  Eagles(9-8). Both the Cowboys(NFC East champs) and Eagles(wild card) had already clinched playoff spots.

The Eagles would play many of its backups, while the Cowboys played many of their starters. The result did not mean much to both teams, but with a win, the Cowboys(12-5) could still move up in the standings. 

Dak Prescott was 21/27 for 295 yards and threw a career-high five touchdowns passes as the Cowboys routed the Eagles 51-26 at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night.

Dallas went 6-0 in the NFC East this season.

Prescott, who threw 37 touchdown passes in 2021, also set the Cowboys’ record for touchdown passes in a season. In addition, Dallas broke their team record for points in a season(530). 

Dallas, who is currently the fourth seed in the NFC, could go as high as number two in the conference, but they would need the Cardinals, Rams, and Buccaneers to lose for that to happen.  More than likely, Dallas will probably be the fourth-seeded team in the NFC.

Philadelphia rested their starting QB Jalen Hurts, and Gardner Minshew made his second start of the season. However, for Philly, it was about milestones. Rookie WR DeVonta Smith caught three passes for 41 yards against the Cowboys and finished the season with 916 receiving yards, the most receiving yards for a rookie in team history. The previous record was held by DeSean Jackson, who produced 912 receiving yards during the 2008 campaign.

Also, Jason Kelce made history as he started his 122nd consecutive regular-season game, which marks the longest active streak among NFL centers.

Furthermore, with 149 rushing yards, Philadelphia finished the season with a franchise record 2,714 rushing yards, breaking the previous all-time mark of 2,607 set in 1949.

Philadelphia had 11 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, including Fletcher Cox, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and Rodney McLeod.

After the game, Sirianni explained his decision to rest many of his starters:

“Some of those decisions, with the COVID stuff, were kind of made for me on that,” Sirianni said. “As far as with [QB] Jalen [Hurts], we thought a lot about that. He has done a really good job these last three games playing within the pocket, and we have done a little bit less with running with him and everything like that. We just thought this was an opportunity to get him back to 100%. I know we have talked a lot about how we have to be our full arsenal of offense and not have any limitations to do what we want to do in the playoffs. So, that’s what went into that.”

This game is in the books, and now it’s time to focus on the playoffs! 

 

Brady on Prescott: ‘He’s a really talented player’

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be returning on Thursday night as the Cowboys travel to Tampa Bay to battle the world champion Buccaneers in the season opener.

Prescott, 28, will play his first game after he suffered a compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle in Week 5 against the Giants last October.

In the offseason, the six-year veteran signed a four-year deal with the Cowboys worth $160 million, so the hope for Dallas is that he can be the quarterback he was before the injury.

The quarterback Prescott will be facing on Thursday night, Tom Brady, knows very well what it’s like to miss significant time due to an injury. For Brady, that was 2008 when he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Chiefs that caused him to miss the rest of that season.

On Tuesday, Brady discussed what it felt like for him coming back from a significant injury.

“I think we kind of feel invincible at times, especially playing a really physical sport,” Brady said. “I think the one thing about getting injured is that we’re not invincible. I think you have a different perspective when you come back. Sometimes, you’re really disappointed when you lose games. It’s more disappointing when you don’t get to play in games. I’d rather play and lose than not play at all, as crazy as that sounds. If you’re not playing, then it means you’re at home, and I remember that was a tough year just sitting and watching all my teammates. I mean a pretty conscious decision that I was going to do everything I could at that point to stay as healthy as I could my entire career.”

Before the injury, Prescott was playing well and led the league in passing yards, and Brady expects Prescott to be the same player he was before the injury.

“Last year, he played, I don’t know, four or five games and had a great four or five games,” Brady said. “He’s a really talented player. Really since the day he came into the league, he’s shown to be a great leader for the team. We’re just expecting him to play like Dak Prescott does – very talented, loose in the pocket, throws a good ball, they have a lot talented skills players.”

When asked what advice he has for young quarterbacks, Brady offered up his book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.

“I mean, I wrote a book on it,” he said. “I really did. It’s a good book too.”

Prescott got paid. Now, he can focus on staying healthy and leading the Cowboys to the playoffs and beyond, and if he’s right, the Cowboys very well could win the NFC East.

Report: Prescott, Cowboys agree on four-year, $160 million deal

It took some time, but the Cowboys and Dak Prescott have finally agreed on a long-term deal.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a four-year deal worth $160 million($126 million guaranteed) and could go up to $164 million. Also, he gets a no-trade clause and no tag provision, according to Rapoport.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal includes a $66 million signing bonus and $75 million in year one, the most in NFL history.

After the Cowboys and Prescott could not come together on a long-term deal, the two-time Pro Bowler played under the franchise tag last season and made $31.4 million. In October against the Giants, the 27-year-old Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. 

Prescott was Dallas’ best option at quarterback and gives them the best chance to win games next season. In reality, the Cowboys probably win the NFC East in 2020 if the five-year veteran was healthy. However, he has his money, and now he can focus on being the best quarterback he can be for the Cowboys going forward.

Giants’ Jones: ‘I think everyone on this team feels like we’ve been in the position to win games’

The New York Giants had a great chance to get their first victory of the year on Sunday. However, after leading 17-3 in the second quarter, the Giants(0-5) would allow the Dallas Cowboys(2-3) to get back into the game, and ultimately, the Cowboys would defeat New York 37-34 at AT&T Stadium. 

While the horrific injury to Dak Prescott may have overshadowed the game, this was an exciting contest. Prescott would leave in the third quarter with a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. After relinquishing the lead, the Giants were able to take the go-ahead of Dallas midway through the fourth quarter 34-31 when Devonta Freeman scored on a seven-yard touchdown run.

However, Cowboys backup QB Andy Dalton led the team on two scoring drives, which allowed the Cowboys to tie the game and ultimately win at the buzzer when Greg Zuerlein hit a 37-yard field goal. It was Zuerlein’s second field goal in the final 1:56 after the Giants had taken a 34-31 lead.

The Giants’ 34 points was their highest total since their 41-35 overtime victory in Washington on Dec. 22, 2019. They had scored a total of 47 points and had not scored more than 16 points in their first four games. The 34 points are great, but New York is still 0-5. 

“Look, obviously they’re disappointed after any game where we don’t come out winners, but one thing I know about our team is it’s a resilient group, and it’s a hard-working bunch,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “We’ll come back to work this week, we’re going to see great energy, we’re going to have great focus, and we’re going to get tuned in and ready for another division opponent. All of our focus, whether it’s win or loss, shifts to the next opponent the next morning anyway, so we’ve got to clean up this game, get ready for the next opponent, and move on forward.”

According to Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who was 20/33 for 222 yards with no touchdowns and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, New York has to continue to stay the course.

 “I think it’s been a tough start. To say we aren’t disappointed, would be a lie,” Jones said after the game. “We certainly are, it’s been a tough start. I don’t think anyone on this team is discouraged. We’re not going to allow ourselves to be discouraged and let this start affect the rest of this season. We have a lot of football ahead of us, and I think everyone on this team feels like we’ve been in the position to win games, we’ve improved as a team, and we’re capable of winning each of these games.

“So in terms of our confidence as a team and what we believe we’re capable of doing, I think that’s going to be the important thing in us finishing strong and winning these games down the stretch. So, that’s where we are as a team, we’re disappointed, we want to win every game, but we’re not going to let it affect our preparation and how we approach these next 11 games.”

Even at 0-5, New York still has a shot in the lousy NFC East. The Giants are two games behind the Cowboys in the division. The next few weeks for New York is vital as they play division foes Philadelphia and Washington, which Jones discussed after the game

“Yeah, all these divisional games are big games and important games,” Jones said. “Certainly, like I said, at this point we’ve lost, but I don’t feel like we’re out of the division at all. We have a couple big games coming up, and all we can do is prepare as hard as we can and be ready to play those games. Like I said, we’re not going to let this game affect us going forward, and how we prepare for the next opportunity.”

At this point, the Giants are not a good football team, but they played well against the Cowboys, which could be something to build on in the coming weeks.

Prescott, Ngakoue, Henry, Green get Franchise tag

Franchise and transition player designations were announced today ​​for the 2020 NFL free agency signing period, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18.

A club can designate one “franchise” player or one “transition” player among its veteran free agents.

The salary offer by a player’s club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.

An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year as of the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 17; or (ii) the amount of the required tender for a “non-exclusive” franchise player, as explained below.

Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the required tender for such a player:​

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .

​If a club extends a required tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first-round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.

The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 18 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 17).​

This year, one player (Dak Prescott, Dallas) was designated as an exclusive franchise player.  Thirteen players were designated as non-exclusive franchise players.

2020 FRANCHISE PLAYERS

Club

Player

Position

Baltimore Ravens

Matthew ​Judon

LB

Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green

WR

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott*

QB

Denver Broncos

Justin Simmons

S

Jacksonville Jaguars

Yannick Ngakoue

DE

Kansas City Chiefs

Chris Jones

DT

Los Angeles Chargers

Hunter Henry

TE

Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Harris

S

New England Patriots

Joe Thuney

OL

New York Giants

Leonard Williams

DT

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bud Dupree

LB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Shaquil Barrett

LB

Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry

RB

Washington Redskins

Brandon Scherff

OL

*Denotes Exclusive Franchise Player

A transition player is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top 10 prior year salaries at the player’s position, which average is calculated using the same methodology used for non-exclusive franchise players (the Cap Percentage Average); or (ii) 120% of his prior year salary.

If a club extends a required tender to a transition player, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a contract with any club subject to his prior club’s right of first refusal, except that no draft choice compensation shall be made with respect to such player if his prior club declines to exercise its right of first refusal.

The signing period for transition players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 18 and ends on July 22.  After July 22 and until 4:00p.m. (ET) on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 17), the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

This year, one player was designated as a transition player:​

Club

Player

Position

Arizona Cardinals

Kenyan Drake

RB

The Salary Cap for the 2020 league year has been set at $198,200,000 per club. The resulting 2020 Cap Percentage Average (“CPA”) tenders for non-exclusive franchise players and transition players are as follows:

                             NON-EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE PLAYERS

Position

Tender Amount

Quarterback

$ 26,824,000

Running Back

$ 10,278,000

Wide Receiver

$ 17,865,000

Tight End

$ 10,607,000

Offensive Linemen

$ 14,781,000

Defensive End

$ 17,788,000

Defensive Tackle

$ 16,126,000

Linebacker

$ 15,828,000

Cornerback

$ 16,338,000

Safety

$ 11,441,000

Kicker/Punter

$   5,019,000

​                  TRANSITION PLAYERS​

Position

Tender Amount

Quarterback

$ 24,837,000

Running Back

$   8,483,000

Wide Receiver

$ 15,680,000

Tight End

$   9,117,000

Offensive Linemen

$ 13,505,000

Defensive End

$ 15,184,000

Defensive Tackle

$ 13,143,000

Linebacker

$ 13,737,000

Cornerback

$ 14,197,000

Safety

$   9,860,000

Kicker/Punter

$   4,559,000

Prescott: ‘We’re too talented of a team and individuals to not make the plays, starting with myself’

At this point, with the playoffs seemingly out of their reach, it’s safe to say that the 2019 Dallas Cowboys(7-8) will go down as a huge disappointment, and what happened on Sunday may have epitomized what this team has been about in 2019.

With an opportunity to win the division, the Cowboys went into Philadelphia(8-7) and were beaten by the Eagles 17-9. Dallas started slow and was down 10-0 in the first quarter, but after two Kai Forbath field goals, Dallas was able to cut Philly’s lead to 10-6 at the break. After a Miles Sanders one-yard touchdown run, the Eagles would go up 17-6 late in the third quarter. Following another Forbath field goal that cut the lead to 17-9, Dallas had an opportunity late in the game to tie the score, but Dak Prescott’s pass intended for WR Michael Gallup was knocked away by Sidney Jones. 

“Yeah, I mean, man-to-man [coverage]. [I] had one of our best receivers, Michael Gallup, one-on-one and took that shot at it,” Prescott(25-44, 265 yards) said on the 4th down pass to Gallup. “I had an opportunity; I just didn’t make the play. [We] got to do a better job on both our ends right there to make that play happen.”

The Cowboys, who have the NFL’s top-ranked offense, were held without a touchdown, and with all that talent on the offensive side of the ball, not scoring a touchdown and not executing in a game of this magnitude, is disappointing to Prescott.

“We didn’t get it done,” Prescott said. “We’re too talented of a team and individuals to not make the plays, starting with myself. It’s disappointing; it’s frustrating. We all take responsibility, and like I said, it begins with me. We’re too talented, and we didn’t execute the way that we’re capable of doing, and [the Eagles] did.”

Now, if they want to win the NFC East, Dallas needs some help. They have to beat the Redskins and hope that the Giants, who host the Eagles next Sunday, can win.

“At that point, we’re rooting for another team hoping that we get a chance,” Prescott said. “That’s not a position anyone wants to be in when they have to depend on someone else, but we put ourselves in this position, and it’s disappointing and frustrating.”

What happened today was disappointing and frustrating for the Cowboys, but sadly for the team, this has been par for the course in 2019.

Eagles’ Pederson: ‘The Cowboys have been a team we have struggled with’

Anytime the Cowboys and Eagles get together, it’s always big, and this Sunday in Philadelphia will be even bigger because of what is at stake. If the Cowboys win on Sunday, they win the NFC East. If the Eagles pull it off, they control their own destiny and would have to beat the Giants in Week 17 to win the NFC East. 

These two teams met earlier in the season, and it was not close. The Cowboys routed the Eagles 37-10 in Dallas, and since 2016(Doug Pederson’s first year as Eagles head coach), the Cowboys are 5-2 against the Eagles, which includes four straight victories. Furthermore, when Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is on the field,  Dallas is 5-0 against Philadelphia. 

It’s safe to say that the Cowboys have the Eagles’ number, something Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recognizes. 

“The Cowboys have been a team we have struggled with,” Pederson said on Friday. “It’s something that we just have to continue to work and try to overcome. They have had our number here recently and really since my time here in Philly. It’s something that as we look at the tape and how I prepare the football team and get ready to play and all of that, I would look at all of that.

“At the end of the day, we’re focused on this game and one game, and then hopefully we can turn things around. We do well with the other teams. It’s just this one team that kind of has our number right now.”

The Eagles will have their work cut out for them against the Cowboys. Philadelphia is a very banged up football team. They’re missing their top two wide receivers, starting RB, their starting right tackle, and defensive end. However, Carson Wentz has carried them to victory the past two weeks, but beating the Giants and Redskins is a lot easier than beating the Cowboys. Maybe the injury to Dak Prescott’s shoulder could even things up, but we won’t know that until Sunday.

On paper, the Cowboys look like the better team, but that’s why you play the game.

Bills’ Allen on Cowboys: ‘Our defense is going to have their hands full, so we have to do our part on offense’

The Buffalo Bills’ offense seems to be peaking at the right time. In their previous two games against Miami and Denver, Buffalo is averaging over 28 points per game and 424 yards of total offense. Their QB Josh Allen is playing well, and the running game has been very effective. The Bills had 168 yards on the ground against the Dolphins, and 244 yards rushing against the Broncos on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Bills travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and while the Cowboys’ offense struggled against the Patriots last Sunday, they have a lot of weapons, including QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and WR Amari Cooper. With those weapons, the Bills’ offense may have to put up a good amount of points against Dallas.

“Obviously, they have some really good pieces on the offense over there,” Bills QB Josh Allen said on Tuesday. “I know Dak [Prescott] is playing extremely well, and they have a couple of receivers. They have the running back there too that’s an All-Pro guy. Our defense is going to have their hands full, so we have to do our part on offense. It’s a complimentary football game. We all have to execute in all three phases of the game.”

This is a big game for the Bills(8-3) for many reasons. Currently, Buffalo is the fifth-seeded team in the AFC, which is two games ahead of the sixth-seeded Steelers. A win against the Cowboys would put them in a good spot in terms of making the playoffs. Also, it’s a nationally televised game; however, according to Allen, he is not going to treat this game any differently.

“I don’t really think it’s different from any other game that we’ve played,” Allen said. “I really don’t know the logistics of what makes it a prime-time game or whatever. We’re going out there, and we’re playing football how we know how to play. I’m going to trust the game plan that we put in, and just try to play like we’ve been playing the last few weeks.

“They’re a tough defense, and they’re going to be doing some things that we have to look at and continue to game plan for. We’ll have to make some in-game adjustments, no doubt. It’s going to be a four-quarter battle with these guys, and we just have to stay on track and go out there and execute as best we can.”

Defeating the Cowboys on Thursday won’t be easy, especially with Dallas coming off a loss. Allen and the Bills will have their hands full, but based on the way the offense is playing right now, Buffalo might have the confidence to get it done. 

 

HOF Gil Brandt believes the Cowboys can win it all(VIDEO)

Near the end of the 2018 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys started to play their best football, and after starting the season at 3-5, the Cowboys went 7-1 in the final eight games to finish the season at 10-6 and win the NFC East. Dallas would beat Seattle in the Wild-Card round before being eliminated by the Rams in the Divisional round.

Coming into the 2019 season, the Cowboys are a very talented team on both sides of the ball, but there are some uncertainties. RB Ezekiel Elliott is currently holding out and is hoping for a new contract. Also, QB Dak Prescott’s contract may have to be done as well, but he’s in camp, so it’s not as big of an issue as Elliott’s contract situation.

However, Hall of Famer and one of the architects of Tom Landry’s Cowboys, Gil Brandt, thinks the Cowboys have a great chance to win a Super Bowl in 2019.

“I visit 13, 14 training camps each year, so you get a pretty good feel for what the league looks like,” Brandt recently said. “The competitive balance in this league is unbelievable, as you know the Bears started from last to first, and every year we have that situation.

“The Cowboys started 3-5 last year and ended up in the playoffs, and if they could stop the run, they still be playing.

“I really do believe that the Cowboys have a team. They have a great, young quarterback, they have some great, young players, and I think they have an owner that really wants to win, and he’s going to do anything possible to win, so I like the Cowboys.”

Obviously, Dallas needs to make sure they have Elliott in the fold if they want to win anything, but if Prescott can make just a little more plays, and the defense picks up where they left off last season, Dallas could be one of the teams to beat.

Listen below as Brandt talks Cowboys:

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: