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Relive San Francisco's most painful playoff loss of all time

Former 49er Skip Vanderbundt refuses to blame his old teammate for San Francisco's stunning collapse against Dallas in the 1972 playoffs. (Author: Gardener)

San Francisco'sSkip Vanderbundt still remembers the strange phone call he received nearly 30 years ago. The long-retired former linebacker for the 49ers was relaxing at his home in Sacramento one evening, even entertaining his thoughts while watching the 49ers' upcoming playoff game against their bitter rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. After Vanderbundt responded, his mind immediately snapped back to December 23, 1972, a darker, more personal time for him during the storied 49ers Cowboys postseason story. The voice on the other end belonged to Preston Riley, a former teammate calling from Tennessee. The last time they spoke was 20 years earlier, shortly after Riley became infamous for a costly fumble in the 49ers' stunning collapse in a 1972 NFC playoff loss to Dallas at Candlestick Park. Now Riley was on the phone and asked Vanderbundt a heartbreaking question: "Skip, are you still blaming me?" Riley, a wide receiver who only played one NFL game after the 49ers rushed him after his playoff error the Saints was the most tragic figure in the decade-long 49ers-Cowboys playoff rivalry. The lasting image of Riley, for some, is sitting quietly at his locker smoking a cigarette as tears roll down his face after the devastating loss. Still, he remains just a footnote in the series as the two legendary franchises meet in the playoffs for the eighth time on Sunday afternoon in Dallas. Starring the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Roger Staubach, this rivalry is as star-studded and memorable as any in NFL history. The 49ers Cowboys games are so big, they've also become synonymous with legendary TV announcers John Madden and Pat Summerall. Sunday's game in Dallas will be the teams' first postseason clash since 1995, when the 49ers finally beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship after losing to them for the past two years. By rolling over the Cowboys 38-21 at Candlestick that year, it set the stage for San Francisco's final Super Bowl title two weeks later. Cowboys defense coordinator Dan Quinn, who was an assistant coach with the 49ers from 2001-04, can't wait to reignite the rivalry. The Dallas-Niners of the early '90s, some of the league games, for me, when I show up and watch those games, I can hear (John) Madden and (Pat) Summerall talking about it. My first playoff game against Dallas and Niner, I'm pretty excited for it man. Skip Vanderbundt doesn't have much regret for his 10-year NFL career, nine of which he spent with the 49ers. Of course, he wished he and his teammates could have avoided losing to the Cowboys in back-to-back NFC Championship games in 1970 and 1971. And certainly the loss of 1972 left some lingering pain. It still saddens Vanderbundt to think back to his unexpected call from Preston Riley decades ago. "Are you still blaming me?" Vanderbundt recalls repeating it to Riley that night. “I don't think anyone on our team blamed Preston. It's a team game. In hindsight, perhaps Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who relieved a struggling Craig Morton in the second half, deserved more credit. A couple of Vanderbundt interceptions had helped trigger the change. Future Hall of Famer Staubach earned his nickname "Captain Comeback" that day by coming in to help the Cowboys close a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But, as Vanderbundt admits, "I think we probably partied too soon. When you're leading a game by 12 points and 1:52 to go, you usually think you're going to come out on top.” Dallas certainly needed some help from the 49ers. Still down 28-23 with just 1:28 left after Staubach's first touchdown pass, the Cowboys attempted an onside kick. Riley, who had earned a starting spot as wide receiver because of his safe hands, couldn't handle a tricky jump from Dallas kicker Toni Fritsch. Kurtenbach: That's why the 49ers are in good spirits as they head into the playoffs 49ers Trent Williams, Elijah Mitchell return to practice for the Cowboys playoff opener. The Cowboys pounced on Riley's fumble, and a few plays later, Staubach threw Ron Sellers a 10-yard touchdown pass that eventually became the game-winning touchdown in front of a stunned 49ers crowd. 49ers fans looking for a scapegoat seemed to find an easy target in Riley. Ten years after what some 49ers supporters still derisively refer to as "The Fumble," came The Catch, the biggest game in San Francisco football history. But not even Dwight Clark's signature 1982 catch against the Cowboys in the back of the endzone could completely erase the memories of Riley's botched onside kick in 1972. Two weeks after Clark's game-winning catch from Joe Montana in the NFC Championship, the 49ers were in Pontiac, Mich. Clark was on the 49ers' "Hands Team" tasked with making sure Cincinnati's upcoming onside kick is restored. That's when Clark's mind started playing tricks on him. "All I could think about was that unfortunate onside kick against Dallas when they fumbled with it," Clark later said of the 49ers' fateful afternoon in 1972. The onside kick came to Clark, who quickly recovered the bouncing ball to secure the first of the 49ers' five Super Bowl victories. The 49ers' painful loss to Dallas 50 years ago hasn't entirely gone away for Vanderbundt. "It's funny, we're watching a game that looks like it's gotten out of hand and the announcers will act like it's over," Vanderbundt said.


Amari Cooper Trade Grades: Who Won the Browns?

He's only 27, has reached four Pro Bowls and is still more than capable of taking on a game as the No. 1 weapon for a playoff team. Players like him are not... (Author: Gardener)

Amari Cooper Trade GradesAcross the pantheon of talented NFL wide receivers, it's bewildering how often people forget about Amari Cooper. He's only 27, has reached four Pro Bowls and is still more than capable of taking on a game as the No. 1 weapon for a playoff team. Players like him shouldn't be free agents. Players like him should wear a team's uniform for a decade. Four years ago, Las Vegas (then in Oakland) traded Cooper to the Cowboys for a first-round pick. That pick became Jonathan Abram (zero Pro Bowls, three career breaks). Dallas traded the savvy Cooper for the Browns on Saturday afternoon. I guess the Raiders and Cowboys are used to turning stellar one-jersey careers upside down. Why was a dynamic talent like Cooper so available, for so little, with seemingly so much left in the tank? And why are the Browns trading for receivers two months after a disappointing 8-9 campaign? In two words: Baker Mayfield. Let's examine the moving parts of this trade and determine who beat the other: Get the Dallas Cowboys: 2022 5th and 6th round picks, financial flexibility, death, taxes and the Dallas Cowboys shoot themselves in the foot from preventable causes. About two months into a one-off playoff run, the Cowboys were down in the pay cap area, according to Over The Cap. Cooper's cap hit for the 2022 season is $20 million. Because the problem with this deal is that recipients like Cooper don't grow on trees. If you have one signed to your franchise, you'd be wise not to trade them for late-round picks that are unlikely to work. The NFL is an offensive league that revolves around playmakers. The moment you lose a minimal return over a solution as stupid and avoidable as managing the salary cap, it will sting. Almost by default, the Cowboys will be an NFC contender in 2022. Aside from the defending Super Bowl champions, the Rams, the Packers with Aaron Rodgers, and maybe even the 49ers with Trey Lance, there's nobody on this side of the world worth writing home about in the NFL. If you play third or fourth fiddle, as Dallas likely will, you'll probably be fine. But the people of Arlington have higher ambitions than winning the NFC East again. Trading a playmaker like Cooper, who has significantly worsened the league's No. 6 offense in the DVOA over the past year simply for being a bit reckless with contracts, hurts that mission. It doesn't matter how good CeeDee Lamb is: the best attacks, Super Bowl attacks have several high-end options. Dallas doesn't have the space to immediately replace Cooper's talent. They just have the cap to enter a new league year with clean books and adding depth weapons to compensate. The Cowboys get willy-nilly with their cap space to the point where they have to release a Pro Bowl receiver in their prime, which is a huge advantage for a team like the Browns. Cleveland just had to be ready to jump at the opportunity when Robert started shopping for Cooper. It gives them one last chance to see what Baker Mayfield is all about. It's easy to forget that many thought the Browns would make a Super Bowl last year, but there were unexpected obstacles. For one, the former overall No. 1 essentially played a full year with a severed throwing shoulder. I'm not a medical expert, but this will likely affect your game. Despite such a handicap, Cleveland still finished No. 14 on offensive DVOA (thanks largely to Nick Chubb) and had No. 18 on passing offense. Now imagine the potential of a criminal offense with someone dynamic like Cooper. Two late-round draft picks for a talented and experienced playmaker -- with three years left on his contract -- is a steal to see if your quarterback is worth keeping. The acquisition of Cooper means the Browns are not abandoning this current iteration of their roster. Anything else would be a stupid move (not to mention they don't have the resources to do it). Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in the league and a defense peppered with game-breakers like Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward. — Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 5, 2022 Seriously, I'm doing everything in my power to make sure the guy above has a chance to win year after year. I have my reasonable doubts that Mayfield is The Guy in Cleveland. An injury-plagued year for the key player is effectively an indoor pass for at least one more Hail Mary. Cooper won't save Mayfield and the Browns' offense alone.


Cowboys face the same questions after another early playoff exit

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Mike McCarthy's future as coach of the Dallas Cowboys was nothing... (Author: Gardener)

ARLINGTONDallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) leaves the field after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Arlington, Texas Sunday January 16, 2022. Dallas Cowboys fans react during the second half of an NFL wild -Card playoff soccer game between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in Arlington, Texas Sunday January 16, 2022. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) reacts alongside Arik Armstead, center, and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ambry Thomas (20) after the final game of an NFL wildcard playoff football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, January 16, 2022. Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline during the second half of an NFL wildcard playoff- soccer game against the San Francisco 49ers in Arlington, Texas Sunday January 16, 2022. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott speaks during a news conference following an NFL wildcard playoff soccer game against the San Francisco 49ers i n Arlington, Texas,Sunday, January 16, 2022. ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike McCarthy's future as manager of the Dallas Cowboys wasn't something Jerry Jones wanted to discuss after a wildcard loss that saw the owner say, 'I can don't remember" when asked if he had ever been more disappointed about a loss. Questions about McCarthy come in part because the Cowboys could lose both coordinators to take coaching jobs in Kellen Moore on offense and Dan Quinn on defense. Moore gets interviews for the second year in a row and Quinn led Atlanta to a Super Bowl in the role. Sunday's 23-17 loss to San Francisco was another uneven performance from franchise quarterback Dak Prescott and Moore's offense. It was punctuated by the hotly debated decision to center Prescott with 14 seconds remaining without a time-out, believing it was time to spike the ball and run another play. After it didn't work and McCarthy, Prescott and other Dallas players criticized the officials for running out of time, Jones flatly dismissed the alleged controversy with a dose of reality. "I think this is a time where you have to have success in bringing this combination of players together because we all know how the NFL works," Jones said after Sunday's game. "The whole thing is set up to take away from the best and add in to those that need improvement and staffingwise I think we have one of the best [teams]." The Cowboys have since winning the last of the five Super The franchise's 1995 Bowl title didn't even reach an NFC championship game. It's quite a drought for Jones, also the club's general manager, after Dallas won three championships in four years early in his tenure. Dallas had the No. 1 offense and an opportunistic defense that led the NFL to takeaways. Now Prescott has a 1-3 playoff record after the club's first wildcard loss since Tony Romo missed the snap late on in a potential go-ahead field goal in Seattle 15 years ago. Add the frantic failure to get one last snap to the growing list of playoff lowlights. "I don't know I've had a better chance or a better team than this in all my years," Prescott said. "It's hard to accept knowing every year that a team won't be the same, some of these guys aren't going to come back. The Cowboys hoped McCarthy's experience guiding Green Bay to four NFC title games in more than 12 seasons would help end the long drought. Instead, after the target sequence, he faces mounting questions about game management and a strange attempt to keep the punt team on the field for an offensive play after a successful deception. The Cowboys eventually got a game delay after the offense got back out. McCarthy won his Super Bowl 11 years ago in the Cowboys' homeland, and his last playoff win with the Packers came at AT&T Stadium during a standout rookie year for Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Losing to the 49ers gave the Cowboys a final 4-2 at home in the second year of McCarthy's five-year contract. "I have no concerns," McCarthy said when asked about his job security. I'm proud of my football team.” Dallas' offensive line was long considered elite in the Romo era and early in Prescott's six-year tenure. The Cowboys were shoved around from the running game in another poor performance, and Prescott was under constant pressure, though Nick Bosa missed half the game with a concussion. The group was prone to penalties, a big reason the Cowboys led the league in that category. Left guard Connor Williams was benched for mid-season penalties but Connor McGovern was not good enough to keep the job after replacing him. Injuries and age are growing questions for left tackle Tyron Smith, who was a questionable pick for his ninth Pro Bowl this season. The 31-year-old has missed at least three games in each of the last six seasons, including due to worrisome neck and back problems. Pre-order these COVID tests from Amazon now for shipping... I drank a gallon of water a day for a year. Poor Yankee Candle Ratings Could Predict Waves of Covid-19 "It's no secret," said right guard Zack Martin, the only Dallas lineman to qualify as Elite after his fifth All-Pro nod. The young playmakers on defense, led by NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year contestant Micah Parsons and League Interceptions Leader Trevon Diggs, are giving the Cowboys hope to get better on the side of the ball that held them back during the Romo years. Parsons' versatility as a linebacker gives Dallas a great building block. The Cowboys may have to make a salary cap decision with DeMarcus Lawrence, who missed ten games with a broken foot and hasn't made more than 6½ sacks in any of the three years since signing a five-year, $105 million contract. The popular star has created a rare PR hit with post-game comments about the inauguration. When asked about items, including water bottles, being thrown at Dallas players as they left the field, Prescott said it was "sad" that fans would do so. Given another opportunity to answer a question about fans throwing objects at officials, Prescott said: "I think that's why the umpires left so quickly. I think everyone was upset with how this thing turned out.” Dallas has the 24th pick in the draft alongside Lawrence and other salary cap decisions.


Former Dallas Cowboys coach, teammate remembers Marion Barber

Former Dallas Cowboys mourned the loss of Marion Barber after he was found dead at his home on Wednesday. (Author: Gardener)

Marion BarberMarion Barber -- a one-time Pro Bowl pick -- rushed for 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns during his seven-year NFL career. DALLAS — You couldn't help, former Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett insisted over the phone Wednesday night, but love him. "I will love and miss him forever," added teammate Greg Ellis via text message. Coaches, players and current members of the Cowboys organization mourned the loss of former running back Marion Barber after he was found dead at his home on Wednesday. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. They recalled a player who was as calm and respectful off the field as he was physical and punitive on the field. "A rare guy!" Garrett continued with a tribute via text. Shown how he played in games! Cowboys just released a statement regarding the death of former RB Marion Barber, who was 38: - Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) June 1, 2022 The Cowboys selected Barber in the fourth round of the NFL draft 2005 out. He played the first six of his seven NFL seasons with the organization, rushing for 4,358 yards and 47 touchdowns while dressing the Cowboys star. Garrett became the team's offensive coordinator in 2007 when Barber was rushing for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns despite not starting a game. "Marion the Barbarian" was born. "There was so much play," Garrett said. “I can remember countless runs where he kept the game alive. His play was infectious.” So infectious, in fact, that the Cowboys continue to use Barber as an example in briefing rooms. Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete, who coached Barber in Dallas from 2007 to 2010, said he shows players Barber clips every season and just two weeks ago. "Talking about pass protection, talking about hiring, shooting with your hands, hitting with aim," Peete recalled Thursday. “The ability to end runs, lower the pads and explode through the defender. "I use him as a role model every time I talk about physical play, physical runs and finishing runs." Ellis, whose 12.5 sacks earned him a Pro Bowl selection with Barber in 2007, recalled Barber's "outstanding run." to avoid a safety against the New England Patriots in 2007 The New York Giants brought the Cowboys on track to record the NFC's all-time high in the 2007 season. Just one of many contributions on and off the field from a man Ellis described as "one of the most generous people I've ever met." Barber invited teammates and coaches to his home and cooked them dinner. He visited their homes, came to play with Peete's kids when they were little. He called Peete to let him know he was retiring. The Talks, the running backs assistant said, seemed "just normal". Barber seemed "calm" as he shared retirement news, though he didn't specify his next move. He was still calling about Peete's later Rams teams and his style of play, the two were also in touch when Peete returned to Dallas, to coach the Cowboys again in 2020. Some members of the Cowboys had seen Barber in recent months, but Peete said he hadn't spoken that recently, preferring to remember the humble, hard-working player walking the Cowboys halls and Roste threatened rather than focus on the mental health and legal challenges that littered Barber's final years. "The man I will remember is the guy I coached (who) was a very positive influence on many." of the guys he was with," Peete said. "The determination to try and make everyone a little bit better." Ellis said Barber "got never complained about anything and was "one of the best teammates I've been lucky enough to play with". Barber died nine days before his 39th birthday. "As great a player as Marion was, he was an even better person," said Garrett. "He loved his teammates and his coaches! His teammates and coaches loved him!" Marion was so sincere, so selfless, so devoted. I love Marion Barber more than anything and will miss him very much! Brill and I are so saddened by this news and offer our sincere condolences to the Barber family and everyone who loved him.” This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: “He Made Us All Better”: Former Dallas Cowboys Coach , teammate remembers Marion Barber


The Dallas Cowboys are trending to release four-time Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper

The Cowboys offense could be on the cusp of a big change as Dallas appears poised to pull away from four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. (Author: Gardener)

DallasINDIANAPOLIS -- The Amari Cooper era began suddenly when the Cowboys traded a first-round draft pick at the close in October 2018 to acquire the wide receiver. The Cowboys are poised to fire the four-time Pro Bowler before his $20 million salary is guaranteed on March 20, a person with knowledge of the team's plans confirmed to USA Today Sports on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to make the information public. There remains time for negotiations to be postponed with "nothing definite yet," another person with knowledge confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity in the absence of a formal decision. Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper #19 runs with the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 08, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. But the Cowboys lack enough money to keep all of their guns. Forgoing Cooper's high expenses would support compliance with the salary cap. Cooper's tenure at Dallas was productive, if at times contradictory and enigmatic. He participated in 56 games from 54 starts and caught 292 balls for 3,893 yards and 27 touchdowns. But in 2021, as the Cowboys' receiving stable deepened, justifying Cooper's production relative to his cap, justified two years after a $100 million extension, turned somber. Sophomore CeeDee Lamb led the Cowboys in 2021 with 1,102 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper rushed for 865 yards and eight touchdowns and missed two games after contracting COVID-19 without being vaccinated. The Cowboys' viable options continued, with tight end Dalton Schultz rushing for 808 yards and eight touchdowns while receiver Cedrick Wilson had 602 yards and six points. Eight players had received multiple touchdowns. That work, coupled with Schultz, Wilson and Gallup poised to meet the free hand, could further prevent the Cowboys from raising $20 million. "I know maybe you guys are targeting people that you think we're looking at, and they're usually the guys that are making a lot of money," Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' executive vice president, said Monday of the NFL Scouting Combine. "It's part of making money. Zeke's "Money is guaranteed," Stephen told us. We're lucky to have him." On Amari with 2022 Cowboys: "It's too early for me to address that. What could Cooper's release mean for the rest of the Dallas free agency landscape? Schultz could be a candidate for franchise tag or long-term renewal, the Cowboys are aware the tight end is their skinniest position. Tight end Blake Jarwin underwent offseason hip surgery with serious consequences, multiple people with knowledge of the procedure confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. Jarwin's 2022 future depends on medical decisions, but Cowboys Brass this week discussed the depth of the space without including it in the top three options available. Gallup could also benefit if Cooper leaves. The 2018 third-round draft pick missed eight games in 2021 while first struggling with a calf injury and later tearing her cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery to repair the tear on February 11 and remains in rehabilitation. However, should Gallup fully recover, Cooper's departure "definitely opens the door for a bigger role that we think he can fill," a person familiar with the team's plans told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the fluidity of the situation. Teammates endorsed Cooper's return, with Lamb telling USA TODAY Sports that he believed the team needed the crisp-routed veteran. "We honestly do," Lamb told USA TODAY Sports on Feb. 10. I hope they understand that after we have him back: we need at least two (top receivers) out there." Lamb said he tried not to discuss the deal with Cooper as Cooper was "insane with the situation ( and) the stress it brings him". "It was a lot for him," Lamb said. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was asked Tuesday if the Cowboys really could be a better team in 2022 without Cooper's production and blocking of running under the radar. "We have to be a better team no matter what the outcome," McCarthy said. My first two years in Green Bay as a head coach, standing up there answering business questions about your players, you can't form an opinion. I want all players to be paid as much as possible and we wouldn't have any money if it were up to me. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dallas Cowboys Tend to Cover Four-time Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper


Cowboys don't have to copy Rams, but they should learn from their success

It feels like ancient history now, the story of how Jerry and Stephen Jones almost got together in 1995's The Mansion at Turtle Creek when the younger Jones... (Author: Gardener)

RamsIt feels like ancient history now, the tale of how Jerry and Stephen Jones nearly got together in 1995's The Mansion at Turtle Creek when the younger Jones realized his father was about to pay an exorbitant salary to save Deion Sanders evicted from San Francisco. It was a contract that, along with others, landed the Cowboys in salary cap prison at the end of the decade. After losing that particular fight, Stephen's steady hand has won many battles with All-in Jerry over the years, including future Hall of Famer Zack Martin's famous draft against Johnny Manziel. Patience is great when it comes to raising teenagers or anticipating the start of baseball season, but this is not the time for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2022 -- or at least March 2022 -- the club needs a little more guidance from its part-time boxing promoter/owner and a little less from its bottom-line-focused executive vice president. Dallas is coming off a 12-5 season that certainly ended in disappointment against San Francisco, but was also their best regular season since 2016. Back then the club was going 13-3 and Dak and Zeke were rookies and the future looked rosier than the West End Zone glare at AT&T Stadium. And that's also when the Cowboys decided, with what they consider reasonable caution, and others would call a degree of idiocy -- cutting the cord with three starters in secondary and hoping 2017 with their rookie - To be able to live alternatively. But almost all of their substitute draft capital (not to mention Taco Charlton) combined with Ezekiel Elliott's off-field drama and suspension saw the club fall to 9-7. As of last season, the Cowboys had never won more than 10 games. The current attrition in the NFC -- no more Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, maybe no Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, a championship Rams team that hasn't left room for off-season additions -- should see the Cowboys face 2022 seem to be approaching. When exactly does this club hope to hit the playoff wins that are expected to come with a $40 million annual salary? Instead, we hear Stephen Jones suggest that either wide receiver Amari Cooper or DeMarcus Lawrence (or maybe but not likely both) could be too expensive. They are the star players this team could fire (very soon in Cooper's case and in June in Lawrence's case) to save up dollars for the salary cap and continue the Cowboys' austerity program that at least part of the front office believes it is is the desired goal. It must irk Cowboys fans when Stephen Jones says that about the Rams. “Certainly they've done it by pushing a lot of chips out. He speaks as if to say, "Yes, LA won a Super Bowl, but at what cost?" The Rams don't have a pick until the fifth round next month, though they'll likely get a late third as a level pick. They haven't had a first-round pick in the past five years, and they don't have one in 2023 either. But they've played in two of the last four Super Bowls and are getting rings this year. I have to think this feels a lot like winning. Honestly, the cowboys, with their tip-toe approach, aren't even as efficient as they'd like you to believe. The Rams may be $13 million over the cap, but the Cowboys are $21 million over. Only the Saints and Packers have more to do with player contracts or layoffs than Dallas. We all know the Cowboys can spread money across the contracts of players who aren't going anytime soon, starting with Prescott, and getting where they need to be. Cowboys fans don't want to hear about the 2024 budget Jones mentioned earlier this week. Dallas wasn't far from the top last year, and the uncertain quarterback situations surrounding the conference suggest a possible opener if only this team gets the offseason right. The last time the Cowboys this good management decided to retire. For more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News, click here.


Jerry Jones skips the media session due to a medical issue

The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will miss his usual session due to a "minor medical issue". (Author: Gardener)

Jerry JonesINDIANAPOLIS - After a year-long hiatus, the NFL's future stars are here in Indianapolis to show off their skills, speed and wits at the NFL Scouting Combine. But among the "stars" not making the usual media "on the bus" appearance is team owner Jerry Jones. The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will skip his usual session due to a "minor medical issue." The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will skip his usual session due to a "minor medical issue." "While we hope for Jones' full health, we also look forward to him finally sharing his thoughts on a number of headline-grabbing Cowboys issues. Oh, and of course that combine and the NFL draft. Last season, rookies have had an immediate impact on the Dallas Cowboys and across the league. Now the Cowboys are trying to find their "next Micah Parsons," their "next CeeDee Lamb," and their "next Trevon Diggs" in Indy via a) safety, b) defensive end, c) tight end, and d) offensive line. When we add e) suddenly looks like the Cowboys have a lot of holes'' are also linked to the Dallas free-agent group. The Cowboys must work their way through Amari Cooper's contract before nailing it down. Dallas has found gold in back-to-back designs to set the franchise up for a bright future. CeeDee Lamb, the 17th pick in the 2020 draft, led the Cowboys in receptions, yards and yards per catch en route to his first Pro Bowl of the season. Parsons, the 12th pick in 2021, dominated opposing attacks with his versatility that earned him defensive rookie of the year. The Cowboys hold the 24th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which begins April 28. In a pivotal offseason, Dallas has to make big decisions at liberty and has six traditional draft picks (plus one predicted compensatory pick). Will Dallas add players who can contribute right away? The Cowboys appear to have everything on paper to compete again in 2022. By the way, the 2023 combine could be in Dallas; after bids from Los Angeles, Indianapolis and "Dallas" - although of course the Cowboys are technically grounded in Frisco and in Arlington - in view of next year's combine. But first things first, we're not saying Dallas should or will draft for needs.” We simply state that Stephen Jones recognizes those needs. And we look forward to a time soon when a healthy Jerry Jones can do the same.


Top 5 potential landing spots for Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys are at a standoff with Amari Cooper, potentially causing the wide receiver to go out of town. Several franchises should strive to acquire a new number ... (Author: Gardener)

DallasThe Dallas Cowboys are at a standoff with Amari Cooper, potentially causing the wide receiver to go out of town. Cooper's $22 million salary cap, including a $20 million fully guaranteed kicker, for the 2022 campaign is problematic. The Cowboys are $21.2 million over the projected salary cap, according to Spotrac. By hitting the four-time Pro Bowl goal, the Cowboys can save $16 million in one fell swoop. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys will "probably" fire Cooper early in the new league year (March 16). CBS Sports' Josina Anderson added it was a "possibility" with "a lot of moving parts." NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said he believes Cooper is completely "done" with the Cowboys and that they could try to trade him before they just let him go. The accounts differ slightly, but the message remains the same: Cooper and the Cowboys could be headed for a divorce. Admittedly, the public nature of the potential contract dispute signals a leverage ploy by the Cowboys to restructure Cooper's current deal and gain some salary cap relief. The wide receiver and his stand-in could hold steady, however, as they don't have to settle for a potentially robust market that awaits should the Cowboys pull the trigger. Five organizations with salary caps and varying needs for wide receivers jump to the fore immediately. Much like Cooper and the Cowboys, Jarvis Landry and the Cleveland Browns appear to be parting ways immediately. Landry opened up about his current situation on social media, revealing that he sustained serious injuries last season and that he would like to remain in Cleveland, although his status is entirely dependent on the team. The wide receiver turns 30 later this year and his salary cap exceeds $16 million. Even if both sides agree on a restructured contract to keep Landry on the team, wide receiver is clearly the biggest need in the Browns' roster. Donovan Peoples-Jones led the roster with 597 receiving yards last season. With the organization planning to move forward this fall with Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, general manager Andrew Berry's primary goal offseason is to add pieces around the position to maximize the potential of the 2018 No. 1 overall pick. Cooper would immediately add another dynamic as a threat, despite also struggling with a couple of nagging injuries last season. Expect Cleveland to make a splash with some sort of wide receiver acquisition either through free agency or the draft. The Miami Dolphins aren't jumping up as a potential landing spot for Cooper because they just invested a top-10 pick in Jaylen Waddle and also have DeVante Parker on the list. However, Parker's injury history is a concern given that he only played a full season once in his seven-year career. Parker still finished third on the team with 515 receiving yards (behind Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki), and no other receiver had 225 receiving yards. Interestingly, Cooper can join his Alabama peers in waddle and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The veteran wide receiver hasn't played with either during his Crimson Tide career, but he sure knows both through the program. The allure of going home to play with the dolphins that are full of potential should be appealing. The Dolphins also hold the league's highest salary cap at $61.2 million. The perfect confluence of factors could collide in Miami's favor to woo a key threat in Mike McDaniel's new offensive plan. The NFL's worst team won't be a popular target for many of the best free agents available. But a wide receiver needs to evaluate his options. In Cooper's case, the Jaguars offer an opportunity to maximize his potential on and off the field. Any skill position player should evaluate a team's quarterback situation to see if the talent behind the center is able to maximize their abilities. Lawrence might not have looked like the No. 1 overall slam dunk winner during his rookie campaign, but those issues ran much deeper than simple first-year bouts. The second-year signal caller should thrive when enabled to succeed. The Jaguars lack a true No. 1 option in the passing game, so Cooper would immediately demand a significant goal share. Financially, as a young team in transition, the Jaguars have the most financial flexibility in the league. The franchise holds the third-highest spot for salary caps at $56.1 million. Cooper can cash in, play with one of the game's most exciting young quarterbacks, and even return to his home state. The Bears have more than enough salary cap room at $25.7 million to take on Cooper on the open market. You can do so with the excitement of selling Justin Fields' future with the franchise. Fields is another young quarterback whose rookie season didn't quite go to plan due to a bad situation. What the team lacks is a decent offensive personnel infrastructure. Darnell Mooney is an excellent young wide receiver. As a sophomore, he led the Bears in 81 receptions for 1,055 yards last season. No other Bears wide receiver managed more than 410 receiving yards. While Allen Robinson II is a more than capable target when he's healthy, he's also an upcoming free agent and the wide receiver is "eager" to test the market, according to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs. A duo of Cooper and Mooney, along with an improved offensive line to keep Fields upright, would make the Bears a dangerous team in the NFC. Given that Luke Getsy, who has served as the Green Bay Packers' passing coordinator for the past two seasons, is Chicago's new offensive game caller, Cooper can step into the situation knowing the offensive scheme will be set up to accommodate his top- Recipients highlighted by Davante Adams' average of 159 goals over the past two seasons. The Detroit Lions are linked to every available wide receiver for having the league's worst set of goals last season. To his credit, Amon-Ra St. Brown exceeded expectations as a rookie with 90 receptions for 912 yards that led the team. But St. Brown was a fourth-round pick for a reason, and the Lions need a lot more juice when they receive threats. St. Brown was to be Detroit's long-term slot option. But the Lions need to find receivers who can create discrepancies and force coverage to roll their way, creating more opportunities for everyone else. The Lions' most dynamic threat is T.J. Hockenson. As such, the Lions' search for wide receiver help to open up the entire offense should be extensive. Detroit is a tough sell for a player of Cooper's caliber. At the same time, the lions exceeded expectations last season. However, they have played hard every week and it is obvious that they are well trained. Someone like Cooper, risking the franchise and its employees, would go a long way toward elevating the organization's status. The Lions will need to play for Cooper's services if/when he becomes available.


Cowboys owner Jerry Jones skips NFL combine appearance due to 'medical issues'

Jerry Jones' protracted sit-down with select Dallas media representatives on the Cowboys' giant team-branded tour bus parked on the side of the road in Indianapolis has become one of the mainstays of the NFL scouting combine. The billionaire who never shies away from a hot mic... (Author: Gardener)

NFLOct 3, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Jones on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium. Jerry Jones' protracted sit-down with select Dallas media figures in the Cowboys' giant team-branded tour bus parked on the side of the road in Indianapolis has become one of the mainstays of the NFL scouting combine. Never one to shy away from a hot mic, the billionaire owner usually opens the word and covers a wide range of topics with his quirky wit, making his combine a headline event even when the Who's Who of the entire league walks around the county town. Jones, 79, will not speak to reporters due to a "medical issue" at this year's combine, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Jerry Jones will not be speaking to the Dallas media at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a medical issue. — Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 4, 2022 He took on the task of speaking to the media Monday as a team member and over 300 college employees The prospects for the Combine just descended on the Indiana capital. In a one-on-one interview with a Dallas-based NBC reporter, Jones claimed it was "in the organization's best interest" to reach a confidential $2.4 million settlement with four cheerleaders after the ex-PR man was accused of spying on them to have a dressing room. Earlier on Jan. 28, Jones made an unscheduled call to a Dallas radio station to clear the air about his team's coaching staff. That Jones took Heat for his tone in both interviews certainly comes to mind when it's revealed he won't be speaking to a roomful of reporters in Indianapolis this week. Both of the above-mentioned topics have also come up with other Cowboys representatives in the last few days. On Monday, Stephen Jones was asked about the ESPN report on the cheerleading agreement; He responded by saying, "I think Jerry brought it up, and I really have nothing to add." And during a Tuesday news conference, McCarthy was asked about the rumors that Sean Payton was raring to become the next Cowboys coach. McCarthy told the media, "It's a narrative I don't want to be a part of." Jones himself doesn't appear to be faced with direct questions about those items or any other Cowboys-related topic at the combine this week. Jerry Jones also handles some NFL deals involving commissioner Roger Goodell, a source said, which also prevents him from attending Indy. — Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) March 4, 2022 While it's unknown what medical condition is preventing Jerry Jones from coming forward to reporters in Indianapolis, ESPN notes that he was present at a press conference Wednesday to announce an upcoming boxing event in the Promote AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Morning News' Calvin Watkins and Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr. both report that Jones is also working on an undisclosed project with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that is keeping him from making his usual gig. Stephen Jones tells Hill his dad "will be okay". Bye, 19: Amari Cooper likely won't return to Cowboys McCarthy cites Cowboys penalty assessments as a top focus for 2022, but bad luck contributed to '21 NFL Combine: Top 10 Marks of All Time in Every Exercise


Points-a-Palooza! 19 cowboys have scored touchdowns this season - here's a look at the best ...

Of the 71 different players who used the Cowboys in 2021, 19 players achieved a franchise record. We saw a franchise record of five Pick-6s ... (Author: Gardener)

CowboysOf the 71 different players who used the Cowboys in 2021, 19 players achieved a franchise record. We saw a franchise record of five Pick-6s, including two from Conerback Trevron Diggs; two points for blocked punts; Defense linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Carlos Watkins touched the end zone; and Terence Steele has the right tackle too. Let's not forget quarterback Dak Prescott, who brings back Ezekiel Elliott and the Big Three receivers: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb all scored touchdowns. The Cowboys lead the NFL with 457 points and are second in the league with 54 touchdowns. "I think it speaks volumes to our ability to make games," said coach Mike McCarthy. “There is definitely great game potential in our entire soccer team. “I think it's like everything, it's really a by-product of how we want to play and train. We have guys who can play great games when they take control of the game, be it on defense or offense. I think it's definitely part of our identity. ”As the Cowboys play their last home game of the regular season against Arizona on Sunday, we're looking at the best touchdowns of 2021. When you think about who the fastest players on the team are, Lamb, Tony Pollard, and even Cooper throw their names out. But the quickest touchdown of the season came from cornerback Anthony Brown. In the fourth quarter of a Week 5 game against the Giants, Brown jumped receiver Collin Johnson's comeback route and took off. Backup quarterback Mike Glennon's pass was likely rushed thanks to pressure from defensive end Randy Gregory and linebacker Micah Parsons. "I just read the quarterback is falling," Brown said at the time. “You ran this game in the game a few times and I almost got one earlier, but it was a bad throw. Brown grabbed the pass and was lost on the sidelines. According to NextGen Stats, Brown moved at 21.52 mph, the fastest touchdown of the season among the Cowboys. It's also the 16th fastest result of the NFL season. “We are 'Meet me in the end zone'. That's our motto every week, ”said Brown. We'll try to reduce the ball losses, and that's what we stand for in the backend - generating ball losses, putting the ball back on the offensive and getting points on the board. ”The cowboys' special teams are outstanding. Kick-returner Pollard is part of the success this year, and his 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Las Vegas on Thanksgiving Day was another example. In the third quarter of a game, the Cowboys would eventually lose, Pollard giving the team their life. He took the kick from Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson right in the end zone. According to NextGen Stats, Pollard ran 116.4 yards, the longest score of the season for the Cowboys and the eighth longest in the NFL. The Cowboys Special Teams unit was a notorious group last season. The weekly shuffling and matching of players due to injury or COVID-19 makes it difficult to find consistency. But the coordinator of the special teams, John Fassel, has it all. "It was a big part of John Fassel's hiring," said McCarthy. “Part of the football team's vision. We've been talking about complementary football since day one and I think you can see him come together this year and everyone contributes. "Steele wasn't sure he was going to catch a touchdown pass. Last week against Washington, he caught his first touchdown pass of his career, adding to the growing list of Cowboys players with a touchdown this season. "I don't know," said Steele. That the point is to find out who offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is calling a game for in order to get a possible touchdown reception or a run. For much of the season, guard Connor McGovern received a full-back and some tight-end reps, but received no carry or pass attempt. Prescott threw a TD pass against Blake Jarwin via an open McGovern during one game this season. [Goodwin], "said Moore. "C. J. actually played receivers back in the day. Leighton [Vander Esch] thinks he can go back to eight-man football and play offensively again. Does Diggs have a few touchdowns yet? Can backup running back JaQuan Hardy be moved to the active squad and maybe get a TD in the last game of the season? "It's exciting for myself, it's exciting for this team, for the player who knows there are many guns," said Prescott. Defensive linemen Lawrence and Watkins each have pick 6s during this Cowboys touchdown. It's the first NFL touchdown for both of them. But not the first time they've hit the end zone. Lawrence made a 25 yard fumble return as a 2012 sophomore redshirt student playing for Boise State. So when he intercepted a win for Washington last week it reminded him of high school and maybe the Boise State TD. "That's a lot cuter than that, just blessed to be in the moment and getting that touchdown," said Lawrence. The last time Watkins scored a touchdown was a redshirt junior at Clemson when he intercepted a pass and knocked it back 15 yards in a win over Appalachian State. Watkins sealed a Cowboys win against New Orleans earlier in the season with a pick-6. “That's what makes it so special,” he says. “We don't get our hands on many balls at all, especially [from] the quarterback. We may flip some passes, but catching them and giving them back is really something special for the team. "When you can see, everyone on the sidelines was extremely hyped and it is a special moment and a special moment to play on this field, both for the individual and for the team." Sometimes the best touchdowns are set up by someone else. On offense, that could be an offensive lineman, or maybe the quarterback will check out a game if he sees a matchup to take advantage of. Special teams are no different. In last week's game, running back Clement noted a weakness in alignment against Washington. “It was interesting,” said Fassel. "I don't want to give too much away, but I'm going to say this: What Corey Clement saw and felt of the punt returns at the start of the game he somehow got the idea to do and it was very" sounded. Fassel won't reveal what Clement picked up, but the game resulted in a blocked punt and a touchdown for the defensive end Chauncey Golston. Lined up on a punt return, Clement stormed the player, knocking blocker Darrick Forrest inside. The loose ball was recovered by Golston for a touchdown. "It's just amazing football to see all the joy that goes into the game so that a player gets a block," said Fassel. “I'd love to talk more about it, but a couple of guys did some great things and Corey did the piece. And it really came down to Corey's idea, which was really on the sidelines earlier in the game. The 19 Cowboys players who scored a touchdown this season: The NFL record for multiple players on a team who scored a touchdown in a single season is 21. It has been made three times. The NFL used substitutes by big names like Malcolm Moore and Jon Francis to take touchdown passes for the Rams. Former Texas standout Jerry Gray, who was not a substitute, also had a TD this season. Running back Mike Anderson had 15 TDs and three CBs, Ray Crockett, Terrell Buckley and Jimmy Spencer all had TDs. New England Patriots, 2007: Lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Randy Moss (23) led the team in TDs. Wes Welker had eight, Tom Brady two and linebacker Mike Vrabel caught two TD passes.


How cowboys mother CB Trevon Diggs challenged Nick Saban after moving to Alabama

When Nick Saban Trevon Diggs switched to cornerback, the longtime recipient cried. His mother wanted a statement from the Alabama coach. (Author: Gardener)

The Dallas Cowboys trade Amari Cooper for the Cleveland Browns, opening a $16 million cap spot in 2022

Amari Cooper immediately revived the Cowboys' anemic pass attack on his arrival. Now it's time to see what this group can do without him leaving... (Author: Gardener)

Browns get a good grade because they don't give up much, cowboys don't pass the test

The Browns bring in a player who was no longer wanted in Dallas (Author: Gardener)

Deal with Cooper gives Cowboys just under $20 million in cap space. Here's how much more they can create

A look at the Cowboys' salary cap after the Amari Cooper trade and what it could look like by the start of league year 2022. (Author: Gardener)

Amari Cooper Trade Grades: Who Won the Browns?

After the Browns' robbery, it's hard to like that move from a Texas perspective. (Author: Gardener)

Randy Gregory signs Broncos, not Cowboys, in NFL Free Agency flip-flop

Randy Gregory appeared to be returning to the Cowboys on a five-year contract, but the standout pass rusher reversed course and now plans to join the Broncos. (Author: Gardener)

Randy Gregory pulls out of big-money deal with Cowboys and agrees to deal with Broncos

Cowboys Free Agency 2022: Randy Gregory agrees to terms of big-money contract extension (Author: Gardener)

Cowboys completely screwed up negotiations with Randy Gregory and lost him to the Broncos

The cowboys screwed it up and now Randy Gregory is a bronco. (Author: Gardener)


Cowboys squeak out last-second victory, win 20-17 over Chargers

The Dallas Cowboys' offense exploded out of the gate in the first quarter. The club set a franchise record with 13 first downs en route to a 14-3 lead when the field direction switched. Playing without No. 3 wideout Michael Gallup and starting right…

Thrill of victory for Cowboys; agony of defeat for Vikings

The Dallas Cowboys felt the pain of losing a game in the final seconds in Week 1 when they fell to Tampa Bay. On Sunday, the Cowboys sent out Greg Zuerlein for a 56-yard field goal with 4 seconds left at SoFi Stadium against the Los Angeles Chargers. Greg the Leg as…

Greg Zuerlein’s 56-yard field goal on final play gives Cowboys 20-17 win

The Chargers couldn’t get out of their own way Sunday. They had two touchdowns called back by penalties in addition to a negated 31-yard reception and ended up with 12 penalties for 99 yards. They missed a field goal, and they threw two interceptions in scoring range. The Cowboys escaped with a 20-17 victory on [more]

Greg Zuerlein drills game-winning FG; Tony Pollard shines

Coming into Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angels Chargers, many predicted a high-scoring affair. Instead of a game filled with...

Thrill of victory for Cowboys; agony of defeat for Vikings

Greg Zuerlein won it for Dallas while Greg Joseph missed a chance to win a game for Minnesota

Cowboys squeak out last-second victory, win 20-17 over Chargers

Dallas evened their early-season record at 1-1 in the same fashion they lost their opener, on the foot of a last-second field goal attempt.

Kazee silences long Chargers drive with end-zone pick, keeps Cowboys tied

The Chargers started on their own 9 in their sixth drive of the game late in the third quarter. Justin Herbert led a strong drive, partially thanks to a big one-handed catch by Austin Ekeler and an unnecessary roughness call Dallas on cornerback Trevon Diggs at the end…

Dallas Cowboys nearly pull off miracle at end of first half against Los Angeles Chargers

Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on the CBS call were discussing the fact this would be the first halftime score of 14-11 in NFL history. Romo didn't believe it was possible. And the booth almost put the jinx on it happening. Watch as Dak Prescott finds CeeDee Lamb, who manages to…

Tony Pollard punches it in for a TD on long first Cowboys drive

With a long list of defensive starters out for the Cowboys, the offense needed to start strong with Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense licking their chops. Dallas received the ball after Los Angeles deferred and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore picked up right where…

The black cowboys of Chicago's South Side

Most Americans don't realise that one in four cowboys was black – and they didn't just live in the Wild West.

Elliott scores TD to cap off creative play-calling drive for Cowboys

On the second Dallas Cowboys drive, quarterback Dak Prescott threw an interception a play that looked like a miscommunication between Prescott and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The defense stepped up after the turnover and limited the Chargers to three points. Then,…

75 of the best pics from Cowboys last-second win over Chargers

The Dallas Cowboys are now 1-1 on the season after a 20-17 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. It felt like a home game, as one of the best-traveling teams in the NFL faced off against a Chargers' squad still trying to establish themselves as members of the L.A. community.…

Chargers' 20-17 loss to Cowboys by the numbers

Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Chargers' 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

Cowboys Zuerlein Kicks the Winning Field Goal Against the Chargers

Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein kicks the winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers with two seconds left in the game at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, September 19, 2021 in Inglewood, California. The Cowboys defeated the Chargers 20-17. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Cowboys Prescott Fumbles As He Is Sacked by Chargers Kyler Fackrell.

Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott (4) fumbles as he gets sacked by Los Angeles Chargers Kyler.Fackrell (52), during second quarter action at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, September 19, 2021 in Inglewood, California. The Cowboys defeated the Chargers 20-17. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Cowboys’ COVID caution has players, coaches skipping New Year’s festivities

One Cowboys player after another spoke about plans for New Year’s Eve. And one player after another made it clear there were no plans. Talk about a boring...

Cowboys have healthy roster to face Cardinals in Week 17

The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up their week of practice on Friday in preparation for their Week 17 home game against the Arizona Cardinals. While they have eight players on injured reserve, their 53-man roster is completely healthy. They released their final injury report…

Cowboys great Darren Woodson denied Hall of Fame entry again

Thursday's news that Cowboys linebacker/defensive end DeMarcus Ware was named as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 came with all the appropriate congratulatory nods from fans around the league. With nine Pro Bowls, four first-team All-Pro accolades,…

Cardinals Face Dynamic Cowboys in Pre-Playoffs Test

How to watch information, previews, injuries and key players as the Arizona Cardinals take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys, Cardinals face off in crucial NFC matchup

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys host Kyler Murray and the Cardinals in a must-see NFC showdown. Which team needs a victory more?

Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Week 17 Odds, Plays and Insights

Check out odds, plays and more for the Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Week 17 matchup on January 2, 2022.

Cowboys DC Dan Quinn 'Potential Replacement' for Broncos HC Vic Fangio

Another defensive-minded head coach?

Why the Cowboys' Mike McCarthy is co-Coach of the Year for bettors

Bill Belichick takes advantage of loopholes in the rules, John Harbaugh (usually) follows the analytics chart, Mike Tomlin once tried to trip a kickoff returner. Great bettors exploit edges as well, whether it's arbitrage betting, acting on information that has yet to be reflected in the market, finding mispriced lines, etc. It's our chance to pull a Mike Tomlin on the sportsbook. There's a game prop on BetMGM that's offered for every NFL game...

Rookie Kelvin Joseph Taking Over as New Starting CB?

Kelvin Joseph, welcome to your big Saturday night opportunity.

Diggs, Wilson, Kearse, Pollard stay home; time for rookie DBs to step up

The Week 18 finale is shaping up to be a glorified preseason game, with many backups and rookies set to get significant playing time.

Eagles' 53 man roster for Week 18 matchup vs. Cowboys with news and notes

Eagles' 53 man roster for Week 18 matchup vs. Cowboys with news and notes

Cowboys Great Passes Away

Neely, a legend both in the NFL with the Cowboys and in college with the Oklahoma Sooners, died this week. He was 78.

2022 NFL picks, Week 18 prediction, best bets from model on 135-96 run

SportsLine's model simulated Saturday's Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game 10,000 times

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles odds, picks and prediction

Analyzing Saturday's Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles odds and lines, with expert NFL picks, predictions and best bets.

How late-season magic helped the '95 Cowboys become Super Bowl champions

Three games helped the Cowboys salvage what was a trying season

Even if he doesn't play, Eagles fans will still see a lot of Jalen Hurts

Even if he doesn’t play, Eagles fans will see a lot of Jalen Hurts on television Saturday.

How to watch, listen and stream Cowboys vs. Eagles in Week 18

How to watch, listen and stream Cowboys vs. Eagles in Week 18

Cowboys' Zack Martin, Trevon Diggs, Micah Parsons named to 2021 NFL All-Pro team

The ballots are in, and three Cowboys have been named to The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro team. The results were announced Friday based on voting from a national panel of 50 media members. Right guard Zack Martin received 46 vote

Arik Armstead discusses Super Wild Card game versus Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead discusses Super Wild Card game versus the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper fined for sitting courtside at Mavericks game maskless

Following the Dallas Cowboys' regular-season finale, Amari Cooper vowed his team would "do everything" to avoid getting sick ahead of the postseason.

Cowboys cornerback makes first-team All-Pro

Former Alabama standout Trevon Diggs led the NFL in interceptions in 2021.

49ers, Cowboys renew playoff rivalry after 27-year hiatus

SAN FRANCISCO (10-7) at DALLAS (12-5) Sunday, 4:30 p.m. EST, CBS BETTING LINE: Cowboys by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. AGAINST THE SPREAD: 49ers 9-8; Cowboys 13-4. SERIES RECORD: Cowboys lead 19-17-1. LAST MEETING: Cowboys beat 49ers 41-33 on Dec. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. LAST WEEK: 49ers beat Rams 27-24 in OT; Cowboys beat Eagles 51-26. 49ERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (7), PASS (12), SCORING (13). 49ERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH...

Will Dallas avoid another playoff disappointment?

A look ahead to the Cowboys-49ers matchup on Wild Card Weekend... The Cowboys collected two more wins than the 49ers over 17 games. Does that make Dallas...

49ers vs. Cowboys prediction, Wild Card bets from expert who's 9-0

Micah Roberts has dialed in on Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers in the 2022 NFL playoff bracket

NFL fined Miami native, Cowboys WR Amari Cooper for going to an NBA game. Here’s why

As Miami native Amari Cooper is preparing for the Dallas Cowboys playoff opener on wild card weekend, the NFL wide receiver was also hit with a fine for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players, an ESPN report said. The fine, tallying $14,650, was issued when Cooper sat courtside without a mask at a Dallas Mavericks game last week, ESPN reported. The NFL allows ...

Cowboys’ Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and Zack Martin named to AP All-Pro Team

A trio of Dallas Cowboys made The Associated Press 2021 NFL All-Pro Team which was announced on Friday. Right guard Zack Martin made his fifth career...

Cowboys’ failure to execute offensively ended their season — not Dak Prescott’s umpire collision

Forget the final seconds Sunday. Forget Dak Prescott scrambling too far. Forget the umpire colliding into the Cowboys quarterback from behind. Forget all...

Give me the Texans over the Cowboys

Sure, Houston was 4-13 this season and has never won a Super Bowl, but Cal McNair’s...

Cowboys' Stephen Jones weighs in on head coach Mike McCarthy's future

Cowboys' Mike McCarthy came under fire after wild-card loss, but team executive Stephen Jones is "very confident" coach will lead team next season.

Dallas Cowboys keep waking to an ‘extraordinarily’ disappointing reality

A few teams every year are convinced they’re in the midst of a special season. Until it ends earlier than expected. Dallas must confront this harsh reality. ...

Cowboys Sign Contracts with 13 Players, Including 3 RBs

Today's business: The roster, and at this early stage that is all about futures deals.

Cowboys fans need therapy after latest loss

Dallas Cowboys fans should be used to being disappointed.

Mid-season trade, 2 under-the-radar free agents spark 49ers pass rush vs. Cowboys

When Nick Bosa went down late in the second quarter it looked like the 49ers and their 16-7 lead might be in trouble. Bosa has spearheaded their pass rush all season and without him on the edge their weakened defensive line might make their secondary susceptible to an…

Bears will interview Cowboys' Dan Quinn for head coach job this week

The Chicago Bears are in the middle of their search for their next head coach and general manager after firing Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace last week. And there's been quite a diverse group of candidates that they've requested to interview. The expectation is that the Bears cast a…

Amari Cooper unlikely to return to Cowboys

Bye, 19: Amari Cooper unlikely to return to Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Trying to Trade Amari Cooper

After signing a five-year contract in 2020, it appears that Amari Cooper's career with the Dallas Cowboys could come to an end this offseason.

WR Amari Cooper 'done' with Cowboys, could fit Lions offseason plans

On a day where the wide receivers have been prominently featured at the 2022 NFL scouting combine, a veteran wideout with a very impressive production record might steal the show. Reports are now out that the Dallas Cowboys are set to

Cowboys 'likely' to release WR Amari Cooper, per report

The Cowboys signed Amari Cooper to a five-year deal in 2020.

Cowboys believe in Mike McCarthy, his track record speaks for itself

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has not won a playoff game in his two years on the job, but his bosses say they’re confident he has the team going in the right direction. Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones said McCarthy is the right person to get the job done. “I think his track record speaks [more]

Dolphins a Logical Fit if Cowboys Indeed Release Star WR

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly are set to release four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper, who played his high school football in Miami and would fill a big need for the Dolphins

Cowboys are likely to release WR Amari Cooper; Should the Eagles have interest?

Adam Schefter of is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys are likely to release wide receiver Amari Cooper, preferring to sign Michael Gallup.

Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper 'likely' to be released this month

The Cowboys will reportedly release WR Amari Cooper if a trade deal can't be reached in an effort to create more cap space.

Cowboys will try to trade Amari Cooper, expected to release veteran WR if no deal reached

Dallas will try to trade Amari Cooper, but will release the veteran receiver if no deal is reached, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday, per sources.

Cowboys are likely to release WR Amari Cooper; Should the Eagles have interest?

Adam Schefter of is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys are likely to release wide receiver Amari Cooper, preferring to sign Michael Gallup.

Cowboys Most Likely Will Release Amari Cooper

The wide receiver would be owed $20 million on March 20 if not released.

Amari Cooper's Days with Dallas Cowboys Appear to be Over

NFL sources have confirmed to numerous media outlets that Dallas is trying to trade the former Alabama standout wide receiver.

Cowboys owner Jones dealing with medical issue

Jerry Jones, owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, is working through a medical issue and will not meet with the media at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Cowboys have big problems at receiver, could release Amari Cooper

Dallas has salary cap issues that means one of its biggest offensive weapons likely won't...

Cowboys “close” to re-signing Michael Gallup

The Cowboys were never going to be able to keep Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson and Amari Cooper. Cooper’s $20 million salary, which becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster March 20, makes him the odd man out. News of the obvious came Friday morning in a report that the Cowboys will cut Cooper [more]

Why the Cowboys Realistically Can't Cut Ezekiel Elliott Over Amari Cooper

Ezekiel Elliott's contract prevents the Cowboys from moving on from the veteran running back.

Why the Cowboys are looking to part ways with Amari Cooper

A league source told Yahoo Sports that the Cowboys have made an extension with pending free agent wideout Michael Gallup and others a priority before the start of free agency, leaving the team in a difficult spot with Cooper, who is set to earn $20 million in base salary next season. Dallas was open to negotiating a lower salary with Cooper for next season, but is now leaning toward trading him — which appears unlikely because of his salary — or...

Dolphins a Logical Fit if Cowboys Indeed Release Star WR

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly are set to release four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper, who played his high school football in Miami and would fill a big need for the Dolphins

Michael Gallup 'Closing In' on Signing New Dallas Cowboys Contract

Will the Cowboys receiving corps be as good without Cooper as it was with him? That seems unlikely - one of the reasons this is all a difficult juggling act.

Jerry Jones to Skip Media Session Due to Medical Issue

The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 79, will be skipping his usual session due to a "minor medical issue.''

Cowboys close to completing new deal to keep wide receiver Michael Gallup in Dallas, per report

It appears Gallup will remain in Dallas for the foreseeable future

Cowboys have big problems at receiver, could release Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys have some big decisions to make this offseason, particularly at wide receiver where Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson both will be free agents when the league's year starts March 16. To make room for both - and possibly tight end Dalton Schultz, who also will be a free agent - the Cowboys plan to release Amari Cooper, according to multiple reports. The Cowboys would be more than willing to trade Cooper, but that figures to be...

Cowboys trading Amari Cooper to sign Michael Gallup ‘makes no sense’

It was known that Amari Cooper’s time with the Dallas Cowboys was likely nearing its end, but not many expected the way it would end. The Cowboys traded...

Cowboys agree to trade Amari Cooper to Browns for draft picks

The Dallas Cowboys were on the verge of releasing Amari Cooper in an attempt to save cap space, but they made a last-ditch effort to trade him before outright releasing him. And on Saturday, they found a taker. The Cowboys agreed to trade Amari Cooper and a sixth-round pick…

Dallas Cowboys Trade Amari Cooper to Cleveland Browns

Amari Cooper is going to the Cleveland Browns for what is told is package featuring two late-round picks.

Cowboys sending Amari Cooper to Browns for draft picks

The Dallas Cowboys are moving on from wide receiver Amari Cooper. The NFC East champs are in the process of dealing their third-leading receiver by receptions in 2021 to the Cleveland Browns for a pair of draft picks it was reported on Saturday. Cooper caught…

Cowboys finalizing trade of Amari Cooper to Browns for late-round pick

Cowboys finalizing trade of Amari Cooper to Browns for late-round pick

Cowboys Legend Troy Aikman Joined by Joe Buck on ESPN in 'TV Trade'

Buck still had one year and $11 million remaining on his contract with FOX, but he was allowed to explore other options due to his longtime commitment to the network.

Dallas Cowboys trade Amari Cooper to Cleveland Browns

The Dallas Cowboys reportedly traded former Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns.

Browns finalize deal with Cowboys for four-time Pro Bowl WR

Cooper is coming off of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, but Dallas didn't want to carry his $20 million salary for the coming year.

Cowboys' Randy Gregory 'Perfect Fit' to Sign with Seahawks, Say ESPN & PFF

PFF and ESPN seem to think the squeeze is going to cause the Cowboys to lose the player who has reported Dallas is "all-in'' on ... Randy Gregory.

Browns landing WR Cooper in trade with Cowboys

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns weren't willing to wait for free agency or the NFL draft to get their No. 1 wide receiver. Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry filled his club's biggest need on Saturday by agreeing to acquire Amari Cooper in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday. The Browns would send a fifth- and sixth-round draft pick in 2022 to Dallas for Cooper, according...

Cowboys trading Amari Cooper to Cleveland Browns

Trading Amari Cooper will clear up $16 million in cap space for the Cowboys and give the Browns a new weapon in their receiving arsenal.

Cowboys to trade WR Amari Cooper to Browns, swap late-round picks

The Dallas Cowboys are trading wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns in a deal that involves a handful of late-round picks being swapped, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Recent reports had suggested the Cowboys wanted to move on from Cooper, who carries a hefty…

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CeeDee Lamb is great, but the Cowboys are worse off without Amari Cooper

The Cowboys have made their bed, it's uncomfortable, and now they have to lie in it. Amari Cooper will no longer wear the famous blue star on his helmet, who was traded to the Browns on Saturday afternoon. And while stars like Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Zack Ma

Cowboys counting on CeeDee Lamb being ready to assume No. 1 receiver role

The Cowboys gave Lamb No. 88 for a reason. Now that Amari Cooper is gone, it's time for Lamb to play to the lofty standard of that number.

Browns get high mark for giving up little, Cowboys don't pass test

The Browns get a player who wasn't wanted in Dallas anymore

Cowboys Legend Troy Aikman Joined by Joe Buck on ESPN in 'TV Trade'

Buck still had one year and $11 million remaining on his contract with FOX, but he was allowed to explore other options due to his longtime commitment to the network.

Pair of former Sooners impacted by Cowboys of Amari Cooper

How Former teammates Baker Mayfield and CeeDee Lamb impacted by the Dallas Cowboys trade of Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns.

Cowboys counting on CeeDee Lamb being ready to assume No. 1 receiver role

The Cowboys gave Lamb No. 88 for a reason. Now that Amari Cooper is gone, it's time for Lamb to play to the lofty standard of that number.

Amari Cooper Traded to Browns After 'Troubling' Playoff Effort with Cowboys

Despite catching a touchdown in the Wild-Card loss to the 49ers, the receiver's lackluster performance in the final moments of their devastating playoff loss disappointed the Cowboys

Cowboys trade Amari Cooper to Browns for draft picks

The great Amari Cooper experiment is over. The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to trade Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a swap of draft picks. Cooper and a 2022 sixth-round draft pick will go to Cleveland, and a fifth-round pick and sixth-round pick will come back to Dallas. But this trade was about money, not picks. The move saves $20 million in cash in terms of Cooper’s base salary for 2022 ...

2 Teams Interested as Cowboys 'Sour' on O-Lineman

In the end, there will be suitors lining up for the right to add La'el Collins.

Cowboys Legend Troy Aikman Reveals View on Calvin Ridley Gambling Suspension

Says Aikman: “It seems like a bit much in today’s climate.''

Cowboys Completely Blew Randy Gregory Negotiations and Lost Him to the Broncos

The Cowboys screwed up and now Randy Gregory is a Bronco.

Broncos post perfect tweet; Cowboys delete tweet after Randy Gregory snafu

There's never a dull moment during NFL free agency. Soon after the NFL's free agency negotiating window opened on Monday, news broke that the Denver Broncos were pursuing pending free agent pass rusher Randy Gregory. Gregory's contract with the Dallas Cowboys is set to…

Why Randy Gregory’s Deal With Cowboys Reportedly Fell Apart

He’s the first player to reportedly change their mind on a deal this offseason.

Broncos appear to taunt Cowboys with perfect tweet after stealing Randy Gregory from Dallas

Denver is ruthless

Cowboys change offer, Randy Gregory changes mind, will sign with Broncos

Randy Gregory's new five-year deal with the Cowboys lasted about two hours and it appears that a last minute change in the language by the Dallas front office is the reason behind the annulment. In a stunning plot twist to the 29-year-old edge rusher's comeback story,…

Malik Hooker returning to Cowboys on 2-year deal

The Dallas Cowboys had decisions to make throughout the roster heading into the offseason, they had an unusually high number of free agents to sift through. While question marks remain, the Cowboys have begun making moves to re-sign some of their own. As the legal…

Defensive end Randy Gregory snubs Cowboys offer, will join Broncos

Defensive end Randy Gregory will sign with the Denver Broncos, and not the Dallas Cowboys, despite his former team's multiple announcements Tuesday that he decided to re-sign with the franchise in free agency.

Cowboys' Connor Williams Signs with Dolphins, Joins Trade Bait La'el Collins

The Cowboys will revamped Williams' left guard spot - but probably not by moving tackle La'el Collins there.

'Cowboys for Life' Star Talks 1-on-1 on New Contract

"I'm so excited to be a Cowboy for Life,'' Tank Lawrence tells, noting that he's eyeing a Super Bowl.

Contract Issue Causing Randy Gregory to Stiff Cowboys, Sign with Broncos

DeMarcus Lawrence's contract was to help keep his teammate in Dallas. But that's over now. ... and here's why ...

Broncos appear to taunt Cowboys with perfect tweet after stealing Randy Gregory from Dallas

Denver is ruthless

Broncos pluck free agent DE Gregory from Cowboys

The Denver Broncos and defensive end Randy Gregory have agreed on a $70 million, five-year contract that will prevent the Dallas Cowboys from keeping one of their top targets in free agency, a person with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday. Gregory's contract includes $28 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can't be announced until Wednesday when the NFL's business year begins....

Von Miller has 'very strong interest' in joining Cowboys

The Cowboys took a massive L in Tuesday's fiasco involving defensive end Randy Gregory, seeing the Broncos swoop in and steal him away just hours after announcing they had come to terms with the 29-year-old pass rusher. Yet somehow, after an embarrassing gaffe by the…

Cowboys' Randy Gregory Out; Sign Rams Super Bowl Pass-Rusher Von Miller?

The Cowboys traditionally don't bother with exploring the higher-priced outsiders in free agency, preferring to pay their own. But ...

Von Miller now being linked to Cowboys, has DeMarcus Ware's endorsement

Von Miller remains a target for the Rams in free agency, but teams have been calling the edge rusher this week. One team that might just have enough to lure him away from Los Angeles is the Cowboys. Miller is from DeSoto, went to Texas A&M and has a home in Texas, so going to

Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Ware recruiting Von Miller amid his reported interest in Cowboys

Once the Cowboys lost out on the Randy Gregory sweepstakes to the Denver Broncos, the campaign for Von Miller began. As NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported on...

Von Miller, Dallas have mutual interest following collapse of Randy Gregory deal

The future Hall of Fame linebacker is eyeing a homecoming following the Randy Gregory news

Cowboys lose Randy Gregory to Broncos after contract issue

In a surprise turn of events, the Dallas Cowboys lost Randy Gregory to Denver after reportedly sealing a deal. What happened?

Big Change But 'Home Cooking' for Rookie Tyler Smith at Cowboys OTAs

Dallas Cowboys rookie offensive lineman, and Fort Worth native, Tyler Smith, is set to begin his professional career in the place where the dream began.

Tyron Smith back at practice, Tyler Smith impresses in Cowboys OTAs

Perennial All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith was held out of last week's OTA practices with back tightness, causing a new wave of concern for a lineman who hasn't been able to play a full season's worth of games for the Cowboys since 2015. The eight-time Pro Bowler was back…

Former Cowboys running back Marion Barber III found dead

Barber was drafted in 2005 and played six seasons with the Cowboys before finishing his career with the Bears. He was 38.

Cowboys' Micah Parsons accepts sack challenge from Lawrence

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence put the NFL's quarterbacks- and a Cowboys teammate- on notice last week. He announced during the first round of OTAs that he wants to lead the team in sacks once again, reclaiming his throne from an ups

Tony Pollard in Slot, Tyler Smith at LT

Dallas OTAs: 10 Top Observations of Dak Prescott & Cowboys on Offense

Why Kellen Moore made the right decision not to force-feed Ezekiel Elliott in Cowboys’ loss to Bucs

FRISCO — Leading up to the season opener Thursday, the Cowboys felt confident in how best to attack the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Some affirmation came...

Cowboys Too Stubborn to Replace La'el Collins by Moving Zack Martin?

"We're eyes wide-open,'' McCarthy says. "You have to be, because things happen. We want to be able to have as many combinations as possible."

Connor McGovern shows he's ready, Cowboys McCarthy blows opportunity

The Dallas Cowboys are winless in 2021. They lost last year's season finale. They lost four preseason games. Now they've lost on the NFL's opening night. That's six losses in a row for a team that prides itself on a history of winning. The team that took the field…

Kellen Moore's playground among key Cowboys tenets from Week 1

No one gave the Dallas Cowboys a chance coming into their primetime season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Closing as 9.5 point underdogs on the road and having the entire TV crew pick Tampa Bay, one might think the game was over before it

Cowboys need more balance in their offense

Cowboys fans have many reasons to feel good about Thursday night’s opener. There’s one reason for concern, however. The Cowboys threw the ball way too much. Fifty-eight passes, against 18 runs. That’s more than 75 percent of the time throwing. Quarterback Dan Prescott looked great. He looked better than ever. But it’s hard to imagine [more]

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons looked like a veteran in his NFL debut

The Cowboys created some raised eyebrows when they selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th pick in the 2021 NFL draft -- not because there was any question about Parsons' talent, but because the team was already pretty stacked at linebacker with…

Stats were ugly — especially in first quarter — for Cowboys, Golden Hurricane

Oklahoma State is undefeated through two games, but it hasn’t necessarily been pretty.