McCarthy defends key decisions as loss eliminates Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy watches play against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)Mike McCarthy will take lingering questions about game management into the offseason rather than the momentum of a four-game winning streak to finish a difficult first season as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. McCarthy didn't challenge a catch that set up a 50-yard field goal by New York's Graham Gano when it appeared the ground aided Dante Pettis' 10-yard grab in the Giants' 23-19 victory Sunday. A reversal would have forced New York to punt, and the Cowboys could have gone ahead with a field goal in the final two minutes. As it turned out, a finishing four-game winning streak wouldn't have been enough to get Dallas in the playoffs.
Giants outlast Cowboys, lose division hours later to WSH
New York’s postseason chances hinged on Philadelphia beating Washington later Sunday, but the Eagles flopped in a 20-14 loss. Hardly how first-year coach Joe Judge planned it, but there were no complaints about extending the season for at least a few more hours. Limited to 26 points over its previous three games, the Giants’ 31st-ranked offense busted out with 239 yards and 20 points in the first half. Giants: Williams had seven tackles, three sacks and hit the quarterback five times. Giants: LB Blake Martinez left the game briefly after appearing to injure his left ankle or foot in the third quarter.
Seeds of hope: Cowboys alive and kicking in woeful NFC East
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys won a game thanks to a watermelon kick and are now 2-0 after smashing said fruit as a motivational tactic the night before each victory. Now, the Cowboys could be two playoff wins from their first run that far in the postseason in 25 years — with a little help, of course. After giving up 14 points in less than 10 minutes to start the game, the Cowboys held Philadelphia to three the rest of the way. But it was still enough to set a franchise record in points allowed with a game to go at 450. It was the most for a Dalton-led offense since the Bengals had 559 in a 31-17 win over Cleveland in 2016.
Cowboys beat Eagles 37-17, stay alive with Washington loss
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) catches a touchdown pass as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Michael Jacquet (38) defends in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – Andy Dalton threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns, two to Michael Gallup, and the Dallas Cowboys stayed alive in the playoff race with a 37-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Dallas can overtake Washington (6-9) with a win at the New York Giants and a Washington loss to the Eagles on the final weekend of the regular season. The Giants (5-10) can get in by beating the Cowboys if Washington loses. Instead, Philadelphia and Jalen Hurts couldn't keep the offense rolling while giving up points on five consecutive Dallas possessions.
Cowboys beat Eagles 37-17, stay alive with Washington loss
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) celebrate a touchdown catch by Lamb in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)ARLINGTON, Texas – Andy Dalton threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns, two to Michael Gallup, and the Dallas Cowboys stayed alive in the playoff race with a 37-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Dallas can overtake Washington (6-9) with a win at the New York Giants and a Washington loss to the Eagles on the final weekend of the regular season. The Giants (5-10) can get in by beating the Cowboys if Washington loses. UP NEXTPhiladelphia has Dallas' fate in its hands at home against Washington in the regular-season finale.
Pollard scores 2 with Elliott out, Cowboys beat 49ers 41-33
Pollard ran for two touchdowns with Elliott sidelined by a calf issue he's been battling for weeks, and the Cowboys kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 41-33 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Beathard handled the last two possessions and threw a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown to Kendrick Bourne on the final play. The obvious reaction was that the rookie receiver should have gone to the ground to let Dallas run out the clock. ... WR Michael Gallup, who had a first-half touchdown catch, injured a hip in the second half and didn't return. UP NEXT49ers: At Arizona in an actual road game Saturday in the stadium that has become San Francisco's temporary home.
Dalton returns to Cincy, leads Cowboys over Bengals 30-7
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates a touchdown throw with wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)CINCINNATI – Andy Dalton was good enough in his return to Cincinnati, tossing two touchdown passes and helping lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 30-7 win over the Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals fumbled the ball away on their first three drives, one fumble returned for a touchdown, and leading to 17 first-half points by the Cowboys (4-9). Dalton was serviceable, going 16 for 23 for 185 yards, as the Cowboys stayed in contention in the weak NFC East. Dalton signed with the Cowboys as a backup, and stepped in when Dak Prescott went down.
Jackson, Ravens run past Cowboys 34-17 to end 3-game slide
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)BALTIMORE – Back in action after a 15-day layoff, Lamar Jackson directed a relentless rushing attack that the Baltimore Ravens hope will be the first big step in a run to the playoffs. The Ravens averaged 7.9 yards per carry and prevailed despite getting only 107 yards passing from Jackson. That led to a Dallas field goal, but Jackson answered with a 37-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 play. Tony Pollard took the subsequent kickoff 66 yards to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Michael Gallup. An interception by Queen set up a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Miles Boykin for a 14-10 lead.
Cowboys try many tricks with rookie QB, fall to Eagles 23-9
The Dallas Cowboys tried to fake their way through rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci’s first — and they’re thinking only — start. The Cowboys (2-6) started a third quarterback in the same year for the first time since 2015. This was a much more unconventional look than when Dallas was trying to save a season wrecked by Tony Romo's collarbone injury. A reverse to rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb picked up 19 yards on the game's first possession, which ended with the first of Greg Zuerlein's three field goals and a 3-0 lead. 1 offense at the time, the Cowboys have one touchdown — in garbage time of a 38-10 loss to Arizona.
Eagles beat Cowboys 23-9 in sloppy battle for first place
Philadelphia Eagles' Travis Fulgham (13) celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Philadelphia. Carson Wentz threw a pair of touchdown passes to overcome four turnovers, Rodney McLeod returned a fumble 53 yards for a score and the Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 23-9 on Sunday night. “A win is a win,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. The Cowboys then had an excellent opportunity after Donovan Wilson strip-sacked Wentz and recovered at the Eagles 25. Dallas had a first down at the Eagles 4 before Brandon Graham stripped DiNucci on second down and recovered.
Social media reaction swift after Prescott’s gruesome injury
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) is tackled by New York Giants cornerback Logan Ryan, rear, in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. Prescott suffered a lower right leg injury on the play. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – Dak Prescott’s brother wasted little time trying to show the upbeat side of the Dallas quarterback in a hospital bed after a gruesome ankle injury that ended his season Sunday. The rush of well wishes on social media was even faster during what ended up being a 37-34 victory for the Cowboys over the winless New York Giants. Former Dallas quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City were among them.
Prescott has gruesome injury, Cowboys rally to beat Giants
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, right, looks off as first responders and team medical personnel assist Prescott after he suffered a lower right leg injury running the ball against the New York Giants in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Prescott has gruesome injury, Cowboys rally to beat Giants
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, right, looks off as first responders and team medical personnel assist Prescott after he suffered a lower right leg injury running the ball against the New York Giants in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – After Dak Prescott's season ended on a gruesome ankle injury, his running mate for all five of their seasons with the Dallas Cowboys had a hard time getting through the post-game interview. Prescott reached for the leg as he writhed in pain, and TV images showed his right foot bent at an awkward angle away from his leg. Three of Graham Gano's four field goals were from at least 50 yards for the Giants, from 55, 50 and 54. Cowboys: DT Trysten Hill was carted off with a right knee on New York's first drive of the second half.
Prescott has gruesome injury, Cowboys rally to beat Giants
ARLINGTON, Texas – After Dak Prescott's season ended on a gruesome ankle injury, his running mate for all five of their seasons with the Dallas Cowboys had a hard time getting through the post-game interview. Prescott reached for the leg as he writhed in pain, and TV images showed his right foot bent at an awkward angle away from his leg. Three of Graham Gano's four field goals were from at least 50 yards for the Giants, from 55, 50 and 54. Linebacker Kyler Fackrell returned an interception by Prescott 46 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 New York lead in the first quarter. Cowboys: DT Trysten Hill was carted off with a right knee on New York's first drive of the second half.
Mistake-prone secondary tops list of issues for 1-2 Cowboys
The injury-challenged unit is the biggest of several questions for the 1-2 Cowboys, who play the first of three straight home games Sunday against Cleveland after a 38-31 loss to the Seahawks. Brandon Carr, a 34-year-old who spent five of his first 12 seasons with the Cowboys, is back as a potential Band-Aid, although he hasn't played much yet. Before Metcalf's TD, the Cowboys gave up an 11-yard completion to Greg Olsen on fourth-and-3 when a stop might have sealed a second straight come-from-behind victory. That’s literally it.”WHAT’S WORKINGA pass rush that was pedestrian the first two weeks had its best game against Wilson. ... Dak Prescott had a second straight 400-yard passing day for the first time in his five seasons, this time with a career-high 472 yards.
Wilson throws 5 more TDs, Seahawks topple Cowboys 38-31
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) tosses the ball as he stands with running back Travis Homer (25) after Metcalf scored a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Wilson throws 5 more TD passes, Seahawks beat Cowboys 38-31
Metcalf caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Wilson with 1:47 remaining, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Dallas Cowboys 38-31 on Sunday. Wilson threw five touchdown passes, setting a record for most scoring passes in the first three games of a season with 14. Wilson became the first QB to have at least four TD passes in each of the first three games. But when Seattle needed a big play late, Wilson floated a pass into the end zone for Metcalf. But Prescott threw TD passes of 42 yards to Cedrick Wilson and 43 yards to Michael Gallup, and Greg Zuerlein’s 42-yard field goal with 4:03 left gave Dallas a 31-30 lead.
Unmasked: NFL fines coaches, teams for not covering faces
(AP Photo/Don Wright)NFL coaches thumbed their collective — and exposed — noses at the NFL’s mask mandate in Week 2. More coaches and clubs can expect similar punishments as the memo last week from Troy Vincent, who oversees the league’s football operations, was largely ignored throughout the weekend. Players, who, like the coaches, are subject to daily COVID-19 tests, are exempt from the face covering requirements. Some coaches such as Belichick, McDaniels and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wore their masks or gaiters over their mouths but not noses. Others such as Carroll, Spagnuolo and Fangio wore their face coverings around their chins or necks, exposing both their mouths and noses.
Cowboys look to build off character-check win over Falcons
The star quarterback’s record-setting response in the second half led to an improbable 40-39 win over Atlanta on Sunday. “You look at past experiences and look at any great season, you have big moments that you’re able to build off of,” McCarthy said. “This is a big moment to build off of, but the fact of the matter is that we’re 1-1. WHAT NEEDS HELPAlthough the contracts are mostly bargains, the Cowboys focused heavily on the pass rush in the offseason. That showing came a week after the Cowboys lost starting tight end Blake Jarwin to a season-ending knee injury.
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
Dallas Cowboys cornerback C.J. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)ATLANTA – As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness. There was never any doubt a Dallas player would fall on the onside kick before the Falcons did. There was never any doubt the game-winning kick would almost perfectly split the uprights, handing a team from Atlanta an almost unfathomable defeat. The Falcons led 20-0 in the first quarter after Dallas fumbled the ball away three times.
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy's home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy’s home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – One gamble after another failed for coach Mike McCarthy in his home debut with the Dallas Cowboys. Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 on Sunday. The Falcons pushed the lead to 39-24 on Younghoe Koo's fourth field goal with just under eight minutes left. Calvin Ridley was the leader for the Falcons this week with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
You can't say the crowds influenced rusty NFL officials
“For one, he was clamping me the whole time,” Green complained afterward, saying the officials should call it both ways. “Honestly, it reminded me of the times I was back at the College of San Mateo, my junior college,” Edelman said. It brought me back at least to high school, junior college, college. In some ways, it brings the game back to why you started playing, just to love playing the game. ___With contributions from AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Larry Lage and Kyle Hightower.
McCarthy loses 1st game with Cowboys, but might have won QB
Mike McCarthy lost his debut as coach of the Dallas Cowboys in part because of a curious fourth-down decision that didn’t work. Now the Cowboys (0-1) will see whether a short-term loss can turn into a long-term gain, starting Sunday in their home opener against Atlanta (0-1). WHAT NEEDS HELPThe Cowboys played from behind almost all of the first half because they couldn't defend the screen pass. Vander Esch's injury raises serious questions for the linebackers when the secondary was already the weakest link on the team. The scoreboard didn't show it, but Dallas appears capable of having an offense as productive as last season's top-ranked unit.
Jones' Cowboys visit Kroenke’s Rams to open SoFi Stadium
So it's only fitting that when Kroenke's Los Angeles Rams open their $5 billion West Coast NFL showpiece on Sunday night, their opponents will be Jones' Dallas Cowboys. “Jerry has told us all about the stadium,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “I know he’s excited for the Rams organization and what’s gone into this stadium. It’s supposed to be an unbelievable venue.”McCarthy's debut as the Cowboys' first new coach in a decade is the other milestone event at SoFi Stadium. They held two scrimmages at SoFi Stadium to familiarize their players with their new environs, but the awe still hasn't evaporated.
McCarthy era begins with Cowboys still seeking playoff run
DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8)New Faces: Coach Mike McCarthy, backup QB Andy Dalton, WR CeeDee Lamb, DE Everson Griffen, DE Aldon Smith, DT Dontari Poe, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Trevon Diggs, K Greg Zuerlein, C Tyler Biadasz. Strengths: If Lamb lives up to hype after unexpectedly falling to Cowboys at No. This season will mark 25 years since last time Dallas won multiple playoff games in same year. Roster is built for that playoff run, McCarthy sees no reason why it shouldn't happen in his Cowboys debut, 10 years after winning Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. McCarthy probably doesn't have another Rodgers in terms of pure ability, but Prescott is capable of leading postseason run that would probably secure long-term contract he's been trying to get since early 2019.
Cowboys dump Forbath, clear path for Greg the Leg Zuerlein
FRISCO, Texas The Dallas Cowboys released Kai Forbath on Saturday, clearing the way for Greg Zuerlein to be their kicker in 2020. Forbath signed a one-year contract in March after making all 10 kicks as the midseason replacement for a struggling Brett Maher in 2019. Zuerlein signed a three-year contract with $2.3 million guaranteed just a few days later and was reunited with special teams coach John Fassel, who left the Los Angeles Rams and joined new Dallas coach Mike McCarthy's staff. The 32-year-old Zuerlein was second to Maher in misses in the NFL last season with nine. The move means Smith either tested positive for the virus, which teams are not confirming, or was in close contact with someone who tested positive.
McCarthy, Cowboys try to make up for lost time in 1st camp
DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8)CAMP SITE: Frisco, TexasLAST YEAR: Season with high expectations ended without playoff spot, leading to departure of coach Jason Garrett. Mike McCarthy, Super Bowl winner in Green Bay a decade ago, took over. IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: McCarthy, WR CeeDee Lamb, DT Gerald McCoy, DE Aldon Smith, DT Dontari Poe, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, CB Maurice Canady, K Greg Zuerlein. McCarthy won Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, but hasn't had chance to get to know Prescott face-to-face. EXPECTATIONS: Cowboys still believe they have roster capable of contending for Super Bowl, but patience might be required based on circumstances.