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Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive kicker Chandler Catanzaro


TAMPA, Fla. — One day after kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed two field goals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived him.

Catanzaro missed field goals of 30 and 48 yards in the Bucs’ 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Catanzaro’s struggles have been well documented this season. He made 11 of 15 field goals (73.3 percent) — 31st in the league — and has missed four extra points (85.2 percent). He did, however, nail a 59-yard field goal in a 26-23 win over the Cleveland Browns — the longest overtime field goal in NFL history.

The Bucs signed Catanzaro this offseason to a three-year deal worth $9.75 million, with $3.75 million guaranteed. The Bucs went through two kickers last season with Pat Murray and Nick Folk, who had beaten out kicker Roberto Aguayo, a second-round draft pick by the organization in 2016.

The Buccaneers have had nine different kickers since 2009, which is tied with the Chargers for the most in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information.



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Buccaneers cut kicker Chandler Catanzaro


TAMPA, Fla. — One day after kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed two field goals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut him, sources told ESPN.

Catanzaro missed field goals of 30 and 48 yards in the Bucs’ 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Catanzaro’s struggles have been well-documented this season. He made 11 of 15 field goals (73.3 percent) — 31st in the league — and has missed four extra points (85.2 percent). He did, however, nail a 59-yard field goal in a 26-23 win over the Cleveland Browns — the longest overtime field goal in NFL history.

The Bucs signed Catanzaro this offseason to a three-year deal worth $9.75 million, with $3.75 million guaranteed. The Bucs went through two kickers last season with Pat Murray and Nick Folk, who had beaten out kicker Roberto Aguayo, a second-round draft pick by the organization in 2016.



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‘I needed the noise to stop’


New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed he smashed a fire alarm inside his team’s locker room before Sunday’s victory at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, saying “I just needed the noise to stop.”

Fire alarms had been going off throughout the stadium for an estimated 10 minutes in the hours leading up to the game.

“Clearly we were having issues with the fire alarm at a time relative to 20 minutes, 30 minutes before we’re supposed to be out. And it continued, it had gone on for 10 minutes. And I just needed the noise to stop,” Payton said.

“And I gladly will take care of the repair cost. And I consider the Brown family (Bengals ownership) and that organization as close allies and people we have a lot of respect for, the same way with Marvin (Lewis). And it was just something that had gone on — and in order for us as we got ready for the game, I thought that was important.”

Payton said it was not a motivational tactic. And he made a sarcastic comment about the damaged alarm, first reported by NOLA.com on Sunday, being a “huge story.” The coach also said calling the alarm “destroyed” would be “a little sensationalist.”

The broken pieces of the fire alarm could be seen above the players’ lockers after the game.

It’s also unclear if Payton will face any sort of punishment aside from the repair cost. The Bengals said in a statement that, “We are aware of the situation and have been in touch with the authorities, but have nothing more on it at this time.”





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Gambling recap – Bettors win on college football, lose on Patriots, Falcons and Eagles in good Week 10 NFL Sunday for Las Vegas sportsbooks


Notable bets is a regular Monday roundup of wagers — some sharper than others — made recently at sportsbooks across the nation.

For those who were concerned about the well-being of the bookmakers after last week’s “disaster,” there is good news out of Las Vegas.

“We went from the worst day loss I’ve seen in 32 years to the best week of the season,” Jeff Stoneback, MGM sportsbook director, said Sunday afternoon.

Bill Sattler, director of specialty games for Caesars Entertainment, said Sunday was the “complete opposite of last week.”

“However,” Sattler added, “last week was so bad that we won’t recoup what we lost, but still a solid Sunday.”

I know everyone is relieved.

Here are this week’s notable bets:


NFL

• More bets were placed on the New England Patriots point spread against the Tennessee Titans than had been placed on any single team in any game this season at Station Casino sportsbooks in Nevada. The underdog Titans won 34-10.

• “The Patriots’ loss to the Titans was great for the house,” Station sportsbook director Jason McCormick said. “Lots of money-line parlays and teasers went down, which was key after huge week the bettors had last week.”

• According to iconic oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro, the South Point sportsbook took a $10,000, six-team money-line parlay on the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers and … the Patriots. The bet would have paid just under $33,000, per Vaccaro’s twitter feed.

• Ninety minutes before kickoff, 90 percent of the money bet on the New England-Tennessee point spread was on the Patriots at William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada and New Jersey.

• “Titans outright was probably the biggest decision on an early game we have had all year,” Tim Fitzgerald, sportsbook director at South Point, said.

• The Titans’ upset of the Patriots produced the third-largest win of the NFL season for DraftKings sportsbook in New Jersey.

• Approximately 30 percent of all NFL parlay bets included the Patriots to cover or on the moneyline at DraftKings.

• The Cleveland Browns‘ upset of the Atlanta Falcons produced the biggest win of the day for MGM sportsbooks.

• “The public was all over the Falcons,” the MGM’s Stoneback said. “Then, we had a large player also bet on the Falcons, so the combination of him and the public made it a really good game for us.”

• Shortly after posting last week’s NFL opening lines, the SuperBook took a $60,000 bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5 against the Indianapolis Colts. Down six points with four minutes to go, Jacksonville got a 55-yard field goal from kicker Josh Lambo (and a missed 52-yard FG from Adam Vinatieri), to lose 29-26 and cover the spread.

• “After early games last Sunday, we knew we would finish the day losing no matter what happened in late games,” Sattler said. “This week after early games, we knew we would finish with a winning day even if we lost every single late game.”

• The point spread on the Miami Dolphins-Packers afternoon game grew from -10.5 all the way to -13 right before kickoff. The favored Packers won and easily covered the spread 31-12.

• “There was a lot of late Packers action,” a Caesars sportsbook manager said in an email. “A lot of people re-upped into parlays and teasers in the late games, after the Patriots and Falcons busted up their morning.”

• “Morning was fantastic,” McCormick of Station Casinos said. “Afternoon, not so much as Chargers, Packers and Seahawks were all heavily bet.”

• The Chargers (-10), Packers (-13) and Seahawks (+9) each covered the spread in the late afternoon games.

• A bettor at the SuperBook last week placed a $40 bet on the Oakland Raiders to win the Super Bowl this week at 10,000-1 odds. Seems risky.

• “We had some very large parlays this week. We had a casino guest who was firing away, $25,000 and $50,000 parlays,” the MGM’s Stoneback said. “He had, I would say, about dozen parlays. Honestly, I don’t think he hit one. He had one that needed the Rams in the first half to win about $300,000.”

• The Rams, who were 6.5-point favorites in the first half against the Seahawks, led 17-14 at halftime.

• An hour before kickoff of the primetime game between the underdog Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, 6.5 times as much money had been bet on the Eagles as had been bet on the Cowboys at MGM books. “There’s a ton of parlays on the Eagles, also,” Stoneback said.

• “We will need the Cowboys and under (45) tonight,” McCormick of Station Casinos said prior to kickoff.

• Dallas won 27-20, capping the bounce-back Sunday for the sportsbooks.


College football

• Saturday was the most costly of the college football season at the SuperBook, according to sportsbook director John Murray. “[We] saw big public money come in on Ohio State, Washington State and Clemson,” Murray said. “Ugly day in college football here.” The Buckeyes, Cougars and Tigers each covered the spread.

• Alabama was a high as a 26.5-point favorite over Mississippi State, but closed as just a 22.5-point favorite at MGM. The Crimson Tide won 24-0. “We had all the sharp money on the dog with the point spread,” Stoneback said. “Then on the weekend, when the line was knocked down to 22.5 and 23, the public was all over Alabama on the parlays. So when it fell 24-0, we got middled and it just wiped out the whole day.”

• Alabama improved to 10-0 against the spread in the first half this season. The Crimson Tide, who were favored by as many as 16 in the first half against Mississippi State, led 21-0 at halftime. On the final drive of second quarter, Mississippi State drove to the Alabama 1-yard line, but failed to score.

• Temple covered 11 straight first-half spreads in 2016, the longest such streak since 2004, according to betting archive BetLabsSports.com.

• South Point reported a “break-even day” on Saturday, the first positive Saturday for bettors this season, Fitzgerald said: “And it took until November.”

• A bettor at the Flamingo in Las Vegas on Saturday risked $3,500 to win $100 on Alabama beating Mississippi State straight.

• Notable Week 12 CFB openers from Caesars Palace:

Syracuse at Notre Dame -9.5
Duke at Clemson -27
Iowa State at Texas -3
USC -2.5 at UCLA

• Alabama hosts The Citadel this week. No line had been posted as of Sunday. Here are the largest point spreads, according to ESPN Stats and Information:

• Updated line on potential national championship game matchup at the SuperBook: Clemson vs. Alabama -7.5.

• Updated line: Michigan -3.5 at Ohio State, Nov. 24.


Tiger vs. Phil

• Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will square off in an 18-hole match-play event Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. After opening as a short -125 favorite, Woods is now up to -210, with Mickelson listed at +175 at MGM sportsbooks.

• MGM books are offering a bevy of prop bets on the pay-per-view match, including hole-by-hold wagering.

Some props already posted:

• Will there be a Hole-in-One? 100-1

• Longest drive on 18th hole:

Woods -140
Mickelson +120

• Closest to the pin on 17th hole:

Woods -110
Mickelson -110

• Woods had attracted roughly 50 percent more money than Mickelson at MGM books as of Sunday.

Odds and ends

• College basketball: Duke’s impressive opening route of Kentucky last week caused the SuperBook to shorten the Blue Devils’ odds to win the national championship from 5-1 to 7-2. A bettor placed a $2,000 bet on Duke at 7-2, pushing the odds down to 5-2. The SuperBook took another $2,000 bet at that price, as well as a $1,000 wager on the Blue Devils.

• NBA: The Philadelphia 76ers went from 30-1 to 16-1 to win the NBA title with the reported acquisition of Jimmy Butler. A bettor at the SuperBook took the 76ers at the adjusted price for $1,000, prompting the book to trim the Sixers to 12-1.





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Is Eli Manning facing his final stand with New York Giants? – New York Giants Blog


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Eli Manning has done it before. He has shut out the noise, defied the doubters and accomplished the improbable. He has two blingy rings and a pair of Super Bowl MVP trophies in his closet as proof. The New York Giants quarterback may one day add one of those gold jackets awarded to Hall of Famers to that wardrobe.

Manning and the Giants have been on a wild ride filled with some really high highs and some ugly lows that appears to be nearing its conclusion. Manning is currently stuck in one of those downturns, with this one having stretched over several years. He has eight touchdown passes in 315 pass attempts in eight games this season as the Giants (1-7) are again struggling to score points.

At 37 years old, Manning is running out of time to turn it around. Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers could be make or break, his last chance to make one of those thread-the-needle throws down the sideline (See: Mario Manningham) or miracle heaves (See: David Tyree). If there is one more football miracle left in Manning, the time is now.

The situation: Manning needs to perform well or there is no guarantee there will be another start. This for a man who has started 222 of the team’s past 223 games, with the only break being a coach’s decision in favor of Geno Smith. That was last year when the Manning era appeared as if it were coming to a close.

The Giants are pretty much back in the same spot one year later. Manning is struggling behind a bad offensive line. His immobility and deteriorating skills behind that group form a toxic mix. Manning has been pressured on 30 percent of his dropbacks this year, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He’s been sacked on 9 percent of those plays and averaged 1.03 yards on the 109 dropbacks he was pressured. Manning has the same number of passing touchdowns under pressure as star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr: One.

It’s this and more that has the new coach, Pat Shurmur, only guaranteeing that Manning would start this week against San Francisco. Clearly change could be on the horizon.

“I spoke to Eli a couple times this weekend, and I explained to Eli that he’s going to start Monday,” Shurmur answered last week when asked if Manning would definitely be the starter the remainder of the season. “I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better, and as we go through this, it’s important that we’re not ‘almost’ in these games; we do what we have to do to get it over the top and win football games. We’ll just take it from there. But I spoke to the team about that, and then I also spoke to Eli about that specifically.”

The options: The Giants want to get a look at fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta and maybe even the mysterious veteran Alex Tanney this year. Their actions — trading two defensive starters in exchange for draft capital — indicate they’re in rebuild mode. They would benefit from having game tape on their other quarterbacks going into a crucial offseason that will include seriously addressing the position.

Tanney appears to be the in-game option. He’s served as the backup for every game this season with Lauletta inactive. That’s not likely to change on Monday night. Manning worked with the first-team offense at practice throughout this week. Tanney was next in line while Lauletta’s primary responsibility was the scout team.

If the Giants’ offense looks incompetent in the first half against the 49ers or the score is lopsided either way late in the contest, don’t be surprised to see Tanney. Or if Manning gets injured. Tanney is on the roster for these reasons.

“He’s a fast thinker, he’s got a great demeanor,” offensive coordinator Mike Shula said of his backup quarterback. “He hasn’t done it like some of the other guys have done around here, but he seems like a guy that can go in and play without a lot of reps and be on point. He’s shown that in practice, and he’s got some experience.”

Well, Tanney’s one game of experience is at least more than Lauletta, a rookie out of Richmond who played in the Football Subdivision last year. Lauletta was arrested last week for various motor vehicle and related disorderly person offenses. He was late to work and admittedly showed a lack of judgment. He was remorseful for his actions, but the Giants weren’t happy with the incident, especially his decision-making — which is a crucial skill for a quarterback. If they were going to contemplate making Lauletta the starter during the bye week — Shurmur had left the possibility open several days earlier — that was squashed by the incident.

It still shouldn’t affect Lauletta much moving forward. If the Giants were to bench Manning and had a full week to prepare, Lauletta would likely get the start. The Giants are high on the rookie because of his instincts and the belief that he has that “it” factor. If he does enter the lineup, it would be with an eye on the future and providing him game experience and the opportunity to learn.

The expectations on Lauletta, however, should be realistic. He would be a fourth-round rookie playing behind a shaky offensive line. That rarely equals instant success.

The future: Manning has one year remaining on his contract. Barring a stunning second-half resurgence that would need to include a strong effort against the 49ers, he’s unlikely to be on the team next year. Being released or retiring seem to be the most likely options right now. Manning is set to cost $23.2 million against the salary cap, a number that his play hasn’t come close to justifying. The Giants would get a cap saving of $17 million if he were released this offseason.

How long Manning remains the starter this season will be determined by how he plays in the immediate future. If he puts together a strong game Monday night, he should retain his job for at least a few weeks until the Giants find the right spot to get Lauletta playing time.

It’s possible Manning and the Giants could go on a mini-run. They play a bad Bucs defense next week, followed by an Eagles team that he’s had success against even during this current downturn.

“I told you, [Manning] is starting Monday,” Shurmur said. “You roll with it how you want, with the idea that he’s going to get us on a run here and there will be no decisions to be made.”

Lauletta would have to wait. It would at least allow the rookie to sneak in a few more first-team reps during practice before making his NFL debut, which would make sense if it came before the final week of the season.

The Giants’ Week 17 matchup at MetLife Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys would be an ideal spot for Manning’s sendoff. In the meantime, on Monday night, he has what could be his last stand in San Francisco.



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Mark Davis of Oakland Raiders on 1-8 start — ‘Buck stops with me’


OAKLAND — In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN following the Oakland Raiders‘ 20-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis accepted blame for the team’s 1-8 start.

Davis also touched on topics from the Khalil Mack trade to where he hopes his team will play in 2019 to how years of draft misses have contributed to where they are now to his belief in coach Jon Gruden and how general manager Reggie McKenzie might fit in the future. Davis also acknowledged that the Raiders lost their way in last season’s defeat at Washington, a game in which the team could not agree on how to protest during the national anthem.

“I always look in the mirror, and the buck stops with me,” Davis said during the 45-minute sitdown at a waterfront restaurant in Jack London Square. “Where this team is right now is my fault. We haven’t been able to build a 22-man roster. We haven’t been able to give this team a chance to win because the Reconstruction failed. We failed from 2014 on to have a roster right now.”

Davis was referring to his two-phase, four-year Deconstruction/Reconstruction project, which began in 2012, months after the death of Al Davis, under McKenzie. Davis said a team should be able to get five players, three from the draft and two in free agency, every year that would serve as foundation pieces going forward. McKenzie was initially hamstrung because of the trade for quarterback Carson Palmer in 2011 that cost Oakland its first-rounder in 2012 and a second-rounder in 2013.

The Raiders drafted what Davis saw as legitimate foundation pieces in edge rusher Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr, offensive lineman Gabe Jackson and receiver Amari Cooper in 2014 and 2015. But no such pieces in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017.

The trade of Mack, then, was a tough decision to make, even if it netted Oakland a package that included two first-round picks.

Davis said Oakland reached out to Mack’s agent Joel Segal after the team signed Carr to his five-year, $125 million contract in June of 2017 and presented him with a contract extension that would have made Mack the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.

“But they decided they didn’t want to do it that early,” Davis said. “They would wait.”

Mack played the 2017 season and then Gruden was hired in January of this year. Davis said Gruden called Mack and spoke to him briefly.

“That’s the last time Jon and Khalil talked,” said Davis, who added that the Raiders again talked with Segal during the combine about an extension that would still make Mack the highest-paid defensive player in the league. Mack’s representatives countered with an offer that “was not going to happen, was not doable for us,” Davis said.

“From that point on, (Mack) would not talk to anyone in our organization,” Davis said. “Not Reggie, not Jon, not anybody.”

“Jon wanted him. Everybody thinks that Jon’s the one who wanted to get rid of him. Jon wanted him badly. Why wouldn’t you want this guy? Reggie wanted him badly. And I wanted him badly, too. But, if in fact we were going to give the type of money that we were going to give to him, and we had Derek on that type of a (contract), how were we going to go ahead and build this football team, with all the holes that we had?”

Still, trading Mack did not seem like a realistic possibility, according to Davis.

“My thought was, Listen, he signed a five-year contract, if he’s the type of guy that I think he is, he’s going to honor that contract,” Davis recalled. “And he’s going to come in and play for the $13 million for this year and then we’ll work for him during the year and get it. Word came back through certain players that know him and talk to him and know me as well, that he wasn’t going to come in. He was going to do the Le’Veon Bell (holdout). At that point, I said, ‘F it. The guy hasn’t talked to anybody. We’ve got to do something.'”

Enter the Chicago Bears.

“It might not have been the right decision, but the other point to this whole thing is that Segal is also the agent for Amari Cooper,” Davis said. “And we knew the same situation was coming up the next year. It wasn’t just one layer of chess; it was two layers of chess.

“But to blame Jon, for Khalil Mack not being here, is absolutely not the truth. It was a decision that was made and it wasn’t made easily…I don’t have any bad feelings towards (Mack). I wish he would have talked to Jon and Reggie and wanted to at least honor the fifth year of his contract.”

Much has also been made about the Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas in 2020, not having a lease for a home next year. And with the city of Oakland threatening a lawsuit against the team, the Raiders have been linked to San Diego as a potential temporary home.

But Davis said he would prefer to stay in Oakland for one last season.

“I personally want to play in Oakland,” he said. “I absolutely want to play in Oakland. We have a completed lease sitting with the city council, that all they have to do is agree to it and we’re here next year.”

And what about the potential lawsuit?

“Emotionally, I would say, Why would I give them $3, $4, $5 million in rent that they’re going to turn around and use to sue me?” he said. “But, at the same time, if they’ll have us, I can’t turn on the fans. I can’t do it. And this is terrible negotiating I’m doing now. I’m going to get killed. But that’s just the way I am. But, if in fact it does get ugly, and can’t be bridged, we do have options.”

Some sort of resolution would seemingly need to be handled by early spring, before the NFL schedule for 2019 is completed.

Davis is also interested in seeing how more familiarity between Carr and Gruden might foster the quarterback’s growth as Carr is in his fourth different system in five years.

“Derek’s taking a lot of s— right now,” Davis said.

“He is the franchise quarterback right now. He doesn’t have Amari Cooper. He lost (Martavis) Bryant to a knee injury today. Guys have been getting hurt. Who’s he throwing to? Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts, which are good guys. But they’re not putting the fear of God in anybody. The tight end (Jared Cook) is playing his ass off. You look at the quarterback and he’s playing behind a battered offensive line…so I don’t know what you can put on Derek and I don’t think it’s fair to put all the blame on him.”

Davis told ESPN after he received league approval to move to Las Vegas that he wanted to leave the Bay Area with a Super Bowl title before departing. Now, though, the team is closer to an expansion outfit than a contender. Davis said his goal to win a title was made before another draft class yielded little, if anything, in terms of foundation components and before the team imploded in Washington last year on prime time television.

“That’s when I felt a big turn in this organization,” Davis said. “I don’t know what the hell happened but we got destroyed in the game and it just seemed like the team never picked itself back up.

“Someday the story will may come out. I don’t have the full story.”

As the owner, shouldn’t he know the story? Wouldn’t he want to know it?

“Absolutely, because I’ve never seen a team change that quickly,” he said. “And the Raiders stand for social justice. So to see any type of division is really hard for me.”

Oakland fans are irate, and Davis said he understands.

“I feel so bad for the fans because they want to win. And believe me, there’s nothing more I want than to win and there’s nothing more Jon wants to do than win. Reggie wants to win. Everybody in this organization is built around winning. We don’t have the tools right now to do it and it’s nobody’s fault but our own and when it comes down to it, it’s my fault.”

That may be of little consolation to fans who are wondering when Davis, McKenzie and Gruden decided that this current roster was not good enough to compete, that trading away Mack and Cooper for three future first-round draft picks was a better play than locking them up with extensions.

“It’s been all part of an evolution, but I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to Jon as well that the talent is just not here at this time,” Davis said.

“The drafts did not help supplement what we were doing in the free-agent market. If you look at our roster now, it’s a bunch of free-agent one-year guys that are mercenaries. And they’re great guys and they’re Raiders. Once a Raider, always a Raider…but we just don’t have the overall talent of a 22-man roster.”

Which, of course, brings up McKenzie, the 2016 NFL executive of the year who sees just 11 of his 50 draft picks from 2012 through 2017 on the current 53-man roster.

“Reggie and I need to sit down and talk and figure out how we are going to go about the future,” Davis said. “We’ve got to look in the mirror and figure out, Where the hell did we go wrong in trying to build this thing?

“We failed. I have failed. But at the same time, we wouldn’t have been in the great position we were in without Reggie McKenzie being here.”

As McKenzie said recently, his job is to get players Gruden wants for Gruden and Davis said he never felt the roster simply needed a good scrubbing in the wake of Jack Del Rio’s firing last December.

“I understood it was going to be a lot of work, but Jon has a 10-year contract,” said Davis, who also praised the contract and salary cap work of Dan Ventrelle and Tom Delaney. “I know how hard Jon Gruden works. I know how much he wants to win. And how much days like today are killing him.

“Having Jon Gruden here was the end game for me. Jon’s going to be the stability here. Jon’s going nowhere. That’s just the way it is.”



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Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott lead Cowboys to improbable road win – Dallas Cowboys Blog


PHILADEPHIA — The Dallas Cowboys’ storylines entering Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t exactly positive.

The list included: a coach’s job security, a quarterback struggling to make plays, an offensive coordinator perhaps on his last chance and a defense left wobbly after its previous game. All in all, it added up to a season on the line.

But the Cowboys left Lincoln Financial Field with a 27-20 victory that seemed improbable after losing their first four road games of the season, and they find themselves alive and breathing if not entirely well just yet.

“When you’re feeling low and you’re seeing the Grim Reaper and then come in and have your team perform the way these guys did, I promise you it’s a special feeling,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “I won’t need any wings on that airplane getting back to Dallas.”

They left Philly with a win after Jason Garrett rallied a young team that had been rattled and a coaching staff that had been questioned.

They left after Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes in a road game for the first time this season.

They left after Ezekiel Elliott rushed for more than 150 yards against the NFL’s second-best run defense and scored twice, including on a pass.

They left after coordinator Scott Linehan managed the offense as well as it had been managed all year.

They left after the defense did just enough with Leighton Vander Esch book-ending a first-quarter interception with a huge, fourth-quarter tackle that preceded Jeff Heath’s fourth-down stop of Zach Ertz with 1:09 to play.

“I don’t know that I learned anything new (about his team),” Garrett said. “You try to build a team of guys who love football, who are mentally tough and I think those things get revealed when you have to go through some adversity of the course of the season.

“I thought they did a great job coming back after the (Tennessee) game just getting back to work, not blinking. Just going back to work and understanding the importance of what this next opponent is and playing 60 minutes. Thought we did a better job of that in this game than we have in the last few games. Dealing with the adversities of the game and keep playing. Dealing with the successes of the game and keep playing.”

At times early in the game, Prescott was bad. He held on to the ball too long, leading to sacks — including a 13-yard sack in the second quarter.

At times, Prescott was brilliant, such as at the end of the first half, when he connected on five passes for 79 yards and sneaked in from a yard out with 19 seconds left for the Cowboys’ first touchdown.

And then with 7:27 to play in a tied game, Prescott was once again brilliant with a 17-yard completion to rookie tight end Dalton Schultz, a floater to Amari Cooper for 24 yards and a critical third-and-8 completion to Allen Hurns for 23 yards. From there, the Cowboys rode Elliott, giving him the ball three straight times, leading to his second touchdown of the game.

When the Cowboys were at their best in 2016, they rode then-rookies Prescott and Elliott. Now almost grizzled veterans in their third year, Prescott was efficient Sunday, and Elliott was explosive.

Prescott completed 26 of 36 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown pass. Elliott finished with 151 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown run and touchdown reception.

“We needed it,” Elliott said. “It was absolutely mandatory that we went and got this win. We want to keep our hopes up for winning this division and making the playoffs. So we had to go out there and win.”



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Chicago Bears spell Prince Amukamara’s name wrong on jersey


CHICAGO — Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara doesn’t think his last name is difficult to spell.



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Cooper Kupp of Los Angeles Rams suffers serious knee injury in win


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams are not optimistic about the prognosis of a knee injury suffered by receiver Cooper Kupp on Sunday in a 36-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

“I don’t think it’s good,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after the game. “We’ll get the MRI, but it doesn’t look good right now.”

Kupp suffered the injury in the fourth quarter, on a play away from the ball, when he was running a route, jostled a bit with the defender, then went to the ground and grabbed his knee. Kupp walked off the field with assistance from the training staff.

“He’s been a valuable piece of our team and a guy we’ll miss,” Jared Goff said.

Kupp has dealt with a series of injuries this season.

He was placed into concussion protocol during halftime of a Week 5 victory at Seattle, but was cleared to play the following week in Denver.

But in the first half against the Denver Broncos, Kupp was tackled by the horse collar and sprained his knee as he awkwardly went to the ground. He tried to play a series in the second half of that matchup, but was ultimately sidelined for two weeks.

A second-year pro, Kupp has played a pivotal part in the offense this season. He has caught 35 passes for 527 yards and 6 touchdowns.



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Rams’ Jared Goff happy his ‘Halle Berry’ playcall was heard by the actress


LOS ANGELES — Rams quarterback Jared Goff hoped that when coach Sean McVay relayed the “Halle Berry” playcall Sunday that the stadium would be quiet enough for it to be heard on TV — and for the actress herself to hear it.

Mission accomplished.

Goff became a giddy kid when told in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum locker room following the Rams’ 36-31 victory over the Seattle Seahawks that Berry tweeted about his pre-snap shoutout.

“Wait, hold on, are you serious?” Goff said. “She heard it!”

Goff quickly searched for Berry’s tweet, then grew increasingly animated as he showed it to teammates and coaches.

“It’s so funny,” Goff said. “The thing is, when [McVay] called it, I was like, ‘It’s so quiet right now, this is going to get on TV.'”

Goff would not reveal the details of the play but said to check with McVay, who was responsible for naming it. McVay would not disclose why the play was named after Berry, given that the reason is likely tied to the design of the play.

But the coach did say that if Berry was asking, to tell the Oscar-winning actress that it certainly was meant as a compliment.

“She’s a very attractive woman that players know,” McVay said. “And it’s related to the play.”

The play resulted in an 8-yard pass from Goff to tight end Tyler Higbee.





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