Dallas Cowboys survive late scare in Minnesota, improve to 11-1

MINNEAPOLIS — Dez Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Dallas Cowboys win their 11th straight game with a 17-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night. Bryant’s 56-yard catch in the first half set up Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard plunge. The receiver caught an 8-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter after a fumbled punt by Minnesota’s Adam Thielen. Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries for the Cowboys (11-1). They have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history. Sam Bradford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion failed for the Vikings (6-6), who found out earlier on Thursday that coach Mike Zimmer would not be able to attend the game after having emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night. Dak Prescott was 12 for 18 for 139 yards passing for Dallas. Bradford completed 32 of 45 passes for 247 yards, Danielle Hunter had two sacks and Kai Forbath kicked three field goals for Minnesota, which has last six of the last seven games after a 5-0 start. Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was elevated to head coach for the game and it remains unclear how long Zimmer will be out. Minnesota’s third-ranked defense did their fiery leader proud, holding the explosive Cowboys offense to season lows in points, yards (264) and first downs (13). The Vikings forced two turnovers from a team that had not coughed one up in the previous four games, including a strip sack by Brian Robison that set up Forbath’s 33-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading

Another Dallas Cowboys win makes Giants’ chances of winning NFC East even more slim

The Minnesota Vikings sure haven't done the Giants any favors this season. The Vikings handed Big Blue a 24-10 defeat at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 4, and then on Thursday night, Minnesota delivered a 17-15 choke-job loss to the visiting Cowboys when a win would have given the Giants control of their own destiny to win the NFC East. A Dallas loss would have dropped the Cowboys to 10-2 and given the Giants (8-3) a chance to move within a game in the division with a victory in Pittsburgh late Sunday afternoon over the Steelers. Ben McAdoo's team then would have hosted Jerry Jones' 'Boys on Dec. 11 at MetLife Stadium with the opportunity to draw even at 10-3 apiece and move into first place in the NFC East on head-to-head tiebreaker with three games to play. Instead, a sloppy Dallas team Thursday escaped to its 11th straight win since losing at home to the Giants in Week 1, 20-19, increasing already-heavy odds that the Giants will qualify for the playoffs as a wild card if they do in fact snap their four-year postseason drought in January. The stakes don't change for the Giants in their five remaining games, however. They understood as the calendar turned to December that they still have a lot to prove despite an 8-3 record, a six-game winning streak and a two-game hold on the NFC's top wild-card spot. "We know we've got to keep going," shutdown corner Janoris Jenkins said Thursday. "We've got to win December." That's the product of playing a fair amount of bad football and inching by several bad teams. Doubters are circling the Giants - whose last five wins have come against bottom-feeders with a combined 14-41-1 record - as they enter a five-game gauntlet of playoff-caliber opponents who are 34-20-1 overall. At least the Vikings (6-6) also helped the Giants by impairing Minnesota's own wild-card chances and slipping further behind NFC North leading Detroit (7-4). The Lions, Big Blue's Week 15 opponent, Continue Reading

Woman fatally stabbed by stepson after she ‘gloated’ about Dallas Cowboys win

An Austin man is being charged with murder after killing his stepmother when she was rejoicing following the latest Dallas Cowboys victory. Magdalena Ruiz was fatally stabbed by her stepson Sunday for “gloating” after America’s Team toppled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ruiz was just enjoying the game with her husband, according to documents reviewed by Austin TV station KEYE, when she was attacked by her 20-year-old stepson, Pontrey O’Neal Jones. Jones felt Ruiz was disrespecting his father, before he lunged and stabbed her repeatedly from behind a couch. The disturbed fan told police he originally planned to break his little sister’s neck, but changed his mind and chose to attack his stepmother instead, KEYE reports. He hid a knife in the couch and retrieved it when he saw she was relishing the win. Ruiz’s husband stopped the attack, but Jones fled the scene and was later caught by police when he was found lying naked in grass, police said in a news release. Ruiz was pronounced dead at the hospital. Jones has been charged with murder and is being held on a $500,000 bail. With News Wire Services Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys win NFC East with 24-0 victory over Philadelphia Eagles

ARLINGTON, Texas - Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys had their way with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Their reward: the NFC East title and the challenge of trying to do it again. Romo threw a pair of early touchdown passes and the defense took over from there, sending Dallas to a 24-0 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday and setting up a rematch at their new palace in the first round of the playoffs next weekend. The Cowboys (11-5) have quickly become a team nobody wants to face this postseason. This was their third straight impressive win and their most complete performance of the entire season. The shutout also made for a major milestone in the club's storied history: First-ever back-to-back blankings. Only twice in the previous 49 seasons had they even had two shutouts the entire season. The amazing part about this one is that Philadelphia (11-5) came in having won six straight, averaging 31.2 points in that span. An added bonus for Dallas was getting revenge for a 44-6 loss at Philadelphia in last season's finale, a loss that kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs and led to all sorts of offseason changes. "This ballclub has done a good job of putting its best foot forward when it has to," Romo said. "We haven't arrived and we haven't accomplished anything. This is a step in the process to continue to get to where we want to go. It's a positive one, definitely, but we still need to keep improving. There's hopefully a lot of season left." The Eagles have a lot of work to do to get ready for Round 3 of this season series considering how they lost the first two. Philadelphia had two of its three lowest-scoring games of the season against Dallas while getting swept for the first time since 2005. Game-breaking receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have been held in check, and Romo has thrown for more than 300 yards in both games. "I think we're going to see every blitz ever invented," said Romo, who was 24 of 34 for 311 yards, with the two Continue Reading

Giant goal: Big Blue wants to KO dysfunctional Dallas Cowboys

IRVING, Tex. - The road to the Super Bowl through the NFC will at least partially go through Giants Stadium, and there are probably only a few teams good enough to come to the Meadowlands in January and steal a playoff win. The Dallas Cowboys are one of those teams. That's why it's so important for the Giants to dispose of them now. "No question," running back Brandon Jacobs said. "A team like that could be dangerous in the playoffs." Jacobs will miss the game with a knee injury, but the rest of the Giants (11-2) should be fired up for the final visit to Texas Stadium and a chance to bury the Cowboys (8-5) once and for all. A loss wouldn't eliminate the Cowboys from playoff contention, but it would certainly push them closer to the brink of watching the postseason on TV. "They are close to that edge," said defensive end Justin Tuck. "They know this is a huge game for them. We expect them to bring everything they have." Despite their meltdown in Pittsburgh last week - when they coughed up 17 points in the final 7:15, including an interception return for a touchdown with 1:40 remaining that sealed their 20-13 loss - the Cowboys do have a lot to bring. The last time the Giants saw them they were an inert mess that couldn't move the football despite their array of weapons. But that was back on Nov. 2, when Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger were strug gling at quarterback. Since Tony Romo returned from missing three games with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand, Dallas is 3-1. Overall they're 7-3 when he's in the lineup. And despite an array of injuries that has put running back Marion Barber (toe), safeties Keith Davis (knee) and Ken Hamlin (foot), receiver Roy Williams (foot) and corner-back Pacman Jones (neck) on their injury report this week, the Giants know the Cowboys are still a loaded team. "They're playing well and obviously their offense with Tony back is explosive," Eli Manning said. "Their defense is re-energized, they're doing Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys struggle with addiction issues

BILL: Team Owner Jerry Jones likes to tell us that his Dallas Cowboys are "America's Team," one big happy family. Well, one of his foster children, his star defensive player Adam "Pacman" Jones, is now facing a lifetime suspension  from the NFL  for a drunken brawl with his bodyguard. DR. DAVE:  This followed 10 past arrests and involvement in shooting up a strip club. The "bodyguard" was actually a babysitter hired to keep Pacman on the straight and narrow. BILL: Whether you're a U.S. congressman caught with his pants down in bedrooms not his own, or a star athlete facing loss of a career...what I don't like is there's always one easy answer.  Dave, are you surprised the Cowboys have just announced that Pacman's entered rehab for alcoholism?  DR. DAVE: One after another, these role models for our kids are saying - just let your addiction run wild until you're caught, then just take a time out in some posh treatment center until the bad publicity dies down. BILL: I just googled up a list of players now in the middle of drug abuse sanctions from the NFL Commissioner - a Minnesota tackle, a Cincinnati receiver and defensive back, along with a Denver receiver. Now, after Pacman Jones, another 8 players, including three from New Orleans, who just failed drug tests. The Cowboys aren't the only pro football family with an addict or two in the clubhouse. DR. DAVE:  The problem I'd like to focus on is the model these idolized figures set for the millions of Pop Warner League kids coming along behind them.  BILL: Sometimes, Doc, you pontificate a little too much. Exactly what's anybody supposed to do? These players are adults, protected by unions and surrounded by adoring fans all too eager to help them in their denial. DR.. DAVE: The answer begins with The Job. That's the one thing none of these sports celebs want to put at risk. BILL: -- and the team is their occupational family? DR. DAVE: --all too often, the kind Continue Reading

Cardinals open game with TD, blow lead to Cowboys, win on blocked punt

GLENDALE, Ariz. - There's never been a game like this.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no game in NFL history had ended with a blocked punt being returned for a touchdown in overtime. Neither had a game since the AFL-NFL merger started with the opening kickoff being returned for a touchdown, then ended with an overtime TD. Until Sunday, that is. Oh, and the game went to overtime on a 52-yard field goal on the last play of regulation. Sean Morey blocked Mat McBriar's punt and Monty Beisel scooped up the ball and scored from 3 yards to give the Arizona Cardinals a crazy 30-24 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Morey rushed untouched off the left side of the Dallas line to block the kick. Beisel, a backup linebacker, picked up the ball at about the 3 and bowled over the goal line. McBriar was hurt on the play and had to be carted off the field in the din of a crowd that included the usual large portion of Dallas fans and included Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt high-fiving fans in the front row as he left the field. The stunning play by two of Arizona's most unheralded players brought a conclusion to a game that began with a 93-yard kickoff return by the Cardinals' J.J. Arrington followed by many moments of confusion, controversy and clutch performances. Dallas (4-2) scored 10 points in the final two minutes of regulation, sending the game into overtime when Nick Folk's 52-yard field goal barely cleared the crossbar as the fourth quarter ended. Folk was in field-goal range only because a 5-yard offside penalty was called against injured Arizona linebacker Travis LaBoy as he tried to limp off the field as Dallas spiked the ball. That moved the ball from the 40 to the 35. It was actually Folk's second try at the field goal - Arizona blocked the first attempt, but Whisenhunt had called timeout just before the snap, inadvertently giving him the second chance. That was just one of the weird moments in Arizona's sixth consecutive home victory. Arizona (4-2) scored Continue Reading

Eagles end Cowboys’ win streak

IRVING, Texas - Brian Westbrook had a tough choice: score the easy touchdown to give the Philadelphia Eagles a big, late lead over the Dallas Cowboys, or stop just short and secure a 4-point win. He gladly took the victory. Westbrook's maneuver with a little more than two minutes left seemed bizarre, but was brilliant strategy. With Dallas out of timeouts, all Donovan McNabb had to do was take a knee three straight times to give the Eagles a 10-6 victory Sunday. Westbrook gained 24 yards, then stopped inside the 1. He wasn't rubbing it in, just running out the clock. "It was brilliant," Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. "He used that Villanova education and transferred it to the football field." Westbrook's play was a fitting finish for a bizarre game that didn't have the excuse of bad weather so many others had Sunday. Other oddities included the Eagles' lone touchdown coming from a guy who a few minutes earlier found himself stuck inside a giant Salvation Army red kettle, and the Cowboys' first scoring drive going minus-1 yard, set up by the recovery of a fumbled interception return that started 8 yards deep in the end zone. The bottom line is that Philadelphia (6-8) ended a three-game losing streak, kept alive hopes of snagging a wild-card playoff berth and avenged a nationally televised blowout loss to Dallas six weeks ago. The Eagles also ended the Cowboys' seven-game winning streak and prevented them from tying the franchise record for wins in a season. As bad as it sounds for Dallas (12-2), the Cowboys knew before kickoff they'd secured a first-round bye - and that they couldn't lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. So the stakes were pretty low. And they played like it. Dallas had its fewest yards of the season (240) and didn't score a touchdown for the first time since November 2004. It was the Cowboys' second straight lousy outing and they came away with a bunch of injuries, starting with the thumb area on Romo's throwing Continue Reading

Terrell Owens’ four scores help Cowboys win 4th straight

IRVING, Tex. - Terrell Owens caught touchdown passes of 4, 31, 46 and 52 yards, marking the first four-TD game of his career, to lift the Dallas Cowboys to a 28-23 win over the Washington Redskins Sunday. Dallas (9-1) has won four straight since losing to New England, this being the third in a row against division foes."This is one of the greatest games, really, that I feel like I've played in, just me coming through in the clutch," Owens said. "I pride myself in trying to make plays for the team. When my number's called and opportunities are there for us to make plays, I know that's my job." With Green Bay also winning yesterday, the teams remain tied atop the NFC with one game left before they meet at Texas Stadium a week from Thursday. It wasn't as easy as it sounds, though. The Redskins (5-5) answered T.O.'s fourth TD with a touchdown, then forced the Cowboys to punt. Jason Campbell had Washington 19 yards from a go-ahead TD, but ruined it with an interception thrown right into the belly of Dallas' Terence Newman with 1:39 left. EAGLES 17, DOLPHINS 7: Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley led a pair of second-half scoring drives after Donovan McNabb sprained his ankle, Brian Westbrook had a career-best 148 yards rushing and host Philadelphia (5-5) sent Miami to 0-10. TEXANS 23, SAINTS 10: Andre Johnson had 120 yards receiving and a touchdown and Mario Williams harassed Drew Brees all day in Houston. The Texans (5-5) scored 17 points before halftime and stayed on top with tough defense in the second half against the Saints (4-6), who had five turnovers. BUCCANEERS 31, FALCONS 7: Jeff Garcia threw for two touchdowns, Ronde Barber returned a fumble for another score and and the defense for visiting Tampa Bay (6-4) completely stifled Byron Leftwich-led Atlanta (3-7). SEAHAWKS 30, BEARS 23: Matt Hasselbeck passed for 337 yards and two touchdowns, and host Seattle (6-4) took advantage of Rex Grossman's late fumble to hold on. Grossman, reinstated as the starting quarterback Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones takes on NFL, Roger Goodell in radio show

If it’s Tuesday (especially, but sometimes on Thursday, Sunday and maybe Friday), Jerry Jones is making headlines.That’s Jerry being Jerry.This time, it was the Dallas Cowboys owner declaring that his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, is the “victim of an overcorrection” by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell with the six-game suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.In the days before that, it was Jones reportedly orchestrating a conference call among fellow owners that was used to pump the brakes on the seemingly imminent extension of Goodell’s contract.Go ahead, connect the dots. More: NFL trade deadline winners and losers: What's Jimmy Garoppolo's fate? More: Why Colin Kaepernick and Bill Belichick are a perfect match More: Judge denies Ezekiel Elliott an emergency stay, appeal forthcoming On the surface, it seems Jones wants Goodell’s head on a platter because of his handling of Elliott’s case — which indeed includes some questionable elements pertaining to the investigative process and the discipline that has been imposed.Then again, as Jones intimates that Goodell is in over-reaction mode because he originally went soft on since-unemployed running back Ray Rice, it’s hardly the first time that Goodell has been under fire.But it’s news now because a day after a judge rejected Elliott’s attempt for a preliminary injunction to block the suspension, Jones — or Jerry, as Stephen Jones, the team’s executive vice president, calls his father — has fired off on Goodell.Given that Goodell collects more than $40 million a year in salary and bonuses from the NFL (according to the last publicly released figures) it’s possible Jones would have objected to the terms of an extension if there were never an Elliott case in the wind. Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons owner who chairs the compensation committee that handles Continue Reading