Jerry Jones not losing sleep over Dak Prescott’s increasing price tag - Charean Williams, NBC Sports
Dak Prescott’s MVP chances aren’t the only thing going up these days. With a looming contract negotiation, Prescott’s price is increasing with each passing week. Jerry Jones isn’t concerned about the cost of doing business.
The Cowboys quarterback has a $59 million cap hit in 2024 in the final year of the four-year, $160 million contract he signed in 2021. The team will have to address his contract in the offseason to sign other players due extensions. When he signed his deal, Prescott had the second-highest per annual average. His $40 million per year average now is tied for 10th.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this week that he’s not losing sleep over Prescott’s increasing price tag.
“I don’t,” Jones said, via Nick Harris of the team website. “That function has a lot of things to think about, but that’s not one to think about. Just like I didn’t spend any time thinking about what his price tag would be if he didn’t play well.”
Jones figures it’s a good problem to have: His quarterback is an MVP candidate, giving the Cowboys a chance to win a Super Bowl for the first time since 1995. Having to pay a franchise quarterback is better than searching for a franchise quarterback.
“I just want him to be a part of having the team to be a Super Bowl quarterback,” Jones said. “The idea of him not being our quarterback hasn’t crossed my mind. I’m here like everybody else wanting him to be the Most Valuable Player in the NFL. We’re trying to win the Super Bowl, and we have a better chance at winning it with him at quarterback playing at that level.”
Cowboys’ Brandon Aubrey Believes He Can Hit 70-yard Field Goal in a Live NFL Game - Mike Chiari, Bleacher Report
Brandon Aubrey has been arguably the biggest surprise in the NFL this season. The former MLS kicker has been perfect, making all 30 of his field goal attempts in his rookie season. Accuracy isn’t the question. Can Aubrey go the distance?
According to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, Aubrey said, “I can hit 70,” when asked the longest distance he believes he can make a field goal from in an actual game. That would set the NFL record by four yards, as legendary Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker set the record in 2021 with a 66-yard bomb.
Aubrey remarkably has yet to miss a field goal in his debut season, making all 30 of his attempts, while also going 39-for-42 on his extra-point tries. The 28-year-old Aubrey is coming off one of the most impressive games by a kicker in recent memory, as he went 4-for-4 on field goals, including makes from 60, 59 and 50 yards in a crucial 33-13 win over the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Also, all eight of Aubrey’s kickoffs were touchbacks, and two of them hit the crossbar of the uprights, which speaks to his incredible leg strength. Aubrey took an unlikely route to the NFL, as he did not play college football. Instead, he attended Notre Dame as a soccer player and was a first-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC.
The 28-year-old Aubrey is coming off one of the most impressive games by a kicker in recent memory, as he went 4-for-4 on field goals, including makes from 60, 59 and 50 yards in a crucial 33-13 win over the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. Also, all eight of Aubrey’s kickoffs were touchbacks, and two of them hit the crossbar of the uprights, which speaks to his incredible leg strength.
Much has been said about the Cowboys’ high-powered offense and stifling defense this season, but Aubrey’s success has truly made them a complete team, and he is a big reason why they lead the NFC East at 10-3.
The Cowboys have a tall task ahead of them and containing these players will be paramount to their success.
Buffalo plays with two runners, but it begins with Cook
The Dallas Cowboys defense sits middle of the pack against the run thus far this season. At first glance, you may think to yourself that being average won’t get it done. However, this year, compared to years past, is distinctly different. Nevertheless, James Cook presents a dual threat problem similar to Tony Pollard. He catches the ball equally as well as he runs. That’s where the problem lies.
So far this season, Cook averages 4.8 yards a carry with 789 rushing yards. His 38 receptions for 392 yards pump up his overall effectiveness. From Dallas’ viewpoint, the best running back they’ve played this year was San Francisco 49ers All-Pro Christian McCaffery. Looking at the score in that game, you would have been within your right to assume he had an elite-level game.
If you did, that would have been an inaccurate assumption. Dallas’ defense was up to the task in that game, holding McCaffery to 78 total yards that day. Let the record show that James and Christian are on different playing hemispheres. But you still want to slow him down to make this offense one-dimensional. For me, you do that by taking away the easiest option for Josh Allen, and that’s the guy he hands the ball off to.
The Cowboys enter Sunday’s game with relatively good health. However, the same cannot be said about the Buffalo Bills.
It won’t be an easy game, and in fact, they’re considered underdogs despite a recent 20-point win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills themselves are fresh off of a huge win in Kansas City, which probably explains why.
But on Friday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott provided an update that could really spell some trouble for the Cowboys’’ rival on Sunday: They’ve ruled out two-time Second-Team All-Pro safety Micah Hyde and edge rusher A.J. Epenesa.
Both key defenders are dealing with key injuries, a stinger and a ribs injury respectively, and will be missed by the Bills. Hyde’s absence in particular is guaranteed to be very relevant on Sunday and it makes the Cowboys’ chances of beating the Bills even better.
McDermott’s defense has always done a great job leveraging the elite safety duo made up of Hyde and Jordan Poyer. With Hyde out though, it’ll be Taylor Rapp int he defensive backfield, which is a significant downgrade.On top of that, the Bills are thin at defensive back and they’ve heavily relied on dime personnel groupings (six defensive backs) over the last few weeks.
In other words, the Cowboys could be matching up against a very thin and spread out secondary on Sunday. That certainly spells trouble against the high-powered offense that’s pushed the ball downfield consistently with MVP frontrunner Dak Prescott at the wheel.
Cowboys at Bills referee report: Dallas could benefit from the zebras this week - David Howman, Blogging the Boys
In an ideal world, games are decided by the players on the field. However, things are often decided by the officiating. If that latter holds true, that might be in the Cowboys’ favor.
For the third time in the Cowboys’ last four games, they’ve been the less penalized team. In fact, the Cowboys have just two games since their bye week where they’ve been penalized more than their opponent. They still lead the league in total penalties called, but things are starting to improve a bit. Even better is the fact that their officiating crew this week should bring good things for Dallas.
Craig Wrolstad is in his ninth season as a head referee and 21st total season as an NFL official. Over the years, Wrolstad has very clearly established himself as a referee that believes in balancing out the homefield advantage that teams are often perceived to have. Not only does Wrolstad tend to call more penalties on the home team, but the home teams usually have a hard time winning when Wrolstad is on the call.
So far this season, Wrolstad has called 54.1% of all penalties on the home team, the second-highest rate of any referee crew. His crew is also in the bottom five of penalties called this year, though Wrolstad’s crew generally fluctuates each year in terms of frequency of flags thrown. That usually suggests no real tendency in terms of how strict Wrolstad’s crew is, but there is a common trend of being more strict on the home team in any given game.
Over the course of Wrolstad’s career as a head referee, the home team is 76-80 in games called by Wrolstad. That’s not an overwhelmingly bad record for the home team, but it’s also well below the usual record for home teams. Since 2016, when Wrolstad really started to establish this trend, home teams are 47-73-1 against the spread in his games. With the Bills favored by just 2.5 points against the Cowboys, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for them.
There are quite a few penalty trends that stick out for Wrolstad’s crew. Wrolstad is pretty much in the middle of the pack in total offensive holding penalties assessed, but he’s calling 68% of them on the home team, the largest split of any crew. With the Bills raking sixth in total offensive holds, and this Cowboys defense having one of the more formidable pass rushes in the league, that’s one area to watch.
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