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NFL Award Finalists: Burrow, Hurts, Mahomes Among MVP Candidates

NFL Award Finalists: Burrow, Hurts, Mahomes Among MVP Candidates
Finalists for eight of the NFL’s awards were announced on Wednesday, and three of the four starting quarterbacks on Championship Sunday are among the MVP candidates. Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts are finalists for MVP. They join Bills QB Josh Allen and Vikings WR Justin Jefferson as candidates for […]

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Analysis

Cowboys’ Formation Fail Even Worse Than Colts’ 2015 Fiasco?

Chuck Pagano harkens back to the Indianapolis Colts’ special teams snafu on their infamously failed trick play against New England in 2015 and compares it to Dallas’ failed final play against San Francisco in the 2023 Divisional Round. Was this among the most foolish trick plays in recent NFL history? Pagano breaks it down.

Betting

Betting the NFL: Divisional Round Reactions, Championship Week Preivew

Heads of Betting Ryan Reynolds and Chris Farley join host Kate Constable, reacting to the Divisional Round results and naming the teams that stood out. Reynolds and Farley list teams you may want to consider fading and give out some free lookahead picks and angles for the Conference Championship games.

News

Jerry Jones: McCarthy’s Job Not in Doubt After Disappointing Loss to 49ers

Following the Dallas Cowboys’ disappointing 19-12 loss in the Divisional Round to the 49ers, owner Jerry Jones showed his support for coach Mike McCarthy returning next season.

“No. No. No. Not at all,” Jones said when asked if Sunday night’s result would change McCarthy’s job status. “[The coaching staff’s] decision to (play) the kicker was exonerated with his field goal, in my mind. I’m proud for him, but this is very sickening to not win tonight.”

McCarthy is drawing criticism for the Cowboys’ final play of the game, which featured running back Ezekiel Elliott lining up at center and ended with wide receiver KaVontae Turpin getting tackled before he could pitch the ball to a teammate or turn upfield to pick up any yards after the catch.

McCarthy tried to explain away the Cowboys’ perplexing final play after the game but didn’t offer many details.

“It didn’t really get going,” McCarthy said. “I don’t really want to get into the details of it, but that obviously wasn’t the plan. It’s obviously a gadget play or whatever. It’s a last-play situation call that we practice.”

To McCarthy’s credit, he’s finished 12-5 in back-to-back seasons, and this year’s wild-card victory against the Buccaneers was Dallas’ first playoff win since 2018. However, the Cowboys always have sky-high expectations, and their loss to the 49ers makes it 27 straight years since they’ve made it past the divisional round.

McCarthy’s decision-making wasn’t the only reason Dallas lost on Sunday. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott finished with just 206 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions, as Dallas’ offense failed to get in the end zone after the first quarter.

“Yeah, just disappointed. Guys that played their asses off,” Prescott said after the game. “The defense, which gave us an opportunity to win this game, which played hard against a really, really good offense, a really good team, and for us to only put up the points that we did, that’s unacceptable, and it starts with me. I’ve got to be better. No way to sugarcoat it.”

Ronde Barber, an analyst for The 33rd Team and former NFL defensive back, isn’t focused on McCarthy’s future with the Cowboys, but instead wonders about Prescott’s future in Dallas.

“We keep hearing about Cincinnati and Joe Burrow saying his winning window is whenever he’s playing,” Barber said. “I don’t think I feel that way about Dallas and Dak Prescott.”

Although there don’t appear to be any immediate changes coming at coach or quarterback, it looks like it will be another Cowboys’ offseason filled with speculation as the team failed to meet expectations yet again.

News

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard Breaks Leg in Divisional Playoff Loss to 49ers

Running back Tony Pollard fractured his left fibula in the first half of the Dallas Cowboys’ season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, ESPN reported.

Surgery will be required to repair the break. The normal recovery timeline is 3-4 months.

Pollard left after catching an 8-yard pass from Dak Prescott with less than two minutes remaining before halftime. The injury occurred when 49ers safety Jimmie Ward rolled onto Pollard’s ankle while making the tackle.

The Cowboys’ offense seemed to have the life sucked out of it after losing its Pro Bowl running back.

“As soon as Tony Pollard went out, you kind of felt a little bit of energy leave their offense,” said former NFL cornerback Ronde Barber and analyst for The 33rd Team. “Not that Dak and his receiving corps … can’t get the job done, but I felt this entire year that when Tony Pollard was really good, the entire Dallas offense was always in stride. It was definitely not like that after he got hurt at the end of the first half. Zeke Elliott was largely ineffective … and was really kind of an afterthought.”

Pollard, who had his most successful season as a pro, will be a free agent in March.

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