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Cowboys face critical 12 months, Baker Mayfield rumors and more

For the Dallas Cowboys, it is a season of reckoning. Without important progress, anticipate sweeping adjustments, beginning with the pinnacle coach.

Jerry Jones has proven unimaginable endurance with head coaches. Don’t anticipate it to proceed.

After permitting Jason Garrett and Wade Phillips to spend 14 mixed years on the Dallas Cowboys sideline, the 79-year-old proprietor wants outcomes. To that finish, he may quickly flip to a buddy and acquainted face if Mike McCarthy fails to make a deep playoff run.

Enter Sean Payton.

Payton, 58, spent 2003-05 as Dallas’ assistant head coach beneath Bill Parcells earlier than taking the highest job with the New Orleans Saints. With New Orleans, Payton took a long-time laughingstock and received 152 video games throughout 15 seasons, together with seven division titles and a Super Bowl.

Now, after leaving the Saints for the FOX broadcast sales space, Payton is ready for his subsequent alternative. After reportedly almost landing in Miami this offseason for $100 million, Payton is a major candidate in Dallas come 2023.

For years, Jones and Payton have been linked in league circles as future for one another. At league occasions, the 2 are sometimes noticed collectively, sharing dinner and just a few glasses of wine. It’s an open secret, and with Payton out of New Orleans, one-half of the tandem is free.

As for McCarthy, he faces monumental strain each due to Payton’s availability and Dallas’ decades-long drought from official Super Bowl rivalry. The Cowboys haven’t reached the convention championship spherical since 1995, and with McCarthy coming into his third season in Big D, that is perhaps the bar for him to proceed in his submit.

But McCarthy isn’t the one one in Dallas who needs to be fearful.

In the NFL, regime adjustments imply personnel turnover. If Payton involves Dallas, he’ll have main sway within the roster development, one thing Jones has held shut throughout his possession.

Through that lens, Dallas has a slew of key free brokers slated for subsequent 12 months together with tight finish Dalton Schultz, nook Anthony Brown, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, operating again Tony Pollard, and others. Then there’s left sort out Tyron Smith, who shall be 32 years previous and price $9.6 million in cap financial savings if launched.

All informed, perhaps the Cowboys have to be remade. Perhaps McCarthy isn’t the reply regardless of Dallas profitable 12 video games final season. It’s controversial they feasted on the awful NFC East — going 6-0 within the division however 6-6 in any other case — and had been a paper tiger. In the NFC Wild Card spherical, the league’s most penalized workforce within the common season dedicated 14 penalties in a 23-17 dwelling loss to the San Francisco 49ers, punctuated by a comical time-management gaffe.

But make no mistake, hiring Payton isn’t a cure-all. For all his appreciable expertise, Payton reached one Super Bowl (in 2009) with loaded Saints rosters and did in order a younger man. If Payton was nonetheless teaching right now, he could be the eighth-oldest coach within the league. There isn’t a lot runway for the Cowboys to get it proper in the event that they make such a transfer.

Yet for Jones, it might be seen as the best choice. By season’s finish, McCarthy could have had three years to make a run in Dallas with a top-10 quarterback, glorious offensive line, top-five group of weapons, and elite pass-rushers, all whereas in a poor division. While his first 12 months was derailed by Dak Prescott’s leg harm, he had no such excuse in Year 2. Now, his defining second.

All this whereas Payton watches on, certainly having just a few assignments this fall in Dallas, giving him time to go to as a media member with gamers and coaches earlier than spending hours with Jones, speaking about something and every thing.

McCarthy has his probability proper now. If he doesn’t seize the second, he’ll seemingly be gone, with Jones making a transfer he’s dreamed of for years.

Power rankings

Top 10 quarterbacks not within the Hall of Fame (eligible-only)

1. Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati Bengals – 4x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, ’88 MVP, 37,920 yards, 247 TDs
2. Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals – 4x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, ’81 MVP, 32,838 yards, 197 TDs
3. Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia Eagles – 4x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 29,979 yards, 207 TDs
4. Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams – 4x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, ’69 MVP, 29,444 yards, 201 TDs
5. Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans – 3x Pro Bowl, ’03 MVP, 31,304 yards, 174 TDs
6. John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers – 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, ’70 MVP, 31,548 yards, 214 TDs
7. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles – 6x Pro Bowl, 37,276 yards, 234 TDs
8. John Hadl, San Diego Chargers – 6x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 33,503 yards, 244 TDs
9. Joe Theismann, Washington – 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, ’83 MVP, 25,206 yards, 160 TDs
10. Phil Simms, New York Giants – 2x Pro Bowl, 2x champ, 33,462 yards, 199 TDs


“We’re nonetheless doing a little analysis proper now. Hopefully, earlier than the season begins, perhaps we are able to get the video games down a little bit bit. But no, it wasn’t on me. I’m a pure. I’m just about a naturopathic form of individual, man. And what it was, it was referred to as Ostarine, and there was 0.1% of it present in my system. If you recognize what that’s, it’s contamination, not one thing straight taken.

– Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins on his looming six-game suspension

Odds of Hopkins getting a diminished suspension are low, however the All-Pro is outwardly nonetheless hoping and keen to battle. For the Cardinals, even getting Hopkins again for just a few additional video games might be the distinction between being inside or exterior the playoff bubble come January.

Including the playoffs, Arizona was 8-2 when Hopkins performed. Without him, the Cards had been 3-5.


Random stat

From 2003-15, Peyton Manning was by no means swept by a divisional opponent, spanning between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

Info discovered this week

1. Gronk walks away for second time, however will it final?

Rob Gronkowski has referred to as it quits. Again.

On Wednesday, Gronkowski retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending 11 NFL seasons, together with the primary 9 with the New England Patriots. All informed, the five-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro leaves the sport with a quartet of Super Bowl rings and an argument as the best to ever play tight finish.

To the latter level, Gronkowski’s numbers are proper there. He checking in sixtieth all-time with 9,286 receiving yards, rating fifth amongst tight ends, with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce more likely to go him in September. His 92 receiving touchdowns are more statically spectacular, coming in twelfth amongst all gamers and third for the place, behind solely Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.

Yet what units Gronk aside was his supernatural blocking potential, making him instrumental in New England’s run scheme for nearly a decade. Few if any have ever mixed blocking and receiving like Gronkowski, making him a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer and a robust argument as the very best there ever was.

2. Watson settles 20 fits, however nonetheless faces potential prolonged suspension

Deshaun Watson saw 20 civil suits settled last week. However, information additionally broke over the weekend surrounding the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback, as his disciplinary hearing between the NFL and NFLPA is set to begin Tuesday.

According to a number of stories, the NFL is trying to ban Watson for no less than all of 2022, and maybe go together with an indefinite suspension. If you’ve been persistently studying this area, you’re conscious how unsurprising that’s. The league has to ensure it comes down onerous on Watson — regardless of not dealing with any legal complaints or expenses — as a result of heinous nature of the allegations levied towards him,  to not point out the 4 excellent civil fits.

The query now isn’t whether or not Watson will play this 12 months, it’s who’s going to begin for Cleveland come September.

Currently, the Browns have Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett on the depth chart.  Trading Mayfield would alleviate some (unlikely all) of his $18.8 million cap hit, however would give Cleveland a considerable downgrade at quarterback. Keeping Mayfield is the very best on-field resolution, however can the 2 sides co-exist?

What a large number, a self-created mess, in Cleveland.

3. Ravens have tragically unhappy day with two passings

Wednesday was a day of mourning for the Baltimore Ravens.

In the morning, the horrible information got here down of edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson passing away at age 26. Ferguson, a former third-round decide within the 2019 Draft, set a collegiate document with 45 sacks throughout his time at Louisiana Tech. Unfathomably, his life was reduce quick, forsaking three kids.

Then, hours later, more heartbreak. Tony Siragusa, a Super Bowl-winning defensive sort out who later gained acclaim as a sideline reporter for FOX NFL Sunday died at 55 years old. The man lovingly often called Goose loved a stellar 12-year profession with the Indianapolis Colts and Ravens, retiring after the 2001 marketing campaign.

One would think about the Ravens honor each males, as they need to when the season begins.

4. Snyder probe continues with seemingly subpoena

On Wednesday, we noticed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell answer questions from the House Committee. Soon, we’ll be seeing Washington Commanders proprietor Daniel Snyder.

Snyder, who refused to look or communicate on the congressional listening to final week, is getting subpoenaed by the United States government. Never a great factor.

From a soccer standpoint, what does all of it imply? Snyder will finally must reply for his franchise’s office setting, which might result in every kind of latest info. For instance, we noticed Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resign in shame final season after ugly emails had been leaked throughout an investigation into Washington. Some believe the emails got out due to Snyder. Is this revisited with new information popping out?

As a results of the aforementioned investigation, Snyder was fined $10 million by the league final summer time. Yet considering the avalanche of allegations brought against Snyder, alongside along with his well-documented historical past and the latest report of Snyder skimming money from other owners, having a authorities inquiry may drive Goodell’s hand in some unspecified time in the future.

While Goodell can’t strip Snyder of his franchise, the opposite homeowners can vote to a three-fourths majority to drive a sale. It’s unlikely as a result of homeowners don’t wish to set such a precedent, but when it’ll ever occur, Snyder would be the man.

5. Mayfield saga continues with Panthers, Seahawks nonetheless pursuing

Baker Mayfield may all of a sudden be in demand for a lot of groups.

While Mayfield’s Cleveland Browns await phrase on Deshaun Watson — doubtlessly making him extraordinarily worthwhile to them for 2022 — the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks are reportedly intrigued by including him on the proper worth.

Still, the query turns into what would Carolina or Seattle be keen to half with to amass Mayfield? In some methods, that reply is dictated by how a lot of Mayfield’s wage the Browns are keen to eat, with the previous No. 1 general decide due $18.8 million towards the cap this 12 months. The more Cleveland takes on, the higher the return.

Yet even when the Browns are keen to pay half or more of Mayfield’s freight, they don’t have any leverage. Carolina and Seattle know barring coaching camp accidents, there aren’t different bidders. Additionally, the Browns are paying $230 million to Watson over the following 5 years. The Browns both unload Mayfield or lose him for nothing on the season’s finish, with a compensatory decide being their finest play.

Ultimately, Seattle and Carolina will hold tabs, anticipate the worth to drop, and then reevaluate.  It might be an extended sport.

Two cents

On Wednesday, the New England Patriots introduced their throwback uniforms that includes their old-school Pat Patriot helmets are returning in 2022.

Frankly, just a few groups ought to take their throwbacks and make them major appears to be like once more.

The Patriots prime the listing, however the Broncos and Buccaneers aren’t far behind. The Detroit Lions haven’t strayed too removed from their earlier uniforms, however they may return to the Barry Sanders period. The Buffalo Bills? Return to the standing buffalo. What an excellent aesthetic that’s.

So many groups had it proper and then went amiss. Right these wrongs.

Inside the league

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Kenny Pickett to his rookie deal. With that, all 32 first-round picks are beneath contract.

For years, it was regular to see a litany of early picks sit out of some or all of coaching camp. Then the league enacted the rookie wage scale in 2011 and successfully ended rookie holdouts barring excessive circumstances.

While most choices in Collective Bargaining Agreements are controversial, the wage scale has confirmed a house run. Veterans get a much bigger pie of the wage cap, and groups aren’t pressured to pay document contracts to gamers who haven’t performed a single snap.

A uncommon win for all, save the preliminary financial institution accounts of some.

History lesson

Len Dawson (Kansas City Chiefs), Bob Griese (Miami Dolphins), and John Elway (Denver Broncos) are the one beginning quarterbacks to ever win a Super Bowl after shedding of their first look.

Dawson fell in Super Bowl I previous to getting his revenge three years later towards the Minnesota Vikings. Griese misplaced Super Bowl VI and then led the undefeated ’72 Dolphins to victory the next 12 months. Elway misplaced in his first three tries earlier than going back-to-back, beating the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons, main into retirement.

Parting shot

Is Davis Mills simply filler, or the franchise?

For the Houston Texans, answering that query is paramount.

Despite enjoying on a horrific workforce with one weapon (Brandin Cooks) and no offensive line, Mills threw for two,664 yards and 16 touchdowns towards 10 interceptions throughout 13 video games (11 begins) as a third-round rookie. Respectable numbers, though solely on 6.8 yards per try.

Now, nonetheless saddled with arguably the worst workforce in soccer and a brand new head coach in Lovie Smith, Mills should show himself. After buying and selling Deshaun Watson to the Browns, Houston is armed with a number of first-round picks in 2023 and ’24. If the Texans wish to transfer up for a quarterback — ought to they should — it received’t be tough.

Therefore, Mills should showcase his skills. And if he does, Houston is now armed with a cache of draft selections whereas not needing a quarterback. It makes the job a lot simpler for common supervisor Nick Caserio.

Houston’s document received’t be good this 12 months, but when Mills is, it’s a profitable marketing campaign.

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