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Seriously, when will the Dallas Cowboys win again in 2020? – Dallas Cowboys Blog



FRISCO, Texas — It’s a simple question without a simple answer: When will the Dallas Cowboys win again?

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, it will not happen until 2021.

The Cowboys (2-5) are not favored to win any of their games for the rest of the season. In fact, their best chances to win are against the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving and at the New York Giants in Week 17. FPI gives them a 43% chance of winning each of those games.

The Philadelphia Eagles are atop the NFC East with a 2-4-1 record, and the Cowboys are given a 27% chance of winning Sunday’s matchup (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

In addition to the Giants, the Cowboys play two more games against teams with one win through Week 7. Dallas has a 31% chance to beat the Minnesota Vikings (1-5) on Nov. 22 and a 38% chance of beating the Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1) on Dec. 13.

The lowest odds of winning for the Cowboys? Try at the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 3 at 12%.

The Cowboys aren’t worrying about anything other than a win Sunday at Philadelphia. Theoretically, they could be back in first place in the division with a win against the Eagles. That’s how bad the NFC East is.

“These are moments that we can gain great benefit from in the future if we go through these times the right way and make sure we’re accountable and we apply it to everything we do moving down the road,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said.

This has been a season of turmoil in Dallas.

NEWS: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologizes after telling radio host to ‘shut up’

Injuries have been costly. Quarterback Dak Prescott is out for the season with a right ankle injury. Tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are out for the year because of neck and hip surgeries, respectively. Tight end Blake Jarwin is done because of a knee injury he suffered in the season opener.

The defense has lost key players but only defensive tackle Trysten Hill is out for the season. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (collarbone) has played the past two games. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is expected back this week from a hamstring strain. Linebacker Sean Lee (pelvis) is closing in on his season debut.



From Mike McCarthy to Ezekiel Elliott, Stephen A. Smith pinpoints problems that are causing the Cowboys’ on-field struggles.

But will it all matter? Things are fraying, if they haven’t been frayed already.

So far this season, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has called the defense “soft” after allowing 307 yards rushing in a Week 4 loss to the Cleveland Browns and said the team needs to “build a stronger backbone” after the loss to Washington last week. Starting safety Xavier Woods has said it is not reasonable to expect an all-out effort on every single play. McCarthy has had to deal with anonymous quotes ripping the coaching staff. Against Washington, McCarthy questioned his team’s wherewithal when nobody came to the defense of Andy Dalton after the quarterback took a vicious hit from Jon Bostic.

“Your expectation is to win week to week,” McCarthy said. “I truly understand how the business works and the preseason questions about how you think your team is going to be. I’m an optimist. I have great ambition every year. I feel there is a path to victory for every football team. So every team is dealt challenges. Obviously every team’s challenges are different. Injuries are a big part of our challenge right now, but with that it’s an opportunity for a lot of players. There’s lot of players that have opportunity and frankly some are not taking advantage of it and some are taking advantage of it.

“But as a coaching staff we need to make sure we’re taking full advantage of it because this thing, we’re trying to build something special for the long run here.”

In 2010, the Cowboys were 1-7 at the midway point, owner and general manager Jerry Jones fired coach Wade Phillips and the Cowboys finished 6-10 under interim coach Jason Garrett. The last time the Cowboys were 2-5 came in 2015, when they finished 4-12. Aside from Jones’ first year as owner and general manager in 1989 when the Cowboys finished 1-15, that season was the low point.

At least the Cowboys already have two wins this season. There are nine more opportunities for success or nine more opportunities for doom and gloom.

But the question remains: When will the Cowboys get their third?

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NFL closing team facilities Monday and Tuesday amid coronavirus spike, holiday guests



Team facilities will be closed to all in-person activities Monday and Tuesday, the NFL said Friday in a leaguewide memo.

The ban does not apply to teams scheduled to play on Monday or Tuesday.

The NFL cited the spike in coronavirus cases around the country as well as the “understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests” as reasons for closing facilities.

All activities will be conducted virtually except essential medical treatment and rehab, according to the memo.

The NFL Players Association also instructed players to alert teams if they had guests over the past several days for the purposes of additional testing when facilities reopen.

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Inside the outbreak: How COVID-19 hit Lamar Jackson and the Ravens – Baltimore Ravens Blog



OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A year ago at this time, quarterback Lamar Jackson was all the rage in the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens were the league’s best team.

On Nov. 17, 2019, running back Mark Ingram first delivered the Ravens’ famous rallying cry, “Big Truss! Woot! Woot!”

Fast forward to November 2020 and Baltimore has no certainty over when its players can safely walk into the team facility, much less play its next game.

The Ravens have gone from a preseason Super Bowl favorite to the face of the NFL’s tumultuous and unpredictable 2020 season after a dozen players, including the reigning NFL MVP in Jackson, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Week 12. The eight Ravens players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week have totaled 45 starts and 2,291 snaps this season.

Baltimore has now had five straight days of positive tests. The coronavirus has spread throughout the organization, infecting players, coaches and support staff.

A look at how one of the toughest weeks in the Ravens’ franchise history unfolded:

Thursday, Nov. 19: A strength and conditioning coach for the Ravens tested positive, according to a source. He didn’t report symptoms and didn’t always wear a mask inside the team facility, the source added. To make matters worse, the coach didn’t wear his tracing device at all times, which made it more difficult to determine “high-risk” close contacts.

Sunday, Nov. 22: Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Ingram tested positive for COVID-19, just hours after the Ravens’ emotional 30-24 overtime loss to the Titans. These are the first reported cases of the week involving Ravens players in what would become one of the largest outbreaks in the league.

Monday, Nov. 23: The Ravens’ team facility is closed in the morning, but the NFL authorized Baltimore to reopen in the afternoon. After virtual team and position group meetings, the team conducted a walk-through where everyone wore masks.

“We all knew that us playing football would put us at a bigger risk,” Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said after the walk-through. “We knew we [could] obviously get the virus, and we all knew that this wasn’t something to be played around with.”

Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, who always ended his media sessions this year by saying “Stay positive, test negative,” becomes the third player this week to test positive. Nose tackle Brandon Williams is identified as a “high-risk” close contact and is put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Tuesday, Nov. 24: The team facility is shut down a second time at noon. By that time, the Ravens had already conducted meetings and another on-field workout, a source confirmed.

At this point, the Ravens were still scheduled to leave the next day for Pittsburgh for their Thanksgiving night game at Heinz Field. The team had chartered an extra plane to increase social distancing.

Then, three more players — defensive end Calais Campbell, starting center Patrick Mekari and backup center Matt Skura — tested positive. There’s also a report that third-string quarterback Trace McSorley, who was already on the list after being identified as a close contact last week, also tested positive. That brings Baltimore’s positive tests for players to seven.

Wednesday, Nov. 25: At 12:50 p.m., the NFL announced the Thursday night game between the Ravens and the undefeated Steelers was moved to Sunday afternoon. This decision comes 31 hours before the scheduled kickoff. It has since been moved again, to Tuesday night.

That evening, the Ravens released a one-sentence statement that a staff member was disciplined “for conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff at the Ravens.” A source confirmed this was the strength and conditioning coach who had tested positive last week and didn’t follow league COVID-19 protocols.

Defensive end Jihad Ward, who was expected to replace McPhee (who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list), tested positive. He is the eighth Ravens player to get infected. A position coach as well as a support staff member also tested positive.

Thursday, Nov. 26: The Ravens’ outbreak creates its biggest headline when Jackson tests positive. He is among the four latest Ravens players to test positive, along with a staff member, a source said. The Ravens believe Jackson was infected Sunday, when he took snaps from Mekari during the game and was in close contact with Dobbins and Ingram because his locker is right next to theirs, a source said. Under league rules, Jackson will quarantine for 10 days, which means he would miss Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh (if it’s played) as well as Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys (if that’s not rescheduled).

In a span of five days, Baltimore has had 12 players test positive. Ravens coach John Harbaugh told his players they wouldn’t return to the team facility until Monday at the earliest in the interest of team safety.

“We just want to contain this outbreak! Speaking from experience … you don’t want to catch COVID!,” Campbell wrote on Twitter. “This virus is brutal! I pray no one else has to go thru this. This is bigger than football.”

Friday, Nov. 27: The Week 12 games between the Ravens and Steelers is moved from Sunday to Tuesday. Baltimore will now play host to the Dallas Cowboys at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

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Atlanta Falcons rule out Todd Gurley vs. Las Vegas Raiders; Julio Jones doesn’t practice



Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with an unspecified knee injury after he was unable to practice all week, coach Raheem Morris said.

Wide receiver Julio Jones, meanwhile, is listed as questionable with a nagging hamstring injury. He did not practice Friday.

Morris was vague on the specific details of Gurley’s injury, but he did suggest Gurley was dinged up during last week’s 24-9 loss at New Orleans, when Gurley did not play in the fourth quarter.

“The [Saints] game kind of got out of hand, went more to a passing game,” Morris said Friday. “Obviously he came out of the game with some battle wounds from the game that he got in that game, so we’ve gotta see where he is and see what he can do. But obviously that was a tough, physical game that we just played.

“One time he came off with a little something, but he was able to go out there. He’s such a tough warrior-mentality type of guy to go at all times. We know he’s gonna try to go back out there when he can.”

It’s unclear if Gurley’s current issue is related to the nagging left knee injury that hampered his previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams before he was released this offseason. Gurley, 26, had played in each of the Falcons’ first 10 games this year with 167 carries for 610 yards and nine touchdowns, plus 16 catches for 82 yards. He ranked sixth in the NFL in carries heading into Week 12.

Fourth-year backup Brian Hill is the leading candidate to replace Gurley as the leader in Atlanta’s backfield, based on the role he has played this season with 261 rushing yards, 111 receiving yards, one TD and 7.6 touches per game. The Falcons will also likely turn to experienced third-year backup Ito Smith.

Jones’ status is also in doubt after he was sidelined during last week’s game at New Orleans. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, and Atlanta canceled practice Thursday as a COVID-19 precaution.

Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) is also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after he practiced on a limited basis Friday.

Receiver Calvin Ridley (foot) was not listed with any injury designation, meaning he is expected to play, despite being limited in practice all week.

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