The answer to the Dallas Cowboys’ pass-rush problem plays for the Dallas Stars

If you’re like me (or most of North America), you watched the Dallas Cowboys lose to the Green Bay Packers in one heck of a football game on Sunday.

And you probably thought the same thing I did by halftime: “Boy, does the Dallas defensive line need some playmakers!”

Oh, sure, they chased Aaron Rodgers around a bit in the second half. Forget about that. Forget about that because I started writing this before any of that happened. Just don’t worry about it.

The truth is that the Cowboys’ pass rush has been pretty mediocre all season. From Blogging The Boys:

Smith had another opportunity to hit Hill for a touchdown, and it went about as well as the first.

This time, there are at least defenders trying to cover Hill, but thanks to his speed, he has them beat. Smith’s pocket is pretty clean again, although he’s reacting like it isn’t. The offensive line can only hold off the Steelers for so long, and Smith holds on to this ball far too long considering that Hill is, for much of this time, definitely open.

At least the Chiefs did still score on this drive, although it took about five more minutes off the clock.

The Chiefs defense held the Steelers to zero touchdowns on Sunday, forcing Pittsburgh to settle for six field goals. Still, Kansas City lost by two points, and just one more touchdown would have changed the course of the game.

The ensuing penalty gave the Chiefs a first-and-10 situation at the Pittsburgh 12. Kansas City trailed Pittsburgh 18-10 with under five minutes to play in their Divisional playoff clash.

‘Hard Knocks’ episode 2 recap: The Life of Brian Cushing

It’s hard for TV shows to immediately sustain the momentum of a promising premiere, so second episodes tend to disappoint. The Houston Texans’ first episode of Hard Knocks was a tough act to follow. It gave us a breakout performance from head coach Bill O’Brien and plenty of J.J. Watt, aka the Jennifer Lawrence of the NFL.

We also witnessed Vince Wilfork compare himself to the second-greatest basketball player of our time, though he modestly refrained from calling himself LeBron.

For episode No. 2, the main characters took more of a backseat role, appropriately enough, right as the team was readying for its first preseason game. Just as many starters and veterans are making cameo appearances in the run-up to the regular season, it was time for the rookies and players trying to make the 53-man roster to shine.

For being a professional athlete, Cushing has a pretty lazy way of taking his two sons out in a stroller:

Was it as enjoyable as the premiere? Simply put: no, and that’s OK. Not every episode that focuses on secondary characters can be as compelling as Better Call Saul’s Mike Ehrmantraut-centric showcase or when we peeked into the mind of Brian Krakow on My So-Called Life.

But this episode still had its watercooler moments, many coming from — for better or for worse — another Brian: Texans linebacker Brian Cushing.

It’s also #PeakBro, as was his response to running back Alfred Blue after the two went head-to-head in a pass-rushing drill: “First of all, you’re not going to block me. Second of all, you don’t want to fight me. Third of all, I’m the man.”

The Oakland Coliseum has a seating capacity of roughly 56,000 for Oakland Raiders games

Then, it was time to get drunk. There are only a couple options on where you should get drunk in Bristol, CT. One is in a bar who’s sign is written in Comic Sans that says something like FIFTY BEERS ON TAP coming soon. Hard pass. I dont want 50 beers on tap- I want a bar that has ice cold budweiser, or miller lite for specal occasions. I like to mix the two sometimes if Im on a date and ask the bartender to make me a 50/50 combo Bud Lite- very cosmopolitan. So we chose to go to a bar called “Bleachers” (get it? (sports.))

I loaded up on some chicken wings, nachos with chili (this would come into play later) and slammed down a few brews. I was on my way out the door at about 9 PM when my pregnant coworker that had been put in charge of making sure I didnt do anything stupid stopped me and by misstake mentioned that they were donig a beer pong tournament that night.

The Oakland Coliseum has a seating capacity of roughly 56,000 for Oakland Raiders games. All of the other NFL stadiums can hold at least 60,000 fans. For a comparison, the StubHub center would hold at least 6,000 fewer fans than the smallest Pac-12 stadium.

When the Rams moved to Los Angeles last year, they spent the season playing in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Capacity is no issue there, with the stadium big enough to accommodate more than 90,000 fans.

According to Florio, the Chargers will play in the StubHub Center in 2017 and 2018 before moving into a new stadium they will share with the Rams for the 2019 season.

Every time I turned away to catch up with the rest of my tourgroup he would pull me back in with another thoughtfull, genuine question, until he literaly asked me what I thought about RG3. Then it was on. I knew I had to debate him. Stephan A Smith saw two bighorns sizing each other up and decided it was time to amscray and I cant say I blame him.

Jordy Nelson knocked out of Giants-Packers playoff game after big sideline hit

Jordy Nelson will not return to Sunday’s Wild Card game against the Giants after absorbing a massive shot from Giants safety Leon Hall in the second quarter. The pass-separating tackle left Nelson crumpled on the Green Bay sideline, where he was later carted off the field and into the locker room.

Though his return was initially listed as questionable, the team later reported he would not return.

Nelson took the clean hit to his ribs and hip, and lay prone on the sideline while team trainers attended to him. The incomplete pass was endemic of the Packers’ early struggles Sunday. Through 20 minutes of game time, Green Bay had gained only 7 total yards. They shook off that bad start to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.

So a school got tired of its average coach who was constantly interviewing for other jobs and decided to fire him. That’s a potentially defensible position.

But the timing, as well as the state of Cal’s athletic department, could make this a very expensive mistake.
For one, it’s not like the fact that Dykes was looking elsewhere was a big secret. He was tied to Houston in 2014 and Missouri last season. If Cal wanted to pull the plug then, it certainly could’ve. Instead, the school gave Dykes an extension last season, making a decision to let him go later even more expensive.

And Cal might be the Power 5 school least equipped to make things more expensive. Recently, Bloomberg singled out Cal as the P5 program carrying the most athletic debt in the country, and it isn’t even close. Per Bloomberg, Cal’s athletic department was $22 million in the red and owes over $440 million in debt.

Coyotes claim Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov off waivers

Alexander Burmistrov’s reunion with the franchise that drafted him ended on Monday.

The Arizona Coyotes picked up the Jets winger on Monday off waivers, less than a day after Winnipeg dropped their former first-round pick onto the wire. Burmistrov joins a growing list of discarded players the Coyotes have snatched up over the last few months.

Burmistrov’s salary cap hit of $1.5 million comes off the table for Winnipeg. The Jets now have north of $12 million in cap room to work with this season. The Coyotes are now kind of over the salary cap limit, but that shouldn’t be an issue going forward due to long-term injured reserve exceptions. It’s complicated.

It’s 2017, but it’s the same offseason we were dealing with when the calendar said differently. There are still plenty of free agents worth talking about who are waiting by the phone, hoping to sign well before spring training kicks off in February. There are the obvious ones, like Jose Bautista, who is still a free agent at this point due to a down 2016.

There’s Mark Trumbo, who led the league in homers last summer, but was also traded for a backup catcher prior to the year — no one wants to get caught paying big dollars for that version of Trumbo. There’s Mike Napoli, who isn’t quite the offensive force he used to be but still hit 34 homers for the Indians.

Carter is a fascinating free agent. He went deep 41 times in 2016, and it wasn’t an anomaly: his previous career-high was 37 back in 2014, and he’s now averaged 33 homers per season since becoming a full-time player in 2013.

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters climb rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium during Vikings vs. Bears

At the Vikings’ final home game against the Bears, two protesters climbed the rafters of US Bank Stadium and unfurled a sign that read “Divest #NoDAPL.” Then they rappelled down from the ceiling.

According to a press release, US Bank has $175 million in credit lines to one of the parent companies of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline would run from North Dakota to Illinois, carrying crude oil. A lot of people aren’t happy about it, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose land is located nearby.

One of them, the male, wearing a Brett Favre jersey, has been identified. According to St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Brian Murphy, his name is Karl Zimmerman, and he’s from South Minneapolis.

Kubiak had to take a week off from the Broncos, and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis served as the team’s interim head coach for a Thursday Night Football loss to the San Diego Chargers in Week 6.

It was not Kubiak’s first health scare. In 2013, during his time as the Houston Texans’ head coach, Kubiak collapsed on his way off the field at halftime of a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. He was taken to the hospital, and doctors determined he had suffered a transient ischemic attack, which is commonly described as a ministroke.

Over the past two seasons with the Broncos, Kubiak is 21-11 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs, including last year’s Super Bowl victory.

The Broncos knocked off the Raiders 24-7 in Week 17.

You can just see the evolution of where the shoe is going

Plumlee notched a career-high with 27 points against Sacramento last Tuesday and clearly is taking his game to the next level, averaging 12.6 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 3.8 APG in his past five games. Kanter went for 20 points in each of his past two games and averaged 7.2 rebounds in his past five games. Zeller is a double-double threat who quietly is averaging 1.1 steals per game on the season and career highs in minutes (26.2), points (11) and rebounds (6.4).

Those who suffered the biggest fall in the rankings include Steven Adams (79), Victor Oladipo (83), Kent Bazemore (123) and Rodney Hood (124).

“You can just see the evolution of where the shoe is going,” Irving says. “Also the bottom, it almost looks like an alien face at the bottom, but these are two pods that are tailor-fitted for me and the weird angles when I’m crossing over or I’m kind of low to the ground. Then, the consistent inconsistencies in the traction at the bottom: It’s going in multidirections, which is kind of like my game. We’re changing from the 1 to the 2 to the 3. It’s subtle, but also maintaining the integrity of the shoe, which is it being tailor-fitted for my game.”

Irving hit the biggest shot of his life, the biggest shot in Cavs’ franchise history and one of the biggest shots in league history in the Kyrie 2s, rising up over the two-time MVP Curry to sink a 3-pointer that clinched the title for Cleveland in Game 7.

“It’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s really hard. But I really believe that the journey is the reward. There’s beauty in the struggle, sometimes ugliness in the success. My favorite rapper said that, J. Cole. It’s just a testament to being OK with what life throws at you no matter what.

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin admitted he cut one route short that made Newton appear the villain

He had a rating of 3.7 at halftime.

Rivera said the shoulder “probably” has something to do with Newton’s inaccuracy, though he didn’t want to speculate on how much of an effect it actually had.

He called Newton’s performance against Atlanta “hot and cold,” and that was generous since there was far more cold than hot. Newton had two interceptions and he could have had at least two more.

Not all were his fault. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin admitted he cut one route short that made Newton appear the villain.

But Benjamin doesn’t believe Newton’s shoulder is the issue as much as the offense having trouble finding itself.

The Raiders easily drove the field to score right before halftime and then opened the third quarter with another touchdown. So instead of potentially having a 14-13 lead, the Colts were suddenly behind 26-7 after Luck’s second interception.

“The interceptions were bad decisions and bad throws,” Luck said. “The first one I thought I put it in a decent spot and the guy made a good play. The second one was bad on all levels. You can’t do that. Went from what was probably a guaranteed three points there. That was a pivotal moment in the game. There’s really no one else to blame but me.”

The theme with both of Luck’s interceptions besides having pressure in his face?

He was trying to force the ball to T.Y. Hilton, the team’s leading receiver.

“Well, they had 14 points off both of those,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “So it hurts. He knows we can’t throw them, you can’t force things. You can’t do it. It’d be hard to win when you do that.”