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With season saved for a week, Cowboys need to go on a run

It took Jerry Jones a little time to get from his suite inside Lincoln Financial Field to the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room on Sunday night.

Some players were talking about the hows and whys of their 27-20 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Others were getting dressed, cinching up their ties for the plane ride back home. Others were making sure they had some ice on hand to numb their aches.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Heard clear above it all was Jones, the Cowboys’ owner and general manager, letting loose with a loud “Wooooh,” like he was Ric Flair, as he entered the room. Some players responded with their own “Woooohs.”5

Less than a week earlier, the players were deflated inside their AT&T Stadium locker room after the loss to the Tennessee Titans. At 3-5, the Cowboys saw their season slipping away and knew Sunday’s game against the Eagles was a must-win.

Ezekiel Elliott was asked if beating the Eagles saved the season.

“I think we did,” said the running back, who finished with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including a TD catch.

In reality, the victory has saved the Cowboys’ season for a week.

At 4-5, they remain in the NFC East chase, two games behind the Washington Redskins. A loss would have kept them alive only in a mathematical sense.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Now they have to show they can win back-to-back games. And they get the chance to do it where their 2017 season effectively died. Last November, the Cowboys lost 27-7 to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dak Prescott was sacked eight times. Elliott did not play, serving the first game of a six-game suspension. It was the start of a three-game losing streak that ultimately led the Cowboys to a 9-7 finish that kept them from the playoffs.

Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: A golden night for Jamal Murray

Multiple overtime games, 40-point performances and blockbuster 20/20 (points and rebounds) efforts defined just another high-scoring night in the NBA.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The most exciting performance of Monday’s nine-game slate featured Denver’s Jamal Murray compiling a career-high 48 points as his Nuggets downed the Boston Celtics. Not only did the breakout scoring display secure Denver a pivotal win to improve to 9-1, with signature wins over contenders such as the Warriors, Jazz and now Celtics, but Murray’s 48 points are the most by a Nuggets player since Carmelo Anthony dropped 50 against the Rockets in February of 2011.

Murray’s 48 points are the most by a Nuggets player since Carmelo Anthony dropped 50 against the Rockets in February of 2011. They were also the most points ever scored by a Canadian-born player, while Murray became the seventh different player from the University of Kentucky to score 40 in an NBA game during the last three seasons — more than twice as many as any other school. A rising fantasy asset, Murray is enjoying a 16 percent leap in shots per game and a 13 percent jump in scoring output in his third professional season compared to last season’s strong sophomore effort.5

While impressive box scores defined the night in the positive sense, seeing Oklahoma City’s superstar Russell Westbrook leave Monday’s win over the Pelicans with a seemingly serious ankle injury was undoubtedly a tough takeaway from Monday. Westbrook needed help leaving the court and subsequent tests revealed a high-ankle sprain, although thankfully with x-rays proving negative in regards to any fracture.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Westbrook was on the way to yet another triple-double performance, with the Thunder earning their fifth straight win after starting 0-4, becoming just the third team since the merger to start 0-4 and then win as many as five straight. Though Westbrook’s status is currently unclear, the Thunder have a favorable upcoming schedule; each of their next six games come against teams with losing records, including four against the Suns, Mavericks and Cavaliers — owners of three of the four worst records in the NBA.

As Westbrook heals, shares of Dennis Schroder could prove profitable, as he’s available in roughly a third of ESPN leagues and unsurprisingly posted a season-high usage rate of 33.2 percent last night. With a strong offensive rating of 114 (team points per 100 possessions while he’s on the floor) and a usage rate at 28.3 percent the past three games, Schroder could capably turn in rewarding fantasy production with Westbrook sidelined.

With an eye on meaningful fantasy performances and relevant statistical trends, let’s delve into the night that was in the NBA.

Juventus continue unbeaten start in Serie A with win vs. Cagliari

Paulo Dybala scored after 44 seconds for Juventus but they were made to struggle in a 3-1 win over a brave Cagliari team as they stayed six points clear in Serie A on Saturday.

Juventus have now won 10 of their 11 league games but they needed the help of an own goal by Filip Bradaric after Joao Pedro had equalised for Cagliari.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Dybala gave Juve the perfect start when he received a pass on the edge of the penalty area, twisted one way and then the other and, despite slipping as he struck the ball, scored with a right-foot shot past Alessio Cragno.6

Cagliari fought back and, after having a penalty appeal for handball turned down following a VAR review, forced Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into a point-blank save to block a Leonardo Pavoletti volley.

The Sardinian side deservedly levelled in the 36th minute when Joao Pedro controlled Darijo Srna’s cross with an excellent first touch before beating Szczesny with a low drive.

But Juve were gifted a goal less than two minutes later by Bradaric who, under no immediate pressure, slid in and diverted Douglas Costa’s low cross into the net.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit the post on the stroke of halftime, laid the third on a plate for Juan Cuadrado with three minutes left after Cagliari were exposed on the counter-attack.

Juve have 31 points out of a possible 33 with Inter Milan, who beat Genoa 5-0

Mahomes, Mayfield, Brees and more: Texas QBs having their moment

“In Texas, football is heavily funded,” said Greg McElroy, a former Texas high school quarterback who had a brief NFL career before moving to ESPN and ABC as a college football analyst. “It’s prioritized. Quarterback is an expensive position to learn. A lot of these guys have private coaches. These guys are trained at a young age to become college players and eventually NFL players. Part of being a great quarterback is loving the game, being obsessed with the game. You can never work too hard at your craft and in Texas, football is king. There’s nothing more important than football. Guys are so well coached in high school in Texas.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“Your development is accelerated in the state of Texas. Usually you can play a little earlier in college. If you play earlier and play more in college, you’re going to be ready when it comes time to get to the NFL.”6

Mahomes, from the small Texas town of Whitehouse, and the Kansas City Chiefs finish a three-game stretch against former Texas quarterbacks on Sunday when they face Mayfield, from Austin, and the Browns in Cleveland. Two weeks ago the Chiefs defeated Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton of the Houston suburb of Katy. Last week, the opposing QB was Denver’s Case Keenum, from the West Texas town of Abilene.

The list of NFL quarterbacks from Texas includes former No. 1 overall draft picks in Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (from the Dallas area), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (Houston) and Mayfield as well as future Hall of Famers such as Drew Brees (Austin). Others, such as Keenum and Chicago’s Chase Daniel, weren’t drafted at all.

Texas QBs have stolen the spotlight in the past year, considering they have the reigning Heisman winner and No. 1 pick in Mayfield, the Super Bowl MVP in Nick Foles (Austin) and the newly-minted all-time passing leader in Brees.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

And they are bonded together by some strong, unique Texas roots.

“It’s a way of life [in Texas],” Keenum said. “There are a lot of people who care a lot about it. It’s kind of what you do growing up, especially in my hometown, and I know it’s that way in a lot of hometowns. When you have that many people who care about it that much and have great coaches — I think I’ve heard of other places where it’s similar [and] not to say anything bad about coaches anywhere else, but when you’re in a coach in Texas, you’re a coach. You might teach some in the school, but you don’t go work at Home Depot or at the bank, or [as a] lawyer, doctor, financial guy. You’re a coach.

River Plate’s Copa Libertadores semifinal win could be overturned for coach interference

South America’s football governing body will investigate River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo for allegedly speaking to his players at the break of a match he was suspended.

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez confirmed on Wednesday that the body’s disciplinary tribunal will look into a complaint filed by Gremio. The Brazilians were shocked at home by a 2-1 River victory in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semifinal.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The result put River in the final of the prestigious South American club tournament against Argentinian archrivals Boca Juniors or Brazil’s Palmeiras, which play later on Wednesday.

“Any complaint should be introduced to the disciplinary unit within time and form contemplated by regulations, and it will be of exclusive competence of the disciplinary tribunal,” Dominguez said on Twitter.

Gallardo acknowledged talking to his players at the break when his team was losing 1-0 to the defending champions. River had lost by the same score at home last week.

“I took that audacity because I thought the players needed it and I needed it too,” Gallardo said on Tuesday in Porto Alegre. “I broke a rule, I recognise and take responsibility, but it is what I needed and I don’t regret it.”

Gallardo was suspended for the match after being found guilty of delaying his team’s return to the pitch in several Copa Libertadores matches.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Gremio requested CONMEBOL to annul River’s victory and advance the southern Brazil team to the final. The club issued a statement saying the Argentines had violated the spirit of fair play and accused Gallardo of also communicating with his assistants by walkie-talkie, a claim that the coach denies.

After River is officially informed of Gremio’s request it will issue its defence before the CONMEBOL disciplinary tribunal. The finals of Copa Libertadores will be played Nov.7 and 28.5

Patrick Mahomes’ third straight four-TD game fuels Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have as many touchdown passes, 26, through a half-season as they had through all of 2017.

The most significant change is at quarterback, of course, where Patrick Mahomes has replaced Alex Smith.cheap nike nfl jersey

“We’ve put together an interesting offense over the offseason with the pieces we grabbed,’’ Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said. “Pat is 100 percent a part of that. You can’t say he’s not.’’

The Chiefs still have respect for Smith, a popular player in their locker room in his five seasons as their starter. But it’s just as obvious their offensive capabilities with Mahomes at quarterback are far greater.6

That was again on display Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 30-23 to raise their record to 7-1. Mahomes threw four touchdown passes, something that for him is becoming routine. He has five games with at least four touchdown passes, including the last three.

Putting that into perspective from a team standpoint, the Chiefs had 21 such games in their 58 seasons before Mahomes became their starter. From an NFL perspective, just two quarterbacks have thrown more than 26 touchdown passes in the first eight games of a season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Both players, Tom Brady in 2007 and Peyton Manning in 2013, went on to become the NFL MVP and will be in the Hall of Fame.

“I wouldn’t just say it’s the quarterback,’’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That’s not fair to Alex. He did a great job when he was here. But (Mahomes) is a part of it. Patrick has done a nice job. I’m not slighting that at all.’’

Sony Michel injury could force Patriots into making move at RB

When the New England Patriots lost rookie running back Sony Michel to a knee injury early in the second quarter of Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears, it continued a frustrating run of injuries for the team at the position.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

As Michel undergoes more tests to determine the severity of the ailment, the Patriots — who have already placed Jeremy Hill (torn ACL) and Rex Burkhead (concussion) on injured reserve — might have to consider alternative plans with only two other running backs on the roster: James White and Kenjon Barner.

“When guys like him go down, guys like myself and Kenjon just have to step in and fill the void and make the most of the opportunities we get,” said White, one of the team’s captains. “We both run hard and try to get open in pass routes, and just try to find a way to make plays.”6

White and Barner did that for the final three quarters Sunday, but relying on that to continue would be a risky approach. It might be OK for one game (the Patriots dressed just two running backs in their Oct. 4 win over the Colts), but not a multiple-game stretch.

That’s why the Patriots could be forced into some type of move — a free-agent signing, trade acquisition or practice-squad promotion — until they have more certainty on Michel’s timeline. At this point, someone close to Michel’s situation texted the following to ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “Expect it will be a little bit, but not overly serious. Won’t know until they look at it Monday.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Another layer to the decision-making process is with Burkhead, who is making progress and eligible to return from IR in early December, and thus creates a situation where the Patriots also can view their current situation as a “bridge” until that potentially happens. But that also comes with some risk, because Burkhead has been in and out of the lineup with multiple injuries.

Kareem Hunt gets his reward for doing early-season dirty work

Hunt was rewarded on Sunday night for all of his work picking up tough yards early in the season. He scored three touchdowns, two on passes from Mahomes, in the Chiefs’ 45-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.

Hunt also rushed for 86 yards and caught passes worth 55 more. He provided the night’s most spectacular play in the first quarter when he broke several attempted tackles and then leaped over safety Jessie Bates for a 21-yard run.

The play set up Kansas City’s first touchdown, which was scored by Hunt on a 6-yard catch.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“It was just one of those runs you’ve got to get the team going,” said Hunt, who added he had hurdled defenders before in high school and college. “I’m never going to give up on a play. I’m going to fight for every half-inch.”5

The play was a run/pass option for Mahomes, who initially regretted giving the ball to Hunt.

“I probably made the wrong read,” Mahomes said. “I handed it to him and it should have been a tackle for a loss and then he broke a tackle and jumped over a dude.

“You see guys jump over guys but they kind of build up. They kind of know it. He had just broken a tackle and I feel like he had just started to run and he just out of instinct jumped over him. … It was a pretty sweet thing.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing last season as a rookie, was largely left out of the Chiefs’ early-season offensive party. He rushed for 168 yards and caught only one pass in Kansas City’s first three games.

He still had three TDs in those three games, a testament to his penchant for getting the tough yards.

Erik Lamela rewards Tottenham’s patience, shows his worth vs. West Ham

At points in the 12 months before that, Tottenham fans might have wondered whether they would ever see the Argentine attacker again. His spell out with an initially innocuous-seeming hip injury stretched on and on, public updates on his condition were vague, and (ultimately false) rumours spread that there might be other explanations for his absence.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Eventually in November he returned, and a month later the deadline approached to choose Tottenham’s Champions League squad for the second half of the season. “We need to consider to provide one place to Erik,” said Pochettino. With no real evidence other than his own faith, the Tottenham manager was prepared to send other players on loan in order to make space for Lamela.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see why. Even after his return to the side a year ago, Lamela didn’t really ever cement his place in the Tottenham first XI. He only started consecutive games twice last season, and his inclusion from the beginning against West Ham on Saturday was the first Premier League start he’d made this term. Pochettino has spoken plenty of times about the need to be careful with Lamela, yet inevitably you might question whether he is worth the trouble.5

But in the time he has been on the pitch this season, Lamela has shown he is. The goal that would turn out to be the winner against the Hammers was the eighth he’d been directly involved in (either scoring or assisting) this season, despite spending a relatively meagre 406 minutes on the pitch. Efficient, if nothing else.
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“We believe in him, we trust in him,” said Pochettino after the game, when asked what he put the improvement in Lamela’s performances down to. “He’s more mature. It’s his [sixth] year here, he’s more relaxed, more calm. Now he needs to be more consistent.”

Beyond the goal, he was probably Tottenham’s most inventive and sparky player in a truly odd team performance. Initially Tottenham were barely able to exert any sort of style or control, and then when Lamela did give them the lead they sat deep and defended like they’d gone 1-0 up in the Nou Camp. The colours may be similar, but West Ham are nobody’s idea of Barcelona.

Will Durant stay or go? Like Thunder, Warriors are stuck in a waiting game

Kevin Durant will stand on the floor at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night and watch another banner lifted into the rafters and wait for another ring to be presented to him, this time with the slight discomfort of his former team in the building on the same night.

The Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder share a strange, awkward bond, with it less a rivalry and more sympathetic schadenfreude. Durant left the Thunder to join the Warriors, a seismic moment in NBA history, altering the trajectory of one franchise, and enhancing the other.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

But as the Warriors kick off their final season in Oakland, the bittersweet taste of their pending move across the bay lingering over it, like the Thunder experienced themselves, Durant’s uncertain future and the growing rumbles surrounding it will blanket everything else.4

There has been swelling noise Durant could leave the Warriors next summer, with connected insiders dropping hints and close associates either backing them up, or not outright denying them. And speculation goes back even further: In the days following Durant’s departure from OKC, those close to him predicted the Warriors wouldn’t be his final career stop.

But it’s not even an open secret that Durant will consider leaving the Warriors next summer; it’s just reality. And it’s been that way since he signed another short-term deal in July (a two-year contract, with an opt-out after this season).nfl jerseys nike cheap

There’s no financial incentive this time around, no 10-year threshold to hit. Another one-year deal next summer could give Durant full Bird rights in 2019, allowing him to sign a five-year max, but if he had his eye on that he would’ve signed a two-plus-one. (The cap jumping from a $109 million to a projected $116 million could be financially beneficial to a small degree, but that projection wasn’t when Durant signed.)

The actual incentive behind another single-season deal, as Durant said himself, is to keep his options open.

“I could have easily signed a long-term deal but I just wanted to take it season by season and see where it takes me,” Durant told ESPN’s Nick Friedell a few weeks ago. “And I think this year is going to be a fun, exciting year for us all. I’m looking forward to just focusing on that and we’ll see what happens after the year.”