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FFL: Playoff Week 8 | NFL: Superbowl

Prescott: No time for talk, Cowboys need to beat Bears

Thu Dec 5 10:04am ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

Players: Matthew Stafford, Brett Maher, Dak Prescott, Jeff Driskel, Amari Cooper, Mitch Trubisky, David Blough

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, rear, sit on the bench late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)


Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17), defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman (27), catches during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) Dak Prescott saw no need for strong words or fiery speeches.

The Dallas Cowboys have lost six of nine since a 3-0 start, and all their star quarterback cares about is finding a way to win consistently again.

They will try to get headed back in the right direction when they visit the Chicago Bears on Thursday night in a matchup between disappointing 6-6 teams that made the playoffs last season.

''Talk is cheap right? We've talked a lot,'' Prescott said. ''We've talked a bunch and got ourselves right to where we are. In a moment like this I say hell with the talking and I'm going to do more. I'm going to work harder and if you're a young guy looking for somebody to figure it out, how to do it, yeah, look at me and some of these other guys because that's exactly what we're doing - putting our head down focusing and doubling down on ourselves.''

The Cowboys came into the season with high expectations after winning the NFC East, and they looked like they were ready to deliver in the early going. Dallas averaged 32 points and 481 yards in its first 3-0 start since 2008, winning each of those games by at least 10 points. But in recent weeks, the team with the NFL's leading passer and No. 1 offense is having trouble scoring.

The Cowboys were kept out of the end zone in a 13-9 loss at New England two weeks ago, then managed two touchdowns in falling 26-15 to Buffalo on Thanksgiving. Despite all that, they still hold a one-game lead over Philadelphia in the division. But they will be facing a top 10 defense for the third straight week when they meet Khalil Mack and the Bears.

Chicago has won three of four after losing four in a row, though two of those victories were against the Lions and the other was over the Giants. Detroit and New York are a combined 5-18-1, and the Lions started backup quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and David Blough with Matthew Stafford injured.

''It speaks to the direction of where we could've went in that four-game slide,'' Bears coach Matt Nagy said. ''I thought it revealed a lot of who we were as a team and who we are as people. No one not one time started pointing fingers. ... That's a credit to our players for battling through that. It makes you proud to be their coach.''

COOPER'S ROAD WOES

Amari Cooper's strong production since joining the Cowboys in a midseason trade last year hasn't translated on the road in his first full season with Dallas. The receiver has 47 catches, 758 yards and five touchdowns in six home games, and 17 catches for 213 yards and two scores on the road.

For Cooper, the more important numbers are 60 and 32. That's the difference in targets between home and road games. Cooper isn't one to complain, and isn't doing so by pointing out those numbers.

''It's just like basketball,'' said Cooper, who is still fifth in the league in yards receiving (971) and tied for fifth in TD catches (seven). ''You shoot the ball more, you're going to have more points. If you only have two shots, then you only score four points.''

TRUBISKY'S TURNAROUND

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is on a bit of a roll the past four games after struggling for most of the season. He was 29 of 38 for a season-high 338 yards with three touchdowns - one in the closing minutes - to lead the Bears to a 24-20 win at Detroit on Thanksgiving. Trubisky is 94 of 145 for 979 yards, eight touchdowns, four interceptions and a 91.1 rating in the past four games. The three wins came against last-place teams, and he will be going against a top 10 defense this week.

FADING MAHER

The Cowboys finally brought in kickers for tryouts after Brett Maher had two big misses in the loss to Buffalo, pushing his NFL-leading total to nine misses. Dallas decided against signing a replacement, for now.

Maher has been one of the most interesting riddles in a season full of them for the Cowboys. He's the only kicker in NFL history with three kicks of at least 60 yards - all three from at least 62. But he has the second-lowest success rate from 30-49 yards at 55% (6 of 11).

CATCHING ON

Bears receiver Anthony Miller looks as if he is starting to emerge.

The second-year pro set career highs with nine catches and 140 yards against Detroit last week. He has 21 receptions for 271 yards past three games, compared to 17 for 218 in first nine.

The Memphis product had 423 yards last season.

PENALTY PROBLEM

Silly penalties continue to be an issue for the Bears.

They had 10 for 89 yards last week and seemed in disarray at times, with not enough players on the field at one point and an illegal formation at another. At important times, Roquan Smith got called for unnecessary roughness and Leonard Floyd was flagged for roughing the passer.

Player Notes
Nick Foles Jan 21 10:30pm ET

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James Looney Jan 21 9:13pm ET

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Yannick Ngakoue Jan 21 8:03pm ET

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Bobby Wagner Jan 21 6:23pm ET

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From TheHuddle

Leighton Vander Esch Jan 21 4:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said that linebacker Leighton Vander Esch's (neck) surgery "went well." "I feel really good about it. I feel really good about him making a full recovery and being ready to participate in everything," Jones said. The second-year linebacker should be good to go for the team's offseason workouts after missing the final five games of the 2019 season. He recorded a total of 72 tackles (43 solo), half a sack and one forced fumble in his nine games played. LVE was a beast his rookie season with 140 total tackles, and he could return to being an IDP force again in 2020 if he can just stay on the field.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Jan 21 4:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said that quarterback Dak Prescott is the team's "No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason." Despite the Cowboys missing the playoffs in 2019, Prescott wasn't the problem. He had his best season with 4,902 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his fourth year in the NFL. The Cowboys continue to reiterate that Prescott is their QB of the future, so expect a contract extension to come soon. If that doesn't happen, the franchise tag is another option to retain him for 2020. Prescott finished as the No. 3 fantasy signal-caller last season, and he'll head into the 2020 campaign as a strong high-end QB1.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Jan 21 1:40pm ET

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Julian Edelman Jan 21 1:23pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Edelman's fantasy value will hinge largely on whether Tom Brady returns to the team. Edelman should be a low-end WR2 in PPR formats.

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Chris Godwin Jan 21 1:03pm ET

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Jarvis Landry Jan 21 12:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Landry had a career-high 1,174 receiving yards to go with 83 grabs and six scores. The 27-year-old played in all 16 games for the sixth straight year and will be a low-end WR2 option in drafts next year.

From TheHuddle

Odell Beckham Jr. Jan 21 12:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (abdomen) underwent successful surgery on Tuesday to fix a core muscle injury. A full recovery is expected. OBJ didn't miss a game in his first season with Cleveland despite fighting through injuries. He caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and only four touchdowns in what was a very disappointing first year with the Browns. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was extremely inconsistent behind a terrible offensive line, which didn't help matters for Beckham's fantasy owners. Another offseason to gain chemistry with Mayfield should help Beckham rebound in 2020, and he could be a nice value pick as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.

From RotoBaller

Jarvis Landry Jan 21 12:20pm ET

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From RotoBaller

Odell Beckham Jr. Jan 21 11:43am ET

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Fantasy Spin: OBJ had a miserable season by his standards after most likely being a top-five pick. It's not a lock that he returns to the Browns after considerable drama that comes along with his immense talent. He's a risky fantasy asset because of that, but he'll be a WR1 in drafts again next year.

From TheHuddle

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Raheem Mostert Jan 20 10:30pm ET

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Jimmy Garoppolo Jan 20 10:30pm ET

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Jaquiski Tartt Jan 20 8:13pm ET

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Tevin Coleman Jan 20 7:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that running back Tevin Coleman (shoulder) suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the NFC Championship win over the Packers on Sunday. Coleman had his shoulder popped back into place and Shanahan thinks that Coleman has a chance to play in the Super Bowl in two weeks. Only time will tell if the 26-year-old will be able to play against Kansas City. He ran the ball six times for 21 yards before his injury and had a season-high 22 totes for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the Divisional win over the Vikings. Even if Coleman plays, he'll be second fiddle to Raheem Mostert, who ran for over 200 yards and four scores against Green Bay. Matt Breida would spell Mostert in the backfield if Coleman doesn't gain clearance.

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